From 1d4chan

The Forging is one of the major time periods of the Imperium of Man. It was preceded by the Time of Rebirth and followed by Nova Terra Interregnum, stretching from mid-M32 to mid-M34.

Basically, the Imperium consolidated its strength, having finally rebuilt from the Horus Heresy.

The War of the Beast[edit]

Main article: The War of The Beast

The Imperium, after the heresy, enjoyed an odd period of relative peace - so long as we ignore silly and minor events like the Iron Cage world, the first Black Crusade and battle of Cadia, the Battle of the Fang, multiple traitor Primarchs fucking over many worlds, and of the Daemon cults that were popping up everywhere. The Adeptus Astartes were starting to die out as there were less and less campaigns to wage (despite the traitors still being around in huge numbers) and the forces of man consolidated their domain. Then appeared the 'The Beast, the mightiest Warboss ever conceived, to ravage the galaxy. The Imperium was thrown to its last ropes and it took a lot of effort to survive. It bears special mention because it's the turning point for the Imperium's organization: the former position of Lord Commander (basically a prime minister mixed in with general of the armies/admiral of the navy/marshal of the air force) was abolished and the spirit of the Imperium went from being relatively good and peaceful to decay into what would become the hellhole we know and love.

The Beheading[edit]

Main article: The Beheading

The Beheading occurred when a Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum decided to annihilate the rest of the High Lords of Terra. Nearly one hundred years of governance ensued under said Grand Master before the Space Marines stepped up and murdered him (albeit at great loss). Then nearly a century of anarchy consumed Terra before the Ultramarines gathered a group of successors and reappointed a set of High Lords. This also led to the creation of the Ordo Sicar(i)us, one of the minor Ordos of the Inquisition, which watches the Officio Assassinorum.

The Astropath Wars[edit]

The BRB gives precious little detail (none at all, in fact) about the Astropath Wars, but whatever they are they sound Awesome.

Fantasy Flight Games' Deatwatch supplement Honour the Chapter mentions that a Chapter called the Carcharodon Astra (likely the predecessor to everybody's favorite Chapter of Space Sharks) took part in them. Sadly, it then mentions that the Astropath Wars have been so thoroughly scrubbed from Imperial records that it would be easier for a denizen of the 41st millennium to research the Great Crusade or Horus Heresy, which is saying something given the denizens of the 41st millenium don't even know the Emperor was a super-atheist.

The Blade of Infinity[edit]

A pre-Heresy (hell, pre-Age of Strife) ship named the Blade of Infinity appears out of the Warp, broadcasting what appears to be a desperate warning. Oh, and it claims to have entered Warp space sometime around M10, long before the invention of the Warp drive. It disappears into the Warp moments before massive battlefleet of Chaos Space Marines appears. Creepy...

The Year of the Ghosts[edit]

A.K.A. "The Ghosting". Another topic the BRB doesn't bother describing in great detail, it implies that a bunch of undead fought against Chaos. Again this sounds Awesome but will probably never be expanded on.

The Howling[edit]

The Black Templars end the so-called "Catelexis Heresy" by executing the Cacodominus, an alien cyborg so psychically powerful it telepathically controlled thirteen hundred star systems (how?). Unfortunately its death scream echoes throughout the Warp, blowing up the minds of billions of psykers and obscuring the Astronomican, sending millions of ships to their death in the Warp. All the while entire sub-sectors slid into barbarism without the Adeptus Terra to guide them. The BRB claims it is a steep cost for victory; NO REALLY?

Also, the 6th edition Codex: Space Marines puts forward a theory that the Black Templars don't have Librarians because they all got blown up by the Howling.

The War of the False Primarch[edit]

The War of the False Primarch was a dark and bloody episode of the Imperium's history, now largely lost to myth and purged from all records, that plunged the Segmentum Pacificus into anarchy from 780.M33 to 860.M33. The conflict was finally ended when the High Lords of Terra convened the Pentarchy of Blood and tasked five uniquely talented loyal Chapters to destroy eleven others that had been declared Traitoris Perdita for their actions during (or after) the war.

Timeline of Warhammer 40,000
The Times of Old Wars of Secession - War in Heaven (60.000.000 BC) - Fall of the Eldar (M30)
Pre-Heresy Age of Terra (M1-M15) - Dark Age of Technology (M15-M25) - Age of Strife (M25-M30)
Great Crusade (Late M30-Early M31) Unification Wars - The Last Church - Rangdan Xenocides - Interex - Gardinaal - Faash - Council of Nikaea
Horus Heresy (Early M31) Battle of Isstvan III - The Burning of Prospero - Drop Site Massacre - Thramas Crusade
The Battle of Phall - Battle of Calth - Signus Campaign - Imperium Secundus - Siege of Terra
Time of Rebirth (M31-M32) The Great Scouring (M31) - Start of The Long War (M31) - The Legion Wars (M31) - The Battle of Skalathrax (M31)
The Battle of Harmony (M31) - Creation of the Codex Astartes (M31) - Second Founding (021.M31)
The Forging (M32-M34) The War of The Beast (544.M32-546.M32) - The Beheading (546.M32) - The War of the False Primarch (780.M33-860.M33)
Nova Terra Interregnum (M34-M36) 21st Founding (M36)
Age of Apostasy (M36) Plague of Unbelief (310.M36)
Age of Redemption (M37-Early M38) Abyssal Crusade (321.M37-121.M38)
The Waning (Early M38- Early M41) Gothic War (143-151.M41) - The Macharian Crusade (392-399.M41) - The Macharian Heresy (400-470.M41)
Wars for Armageddon (444.M41, 941.M41 and 991.M41) - Damocles Crusade (742.M41)
Time of Ending (Early M41-999.M41) The Vaxi Atrocity (731.M41) - First Tyrannic War (745-746.M41) - Sabbat Worlds Crusade (755.M41-780.M41)
Siege of Vraks (813.M41-830.M41) - Massacre at Sanctuary 101 (897.M41) - Badab War (901-912.M41)
The Vaxhallian Genocide (926.M41) - Second Tyrannic War (990.M41-993.M41) - Third Tyrannic War (997.M41-999.M41)
Taros Campaign (998.M41) - Octarius War (999.M41-Ongoing) - 13th Black Crusade (999.M41-M42)
Age of the Dark Imperium (000.M42-ongoing) Ultima Founding (999M41-012M42) - Indomitus Crusade (999.M41-ongoing, first phase ended on 012.M42) - War of Beasts (001.M42-025.M42) - Plague Wars (~012.M42) - Psychic Awakening (M42)