- "The galaxy is the Emperor's, and anyone or anything who challenges that claim is an enemy who must be destroyed."
- — High Marshal Helbrecht at the Battle of Fire and Blood
Helbrecht is the current High Marshal (Chapter Master) of the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter. In addition to being High Marshal of the Black Templars, Helbrecht is the greatest naval commander in the Adeptus Astartes, and assumed overall command of all Space Marine warships during the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41. Together with Admiral Parol of the Imperial Navy, Helbrecht held and eventually repulsed the numerically superior Ork fleet. Helbrecht departed Armageddon with Commissar Yarrick, hunting down the Space Hulk thought to be commanded by the Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.
Helbrecht vowed Ghazghkull would not escape his vengeance even if he had to pursue the Ork Warlord across the length of the galaxy -- a vow he intends to one day fulfil. Though he since suffered a stinging defeat at the hands of the Necron Stormlord Imotekh, Helbrecht has already exacted vengeance, and now patrols the stars anew. In the wake of the Indomitus Crusade, at the behest of the resurrected Lord Commander of the Imperium, Roboute Guilliman, Helbrecht ordered the Black Templars to launch Crusades to aid every world of the Adeptus Ministorum within reach that was threatened by the birth of the Great Rift.
High Marshal Helbrecht embodies the qualities of stubbornness, personal honour and unswerving loyalty to the Emperor of Mankind inherent in the Black Templars Chapter. Early in Helbrecht's career it was clear he was destined for greatness. It was his qualities of bloody-mindedness and stubborn determination that elevated him above the rest of the Astartes of his Chapter. Following the final subjugation of the Xenarchs of the Sigilare Nebula, Helbrecht was elected High Marshal in 989.M41.
His rise through the Black Templars was swift as his desire to slay the enemies of the Emperor impressed his peers with its sheer ferocity. Even as an Initiate, Helbrecht fought with zeal and courage beyond expectations, holding the line against a vast swarm of Tyranids at Deathcore Ridge, refusing to yield whilst there yet remained a foe to fight.
Helbrecht served in the Vinculus Crusade that took place in 833.M41. Still a lowly Neophyte at the time, Helbrecht was merely a witness to the dramatic events of the campaign. Under the command of the legendary High Marshal Ludoldus, the Black Templars fought alongside Inquisitor Vinculus and the Sisters of Battle of the Order of the Bloody Rose against Chaos Death Cult warriors upon the blighted world of Peleregon IV. Helbrecht was inducted into the Sword Brethren just a few short solar decades later for the legendary feat of besting a Daemon Prince with only his Combat Blade. As part of Marshal Daidin's Crusade, Helbrecht fought with courage and furious zeal for many solar decades, eventually rising to the rank of Marshal and command of the Crusade upon Daidin's death.
Ascension to Command and the Third War for Armageddon
Many decades later in 990.M41, when High Marshal Kordhel was slain by a frenzied Khornate Berzerker, the Marshals of the Black Templars gathered to select a new leader. Helbrecht was unanimously elected as the new High Marshal and was ritually presented with the Sword of the High Marshals -- the most sacred relic of the Black Templars. This mighty Power Sword is said to contain fragments of the weapon wielded by Rogal Dorn when he accompanied the Emperor onto Horus' flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, in the final hours of the Battle of Terra. It was the decree of the Black Templars' founder and first High Marshal Sigismund that the weapon be carried by all subsequent High Marshals so that they would forever be reminded of their duty to atone for the Emperor's mortal wounding by incorporating pieces of Dorn's original sword in its forging.
Following his ascension, Helbrecht immediately declared a Crusade against the Cythor Fiends of the Ghoul Stars that became known as the Ghoul Stars Crusade, taking the fight into that desolate region of space. No previous Imperial expedition had ever returned from that area of the galaxy. Within eight standard years, the xenos population of the outlying Ghoul Stars systems had been exterminated and the Crusade pushed onwards to the aliens' homeworld, but upon reaching the core systems, they were found to be eerily empty. No trace of the aliens could be found, but before a proper investigation could be launched, a desperate call for help came from the besieged Hive World of Armageddon. The dreaded Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka had returned, at the head of a massive Ork WAAAGH! the likes which had not been seen in Imperial history since the Ullanor Crusade. The Third War for Armageddon had begun.
Three Crusades of the Black Templars mustered at the Chapter keep on Fergax and departed for the Segmentum Solar after observing the correct prayers and devotions to the Emperor. Upon arrival in the Armageddon System, Helbrecht was put in overall command of the assembled Adeptus Astartes fleet drawn from several different Chapters, as the High Marshal possessed the most naval experience of any of the Astartes officers present. Meanwhile, Marshals Ricard and Amalrich took their Crusades to the surface of Armageddon. The war in orbit was bitterly fought, with Helbrecht leading many boarding actions against Ork Hulks and, together with the Imperial Navy Admiral Parol's battlefleet, these actions effectively crippled the Ork invasion. As the Space Hulk believed to be Ghazghkull's flagship retreated from Armageddon, Helbrecht swore a great oath to pursue the Ork Warlord. Commissar Yarrick, the Hero of Armageddon, petitioned Helbrecht for the honour of accompanying the Black Templars in their quest. It is a measure of the respect in which the High Marshal held the venerable Commissar that his request was granted.
Helbrecht and Yarrick pursued Ghazghkull across the galaxy. However, while they were able to corner his flagship Kill Wrecka, Ghazghkull was able to escape into the Warp and ultimately begin his Great WAAAGH!
Battle for Schrödinger VII
- "You have ruled this Galaxy for ten thousand of your years, and yet have so little to account to show for your efforts. Such failure must be as depressing to bear as it is shameful to behold!"
- —Imotekh the Stormlord taunting Marshal Helbrecht.
In 930.M41, the forces of the infamous Necron Overlord Imotekh the Stormlord, Phaeron of the powerful Sautekh Dynasty, descended upon the frozen plains of the Imperial Ice World of Schrödinger VII. The Necrons drove the local defenders to the shelter of the labyrinthine cryonite mines, but were unable to prevent the planet's Astropathic Choir from despatching a distress hymnal. A counterattack swiftly arrived in the form of a Black Templars strike force under the command of Marshal Helbrecht. Imotekh was not caught by surprise so easily, and had already shifted his undying Necron armies into a formidable defensive configuration.
Helbrecht led the assault, intended as a crippling alpha strike, but was instead blunted by a series of impeccably-planned Necron ambushes on the Drop Pod and Thunderhawk drop zones. As the frozen caverns echoed to the roar of explosions, scores of Black Templars and Necrons alike were hurled into rivers of molten cryonite. Eventually, Imotekh and Helbrecht met in single combat atop the stalactite-heavy span of an ice bridge. In the battle that followed, Helbrecht, driven by zeal and hatred of the xenos, dealt Imotekh a dozen ruinous blows, but each time the Phaeron's living Necrodermis was able to quickly repair in a matter of seconds.
Despite being the better swordsman, Helbrecht failed to land a truly crippling blow on his opponent, and as the duel drew on, the Marshal finally collapsed under the assault of the Necron Lord, blood flowing from a score of serious wounds. However, instead of finishing off his opponent, Imotekh brought his scythe down and merely severed Helbrecht's right hand to remind the Marshal of his "much-deserved defeat." Helbrecht roared in fury and pain as Imotekh pitched him off the ice bridge to the frigid cavern floor far below. The surviving Black Templars quickly rallied to their fallen Marshal's side and made a fighting retreat, leaving Schrödinger VII in the Stormlord's hands.
Following this humiliating defeat, Helbrecht swore an Oath of Vengeance against the Necrons in general, and Imotekh in particular, vowing that the next time they met, only one would leave the battlefield alive.
Fall of the Inevitable Conqueror
Helbrecht would get his chance at fulfilling his Oath of Vengeance when his Crusade fleet detected Necron acitvity around the world of Davatas. Moving swiftly to intercept, Helbrecht rejoiced when their quarry was identified as the Inevitable Conqueror, Imotekh's personal Cairn-class Tombship and flagship. Moving in with all haste, the Black Templar Battle Barge Sigismund managed to land crippling blows on the Inevitable Conqueror 's propulsive array, stranding it in place. Intending to get his revenge on his opponent personally, Helbrecht ordered an immediate teleport and Boarding Torpedo assault upon the Necron Tombship and within solar minutes, the decks of the Inevitable Conqueror were swarming with vengeful Black Templars Astartes.
Alas, Helbrecht would not get even the satisfaction of seeing his opponent: while Imotekh's pride urged him to fight, logic won out, and the Stormlord teleported himself and many of his most valuable assets away from his flagship to his unengaged Escort ships. The Necrons immediately accelerated away from the fighting and made good their escape. Fuming with impotent rage, Helbrecht could only gain a meagre measure of satisfaction from ensuring the total destruction of the Inevitable Conqueror by setting it on a collision course with the closest star. The frustrated Helbrecht reaffirmed his Oath of Vengeance, swearing once again that he would see Imotekh definitively dead. Those Black Templars with some familiarity with the undying Necrons fear that their Marshal has bitten off more than he can chew. While Helbrecht is certainly capable of besting the Necron Phaeron in single combat, preventing the undying mechanical fiend from teleporting to safety and destroying Imotekh outright may prove to be an impossible feat for a single Chapter of Space Marines, no matter their zeal.
The Ecclesiarchal Crusades
When the Great Rift swept across the galaxy, the Black Templars fleet was badly scattered. It was as they mustered to continue Helbrecht's single-minded pursuit of the Ork Warlord Ghazghkull that Primarch Roboute Guilliman arrived. Although High Marshal Helbrecht welcomed both the Primarch and the new Primaris Marines that joined his Chapter, there was little time for war council -- and little need, in truth, for High Marshal Helbrecht knew his mind. With Chaos forces rampant and much of the Imperium isolated, Guilliman grew frustrated, but before departing he reminded Helbrecht of the blade he carried. The sword borne by High Marshal Helbrecht is a sign of office, a weapon wielded in turn by every High Marshal since Sigismund. As the tale goes, the Sword of the High Marshals was forged from the remnants of the blade of Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists Legion, from whom the Black Templars were created.
According to the legend, it was Rogal Dorn who discovered the beaten body of the Emperor aboard Horus' flagship, and fulfilling his father's last request, returned him to the Imperial Palace to be interred upon his Golden Throne. It was at that moment Dorn shattered his sword in rage at his failure to defend the Emperor of Mankind. It was Sigismund, then the First Captain of the Imperial Fists Legion, that gathered the shards, although at the time he knew not what would become of them. With the splitting of the Legions during the implementation of the Codex Astartes, Sigismund would become the Black Templars' first High Marshal. It was then that he decreed that the Sword of the High Marshals should incorporate shards of Dorn's weapon, forever reminding his sons of their duty. Chastised by Guilliman's greater perspective, High Marshal Helbrecht immediately sent forth Black Templars Crusades to aid every Ecclesiarchal world within reach.
- Artificer Armour- Artificer Armour is forged by master craftsmen and is even more ancient and ornate than a normal suit of Space Marine power armour. It offers greater protection for a warrior than standard armour.
- Terminator Armour (Optional)
- Sword of the High Marshals - As a sign of his office, the current High Marshal wields the Sword of the High Marshals, which was forged from the remnants of the sword of the Primarch Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists Legion from which the Black Templars were spawned. According to legend, Dorn broke the sword across his knee after the Horus Heresy for failing to defend the Emperor of Mankind from Horus. Sigismund, the Black Templars' first High Marshal, decreed that the Sword of the High Marshals should incorporate shards of Dorn's weapon, forever reminding his sons of their duty.
- Bolter (Optional)
- Iron Halo - This device is a symbol of achievement in the shape of a halo that is given to a Space Marine who show exceptional initiative or bravery in battle. The Iron Halo emits a very strong gravitic Conversion Field around its wearer, which makes his armour even harder to pierce with enemy weapons. In addition, it provides its wearer with immense resilience to even the most potent weapons on the battlefield such as Lascannons and missiles of all varieties. The shield stands a good chance of deflecting many deadly projectiles that would otherwise slay even an Astartes with ease.
- Crusader Seals - Crusader Seals are waxen or metallic tokens with vows of piety and Chapter blessings inscribed on hanging strips of parchment that are bestowed upon Space Marines of proven zeal and courage.
- Terminator Honours - Terminator Honours (commonly known as the Crux Terminatus) shows that a warrior has prove himself a superior combatant and has earned the right to wear Terminator Armour in battle.
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
The 4th Edition Codex: Black Templars provides an alternate story of how Helbrecht was first inducted into the elite Sword Brethren of his Chapter. In this account, he slew a Warp-spawned Vampire that had risen to power and taken control of the Hive World of Cephian IV.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 106, 136
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 44
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 26-27, 55
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 51, 53, 116, 119, 152, 162
- Helsreach (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Index Astartes II, "Righteous Zeal - The Black Templars Space Marine Chapter" by Graham McNeill
- WAAAGH! Ghazghkull - A Codex: Orks Supplement (7th Edition), "Da Great WAAAGH! - Pursuit and Evasion, The Great Green Beyond," "Tracking the Great WAAAGH! - Battle of Haunted Gulf", pp. 26-27, 34
- White Dwarf 311 (US), "Chosen of the Emperor" by Nick Kyme, pg. 23