Remus Ventanus was a Captain of the 4th Company, 1st Chapter of the Ultramarines Legion during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras during the 30th and early 31st Millennia. He would go on to play a pivotal role during the Battle of Calth, the treacherous attack by the traitorous Word Bearers Legion during the opening years of Warmaster Horus' rebellion. His deeds would also earn him great renown during the subsequent Calth Underworld War as the Ultramarines survivors would continue rooting out their traitorous former kin of the XVIIth Legion for nearly another decade.
Captain of the 4th Company, 1st Chapter during the Horus Heresy, Remus Ventanus was central to the Legion's fight-back on the surface of Calth during the Ultramarines' darkest moment. At the moment of the destruction of Calth Veridian Anchor, Ventanus was inspecting loading operations at Numinus Port, and in the anarchic hours that followed, he rallied the 4th and warriors from other shattered formations into a force able to mount a fierce resistance against the Traitors. It was during this early phase that Ventanus linked up with Magos of Analyticae Tawren, the most senior surviving Mechanicum adept and the only Tech-Priest able to perceive a means of regaining control of the Calth defence grid. Thanks to Ventanus's leadership and courage, the magos completed her crucial task. The Captain's duties did not end with his victories at Leptius Numinus and the Lanshear Guildhall, for he fought on even as the bulk of the Ultramarines forces on the surface were evacuated at the order of his Primarch. He led the counter-attack against the disordered Word Bearers, and as the extent of the wounds to the Veridia star became evident, Ventanus led his forces and as many civilians as he could contact into the subterranean arcologies. His deeds throughout the subsequent Calth Underworld War led to him becoming known as the "Saviour of Calth".
Following the actions of Captain Ventanus and the remaining Imperials on Calth, eventually they were rescued by the Ultramarines. The "Saviour of Calth" became one of Primarch Roboute Guilliman's closest advisers. Led by their erstwhile Captain, the 4th Company, known in some circles as the Troublesome Fourth, was a company known for its daredevil actions, heroic follies and the personal bravery of its individual warriors. They would become instrumental in helping to play out the strategies and military tactics devised by Primarch Guilliman in simulated battles -- the results, which would help lay the foundation of his greatest work, his Magnum Opus, the undertaking for which he would be forever remembered -- the Codex Astartes. Decades of accumulated wisdom, each chapter and verse a fragment of his biologically encoded genius, each morsel of imparted knowledge a building block that would combine to form a work immeasurably greater than the sum of its parts. If the Primarch's work could be made to stick with the 4th Company, then it would stick anywhere. Where the 4th Company led, the other battle companies followed. During one of the latter simulated battles, Ventanus found a flaw in one of the Guilliman's plans. The Primarch explained to Captain Ventanus that he was not infallible. The 4th's last engagement had shown that they had followed the Primarch's teachings without fail, yet, they had still been led to defeat. If Calth had taught the Ultramarines anything it was that they must always be adaptable and never too hidebound in their thinking. As of yet, they were still flawed. No one, not even one such as he, could anticipate every possible outcome of battle. Guilliman felt that his words were not some holy writ that must be obeyed. There must always be room for personal initiative on the battlefield. Both warriors understood, perhaps better than anyone, how one spark of heroism could turn the tide of battle. That knowledge and personal experience could only be earned in blood, and the leader in the field must always be the ultimate arbiter of what course of action should be followed.
Following the end of the Horus Heresy, the Great Scouring occurs -- a campaign of vengeance fought against the heretic Traitor Legions and their allies still found across the galaxy. Loyalist forces, led by the Ultramarines and Space Wolves Legions, drive back those traitors who survived Horus' fall. The corrupted forces find refuge within the swirling Eye of Terror. This time period also marked the grim realisation of just how many planets were lured into helping the traitors. Some were corrupted, others merely misled or beguiled. Guilt and recrimination henceforth became rife in the new Imperium of Man. Captain Ventanus and the 4th Company were given the honour of leading the assault on the Word Bearers' former homeworld of Colchis, as a form of retribution and justice for all the fallen of Calth. Before the final assault, Captain Ventanus performed one last futile measurement, merely symbolic, but symbolism was all the Ultramarines had left. Ventanus, battered by fortune and service, stood upon an outcrop of rock, looking out over the burning world, devastated by the XIIIth Legion. As his warriors waited in anticipation, the veteran Captain held out a mailed hand, and his colour sergeant passed him a standard. It was old and battered, dented, with a slight twist or two in the haft. This was the same standard Ventanus had found on Calth many years earlier. Ventanus took it, honouring every mark upon it. He planted it upright in the burning rock of Colchis. The flickering firelight caught at the golden crest of the standard. The sergeant declared that they would march for Macragge, but Captain Ventanus quickly corrected him -- on that day, the Ultramarines would march for Calth.
Following Captain Ventanus' death, hundreds of monuments and temple shrines were built in honour of his many heroic deeds and honourable legacy throughout the world he had helped save. On the world of Calth, carved into the rugged slopes of the Mountains of Twilight, an entire flank of the mountain had been sculpted into a mighty gateway, a vertical chasm crafted into the rock with the inner faces carved with tens of thousands of statues, reliquaries, shrines and decorative arches. Greatest of these was the golden statue of Captain Ventanus, the saviour of Calth, fully a hundred metres high. The gateway sat atop a wide causeway of polished granite that led up from the desolate wastelands of the surface. Built two thousand metres high and the equal of any of the great gates of Terra, it was a monumental piece of defensive architecture. Ultramarines heroes stood atop ouslite plinths in heroic poses all along the length of the causeway with their shields and heads lifted towards the deadly sun.
The greatest of these shrines was Ventanus' elaborate tomb (suspected to have been designed by Primarch Guilliman himself) and constructed within the Four Valley Gorge within the Cavernas Draconi, a natural cavern system believed to be the oldest on Calth. Local legends told that the Cavernas Draconi caves were the first hewn by the mythical serpent said to have honeycombed the bedrock of Calth in ancient days. Ventanus had been buried with one of the infamous Shards of Erebus, unique ritualistic daggers made from crude metal or flint that was blessed by the Dark Gods and possessed the ability to alter the very fabric of reality. This was the very weapon that Captain Ventanus had utilised during the Battle of Calth, at the fortress of Leptius Numinus, where Ventanus had unintentionally utilised the Athame taken from the Word Bearers' commander, Morpal Cxir, in an earlier skirmish. With no other weapon at hand, he used the dagger to defeat the daemon Samus with it. In the following ten millennia, location of the tomb of Ventanus would be lost. It wouldn't be until the 41st Millennium, that the location of the tomb would be discovered.
M'kar, the Thrice-BornEdit
As a young child, the future Captain of the 4th Company, Uriel Ventris, climbed this very area -- known as the Dragon's Gullet -- an area where Calth's children would climb in order to paint a picture of a dragon on the sheer cliff face. This was one of many games, dares and contests of strength, speed and endurance played by the boys and girls of Calth in preparation for the selection games when warriors from the Ultramarines would judge who was worthy to be taken to Macragge. Climbing higher than anyone before him (or since) after Ventris painted his dragon, and was getting ready to climb down, he saw a deft in the wall that led deeper into a cavern. He followed the lightless tunnel that twisted into the rock for hundreds of metres until it ended at a compartment hewn from the rock nearly ten thousand years earlier by artificers with great skill and even greater determination.
In the centre of the cavern was a building of pale, polished marble -- a magnificent structure, topped with a glittering dome apparently fashioned from a single vast sapphire. Each, facade of the building was reached via a triumphal set of steps carved from the rock of the cavern floor, and entrance was gained through vast porticos supported by pillars as thick as the legs of the largest Mechanicus battle engine. Each pediment was carved with colourful murals that had survived the passage of centuries without the lustre of their imagery diminishing. The murals were broken up into panels, each depicting a noble Ultramarines captain leading his warriors in battle against wicked, red-armoured foes. As a child, Ventris hadn't fully appreciated the significance of the hidden structure, for it was a tomb, the resting place of a great hero -- the lost tome of Remus Ventanus. The Saviour of Calth.
Though a portion of its supporting facade had collapsed, the great gem of a dome remained intact, its roof unbowed. The interior floor plan of the tomb was circular, laid out like a grand amphitheatre or council hall. Though instead of steps or seats, the tiers around the central open space were for the dead. Hundreds of stone sarcophagi were laid out in concentric circles around the central floor of the tomb, each one a member of some lost Chapter of the Ultramarines back when they were organised as a Legion. In the centre of the tomb, directly beneath the dome's cupola was a gleaming sarcophagus of black marble, machine-finished and miraculously free of dust after centuries of isolation. Bare of ornamentation apart from a silver plaque bearing the name of the warrior entombed within -- the final resting place of Captain Ventanus of the Ultramarines Legion.
In 999.M41, the Iron Warriors Warsmith Honsou discovered the secret of the Daemon Prince M'kar's imprisonment, and after finding and conquering the star fort Indomitable, set him free as his ally in a new Chaos campaign against Ultramar. Possessing a desecrated Dreadnought shell to remain in the Materium, the newly rematerialized M'kar bound the Indomitable to a Warp Gate and called forth a huge army of daemons, who along with others under his command, which he named the "Bloodborn". During the invasion of Ultramar, M'kar set Honsou to Calth in order to destroy Ventanus' tomb. The daemon hadn't elaborated much when it had told Honsou that this shrine was to be cast to ruin, only that he was to ensure that the body of Ventanus and all his wargear were consumed utterly. Investigating the contents of Ventanus' sarcophagus, Honsou found the Shard of Erbus and took it, realising the real reason why M'kar had sent him to destroy it. He was deathly afraid of the vile weapon. As Honsou made to leave, he encountered his old nemesis, Uriel Ventris, and his token force of Ultramarines. The Iron Warriors and the Ultramarines had both waited for this reckoning.
In the midst of the battle that followed, Ventris' life was saved by a spectre from the past -- a giant burning with azure light that spoke of ancient heroism and noble deeds of valour beyond anything Uriel could comprehend. His armour retained traces of its former allegiance, gold trims, a pale eagle on the shoulder and a faded, barely legible, inverted omega symbol. In the centre of the "U" was the symbol for a captain, but it was old, ancient even, a standard of rank insignia that had not been used for ten thousand years. In that moment, Ventris realised this was none other than the spectre of Remus Ventanus himself. The figure leaned into him and with a ghostly whisper imparted a word or a name. Initially it meant nothing to him, but when the figure pressed the dagger into his hand, Uriel realised what he had been told. He understood, feeling a potent sense of duty discharged, a burden and a responsibility passed on, as though it had been waiting for this since the moment of death. Ventanus had imparted M'kar's true name -- Maloq Kartho. Utilising this knowledge, it would later come to the for in a final epic duel, when Chapter Master Marneus Calgar faced M'kar for the final time. Captain Ventris tossed the Shard of Erebus to him at a critical moment, and the Chapter Master utilised the dagger to finally kill Maloq Kartho in True Death -- destroying the essence of the daemon utterly -- finishing what Captain Ventanus had begun ten millennia earlier.
Traits & PersonalityEdit
The hallmark of Remus Ventanus' command was the phenomenal resolution with which he committed his will and blood to any strategy he had decided upon in battle, no matter the odds or the opposition, and his ability to inspire those in his service to do the same. During the murderous perfidy of the Battle of Calth, it was this factor, above all else, which allowed the forces under his command to endure and triumph.
In the opening chapter of the novel "The Chapter's Due" by Graham McNeill, it states that Captain Ventanus was known as, "Ventanus of the lost 6th Chapter," while in the Horus Heresy novel "Know No Fear" by Dan Abnett and the Forge World Book, "The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest" by Alan Bligh, it clearly states that Captain Ventanus is the commander of the 4th Company, 1st Chapter, under the senior command of First Chapter Master Marius Gage. This is clearly a case of information being "retconned" (retroactive continuity), and should also be assumed that these latter sources supersede previous canon.