Tribulus Bercilak

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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.

Tribulus Bercilak, The Dendrarch

"There are men who can still redeem their sins, and there are men whose sins are beyond redemption. Then there are those whose bare existence is sinful. And then there are the likes of Bercilak."

-Fabrice Diallo, Colossus Has Fallen speech.

The despicable Dendrarch has been leading the Green Men to new atrocities ever since Galen's transformation into the Tree of Woe. Originally an ecoterrorist and a folk hero on his horribly polluted Knight World of Hautedesert, he was eventually recruited by the Life Bringers and rose in their ranks to become one of the Legion's Captains. Extremely valued by his Primarch Johannes Vrach, Bercilak was renowned for his for his valiance and gallantry befitting of a knight far beyond the bounds of his Legion. Forever haunted by his youth on a desolate Industrial planet, he saw the main mission of his Legion in restoring life to the worlds damaged during the Age of Strife. His dream of making Industrial Worlds green again brought him together with Galen, which eventually lead to his damnation. Convinced that Galen was a peerless genius and that he knew what he was doing, Bercilak eagerly assisted him in all of his endeavours, even when they started to become morally questionable. He was amongst the first to be injected with the Green Man genetic compound, which, apart from turning him into a plantman, had an unexpected effect on his brain chemistry, making him extremely sadistic and susceptible to rage. The valiant knight of old had died, giving way to a deranged psychopath delighting in slaughtering the creatures of flesh. Although he has committed countless crimes against Humanity since then, his arguably most infamous act is the inhumanly cruel murder of Antoine Antonelle during the Battle of Rai.

Origins[edit]

Galen's hard work for the Legion, his brilliant talent in gene manipulation and his unshakable faith in the Primarch have soon netted him many friends in the Legion, but none was as close to him as Captain Tribulus Bercilak. Bercilak hailed from Hautedesert, a Knight World not too distant from Rai. Described as a lush green pardise in the romances of yore, Hautedesert had long since been turned into a toxic wasteland by a ruthless arms race between the numerous Knight Houses trying to produce more and better exo-suits than their rivals. House Bercilak used to be one of the major contributors to the planet's dire condition until hubris and treachery brought about its downfall. Left by their enemies to drag on a wretched existence in the ruins of their technocastles lashed by relentless acid rains, the nobles of House Bercilak for the first time in centuries got time to contemplate the repercussions of their reckless actions. As his cousins set about on a quest to repair their demolished factories and resume the production of exo-suits, Tribulus swore that he will never allow them to keep poisoning their miserable planet, already in its death throes. One by one, he challenged his cousins to a duel and killed them all, remaining the last son of the House of Bercilak.

After giving his slain cousins quick and dirty burials, he embarked on a one-man crusade against the world-killing industry. Tribulus used what little ammunition remained unplundered in the warehouses of his family to make explosives, loaded them onto a cyberhorse, put on a gas mask and departed into the toxic fog shrouding his castle. For years to come he would stalk unseen from one poison-belching factory to another, ending their vile existences with potent explosive charges, then disappearing back into the smog before the men-at-arms serving the Knight Houses could apprehend him. His grim legend spread far and wide, and soon there was no House on the planet that didn't fear the Green Ghost, named so because of the green cape he wore to honour his dream of a green Hautedesert. But while the panicking nobles blew fortunes on trying to track down the mysterious terrorist, the common folk toiling in the factories began to see him as their champion. Folk songs about the Green Ghost soon started appearing everywhere, in spite of the nobles' efforts to ban them, and it wasn't long before his actions inspired a multitude of copycats, followers and even whole secret societies aimed at bringing down the ruthless Knight Houses. Bercilak's desperate quest was a spark that was enough to fuel the flames of rebellion.

It is unclear which side would have gained the upper hand in this nascent confrontation if it wasn't for the sudden arrival of the Brothers of Death. Their formal offering to the Knight Houses of Hautedesert to join the Imperium of their own free will was met with arrogance befitting of this world's nobility, so the Space Marines had to resort to warfare. However, they were soon displeased to find out that their strategy of preliminary chemical bombardment broke down on this world, as its polluted atmosphere was already almost as toxic as the most potent of toxins they carried aboard Valetudinarium. However, going toe-to-toe against the numerous and well-trained Knights of this world without any preparations would mean casualties that even the usually reckless Brothers of Death found unacceptable. The only other way out that the Legion's strategists could think of was to earn the support of the world's downtrodden serfs and try to use their knowledge of the local specifics to their advantage.

When their vanguard troops made a covert landing on Hautedesert and contacted a group of local serfs, they were surprised to be mistaken for the retinue of a certain 'Green Ghost'. This character kept coming up in conversations with the locals, which was bound to pick the interest of the Legion's commanders. With the superior tracking equipment they possessed and their location on the planet's orbit, it wasn't an insurmountable task to locate, apprehend and bring the legendary freedom fighter before the Legion's commander. His defiance in the face of superhuman Space Marines certainly made a strong impression on Theophrastus Salk, as well as his willingness to do anything to bring down the hated Knight Houses. After realising that he and those brutish giants shared a common enemy, Bercilak reluctantly agreed to join them. According to the plan developed by Salk, Tribulus would step out of the shadows to incite a full-fledged rebellion against the Houses, tying down their forces and damaging their infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Brothers of Death would wait for an opportune moment and deliver a fatal strike to the planet's tyrannical nobility.

As a testament to Salk's impressive strategic skills, the plan went down almost perfectly. The rebellion started by Bercilak spread like a forest fire across the planet, with entire populations of whole villages leaving their homes to join the Green Ghost's army. Unfortunately, in spite of their enthusiasm and clear numerical advantage, an army of peasants armed with rusty sledgehammers and welding torches didn't stand a chance against the united Knight Houses of Hautedesert. But victory was never their purpose: while they were distracting their former overlords, a strike force of Brothers of Death, who the nobles have all but forgotten about, made a series of landings in carefully picked strategic positions determined thanks in no small part to the maps compiled by Bercilak during his travels, and spelled doom for the world's arrogant aristocracy.

In spite of Bercilak's demands, Salk refused to destroy the remaining exo-suit factories, considering them too valuable of an asset for the Imperium to lose. Instead, he promised to bring the destructive arms race to an end, and, in the long run, rebuild the world's ecosystem with help from Magi Biologis. Tribulus himself was offered the position of the grandmaster of the biggest of the planet's restructured Knight Houses, but he has come to bear such resentment towards the exo-suits that he adamantly refused. Likewise, he refused the position of the planet's Imperial governor due to his lack of administrative abilities. In the end, he preferred to stay with the Brothers of Death and keep doing what he had been doing for many years now - bringing vengeance where it was long overdue.

Although his service with the Legion had been impeccable and he was eventually promoted to a Captain, he still couldn't forget Salk's promise. For a Battle Brother, he was always very interested in the research of the Genetory, waiting for a breakthrough that would allow to purify terminally contaminated worlds. And eventually this breakthrough was brought about by Nikephoros Galen, a young prodigy from a backwater Agri World. His research into ecosystem rebuilding has earned him deep respect and lifelong friendship from Tribulus Bercilak, one of the Twelfth's greatest heroes.

The Great Crusade[edit]

A valiant hero during most of the Great Crusade, he managed to preserve his humanity even after his Legion had betrayed the Emperor. However, this didn't save him from eternal damnation: when he was injected with the Green Man compound, everything good in him withered and died, giving way to cruelty and heartlessness. During the Siege of Terra and the Battle of Rai, Bercilak forever destroyed the good name he once had with his horrible crimes.

Current situation[edit]

As the undisputed leader of the Green Men, Bercilak is the mastermind behind countless incursions into the Imperial Space. Industrial and Forge Worlds remain his favourite targets. Instead of acting subtly, he prefers teaching cruel lessons to the people who murder their planet's nature. During the first phase of the invasion, his forces exterminate the planet's entire population with diabolical biological weapons causing madness before an excruciatingly painful death. The corpses left from this genocide are then collected by the Green Men, put into enormous vats and fermented with special bacteria that quickly turn them into compost. It is with this fertiliser made from people that they dress the barren soil of the conquered world, preparing it for the final act of this cruel play: the sowing. Seeds of the deadliest plants in the Galaxy are planted where a wasteland once was, gradually turning it into an uninhabitable toxic jungle.

Bercilak's appearance is as grotesque as that of most of the Green Men. His wet and sticky green skin is bulging with pulsating veins and throbbing sacs of poisonous juices, lichen and parasitic fungi grow all over it, and woodlice live in his ears and nostrils. Instead of hair, long and meaty leaves grow out of his face, constantly writhing like the tentacles of a squid washed ashore. His unique set of Power Armour is entirely carved from wood, but this is no ordinary wood: taken from a tree genetically engineered by the Warband's Genetors, it surpasses ceramite in its durability. The deformed ring patterns on its surface form leering demonic faces. His infamous Daemon Weapon, the Uprooter, resembles a big gnarly snag at the first sight, with only the profane runes carved into it that glow with sickly green light giving away its true nature. With each strike it leaves scores of splinters in the flesh or armour of its victim, which then start burrowing deeper into it with a will of their own, seeking to find and pierce vital organs.

It is unclear whether or not Bercilak is still in charge of the Green Men. During the famous Bithynian Campaign, captain Ansel Delecluse of the Void Angels managed to slay Bercilak in personal combat, thus finally avenging Antoine Antonelle. His head was then cut off and frozen in a block of ice in order to be brought to Ciban IV and presented to the Chapter Master. However, an unfortunate incident happened during the grisly trophy's journey to the homeland of Void Angels: when the ship carrying it was passing through the Warp, the head simply disappeared, the vault where it had been kept was covered in toxic foliage and its walls were torn by some incomprehensible power. Although Delecluse was disheartened to lose the proof of his victory, he was content to know that one of the Imperium's most persistent foes had finally been put to justice.

But was that really the case? Five centuries later, Delecluse, now the Chapter Master of the Void Angels, took part in the cleansing of Hive World Pergamon seized by a Galenic cult. After slaying scores of insane cultists dressed in grass skirts and covered with green spiral tattoos, he stormed into the governor-general's former office. There, he found the cult's magus waiting for him. The heretic's last words troubled the Void Angel deeply, for he told him that Bercilak sends his regards and waits to return the favour.