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Remus Ventanus

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Remus Ventanus, the Saviour of Calth.[4]

Remus Ventanus was the Captain of the Ultramarines Legion's 4th Company during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. His actions during the Battle of Calth helped save the planet from complete destruction, cementing his status as an Ultramarines hero even into M41.

Biography

The Battle of Calth

By the time of the Battle of Calth, Ventanus was Company Captain of the 4th Company. When Warmaster Horus Lupercal ordered the Ultramarines to join the Word Bearers in fighting the Ghaslakh Orks,[1a] Ventanus was placed as head of the Erud Muster, which Ventanus assumed was part of Primarch Roboute Guilliman teaching him a lesson in transhuman responsibility; Ventanus considered himself best suited for combat, and part of him resented being assigned to administrative tasks.[1b] When the Muster began to receive shortfall[1c], Ventanus and Sergeant Kiuz Selaton went to speak with the Seneschals from Numinus City. At the Holophusikon, they met with Tetrarch Eikos Lamiad, who introduced them to the Seneschals.[1d]

Ventanus and Selaton were at the Numinus Space Port when the fleet tender Campanile crashed into Calth Veridian Anchor. Ventanus and Selaton recognized the blink from the electromagnetic explosion and Ventanus covered Seneschal Arbute, accidentally injuring her in the process.[1e] Taking her to a shelter, the two Ultramarines managed to make contact with Amant and the squads of 7th on guard duty at the port, but were cut off from First Chapter and Legion Command. Arbute asked what happened, and Selaton insisted it was an accident, but Ventanus was skeptical, pointing out that he couldn't do this much damage if he tried. They were heading for the old listening port which had powerful vox-casters when the Androdamicus fell on Kalkas Fortalice, causing shockwaves.[1f] Ventanus, Selaton, Amant's squad, and the Seneschals resumed their way toward to the listening post when the Word Bearers attacked them, killing Amant and Arbute, forcing Ventanus and Selaton to jump out the tower.[1g] Landing hard on the ground, Ventanus and Selaton discovered the corpses of an honour guard, killed while waiting to board a ship, proving to Ventanus and Selaton that the Word Bearers had deliberately staged the attack. Ventanus insisted on taking their standard.[1h] Ventanus and Selaton found a group of the Kaul Mandari Chaos Cult and were attempting to steal a Land Speeder when the Word Bearers Terminator Zorator attacked them. Despite Zorator's Cataphracti-pattern armour, Ventanus was able to kill him and steal the Land Speeder.[1i]

Ventanus and Selaton were increasingly losing escape routes from Numinus when they finally managed to link up with Skitarii forces under Magos Meer Edv Tawren and Master of Skitarii Arook Serotid. Establishing contact with Captain Lyros Sydance at Erud Station through the Skitarii manifold, Ventanus and Serotid coordinated moving the 4th (now totaling at seven hundred men) to Leptius Numinus, which Tawren identified as having a cogitator potentially clean of scrapcode. To insure reliability of communication, Ventanus told Sydance to only trust messages from those who knew the number of the painted Eldar, refering to the assault on Craftworld Jeilthwa when Sydance killed a dozen Harlequins.[1j] En route to Leptius Numinus, they managed to make contact with other Skitarii and XIII Legion forces under Captain Teus Sullus of the 39th Company.[1k] Word Bearers forces soon found them, forcing them to engage in a defense of the place while Tawren brought the cogitator online. Ventanus quickly recognized that Sullus was growing despondent and potentially unstable as a result of the Word Bearers treachery.[1l] As the Word Bearers looked to overwhelm the Ultramarines and Skitarii, the rest of the 4th Company arrived to augment them. Meeting with Sullus and Sydance after the battle,[1m] Ventanus managed to make contact with First Master Marius Gage on the Macragge's Honour, flagship of the Ultramarines, to get a better theoretical on what was happening. Selaton then informed Ventanus that there was something he needed to see: Morpal Cxir, Force Commander of the Word Bearers Host which had assaulted Leptius Numinus has surrendered. He offered terms of surrender to the Ultramarines, which Ventanus rejected. Cxir then began to goad the Ultramarines, insisting that Roboute Guilliman had died begging for mercy, enraging Sullus to the point that he stabbed Cxir. This was a ploy on the part on Cxir, allowing his corpse to serve as a host for the Daemon Samus.[1n]

Blacking out from Samus's emergence, Ventanus awoke to find the daemon wreaking havoc on Leptius Numinus, essentially ignoring the bolter and las, and plasma fire the Ultramarines, Imperial Army, and Skitarii forces were concentrating on it, even destroying a Shadowsword and wounding Sullus in the process. Using Cxir's athame, Ventanus was able to defeat Samus,[1o], but Leptius Numinus was virtually defenseless. Additionally, Ventanus realized that there was something toxic about the athames, and ordered Selaton to destroy them. However, Tawren managed to make an important discovery: her predecessor, Uhl Kehal Hesst, had managed to formulate a killcode which could purge the scrapcode in a civilian data-engine in Lanshear which could regain control of the weapons grid. But to use it, they would need to destroy the Word Bearers engine being used to control the grid. A small force under Sullus and Serotid would remain to keep Leptius Numinus's data-engine functioning. Reestablishing contact with Macragge's Honour, Ventanus was relieved to hear the voice of Roboute Guilliman, and managed to relay that the Word Bearers had a data-engine controlling the grid, but vox-contact was interrupted before Ventanus could say where the target was.[1p]

Ventanus surveys the scene of a recent combat during the Underworld War.

Moving toward the data-engine in Lanshear, Ventanus learned from the remaining forces at Leptius Numinus that reinforcements were being directed toward Lanshear, mainly the remnants of the 111th and the 112th Companies under Sergeant Anchise.[1q] Ventanus managed to get Tawren to the data-engine,[1r] but the 4th were nearly overwhelmed by Hol Beloth's Host, and Ventanus himself was injured by one of the Gal Vorbak.[1s] Just as all hope seemed lost, reinforcements arrived. They not only included the 111th and 112th companies, but also the 19th Company under Captain Aethon, the Neride 51st under Lamiard, and Titans under Tetrach Tauro Nicodemus. These forces were enough to hold the Word Bearers back long enough for Guilliman's kill-team to destroy the Word Bearers data-engine, allowing Tawren to retake the control of the weapons grid.[1t] Unfortunately, First Captain Kor Phaeron and First Chaplain Erebus had managed to conduct a ritual that left the star Veridia unstable and releasing human-lethal radiation. Evacuations were conducted, but not everyone could be evacuated in time, so Ventanus and the 4th Company stayed behind, and Ventanus vowed that the Ultramarines would keep fighting.[1u] The Imperials and the remaining Word Bearers were forced to fall back to the arcologies and cavern networks that littered the planet, beginning the phase of the Battle of Calth known as the Underworld War.[1v]

During the Underworld War, Ventanus would continue to lead the defense of Calth against the remaining Word Bearers. During the conflict, he was able to mortally wound Dark Apostle Maloq Kartho with an athame known as the Shard of Erebus. Instead of dying, however, Kartho was raised to the status of Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided, taking the name M'Kar.[2a]

The changing galaxy

Ventanus and the remaining Imperials were eventually rescued by the Ultramarines, and Ventanus was hailed as "the Saviour of Calth" and became a senior adviser to Primarch Guilliman. He helped to play out the strategies and plans of Guilliman's new treatise on Space Marine warfare, dubbed the Codex Astartes, eventually finding a flaw in one of Guilliman's plans. Guilliman explained to Ventanus that in the end, the Codex was to be a guideline for Space Marines, not dogma that was to replace basic strategic thinking. Guilliman also told Ventanus that he had a plan to save the Imperium, but it would be questionable. Other loyalists would declare the Ultramarines traitors, but Guilliman said that they were in fact among the loyal of the Legiones Astartes.[3]

Following the Horus Heresy, Ventanus would oversee the Exterminatus of Colchis, homeworld of the Word Bearers, as a form of justice for the fallen of Calth. Before the final assault, Ventanus planted the standard he had picked up so many years ago in the rock of Colchis, declaring that today, the Ultramarines marched for Calth.[1v]

Legacy

Eventually, Remus Ventanus would die. He was buried in an elaborate tomb (suspected to have been designed by Guilliman) in the Cavernas Draconi in Calth,[2b] buried with the Shard of Erebus.[2c] In the following ten thousand years, the Tomb's location was lost. Uriel Ventris, the future Captain of the Ultramarines 4th Company, would eventually rediscover the tomb as a child, but told no one of his discovery, for to boast of it would have been to lessen the accomplishment. This knowledge would eventually be passed to the Newborn, a Warpspawned clone of Ventris in the service of Warsmith Honsou of the Iron Warriors.[2b]

During the Bloodborn's Invasion of Ultramar, M'Kar commanded Honsou to destroy the Tomb of Ventanus and his wargear.[2d] Finding the tomb had suffered only minimal damage since then, Honsou investigated Ventanus's sarcophagus and discovered the Shard of Erebus, and realized that M'kar was afraid of it.[2b] Ventris's Ultramarines and Honsou's Iron Warriors would have a reckoning in the tomb, and Ventris discovered that Honsou had destroyed Ventanus's remains. But while Space Marines hold that "Only in death does duty end", both loyalist and traitor Marine alike discovered that even death had not stopped Ventanus, as his ghost and what appeared to be the Legion of the Damned soon arrived and turned the tide against the Iron Warriors. The specter of Ventanus himself would save Ventris from Honsou, then press the Shard of Erebus into Ventris's hand, and told him M'Kar's true name: Maloq Kartho. Upon accepting both the Shard and the knowledge, Ventris felt a potent sense discharged from specter, and when Ventris next looked, Remus Ventanus had disappeared, his duty finally completed.[2f] Using the knowledge, Ventris was able to save Chapter Master Marneus Augustus Calgar from being killed by M'Kar, and tossed the Shard to his Chapter Master, allowing Calgar to finish what Ventanus had started ten thousand years ago and finally kill Maloq Kartho in a True Death.[2a]

Canon Conflicts

In the opening chapter of The Chapter's Due, Ventanus is referred to as "Ventanus of the lost 6th Chapter"[2e], while in Know No Fear, Ventanus commands the 4th Company, which appears to be part of the 1st Chapter under Marius Gage.[1w]

Sources

  • 1: Know No Fear (Novel) by Dan Abnett
    • 1a: Target//Acquisition, Chapter 2
    • 1b: Target//Acquisition, Chapter 3
    • 1c: Target//Acquisition, Chapter 7
    • 1d: Target//Acquisition, Chapter 5
    • 1e: Absolute//Overwhelm, Chapter 1
    • 1f: Absolute//Overwhelm, Chapter 2
    • 1g: Absolute//Overwhelm, Chapter 3
    • 1h: System//Kill, Chapter 1
    • 1i: System//Kill, Chapter 3
    • 1j: Target//Engagement, Chapter 3
    • 1k: Target//Engagement, Chapter 4
    • 1l: Target//Engagement, Chapter 5
    • 1m: Target//Engagement, Chapter 7
    • 1n: Target//Engagement, Chapter 10
    • 10: Ushkul//Thu, Chapter 1
    • 1p: Ushkul//Thu, Chapter 3
    • 1q: Ruin//Storm, Chapter 1
    • 1r: Ruin//Storm, Chapter 2
    • 1s: Ruin//Storm, Chapter 3
    • 1t: Ruin//Storm, Chapter 4
    • 1u: Ruin//Storm, Chapter 5
    • 1v: Epilogue
    • 1w: Dramatis Personae
  • 2: The Chapter's Due (Novel), by Graham McNeill
    • 2a: Chapter 24
    • 2b: Chapter 19
    • 2c: Chapter 20
    • 2d: Chapter 8
    • 2e: Chapter 1
    • 2f: Chapter 21
  • 3: Rules of Engagement (Short Story) by Graham McNeill
  • 4: Horus Heresy: Collected Visions, pg. 153