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Roboute Guilliman

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Ultramarines Primarch. For other uses of Guilliman, see Guilliman (disambiguation).
Roboute Guilliman during the Great Crusade[24]

Roboute Guilliman (/rɒb'uːt 'guːlɪmæn/[5]), known as The Avenging Son following the Battle of Calth[12], is the Primarch of the Ultramarines. An accomplished warlord and diplomat who ruled his own empire before rediscovery by the Emperor, Guilliman was unique among his brother Primarchs in that he saw himself as not only a warrior but also a builder of civilizations.[12] In addition to his leadership of the largest and most successful Space Marine Legion during the Great Crusade, Guilliman became renowned for his efforts to preserve the Imperium in the aftermath of the devastating Horus Heresy, becoming Lord Commander of the Imperium. Among his most noteworthy achievements is the authoring of the Codex Astartes and the creation of the modern Imperial military structure.[Needs Citation]

Shortly after the Thirteenth Black Crusade Roboute Guilliman was restored from his wounds, and now once again leads the Imperium as its Lord Commander and Imperial Regent, the living voice of the Emperor.[18]


Roboute Guilliman


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. 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] Guilliman would also be raised by Konor's Seneschal, Tarasha Euten, a strong-willed and capable woman.[12]

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. 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.[1a]

While the history books state Guilliman militarily subdued the Illyrians, the reality was more complicated. Rather than engage in a protracted mountain guerrilla war, he simply occupied the Illyrians sacred shrines. This caused the Illyrians to surge forth to meet his armies, but rather than crush them then and there he challenged their Chieftain to battle. During the duel, Guilliman only defended himself from his foes blows but never launched his own attacks. The Chieftain eventually exhausted himself, but rather than slay his enemy Guilliman instead presented him with the Illyrians most sacred religious artifact, which centuries before the Consuls of Macragge had stolen. Guilliman's act of diplomacy and humanity convinced the Illyrian Chieftain to halt his campaign, seeking to become a just lord like Guilliman instead. It was at this moment that Tarasha Euten realized Guilliman had proven himself a true King.[23]

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].

Roboute Guilliman

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]. However, due to an unexpected warp storm, his ship was thrown far off course and by the time it reached Macragge, Roboute had been ruling for almost five years. 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[7].

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 any one of those four and his Legion at the Ultramarines' side.[8b] Conversely, relations between Guilliman and Lorgar became miserable after the Emperor had the Ultramarines destroy Monarchia and be present during the shaming of the Word Bearers. While Guilliman carried out these orders to the letter and appeared to be firmly supportive of the Emperor in front of Lorgar, in truth he was uncomfortable with his actions and upset that the Emperor used his legion as a tool for humiliation that drove a wedge between the Ultramarines and Word Bearers.[8]

The Horus Heresy

Guilliman and his Ultramarines fight Word Bearers in space
Main article: Battle of Calth
Main article: Shadow Crusade
Guilliman and Sanguinius shortly after the formation of Imperium Secundus

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 and the Legion took heavy losses. However, the Word Bearers had overlooked two major points: the unbreakable fighting spirit of the Ultramarines, and the brilliance of Guilliman's command. An attempt by Lorgar to assassinate Guilliman with a Daemon who attacked the bridge of his flagship, forcing Guilliman to be sucked into space and fight several Word Bearers without a helmet. Guilliman was eventually able to reboard his ship, and promised to hunt down and kill Lorgar for the betrayal. At the climax of the battle Guilliman ripped out one of the two hearts of Kor Phaeron, the Word Bearers commander at Calth, after he had tried to tempt Guilliman to join the Forces of Chaos.[8]

Meanwhile Angron of the World Eaters and Lorgar of the Word Bearers had launched the 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

As a result of being cut off by the Ruinstorm created by the traitorous Word Bearers, Guilliman feared the Imperium lost and created a second empire, Imperium Secundus, as a contingency. Many loyalist brothers were brought to Macragge thanks to the activation of the xenos device known as the Pharos. Not wanting to appear vain and power-hungry like his brother Horus, Guilliman refused to declare himself Emperor of Imperium Secundus, instead initially trying to convince Lion El'Jonson to take the position despite being distrustful of the Dark Angels Primarch's motives. While organizing the creation of Imperium Secundus Guilliman survived an assassin attempt by an Alpha Legion squad disguised as Aeonid Thiel and other Ultramarines. Later when Konrad Curze was let loose upon Macragge, Guilliman and the Lion battled the Night Lords Primarch together but were led into a trap. Instead of being cornered, Curze detonated charges and brought the entire structure down upon their heads. Guilliman and the Lion survived thanks to Barabas Dantioch activating the Pharos, which teleported the duo to Sotha. The Lion and Guilliman then made their way back to Macragge, where the Blood Angels had now arrived. Guilliman decided to name the reluctant Sanguinius the Regent of Imperium Secundus.[12]

However Guilliman frequently clashed with his distrustful and taciturn brother Lion El'Jonson over policy. Obsessed with hunting for Konrad Curze on Macragge, the Lion insisted that the Night Haunter was behind rebellions plaguing the world and demanded martial law be instituted. After a suicide bombing hit an Astartes convoy on Macragge, the Dark Angels were deployed by the Lion to establish martial law without Guilliman's express permission. Guilliman and the Lion again came to disagreement over the rebellion in the Illyrium region of Macragge, with the Dark Angels primarch wishing to use weapons of mass destruction to flush them out as he suspected Curze was hiding there. Ultimately the Lion led the attack into Illyrium, and Curze was captured. At Guilliman's insistence, he was given a public trial. During the trial, Curze accused the Lion of ordering secret orbital attacks against the rebellion which enraged the Dark Angels Primarch and nearly led to him slaying Curze in the court. Guilliman and Sanguinius dismissed the Lion from Imperium Secundus as response, but later the Lion reappeared and asked to be Curze's jailer instead.[16]

Following the Trial of Curze, Sanguinius, Lion El'Jonson, and Guilliman all agreed to try and breach the Ruinstorm to reach Terra and aid the Emperor who they now knew still lived. In the Ruinstorm, the loyalist fleet came across a variety of horrors and word of an entity spreading destruction known as the "Pilgrim". During the voyage through the Ruinstorm, Guilliman's fleet was ambushed by Traitor forces at Anuari, where the Avenging Son survived an assassination attempt by Word Bearers armed with Athame's. Believing he could study the weapons for understanding of the enemy and potentially using it against them, Guilliman kept the blades in his vault. During the Battle of Pyrrhan, Guilliman commanded the Ultramarines personall as Sanguinius received a vision and he realized that he needed to go where this struggle had begun, Davin. Reluctantly, Guilliman and The Lion agreed to trust in Sanguinius but both had thought they would simply destroy the world upon arriving. While over Davin, Sanguinius shocked The Lion by boarding the Invincible Reason and taking the captive Konrad Curze with him. Sanguinius hoped to use Curze's prophetic abilities to determine what he was meant to do upon Davin. Sanguinius then commended a mass landing on the world, and the enraged Lion nearly ordered that Davin be subjected to Exterminatus regardless of Sanguinius' presence on it. After horrified Lion expressed to Guilliman that he believed something was trying to manipulate them to the path of damnation, the Ultramarine Primarch knew what he must do and crushed his captive Athame Blades with his Power Fist. He declared he would not be tempted the same way Horus had.[19].

At Davin, Sanguinius was trapped within a portal and did battle with the Daemon Madail while Guilliman and The Lion desperately tried to reach him. a vicious battle erupted both on Davin and above it, in which Guilliman's acting flagship Samothrace was destroyed in orbit by the Daemonship Veritas Ferrum. During the battle at Davin's temple, Guilliman and The Lion managed to finally fight as brothers and together they brought down a massive Soul Grinder. Eventually, Sanguinius was able to escape and the Space Marine forces evacuated to space. Davin was destroyed by Cyclonic Torpedoes, and with its anchor gone the Daemonic fleet vanished. In the place of where Davin once was, a breach in the Ruinstorm was visible. The path led to Terra, but upon further study it became apparent that somehow Horus had foreseen this route and a large blockade was erected to block them. Guilliman and The Lion agreed to distract the blockade while Sanguinius and the Blood Angels made directly for Terra, for that was their destiny.[19]

After the death of the Ruinstorm, Guilliman gathered whatever forces he could and made haste for Terra. In his path lay a large defensive chain of hundreds of worlds manned by the Iron Warriors. In a series of bitter engagements, both sides took heavy losses but the Ultramarines were able to maintain a steady advance.[20]

Ultimately, Guilliman was able to 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].


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. At the same time, Guilliman reorganized the Space Marine Legions as Chapters and composed the Codex Astartes, the tome that the Ultramarines (and many other chapters) follow strictly[Needs Citation].

Guilliman led the assault against the Alpha Legion on Eskrador 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]. Sometime before the Battle of Thessala Guilliman tasked the Tech-Priest Belisarius Cawl with two deeds: the resurrection of Guilliman should he fall and the creation of a next generation of Space Marines.[17]

Later, in the Battle of Thessala against the Emperor's Children, Guilliman would be grievously wounded. 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.[6]

For the next ten thousand years Guilliman mortal body remained in stasis, on the Shrine of Guilliman deep within the Temple of Correction, one of the holiest places in the entire Imperium. Some pilgrims claimed that the Primarch's wounds were 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 believed the stories to come and witness for themselves the miracle of the Primarch.[6]


The reborn Roboute Guilliman

Shortly after Abaddon the Despoiler's Thirteenth Black Crusade and the destruction of Cadia, the Tech-Priest Belisarius Cawl and Saint Celestine led a group of Imperial survivors into the Webway with the aid of their new Eldar allies. The group arrived at Macragge, where Cawl revealed that he had in fact lived for the last ten thousand years and was ordered by Guilliman himself to complete two tasks in the event of his downfall. One of these was to revive Guilliman, a feat that Cawl could now accomplish thanks to Eldar aid. Using a suit of Power Armour that regenerated the wounds inflicted by Fulgrim, Guilliman was restored just as Black Legion forces invaded Macragge. Reborn, Guilliman swiftly drove off the Chaos invaders before taking in the truths of the Imperium after his ten thousand year absence. Guilliman displayed several "miracles" after his rebirth, his mere presence was able to cure any afflicted with a Nurgle-created blindness-inducing illness.[17]

Disgusted by the decay, superstition, and ignorance that surrounds the modern Imperium, Guilliman convened a war council of his Ultramarines as to what to do next. After several days he declared his intent to travel to Terra and see his father upon the Golden Throne. However Guilliman's revival had attracted the gaze of the Gods of Chaos and Daemon Primarch's, throwing the Warp into an uproar. The journey to Terra, known as the Terran Crusade, became an arduous affair that saw his fleet trapped in the Maelstrom after an ambush by Magnus and his Thousand Sons. Inside the Maelstrom the Imperial expedition was defeated by Kairos Fateweaver and the Red Corsairs, with the Primarch himself trapped in crystal chains made from his own doubts. Held by Kairos inside a Blackstone Fortress, the Imperial expedition seemed doomed. However thanks to the efforts of the Harlequin Sylandri Veilwalker and the Fallen Angel Cypher Guilliman and the rest of the surviving expedition were freed and escaped towards a Webway Portal. Guilliman held the portal long enough for his men to escape, defeating the Bloodthirster Skarbrand after witnessing the sacrifice of Marshal Amalrich.[17]

The Imperial expedition eventually arrived through another portal on Luna, but this time were followed by Magnus and his Thousand Sons. On the surface of Luna, Magnus and Guilliman dueled as battle raged around them. Guilliman was overcome by Magnus' psychic abilities until the arrival of reinforcements from Terra that included Sisters of Silence. With Magnus' psychic abilities weakened, Guilliman was able to impale his daemonic brother and force him back into the Webway as the gate was sealed.[17]

Afterwards Guilliman landed on Terra and gained access to the Emperor's Throneroom inside the Imperial Palace. Standing completely alone before the Golden Throne for the next day, Guilliman emerged with a new determination. He gathered the High Lords of Terra and declared that the Imperium would be reorganized and rearmed under his leadership in order to confront the coming threat of Chaos. With that, Guilliman declared himself Lord Commander of the Imperium once more.[17] He later declared himself Imperial Regent, the living hand of the Emperor. One of his first major acts as Lord Commander was to defend Terra itself against the forces of Khorne in the Second Battle of Terra.

Guilliman subsequently declared the Indomitus Crusade to reclaim the devastated worlds isolated from Terra by the Great Rift. The campaign was waged for the next century, as Guilliman acted as supreme commander and chief administrator of the Imperium. He simultaneously oversaw vast campaigns spearheaded by Belisarius Cawl's new Primaris Space Marines and sweeping civic reforms which culminated in the Codex Imperialis. As the Indomitus Crusade wound down, he rushed back to Ultramar to protect his sons from the Onslaught of Nurgle.[18] During the Plague Wars, Guilliman battled his former brother Mortarion on Iax saved and survived an assassination attempt by Mortarion, Typhus and Ku'Gath on Parmenio. Guilliman was nearly cornered in the trap but was saved by the efforts of a mysterious young girl that seemed to be a powerful Living Saint.[22a]

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:

He is handsome, in a plain way. He is handsome the way a regent on an old coin is handsome, like a good sword is handsome. He is not handsome like a ritual weapon, the way Fulgrim is. He is not angelic, like Sanguinius...

There is a dutiful line to his jaw, like his good brother Dorn. They share a nobility. There is the great strength of Ferrus and the vitality of Mortarion. There is, sometimes, the rogue glint of the Khan in his eyes, or the solemnity of the Lion. In the architecture of his nose and brow there is, many claim, the energy and triumph of Horus Lupercal. There is none of the bitterness that shadows Corax, or the persecuted despair that haunts poor Konrad. There is never any of the deliberate mystery that obscures Alpharius or Magnus and he is more open than that buried soul Vulkan... He never displays the pitch of fury found in Angron, nor do his eyes ever ignite with the psychotic gleam of Russ...

He is a high achiever. He knows this about himself. Sometimes it feels like a fault that he has to excuse to his brothers, but then he feels guilty for making excuses... He writes a great deal. He codifies everything. Information is power. Technical theory is victory... He uses a stylus by choice, recording in his own handwriting.

He has been writing notes on T'Vanti war practices for seventeen minutes, but he has still noted and marked fifteen hundred data bulletins and updates that have tracked across the secondary screens to his left. He sees and reconciles everything. Information is victory.[8a]


It is known that at the height of his power during the Horus Heresy, Guilliman was armed with the Hand of Dominion — a mighty power gauntlet[13] that with Guilliman's strength could fell a Titan[14], the Gladius Incandor — a blade of exceptional craftsmanship and a symbol of his Legion and also - with an Arbitrator, a customised combi-bolter.[13] For protection, Guilliman wore a suit of Power Armour known as the Armour of Reason.[15]

Upon his resurrection at the end of the 41st Millennium Guilliman continued to use the Hand of Dominion but took up the Emperor's Sword as his primary weapon. In addition, he now wears the Armour of Fate, the very device that allowed him to heal the injuries sustained by Fulgrim ten thousand years earlier.


See Quotes Space Marines



The origin of Guilliman's name is unclear. It was thought it was based on Robert Charles Guillemin, a Boston based street artist in the 1980's famous for using acrylic paints. However Rick Priestley has since said it was a name he made up that sounded like a West Indian revolutionary in a French colony (possibly Haiti).[21]

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