"You keep what you kill."
—Covu the Transcended, speaking to his followers after defeating the Austeres

Covu the Transcended was the first Lord Marshal of the Necromonger Empire, perhaps from Asylum. He began the order Necroism and ordered the Necropolis built. He was succeeded by Oltovm the Builder.


Genetically at least, the Necromongers can chart their beginnings to a modest group known as the Brotherhood of Austeres. Devout themselves, they believed that all other known religions were too iconic, their histories too soaked in blood, their teachings too dogmatic and without room for personal expression. The Austeres were monotheistic and isolationist. They sought distance from the other worlds of man that they found so corrupting. Though they numbered only in the thousands, the Austeres were strong in their belief that theirs would prove to be the one true faith.

Traveling long in ships with conventional drives, they lost many of their numbers to the rigors of the journey. But ultimately, the Austeres made planetfall and colonized a world they named Asylum. Quickly, dissension arose. Covu, an important scientist-philosopher, began teaching the then radical belief that there might be more than one God— indeed, that there might be as many Gods as there were "universes." The Monoverse theory held great sway at the time. One God seemed ample for the job of overseeing one 'verse, large though it must have seemed. Covu decried monotheism as an unnecessary vestige of Jesusism. He believed that it should be shed with other Christian trappings already left behind by the Austeres. For this stance, Covu was persecuted by the Austeres. When he declined to recant his positions, deemed heretical, the Austeres tortured Covu day and night, and the abuse was so relentless that Covu lost the ability to feel pain.

Outcasting of CovuEdit

The Austeres soon turned their ire on Covu's family, torturing and killing them. Covu would have died at the hands of the Austeres, too, had it not been for the few followers, Covulytes, who had been drawn to his teachings and who helped Covu to escape. Outcast, Covu wandered space with the corpses of his wife and children. How long he journeyed is unclear, but eventually Covu made a discovery of unimaginable import: a rift in known space that constituted a crossover to another 'verse -- the Threshold itself. The Covulytes were afraid to approach this strange and turbulent corner of uncharted space. Only Covu pushed ahead, perhaps driven by the need to lay his family to rest in a place that would remain undisturbed by the Austeres.

Only minutes later, Covu returned, yet he seemed years older. Too, he seemed stronger, more resolute in his words and ways. Speaking to his astounded followers, Covu claimed his family was no longer dead, that they had risen and walked again in the 'verse on the far side of the Threshold, a glorious place he called "Underverse." Imbued with an almost magical new strength, Covu took righteous retribution on the Austeres who had cast him out. He fought and killed their commanders, claiming their heads as he did so. Looking into their newly dead eyes, he was overheard to whisper, "You keep what you kill." In victory, Covu assumed the new office of "Lord Marshal," the one rank that cannot be superceded. After forcing them to bow before him, Covu reorganized the last living Austeres into a more regimented, though still pre-military society. So different was this society that it begged for a new name and a new place of worship. Covu termed this new ideological order "Necroism." As a powerful testament to it, Necropolis, their most hallowed hall, was erected on the tallest mountain of Asylum.

The First Regime: Covu the TranscendedEdit

Covu had seen, firsthand, the beauty that was the Underverse. So compelling was the sight that he taught that all life elsewhere was "a spontaneous outbreak," an "unguided mistake" that needed correction. The Natural State was death and what came afterward. Covu and all Necromongers were also part of this "grand error," but having seen the truth, they were duty bound to remain alive until the known 'verse was swept clean of all human life. Some years later, Covu chose a successor. It was Oltovm the Builder, the officer who had laid the first and last stone of Necropolis. Oltovm set out with Covu to return to the Threshold. It was an arduous journey, months long. Some in their company wondered aloud if Covu had ever seen the Threshold at all, and they started to doubt his word. But then it was found. Oltovm describes the Threshold as, "Surrounded by great tidal forces of space, treacherous to navigate near, but exotically beautiful, hinting at the dark wonders that lurk beyond."

Days were spent waiting for the tidal forces to ease, and then finally the Threshold opened. Covu ordered all Necromongers except Oltovm to turn their backs as approach was made, and that forever established how a Necromonger vessel nears the open Threshold: aftward first. Indeed, no living Necromonger except a Lord Marshal may cast his eyes upon the Underverse. On the Threshold the two men stood, the once and future Lord Marshals, both now gazing into the beautiful strangeness of Underverse. What words passed between them was never recorded. But while Oltovm held his place, Covu strode on into the Underverse and was never seen again.

Preceded by
Lord Marshal of the Necromongers Succeeded by

Behind The ScenesEdit

  • David Twohy has identified the statues as such.


  • The Chronicles of Riddick (Film)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick (Novel) by Alan Dean Foster, pp. 162-164
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