The Realm of Ultramar is the feudal interstellar empire within the Imperium of Man's Segmentum Ultima that is governed by the Ultramarines Chapter of Space Marines and governed directly by the Ultramarines' Chapter Master who holds the Imperial noble titles of Lord Macragge and Lord of Ultramar. One aspect of the Ultramarines Legion that survived the Second Founding was the close relationship between the Space Marines and the populations of the surrounding planets. During the Great Crusade the worlds around the Chapter's homeworld of Macragge provided young recruits for the Ultramarines. They also supplied raw materials, armaments and spacecraft. Although the need to recruit from these worlds diminished almost to the vanishing point with the reorganisation of the Imperium after the Horus Heresy, the tradition continued. To this day, the Ultramarines recruit not from a single world, but from the whole sub-sector of their local space. This area around Macragge is called Ultramar, the stellar empire of the Ultramarines.
Ultramar is unique amongst the demesnes of the Space Marines. Where other Chapters rule over a single planet,
asteroid or, in some cases, a mobile Chapter fleet or orbital fortress, the Ultramarines have a far larger feudal demesne. Before the Horus Heresy the realm of Ultramar consisted of more than five hundred worlds, and was commonly referred to as "The 500 Worlds of Ultramar" or the somewhat heretical "New Empire." These 500 worlds were all themselves divided into fiefdoms. The largest was the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge, with the fiefdoms of the worlds of Saramanth, Konor, Occluda, and Iax all varying is size. Before the Word Bearers' surprise assault on the world of Calth during the Heresy there was talk of Calth gaining its own fiefdom due to its industrial output nearly rivalling that of Macragge before the Traitors destroyed its biosphere. The fiefdoms of Ultramar were ruled by a Tetrarch, who was an Ultramarines Captain or Chapter Master chosen for this position by Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion. The Tetrarch would then choose both a military governor, an Emperor's Champion and his Honour Guard. After the Horus Heresy, when the Space Marine Legions were broken down into smaller 1000-man Chapters, the 500 Worlds of Ultramar were divided up and given over to the many Successor Chapters of the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines Chapter kept control of the original center of Ultramar, consisting of no fewer than 11 local star systems, each with its own worlds and governments loyal to the Chapter. All the worlds that once comprised the larger Realm of Ultramar share a common cultural heritage with Macragge, so it is not surprising that their styles of architecture, government, and societal traditions are similar.
After the Horus Heresy all 11 worlds benefited from the Imperial reforms enacted by Roboute Guilliman and Ultramar's citizens remain disciplined, productive and loyal. As a result, Ultramar is a wealthy stellar empire within the larger Imperium that knows little unrest and no rebellion or heresy -- a somewhat unique distinction in the increasingly desperate days of the late 41st Millennium. The population lives in sprawling cities, but these cities are surrounded by extensive farmlands and seas that teem with fish.
Each of Ultramar's worlds are self-sufficient in raw materials and food. Trade between the planets is active, and each planet has its specialties and delicacies. Each world is balanced as a society and also as an ecosystem - although composed of primarily industrial worlds, Ultramar has none of the nightmarish toxic wastelands that are common phenomena throughout the human-settled galaxy. It is therefore little wonder that many system governors and planetary lords across the Imperium regard Ultramar with an envious eye.
Planets of Ultramar
Ultramar is the feudal realm of the Ultramarines within the greater realm of humanity that is the Imperium of Man. Its worlds do not pay the Imperium's tithes. Instead they contribute directly towards the upkeep of the Ultramarines Chapter. The rulers of the individual worlds of Ultramar are feudal lords of the Chapter Master of the Ultramarines. This is why the Ultramarines leader is also the Lord of Ultramar as well as the Lord Macragge, with all the rights and responsibilities that such titles entail. Just like other worlds in the Imperium, each world of Ultramar raises regiments for its own defence. Most worlds in the Imperium are obliged to provide regiments for the Imperial Guard when required, but Space Marine homeworlds are an exception. In the case of Ultramar, however, the Ultramarines rule so efficiently and are so prosperous that they maintain several hundred regiments ready and willing to join the Imperial Guard when the need arises. As a result, regiments from Ultramar have fought all over the galaxy, often in campaigns alongside the Ultramarines themselves. Each world of Ultramar also provides Space Marine recruits for the Ultramarines Chapter itself. Throughout Ultramar, proud citizens point to public statues of famous Ultramarines who were born to local families. Amongst the older aristocratic dynasties it is a matter of considerable esteem to send recruits to the Ultramarines. For a family to have provided a renowned hero, perhaps even an actual Master of the Chapter, is a great honour that brings considerable fame and status for many generations.
The Ultramarines are unique in that, unlike their fellow Astartes Chapters, they control nine habitable worlds, rather than a single Chapter planet, star system or fleet. Collectively, these star systems are known as the Realm of Ultramar, a sub-infeudated autonomous region of the Imperium of Man, with Macragge as the capital world. Macragge is a cold and rocky world with large, inhospitable polar regions, though certainly capable of sustaining human life. It is home to the Fortress of Hera, the Ultramarines' fortress-monastery.Ultramar is located in the galactic Southeast of the Eastern Fringes near the galactic Rim. The Eldar Craftworld Iyanden has been sighted in this sector and the expanding Tau Empire is also nearby. Twice Ultramar has stood in the path of a Tyranid Hive Fleet and the Tyranid threat in the Eastern Fringes remains strong. Macragge, the Ultramarines' homeworld and location of their fortress-monastery, is just one of the 11 worlds in the Realm of Ultramar. Macragge itself is mostly bleak and rocky, with more than three-quarters of its land mass formed from mountainous upland almost entirely devoid of life. The people of Macragge do not live in this inhospitable region, but the fortress-monastery of the Ultramarines is built here upon a craggy peak surrounded by impenetrable mountains. Within this mighty fortress, inside the vast Temple of Corrections, is the shrine of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman himself. This is where his body sits upon a huge throne of ornately-carved marble. He is preserved in death by a stasis field impervious to the decaying effects of time. This is one of the holiest places in the Imperium, and thousands come from all over the galaxy to look upon the face of the ancient Primarch. The other ten worlds in the Realm of Ultramar include:
- Konor - Forge World - Konor is an Adeptus Mechanicus Forge World. Konor shares a common culture with the rest of Ultramar but technically is independent of the Lord of Ultramar's rule as it owes allegiance instead to the Fabricator General of Mars. However, Konor often relies upon the Ultramarines for its defence and the products of its manufactoriums are mostly intended for use by the Chapter.
- Prandium - Dead World - Prandium once teemed with life. Settlers from Macragge established a colony on the planet after the Horus Heresy. Thanks to a mild climate and fertile virgin environment, the people of Prandium prospered. The planet soon become the most beautiful jewel of Ultramar, a planet of remarkable prosperity and an incredibly rich native fauna. Prandium was destroyed by Hive Fleet Behemoth in the First Tyrannic War. The lifeless planet is now reduced to bedrock, its atmosphere blown into space by the ferocity of the Tyranid attack.
- Calth - Cavern World - Calth is an airless world whose inhabitants live in underground cities where the deadly light of Calth's blue sun cannot reach them. The caverns of Calth are constructed on such a huge scale, and with such grandeur, that they are as light and airy as any city of Macragge. Of all the local worlds, Calth is the most specialised, for although its people grow vast quantities of food in nutrient vats, they prefer to import most of what they eat from the neighbouring system of Iax. Calth is famous for its orbital shipyards, which provide the spacecraft used by the Ultramarines as well as civil and military craft for wider use in the Imperium. Calth was the site of a major battle during the Horus Heresy, in which the Word Bearers Traitor Legion attempted to destroy the Ultramarines to prevent them from reaching Terra in time to aid the defence of the Imperial Palace from the Forces of Chaos.
- Espandor - Frontier World - Most distant from Macragge is the world of Espandor, a planet of extensive forests whose major cities are confined to the westernmost of its two continents. Espandor is a secondary settlement whose people are the descendants of explorers from Macragge and hold considerable pride in their rugged existence. Tradition has it that Espandor was settled during the Age of Strife by traders blown off-course and subsequently stranded by Warp Storms. It is the least densely populated of all the worlds of Ultramar.
- Iax - Garden World - Iax is sometimes described as the Garden of Ultramar. Its climate and fertility have made it one of the most naturally productive worlds in the Imperium. The inhabitants have harnessed the planet's inherent verdancy, covering its surface with well-ordered farms and cultivated woodlands. There are no large cities on Iax, but many small towns dotted over the landscape, connected together by an efficient system of fast hydroways. The oldest and most urbanised area of Iax is the ancient city of First Landing, whose citadel has withstood the barrages of invaders over the centuries. Legend has it that Guilliman came to Iax many times, and that he treasured the world almost as much as his beloved Macragge.
- The Triple Worlds (Quintarn, Tarentus and Masali) - Agri-worlds - These small planets form a triple world combination orbiting around a common centre of gravity much like the Earth and its moon. Gigantic horticultural cities cover hundreds of square miles, capturing precious water in wind traps and storing it in massive underground tanks. The cities of the Three Planets are enclosed by gigantic domes under which flourish forests and gardens as lush as any in Ultramar.
- Talassar - Ocean World - Talassar is a planet of storm-tossed seas and rocky islands whose single continent is known as Glaudor, which was the site of a major battle between the Ultramarines and invading Orks immediately after the Horus Heresy.
- Talasa Prime - Talasa Prime is an Inquisition Fortress World.
- Parmenio - Parmenio is an Ultramarines Training World used largely for the training of the Chapter's Neophytes.
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- Know No Fear (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 24-24, 65-66