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Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines (2017)

p24 — Ultramar

Even before the coming of the Noctis Aeterna, Ultramar faced a series of dire threats. Tendrils of several Tyranid Hive Fleets drifted inexorably towards Guilliman's realm. The Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, one of the greatest Ork warlords in the galaxy, led a monstrous Waaagh! from his anarchic domain with the intent of overrunning the Ultramarines' eastern defences. Yet the greatest threat of them all was that posed by the dark servants of Chaos. A vast horde of traitors, renegades, mutants and madmen fell upon Ultramar under the leadership of the foul Daemon Prince M'kar the Reborn. And then came the Noctis Aeterna, and with it wave after wave of Daemon-filled warp storms. In the wake of these disasters, some of the greatest servants of Nurgle, the Chaos God of Plagues and Decay, fell upon the Ultramarines' stellar realm, seeking to corrupt the bucolic beauty of its worlds. The Plague Wars, as they came to be known, saw some of the greatest battles the Imperium had ever endured, with every inhabited planet of Ultramar suffering a staggering number of casualties.

Macragge, the capital world, saw fighting across its bleak rocky uplands as well as in its populated cities. The Ultramarines' sprawling fortress monastery - including the shrine in which Roboute Guilliman had lain in stasis for over seven millennia - came under concerted attack. The Bubonicus Legions, led by a favoured Great Unclean One known as Ku'gath Plaguefather, seized the nearby Tartella System before descending upon the planet of Iax, a garden world rich with life. The Espandor System suffered beneath the Creeping Doom offensive of the Daemon Primarch Mortarion and his Death Guard. On Parmenio a great armour battle took place, and throughout the sub-sector a naval battle raged, with defensive battle stations engaged by a Plague Fleet led by the Death Guard lord known as Typhus. Even the disciplined tactics and heroic sacrifices of the defenders were only enough to stave off defeat. Nurgle's followers pushed their befouling offensive forward, contaminating all they touched.

Breaking apart his Indomitus Crusade, Roboute Guilliman returned to aid his home system. Seeing that his only chance lay in seizing the initiative, the Primarch masterminded a brilliant campaign known as the Spear of Espandor. Rapid counter strikes and a series of daring boarding actions clawed back many of the foe's gains. Where the disparate Chaos armies fought separately, the defenders of Ultramar supported each other in every way they could, allowing Guilliman to slowly reverse the course of the war and put Nurgle's favoured commanders on the defensive. Utilising their superior numbers, the Chaos forces amassed for a final confrontation upon Iax. There they fought to a standstill, with Guilliman countering every ploy. Ultimately the Chaos forces escaped under the cover of a massive virus bomb. With little time to spare - for the galaxy remained riven with war - the Lord Commander of the Imperium organised the rebuilding of Ultramar, beginning with the defence networks, before leaving once more at the head of a retributive strike force.

p29 — M41 The Time of Ending

The Plagues of Ultramar

To the galactic north of Ultramar, the followers of the Chaos God Nurgle establish dominion in the Scourge Stars. From this hive of corruption, armies of Daemons pour forth, accompanied by the traitorous Death Guard Legion along with renegades and cultists beyond count. Three loathsome spearheads push into Ultramar, attacking along a hundred fronts and bringing with them unnatural pestilence. The defenders of Ultramar fight bravely, but lose ground. Ultramarines from the Ultima Founding arrive to reinforce their brethren, but they can only slow the attackers.

Guilliman Returns to Ultramar

All across Ultramar, the Imperial defenders are depleted in dozens of ground campaigns, while a Plague Fleet systematically destroys the realm's defence fleet and star fortresses. Guilliman returns from the Indomitus Crusade, and his deft and defensive manoeuvres buy time to launch the Spear of Espandor counterattack. The combined plague armies are eventually fought to a standstill amongst the ruins of Iax, before the Death Guard Daemon Primarch Mortarion escapes under cover of a virus bomb.

p96 — Chief Librarian Tigurius

Alas, many portends were impossible to read. The ripping open of the Great Rift was foreseen only as oblivion and doom - and the psychic backlash of that galactic catastrophe nearly ended Tigurius. Yet he rallied from his mind-coma, joining in the defence against the horrible plague that descended upon Ultramar. When the Death Guard and the Daemons of Nurgle came out of the renewed warp storms, it was Tigurius that helped steel the minds of the Ultramar Defence Forces, for as courageous as they were, they would have fled before the disease-ridden foes and the terrible warp plagues they unleashed.

p99 — Sergeant Telion

During the Plague Wars that stained Ultramar, Telion was forced to lead his entire Scout Company to hold off a Death Guard attack upon the Chapter's training academy. To the selfless Telion it was just another action borne of duty, but the tale of his victory has become well known to every battle-brother of the Ultramarines.