|Hektor Heresy role||
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.
Intelligent beings struggle in every moment of their lives. Even in moments of apparent calm, there is always the struggle against one's own self.
- Uriel Salazar, Confessions
Tollund Ötztal was the Primarch of the Mastodontii, the Eighth of the Emperor's Legiones Astartes. Although many knew him as a well-meaning soul conscious of the horrors of war, Ötztal's troubled mind would fall to Chaos and become a birthing ground for sadistic terror during the Hektor Heresy.
According to The Secret History of the Mamutoi, the life of Tollund Ötztal begins with the story of twin brothers, Tollund and Ötztal. These superhuman creatures were born of the Emperor's science and stolen away from Terra by the Ruinous Powers. Far from their birthplace, the twins would be rediscovered on the planet Tisenjoch, then a Feudal class world at the Western edge of Segmentum Solar.
Unlike their brothers, the twins had not arrived at their new homeworld as infants but were already small boys whose eyes had beheld the myriad horrors of the Warp. They huddled together in their capsule as it fell, flaming, to Tisenjoch. There, Tollund and Ötztal were discovered by soldiers dispatched to investigate the "meteor". The soldiers hailed from Umbaraka, a prosperous mining kingdom, and hoped to secure pure meteoric iron for their homeland's forges. The advanced metals of an incubation capsule from the Emperor's laboratory was a bounty beyond their imagining and they hastened to secure the prize. Not knowing that the soldiers were men, rather than demons, Ötztal began to wail in terror while Tollund tried to silence him. The cry of a child greatly surprised the men of Umbaraka, but once the twins were brought forth from their capsule the decision was quickly made to bring them before Krodun, the Gesar of Umbaraka. Krodun was greatly impressed by his men's story of a falling star that had brought human life to his kingdom. The superstitious monarch had no sons of his own and quickly decided that the Sky-Father had sent his own progeny to rule Umbaraka after Krodun. Tollund and Ötztal were quickly adopted by the Gesar of Umbaraka and put in the care of professional nannies.
The regime of Krodun's household did not please the twins. Tollund took to staging pranks on his keepers, but his quiet brother Ötztal invariably took the blame. As the twins rapidly matured, Ötztal's complaining to Tollund turned into brawling. The brothers' fearsome battles against one another so terrified their nannies that the Gesar was informed. Krodun at first dismissed concerns, then replaced staff, but eventually he came to witness the twins' wildness himself. Aghast at their behaviour, Krodun declared that such madness was less like men than the acts of wild beasts and banished the twins to the wilderness until they had at least learned to act like animals. In truth, Krodun wished only to be free of the Sky-Father's offspring, but he knew better than to directly harm the progeny of a god.
After being escorted to the borders of Umbaraka, the twins wandered for many months. Even as boys they were capable hunters and had little trouble finding food and water. As the two grew in stature and their limbs thickened, their trail took them into the cold lands of the nomadic Mamutoi tribes. But if the twins stood as tall as grown men, they still quarreled like children, each blaming the other for their exile. Such arguments often led to even wilder brawls than those that had seen the twins banished from the court of Krodun.
Every midwinter, the smoke-walkers of the Mamutoi go out into the frosts to beseech the Sky-Father for the return of summer. Young Issitoq was walking the sacred paths on such a journey when he heard a roaring at once like a beast and like a man. He wondered for a moment if he should flee, but Issitoq summoned his courage and went to investigate. It was his task as the lodge smoke-walker to seek out the Unknown and bargain with them. When he reached the clearing where Tollund and Ötztal battled, Issitoq at once knew that he beheld the fulfillment of ancient prochecy - the legendary Skyborn! He threw himself down into the snow, pleading,
- "Hear me, Skyborn! I am a faithful servant of your Father Who Dwells in the Heavens, and would serve you as well! If you are enraged by the faithlessness of other men, know that my lodge and all the tribes of the Mamutoi will follow you and do the bidding of the Sky-Father. Only stop tearing at your own flesh and feeding the snows with your own blood, and we will do all that you ask!"
Shamed by Issitoq's sincerity, the twins set aside their quarrel and hoisted the smoke-walker from the snow. Tollund bade Issitoq to lead the way back to his people and was quickly obeyed. Though Mamutoi lodges generally expected their smoke-walkers to spend many hours ensuring the return of summer, all doubts were banished when Issitoq presented the twins. Tollund and Ötztal were at once recognised as the Skyborn. Their words were taken as those of the Sky-Father and over the rest of winter the twins claimed the allegiance of the other Mamutoi lodges. In return, the Skyborn received the ritual scars of a plainsman warrior, forever declaring their kinship with the men of the great plain.
Yet the other tribes of the great plain had abandoned the Sky-Father. The Zedonia followed the lion-headed eagle, Andugu, the Talut revered the great tiger Orgolesh, and the Crisavec were followers of the horned giant Huwadu. Their elders spurned the twins, claiming that their spirits were superior to the Sky-Father. Tollund called out to punish the other tribes with war, but Ötztal sought an alternative to shedding blood on the snow. Most of the Mamutoi were too fearful to intervene in a quarrel between the twins, but Issitoq bravely suggested that the Skyborn should seek out and slay the patron spirits of the other tribes to demonstrate the power of the Sky-Father. Tollund was satisfied that this course would show his willingness to shed blood, while Ötztal felt comforted that the violence would be limited to ritual.
In order to prepare themselves for battle with the spirits of the other tribes, the Skyborn waited for midwinter and went out into the darkest night to consult with the Mamutoi's patron spirit, Sabaka the great mammoth. Sabaka was kin to Andugu, Orgolesh, and Huwadu, but she remained a faithful servant of the Sky-Father. Recognising the Skyborn as the offspring of her master, the great mammoth gave her aid freely. For three days and nights, Tollund and Ötztal walked with Sabaka, drinking her rich milk and learning her secrets. In the spring, the Skyborn travelled to Mount Anshan, home to the lion-headed eagle Andugu. Following Sabaka's advice, they crept into Andugu's nest while the spirit hunted and stole his shedded feathers to make flights for their arrows. They then confronted the lion-headed eagle and drove him into the sky, where the spirit believed no missile could touch him. But arrows guided by Andugu's own feathers drew the heart blood of the great spirit and the Skyborn claimed the eagle's lion head as their trophy. In the summer, they traveled to the plains to stalk the great tiger Orgolesh. For seven days and seven nights the twins trailed their quarry, first finding no more than Orgolesh's spoor, then catching sight of the great tiger on a rise, then finally chasing Orgolesh from his kills. Eventually, the spirit did not have the strength to keep ahead of the Skyborn and fell to their arrows. They stripped his skin and made garments from it. In the fall, the twins went into the dark woods where the horned giant Huwadu lurked. Clad in the hide of Orgolesh, the Skyborn could not be seen by Huwadu and although the giant fought fiercely his great head was taken.
As the snows began to fall, the trophies of the Skyborn were presented to the tribes of the great plain. Now, none could doubt the power of the Sky-Father and every man of the plain followed his progeny. But before the Skyborn unleashed the fury of the tribes, the twins decided to reclaim their rightful inheritance and set for Umbaraka. A band of their most loyal followers waited just outside the patrols of Krodun's soldiers, but faithful Issitoq went with them in case a messenger was needed. When the trio reached Krodun's capital, they found the city bedecked for a great festival. Tollund asked a local what was being celebrated and learned that Gesar Krodun had decreed a great chariot race to determine the new heir to Umbaraka. Though the twins were furious at their patrimony being held up as a prize, they swallowed their anger and decided to enter the race.
When Tollund and Ötztal approached Krodun's captain to register for the great competition, the insolent man at first mocked them, asking if they intended to drive a chariot on their own. The twins drew up to their full stature and glared in response, and the captain's courage drained from him. Under false names, Tollund and Ötztal entered a race to claim what had been promised them so long ago. Their victory over the other chariot teams was unsurprising, for the Skyborn were far stronger and quicker to react than even the greatest of mortal men. Yet when they revealed their true identity, Krodun reneged on his promise and refused to will Umbaraka to the Skyborn. Tollund snarled and started towards the Gesar, but Ötztal checked his twin's violent impulses. The Skyborn stalked out of Umbaraka.
They were not gone long. Once the twins had reunited with their followers, messengers were dispatched across the great plain to gather the hosts of the Sky-Father. Within three passings of the sun, the followers of the Skyborn had assembled before the capital of Gesar Krodun. Within one more, the city was in the hands of the plainsmen and Krodun was Gesar no more. Though Tollund wished to slay Krodun for his treachery, Ötztal argued that the twins had been promised Umbaraka only on the old man's natural death. To slay him would prove that Krodun had been right to swindle them. Seeing that Ötztal's words caused relief among the advisors of the Skyborn, Tollund unhappily accepted placing Krodun in a comfortable prison to see out his days.
Yet Umbaraka was only the first of many conquests. The Skyborn swept forth across the face of Tisenjoch, bringing city after city into the realm of the Sky-Father. In the wild places between named realms, the twins found hardy men to take the scars and join their legions. Finally, they had conquered from ocean to ocean in the name of their sire. With the whole of the known world at their feet, the twins set about building a capital in Umbaraka. They spurned Krodun's city and instead developed a small fishing village into the great city that would be known as Cyrgyt, jewel of the Shivering Sea. Tollund and Ötztal determined to build great palaces of their own design as the chief ornaments of their capital. Each palace represented the character of its creator. Tollund's home soared heavenward, grasping at the sky with towers of gleaming marble. By comparison, Ötztal laid out a squat fortress of sturdy granite. As they had so often before, the twins quarrelled over their differences. Tollund came to Ötztal's fort and mocked it, even going so far as to leap over the walls to demonstrate their feebleness. As their attendants looked on in horror, Ötztal seized his brother and wrestled with him, finally throwing Tollund into the mud and laughing at the ruin of his wardrobe. A few courtiers laughed with Ötztal, but were quickly silenced when Tollund fixed his brother with a cold stare and swore that he would have his vengeance.
The next day, Krodun's broken body was found in his cell. Even the most casual observer could tell that the old man had been crushed to death by a warrior of tremendous strength, but who could question the Skyborn? Issitoq, as the twins' oldest companion, was sought out and implored to seek out justice for Krodun. The smoke-walker was not pleased by this duty, but he knew that even the Skyborn must answer to justice. When Issitoq questioned the Skyborn, Ötztal was shocked but quickly turned to blame his brother. Tollund laughed at the accusation, saying that he could do whatever he wanted, but Ötztal cut him off with a blow. As Issitoq shrank back from the Skyborn, the twins wrestled on the ground until Tollund was subdued. Ötztal announced that the crimes had gone too far and wrapped his twin in a carpet, commanding that Issitoq bring horses and have them kick Tollund to death. After the steeds had done their duty, Issitoq asked in a quavering voice, "Gesar Ötztal, has justice been served?"
Ötztal replied that he still had to live out his part of the crime. The Skyborn commanded that henceforth he would be known as Tollund Ötztal so that none would forget his part in the death of Krodun. The soaring palace of Tollund was completed but never lived in, serving only as a monument to those who had died in the Skyborn's conquest of Tisenjoch. Tollund Ötztal would dwell in his plain fortress, leaving as much of the business of government as possible to bureaucrats and busying himself with hunting.
The Coming of the Emperor
Issitoq ruled Tisenjoch in Tollund Ötztal's name. The smoke-walker was not greedy and lived a simple life, believing that he and his master were but stewards until the day that the Sky-Father arrived. He was not surprised when a hooded stranger of great stature came before him and requested a direct audience with Ötztal. On hearing the commanding tones of the stranger, Issitoq was certain that this mighty being could only be the Sky-Father himself, finally come to commence his rule over Tisenjoch.
Tollund Ötztal was less easily persuaded. He was accustomed to meeting with his friend Issitoq from time to time, but considered the presence of a third man a breach of protocol. The Primarch challenged the stranger, demanding to know why he believed himself worthy of an audience. From beneath his hood, the stranger smiled and said that he would undertake any task to show his worth. Ötztal was greatly displeased by this boast, and insisted that the stranger show his prowess in three tests.
The first trial was of tracking. Ötztal set off from his fortress while Issitoq timed out an hour's passing. Then the stranger was told to pursue the Primarch. If he could not trail Ötztal, then he did not deserve to stand with him. The stranger set out at a run, only glancing at the soil ahead of him from time to time, but he followed Ötztal's path with the keen instinct of a hunting beast. It was not long before the two stood together and the second trial began. Ötztal passed a great bow to the stranger and explained that they would wait for the first sight of a deer, then loose one arrow. If the stranger could not equal Ötztal's shot, he did not deserve to speak to him. They waited in silence for a time, each warrior's keen senses appraising the other's stance and readiness. Then, in a flash, they caught a glimpse of movement, raised their bows and fired. The deer ran from them unharmed and Ötztal looked at the stranger in confusion, for he had never missed a shot while hunting before. In answer, the stranger only pointed to where Ötztal's bolt had fallen, struck from the sky by the stranger's shot. Smiling, Ötztal set down his bow and explained that the final test was wrestling. If the stranger could not prove equal man-to-man, then he would only have his audience as a supplicant and could make no demands. The two exchanged holds and strained their muscles against one another long into the cloudy night. But when the heavens parted and the light of the stars shone upon the stranger's face, Ötztal could no longer deny it. He was not testing his equal. His creator, the Sky-Father, was showing Ötztal the errors of his pride.
After Ötztal recognised Him, the Emperor of Mankind spoke to his son and corrected the errors of superstition. He explained the truth of Ötztal's creation and the vastness of the Galaxy beyond Tisenjoch. The Emperor also explained the role that Ötztal and his brother Primarchs were to play in the stars above. Although He was proud of Ötztal's achievements in subduing Tisenjoch, the Emperor was concerned over one matter. He noted that the Primarch took the name Tollund Ötztal and asked if this meant that he had accepted responsibility for the murder of Krodun and the events that had led to it. Ötztal nodded and knelt before his Father, prepared to receive punishment. Yet the Emperor's tone remained concerned, never flaring into anger. He asked what would stop Ötztal from embracing pride once more and rising against the growing Imperium of Mankind in pursuit of reward, rather than duty. Ötztal looked into his creator's eyes and replied that a guilty man deserves no reward. He swore that he only wished to atone for the blood shed on Tisenjoch's snows, to win absolution but not reward. If at the end of the Emperor's great task, He judged that Ötztal had not redeemed himself, the Primarch would gladly submit to any punishment.
The Emperor nodded His agreement, but He did not smile.
Tollund Ötztal inspected the Eighth Legion and was quick to deem them fit for his purpose. Even the oldest of the Legion, those born on Terra, had taken scars akin to those of his plainsman warriors. Yet beyond their feral faces was the noble restraint that the Primarch so valued in a warrior. The Eighth Legion was not something for him to change, only to expand and inspire. Tollund Ötztal tried to lead more by example than decree, though he was forced to make some changes to the Legion's training regime to better accomodate the men of Tisenjoch. But in matters of command, the Primarch felt that the men who had directed the campaigns of the Eighth from Terra to the stars were generally fit to carry on their mission. His own role would be to stand at the head of the Legion's hosts, striking the first blows and weathering the greatest hardships. If ties of genetics were not enough, this heroic pose quickly won Tollund Ötztal the love of his gene-sons.
His relationships with the other Primarchs were more mixed. Hektor Cincinnatus was Ötztal's favourite brother and sometime role model, and he had a great admiration for Roman Albrecht. His ire generally fell on those of the Primarchs who strayed from the battlefield, such as the Voidwatcher, Tiran Osoros, Johannes Vrach, and Arelex Orannis. But his greatest rival was Onyx the Indestructible.
This rivalry began shortly after Onyx was rediscovered. The Primarch of the Stone Men was keen to establish himself as the strongest of the brotherhood, and had thrown down Roman Albrecht, Brennus, and even Hektor himself in unarmed contests. Tollund Ötztal was too humble to answer the open challenge on his own behalf, but Hektor pushed the lord of the Mastodontii to show off his skills as a grappler against mighty Onyx. Reluctantly, Ötztal stepped forward and quickly humbled Onyx by bringing him to earth and locking up his mighty right arm. Yet where a lesser man might have submitted to save himself from injury or pain, Onyx roared his defiance. He boasted that his bones could not be broken while Ötztal would soon tire.
Tollund Ötztal's reply was simple and to the point. He wrenched Onyx's arm, popping the shoulder from its socket. Hektor and Roman laughed and applauded Ötztal's skills, though the humble Primarch only acknowledged them with a nod, then released his brother and got to his feet. Onyx was up almost as fast and struck Ötztal with a tremendous left hook, knocking him senseless. Before any further blows could be landed, Hektor and Roman interceded, but both Onyx and Ötztal would hold a grudge against the other from that day on.
However, brotherly meetings were rare. For most of the Great Crusade, Ötztal would be far from the other Primarchs, leading his 51st Expedition Fleet. Though he did not claim as many worlds as some of his peers, the lord of the Mastodontii was proud that his men passed lightly over the galaxy. His Legion rarely left a newly-Compliant world much worse than they had found it, and they were quick to hand over their conquests to Imperial Governors. Yet as reports of other Legion actions filtered through to Ötztal, he realised that he was an outlier among the Primarchs. The Life Bringers were not averse to utterly destroying a world only to rebuild it in their own image. The Sons of Fire seemed to almost relish destruction. The Black Augurs and Stone Men cared little for collateral damage.
For some time, Tollund Ötztal brooded on the question, wondering what he could do to curb the tendencies of his warlike brothers. When the Council of Nikaea was convened, Ötztal dispatched his Chief Librarian Erlik to speak on behalf of the Mastodontii. Although the Mastodontii Primarch usually allowed his subordinates to plot their own course, Erlik was given strict instructions to call for restraints on the use of Warp powers. The harsh decision at Nikaea greatly exceeded Ötztal's expectations, but he could accept the loss of the Librarians if it prevented the Black Augurs from laying waste to homes and lives.
Somewhat encouraged, Ötztal looked for another opportunity to reduce the destruction of the Great Crusade. He settled on Gaspard Lumey's destruction of Karazak. The master of the Fifth Legion was ruthless and had no sense of martial honour, but Ötztal knew that Lumey was a devout believer in the rule of law over the rule of force. If the War Council moved to discipline the Fifth Legion for excessive destruction, it was likely that the punishment would be accepted and an example could be set for the other unruly Primarchs. However, before Ötztal could bring his case before the Emperor, the War Council was disbanded. The Imperial government was organised in the Council of Terra, led by Malcador the Sigilite, while the Great Crusade was directed by Hektor Cincinnatus and the Military Council.
Sensing discontent over the division of powers, Ötztal took his concerns to Hektor rather than Malcador. He appealed to the Warmaster to use his new powers to usher in an era of conquest with grace, rather than brute destruction. It is likely that Hektor was less taken by Ötztal's moral argument than by the chance to demonstrate his authority - especially against a trouble-maker like Lumey - but for whatever reason the Warmaster agreed to preside over a tribunal. Ötztal travelled to the Fortress World Ussur to present his case in person. Many of the attendees suspected that a debate between Gaspard Lumey and the Mastodontii Primarch would be a no contest, but the Fifth Legion's Primarch seemed content to let Ötztal read his statement and confined his response to clarifying factual matters. After the end of the Ussur Tribunal, Ötztal spoke to Lumey and found that his estimation had been correct. Gaspard Lumey was content to lead his Legion into exile in order to set a good example to the soldiers of the Imperium. Before parting, the two Primarchs clasped hands and pledged to work together when they met again.
The Hektor Heresy
When Hektor's revolt began, Tollund Ötztal and much of the Eighth Legion were at Tisenjoch, refitting after hard campaigning in the Ultima Segmentum. News of civil war threw the Primarch into melancholy and he forbade his men from joining the war. Yet in the great struggle between the Imperium of Mankind and the Ruinous Powers, there was no middle ground. Onyx and his Stone Men came to Tisenjoch to demand that the Mastodontii take up arms against the traitors, but Tollund Ötztal would not greet them. Infuriated by this insult and seeing the Eighth Legion's "neutrality" as nothing more than a traitor's ruse, Onyx ordered his Legion to attack.
Even the impact of a Space Marine Legion assaulting Tisenjoch failed to rouse Ötztal from his bleak state. When the Praetorians of the Mastodontii confronted their master and begged him to take action, Ötztal only closed his eyes and turned his back on them. He said nothing to a second plea, but the third was answered by an old voice, once thought lost. Ötztal's twin, Tollund, spoke. "For so long, you went about your business without me. You used my name, but you tried to forget I had even existed. And now comes the crisis, a time that you are too weak to handle on your own."
Ötztal's eyes snapped open and he beheld a mirror to his own face. Tollund laughed over the murmuring of the Mastodontii Praetorians, then continued, "Don't be afraid. I am not merely taking the chance to mock you. I will take the field. I will do the hardest tasks. I will not shrink from taking brother's blood."
"But you will pay my price of asking."
Attempt at Rules
Unit Type: Infantry(unique), Independant Character
Wargear: Sabaka's Might, Endurance of Sabaka, Sabaka's Wisdom Special Rules: Adamantium Will, Silently Strong, Bulky, Eternal Warrior, Fear, Fearless, Fleet, Independent Character, The Skyborn, It Will Not Die, Master of the Legion
Endurance of Sabaka: Primarch armor Forged by the Highest Archmagi, just like pretty much every other primarch. Has a mammoth head Decoration on the chest, along with adamantium tusk sticking out the front. Endurance of Sabaka Confers a 2+ armor save and a 4+ invulnerable. Additionally any enemy model in BtB take D3 S4 AP4 hits.
Sabaka's Might: A large Axe, inscribed with Tisenjochi Writing Labelling the many tales of the Skyborn S+3 AP 2. Shred, Sky venom: every successfull to wound roll of 6 reduces targets toughness by 1d3
Sabaka's Wisdom: R:36", S8 AP2, Assault 2 Every successfull penetrating hit automatically immobilizes vehicles on a 3+
Silently Strong: Fear at -1d3Ld, and gives Legiones Astartes: Mastadontii Stubborn and Fear
The Skyborn: An inspiring Presence to the Regiments of Tisenjoch, Tollund Ötztal provides Re-rolls on morale to <Tisenjoch's IG Regiment>, as well as +1d3Ld.
|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