40K Lore: The First Ultramarines Librarian

It was the year 1988 and grimdark multi-racial romance was on the rise – infiltrating even the mightly Ultramarines!

It’s easy to forget that at its origin, Warhammer 40,000 was a meandering stewpot of fiction – borrowing from here and there – both sci-fi classics and dreck alike.  Before “The Grimdark” became firmly canon the game, still in its infancy meandered all over the place, into areas that would be later ret-conned, or best forgotten for their own good.

Luckily I have a very old collection….

These days everyone knows all about the Chief Librarian of the Ultramarines, Varro Tigurius. A leader amongtst leaders, slayer of all manner of foes and eternal enemy of the Tyranid Hivemind. A bulwark against the night that Marneus Calgar is proud to call upon to lead the Chapter’s Librarius.

Except at some point in the 1990s, Marneus hired him after firing his predecessor… THIS DUDE:

I don’t like those ears…

Lets walk down memory lane my friends and look at some of the top ranking officers of that most holy of holies, the goody-two-shoes Ultramarines.  Read on my friends of their Chief-Librarian Illiyan Nastase, who stood side by side with Marneus Calgar before a giant Inquisitorial ret-con hook whisked him off the 40k stage and placed the properly Grimdark Tigurius in his stead. Iliyan first appeared along with the rest of the Ultramarines senior staff in White Dwarf 97 from January 1988.

We’ll get around to some of his comrades in arms one day, but take a good long look at this guy.

There’s a lot to like in that biography.  First off his parents – mother from BADAB!!! Father an Eldar (may even Dark Eldar)!!!!  Apparently Ultramar is a more enlightened tolerant culture than we had ever been led to believe. Or maybe the 1980s were really different from today. You can see Illiyan’s personal crest in color on that topmost pic of Ultramarines shoulderpads. His pauldron is 3rd row down, 2nd from the right.

I’m not sure whether my favorite detail is his two years of service with the Dark Angels before induction into the Ultramarines (is he a spy?!) – or that he costs 181 and a HALF points! In any case, with his unnatural youthful appearance, I’m sure he’d get along great with the Blood Angels.

 ~I’ll leave you to work out how to best bring Nastase back to the tabletop in style and what his rules would look like.

  • batweb

    Isn’t this the White Dwarf that reveals the Ultramarines aren’t even first founding? 3rd if i recall properly.

    Roboute is a lie! 😉

    • caljenks

      got roboute’d in teh 2nd ed. 😉

    • Herbrecht Von Jeromen

      And Russ died in his bed due to old age.

  • Shawn

    He was a space half-elf. Kind of a neat idea, if the Eldar and Humans got a long some time back when.

  • bfmusashi

    I have zero problems with him coming back.

    • Herbrecht Von Jeromen

      But the Ordo Xenos would.

  • 3dken

    “76 rears old” Haha!

    • euansmith

      Back then Space Marines were just roided-up tough guys with a probably shorter than normal lifespan (even if they didn’t get shot, chopped up or eaten).

      • Harry_Jamieson

        It’s not the number 76 that OP is pointing out…

        • euansmith

          :O :O 😀 😀 😀 😀