|Librarian||Lexicanium - Codicier - Epistolary - Chief Librarian|
Librarians are Space Marine psykers. They fulfill several important specialist roles in a Chapter: off the battlefield they are responsible for interstellar psychic communications. In battle they utilise their abilities as powerful psykers. They are among the most knowledgeable of the Chapter's history and traditions.
The earliest known Space Marine battle Psykers were the Host of Pentacles of the First Legion during the Unification Wars. However these warriors suffered from many grim calamities and in time the project was abandoned.
Space Marine Battle Psykers reappeared during the Great Crusade. The early history of the Librarians is chequered with mistrust and intrigue. Initially the Legions made no use of psykers within their ranks, however Magnus the Red, Sanguinius, and Jaghatai Khan proposed the Librarian program, allowing the Thousand Sons to train and create Librarius departments in a variety of Legions. Librarians were favoured for use or have been seen within the White Scars, Night Lords, Ultramarines, Thousand Sons, Word Bearers, Salamanders, Alpha Legion, Dark Angels, World Eaters, and Raven Guard Legions. Some of the Primarchs were against using psykers in the Space Marine Legions at all, or at least within their own Legions. Legions that did not favour their use or employ them were the Iron Warriors, Space Wolves, Imperial Fists, Iron Hands, Death Guard, and Emperor's Children.
The first Librarian experiments were sanctioned by the Emperor. They were seen as a good way of controlling the random development of psychic powers among Space Marines. Magnus and his fellow pro-psyker Primarchs then asked the Emperor to allow recruitment of psychic individuals into the ranks of the legions. The Emperor accepted, and the Librarians became some of the most loyal troops to the Emperor. The debate over Librarians came to a head when Mortarion, Leman Russ and others accused Magnus of sorcery. The Emperor summoned a meeting at Nikaea in an effort to provide a final resolution to the Librarian issue.
The Emperor's decree following the Council of Nikaea banned the use of psychic powers, demanding the systematic dismantling of all Legion's psychic corps and redistribute them back into the battle companies as standard troops. Further, the Emperor threatened any who contravened his order with heavy censure and summary destruction. How this decree was amended Post-Heresy is not known.[Needs Citation]
All potential recruits into a Chapter are scrutinised by Librarians for psychic ability. Those with psychic powers undergo judgment that divides them into those who will join the Chapter as Librarians, and those who are so weak in power or character that they would present a danger. Worthy psychic candidates are passed on to the chapter Librarium for training. The rate of attrition is the greatest for psychically gifted candidates, as they must not only be strong enough to survive the training that the normal candidate must undergo, but possess the mental strength to endure the shaping of their minds and to fend off the daemons and entities of the Warp who see the strong form and mind of a Librarian as a great prize.[Needs Citation]
During their training they must hone their psychic power as well as gain some measure of protection from the predators of the warp. The greatest danger psyker recruits face is the loss of their very sanity.
There are four primary psychic disciplines mastered by Space Marine Librarians.
- Librarius - Specialize in researching ancient psychic lore, combating the Immaterium, mental defenses, and severing the connections of other psykers.
- Techomancy - Enables the user to influence a targets Machine Spirit or otherwise manipulate machinery. The psyker reaches into the workings of his target, subverting its vital energies to turn guns on their owners or cause tanks to roll to a shuddering halt. The power to destroy can also be turned to more benign ends, and Technomancy is equally effective in mending ailing machine spirits, readying them for war once more. Even fortifications can be targeted.
- Fulmination - Enables the user to manipulate warp-spawned lightning. This allows abilities from emitting simple electric projectiles and anti-daemonic wardings to teleportation.
- Geokinesis - Allows the user to manipulate the very ground and earth itself.
Once a psyker has completed his training, he will be allowed to join the Librarius as a Lexicanium and can then rise through the ranks, becoming a Codicier, Epistolary and eventually Chief Librarian. His duties include interstellar communication and screening potential recruits for psychic abilities.
Librarians are often treated with distrust due to their nature. Marines are taught to hate the deviant and abnormal, particularly mutants and those with psychic powers. This creates a gulf between the Librarians and the rest of the chapter brethren, though the powers they can bring to bear on the battlefield makes them always welcome in combat.
On the battlefield, Librarian psychic powers often manifest in useful, and often destructive, ways. These can include anything from projecting energy bolts to erecting powerful protective fields. The more powerful Librarians tend to use their powers in more subtle ways, stepping out of time for a moment to anticipate their enemy's next move or redirecting bullets away from friendly targets. To aid them in using these powers, and protecting themselves, Librarians wear psychic hoods. These devices incorporate psychically-nullifying crystals which provide defence against enemy psychic attacks. They are often armed with force weapons, which only Librarians and other psykers can use to full effect, channelling their powers through the weapon.
According to the guidelines of the Codex Astartes, the armour of Librarians is blue with gold and yellow highlights, regardless of chapter colours. The left shoulder plate of the Librarian's armour displays the chapter symbol in the case of power armour; for Terminator armoured Librarians, the chapter symbol is displayed on the right shoulder armour (leaving the Crux Terminatus for the left). The free shoulder pad displays the Librarian symbol, its exact form denoting the rank of the Librarian. Librarians wear golden yellow tabards which are edged with black patterns, the complexity of the pattern denoting the Librarian's rank.[Needs Citation]
Their equipment is often heavily ornamented by artificers of the chapter due to the heroism and valour shown by the Librarians, making every piece individual.
Several Chapters have different names for Librarians, who vary subtly in their methods and their role in the Chapter hierarchies.
- The Rune Priests of the Space Wolves, maintain that their psychic powers derives from the animistic spirits of Fenris, rather than from the Warp;
- The Stormseers of the White Scars;
- The Dark Angels' Librarians play a similar role to those of other chapters, but they also watch over the dungeons of the Rock and aid Interrogator-Chaplains in extracting confessions from the Fallen by reducing their mental barriers and gathering the truth from the web of lies they speak.
- Grey Knights Librarian
- The Silver Skulls view their Librarians, known as Prognosticators, as conduits of the Emperor's divine will, and will not go into battle without one taking the auguries and pronouncing them favourable;[Needs Citation]
- The Blood Ravens use a higher proportion of Librarians than many other chapters, and several of their past Chapter Masters, including Azariah Vidya and Azariah Kyras, have combined the ranks of Chapter Master and Chief Librarian.
- Ezekiel of the Dark Angels
- Zahariel of the Dark Angels
- Njal Stormcaller of the Space Wolves
- Mephiston of the Blood Angels
- Pyriel of the Salamanders
- Tigurius of the Ultramarines
- Sarpedon of the Soul Drinkers
- Azariah Kyras of the Blood Ravens
Librarian with Staff and Cherubim
- 1: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 2: Horus Heresy (Artbook Series), [Needs Citation]
- 3: Genestealer (1990, Space Hulk expansion)
- 4: Codex: Space Wolves (2nd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 5: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 6: Codex: Dark Angels (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 7: Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 8: Index Astartes I - White Scars
- 9: White Dwarf 305 (UK) - Index Astartes Blood Ravens
- 10: A Thousand Sons (Novel), Chapter 19
- 11: Dawn of War 2
- 12: Codex: Dark Angels (6th Edition), pg. 31
- 13: Salamander (Novel) [Needs Citation]
- 14: Black Crusade: Angel's Blade, pg. 119
- 15: Descent of Angels (Novel), Dramatis Personae
- 16: The Reflection Crack'd (Novella), Chapter Twelve
- 17: The Horus Heresy Book One - Betrayal, pg. 14
- 18: Betrayer (Novel), Chapter Seven
- 19: The Grey Raven (Short Story)
- 20: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 63
- 21: Warhammer Community: Shadowspear Focus: Vanguard Units (posted 5/3/2019) (Last accessed 4 September 2019)
- 22: Games Workshop: Blood Angels Librarian in Terminator Armour (Posted 2014) (Last accessed 4 September 2019)
- 23: The Horus Heresy Book Nine pg.87