Roboute Guilliman (/rɒb'uːt 'guːlɪmæn/) is the Primarch of the Ultramarines. In addition to his Legion's exploits during the Great Crusade, Guilliman became renowned, in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, for his efforts to preserve the Imperium. Among his most noteworthy achievements is the authoring of the Codex Astartes. Guilliman later received a mortal wound from the traitor Primarch Fulgrim, and was interred in a stasis field at the moment of his demise. He now resides on his throne within the Temple of Correction on the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge.
Like the other Primarchs, Roboute Guilliman was one of twenty genetically engineered "sons" of the Emperor of Mankind. Like his "brothers," Roboute was taken as an infant by the powers of Chaos, and removed to a far-flung world in an effort to prevent the coming Age of the Imperium[1a].
The infant Guilliman's capsule fell to earth on Macragge, where it was discovered by a group of noblemen hunting in the forest. Inside the capsule they found a child, surrounded by a glowing aura. He was taken back to Konor, one of the two Consuls who governed Macragge, who adopted the infant as his son and named him Roboute[1a].
Roboute's arrival on Macragge was a portentous time, and many reported strange sights. Most notably, Konor dreamed of the Emperor, and found himself beside Hera's Falls in the Valley of Laponis. Upon awakening, Konor assembled his bodyguard and rode to Hera's Falls, where they found the child. The name Konor gave the child, Roboute, means "Great One".[Needs Citation]
Roboute was a prodigy, growing fast in both body and intellect. By age ten, he had mastered every subject the wisest men of Macragge could teach him, and his insights into matters of history, philosophy, and science often stunned his elders. However, his greatest talents were as a military leader. These talents led his father to give him command of an expeditionary force to Illyrium, a mountainous region in the far north of Macragge, whose wild inhabitants had terrorized the civilized regions for years and successfully resisted every previous military campaign[1a].
Not only did Roboute fight a brilliant campaign but he also earned the respect of the wildmen who never again threatened the more civilised parts of Macragge. However, on his return to the capital Roboute found the city in chaos, as his father's co-Consul, Gallan, had attempted a coup. Gallan led a faction of Macragge's nobility who were used to enjoying their wealth and position at the expense of armies of slaves, and resented Konor's legislation favoring the common people, among whom he was immensely popular[1a].
Approaching the city, Roboute and his soldiers saw the city in chaos, being sacked by mobs of Gallan's men, while the Consul House was under siege. Roboute left his men to restore order to the city, while he rushed to the Consul House and lifted the siege, only to find his father close to death, surrounded by his loyal bodyguards. He had been mortally wounded by an assassin in Gallan's employ, and with his dying breath, told Roboute who was responsible[1a].
Roboute swiftly crushed the rebellion and, amid a wave of popular relief, assumed the title of sole Consul of Macragge. He set about punishing the treachery and carrying out his father's vision. Gallan and his co-conspirators were executed, and their lands and wealth were redistributed to the people. With superhuman energy, Roboute reorganized Macragge's entire social structure, creating a meritocracy where office and honours were given to the hard-working, rather than the wealthy and influential. Under his leadership, Macragge prospered as it never had before[1b].
The Arrival of the Emperor
While Roboute was prosecuting his war against the Illyrian rebels, the Emperor of Mankind and his armies had reached the neighboring planet of Espandor. It was there that the Emperor heard stories of the extraordinary son of Consul Konor, and realized that he had found one of the lost Primarchs[1a].
When the Emperor reached Macragge, he found a world that was self sufficient, prosperous, with a strong and well-equipped military, and engaging in trade with nearby systems. Impressed, the Emperor assigned command of the Ultramarines Space Marine Legion to Guilliman, and relocated the Legion's forward base to Macragge[1b].
The Great Crusade
With the exception of the Luna Wolves, no Legion conquered as many worlds, or conquered worlds as fast, or left conquered worlds in such good state during the Great Crusade, as the Ultramarines. Whenever Guilliman liberated a world, he would not move on until he had set up a self-sufficient defense system, and left advisors behind to create industry, set up trade routes with the rest of the Imperium, and form a government whose first concern would always be the well-being of the people[1b].
At the same time, with the help of his new advisors, Guilliman created a supremely efficient military machine on Macragge and its surrounding worlds, that provided the Ultramarines with a steady flow of new recruits. This factor, combined with the minimal casualties suffered thanks to Guilliman's tactical skill, allowed the Ultramarines to become the largest of all the Space Marine Legions[1b].
When Horus was appointed Warmaster by the Emperor, the reaction among the other Primarchs was mixed. Some supported the appointment out of affection for Horus, some opposed it, and some were cynically accepting. However, Guilliman, Rogal Dorn, and Jaghatai Khan supported the appointment, believing in their cool, rational judgment, that Horus was really the most worthy of them. For this reason, and because of their military genius, Horus valued Guilliman and Dorn as his closest advisors.
Privately, Guilliman held four of his brothers in the greatest esteem: Dorn, Sanguinius, Leman Russ, and Ferrus Manus. He referred to them as "the dauntless few", and pronounced that he could win any war, outright, if he had those four and their Legions at his side[8b].
The Horus Heresy
At the outbreak of the Horus Heresy, Guilliman and the Ultramarines were tricked by Horus, who sent them to the Veridian system while Horus carried out his treasonous plot. When the treachery was revealed, the Ultramarines were poorly placed to react to it[Needs Citation].
While the Ultramarines mustered their forces at Calth, in Ultramar, they were attacked by the Word Bearers. However, the Word Bearers had overlooked two major points: the unbreakable fighting spirit of the Ultramarines, and the brilliance of Guilliman's command.
At first unknown to the Ultramarines, Angron of the World Eaters and Lorgar of the Word Bearers had launched a Shadow Crusade on isolated worlds in Ultramar. Their plan was to destroy as much of Ultramar as they could while the Ultramarines were occupied on Calth. After the victory at Calth, Gulliman, presumably under the guidance of his newly reinstated Librarians, traveled to an isolated Warp jump point on the outer fringes of Ultramar. There he encountered Sanguinius of the Blood Angels who has just recently finished his war in the Signus cluster. The Navigators of the Blood Angels had been ordered to find the closest stable Warp zone, which many assumed would be Terra. Instead fate brought them to Ultramar. With the addition of the Blood Angels to his forces, Gulliman pronounced they could finally begin countering the Shadow Crusade. After Calth, Guilliman pursued Lorgar, who had since allied with Angron, to the world of Nuceria. There, the Ultramarines engaged both the World Eaters and Word Bearers while Guilliman himself battled Lorgar, finding the once-weaker Word Bearers Primarch to be surprisingly capable in combat. The situation for Guilliman got worse when Angron arrived, battering Guilliman with a furious assault and eventually defeating the Lord of Macragge. However as Angron was about to land the final blow, Ultramarines were able to arrive and safely retrieve their Primarch.
Finally, Guilliman immediately set course for Holy Terra. Travelling at maximum speed, his Legion was only hours away along with several other Legions[Needs Citation]. This ultimately decided the Imperium's fate when Horus was forced to gamble by letting the Emperor teleport onto his Battle Barge[Needs Citation].
After the Heresy
In the aftermath of the Great Betrayal, the Emperor had been incapacitated, and the Space Marines' numbers had been decimated by defections to Chaos and battle losses. The Ultramarines were left as the largest loyal legion, and Guilliman assumed the title of Lord Commander of the Imperium. For years thereafter, Guilliman deployed and led the Ultramarines throughout the galaxy, reclaiming worlds lost to Chaos and preventing the loss of still others to rebellion or invasion from outside the Imperium[Needs Citation].
Guilliman led the assault against the Alpha Legion in the aftermath of the Heresy, and due to the vanity of Alpharius, he utilised a surprise attack at the heart of the traitors and killed Alpharius in a duel. However, he and the Ultramarines were greatly mistaken in their belief that the snake would die without the head, as indeed, the Alpha Legion's symbol is a hydra, a multi-headed serpent. The Ultramarines were soundly pushed back time and again by the traitor marines, undaunted at the loss of their Primarch. Guilliman eventually pulled his forces back into orbit and bombarded the planet from above[Needs Citation].
Later, in a battle against the Emperor's Children, Guilliman would meet his end. Where Alpharius had not greatly embraced the Chaos powers, and was essentially unchanged from his original Primarch form, Fulgrim had been to the Eye of Terror, reaping the terrible powers therein, and had been elevated by Slaanesh to a mighty and fell Daemon Prince, no longer resembling a man, but his original purity of form corrupted and augmented by the ruinous powers. Fulgrim was now a serpentine creature of immense stature, and multi-limbed. Each limb carried a poisoned sword, and in the clash he stabbed Guilliman in the neck; Guilliman was interred in the Stasis field by the Apothecaries, and remains frozen in the instant of death, while Fulgrim escaped back to the Eye of Terror.
Currently, his mortal body remains in stasis, on the Shrine of Guilliman deep within the Temple of Correction, one of the holiest places in the entire Imperium. Some pilgrims claim that the Primarch's wounds are slowly recovering, a feat credited to the power of the Emperor. Others deny the phenomenon, and point out the sheer impossibility of change within the stasis field. Yet enough believe the stories to come and witness for themselves the miracle of the Primarch.
Description and Abilities
An extract from Ultima Operational Record 1136.271.v (the official chronicle of the Battle of Calth) describes the Ultramarines' Primarch thus:
|I - Lion El'Jonson · II - Unknown · III - Fulgrim · IV - Perturabo · V - Jaghatai Khan · VI - Leman Russ · VII - Rogal Dorn · VIII - Konrad Curze · IX - Sanguinius · X - Ferrus Manus · XI - Unknown · XII - Angron · XIII - Roboute Guilliman · XIV - Mortarion · XV - Magnus · XVI - Horus · XVII - Lorgar · XVIII - Vulkan · XIX - Corvus Corax · XX - Alpharius Omegon|
- 1: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition):
- 2: Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition)
- 3: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition)
- 4: Index Astartes III
- 5: Garro: Oath of Moment (Audio Book) by James Swallow
- 6: Nightbringer (Novel) - The Ultramarines Omnibus (Omnibus) by Graham McNeill: Ch. Two, p. 49
- 7: Horus Rising (Novel) by Dan Abnett: Part One, Chapter Six, pgs. 129-130
- 8: Know No Fear (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- 9: Butcher's Nails by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- 10: Fear to Tread by James Swallow: Part 3, Chapter 20
- 11: Betrayer (Novel), [Needs Citation], pgs. 310-322