"The night is dark and full of horror, but the dawn is coming - and it will be glorious. All we must do is survive."
- – Srg. Marcus Albus, Mustavaar 3rd Rifles Regiment, 845.M40
Welcome to Nobledark Imperium: a fan envisioning of the Warhammer 40,000 universe given a buff to competence and common sense akin to a high-fantasy fiction with many races working together a la Elder Scrolls. Generally speaking, Nobledark deviates less from Vanilla 40k than the writefagging of Hektor Heresy and Imperium Asunder; we still have the same xenos races, the same Primarchs (at least in name), and the vast majority of the same Space Marine Legions (and later chapters).
A brief summary of the deviations and their results, in chronological(ish) order:
- The Emperor (formerly the Warlord, then the Steward) is a relic from the DAoT instead of a bunch of reincarnated Shamans; Malcador was the one who found him and the closest thing he had to a parent.
- The Primarchs have all died of battle or age; only three of them (Ferrus Manus, Vulkan, and Magnus) lived to see the Steward ascend to the Golden Throne. However, they were all just regular(ish) humans that the Warlord/Steward found to be worthy of the title, and they still had roles/themes approximating their Vanilla selves (with some changes); for example, Manus was born and raised Mechanicus and given a legion of Super Skitarii © , while Russ and his legion were given the experimental Canis Helix variant of Space Marine augmentation.
- No dickwaving contest over Warmaster, and Steward actually tells everyone about Chaos, so no Horus Heresy. Instead the War of the Beast is given more prominence, with many of the primarch's defining moments taking place therein.
- First contact with the Eldar leads to an alliance that leads a raid into Nurgle's Mansion in the Realm of Chaos to rescue Isha in return for all sorts of technological and psyker goodies. Imperium is not the xenophobic hellhole, many species are Imperial citizens and the Mechanicum's "dickslapping the big red button" is not prominent. It's akin to a galaxy-wide Interex done right.
- Chaos Gods are pissed, and turbocharge the War of the Beast with Crone Eldar (while DEldar join in for shits and giggles), replacing the HH in fucking over the IoM. Battle of Terra, Sangy dies, etc.
- Steward doesn't get permarekt because Eldrad Ex Machina, so no Ecclesiarchy (SoB part of secular Ordo Securitas, fulfills a lot of the same functions). Marries Isha at some point because politics.
- Legions generally split into chapters within the lifetime of the primarchs (typically shortly after their death).
- Goge Vandire is seen to be fit for the Golden Throne; when he goes mad, Steward throws a fit and finally becomes Emperor himself.
- Orks, Necrons, Tyranid vanguard (several millennia early) and DEldar are still doing their thing, as well as Croneworlders being a threat. Few (if any) Primarchs left to help put out fires.
- Tau rise (by their own hand and their own blood, sweat, and tears rather than ambiguous Eldar uplift as in canon), and, after short indignant protests from both sides, are absorbed into the IoM (save for the conservative Farsight Enclaves).
- Tyranid main fleet begins to make galaxyfall.
- Well, shit.
For more detail on the general nature of the universe and what each of the individual factions have been up to, see So What's the Deal with Nobledark Imperium Anyway?
NOTE: NEW STUFF IS BEING WORKED ON AND WILL USE THIS AS A HUB PAGE CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION. THE ORIGINAL PAGE IS HERE.
It is the 41st millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Eternal Emperor and Empress have been joined in their holy union. He is the last relic of a lost age when hope and wisdom ruled the galaxy, still clinging to his purpose of forging a better future, and she is the last remnant of an ancient pantheon, a mother watching over dying children brought low by their own hubris. Together, they are the Masters and Guardians of Mankind and Eldar, the keepers of the Last Alliance, the embodiments of the Imperium to which a hundred sapient species swear their fealty.
At the core of the Imperium is Humanity, its teeming multitudes ever resilient, stubbornly carving out a future amongst the hostile stars. The greatest of Man’s allies are the Eldar, ancient and wise, their shared bond forged in battle and sealed in blood millennia ago. Since then, others have been judged worthy to join in the light of the Imperium, to stand with Men and Eldar as fellows: the industrious Demiurge, enigmatic Tau, countless strains of Abhumans, and many more.
Yet for all the Imperium’s numbers, it is barely enough to stave off the forces that would tear it down. United under savage Beasts, the Orkish hordes throw themselves at the great edifice of the Imperium. The Necrons are awakening to a changed galaxy, and seeth at the primitives who would dare harbor their greatest foes, the Eldar. From the galactic east, the Tyranids have made landfall and sweep over countless worlds in their hungering tide. In the shadows lurk the Dark Eldar, reveling in the carnage of a galaxy at war. And from the Immaterium, the Chaos Gods brood and plot their eternal vengeance, served by the twisted Chaos Eldar.
To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold trillions. It is to live in the last bastion of civilization as the darkness draws near. These are the tales of those times. Forget the stories of peace and harmony, for they are fables of a gentler time, when the world still made sense. Remember the stories of struggle and defiance, full of brotherhood and sacrifice, for those are the ones that really matter. Peace is a distant dream growing ever fainter, and there is only war as Men and Eldar hold the line for the promise that has been whispered through the generations, from father to son, from mother to child: that there is good left in the world, and that is worth fighting for.
The Road to M41
The Imperium of Man is at war. It has been at war since the day it was created, since an ancient Man of Gold took it upon himself to unite Terra - and the stars beyond - into a single, glorious Imperium. It has not been an easy journey, but nor has it been the debacle it could have been. Perhaps there may even still be hope for the human race.
In the depths of the Old Night, the one known as Malcador discovered a relic of the Dark Age of Technology: a Man of Gold. Gifted with intellectual, martial and psychic prowess far beyond any human, his kind had devastated humanity in wars long gone, yet this one would restore it to its former glory. The Man of Gold, returning to Terra to find it a war-torn shell of a homeworld, immediately vowed to dedicate his existence to restoring the race he was created to serve. Thus, he became the Warlord, unifying his world through alliance, war, and every flavour of diplomacy between them. Nations united under his banner or were conquered by it, and soon a few figures became famous for their achievements in the fledgling Imperium, whether done in the Warlord's name or their own. These would become his Primarchs.
The years passed, and the Warlord looked to the stars. After the alliance with Mars gave the Imperium the materiel strength to begin reclaiming their former worlds, the Great Crusade began in earnest. Many worlds saw the bright future of the Imperium and greeted the Warlord with open arms, and for those that did not? The Warlord had his Primarchs; who each commanded a legion of elite Space Marines with their own unique brand of warfare. A world with elite armies able to fend off the ferocity of Leman Russ's Vlka Fenryka would be dismantled by the logistical superiority of Roboute Guilliman; one fortified enough to stall the methodical Ultramarines would find themselves with no escape from Mortarion's Death Guard and their horrific plagues; and one with their own arsenal of poisons would see them shrugged off by Ferrus Manus's inhuman Skitarii.
Closer to home, however, there was a problem. The Warlord had originally been designed to serve humanity, not lead it, and it was a curious irony that the greatest leader in human history did not see himself fit for the role. Nevertheless, he was concerned at how an artificial construct such as himself (although precious few other than Malcador knew of this fact) was shown such reverence across the reclaimed worlds; some worlds approaching worship. Thus, he declared that the Golden Throne of Terra, an ancient artifact discovered that may have predated even him, was the centerpiece of the Imperium, and that he would serve as its Steward until a suitable Emperor were to emerge.
An Unlikely Alliance
In the depths of space, as the Imperium rose, the dying embers of the Eldar Empire spotted a raft of order and sanity they could cling to in a galaxy filled with war and Chaos. After a few violent incidents, a more discreet formal first contact was made; the Steward of the Golden Throne and Farseer Eldrad Ulthran both saw one another as a vital stepping stone to the revival of their race's former glory. At the time, the two were both beginning to stall in their ambitions - the remaining Craftworlds were beginning to splinter and rebel from Eldrad's guidance, while the forces of the Great Crusade were facing determined resistance from worlds populated by corrupt abominations instead of mere men.
Although the Steward knew of Chaos, he knew little about it, for he had been shut down and mothballed in an age where the perils of the Warp were only beginning to manifest, and the great psyker Magnus the Red could articulate little of his own innate, instinctive abilities. The Farseer was only too happy to school the Man of Gold on the intricacies of the warp and the power available to those who had the gift for it.
The Dream Shatters
The Dark Millenium
The Imperium, in its millennia of existence, has endured horrors that so easily could have crippled it and crushed its dreams for the future. Yet, in the near future, it faces its most daunting challenges yet - all for mere survival.
|Primarch||Aliases||Homeland||Fate||Legion & Successors||Attributed Quotes|
|Horus Lupercal||King of Empty Space
Steward of the Void
|None (Void Born Migrant Fleet)||Natural death between War of the Beast and First Black Crusade, exact date/location unknown.||Void Wolves
||"I am the captain of this migrant fleet, yes, but I am also a businessman. In this place, I am the one who proposes the deals. Now, get off my ship."
~To a Chaos "negotiator", date unknown.
|Leman Russ||The Great Wolf
|Skand, Nordyc territory||MIA, forests of Fenris 200 years after War of the Beast.||Space Wolves [Canis Helix]|
|Ferrus Manus||The Gorgon
Ice and Iron
|Orioc, Antarctic Mechanicus Enclaves||KIA, defending Hades Hive on Armageddon.
|Iron Hands [Enhanced Skitarii]||
“While Mars stands, the Imperium shall stand; when Mars falls, the Imperium shall fall; when the Imperium falls, the galaxy shall fall”.
|Fulgrim||Furis Doe||Merika||Children of Terra [Mk ? Astartes]|
Vulkan the Invincible
|Afrique League||MIA, presumed lost after "Centuries of Silence"
|Salamanders [Mk 3 Astartes]
|Rogal Dorn||The Wall||Calbi||KIA defending Cadia, 1st Black Crusade||Imperial Fists [Mk ? Astartes]
||"W...what are you doing soldier? Go back and man the damn wall you idiot, because I sure as hell won't be able to."|
~The dying words of Rogal Dorn, chewing out the soldier trying to save his mortally wounded primarch's life by pulling him off the battlements of Cadia
|Roboute Guilliman||The Artist of War||Europia||Natural Death.
|Ultramarines [Mk ? Astartes]
|Magnus the Red||The Arch-Psyker||Ursh||Natural Death, date/location unknown.
[Early M36, soon after Age of Apostasy]
|Thousand Sons [Mk ? Astartes]
|Sanguinius||The Martyr Angel||Duscht Jemanic||KIA dueling The Beast, Battle of Terra.||Blood Angels [Mk ? Astartes]|
|Lion El'Jonson||The Black Knight||Franj||MIA, in stasis after dueling Luther around 1st Black Crusade||Dark Angels [Mk ? Astartes]|
The Mad Architect
|Štip-Isar, Macedonia||"Retired" to Terra, natural death. Date unknown.||Iron Warriors [Mk ? Astartes]
|Mortarion||The Vermin Lord
The Man Who Would Not Die
|Gredbritton||Natural death, Macharius' Rest. Date unknown.||Dusk Raiders [Mk ? Astartes]
||"You think of us as scum, you call us vermin? Then like vermin we shall fight, with tooth and claw until even the mightiest of enemies is overpowered. We shall scour their lands clean, and leave nothing that can be used against man - for vermin always have the last word."|
|Lorgar||Yndonesic Bloc||Natural death, date/location unknown. [lived 1100 years]||Word Bearers [Mk ? Astartes]|
|Jaghatai Khan||The Noble Savage
The Scarred Khan
|Ursh||Natural death while touring the Imperium, date/location unknown.||White Scars [Mk ? Astartes]|
|Konrad Curze||The Unforgivable||Tordashimya, Pan Pacific Empire||Surrendered himself to the Inquisition for trial and execution over war crimes.
|Night Lords [Mk ? Astartes]
||"I am not a decent man."
~Only defence given at trial; last known words.
The Red Angel
|Nord Afrik Enclaves||Natural death, shortly after WotB. Location unknown.||War Hounds [Mk ? Astartes]
|Corvus Corax||Raven King
|Sino||Disappeared while visiting newly founded chapters when his legion was split, date/location unknown.||Raven Guard (voluntarily split)|
|I am||The Alpha||The beginning,||and the end.||Cut off one head,
|| H█y █d██ r██a█ Do██ ██m█ in██ a█t███us
~[DATA EXPUNGED BY INQUISITORIAL ORDER]
|Primarch||Aliases||Homeland||Fate||Legion & Successors||Attributed Quotes|