Before the Regiment
|First and Only|
Trooper Rhen Merrt was a soldier in Arcuda's company of the Tanith 1st. He was a former regimental marksman, and was once second only to 'Mad' Larkin. An injury on Monthax saw him receive an augmentic jaw, robbing him of his sniping abilities. Merrt was seen as something of a loser among the regiment, due to his downfall and drunken misdemeanours. He served R.I.P detail with Dalin Criid on Gereon, and saw the true brunt on the invasion.
Merrt was killed, along with Tolin Dorden, during the battle aboard the Salvation's Reach space station.
Merrt was one of a number of Tanith troops to excel at sniper duties, and built up a solid and highly respectable reputation as one of the regiment's finest shooters, second only to Hlaine 'Mad' Larkin. He served in this capacity during each of the First's combat actions.
During a fierce firefight in the jungles of Monthax, Merrt, who had scaled a tree for a greater firing angle, was struck by a lasbolt in the face, an injury which almost killed him.
Injury & Loss of LanyardEdit
Although Merrt was saved and stablised, the lack of better resources meant that his jaw had to be rebuilt using a primitive metal prosphetic, which both left Merrt with a horrendous physical memento of his wound, and also had severe effects on his speech, mental state and, worst of all, ridded him of any shooting accuracy.
The result of this was that, after a miserable few months serving with the regiment's marksmen post-injury, he was stripped of his lanyard (a certification required to serve as a sniper) and was transferred into a regular infantry squad.
Despite efforts to restore his aim by constant, and unsuccesful shooting practice between tours of duty, he eventually fell into a deep depression, resulting in alcholism. (Straight Silver, Salvation's Reach)
While on board an Imperial transport, en route to Gereon, Merrt built up a large debt at a gambling establishment named Pavver's place. Having eventually maxed out his tab, to the point he was seen as a liability, the establishment's boss tried to have Merrt beaten and murdered, but he was saved by the intervention of then Junior-Commisar Nahum Ludd, and Commissar Viktor Hark. As punishment for his infractions, Merrt was sentenced to R.I.P, a brutal training camp designated for training and punishment. While there, Merrt became friends with Dalin Criid.
Just as the sentence was due to finish, reserve activation was confirmed for the invasion of Gereon, meaning that the members of R.I.P, including Merrt and Dalin, would be pressed into frontline service. Merrt fought at K'ethdrac'att Shet Magir, one of the major cities, in a brutal and uncompromising assault that included an aerial drop and city fighting deep into Chaos held territory. Already a veteran of such unflinching warzones, Merrt survived the battle, and upon it's completion was allowed to return to the Tanith 1st. (The Armour of Contempt)
Return to the Tanith & DeathEdit
Merrt's first action upon his return was Jago, and the house fortress Hinzerhaus. While there, Merrt was part of two hugely decisive actions, firstly the salvage of a water drop that prevented the regiment from being crippled by dehydration, and then he assisted the efforts of Major Baskevyl in re-establishing power to the fortress in the dying stages of their final battle with the Blood Pact. Throughout their stay at Hinzerhaus, Merrt was plagued by doubts over his lasgun, a battered model he'd acquired on Gereon. Although the rifle's number stamp was 034TH, he repeatedly read it as DEATH, to the point he required second opinions from his fellow guardsmen. Rather than ditch the weapon, he chose to master its malfunctioning state as a means to conquer his own demons. He survived the battle, and upon leaving Hinzerhaus, chose to leave the weapon. (Only in Death)
While on Balhaut, Merrt was caught up in the secretive operation by Hark to locate and potentially rescue Gaunt and his prisoner, who were being hunted by both a Blood Pact kill team and the Inquistion. He played his parts in the subterfuge against Inquisitor Rime, which eventually led to Gaunt and his group being found and protected. (Blood Pact)
During transit to Salvation's Reach, Larkin decided to attempt a retraining program for Merrt, as he was convinced his former rival could recover his shooting skills. While at target practice, Merrt came to the attention of a White Scars Space Marine, Sar Af, who was part of the task force aiming to steal vital intelligence from an arch-enemy space station. Sar Af was fascinated by how Merrt's prosphetic jaw had such a damaging effect on his accuracy, eventually deducing that Merrt's concentration was manipulating his jaw into twitching, he injected him with a tranquliser which rendered him speechless, but with incredibly improved accuracy. Such was the turn around that, using the drugs on a consistent basis, Merrt was approved to act as a sharpshooter for one of the insertion team's during the raid.
After using his accuracy to knock out a number of enemy booby traps, Merrt was part of a party including Tolin Dorden, Ban Daur and Sergeant Haller during the retreat which was ambushed and crippled by a Sons of Sek fireteam. While Daur and Haller escaped, the ailing Dorden and the mortally wounded Merrt stayed, deciding to take out as many enemies as possible before death. When the pair were cornered and advance on by a large squad of Sons, Merrt taunted them with his final words, before using his last round to fire at a barrel charge explosive, setting it off and killing the Sons, Dorden and Merrt himself in the explosion. (Salvation's Reach)