Former System Lord
|Out of universe information|
Once little more than an ashrak with a name lost to history in the service of Ra, Marduk was once sent to kill Asarluhi who was the Goa'uld leader of Eridu, an area now known as southern Iraq, and quickly rose to become one of Ra's greatest and more trusted generals. It was because of this act that he took the name Marduk, meaning "bull of the sun". He used this position to great effect when Tiamat launched her revolt against Ra, pledging to remove the "mad queen" if the System Lords gave him free reign to do so and recognized him as one of their own. Although some wanted him killed for presuming he could ask for this out of hand, most agreed and hoped for his bloodthirsty nature to either succeed or cause him die in the attempt; either outcome would have been acceptable to them.
Marduk soon took command of their entire combined fleets, once controlling over a dozen Ha'taks as well as countless other support vessels, and executed several attack feints which drew Tiamat's forces into traps set in a few key systems. Destroying the stars of these systems, causing them to go supernova, Marduk's subjects managed to take most of Tiamat's forces out in their suicidal attacks. It was during this time that Marduk himself infiltrated Tiamat's court and engaged her in person while the space battles distracted her. Even without her space fleets and loyal Jaffa, Tiamat almost managed to kill Marduk and he only managed to save himself by luring her into a trap which he had prepared with the Transportation rings. This trap literally cut Tiamat in half, leaving part of her in the temple with Marduk and the rest transported to her flagship in orbit.
Celebrating his victory, Marduk performed an ancient ritual and expanded upon it by ritually preparing and eating the body of his fallen foe. It was through this that, unexpectedly, he gained Tiamat's knowledge and memories through which he learned of her plans to create an army of "monster Goa'uld" which she was going to use to replace the System Lords. He promptly commanded several naquadah-laden motherships to plunge into the star which the planet orbited, causing a mini-nova which immediately wiped out the small human population as well as Tiamat's orbiting facilities; what he did not know was that these "monster Goa'uld" survived. The same memories lead Marduk to Qingu, an Ohnes-hosted Goa'uld 'son' or 'consort' to Tiamat whom she had entrusted with her Eye, a powerful artifact which later powered Anubis' mothership. Marduk managed to capture Qingu alive and presented him to the assembled System Lords, sealing the pact which had him join the ranks of the System Lords and naming him the master of the Eye of Tiamat as well as all of Tiamat's former possessions. Marduk decapitated and ate Qingu before the other Lords' very eyes.
Time as a System LordEdit
Starting his new empire, Marduk expanded his following through the queen Zarpani, one of Tiamat's 'daughters' who he had spared. In keeping with his high opinion of himself, he wanted nothing less than physical perfection for the hosts of his subordinates and was not above taking beings from even the lowest social stature to become hosts. Some symbiotes rejected their hosts, however, and were promptly killed and served to others as an example; if Marduk was to deal with these beings every day for eternity then he demanded that they be beautiful and obey his every command. Because of this, Zarpani was kept busy creating replacements.
The other System Lords, although acknowledging their debt to him, did not truly welcome Marduk's rise to power. Marduk took over several of his neighbors territories, acting as if he knew them personally, while any spies sent by rival Goa'uld into his court revealed everything they knew to him rather than reporting back to their own masters. Continuing to use cannibalism and other tactics which shocked and inspired fear in both his subjects and enemies, he accidentally united his enemies in their denunciation of his barbarism. Despite this, many of the weaker Lords feared that they would be taken down if they openly opposed him. Powerful Lords such as Ra and Cronus blocked any attempts to rally support against him for as long as he continued to be of use to them and Marduk soon counted over 100 Goa'uld kills with even a few Lords among them.
At the height of his power, Marduk's planets included several Naquadah mines, two entire shipyards, and even some trinium production facilities. Among these planets was Zigara, one of his treasury planets which contained large amounts of natural deposits of gold, Naquadah, and the various crystals and gems which powered Goa'uld technology. His armies numbered in the hundreds of thousands and only grew with each Goa'uld Marduk killed, absorbing their armies into his own. Marduk realized that his strength lay in the name which he had forged for himself and so he often lead he attack fleets personally in order to inspire awe in his allies and bring terror to his foes. He did, however, believe his entire forces to be utterly replaceable and would often send many of his own ships to their deaths in order to achieve his objectives. After he had defeated the enemy, their resources and troops would be used to replace any he had lost in these battles.
Despite his total lack of compassion for his own troops, he would never over commit them even in his days of madness and was a shrewd general who picked his battles wisely, often attacking targets with lightning-strike tactics which would subdue the enemy immediately. These tactics worked especially well with primitive planets which were only good for their human resources where he could arrive, convert the people, and take whatever he needed with a minimum of fuss. Once he was successful, he would personally address the entire population through making extensive use of the ring teleporters which kept him from ever becoming a target for any length of time.
However, brute strength would not always suffice to subdue an enemy and Marduk knew this fact well. In these cases, he would use the same ring transportation system to insert small amounts of his own troops into an enemy's key areas. This act often took years for him to build up a fifth column inside a foe of near-equal stature to himself, such as when he defeated the Goa'uld Sin and their Empire of the Moon, but would enable him to have forces in place so that the enemy would not know that a blow was coming until Marduk himself appeared through concealed rings to deliver the fatal stroke.
Any warriors who joined his forces quickly got used to these tactics as he would often practice these lessons among them to instill loyalty. Even if this was not enough, his subjects were constantly reminded of all his past successes and glorious battle through an ingenious security system: Marduk's Pel'taks, engine rooms, and all other vital areas of both his ships and temples were marked with cuneiform representations of his defeats of Tiamat, among others, which would have some small parts out of order. In order to gain access to these areas, his followers would have to learn the stories by heart, which SG-1 would later recognize as being Babylonian creation myths, and correctly identify these incorrect sequences to unlock the doors. Outside transport systems would also have to key in some form of these myths to activate receiving stations inside Marduk's strongholds.
Starts of a RebellionEdit
Occasionally he would allow his enemies to live, but on the occasions that he did the hunger to consume their memories within him grew and eventually became his primary focus. The flood of others' memories soon became a cacophony of voices within his head and he started to kill not only his enemies but also those who suited his increasingly bizarre whims. This caused his allies within the System Lords to no longer have any reason to support him, and even his own priesthood began to balk as any of them could be the next one on his menu. Seizing this opportunity, Marduk's 'son' Bel encouraged a rebellion within Marduk's own people and even supplied them with a fitting punishment. (RPG: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords")
Due to him being a cruel tyrant, eventually his own priests rebelled against him. He was locked in his sarcophagus on the planet P2X-338 along with the Eye of Tiamat and a Carnivorous creature that ate him alive, only to be healed by the sarcophagus which in turn started the whole process all over again.
He eventually escaped into the creature, however, and ate his former host. In 1999, Russian Doctor of archaeology Alexander Britski began an excavation in southern Iraq, near Rafha, where he found several tablets engraved with Babylonian cuneiform symbols and one with an unknown set of symbols later revealed to be a Stargate address, the co-ordinates for P2X-338. Though the Russians did not have a Stargate at this time, they did have a DHD which contained these symbols and so classified the entire dig, never allowing it to become public knowledge.
When Russia set up their own Stargate Program, Russian Army Intelligence gave secret orders to Major Valentine Kirensky to go to the planet and retrieve a "magical" device known as the Eye of Tiamat along with Dr. Alexander Britski. The team did in fact manage to find the Eye along with Marduk's former host body in his Sarcophagus, but at the same time freed the Carnivorous creature which Marduk had taken as his host. In the creatures' body, Marduk was responsible for the deaths of the entire team, either from murdering them himself or causing them to use their cyanide pills to commit suicide which left him without a viable host which he could use to escape the Ziggurat as he ate their dead bodies. He cocooned himself in the creature, biding his time.
SG-1 later came to P2X-338, discovering the Ziggurat along with an empty packet of cigarettes left by the former Russian team. They went back to Earth and reported to Stargate Command who discovered the facts surrounding the secret Russian team which led to SG-1 being sent back to the planet along with a further Russian team to ascertain the status of their comrades. Marduk again awoke when Russian Colonel Alexi Zukhov set off a booby trap, causing the entrance to the Ziggurat to close. He attacked Lt. Tolinev in the body of the creature, poisoning her, before he took Major Sergei Vallarin as a host. In his new body, Marduk attempted to kill the other Tau'ri in order to escape and once again take a place of power. Due to his hosts memory, he knew of the Russian team's attempts to retrieve the Eye of Tiamat and so attempted to retrieve it from the Russian commander, Zukhov, before he killed him. Zukhov seemed to be about to throw him the Eye, but instead passed him a grenade which had its pin pulled.
This caused the room they were in to collapse upon itself, an event which Colonel Jack O'Neill witnessed and so SG-1 presumed Marduk to be killed. During this time, Dr. Daniel Jackson had managed to find some Transportation rings which he believed would take them to another temple a few miles away. Marduk had survived the grenade, only losing the arm which had held the grenade, and managed to free himself from the rubble in time to discover SG-1 just before they were about to ring out. Major Samantha Carter used a remote to activate a pile of C-4 along with some Russian explosives and the group escaped through the rings. Marduk was thought killed when the explosives detonated, destroying the Ziggurat and apparently killing him. (SG1: "The Tomb")
However, due to the Kara kesh he had acquired when freed from his sarcophagus, he was able to survive the blast but was buried beneath tons of rock. If not for the timely arrival of Anubis, looking for the Eye, he would surely have died. Anubis, amused by finding Marduk in his current state, restored him to health intending to torture and interrogate him but found that the continual trauma of dying and being reborn had taken its toll on Marduk's mind.
Marduk now believed himself to be Ramman, a minor System Lord of rain and thunder whom he had once destroyed earlier in his life, a fact which amused Anubis further which made him take this new "Ramman" into his service, setting him up as one of his many underlings. He placed Ramman in direct control of his agent Osiris, though neither of them were aware of their former background together. Anubis simply waited to see if "Ramman" would regain his true self once more and was curious to see what havoc he would cause if he ever did.
Though it is unknown if it ever happened, it was thought that if "Ramman" was exposed to any SGC personnel then he might recall his original identity and with it remember that his current host contained intimate details of the Tau'ri Stargate programs; details that he would surely use to bargain his way back into power. (RPG: "System Lord Plot Hooks")