- "Each path must be chosen with care, lest disaster swallow us whole."
- — Chief Librarian Varro Tigurius, Ultramarines Chapter
Varro Tigurius is the Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines Chapter of the Space Marines. As a psyker, Tigurius has always stood apart from his Battle-Brothers. Even to the company Captains of the Ultramarines he is a figure of mystery, possessed of a knowledge that goes beyond the towering datastacks and myriad scrolls of the Chapter's Arcanum. Little is hidden from the Chief Librarian's sight, and many of the Astartes amongst the Ultramarines believe him to be guided by the Emperor's own hand. Tigurius is unique among Librarians, for he has displayed the precognitive capability to foresee events, even on the tactical level, before they have come to pass, revelations of the future that usually come to him in the form of waking dreams and powerful premonitions.
- "It cannot be considered a gift, to peer into the Warp and unravel the possibilities of the futures that are, that might be and that must be prevented. Nor can the burden of a weapon, that each of my brothers looks upon with girded revulsion, be called a gift. No, Master, I do not think my psychic prowess a gift...but a tool. Whether by a quirk of fate, or the will of the Emperor, I possess a weapon the like of which can turn the tide, not just in a battle but in the course of history. To withhold it, to flinch from its use or deny it would not just be counter-productive, it would be heresy. But if it is a gift, it is a cruel one."
- — From the journal of Lord Macragge, Marneus Calgar, quoting Varro Tigurius, 991.M41
Though the Ultramarines are warriors, their Chapter is typified by a warm, generous personality. Ultramarines are of noble demeanour and regal countenance, fierce when roused to anger, but considered urbane and just towards those who are their allies. Among their ranks, however, one stands out as a man alone, an Ultramarine to whom the ready camaraderie of a brother-in-arms comes difficult, if at all. His is a soul burdened by the weight of his calling, afflicted by a power that sets him apart from those around him. He is the mightiest psyker in the Ultramarines Chapter, if not the entire Imperium, and his name is Varro Tigurius.
Varro is a common enough name within the Ultima Segmentum and many of the heroes of the Ultramarines Chapter have borne it over the millennia. The parents of young Varro Tigurius could never have known the destiny of their quiet, respectful son, or that one day he would rise to become one of the most famous warriors in the galaxy. As they submitted their son to the marshals of induction, those ominous guardians who convey aspirants to the Fortress of Hera, they tearfully bade farewell to a stoic, but withdrawn child whose apparent awkwardness belied an enviable physical ability and a fearsome intellect.
To the trained eye of the Chapter Librarians, who screen each and every aspirant, Varro Tigurius was obviously a psyker of rare potential, and so they kept a watchful eye as he flourished in each and every task set to him. Of particular interest to the Chaplains who oversaw the inductees, even at that early stage, was how Tigurius seemed prepared for the challenges set out, no matter how unusual. Epistolary Xephus surmised at the time that Tigurius was in some way cheating the drill sergeants and Chaplains. Forewarned of the Librarian's suspicions, the supervising Chaplain, one Ortan Cassius, then merely a junior Chaplain under the great Phaelan, tasked the aspirants with an unwinnable assignment. As the dozen other hopefuls struggled to load bolter rounds into weapons that had been prepared with stripped chambers and breaches milled fractionally too small, Tigurius calmly watched, weighing his choices. Eventually, he strode calmly to the waiting Cassius and, without fear in his eyes, looked upon the skull helm of the Chaplain and quietly told him that the challenge was impossible. Cassius, for his part seemed incensed. He bellowed at the recruit before him, his skull-faced battle helm augmenting the volume of his wrath till it reverberated off of the walls of the agoge with deafening force. In the face of such incandescent fury, almost any mortal would have quailed or fled. Not so Tigurius, who, prompted by the visions he had dreamed as he slept the night before knew just how to react. He simply knelt before the Chaplain until the apparent anger subsided. Then with a booming laugh, the Chaplain raised the aspirant to his feet.
"You will do," he muttered, before striding from the room.
Of course in this, as in many other matters, the young Tigurius proved unnaturally perceptive. Over time the battle-brothers of the Chapter Librarius ascertained the nature of Tigurius' rare talent. In addition to a prodigious psychic potential, they learned that Tigurius possessed the ability to foresee future events. This gift was exceptionally rare among the psykers of the Imperium and completely unprecedented within the ranks of the Ultramarines, and yet Tigurius was able to predict many future events, sometimes with such clarity that it was as if he had already witnessed them. The remainder of Tigurius' training served only to prove his natural ability to the Chapter. He fought with the skill of a natural warrior and his physical endurance was exceptional. On completion of his assessment, the Librarius welcomed the young Tigurius with open arms.
Though in the early years of his service to the Chapter Tigurius' ability roused a terrible suspicion among his battle-brothers, even for a Librarian, over time the scepticism he engendered subsided, for the worth of his abilities was clear for all to see. When deployed to a war zone, Tigurius was able to provide a tactical insight to the Captains and Sergeants who lay out the strategies for their warriors. In the Altor Crusade Tigurius forewarned the Scouts of the 10th Company of a successive series of ambushes planned by Eldar Pathfinders. His warnings, initially heeded with a degree of scepticism, doubtless saved dozens of lives -- rather than leading their recruits into deadly traps, the Sergeants instead called in fire support from the Chapter's Stormtalons, which duly turned the awaiting Eldar snipers into grisly corpses with their assault cannon fire. He also warned Captain Agemman to arrive several hours early for the armistice talks with the Eldar Autarch. When the Eldar general arrived with his entourage, he found the jungle foliage that had concealed squads of waiting Striking Scorpions burned to stubble by Agemman's Land Raider Redeemer, Infernal Retribution, and the Captain waiting with his relic blade drawn.
Later, serving the 5th Company, Tigurius led a strike force against the Seven Sorcerers of Harka, a coven of Chaos Space Marines who held an entire planet in their thrall. Although Tigurius' visions did not reveal to Tigurius the nature of his foes, he prepared carefully, working with the Chapter artificers to modify his psychic hood ahead of the mission. At first the assault on Harka went well, with the Space Marines storming the Seven's stronghold and fighting their way down the crowded streets. Fighting with typical Ultramarines finesse, the Tactical Squads fought through the hundreds of treacherous humans who had thrown their lot in with the Seven. Faithless renegades and degenerate mutants died by the hundred as Tigurius and his Space Marines stalked through the ruins of Harka searching for the foe.
Thinking to thwart the Ultramarines, the Seven Sorcerers attacked them as they were embroiled slaughtering a horde of wretched scum armed only with flintlock weapons and improvised clubs. By contrast to their decrepit minions, the Seven were veritable gods of war -- clad in glossy black power armour and surrounded by crackling nimbuses of Warp energy, they stalked upon the Ultramarines, unleashing a bow-wave of power that blasted hundreds of traitors and a dozen Space Marines from their feet. Only Tigurius felt the shifting power of the Warp at work, as the Seven channelled their sorcery. Warily he turned to face this new foe, raising his force staff as bodies –- friend and foe –- around him began to explode from within like fleshy grenades. Here a Chaos-worshipping traitor blasted apart in a welter of gristle and blood, there a mutant burst into a gory mist as if shot by a cannon. Battle-brother Sydes died before he even perceived his attackers, segments of his armour clattering around as his body erupted. The Seven pointed as one, an indiscriminate movement, and with every gesture there was another grim victim.
Tigurius halted their advance with a wall of balefire that seared out from his force staff –- a blazing conflagration that scorched a path through the prone bodies of their mortal followers to embroil them in flames. As their Librarian fought a psychic duel, Sergeant Orestes and a handful of Tactical Marines scrambled to their feet to protect him, holding back the fanatical throng. One Space Marine Librarian against seven Chaos Sorcerers were slim odds, and yet Tigurius did not quail. Screaming in rage he poured more of his soul into his attack. The flames danced around his foes, lapping at the energy that glowed around the Chaos Space Marines. Tigurius' face contorted in pain, and the flames blazed white hot. The psychic hood upon his shoulders radiated with the power coursing through it, and Tigurius' eyes ran bloodshot as the rockcrete roadway began to bubble and melt. As the Seven writhed within the flames, Tigurius' shout of rage became a hoarse shriek and the Seven were burned to death, one by one, slowly at first and then faster as their power died, the smouldering armoured bodies of the seven clattering to fall upon the ground and sink into the boiling road.
In the wake of the incident at Harka, word of Tigurius' power began to spread. His bespoke psychic hood was dubbed, by those who had witnessed him vanquish the Seven, as the Hood of Hellfire. Orestes, who had fought beside Tigurius, and seen his courage first hand, became a friend and confidante of the Librarian, a friendship that served both well for many years. With such glories behind him, Tigurius' ascension to higher ranks was only a matter of time. He quickly left behind the rank of Lexicanium and excelled as a Codicier, providing a depth of insight into the campaign overviews submitted to the great libraries within the Fortress of Hera. Such was Tigurius' natural power, however, that his tenure at that rank was short, and he was swiftly promoted to Epistolary, where he coordinated company-sized operations, using his immense psychic prowess to guide the Captains and Sergeants in system-wide campaigns. The late Captain Invictus described Tigurius, in the wake of the bloody slaughter known as the Rarth Cleansing, as "the greatest administrator the Munitorum had never known."
During his time as a Codicier, Tigurius began to prove his exceptional worth to the fleetmasters of the Chapter, delivering several formidable threats to the Ultramarines fleets simply by virtue of the ability to predict where and when the enemy threat would arrive. Tigurius forewarned Captain Ideus of the 4th Company, Fleet Master of the Ultramarines, of the arrival of the Space Hulk Instigation of Wickedness before it ever entered the Leer System on the eastern edges of Ultima Segmentum. As the sinister vessel materialised from the Empyrean, Vae Victis and a dozen other ships of the Space Marine fleet hammered it into wreckage, ignoring the chance to search it in light of the dire warnings Tigurius had given regarding its occupants. Over the years, Tigurius has continued to offer sage counsel to the Admiral of the Fleet, now the venerable Lazlo Tiberius, perhaps the greatest fleet commander the Ultramarines have ever known. Lazlo, for his part, offers no apology for his successes, but rather shares a great deal of credit for his finest victories, such as the triumph over the Orks of Madbrakka and even the Tyranid monstrosities of Hive Fleet Behemoth, with the Librarian.
Shadows of the FutureEdit
Since his elevation to the rank of Chief Librarian, Tigurius has been an indispensable aide at the side of the Chapter Master. Increasingly, with his office, the solemn Varro Tigurius finds his duty and his gifts a burden that weigh heavy on his soul. He gave the order that sacrificed his best friend, Sergeant Orestes, to save a dozen other battle-brothers and millions of innocents in the Hallowed Stars Cleansing. He has witnessed the Legion of the Damned in battle, and beheld the ethereal horror of their warmaking. His report, one of the most accurate depictions of the Legion of the Damned in the Imperial archives next to that of Chapter Master Zacharias Kersh of the Excoriators Chapter, reported how these macabre undead Space Marines appear seemingly at random when all seems lost; rout the enemy with incredible displays of martial valour and ultimately vanish again without leaving a trace. Since that encounter, Tigurius has attempted to divine who or what these strange warriors were, but without success.
Increasingly he finds himself drawn from the Library of Ptolemy, and contemplating the truths within its million manuscripts, to the Temple of Correction, where he gazes for hours at a time upon the Shrine of the Primarch. Though such an act seems solemn, it appears to invigorate the Chief Librarian, for when he returns from this meditation he is revitalised, as if a bright hope for the future has been rekindled in his heart. So fortified, Tigurius remains one of the greatest weapons in the arsenal of the Ultramarines Chapter, far more than just another battle-psyker in the ranks of its warriors, but a watchman who guides his brothers when he can perceive the right path for them, and fights at their side when he cannot.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
In Tigurius' eyes, there is nothing more dangerous than incomplete knowledge nurtured by a mind unready to accept its consequences. As such, it is not uncommon for Tigurius to meet a question with a question until he is satisfied that the asker has fully grasped the deeper meaning and consequences of the information bestowed. This practice has been a cause for tension on more than one occasion between the Chief Librarian and the Ultramarines Chapter's Captains, for most Astartes seldom have time for such things as introspection. Tigurius rewards those who persevere in their interrogations with an insight so incisive that it borders on prescience, spawned and honed by a lifetime's dedication to the accumulation of knowledge. Little is hidden from the Chief Librarian's sight, and many amongst the Ultramarines believe him to be guided by the Emperor of Mankind's own will.
Tigurius' unusually powerful psychic gift might be treated with suspicion and perceived as a stigmata of unholy associations with the Ruinous Powers, yet none who have witnessed the Chief Librarian in battle can find cause to doubt his allegiance. In combat the Chief Librarian's silent manner falls from him like a shroud, replaced by the aggression and strength of a warrior born. This was best illustrated during the Ultramarines 4th Company's excursion to the world of Boros, where Tigurius unleashed psychic hellfire upon the Ork horde that was present on that world and allowed the weary 4th Company to claim victory over a far more numerous foe.
Tigurius has recently turned his talents to divining the threat of the Tyranids. His predictions about their movements have been so accurate that it would appear he has been able to psychically contact the Tyranid Hive Mind -- a feat that has driven lesser individuals irreparably insane. If this is true, then Tigurius will have proved himself the most powerful psyker in the Imperium of Man, after the Emperor of Mankind, rivalling even Mephiston of the Blood Angels.
Tigurius makes use of the best wargear the Ultramarines Chapter has to offer, making him an even more potent foe for the enemies of Mankind than most Astartes Librarians. His wargear includes:
- Power Armour
- Hood of Hellfire - A specially modified Psychic Hood that not only provides protection against the psychic assault of other Psykers, but allows Tigurius to conserve his body's energy, enabling him to make use of his powerful offensive psychic abilities more often than is normal for even the most powerful psykers.
- Rod of Tigurius - Tigurius wields the Rod of Tigurius, an extremely potent master-crafted Force Weapon that draws the psychic energy out of Tigurius and focuses it into a tight beam of unstoppable energy that blast his foes' souls from their bodies.
- Force Staff of Malcador the Sigillite - In 922.M41 after the Battle of Andraxas, it is believed that Tigurius came into the possession of what is to believed to have been Malcador the Sigillite 's Force Staff.
- Bolt Pistol
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 107
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 86
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pg. 29
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 38
- Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pp. 71, 74-75
- Codex: Legion of the Damned (Digital Edition), pg. 20
- Index Astartes I, "Psykana Librarius - Space Marine Librarians"
- Index Astartes III, "Warriors of Ultramar - The Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter"
- Warlords of the Dark Millennium - Tigurius, pp. 3-4, 7-12, 20, 22-27
- White Dwarf 326 (US), "Psykana Librarius: Space Marine Librarians in Warhammer 40,000", pp. 76-89
- White Dwarf 258 (US), "Psykana Librarius: Space Marine Librarians"
- Chapter's Due (Ultramarines Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Courage and Honour (Ultramarines Novel) by Graham McNeill