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Guilliman’s Riddle: How to Save the Imperium

4 Minute Read
Feb 23 2017

Roboute Guilliman has one heck of a problem to solve – and tools unknown in his own time to succeed.

When the Primarchs finally fell into legend in the aftermath of the Heresy and the Scouring, the Imperium was a very different place with different enemies and factions.

Roboute Guilliman was personally responsible for many of the foundations laid down under the fledgling Imperium. It was he who laid down the Codex Astartes, incorporating lessons and stratagems gleaned from all 18 legions (yes even the traitor legions). It was he who broke up the Legions into the 1000 – marine chapters and thousands of other administrative details both major and minor.

The Imperium of his time was weakened with the Traitor Legions harried and penned within the Eye of Terror, and Xenos threats suddenly resurgent in the face of a disorganized broken dominion of mankind.

He was struck down on the field of battle by his brother Fulgrim, laid low by the serpent’s daemonic poison and placed in a stasis field on Maccrage.  To him no time has passed.  Imagine what the Founding Fathers of the United States would make of the the 21st century if they were magically transported to our time. Yet that example is not even 300 years.  Now imagine what Guilliman will face after 9000 years of bureaucracy, corruption, and natural organizational evolution and drift have changed his grand design.

The threats to face down are great, and many unknown in his age. So are his tools.

The Threats

In no particular order let us look at the great threats that surround and undermine the Imperium from within.

Chaos – The Traitor Legions themselves and their daemonic masters are now legion and exist in every dark corner of the galaxy.


The Beast – The Orks as always wane and wax like the force of nature they are.

The Necrons – A threat unknown to the Great Crusade and rising seemingly out of nowhere across the Galaxy.

The United Eldar – A unified Eldar race predates Guilliman and only the Emperor would understand their potential power and threat.

The Great Devourer – Another unknown threat to the Primarch – but perhaps the most straightforward.

The Rising Human Psyker Threat – The rising tide of human psykers is a double edged sword for humanity, both granting it amazing abilities and a door to eternal damnation within every weak mind.

The Administratum – Another double edged sword. 9000 years have left the Imperium barely functional and mired in paperwork slowing decisive action by decades. It is also the greatest repository of information just waiting to be put to good use.

The Tools

Luckily for Guilliman, he has a new set of organizations to throw at his challenges.


The Astartes – 1000 chapters spread across the galaxy will flock to the primarch like moths to the flame to do his bidding. His mind will allow him to wield them with the power and skill unseen since Horus led the Great Crusade as Warmaster.

Astra Militarum – The primarch will command undreamed of trillions of men under arms.

The Custodes – Ready to be deployed as needed by Guilliman, the Imperium will now have a speartip at it’s command that no foe has faced on the battlefield since the Emperor fell silent.

Sisters of Silence – Like the Custodes, a tool long forgotten stands ready to throw back any psyker threat.

The Imperial Navy – 9000 years is a lot of time to build ships.  I’m sure Guilliman will know exacly what to do with them.

Adeptus Mechanicus – Mars has harbored secrets since before the coming of the Emperor. Roboute will be able to get their “special equipment” into the fight with an authority they cannot refuse and a mind their greatest magos cannot match.

Mind of a Primarch – Of all the Primarchs, Guilliman recieved the Emperor’s gift of wisdom and organization. The Imperium will find itself put to tasks under a quality of mind unseen since the Great Crusade. A mind that remembers the words and vision of the Emperor as if they were yesterday…

The Wildcards

The Inquisition – It is unknown exactly how the Inquisition will deal with a walking talking Primarch. Will they bend the knee and acknowledge the only son of the Emperor, or will they oppose the undercutting of their authority and special place in Imperial hierarchy?


The Imperial Creed – Anathema to the cold science and reason of the Emperor’s “Imperial Truth”. 9000 years of religion and indoctrination into the Imperial Creed by the Ecclesiarcy tints every Imperial Organization from the Astartes to the Administratum.  It also provides an endless supply of the faithful and fanatical devotees to the Emperor. This is perhaps the most inscrutable Gordian Knot for the Primarch to loosen.

~So I put it to you, what are the Imperium’s greatest threats and what do you think Roboute should do in his “first 100 days” to reform and repair the Imperium?

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