Hello 40k fans! Chris Morgan, Chief Librarian of the Forge the Narrative Podcast, is here again with the next weekly segment of Tomes of the Librarius. Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
Just as a reminder, in this series we will explore facets of the history and legends of the Grimdark. This is meant to be an easy summary and introduction geared towards new players or people unfamiliar with the setting, but should still be an interesting read or fun refresher for those already familiar. There’s so much detail in this lore that a bare summary seems so inadequate, but for new people this should be the right portion to get a feel for the history of the universe we enjoy our games in.
With last week’s hiatus into op-ed land, we are shifting gears to focus back on some of the storied characters in Warhammer 40k. For our next installment, and in anticipation of Guy Haley’s sequel to Dark Imperium on the horizon, I wanted to spend some time on some recent developments in one of 40k’s most illustrious commanders. Marneus Calgar was a long-time benchmark for what it meant to be a great space marine. Now, with the arrival of the primaris and the return of his father, Calgar has had to face some inner conflicts to match the outer ones.
Marneus Calgar is the most storied and celebrated Chapter Master of the Ultramarines since Guilliman himself led the chapter. Noted for his generalship and tendency to lead from the front, Marneus Augustus Calgar has participated in many of the largest conflicts to face the Imperium prior to the return of the primarch Guilliman. His most notable achievements include besting an Avatar of Khaine in single combat, his boarding action on a Tyranid Hive-ship during the Tyrannic war in Ultramar against the Hive Fleet Behemoth that saw the entire first company of the Ultramarines slain, and holding the gate of Galathrax against an Ork Waaagh! for a night and a day. He participated in the Second War for Armageddon, where he and Chapter Master Tu’shan of the Salamander brought Waaagh! Ghazgkull to a bloody end under the leadership of Chapter Master Dante of the Blood Angels. Under his guidance, Ultramar remained a strong redoubt against the encroaching darkness, at least until Cadia fell…
Return of the Primarch
With the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum, Ultramar was beset on all sides by a massive Chaos offensive. The Fortress of Hera itself was laid under siege when hope arrived in the form of Belisarius Cawl and his Xenos allies. Nearly overwhelmed by a massive strike team of Chaos Terminators, he (and the planet) was saved thanks to the revival of his gene-sire, Roboute Guilliman. Ceding command of the chapter to the Primarch, Calgar willingly stepped aside in the face of Guilliman’s tactical mastery, though not without some regret. Since that day, Calgar has nursed anxieties and feelings of shame over the state of the Imperium. He perhaps unjustly puts the weight of the Imperium’s long decline as his responsibility, and his fears were not stymied thanks to the cold and aloof manner of his Primarch. Now, facing the future of the Astartes as the Primaris come into the fray, Calgar must come to terms with his new role in the shattered galaxy. Only time will tell if this great hero will be able to shrug off his concerns and lead his warriors again with great distinction in the battles to come against the Death Guard of Mortarion.
Most often, Calgar can be found wearing ornate artificer armor befitting his rank as Chapter Master. At times, he wears a custom suit of terminator armor called ‘The Armor of Antilochus.’ In either case, he wields the Gauntlests of Ultramar, a master-crafted relic from the days of the scouring. Said to be taken back from a champion of the traitors by Guilliman himself, the bolter-mounted guantlets have defied all attempts of identification or replication. Marching at the head of his vaunted honor guard, Calgar fights still against the enemies of the Imperium, and for the pride of the Ultramarines.
Continuing the Cycle…
It feels good to be back to lore. 40k has such a broad scope of history, sometimes its a challenge to sum it up in a few words. Is there a topic that you’d like to see? Are you an O.G. Ultramarine player who loves this character? Do you have any cool stories of him on the tabletop? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you next time on the next Tomes of the Librarius!
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