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[LI01] Alt-Heresy IA: Ultramarines


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#1
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

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Though I finished this just after Christmas, and although I got invaluable feedback from Ferrata, Sig and Ferrus Manus at the time, I got sidetracked into writing the next IA (RG), and the next (WB). The Alt-Word Bearers IA was posted about six weeks ago, and it fits really well into the scheme of things to have the Ultras next, so I sat down and redrafted the article with the collated feedback and six months of extra proofreading practice. Thanks again to Phil and the two Matt's - I tried to incorporate all of your input, with only the odd point which I stuck to my guns on, or just couldn't find a way of rewording it in a way in which I was content. :huh:

If this looks OK, I was planning to post this on the board. After that ideally it would be the third 'Ultramar themed' legion, (after the WB and UM) the Alpha Legion, but I don't know if that will give Sigismund Himself time to complete it... So how about a month or so later you unleash the White Scars, Phil?

Bear in mind that, as before, this has been written from a skewed perspective, sympathetic to the legion in question. For example, they regard The Emperor as dead, and so it is stated as such in the IA, in opposition to the skewed perspective of the other loyalist IA's like the Word Bearers.

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Index Astartes: Ultramarines

The Alternate Heresy


Manipulated and betrayed first by the Traitor Legions, and then by the Imperium, the Ultramarines now stand defiantly against both great powers. From their fortified realm of Ultramar Segmentum, the legion and its successor chapters watch with pity as the Imperium falls ever-deeper into superstition, ignorance and corruption. Built firmly upon the inspired organisational principles of Roboute Guilliman, they patiently gather their strength for the day they will invade Terra and re-unify humanity under their own benign rule.

Origins
Author

Aurelius Rex is a board veteran, 40K quiz master, Arena of Death Overlord and former moderator of the Liber Astartes section. The Alternate universe 'Dornian Heresy' posits a history where events turned out just a little different, and this is the third of the Index Astartes articles about how each of the Legions was affected. For more information on the Dornian Heresy, read the Overview Article here.

A
lthough it is commonly stated within the Imperium that the infant Primarchs were abducted and scattered across the galaxy by the Ruinous Powers, the tale of Roboute Guilliman’s arrival upon Macragge has led the people of Ultramar to doubt the received wisdom. According to legend, Consul Konor Guilliman, one of Macragge’s planetary leaders, was granted a vision of a noble child alone in the deep forest, and that a shining entity, supposed later to be The Emperor Himself, commanded Konor to guide and protect him. In the shadow of the mighty Hera Falls, the infant was found playing amongst the wreckage of his gestation vessel, and sensing the power within the child, Konor did as he had been instructed. He named the boy Roboute, or ‘The Great One’, and raised him as his own son.

Imperial scholars claim that this was simply The Emperor seeking to protect His sons until they could finally be reunited. However, the Ultramarines believe that the Master of Mankind deliberately engineered the dispersal so that the Primarchs would be able to experience life among common humanity in their formative years. Furthermore, they propose that Guilliman was intended to be found and mentored by Konor in his unique style of leadership and organisation.

As befitting the son of a Consul, Roboute Guilliman was intensively tutored, and rapidly absorbed every scrap of knowledge on offer, before taking his place at the prestigious Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City. There he was trained in the military arts, and in short order outstripped his fellow students and even his instructors. With nothing left to learn, he graduated, and re-took his place alongside Konor. It was clear that Guilliman's gifts for the practice and organisation of warfare would be of great use in battling Macragge's enemies, both on and off the planet. Proving that their faith in him was not misplaced, Guilliman delivered an unbroken series of military victories. This culminated with the complete destruction of the pirate fleets that had long-plagued the space-lanes between Macragge and the nearby systems with which it had remained in contact.

At a banquet held in honour of Guilliman’s achievements, Konor’s co-consul, Gallan, proposed that an ancient Macragge tradition be re-instituted: After performing some great deed for the nation, a feted hero would be rewarded with the opportunity to carve out territory of their own. What new lands they could conquer for the kingdom, they could keep. Gallan proposed that Illyrium, Macragge's wild, bandit-haunted northlands, would be the perfect challenge and reward. Its savage barbarian tribes had never been pacified, and although they attacked the expedition with unparalleled fury, within six months Guilliman had bested each of the tribal leaders in single combat and earned their respect and fealty.

The conclusion of this stunningly successful campaign was tainted, however, by the news that Konor had passed away, and that as sole remaining consul Gallan had taken command of his holdings. Gallan sent his condolences, but also commanded that Guilliman and his forces leave Illyrium at once to swear allegiance to him. Guilliman returned as requested, but was horrified to see the state of disrepair that his adopted father’s former lands had fallen into in the few short months of its new consul’s stewardship. So it was that when he stood before Gallan, he defiantly refused to kneel.

Before the assembled nobles he stated in no uncertain terms that Gallan was not the only Consul; that before them stood the Consul of Illyrium, as laid down in the ancient traditions Gallan himself had invoked. Gallan had no more hold over him than the stars themselves. With that, Guilliman returned to the north at the head of his large, battle-tempered army, and after such a display of martial strength, no more talk of fealty was heard from Gallan.

Free from the restraints of tradition, Guilliman forged his own vision of civilisation. Within a decade the barren wastes of Illyrium were home to industries and military forces that put those of the rest of Macragge to shame. By the time The Emperor arrived at Macragge, drawn by tales of the nation that Guilliman had wrought, Illyrium was firmly the centre of political and military power on the planet. In comparison, Gallan’s stagnant holdings were a mere backwater. The reunion of father and son, and the relocation of the thirteenth legion of the Astartes to the planet merely reinforced Guilliman's position as the true leader of Macragge.

Ultramar Segmentum
R
oboute Guilliman set his legion, which he renamed the Ultramarines after the deep blue seas of Macragge, to work reclaiming lost human worlds for The Emperor. First came the planets with which Macragge had remained in contact through their isolation from Terra, such as Talassar, Calth, Quintarn and Tarentus. The incorporation of these early planets became the template for the future. The legion went to great lengths to avoid unnecessary civilian bloodshed, even at the risk of sustaining greater casualties themselves. This, along with the way they repaired and improved each world’s infrastructure, meant that with each conquest they gained a stable world willing and eager to contribute to Guilliman’s mission, rather than a resentful population that required garrison forces to pacify. In this way the Ultramarines were able to draw recruits and materiel from an ever-larger area, and in doing so expanded their numbers at a rate unmatched by any other legion.

The worlds under their control became closely knit, with an identity as much Ultramarine as it was Imperial. With each new world, these Ultramar planets grew in military strength and cultural influence. Often their reputation would precede them to such a degree that invading forces would be welcomed on their arrival by cheering crowds rather than armed resistance. Eventually their expansion reached so far that it began to come into contact with worlds brought to compliance by other Imperial expeditions. Recognising the superior way that Ultramar was run in comparison to the staid, inefficient Administratum, an increasing number quietly petitioned to join them. There were even calls from some planets on the Eastern Fringe to rename Ultima Segmentum as Ultramar Segmentum.

This led to bitter exchanges between the Administratum and the Ultramarines. The legion was charged with instigating these petitions and of undermining the Imperium. This was strenuously denied, but the defiant Ultramarine representatives said that they would continue to lend their expertise to those Imperial planets that requested it. The war of words escalated to the point where, at the Jhalta conference, high ranking Administratum officials accused the Ultramarines of attempting to take control of Imperial worlds by stealth. During a particularly heated exchange, a member of the Administratum even dared suggest that they had turned their backs on The Emperor. With the meeting seconds from descending into violence, Guilliman himself entered the room. His superhuman charisma and presence calmed the tense situation, and by the end of the conference the Administratum representatives had accepted the Primarch’s intentions as benign. Many were even discussing organisational theories with him and taking notes. It appeared that the misunderstanding had been resolved.

Istvaan V
W
ith the Administratum seemingly pacified, Guilliman was shocked and horrified to receive a covert communiqué from Rogal Dorn, who brought a warning that The Emperor had personally ordered that he and the entire Ultramarines legion be put to death. Despite the unthinkable nature of what Dorn was saying, the haggard, haunted look in his brother's eyes convinced Guilliman to hear him out.

According to Dorn, since The Emperor had withdrawn to Terra, He had become increasingly isolated, and this had been played upon and twisted by sinister forces so that He had refused to see even His own sons. Dorn said that behind closed doors the misunderstandings with the Administratum had been manipulated to the point where their father had become convinced Guilliman was on the brink of seceding from the Imperium. The situation had spiralled out of control, and in a fit of rage, The Emperor had commanded that a vast battle fleet be assembled to tear down Ultramar Segmentum. When disquiet was voiced at the prospect of brother marines, indeed brother Primarchs, trying to kill one another, The Emperor had decreed that anyone who opposed the order be declared a traitor and be put to death.

And so it was that Dorn came to approach the fringes of Ultramar Segmentum in command of the Imperial fleet. The Emperor’s mind, he said, had been clouded by lies and paranoia, and while Dorn had been able to convince several of the Primarchs over the course of the journey, Corax, Fulgrim and Angron had been beyond reason. As repugnant as it was, Dorn proposed that their legions could be ‘neutralised’ by ambushing them at the newly compliant Ultramar world of Istvaan V. Dorn also revealed that the Word Bearers and the Alpha Legion had been ordered to strike deep into the heart of Ultramar Segmentum. To seal the pact, Dorn transmitted to Guilliman the projected routes of the Alpha Legion and Word Bearer fleets so that they could be more easily tracked, and eventually countered.

Seeing no other option, with a heavy heart Guilliman agreed to Dorn’s plan. His legion, supported by those that Dorn had been able to convince of The Emperor’s folly, crushed the Raven Guard, Emperor’s Children and World Eaters on Istvaan V. With knowledge of their transponder codes, the Ultramarines were able to target the landing ships and drop pods before most of their occupants could even set foot on the planet. The few that survived fought like lions, and while they were no match for the forces arrayed against them, a handful still managed to escape back into orbit, carrying with them word of the rebellion.

Dorn and his legions prepared to leave Istvaan, but before they departed the two brothers met one last time. Guilliman offered the renegade legions asylum within Ultramar Segmentum. Dorn thanked him for the offer, but said that he had to return to Terra to explain his actions to The Emperor. Dorn warned that those manipulating their father were experts in the arts of twisting the truth, and the same people who had whispered falsehoods against the Ultramarines would doubtless begin to spread their black propaganda against Dorn and his comrades in the months to come. Whatever news might reach them, Dorn urged Guilliman to remember their friendship, and to trust in him.

With that, Guilliman bade them farewell and good luck. As much as he desired to return to Terra and help free his father from the malign forces that surrounded Him, Ultramar was still under attack from two full legions of Astartes. Every marine, indeed, every citizen of Ultramar Segmentum would be needed to defeat them.

Fortress Ultramar
U
ltramar mobilised to defend itself, with travel, trade and communication cut off with the Imperium. What news did leak in told of all-out civil war, and as Dorn had predicted, his forces were portrayed in lurid terms. They were accused of having perpetrated acts of gross excess, torture and genocide. There were even fanciful stories of sorcery, magicks and daemons, which only reinforced their belief of the desperation of Dorn's enemies.

Within their own borders, the fleets of the Word Bearers headed arrow-straight for the heart of Ultramar Segmentum. Thanks to Dorn’s warning, the Ultramarines were able to assemble sufficient forces to intercept their ships before they reached Macragge. Denied their primary target, Lorgar’s fleet turned its fire on any planet they could find. They seeded Calth's star with arcane minerals that quenched its celestial fire and plunged the planet into eternal, icy night. Quintarn fared little better. With the zealots’ threat of exterminatus hanging over them, the entire population were forced to pluck out their eyes. Even to this day, Quintarn is known as the ‘World of the Blind’. What Lorgar’s legion lacked in tactics it more than made up for with religious fury and a fanatical determination never to give up, whatever the cost. They did horrendous damage, and the Ultramarines had to expend great effort simply to prevent the Word Bearers from massacring entire civilian populations.

The Alpha Legion’s approach to warfare was radically different, yet just as deadly. Where Lorgar’s assault was a battering ram, destroying all in its path, Alpharius was a debilitating poison that spread insidiously through Ultramar Segmentum. The enemy were seemingly everywhere, disrupting the command structures of each world they touched through assassination, disinformation, terrorism and sabotage. Worse, they were like ghosts: working through networks of human agents and maddeningly difficult to bring to the field of battle. In any realm other than Ultramar such an approach would have caused widespread paralysis and thrown every world into selfish isolationism, but Guilliman’s organisational teachings saw them weather the worst of the storm.

Eventually, Guilliman ran Alpharius to ground on the world of Eskrador. To throw his brother Primarch off-balance, Guilliman forewent his usual tactical caution and instead attempted to beat Alpharius at his own game. Taking the enemy by surprise, Guilliman’s force hit them from multiple directions at once, overwhelming them and cutting off all chance of escape. With no other option, the cornered Alpha Legion had no choice but to engage in a conventional battle, and though they fought fiercely, they could not stand against the Ultramarines.

After a duel that seemed to last for hours, Roboute Guilliman finally executed Alpharius for his crimes at the foot of the Amanthi cliffs. Rather than being a catharsis, Eskrador proved to be a pyrrhic victory for the Ultramarines. Many great heroes of Ultramar, such as Captain Orar and Lord Kharta, Regent of Talassar, died to achieve it, yet the loss of their primarch did not stop, or even significantly slow the insurrectionist cancer the Alpha Legion had spread throughout the Segmentum.

Better news came when the Word Bearers broke off their attacks on Ultramar’s core worlds and set course back towards the Imperium. It seemed that the zealot's will to fight had been broken. In time it became clear that this had been sparked by the death of The Emperor, although it seemed that Dorn and his side of the civil war had also been defeated. Despite all that had happened, Guilliman still grieved for his father, but he knew that this was merely a pause in the larger conflict. Wounded and bleeding though the Imperium was, it was only a matter of time before their vengeful gaze turned back towards them. War production was redoubled, and a metaphorical “Curtain of Steel” was thrown around the Ultramar Segmentum.

The Librarium
Coordination of a realm as large as Ultramar Segmentum is a monumental task, but it is one to which the rigidly organised sons of Guilliman are equal, and none are more vital to this than those of the Chapter’s Librarium. With no access to the ‘soul-binding’ ritual required to produce astropaths, only the powerful Astartes psykers of the Librarium have the ability and resilience to the Warp to communicate across the length and breadth of the Segmentum.

Strong psykers are particularly valued in Ultramar, and the danger of ‘wild’ or even weak psykers is well known. Most are weeded out, but some still lurk on the fringes of society. It is the responsibility of the Librarians to sniff out the spoor of these misguided fools, as whole cities have been lost to daemonic incursion because of the unguarded mind of a single rogue psyker.
For decades the only contact they had with Imperial forces was in the form of the insidious insurrections and guerrilla actions inspired by the Alpha Legion, and some dared to hope that they would be left largely in peace. Guilliman, though, remained adamant that they must stay vigilant. He was proven right when the hammer-blow came in the form of massed Imperial crusades. Through meticulous planning, skill and bravery they turned aside every attack. The death-toll was horrendous, with whole planetary populations lost in the fighting, but Ultramar, as ever, endured.

Seeing the rise in corruption and ineffectiveness of the Imperium after The Emperor’s death, Guilliman refined and codified his thoughts in his organisational masterpiece, the Codex Ultramar. As well as laying down how civilian authorities should be structured, it also decreed that his own legion would have to be sub-divided into more self-sufficient units to cover the vast areas of space under their protection. The Grand Companies were reorganised and renamed as ‘Chapters’ of the wider Ultramarines Legion, with Chapter Masters given far greater autonomy. In this way, Guilliman created a structure that was tied closely to the worlds they protected, but was still able to call upon the rest of Ultramar when faced with overwhelming threats like Imperial crusades.

This was put to the test when they came under attack from hideously perverted forms of marines bearing the insignia of the legions they had fought alongside at Istvaan. It was accompanied by an explosion in the number of bizarre, brutal cults within their borders. Although this was initially attributed to a new ploy by the Alpha Legion, it soon became clear that it was something far more dangerous, as the full, hideous nature of the Warp was belatedly uncovered by the Legion’s Librarians. As though the reality of daemonic possession, the existence of the Ruinous Powers and their ability to corrupt even Astartes was not shocking enough, it also brought the sickening realisation of how Dorn had manipulated them, and their view of the civil war. It became horribly clear that the fanciful tales from beyond the Imperial borders – tales that had been dismissed as nothing more than black propaganda - contained a bitter kernel of truth.

The realisation of how he had been used by Rogal Dorn was devastating for Guilliman. Dorn had played expertly on Ultramar's isolation from Terra and the misunderstanding with the Administratum for his own ends. Guilliman's trust in his brother had been used to make him complicit in the destruction of three loyal legions at Istvaan, and pushed him into choosing the wrong side of the uprising against The Emperor. The blood of his father was on Guilliman’s hands, and this realisation threw him into a bout of black depression and anguished self-reflection. This development concerned his men deeply, and when he emerged from isolation, he made two announcements. The first was the aching certainty that history had repeated itself. It had always been thought that Konor’s death had been accidental, but in light of Dorn’s plot to isolate Guilliman in his attempt to kill The Emperor and snatch power, Gallan’s actions became far clearer. From sending him far away to Illyrium, to the speed with which he took control, it became obvious that the man who had adopted him had also been murdered. Under the glare of scrutiny Guilliman’s assertions were rapidly proved correct and the name of Gallan and his line were cursed across the whole of Ultramar.

Guilliman’s second announcement was even more shocking. They must heal the rift between Ultramar Segmentum and the Imperium. Despite all the blood that had been spilled, they must reunite to overthrow Chaos, the Great Deceiver. Much to the consternation of his lieutenants, Guilliman opened up a détente with those who ruled in the Emperor’s stead, and the world of Prandium was chosen as the place for what should have been a historic meeting.

Instead, it was the site of a cowardly ambush under the flag of truce, and the last, best hope for peace between the realms was squandered. The Imperial delegation lulled them with warm words, and discussions between the two sides appeared to be progressing well, until the massed ranks of Imperial Astartes tore into their Ultramarine hosts without mercy. Guilliman was the target of their ire. In his final report as head of the primarch’s Honour Guard, Kaisus described cutting through the press of bodies, only to see Fulgrim of the Emperor’s Children strike his Lord Guilliman down from behind. The two were then obscured in a cloud of acrid fyceline smoke, and when it had cleared, both were gone.

They had both been whisked away into orbit, and though the Ultramarines hounded the Imperial fleets all the way back to the border and beyond, they could not rescue their primarch. Only later did they find out the awful truth, that the Imperial forces had trapped Guilliman in a stasis field a moment from death as a special torture, and that he had been brought to Terra as some grisly spoil of war.

This atrocity destroyed forever any chance of reconciliation between the realms. It was clear that the Imperium could never be trusted, and that it would not rest until every last Ultramar world and citizen was enslaved. From what they could glean from their covert agents and from refugees who fled across the border, the Imperium was trapped in a downward spiral of superstition, corruption, inefficiency and brutality. Without the Master of Mankind, the Imperium was slowly dying, but like any badly wounded beast it could still be lethal in its death throes.

Ultramar Ascendant
Ultramarine Successor Chapters
The concept of successor chapters was born out of Guilliman's early years on Macragge. After he had proved himself, he was sent out into the wilderlands and given the chance to carve out a domain of his own. The same opportunity has been given to Ultramarine heroes down the millennia, and hundreds of new 'Chapters' have been founded, split off from the greater legion and sent out to garrison the wild border areas of Ultramar Segmentum. The marines that strike out on their own do so for a variety of reasons. Some, such as the Sons of Guilliman and White Consuls, were founded by marines eager to challenge themselves, and to emulate Guilliman. Others, such as the death-cult worshipping Mortifactors did so to gain greater autonomy and acceptance of their views. Though these successors wear different heraldry and battle-colours from the Ultramarines, and may deviate, sometimes wildly, from the norms of Guilliman's great Codex, all are unified in their support for the ideals of Ultramar Segmentum.
B
eyond retaking worlds conquered by Imperial crusades and building up defences against the next assault, there was a wide consensus that the borders of Ultramar Segmentum should expand. The task of wresting systems from the dead hand of Imperial misrule was given primarily to newly founded successor chapters, who, like their primarch before them, carved out new territory to prove their prowess. Although the borders of Ultramar Segmentum have waxed and waned over the millennia, these aggressive young Chapters have been the cause of a gradual expansion of the realm.

Though it is but a fraction of the Imperium's size, Ultramar Segmentum continues to be ordered, productive and efficient, which enables it to support its vast military. It is also enlightened, tolerant and cultured, a far cry from the bigotry and closed-minded repression of the Imperium. This is why refugees take such risks to reach it, and the reason that populations fight so hard against being taken back into the corrupt and brutal Imperial fold.

There have also been many calls down the millennia for Ultramar to undertake a crusade of its own. Not just to liberate border worlds, but to mount a strike deep into the rotten heart of the Imperium and stop the attacks once and for all. This is also motivated from a burning desire to storm the gates of Terra and finally reclaim the body of Guilliman from his stasis prison. They passionately call for his release, allowing him either to die with dignity, or to be healed, so that he might lead the reunification of the whole of humanity into a new era of enlightenment.

The last of these calls came just over two centuries ago in 740.M41. A large number of new successor chapters had just been founded, and the Lord of Macragge, Marneus Calgar, seemed set to decree just such a crusade to rescue their Primarch. This bold plan, though, was derailed by the arrival of the Tyranid Hive-mind from beyond the galactic fringe. These implacable aliens devoured everything in their path, stripping whole worlds to the bedrock in their hunger. This first hive-fleet, designated ‘Behemoth’, was only stopped by a Segmentum-wide deployment of forces, and the sacrifice of the bulk of the Calth Battle-Fleet. Despite this, the Tyranids succeeded where the Imperium had failed so many times, by landing forces upon the surface of Macragge. Enemies and allies alike took advantage of the devastation, with Orks, the Imperium and even the previously friendly Tau encroaching into Ultramar space.

This stopped calls for an attack on Terra in their tracks, and for a short while after the Realm of Ultramar contracted. These events were shrilly proclaimed as being ‘judgements of The Emperor’ by the Imperium’s Ecclesiarchy, and these calls rose to fever pitch in the last decade with the emergence of a second Tyranid Hive-Fleet, code-named ‘Kraken’.

But Ultramar Segmentum does as it always does: It endures. Strengthened by the lessons learned in the struggle against the Tyranids, and infused by technology gleaned from their wars with the Tau, they will rise again, all the stronger for their trials.

Gene-Seed
A
s befits the legacy of Roboute Guilliman, each of the nineteen gene-seed implants operate at the same outstanding level of efficiency they did when they were first created. Untouched by the corrupting nature of the Ruinous Powers, and free of the superstitious ritual of the Adeptus Mechanicus, their gene-seed is undoubtedly the purest of all the Legionnes Astartes. Their optimised methods of implant culturing and aspirant selection minimises rejection, and ensures that the Ultramarines can replace losses and produce new marines at an astonishing rate.

To ensure that the high quality of Ultramarine gene-seed is maintained, each of the legion’s chapters regularly tithe samples to a facility deep beneath Macragge’s Northern Polar Defence Fortress. There it is tested for any sign of deviation or genetic drift, catalogued and stored. This process has been invaluable in replenishing the gene-stocks of chapters that have suffered catastrophic losses, and during the founding of new successor chapters to expand the borders of Ultramar Segmentum.

Homeworlds
The Macragge Gene-Seed Repository
Macragge's northern polar defence fortress was the site of the bloodiest battle in the planet's history. At the height of Hive Fleet Behemoth's attack upon the planet, countless millions of Tyranid organisms were scattered like seeds across the land. Seemingly endless swarms converged upon the northern polar fortress, and deep below it the Legion's gene-seed repository, but it was a location that the Ultramarines could never allow to fall. Though the first, third and seventh companies of the Macragge Chapter died to a man in its defence, their sacrifice had not been in vain. It bought enough time for the rest of the planet to mobilise and exterminate the xenos invaders.

Not only did they save the genetic legacy of the Ultramarines, they prevented the horror that would have ensued if the Hive Mind had been able to feed on such a rich store of biological information. Recognising the vulnerability of relying on a single site, the Ultramarines have since constructed further gene-seed repositories. Needless to say, the number and locations of these sites are among the most closely guarded secrets in the Segmentum.
U
ltramar Segmentum spans a vast swathe of the galactic east, and with each passing year it encroaches ever-further into the crumbling Imperium. Along with the technological benefits that membership of Ultramar brings, the legion also imports its culture and values and weaves them seamlessly into that of the original society. This means that while Ultramar Segmentum encompasses a vast array of different cultures, from the savage head-hunters of New Posul to the aeronauts in the floating cities of Doromus Minor, each one is tied, with great affection, back to Macragge.

As befits the world where their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, fell to earth as an infant, Macragge remains the heart of Ultramar Segmentum. The First Chapter’s Fortress-Monastery still dominates the northlands of Illyrium, and from there the chapter master rules with beneficence. Like every world in their culture, Macragge is home to a great many military academies, and through the halls of these hallowed institutions have passed countless generations of Astartes and Segmentum guardsmen. The most venerated academy is the Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City, where Guilliman himself was trained.

While Macragge houses the first and greatest of the Ultramarine chapters, many other planets such as Orpheus and Ulixis have the honour of hosting one from the original legion, or one of their many successors. Of the core Ultramar worlds, the frozen planet of Calth and the shrine-world of Prandium, where Guilliman fell in battle, have both housed chapter monasteries. Over the millennia, Calth has grown into an orbital shipyard second only to the Segmentum Navy dockyards in Kar Dunaish. After Hive Fleet Behemoth came so close to devouring Macragge, a successor chapter, the Lamenters, was founded on Prandium. Sadly, both they, and another successor, the Scythes of Guilliman set to guard the outer rim, were completely destroyed in the Second Tyrannic War against Hive Fleet Kraken.

Despite now being deep inside the borders of Ultramar Segmentum, Istvaan V has continued to be a frequent target for Imperial attacks. Though it has become a veritable fortress-world, it still holds a special attraction for forces headed by the Emperor’s Children and World Eaters. Sadly, they seem unable to grasp that the Ultramarines were as much victims of Dorn’s Great Betrayal as they were.

Since the schism that tore humanity apart, the worlds along the border with the Imperium have been ringed with defence platforms and are under constant patrol by fleets of warships. It has been called a ‘Curtain of Steel’, and is certainly a formidable barrier, yet despite the Ultramar Navy’s best efforts, raider forces still slip past them to prey upon the more settled worlds beyond. There are even wars within the Segmentum’s borders, from skirmishes against the Tau beyond the Damocles Gulf and the omnipresent threat of Ork infestations to the insidious rabble-rousing of the Alpha Legion and the minions of Chaos. Every Ultramarine and every successor know all-too well the threats that face the Segmentum, but with courage and honour, they will endure.

Combat Doctrine
T
he master of organisation and strategy, Roboute Guilliman laid down the blueprints for these teachings in his ‘Codex Ultramar’. It is a comprehensive tome covering not just military and Astartes organisation, but also vital civilian aspects of governance and trade. The Codex emphasises a balanced, combined-arms approach to warfare, but is also flexible enough to recognise that there are times, such as when Guilliman defeated Alpharius, when a more extreme approach is required. He encouraged additions by later commanders to allow for the arrival of new enemies or developments in things such as tactics or weaponry.

Each of the legion’s chapters and successors has their own copy of the Codex, each with different changes and additions to reflect their own circumstances and experiences. The original, unamended version, written in Guilliman’s own hand, is stored in the deepest vaults of the Fortress-Monastery on Macragge, and is, like its author, preserved in temporal stasis. This incalculably valuable relic is retrieved only for the inauguration of a new chapter master. By placing his right hand on the fragile book, he signifies his intention to rule by his Primarch’s tenets and wishes.

The most important examples of changes to the Macragge Chapter’s annotated Codex in the last millennia are those concerning the best uses of heavy rail-gun technology, and the extensive tactics built up to combat the extra-galactic menace of the Tyranids. Before any additions to the Codex are allowed by the Chapter’s Librarians, the prospective author must be able to recite, and show a thorough understanding of, Guilliman’s original text. In this way their Primarch’s philosophy and intentions for the Codex have been protected down the millennia.

Organisation
T
he vast scale of Ultramar Segmentum necessitated that Guilliman break his legion into far more autonomous units. Instead of the Grand Companies, the Chapters of the Ultramarines were created, with ten companies each of a hundred brothers. Each chapter was given stewardship over an area of space, and charged with ensuring its good governance and defence. New recruits come from amongst the local population to closer bind their fates together. Drawn from the most promising youths, usually from the military academies modelled upon the Macragge tradition, these potentials are sent to the tenth, or Scout company, where they are rigorously trained, tested and implanted with the organs necessary to forge them into full Astartes battle-brothers. From there they pass into one of the four reserve companies, where they are trained in the arts of war for every role from piloting a vehicle, providing heavy weapon support as a devastator, in close combat with bolt pistol and chainsword, or - the backbone of the chapter - in the bolter-armed tactical squads.

The second to fifth companies are the main front-line fighting strength of the chapter. In line with the balanced approach laid down in the Codex, the ideal is for each of these battle companies to contain six tactical squads, supported by two devastator squads and two assault squads. The Chapter’s first company is composed of the veterans. Clad either in Tactical Dreadnought armour or power armour, these marines are tasked with the most deadly missions, and by their example inspire all those around them to great feats of heroism. Although a Chapter of the Ultramarines is composed of only a nominal thousand Astartes warriors, these are only the tip of the spear. The chapter master is in effect the military governor of every world under his domain, and so also commands every Ultramar guardsman, Navy ship and auxilia, and when the Ultramarines go to war, so too do they.

Beliefs
A
bove all things the legion venerates Guilliman and his teachings, and the realm of Ultramar Segmentum that they have created together. They believe that it is their manifest destiny to extend the boundaries of Ultramar Segmentum so that one day it will encompass all the worlds of humanity. The misguided, corrupt Imperium will inevitably fall and they will subsume it, be it by slow expansion or a single strike against Terra to topple the regime once and for all.

They see The Emperor as one of the greatest men who ever lived, and the father of their Primarch. However, despite the proclamations of the Ecclesiarchy, they know that The Emperor is long dead, and have no respect for the incompetent thugs that rule in His name. For all of this, their attitude towards the Imperium is one of distaste and pity rather than hatred. Their true loathing is reserved for the servants of the Chaos Gods, and especially the Traitor Astartes, who have given up all semblance of humanity. Only once they have the full resources of mankind, though, will they finally be able to extinguish the Ruinous Powers from the galaxy.

Battlecry
E
ach chapter and successor is free to choose their own battlecry, although "For Guilliman, and the greater glory of Ultramar!" is favoured by the Macragge chapter of the Ultramarines.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 12 June 2009 - 08:21 PM.

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#2
Sigismund Himself

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It was clear that Guilliman's gifts for the practice and organisation of warfare would be of great use in battling Macragge's enemies, both on and off the planet. A series of unbroken victories culminated with the destruction of the pirate fleets that had plagued the space-lanes between Macragge and the nearby systems with which it had remained in contact.

I think there could be something more to link the sentences, like "...be of great use in battling Macragge's enemies, both on and off the planet. This was proved correct, as Guilliman lead the forces of Macragge to
a series of unbroken victories... etc"

Also, perhaps later you should mention why the northern barbarians weren't attacked as a part of this. Like they were the opposite side of the planet and the problem was only noticed when they started attacking some of the places Macragge had conquered.

Within a decade the barren wastes of Illyrium were home to industries and military forces that put those of the rest of Macragge in the shade.

I think the expression is perhaps a little too informal.

...which he renamed the Ultramarines after the deep blue seas of Macragge...

I'm not sure it's worth trying to justify the silly name :sweat:

War production was redoubled, and a metaphorical “Curtain of Steel” was thrown around Ultramar.

Something's bothering me here, but I'm not sure what...

Sidebar: The Librarium. The second paragraph isn't really as relevant as the first one and sort of detracts from the sidebar overall, IMO.

Sidebar: Ultramarine Successor Chapters- You mention the "Codex Astartes" here, while before you mentioned "Codex Ultramar".


Though it is but a fraction of the Imperium's size, Ultramar Segmentum continues to be ordered, productive and efficient, and well able to support its vast military.

Not sure on use of 'well able' here. A better phrase could be found, I think.

Also needs a paragraph break before this paragraph (1st and 2nd paras, Ultramar Ascendent section).

The most venerated academy is the Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City, where Guilliman himself learned his duty.

Not sure duty is the most appropriate word. Anyway, should probably be duties.

The master of organisation and strategy, Roboute Guilliman laid down the blueprints for these teachings in his ‘Codex Ultramar’.

Comma after Guilliman?

Looks excellent apart from that :pinch:

#3
Aurelius Rex

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I think there could be something more to link the sentences, like "...be of great use in battling Macragge's enemies, both on and off the planet. This was proved correct, as Guilliman lead the forces of Macragge to
a series of unbroken victories... etc"

Consider it stolen. :)
+++Edit: Replaced by 'Proving that their faith in him was not misplaced, Guilliman delivered an unbroken series of military victories. This culminated with the complete destruction of the pirate fleets that had long-plagued the space-lanes between Macragge and the nearby systems with which it had remained in contact.' +++

Also, perhaps later you should mention why the northern barbarians weren't attacked as a part of this. Like they were the opposite side of the planet and the problem was only noticed when they started attacking some of the places Macragge had conquered.

It follows the norm-'verse history to an extent... The way I read it the northland tribes weren't causing any active problems for the consuls, so weren't high on any hit list. They had never been conquered up until then, certainly because they put up a strong resistance, but perhaps it was also too much trouble for too little reward, as they had nothing the Consuls really wanted, I suppose. The crux is that Gallan sent Roboute there because he wanted him out of the way, and also because he hoped that he would fail and be killed. The Norm-Gallan actively bribed the tribes to attack Guilliman. I have not mentioned it here as I wanted Gallan's treachery to not be clear until way after the event, but he probably still did it, and was just not found out.

As to changes, I will see if there is some way to briefly sum this up without it being clumsy and breaking the flow, but it might just be better to leave it. ;)

I think the expression is perhaps a little too informal.

Hmm... Under consideration. I don't think it is too bad, personally, but I certainly take your point. I will try to think of a better phrase.

I'm not sure it's worth trying to justify the silly name

It isn't as silly as 'Space Wolves'! Honestly! Sounds like something from the 1950's, where they put space before the name to make it sound futuristic. Space Marines is not quite as bad, but you may have noticed I have preferred to use the term 'Marine', 'Astartes' or anything but 'Space Marine' if I can. :wub:

I thought a line to explain it was worthwhile, though. The seas of Macragge were described something like this IIRC, so it wasn't too much of a stretch that he would want a touchstone back to his home planet when they are battling far away from it.

War production was redoubled, and a metaphorical “Curtain of Steel” was thrown around Ultramar.


Something's bothering me here, but I'm not sure what...

It was originally a 'Curtain of Iron', but Phil had rightly suggested that it was too obvious a steal from the real-world 'Iron Curtain'. Not sure if many on the board would even remember / pick up on that reference, even... It was something I wanted to allude to, but not make too jarring. It was the same reason I decided to not make a reference to the Ultramarines wanting to eventually declare a 'War on Terra' to topple the corrupt Imperium. :lol:

Sidebar: The Librarium. The second paragraph isn't really as relevant as the first one and sort of detracts from the sidebar overall, IMO.

I would defend the second paragraph staying in on the basis that it is something I had been pondering... If Ultramar is cut off it loses a lot in terms of psychic resources from the Emperor, but it is also more 'enlightened' and rational. The first paragraph shows how they get round having no astropaths for communication. The second touches on the idea that the society in general recognises rationally the danger of wild psychic abilities and values strong psychics for what they contribute to their society - rather than the religious (suffer not the witch to live!) mania of the Imperium. The reason I wanted to include it here was because it was a nice nugget of information that didn't fit elsewhere, and was linked in here by the role of Librarians as the bloodhounds tracking the rogues, and supported by the right-minded members of wider society rather than by a torch and pitchfork wielding mob. :lol:

Sidebar: Ultramarine Successor Chapters- You mention the "Codex Astartes" here, while before you mentioned "Codex Ultramar".

D'oh! Good catch, Matt! :) old habits, eh? I think the other references are correct... they mainly refer to it as the 'Codex' anyway. :)
+++ Edit: Because it mentions Ultramar Segmentum a few words later, I have decided it would be better just to call it Guilliman's great Codex' here instead to avoid the replication. +++

Not sure on use of 'well able' here. A better phrase could be found, I think.

Sure. I will think through a better wording.
Edit: Replaced with 'Though it is but a fraction of the Imperium's size, Ultramar Segmentum continues to be ordered, productive and efficient, which enables it to support its vast military.'

Also needs a paragraph break before this paragraph (1st and 2nd paras, Ultramar Ascendent section).

Thanks. I thought I caught all the formatting problems transferring this from the three column word document style to the posting form. This one slipped past me.

Not sure duty is the most appropriate word. Anyway, should probably be duties.

I take your point, but it was supposed to be duty in the poetic form of his duty to society or to himself. There is a part of the Boy Scout law 'I promise to do my duty to God and to the Queen' which was the form I meant. I shall review it to see if it could be clarified, though.
+++ Edit: Replaced with 'The most venerated academy is the Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City, where Guilliman himself was trained.' +++

The master of organisation and strategy, Roboute Guilliman laid down the blueprints for these teachings in his ‘Codex Ultramar’.

Comma after Guilliman?

I take your point, but I don't think it is in that kind of context.


Thanks for that feedback, Matt, it was just what I needed. :tu: Give me a while to make the changes on the Word article and here as well.

By the way, if this is published imminently, and then Phil posts the White Scars IA about a month or so later, would that give you enough time to work on the Alpha Legion IA ready for, say, some time in September?


+++ Additionally I found a second place that needed a paragraph space, and replaced 'most bloody' with 'bloodiest' in the gene-seed repository sidebar. +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 06 June 2009 - 03:44 PM.

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#4
Sigismund Himself

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It follows the norm-'verse history to an extent... The way I read it the northland tribes weren't causing any active problems for the consuls, so weren't high on any hit list. They had never been conquered up until then, certainly because they put up a strong resistance, but perhaps it was also too much trouble for too little reward, as they had nothing the Consuls really wanted, I suppose. The crux is that Gallan sent Roboute there because he wanted him out of the way, and also because he hoped that he would fail and be killed. The Norm-Gallan actively bribed the tribes to attack Guilliman. I have not mentioned it here as I wanted Gallan's treachery to not be clear until way after the event, but he probably still did it, and was just not found out.

I can't remember the 'norm verse IA, so I wasn't sure about the connection.

It isn't as silly as 'Space Wolves'! Honestly! Sounds like something from the 1950's, where they put space before the name to make it sound futuristic. Space Marines is not quite as bad, but you may have noticed I have preferred to use the term 'Marine', 'Astartes' or anything but 'Space Marine' if I can. :)

I thought a line to explain it was worthwhile, though. The seas of Macragge were described something like this IIRC, so it wasn't too much of a stretch that he would want a touchstone back to his home planet when they are battling far away from it.

Space Wolves makes sense. What are they? Wolves in space. Ultramarines? Named after the colour of the sea? Tis a little wierd ;) But it's alright, I was just a little

It was originally a 'Curtain of Iron', but Phil had rightly suggested that it was too obvious a steal from the real-world 'Iron Curtain'. Not sure if many on the board would even remember / pick up on that reference, even... It was something I wanted to allude to, but not make too jarring. It was the same reason I decided to not make a reference to the Ultramarines wanting to eventually declare a 'War on Terra' to topple the corrupt Imperium. :)

I got the reference and I was born in the nineties :) It was just something about the sentence.

You must include the War on Terra somewhere :lol:

The second touches on the idea that the society in general recognises rationally the danger of wild psychic abilities and values strong psychics for what they contribute to their society - rather than the religious (suffer not the witch to live!) mania of the Imperium. The reason I wanted to include it here was because it was a nice nugget of information that didn't fit elsewhere, and was linked in here by the role of Librarians as the bloodhounds tracking the rogues, and supported by the right-minded members of wider society rather than by a torch and pitchfork wielding mob. :lol:

I'm not sure you get this point really strongly enough. Maybe it's just me though.

Comma after Guilliman?

I take your point, but I don't think it is in that kind of context.

I've never been on top of my commas, so I wasn't sure.

By the way, if this is published imminently, and then Phil posts the White Scars IA about a month or so later, would that give you enough time to work on the Alpha Legion IA ready for, say, some time in September?

It should do.

#5
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Sorry, last couple of days have been a bit hectic with moving all my stuff from York to Ripley (Uni to home). Can I make a request for the Word version of this please? I could copy and paste it across, but I like your fancy versions better :)

If this looks OK, I was planning to post this on the board. After that ideally it would be the third 'Ultramar themed' legion, (after the WB and UM) the Alpha Legion, but I don't know if that will give Sigismund Himself time to complete it... So how about a month or so later you unleash the White Scars, Phil?

That works for me, gives me a month or so to hammer out the siderbars and little details.

#6
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E-mailed feedback. I have been really picky, commenting on things I would normally miss just because they were only half-thoughts. :P

#7
Aurelius Rex

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Printing off now, Phil.

27 different comments? Whoah! That is more than the first time round! I thought the number was supposed to go down as it progresses. :P I may have a busy night ahead of me. :D
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#8
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Nah, most of them are nothings really, just thought I would be a real arse about it and pick out everything that wasn't perfect :tu:

#9
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27? I thought I was being picky with my 7 comments...

#10
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Manipulated and betrayed first by the Traitor Legions, and then by the Imperium, the Ultramarines now stand defiantly against both great powers. From their fortified realm of Ultramar Segmentum, the legion and its successor chapters patiently gather their strength for the day they will invade Terra to tear down and replace the corrupt, inefficient edifice that is the Imperium.


The Ultramar Segmentum, surely. Difference between United States and The United States (sort of). Alternately, take out Segmentum.

Author
Aurelius Rex is a board veteran, quiz master, Arena of Death Overlord and former moderator of the Liber Astartes section. The Alternate universe 'Dornian Heresy' posits a history where events turned out just a little different, and this is the third of the Index Astartes articles about how each of the Legions was affected. For more information on the Dornian Heresy, you should read through the Overview Article here. first.


The extra period after 'here' bugs me inordinately.

infant, Konor did as he had been instructed. He named the boy Roboute, or ‘The Great One’, and raised him as his own son.


Actually, the Gothic for "Great One" is "Gretzky". Little known fact about the Imperium.

As befitting the son of a Consul, Roboute Guilliman was intensively tutored, and rapidly absorbed every scrap of knowledge on offer, before taking his place at the prestigious Agiselus Barracks in Macragge City. There he was trained in the military arts, and in short order outstripped his fellow students and even his instructors. With nothing left to learn, he graduated, and re-took his place alongside Konor. It was clear that Guilliman's gifts for the practice and organisation of warfare would be of great use in battling Macragge's enemies, both on and off the planet. Proving that their faith in him was not misplaced, Guilliman delivered an unbroken series of military victories. This culminated with the complete destruction of the pirate fleets that had long-plagued the space-lanes between Macragge and the nearby systems with which it had remained in contact.


I must say, you've absolutely mastered the over-the-top arrogance key to a good Ultramarine IA. Well-done. ;)

This gave Guilliman free reign


The phrase is "free rein".

to put his own vision into effect. Within a decade the barren wastes of Illyrium were home to industries and military forces that put those of the rest of Macragge in the shade.


"in the shade" feels rather awkward to me. "to shame" was what I was expecting, and it was a little jarring not to encounter it. That, and it's just an awkward use of the phrase generally.

Roboute Guilliman set his legion, which he renamed the Ultramarines after the deep blue seas of Macragge, to work reclaiming lost human worlds for The Emperor.


The Ultramarines were named such because they are Ultra. Don't fight this. Embrace it.

They went to great lengths to avoid unnecessary civilian bloodshed, even at the risk of sustaining greater casualties themselves.


"They" should be "The Ultramarines" - you were also talking about the planets (more recently than the Ultramarines, in one sense) and confusion could easily result.

This, along with the way they repaired and improved each newly compliant world’s infrastructure, meant that the Ultramarines were able to rapidly win the peace, as well as the war.


Again, an awkward phrase jars one out of the article. "win the peace" is too modern and too informal a phrase to fit well with the Imperium.

Being so remote from Terra, the Ultramarine expeditions rapidly brought huge swathes of the Eastern Fringe into compliance, far away from other Imperial expeditions.


Because they were a long way away they conquered more? That...really doesn't make much sense. I think you need to be a little clearer about what you mean here.

The worlds under their control became closely knit, with an identity as much to do with the Ultramarines as the Imperium. With each world that joined them, these Ultramar planets grew in military, economic and cultural strength.


Ultramar's not a good adjective. Also, both sentences are somewhat awkwardly written. Could easily change the first bit to "identity as much Ultramarine as Imperial." which I think'd help. Rewording the second sentence also seems advisable.

Administratum had been stoked up and manipulated to the point where their father had become convinced that Guilliman was on the brink of seceding from the Imperium.


"stoked up"? No.

Just 'manipulated' or 'stoked and twisted' would seem better, IMO.

The situation had spiralled out of control, and in a fit of rage, The Emperor had commanded that a vast battle fleet be assembled to tear down Ultramar Segmentum.


Again, The Ultramar Segmentum. The whole meaning of Segmentum is, well, Segment. You're naming a particular segment, and that segment would be "the [whatever] segment".

Honestly, calling the whole thing just "Ultramar" would seem more appropriate.

Ultramar mobilised to defend itself, with travel, trade and communication cut off with the wider Imperium. What news did leak in told of all-out civil war, and as Dorn had predicted, his forces were portrayed in lurid terms, and that they had perpetrated acts of gross excess, torture and genocide. There were even fanciful, lurid stories of sorcery, magicks and daemons, which only reinforced their belief of the desperation of Dorn's enemies.


Too much 'lurid' in too short a time. Try another word. Variety is good.

Quintarn fared little better, and by the time the zealots finally left it had become known as ‘the World of the Blind’.


If you change it to "it had become the eyeless 'World of the Blind'." it'd explain a tiny bit why it was known as such. Makes this IA less dependent on others.

Alternately "Quintarn fared little better, threats from the Word Bearers driving the population to pluck out their eyes in an attempt to turn the zealots' wrath."

Eventually, Guilliman ran Alpharius to ground on the world of Eskrador. To throw his brother Primarch off-balance, Guilliman forewent his usual tactical caution and instead attempted to beat Alpharius at his own game. Taking the enemy by surprise, Guilliman’s force hit them from multiple directions at once, overwhelming them and cutting off all chance of escape. With no other option, the cornered Alpha Legion had no choice but to engage in a conventional battle, and though they fought fiercely, they could not stand against the Ultramarines.


This...rings false. Whole point of the Alpha Legion is to leave themselves an out and other options. Suddenly, Guilliman is better at that then they are. Surprising them, maybe. Surrounding and annihilating them beggars belief. I mean, hell, the Alpha Legion would logically have been spread out - that's what they do.

The most important examples of changes to the Macragge Chapter’s annotated Codex in the last millennia are those concerning the best uses of heavy rail-gun technology,


You really need to explain how they'd get technology and the understanding thereof away from the Adeptus Mechanicus. The cogboys are more than a little jealous about such stuff. Plus, what happened to hating the alien?

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#11
Aurelius Rex

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Thanks for the feedback, Oct. What is your given name, by the way?

Between yours and Phil's comments I seem to be rewriting - or at least rewording - major sections of the article. (Holds fist up to the sky) Curse youuuuu! :lol: It is in the word document at the moment - I will edit the post here when that is done.

It is certainly highlighting the sections that need strengthening, or in some cases removing sentences. Yay, lowering the word count. Lots of word replications being luridly eliminated - you both caught that one I think. :)

I take it that Gretzky is a megastar in one of the many sports that no one plays outside the US. :D But then I can't be bothered with the overpaid numpties that play cricket or football either.

I have included a note to make it clearer that Ultramar Segmentum was a play on Ultima Segmentum, the place that is the home of the Ultramarines. 'There were even calls from some planets on the Eastern Fringe to rename Ultima Segmentum as Ultramar Segmentum.' Was this obvious before? That is not to say of course that the Ultras have taken all of Ultima seg space - I didn't want to fix any boundaries and they would move anyway. After the Heresy what is ruled by them is called Ultramar Segmentum wherever it is. Dunno, but having the 'the' at the start doesn't always feel right, somehow.

About Eskrador:

This...rings false. Whole point of the Alpha Legion is to leave themselves an out and other options. Suddenly, Guilliman is better at that then they are. Surprising them, maybe. Surrounding and annihilating them beggars belief. I mean, hell, the Alpha Legion would logically have been spread out - that's what they do.

The loyalist side of the story (or part of it) has been told in the Word Bearers Alt-IA. It was supposed to be a trap baited with something big to get Guilliman to leave Macragge loosely defended so the Word Bearers could invade. That went pear shaped when they got the news that The Emperor was 'dead', but even in this UM-skewed version of events the boys in blue admit to getting a maulling. The AL IA should reveal something more, like that the person he thought was Alpharius wasn't really him, or something similarly sneaky.

As to its believability, it is in part a twisted mirror of the events of the Norm-'verse Eskrador, where Guilliman 'slew' Alpharius in a similar fashion. Personally I think this Alt-turn of events makes more sense anyway. :)

On Tau and railguns:

You really need to explain how they'd get technology and the understanding thereof away from the Adeptus Mechanicus. The cogboys are more than a little jealous about such stuff. Plus, what happened to hating the alien?

They are big and productive enough to be able to do without Mars, and rather than degenerating into rote ritual and superstition - "seeing the rise in corruption and ineffectiveness of the Imperium worsen after The Emperor's death..." (Fortress Ultramar, para 8) so they seem to know what they are doing without them, either by appropriating AM bases that resisted, or just making an arrangement for them to join Ultramar. I had thought about including it originally, but found that there was not an organic place to include it in an already long article. The hints remained, though, in the gene-seed section (first paragraph) which mentions that as they are beyond the 'grip of the superstitious ritual of the Adeptus Mechanicus', their implants have not degraded.
Similarly, as they have separated from the Imperium and its increasingly rabid, xenophobic view, they seemed to have come to an accomodation with 'peaceful' (sneaky!) alien races like the Tau... but the AL AI will mention that their peace was shattered by the Alphas stirring up things. ;)

Urgh! Nearly midnight and still not done. I shall have to continue this tomorrow. With your help this is getting better and better. :)

Cheers,
John.

+++ EDIT 12/06/09: All the changes have been put up in orange (apart from the author box edit) for ease of highlighting. After such a big edit I will need to proof it to make sure what I have changed is coherent and doesn't clash with the rest of the piece, and I will do that tomorrow, when I will also get back to you on your comments I didn't bring on board. Briefly, there were only a few of them, and either I couldn't find a better way to word it, or I liked the line - what is wrong with the Scythes of Guilliman anyway? It is certainly shorter than the Scythes of The Emperor. :P

The plan is that the only changes needed tomorrow will be small, and that I can finally post this on the board in the evening. It can always be changed in light of general feedback before getting sent to the librarium, and this article has had a good deal of excellent proofing up to this stage already, so thanks again, guys! :)

Now for sleep!

John. +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 11 June 2009 - 11:18 PM.

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#12
Aurelius Rex

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After re-reading it again I found another handful of things, but now they are changed I am going to just bite the bullet and post before I drive myself crazy! :D

Thanks a lot for the feedback on this, guys. It has been invaluable. :P Now back to the White Scars and the Space Pups. :)
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#13
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what is wrong with the Scythes of Guilliman anyway? It is certainly shorter than the Scythes of The Emperor

To me, it just didn't sound right, no flow :lol: