There is something enigmatic about the stain of war, the black grit of desperate battles that gets under the nails and marks the skin in a way that no amount of the fetid, tepid water collected from a shell cratered puddle can ever remove. Of resolve, blackened and broken upon the jagged shards of human fear, ferociously collected in the bleeding moments of heroic last stands that will never see the immortality of the ink scribed pages in an annual of record.
It is the familiar chemical tang of promethium and blessed oils. A battlefield’s potpourri of burnt flesh and the ruptured stew of internal organs laid open to air. Transhuman sweat and the sharp bite of combat stims pumping through geneforged veins. The biological, fungal rankness that is the Xenos.
Even I, forged for war with the blood of a demi-god running through my veins, am not immune to its grip.
Over all of the spoors, there is a lone trace that I cannot shake from my mind. It is the scent that sticks with me, stains my consciousness with every breath and lingers on the back of my tongue. One that fans the flames of my hatred and abhorrence for these Xenos filth more than any of the others could ever hope to match.
The rich, copper potency of my brothers’ heartblood cuts through all of the lesser atrocities like a blade through my soul.
This galaxy is the Emperor’s. I am His blade that will cut out the hearts of all who dare oppose Him. The foul swine shall pay for their audacity to violate the birthright of Man. They shall pay for daring to set foot on this holy soil. For the sin of daring to even exist.
There is nowhere in this galaxy that the vermin can hide from my vengeance.
No pity. No remorse. No Fear.
Name: Initiate Theodoricus Gervas
Appearance: Eyes that boarder in between the steel grey of a threatening storm and the cold blue of the deep ocean tides still hold the shadow of the youth that Theo sacrificed in his oaths to the chapter and the Emperor. Under his sacred battle plate, his skin has the faint olive tone of his homeworld lost in the cold space of Segmentum Tempestus and is marked with the pale scaring of implantation and the metallic studding of his armour’s neural sockets. His hair is a shade of sable just this side of black which he keeps shorn tight on the sides with a roguish top crest just short enough to make a mockery of any attempt to tame it down to his skull. His face is clean shaven and heroically striking in the way of the forgotten sculptures of the Old Terran Romainia empire, features caught between that of a human male in his prime and the demi-god genes of his sire Lord Rogal Dorn. At just a blade’s width over 2.2 meters tall, Theo is on the shorter side of average height for an astartes but makes up for the lack of height with the thick cording of muscles that trace his enhanced frame. He still carries a faint accent from his homeworld, giving his deep voice a surprisingly humble softness when it is not growled through his helm’s vox.
Personality: In battle Theo has a tenacious nature that boarders on the point of sheer stubbornness, and his choler can be dangerously sharp at times especially in the face of what he considers cowardly behavior. He loathes the thought of those who make use of subterfuge and deception rather than fighting a straight up battle, and as a Neophyte, in a storm of rage, nearly killed a decadent popinjay noble who was hiding behind the lines of a battle demanding the Templars die for him to escape and refusing to fight for himself. He was only stopped by the presence of his Castellan who drug the screaming aristocrat into the middle of the raging battlefield and executed the blubbering man-child for cowardice himself. Fiercely devoted to the Emperor, Primarch Dorn, and the persecution of the enemies of mankind, Theo can verge on the side of blind fanatic in his beliefs at times. His youth still shows in a slightly naïve view of humanity’s virtues as he has had precious few true interactions with humans outside of the chapter serfs.
Outside of the rage of battle, Theo is more reserved yet still fiercely dedicated to his training. He has passionately devoted himself to the goal of becoming an exemplar of the pious warrior-scholar. Though still young within the order, he has engrossed himself in the teachings and writings of his Primarch and the first High Marshal Sigismund, amid other notable warriors of both the Templars and brother chapters, pushing himself mercilessly both in the training cages and scholarly arts yet never seeking accolades for his deeds. What praise he has received he returns with humble, quiet acknowledgement.
Equipment: His suit of mark VII power armour is scratched, burned, battered, scared and stained with the rank blood of the Ork. Bare grey ceramite shows through where crude blades scored the surface and the fall from orbit in the wretched xenos landing craft has left its mark on him. The shinning steel cross on his chest is flanked by out stretched wings of exquisite detail, each vein of the feathers micro etched with the words of his Gene-sire. The black crosses of Sigismund stand out defiantly against the marked stark white of Theo’s shoulder guards, each one exhibiting an almost invisible inlay of scrolling black iron. The artistic grace of the black on black details at defiant odds with the damage around them and pitiless galaxy which looks upon them. The tattered remains of a pure white surcoat hangs across his chest, the jagged edge of the fabric stopping just below his knees and the scraps of remaining fabric bound at the waist by a blacken chain with each link engraved with litanies of hatred to his enemies and purity of purpose in his oaths. His helm’s eye lenses are the colour of fresh blood and there is the half torn remains of an oath paper fixed to his left shoulder pad with the deep crimson of a purity seal.
Weapons: Astartes MK Vb
Godwyn pattern Bolter covered in silver devotional scrollwork by Theo’s own hand and ritually bound to his armour with blackened adamantium chains, bolt pistol, combat blade with white leather hand grip bound in thin silver chain and a Templar cross carved in black diamond in the pommel, and a chainsword with no other marking than a single filigreed silver cross on the ebony blade.
Background: Borne on an Imperial world of ragged cliffs and ranging oceans, Theodoricus remembers little from his true childhood save for soft-edged memories of the salt laced air and the thundering roar of waves against unforgiving rock. At the age of seven he was taken by the crusade fleet that passed through the system, beginning his indoctrination and a ruthless training regime.
He rose through the ranks of neophytes with a vigorous display of raw ferocity and tenacious hatred towards the alien, the witch, and the unclean. Although he was not the top of his group in mastery of bolt weapons, his brutal fighting style with the sword was admired for its efficiency even with the blunt absence of anything resembling finesse. Theo was regarded for his sheer zeal and the depth of his righteous fury that drove him onwards, a devotion that was noted when he earned the right to take his place as an Initiate within the ranks of his brethren.
Theo is part of a seventy strong crusading force that sailed the stars in three vessels. Theo and the majority of his brothers were ordered by his Castellan to enact an attack on the hulk itself the moment they arrived in range. Their task was to attempt to destroy vital systems in order to divert it from the planet and towards the systems star.
Despite the sacrifices of the Templars, the action failed to stem the overwhelming tide of ork flesh that began spilling out onto the planet bellow and the crusades Castellan called for Theo and his surviving brothers to fall back; causing damage to the hulk as they did. Theo and the four brothers that were left of his squad stole aboard an ork transport as it hurled towards the planet on screaming thrusters. The mass of metal and random stolen technologies that made up the transport teemed with greenskins frothing for the coming battle. Theo and his brothers lay waste to the confined orks, butchering their way to what constituted the bridge of the vessel and slaying the orkish pilots. But not without losses and not without consequences. The craft went into a nose dive, burning through the atmosphere like a meteor before smashing into the surface of the planet and plowing a deep furrow through the blessed Imperial soil.
Theo was the only one of his remaining squad to survive impact, tearing himself from the bent and burning wreck with a feral roar of loss and hatred. His battle plate damaged and unable to make contact with the ships in orbit, Theo is unaware if any of the other squads made it off the hulk. Panting with the burn of combat stims lacing his veins, he turns to his last orders: make planetfall and link up with the Imperial defenders on the planet, locate the source of the Ork leadership on the planet, and deliver the Emperor's wrath.
Ignoring the scrolling runes at the corner of his vision detailing his own armour’s damaged systems, Theo plants his chainsword into the scorched earth and takes a knee as his twin hearts beat a rhythm in his chest; a dark, blood-stained son of a demi-god in the midst of the burning debris, and prays. The words of benediction to his fallen brothers and a vow of unending retribution still tingling on his lips, he looks over the wreckage one last time before following the glowing icons of his helm’s tactical display marking the last know location of the nearest Imperial elements.