Varro Tigurius is the Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines. He was appointed to this rank after many years of fighting and because of his deep knowledge of the galaxy and his immense psychic powers.
Born on Macragge, Tigurius' parents submitted their son to the marshals of induction at the Fortress of Hera. He was quickly recognized as a psyker and his powers of foresight during training exercises was initially seen as cheating. During his Aspirant days his training overseer was Ortan Cassius. Eventually due to his supernaturally perceptive nature he was taken in by the Chapter Librarius, quickly becoming a Lexicanium. During his early years in the chapter Tigurius' insight and perceptiveness saved his battle-brothers on countless occasions, allowing him to rise through the ranks. His most notable early accomplishment was in the Altor Crusade. Later, serving in the 5th Company, he led a strike force against the Seven Sorcerers of Harka, using his psychic abilities to best all seven Sorcerers simultaneously. In the wake of the battle on Harka, Tigurius became famous within the Chapter and became close friends with Orestes and rose the rank of Codicier. After aiding the Ultramarines fleet in predicting the movements of the Orks of Madbrakka and Hive Fleet Behemoth, Tigurius rose to the prestigious position of Chief Librarian.[5b]
Since his induction Varro Tigurius has always been a man apart; despite his decades of service to the Ultramarines and his unquestioned valour in combat, he lacks the camaraderie and easy familiarity found between other members of the chapter, who regard him with emotions ranging from wariness to suspicion; such is the curse of being a psyker.[1a][4a] Space Marine Librarians are the most rigorously screened and conditioned of all the psykers allowed to serve the Imperium; the smallest hint of corruption, and the Librarian may become a conduit for the evils of the Warp.[1b] Tigurius exemplifies this strict outlook. In his mind, there is nothing more dangerous than incomplete knowledge, or a mind untrained to absorb it. In person he says little, and often answers questions with another question, seeking to lead his interrogator to discover the correct answer himself and realize the deeper meaning of the knowledge he receives. As a rule, the Ultramarines are warriors, not philosophers, and this habit of their Chief Librarian's is often an added source of tension.[1a]
Tigurius himself is unique among the Imperium's psykers, in that he has the ability to foresee tactical events and invasions by the enemy before they actually happen, giving Calgar the opportunity to counter them before they even begin. These mysterious premonitions usually come in the form of dreams or small seizures, but where most people would see this as a gift, there are a few within the Imperium that are suspicious and perceive it as delving into the dark ways of Chaos. However, the Chief Librarian's loyalty to the Emperor is clearly unquestionable, and his knowledge of the galaxy, coupled with the prescience granted by his psychic ability, has proved invaluable to the chapter time and time again.[Needs Citation] It was thanks to Tigurius that the war fleets of Warboss Madbrakka and Warmaster Niadar were annihilated the instant they emerged from the warp, and their planned attacks on Ultramar came to nothing.[1a]
More than simply being able to foresee a threat, Tigurius can often see the shape of future events so clearly as to guide the Ultramarines' tactical dispositions to counter them. Marneus Calgar has said that, without Tigurius's counsel, Hive Fleet Behemoth would have overwhelmed the Ultramarines during the Battle for Macragge.[4b] He is one of the foremost experts on fighting Orks in the Imperium, and has guided Lord Calgar on the best ways to strike at the Ork empire of Charadon to prevent a fully formed Waaagh! from rampaging through the sector.[Needs Citation] As Chief Librarian, Tigurius is responsible for the Library of Ptolemy and the guardianship of its contents, including the manuscript of the Codex Astartes, penned by Roboute Guilliman himself. Tigurius's other accomplishments include being one of the very few to have witnessed the arrival of the mysterious Legion of the Damned.[1d] In battle, Tigurius's withdrawn manner disappears, replaced by the fury and valour of a true warrior. Using his psychic powers to devastating effect, Tigurius is an awesome sight, and has inspired exhausted Space Marines to new heights of valour, as shown during the Ork invasion of Boros[1a], and during the Damnos Incident, when he assumed leadership of the 2nd Company after Captain Sicarius was critically wounded.[1c]
In recent years, Tigurius has turned his powers towards the Tyranid Hive Fleets menacing the Imperium. The sheer accuracy of his predictions about the movement and intents of the Great Devourer have led many to believe that Tigurius has managed to penetrate the Hive Mind itself, something only a psyker as powerful as the Emperor could withstand without going insane. If this is true, then Tigurius may well be the most powerful active psyker in the Imperium, second only to the Immortal God Emperor himself.[1a]
Invasion of Ultramar
|This page contains spoilers for:||The Chapter's Due (Novel)|
Arguably Tigurius's finest moment came during the Invasion of Ultramar in 854999.M41. Although he failed to foresee the arrival of the Chaos force known as the Bloodborn, his prescience allowed him to dictate the disposition of the Chapter's forces in a manner that eventually led to victory.[4b]
Tigurius himself accompanied Marneus Calgar and First Captain Agemman to Talassar[4c], where his abilities were crucial in holding the fortress of Castra Tanagra secure from repeated waves of daemonic creatures.[4d][4e] During each of these attacks, Tigurius grew weaker, as each use of his psychic abilities to combat the daemons weakened him more quickly than his advanced physiology could recover from.[4f] After weeks of siege, the outer wall of the fort was overrun, but Tigurius marshaled his power into one gigantic blast of power that drove the daemons back and created a psychic barrier that kept the daemons at bay, allowing the First Company to fall back to the inner keep.[4g] Tigurius himself fell into a coma and hovered near death for the next several weeks, with no Apothecary present who could tend to him.[4h][4i]
When the Chief Librarian was at his lowest ebb, the barrier fell, and the Daemon Prince M'kar arrived in person to invade the fortress and kill Calgar.[4h][4i] The Daemon critically wounded Captain Agemman and held Calgar helpless, but just then Tigurius regained consciousness. Though he was too weak to move his own limbs, a dozen courageous human refugees supported his weight and helped him to the scene of the combat, where he issued a psychic blast that drove the Daemon from the fortress and severed its connection with the warp core of the star fort Indomitable in orbit. He bought Calgar and the survivors of the First Company the brief respite they needed to rally for a final charge against the Daemon.[4i]
Before the battle, Tigurius had predicted that Captain Uriel Ventris, recently returned from a Death Oath to the Eye of Terror, would play a crucial part in the battle's outcome.[4a][4b] He was correct; Ventris and the 4th Company of the Ultramarines arrived from Calth, bearing the true name of M'kar, and the ancient dagger that had taken his mortal life. Armed with these, Calgar destroyed the essence of the Daemon, granting it a True death, and the Ultramarines were victorious.[4j]
Rise of the Primarch
Despite his marvelous psychic abilities Tigurius couldn't predict the appearing of the Great Rift only feeling the approach of an inexorable doom. After the psychic backlash of that galactic catastrophe Tigurius was near death but managed to rally of his mind-coma and joined the defence of Ultramar.
During the Ultramar Campaign Macragge again fell under Chaos invasion, this time by the Black Legion. During the fighting Tigurius convinced Marneus Calgar to accept the plan by Belisarius Cawl to try and resurrect Roboute Guilliman, for the Chief Librarian had been haunted by grave visions and knew desperate measures were required. After Guilliman's resurrection, Tigurius was left behind in Ultramar by the Primarch along with Calgar to defeat the remaining Chaos forces.
Acting on the orders of Guilliman, Tigurius later undertook a psychic ritual that resulted in the deaths of many of his Epistolaries. The ritual allowed him to astrally project himself into Calgar's dreams, giving the Chapter Master Guilliman's order that Vigilus could not be allowed to fall at any cost. Calgar sensed that his old friend had grown weary and ragged from the last time they met, perhaps due to the psychic strain caused by both the Great Rift and his exposure to the Hive Mind.
During the creation of the Great Rift Tigurius was overcome by the psychic force of the disaster and slipped into a coma, though he eventually broke out of it through sheer strength of mind, joining the defense of Ultramar in the Plague Wars. At some point Tigurius was converted into a Primaris Space Marine.
- 1: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition),[Needs Citation]
- 2: Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 49
- 3: Courage and Honour (Novel) by Graham McNeill: Chapter 6, pgs. 61–72
- 4: The Chapter's Due (Novel) — Ultramarines: The Second Omnibus by Graham McNeill
- 4a: Chapter Three, pg. 555, 563
- 4b: Chapter Six, pgs. 590–598
- 4c: Chapter Seven, pgs. 608–610
- 4d: Chapter Nine, pgs. 637–640
- 4e: Chapter Twelve, pgs. 670–678
- 4f: Chapter Thirteen, pgs. 682–686
- 4g: Chapter Eighteen, pgs. 743–748
- 4h: Chapter Twenty-Two, pgs. 802–804
- 4i: Chapter Twenty-Three, pgs. 805–814
- 4j: Chapter Twenty-Four, pgs. 817–821
- 5: Warlords of the Dark Millennium: Tigurius (Background Book)
- 6: Codex: Legion of the Damned — A Legion Lost, the Great Bastion of Andraxas
- 7: Gathering Storm: Rise of the Primarch — Part 1
- 8: Codex: Space Marines (8th Edition), pg. 96
- 9: Vigilus Defiant
- 10: Apocalypse Mega-battle and Warhammer 40,000 Preview! (Last Accessed August 3rd 2019)
- 11: Apocalypse Mega-battle and Warhammer 40,000 Preview! (Last accessed on 3 August 2019)
- 12: Codex Supplement: Ultramarines (8th Edition) - pg.42