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Merek Grimaldus

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"To the darkness I bring fire. To the ignorant I bring faith. Those who welcome these gifts may live, but I will visit naught but death and eternal damnation on those who refuse them."[Needs Citation]

Grimaldus at Hive Helsreach[1]

Reclusiarch Merek Grimaldus is a veteran of a score of successful Black Templars Crusades.[3a]


Biography

Early Career

Grimaldus was noted by High Marshal Helbrecht to have been the youngest Marine in the Black Templars' history to be raised to the rank of Sword Brother.[3a]

He was later elevated from his Marshal's Sword Brethren and inducted into the mysteries of the Reclusiam after the Battle of Fire and Blood. Such was his faith and devotion to the Emperor that the Chaplains saw in the young Grimaldus the makings of a powerful warrior priest.[2] He was mentored by Mordred, whom Grimaldus would eventually succeed as Reclusiarch.[3a]

He took his vows before the broken Sword of Dorn aboard the Battle Barge Eternal Crusader and has since justified the Chaplains' faith, zealously leading the warriors of the Black Templars in battle.[2]

Third War for Armageddon

For his first command as Reclusiarch, High Marshal Helbrecht charged Grimaldus to lead one of the three Black Templars Crusades that had been dispatched to Armageddon, specifically the Helsreach Crusade.[3c][3d] Grimaldus led a hundred Black Templars in the defence of Hive Helsreach. They were besieged by millions of Orks, who attacked from land-side but also from a vast fleet of submersibles launched from the icy Deadlands far to the south.[3d][3f] Towards the end of the siege, a great horde of Orks attacked the Temple of the Emperor Ascendant, a vast basilica that had stood since the earliest days of colonisation, and was held at bay for nearly two months before they finally penetrated the temple precincts, looting and destroying priceless holy relics as they went. The Imperial Guard units and the hive militia fled, but the Black Templars refused to yield. The battle degenerated into bloody melee combat in the heart of the temple, where Grimaldus bellowed his now famous cry: "I have dug my grave in this place and I will either triumph or I will die." The battle only ended when the entire Temple collapsed. All were thought lost, but a day later, Grimaldus crawled out from underneath the ruins, carrying the last relics of the Temple. Apothecaries who later treated Grimaldus' wounds claimed that it was a miracle that he still lived, let alone had the strength to crawl from the rubble of the destroyed Temple.[2][3i]

Upon commencement of the Season of Fire, Grimaldus was given the title "Hero of Helsreach", the greatest honour its inhabitants could grant.[3i] Grimaldus's next assignment was to have been to return to the Eternal Crusader and stand with High Marshal Helbrecht and Commissar Yarrick in their pursuit of Ghazghkull, who by this point had left the Armageddon Warzone.[4b] However, Grimaldus had uncovered evidence that a hidden enemy was attempting to systematically eliminate one of their brother Chapters, the Celestial Lions.[4a][4b] Helbrecht gave Grimaldus leave to remain on Armageddon to investigate these troubling findings.[4b]

Grimaldus travelled to the Lions' forward base near Hive Volcanus, where he met with only 96 surviving Space Marines out of the 983 that arrived on Armageddon.[4c] After speaking with the highest-ranking surviving Celestial Lion, Pride Leader Ekene Dubaku, he learned of the Lions' plight - they had challenged the Inquisition over the conduct of Inquisitor Apollyon during the Khattar Massacre and the Inquisition had decided to make an example of the Chapter by grinding them down and letting others witness their shameful death. Dubaku and his remaining Brothers were determined to die in a final blaze of glory against the orks infesting the Mannheim Gap and avenge the deaths of those Lions that had perished in the Third War. Dubaku asked Grimaldus to perform a ceremony of last rites to bless them for the coming battle.[4d]

Grimaldus, however, refused. He believed that the Celestial Lions could and should rebuild themselves.[4e] To that end, he called upon Astra Militarum forces from Helsreach and joined the Lions when they returned to Mannheim.[4f] The Imperial forces were victorious and Grimaldus earned the gratitude of Ekene Dubaku - now Chapter Master of the Celestial Lions. Grimaldus would later depart from Armageddon alongside Helbrecht in their pursuit of Ghazghkull.[4g]

Retinue

Grimaldus often went to battle accompanied by his Reclusiam Command Squad, known as Squad Grimaldus.[3b] Over the course of the siege of Helsreach, the squadron suffered losses, with the remaining members being wiped out in the defence of the Temple of the Emperor Ascendant.[3f][3i]

Grimaldus elected not to reform his Command Squad following their deaths.[4b] In the aftermath of the siege, however, High Marshal Helbrecht provided Grimaldus with an apprentice, Initiate Cyneric, who was under consideration for elevation to the Chaplaincy.[4a][4b]

In addition, Grimaldus is occasionally accompanied by a trio of Cenobyte Servitors, each bearing one of the surviving relics from the Temple of the Emperor Ascendant - a broken aquila statue, the remains of the founding charter of Helsreach and an orb containing the last of the Temple's holy water.[4f]

Wargear

As a Chaplain, Grimaldus wields a crozius arcanum that was once used by his predecessor, Mordred. He also possesses a plasma pistol recovered from the body of a Sergeant of the Imperial Fists who saved his life in the Battle of Alfava Metraxis.[3g]

His armour incorporates a relic Skull Helm, also previously worn by Mordred.[3g] It also once incorporated a rosarius; made out of bronze and red iron and shaped like a heraldic cross, this was lost in combat around the year 995.M41.[3h][Note 1]

Images

Chaplain Grimaldus of the Black Templars with retinue


Trivia


Multiple characters in the novel Helsreach note that Grimaldus has very kind-looking eyes, notably Princeps Zarha of the Legio Invigilata[3e] and Prioress Sindal of the Order of the Argent Shroud.[3h]

Notes

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Sources