- "We are the Ultramarines, the Sons of Guilliman. Whilst we draw breath, we stand. Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."
Marneus Augustus Calgar is the current Chapter Master of the Ultramarines Space Marines Chapter, Lord Defender of Greater Ultramar and the Lord of Macragge, capital world of the Realm of Ultramar in the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy. He was the first known Space Marine to undergo the arcane process to be transformed into an even more potent Primaris Space Marine.
To know the deeds behind the legend of Marneus Calgar, one would have to journey into the depths of Macragge's fortress-monastery, the Fortress of Hera. At its heart lies a vault where records are kept of the labours performed by the greatest heroes of the Ultramarines. Thus far there are twenty-eight volumes dedicated to Marneus Calgar alone in this sanctum, a tally twice that of any other Ultramarine save Roboute Guilliman himself.
Since rising to the rank of Chapter Master, Marneus Calgar has employed his flair for tactics in campaigns without number. Calgar does not throw his men uselessly at the foe, for he understands that while victories may begin with the general, it is the troops that carry the day. Calgar's men follow him not merely out of duty, but out of the unshakeable loyalty that his presence inspires.
Though famous as a general, the Lord Macragge is no stranger to personal valour. It was Calgar who led the breaching assault on the Hive Ship designated Behemoth Primus -- one of the first actions of its kind against the Tyranids. They also show it was Calgar who held the gate alone against the Greenskin horde for a solar night and a day at the Siege of Zalathras.
He leads from the front, the better to inspire his warriors -- when the endgame of his strategy is imminent, he leads his noble Ultramarines into the heart of the enemy's lines, crushing all resistance with pitiless efficiency. Even with Roboute Guilliman's recent resurrection, the people of Ultramar know they owe much to Calgar, and regard him as the epitome of Mankind's will to endure and triumph. In Marneus Calgar they have a leader who will fight until the stars turn cold, not only for the Lord Commander of the Imperium and the immortal Emperor, but for Mankind itself.
- "We follow in the footsteps of Guilliman. As it is written in the Codex, so shall it be."
As one might expect from an embodiment of the Ultramarine's nobility, Calgar is immune to fear and is resolutely courageous under fire; where lesser men would dive for cover when being fired upon, Marneus Calgar takes quick stock of the situation, decides the best course of action, and will only leap into cover when there is no tactically viable alternative. The achievements and deeds of Calgar are recorded in 28 volumes stored within a vault in the Ultramarines' fortress-monastery known as the Fortress of Hera on Macragge, surpassed in number and magnitude only by the achievements of the Ultramarines' Primarch Roboute Guilliman.
These achievements include: leading the breaching assault on the Tyranid Hive Ship Behemoth Primus, single-handedly holding the gate against an Ork horde for a night and a day at the Siege of Zalathrax, defeating an Eldar Avatar of Khaine in single combat, thus leading to the rout of Eldar forces at the Battle for Orar's Sepulchre in 888.M41, and recapturing the star fort Indomitable from the daemonic hordes of M'kar the Reborn, who he then supposedly cast back into the Warp with the help of the Inquisition. In truth, M'kar was not banished but only bound within the core of the star fort, and would return to plague Ultramar once more and offer Marneus Calgar his greatest challenge.
First Tyrannic War
The arrival of Hive Fleet Behemoth in the Eastern Fringe in 754.M41 would prove to be the single greatest threat to the realm of Ultramar since the darkness of the Horus Heresy. On Macragge, the ancient homeworld of the Ultramarines, would the future of the whole sector be decided. Once the Ultramarines learned of the imminent threat of Hive Fleet Behemoth, Marneus Calgar, Lord of the Ultramarines, ordered Macragge's formidable defences to be placed at a heightened state of readiness. Between a vast fleet of warships and the planet's mighty orbital defence stations, everyone on Macragge readied themselves to face the Tyranid menace. Only a few scant solar weeks later, the Tyranids’ vanguard fleet attacked.
Hundreds of bio-ships swept through the Ultramarines’ blockade and swarmed over Macragge, and thousands of alien beasts soon rampaged across the planet. Deeming the Tyranid threat too massive to oppose piecemeal, Calgar combined his ground forces into three armies. The first and second task forces garrisoned each of Macragge's polar fortresses. Taking the fight directly to the foe, Calgar himself led the third force in a series of rearguard actions in an attempt to slow the Tyranids' advance.
Cold Steel Ridge
Using every ploy and tactic at his disposal, Calgar utilised the landscape of Macragge as a weapon, luring the swarm into valleys and onto ice-bridges where their superior numbers could not be bought to bear. Ultramarines' gunlines held back the tide whilst long-range barrages and enfilading fire reaped a bloody harvest. Tactical Squads launched daring attacks, diverting the swarm's attention whilst Assault Marines struck at the hive-control synaptic organisms and armoured transports carried Battle-Brothers to outflank the horde. Bike Squadrons and Scouts fought feigned withdrawals to draw the largest aliens into the fire of waiting battle tanks.
However, at Cold Steel Ridge, the Space Marines' fortunes changed for the worse, as the Tyranid advance refused to be halted. It was during this fateful battle that the Ultramarines faced the most dangerous Tyranid creature yet encountered; one whose instinctive grasp of warfare matched their own tactical acumen. Somehow this Hive Tyrant, this "Swarmlord," thwarted the Ultramarines' strategies, and the Tyranids under its psychic dominion began to overrun the Space Marines’ positions. Knowing that to remain planetside was to doom his warriors, Calgar ordered Thunderhawk gunships to extract the Ultramarines to the orbiting Battle Barge Octavius. Sensing its prey was about to escape, the Swarmlord plunged into the fray alongside a horde of elite hive-warriors, cutting a path straight towards Calgar. The Lord of Ultramar stood his ground, laying waste to xenos horrors with every swing of his fists. But the Tyranids were too many, and Calgar's body was rent and torn. When he came face-to-face with the Swarmlord, he was on the verge of death, yet still would not yield. Locked in a mortal duel, they fought like mythic gods, and though Calgar struck with his last ounce of strength, he was laid low by the monster's blades.
Before the Swarmlord could deliver the killing blow, Calgar's Honour Guard threw themselves in front of their lord, forming a shield with their own bodies. Slowly, they drove the Swarmlord back from their fallen commander, their Bolters roaring and blades flashing. With their courage and their lives, they held back the tide until the Thunderhawks arrived. As the rest of the Honour Guard got Calgar to safety, Brother Aloysius was hacked down by the Swarmlord's four crackling Bonesabres, as the Chapter Master's Thunderhawk gunship lifted off to safety. Thanks to the noble sacrifice of Aloysius and his fellow Ultramarines, Marneus Calgar would live to fight again, but Cold Steel Ridge was lost.
- "Remember the names of the honoured fallen, recall their deeds and know that their sacrifice honours the Chapter. No son of Guilliman could wish for a more glorious death."
Solar hours later, the main strength of the Tyranids arrived above Macragge. Refusing all but the most vital medical attention, Calgar quickly resumed command of the fleet and pressed the attack. Caught between the blistering firepower of Macragge's polar fortresses and the vengeful hammer blows of Calgar’s fleet, Tyranid vessels were destroyed in droves, but hundreds yet remained. As the battle raged, the remaining Tyranid ships unleashed thousands of Mycetic Spores above the beleaguered world's polar fortresses before retreating from orbit. Trusting to his Ultramarines to hold the vital strongholds, Calgar pursued the Hive Fleet, determined to prevent it from bringing ruin to any other Imperial world.
Meanwhile, on Macragge's surface, the valour of the Ultramarines was being sorely tested. The 1st Company's Veterans repeatedly led daring counterattacks to stymie the Tyranid advance before withdrawing to defend every wall and trench. The Titans of Legio Praetor stalked the ice fields and shot smoking furrows through the onrushing hordes with their apocalyptic weaponry.
But the roiling swarm's ferocity was relentless. At the northern fortress, they overran the walls by using the steaming piles of their own dead for cover. Even the towering god-machines were dragged down by sheer weight of numbers. Ammunition began to run low, though stockpiles had been established to hold out through months of siege. Still the Ultramarines fought on, not once giving thought to defeat.
In space, Calgar pursued the Tyranid fleet towards the world of Circe, where the arrival of Battlefleet Bakka from the Imperial Navy stronghold of Bakka caught the xenos bio-ships in a vice between the two fleets. Though many Imperial Battleships and Cruisers were destroyed, the Hive Fleet was obliterated when the Emperor-class Battleship Dominus Astra sacrificed itself and detonated its Warp-Drive, sucking the Hive Fleet into a rift into the Immaterium where they met oblivion. Calgar's voidships then raced back to Macragge.
The Space Marines of the Ultramarines' 3rd Company, led by Captain Fabian and Chaplain Cassius, were the first to make planetfall, deploying amidst the corpse-strewn craters surrounding the northern pole by Drop Pod. Scenes of carnage awaited them below and the stench of death lay everywhere.
The 3rd Company came under attack as soon as it landed. Hundreds of creatures emerged from tunnel mouths to assail the Astartes. Only staunch fire laid down by the Company's Devastator Squads kept the alien swarm at bay until Astartes gunships arrived to blast the Tyranids back into the darkness. Bolstered by the arrival of the 3rd Company's three Dreadnoughts, the Ultramarines proceeded into the fortress itself to search for survivors.
Through dank corridors and ichor-dripping passageways still swarming with the alien foe, the 3rd Company reached the lower generatorium, where the defenders had made their last stand. Tyranid bodies were piled deep and a circle of Terminators lay where they had fought back to back. Though they had slain Tyranids beyond counting and held onto the fortress for longer than any could have hoped, the Ultramarines' 1st Company had been wiped out to the last man.
The Battle of Macragge thus remains a great source of both sorrow and pride for the Ultramarines. Hive Fleet Behemoth was defeated, but the cost had been great. Statues were raised to honour the courage and sacrifice of the fallen, and their names are commemorated each year at the Feast of Days, but their loss remains a bitter blow to the strength of the Ultramarines. It would be many years before the Chapter could properly replenish its ranks, but the sons of Guilliman would endure.
Since the Battle of Macragge, Marneus Calgar and his Ultramarines have become instrumental in the Imperium's wars against other Tyranid Hive Fleets. In response to the threat, and counter to the dictates of the Codex Astartes for the first time, the survivors of the Battle of Macragge were formed into elite, specially-trained anti-Tyranid squads. These Tyrannic War Veterans compose the powerful warriors of the Chapter's reformed 1st Company, and are second to no other warriors of the Imperium because of their experience, training and upgraded Power Armour.
War for Thrax
In 762.M41, Marneus Calgar led the remnants of his Chapter against the daemon-corrupted Forge World of Thrax. Under Calgar's leadership, the Ultramarines banished thousands of daemons and recovered crucial data-records from the twisted manufactoria. With the mission complete, Calgar issued the order for Exterminatus.
Siege of Zalathras
Battle for Orar's Sepulchre
- "We shall not capitulate to the demands of these grasping xenos, brothers. This ground holds one of our own, a hero whose bravery we shall not betray with defeat. We will defend his honour; we will defend our Chapter's honour, to the last drop of our blood."
- —From Marneus Calgar's address at the Battle of the Sepulchre
In 888.M41, an Eldar emissary from the Biel-Tan Craftworld was sent to the Imperial world of Commrath to enter negotiations with its Planetary Governor for the return of an ancient eldritch artefact from the tomb of one of the Ultramarines' most-lauded heroes, Captain Orar, known as the Sceptre of Galaxian. When the Imperial noble refused his request, the Eldar emissary grew angry and soon his pleas turned to threats of violence. The Planetary Governor refused to be cowed by the arrogant xenos and had the Eldar executed on the spot.
However, the Governor had the foresight to heed the Eldar's threats and requested aid from the Ultramarines. Eldar from the Alaitoc and Iyanden Craftworlds then proceeded to assault the planet Commrath to recover the Eldar artefact within Orar's Sepulchre. Orar was a great Ultramarines hero in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, and Chapter Master Marneus Calgar vowed not a single alien would breach the sanctity of his tomb. For the first time since the Battle of Macragge, Calgar lead his entire Chapter to war.
The Eldar descended upon Orar's Sepulchre to find it held against them by the Ultramarines. Eldar Aspect Warriors and Guardians darted towards the main gates of the great edifice that was Orar's tomb as grav-tanks and artillery engines battered the Imperial defenders. On Calgar's command, the Ultramarines emerged from cover and scoured the invaders from the Sepulchre's steps with disciplined Bolter volleys. The Eldar fell back, only to find their lines of retreat cut off by Assault Marines and Land Speeders.
Eldar leaders emerged from cover and rallied the trapped first wave, only to fall to sniper fire as the Ultramarines' Scouts made their presence known. The initial Eldar assault faltered but, for an entire day and night, they continued to attack. Though they mustered every arcane science at their command, they could not overcome the tactical brilliance of Marneus Calgar and his Ultramarines.
The following day, a fresh assault swept onto the great stairs of the sepulchre, led by a colossal figure wreathed in flame -- an Avatar of Khaela Mensha Khaine, the Eldar god of war. Heavy weapons fire seemed only to anger the creature, and the Ultramarines' battle line buckled beneath its onslaught, so Calgar issued a challenge himself. The fiery god bellowed with fury, its first blow missing the Ultramarines' Chapter Master by a hair's breadth. The second tore plates from Calgar's armour. A third bit deep into his shoulder, driving the Chapter Master to one knee. But the fourth slammed into the armoured palm of Calgar's left hand.
Rising up, Calgar struck with all his strength, bringing his other gauntlet around in a mighty arc that punched clean through the molten ichor of the Avatar's torso. With the fall of their war god, the Eldar lost all heart and retreated. Some fled without heed while others fell back in good order, but all of the xenos retreated into the darkness. Despite overwhelming odds, once again the Ultramarines had emerged victorious, but in his wisdom Calgar knew that the Eldar would return for the Sceptre of Galaxian. So it was that Calgar informed Commrath's Governor that the Galaxian Sceptre would be removed from Orar's Sepulchre to Macragge, where it could be properly defended.
The Darkhold Ambush
In 921.M41, Marneus Calgar was ambushed by a Night Lords Traitor Legion warband whilst en route to the Darkhold battle zone. The Chapter Master's crippled vessel made planetfall on the sparsely settled Imperial Feudal World of Barathred. Several hundred Night Lords Chaos Space Marines made landing shortly thereafter, but Calgar rallied the planet's feudal population to defeat them in heroic battle.
M'kar the Thrice-Born
M'kar, known also as the Thrice-Born, was a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided who had once been a Chaplain and then a Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion named Maloq Kartho during the Horus Heresy. Following his mortal death and apotheosis into a fully-fledged Daemon Prince, M'kar eventually manifested in the Materium and in 878.M41, now as M'kat the Reborn, he led a Chaos pirate fleet and attacked Ultramar once again.
This time, his fleet was destroyed by a force led by the Ultramarines 2nd Company and its Captain, Cato Sicarius. Captain Sicarius confronted M'kar in the Helamar Rift and destroyed much of his pirate fleet. M'kar himself managed to escape back into the Warp.
In 935.M41, he reemerged from the Warp and led a Chaos force in seizing the star fort Indomitable in Ultramarran space, which was then boarded by the Ultramarines, led by their Chapter Master Marneus Calgar. Calgar defeated M'kar in single combat, but M'kar's hatred of the Imperium and Ultramar was so strong that it was not possible to banish him to the Warp, even with the help of the Inquisition.
The best the Imperials could do was bind M'kar to the Warp core of the star fort; this ingenious bond meant that every time M'kar struggled to escape into the Materium, he would be pulled tighter within the core. The star fort, garrisoned with fully half the 5th Company of the Ultramarines, was then ordered to plot a secret course through the remote, uncharted areas of Ultramar.
The fate of M'kar was kept secret; possibly fearing that someone might eventually seek to free him, the "official" Ultramarine version of the battle was that Chapter Master Calgar had torn M'kar "limb from limb" and sent him reeling back into the Warp.
The Kraken Attacks
In 993.M41, the Ultramarines quashed a rebellion on the Industrial World of Ichar IV, , but found themselves at the forefront of a desperate defence against Hive Fleet Kraken. Accompanied by Chaplain Cassius and Veterans from the First Tyrannic War, Calgar launched a daring assault that severed the Tyranids' synaptic control, a battle won in no small part due to the fury with which Cassius led his brothers into the fray.
In a replay of history, Marneus Calgar, having narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Swarmlord during their confrontation on Macragge, faced the reincarnation of the same beast on the blood-soaked fields. This time, however, Calgar triumphed, slaying the beast with his bare hands.
Without the Swarmlord to counter Calgar's brilliant military strategy, the Ultramarines proceeded to dismantle the remaining xenos swarms piecemeal. However, the Space Marines' victory came too late to save the planet itself, for the Tyranids had already reduced it to a smoking charnel house of death and destruction.
Perhaps worse for the Imperium, the Hive Mind re-absorbed the Swarmlord's consciousness yet again, and having learned from its defeat, its next reincarnation would prove to be more cunning and dangerous than ever before.
Return of M'kar
Calgar's failure to banish M'kar came close to spelling disaster for Ultramar, as the daemon was freed by the Iron Warriors Warsmith Honsou in 997.M41, and then proceeded to ally with him in a campaign to destroy the Ultramarines and their stellar empire. In the end, Calgar met the Daemon Prince on the battlefield of the Ultramaran world of Talassar, and was finally able to "annihilate" him using a strange blade dating back to the ancient Battle of Calth during the Horus Heresy that was known as a Shard of Erebus.
In the aftermath, a chastened Calgar is said to have become a person of greater humility. Yet, even though they were disappointed by their leader's previous misrepresentations regarding M'kar, the officers and ruling masters of the Ultramarines have undiminished love and respect for their heroic Chapter Master.
Resurrection of Guilliman
Later in 999.M41, almost immediately after the invasion of M'kar's Bloodborn, Ultramar came under assault by a tentacle of Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade then ravaging Cadia, as the Despoiler had been warned that events were unfolding on Macragge that could turn the tide of his Long War against the Imperium in the favour of the servants of the Emperor. This was a reference to the arrival of the Celestine Crusade -- the survivors of the fall of Cadia -- through the Webway with the aid of the Eldar Ynnari.
When the Celestinians and the Ynnari were escorted to Macragge, which had become the vital centre of defence in this new Ultramar Campaign, one of their number, Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl, made clear to Marneus Calgar's war council that they needed access to the Temple of Correction in the Ultramarines' Fortress of Hera where the Primarch Roboute Guilliman sat enthroned in stasis. The newcomers and their uneasy xenos allies made clear that they had an item in their possession that could resurrect the mortally wounded demi-god.
First Captain Severus Agemman was loudly opposed to this idea, and said in no uncertain terms that he did not trust these newcomers, nor the mysterious device they brought with them. The First Captain counselled that, with such immediate danger all around and a furious battle to win, there was only one viable solution. The pilgrims should be put into confinement, and their mysterious package locked down in a stasis vault until its contents could be safely examined. As for the xenos, Agemman counselled that they be swiftly destroyed lest they pose a threat to the safety of the Chapter Master or the Fortress of Hera.
Saint Celestine spoke up then, attempting to explain the divine nature of her mission and the revelations she had received from the Emperor. She found herself staring into the muzzles of several Ultramarines Honour Guard Bolters -- not to mention the Condemnor Bolter of Inquisitor Katarinya Greyfax, whose Puritan suspicions had been fired anew -- a clear indication that now was the time for the rulers of Ultramar to speak, and not their visitors.
All eyes rested upon Marneus Calgar as he looked to his Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius for further counsel. Though not even the vigilant warriors of the Honour Guard saw it, in that moment both Yvraine and the Visarch tensed themselves in preparation for battle, subtle muscle contractions and minuscule alterations in posture leaving the Ynnari poised to fight their way out should matters turn against them.
The Librarian remained silent for several long heartbeats, his weathered features contemplative. When he spoke, Tigurius' voice was deep and resonant, rich with power and wisdom. He reminded his Chapter Master that he had experienced troubling visions in the solar days leading up to the attack upon Macragge. Tigurius had seen a flight of iron birds take wing from a distant, crimson orb full of churning cogs. In the visions, those avian shapes had soared through fire and shadow that spilled from a ruptured castle gate of vast size. They had clutched a blazing sword in their jagged claws, and their wings had shone with holy light as they flew toward Ultramar. Through the ruptured gateway had been visible a staring, slit-pupilled eye, and as the birds neared Macragge, a giant maw full of blooded fangs had yawned wide around them, ready to bite down with crushing force.
The Chief Librarian had believed that his visions concerned the fall of Cadia and the subsequent attack by the Black Legion upon Ultramar. Certainly they had spurred the readying of the fortress' defences, and the sending of astropathic communiqués that had brought the Ultramar Defence Fleet back to the Chapter planet at the critical moment.
Now, though, Tigurius declared himself convinced that the visions pertained also to these travellers. The Chief Librarian said that he was willing to vouch for their presence, even that of the mysterious Eldar, and that he believed their arrival to be the Emperor's will made manifest.
Hushed whispers ran through the strategium at this pronouncement, and Calgar nodded solemnly. Without further comment, the Chapter Master bade the Celestinians speak, and explain their presence in their own words. Between them, Inquisitor Greyfax, Marshal Marius Amalrich of the Black Templars and Saint Celestine did as they were asked, relaying the bloody tale of Cadia's fall and their subsequent flight. Even Yvraine of the Ynnari deigned to speak a little, providing a few, scant details that went some way toward explaining the aliens' presence amongst the group. The only one who refused to divulge further information was Belisarius Cawl; despite Marneus Calgar's repeated questioning, the Archmagos would not elaborate upon what his auto-reliquary contained, or what he expected to occur within the shrine.
While the pilgrims spoke their piece, the war raged on. Information continued to stream in regarding troop deployments, attack and counterattack patterns, enemy drop sites, ammunition counts, and endless other articles of strategic intelligence. Marneus Calgar absorbed them all even as he listened to the pilgrims, issuing curt orders where required and keeping one eye always fixed upon the ever-shifting holomap that hung overhead. The Chapter Master wished to understand these strange visitors and the supposed pact they served, but he would not neglect the defence of his fortress while he did so.
Finally, Greyfax concluded their tale, adding that she was empowered to act as the Emperor's representative in this matter, and that she would gladly take responsibility for Cawl's summary execution should he prove false. Calgar raised a hand to forestall further comment, both from the pilgrims and from the frowning Captain Agemman. Then, in a sombre voice, Calgar pronounced his verdict.
The Chapter Master would permit the Celestinians to bring their auto-reliquary to the Shrine of Guilliman, though they would do so under heavy Ultramarines guard. Calgar said that while he understood and welcomed Agemman's prudent counsel, they lived in unusual days. The worshippers of Chaos had set foot upon the bedrock of Macragge once again, while the Warp churned to madness all around them. Calgar judged that the foe had been aided greatly by the supernatural beings they worshipped in this desperate endeavour. He would not turn his back upon the precognitive powers of his own Chief Librarian, or the wisdom of the Living Saint, at such a time as this, even if he had been given precious little reason to trust Archmagos Cawl.
Had Agemman been a hot-tempered Space Wolf or relentlessly logical Iron Hand, he might have contested such a ruling. Instead, he accepted his lord's judgement with stoicism. Belisarius Cawl went to speak, but Calgar forestalled him. The Chapter Master gave his permission for the Ynnari to accompany their allies, for it seemed clear to him that great events were afoot that bore the hand of the Emperor upon them. The presence of the Ynnari could be no accident, and whatever the Emperor's will was in this matter, Marneus Calgar would not be the one to contravene it.
Calgar's decision proved wise, as despite a massive Chaos counterattack on the temple to prevent the resurrection of Guilliman, Cawl's arcane technology, combined with the psychic power of the Eldar God of the Dead Ynnead channeled through his priestess Yvraine, healed Roboute Guilliman and allowed him to take up his position once more as the Lord of Ultramar. During the battle in the Temple of Correction against the final Black Legion assault, before Cawl had placed the Armour of Fate upon the Primarch's form, the Tech-priest had moved to cut the stasis field that had long kept the mortally wounded Primarch from his final death. Engaged with the enemy, Calgar looked in desperation to his Chief Librarian to stop what he believed to be a horrific betrayal.
Calgar saw the Martian Tech-priest step back from his auto-reliquary with the air of one completing a satisfying task. The dome-shaped device hummed forward, unfurling like the petals of some huge, carnivorous flower. The watching Chapter Master was at the wrong angle to see inside the machine, but he had a fleeting impression of glowing energies, unfurling Mechadendrites, clamping pincer-limbs and whirring bone-drills that filled him with revulsion.
The auto-reliquary was rising and stretching out, enfolding the Primarch's seated form in its metallic embrace. At the same moment, the xenos witch-priestess lunged with preternatural grace, evading whistling bolt shells as she raised her blade high.
"No!" bellowed Calgar, finding his voice. "I command you to stop! In the Emperor's name, Brother Tigurius, stop them!" The Chapter Master's dismay rose to new heights as Tigurius looked straight at him, and shook his head.
"Do it!", shouted the Chief Librarian, blazing psychic energies into the foe that pressed close all around. "And may the Emperor condemn me if you have played me false, xenos."
In desperation, Calgar raised his Bolters and prepared to fire at the Eldar witch, but Yvraine's blade fell lightning fast, hacking through the cabling that fed power to Guilliman's stasis field. Energies flared, and from within the closing arms of the autoreliquary, Calgar heard a rattling sigh that would haunt him until his dying day.
"What have you done?" he roared, despair and fury blazing through him like a firestorm. Fists clenched, Calgar turned upon the Traitors that had forced this terrible tragedy to come to pass, and waded back into the fight with unstoppable fury.
But Calgar's fear was misplaced. He was overcome by the sheer numbers of Chaos Terminators swarming the Shrine of the Primarch, and roared in defiance as he was borne to the ground by a surging mass of foes that swung, stabbed and stamped at him. He did not see the Primarch awaken, and in his raging fury clear the Temple of Correction of the foe and drive the Archenemy back. As they retreated, so the prone form of Marneus Calgar was revealed, his armour cracked and his face beaten bloody. Guilliman paused for a moment in his rampage, looking down upon this fallen son with an unreadable expression on his face.
Calgar stirred at that moment, one eye opening to look up at the Primarch reborn. Satisfied that his scion lived, Guilliman pressed on, leaving the fallen Chapter Master to stare in disbelief at his resurrected gene-sire.
After the battle in the temple was won, and Calgar had recovered from the combat with the preternatural fortitude possess by all Astartes, he returned with his Primarch to the Fortress of Hera's strategium. In a dramatically charged moment that would become enshrined in later Macragge statuary, Guilliman formally accepted command of the defence of the Ultramarines homeworld from First Captain Agemman. Marneus Calgar stood at his Primarch's side during this exchange, sorely wounded and supported by two Honour Guards, yet determined to be present all the same. Guilliman showed his nobility by humbly requesting the Chapter Master's leave to assume full command of the Ultramarines at that time. Calgar shrugged off his Battle-Brothers and, grimacing in pain, knelt before his gene-sire. He matched Guilliman's solemnity as he offered unending fealty to the Primarch, and bequeathed full control of the Chapter to him in perpetuity.
Like an impresario settling before his instrument, Guilliman spread his hands upon the strategium table and took a deep breath before beginning to command. With his every utterance, the invaders' plight became more apparent. The Primarch's strategic acumen, his tactical genius and miraculous mental acuity were unmatched. The leaders of the Ultramarines looked on in amazement as Guilliman marshalled the defenders like regicide pieces, drinking in reams of strategic data and issuing a steady stream of orders that turned one fight after another in the defenders' favour. Calgar and his lieutenants had executed a superhuman campaign of defiance against the invaders, but the Primarch was operating on a different mental plane.
At Guilliman's command, thunderous overlapping firestorms and interlaced webs of interceptor strikes cleared the airspace over the Fortress of Hera. No longer threatened from above, Ultramarines reserves and vast numbers of Ultramar Defence Auxilia flowed into the fight in masterful deployment patterns. Feints, ambushes, false retreats and sudden, overwhelming counterattacks ripped through the Chaos forces and drove them from within the fortress' grounds. Guilliman wielded hundreds of thousands of warriors at once, predicting every move his enemies made and countering before they had even thought to act.
By the time the Primarch and his coterie strode out to lead the fight in person, the Chaos attackers were reeling in disarray. The attack led by Guilliman into the heart of their lines was like a final bolt round placed between the eyes of a wounded enemy. Black Legionaries, Iron Warriors, Alpha Legion and Night Lords -- all were hurled back from the walls. Traitor Titans toppled like vast, flaming trees to smash down in ruin. Just three solar hours after his resurrection, Roboute Guilliman concluded the wholesale purge of Chaos invaders from the Fortress of Hera, and confidently proclaimed the Ultramarines' stronghold secure.
There now came a time where breath could be drawn, and stock taken. Even as lumbering Servitors and Chapter Serf work gangs laboured to shore up the fortress' battered defences, Guilliman summoned a select company to attend him in the Chapter Master's sanctum. This had long been the domain and throne room of Marneus Calgar. Now it would become the sanctum of the Primarch himself, and it was here that he was formally invested as Lord of Ultramar and Master of the Ultramarines once more. Calgar, Tigurius, Agemman and their closest lieutenants were present for Guilliman's elevation, as were representative brothers from every company of the Chapter. The Celestinians, too, attended Guilliman's formal coronation, the Saint herself ceremonially bestowing her blessings upon the Primarch. Even the Ynnari watched from the sidelines as this momentous event occurred; they lurked amongst the shadows, a silent and staunchly unremarked-upon presence whose expressions remained cold and watchful.
As the ceremony concluded, Guilliman rose and addressed the assembly. There was much to be done, and countless questions to which the Primarch required answers. Before he could act further, Roboute Guilliman needed to know everything that had occurred during his long absence.
Over the next seven solar months, Calgar and his Ultramarines fought well on behalf of their Primarch. During the battle to retake Macragge itself, Calgar oversaw pinpoint strikes to take back the planetary capital of Magna Civitas' primary orbital batteries. Soon enough, ruby columns of light were spearing up into the heavens to drive the Chaos warships out of their geosynchronous orbits above the Ultramarines' fortress-monastery.
However, before the campaign was entirely completed, Guilliman announced that the time had come for him to leave Ultramar behind and travel to Terra to meet with his father the Emperor and determine how best he could defend the broader Imperium from the multiple disasters now converging upon it.
The war across Ultramar was still ongoing, however, and with Guilliman leaving, it would require strategically-gifted warriors to keep pushing the Forces of Chaos back. As such, Guilliman gathered a select force of Battle-Brothers from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Companies of the Ultramarines to accompany him to Terra on what he had named the Terran Crusade, and gave the honour of their command to Captain Cato Sicarius. He further requested that Grand Master Aldrik Voldus and the Grey Knights of the 3rd Brotherhood join the Crusade. Others pledged their aid to the Primarch's cause, including the assembled strength of the Ultramarines' Primogenitor Chapters, and Emperor's Champion Marius Amalrich and his Black Templars brethren. The Living Saint, Inquisitor Greyfax and Archmagos Dominus Cawl accompanied the Primarch also -- whatever aid they or the military forces under their command could provide the Primarch would be gladly given.
Guilliman gratefully accepted all offers of aid before commanding Marneus Calgar, Chief Librarian Tigurius and Captain Agemman to remain and complete the reconquest of Ultramar. In truth, the fate of the restored Realm of the Five Hundred Worlds could be in no safer hands.
Indomitus Crusade and Plague Wars
Though he remained the Chapter Master of the Ultramarines throughout the period of the Indomitus Crusade as Guilliman was occupied governing the Imperium as its new Lord Commander, his title was changed from Master of Ultramar to Lord Defender of Greater Ultramar. Only Guilliman was recognised as the true ruler of Ultramar.
During the Plague Wars, Calgar personally put down the multiple anti-Imperial uprisings and mutinies by the Ultramar Auxilia in the Illyrian region of Macragge. He later slowed an Ork offensive towards the Forge World of Metalica through the use of rapid strike tactics.
At some point during this period, Marneus Calgar became the first traditional Space Marine to undergo the surgical process required to be transformed into a Primaris Space Marine. Despite the fact that Belisarius Cawl himself would perform the procedure, Calgar was warned there was a 61.6% chance of failure and death, as the process had not yet been perfected.
Calgar was cut open from crown to heel and then the three additional Primaris gene-seed organs, the Magnificat, the Belisarian Furnace and the Sinew Coils, were implanted within his body. To jump-start the transformation process, his metabolism had to be shut down and restarted. Though he was clinically dead for over twenty solar minutes, the Belisarian Furnace eventually activated and restored Calgar to life. Though it was far from easy and extremely risky, Calgar proved to the other traditional Space Marines that a new path was possible for the Adeptus Astartes.
After his transformation, Calgar began to wear the Armour of Heraclus, a specially-crafted suit of Mark X Gravis Power Armour now sized to fit his larger, Primaris frame.
War of Beasts
The Emperor's servants faced assaults from Orks, Genestealer Cults, Craftworld Aeldari and Drukhari raiders. But the greatest threat came in the form of the Black Legion force of Heretic Astartes led by the Chaos Lord Haarken Worldclaimer.
- Armour of Heraclus - Since his transformation into a Primaris Astartes, Marneus Calgar has preferred to wear the Armour of Heraclus, a specially modified suit of Mark X Gravis Power Armour that provides an unprecedented level of protection while in no way interfering with his movement.
- Artificer Armour - Though Artificer Armour and Power Armour are similar in appearance, Artificer Armour is as far beyond standard Power Armour as Power Armour is beyond the Carapace Armour used by the soldiers of the Astra Militarum. Ingeniously designed damage control mechanisms and superdense materials allow most suits of Artificer Armour to offer a much greater degree of protection than standard Power Armour, even rivaling that offered by Terminator Armour in some cases. Artificer Armour cannot, however, make use of weapons as powerful as those available to Astartes in Terminator Armour.
- Armour of Antilochus (Optional) - Calgar sometimes wears the master-crafted suit of Terminator Armour known as the Armour of Antilochus into combat, as well as leading a unit of his personal Honour Guard. Crafted by the Tech-priests of Ademax Primus, the Armour of Antilochus is an exceptionally ornate suit of Indomitus Pattern Terminator Armour that incorporates a compact Teleport Homer.
- Gauntlets of Ultramar - The Gauntlets of Ultramar are an ancient pair of master-crafted Power Fists, accompanied by a set of ornate shoulder plates (compatible with both Artificer Power Armour and Terminator Armour) and a set of built-in Bolters that are as deadly as a Storm Bolter. The true origins of the Gauntlets are unknown; all that is known about these relics is that they were taken back from a fell Champion of Chaos by the Primarch Roboute Guilliman after the Gamalia Reclusiam Massacre, who afterwards often used them in combat. No Adeptus Mechanicus Magos or Chapter Artificer has ever succeeded in penetrating their armoured shell to examine the mechanism within. When not in use, the Gauntlets are stored within a crystal case at the Fortress of Hera, inside the Temple of Correction's Shrine of the Great Primarch.
- Iron Halo - The Iron Halo is a halo-shaped ring that is positioned above the head of the wielder, usually mounted on the backpack of Space Marine Power Armour but sometimes mounted in the gorget. The Iron Halo is a prestigious honour that is granted only to the most exceptional of the Astartes within a Space Marine Chapter as a reward for uncommon initiative and valour. An Iron Halo also produces a protective effect using gravitic and now poorly-understood Conversion Field technology.
- Relic Blade - For melee combat, Calgar will make use of a relic Power Sword drawn from among the most storied items in the Chapter's armoury.
- Maximus - The Maximus is an ancient and honoured Land Raider that serves as the personal vehicle of Marneus Calgar. Its hull is adorned with passages from the Codex Astartes and scenes from the glorious victories of the Ultramarines. It is inscribed with golden filigree and marble fixtures, and banners and purity seals of ancient provenance flutter from atop its chassis. It is believed that the Maximus has been in service with the Ultramarines since the days of the Great Crusade.
White Dwarf 97 stated that following a skirmish against the minor Tyranid Hive Fleet Perseus in 976.M41, Calgar lost all four limbs as well as large areas of body tissue and his left eye. Now fitted with bionic replacements, he is more machine than man. However, he remains in firm control of the Ultramarines Chapter and one of the greatest champions of the Emperor and the cause of Mankind who has ever lived.
While Calgar is often shown with a bionic eye, no other source has ever repeated the notion that most of the rest of his body is now augmetic. The same source held that Calgar was found amongst those taken by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Locust, at approximately age 14 and that he was then recruited into the Ultramarines as a Neophyte in the armoury and rose quickly through the ranks to serve as Master of the Household before finally becoming the Lord of Macragge.
This is contradicted in several later sources which state that Hive Fleet Behemoth was the first recorded contact of the Imperium with the Tyranids during the First Tyrannic War and that Calgar was not only a member of the Ultramarines at that time, but already their Chapter Master.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 29, 95
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), pp. 26, 37, 46, 53-54, 57, 59-61, 63, 65, 141, 246-248
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 16
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 19, 52
- Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Ichar IV"
- Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition), pg. 46 (inside back cover)
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 72
- Dark Imperium (Novel) by Guy Haley, Ch. 12
- Gathering Storm - Part III - Rise of the Primarch, pp. 8-47
- Iron Warrior (Novella) by Graham McNeill
- Chapter's Due (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Calgar's Siege (Novel) by Paul Kearney
- Warhammer Community - Breaking News from the Vigilus Open Day
- Warhammer Community - Marneus Calgar and Haarken Worldclaimer Rules Preview
- White Dwarf 305 (US), "Purge the Alien"
- White Dwarf 97 (US), "Ultramarines," by David Wise and Rick Priestly, pp. 39-49
- Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Defiant (8th Edition), pp. 28, "The Rubicon Primaris," 72
- Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Ablaze (8th Edition), pg. 37