TL;DR: Futuristic Rome in Space
Low Gothic, High Gothic
|Head of State|
|Head of Government||
Roboute Guilliman, day-to-day operations overseen by Marneus Calgar and the Tetrarchs of Ultramar
Unitary Authoritarian Meritocratic Tetrarchy (Great Crusade)
Ultramar is the name given to the stellar empire of the Ultramarines. It is an Old Spanish term meaning “(place) beyond the sea”. The French version of the term, outre-mer, is given to the Crusader States established in the Holy Land/Levant during the High Middle Ages, so it fits the Space Marine bulwark on the Eastern Fringe perfectly.
It was also the nickname of the Portuguese Empire, the first global empire, which moved its capital to Brazil after getting Napoleoned...and weirdly ties into the whole "Unremembered Empire" business, in which Roboute Guilliman decided to use Ultramar as the nucleus of an "Imperium Secundus" in case Terra fell to the traitors.
So, when the Emperor of Mankind finally found Roboute Guilliman, he had been ruling as Lord of Macragge for some five years, and had established an alliance of mutual aid with eight other star systems. After the Emperor made Guilliman Commander of the Ultramarines, the worlds allied with Macragge reoriented themselves to providing food, munitions, and recruits to the Ultramarines Legion. While they only supported a Chapter now, the alliance remained, and the worlds formed the realm of Ultramar.
Originally, there were said to be even more than 500 worlds in the 30k era. However, the Shadow Crusade led to the destruction of many of these planets. Exact numbers are not specified. However, in "Laurel of Defiance" it states that about a hundred planets were destroyed by the combined might of the World Eaters and Word Bearers Legions. In the 41st Millenium, the Ultramarines now only controlled about 50-60 planets (given the latest maps from Gathering Storm). The rest were given away to successor chapters/independent administration. This is because, after the Heresy, Guilliman didn't want the Ultramarines to be tied up defending their own realm while battles raged elsewhere in the Imperium.
All of this changed after Guilliman returned in the closing years of M41. Having learned of the recent struggles that Ultramar had been facing as well as its immediate need for protection, he declared the treaties which gave many of the 500 worlds their independence "null and void" and ordered a return to the five hundred worlds system with an intent to expand Ultramar further.
During the Horus Heresy, the full might of the Word Bearer and World Eater Legions were unleashed upon the 500 worlds as Horus wished to keep the Ultramarines from interfering with his advance to Terra. Many of the planets in Guilliman's star empire were subjected to ferocious and unexpected invasions.
With almost half of the Ultramarines Legion killed or put out of action after the Battle of Calth, and interstellar communication/travel cut off from one another due to the Ruinstorm Lorgar summoned, each planet was left to fend for itself. Some planets were able to repel the invaders completely. On Astagar, a force led by Lucien Corvo (later the founder of the Novamarines) managed to win the battle for the planet by destroying a possessed Warlord-Class Titan belonging to the Word Bearers. On others, the Ultramarines destroyed their worlds rather than let the enemy have them. Such as on Percepton, where an outnumbered chapter of the Ultramarines subjected the planet to phosphex bombardment, burning away both defenders and invaders who were unlucky enough not to evacuate in time.
Kor Phaeron would put his own plan in motion to strike at the heart of Ultramar and destroy its core worlds while Lorgar and Angron tore through its outer rim. He planned for an Abyss-class super battleship, the Furious Abyss, to destroy Maccrage, the home planet of the Ultramarines while the bulk of the 13th Legion was stationed at Calth. This mighty vessel would then join a smaller fleet of Word Bearer vessels in laying waste to the core planets. Fortunately, a small strike force of Ultramarines and Space Wolves would board this ship and destroy it from the inside at the cost of their lives. Without the Furious Abyss, the Word Bearer attack on Maccrage and the core worlds of Ultramar failed.
Lorgar and Angron's main force did manage to conquer 26 planets including the world of Armatura which had been the Ultramarine's recruiting world during the Great Crusade. Accompanying this force would be two Abyss-Class super battleships as well as the Word Bearer and World Eater Gloriana Flagships. Things would come to a head on Angron's homeworld of Nuceria, which saw the final battle of the Shadow Crusade. Guilliman and his motley fleet of 40 escort and cruiser class ships (Destroyers, Corvettes, Strike Cruisers etc.), patched together with whatever he could muster after the Battle of Calth, threw itself at the combined spearhead of Word Bearers and World Eaters. Fortunately for the Ultramarines, three unsupported mega-battleships would prove to be Lorgar's idea of a balanced fleet.
At great cost to the 13th legion (12 of the smaller vessels), they managed to bring down Lorgar's flagship, the Fidelitas Lex by swarming it with about 30 ships. On the surface, the outnumbered Ultramarines would be pushed back and forced to retreat under the unrelenting pressure of two traitor legions commanded by their Primarchs- and by the end of the battle Angron had become a Daemon Prince. Although the boys in blue would end up withdrawing from the battle, this marked the end of the Shadow Crusade as Lorgar considered the Ruinstorm sufficiently fed and redirected his forces, along with those of the ascended Angron, towards Terra.
More traitor legions would also invade Ultramar space during the Heresy, although they were not part of the Shadow Crusade. For example, the 25,000 strong force of Night Lords that were one of the six splinter fleets escaping the Dark Angels would attack Sotha. Due to the superb strategic defense put in place by the defected Warsmith Dantioch, the Imperial Fist Captain Polux, and the thousand-strong Ultramarines Aegida company, this ended up being one of the most lopsided battles in the Horus Heresy. The invaders suffered near-total losses and were forced to retreat as they learned that Guilliman himself was leading a retribution fleet to Sotha. Though the victory was only made possible due to the tragic sacrifice of Warsmith Dantioch and nearly all of the Aegida Company (the survivors would later go on to become the Scythes of the Emperor). This would also inadvertently act as the impetus for the Tyranids to invade the galaxy several millennia later, though nobody suspected it at the time. In the outer reaches of Ultramar, the Death Guard would also launch probing attacks on the relatively undefended border worlds. Late into the conflict the Salamanders Strike Cruiser, Charybdis, would find the corpse of another Abyss-Class vessel in the extreme outer edges of Ultramarian space. It seemed as if it were attacked by a large Ultramarine fleet and destroyed when it was boarded and had its warp drive detonated by the intruders.
It is difficult to gauge how many planets were destroyed in total however, a snippet from the Horus Heresy books states that a little over a hundred worlds "died" due to the invasion. It should be noted that some of these worlds did manage to recover from the attack. Most notably Calth which would (ironically) become the perfect home to Ultramar's shipyards in M41 due to the fact that the Word Bearer invasion turned its surface into a smooth and airless planet. Planets such as Armatura were left alone and Parmenio would be the new main recruiting world. As for lives lost, 120,000 Ultramarines died during the Battle of Calth and a further 30,000 presumably died from the ensuing invasion. This left the Ultramarines with 100,000 marines near the end of the Heresy, down from their 250,000 at the start. The losses for the Auxilia were horrendous as well, with 500,000 dead at the Battle of Calth alone.
Invasion by Hive Fleet Behemoth
In 745, M41, Hive Fleet Behemoth would invade Imperial space, the bulk of it making a beeline towards the Ultramarines home planet. Although the Hive Fleet was splintered after the Battle of Circe, the invasion would leave many scars on Ultramar such as the destruction of the civilized world Prandium. Still, because the Tyranids had focused their attacks on a relatively few number of important planets, the star empire had recovered fully in the span of less than sixty years.
The Plague Wars
In M42, Ultramar's formerly idyllic existence was shattered by a Death Guard invasion led by Mortarion himself. Three systems to the galactic north of Ultramar were corrupted by influence of Nurgle and its planets are turned into staging grounds for the invasion of Guilliman's mini-Empire. This had apparently begun a few decades prior to the conclusion of the Indomitus Crusade. Surprisingly, Guilliman did not end the crusade upon hearing about the invasion of Ultramar. He wished to remain in command of the Imperium at large and knows he can do more good that way. He therefore left it to his sons to hold the line until his return. Shows he's learnt something from the Heresy.
Mortarion's already large invasion force, bolstered by mutants and cultists from the Scourge Stars, was accompanied by Typhus and his Plague Fleet alongside the Great Unclean One Ku'Gath Plaguefather and his Plague Guard. Their strategy concentrated on taking and holding few major planets such as Iax, Espandor and Konor. They only launched raiding attacks on the less defended ones, withdrawing before Astartes were deployed.
The Espandor system was devastated. All planets in the system besides the main planet were taken; the Ultramarines bitterly contested Espandor Prime and would do so until they were later relieved. One of the Plague Guard would lead this attack, a Greater Daemon named Qaramas. The partial conquest of the Espandor system opened up the gateway for the rest of the invasion fleet to surge into Ultramar.
Iax was overrun by daemons of Nurgle as the bulk of the invasion force came to bear upon it. It had been converted into a hospital world earlier in the war and was therefore susceptible to infiltration by the heralds of Nurgle despite its stringent quarantine measures. This would be the base of operations for the entire invasion and conquest of Ultramar as Mortarion, the Death Guard and the rest of the Plague Guard would gather here.
Macragge suffered bouts of Chaos-induced unrest as Mortarion led probing attacks on the Ultramarines' homeworld. While this did not lead to any widespread destruction or damage to critical facilities, these incidents caused a drop in civilian morale and wasted Marneus Calgar's precious time on peacekeeping missions and displays of force to shore up confidence amongst Macragge's civilians.
Typhus and the Plague fleet had overrun and taken one of Ultramar's star forts. He was later directed by Mortarion to attack the Ultramarines training world of Parmenio. Konor would come under attack as well by the forces of the Death Guard, their aim being to take the crucial system and use it as a launching pad for an attack on Macragge itself. Though that failed miserably when Mortarion re-enacted Star Wars Episode IV with predictable consequences.
Guilliman eventually returned to Ultramar from his Indomitus Crusade, bringing with him thousands of Primaris reinforcements. First, he cleanses the Hive World of Ardium in the Maccrage system from the Death Guard. There he discovers that Mortarion was using the Hand of Darkness to craft Plague Engines that were re-animating the dead and turning them into Plague Zombies. He destroys the engine on Ardium and frees the world from the influence of Nurgle. He then landed on Maccrage, bringing with him thousands of Primaris Marine reinforcements and other allies. After taking stock of the situation, he organized the Ultramarines and their auxilia to launch a large-scale counterattack against the invaders. Several loyalist Ultramarine successors also joined the fight, their fleets engaging the Death Guard and doing their best to keep Ultramar's shipping lanes safe.
He first set his eyes on Espandor System, which served as the main supply line for the Death Guard invasion. He retook each of the lost worlds and destroyed the engines that were creating plague zombies on each of the planets, freeing them from the influence of chaos and destroying the source of the plague zombies. After a ferocious battle in which the Ultramarines Chapter found themselves fighting side by side with their Primaris brethren for the first time, the forces of Nurgle were routed from the planet, Guilliman decisively ending the battle by killing the greater daemon Qaramas with the Emperor's Sword and destroying the last Plague Engine in the system. The Espandor system was now essentially cleansed and the forces of Nurgle were cut off from the Scourge Stars.
With their supply lines to the Scourge Stars being cut, the Hand of Darkness lost (having been recaptured by the Ynnari after Guilliman informed them of it) their Plague Engines slowly being destroyed (stripping the traitors of their supply of Plague Zombies) and Imperial reinforcements pouring into Ultramar with each passing day, Mortarion found himself on the wrong side of the war of attrition. Guilliman had cut the Death Guard off and was now cutting them to pieces. With this in mind, Mortarion decided to throw all his remaining forces at one target.
Macragge was still too heavily defended for the forces of Nurgle to assault so it was decided that they would target the Ultramarines training world: Parmenio. This battle saw the biggest armored clash between the traitor and loyalist forces during the war. The largest star fort in Ultramar, Galatan, attempted to provide support but was engaged by the Plague Fleet and was boarded by traitor marines, leading to the death of the Novamarines Chapter Master. On the surface, however, the Ultramarines were slowly winning the fight. Guilliman killed Ku'gath's lieutenant Septicus and shattered his Plague Guard, giving the loyalists the upper hand and causing them to make major gains against the archenemy.
Guilliman then finally led the relief force to Iax. Not finding Mortarion in either Parmenio or Espandor, he was determined to hunt down his traitorous brother once and for all. The final battle of the war took place here, with Guilliman and Mortarion fighting each other to a standstill amongst the ruins of Iax. Eventually, Mortarion and the Death Guard were summoned back to the Scourge Stars, which had come under threat from the forces of Khorne in what would become the War in the Rift. They withdrew from Iax under the cover of a virus bomb and the forces of Nurgle retreated from Ultramar, but the threat of a renewed attack in the future remains.
After the forces of Chaos withdrew, Guilliman oversaw a period of reconstruction and restoration across the realm of Ultramar. He also gave the Ultramarines the means of creating new Primaris Space Marines and helped complete the reformation of the 500 Worlds. Although his duties would eventually call him away, he ensured that Ultramar would be fortified against future threats hereafter.
After his return from the Indomitus Crusade, Gullliman engaged in a series of reforms. He declared that the return to the 500 worlds would now be formalized now that he had returned to fully enforce the reformation. He also announced a great buildup in military forces to protect the expanded Ultramar. 8 new purely Primaris Marine Chapters, all Ultramarine successors would be founded in Ultramar. He therefore pledged 10 full chapters (including the Ultramarines and the Scythes of the Emperor) to defend his star empire at all times in the future. 10,000 Space Marines, of which more than 8000 were Primaris Marines, would now be Ultramar's permanent defense force, as well as the main force for future expansion of Ultramar's borders.
Ultramar is currently divided into five sectors (North, South, East, West and Center). Four of these sectors is ruled by a Tetrarch appointed by Guilliman himself. Every sector has a capital world where the Tetrarch resides, although each world considers itself under the rule of Maccrage.
- The Northern Sector is based around the Forge World of Konor. Its Tetrarch is Severus Agemman, First Captain of the Ultramarines.
- The Southern Sector is based around the world of Andermung. Its Tetrarch is Second Captain Portan of the Genesis Chapter.
- The Western Sector is based around the world of Protos. Its Tetrarch is Captain Balthus of the Doom Eagles.
- The Eastern Sector is based around the world of Vespator. It had been previously ruled by a political entity known as the Sotharan league, but since Sotha was destroyed by Hive Fleet Kraken Guilliman re-constituted what was left of the league around Vespator. Its Tetrarch is Decimus Felix, a Primaris Ultramarine recently promoted to Eleventh Captain of the Ultramarines and Equerry to Roboute Guilliman.
The Central Sector falls under the direct rule of Macragge and its regent, Marneus Calgar. It encompasses all systems in the heart of Ultramar with the exception of Konor, Veridia and Espandor, which fall under the remit of the Northern Tetrarch.
Notable Features of Ultramar
What makes Ultramar notable is that by M41, it is a model of self-reliance, justice, and stability in the otherwise rotting Imperium of Man. Most people (such as he who shall not be named) say that it is a testament to Guilliman's ideals, a closer examination reveals more believable reasons:
Martial society: Lacking the Hive and Death World so common among Space Marine homeworlds, the worlds of Ultramar have developed a highly industrious warrior society who looks down on those who cannot pull their weight. This would disqualify most nobles who absorb resources without providing anything for the masses. The people of Ultramar are indoctrinated into taking pride in their work for the betterment of the Imperium.
Social mobility: The worlds of Ultramar lack the Hives so common in many planets, and there is little population discontent. Space Marines place value on competence, and the Ultramarines are no different. People do not gain a position of power unless they can show genuine leadership.
Minimal Imperial presence: The Imperium of Man is quite frankly a horrible place to live, with the Administratum, the Adeptus Arbites, the Inquisition, and the Ecclesiarchy basically running things to the ground, in other words the Administratum won't screw up Ultramar with any filing errors, the Arbites and the Inquisition won't be Ultrabarging into people's homes and taking them away for "interrogation" and the Ecclesiarchy won't be the corrupt church that makes use of the extreme ignorance of the people while being highly hypocritical and counterproductive. However, because Macragge provides for the Ultramarines, the Imperium classifies the world as free of major Imperial tithes (only tithing gene seed whenever another Founding is ready), and most of the other worlds of Ultramar get off pretty easy too. And despite setting up the High Lords of Terra, Guilliman was firm on maintaining that the Space Marines answered to the Emperor, and the Emperor alone. As such, like other Space Marine homeworlds, the presence of the Adeptus Terra is quite limited in Ultramar and squarely subordinate to the Ultramarines.
Worlds of Ultramar
There are currently around 500 worlds in the reformed empire of Ultramar. The core systems that are most shown in most maps constitute the heart of Ultramar but it should be noted that they account for only around 10% of total planets in the mini-empire. Ultramar is divided into 5 segments (North, South, East, West and Center). The Eastern segment is said to have 86 worlds by itself. However, it should be noted that this was the segment what suffered the most under the Tyranid invasion and other segments may have many more worlds. So therefore, assuming a minimum of 86 worlds in each segment, Ultramar should consist of 430-500 worlds. How did they get more than 400 worlds if only 400 were left after the Horus Heresy? Well, it has been 10k years. Several more planets must have been colonized as well.
- Macragge, Capitol of Ultramar and seat of rule over the Central Sector
- Konor, Capitol of the Nothern Sector
- Andermung, Capitol of the Southern Sector
- Protos, Capitol of the Western Sector
- Vespator, Capitol of the Eastern Sector
- Macragge, Chapter Planet and capital of Ultramar
- Thulium, Death world
- Nova Thulium, agri-world
- Ardium, Hive world
- Laphis, Shrine world
- Calth, a cavern-world where the population lives underground in massive underground arcologies. The size of these cavern cities are so large that rain clouds are able to form under the roofs. Used to be a civilised world in M31 which was about to become a Primus world, however the Battle of Calth resulted in its surface being destroyed and irradiated by the Veridian Star. 10,000 years on it is ironically the current center for spacecraft manufacture/repair/refit in Ultramar as its smooth, airless surface is perfect for such activity. Has the largest shipyards in Ultramar.
- Ravishol, Industrial world
- Lamane, Mining world
- Ishcara, Civilised world
- Veridia Forge, Adeptus Mechanicus Asteroid Mining Outpost
- Tarentus, a desert-world with cities encased in domes to provide produce.
- Masali, an agri-world.
- Quintarn, an agri-world.
- Falan's Reach, Fortress world
- Talasa Tertius, Industrial world
- Talasa Prime, Deathwatch training world
- Talasa Secundus, Hive world
- Uldregor, agri-world
- Konor, Research/Industrial world, was a major center for manufacturing/shipyards even before the coming of the Imperium. It even rivaled several high-ranking forge worlds in terms of production. So much so that the Mechanicus demanded that it be downgraded. Guilliman would offer a compromise. The production centers would be downgraded but much of this manufacturing capability would be moved to its moon of Gantz.
- Gantz (Moon of Konor), A Forgeworld that produced most of the Legion's equipment and was the home of their allied Titan Legion, the True Messengers.
- Talassar, an ocean-world.
- Espandor, a cardinal world given to the Ecclesiarchy.
- Parmenio, a training-world.
- Occluda, former Primus world. Still a functioning planet but was still replaced during the reformation
- Anuaris, a Forgeworld founded as an outpost of Accatran long before the Heresy and known for their long and bitter feud with Konor
- Prandium, Nommed by the Nids, used to be a pretty nice planet dubbed "the Jewel of Ultramar" (hint: Prandium is Latin for Lunch).
- Armatura, a war-world which supplied the Ultramarines Legion with recruits and repaired damaged warships. Purged by the Shadow Crusade, now a dead world.
- Saramanth, a former Primus world. Was devastated at one point and therefore replaced by Guilliman during the reformation.
- Nuceria, a "civilized" world (it was about as civilized as Terra during the reign of the techno-barbarians) with the dubious honor of being the homeworld of Angron (and in extension, the World Eaters, although they never recruited from here). Was originally just an insignificant backwater world before and after Angron, until the primarch arrived during the Horus Heresy, when he and the World Eaters murderfucked the entire planet for spreading lies about him running away from his last stand.
- Sotha, an agri-world in the age of the Great Crusade and later homeworld of the Scythes of the Emperor. Eventually overtaken by the Tyranids.
- Iax, former Primus world. An agri-world once known as the "Garden of Ultramar". Had diminished in importance relative to its surrounding planets and was replaced. Invaded by daemons of Nurgle and the Death Guard in M42 and was virus bombed by Mortarion to make his retreat. Now likely a dead world since it received exterminatus.
- Percepton, a world of Ultramar invaded by the Word Bearers during the Shadow Crusade. The Ultramarines would end up bombing Percepton with a massive Phosphex bombardment to deny the traitors the planet, scouring the whole planet clean of life (friend and foe).
There is a metric fuck ton of others (Ultramar is known as the 500 Worlds after all). Most of them are watched over by the 10 Ultramarine Successor Chapters assigned there. Guilliman has since announced his intention to re-expand Ultramar, so it may get even bigger.
|Governments, Empires, Nations and Astropolitical Powers of the Galaxy|
|Imperial Powers:||Imperium of Man (Adeptus Mechanicus - Ultramar)|
|Chaos Powers:||Blood Pact - Prospero/Sortiarius Systems - Scourge Stars|
|Eldar Powers:||Commorragh - Craftworlds (Alaitoc - Iyanden - Saim-Hann - Ulthwé)|
|Necron Powers:|| Sautekh Dynasty - Maynarkh Dynasty - Nihilakh Dynasty |
Mephrit Dynasty - Thokt Dynasty
|Ork Powers:||Ork Empire of Charadon - Ork Empire of Octarius|
|Other Powers:||Tau Empire - Farsight Enclaves - Q'Orl Swarmhood|
|The Planets, Systems, Regions and Sectors of the Galaxy|
|Imperial Homeworlds:||Holy Terra - Mars|
|Primarch Homeworlds:|| Baal - Barbarus - Caliban - Chemos - Chogoris - Colchis |
Cthonia - Deliverance - Fenris - Inwit - Medusa - Nostramo
Nocturne - Nuceria - Olympia - Prospero - Ultramar
|Planets:|| Armageddon - Cadia - Catachan - Krieg - Kronus |
Sacris - Scelus - Taelus - Vraks - Zayth
|Daemon Worlds:||Plague Planet - Sortiarius|
|Systems and Regions:||Solar System - Jericho Reach - Kaurava System - Halo Zone|
|Types of Worlds:||Agri-World - Death World - Forge World - Hive World|