Warhammer 40,000

The Warhammer 40,000 Universe

For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium, for whom a thousand souls die every day, for whom blood is drunk and flesh eaten. Human blood and human flesh – the stuff of which the Imperium is made. To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable. This is the tale of those times.

It is a universe you can live today – if you dare – for this is a dark and terrible era where you will find little comfort or hope. If you want to take part in the adventure, then prepare yourself now. Forget the power of technology, science and common humanity. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for there is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods.

But the universe is a big place and, whatever happens, you will not be missed…

It seems that the end of days must surely be nigh. Traitors, mutants and heretics rebel in unprecedented numbers. The curse of the psyker runs rampant through Humanity’s collective soul. The hellish energies of the Warp press close against the veil of reality, and every day brings inevitable doom a little closer…

To dwell within the Imperium of Man is to inhabit a dystopian nightmare. The faceless masses of Humanity are little more than grist for the mill of survival, an ever-abundant fuel source that keeps the bloody wheels turning. Endless billions labour in the fire-lit confines of factory worlds, entire generations living and dying without ever seeing the sky. Hive cities groan with the weight of unimaginably vast human populations, whose existences are naught but toil and sorrow. From the bellies of leviathan warships to the mindless drudgery of city-sized scriptorums, from the crowded warrens of lightless underhives to the frozen misery of perilous asteroid mines, every day is filled with hardship for the common folk of the Emperor’s realm. It is well that it is so. Those with their heads bowed by exhaustion cannot look up to see the horrors pressing close from the darkness above.

The same cannot be said for Humanity’s leaders. To them falls the burden of knowledge, and the terrible weight of responsibility. Many times throughout its history, the Imperium has known great danger, yet rarely have matters been as bleak as this. The barbarous Orks multiply and spread in every corner of the galaxy, bringing mindless devastation to all in their path. The deathless legions of the Necrons rise from their tomb worlds and ply the stars, seeking to exterminate the human vermin infesting their empire of old. On the Eastern Fringe, the Imperium faces the growing threat of the technologically superior Tau Empire, while from the outer darkness beyond the galaxy come the questing tendrils of the Tyranid hive fleets, devouring every world they overrun. Yet all of these pale beside the most insidious threat of all, that of Chaos. From beyond the veil of reality, the Ruinous Powers exhort their mortal followers to ever greater acts of diabolic cruelty and destruction, while daemonic legions rip their way through the skin of realspace in terrifying numbers.

The defenders of the Imperium stand firm against these nightmarish threats. The teeming ranks of the Astra Militarum and Adeptus Mechanicus fight alongside the elite warriors of the Space Marines, the Adepta Sororitas and Grey Knights. War is everywhere, from one end of the Imperium to the other, and yet those with the curse of foresight whisper of worse to come. Darkness looms upon the horizon, they warn. A Stygian tidal wave rushes closer with every passing hour to drown all of Humanity beneath its icy waters.

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Timeline

Knowledge of the long ages of human history has been wreathed in shadow, buried beneath the aeons or simply lost over the expanse of time. Some Historitors continue to seek knowledge, but their work is like holding a candle against the dark abyss. Be that as it may, presented here are the ages of Mankind’s history as currently termed and understood.

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The Galaxy

The 41st Millennium is a vast, dark and deadly place, full of untold mysteries both scientific, esoteric and utterly alien. To produce a study on all of the technologies and sorceries of the Age of the Imperium would take all the scribes of Terra a hundred years or more; what follows is but a glimpse into this terrifying age. A candle-flame in the darkness…

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The Factions

Over ten thousand years of constant warfare has honed Mankind’s military might, for the galaxy is a hostile place full of corrupted monstrosities and sinister aliens, and only by force of arms is the Imperium held together. It is an age of war and only the strong and the ruthless can hope to survive. Out amongst the stars there can be no mercy, no weakness and no respite from the unending war for survival.

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Gathering Storm

For 10,000 years the Imperium had endured – holding back the power of Chaos with it’s great armies and the might of the Space Marines. No More. The Gathering Storm crashes against a weakened Imperium, and the legions of the Dark Gods seem unstoppable. Cadia falls, a craftworld fractures and daemons assail a thousand worlds. But in these dark times, there are still those to will fight to the end to save the Imperium.

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The Chaos Gods

Khorne

The Blood God - Khorne is the god of war and murder, the patron of ferocity. He broods upon a throne of brass atop an endless mountain of skulls. Carnage is his only desire.

Tzeentch

The Changer of Ways - The eternal schemer, Tzeentch is the god of magic and change, master of the timestream. He is the Great Conspirator and the Architect of Fate.

Nurgle

The Great Lord of Decay - Nurgle is the lord of entropy and fecundity, the joyous bringer of plague and physical corruption. His is the cycle of purification, rebirth and morbidity.

Slaanesh

The Dark Prince - The youngest of the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh alone is divinely beautiful. He epitomises boundless excess – the Dark Prince is all things decadent and debased.