[BY ORDER OF THE EMPEROR: THIS PAGE IS CURRENTLY A WORK IN PROGRESS.]
There is no true peace amongst the stars, yet it is not all carnage and slaughter. Thirsting gods laugh as they send their minions to work evil, but their laughter is drowned out by the defiant battle cry of the loyal - for the Emperor! His Will be done!
MidHammer 40,000 is a /tg/ rewrite of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, trying to strike a balance between the grimdark original and BrightHammer. It aims for a grimbright or 'grimlight' feeling; barring the Emperor and the Primarchs, plus maybe a lucky few exceptional people, a single individual is unlikely to alter the state of the galaxy meaningfully, being but a single drop on the platter of history. Yet together, the people of the Imperium stand, each doing their part, pooling their single drops into an unstoppable tide that washes away the darkness. Many die, and they shall sadly not be remembered, but their deeds shall forever be honoured.
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/59185788/ Original thread.
- 1 Assorted Lore Bits
- 2 So what's different?
- 3 Primarchs
- 3.1 Loyalists
- 3.2 Traitors
- 4 Xenos
- 5 Writefaggotry
Assorted Lore Bits
It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries The Emperor has sat on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the might of His will, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is as near as death as any man has right to be and then some, his body writhing invisibly with power from the Silver Age of Technology as it ever so slowly recovers from the grievous blow dealt to him by his traitorous son. He is the Lord of the Imperium for whom a million times a million soldiers fight and die, knowing He will soon lead them once more.
Yet even in his horrendous state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. For all the multitudes of the alien, the mutant, and the heretic, they stand as the indomitable will and bulwark of Mankind - battered, beaten, tarnished and worn, but unbroken, unbowed, and proud.
To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the hardest and most resolute regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Remember the power of technology and science, for though so much has been forgotten, yet more shall be learned and re-learned. Hold close to your heart the promise of progress and understanding, for in the twinkling dawn of the future there is still hope. There is no true peace amongst the stars, yet it is not all carnage and slaughter. Thirsting gods laugh as they send their minions to work evil, but their laughter is drowned out by the defiant battle cry of the loyal - for the Emperor! His Will be done!
Chapters, Legions, and the Codex Astartes
The Codex Astartes still exists in this universe, but, mostly because the Lorgar Letdown wasn't as devastating as the Horus Heresy and there were more primarchs that could oppose Guilliman, it's not universally adopted as in the original 40k.
Basically, after the Lorgar Letdown, a fight breaks out between Horus and Guilliman on how to handle the remaining legions, Guilliman of course stands for his chapters style, Horus instead wants to keep the legions as they were during the Great Crusade. This conflict between the two primarchs doesn't spark another civil war because Big E, though very weakened by his recent injuries, intervenes to save the day and find a compromise.
Currently in the Imperium Codex Astartes and Legio Astartes coexist with the first ones more suited for planetary scale operations and the second ones for sector-wide offense and defense. Loyalist marines are "split" into these two different ideologies depending on which idea their primarchs supported.
Big question: Legion of the Damned. Does it become the Legion of Martyrs? In this setting, perhaps anyone can get a second chance if you were sufficiently hardy in terms of soul and mind.
I would suggest a sort of 'Council of Regents', in which they spend a lot of time on Terra, making sure governance is actually competent. They might be Primarchs, but there are only eight of them, and the Imperium is the size of a galaxy. Sure, on occasion they'll venture out to kick ass or inspect the Imperium, but there are so many threats and only so many Primarchs - even they can't be in multiple places at once. Alternatively, they could be ruling over Segmentums, taking up about as much time - sure, it's a smaller area of space, but now there's only one Primarch.
Ferrus Manus and Fulgrim are BROS FOR LIFE and go on BRO TRIPS OF PURGING TRAITORS AND HIGH ADVENTURE together.
Fulgrim is A GOOD BOY. Horus is THE BEST BOY.
Sanguinus is fabulous hawk boy. Probably gets hit on by everyone who's brave enough.
I'd say that with Lorgar as Heresiarch and probable Arch-Priest, Black Crusades could be a hella lot more organised to compensate for the increased power of the Imperium?
Yeah. The reason why Black Crusades are kinda disorganized in 40k is cause all the daemon Primarchs fucked off somewhere else and abandoned their Legions, till Abby forcefully knocked some sense into everybody. Lorgar would be a nice catalyst to focus the wrath of the Chaos Legions on a single objective instead of mindlessly tearing each other apart. With the participation of at least one or two other daemon primarchs.
Would the Drop Site Massacre still happen? Would it be that extreme?
Being outnumbered, pulling off something like Isstvan would simultaneously be far more difficult and a practical requirement to even have a chance. Fulgrim obviously doesn't kill Ferrus Manus here, though. Anyone got any ideas for the Drop Site Massacre?
Maybe they got a shit load of Deamons to help them a bit more. I mean with Lorgar being so devoted to the gods it would be a decent reward for purging the traitor legions of loyalists. Maybe they sacrificed a few planets on the way.
That sounds good! Enough to score a devastating tactical victory, but not enough to put him on par with Horus' tantrum!
The "shitload of Daemons" idea for Isstvan makes sense; having never faced this kind of threat en masse before,Imperials get fucked up.
First, I believe Dante wouldn't suffer half as much, since the "golden warrior" Sanguinius talked about is probably himself, if the prophecy even exists in this version of the story. Another thing is the black rage wouldn't exist, since the psychic imprint of Sanguinius wouldn't have gotten beaten half to death. Red thirst would still be a thing, but it wouldn't lead to assholes like the flesh tearers. Also, no Sanguinalia, so the average imperial worker gets worked to death even on space christmas. Baal would probably not have been fucked up so badly either so there's that.
Sanguinius' psychic efforts to suppress the Red Thirst and Black Rage in his Legion has left the Blood Angels Chapter and its successors (Sanguinius having agreed with Roboute) much more stable.
Maybe they are sent to Prospero to arrest Magnus as per Horus Heresy, but the Legion falls to Khorne due to their hatred for psykers and the sheer prominence of psychic energy, with Russ looking on in desperation as his Legion goes berserk and burns everything his Brother built?
The average Space Wolf is somewhere around eight to nine feet tall. The Canis Helix has mutated so extensively that they now resemble upright wolves more than men, with various Chaos-derived scars, body damage, and injured skin, nearly completely coated over by a deep, often heavily manged and matted coat of fur genetically similar to human hair.
Their power armor is fused into their bodies in a varying fashion, having basically grown in (see pic related for a general idea). It is also a living part of them; the canine jaws and lengthy claws of the Space Wolf are lined with ceramite, contributing to their ability to effectively gore enemies to death. Inside, some of their organs- including Astartes implants- have duplicated further, enabling them to sustain lengthy fire from even bolters when combined with their ingrown armor.
The Space Wolf is close to non-sentient. It's lost the ability to speak or otherwise create intelligent vocalization, and is belligerent and hostile in nearly all occasions, but is just intelligent enough to dimly understand and resent how far it has fallen, as well as obey the orders of its dark masters. Their gait is usually quadrupedal, but they may rear up on their human legs much like a bear would.
While the Space Wolves are monstrously powerful, being effectively power armor-lined and Warp-enhanced, they are also rare. Only the original legionaries who fell are left; the Canis Helix, unless somehow integrated into another human, is the key to their specific brand of mutation and corruption, and as such a Lord trying to produce more Wolves will be met with no success. For this reason, the Wolves are highly prized; beaten into compliance, these war-beasts trade hands, only loyal to those they fear or their patron Gods. It is considered quite an accomplishment to have enough to send into battle, but they are well worth it, tearing and ripping through enemy lines while shrugging off ordnance that would bisect a Chaos Marine.
As for the trader, yes I was thinking Ulthwé... But with a twist. Every trades happen on the neutral ground of Commoragh, after the Dark Eldar had been eradicated/exiled. Such attacks against their kind but before anything make looks the Druchari bad in the eyes of their cousins made Biel'Tan fuckin angry. As such, Vect managed to introduce the way of Commorragh into Craftworld... Before, Dark Eldar were killing and raiding for fun and necessity. Now, they do for fun and vengeance, seeking to take back their homes and made the humanity crawls at their feet.
Alternatively, about the Dark Eldars: I feel like a way to make them less edgy would be taking away their need to torture people to survive, make the Dark Eldar just the biggest galactic raiders, smugglers and all-kinds-of-black-market-stuff sellers/buyers. They raid to steal shit and people just because they're really greedy and selfish fucks. Some sadist Dark Eldar still exist but they do that shit for fun.
I just pictured grimbright Comorragh as the biggest black market ever with scum from all over the galaxy.
Grimbright Comorragh is a metropolis-sized black market: Radical Inquisitors browsing xenotech to hunt traitors with initiating a market chase scene when they spot some heretek trying to buy archeotech.
What would these "new" dark eldar do to save their souls from Slaanesh? Soulstones also for them is too banal?
They may try to catalyse their thirst to vengeance and the pain they inflict to create a new eldar god like Ynnead ? Grimbright, because, yes, God of pain and vengeance... But also it deprive Slaneesh from a good chunk of his power, ensuring a more of equal fight between the two divinity later ?
So what's different?
Whereas OriginalHammer is grimdark - shit's fucked and it's not going to get better - and BrightHammer is noblebright - shit's grand and it's only gonna get better - MidHammer takes a different approach. We aim for a grimbright or 'grimlight' feeling; sure, it looks like we're fairly boned now, but we all know that if we hold on a little longer, a brighter tomorrow shall be our fate.
Lore-Wise, the Lorgar Letdown wasn't as successful as the OriginalHammer Horus Heresy. Whereas some things went better than in OH, with the Space Wolves Legion (though not Russ, who is now a *ahem* lone wolf, crusading through the Imperium) falling to Chaos and the Alpha Legion driven to Tzeentch by their obsession with plots within plots, these victories are outweighed by the increased loyalist sentiments in the Primarchs and their Legions; Fulgrim, BROS FOR LIFE with Ferrus Manus, Horus, THE BEST BOY, and Magnus, RED MAGIC SPACE MAN, staying loyal, with Lorgar taking over as Heresiarch. This leads to the Lorgar Letdown being far less damaging than the Horus Heresy, with the most important distinction being that Big E, while still receiving a devastating wound that binds him to the Golden Throne, it is not so bad that he has been slowly dying for the past ten millennia. Instead, he has ever-so-slowly been recovering, communicating more and more frequently with his people and his surviving sons as he regains his strength. Though the threats from without and within are manifold, the people of the Imperium stand resolute, knowing that their Emperor shall soon lead them again.
Title: The Lion.
What's his function? If we go with the suggestion that Alpharius fucked his Legion over and caused the split, he might devote himself to counter-intelligence ops, stopping revolts, rooting out turncloaks, etc.
Besides Traitor-focused counter-intelligence, the Lion has proven to be one of the scariest motherfuckers for any Chaos warband to so much as hear about. During the Lorgar Letdown, El'Johnson gave Konrad Curze such a vicious beating that the Traitor Primarch was first to flee for the Eye Of Terror, taking such flight that he left most of his Legion to be routed and leaving him with the smallest Chaos Space Marine Legion in the current day. The Lion is said to still be tracking Konrad to this day, and subsequently Konrad is still running scared. The Lion's stoic, ruthless badassery has reached positively legendary status, and often the other Primarchs will only actually see him in person when he is called upon by the Warmaster, Horus, for an important Imperial matter. The Lion has yet to not come to one such call, and while his apparent loyalty to Horus (actually to Father's wishes, and only by proxy Horus as he is Warmaster by Emperor's decree) is a source of mockery by Traitors, in particular Perturabo who compares him to a snivelling dog delighting in the attention of his master, he is all the same an absolutely terrifying entity to Chaos Space Marines. 'Tis only the Traitor Primarchs who have the gall to insult him to his face... except, of course, Konrad Curze.
A GOOD BOY. With the obvious candidate for Propaganda Minister leading the Heresy, I'd say Fulgrim could do that job? Keeping the masses loyal through flawless works of Imperial art, spreading the Imperial Truth (or maybe something halfway between the Imperial Truth and worship of Big E) to new worlds, etc.
Title: The Khan.
Maybe the Emperor's Messenger? While Big E can of course psyker a messenger to everyone in the galaxy, if he's still capable of speech that might be a less painful alternative. Ferrying rapidly back and forth between Terra, as well as protecting messengers and shipping lanes and acting as rapid response troops, the White Scars are a welcome sight throughout the Imperium. Jaghatai is probably a decent guy, if a bit of a more less patient person.
The Emperor's Chicken-Cooking Bitchslap, more like. Racing up and down the galaxy, the Khan and his White Scars sear a constant path of destruction and ass-kicking upon the enemies of the Imperium, making record-straining jumps constantly to be on every battlefront they can manage, determined with an absurd fervour to defend Humanity and make all who would oppress or hurt them pay, and pay dearly. This level of hyper-Warpjumping is only possible through the God-Emperor's direct psychic assistance in every jump the White Scars attempt, ensuring they end up as close in time and space to their target with as little incident as possible.
Title: The Wolf/The Old Wolf/The Lone Primarch.
Russ is also known as the Lone Primarch. His Legion abandoned him, falling to hatred. They took refuge in bestial rage, the abandonment of higher reasoning and brotherhood values for the brutal existence of battle. Slowly they became less than their fellow Marines, then less than humans. Corrupted by the touch of the Gods, the Wolves fell, despite the vain efforts of Russ to avert such a fate for his sons. Twisted and contorted by Khornate and Tzeentchian energies until all that was left of them was mutated, horrific creatures, the Canis Helix having overtaken them. Their power armor fused into their bodies, lining their snapping jaws and unholy, blood-soaked claws. Little if anything left of their minds save the thirst for blood and battle, the tearing of an enemy's limbs and the miserable screams of the weak. There is nothing left of the Space Wolves that once were, save Russ. His sons, long since lost to the Warp, are nothing more than a pack of baying hounds, little more than war-beasts to the Chaos lords they serve.
Russ has since abandoned his lost homeworld and Legion. Casting off his old regalia and armor, he has taken up a simple, unpainted set of power armor, unadorned save for the word "FENRIS" on the forehead. Though his location at any given time is known only to the God-Emperor, it is said by Guardsmen on campaign that he travels through the Imperium unhindered and guided only by fate, ranging from battlefield to battlefield to annihilate the enemies of man. Some wonder what goes through his mind. Does he still think of his sons, or has he attempted to bury his memories?
Magnus has notably avoided so much as speaking about Leman and what happened to his Space Wolves, even when prompted, always changing the subject or simply walking away.
Title: The Great Architect.
Rogal Dorn, ashamed for his failure to protect Father from harm at the climax of the Letdown, ignored his brothers' calls and vanished into the galaxy in self-imposed exile, with only the Imperial Fists 1st Company following him, though they returned to Terra months later on the Phalanx without Dorn to deliver Dorn's apparent orders for the rest of the Imperial Fists. With such a hasty exile, Dorn was not present when the Emperor awoke from restorative suspended animation. Hearing of His son's departure, the Emperor is said to have wept for three days, and all remaining loyal Primarchs stayed with Him in the Sanctum Imperialis for the duration of His anguished sobbing, silent before their father as the brothers and their father, this family, took in the ramifications and gravity of the Lorgar Letdown and the loss of their wayward brothers to Chaos, including their Astartes lost to the conflict and the mass-loss of Leman Russ' entire Legion to mutation.
Though the Imperial Fists 1st Company marines refused to reveal Dorn's location to any, refusing even the Emperor several centuries down the track when He mustered His strength and asked (much to the Khan and Horus' utter seething outrage), the Emperor allowed this treason in light of it being the decision not of the marines but of their primogenitor, the Emperor's son. The Emperor said He understood Dorn's shame, and would respect His son's decisions and desire to remain hidden as he sought atonement, for that is what the marines have admitted is Dorn's goal; atonement. They claim not to even know what exactly Dorn plans to do or is doing in order to atone for failing Father.
Title: The Emperor's Fury/The God-Emperor's Angel.
Known by his honorific, "The Emperor's Fury", Sanguinius travels the length and breadth of the Imperium, enacting His will. Despite his title, most of his duties are explicitly non-violent in nature; resolving diplomatic crises that could see entire sectors embroiled in civil war or heretical uprisings, planning the overall strategy of a Crusade, or spreading the word of the Emperor to worlds led astray. Few know why the Primarch of the Blood Angels, one of the finest warriors in the galaxy, avoids conflict so. Some theorize he has been horribly injured by Lorgar during his duel with the Arch-Traitor, no longer able to lift a blade, but those who have seen the Primarch's graceful movements know this to be false. Only the most trusted of Sanguinius' inner circle, including select few 1st Company veterans of the Blood Angels, know the truth of the matter: the Primarch is constantly battling a mutant affliction known as the Red Thirst, a berserker rage that leaves him in a frenzy if it is not curtailed with meditation and the periodic psychic attunement of the Primarch to his Father on Terra through days upon days of prayer. Rare are the times when the Angel of Baal risks entering combat, and then only in the darkest of hours. He deploys alone, with long-ranged fire support, to avoid collateral damage, and once fighting, does not stop until the last foe has been butchered.
The Blood Angels Legion itself interestingly lacks the Red Thirst or Black Rage mutations from OriginalHammer, and this is a direct result of Sanguinius consciously taking in the psychic distortion of said mutations of his sons directly into himself. Though their genes are still mutant, the pronounced derangement from the mutations is suppressed by Sanguinius' willpower. No vile fateweaving Chaos God will turn his sons like they turned the Wolves of Fenris. Not while Sanguinius draws breath.
Sanguinius is also called the God-Emperor's Angel in some circles... much to Fulgrim's frustrated pouting.
Title: The Iron Lord.
Ferrus Manus is currently traveling throughout the stars, attempting to repair worlds that have been left in dissarray after great wars and battles, particularly those which have seen Traitor Marine raids. The Raven Guard and Dark Angels both have a company specifically assigned to travel with Ferrus Manus to inspect such sightings, and to subsequently track the traitors if at all possible.
Ferrus travels with an absolutely massive fleet permitted to him only by Horus' assurance that Ferrus can be trusted with so much force, and the fleet's presence is heedfully marked and observed by Xenos, even including most Orks, in order to skirt around it as much as possible and avoid being swallowed and obliterated by the sheer volume of fire Ferrus Manus has at his disposal. Techpriests infest the largest of his ships and are said to be developing a new class of ship that is, in essence, a mobile forge city, able to deploy mining efforts and process the findings onboard, becoming a self-sustaining siege support vessel. Ferrus' Iron Horizon as it is now called is under scrutiny by the Fabricator-General of Mars for such rumours; the Cult Mechanicus considers it a breach of faith in spite of the Omnissiah (Big E) insisting that it is alright.
Ferrus Manus is also said to be the only Primarch to speak with Rogal Dorn these days.
Title: The King Of Macragge.
Gulliman and the Ultramarines have become the go-to force for minor insurrections and problems around the Imperium's eastern fringes. Due to their facilities and many recruiting worlds they are the largest of the Astartes forces, but due to Guilliman having to work through literal mountains of paperwork and council often with the Warmaster, the King Of Macragge had to write the Codex Ultra, a Chapter-specific guide to how the Ultramarines should be run whenever their Primarch was unavailable, although he has made several thousand addendums and changes to it since it was first made just a few centuries after the Lorgar Letdown.
More recently, the Primarch has been said to have stepped off the battlefield to review historical combat data with intent to revise the Codex Astartes to be more in-depth, more flexible and an improvement all across the board, after having witnessed a tragic and shameful Ultramarines defeat at the hands of Tau, of all things, having been outplayed at every turn in a brutal and wasteful sequence of losses resulting in a miserable retreat from multiple Imperial sectors to consolidate the Chapter's forces. This event is already being called The Humbling, though not to Roboute's face.
Title: Magnus The Wise.
Magnus The Red has overseen the training and study of many Imperial psykers, making him a sort of father to many of them, as he has by and large been the only individual within the Imperial hierarchy to treat them as anything more than tools. Due to this Magnus has taken it upon himself to try and train all of them to the best of his ability, but due to the high death count and low survival rate of psykers living to become old, Magnus has become somewhat cold and distant towards his Primarch brothers, dedicating his time to trying to save as many of his “children” as he can with little time set aside for anything else. In these duties include him and his legion launching campaigns to teach the common Imperial citizen about the psykers, and the running of the black ships(need a new name for it)(the gray vessels, the gray havens, something like that sound good?). Along with Magnus' duty of keeping the Golden Throne running when the Emperor needs to go and do something (like use the bathroom) Magnus has very little time to do much else.
He could also have become the administrator and leader of the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition, being the most senior living authority on the subject of the Warp and how it works, being very sobered to the deviousness of it and the true threats it poses to those who dive too deep into it without looking first after seeing the Daemonic tide on Istvaan V and the corruption, both physiological and mental, that occurred with both his traitor brothers and some of his own Thousand Sons Astartes as the Letdown went down. With having helped prevent Horus' fall (which he and Father kept on the down-low) and being entrusted by the Emperor with his new duties, Magnus' sense of duty and his appreciation for caution have earned him the name Magnus The Wise.
Another idea [Furious Finch] had was that Magnus is very specifically targeted by Lorgar, who has been shown the "truth" of the universe which some of the Eldar are desperate to cover up. Specifically, the Chaos Gods showed Lorgar... the OriginalHammer setting's universe. The extremely grimdark one. Lorgar wants to expose Magnus to the same brain-shattering psychic visions that he was shown by Chaos in order to corrupt him and turn him away from Big E and the Imperium. Through trickery and a trap (Perturabo, smug prick, was involved), Lorgar and his cohorts were successful in exposing Magnus to the psychic visions of the "true universe" where everything went so, so wrong, and in doing so expose Magnus to Warp energies straight out from between Tzeentch's perfect teeth which agonizingly transform Magnus' Primarch body into a mutant visage extremely reminiscent of his Daemon Prince appearance in OriginalHammer, to sow dissent and mistrust among him and his loyalist brothers to better drive him from them. Magnus survives this attack, both on his body and his mind, though he is taxed heavily by the experience and the terrible awful things he saw, and is only saved at all with the intervention of several of the loyalist Primarchs, including ye boi Leman Russ, and the loyal brothers reap a mean toll on the traitorous Astartes and give the traitor Primarchs a pretty solid thrashing to send them on their way as well, but are unable to prevent the physical corruption of Magnus' body from a beautiful, pure (if half-blind) Human into a red-skinned freak. Dissention indeed is sown as Corvus wants to put Magnus down then and there, expecting him a lost cause, but Leman Russ puts him in his place and refuses to allow Magnus to be field-executed, returning to Terra in person for the first time in many centuries to personally escort Magnus to safety. Debate and argument rages between the loyalist Primarchs over what should be done about Magnus. Vulkan, Leman Russ, Ferrus and oddly Fulgrim think Magnus should be monitored but isn't a threat. Guilliman, Jaghatai Khan, the Warmaster Horus, Corvus Corax and Lion el'Johnson are concerned that Magnus is now possessed in some capacity and should be destroyed before he can spread corruption further. Rogal Dorn is of course not available for comment.
The God-Emperor Himself admits to not being certain Himself of the extent of the damage to Magnus, and Sanguinius refuses to take either side, trusting in Father's eventual judgement.
Title: The Warmaster.
The Best Boy. Probably still the Warmaster, conquering new worlds for the Imperium and organizing the overall situation for the Imperium's vast military. Does he retain his shtick of making sure all worlds he conquers are fully integrated, or does he leave that to Guilliman (if Papa Smurf doesn’t fuck off to do his own thing) or Vulkan? I’d love to see him plan against the Tyranids at some point. Think about how he'd react to Creed. Think about it. In in-game terms, this would basically mean deploying five units wherever you wish however you want with scout. Scout you Titan, Horus, and a knight and a few tanks. Why not? Horus arranges the strategic bits, and then Creed hides his units.
Despite this, his close call with the vile machinations of the traitor Erebus, and his fall only barely prevented by the timely and discreet intervention of Magnus (whom acted to save Horus directly in MidHammer instead of trying to warn Father first as in OH, and with much more time before the corruption had fully festered and turned Horus), have left Magnus, the Lion and the Emperor cautiously observant of the Imperial Warmaster for signs of subtle, lasting corruption. Not out of the woods yet.
Title: The Dragon.
With the Salamanders’ thing for helping out civilians, I could see Vulkan acting as a pacifier of worlds. Whereas Sanguinius mostly deals with the diplomatic side of things, keeping powerful individuals loyal, Vulkan would go out to the masses and rouse their support for the Imperium. Bro of everyone. Prepare to be friended. Of course, if you piss him off...
In the last few milennia, the Salamanders and Vulkan have been on the absolute forefront of every reported Tyranid incursion along with specialists within the Ordo Xenos, and have become supreme experts at combating the teeming hordes that descend from the heavens like a biblical plague. The Salamanders handle the open warfare, fending off the teeming invasion horde and torching capillary towers, while the Inquisitors scour the Imperial worlds, rooting out Genestealer cults. While the Tyranids have displayed a notable frustration, manifesting as comparatively short-sighted and short-lived invasions and sudden, violent psychic attacks, the 'Nids have not been stopped anywhere-near completely, and distant worlds not yet returned to the Imperium during the Great Crusade continue to be wholly consumed to feed the hive.
Title: The Huntsman.
With the Emperor’s Executioner and Terror Weapon both falling to Chaos, Corax might take over both roles, becoming the dagger in the dark that removes those Sanguinius cannot placate and terrifying into submission those Vulkan cannot convince. Obviously doesn’t take it to Curze’s extreme, though. Probably causes a lot fewer body parts of loved ones to be found in mailboxes. Instead, eloquently worded death threats, ultimatums, and warnings signed in suspicious red liquid. And sometimes all it takes is for petulant lords and nobles to see eyes in the dark and the gleam of mighty claws one night and they change their tune real fast. Problematic Xenos leaders, in particular Ork warbosses, are also on Corax' list of heads that need displacement.
Corvus Corax is The Emperor's Huntsman.
Slaaneshi. His natural perfectionism developed into obsession and Slaanesh worship. Essentially replaces Fulgrim and the Emperor's Children as the Slaaneshi Legion.
Even better: TZEENTCH. Pride, envy and the coveting of another's station? Scheming to get around his lack of actual architectural talent? It's perfect for Perturabo. While the other Traitor Primarchs organize against the Imperium at large, Perturabo's actions are done in very particular spite and hatred of his brothers on a personal level. Perturabo has become infamous for his nasty quips and insults, earning him the title Perturabo the Razortongue. His Iron Warriors' minds are gradually being ground up and forgotten, replaced with single-minded bile-spewing hatred of the enemy, and many have begun devolving into Tzeentchian Chaos Spawns, slinging Warpish fireballs and teleporting through fortifications.
Khorne and Slaanesh. Curze went truly mad by the end of the Letdown, and declared himself the new “god of justice”, sending his Legion on a crusade of terror across the galaxy. This caused the “years of fear” in the wider Imperium, where sectors were cut off and entire planets went mad from fear, often tearing into one another and collapsing into anarchy simply from the threats of the Night Lords, but the more space the Legion took the more fractured they became, and eventually from a combined assault by Horus, Magnus, and Perturabo(?) on the world of Contranis they were able to fight off the mad Primarch, and his Legion was shattered, never for the pieces to be put back together.
Another possibility is that Curze's sense of justice was warped by Khorne's influence until Curze went from vindictive but at least understandable acts of vigilante-grade justice to unabashed and unrelentingly vicious tyranny, unable to see reason anymore as his Legion descended into downright barbaric brutality. At the climax of the Letdown, Curze received a hellish beating from Lion El'Johnson, who was absolutely furious at his brother's vile, pitiful cruelty, and Curze abandoned his Legion as he fled for the Eye Of Terror, with the other Traitor Primarchs not far behind. Leaderless and mostly annihilated on Terra, the Night Lords Legion split down the middle into dozens of bands of Khorne-worshipping Punisher-type monsters and Slaaneshi torture-freaks savouring the terror and agony of mortals, losing the sense of right entirely. Curze is said to still be watching for the Lion to this day, fleeing mindlessly like an abused animal. Curze's actual fate is unknown even to the other Traitor Primarchs.
Khorne. Unchanged? Maybe we could do something fun with the Butcher’s Nails.
Without going into much detail, Angron has been very antisocial since the Letdown (shocker!) and has largely kept to himself in his little scarred corner of the Eye Of Terror, only ever so much as speaking to Lorgar, and only coming out when it is time to put the boots to the Imperium and take another shot at the God-Emperor and His lapdogs. Lot of pent-up rage in there, but rather than violence for violence's sake or self-indulgent domination, Angron seems to be trying to meditate in between Black Crusades, perhaps trying to overcome the Butcher's Nails on his own. Regardless of this apparent introspective, uncharacteristically calm behaviour, Angron is still very much one of Khorne's favourite wind-up toys, and his World Eaters are all-too eager to pillage, burn and butcher under the commands of the other traitor Primarchs.
Nurgle. Any ideas? Don’t have much.
Here's a yarn for you; Mortarion's resentment of Father for having stolen his kill and trivializing his entire lifetime's worth of struggles up to that point festered and churned inside him for centuries during the course of the Great Crusade, which he and his Legion took a backseat for. When Lorgar started the heresy as a political revolt against Big E's deception of the populace and indeed His own sons, and overall hypocrisy all across the board, and just generally being a glimmering not-God jackass, Mortarion was on board right from the start, and allowed Lorgar's new sorcerers (led by that turd, Erebus) to infest his Death Guard with Chaos energies for the upcoming attempt at a Drop Site Massacre, and the Death Guard marines marched against the loyalist marines on the fields of Istvaan V in a gruesome display, spraying chemical weapons that corroded armour and set Astartes flesh ablaze with pustules and boils. The Death Guard marched even as their own bodies were torn apart, first by Bolter fusillades and soon, most disruptively for the loyalists to observe, by Nurgle mutations which split their rusting armour open like dead fruit skins and set their modified organs out in sagging lumps from gouges in their flesh. The fall of the Death Guard is marked as one of the most frightening and eye-opening parts of the Drop Site Massacre, as it revealed the new and dangerous threat of Chaos to the marines present. It wasn't just Daemons from a strange parallel dimension; it was the corruption of one's own body and mind.
Despite Mortarion's best efforts to coordinate the Siege Of Terra, the rapid splintering of their forces against the overwhelming defense saw the siege ultimately fail, though not before Lorgar fought the Emperor in single combat and reaped a mighty wound upon their Father. After Lorgar's descent into Chaos proper after they had retreated to the Eye Of Terror, Mortarion became Lorgar's right-hand man for all matters, sharing his preachy brother's seething hatred for the now "divine" God-Emperor. Mortarion is Lorgar's tactician and chief enforcer.
Chaos Undivided. Arch-Traitor. What does he do different form Horus as Heresiarch? Less Primarch, but zeal gives him more Daemons, allowing him to pull off the Drop Site Massacre, but this doesn't compensate for the legions that didn't flip, which is why the Lorgar Letdown lost far more decisively than the Horus Heresy.
Here's an idea. While his original Letdown was for the most part a political revolt because of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Father, bolstered by the other traitors who each had their own petty reasons for lashing out, in the aftermath the Emperor, in his extremely weak and almost nonverbal state, did council with his sons and the High Lords of Terra, whereupon they miraculously convinced him that for the good of the Imperium, the Imperial Cult should be allowed to form (though certainly not allowed to run rampant and take control) in order to give the massive populace of the Imperium a solid hope that things were not going to get worse, and that the God-Emperor would be there for them as the pinnacle of Man with His holy sons, the Primarchs, acting in His stead as He recovered from the attack of the unholy enemies of Man...
As he and the traitors fled to the Eye Of Terror, the bickering already starting and Erebus snarling like the nasty little rodent he is, Lorgar felt strength leave him and he looked back at the brothers he was leaving behind and the Father he had only ever wanted the love of, and saw the two-faced old coot ACCEPTING a religion surrounding himself now. Lorgar is said to have descended into a despairing, wailing fit, clawing at his own face as outrage and misery overcame him, and his bare head still retains the ugly gouge scars from his own fingers raking across his scalp to this day. He "recovered" from this epic emotional breakdown as the heretical traitors vanished into the Eye Of Terror, and soon re-emerged from the care of his Word Bearers a stoic, dedicated, angry man absolutely hellbent on preaching the glory and destined power of the "better" Gods, the Chaos Gods, in utter spite of the Emperor's failures, cruelties and overall hypocrisy.
Lorgar has lost absolutely all faith in his Father and is just as incensed at his Loyalist brothers for being somehow allowed to suggest that the Emperor was divine while Lorgar himself was punished for it. The Corpse-Emperor's precious Imperium Of Man will be consumed by Chaos, and Lorgar will be there to watch Father's hope die.
Alpharius & Omegon
Tzeentch. The mustache-twirling, cat-petting “I’ve been expecting you”-ing villains of 40k. Guide WAAAAAGHS! to poorly defended yet important worlds, triggering uprisings in previously thoroughly loyal sectors, generally creating copious amounts of JUST AS PLANNED. May or may not have triggered the Dark Angels’ schism. Masquerading as Loyalist. Did they have a hand in the creation of the Tau as an annoyance to the IoM?
Alternatively, Alpharius Omegon is looked upon with scorn and mockery by the other traitor Primarchs for supposed weakness, having contributed the least during the Lorgar Letdown. He, or they, are enigmatic and cagey, withholding information from the other traitors constantly, and while the traitor Primarchs admit that they have some trouble getting along these days, they at least TRY to work together under Lorgar to make the Black Crusades mean something. The Alpha Legion don't seem to be trying at all, and it's as though Alpharius Omegon has his, or their, own plans independent from the Chaos Legions, an idea which does not sit well with the traitor Primarchs or their Legions. As in OH, nobody is entirely sure whose side the Alpha Legion is on, or if they're on anybody's side at all. While they haven't been exactly caught sabotaging Chaos, Konrad Curze (or Mortarion, if we go the "Curze went fucking insane" route) feels it is only a matter of time before the truth comes out, bloody and screaming and preferably originating from Alpharius' and/or Omegon's jugular.
Just like in regular 40k, xenos play a big role in the galaxy, but unlike regular 40k, the fact the Emperor is still around means Mankind's contempt and hatred for most things aliend doesn't devolve into utter xenophobia, which can smooth things out through diplomatic relations. This relative peace is due in no small part to the intimidation factor that any xeno with half a brain and self-preservation instinct can see that the Imperium, despite its political schism, is far from weakened and vulnerable.
With the Emperor still around, and the threat of Chaos considerably smaller than in the OG 40k, the Eldar may go two ways: either they are as uptight as ever, and thus be hunted down in any of their form, or they become some sort of shady on-and-off ally for the Imperium. In the first case, the Emperor knows that Eldar souls are quite powerful and feed chaos when unproperly stored, so exterminating them all once and for all and collecting their Soulstones to protect them from destruction (the Eldar do have a weird habit of getting themselves killed) might stop them from feeding Slaanesh, and thus heavily starving one of the nastiest of the Chaos Gods. Considering the Emperor is still alive and Magnus is still loyal, the Imperium probably has semi-stable access to the Eldar Webway, and enough firepower to threaten Commorragh itself. Then again, the Human Webway is still a project worth consideration, given Magnus' psychic phonecall never ruined it, so the Emperor may negotiate with the Eldar in exchange for Webway knowledge, as well as to help fight Chaos, Tyranids and many other threats. One of the most important things the Imperium can offer Eldar is safe passage when their people end up cut off from the Webway for one reason or another.
Curiously, some Eldar have made mention that something is "wrong" with reality and that "pieces are in the wrong places on the board".
Another possibility: The Dark Eldar are far, far fewer in number, and the supposed vileness and danger of Commorragh is mostly a ruse by the Drukhari Archons and their minions. The majority of the realm is just a mishmash of rundown dwellings and strange, barren streets; Commorragh is a slum. Most of the Eldar dwelling within, though called Dark Eldar for having fallen from the Craftworlds, are not spike-bearing sense freaks. The majority of them are instead sad, despondent space elves passing the time by either wallowing in mutual misery together, unable to go home and distraught at the practical death of their species and their civilization, or indulging in fairly minor pleasures such as smoke, drink and each other's company, many simply trying to push the awareness of the situation out of their brains. The events and troubles of the material plane are largely unknown to most Dark Eldar, as only few of them actually exit the Webway, and those few who do are usually Drukhari pirates and soldiers following the orders of the competing Archons, whom are the "true Dark Eldar", being the worst specimens the Eldar species has left to offer and being more true to the OriginalHammer lore. Occasionally a Dark Eldar group may be approached by the Archons with offers of something worth living for in exchange for their service. Commorragh is actually quite habitable, and some Humans have been captured by the forces of Archons and then just either let loose when they stopped being fun playthings or somehow escaped, likely during a violent fued between Archons. The Humans have then been unable to exit the Webway and have simply ended up sitting around with the Dark Eldar slum-goers. Commorragh is, in essence, a spikier, quieter Underhive.
Some things never really change, and orks are not an exception. In MidHammer, orks are still a constant threat, but the more organized state of the Imperium means they can be dealt with much more effectively. The War of the Beast was much less damaging, although it still was quite a dangerous event. Perhaps, though, the truly insane feats of survival that orks (or at least the ones with plot armour) seem capable of carrying out are toned down fairly heavily; orks are still tough, but not incinerate-my-upper-half-with-plasma-and-I'll-stomp-you-to-death tough.
Rather than Vulkan going solo against The Beast and sacrificing himself to slay it, Vulkan, Corvus Corax and Ferrus Manus took it on three-to-one and tore the bastard apart, though not without great effort and some lasting scars for their troubles. The experience is said to have brought the three closer together as brothers.
The Great Devourer still lurks around the galaxy eating planets, but there are many things that can challenge their presence in the galaxy. For one, the Emperor is alive, and while He can't really direct His troops personally against the 'Nids, He is still the most powerful psyker in the galaxy, and it stands to reason He can devise multiple strategies to mess with the tyranids' sense of direction and inhibit the hivemind's control, limiting Tyranid effectiveness even in large swarms. Not to mention Magnus is still loyal, and he could be one of the greatest assests Mankind has against the Hive Mind.
While the original death of Tyran still occurred despite the God-Emperor's cryptic warnings of the coming "herd", the battle for Macragge went far better than in OH with Guilliman going boots on the ground to fight alongside his sons and tearing the head of the Swarmlord off at the climax of a brutal duel with the mighty beast, giving the Hive Mind brain freeze and allowing his Ultramarines to rout the Tyranids and, by chance, discover that slaying certain Tyranids had an extremely pronounced effect on the larger swarm. The successive elimination of so many synapse 'Nids one after the other in such a short space of time utterly broke Hive Fleet Behemoth's attack and the Tyranids were exterminated from the planet and the sector. The ships of Behemoth were reported to have actually fled during the escalating rout, and the Hive Fleet has not been seen in Imperial space proper since. Roboute and his Ultramarines left a lasting impression on the Great Devourer, it seems. This is not to say they scared all Tyranids away; Hive Fleets like Kraken and Leviathan continue to reach into the Imperium to devour worlds, but the distinct colours of Behemoth are giving anywhere with Space Marines a very wide berth. And the Tyranid threat will not arrive in one all consuming wave of pure, undiluted sadness, but will be a bit more disorganized, and arrive in waves. Because there cannot be light at the end of the tunnel if you have been eaten by an endless tide.
The Necrons are waking up after millions of years of rest, but instead of a galaxy fully embroiled in war, they find a damaged, but still strong Imperium, that could counter the slowly awakening Necrons before they become too dangerous. The Emperor may try to do something about the C'Tan shards, considering he has the Void Dragon prisioner in Mars. Considering newer fluff, possibly tentative negotiations?
The T’au are mostly unchanged at their core, but the state of the Imperium means that the uncompromising “Join or Die” attitude of the Ethereals must alter to accommodate not getting blammed immediately. They are a lesser threat to the Imperium’s eastern side than in OH, and barely constitute a thorn in humanity’s side. However, they are still a threat none the less, and more worlds have been lost to them than in OH, but this is not as bad as the Imperium has a much easier time compensating for this. They remain as totalitarian and hierarchical, and still trade with Imperial worlds and Rogue Traders on the border of Imperial space, though this is being cracked down upon after The Humbling of Guilliman.
The Damocles Crusade went absolutely horrifically for the Imperium, far worse than in OH. The inflexible Codex Astartes Chapters that got involved, including the Ultramarines themselves, were unable to handle such a tactically adept and technologically advanced threat without the Warmaster's leadership. Roboute Guilliman, despite attempting to salvage the situation, was unable to prevent the loss of dozens of Imperial worlds to Tau occupation, under which they continue to languish to this day. The Damocles Crusade is often referred to as The Humbling, and has resulted in the Primarch resigning from the field to study and revise his Codexes in light of his failure. The Imperium continues to be in an unpleasant cold war with the Tau, having many more problems to deal with before full attention can be given to this threat.
Vox-Recording Found on Terra, M41
John Alvok, final recording on Terra. "To Meredith, my lovely wife, so vast a distance away. I saw him today. After so many years of waiting. The Master of Mankind, our most glorious Emperor of Man. Though he once willed it not, I believe in his godhood.
Today, I have been vindicated.
Such a man. Tall, towering over the procession. His face carved from perfection, set in a strong yet calm visage, his eyes scanning over us pilgrims. Do you know the most amazing thing, Meredith? He spoke. Our immortal Emperor spoke to us. I am truly at peace now. Fifteen years awaiting and every instant was worth it, for the thirty seconds I could lay eyes upon him.
His words? "Be at peace."
The Dawn of Hades Hive
Sergeant Iastus - no, Lieutenant Iastus, he corrected himself - of the Hades Hive XVIth Militia Platoon surveyed the men and women under his command. Civvies, mostly, though a couple Arbites were mixed in - he’d put those to work as sergeants. A lot of his troopers looked hungry. Most looked tired. All were clearly afraid. Iastus shared that sentiment; he’d fought the Orks before, and it wasn’t something he enjoyed. He winced and reflexively ran his finger over the scar on his leg left there by one of the brutes.
Still, the Hive needed its defenders; the XVIth would have to do. He clutched the Imperial Aquila hanging around his neck, thinking of his home, his wife, and his son.
“Men,” he said, his voice shaky, “on this day, the world of Armageddon stands in the dark of night. Ghazghkull Thraka has returned to plague this noble world once again, and his armies are banging on the gates as we speak.” Several of his troopers went a couple shades paler as he spoke. “Today, the Emperor calls upon you to fight, and perhaps die, for the Imperium.” His voice grew quieter; he’d never been the best at inspiring speeches, and it was showing. He frantically cast around for anything to say that might inspire the civilians under his command to hold the line when the time came. His eye fell on a little girl, holding her mother’s hand, standing next to the parade square at which the XVIth had assembled.
“You there, little one,” he said softly, his vox-amplifier ensuring everyone could hear him.
“Please, join me.”
Looking at her mother, then back at him, the little girl trotted up to the stage, nervously. He noticed she kept glancing into the masses of troops on the field.
“What is your name, little one?” Iastus rested a hand on her shoulder comfortingly. The girl looked down at her shoes as she muttered her response.
“R-Rasa, sir. Rasa Halen.” At once, her furtive looks at the troops made sense.
“Trooper Halen! Step forward.” Iastus barked an order in his stern Sergeant voice. Speeches weren’t his forte, but orders... orders he could do.
A wiry man dressed in the uniform of the Arbites nervously stepped forward. “I-I’m sorry, sir, I told her to stay home today but-”
“Trooper Halen! This is your daughter, correct?” The man stood shaking in his boots, unsure as to where this was going
Iastus put on a friendly smile. He had no idea where he was going with this, but for once, his tongue seemed to have found him. He clutched his Aquila a little tighter and patted Rasa’s head.
“She’s got guts to come here today. Got that from her dad, for sure.” He turned his gaze towards the assembled Hive Militia platoon.
“Men! Before you, you see the daughter of one of your own. You might have come to know Trooper Halen during our training together, or perhaps in the cafetarium. Perhaps you knew him from before this mess, perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard his name. It matters not. He comes from our Hive, from our planet - he’s one of ours!” His voice grew steady, taking on volume as Iastus’ confidence grew.
“Trooper Halen! Would you let any green-skinned barbarian near little Rasa?”
The soldier, who had relaxed a little now the Lieutenant’s attention was no longer on him, snapped back into attention. “Never, sir! They’d have to go through me!”
“Excellent. I would expect nothing less. Those Orks out there, though, seem eager to spill the blood of your daughter and your wife. Are you going to let that happen?” Trooper Halen’s earlier fear seemed to ebb away as righteous anger asserted itself. “Frak that, boss! I’ll fight ‘em all with my bare hands if I need to - they ain’t gettin’ Rasa and Eleanne!” Some troopers cheered at this, though it quickly died down.
“Men, before you you see Trooper Halen - not one of the Emperor’s Avenging Angels, not one of his fine Guardsmen, nor a PDF soldier. Trooper Halen is just a citizen of the Imperium, one amongst trillions. Yet, he is so much more than that. Through him, and all others like him, the Imperium is made manifest! Through him, and those like him, the tides of treason and bloodshed have been turned back time and time again! Together with him, we shall turn it back once more! These savages come to butcher our friends, our sons, our daughters - will we let them?”
“NO!” A resounding echo resonated through the square. The cheers returned, stronger this time.
“Men - nay, soldiers, HEROES of the Imperium! Today, we stand against carnage! We stand against the darkness, bearing the light that our Emperor has spread through the galaxy since He has led Humanity to claim its destiny! ‘Tis true, night has fallen on Armageddon, but every night must give way to dawn - today, WE end the night! TODAY, MEN, WE ARE THE DAWN, AND THESE FOUL SAVAGES SHALL KNOW IT!”
Like a volcanic eruption to rival the fiercest volcano on Nocturne, defiant cheers erupted from the men and women of the XVIth. Shouts of “We are the dawn!” “They ain’t getting my son!” and
“His Will Be Done!” filled the air. Little Rana, confused and scared by all the shouting, began to cry and hugged her dad, still standing out of rank. Iastus patted her on the back.
“It will be alright, little one. Dawn has broken today.”
The Emperor's Fury
“The Emperor’s Fury? Aye, I’ve seen him fight. Why are you staring at me like that? Close your mouth, boy, or your jaw’s gonna fall off. ‘Awesome’? Son, it was terrifying.
Sure, he might not seem that scary - imposing, certainly, he’s one of the Emperor’s children, after all - but scary? Nah, surely not, he’s the Emperor’s foremost diplomat. He hardly ever deals with combat on a personal level, rarely even duels. Surely he can’t be that scary? Listen up, boy, you’ve probably heard the rumours that that thrice-damned arch-traitor knocked something wrong in the Angel of Baal, hence his avoidance of combat. Lemme tell ya, that’s a bigger load of groxshit than you’d find in an agri-world fertilizer ship.
It was on Coronus V, Garguan sector, some ten, twenty years ago. I was still just PDF back then, stationed in the capital hive. We’d been dealing with an upsurge in mutant births, rogue psyker activities, cult activity, the whole package.The Planetary Governor, that traitorous fuck, was acting a bit miffy too. Seemed intent on seccession, and the Imperium would have none of that. So, over came Sanguinius, t’see if he could straighten things out.
Now, if I’d tell ya things went to the Warp in a handbasket, I’d be underestimating to the point of groxshitting you. I was stationed near the Governatorial Palace at the time, and saw the Emperor’s Fury himself enter to meet with the Governor. I could see why they call him the Angel; I’m still not convinced he ain’t got an actual halo around his face. Face like an angel, too.
Anyhow, so the moment he enters, a series of explosions rock the palace and the Hive as a whole. Within a minute, our positions are stormed by hordes of mutants and freakish zealots, barreling down at us with hardly more than cobbled-together junk as armor and rusty knives for weapons. They weren’t the problem. The problem was that pretty much every trooper in there with me, save for my own squad, the glorious bastards, made to shoot at us, screaming about offering our skulls to the Blood God.
Now, we were damn lucky that the Angel of Baal had bought a honour guard, or I wouldn’t be sitting here. Jervis was down, Petula had a slug in his shoulder and I was running out of ammo, and these freaks have almost bashed down the gates. So we’re sitting there, thankfully having cleared the traitors out of our position, but with a horde of mutants banging at the door, praying to the Emperor for salvation - what? Yeah, yeah, I know, He didn’t want to be prayed to, but trust me, you’d do the same if you saw some harlot with a face that look like it had melted promising to do unmentionable things to your spleen. Now stop interrupting me.
Okay, so, the door gives way, Yerrin goes down to some freak with four-and-a-half arms - yeah, I don’t know how that worked either - and we’re sure we’ve faced the end. Thankfully, it seemed the Emperor listened to my prayers, and the moment I’m jumped by one of those freaks, its chest explodes in a shower of gore. It wasn’t pleasant, but I’m sure it was preferable to the alternative. In storm the red-armoured sons of Sanguinius, wreaking absolute fucking havoc on the enemy. Within ten seconds, every last mutant in that room had died.
The Space Marines order us to follow them - not sure in what way we could help Astartes except draw fire away from them, but I’m not going to question a command by one of the Blood Angels. So, we grab our gear and follow them, fighting through a literal sea of mutants to get back to the palace - well, in fairness, they did most of the fighting, we just tagged along in the corridor of corpses they created.
Anyhow, we’re almost at the front door of the Governor’s place, and we see a dark, giant form crashing through one of the stained glass windows at the fifteenth floor. Turns out the Governor tried to summon Daemons to help fight the Son of the Emperor, but fucked up somewhere along the line and got possessed by one of them instead. I think they called it a Bloodthirster or something. I can’t quite recall after all those bottles of amasec I had after that event. Anyhow, after the Daemon, the Angel of Baal jumps out and starts punching the shit out of that abomination in mid-air. They crashed into the ground together, right in front of us. That Daemon never stood a fucking chance.
After punching it until its face stopped resembling a face, the Bloodthirster vanished in a puff of sulphur, and Sanguinius looks up. I still think I’m damned for him looking me directly into my eyes. There was something angelic about him still, but not the type of angel that exemplifies kindness anymore. This was the kind of angel that storms out of the heavens with a giant flaming sword to fuck you up in all sorts of ways. His eyes… oh Emperor, his eyes. Hand me that bottle of amasec, will you? Yes, I know it’s my fifth. I’m your superior, son, so just shut the fuck up and give me the alcohol.
Ah, that’s better. Where was I? Oh, right. So the Emperor’s Fury looks up at us, snarling for some reason. I looked at his Marines for guidance, and what I saw almost scared me more than Sanguinius himself. In all my years of service, I’ve seen Astartes on more occasions than many in the Guard, but this is the only time I’ve seen one afraid.
Never thought I’d say it, but I thanked the Emperor when a right proper army of heretics showed up and began to shoot at the Angel of Baal. He turned around to face them and charged. What he did… wasn’t pretty. The streets were crammed with heretics, but he just butchered them all in seconds. He waded into the city, out of sight. He pretty much single-handedly executed every traitor in the Hive that day.
I’ve seen The Emperor’s Fury fight, and let me tell you, son, he’s got that name for a reason”.
Excerpt from The Codex Astartes
Preface to Index Aurelian This Passage was part of Roboute's Collected writings called "Reflections on the Great Crusade." In which Roboute provides commentaries on the actions of himself and his brothers during The Emperor's Great Crusade as a preface to his own death and Lorgar's treachery. Gulliman remains hopeful in the Emperor's project, but he does warn that The Primarchs need to stop thinking of themselves as conquerors, and instead as rulers. Jaghatai Khan eventually inserted this into the preface of "Index Aurelian" of The Codex Astartes
We should not be so arrogant to assume that all sins fall on Lorgar and his ilk. As if it is us not them who have nothing to atone for. All of us have committed great crimes in the name of a Higher Truth. Perhaps I can say that my legions never stooped to the brutality of Angron and his world eaters, yet the home of Nuceria was part of my kingdom. The men who tortured and mutilated the soul of my brother continued their evil with their deeds unpunished. Even if I am not a monster by my deeds I have been their husbandman through my omissions. All of us have committed our crimes and when we do, we place hope in our immortality, thinking that the memories of our nefarious deeds will die with our ephemeral brethren. They do not. Instead the stories echo and amplify in whispers and hearths and children's bedsides. Eventually all of the galaxy will know of us not as the heroes we paint and sculpt ourselves to be, but mythical monsters who steal their children and bring fire from the sky. And as they grow fearful, we grow cold. And as aloofness becomes callousness, callousness becomes contempt. And after contempt? What then? Then perhaps it would be better if Lorgar and the traitors did succeed, for at least such maniacal evil has the virtue of honesty, and that's one more virtue than possessed by the hypocrite. No, if the citizens of this Imperium are to serve us, then we must serve them as well. Our Astartes should grow and bond not merely with us and their ships, but the planets they serve, attend to their needs, take on their way, right their wrongs and nurture their growth. If we take the best of their sons for our own ranks, should we not return something as well?
Hymmn 54 from Psalter of The Matron
The Psalter of The Matron
The Psalter of the Matron, is a collection of hymns and songs recorded by the Pilgrim fleets of Maccragge. According to tradition, these songs were composed by Tanasha Euten and her closest companions during the "Pilgrimage of Terra" where the Refugee fleets of Maccragge were harrassed by the demonic forces of the warp. These songs are the oldest of the Religious texts of the Aurelian Cult, and as such they are considered the bedrock on which most religious doctrines must be fount. This particular passage serves as the basis for Imperium Secundus. Illyria, is seen as a metaphor for The Warp, but is also used by the faithful as a poetic expression for trials placed upon them in life. The Hymn has been appropriated into battle chants by many ecclesiarchic organizations, and is often used as a funerary hymn by the Devout in Ultramar.
- For though we are lost in Illyria,
- Beset by all our foes,
- We trust in you The Ultramarine,
- For In Illyria you are Building a Kingdom
- For In Illyria you are paving the path
- For in Illyria the wild beasts obey you
- For in Illyria the brutes and monsters scatter
- For in Illyria the Loyal will gather to you
- For in Illyria a New Kingdom will be made.
- The Aurelian says to Forest of Illyria
- "Be Trimmed and Pruned" And The Forest will Grove itself
- The Aurelian says to the Cliffs of Illyria,
- "Be Sturdy and Sloped" And The Cliffs will make themselves Foundations
- The Aurelian says to Oceans of Illyria
- "Be Calm and be Clean" and The Oceans will harbor themselves
- The Aurelian will say to the Beasts of Illyria
- "Be docile and fertile" and the beasts will husband themselves.
- The Aurelian will say to Illyria "Be a Kingdom fit for my Father"
- And Illyria will bow and become Imperium."
The Last Vox Broadcast of "The Maiden of Espandor"
The Maiden of Espandor was the de facto lead ship of the Refugee fleet of Maccragge, containing Tanasha Euten and several of the Senators of Maccragge. It fell out of the warp and landed on the Planet Ophelia. There were no bodies found on the ship. Instead a silver scroll called "The Manifest of The Faithful" which contains the list of those on board who "Were not found wanting." This is one of the few recordings salvaged from the Ship. The Ship is currently maintained as a site of Pilgramage by the Ecclesiarch of Ophelia
"Perhaps you are falling into despair, and you believe The Emperor has abandoned Ultramar in its darkest day. But Know This! That as my son gave his dying breath fighting these very demons he did not lose his faith in the Emperor. And because of this I know That The Lord of Ultramar stands alongside us, I see him like a great wave of sparkling clean water driving down the Floatsam and mud of the warp. He did not lose his faith, and so I swear to you on this accursed demon-ridden ship, nor will I. So if you weary to place your faith in the Emperor and too tired to carry your prayers to Terra, then fear not! Your hopes and prayers will not be lost in the hell, for as The Queen Mother of Ultramar I command you to look upon me and to place your faith in my faith and the faith of Rouboute. For we have not forgotten him -and with our last words, passing spirit, and dying gasps- My son and I will carry your names and your prayers to the Golden Throne." Courage and Honnor, my Children! The Emperor Protects!"
Perturabo's Speech to Dorn
"Do you Remember, Rogal, when you were asked if there was any Fortress you could build that I could not siege?"
"Yes" said Dorn, "and the answer remains the same."
"As curt as ever." Said The Seigemaster of Olympia, ignoring the swarms of Fists searching the other rooms leading to the throne room.
"Now what about the inverse? Does the Great Architect of Terra believe he could crack any Fortress I built?"
"This is evident now" Dorn replied, to the muffled laughs of the Imperial Fists.
"Indeed," Perturabo nodded, while brushing away the perceived insult. "Father, never really granted me the same opportunities as my new patron does. Did you kno - I was so angered by your hubris that day, that in my more foolish mortal life, I would spend weeks at a time, agonizing over your plans and my own, your battle records. Convinced that, given the opportunity, I could outshine you with a fortress that you could never crack. But now that my patron has given me the tools to fulfill my desire, I see the truth. I was not your rival, I never existed. In your mind, I was a projection of your own sins. You once accused me of recklessly throwing legionaries at walls, and yet..." The Primarch Waved his hands around his ruined Citadel, "here we are at the site of my ruined walls. Leveled only by the Fine Skulls of your Legionaries. That ruthless obstinence is not my failure, it’s yours. Do you know what I have realized, My dear Brother Rogal? For so long, my mind was obsessed over designs for "the perfect fortress" it was my obsession, my dream, i would build the best Fortress. Then I realized my folly. There is no best fortress, whether we build them with sticks like our ancestors, or Rockcrete and Adamantium, they are all built with the same purpose. Do you know what that purpose is?"
"A Strong Fortress is one the enemy can't break" said Rogal flatly, throughout the Labyrinth, The Imperial Fists were finishing off the few remaining demons, and attempting to find where Perturabo's transmission was coming from. Dorn awaited their response
"NO" Roared Perturabo with a bellowed, triumphant laugh."I knew you would say that, I used to say that as well, after all."
"All fortresses are pregnable, Rogal, with enough time and resources. Ancient Troy fell through trickery. Qunstinable fell through treason, Jibralter fell through Technology, and Nova Yorik fell through the unruliness of its own citizens. Just as Terra falls now due to the negligence of its Defenders. It is the duty of any fortification not to be impregnable, but to make the cost of breaking it so high the enemy is either deterred or exhausted. To be so costly, that it is not worth the treasure inside. And if that is true, the ultimate fortress, my brother, is not one that can't be besieged, it is one not worth seiging at all."
"And That, my ever-obstinate brother, is your greatest failure. Perhaps you are right, maybe there is some design of yours I could never break. But I never needed to, perhaps, like Illium of Old I just used my Ulysses to open the Gates. All i needed was its great Hector, Rogal Dorn, tied away long enough for the defenses to falter. Terra has fallen without my involvement. Now Im content enough to not care, but I know you do, just as I know in your heart you think you could siege any fortress I built. No matter how meticulous my design, you would find a way to tear it down, whatever the cost. You have to, that's why you projected onto me, your pathetic shadow. So obsessed are you with your ability to build and siege, that, like me, you could never comprehend, never even conceive of the idea that a fortress would cost too much to crack. That it is not worth the treasure inside. Well here it is, Rogal. Here is the heart of my Fortress. An Ancient Planet-destroying Bomb from the Dark Age of Technology, much like the one that has detonated on Terra in your absence. I set it to detonate in 100 days, but that was the day before you came here, about ...99 days, 16 hours and 55 minutes ago. I do hope you remember the way out Rogal and your legion is ready for a lively sprint, as I am afraid I am not here to show you the door. Good Luck dear Brother."
Holographic Projection of Perturabo at the heart of the Labyrinthine, Continent-Spanning Fortress of Olympia. During the Events of the Great Treachery