Warhammer 40K: The Imperium’s First Loyalists
Saul Tarvitz might be called “40K’s First Loyalist” but there were a few others who fought back alongside the legendary Emperor’s Children duelist.
Saul Tarvitz’s gets his time in the sun because GW loves to talk him up as the first ever loyalist…and that’s actually true from a certain point of view. But it’s not that way in the Horus Heresy series – so how is that possible? Well, Saul Tarvitz was actually the very ” first Space Marine from the Horus Heresy ever to be named” and that happened way back in 1988’s Space Marine rulebook – which was actually EPIC.
Anyhow, Saul Tarvitz is the first loyalist named, ever – but he wasn’t the only one. Without Garviel Loken and Nathaniel Garro, there probably wouldn’t have been any loyalists to fight against the traitors before it was too late.
If you’ve read the first Horus Heresy novel, then you’re already familiar with Loken. He is basically the main character who is watching the Heresy unfold as a member of the Luna Wolves (who eventually change their name and colors to the Sons of Horus). He’s got a LONG story arc, and we aren’t going to cover it all here. But just know that he was the one that helped to organize the defense at Isstvan III.
Loken, along with other great loyalist heroes like Tarik Torgaddon bought time at Isstvan III delaying the traitors for those precious moments as they had to “clean-up” the rest of the loyalists. They tied up the forces of Horus long enough that another loyalist was able to make their escape and warn the rest of the Imperium what was coming. For every minute they fought, they allowed word of the Heresy to spread. Their sacrifices were not in vain.
Later, Loken would ultimately be discovered, and he fought against the traitors at the Siege of Terra. He was able to enact revenge on a few of the Traitors from his past as well – a true loyalist from the very beginning, all the way until the end of the Horus Heresy!
Garro is another first loyalist who deserves some credit. He was the one who ultimately escaped the Isstvan III massacre by commandeering the Eisenstein. A first Captain of the Death Guard, he managed to remain loyal to the Emperor and get the word out about the treachery at Isstvan III. Without Nathaniel Garro, the Traitor Legion’s plan would have gone off without a hitch, and the loyalists would have been slaughtered for nothing. His perilous flight on the Eisenstein is what gave the Imperium a chance to know of the rebellion, and form a counter-plan to Horus and his great heresy.
Garro would then go on to other great things, one of which was discovering Loken and bringing him back to the fold to fight against the traitors once more. Later Garro would also serve at the Siege of Terra. He fought alongside fellow loyalists and slew Falkus Kibre and almost slew Abaddon but was unable to deliver the killing blow due to teleportation shenanigans. Just imagine how different the post-Heresy Imperium would have been if Garro had managed to finish the job…
There are MANY other heroes who remained loyal during the Horus Heresy. However, these three; Tarvitz, Loken, and Garro are in my top 3 when it comes to “The First Loyalists.”
Who else do you think of when you hear the phrase “The First Loyalists” – let us know in the comments!