Marneus Augustus Calgar
As one might expect from an embodiment of the Ultramarines' 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 only if he so decides to leap into cover, then he will do so.[Needs Citation]
During the Battle of Macragge against the Tyranids, Calgar stood his ground on Cold Steel Ridge against horde of xenos attackers. But the Tyranids were too many, and his body was rent and torn. Calgar faced down the Swarmlord, but due to his injuries was no match for the beast. Before he could be finished off, he was rescued by his fellow Ultramarines.
Within a vault inside the Fortress of Hera are records devoted to the achievements and deeds of notable Ultramarines; twenty-eight volumes are devoted to Marneus Calgar, twice the number devoted to that of any other living Ultramarine, and unsurpassed by any other in the Chapter's history except Roboute Guilliman himself. These achievements include:
- Leading the breaching assault on the Tyranid Hive Ship designated Behemoth Primus during the Battle of Macragge.[12b]
- Single-handedly holding the gate against an Ork Horde for a night and a day at the Siege of Zalathras.[12b]
- Defeating an Eldar Avatar in single-handed combat, thus leading to the rout of Eldar forces at the Battle for Orar's Sepulchre.
- Recapturing the star fort Indomitable from the daemonic hordes of M'kar the Reborn.
- Claiming data-records from the world of Thrax as it was being overrun by Daemons.
- Slaying the Swarmlord during the Battle of Ichar IV.
- Surviving a Night Lords ambush and rallying the populous of the Feudal World of Barathred to defeat hundreds of the traitorous Chaos Space Marines.
- Leading the reclamation of Damnos from the Necrons.
During the Ultramar Campaign, Calgar initially refused Belisarius Cawl's request to try and resurrect Roboute Guilliman, particularly due to the presence of Eldar among his expedition. However the Chaos assault and the words of Tigurius caused him to relent, and he fought alongside Saint Celestine and Voldus in holding back the Black Legion long enough for his Primarch to be reborn. The resurrected Roboute Guilliman charged Calgar to secure the rest of Ultramar from the Forces of Chaos as he embarked on the Terran Crusade.
Other Notable Commands
- Corinthian Crusade
- Siege of Talwa
- Scouring of Quistarn
- Battle of Arconar
- Battle of Knarts Landing
- Balur Crusade
- Battle of Ichar IV
- The Defense of Metalica
The Rubicon Primaris
The induction of the Primaris Marines into the Adeptus Astartes was not an easy process by any means. The Chapters of the Space Marines are arch traditionalists, and some are conservative in the extreme, having upheld the same warrior traditions for thousands of years. Of course, the express command of Roboute Guilliman, Lord Commander of the Imperium, eased the transition into the new era. For the Ultramarines and the vast majority of their successors, the word of the risen Primarch was good enough, and many Chapters welcomed the Primaris battle-brothers gladly. But there were those especially secretive or wilful Chapters who saw the incorporation of the Primaris Marines into their ranks as a dilution of their gene-stock and a betrayal of their long-held culture. Some amongst the Adeptus Astartes suspected that the Primaris Marines, being stronger, more durable, and closer in blood to the Primarchs themselves, represented the obsolescence of traditional battle-brothers. No amount of reason – of pointing out that what the Primaris offered in raw ability, they lacked in experience and versatility – could salve the spiritual wound dealt by the sight of the newcomers wearing their heraldry. The Primaris Marines of the Ultima Founding had been swiftly inducted into brotherhoods that the incepted aspirants of yesteryear had given everything they had to join. Questions, heavy with the weight of destiny, hung in the air. Would the Primaris Marines ultimately make the traditional Space Marines extinct? Would the identity of each Chapter’s home world be diluted, with so many thousands of new recruits sourced from the stasis vaults of Mars? And was it possible for a Space Marine to be transformed into a Primaris, inheriting the benefits of Adeptus Mechanicus arcanoscience whilst retaining his personality and experience?
This last question had been raised in Adeptus Astartes Chapters across the galaxy. It was a query Lord Calgar had asked of Belisarius Cawl himself, and had discussed with those of his fellow Chapter Masters he was able to meet in person. Debate raged as to whether such an act was even possible without having deadly consequences for the recipient – for data that Archmagos Cawl had already amassed on the subject suggested there would be a 61.6% failure rate until the process could be perfected, which would take time. Then there was the moral concern of whether the process should be attempted at all. The dilemma was proving divisive indeed. There were those who claimed this was the ultimate destiny of all Adeptus Astartes, while from other quarters came whispers of rejection, even mutiny, at the prospect. The lords of the Ultramarines came to the conclusion that to ease the transition from centuries of Imperial tradition to a new order, the theoreticals of that raging debate would have to be put into practice. It was Marneus Calgar that stepped forward as the first test subject from the ranks of his storied Chapter. It was a process he did not survive – though like his Primarch before him, he was to rise from the threshold of death once more.
The operation to transform Calgar from a traditional Space Marine into a Primaris Marine was conducted in an autosterilised med vault. Thick with the tang of counterseptic and crowded with elaborate medical servitors, the room was dominated by the vast marble slab at its centre, artfully carved with runnels to collect the copious streams of blood that would result from the procedure. The surgery was to be extensive and agonising, a fact Marneus knew well from Cawl’s tediously thorough descriptions of his masterwork process. A Primaris Marine is gifted three new organs in addition to the nineteen grafted, sutured and chemically implanted into an aspirant Space Marine. These are the Magnificat, which is buried deep within the brain to stimulate growth and to intensify other organ functions; the Belisarian Furnace, which releases a burst of hypersteroids and corticostimulants when a mortal blow is dealt so the Primaris may fight on; and the Sinew Coils, cable-like lengths of durasteel that encase every tendon and sinew in a metallic sheath that gives tremendous resilience and strength.
During the implantation of these advanced organs, Marneus Calgar was cut open from crown to heel. His ribcage was cracked apart and – at the climax of the operation – his physiology suppressed to the point that his life slipped away. Choirs of cyber- cherubs sang blissful, overlapping requiems, swaying their aspergillums that sacred incense might guide Calgar’s spirit back to his body. The corpse lay in state, its flesh rent and open to the air, for what seemed to those watching like an age. Ten long minutes ticked past, then twenty. Skull-faced surgeons clicked and muttered and stabbed at the tortured flesh. Those around the periphery of the apothecarium theatre held their breath in dread. Then, with his wounds stitched closed by a thousand jabbing needles and his mighty heart electrified to beat once more, the newly forged Lord Calgar was brought back to life. He broke his bonds with a strangulated, blood-flecked roar, stumbling to life as his Belisarian Furnace brought him to battle readiness. Calgar had clawed his way back from beyond the brink of death, and in doing so, he had shown to his Chapter that the transformation was possible. The Rubicon Primaris had been crossed, and a new path opened for the Adeptus Astartes.
While en route to another front, Calgar received a psychic vision by his good friend Tigurius with a direct order from Guilliman himself to travel to Vigilus and prevent its fall to all costs. Calgar was appointed by Guilliman as the Supreme Commander of all Imperial Forces on Vigilus and is currently waging the War of Beasts via his combined war council known as the Vigilus Senate. Calgar remained Chapter Master of the Ultramarines throughout the ensuing Indomitus Crusade as Guilliman was occupied elsewhere. However, he was now known as Lord Defender of Greater Ultramar instead of Master of Ultramar. During the Plague Wars Calgar put down anti-Imperial uprisings and mutinies by the Ultramar Auxilia in the Illyrian region of Macragge. He later slowed an Ork advance towards Metalica with rapid strike tactics.[12a]
During the height of fighting against the forces of Chaos on Vigilus, Calgar was able to turn the tide by forming an alliance with the Eldar on the world led by Farseer Keltoc. Calgar was able to convince the Xenos to join him in the fight against Chaos, and cemented the pact by agreeing to Keltoc's terms to secretly kill the slayers of Autarch Rhyloor in order to satisfy Saim-Hann's blood feud. With the Eldar now as allies, Calgar goaded Abaddon himself into a duel at Saint's Haven while the stealthy Eldar vessel Vaul's Ghost collided with the Vengeful Spirit and detonated a cache of Deathstrike Missiles. Though his ploy worked and forced the Warmaster to retreat in order to save the Vengeful Spirit, Calgar was badly wounded in the duel against Abaddon. One of his gauntlets where torn away to expose a forearm splintered and shorn of skin. The other was cut through severing two of his fingers and slashing open both of his hearts that he was shielding with that hand. As he laid there wounded Greater Possessed came and pierced both his hearts and ripped open his throat. He just barley survived the battle. His ravaged throat was sutured, reinforced and regrown, the Apothecaries administering intense regeneration chem-baths, cyborgisation surgery and a lengthy rejuvenat treatment. This made his voice sound mechanical afterwords. The apothecarium also salvaged his secondary heart, but the primary was cloven through. He was not seen on the front line of the battlefield from that point on, but continued to command the armies of the Imperium from the heart of the Vigilus Senate.
In battle, Calgar is armed with the Gauntlets of Ultramar — a pair of master-crafted power fists incorporating a pair of bolters. The Gauntlets were reclaimed by Primarch Roboute Guilliman from a Chaos Champion after the Gamalia Reclusiam Massacre. He also carries an Iron Halo and wears either the Armour of Antilochus (an ornate suit of Terminator Armour) or a suit of Artificer Armour.[2b]
In keeping with his position as Chapter Master, he is often accompanied in combat by a unit of the elite Ultramarines Honour Guard, frequently including the Chapter Ancient bearing the Banner of Macragge.[Needs Citation]
The personal vehicle of Marneus Calgar is a Maximus — the ancient and honorable Land Raider adorned with passages from the Codex Astartes and scenes from the glorious victories of the Chapter. Its armour is decorated with gold details and marble; banners and purity seals of honoured provenance flutter from his hull. It is believed that the 'Maximus' is a vehicle truly worthy to carry a Chapter Master to battle, since the days their Primarch fought alongside of them many millennia ago.
Older sources state 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 publications which state that Hive Fleet Behemoth was the first recorded conflict with the Tyranids and that Calgar was not only a member of the Ultramarines at that time, but already Chapter Master.[2a]
The same older publication states that, following a skirmish against the Hive Fleet Perseus in 976.M41, Calgar lost all four limbs as well as large areas of body tissue and his left eye and that he is now fitted with bionic replacements and is is more machine than man. All depictions (and models) of Calgar show him as having a bionic eye, but no mention of other injuries or bionic implants has made in further publications.[Needs Citation]
Original Rogue Trader-era Marneus Calgar Miniature
- "We follow in the footsteps of Guilliman. As it is written in the Codex, so shall it be."[3a]
- "Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath."[3b]
- "You all heard Varro's words. The daemon is vulnerable, exposed, and we have one chance to end this. Right here and right now, the fate of Ultramar is in our hands. You are the best and bravest of your Chapter, and though we may die in these mountains, we will die in service to something greater than blood, something greater than land. We fight for what we know is right. I will lead you in that fight, and all I ask is that you fight like the heroes you are!" - rallying the survivors of the 1st Company on Talassar, for a final charge against M'kar
- 1: White Dwarf 97 (UK), Ultra-marines
- 2: Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition)
- 3: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- 4: The Chapter's Due (Novel) by Graham McNeill, Ch. 23, pg. 307
- 5: Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition) — inside back cover (pg. 46)
- 6: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition) pg. 72
- 7: Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition) (E-Book Edition) — Ichar IV
- 8: Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition) — pg. 26
- 9: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Second Edition: War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pg. 35
- 10: Gathering Storm: Rise of the Primarch — Part 3
- 11: Dark Imperium (Novel) — Chapter 12
- 12: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition)
- 13: Warhammer Community
- 14: Vigilus Defiant, pg. 77
- 14a: pg. 28
- 15: Imperium Nihilus: Vigilus Ablaze, pgs. 11–12, 40-43
- 15a: pg. 87
- 16: Warhammer Community: Breaking news from the Vigilus Open Day! (24/11/2018) (last accessed 3 June 2019)