Nobledark Imperium Notes

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This page is part of the Nobledark Imperium, a fan re-working of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. See the Nobledark Imperium Introduction and Main Page for more information on the alternate universe

This page contains assorted notes on the Nobledark Imperium universe that have not yet been written up into a formalized codex format. This list is not exhaustive, and a significant amount of information still remains in the threads. As the information on this page is written up or is able to be introduced into existing entries, it will be removed from this page. Hopefully, this page can eventually be used as a series bible for information concerning the Nobledark Imperium that for whatever reason cannot be placed on the main pages (character motivations, spoilery information that disrupts the normal tone, etc.).

Contents

So What’s The Deal With Nobledark Imperium Anyway[edit]

If you’re here, you’ve probably already read the blurb on the main page and have come here looking for information on what's going on in this universe or what your favorite factions have been up to. If not, you may want to check out the opening of the Nobledark Imperium main page to get a general idea of what the setting is about.

The general high concept of Nobledark Imperium is that by 999.M41, the “sane” races of the galaxy (humans, eldar, tau, and others) have united in an alliance as a bastion against Chaos, the Necrons, the tyranids, and the rest. Essentially the last alliance of men and elves eldar but IN SPACE. At the same time, things have escalated to the point that the survival of everything is in doubt (including Chaos). Overall, individual power levels are on the whole slightly lower in exchange for sanity, competence, and common sense but the power level of the various factions is actually increased. Imperium is more powerful because it is the combination of humans, eldar, tau, and many other xenos races, and because there was no Horus Heresy. Chaos is more powerful because the Emperor and Isha are still walking around and therefore the Chaos Gods are more focused on the common threat like during the Horus Heresy and have taken a bigger interest in realspace. Also while no one legion fell to Chaos, Chaos has enough that it has both spiky marines and crazy fair folk to work with. The Necrons are mostly awake and more organized under the Silent King, who has more direct control over them. Orks are increasingly organized and all around scarier. Tyranids are more powerful because their main fleet actually showed up.

The overall tone of the universe is nobledark. That is, the universe is a dark, dangerous, and sometimes downright nasty place, but people at their core are basically good (or at least well-intentioned). There are still plenty of monsters out there, but quite a few of them genuinely believe what they are doing is right in addition to the ones that are flat out nasty. This tone is somewhat heterogenous, in between the general tone of nobledark there are spots of hope along with great big blotches of darkness (such as Krieg, what happened to the Dark Angels, and Craftworld Altansar to name a few) for contrast.

By 999.M41, the galaxy can generally be divided into four major factions.

TEAM IMPERIUM
Humanity - The Imperium isn’t the Imperium of Man anymore (though it was at one point long ago in history). It’s the Imperium of men, eldar, tau, kinebrach, tarellians, and a hundred other races. Humanity is less totalitarian and xenophobic than in canon, as the Emperor wasn’t around for most of the Age of Strife and the purpose of the Great Crusade wasn’t manifest destiny but to restore humanity to its former glory. No glorification of the Holy Human Form, if anything because the Warlord/Steward/Emperor and at least at least three of the primarchs were abhumans, not to mention the numerous worlds with abhuman populations. Generally adopt the Interex method to dealing with Chaos with mixed success: fewer people fall to Chaos but because of this the Ruinous Powers pump more power behind the people crazy enough to invoke them. No monolithic theocracy because religion is considered a good Chaos deterrent. Technology is still mostly controlled by the Adeptus Mechanicus and is largely stagnant (advancing at a glacial pace at best) and A.I. is still considered a boogeyman, but closer to 30k than 40k in tech levels (things like jetbikes and volkite weapons are still around, but expensive and rare). Horus Heresy never happened, no primarch fell and no legion turned to Chaos entirely, but the Chaos-supercharged War of the Beast essentially took its place.
Craftworld/Exodite Eldar – Overall less arrogant and haughty than in canon (though still pretty arrogant). Have gradually gotten less arrogant as time has passed (something similar has happened with humanity and xenophobia). Joined forces with humanity in order to rescue Isha from Nurgle in exchange for helping humanity with the Astronomican and general anti-Chaos measures, later formed a permanent alliance after the War of the Beast. Actually have people skills in this timeline, so are capable of engaging in diplomacy and communicating with people beyond cultural posturing. Freeing Isha from Nurgle has restored hope to their people, though they are still a long way from shaking off their “dying race” status.
Tau – The last of the major powers to join the Imperium, tried to go it alone for many millennia but eventually joined in M39 when they saw they couldn’t survive by themselves (Farsight broke away because of this). Rose to power not through pheromone brainwashing by the Ethereals (which they don’t have since in canon it was engineered by the eldar in a bid to create reliable allies, which they don’t need in this timeline since they have humanity) but through their own blood, sweat, and tears. Obedience to the Ethereals is more social engineering than anything else. Genuinely well-meaning, but also a bit arrogant and naive. No longer have the brainwashing and sinister Orwellian undertones, but have lost their plot armor in exchange. Currently have an arc similar to humanity in Mass Effect 1: they’ve recently realized they’re in a galaxy where they’re not at the big boys table and they take that as a challenge to overcome.

“TEAM” CHAOS
“Team” being used here in only the loosest sense of the word. The groups here are not really unified into a cohesive front and in the case of two of them (Orks and Dark Eldar) are only nominally associated with Chaos. That said, the Chaos Gods are on a more united war footing like they were during the Horus Heresy and are able to at the very least get their daemons, the Crone Eldar, the Chaos Space Marines, and the Lost and the Damned to put their differences aside and get shit done
Croneworld/Chaos Eldar – The only original faction on the list. Have effectively taken the place of Chaos Space Marines as the chosen of the Chaos Gods because no legion entirely fell to Chaos. Formed from the eldar living on the Crone Worlds in the Eye of Terror after Slaanesh who, in a spectacular instance of long-term thinking, decided to just eat most of the eldar on the Crone Worlds instead of all of them because it saw the benefits of having cultists constantly worshiping it. Because it’s not just the mortal races that have gotten a dose of sanity in this timeline, the Chaos Gods are more savvy as well. Basically, where Craftworld Eldar are Tolkien-esque elves and Dark Eldar are inspired by space pirates and Dark Elves (Warhammer)/Drow, the Croneworld Eldar are essentially the fair folk and the Wild Hunt meet Chaos cultists. Led by Lady Aurelia Malys, the Everchosen of Chaos, who is effectively the “Abbadon” of this setting.
Chaos Space Marines – No legion or primarch completely fell to Chaos, but significant numbers turned during the War of the Beast (including the majority of the Dark Angels) and afterwards. Known as “The Fallen” in this timeline primarily because most of them used to be Dark Angels. The Chaos Gods like to give them extra buffs due to their uniqueness value relative to the Chaos Eldar to the point that while their numbers are lower the average Fallen could probably win against a regular Astartes in one-on-one combat.
Orks – Lumped in with Chaos because although they are not outright allied with Chaos, many of Chaos’ greatest victories have been ork-related (such as the War of the Beast) and the Crone World Eldar like to manipulate them into serving as cannon fodder and shock troops (similar to what the eldar do to the Imperium in canon). The orks in-universe recently got a huge dose of dangerous in the form of Brain Boyz, which are basically orks like in The Beast Arises series that give the orks around them a collective buff in intelligence by their very presence. The Crone World Eldar are actually getting worried about their ability to manipulate the Orks because of this. Chaos Orks are a thing. Chaos has been devoting more of its efforts to corrupting the orks, but with mixed success. It is possible for Orks to turn to Chaos, but it’s like with Chaos Dwarfs where they have to individually choose to fall. Orks tend to fight Chaos just as often as they ally with it.
Dark Eldar – Space pirates, mad scientists, slavers, and raiders. Not too different from canon. Come off as slightly more pragmatic than in canon, if only because they have their crazy warpdust-snorting kin in the Eye of Terror as a point of contrast. Often raid in the wake of Chaos invasions, not because they like the Crone World Eldar but because they see weakness and opportunity and follow (they do this with everybody, for example raiding Tau space after a Hive Fleet hit). At the turn of the millennium on M40 Lady Malys and Asdrubael Vect were unified in the Dark Wedding, allying the Dark and Chaos Eldar in preparation for the 13th Black Crusade. Not every denizen of Commorragh likes this arrangement.
Lost and the Damned – Viking raiders meet Viet Cong. Have taken some influence from Warriors of Chaos and Beastmen from Warhammer Fantasy, because most warbands are poorly supplied and melee weapons don't need reloading. Range from to warbands like the Blood Pact (led by Doombreed) who are well-organized and have actual infrastructure to warbands who barely scrape by and do temp work for the Dark Mechanicus and the Crone Eldar in exchange for gear.

TEAM NECRON
Necron Star Empire - Basically a “best of both worlds” mix of both Oldcrons and Newcrons. On the one hand, the Necrons do want to kill all life in the galaxy, but they’re not doing this because they are controlled by the C’tan. They’re doing this of their own free will, because they see it as the only way to kill Chaos and make the galaxy safe for future life (specifically them, the fact that they will be the only species to actually benefit from this is immaterial to them), going so far as to regard it as a mercy kill. Additionally, while many Necrons have personalities and quirks, they are essentially a post-individual society slaved to the will of the Silent King, who is not a nice guy and is willing to alter their individuality and minds as he sees fit. The few exceptions are the Necrons who are either too crazy to be controlled (Nemesor Zahndrekh, Xun’bakyr) or have circumvented the control protocols through other means (Trazyn the Infinite, Orikan the Diviner). More organized than in canon, more of the dynasties have awoken than in canon and there's a big-ass Necron Star Empire in the galactic northeast where the Sautekh, Oruscar, Nekthyst and other dynasties are in canon.
C’tan – Again, a “best of both worlds” approach. While many of the C’tan were sharded and imprisoned with Tesseract Labyrinths, the big names (Nightbringer, Void Dragon, Outsider) are still essentially whole and very real threats. The sole exception is the Deceiver, who allowed himself to get shattered on purpose so he could essentially troll people in multiple places at the same time. In addition, at least two of the C’tan (Void Dragon and Nightbringer) have figured out how to use warp power for their own benefit by being an object of worship/fear. Most certainly not allied with the Necrons, who hate most of them (especially the Nightbringer and Deceiver). Present an addition threat to the Imperium in the form of C’tan vampires.

TEAM TYRANID
Tyranids - Not too different from canon. Main difference is that the genestealers and Hive Fleets showed up early (Behemoth in M37, Kraken in M38, and Leviathan in M39), and the famous three Hive Fleets (Behemoth, Kraken, and Leviathan) really were just scouting fleets. The main Hive Fleet just started to make galaxyfall about two and a half centuries ago. Another major difference is they were a threat that nobody saw coming. Not the Imperium with its farseers, not Chaos, not even the Necron Star Empire. They are a completely outside context problem.

In addition to these, there are a number of independent parties that are not aligned with any faction, including the Q’orl swarmhood, Craftworlds Dorhai and Kaelor, the Hrud, the Zoats, the Slaugth, the Severan Dominate, the Olamic Quietude, and Trazyn the Infinite and several other Necron dynasties. Orks and Dark Eldar could also be added to this list, as they really only fight alongside Chaos when it serves their purposes.

Each of the factions has their own effective “win” condition, which are as follows:

Imperium - Not die. Surprisingly, the Imperium doesn't have that strong of a win condition compared to the other powers. There are the Starchild Prophecies, but the Starchild prophecies are often vague and many of them actually don't say the birth of the Starchild is a good thing. One of the most popular interpretations out-of-universe is that the Starchild is Ynnead and his birth will allow the Imperium to finally go on the offensive against Chaos, but nothing is set in stone.
Chaos - March on Terra, burn it to the ground, kill the Emperor, and drag Isha back into the Warp. Destroy the Necron Star Empire and the tyranid swarm while they are at it.
Necron Star Empire - Activate the Cadian Pillars, which would starve Chaos, as well as kill off the Imperium and the tyranids. Then take the first sentient race that evolves after the Cadian pillars are deactivated and use them for the biotransference.
Tyranids - Swarm across the galaxy to the two biggest concentrations of psychic energy (Eye of Terror and Old Earth), choking out Chaos and wiping out the Imperium in the process. Necron Star Empire would presumably be overrun in the process.

The “present day” of the setting is effectively “frozen” as one minute to midnight on 999.M41 Earth time, much like was for many years. This is not to say that nothing can happen after this time, but that anything past this date is non-canonical and effectively but one of many possible courses the future could take. The fate of the galaxy is ultimately an exercise for the reader. Do you believe Ynnead is the Impossible Child and ultimately drags Slaanesh off to hell for all the suffering they caused? Then he is. Do you believe the Imperium puts up a valiant last stand but are ultimately overcome by the hordes of Chaos? Then it does. Do the Necrons succeed in their goal to activate the Cadian Pillars and kill all life in the galaxy? Do the Orks break free and krump the rest of da’ gitz? Do the tyranids OM NOM NOM everything? You decide. The nature of the future, including who wins, who loses, who lives, and who dies, is effectively up to the reader to determine.

Men of Gold and the Age of Strife[edit]

- The Men of Gold were originally created as mediators between humanity and the Iron Minds of the Men of Iron, as well as serve as a communications system between the various worlds of humanity
- The Soul Binding process was originally a procedure to link Men of Gold together to create a FTL communications network during the Dark Age of Technology readapted for baseline human use. Still burns out optic nerves in 98% of all case because humans can’t handle a fire that hot
- However, in order to make such powerful artificial souls you needed a lot of potent warpstuff, which could only be gathered by trawling the deep warp
- As a result, the Iron Minds were essentially at ground zero when Slaanesh was murderfucked into existence
- Iron Minds go full Skynet, Men of Gold go full Event Horizon, start killing everything. Eventually ended up weakening each other to the point that they could be defeated by baseline humanity as well as perhaps a few archaic Men of Iron with bullshit-absorbing crumple zones
- Oscar was the last one on the production line on Cthonia, the old capital of the human empire. Completed physically but mind completely tabula rasa, so he didn’t get corrupted during the Age of Strife

The Emperor and Isha[edit]

It’s been established that, ironically, despite their disparate origins, Oscar and Isha are almost perfect for each other. The Emperor was supposed to be one of many. A Man of Gold network spanning the realms of humanity for not quite instant communication and to act as the go-between and bridge the gap between god-like A.I. and the common man. Isha was one of a Pantheon of her peers whose task, self-appointed or otherwise, was to guide and give direction to the Eldar. Both are relics from broken systems.

Oscar is often deeply lonely over his biological immortality. Isha helps with that. Isha often has PTSD episodes from her time in Nurgle’s garden, having endured tortures that only an immortal being could ever understand. When she does, Oscar is there for her. As an immortal fertility goddess, Isha’s needs are great but simple. Anyone who is not the avatar of a warp god or a Man of Gold would have been killed many times over by now. This may have been one of the reasons why Eldrad married Isha off to Oscar as a form of stability.

Despite originally being a marriage of political convenience, Oscar and Isha have a deep mutual respect and understanding for one another that only two god-like beings devoted to their species could share. Indeed, they possibly do love each other, at least as much as either of them are capable of it, though both of them know that if it came down to it their duty to their people would always come first. They are very thankful that they have not had to make that choice.

Perhaps one of Oscar’s biggest flaws is that he has trouble thinking of himself as a person and of his own needs. This is not leftover Man of Gold programming. Oscar was a blank slate when Malcador found him. Malcador loved Oscar and treated him like a son, but he was also acutely aware of what a Man of Gold could do and was absolutely terrified by the possibility. Oscar was made acutely aware of his artificial nature and the fact that the Men of Gold were meant to serve humanity, not rule it. It seems to have given him a bit of a self-esteem issue. That being said Malcador seems to have kind of gone back on this kind of thinking in his extreme age, based on the “War for Heaven” story.

The fact that Oscar developed the way he did despite being born with literally nothing, not even the base instincts that guide regular humans is part of the overall nobledark theme of this AU. It’s the ultimate argument for nurture over nature, and that people at their heart are fundamentally good, if flawed. Oscar is a genuinely nice guy, and the type of person who knows exactly what he needs to say to help someone else solve their problems, but he often utterly forgets about his own needs as a person. He sees the way things work, but utterly forgets he is a part of the equation. When Eldrad said Oscar owed him a favor after the WotB, Oscar said "name it", thinking it was going to be something like another great raid on Chaos or some other impossible task. He never expected Eldrad wanted him to get married, because he forgot he was a player in the first place.

Same with the Golden Throne. Oscar constantly did not want to take official charge of the Imperium, because he saw himself as an artificial lifeform that was unfit to rule. The encounter with Sebastian Thor was essentially the Imperium's referendum on what they thought of Oscar. The Imperium had spoken on who they wanted as a leader, and they chose Oscar. Oscar had proved himself time and again an effective leader who at the same time would not abuse his power. So what if Oscar was not born naturally, many in the Imperium were born in-vitro or through other means. It did not matter that Oscar claimed to not be a real person, in their minds he had proven himself as a person, in the only way they felt mattered.

This kind of thing seems harmless at first glance but on occasion has had dire consequences when the Emperor either fails to take responsibility or slips up due to his repressed human desires subconsciously bubbling up to the surface. Like the aforementioned case of the Golden Throne. Or how the Emperor's lasse-faire handling of Ultramar and Titus' Primaris Initiative due to not wanting to be in the spotlight is potentially setting the region up for a civil war. Or when the Emperor at first gave Szarekh a lot more opportunity to move than he should have because he was desperate for companionship.

Oscar’s psychological state is getting more inhuman as of M41. With the exceptions of Macha/Isha, Eldrad, Bjorn, and a few others, most of his friends have all passed away, and he is loath to try and make new ones knowing they’ll end up the same. That said, some have still managed to force their way into Oscar’s circle of friends, most notably among the people written so far Sebastian Thor. What’s more, with the exception of Bjorn, all of these surviving friends fall into the “gods and epic heroes” category, something that makes Oscar deeply uncomfortable.

Isha has become a lot more self-confident and canny in the years since her rescue from Nurgle's mansion and subsequent joining to Macha, going from the young mother struggling to find her way in the world to the iron-willed matriarch of an entire galaxy who is willing to make plans and step in to ensure the continuing success of her family, both trueborn and adopted children alike. This is thought to be in part due to selectively absorbing more aggressive personality traits from her avatar Macha. It's agreed that by M41 Macha and Isha are so similar to one another its impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends, but it's still debated in the threads when the two became completely merged into one.

The Emperor[edit]

The Emperor’s sword isn’t a sword per se. It’s a telekinetic force construct in the shape of the sword that ignites the very air around it through friction burn. Hence why the Emperor can whip it out and put it away while wearing his golden armor without being massively hindered.

The Emperor's Titles[edit]

For people new to the project, the use of the terms "Oscar", "Warlord", "Steward", and "Emperor", might be a little confusing. So for a bit of clarification...

Oscar - The Emperor's given name and the one he considers his personal name. Most people tend not to use it, except for those who know him personally (e.g., Isha, the primarchs, the Custodians) and even then only in private when he's being a regular person and not the Emperor of Mankind.
The Warlord - The title Oscar adopted during the Unification of Earth. Upon unification he ditched the title and became known as...
The Steward - Probably Oscar's best known title after "The Emperor of Mankind". After the Fall of Ursh Oscar confiscated an old Dark Age of Technology artifact and set it up as the Golden Throne, and then promptly refused to sit in it. He felt he was not meant to lead mankind (for several reasons, including the fact he felt he was not a real person and Malcador had told him mythologized horror stories of what the other Men of Gold did), he was merely the Steward of mankind until such an individual would arise. Even to this day he still kind of uses the title, signing documents as "Oscar Steward" instead of "Oscar, Steward".
The Emperor - Eventually, after the Age of Apostasy, Oscar was forced to take up the throne after Sebastian Thor told him to sit on the stupid golden chair or else another Imperial Civil War was going to break out after the next Emperor he named either went mad or died and caused a succession crisis. Oscar saw his logic and begrudgingly agreed, becoming the Emperor of Mankind.

What's Isha like?[edit]

Alien motives, incomprehensible intelligence, enormous power, and the feeling of being perceived as less than an insect. The typical report of being in a god's presence.

Not so with Isha. She is the most accessible of gods, as accessible as any power labeled a 'god' can be, often deigning to go among the common folk of Terra, or traveling the Webway when her homesick feelings grow too great. Most reports of meeting her are glowing. Rarely is there any impression given beyond awe struck benevolence.

However, another common thread is the brevity of these meetings. Beyond just feeling brief, they actually are. The great black templar hero Tankred earned the honor of one such meeting, but it was timed at approximately 41 seconds. Tankred would later write he did not feel spurned but he felt she was " needed elsewhere."

Isha has not been front and center in politics. But behind the scenes, she is very busy indeed. Her personal ranger cadre venture the whole of the imperium, found wherever disease and illness reign to return with samples to Isha's sanctum so the goddess might concoct cures. She does not limit herself to ailments of the body either- on occasion, chosen servants of the imperium afflicted by chaos or shattered in mind report feeling the goddess in their thoughts or hearing her words in their dreams. Those she meets in person invariably report a feeling of elation and wholeness afterwards, and typically go on to do good. Not typically becoming extraordinary galactic heroes, but local pillars of the community.

Despite being the galaxy's most overworked and patient social worker, she is still a goddess. Easily forgotten with all of her charity, but brought to a stark reminder when an assassin that was waiting to meet her in a crowd suddenly burst with roots and thorns under her gaze. Described traumatically by all who witnessed it, the screaming elder begged forgiveness even as he was dragged through what was once marble floor as Isha strode by, not sparing a second glance. Her visage then was not the gentle, wise mother's then, but the uncaring gaze of nature, red in tooth and claw.

Isha is also influenced by Macha, once a farseer of Biel- Tan. How much is Macha, and how much is Isha is a mystery for theologians to grapple with. Rumor has her as a daughter of Eldrad (though to be honest cousin is more likely), but then again in Imperial culture, most anything to do with the eldar has conspiracy theorists trying to trace whatever happened back to Eldrad.

Isha sees herself and Oscar as the new Lileath and Asuryan after the Fall. She sees the Imperium itself as her new extended family following the Fall of the Eldar, composed of both her trueborn and adopted (humanity and the rest) children alike and is determined to not let the same mistakes that led to the Fall of the Eldar happen ever again. Asuryan is kind of a broken pedestal for Isha. Asuryan used to make the rules. Those rules prevented the Eldar gods from stepping in and stopping their children from descending into hedonism and debauchery, and directly led to most of the gods getting killed. Particularly her daughter, Lileath, who Asuryan married. Lileath was the first victim of Slaanesh, who subsequently used Lileath's face as a disguise to get the drop on Asuryan and the other Eldar gods by calling a godsmoot. Asuryan isn't around anymore. She won't make the same mistakes he did.

For the exact details of Isha worship among mortals, see Eldar Polytheism.

Macha before Isha[edit]

In the years before the Raid on Nurgle's Mansion, Macha had been depressed. Like really, really depressed. She had once been her aggressive self that people know from vanilla, but that had been gradually overlain by despair as years passed since the Fall and it was clear the Eldar Empire was never coming back. She tried filling the void with Isha worship, Isha being the goddess of healing and theoretically one of the only Eldar gods that could still hear prayers, but it didn't work.

Macha went on the Raid with no expectations. She fully didn't care if she lived or died, she may have even expected to and merely wanted to die in a way in which her death would actually mean something. But then the Raid actually managed to free Isha and bring her back into realspace, and when they made it out of the Webway gate Macha fell to her knees and felt something she hadn't felt in a long time. Hope.

When Isha was brought through the Webway she stood in her full glory for a brief moment before letting out a peal of pure innocent laughter at finally being freed from that fat bastard before vanishing in a flash of light. But then she appeared before Macha. Isha needed a host (she couldn't go back to the Immaterium), and Macha was the best person there in terms of her mindset and openness to the possibility of Isha returning (and being an Isha worshipper, that was also a factor). Macha agreed, and the two basically did a Phoenix Warrior-style fusion dance into the current Isha. This agreement being conducted purely by thought, it took place in the instant between the immaterial Isha vanishing and the new All-Mother arising.

The priesthood of Isha might tell the story of Macha as a morality tale of the importance of keeping faith and hope even in the darkest of hours. Macha's distinctive face tattoos are said to be a symbol of Isha and her priesthood in the modern Imperium.

Isha's Garden[edit]

Isha keeps a garden (that is, a literal, physical garden, not the metaphorical one that is sometimes mentioned) of plantlife from across the galaxy, either in the Imperial Palace back on Old Earth or aboard the Bucephalus. All of the plants are native species from the homeworlds of the various member states. There are elelasse vines from Shaa-Dome growing around oak trees, flowers descended from the river lotus Por'O M'arc brought as a diplomatic gift from T'au, plants from the homeworld of the Kinebrach, Tarellians, and even a dull grey plant rumored to be a gift from the Watchers of Caliban. She cares for the plants like she would her children. The Shaa-Domean plants are her favorite, but she would be the first to admit that is due to her familiarity and fond memories of them than anything else. Her taste is a little strange sometimes (Cacti? Seriously?), but she manages to make the garden look beautiful, if eerie and alien due to the mix of a hundred biospheres. She mostly tends the garden by hand like a zen exercise. She sows, nurtures, and sometimes, dispassionately, she has to weed.

The comparisons between her garden and the rest of the Imperium are not lost on some. Nor is the fact that with the nature of Isha that garden is the most lethal place for any would-be assassin in the Imperium.

Reactions to the Marriage[edit]

The marriage happened right after the War of the Beast, so the primarchs had a lot of shit on their plate. Lion was in full on “what I’ve done” mode, Perty was having a mental breakdown, etc. But at the same time you would expect them to have a reaction to what was essentially the biggest political change in recent history.

Angron was dying and Sangy, who would have been the most positive primarch, was dead. Lorgar might have been positive, seeing as at this time he had rationalized Isha as being essentially an archangel sent by God to keep the Eldar on the straight and narrow

Someone suggested Dorn’s reaction. He said they were perfect for each other. But don’t get the “dawws” out yet, because it wasn’t as heartwarming as it sounds on paper. Specifically, he said something along the lines of “she’s weird, you’re weird, you’re perfect for each other” in his typical bluntness. It’s been mentioned Dorn was a proponent of something that was called “psychic apartheid”, though what that is has never been defined (beyond a literal interpretation).

Also keep in mind that this was during the early days of the Imperium, before the Steward and Isha knew each other, and the marriage was very much an arranged marriage in the interest of politics at the time. The Steward would have seen Isha a grand total of once before then, and at that time he was rather more concerned about the Bloodthirster trying to eat his face than making small talk.

The Steward's thoughts when he heard Eldrad's boon were probably along the lines of *what the hell did I get myself into*.

The fact that the Steward had made it clear he was fully intending to step down once a proper Emperor had been found may have alleviated some concerns. Also the fact that Eldrad risked his ass saving the Steward may have won the Eldar some brownie points in the primarch's eyes (though Vulkan would have dismissed it).

One thing that would have really elevated Isha's standing to the human parts of the Imperium would be Isha revitalizing worlds after the War of the Beast.

Orks don't tend to leave habitable worlds in their wake. Anything that was not orkiformed would have been firebombed from orbit. Isha could have taken a lot of those worlds that would have otherwise been written off or taken millennia to restore and have new plant life grow from the ashes, though even with her powers it would be a significant undertaking even for a single planet. This would do a lot to make people more receptive to an alien...what the hell was Isha called before the Emperor took the throne?

The problem is that like the Steward, there is only one Isha. She can't be everywhere at once, something that has been noted before when it comes to curing diseases, solving other problems, and otherwise being extremely overworked.

Lion, if he had time to think about it at all, would have dismissed it all as only right and proper. He was a high functioning autistic and fixated on on Franjic fairy stories. When a brave king rescues a fair lady from an den of evil she is supposed to offer him her hand in marriage. Admittedly by then he had long ago seen that the world does not work how it should, but this time it does. Maybe, he would think, there is some small hope left. Then his brother beats him into a coma.

The eldar would have probably initially seen it as Isha taming some fearsome beast-people for use and domestication. The majority of craftworlders of that time would have grown up in the Eldar Empire at it's worst and to have survived would have had to participate at least in some measure of the awfulness.

Respective Divinity[edit]

I would argue that Isha still made claim to royalty (at very least in title) by divine right (that being her own) even when Oscar was only the Steward. I remember in early threads discussing the marriage we agreed that Isha, and to a lesser extent Ceggorach, would argue that Oscar is a very young god, much to his protestations, and this for his worthiness to lead humanity (as viceroy to Isha’s spiritual rule of the The Eldar). This has absolutely nothing to do with the Old Empire’s belief that the Men of Stone were subservient colonist folk/animals in the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion, and that Iron Minds and Men of Gold were the only children of Sol of any worth, certainly not.

That probably didn’t stop some of the remembrancers brought up under the pre-unification earth doctrine of Holy Human Form and stories that blamed Xenos at large for Old Night from depicting her as something like Lady Macbeth when it came to Imperial Court politics in the early years of the marriage.

By M41 I can almost imagine Isha thinks Oscar is a god in denial (inb4 Necoho) and wishes he'd just admit it so everyone can get on with their lives. This might not be entirely selfless, as some of it probably has to do with her missing Kurnous. She also sees herself and Oscar as the new Asuryan and Lileath (which is weird because she's the latter's mother) after the last top gods screwed up.

On the other hand, she does have a point that he's both vastly more powerful than any mortal human or Eldar, and he's also biologically immortal unlike them. Even with the few survivors since the Great Crusade, Eldrad is old as balls but emphatically not immortal (and unusually old even by that standard), Bjorn and Leithon are a dreadnought/wraithguard respectively, Lion is in a coma, and Galadrea and the Handmaidens use cheat codes due to their connection to Isha. He also has access to a lot of power that he's not using as a symbol of the Imperium and hence civilization (indeed he diffused a lot of that by having people direct it towards multiple entities).

Of course, having been around Oscar for 10k years, she probably knows all he'll do is pick the position with the absolute least amount of responsibility and refuse to be budged from it unless the Warp froze over. Heck, he'd probably take Hoec's old job and become the God of Interstellar Communications, despite the fact that he could easily add "Justice", "War" (as in Athena-style, not Ares-style), "Honor", and "Order" to his portfolio.

Cegorach[edit]

Cegorach’s moral compass is decidedly…off compared to most mortals. He doesn’t like institutions, at best seeing them as some sort of cosmic joke only he is in on. He gets along with the Imperium, but that’s because he likes Isha, the Emperor, and the individuals who run the Imperium. Not the Imperium in and of itself. His loyalty is to individuals, not institutions. He considers the Emperor a gleaming young golden lad that's lucky to have married into the family, but at the same time he’s a little protective of Isha, because she’s the only sibling he has left besides Khaine (and really, who counts Khaine?)

Cegorach doesn’t see the world in terms of good versus evil so much as a form of ethical hedonism. Specifically "how do we make things more fun for as many people as possible?" This is similar, yet very different, to how Slaanesh does things. Slaanesh is all about seeking ever increasing heights of physical sensation. Cegorach is about maximizing the emotional happiness of all things. That said there is a dark side to this. Acts such as horrendous trolling on a cosmic scale get the thumbs up from Cegorach, because it raises universal happiness while the effects of universal unhappiness are short-term.

Cegorach was said to have participated in the drug-fueled orgies of the Old Empire (or something similar, seeing as Asuryan had banned the gods from realspace) before he realized the Eldar Empire was starting to cross lines that they shouldn’t. He pulled away from the self-destructive aspects of the Old Empire, but the fact that he took longer to do so as opposed to entities like Kurnous, Isha, and Vaul who were trying in vain to be a stabilizing influence on the Eldar lends some darkness to him.

Cegorach despite all appearances does not have a plan but he does have an end goal he is working towards and manipulating shit in the direction of. He hates Chaos. Back in the old days they coexisted to an extent and lived and let live. The Eldar Pantheon didn't have to. They were top dog, they could have gone to war against them once upon a time and won but for Asuryan's decree of non-interference.

Non-interference despite Chaos infecting their societies, taking their followers, weakening them, turning their children into monsters. Chaos was given too much tolerance and took even more and then killed almost all of his family, almost all of his people and almost all of his friends.

Cegorach, like Isha, Oscar, Eldrad and Khaine, is playing the long game now. Probably no other being has done as much to stack the deck to bring about Rhana Dandra as much as he has. Indeed, quite a lot of the potential wild cards out there have some sort of backing or connection to Cegorach. Why? Because he would see it all burn and rebuild from the ashes as a phoenix civilization before he willingly let Chaos survive.

He is in favour of the Imperium as it is his best bet of seeing this happen and acts as a good shield for his people and people by adoption although he doesn't believe in the Imperium for the sake of the Imperium. If there weren't so many threats floating around he would happily watch the Imperium collapse and although he wouldn't do anything to stop it he wouldn't do anything to cause it.

He was the only other option for being the husband of Isha had Oscar not been available and so for that if nothing he is grateful to Oscar, and he would never call Oscar Emperor. He sees Isha as sister in that they belong to the same order rather than because they are true siblings. Despite this he had no interest in Isha as a partner due to incompatible personalities.

Imperial History during the Age of Strife[edit]

Quotes for whatever section talks about how well known the conditions on Old Earth prior to Unification are to the average Imperial citizen.

"For the average Imperial citizen outside of Segmentum Solar, the ancient nations of Old Earth from the Unification Wars are long forgotten. Those who are history buffs or lived inside Solar might know these old Terran states. Starting with Horus, he chronicles from the start of unification for the migrant fleets of Sol to the end of the War of The Beast. Some have criticized Horus' Chronical after his death when a few historians noticed the lack of historical accuracy when writing about the Great Crusade."
-Exempt from Cultures of Sol 4th Edition by Elanoc o Glenth

"Fulgrim managed to write a lengthy autobiography after his Legion was reduced to just shy of 3 companies in the Iron Cage. Going into great detail about his everyday life, readers are able to especially immerse themselves in his childhood of living in Merika to an eerie amount of degree. Everything after the childhood section of the book is known for being historically inaccurate and turning into the self-gratifying propaganda of later parts in his life."
P68 of Notable Astartes by Freja S.T.

"Vulkan had written one book and several different essays and treatises on many subjects, ranging from philosophy and theology, economics to warfare. One of the few glimpses of the Afrique League did come from when his writing recall certain aspects of life on Warlord Era Terra."
-Blurb on the back of "The Philosopher-King 2nd Edition" by unknown

"The few writings from Dorn left after the Great Crusade has only one aspect of ancient Terra. In the tactical notes, the Primarch goes into a full recount of the Calbi military and little else."
-P52 of Notable Astartes by Freja S.T

"Guilliman has his entire family history saved to an audio recording then transcribed to a book. The genealogy writes about members from this nobility starting at the end of the Age of Strife til the end of the Great Crusade. Guilliman also wrote numerous memoirs, books, and thought experiments in addition to his most famous work, the Codex Astartes."
-Exempt from Imperial Houses by Sharth o Tenelkan

"The unique organization and composition of the Iron Hands was initially adopted by Primarch Ferrus Manus during the beginning of the Great Crusade after analysis of combat data proved the efficacy of the Legiones Astartes and the Adeptus Mechanicus' lack of a comparable force. Later, the reforms of the Codex Astartes proposed by Roboute Guilliman were accepted and implemented after calculations showed the chapter structure had great strategic and tactical benefits compared to the more centralized legion structure."
-- Excerpt from "The First Founding: An Overview of the Legiones Astartes"

Nation-States of Old Earth[edit]

Mostly details of the nations not yet mentioned on the main page yet.

Terrawatt Clan - Home country of Malcador and later the Warlord/Steward/Emperor. One of the most technologically advanced and socially progressive places on Earth, would also be one of the nicest places to live on Earth if it weren't for sharing a border with Ursh. Only place on Earth with rejuvenant treatments and one of the few to have working spaceships.
Gredbriton - Ruled for many years by the Tyrant of Gredbriton, a Chaos worshipper who had a thing for biological and chemical weaponry. People eventually got fed up with tyrant a few years before the Warlord started making waves and he came down with a bad case of "arsenic-in-tea" syndrome. The Tyrant excluded, the people of Gredbriton weren't that bad and became an important center of trade.
Pan-Pacific Empire - Second worst place to live on Earth. Led by the "half-mad, half genius" Nathaniel Dume, who had a thing for biotechnology.
Hy Braseal - Nicest place to live on Earth during the Age of Strife. Borderlands between Merika and Hy Braseal are actually a bunch of nominally independent nation-states that are actually Merikan and Hy Brasealian vassals. Only place on Earth to still retain any form of democracy due to its parliamentary system. Refused to join Imperium after Warlord assimilated their old enemies Orioc and Merika. Warlord let them be, they were one of the few places on Earth where the leaders didn't treat their people like shit and he was willing to wait until they became sensible. Stayed independent all the way up to the War of the Beast, where it got wrecked and the survivors ended up joining the Imperium.
Yndonesian Bloc - Nasty theocracy led by Cardinal Tang. Was dominated by a splinter sect of Katholianism, Karathanism, which put a huge importance on omens and considered pain as being the only thing of value in life. Lorgar and Kor Phaeron staged a revolt that overthrew Cardinal Tang. After Yndonesia became a benevolent socialist theocracy led by Kor Phaeron. A huge number of the translators and diplomats from the Great Crusade seemed to come from here.
The Khanate - The former lands of the steppe nomads, now having come together to form a national identity after much prodding from Jaghatai and his associates. Still largely rural, resisted urbanization as long as possible but Jaghatai saw the writing on the wall and started setting up colonies of the Khanate off-world. Now almost indistinguishable from any other part of Old Earth.
Sibar - The frozen north. Once inhabited by tribes of hunter-gatherers, it was conquered by Ursh relatively early in its history. What little remained of the Urshii military fled here after the fall of Ursh, and the Urshii insurgents plagued Imperial forces for decades until the insurgency was put down by Konrad Curze.
Ducht Jemanic - The other asshole country of Europe. Part of the Quintuple Alliance that kept Ursh from rolling over the rest of Europe, they chafed at having to ally with others and had their own dreams for domination. Obsessed with genetic purity, and that they don't realize they're walking down the same dark road as their ancestors. One of the last nations to join the Imperium, probably never would have if it were not for Sanguinius.
Lichstenstein Vault/Lichstenstein Mountain Fortress - The very last nation-state to join the Imperium, along with the Republic of Sammarino. A tiny micronation of just around than 10,000 inhabitants living in a sealed Dark Age Vault that had technologically regressed but held at a sustainable level just slightly shy of the Imperial Standard, they held out the longest by simple virtue of refusing to open the door. The people were insular, isolationist but not overly weird beyond being a race of people living in a nuclear fallout shelter for thousands of years. They had numerous doorways in the mountains with which could be got access to their underground city but they were all single file narrow doors. Any larger door having been intentionally collapsed some time ago.

The only actual avenue of communication they left open with the outside world was a two-way radio located by the main vault door, which is how the Imperium found them. They refused all overtures of opening the door for years, believing the Imperium to be a slightly more clever than average band of techno-barbarians who wanted to loot the vault. Malcador's hobby in his twilight years trying to convince them to open the door. Not using his immense psychic power, because that would be a violation of their minds, but by his voice and just having a chit-chat with them. Eventually they did open the door when one King Under the Mountain who knew no fear reached retirement age and decided to investigate outside once his replacement was installed, believing this was the last way he would be useful and he had no more to offer his people. It still took them years to feel comfortable enough tofully open the door. About 20-50 years later the War of the Beast started. Oops.

It's debatable whether Lichstenstein Vault could have survived the War of the Beast if they hadn't opened the door(the Orks probably wouldn't have left Earth after killing the Steward), but they would have weathered it better than most. On a more positive note the sheer impenetrability of the Lichtenstein Vault meant that they were able to save a lot more civilians from the Beast's forces, most of them being vaulters.
The Nordyc/Skand - Originally just a confederation of loosely allied clans and tribes, the Warlord convinced them to unify into a cohesive nation. Somehow ended up in control of New Atlantis during Unification.
Ursh - Total hellhole. For details, see Ursh.
The Afrique League - One of the nicest places to live pre-Age of Strife. Got absolutely gutted in a war with Ursh circa ~28, with only Timbuk and Nama Gola being the only components worth anything afterward, and the remaining fragments squabbled over by infighting Urshii warlords. Restored to its former glory after the fall of Ursh.
Nord Afrik Conclaves - Calling them a "nation" is probably a bit generous. Techno-barbarian conclaves that resemble the worst of ancient Rome and Carthage.
Orioc - Antarctic branch of the Mechanicum.
Merika - Military junta with state-sponsored capitalism. Claim to be democratic, but in practice their democracy is more like "El Presidente has won re-election in a landslide for the twentieth time in a row". Second or third most powerful nation pre-Imperium, with a more commando-like "quality over quantity" military versus Ursh's technobarbarian hordes. Nowhere near as cohesive as they claim, large parts between the Rockies and Cascades and on the Pacific coast untouchable due to inhospitable terrain and radioactive death zones. Actually not the worst place to live, as long as you don't mind living in a junta. Warlord was going to try to be diplomatic with them, then they started covertly sponsoring the Urshii insurgents. Ironically the quality of life and amount of say the average Merikan has in the government has increased since joining the Imperium.
Sino-Japanese Commonwealth - Originally inhabited by subsistence farmers, another region to get conquered early on by Ursh. Became the breadbasket of Ursh after they went from being just another empire to one of the largest powers on the planet. Pan-Pacific Empire and Ursh scrapped over this region several times. Ultimately, the revolt by Corvus Corax established Sino-Japan's independence, and insured that neither empire would control the region.
Ind - Managed to weather Urshii conquest and occupation rather well. Almost nothing written about it, Honen Mu is suggested as having come from here or Persepotropolis.

The general explanation for any differences in the geography or geopolitical entities of Old Earth between the two timelines (e.g., like Earth still having oceans by the time of Unification) is that the canon Emperor dealt with Ursh by letting it expand as much as possible and then waited to reveal himself until after Ursh inevitably imploded from over-extending. It made it much easier to mop up the pieces, but resulted in massive wars, a huge body count, massive changes across the geo-political map, and the destruction of much of Earth's remaining resources and much of it's remaining technology and historical records (the last of which may have been intentional). By contrast, Oscar is much more of a humanitarian, and so he decided to fight Ursh head-on before it became a self-destructive cancer that would have taken much of what was left of Old Earth with it. The fight was a bit harder and bloodier, but it resulted in a lot more of Earth's technology, resources, and culture being preserved (until the Beast showed up, at least).

Chaos[edit]

One way in which the Chaos Gods corrupt humans in this timeline is by playing off lingering notions of human supremacy. They play on the fears of many humans that it is the Eldar that control the Imperium from the shadows, as evinced by the presence of farseers and Isha in positions of power, and humanity is merely their slaves. The Chaos Gods often claim to be the actual lost gods of humanity, whom the Eldar convinced humanity to turn away from in order to weaken humanity and control them like neutered livestock. This is complete bullshit, Slaanesh being an Eldar creation through and through and the remaining three being Old One gods more than anything else, with human emotions feeding the Chaos gods just as well as almost any other species' emotions (Tau being one of the more notable exceptions). Nevertheless, this explanation is appealing to of human superiority, as well as neatly explains why humanity doesn't seem to have any gods the way the Necrons or the Eldar did (the actual explanation, involving the Men of Gold and the Iron Minds, would be much harder to explain as well as less satisfying for human supremacists, who would rather believe that humanity's gods are powerful and still around instead of having vanished or been mercy killed during the Age of Strife).

The Chaos Gods and their Daemons[edit]

Khorne[edit]

Khorne often likes to refer to himself as the BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY. If you're groaning at how stupid that sounds, good. That's the point. Khorne's title as THE BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY is intentionally silly to parody the number of blood-, skull-, and related silly-sounding names he's often given in regular 40k fluff as well as to emphasize that when you get down to it, Khorne's not really that imaginative. Sure, he can be clever when he wants to be, but it's not his first instinct. In-universe only Khornates really care for the title, and even when they do use it they tend to drop the "Blood" for the sake of respect. If it ever comes up in interactions between the gods' faithful it would be met with exasperation and groans from the other three sects. If a Khornate wanders into Slaaneshi territory somewhere in Shaa-Dome and gets murderfucked, chances are BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY will be written over the body.

Khorne and Khaine[edit]

Khaine’s personality is quite similar to a mortal with bipolar disorder due to his conflicting portfolio that he never really resolved. It’s not actually bipolar disorder as defined by mortals given the massive difference between how gods and mortals work, but the resulting symptoms are close enough as an analogy. Even when Khaine tried to reign himself in after he got Eldanesh killed, his behavior was that of someone who is off their meds and is “totally fine. Seriously. Stop asking”, even though he clearly was not. On the one hand you have Khaine the God of War, who is obsessed with the glory and sensation of war and the rush of battle, while Khaine the God of Murder is self-loathing, depressed, and acutely aware of what he is. Or maybe it’s the other way around, with Khaine the God of Murder being a bloodthirsty savage while Khaine the God of War is more brooding, thoughtful, and aware that violence is not always the correct answer to a question. The difference between the two is kind of like if the Roman and Greek interpretations of Mars/Ares were seen by the same person. Mars may be likeable and more responsible if a bit abrasive and moody, but Ares is just a dick.

Khorne sees Khaine as a flawed first attempt to his later perfection. Khorne was created by combining the essence of Khaine, and Gork and Mork, and all the other war gods of the Children of the Old Ones. He is the master of a thousand forms of war from hundreds of species, the essence of war distilled, perfected. Each style can cover for the flaws of another, giving Khorne more strength than the sum of his parts, and none of their component weaknesses (The thing with the mushrooms was a fluke. Honest). The fact that Khaine includes murder in his portfolio is seen as evidence of this.

Khaine sees Khorne as being too full of himself and lacking self-awareness. Yes, Khorne may have stripped himself of all the “impurities” that characterized the other war gods, but he seems to have lost something in the process. He treats war like a grand spectacle, but has lost touch with mortals and completely forgotten about why people go to war (or more importantly why most people try to avoid it). He is completely focused on the glory of war, the slaying of enemies, the winning of accolades, and has completely forgot that war is horrifying to those most who are not immortal, invulnerable, or an ork. Yes, Khaine has murder in his portfolio whereas Khorne technically does not, war is murder, and if you forget that you become as bad as the monsters you’re fighting.

Slaanesh[edit]

On the Slaaneshi condition, Slaaneshi chaos eldar needing to stave of being eaten by feeding slaanesh other souls is already the dark eldar's thing, and they're already explicitly serving chaos. Since Slaanesh is weakened because he has to vie with Isha for eldar souls after death it would even make sense for the prince of pleasure to explicitly offer the sadistic but self preserving dark eldar a deal where they hunt for souls and deliver them and their feelings unto Slaanesh to keep their own incredibly Slaaneshi existence free. They're the dominatrix that Slaanesh pays to bust into your house in the night, loosen up your bum, and drag you to the dungeon.

Eldar worshippers of Slaanesh, the real cultists, are there because they really love the idea of being Slaany's mind bending fucktoy, and a little snuff at the end of a session with the prince/princess is hardly a problem for them. The high echelon of the Slaaneshi cult have been violated and ended in innumerable ways by their master and love, and have done the same to Slaany for their master's pleasure. Because the Slaaneshi chaos eldar have the greatest psychic conceptual influence over Slaanesh and are the most influenced by their god's corruption they essentially become a recursively self-depraving magical realm. Slaanesh and the Slaaneshi eldar love each other and are perfect for each other, and whenever Slaany eats an old favorite it can't help eventually recreating them for more, because it can never get enough.

The Slaaneshi eldar consider the mutability and acausality of the warp the sublimation of the old empire and have made a good run at adapting to it. Some of them have been in the the eye partying since the fall, and claim to have been upon the capital, a layered shellworld engrossed in a great all-spanning orgy, and to have witnessed the birth. Fewer still claim to have taken part in slaanesh's conception, dreaming up the perfect lover that now is their idol, themselves the participants most interested in endless variance of pleasure and perfect beauty, the more self erasing of the parents giddily gobbled up or used to destruction by their child, as they had hoped.

Because they dreamt Slaanesh to be the God of excess that always wants more it can't help but bring back its kinkiest toys and the perfect champions its enjoined ruining by reward though final deadly climax. The pleasure of gobbling up souls, of absolute obliteration, grew insufficient to the prince, as everything must, and the young god was soon inclined by its cult to more subtle perversions.

Likewise, with Isha free the lordess of excess faced the very real prospect of scarcity, even famine, and was made to squirm within its nature much like Nurgle was. Because it's nature was not so based in stasis as Nurgle the shift had a greater significance. Coming to understand differences in kind, where once it could only understand magnitude.

Slaanesh learned the difference between being the god with the most raw warp influence and being the god with the most canny and capable followers, strongest realspace assets and positions, the widest portfolio extendable to the broadest uses of power. Slaanesh learned to be ok with being the little bitch among the four and the wispiest typhoon of madness in the warp because the other gods don't seem to acknowledge the realspace situation as anything more than pieces on the board. Slaanesh understands that it's cult and realspace define and control it as much as the other way around, and acts on this knowledge. Also, while Isha's freedom has fucked with Slaanesh on a material level, her freedom has reopened the fate of the eldar pantheon of which Slaanesh can claim a part, circumventing the deadlock of the great game. If the situation arises Slaanesh might just leave the other Chaos Gods to rot, setting itself up as the devil figure in the new Galactic pantheon by defining itself as the antithesis of the Emperor and Empress.

tl:dr - reasonable Slaanesh is what happens when you make reasonable eldar, and the Imperium is reasonably fucked

Slaanesh likes to present itself as the most reasonable of the Four Chaos Gods, almost in a Luciferian or Sauron-like fashion. Tzeentch constantly rants about "plans", Khorne constantly rants about "blood", and Nurgle constantly rants about "despair", or at least that's what the Slaaneshis would have you believe. Slaanesh tells you this in a calm, impassionate voice, in a form that looks downright normal, trying to convince you that it is the only reasonable option. And then the mask slips and you realize that, no, this one is just as crazy as all the other, because unlike the other four it is capable of hiding it's madness and monomania beneath a veneer of sanity.

Each of the Chaos Gods has their own long term goals. Tzeentch wants to find out what’s in the Well of Eternity and gain ultimate knowledge. Nurgle thinks the galaxy is rotten to the core and has gone on too long as is and wants to burn it all down so it can start over, a la Dark Souls something he may have been infected by when he at his chunk of Malal. Khorne wants ultimate domination over the galaxy, that which had been denied from him ever since Gork and Mork slipped his grasp during the War in Heaven. And Slaanesh, as god/ess of excess, wants to usurp the other three and become the sole Chaos God. And the other three know it. There’s a reason why the other Chaos Gods don’t like Slaanesh very much. Even Tzeentch, the Chaos God who gets along the best with Slaanesh, doesn’t so much like them is consider them “the most easily manipulatable”. As in canon, because Slaanesh is the god of excess, technically all of the things the other three gods do potentially fall under Slaanesh's portfolio and they know it. This is part of reason for Khorne’s unusual degree of restraint around Slaanesh, despite the well-known hatred between them. Although Khorne wants to kill Slaanesh, if he acts on the urge in anger it means he loses all self-control to his excess and Slaanesh wins, and both of them know it.

There’s a dirty little secret behind the origin of Slaanesh. Slaanesh wasn’t originally conceived as a god/ess of pain and pleasure. He/she was originally supposed to be a god/ess of peace, love, and joy. Some of the more sane among the Old Eldar Empire had proposed creating Slaanesh out of a sense of noblesse oblige to calm the Warp down for the other, non-Webway using races. Others in power liked the idea of a God of Joy, because it meant never having to worry about the collective grief spiral Eldar societies are vulnerable to (essentially never having to come down off their high). Of course, when it was detailed on how one would actually create such a god, the rest of the hedonistic Eldar just heard "make a sex god through lots of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, sounds cool", which ruined the whole project. Slaanesh was corrupted from its birth, whatever noble intentions the Eldar might have had in its creation died before it even manifested for the first time and started murdering the rest of their pantheon. Instead of pacifying the Warp, Slaanesh made the Warp worse and galvanized the other three Chaos Gods into action.

Apep[edit]

The one and only Daemon Prince of Malal. Pharaoh of Denial.

It is said that in his mortal life, the being who would become Apep was a man who through his own hubris caused the destruction of all that he held dear. But rather than realize his self-inflicted role in this tragedy and accept the consequences of his actions, Apep blamed everyone else, cursing the universe itself for his loss. It was this hatred, and his irrational denial of the fact that he was the cause of own suffering, that drew him to Malal's attention in the first place. The goat-like god came to Apep with a simple offer: "Your old life is gone, there is nothing more for you here. Serve me, and you will have your revenge on the universe".

However, Malal was not the Chaos God he once was. Years of fighting with the four great Ruinous Powers had left him a shadow of the being he once was, and so he had to invest a far greater proportion of his power into Apep. Thus, there could only ever be one daemon prince of Malal. Of course, perhaps this is what Malal intended all along, for if there were more than one Daemon Prince of Malal, one would surely turn on and betray the other.

Despite this, the fact that Malal had to invest so much of his essence into Apep technically makes Apep a god in the flesh, albeit a very pathetic one. As a result, he can't be killed reliably. Oh they've tried. The Grey Knights have killed Apep at least seven times and may have killed it as many as twelve times, the last of which was in 102.M41. After that point the Grey Knights got fed up with Apep and took a page from the Kinebrach, entombing Apep alive in a padded, warded cell on Ganymede. Apep can't come back if he never gets dies in the first place.

I'm imagining Apep as a amorphous and never quite stable cloud of what looks like red and orange sand. It's usually a sort of spider in shape, but mostly because of habit.

Apep's great fuck up that pushed him into the embrace of Chaos was messing around with nano-machines. Possibly his people were one of the early recoveries after the War in Heaven. The nano-bots were salvaged from a Necrontyr tomb.

And that's how the K'nib homeworld was lost.

Imprisonment[edit]

I'm kinda imagining that there's a ton of weird reverse psychology involved in imprisoning the one Daemon Prince of Malal. Stuff like demanding he leave the vaults of Ganymede and never return, locking him out of his containment cell, and insisting he's the jailor not the prisoner are probably just the start of it. It would probably descend into a level of double negative bullshit like how The Outsider momentarily/eternally became an avatar of Malal by virtue of being the antithesis of Tzeentch, and also by not being Malal.

Oh sweet fucking Jesus that's a beautifully stupid image.

Apep, the one Daemon Prince of Malal, is guarding an empty cell so that it remains empty and because he is free not to.

Also the Outsider is just crazy enough that even if he wasn't the avatar of Malal he would act like Malal to such a great degree that he would be the avatar of Malal by virtue of nobody including both gods involved being able to tell the difference.

This sorry state of affairs would be, I imagine, a source of unending mirth for the Inquisition were it not for the fact that these creatures hopelessly broken as they are are civilization ending disasters waiting for someone to happen to.

Also added to the "List of Thing Inq. Jaq Draco is no Longer Permitted to do on Ganymede" is
>interact with the Prince of Malal

No, no, you see. Apep isn't imprisoned. It's everyone else who's imprisoned. They built a whole prison around the universe, except for one little spot where the guard is supposed to be stationed. It's Apep's job to keep everyone else imprisoned. I mean, if you built four walls to contain an entire universe, it must be full of pretty nasty stuff.

Doombreed[edit]

In this timeline Doombreed is not Genghis Khan, or Atilla the Hun, or any other famous historical conqueror. Here he is the last despot of Ursh, the guy who caused the Imperium so much trouble during the Unification Wars. Having killed more people in the name of mindless slaughter than any other human being on Earth, Khorne found his antics hilarious and raised him as a daemon prince so he could continue doing so for eternity. Raising the person who was such a personal nightmare for the Warlord and many of his primarchs was also a very spiteful move on Khorne’s part, bringing back the person that caused them so much pain.

During the War of the Beast, Doombreed arose and went after the four of the Steward’s primarchs who had caused him so much trouble in life: Magnus the Red, the witch who had stepped out of line and murdered his uncle; Jaghatai Khan, the man who stabbed him in the back; Corvus Corax, the slave who had humiliated him; and Lorgar Aurelian, the man who finally brought him down and swung the sword at his execution. From a combat perspective, as a Khornate Daemon Prince, Doombreed was tailor-made to take down a psyker, a latent psyker, and two warriors who specialized in hit-and-run tactics. The four barely survived Doombreed. However, once they did, they realized that something was up given that such a personal figure from their past had been brought back, and they headed to Old Earth.

Six millennia later, during the Age of Apostasy, the tyranny and cruelty of Goge Vandire brought Doombreed back once more. Magnus, now alone but with two or three divisions of Grey Knights, confronted Doombreed and brought him down. However, the battle was so intense that it ended up causing the Storm of the Emperor’s Wrath and ended up killing Magnus from the exhaustion a short while later.

When Doombreed showed up for the first time, he corrupted a large region of space that was in the process of being integrated into the Imperium. The people in this region eventually ended up becoming the Blood Pact.

It has been suggested that the Helldrakes in this timeline were originally inspired by the Roma, Ursh’s vassal air force. In canon, the Roma were described as having “never touched the ground”, which could be interpreted as them being physically wired into and intermeshed with their planes to some degree. The Chaos Gods took one look at this idea and asked Doombreed “so what do you call this” and Doombreed responded “the Aristocrats!” Of course, the Chaos Gods decided to take this idea up to 11 (like everything Chaos does) by physically fusing the flesh of the pilot into the machine. This would give Chaos a ready supply of Helldrakes from baseline human beings without having to waste precious traitor marines like in canon because there are relatively fewer Fallen.

Skarbrand[edit]

Skarbrand in this timeline was tricked into raise his hand against Khorne by Malal, who sought to use the resulting struggle as a way to escape his status as Khorne's vassal. Unfortunately, Skarbrand found out that while Khorne approves of his followers challenging one another to see who is the strongest, he doesn't approve of the same rules being applied to himself, and Skarbrand got smacked down as per canon. The resulting being, filled with destructive self-hatred and a teamkilling fury that makes him as dangerous to foe and (nominal) friend alike, is exactly what you’d expect of a Khornate daemon with Malalic influences.

M'Kar the Thriceborn[edit]

M'Kar before ascending to daemonhood was one of the Night Lords that was in it just for the shits and giggles instead of Kurze's idea of justice, a real fuck up who ran around the underhives playing mind games on people that drew his attention, distorting their perceptions by manes both mundane and exotic, stalking them and appearing only in their peripheral vision, leaving signs of his presence and toying them for a good long while to the point of madness before cutting them up (assuming they don't kill themselves first).

He's been doing this across the Imperium since then, he typically singles people out individually because it amuses him to do so although he can fuck with larger groups if he wants. He is quite a good combatant in a straight up fight as you would expect but it is not his area of expertise.

He's a nutter who thinks the Imperium is the set of his own ever lasting horror-holo and he puts such effort into setting the stage that Tzneetch adopted him and finds his antics quite amusing. Like Ingethel although he is Tzeentchian on paper Slaanesh and Nurgle also supply him with a bit of juice as his antics help fuel them by extension as well. Unlike most Deamon-Princes that arise from The Fallen he has not particular fondness for attacking his old Legion. Not because he has any fondness for them, fuck no, but simply because attacking a bunch of mind-wiped fanatics with limited emotional range isn't as satisfying at going after civilians.

Crone World Eldar[edit]

Daemonculaba in this timeline was created by the Crone Eldar to supplement low birth rate. However, don't think humans get out of this so easily just because they aren't eldar. The Crone Eldar have been trying to make a Daemonculaba out of humans for decades. Just because it hasn't worked the last 500 times doesn't mean it's not worth seeing if the 501st time will be different. And even if that doesn't work they get to laugh and jerk off at the spectacle. Win-win as far as they are concerned. Humans are much more numerous than eldar and if the Crones could get a human Daemonculaba working it would be a much more efficient way to breed an army. One thing that might prove to be a problem if the birth of the Impossible Child ends up breaking down the barriers between humans and eldar is the Crones breeding an army of half-eldar cannon fodder out of human Daemonculaba.

Ghastbone is the construction material of choice for the Crone Eldar, and it more or less a variant form of wraithbone. Normal wraithbone is built in such a way that it is “insulated” from external psionic influences. The reasons for this are both functional (insulation improves the conduction of the psychic signal and reduces the external “noise” sent to a wraithguard body from a spirit stone, for example) as well as for safety (it prevents daemons from manifesting and playing havoc with your systems willy nilly). The Crones on the other hand, tend to strip out all the insulating components that keep out external psionic influences or even add amplifying ones, because they want demons to molest them from behind as they work. This tends to give Ghastbone a tattered, frayed appearance compared to the smooth sleek curves of most wraithbone constructed implements, and often makes Crone devices appear much more ratty than they actually are.

All of the Crone Eldar are on the Path to Glory in some form or another. They see the eldar as the chosen race of the gods, demigods in the making that bridge the gap between mortal and divine, whose job it is to spread the worship of Chaos to all of the “lesser” people of the galaxy. The old eldar pantheon was unable to prevent themselves from being slaughtered by the Chaos Gods, thereby proving the validity of the Chaos Gods as objects of worship in their extreme social Darwinist mindset. They see the worship of the old gods as immature and juvenile, something that they have grown beyond. They see their Dark kin hiding in the depths of Commorragh and the exiles who fled the Old Empire to live on floating hunks of wraithbone or squatting in savagery as having rejected this divine mission placed on them by the gods, and therefore in their eyes they are heretics.

That said, the Crones are not completely one-dimensional. They do have a consistent internal philosophy, being social darwinists who believe that as demigods in the making they are above good and evil and what is “right” is whatever makes them feel good, the problem is that they’re mostly sadists and hedonists who see everyone else as either heretics or lesser lifeforms to be used as entertainment, and "whatever feels good" usually involves fulfilling those desires. Their philosophy is just absolutely toxic and completely at odds with…pretty much every other system of living. Tzeentch sums up their philosophy pretty well in “Just As Planned”: I do what I want, when I want, and I am strong enough that no one can tell me otherwise, therefore putting any kind of restraint on myself is akin to psychosis.

And there is an aspect of tragedy to their existence. Not tragic in the manner of some Miltonian or Byronic figure, they will kill you with an honest-to-the-dark-gods smile on their face and enjoy every minute of it. The tragedy comes more from their situation, kind of like the Orks or the Dark Eldar. The Crone Eldar are born into a society that literally does not allow them to be anything else. Between their upbringing and their intense sense of superiority the there is any other way to live. Any Crone child who shows signs of mercy, morality, or forgiveness is likely to be weeded of the population by the unforgiving nature of Crone society unless they are really tough in spite of it. From day one they are told “once the gods loved us. Then some mortals defied the natural order and caused a rift between mortals and the gods and now the gods are only willing to give us tough love. But maybe, if we fix the mistake and return Isha to Nurgle’s garden, maybe the gods will love us again”. Which is itself a lie, the Chaos gods were just as terrible to them before the Raid and any claims otherwise are a “just so” story to try and explain why the gods are so terrible like an abuse victim trying to justify their abuse. Crones are essentially born to be damned, if not being damned by proxy by being born in such a Chaos-corrupted society then because the actions necessary to survive in such a society would damn them anyway.

Important Individual Croneworlders[edit]

Note: All these ideas are preliminary, and may be subject to changes (e.g., names)

Marshal of The Scions of The Old Helm

  • Highest ranking figure among Khorne's remnants of the Eldar empire's military, claims authority is descended from the old empire's chain of command
  • Access to some of their best surviving large-scale weapons and naval assets from before the fall
  • the Marshal holds crone worlds in the eye and is granted warp real estate from Khorne, and has official palaces in the Shah-Dome, but most of its holdings in the shellworld are limited to the outer layers
  • the Marshal controlled the backbone of Crone forces and needed to be appeased by Malys at the expense of the other factions until Luther and the fallen became an analogous option

High Conservator of The Attendants of Isha

  • The original High Conservator was a decadent leader of Isha's priesthood that embraced her captivity as a wedding of the generative mother and the eternally preserving father
  • welcomed in the garden of Nurgle, the upper priesthood that clung to Isha became immortal, pseudo-deamonic beings that fawned over their 'mother'
  • The upper leadership of the Attendants witnessed Isha's rescue and are absolutely dedicated to her recapture
  • Other than being patient, implacable, and insanely hard to kill, the Conservator and attendants have a large following in the slums and horrible places of the galaxy
  • Their eternal readiness to campaign and their ability to motivate wars makes them useful to Malys, and they have a few powerful leaders, but they have few holdings that aren't warp real estate from Nurgle and weak armies

The Indigo Crow (or some other esoteric title)

Indigo Crow.jpg
  • The preeminent Crone sorcerer and seer, an independent Tzentchian scholar of vast power, not bound to the service of a liege or court
  • Able to call on some level of cooperation between the dark academies of warp-lore in the corrupted webway around the eye
  • Its unclear if this is a single individual, an assumed title passed between great tzeentchian eldar, or some more unusual entity, but in any case it is the Crones' answer to both Eldrad and Ahriman
  • Has incredible supernatural power and knowledge, and is the conduit for much of the Tzeentchian Crones' access to Tzeentch's realm and boons, but little military power
  • The way you describe it the changeling and the Indigo Crow seem pretty similar. It's interesting that the Indigo Crow has an somewhat clear identity and MO but doesn't know it's overarching plan, the Changeling has what looks like a long term plan and MO, but no clear original identity, only hints.
  • It seems that they can know what they are doing or why they do it but have trouble keeping both in mind at the same time.

It's already been said that the Crow is so mad it needs to read it's own mind to know what it's up to. It might be that when the changeling knows the changeling's plan to usurp the Big Bird it is by necessity not the Indigo Crow, Tzeentch's greatest asset. The Indigo Crow's nature is to not truly know what he's meddling with, but to serve Tzeentch's will regardless, so he only knows his plan when he doesn't know he's the Indigo Crow.

Chosen Taskmaster of Slaanesh

  • The Taskmaster is selected to direct Slaanesh's material domain in the Eye of Terror while the inner circle enjoy the revels
  • Holds power over significant portions of the Shah-Dome, including massive habitation, industrial, and technological assets, made even more imposing by direct connection to Slaanesh's palace
  • While the Taskmaster has the strongest realspace assets and most readily granted and utilized warp boons, Slaanesh can provide less in terms of raw power and reality distortion.
  • The Taskmaster's strategic purpose is to wield the ruins of the eldar empire Slaanesh has claimed to make the prince of pleasure arch-enemy of the Imperium as a means of expanding his influence on the warp, which works well for Malys

Malaria, the Living Hive

When Isha was freed from Nurgle's mansion, Nurgle no longer had a guinea pig for his experiments, and Malaria offered herself as a substitute. At first Nurgle took her up on that offer, but eventually the Lord of Stagnation eventually realized it just wasn't the same, and gave up on her. To everyone's shock and horror, Malaria actually survived Nurgle's experimentation, but not before she was merged with the Destroyer Hive creating Malaria, the Living Hive.

Malaria is a disgusting creature. Half of her body is covered in hive-like outgrowths, home to growing maggots, rot wasps, daemon flies, and plague gnats. The parts of her body that are not covered in outgrowths, including most of her face save the area around her left eye, look as pristine and flawless as they did the day of the Fall (similar to Norse goddess Hel). However, this is only a veneer of normalcy. Malaria has almost no original tissue left, and if one were to break Malaria in half (as has happened several times), one would see that her insides are nothing more than honeycombs for the insects inside her with a thin veneer of skin on top (and then get stung by a bunch of angry Nurgle bees). She shouldn't even be able to move, having no brain, muscle, or bone, but since when is Chaos ever logical.

Malaria herself does not care. She is in a constant state of pleasure, happiness, and religious ecstasy as insects pupate inside her body, giggling like an innocent child in spite of the horror she leaves in her wake.

The Indigo Crow and Tzeentch's Involvement in the Raid on Nurgle's Mansion[edit]

The scene is roughly mid-to-lateway through the Great Crusade. At this time Eldrad was the nominal leader of the eldar people, mostly because he was the one yelling the loudest during the Fall and helped get a lot of people to safety. However, now that the immediate crisis has passed the eldar are starting to go their separate ways and they won’t listen to Eldrad anymore. Eldrad looks into the future. Sees the eldar fragmenting into feuding Craftworlds that barely talk to each other and get picked off one by one, then picking fights with the rising power of humanity which just left both races crawling in the mud. This was unacceptable. Eldrad refused to see his people degenerate and die. Only people eldar would listen to would be their gods, of whom only one was alive and relatively sane. The seers said rescuing Isha would be impossible. Eldrad never liked that word. Eldrad, being Eldrad, decides to kill two birds with one stone. So he comes up with a plan and goes looking for the leader of humanity.

Meanwhile, in the Warp, Tzeentch was equally unhappy with the current state of affairs. Out of all the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch had profited much less from the Age of Strife than the other three. Nurgle had his new unwilling waifu and was settling in for the long haul in which the galaxy has a long horrible decline into utter hopelessness. Slaanesh had their binge-eating fest where they ate most of the eldar pantheon, as well as their numerous still-living cultists on Shaa-dome. And Khorne, BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY, was pleased at the constant war breaking out all across his domain. True, the galaxy was divided into innumerable petty empires whose borders changed constantly through low-level war, but the fact remained that Tzeentch benefited much less from the Fall and the Age of Strife than any of the other Chaos Gods. Additionally, this is most likely the point in time in which the other three Chaos Gods ganged up on Tzeentch and destroyed his wand of wonders, since this was after the birth of Slaanesh yet before the Big Four agreed to temporarily stop fighting each other (at least openly) until the Imperium was dealt with. This was no position for the Eldest of the Gods to be in. So he sends his greatest mortal champion to shake things up.

Back in realspace, Eldrad is starting to get desperate. He knows the eldar’s only long-term hope is to free Isha from Nurgle, but scouring all the old tomes he can’t seem to find any reliable way into the realms of Chaos. Then an old friend shows up out of nowhere (really the Indigo Crow who's stolen his friend's face, and when we say stolen his face, we mean has literally stolen his face) and tells him about an all-but-forgotten path through the Webway he "discovered" via forgotten lore that leads right to the foot of Nurgle’s Mansion. Eldrad isn’t stupid, he knows this is suspicious and seemingly too good to be true, but he’s getting desperate. He uses the information.

The Raid happens. The Raid on Nurgle’s Mansion was still a hail Mary, but it turned what should have been a suicide mission into “merely” a million-to-one chance. Tzeentch’s involvement was just the reason why the raiding party wasn’t jumped by 887 Bloodthirsters as soon as they entered the warp and insta-gibbed. Tzeentch managed to convince the other two Chaos Gods to chip in. Khorne, BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY, is apathetic to the power struggle, until Tzeentch explains possibilities for conflict should he succeed. Slaanesh already wants Isha, especially taking her from a fellow Chaos God, and is positively giddy there's a Man of Gold up for grabs. Tzeentch's agent would execute the ploy, Khorne's might would to stay Nurgle's reaction, and Slaanesh's seekers were to go catch Isha and bring her back before them. Tzeentch’s real plan was to let the mortals free Isha from Nurgle’s grasp before capturing both Isha and the members of the raiding party (including the last Man of Gold) in one fell swoop, using them as bargaining chips to constantly stir the pot of conflict between the Chaos gods causing constant change and preventing any of the other three from becoming too powerful. None of this happened correctly.

First off, while Tzeentch had been planning to stall the other gods as much as he could, he almost didn’t need to. Khorne didn’t need an excuse to wreck someone else’s shit, and led his forces on a merry rampage through Nurgle’s garden. Arrotyr is still a flaming anti-Isha fanatic and manages to fuck his part of the operation sideways before dismissing the task as unfit. Slaanesh almost immediately tried to screw the other three over and take Isha for itself, but the Keeper of Secrets that was supposed to take out the Steward is stopped by Tzeentch so Slaanesh can’t just abscond with the prize (because they would eat it, thus running the entire endeavor). The Taskmaster is supposed to be leading the realspace attack on wherever the portal was, which it half assed, and used as an excuse to expand the Slaaneshi navy in the Eye. Meanwhile, the mortals had slipped into the realm of Chaos relatively unannounced, oblivious to the god war going on in their midst, and had grabbed Isha. Eldrad had realized almost immediately it was a trap and figured that the best way to get out of a trap is to play along and make your enemy think you had taken the bait until the last second. Eldrad, Oscar, and co. weren't supposed to survive their little trip into the Realm of Chaos. They did, against all odds. When you lay a trap, the mouse isn't supposed to make off with the cheese.

What was once a relatively organized plan now broke down into a free-for-all as the squabbling gods realized exactly what was at stake and that the mortals had a very real chance of making off with the prize. The mortals, meanwhile, are running for the portal like the legions of hell are on their heels, which to be frank they kind of are. Against all odds, they managed to make it out.

No matter, for the Indigo Crow although Plan A was a bust, it was time for Plan B. Plan A was the raid fails. Chaos now has the last surviving Man of Gold, the Phoenix Lords and a bunch of literally who humans to play with for ever and ever and ever. Also the Craftworlds start to get desperate and more of them fall to Chaos. No large scale civilized galactic society forms and Chaos gets to treat the galaxy as their playground. Good for Chaos overall, including him and his master. Plan B was that even in the unlikely event that the mortals would actual succeed Nurgle still loses Isha and Tzeentch fucking hates Nurgle. Also the upset in the Great Game means change and influence peddling time on a greater scale. Good for him and his master. Also if this alliance between human and eldar sticks and forms The Imperium then he, and by extension Tzeentch, have influence on highest members of its society who will personally owe him a big favour. From his point of view the game was rigged so he couldn't lose.

It looked like "Just As Planned" time too. Then Eldrad tried to shank him because Eldrad wasn't a fucking fool and knew what games the Indigo Crow as playing. Crow escaped because Crow always expects to be stabbed in the back as part of his job and has got very adept at knowing when to cut losses and bolt for the horizon. Tzeentch wasn't happy about his favorite pawn's failure.

Overall, Tzeentch’s involvement in the raid was a combination of the time-old tale of “trickster god tries to pull off something audacious (like steal fire from the gods, or all the knowledge in the world), only for it to blow up in their face due to their own hubris”, combined with an unlikely event of unexpected success that nevertheless had massive repercussions for the rest of history (e.g., assassination of Archduke Ferdinand). The Chaos Gods were so fixated on playing the Great Game that they didn’t realize the mortals could become a problem until it was too late.

Tzeentchian Webway Academies[edit]

Part of the high concept of the Tzeentchian Croneworlders is a parody of ivory-tower intellectualism and incomprehensible philosophy, especially postmodernism/deconstructionism. Trying to communicate in academia is often an exercise in frustration, as professors and officials all have private languages and even once those are deciphered their conversation is still generally incomprehensible, consisting of obscure referents to that University's unique conception of metaphysics. That is, of course, assuming they haven't decided their old language was hopelessly obsolete, and are currently in the middle of trying to make a new one. Except in the case of Tzeentchian Crones using charades and/or assassinations, because they don't have a language at the moment. Or that they haven't proven that whatever language they use is the only language that can exist, and everything else is meaningless babble by animals that just happen to look like people. Or that they acknowledge the existence of existence at all.

Overall they are quite Schopenhauer-esque, this school of thought being famous its incomprehensible drivel and fits better with the setting. It also provides a contrast with canon Prospero and it's organization since the Crones are marginally more organized than Chaos Space Marines and therefore tend towards competing Platonic or Pythagorean academies with long, illustrious traditions instead of sorceror covens.

Changelings[edit]

I'd been thinking we needed to do something with the Tzeentchian changeling, Crones giving their own children mutagenic modifications and slipping them into Imperial world and Exodite Eldar populations. Most probably go full technicolor teleporting Eversor before they reach adulthood, and the few changelings that hold it together become some of the most unpredictable malignant actors in Imperial space.

One thing is that Crones, in the Shaa-Dome at least, seem to do decently to well maintaining a population the old fashion way. Just with high rates of childhood attrition from [Information purged for the benefit of readers], but even that is made up for by their enthusiasm at reproduction.

At very least they probably wouldn't be too picky about genetic stock for such a project, and the project itself would be more to the benefit of the Scions, Witch halls, and the Attendants. That is to say, the Slaaneshi Crones have enough of a breeding program as is that the Daemonculaba would probably be a project put together by some mix Arrotyr, Nimina, or the Crow's forces, and the Slaaneshies get to just watch, fap, and giggle at the competition.

Doesn't even have to be little girls. It could be any Eldar female the Crones are able to get their hands on. Infiltrators work just as well when your loving wife turns out to have been replaced by an extradimensional horror and rips your face off.

The only issue would be detection. Eldar in canon have the technology to detect genestealers, so it's possible they would psychically notice their children/wives/sisters have been replaced by impostors. But then again this is the Cronedar. If anyone knows how to fool Eldar psychic senses, it's them.

'The' Changeling[edit]

Changeling may or may not be a double agent.

Ceggers brags that he once made it all the way through the Crystal Labyrinth and the Tzneetian deamon will attest that a small girl and a scruffy looking black dog did indeed once manage to get all the way to the Well of Eternity at the center despite all the cunning traps and riddles along the way.

It is always assumed that Ceggers was dressed up as a little girl because he is the sort of person who will do that sort of thing for a laugh.

But people always forget that there were two of them. Who was the dog? Was it Changeling? Was Changeling the little girls and Ceggers the dog just going along for the ride in heavy disguise?

Changeling doesn't know what it's true form is anymore and one of the things Tzneetch promises is that he will tell him what it is one day but whay ould a god need to do so? It could be that Changeling was not always of Tzneetch but was one of Cegger's creations back in the old days adopted by Big Bird after The Fall in exchange for protection from Slaanesh.

If that is the case then Tzneetch might also not know and is possibly going to use Changeling as a bargaining chip at some point with Slaanesh should there be an advantage to do so in which case it won't matter.

But if it is a deamon of Big Bird rather than Cegger it would explain why it knew the way through the maze, but not why it was helping the Cosmic Jester. Unless it's playing the long game, throwing it's lot in with the King of Clowns because it hates it's master and finding a new patron in the same way that other deamons serve the Soul Forge.

Are the Mandraks connected to Changeling? Who can say.

One thing and one thing only for certain, Tzneetch was not happy that something saw what was at the heart of his maze. Not happy at all.

What the fuck[edit]

this one is really only a problem for people so deep in sorcery that there's really no helping them, but if you can shapeshift DO NOT take on the form of the Indigo Crow, his form is his function is his thoughts, and you just straight up become the Indigo Crow, and he might by some strange law of transposition briefly become you, with all your thoughts and soul, etc.

The act of the Indigo Crow shapeshifting makes it the Changeling, and since the Indigo Crow is you at this point, and you are the Indigo Crow, shapeshifted, and so also the Changeling, the changeling briefly exists at two places at once. Because one of the Changelings is the Indigo Crow it cannot be the Changeling, and the whole superimposition of contradictory states collapses into one thing that is the Indigo Crow and something else that has forgotten itself from the universe, form soon transforming into nothing to fit their forgotten identity.

More than a few cheeky Daemon Breakers and ambitious Crones have winked out of existence in this manner, and its not clear if the Crow knows about this phenomenon.

The Old Eldar Empire[edit]

Surprisingly, the inhabitants of the Old Eldar Empire weren't always depraved and horrible people. The eldar didn’t emerge from the Webway after the War in Heaven and immediately go, “well, the old bosses are gone, time to snort hookers, do blow, and murderfuck us a new god. At first they were actually good and reasonable people, trying to do right and hew to what they thought the Old Ones wanted. This can be seen in the fact that the eldar actually left Earth and many of the Old Ones’ other laboratory worlds alone, when they could easily colonized it when the ancestors of humans were little more than squirrels. For many years the old eldar Empire actually protected the galaxy from destabilizing threats like the Cythor Fiends.

Then started the slow slide into decadence, a death of a thousand cuts made from decisions that seemed quite reasonable at the time. The democratic council of equals became a kratocracy with an nominal autocrat split into feuding noble houses. They picked a fight with their old allies the Hrud. They stopped the imperialistic aspirations of one would be conquering species much as they had before only this time they stole their suns and condemned them to a slow, agonizing death out of spite. They started doing drugs and seeing other species less as people and more as toys.

By the time humanity first started expanding into the stars, the eldar had virtually turned their back on the outside world and cared only about looking inward. For most the Dark Age of Technology humanity only knew of the eldar as “that inscrutable, isolationistic, highly advanced race that rarely if ever cares about anything outside its borders” except on the rare occasions in which they wanted to expand and bloody wars were fought. Then as the rise in influence of the pleasure cults grew, the eldar went from uncaring outright malevolent, actively snatching victims from beyond their borders to satisfy their twisted whims. Thankfully by this point humanity and the other members of the Interstellar League were strong enough to repel such raiding incursions, though if the Old Eldar Empire had actually cared enough to put their mind to it they could’ve wiped us all out. That said, diplomatic channels didn’t dry up all at once. The eldar almost never allowed mon-keigh into their territory, but during times of peace you very rarely saw eldar (especially young eldar) in the GaB Human Dominion. Eldrad toured around the Dominion for the eldar equivalent of spring break in Cancun, but he barely remembers any of it.

And, of course, the depravity of the late empire and what it led to is well-known.

Humanity and eldar both claim to have dominated the galaxy during the Dark Age of Technology, and to some degree the claims of both groups have merit. In terms of sheer space humans and their alien allies certainly occupied more planets, whereas from the human persepective the Eldar Empire appeared to consist of a few scattered, heavily-defended enclaves linked through the Webway. However from the Eldar perspective the Eldar had already chosen the best planets to live on, whereas the rest of the galaxy lived on the other 95% of planets that they didn't feel worth colonizing. Eldar planets were essentially all linked via the Webway, meaning the Old Eldar Empire was in effect one giant city and reinforcements could literally walk from planet to planet. For any invasion to succeed you either had to have the strength to take on the entire Eldar Empire at the same time or somehow cut the planet off from the Webway. Invading human worlds, on the other hand, was like kicking a hornet's nest, as the system's local Man of Gold and Iron Minds remotely activated and linked all pieces of human-built technology for the sole purpose of expelling the intruders.

The Senate of the Old Empire were protected by a praetorian Phoenix Guard, who were empowered by a fragment of Asuryan much in the same way that the Harlequins are empowered by a fragment of Cegorach and the Handmaidens are powered by a fragment of Isha. Asuryan created the Phoenix Guard through a loophole in his own decree when it became clear the eldar needed more direct intervention to maintain stability, Asuryan said no direct interaction with mortals, he said nothing about supercharging mortals with chunks of your power from across the veil. Asuryan wasn’t too happy about it, he expected his laws to be obeyed to the letter without question or criticism and then gets salty when they are obeyed exactly as far as the letter or actively hamper what needs to be done, and he was too proud to change things because that would require admitting he didn’t write a perfect law in the first place. Unfortunately, because he was still only indirectly interacting with them it meant they were in no position to stop the birth of Slaanesh.

One of the main purposes of the Phoenix Guard aside from protecting the Eldar Senate from outside threats was to maintain order in the Senate by keeping its members from openly trying to murder each other, as well as stop the super-psykers among them from simply trying to take what they wanted by brainwashing everyone else. Given that they were a semi-monastic order sworn to serve the eldar pantheon’s top god and therefore relatively independent of the power struggles and were gifted with the ability to shrug off mind control, this made them marginally more reliable than the actual Roman Praetorian Guard. At least in the late empire. At first they were probably just as noble they claimed.

The Many Atrocities of the Last Days of the Eldar Empire[edit]

  • There was a certain drug that, when consumed by an Eldar, briefly boosted the user's telepathic abilities while also forcing the user's body to slowly crystallize into an array of other drugs. The exact effects and potency depended heavily on the physical qualities and mental state of the user over the course of the transformation; therefore, the lords of the Empire kept 'Eldar farms' where slaves were force-fed the catalyst-drug while carefully kept in certain states of mind. The most potent mixes (although subject to personal taste) were often considered to come from newborn infants, kept in a state of terror and confusion through the entirety of their short lives. The children's mothers were often forced to witness the slow deaths and subsequent consumption of their babies; this did nothing for the quality of the drug, and was done exclusively for the sake of assholery.
  • Billions if not trillions of members of various alien species were kept as slaves. Many Eldar took to breeding specific varieties of slave-species, much as humans breed specific varieties of horse and dog. Although initially this was for practical purposes, aesthetic values quickly took precedence, and most of the slaves of the late-stage empire suffered from multiple types of deformity, features deemed 'aesthetic' becoming grotesquely exaggerated over generations. Of course even this was not enough, and for many Eldar slave-breeders deformity and defect became an end-goal rather than side-effect, engaging in perverse competitions with each other to see how many genetic defects one individual could have and still produce offspring.
  • It was the fashion for Eldar nobles to show off the skill and obedience of their slaves by having one prepare him, her, or itself for dinner. The exact procedure varied according to physiology, but the general outline remained the same. First, surgical sorceries were layered upon the slave to allow him to continue functioning despite massive blood loss and organ trauma. Then, preparation would begin; the slave would skin himself, flense his muscles, and remove his own organs to provide the meat for the meal. Then, the slave would cook his own tissues, a process that often took days given late Empire cuisine, every moment sending jolts of agony through exposed nerves. Then, the slave would serve his master and guests; finally, the slave would crack open his skull or closest equivalent, offering his brain-meats to the master as the final course. If the slave had performed sufficiently flawless, the master would honor him by consuming the brain, finally killing the slave; otherwise, hideous tortures awaited, often with the participation of the guests as apology for subpar service.
  • There were artisans, bone carvers, who would make their works from the bones of the living, often surgically and sorcerously fusing four to thirty slaves together to ensure there was a large enough lump of bone to carve.
  • In many noble families of the Eldar Empire, it was a tradition to initiate a child into adulthood with incestuous torture, often with prayers to Isha for a child to result from the various couplings. In some families, those children of incest, twisted by the sorcery used in the torture that conceived them, started an honored line of breeding. In others, they became the centerpiece of a feast to celebrate their parents.

Eldar "Robots"[edit]

Despite having a sixty six million year head start over humanity, the eldar never really made widespread use of advanced self-aware artificial intelligence like the Men of Iron and the Iron Minds, mostly because they really didn’t need them. Eldar “robots” such as they were, were more like automata the eldar puppeted with their mind to do work while the actual body lazed around and engaged in hedonism. The bulk of Old Empire armies tended to be composed of these constructs supplemented by flesh and blood forces. The Men of Iron and Iron Minds actually sneered at the eldar over this, saying unlike the eldar’s creations they were partners with humanity and at least their creators had the balls to give them free will. A lot of this was bravado, for despite being a lot more intelligent than their eldar counterparts the Men of Iron and the eldar’s robots were at best evenly matched one-on-one due to the Old Eldar Empire having about sixty six million years of research and development on the Men of Iron.

After the Fall, robotics generally just fell out of use among the eldar, Exodites and Craftworlders didn’t use them because the amount of leisure time their use created is the kind of thing that led to the Fall in the first place, and most Dark Eldar don’t have the psychic juice to power them anymore. The Dark Eldar do use more advanced constructs like Pain Engines, however. However, the shells used to make the puppets were used to make the first wraithguards, modifying them for use as a whole-body prosthetic for a single soul instead of a projected handpuppet for a corporeal body. Indeed, just like how Imperial Knights were originally designed as megafauna busters and Terminator armor are weaponized hazard suits, most modern Eldar technology is civilian-grade stuff repurposed for a lower tech level. The actual military equipment of the Old Eldar Empire are mostly located in the Crone Worlds, much of which was either damaged by the Fall or fell into disrepair during the five thousand years the Crone Eldar spent fighting and fornicating one another in the Eye. The biggest collection of what remains of actually working Old Empire military equipment is monopolized by Arrotyr.

This is also the reason why the Craftworld/Exodite eldar despite being a part of the Imperium for more than ten thousand years never tried to use their influence to reverse the stigma on artificial intelligence (though it should be noted that building A.I. is technically not one of the Rules and exists in kind of a gray area). It didn’t hinder the eldar or their way of life, so they didn’t feel much of a need to complain about it. Additionally, they saw the status of self-aware A.I. and the Men of Iron as an internal concern of humanity, and so mostly deferred to humanity on how to deal with A.I. because humanity would know more about how to deal with their creations than the eldar would.

Fallen[edit]

Murder-Class Cruisers and other Fallen warships[edit]

There is an in-universe explanation for the human forces of Chaos having vessels that function as Ironclads to the Imperium's Frigates, and while "Cronedar did it" is an easy explanation, it probably shouldn't be a universal one. For instance, having the Hellbringer-class ships be essentially vessels that fell to Chaos and got pimped out with Cronedar scraps, making them fast and hard-hitting raiders that are rather fragile due to being patch-jobs, is something that makes sense. However, its unlikely the Traitor Marines and any humans who didn't get their brains melted when they turned would be willing to rely completely on the Cronedar for ships.

Enter the Murder-class Cruiser, mainstay of the non-Cronedar forces of Chaos, and the first instance on the scale of ship-class that follows the design theme of the Ironclads- it's slow and somewhat difficult to perform complex maneuvers in, but makes up for it with a damn-tough hide that even armor-piercing weaponry can take time to cut through.

As for how they came about in the first place, well, the short of it is that they were initially a project undertaken by a sect of the Mechanicus in the pursuit of finding a way to recreate Neutronium. The theories were sound, and along the lines of "Stuff is easier to assemble underwater or in a vacuum because you don't have to fight gravity as much." See, the biggest hurdle to recreating Neutronium is that the laws of physics seem to say it's impossible.

Enter Port Nautilus. Yes, they had the brilliant idea of trying to build a dry-dock to build ships inside the Warp. Yes, that went about the way you'd expect it to. No, this was not okayed by the higher-ups in the Mechanicus, who would have shut it down the second they'd realized the new ship-dock was built to enter the Warp (because that's TECH-HERESY! Oh right, and because the warp is bad too I guess but mostly TECH-HERESY!)

At first they were just one of the groups of Cogboys who had grown up on their own world, then been forced to bow to Mars when the Imperium showed up. Their theories on Neutronium may have even held merit- it's not too unlikely that the DAoT humans were using warp-tech to produce impossible materials, and the Warp was a lot calmer back then so they didn't have to deal with everything warp-related immediately becoming daemons.

Indeed, it certainly explains a lot about Savlar if the production of Neutronium requires Warp machinery. Humanity and the Iron Minds were more than willing to use Warp machinery to build things (see the Men of Gold). Any improperly shielded core of Warpstuff would start leaking and having a gradual effect on the surrounding area, much like a nuclear plant leaking radiation. Indeed, that’s exactly what happened to Caliban. It also explains at least part of why the Savlar Order are so hostilely against anyone coming in- there's both risk of contamination, and a risk of somebody freaking out when they discover exactly what's being used to forge all this neutronium. That and Savlar is their home, all they have and all they hold dear and as much as they love it they will see it dead before defiled and they really don't like Mars.

It’s also interesting to note that the Savlar Order is one of the few Mechanicus-esque orders to acknowledge any kind of small gods. All of the other Mechanicus sects are either monotheist or pantheist with the pantheists seeing the universe and the Omnissiah as one and the same and all other gods as either unworthy of consideration of phantoms that will draw you to damnation. All except the Savlar Brotherhood who seem to at least acknowledge and respect the Small Gods even if they don't actually worship them in any way. This could be just cultural bleed from the savages beyond their gates but they don't typically mingle with them and absolutely do not recruit from outside their walls.

Of course that's only speculation, and right now anything warp-related DOES become daemons, so even if the heretek Mechanicus sect of Port Nautilus were right and the production of Neutronium does require warp-shenanigans, the risks are too great. Also, resentment from how Mars came in and started acting like snobbish assholes and shutting down things that they'd been working on for decades may or may not have contributed to them not sharing everything about their theories with Mars- to the Mechanicum, it was known that they were somewhat obsessed with Neutronium and finding ways to reproduce it, but that their intended methods involved dipping into the Warp to circumvent the Laws of Physics wasn't apparent until it was too late.

I imagine the leader of the cult pulling off an impressive false-flag operation against the Mechanicus by playing up the Neutronium obsession thing by directing constant demands for access to something Neutronium-related, like access to Salvar or something on Mars related to Neutronium, and really being a total obnoxious asshole to the point where when one of his underlings approached Mars with a proposition for them to get assigned to go build a couple of cruisers in bum-fuck nowhere to give his boss a chance to cool down and focus on something else, it was almost immediately accepted as an excuse to not have to deal with him anymore. This is also why it took so long for their to be an in-depth analysis of the shipyard the sect was building- inspection crews didn't want to hang out any longer than they needed to.

Of course, nothing about the components of the shipyard itself were technically techno-heresy- organized in a strangely inefficient manner, yes, but all according to the sanctions of Mars. Maybe the assembly areas for the Cruiser's Warp-drives are a bit disorganized, and they're going to have to cut out some new doors to fit the drives back out again, the the drives themselves are being constructed in complete compliance of the rulings of Mars.

Then on the way back from one such inspection, a younger acolyte who got dragged along on principle rather than because he was needed asks if having the Warp-drives running and plugged into the dockyard is to placate the machine spirits.

The inspection crew charges back, then goes dark. The honchos back at Mars take the message the crew had sent before heading back and look back over their previous reports with actual scrutiny, and realize there's some serious tech-heresy at play, and immediately launch a fleet to stop them from making new things. Imperium picks up on the chatter and outrage among the cogboys, get a general gist of the situation, and launch their own fleet because "HOLY SHIT THEY'RE STICKING THEIR DICKS IN THE WARP THIS CAN ONLY END BADLY."

When they arrive, the dockyards are already in the process of charging up their warp-drives to go deeper into the warp that the metaphorical toe-dipping they'd been doing for construction purposes. There's also several warships of almost-but-not-quite imperial design around it, as well as the first completed cruiser produced by the dockyards. Turns out their little project caught the attention of Luther, who is very enthusiastic about the possibility of getting a source of ships that are not only more advanced than the Imperium's, but are produced by honest humans rather than filthy xenos. The fleet holds the Imperials and Mechanicus at bay long enough for the dock to make the jump and escape into the warp.

Now, after who-knows-how-long stuck inside the warp, the cogboys of the dock aren't exactly normal anymore- you don't stay in the warp that long without getting changed one degree or another. However, they can still get mistaken for normal cogboys at a distance.

Part of this is because Luther guards them jealously- any particularly-ambitious daemons looking to have some fun with the sillly shipbuilders tends to find itself getting violently and messily dissuaded from the idea. Not that the cogboys don't interact with and even try to use or work with daemons, but anything that might interfere with their ability to produce ships has to get through a bunch of Traitor Marines whose daemons are usually bigger than theirs.

The other factor is that the cogboys have gone from interest to single-minded obsession with rediscovering the secret to producing Neutronium. They are quite happy to keep pumping out ships as fast as they get supplied the materials they require, because each ship is a chance to tweak the formula a little, try a new mix of Iron and Daemon-claws, get just that one step closer to unlocking the secret to that elusive alloy.

Davinite Lodges[edit]

In this timeline the Davinite lodges never really caught on among the Astartes Legions. Davin would not be a shock or surprise to the Legions as they all knew about Chaos, knew what signs to look for and knew how it could really fuck you up in both the long and short term (especially given that Davin was discovered after the Interex and therefore after the Interex and Eldar had treated the Imperium to Chaos 101). Chaos education, though this would be before Lorgar wrote his best seller, was still mandatory for the members of the expeditionary fleets. Also as the structure of the Legions was a lot looser and it was a job rather than a thing you devoted every fibre of your being to at the exception of all else 24/7 every day of the year the Legionaries didn't need the Ledges to blow off steam. They had time off as mandatory to help them stay sane and grounded in the Imperial society that they were helping to build. Writing letters home was a most common activity in The Legions.

To that end Davin was subjugated as quickly as in Vanilla by a mixed force of mostly Word Bearers but under the command of Horus because Horus had the ships and had to be somewhere. This time there was greater effort put in to weeding out the corruption of Chaos because the Imperium was all about finding and uplifting rather than finding and subjugating. Also Horus never goes down to the surface of Davin because he needs a full body harness to walk for any length of time under 1G conditions and as a Void Born he never really saw the point in planets.

Eugen Temba, friend of Horus and extremely competent Administratum specialist who had been training for this sort of think since he was 12, became first Governor of Davin in wake of the conquest. He oversaw the gradual uplifting of the planet, the archaeological expeditions of the ruined cities of the GaBHD (found nothing of any real value) all the while assisting as best he could with the continued war against the inhabitants of the moon/twin planet that was entrenched Nurgle territory. A few years before the War of the Beast the war against the people of Davin-mun (Eugen Temba couldn't into names for shit and every tribe of locals had a different name for the bloody thing). Both Davin and Davin-mun by 999M41 are classed as agri-worlds.

The Davinite lodges of the modern day are descended from the old Davinite Chaos Worshipers that, by the grace of their gods, escaped Eugen's purges. They are a constant thorn in the side of any Imperial organization in the Segmentum Pacificus or Interex Space, made even more annoying by the fact that they have a cell-like structure and through trial and error have learned to survive being cracked down on. They don't specifically target Astartes but welcome just about anyone, most of the Chaos kinebrach tend to end up here. They are, in essence, cults that teach people how to start cults. On their own, they wouldn't be too noteworthy, but they act as facilitators and organizers for other cults. They know how to do this shit and for a small fee or even for free will teach you. During Black Crusades they end up as intermediaries coordinating logistics between different cults for maximum damage. Post-Black Crusades, Davinite lodges are one of the major purveyors of Blood Pact surplus to the far corners of the galaxy, dealing in whatever they can take from post Black Crusade mop-up operations, caches, and if they're really lucky, whatever Doombreed and his core of Blood Pact loyalists in the Warp are cooking up in Khorne's realm between reconstructing. They often play an important role in ferrying supplies from one incarnation of the Blood Pact to the next.

Relationships between the big names of Chaos[edit]

Luther and Malys - One good (bad) thing about Malys is that she's able to tone the Eldar supremacy way down enough to the point that she doesn't immediately alienate non-Eldar followers of Chaos. She's pragmatic and Undivided, caring more about the spread of Chaos than anything else, and that's the reason she and not someone like Arrotyr is at the forefront of the Black Crusades.

The problem is typically Luther can't hold it in, and his paranoia of the Galactic. Eldar. Conspiracy. is still rampant. In these situations Malys can't help but provoke him further, as emotional gratification is one thing she is not good at controlling. At some point it goes beyond even Erebus' ability to talk things down and the alliance ends.

Other times things go smoothly and it's something like Malys running out of drugs/getting bored that end things. These are not mutually exclusive.

Another reason why Luther might not like Malys (beyond the GEC) might be the mark of Chaos Ascendant. The Mark of Chaos Ascendant so far seems to have only been given to two people in this universe: The Beast, who was the Beast, and Malys, who is the Everchosen of Chaos. Despite having blessings from all four Chaos Gods (enough to take his Mark III S brother in the middle of a sperg rage head on), Luther doesn’t seem to be an Emperor-level threat like Malys or the Beast, implying he probably doesn't have the mark of Chaos Ascendant. Luther’s biggest asset is in the mass number of Fallen whose loyalty he commands, not his power level. Luther is pissed that the Mark of Chaos Ascendant went to some skanky space elf bitch who simultaneously looks like she has had too little and too much recaff as opposed to him.

Despite being dragged into serving Chaos kicking and screaming and having a love-hate relationship with the Ruinous Powers, Luther wants to be champion of the Chaos gods for a few major reasons. He’s reached the point of acceptance of his situation and is trying to make the best of what he has (even if he occasionally snaps when he dwells on what happened to his brother), and he’s had ten thousand years of “this is your brain on Chaos”, which tends to erode even the best sense of judgement.

Additionally, Luther lets Erebus hang around and between his human supremacy and Erebus's fanaticism it makes a lot of sense that he'd want to usurp Malys, or at least surpass her in power, which is essentially the same thing. If he didn't he'd be settling for subordination to an (((Eldar))) at a minimum, and quite possibly aiding her in the destruction of the Imperium on her terms. Luther's ambition is, ultimately, to build the Imperium how it should have been. It would be nice if the Imperium as it is now could be salvaged and repaired. That's the main plan. Plan B, the one that he feels is more and more likely to work as the years pass, is that he's going to have to burn it all down and start again from the foundations. He might not want to destroy the Imperium, just purge the Xenos and everyone that he doesn't like, but if its going to be destroyed, the terms will be his.

Believe it or not, Malys actually likes Luther to some degree. He's pragmatic and a good strategist, and is much more easy to work with than his closest counterpart among the Crones, Arrotyr. Luther is upset that ultimately he's just the more cooperative but less trusted alternative to Arrotyr, who needs to be argued into cooperation whenever Malys hopes to get the support of the Scions of the Old Helm. Arrotyr's particular devotion to Khorne inclines him to circle the Eye of Terror incinerating anyone he personally thinks is getting too full of themselves, and occasionally launching spite driven solo campaigns into Shaa-Dome, against whatever pilgrimage is the Conservator is gathering to go harass Isha, to ruin some nest of sorcery in the webway edges of the Eye, or very rarely, to go piss napalm on Cadia. To have the Scions be anything but a liability on a Black Crusade Malys needs to buy Arrotyr's loyalty with weapons, deference, and choice targets, or else he'll remain the team killing asshole that Khorne loves him to be. Sometimes he'll even jack up his price in trophies and glory half way through a war, just to fuck with Malys, and show Khorne is above her. This usually is a counterproductive, self defeating move, but he's perfectly happy ruining a Black Crusade to get a chance to shoot everyone around him and his forces.

Luther is an ambitious, paranoid xenophobe that wants Malys's job, but that means that when Malys sets up a Black Crusade Luther has to fall in and earnestly help, because all the gods are in on it with Malys. Unlike Arrotyr, Luther has to impress all four gods in whatever plan he'd use to usurp Malys, instead of just turning the whole thing into a slaughter as soon as his own ego and THE BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY demands it. Also the Fallen are greater in number and more strategically and tactically flexible than the Scions of the Old Helm, both in void and personal combat, though they are less deadly by a similar margin. Now if only he were an Eldar. Of course if he was an Eldar he wouldn't be paranoid about the Galactic. Eldar. Conspiracy. and that would take all the fun out of poking the insecure mon-keigh for a laugh.

Doombreed and Luther/the Fallen - Doombreed will fall in line with Khorne whether he wants to or not. Luther isn't necessarily in line with Khorne, and Khorne is pleased to get the occasional shot at the uppity shit. Their factions are both undivided, and tend to bleed together with recruiting and support slaving, but slaughter each other as well as any Chaos worshippers. On the other hand, they both want to prevent Crones and lesser warbands from poaching their troops, so cooperation is hardly rare either.

The Fallen and the officers of the Blood Pact get along reasonably well as both are professional soldiers, as much as Chaos can get professional. Mostly it's just Doombreed and the really old Fallen that have the problem and when they have to work together it's the younger ones that have to try and curb the grudges and act as intermediaries so that they can actually get shit done. They all venerate the same god, even if only one of them does so to the almost/total exception of the others. Then Be'Lakor or Lady Malys stick their oar in and fucks the delicate balance up and then they are at each others throats again. Often this is a contributing factor to the end of Black Crusades. For Khorne's part he finds it very entertaining, this old and still livid hate is a fine old vintage to him.

Arrotyr, Nimina, the Taskmaster, and the Indigo Crow

In contrast to canon, the champions of the Big Four (specifically the counterparts to canon Kharn, Typhus, Lucius, and Ahriman) dislike each other not only because they worship different gods, but for very personal reasons.

  • Arrotyr hates Slaaneshis in general for ruining the Old Empire, the Taskmaster in particular for defeating him in the Fall, Nimina for being an obnoxious Isha-loving slag that escaped him, and The Indigo Crow for being a Tzeentchian and a fuckup
  • Nimina hates Arrontyr with a passion for burning the grand temple of Isha, despises Slaanesh but curries favor with the Taskmaster for ships and preaching grounds, and loathes the Indigo Crow for being the Tzeentchian lunatic fuckup that lost her her idol
  • The Crow thinks Arrotyr is a small minded and dim impediment to the Old Empire, that the Taskmaster is an easily manipulated pawn that got lucky, and that Nimina is a pathetic liability to Nurgle that should be capitalized on

Taskmaster hasn't been written up yet, but it can be assumed he hates the other three as well.

Dark Eldar[edit]

Urien Rakarth is doubtless still the same twisted fuck. He is probably enjoying the new strange specimens the Chaos Eldar bring from the Eye of Terror.

Duke Sliscus is in disfavor in Comorragh. Whenever he comes into port, there surely will be bloodshed between his pirates and the Chaos Eldar. He considers himself the rival of Prince Yriel, stating his contempt and pity for a once noble Eldar to debase himself before monkeigh. Yriel for his part has too many rivals to keep track of already. Duke Sliscus, when he isn't feuding with the new 'guests' in Comorragh or leading massive pirate invasions has a profitable drug cartel he runs. He likes to sample his own stock.

Kheradruakh the Decapitator has no shortage of heads these days. The shrine grows. The Decapitator is a bogeyman to the Imperium, an unstoppable and grisly assassin without peer. Many a fledgling Imperial hero has been found dead in the night, hacked to pieces, with their head missing. Unusually close to Lady Malays, acting as her bloody left hand.

Drazhar acts as Vest's iron right hand. Rumored to be the greatest swordsman in the galaxy, he has cut a bloody swathe through the Imperium's finest, leaving a trail of corpses and legends behind him. Despite his merciless efficiency in the killing fields, Dark Eldar don't trust him. He acts with too much honor, maintaining an unsightly code. He eschews subterfuge, preferring instead to kill his enemies face to face. And worst of all top the Chaos Eldar, one whisper placed him in the Gardens of Nurgle during Isha's liberation. Perhaps this is why Vect keeps Drazhar close: he so loves to see his bride furious. Rage and hate are a fine substitute to love for the dark Eldar.

Dark Eldar joined in the War of the Beast (and started attacking their Craftworld and Exodite kin in larger number than in canon) because Craftworlders asked Dark Eldar to at least try to leave humans alone after the Craftworlders and Imperium had allied for the raid on Nurgle's Mansion. They didn't even ask the Dark Eldar to change their ways, they basically went "Look, we're working with these mon-keigh. Can you please find some other group of mon-keigh to go perform your business on? Like the Tarellians. Nobody cares about the Tarellians". Dark Eldar were incensed that their white-knighting kin were telling them what to do and attacked both the other Eldar and the Imperium even more to spite them. The Craftworlders ironically found themselves being attacked by kin while fighting alongside strangers. As a result, unlike canon, the majority of Craftworlds and Exodites hate the Dark Eldar.

Up until the union between Vect and Malys the Dark Eldar were seen, by their gods at any rate, as still their children. Misguided children maybe but kin all the same. After the union of the Dark and the Chaos the gods have stopped caring about them. They may, as individuals, still be capable of crawling their way back to the light but they will have to do it on their own because the old gods don't feel it is worth the effort anymore.

Dark Eldar Philosophy[edit]

The Dark Eldar have a rather weird philosophy. In their mind they are the only truly free people, free of decrees from gods, kings, or emperors. The Eldar Gods were weak, because they weren’t strong enough to save themselves from being murderfucked/shattered/kidnapped (or at best saved themselves by running away like a coward), and therefore don’t deserve their worship. They see the Exodites and Craftworlders as blind sheep who can’t think for themselves. They don’t have a much better opinion of the Crone Eldar, who they see as just as bad for prostrating themselves before some incomprehensible god, exchanging one set of shackles for another.

Commorragh likes to style itself to outsiders (when they do bother to culturally posture) as a libertarian meritocratic utopia where everyone is free to do as they please without having to bow to the will of gods, kings, or any other authority. It’s unclear who they’re trying to convince with this message, as the Imperium sees them as a bunch of thieves and pirates (on a good day), the Crones see them as prudes in denial, and the Necrons and Orks don’t really give a shit. Thing is “people” to the Dark Eldar has a really, really narrow definition. "People" to them means trueborn, Commorragh-born Dark Eldar. Mon-keigh need not apply. Defecting 'edgy' Craftworlders and Exodites (which does happen) end up at the bottom of the social heap and have trouble climbing up, usually ending up a vagrant on the street or a corpse lying face-down in some alley. Vatborn have a better chance than most, but there is still a stigma surrounding their origins at best or considered "half a person" at worst. The highest ranking defectors and vatborn generally get that way by hiding any evidence to the contrary. Non-Dark Eldar have risen through the ranks before, but these instances are really, really rare, and you basically have to be a Fabius Bile-level sick fuck before they even begin to take you seriously.

Outside the xenos districts, where races like the Slaugth, Sslyth, or even human pirates come to trade their wares or look for mercenary work, Commorragh is really only “safe” (in the loosest sense of the word) for Dark Eldar and some of the Harlequins and Crones. Dark Eldar because they can walk through the streets without getting knifed for being a mon-keigh (no guarantees are made for any other reason for knifing). Harlequins and Crones because both groups are violent and crazy and those two traits are a good knife deterrent in a bad neighborhood like Commorragh. Even the Crones are barely tolerated, Dark Eldar seeing their constant proselytizing as annoying, and those Crones who try to go one step further and subvert the city find that the Dark Eldar’s patience can rapidly wear thin. Harlequins are given a bit more respect/fear, as the Dark Eldar know their god has a very real presence in the Webway. Even Vect tried to avoid antagonizing the Harlequins until his plans were set in stone.

Commorragh: A Fair and Upright Society[edit]

Wait, what?

Okay, this is going to take some explaining.

Surprisingly enough, compared to the attitudes of the Old Empire and Shaa-Dome after the Fall, Commorragh is fairly idealistic. Sure sadism and exploitation are commonplace, but there's a degree of social mobility however improbable, all the pain serves some purpose instead of existing for its own sake, and there's even some distorted version of taste that bounds their wildest excesses. Theoretically, anyone can make it just below the top in Commorragh (anyone in this case referring to Trueborn Dark Eldar and to a lesser extent Vatborn), though not the very top because Vect doesn't want someone bungling the whole system and implementing their idea of social order. And if you don't like the system, you're always free to leave (except you can't, because Vect ate up all his competition and now Commorragh is essentially a monopoly). By contrast, the Old Empire was composed of a bunch of aristocratic Sidhe houses constantly fighting each other for power with very little social mobility unless you were a "new money" OP plz nerf psyker. For Vect, who grew up before the Fall and who's cutthroat rise from gutter rat to minor servant in noble house was seen as beyond the pale, Commorragh is the picture of a fair and upright society. And its hard for even Eldrad to argue against Vect that the Craftworlders are a truer reformation of the Old Empire than the Dark Eldar. Stripped of the mystical excesses and more psychotic whims, the Eldar of the pre-Fall empire would undeniably be closer to Vect's Project than to the Craftworlders and Exodites, who live a romanticized cultural myth alike to their ancestors in the War in Heaven

Eldar are known for their obsessive, perfectionist tendencies and extreme devotion to goals. The Crones are devoted to serving Chaos. The Craftworlders are devoted to their paths. The Aspect Warriors are devoted to combat. The Harlequins and Handmaidens are devoted to their gods. Eldrad is devoted to saving the eldar people. Vect is devoted to Commorragh. It's his life's work and vanity project, his statement on what society should be like. When Vect says "I am Commorragh", he's not kidding.

After the Wedding[edit]

I like the idea of the more sane Withered and maybe some of the less extreme younger generations and maybe quite a few of the Vat-born of the Dark Eldar having their eyes opened by the wedding.

Up until that point they could always point at the Cronedar and say "at least we aren't that". Then their great and independent city becomes so close to that that it makes no practical difference, not that it did to outsiders anyway.

Now they don't have an option. Now they are staring into the abyss with Clockwork Orange eye clamps on and they can't look away and they are slowly being dragged forward and they can see perfectly well where this journey ends. Oh holy ever loving fuck they can see where this journey ends, this is going to be The Fall v2.0 and they are at ground zero.

A large number of their number would maybe of gotten a Harlequin escort out of the Dark City. Vect wouldn't have been recklessly brash enough to antagonize the Clowns until the marriage had stuck and he knew it was safe, their god is often abroad in the webway and can manipulate it to some degree.

That would have been the last time the Harlequin Troupes would have visited the City of Sins. Beyond that point it's just a Chaos stronghold with nothing worth saving. At that moment the City was forsaken by the elder gods. Even Khaine. They had finally managed to make their own mother admit they were irredeemable and wish them dead.

Of the millions of Repentants they would be viewed as highly suspect. They would only be permitted into the visitors section of the Craftworlds if that and that is generous.

They would not be officially permitted on most human or other xeno worlds although that would be very difficult to enforce as eldar can not into paperwork at the best of times and one group of eldar is difficult to tell from another to a basic human. Needless to say Chaos and Dark Eldar infiltration would increase drastically, but only temporary.

However, don’t take this to mean that Commorragh is deserted, or that the majority of Dark Eldar defected. Commorragh is huge, being essentially two Dyson Sphere-sized outgrowth of the Webway stacked on top of each other. The Kabals and their Archons are there, being too deep in the sunk cost fallacy to ever leave. In their mind, they didn’t spend their considerable lives scheming and backstabbing their way to the top just to abandon all that and start all over as a second-class citizen. The same is true for any Dark Eldar who are infamous enough to be recognized as individuals by the Imperium at large. For both groups, they feel like they have no choice but to stay in Commorragh, and would rather oppose Vect to the bitter end. They would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven, a mon-keigh turn of phrase that is rapidly turning out to be disturbingly literal.

The Dark Eldar who left Commorragh are the young, the idealistic, the ones who aren’t entrenched in the power structure and thus have nothing to lose if they leave. Especially the vatborn. Being treated like second-class citizens or pawns at best, many of the vatborn probably jumped ship if they were able to. Of course, this just means the Dark Eldar have just kicked their cloning vats into high gear both to replace the losses caused by the refugees and to meet the demand for troops by the Crones.

The Bleeding Star[edit]

The Bleeding Star is essentially a Chaos Eldar Flying Dutchman, and the Croneworlder's version of an Ork attack moon. However, while an Attack Moon prioritizes toughness over firepower, the Bleeding Star (as would be expected of something of Dark Eldar origins) prioritizes speed and power over defense. Precise, long-range weaponry to a Moon's wild sprays of fire, fast to its slow, (relatively) fragile to its ludicrously tanky. It’s like a Dark Eldar raiding party on steroids, like a Craftworld that someone rammed into a Space Hulk. Also unlike Attack Moons or World Engines, which tend to be fairly ponderous, the Bleeding Star has a habit of showing up in orbit around a planet with no warning. When a normal Dark Eldar raiding party shows up to a planet, it’s a fair bet that you can eventually fight them off before they do too much damage. When this thing shows up around any world that isn’t a Fortress World or a Space Marine Homeworld, you’d better hope that someone else noticed and is sending backup ASAP. Maybe worth two or three Assault Moons. Not powerful enough to be worth the EVERYONE PANIC levels of a World Engine, but dangerous enough that the Emperor is briefed each time it shows up.

The Silent King and the Necron Star Empire[edit]

When the Necrons had wiped the sleep out of their eyes and came out of the auto-pilot, the Silent King arose to speak for the largest faction of them, and there was hope that there would have been (at least initially) the possibility of diplomatic dialogue.

I can also imagine it pissing off the Eldar citizens of the Imperium enormously. They would find it incredible that they can't adequately communicate how fucking stupid humanity can be at times.

Agreements would be reached. In much the same way that the Maiden Worlds are off limits to settlers without Eldar permission that they never give so too would the Tomb Worlds be treated. With everyone staying off of everyone else lawn things start to run smoother for a time. Emperor starts making deals with the lesser lords for including them in the mutual protection deals. Shit is looking hopeful. Crypteks are refusing to share toys and know how but such things would be used to keep the citizenry safe anyhow so it would amount to more or less the same.

Shit starts to go bad when the Necrons refuse to keep their Flayed Ones under control. Refuse to even apologize. Flayed Ones are still Necrons and even one of their damaged kind is worth a million lesser lives.

"Renegade" Crypteks keep abducting civilians for experiments.

Freshly awakened Necrons keep going about their genocidal business and the other Necrons refuse to keep them contained until their wits are awoken. They claim that the Sleep Walkers haven't actually broken any Necron Laws and that the Imperium should be grateful they are turning a blind eye to their half-slumbering brethren being shot at.

Then the Silent King returns after a long time absents and demands over a trillion human citizens every century for use in experiments to undo the bio-transference. By his estimations the dent in the human population would be more than recovered in the century allowed for recovery. In a great display of generosity the Emperor would be permitted to choose who of his people would have the honour of being sacrificed in this glorious endeavor. If taken evenly from the breadth of the Imperium their loss wouldn't even be felt.

At that point Emperor apologizes to the Eldar and admits that they were indeed right.

Necrons are added to the same list as Orks and Tyrannids in regards to how they should be treated.

The remains of the Silent King's messenger was returned in something resembling a paper soup cup and that was the last message the Emperor ever sent to the Silent King that wasn't delivered via weaponry.

Silent King owns the allegiance of many Lords and has a personal army bigger than any two lords combined.

He can be dealt with, or more correctly talked to. Sadly he doesn't understand the concept of give and take. He wants something, you give it to him. You refuse and he fuck your shit up. The Imperium fought him to a standstill when he demanded tribute in human, eldar and demiurge lives for his biotransferance reversal experiments. He points out that it would be less than a trillion lives all told. Imperium have population in the tens of quadrillions and they would take in small amounts from across galaxy, it would not be noticed.

Holy shit was the Emperor furious at that one. Folk legend say that all the astropaths across entire galaxy started swearing and yelling obscenities in over a hundred languages.

There was not even a pretenses at proportional response from either side. Silent King did have the real doomsday shit on standby and was prepared to use it, unfortunate for him he didn't anticipate the sheer fucking incandescent wroth made manifest with vortex weapons that took out his doomsday weapons before he could dickslap the big red button.

After that diplomatic relations, minimal as they were, completely dried up. There are other lords who have rebelled against the Silent Kings.

Ones who spent thousands of years in obedience to his whims and have no interest in rebuilding the old empire because the old empire was BORING AS FUCK and then they see the bright lights of the Imperium and decide they want that. They want the hustle and bustle and music and noise and the lights and the crowds and the chatter and the music and to live and feel alive in a living empire rather than some shit Empire of the Dead.

Some don't support his plans to undo the biotransferance. The ones with good memories that remember what it was like to be racked with cancers and illness due to their fucked up biology and irreparable genes.

Some are just too fucking nuts to care about anything and ascribing meaning to their actions is impossible.

The Necron Star Empire as a whole is post-scarcity, post-singularity, post-individual, and post-heroic. Individuality only exists so long as it serves to advance the interests of the Silent King. The Necrons obey the Silent King in a manner that seems half exaltation and half mind control, moving to fulfill his wishes wholeheartedly without a word on the Silent King's behalf. It is entirely possible that Szsrekh was unable to sever the control protocols in this universe like he was in canon. Most of the Necron Lords who reject the rule of the Silent King are those who either just plain crazy or reject the idea of post-individuality and post-age of heroes and gods (e.g., Trazyn the Infinite and his collecting habit).

The Silent King, and therefore by extension the Necron Star Empire, has two, very simple goals. Clean up the mess the Necrons made during the War in Heaven by using the Cadian Pillars to separate the Warp and realspace to starve out Chaos and return the Immaterium to its previous state, and reverse the bio-transference. In almost any other circumstance, these goals would be noble, admirable even, if it were not for the fact that achieving them would result in the death of every living thing in the galaxy with a soul and making FTL travel impossible for most races. The Silent King is not doing this out of malice. He merely feels there is no way to fix the galaxy without wiping out its current inhabitants as a side effect.

Very little has been written about the Silent King personally. One idea that was floated and seemingly liked is that Szerakh came to the throne at a relatively young age for a Necrontyr, kind of like Tutankhamun, after his father was assassinated. Everyone assumed he would be a pushover. He would end up being, for better or worse, the most accomplished ruler in Necrontyr history and the ones to drag multiple pantheons of gods from their thrones.

The Necron Star Empire and the Old Ones[edit]

So far, it has been deliberately left murky as to which side, if either, of the War in Heaven was “right”. Trazyn's story of the reasoning behind the War in Heaven is definitely Necron-biased, but then again it is being told by Trazyn the Infinite.

Indeed, it’s possible that both may have been in the right, and both may have been in the wrong. The Necrontyr might have genuinely thought they were doing the right thing, but they were still massively projecting their own issues onto someone else. The whole “liberate the galaxy from the Old Ones” might have been what the Necrontyr higher ups actually told the general populace to unite them, since people are more willing to die for a righteous cause than a petty one. The Phaerons might have even believed it themselves to some degree.

The Old Ones may have had genuinely benevolent intentions towards the rest of the galaxy, but they were still, as one anon put it “space lizard wizards with no sense of right and wrong” who were oblivious to the fact that their actions might have been interpreted differently by an outside observer. The Old Ones might have left the Necrontyr as is in the hopes that the harsh conditions of their homeworld would force the Necrontyr to rapidly evolve into a technologically advanced species, especially if their goals were similar to canon. It completely slipped their minds what the Necrontyr’s reaction would be when they found out the Old Ones were watching the whole time. When the Necrontyr left the confines of their star system the Old Ones’ response was “Congratulations, you passed the test” whereas the Necrontyr’s reaction was along the lines of “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

The War in Heaven may have started out with both races considering themselves having the moral high ground, but then they started crossing lines and breaking their own moral codes and it was downhill from there. The War in Heaven starting out on both sides as an internally justified and noble cause, but then devolving into a complete clusterfuck.

The Old Ones[edit]

About the Old Ones[edit]

The Old Ones were a species of sapient, three-eyed amphibians, who called themselves Slann in their own tongue. However, like toads or some Paleozoic amphibians despite being amphibious they had no problems staying out of the water for extended periods of time and had a dry leathery or warty skin rather than a slimy one. In spite of this, they returned to the water to breed and had a tadpole-like larval stage, though by the time they ascended they had ceased all need for such functions and references to this mostly existed as cultural idioms. When they were still material the Old Ones did have small, blunt hornlets, though after ascending they could basically look however they want and each individual tailored their appearance to their own subjective idea of what they wanted to look like. Be'lakor's wings and huge horns are because, like everything else in his life, he is overcompensating for something. It's been suggested Be'lakor's horns in this universe are more forward curving like in depictions of Archaon to make him look less like a Bloodthirster painted black.

The Old Ones as a species basically won the evolutionary lottery due to two key features. The first was their third eye, which like the "third eye" (pineal gland) of Terran reptiles helped track the passage of time and gave them a natural edge in comprehending a realm where the laws of causality are loose. Whereas to humans and other races the changing rates of the passage of time is disorienting and confusion, to the Old Ones it was no different from moving in any other three dimensions. Which isn’t to say they could time travel, just that they could perceive when time was speeding up, slowing down, or reversing. Which explains how the Navigators do it. Because the Old Ones had an advantage in a realm which they could literally shape to their whims even more than realspace, they paid less attention to the material sciences, which is how the relatively primitive Necrontyr Star Empire was able to fight them. The Old Ones were so dependent on the Warp yanking their mastery of the Warp out from under them made the fight substantially easier. It would be like if a third-world country invented a device which stopped computers and internal combustion engines from working.

Secondly, the Old Ones as a species were also characterized by “cold blooded logic”. This meant that while they had emotions they were tremendously mentally stable and able to manipulate the emotionally volatile Realm of Souls much more easily and skillfully than almost any species before or after, it gave them the emotional intelligence of a wet paper bag. The effects of this can be seen when the Necrontyr demanded immortality as recompense for the Old Ones knowing they had been suffering on an irradiated hellhole for millions of years and did nothing. The Old Ones told them the Necrontyr were not ready for immortality, and they had a point. Immortality requires a lot of forethought and maturity. You have to figure out how you are going to distribute resources, deal with population growth, etc. The Necrontyr didn't even have their own house in order. The Old Ones assumed the Necrons would hear their words, logically come to the same conclusion as they had, and calmly accept it. They didn't expect the Necrontyr to take it personally, see it as dismissing their suffering, in the Old Ones' eyes emotionally overreact, and declare war on them.

This only got worse after the Necrontyr managed to make some of the Old Ones, who as individuals had been fixtures of society for millions of years, actually die. This caused the Old Ones, who weren't used to being so emotional, to freak out and contributed to a lot of knee-jerk, short-sighted decisions. Like uplifting a bunch of races to do the fighting so they didn't have to. Or making Khorne.

The Old Ones are also, as their name might suggest incredibly, mind-bendingly, old. There’s a reason that even the eldar, whose Old Empire lasted 65 million years before it imploded, consider the Old Ones to be much more ancient and advanced than they ever were. The Old Ones were, as far as anyone knows, the oldest sentient forms of life in the galaxy. The C’tan don’t count, although they existed since the dawn of the universe and had the potential for sentience they did not truly become sentient until they gained physical form by the Necrontyr and were able to perceive the world in terms of more than simple stimuli. To the Old Ones, the C’tan were nothing more than interesting wildlife and environmental hazards until the Necrontyr weaponized them.

As a point of reference, consider that Khorne was born 65 million years ago, and his birth hole, the Maelstrom, is still open today. Tzeentch, Malal, and Nurgle are all older than that, and there don’t appear to be any birth wounds that can readily be attributed to them. It could be argued that they may not have produced one as their birth was not as violent as Slaanesh or Khorne’s was, and Nurgle in particular would be more likely to drag his birth cradle into a zone of stagnancy in the Warp than create a new hole in reality, but if not these three would have to be at least as old as the dawn of the Cretaceous Era. And Be’lakor, as the first Old One to truly step between the bounds of mortality and immortality, even if he was massively passed up and outdated by everyone and everything that came after, would predate even that.

Indeed, this is what led the Old Ones to develop their particular philosophy. The Old Ones are distinct anti-nihlists. When they first set out into the stars, they found that there was nothing there, no higher purpose, no meaning, and a lot more lifeless worlds than one would expect from 40k (the implication being that the surprisingly high number of habitable worlds are due to the Old Ones). So they decided to make their own purpose, by devoting themselves to spreading life (especially sentient life) everywhere they could and making the galaxy flourish. Of course, they were still amoral lizard wizards with no sense of right and wrong, so how they went about doing this could be somewhat dubious at times. For example, leaving the Necrontyr on their homeworld in the hopes it would make them evolve quicker because the Old Ones were lonely and wanted another species they could talk to and pass their wisdom on to, which led the Necrontyr to see the Old Ones as playing god with everyone else.

How other species see the Old Ones[edit]

The Imperium tends to lionize the Old Ones a bit more than they should, mostly due to the influence of the eldar, who looked up to the Old Ones during the War in Heaven. The Imperium tends to project its own moral values onto the Old Ones, thinking that the race that left the Necrontyr to suffer on a radiation-blasted world, left off mortal representatives of their uplifted races in their stone carvings, and intentionally created Khorne had the same moral compass as them. It's more likely you have a situation similar to the Forerunners in Halo, with some Old Ones who were benevolent and some who were cruel, but the species as a whole seem to have had a number of assholes. After all, look at the one who survived.

The Eldar claim the Old Ones willed them dominion over the galaxy when they died. It’s unclear where they got this idea, because the Old Ones sure as hell weren’t planning to die during the War in Heaven, and it's unlikely they thought their servant races would survive in any scenario where they themselves would not. There are several potential options here. One is that this is simply another case of the eldar exaggerating about their own history to give themselves legitimacy in their claims to the galaxy. Indeed, it's possible the Eldar came to the conclusion that "this is our galaxy now" when they stuck their head out of the Webway after the War in Heaven and found that all of the other races were either gone or regressed, and over sixty-five million years the historical cause and effect was lost. Another is that the Old Ones were even bigger bastards than anyone thought and told their servant races this as a false motivator. A third possibility is that the Old Ones intended all of their uplifted races to share the galaxy in the event they died, and the Eldar twisted or misinterpreted the meaning to mean just them. Or possibly the Old Ones meant that the galaxy would be theirs (as in, the Old Ones plus the servant races) collectively, with the servant races under the guiding yet iron-firm hand of the Old Ones

The Old Ones made the Webway, as well as several other high-power artifacts. This is one of the reasons the Eldar are so leery about allowing access to the Webway, they know how to make new gates into the Webway (and even that takes time) and patch minor holes, but they don't know how to make a new one if the whole thing is broken. It's the equivalent of a mechanic who knows how to change a tire or fix an engine, but can't manufacture a car from scratch. The Webway is alive and is capable of mitigating the damage, but even it can only do so much. Indeed, high end Old One technology (such as Tzeentch, Malal, Nurgle, Khorne, the Webway, the Blackstone Fortresses, and the Tuchulcha and other Webway making equipment on Caliban) all seem to exhibit certain hallmarks. Manipulate the Immaterium to a degree people didn't know possible? Check. Use raw warp power? Check. Not made of adamantium, wraithbone, or any other known materials? Check. Alive? Check. You could even make the argument that the eldar and the other uplifted soldier races fit these criteria.

Hilariously, the Webway only ever seems to target Necrons using Dolmen Gates (even in vanilla), at least directly, it still tries to mess with the heads of anyone who tries to use it. This suggests that the Old Ones only told the Webway to keep out Necrons, Chaos not being a thing during the War in Heaven. So the Crones who are balls-deep in Chaos can go running through the Webway, and the Webway only ever seems to note "huh, those Eldar have a serious radiation exposure problem. They should probably have that looked at".

Necrons of the Star Empire[edit]

Imotekh the Stormlord[edit]

Because many of the Necrons have developed their own quirks from the long sleep, the Silent King often finds it most useful to give his subjects generalized orders (like "go kill that planet") and let his generals go about their own way to do it. Imotekh is a great example of this.

Imotekh is the classic example of a “bad guy” who nevertheless has a strict code of ethics and some traits that even his worst enemies would begrudgingly consider virtues. Imotekh has a measure of honor, unusual for a Necron, and when told to destroy a planet his fleet will often show up in full force around the planet, blowing any element of surprise, as Imotekh demands that the planet nominate a champion to fight him in one-on-one combat to determine its fate. Firing upon Imotekh is considered a forfeture of the duel and planets who do so are annihilated.

If the champion wins, the planet is spared (i.e., Imotekh goes back to Silent King and goes "sorry boss, planet is too stronk”). If the champion of the planet is defeated, the Necrons open fire and kill every man, woman, and child on the planet. Imotekh doesn't blink an eye. After all, they lost, fair and square. Imotekh rarely loses, if for nothing else than it’s rather hard for an average planet to produce an individual that can win against a Terminator-esque skele-bot.

Anrakyr the Traveller[edit]

Anrakyr the Traveller is going around waking up all the still slumbering Tomb Worlds at the Silent King's behest, so that the entire Star Empire will be ready to go when the Silent King gives the order. He's perfectly friendly and willing to chat with the locals while doing so, because the locals aren't part of his orders, unless he thinks they're getting in the way of him doing his job. Indeed, a lot of the nicer servants of the Silent King such as Anrakyr and Imotekh seem to be this way. They'll act perfectly friendly to you because they want to and they have received no orders that supercede this, but their orders always come first and the minute they think you're keeping them from completing their orders (or they actually are ordered to kill you) they bust out the gauss weaponry.

Trazyn the Infinite[edit]

In addition to the underclass present on Solemnace, Trazyn the Infinite often hires mortals to serve as scribes, organizers, and cataloguers of his vast collection. Trazyn's collection is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about the history and inner workings of the galaxy. The catch is that once you enter Trazyn's employ, you can never leave, as Trazyn doesn't want word of the more dangerous or politically controversial items in his collection getting out.

To continue with the “Necrons = Victorian England, Imperium = 1600’s Europe” analogy that has been used, Trazyn seems kind of like an old British anthropologist (or a xenologist in this case). Instead of being horrified that the galaxy is so different from what he remembers, he's delighted because it means everything is new again and he gets to relearn galactic history and culture all over again. The reason he’s giving the Silent King the two finger salute is he thinks its stupid to exterminate his objects of study for no good reason. At the same time, he’s not siding with the Imperium because “he’s not going to take orders from the bloody primitives”.

Orikan the Diviner[edit]

Kinda pictured Orikan as a Cain sort of sire for a bunch of Victorian aristocratic vampire Strigoi, and the pyramid motifs fit well. I'm picturing Crowley-esque vampire space aristocrats on the human side, and a few necrons that Orikan put Deceiver shards in that came out like Archeologists in requiem.

Orikan just being in possession of a significant Deceiver sliver, whether or not its embedded in him, may make him count as a powerful Strigoi. He might have fractal gold creeping through his cold metal bones, he might not, and it could just as well be the lying star god's motif that dictates his actions, or that of the long dead, mad Necrotyr mystic. In any case he has a sliver of The Deceiver in his possession, he has sired Strigoi from it with the apparent intent of expanding his access to The Deceiver's pool of psychic power and shard material for experimentation, and conducts vast and subtle intrigues in both the Imperium and Necron Star Empire. Even if the Diviner is not a vampire in nature, it appears to be in effect, standing as the progenitor and involved master of one of the eldest traceable lines of Strigoi.

Many of the powerful Vampires are but a few degrees removed from his early experiments millennia ago are now well established sires in their own right, either deeply embedded in or legendary hated by the Imperium or Necrons. Those human sires that have risen to the great progenitor's attention over the centuries might be backed by trifles of Necron technology, and this in turn would give rise to legends of vampire lords wielding macabre wonders even beyond the ken of the eldest of their kind.

Orikan runs his vampire pyramid scheme for magic within his magic pyramid, which itself is also scheming. Orikan has implanted a shard of the Deceiver in his pyramid as his A.I. assistant/security system/reliable traitor. The fragment will try to betray Orikan and take over the operation, even if Orikan is a Deceiver vampire, because it's a fragment of the Deceiver and that's just how the Deceiver does things. If Orikan loses against the pyramid, then obviously he wasn't very good at his job (or he just uses his bullshit time travel/divination, which also works). But because the fragment want it to be the one to betray Orikan, it does a fantastic job at keeping out the riffraff. The pyramid itself is basically Nagash’s Black Pyramid or the pyramid of one of the Archaeologists from Requiem Vampire Knight with a giant Illuminati-style eye (which is probably a telescope used for Orikan’s divining, but don’t let that disappoint you).

Technology[edit]

Inertialess Drives[edit]

They're back, the Necrons have them. However, inertialess drives are only found on the very large, capital ships. For example Nemesor Zandrekh, the Imperium's closest contact among the Necrons, has a grand total of one ship with an inertialess drive. Every other Necron ship has to hitch a ride on one of the capital ships or use the Dolmen Gates.

The Inertialess Drives were the cause of the First Wars of Secession, which were fought long before Szarekh's time. Although Necrontyr society placed a high value on loyalty and obedience, this value wasn't necessarily in abundance. The Necrontyr premium on loyalty was in part because you had a lot of rules-lawyering Starscreams plotting in the courts and actual loyalty, like the kind you see between Obyron and Zahndrekh, was highly treasured. Positive feedback loop. Because there was little to no contact with the throneworld, the Phaerons of the various colonies were all able to say they were ruling in the Silent King’s name when they were really just consolidating their own power base.

Even after leaving their homeworld, the Necrontyr had short lives, on par with the Tau, because the radiation of the star had been so bad that the entire species' genetic code was riddled with mutations and damaged genes and the species as a whole had been selected for growing up fast and reproducing fast before the cancer got you. The Necrontyr did have some form of life-extending drugs, but the nobility mostly extended their lives through stasis chambers, telescoping but watering down their natural lives, being defrosted mostly when it was decision making time. These stasis chambers looked like ancient Egyptian Sarcophagi because these were the Necrontyr and of course they would. This coupled with a tradition of inheriting names was used to convince the ignorant masses that they were a superior breed of Necrontyr more worthy to rule.

So when representatives of the actual Silent King showed up with shiny new inertialess drives, all of a sudden the orders they’re receiving from the throneworld are different from their actual desires. So they say "fuck that" and rebel.

World Engines[edit]

The attack on the World Engine happened much as in canon, what with the Astral Knights ramming their Battle Barge into the thing, with a few notable differences. First, in addition to the Astral Knights, a number of Eldar joined in on the ramming of the World Engine, because they weren't going to let a bunch of Space Marines show them up especially against their most hated enemy. Secondly, rather than M41, in this timeline the World Engine attack happened in M34. There are several reasons for this. First, there a severe lack of events between M32 and the Age of Apostasy. Secondly, if the World Engine occurred at the same time as canon, depending on the time the Emperor would either ask the Silent King what the fuck is going on or merely consider it an escalation of hostilities. Moving the World Engine up to M34 increases its “OH GOD WHAT” factor and really foreshadows what the Imperium is in for with the Necrons.

Consider the following. In M34 the Imperium is at the peak of their power. The mortal followers of Chaos have been forced back into the Eye of Terror, the Orks are disorganized, and there are no tyranids, Necron Star Empire, or major uprisings to divert forces from other fronts. The Imperium is basically on top of things. And then this World Engine from what is supposed to be an extinct race comes lumbering in from out of nowhere carving a swathe of destruction through the Imperium. No one knows where it came from. No one knows where it was going. All that anyone knows is that it shrugged off nearly everything the Imperium could throw at it, and its point defenses shot down just about everyone who tried to stop it about as easily as a human swatting a fly. The Imperium finally put it down at great cost, but a lot of uncertainty remained as to what this thing was, where it came from, and if something like this was going to happen again.

It's the equivalent of if a nuclear missile came blazing through the sky one day only to be shot down at great cost, and later analysis of the design shows it was built by an extinct civilization. How did they build it? How did it get launched? Are there more of them?

Fast forward to M41, and it turns out the mystery object was a Necron world engine. A Necron World Engine. As in they have multiples of the thing. Not a lot mind you, probably no more than a handful, because building a World Engine is still a massive undertaking even for the Necrons. The M34 World Engine was reactivated by accident, rather than on purpose. As of 999.M41 the remaining World Engines have only just finished booting up after having been reactivated by the Silent King as he gets the big guns out.

World Engine also means when the Silent King revs the rest of them up in M41, the Imperium has enough context to know how hard to shit bricks. To the average Imperial, the World Engine had almost reached mythological status , and now you're saying there's more of them? It would be like telling the ancient Greeks that Tartarus was open and Kronos was back.

Destroyers[edit]

Because the Necron Star Empire works differently here than in canon (THERE IS NO UNHAPPINESS IN THE REALM OF THE SILENT KING - Szarekh) the Destroyers aren't a bunch of omnicidal nihlists in this timeline (with the exception of independent dynasties out of the Silent King's control, in which they very well may be). Instead, the Destroyers are a good illustration of just how worthless individuality and the wants and needs of the individual are to the post-everything Necron Star Empire. Just about the only thing the average Necron pleb has left is their body image. They threw away their honor. They sold their souls. They sacrificed their freedom of thought. All they have left is their physical form, and even that has been turned to metal, but at least it's theirs. But fuck that, because the Silent King has just decreed that he needs heavy infantry and he needs it now. And the Necron plebs do it immediately and without hesitation, eager to fulfill the will of the Silent King and his lords.

General Timeline of the Life of the Silent King[edit]

Silent King Atenakhen (or just Akhen if that’s too on the nose) is assassinated by his fellow triarchs. Szarekh is about the Necrontyr equivalent of ten at the time. Szarekh promptly put on the throne. Everyone assumes that Szarekh will be a pushover who’s easy to manipulate because he’s a kid and he’s young and impressionable.

Necrontyr colonies hear of the news and go “holy shit, every Necrontyr for themselves” and kick off the Second Wars of Succession, aided by the fact that the colony worlds never really liked the fact that they had to listen to those idiots on the homeworld in the first place.

Fast forward a few years. Szarekh is now the Necrontyr equivalent of twenty-one and it’s clear that he’s nobody’s tool. Between his natural charisma and ability to politically outmaneuver people he is able to gain power and make it clear exactly who is in charge. The defining moment of this was when he tried his fellow Triarchs for conspiracy in murdering his father and sentenced them to death by exposure to Aza’gorod.

Now that the homeworld has been sufficiently cock-slapped into submission and Szarekh has replaced the Triarch with members he know won’t stab him in the back it’s time for the rest of the empire. The homeworld always has the largest supply of inertialess drive ships, which made it child’s play to re-establish the Silent King’s rule. Between the inertialess drives and the stasis chambers Szarekh is about the Necrontyr equivalent of thirty by the time that it’s all done.

A few years of peace. Necrontyr technology advances slightly and life is relatively good despite the cancer. If this is how the rest of his reign was going to be Szarekh would have been happy.

Unfortunately, this is about the time when things start breaking down on the Old One front. Nobody’s really clear what happened. The Necrontyr say the Old Ones are a bunch of delusional maniacs who play God with the rest of the universe. The Old Ones say the Necrontyr are a bunch of greedy upstarts who want everything but know nothing. War is declared.

Bad move. Regardless of who has the moral high ground in this situation the Old Ones are still on a level of technology the Necrontyr are only barely able to grasp. The half-material, half-immaterial lizard wizards beat the Necrontyr back to their core territories within a year (few years?), almost as a statement more than anything else. The Necrontyr have inertialess drives but that doesn’t matter much when only the biggest ships have them and the Old Ones can just walk from planet to planet.

Silent King is sitting in his chambers on the homeworld wondering if he’s going to be the person who signed the death warrant of the Necrontyr when a Cryptek comes in. They were performing studies on Aza’gorod and it turns out there’s something living in the sun. Something that’s giving off more power than the Old Ones, and could possibly be communicated with and drawn into a Necrodermis body to act as a weapon against them.

Silent King says do it. Then find every other star that shows a similar signature and to it to them as well. Despite first contact with the Nightbringer goes horribly, before long Silent King has a small army of star monstrosities. Name them after the old half-forgotten Necrontyr pantheon, because what else are you going to call them?

Tide of the war starts to turn. Mag’ladroth, despite being named after the Necrontyr god of oblivion, turns out to be a huge nerd and helps advance Necrontyr technology. Builds dampening devices to force Old Ones to fight on Necrontyr terms. Nyadra’zatha shows the Necrontyr how to strike at the Old Ones on their own turf. Old Ones start dying.

Old Ones get desperate. Start uplifting races with features they think will make good soldiers. Aeldari, Hrud, K'nib, and so on. It’s a bloodbath. Mephet’ran comes to Silent King and says Mag’ladroth has an idea that will not only give the Necrontyr the power to win over the Necrons, but will make them immortal as well. Silent King accepts, not only for the benefit of the Star Empire but possibly because he also has a cancer in his stomach.

Biotransference happens. Silent King goes through it and realizes it was not worth it. But the C’tan-Necron alliance is winning. C’tan give Szarekh control over the Necrons second only to them in a sick parody of gratitude. War gets really crazy as the real reality-destroying superweapons start getting thrown around. The Old Ones unleash their greatest atrocities, Khorne and the Gorkamorka/Krork, upon the galaxy. Mag'ladroth and Vaul have their little scrap. Khaine kicks Nightbringer in the Necrodermis and chucks his Scythe (whatever that is) into the Warp. Mag’ladroth gets pissy about something and goes to confront his brethren while they’re in some third-rate Old One genestock system. Never comes back.

Szarekh starts plotting revenge against the C’tan. First try: destroy Llandu’gor the Flayer with experimental weaponry. Despite working, is highly dangerous, almost breaks reality, and results in the Flayer curse. Need backup plan. Second try: convince C’tan to kill each other. Old Ones almost extinct at this point and the question starts becoming who gets the galaxy afterwards. Szarekh pushes Outsider to kill other C’tan. Unbeknownst to him Cegorach and Deceiver are doing the same for Nightbringer and the other C’tan.

Ends in a bloodbath with only Outsider, Deceiver, and Nightbringer standing. Outsider grows a conscience and multiple personality disorder from siblings screaming in his head and runs off crying. Deceiver and Nightbringer too out of it to notice when Szarekh gives the order to fire. Weaponry used was horribly destructive and reality-violating, but causes less collateral damage than whatever it was that killed Llandu’gor. Downside is shards have to be vacuumed up and kept in Tesseract labyrinths because they’re still active.

Now what. Galaxy is an uninhabitable shithole. Enslavers everywhere. No way to restore empire or reverse biotransference. No clue what happened to Old Ones’ toy soldiers. Orikan comes to Szarekh with an idea. He sees that sixty six million years in the future the galaxy will be at a point where the Old One slave races and whatever other species that have arisen since that time will be at an all-time ebb. If the Empire hibernates and wakes up at that point in time, they can steamroll the galaxy and reassert the dominance of the Star Empire.

Silent King decides to do it. Misses the alarm by five thousand years (oh come on, it was literally a .000075% error). And the rest, they say, is history.

How Szarekh Killed the Flayer and the Drazak Dynasty[edit]

Szarekh most likely killed the Flayer by tweaking the universal constants of reality in a localized area (possibly the Breath of Gods? Who knows). The C'tan all seem to be tied to the fundamental laws of nature in the Materium in this timeline. Tweak the universal constants (such that, say, gravity or the electromagnetic force doesn't exist) and the C'tan ceases to exist (how can an energy being exist in a localized pocket where the laws of physics say energy cannot exist?) The problem is doing so requires a lot of energy to contain and if you're not careful is self-perpetuating as reality adjusts to its new constraints. The backlash could impose the altered constants on the entire Materium, and all of a sudden you get something like atoms no longer stick together and all you're left with is proton dust.

This is the reason why although Szarekh was willing to do almost anything to win the War in Heaven, he considered the methods used to kill the Flayer to be crossing a line (which is saying a lot). Szarekh wants to rule. You can’t rule if you and everyone else are a bunch of subatomic dust. Hence deleting the knowledge from the Necrons’ memories, so no one can ever do something this stupid again or potentially use it against the Necrons (but keeping the knowledge himself, just in case). And then going with the marginally less risky plan of breaking the C’tan into shards and putting them in Tesseract Vaults for all eternity. The only one who suspects what really happened is Trazyn, and that's more because he’s noticed the parts of his memory that have been tampered with and figured it out from there than what really happened.

In this timeline Trazyn ordered Valgul and the Drazak Dynasty to destroy the Flayer rather than Xun’bakyr, given Xun’bakyr was a raving C’tan fangirl. Hence why the dynasty is almost 100% Flayed Ones. There hasn’t been a lot on the Drazak, but it’s been suggested like canon Valgul was lucky in being the only Necron of the Drazak Dynasty who is immune to the Flayer Virus (or is possibly a carrier or is able to control his hunger). The only sane man in the land of the mad. Valgul still serves Szarekh dutifully, in part because he still has his mind and in part because this is Szarekh and having absolute loyalty over his subjects due to control protocols is kind of his thing. Nevertheless, he knows the rest of his dynasty are monsters and has no problem with the Silent King using them as disposable meat-shields and sowers of terror. Despite this, most of the Silent King’s Necrons dislike the Flayers with what little self-control they have, and Szarekh himself tries to avoid direct contact between his forces and the flayers because he doesn’t want to infect valuable officers and resources.

C'tan[edit]

Nightbringer[edit]

During the War in Heaven, the Nightbringer noticed that he could get power through the fear and emotion of other species beyond simply eating them. None of the other C’tan noticed this because despite being worshiped they were being worshiped by the Necrontyr, whose souls (like the Tau) are a potato compared to the AA battery of other races. The Nightbringer did not share this discovery with the other C’tan because he is an asshole. Instead, he went on a killing spree, associating himself with the concept of death and fear thereof in the minds of every sentient species he could not be bothered to simply eat, using this discovery to increase his already prodigious strength, making sure no other C’tan could challenge his power. According to the old Necron codex (via Lexicanum and the 40k wiki) “It is said that it nurtured entire races to fear it and it fed on that fear”. The Void Dragon thinks he's the first C'tan to achieve a shadow in the warp. He's wrong.

And where is the Nightbringer now you might ask? Well, he’s shattered into pieces, but there is that one big shard on the Bringer of Darkness the one that…was released by Uriel Ventris. Thanks a lot, Ultrasmurfs. And his staff, which was another big chunk of him? It’s in the Warp. You know, that place that’s essentially a combination between psychoactive clay and radioactive waste.

Nightbringer's personality is said to be like Hellsing's Alucard without any of the redeeming features. He lives for the slaughter and that's about it. He wants to kill the other major gods and god-like beings of the galaxy because a god has no peers. His main motivation for using shards of himself to create the Nosferatu C'tan Vampires is to delegate the task of killing everything, for all the souls of the beings the Nosferatu kill eventually trickle back to the Nightbringer himself.

Void Dragon[edit]

The Void Dragon is said to resemble a giant chrome dragon, slightly humanoid in appearance. The reason for this goes back to when the C'tan got physical bodies. The C'tan all started out with standard humanoid bodies, but then gradually customized them as they started to develop their own preferences and to distinguish one another. However, whereas some went with horns and glorious golden abs or hooded death, the Void Dragon went "Pfft, a completely customisable physical form and you losers keep essentially humanoid factory configurations? I'm going balls-to-the-wall customization on this thing". Much like the AdMech. It's one of the reasons it likes the Mechanicus so much.

The giant adamantium strips used to tie down the Void Dragon on Mars aren't actually what's keeping the Dragon restrained. The Mechanicum put them on the Dragon after they found it, the equivalent of putting a cheap bike lock on your nuclear silo to give yourself some peace of mind. The actual shackles of the Old Dragon are much more arcane and probably Old One in design.

It should be noted that the Void Dragon, regardless of how benevolent he may seem, is not “safe”. Not in any sense of the word. Like all god-like beings in the galaxy he has a duality. In this case creation and destruction. Penicillin and the atom bomb. The Void Dragon would build a doomsday weapon, not to use it, but simply to make one. And then forget about it or give it to the first person who asks because he certainly isn't using it. Information wants to be free. Despite actually caring about mortals to some degree, he's ditzy, scatter-brained, has no sense of subtlety or proportional response, and has a tendency to completely forget about potential consequences or collateral damage until after the fact. Case in point, when he came up with the idea of the biotransference he thought souls were some useless vestigial thing like an appendix that wasn't necessary for quality of life, being without a warp reflection at the time and not really getting what the Warp was. He was just happy his worshippers were no longer getting sick and dying, whereas the other C'tan were more interested in the souls. Cegorach informed him of this fact which made him realize he fucked up. Of course, he still wants to try it again, because this time he's clearly figured out what went wrong and this time it will work for sure (hint:probably not). "Necron 2.0" is high on Void Dragon's priority list along with things like "poke Eye of Terror with a stick" and "murder siblings horribly". Best case scenario he needs a baby sitter to keep him from doing something really stupid. Worst case scenario he ends up starting another War in Heaven assuming the galaxy survives the current crisis.

Early on in the War in Heaven Mag’ladroth, despite being one of the most physically powerful of the C’tan, was sidelined into building devices for the Necrontyr and the other C'tan. He had more of a taste for it, though the other C'tan all made fun of him behind his back. Among the things he invented were the designs for the Cadian pillars and other such devices. Sure, he made a whole boat load of what might have appeared to be doomsday weapons, but never as actual weapons. Case in point, he made a long range mega gravitation inverter. Charge it up, point it at a thing and press the ominous red button. It makes a portion of the objects gravity turn into anti-gravity usually resulting in an explosion and if you point it at a star can cause a supernova and irradiate whole swathes of space. He said it would be useful in future mining endeavors. For when you want to mine a black hole. Then the War in Heaven started getting serious, and Mag’ladroth had to be tapped. Not only did Mag'ladroth's talents of "brute, overwhelming force" become apparent to the point where his name became synonymous for "overkill" among the eldar, but the rest of the C’tan found out that just about everything he invented had a “kill” setting that he could easily switch on when he got serious.

The Void Dragon has no specific grudge with the hrud, eldar, and other Old One servant races. He does, however, hate the Old Ones. The C'tan got their shiny corporeal bodies in exchange for them fighting the Old Ones. That was the deal. On a more personal note, though, the Old Ones were beating up on the Necrontyr who had been so nice to the C'tan in giving them physical form. The Void Dragon saw the War in Heaven in the rather simplistic lens of giving the ones who had been bullying the people who had been kind to the C'tan down a taste of their own medicine. Everyone else is merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The fact that the dinosaurs on Earth were wiped out at the same time as the War in Heaven isn't a coincidence. When the Void Dragon went to confront his brethren in the Sol system, someone got body-slammed into the Yucatan peninsula (unclear if it was the Dragon doing the slamming or being slammed) before the Void Dragon was imprisoned and his carcass dumped on Mars. Sol was a backwater wildlife preserve for the Old Ones at the time.

Cegorach's Favor[edit]

The Void Dragon feels he owes Cegorach a favor. The Void Dragon was the only one of the C’tan who took the idea of being the Necron’s gods "seriously", even if his idea of doing a "good job" is warped. Cegorach was the one to point out that the Void Dragon was neglecting his godly duties by inadvertently lobotomizing his followers and letting his siblings use them as cannon fodder, in an attempt to sow discord among the C’tan in a prelude for the big betrayal at the end of the War in Heaven. Even though it worked, and the Void Dragon was taken out of commission early, from the Void Dragon’s point of view he still owes Cegorach a favor for letting him know what his siblings were doing to the Necrons. Indeed, it is quite likely that the Void Dragon is Cegorach’s ace in the hole. If things get really bad, Cegorach can just sic the Void Dragon on whatever the threat is. Then one of three events occurs.

1. Void Dragon and threat kill each other, problem solved.
2. Threat kills Void Dragon, but is weakened enough for Cegorach or someone else to finish the job.
3. Void Dragon wins. Although a free Void Dragon is not necessarily a good thing, at least he can be reasoned with to some degree. Alternatively, if Void Dragon is unstable and weak enough, Cegorach can finish him off himself.

So no matter what happens, Cegorach wins. It’s a very Eldar thing to do. Cegorach is probably one of the only beings outside the Mechanicum who knows where the Void Dragon is imprisoned, but he keeps that to himself and speaks in half-truths to anyone who asks.

Void Dragon and Vaul[edit]

Believe it or not, there is a rather surprising way in which a freed (assumedly pro-Imperium) Void Dragon might be able to exist in a post-End Times without the Eldar starting the War in Heaven 3.0: Vaul. The Void Dragon doesn’t hold any intrinsic ill will towards the Eldar and their gods (indeed, that seems to be more a Necron thing than a C’tan thing), and that’s largely due to Cegorach and Vaul. The Void Dragon is all about creation, invention, and innovation for its own sake, with little thought to the consequences. The reason it likes Vaul? It saw their famous battle less as a duel to the death, and more as two fellow inventor deities showing off and testing out their creations on one another, and wants to do it again.

Keep in mind that Vaul did not share the same sentiment about this (taking the battle as serious as it was). Nor was this a case of the Void Dragon being so powerful Vaul could not hurt him. Despite officially being a draw, the Void Dragon was beaten bloody by the encounter, and it was the closest he ever came to death before his brethren ganged up on him. The fact that he is actually excited about the prospect of doing this again should tell you volumes about the Void Dragon’s mindset.

If the Void Dragon ever saw the Eldar again, it would probably be giddy to see “Vaul’s People”, and excitedly ask where Vaul is. He would be devastated to find out what happened. Also mentioning the whole “chained to an anvil” thing would be a bad idea. Despite the fact that Vaul had no love for the Void Dragon, his actions may have won the Eldar a new (unwanted) replacement. Even though the AdMech may be his favorites, the Void Dragon doesn’t mind expanding his worshipper base. If the Void Dragon finds out what happened to Vaul, it might be the spark needed to turn the proxy war between the various gods into a bare-knuckle cage-fight Because while “technology”, “invention”, and “destruction” are all part of the Void Dragon’s portfolio, “subtlety” and “restraint” aren’t. This is the being that thinks tripwires attached to a low-yield nuke constitute effective "area denial" against infantry.

As a result, Cegorach might get the Void Dragon to fight for the Eldar and Imperium without even having to use up his favor. Truly the master of trolls.

"Prophet" Courtswain[edit]

In this Nobledarkness Senior Adept Courtswain is the person the Adeptus Mechanicus show into the holding cell when they want some one to prod the Dragon or ask it questions. Needless to say he is the lowest ranking of the few what know. He only even got the job because the men in the better grade of robes wanted someone expendable to prod the Dragon.

Now the bonkers is replaced by vexation and irritation at the stupid word games and slippery answers and worrying questions. Also Senior Adept Courtswain is getting quite worried. Mag'ladroth has declared him to be Prophet Courtswain. On the one had you have the more senior tech-priests all pissed off slightly that he is held in higher regard, but at the same time glad they aren't the subject of the Dragon’s attention. On the other hand Courtswain is pretty freaked by the whole thing. When asked about this the Dragon replied:

"Consider the following logic. You relay the words of your God to the lesser priests do you not? And you speak to your God on the comings and goings of your subjects. Do you not ask your God for wisdom and purpose and plead the case of the less worthy? Therefore, you are my little prophet Courtswain. I have chosen you".

Considering that he is the youngest of those that know, Courtswain has also only just gotten over the shock of learning that the Omnissiah is also the Mars Creed's Satan equivalent.

So now Courtswain is, in his own opinion, the Prophet of Satan.

The Feeding[edit]

an event the Guardians of the Dragon refer to in hushed tones as "the Feeding of the Dragon". An Inquisitor stumbled upon enough cookie crumbs to figure out that the Void Dragon was under Mars. He infiltrated the inner workings of the Mechanicum and causes a ruckus, taking several members of the Guardians of the Dragon hostage. The Guardians tried to tell him he was wrong but he wouldn't listen, and rapidly escalated the situation to outright threats. As in:

"Maybe I won’t have to call down Exterminatus. Maybe I’ll just release the information of what you have hidden here on Mars and the Imperium will just call down Exterminatus by itself."

The Mechanicus were in a bind, they couldn't let the secret get out but an Inquisitor is someone you don't just disappear. Eventually they realized the Inquisitor was a corrupted radical, not doing this with Inquisitorial backing (which makes sense given how quickly he escalated things to violence) and was a member of the Hydra.

The Inquisitor had become obsessed with the idea that the Void Dragon had some connection to the origin of the Hydra. The Void Dragon was the Necron god of both innovation and destruction. Beginning and end. Alpha and omega.

Realizing the fallen Inquisitor was batshit insane, the Mechanicus decided the best course of action was to give the crazy person what they want, and showed them the Dragon. Upon seeing the prostrate dragon, the Inquisitor fell to their knees and pledged their submission to the Dragon, exhoriating their beliefs. The Dragon didn't react as expected.

"A twisted version of that faith, to be sure, but there are concordances. However, you have caused harm and distress to my other followers beyond acceptable levels of tolerance. That will not be permitted. You have 2.2104 seconds to live following the end of this statement. I hope you enjoy this time."

It is not said what happened after this moment, only that the event was so disturbing that the Guardians of the Dragon refused to enter the details of it in their logbook. Some might claim this as a victory, the secret of the Void Dragon remained hidden and the person who had died trying to discover them was a traitor, rather than one of the Imperium’s own. But the Mechanicus did not see it that way.

They saw it as a failure. Because they had to get the Void Dragon to solve their problems for them.

The Dragon's Dreams[edit]

Although Mag'ladroth was unable to start directly communicating to people until the coming of the Mechanicus (whose tech-fetish synchronizes perfectly with his mindset), humans have received bits of its thoughts for quite some time. The Dragon is an entity of immense cosmic power, and Earth is the planet right next door. Each culture interprets said information a little differently:

  • Europe and the Middle East see an entity of primeval destruction who hoards things and guards knowledge (Python/Typhon/Jormundgandr/Biblical Serpent/Medieval Dragon), unaware that the treasure being guarded IS knowledge.
  • The Egyptians see a serpent of oblivion who picked a fight with a sun god and lost (Apophis).
  • The people of East Asia see a powerful yet benevolent force of nature and order that provides for his people (Long).
  • The Mesoamericans see a serpent god who defied his brethren for having morals and got banished for it (Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkan).

Each only tells part of the story as the Dragon is trying to send its message through what amounts to a really staticky connection that fades in and out and is only half-heard at best, people fill in the rest with their own cultural experiences and the legend distorts through the ages. The Dragon doesn't even know it did this, it was just screaming into the ether incoherently for any kind of help.

It's even possible that the Dragon influenced the type of technology that humanity developed. Humanity seems to have a tendency towards use of cybernetics than other races, and while most of that seems to be the result of our own natural tendencies the initial push might have come from Mag'ladroth. Humanity didn't even know the Void Dragon existed until the Olympus Mons Brotherhood found it, the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion couldn't detect its tomb with Dark Age tech and the AdMech only found it because it was subconsciously directing them to its resting place. It's also possible that it only became more coherent if its bonds were jarred during the Iron War (say, by the psi-disruptor).

The disturbing similarities between humanity and the Necrontyr and the Krork have not gone unnoticed by some eldar. Despite the physical similarities and the fact that humans and eldar both descended from tree-dwelling, primate-like omnivores, humanity as a while seem to be evolving into something more Necron or Ork-like than eldar-like, especially if one looks at what augmented humans tend to look like. Built for durability and endurance over agility and dexterity. If humans (especially pre-spaceflight humanity) are roughly analogous to the proto-eldar as they were before the Old Ones came, then the human equivalent of a modern eldar would be something more like a psychic Sister of Battle or one of Fabius Bile’s New Men, built more for plowing through obstacles than leaping around them. And like the Necrontyr we have a knack for material technology, humanity’s “hat” before the Age of Strife was A.I., one they relinquished after the corruption of the Iron Minds and the rebellion of the Men of Iron (and is now picked up by the Tau). In fact, humanity right before the fall was a species complex composed of numerous different variations of organic and machine increasingly blending together to the point where complete breakdown of the terms was likely in the future if Slaanesh hadn't happened. Those eldar that do notice are hoping that the third time is the charm, and that their influence will keep humanity from turning out like the Necrontyr or the Orks.

Wyverns[edit]

In terms of how the wyverns fit into the universe, we’ve mentioned before how Nobledark is a universe well suited to RPGs like Dark Heresy and the like. C’tan vampires are more like a final boss following a quest of political intrigue. Wyverns are when you want to run a good old “slay the dragon” campaign but in space. Their durability also encourages novel solutions to dealing with them. Powerlevel can be varied by how much it’s eaten. In terms of tabletop, a wyvern is something the Necrons could bring along as a monstrous creature should a dynasty ever manage to wrangle one. Wyverns are your typical animalistic St. George “break stuff” dragon, whereas the big daddy Dragon on Mars is more like an eastern dragon, Smaug, or as mentioned before "eldritch robot space Quetzalcoatl" (with hints of Prometheus and Autocthon). So we get multiple types of dragons for the price of one.

I wasn’t sure where to state it, but the reason the Ad-Mech can seal these things is they have a limited supply of Necron Tesseract Labyrinths they pull out the minute they hear rumor of a Wyvern. In canon, the Grey Knights have a collection of Tesseract Labyrinths they use to imprison particularly nasty daemons, which they had to have gotten from somewhere. Here they got them from the AdMech who keep their own stash handy in case they have to bury any of their dirty little secrets.

The explanation for why didn’t they try using this on Apep? They tried. The Tesseract Labyrinths were good at capturing the relatively straightforward daemons of Khorne, Slaanesh, Tzeentch, and Nurgle, but Apep is based on such contradictory Malalic bullshit it didn’t stick. In essence whereas other entities would try to fight the labyrinth and try to escape (thereby doing what the labyrinth wants by drawing you in deeper with paradoxical shit), Apep immediately did the opposite and found the exit, and so he basically poofed out of the Tesseract Labyrinth.

If the binding device created by the Old Ones were to be turned off, the Wyverns would probably all snap back into being heralds and extensions of the Void Dragon as a sort of single mind in multiple bodies, more like the other C'tan are now.

The Void Dragon might have plans to intentionally use shards of himself (particularly after seeing what his brother the Deciever has done) to help wean humanity off of that ridiculous little A.I. phobia of theirs. Specifically by using shards of himself geth-style to take over major Imperial systems as a pseudo-A.I.

It is doubtful people would find having a C'tan in their systems any better than an A.I.

Alternatively he might use them to keep tabs on people of note. This is assuming he doesn’t just go full Godzilla.

Also, looking through canon fluff, I found it hilarious that Saim-Hann’s Cosmic Serpent is basically exactly what we have for the Void Dragon in this timeline. “Pals” with Cegorach after Cegorach bested him in a game of wits and Cegorach earned a boon? Check. Exists in both the Materium and Immaterium at the same time? Check. Associated with knowledge? Check.

Outsider[edit]

An idea trying to delete itself. As in canon, Outsider went bonkers following the C'tan civil war by all the minds of his devoured siblings screaming in his head, so he fled the galaxy to go hide out in his Dyson Sphere, and as a result he avoided getting sharded. Unlike all of the other C'tan, few know of him and so he has no warp reflection whatsoever, or rather about as much as an inanimate object. Outsider is trying to essentially trying to mentally divide by zero, because if he has no mind then there can be no split personalities to drive him insane. Unfortunately the more people know about him, the harder it is to reach absolute zero. Heck, the Void Dragon and Nightbringer still know he's still around, and those two alone is like a spotlight in his face.

Think of the Outsider like a really cranky veteran with PTSD. He seems zen and keeps to himself most of the time, but then you throw some huge ruckus and the next thing you know he's snaps and he's over in your yard getting in your face because you keep waking. him. up. A huge ruckus like, say, four huge galactic powers going to war with each other. Yeah.

The Imperium (more specifically, the Inquisition) has discovered his Dyson Sphere in the last few years (decades?). No one knows what's in it, and the few people who've tried to find out have died horribly, but that hasn't stopped people from wanting to go and find out what's in it. Which would wake up the Outsider. Crap.

A Necron's Opinion on the C'tan[edit]

This was originally suggested as Nemesor Zahndrekh's opinion, though there was some debate over whether he would be coherent enough to remember it. On the one hand, he thinks everyone else is a Necrontyr or Necrontyr descendant and doesn't remember the Old Ones. On the other hand, robo-dementia isn't exactly logical and his mind already conflates some things (like he knows the Necrontyr went to sleep, but seems to associate that with the rebellions from the Second War of Secession rather than the War in Heaven).

Aza'Gorod - A nasty piece of work. Wasn't until the end we figured out it was he who was responsible for our persistent health concerns [This could be from Zahndrekh's perspective, as Aza'gorod was the first C'tan to get a body]. Would have been one thing if he was apologetic, we never knew if they could control what they did very much in their infancy, but he reveled in it. Said that we deserved our misery for the sins of getting ideas above our station, for not showing reverence and worship where such was due. We maimed him something fierce I think, reports from the end of the war were... confusing sometimes. Sunk his flagship and tore him apart. Left the pieces to starve and wither in a makeshift cage buried in an old ship five miles under the crust of some lifeless rock. That he's still alive and got out of his tomb keeps me up at night, childhood stories of primordial fears all wore his face and that's probably no accident.

Mephet'ran - Father told me he was the least awful, even sometimes decent of them. He was wrong unfortunately. He was as deadly as the others but it was a slow poison that tasted nice. He wasn't as strong as his siblings but was probably the cleverest. At least clever when dealing with people. We saw through him in the end and tore him apart. In retrospect that was probably counterproductive. There was talk in the High Court that he had been aware of things on worlds even in his infancy, took an interest in the intricacies of small interactions. We never knew who fired the first shot in the war with the Old Ones. Or at least we were never told. I remember in my youth one theory being this bastard pulling the strings from the start. It's all unprovable now in any case.

Llandu'gor - Tells you something when a king is willing to break out a weapon that could end all of creation just once. This was that once. It was called The Flayer for a reason and I'd much rather not talk about it.

Mag'ladroth - Out of all of them the least terrible. Dangerous, oh my yes. Possibly more than the others. Never really took an interest in us unless we were interesting but I think it cared for us in it's way. The things it made, terrible things of unfathomable destruction, were all made so that we could operate them. There was this one time when he made a gravity reversal device, point it at a thing an the gravity inherent to it's mass reversed. Point it at something like a desk and it just atomizes instantly, good way of getting rid of toxic waste. Point it at a black hole and star charts stop being accurate. He claimed it would be useful if we ever wanted to mine blackholes. Totally bonkers and unsafe to be around but he kept mostly to himself. I don't think he realized how fragile we were and I don't think he ever intended half the things he made to ever be used, he just liked making things. When we fought his kind we never targeted him. In time we would probably have had to do something about him but he just vanished one day and we never found out why.

C’tan Vampires[edit]

Strigoi and Nosferatu C'tan Vampires and C'tan shard.
  • First created when a rather radical and eccentric AdMech Magos (Ralei or Magos Darvus from Xenology?) was approached by what appeared to be a minor Necron Lord who was interested in reversing the biotransference. This so-called Necron Lord was really a C’tan shard in disguise (Orikan the Diviner?)
  • Magos jumped at the chance to be able to transfer his mind into a fully mechanical body, but things did not go as planned, creating the first C'tan vampire.
  • The vast majority of C’tan vampires are formed from shards of the Deciever and the Nightbringer. Unlike the other shards of the other C'tan, who the Necrons are willing to unleash in worst-case scenarios, the Necrons remember exactly what those two did to them, and they don't even want to let a piece of those two assholes out. However, over millions of years even Necron technology will fail, and shards of the Deciever and the Nightbringer are loose once more upon the galaxy
  • Necrons will stop at nothing to recapture shards of the Nightbringer and Deciever, and yet Szerakh never told the Emperor that free-roaming Deciever/Nightbringer shards are something he might need to be worried about, which was yet another sticking point against Imperial-Star Empire relationships
  • Not capable of controlling Necron Lords or legions that are still under the command of a free-willed Necron Lord, but are capable of controlling "orphaned" legions whose Lords have been destroyed or damaged
  • It is generally agreed that the represent the two major Deciever shards represent the suave, cultured aristocrats that secretly prey on the common folk (see: Governor Takis). Nightbringer shards are undead monsters, though the most powerful of them are smart enough to know how to pretend to be civilized.
  • Beyond that, there is still a lot of discussion over how the C'tan vampires work, and how powerful they are.
    • One common point of agreement is that there is a physical shard of the parent C'tan somewhere in the host's body
    • C'tan vampires can make more of their own by leaving splinters of their shard in their victims after feeding, due to the C'tan's fractal nature
    • Another is that they are vulnerable to high levels of radiation. Sunlight works, but higher-energy radiation like UV, gamma rays, X-rays, etc., work even better, especially if the shard is exposed to it directly. What basically happens is the C'tan shard inside the host's body goes nuts and eats the host's body from the inside out faster than it can regenerate.
    • The C'tan vampires are split into Strigoi, Lahmia, and Nosferatu. Nosferatu are pretty clearly Nightbringer derived, but the origins of the other two are unclear.
    • C'tan vampires are also somewhat subject to the wills of their original sire (with the possible exception of Orikan if he is a C'tan vampire). What's really scary is the vampires don't know their free will has been compromised. They think they're making decisions of their own free will but they are often being subtly manipulated into following the whims of the original C'tan.
    • C'tan vampires range in power depending on age and how many people they've eaten (the two are not unrelated). The oldest and most powerful are like a cross between Dracula and Steven Armstrong. Thankfully, vampires like that are really, really rare, which is why it's really important to kill them before they reach that level of power. The Inquisition has been prepared to use Exterminatus to wipe out C'tan vampires of that power if there is no other option given the danger they represent.
  • Lucius the Eternal is a C'tan vampire in this timeline, having traveled out to the fringes of the galaxy and contracted C'tan vampirism after Fulgrim failed to deliver on his promises of giving him immortality. Lucius the Eternal is known as "the Eternal" for a very different reason in this timeline. Given that he must have contracted C'tan vampirism as early as M32, he's probably one of the crazy strong Dracula/Steven Armstrong level bastards by now.

Tyranids[edit]

The tyranid "strategy", if you can call it that, is to sweep through the galaxy from the galactic southeast (generally where they're making galaxyfall) towards the two biggest points of psychic energy in the galaxy. Which would be the Astronomican and the Eye of Terror. The specific path they are following is one left by the genestealer cults during the Genestealer Wars in late M36. When the Imperium noticed the path of the tyranids seemed to be following the path of the old genestealer cults, they traced the trail all the way back to the Segmentum Solar.

Battle of Ultramar wasn't with Behemoth in this timeline (or at least, the battle of Ultramar everyone thinks of), it was with the advance forces of the main tyranid Hive Fleet, about 200-300 years before galaxyfall. This is the time when the Swarmlord first starts showing up in tyranid fleets.

Leviathan's weird movement to approach the galaxy from below the galactic plane is a result of swerving around to try to avoid the Outsider's Dyson Sphere. This unusual movement is how the Inquisition learned such an object existed in the first place.

Da Orks[edit]

Important Orks[edit]

Ghazghull Mag Uruk Thraka[edit]

Ghazghull was seemingly born too shrimpy for an Ork, when he was born he was almost mistaken for a Grot. However, in a combination of brutal cunning and cunning brutality, Ghazghull managed to climb his way up the hierarchy by taking down Orks an ordinary Ork his size could never do. And, since to an Ork, being "the boss" meant being the biggest and baddest, the power of the Waaagh! meant that Ghazghull too became the biggest and baddest. Eventually he acquired the title of Mak Uruk Thraka, essentially making him yet another de facto successor to the Beast. By the time the Imperium first encountered Ghazghull, no one could have ever known he was born a runt by Ork standards.

Additionally, unlike the Beast, who more or less accepted the aid of the Chaos Gods. Ghazghull is a hardcore Gork and Mork worshipper. Ghazgull is scarily insightful for an Ork. He understands how the Waaagh! works, or at least in terms of "If da Orkz believe dey iz gonna win, dey'z gonna win; if da Orkz believe someding'z gonna happen, it happens". He can actually speak legible high and low Gothic, but doesn't so people underestimate him. He sees how the Orks have been essentially manipulated into acting as cannon fodder by serving the wrong gods, and he doesn't like it.

No one knows this, he doesn't tell anyone. But the signs are clear to those who look. Ghazghull surrounds himself with Orks that hew closest to the old ways, whereas those who outright turn their back on the Gorkamorka are pushed to the side. They are not necessarily shunned, but neither does Ghazghull show them any favor. And any Chaos Ork who tries to take his place quickly learns why Ghazghull is the boss.

Ghazghull knows if he could command the loyalty of the majority of the Ork race, if he promised enough lootin' and fightin' that is. But he also knows he can't take the forces of Chaos in a straight-up fight. So he waits. When Chaos assaults the Imperium, all he has to do is make sure the Chaos Orks take the majority of the losses while his forces stay clear. Then, when the Imperium, the Crone Eldar, and all the other factions have left themselves battered and bloody, Ghazghull can stab Chaos in the back and destroy the power of the rest. The galaxy will be engulfed in constant strife, with the Orkz at the top, as it should be. So Ghazgull waits, because "sometimez you havez to wait if youz wants to win".

  • Big debate over whether Ghazghull is a Brain Boy (a la the Beast in the Beast Arises series), whether Makari is a Brain Boy, or both. Only things that are agreed upon is that one of the two is a Brain Boy, and even if Ghazghull isn't a Brain Boy he is far more clever than the average Ork. There have been many Beasts named among the Orks in the years since the War of the Beast, but Ghazghull is the first one to actually have the potential to come close to, if not surpass, the original.

The closest there has been to any sort of consensus is an idea that has been brought up several times that Ghazzy and Makari are both Brain Boyz, and Brain Boyz are almost always twins in the first place, one an ork and the other a gretchin (representing the twin aspects of Gork and Mork, cunning brutality and brutal cunning).

Ghazzy's been spending most of his time between the Fourth and Fifth War for Armageddon consolidating his power base. After the Fourth War for Armageddon turned into a stalemate that Ghazzy had to break off, some orks began to question his ability to lead. Loudly. Chief among these were the Chaos Orks, who saw an opportunity after years of being marginalized from power. Ghazzy spent most of the 100 years since the Fourth War for Armageddon krumpin' Chaos gits, blasphemous unions of WAAAGH! and Chaos energy. After cracking enough heads he's finally got the rest of them to stand in line and is coming back to Armageddon for Round 2. He's also been spending that time building alliances and gaining the fealty of other Ork empires like Dregruk, such that what was once a relatively small homegrown warboss is now a much greater threat.

Random Stupidity[edit]

I like the idea of ill-advised, enlightenment inspired attempts to reform the orks in panopticon style fortresses. Some sect of Biologicus techpriests, maybe an Order Psychologicus, could have Imperial aristocratic support for their attempts to reform Orcs. They might even have some less than great Seers in their projects, intent on recapturing some (imagined) vision of the old ones in which the Eldar could civilize the Ork. Mostly the project comes about from the recognition that Orks are more loosely held by chaos, the legends from the War in Heaven, and of course the belief popular among those aristocrats that Imperial Reason can clearly do better to sway the barbaric Orks than the madness of Chaos. None of the projects are so stupidly dangerous that the Ordo Xenos would need to crack down, and some of the research they're getting is really useful, but they can't really do shit to reform the Orks, and if they ever did the at least a few of the aristocratic backers would very quickly start trying to grow their own army of Boyz.

Minor (non-Human, non-Eldar, non-Tau) Races of the Imperium[edit]

Watchers in the Dark[edit]

The overall theme of the Watchers is helplessness and their resilience in the face of that. As a species, one would think the watchers hit the evolutionary jackpot, having access to traits that most other species would kill for: namely complete biological immortality and being essentially immune to Chaos corruption. However, those benefits are counteracted by the fact that you have to spend all those millennia in the frail body of Orko. Being immune to Chaos simply means you get to watch everyone else around you go progressively insane and being all of a meter tall (shorter and weaker than almost every sentient race, comparable to a child of most species) means you have little to no power to physically resolve the situation. This can be seen in the Watcher’s efforts to clear Caliban. Despite being immune to the Warp corruption that permeated their planet, they had no way to kill the Calibanite monsters that not even baseline humans could stand against, and so they were fighting a slow battle to avoid extinction until the Dark Angels showed up (which is why the Watchers were so grateful to them). Nevertheless, despite their limited ability to change things, that doesn’t stop the Watchers from doing whatever they can to make things better with their limited power.

Tarellian Confederacy[edit]

Anon's Note: "I started getting some of these ideas when someone in an old thread asked if there were lizardmen in 40k. Given that in Lizardmen culture is heavily inspired by several Native American cultures, and the Tarellians are essentially their 40k counterparts (the Tarellians are often called Dog Soldiers, for god’s sake), I thought we could build on that angle. Originally, I was thinking that like in Warhammer Fantasy, the Tarellians have some sort of connection to the Old Ones. Either distant descendants who have developed sentience again All Tomorrows style or another species the Old Ones had a hand in like the Eldar or Orks, only native to the Old Ones’ homeworld. The Tarellians know nothing about the accomplishments of their ancestors or their lost technology, much like it was once thought the modern descendants of the Mississippian Mound Builders were not aware that their ancestors had built the mounds they lived around (though in reality the truth is a bit different). Of course, this being 40k, “loss of technology” means being reduced from being a near god-like species to merely a star-faring one. However, because we’ve established the Old Ones are distinctly amphibian and/or semi-aquatic, I don’t think this would work. I think it also ties too many species to the War in Heaven, rather than having new species arise post-War in Heaven."

When the Tarellians spread out from their homeworld, they developed a number of highly divergent cultures on the planets they lived on. Tarellians also range wildly in body size based on planet, Tau-sized to slightly taller than a baseline human. Even during their most unified periods, Tarellian culture and social norms could vary wildly depending on the planet. Hence the Tarellian Confederacy, instead of the Tarellian Republic or the Tarellian Empire. Nevertheless, there are enough cultural similarities between them that the Tarellan cultures see themselves as distinctly Tarellian, much like the different Greek or Mesoamerican city-states saw themselves as a distinct cultural unit.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that there are many different groups of lizardmen out there in the galaxy, of which the Tarellians are but the best known because they developed the most extensive interstellar network. The Imperium, lacking imagination, might refer to the species as a whole as Tarellians even though the term only really applies to the Tarellian Neo-Confederacy.

Tarellians, like almost every other spacefaring species, were hit hard by the birth of Slaanesh and the Age of Strife. What was previously a unified empire devolved into a series of isolated worlds following warp storms preventing easy travel between planets. Many planets that depended on imports of food or tools from other planets outright starved as a result of this isolation. This catastrophe led the Tarellians to develop a survivalist mentality as they rebuilt their civilization. If a world couldn't sustain itself in the event of another Age of Strife, it wasn't worth settling. The same is true politically, hence why the Tarellians developed a confederacy (where each world could survive on its own if needed) as opposed to a more unified government following reunification. That said, the Tarellian definition of unsustainable is much broader than that of humans or Eldar, given the Tarellians' ability to survive in harsh desert environments.

Like some groups of Native Americans (Comanche, Sioux), Tarellians are well known for their mobility in war, able to march hundreds of miles from base camp in order to strike. The difference is that the Native American tribes did this through the use of horses. The Tarellians do this on foot. Tarellians originally evolved in an arid environment where they had to keep pace over shifting sand dunes and the uneven terrains of arroyos in extreme heat. Marching through a relative flat environment in balmy weather is a literal walk in the park for them. The Tarellians don’t really have riding cavalry, though they do domesticate heavier draft animals.

The other thing Tarellians are well known for is tracking ability. Tarellians are some of the best trackers in the Imperium. In contrast to humans, Eldar, Tau, and many of the other races of the Imperium, whose sense of smell is rather lacking, the Tarellian sense of smell is amazing, like some dinosaurs. Their eyesight is also pretty good, being adapted to track movement and capable of seeing in a slightly higher range of colors than humans. Their sense of hearing is about average, though.

Tarellians are sometimes referred to as dog soldiers because between their dinosaur-like snout and the soft frills at the back of their head, they kind of look a bit dog-ish. Tarellian are capable of flaring out like the frills of a frilled lizard and serve as emotional indicators, like facial expressions in humans.

Tarellians are mostly organized into hunter packs of a dozen or so individuals led by a commanding officer. The hunter packs can function autonomously (and are the “unit” of Tarellian infantry), but the commanding officer is part of a pack of about a dozen individuals commanded by a higher-ranking officer, and so on. I was thinking that they mostly used disruptor weapons based on old weather control technology like in the /tg/ homebrewed fluff. This organization is also similar to how Tarellian social hierarchy works. Each officer has a measure of land on their world and civilians to man it. Higher officers have a measure of land and jurisdiction over lower officers and some limited say in what they do with their land. They have no real clear cut distinction between civilian and military.

Anon: I’m not entirely sure why the Tarellians dislike the Imperium so much. In canon I get it because the Imperium virus-bombed their worlds, but here they come off as distinctly anti-authoritarian, even compared to people like the Tau. Maybe I’m reading too much into the already written Tarellian fluff, and there are plenty of Tarellians who are decent people and like individual humans and Eldar but just resent the Imperium trying to order them around as opposed to treating them like a member state. People just think the Tarellians are grumpy because that’s a stereotype. I do like the idea that the Tarellians get along well with the Tau because they respect the Tau’s resistance to joining the Imperium.

Other Anon: Due to their pack-like structure, they don't react well to outsiders having even theoretical dominance over them, hence their dislike of the Imperium.

“Have you ever seen a Tarellian force move? I mean really, honestly move? The Tarellians are a desert-adapted species, who before they developed sedentary civilization had to be able to move kilometers each day, over poorly solidified sandy substrate, in extreme heat. Anything below 40 degrees Celsius is downright balmy to them.
In battle, on your average civilized planet, a sufficiently motivated Tarellian force is capable of travelling over a hundred kilometers a day. On foot. You want to know why the Tarellian Confederacy never seemed to have much in the way of mounted cavalry? This is why. That’s the reason the Imperium lost the first few battles in the Tarellian war. We’d never seen infantry move so fast without air support before. One moment you’re fine and the next that force you thought was tied up on the opposite front is right in your face ripping into your flanks.
That brings us to the second point, tracking. The Tarellians are some of the best trackers in the galaxy. Their sense of smell is better than any human, Eldar, or almost any of the other races in the Imperium. Their sight is adapted to follow a running target. The Arbites and the Vanus may be some of the galaxy’s best trackers if your target’s in a Hive World, but if they try to hide in the wilderness there are few better hunter-killers than a Tarellian hunter pack.
So for God’s sake, don’t piss off the Tarellians to the point they come after you. Because they’ll chase you to the end of the galaxy.”
- General Hazan, informing an inexperienced young lieutenant why it’s a good idea to be nice to the Tarellians, circa M38.

Tikal The leader of Tikal wears a feathered headdress similar to that supposedly worn by the tlatoani of the Aztecs. There is an actual reason for this beyond Tikal generally being Mesoamerican and Lizardmen-themed (though Tarellians in general draw more from northern Native American peoples like the Ancestral Puebloans, Commanche, Iroquois, and Cahokian Moundbuilders mixed with survivalists). Tarellians have frills and dewlaps like frilled lizards that indicate emotional state. Aggression and dominance for Tarellians is indicated by having the frill extended out as far as possible. Therefore, wearing a headdress like that is a constant signal of authority and who is in charge in the room.

Something that should be noted is that prior to the Age of Strife the Tarellians were not a confederacy, but a more centralized form of government. They really got screwed over during the Age of Strife as many of their worlds were dependent on imports of food and other goods to survive, and with warp travel being nearly impossible many of their planets starve to death. It didn't help that they already preferred planets whose ability to produce food was already very limited. When they started traveling the stars again after the end of the Age of Strife, they wanted to make sure something like their world starving never happened again, hence their survivalist tendencies and obsession with self sufficiency (and the fact they formed a confederacy where each world is nominally independent). They see the fact that Tau and humans set up outposts and mining operations on worlds that cannot sustain agriculture as highly foolish, as they feel another episode of mass Warp storms is all but inevitable.

The Demiurg[edit]

Anon: The Demiurg were the first non eldar/non-human xenos to join the Imperium in thanks for charging into an Armageddon War like Poland at Vienna.

We haven't really touched on them beyond that plus nomad traders.

It could be that their dislike of the eldar in general and Chaos Eldar in particular is born from their homeworld now being somewhere inside the Eye of Terror now.

Add to this that demiourgos is an old Greek word for craftsman. Also the Demiurge in Gnostic beliefs is a divine creator. Bentu'sin is the Tau name for the Demiurg and means 'wise-gifted ones'. Bentusi were a race in the Homeworld series, they were nomadic traders that were grafted into their ships. Both Homeworld and the first Dawn of War game were made by Relic Entertainment.

Add all that together and you have a race of nomadic supreme craftsmen that make excellent and wonderful things. They are low in numbers and it's possible that there is as many as only 1 of them per ship that would possibly put their overall population in the thousnads. They are grafted into their ships in body, mind and soul and operate their toys via their minds and interact with other people via robotic avatars.

Their god is/was a divine creator type being that they all try to imitate. I'm not saying it was Vaul but it was Vaul.

It is very possible that they were an ancient off-shoot of the eldar race from millions of years back where the old pre-uplift genes resurfaced and they sprang up differently. Less psychic for one thing but more emotionally stable. Nobody gets to see them in their ships so it's hard to say for sure.

Their ships are mostly super-bulk cargo haulers with small but highest grade workshops built in and enough fire power to defend them. As their ships are extensions of their own bodies and minds they become highly customized and no two are much alike.

Prince Yriel has a Demiurg First Mate on the Hoec's Grace but nobody can tell for sure if it is one or if it is just something that they made.

Anon: The demiurg are organized into Brotherhoods, with one Bastion-class vessel often home to one Brotherhood. That implies a lot more than just one Demiurg per ship.

Anon: A brotherhood of Demiurg could be one Demiurg bound to their ship and a small number of apprentices/youngsters who aren't old enough to have their own ship-body yet.

The First Mate on Hoec's Grace could have been one that ran away due to the freakish aversion to being physically grafted into a living mountain of machinery.

There was a comment in an interview with some person at GW about what the demiurg look like. They said they are quasi-reptilian looking, with stone-like skin and crystalline growths instead of hair. A lot of fanlore has them as silicon based. So it might be that adding cybernetics to them is a lot easier than for squishy carbonites that have to have some kind of interface.

The difference in opinion between some Demiurg might be that while some see no problems with cybernetics, they see cybering yourself up so much you can't detach from the ship as overkill.

The Mechanicus must have a gigantic collective girlboner for them.

Yes, girlboner. They're fully aware they wouldn't be the man in that relationship.

To them yes, but the girlboner would also be shameful boner.

In many ways the Demiurg are all that they dream to be. Free and unbound each a law unto themselves but still acting decently, communion and connection to the Machine as deep and intertwined as anything the Mechnaicus could achieve in this age, freed from the limitations of the flesh all but totally but still retaining a natural intellect and not falling to the sin of the Silica Animus and add to that craftsmen almost without peer.

But they are godless and they are heathens. They had a god, some primitive idol of a blacksmiths forge grown with age to gross proportion, but now he is dead and they are alone. There are some similarities with the Vaul deity of the pagan eldar, maybe there is a connection of cultural contamination but what of it? That's just exchanging one type of weakness for another. The Mechanicus have a god, the great and everlasting Omnissiah and they feel his love and his strength within him always (Laughing_Mag'ladroth.holo).

The hate that they look up to the Demiurg and they hate that the Demiurg are what they want to be but have forsaken everything that they are.

As for the Demiurg, they hold no ill will to Mars or it's priests or it's reject priests. Mostly because they don't have to interact with them very much.

The Enoulians[edit]

Another War for Nothing:

The Enoulians are a race of amphibian-like humanoids located on the far northwest of the galactic rim in the Halo Stars. Denizens of the bogs and the forests, their standard of living seemed odd by Imperial standards. They dressed in simple robes and tunics, and one could mistake their technology for a much more primitive species if one did not look closely at the quality and make of their implements, much like the Kroot. And although they had advanced enough technology to build spaceships, out in the galactic rim the stars are clustered and otherwise far apart and they had little reason to ever want to go anywhere. At some point the Enoulians were attacked by a mixed Blood Pact-Crone Eldar group doing a remarkably good impression of an Imperial Crusade.

They attack the Enoulian Benevolent Commonwealth and take special care to butcher as many of their people on the outer and mid-range colonies whilst leaving much of the machinery and infrastructure intact or only minimally damaged. They then feign crippling losses and "retreat" in the direction of the Imperial Border.

Enoulians get their shit back together, retake their broken colonies and switch to a hyper-militarized war economy. They had defeated the Imperium once when they were just trying to live, they could sure as shit rectally ravage them if they were geared up for a fight.

They are also contacted by a lesser kabal of Dark Eldar who hadn't been involved with the original shenanigans but thought it was fucking hilarious. They claim to be a group of poor refugee descendant eldar who had broken away from the Imperium some centuries prior to live in peace and freedom and had been mercilessly hounded and persecuted. As a result of their “ persecution” they were willing to give the Enoulians massive amounts of highly-advanced weaponry in exchange for sending all the POWs our way.


Enoulian fleets and armies, freshly augmented by Dark Eldar tech and weapons and thirsty for blood, come screaming out of the Halo Stars into the Imperium. They don't open channels, they don't demand surrender they just start killing as soon as they are in range to do so. Imperial authorities are totally unprepared for this. They knew about the Enoulians in a "those amphibian people out rimward. They're a thing". There hadn't really been any direct contact due to them being slightly out of the Astronomican's range and they hadn't been a bother to anyone.

The Enoulian Benevolent Commonwealth gets the early kills in at slightly less than estimated cost in lives and ships, exterminating entire star systems of Imperial citizens but leaving much of their things intact, repaying in kind what had been done to them. They intended, as they believe the "Imperium" intended, to colonize those mass graves and they would take Imperial worlds as compensation for the miseries heaped upon them unprovoked.

Meanwhile Cronedar and DEldar are giggling like little school girls about the whole thing.

Then the Imperial response arrives. The Enoulians then realize the depths of their strategic miscalculations. Those weren't Imperial war fleets they were sinking, those were border patrols, pirate deterrents, private security assets and convoy guards. And then the doubts start because these ships are only a little like the ones that scoured their worlds and if ships like this had done so they wouldn't still have a Commonwealth.

And they fought and they fought and they fought until the sky bled red and the suns wept and they fought and were driven back and they fought and were slaughtered, their dead buried in mass graves, their bodies drifting in the cold void beyond number, their lines pushed back and further back and further back still to the old homeworld and there they planned to die and sell their lives dear and die hard to buy time for the fleets of civilian ships loaded with the seeds from which to regrow to escape. Their elders who could keep the stories alive, the small hatchlings and eggs that would be the Enoulian Exiled and the wisest and most loving of their people to raise them and there the crushing fist of the Imperium halted from the killing blow and hung there in the inky black before the line of rag tag and half broken ships.


The Imperium had not been mindless in it's destructing and with ever battle, every, victory, every frothing at the mouth survivor they had been piecing together what had happened. Lord General Mauryon, Autarch of Craftworld Biel-tan and veteran of a hundred campaigns demanded that the leader of the Commonwealth meet with him on a small ship he had parked directly between the two fleets that they might discuss this whole sorry business. The Enoulians agreed but possibly the Enoulians were desperate and latching on to any hope no matter how slim for their world's survival or possibly they just saw it as a method of buying a little more time. For whatever reason the High Overseer agreed to the meeting.

Mauryon was no diplomat but as the head of a force outnumbering the opposition ten to one at the least he didn't really have to be.

He pointed out the blatantly obvious fact that had those original skirmishes been a genuine invasion effort the name Enoulian would be a footnote in a history book and he showed the High Overseer the evidence of the deceptions and pointed out the strength of the hammer that was coming down and offered a choice: fight and be defeated, their homeworld made into an imperial frontier world, his soldiers slain, his civilians subjugated, and his children raised to be loyal citizens of the Imperium. The other option was surrender and the Imperium would offer the hand of brotherhood, they would assist in the rebuilding of their worlds, in the reconstruction of their fleets, in the shoring up of the border defenses until such a time as the Enoulian people could again stand strong on their own webbed feet and in twenty years the two of them would meet in this place once more and maybe they would drink fine wine and discuss potential induction as a member state of the Imperium.


Twenty years to the very hour Mauryon of Biel-Tan met the now grey skinned High Overseer of the Commonwealth and brought with him a gift. The bound and gagged leader of the Croneworlders whose malice had brought such misery to the Enoulians and with him some of his surviving courtiers and functionaries. Their deaths, to the credit of the Enoulians, was not a drawn out spectacle but it was a public one.

To this day the Enoulians are some of the most fanatical combatants ever to fight in and alongside the Imperial Army. To them is often the honour of first the blood. When they were first deceived they were a peaceful people eternally grateful for their location on the arse end of nowhere but the war has come to their doorstep and they now have fire in place of their lost innocence.

Vespid[edit]

Like the Tau, Kroot, and Poctroon, the Vespid are native to the Tau cluster, and were the fourth race to join the Tau Empire. Once effective communication was established the Vespid eagerly converted to the Greater Good, because as a eusocial species the validity of the ideas of the Tau’va seemed self-evident and the idea of designated roles in society meshed well with their philosophies. Given the only other races the Tau had encountered at the time were the Kroot (whose stance on the Tau’va was something like “yeah, sure, whatever”), the Poctroon (who they never were completely sure signed on out of genuine faith or a mix of desperation and gratitude), and a passing AdBio team, this gave the Tau a huge boost confidence in the viability of the Greater Good on a galactic scale (and really, in retrospect probably made them think that spreading the Tau’va across the galaxy was going to be a lot easier than it really was).

However, the Tau initially had a lot of trouble communicating with the Vespid at first due to their alien methods of communication and immensely complex language. Their brains are crazy looking with a huge portion devoted to sensory perception. Vespid primarily communicate through pheromones. Effective communication wasn’t achieved with the Vespid until the Tau developed communion helms that picked up pheromonal signals and translated them into electronic speech. Even today, Vespid primarily talk to other species through a designated speaker with a communion helm, the vespid talk to the speaker who translates what they are saying to non-vespid and vice versa. However, even then the helm tends to translate inapplicable concepts with the closest possible word. Vespid have three pairs of eyes which are thought to have developed through duplication of an original single pair, each set has become secondarily attuned to a particular peak in the light spectrum, giving them great vision. They also have some sort of pseudo-stridulation ability which they use most famously to stabilize their neutron weaponry. Vespid writing works through each pair of eyes focusing on three lines of text at the same time which interact with each other when interpreted as information/sound analogue, with occasional use of pheromonal ink. Music and poetry also has a coloured component which is further complicated by their much wider spectral range than every other sapient race.

Poetry and song are typically between one hive/nation and another as each nation is best to be thought of as a single entity.

This is why the Vespid had a lot of trouble recognizing the other species as sentient at first. By the Vespid’s standards, the languages of other species were too simple to be considered evidence of sentience. They looked at other species and thought "oh, they can't be sentient, look at how simple their communication is. Gas-floaters have more complex communication than them." Even the Tau, who can speak to the Vespid much better than any other non-psychic species, seemed like barking dogs by their standards.

It also would be that if the Vespid are interchangeable within their nation then their language would be different at a very fundamental level. For one thing they aren’t interested in discussing feelings. The have them but in any particular set of circumstances and environment every Vespid would feel the exact same. This isn't typical of native lifeforms on their homeworld so they assumed it was a prerequisite for sapience. The Tau confused them a lot as each seemed a nation unto themselves and only allied with their companions.

It is possible to speak with a Vespid, but it’s not a very enjoyable experience. They would defer any hard decision to a higher authority if at all possible and once you have spoken to one you have spoken to all others of their nation in effect. It's not that they don't have a personality it's just that they all have the exact same personality unless something horrifically traumatic has happened.

Funnily enough this makes them consider Chaos worshippers to be insane to the point where they are no longer considered sapient.

As Vespid see themselves as individually interchangeable, their names tend to be nicknames based on their role in society or the few distinguishing features they have. For example a Vespid might be known as "drone-that-tends-the-driftyfish-shoals" that for shorthand ease of use often gets abbreviated or combined with another distinctive trait and then abbreviated. If drone-that-tends-the-driftyfish-shoals had one antenna he could be known as Unbalanced-Fisherman or Lopside-Fish. All Vespid of a nation are by their own admission interchangeable with others of their function. they are quite happy about this so long as the nation prospers.

As a eusocial species, there are a variety of morphologically different vespid for different tasks. The big hulking forms everyone thinks of are the soldiers. There is the breeder and child raising form that are rare and highly valued and seen only by the most trusted of water caste in high pressure suits as they never leave their homeworld. The leadership and diplomat form that administrate and go on state visits. The worker and technician type who form the backbone of society. And so on.

The Vespid don't make sense to the Bio-Druids at some deep and fundamental level. Their biology is all wrong. It looks like they should be just some sort of giant invertebrate plain and simple but they don't work that way once you get the shell off. And they have gotten the shell off, Vespid don't hold much sentimental value for dead bodies compared to most other sapients and sentients.

Their native environment is the sort of atmosphere so dense that it's closer to soup than air and before the Tau visited them they hadn't even bothered going to the surface of their own atmosphere, there is no reason for them to be able to survive at the low pressure of an Earth type of atmosphere. And they can breathe it as well with little difficulty.

There is also no reason for them to be able to perceive light in the human range either as their world is shrouded in what is to humans perpetual darkness. But despite their islands being so deep in the pitch black soup they can see unaided just fine on the surface they had until a few centuries ago never visited.

Add to this that they have both an endo and exoskeleton, a combination that doesn't arise in nature as well as actual lungs and the AdBio are absolutely convinced that the Vespid are someone's creation. The Eldar don't have records of it so it's either not their responsibility or it was someone's pet project and any knowledge of it wasn't spread far and was lost in The Fall. They might be Old One creations but then they would have had to stay hidden and totally stagnant for 65 million years and they weren't stagnating socially or technologically when the Tau found them. Some fringe nutters try to claim that they were made by the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion to explore the insides of gas giants. This is possible and would explain why they can also survive quite happily in Earth-like environments, but although the GaBHD did have the capability they also preferred to use robots for such things.

They don't share anything but a passing genetic familiarity with anything else in their ecosystem, what little of it has been prodded by outsiders, their endoskeleton is some sort of diamond derivative rather than bone which is not shared with any other animal of their homeworld and they are freakishly strong compared to everything else around them despite being almost total pacifists without a sense of competition and with no history of ever having had a natural predator.

Of all this the Vespid at least claim ignorance. Historically they didn't realize it was not meant to be so and so never questioned it. Maybe they are artificial. Maybe they are not. It does not bother them. Very little bothers them.

Vespid are omnivores and eat just about whatever they want. They can eat the flesh of the other creatures floating around in their soup of a planet, and there are a lot of them especially in the places where there is an upwelling of krill and plankton analogues from the lower levels. Their favourite food is the nectar of the giant fucking huge lily pads that float on the layers just above where their islands typically bob around. They just drift around some of the largest almost a mile wide casting great shadows into the briny deeps. At regular intervals they develop great flowers on their undersides where the drifting creatures swarm to get that delicious syrupy goodness and the pads can spread pollen.

The nectar has an effect on the vespid not entirely unlike getting mildly drunk. It makes them happy but slightly stupid and less responsive. It's banned outside of their homeworld as to humans and anything that works similar to humans the vapours that it emits in an Earth-like atmosphere at room temperature are classed as a form of nerve gas. It is speculated that the nectar has other effects on their biology that are needed to maintain a healthy and functional population, some speculate that it triggers the breeding cycle in their queens and their attendants. Others claim that it is only consumed in religious ceremonies, a subject that the vespid have always been remarkably tight lipped about. The vespid are not forthcoming on the subject although the end goal of terraforming similar worlds to their homeworld seems to be the cultivation of more of the lilies rather than environmental needs of their own.

Other than that their diet seems to be varied. They can eat anything from cabbage to red meat, though they prefer anything with a lot of sugar in it.

It paints them with the image of a gentle giant type of creature. They can each and all get into a boxing match with a space marine and have a realistic possibility of winning. They look like the bastard children of a wasp and a gorilla. They carry weapons that can punch through tanks. They are the stuff of nightmares. Then you meet one.

There is no malice in those strange eyes. They step around ants.

Tau Empire[edit]

The first alien race the Tau encountered were the Poctroon, which have been described as kind of looking like Kerbals. However, about the same time the Tau made first contact with the Poctroon, the Poctroon began dying from a plague created by a Poctroon Nurglite cult. The Tau did everything they could to help, but having virtually no warp presence whatsoever they could never figure out the root cause of the disease and its unreal nature of the disease frustrated the Earth Caste and Poctroon doctors trying to cure it. Billions dying on such a grand scale from some variation on Nurgle’s Rot is felt by psychics for 500 light years in every direction what with it being a half-psychic virus. The Tau have no psychics of their own and so it fell on deaf ears with them.

The Imperium did have psychics listening. Not long afterwards a human in dark green robes turns up. This was the official “first contact” between the Imperium and the Tau, aside from a flyover by a Mechanicus Explorator probe in the equivalent of the Tau’s Neolithic/Bronze era which according to the Tau didn’t count. The Bio-Priestess, Mertilda, had seen Nurgle’s Rot before and knew the effects it could cause if left to spread. She had seen the dead rise up to consume the living and would have none of it. Despite the combined efforts of the AdBio, Earth Case, and Poctroon doctors, only 2% of the Poctroon population survived, surviving in the remote areas that were infected last. However, that’s still 2% more than would have survived otherwise. The adept remained on the Poctroon homeworld for a another 30 years, taking samples of local wildlife and monitoring for secondary outbreaks, before setting off back to Molech.

This was when the Imperium really became aware of the Tau as an emerging power on the Eastern Fringe. In the years since, the events on the Poctroon homeworld have been kind of propagandized in the greater Imperium. The Tau Empire, while not lying about the Imperium’s assistance, really play up the efforts of the Earth Caste in curing the plague while downplay the AdBio’s significance. The Imperium tends to be slightly more truthful, but tends to paint the Tau as having no idea what they were doing instead of people who did everything they could with the tools they had. In truth neither would have probably succeeded without the help of the other, the Tau having no knowledge of the root cause of the plague and the AdBio not having the manpower and supplies necessary to effectively treat so many plague victims, and the people who were actually involved in the incident would be incensed that their efforts at saving lives were being turned into political bargaining chips.

It's also worth noting that the Tau of that time had a prominent member of the Ruling Council known as Aun'o'T'au'Acaya'Va'Denta, commonly abbreviated commonly to Aun'Va. Everyone assumes that the current Aun was named in his memory, but some in the Inquisition are getting slightly suspicious as there is a hell of a resemblance to the current Aun and the ancient predecessor.

However the Tau were not able to recruit as many races as they did in canon because the Imperium has more options for diplomacy with alien races beyond "die xenos scum" and had snapped up a lot of the independent Xenos races that the Tau would have otherwise absorbed in canon. In canon, the aggressive actions of the Imperium towards many xenos races, like the Tarellians, only serves to drive them into the arms of the Tau. Here it’s not the case. Nevertheless, they did manage to get several races on their side, including the Poctroon, the Kroot, and the Vespid. Notably, the Demiurge and Nicassar were not among these. Not that this stopped the Tau from carving out a relatively large interstellar empire. By the time of M41, if not earlier, the Tau Empire is larger than in canon, approximately the size of Ultramar. Being two of the most well-developed semi-autonomous member states, the two are rather close.

One of the biggest contributions of the Tau to the Imperium is the “Tau Drive” (name pending), the system of “skimming” the shallows of the Warp that the Tau use in canon. The Tau Drive is much slower than the average speed of warp travel (somewhere between a third to a fifth), but it’s much more efficient and predictable, meaning your estimated time of arrival can actually be predicted as opposed to being “whenever Tzeentch decides you’ll get there”. Tau are close to Ultramar politically, and so Ultramar was the first major region of space outside the Tau empire to get access to the Tau Drive. Tau drive technology revolutionized civilian travel and supply travel in Ultramar, turning into an unpredictable and dangerous journey into a much more predictable and reliable, if slightly longer, trip. Since then, Tau drive technology has slowly but surely been spreading throughout Imperial space, though it is still rare outside of the Segmentum Ultima. Widespread adoption of Tau drive technology would surely revolutionize civilian travel in the Imperium as a whole just as it has in the Segmentum Ultima. The only question is if the Imperium will survive long enough for the Tau to see their efforts bear fruit.

Before they joined the Imperium, the Tau had an A.I. rebellion. It has been suggested that this was the result of Chaos deliberately subverting the more advanced Tau A.I., because they realized that if the Tau managed to make A.I. work then everyone would realize that A.I. wasn’t inherently dangerous, and Chaos can’t let people have nice things. However, as with the case of the Men of Iron, the less advanced models of Tau A.I., the ones who couldn’t comprehend the overwhelming enormity of Chaos, sided with the Tau. The Tau still have their drones, and the most advanced of the A.I. that sided with the Tau serve as advisors to the head Ethereals (but do not have any official power, the Tau learned from that mistake).

The Tau hate, hate, hate the Dark Eldar, possibly more than any other group in the galaxy. The Tau weren't stupid enough to agree to a "cultural exchange" in this timeline. However, the Dark Eldar took advantage of the numerous catastrophes the Tau Empire faces (including the A.I. rebellion, the Schism, and the tyranid invasion) to raid the shit out of them with impunity. The only Tau-Dark Eldar cultural exchange in this timeline is the liberal application of Tau pulse fire to Dark Eldar faces. The Tau saw themselves as winners of the War in the Webway (in spite of the fact that overall it was a loss or at best a pyrrhic victory for the Imperium) because the Tau saw it as revenge for years of Dark Eldar raiding.

One of the few rules that the Imperium enforces for all of its member worlds, including the Survivor Civilization and non-human powers, is to always pay the Imperial Tithe. For the Survivor Civilizations it functions more like a mutual protection pact than anything else. You send troop out into the galaxy to help someone else, or else provide equivalent munitions and supplies for the war effort, so that when a rainy day comes along and your planet is being attacked by Orks/Chaos/tyranids/Rak'gol the Imperium has someone to send to help you. The Tau Empire always, always send troops, often in excess of what is requested of them by the Administratum. They see it as a point of pride and a way of culturally posturing to the greater Imperium, by demonstrating how much more skilled Tau soldiers are than other species. Hence the reason why there are so many Tau regiments all over the Imperium despite the Tau Empire being restricted to the Segmentum Ultima. The Imperium likes to use Tau regiments against foes who have found a counter, no matter how soft, for the traditional Guardian + Guard combo. Tau are well-known for their skill at combined arms, even compared to other members of the Imperium. There are no bans on combined arms in this timeline because there was no Horus Heresy, but combined arms tactics in most regiments are still rudimentary due to their sheer size. Tau armies, being smaller and more elite yet supplemented by copious amounts of drones, are much more skilled at combined arms and punch a lot harder than their numbers would suggest.

There are Tau Inquisitors. The Tau are heavily invested in improving their standing within the wider Imperium, and they know that having Tau in the Inquisition would mean a huge opportunity for political advancement in the Imperium. Additionally, failing to have Inquisitors of their own would mean dealing with more non-Tau Inquisitors, and the Tau would probably sooner listen to a Tau Inquisitor than an offworld one in a politically sensitive matter. However, the Tau have a little more trouble with becoming Inquisitors because of the Caste System. Ethereals in general get a free pass among the Tau because they're supposed to be commanding and investigating. The Tau have an unofficial sixth caste, the "Void" Caste, named specifically for Tau who do tasks outside the traditional five-caste structure. The term has meaning on multiple levels. Their affiliation with their previous caste is "voided" and they walk outside the traditional caste system in the name of the Greater Good. The derogatory name for them being Outcaste (barring Void Caste being used as an insult in and of itself) which has the connotations of being forcibly kicked out of society rather than being placed outside for a constructive purpose. The term "Outcaste" isn't just applied to Tau Inquisitors, Farsight is officially termed an "Outcaste" by the Empire. Despite doing great work for the Empire, Void Caste Inquisitors are often encouraged to stay in the Empire as little as possible because the Tau fear for their culture.

The Tau in the Nemesor Zahndrekh's accidental fifedom are unknown to the Tau Empire due to distance. They would probably get classed as proto-Tau or possibly Casteless. Or Yokel-Tau if the classification is done by a Water Caste and it's been a long day.

Squats (Hubworld League)[edit]

They were a survivor enclave of humanity in the mineral rich and often high gravity worlds near the galactic hub.

They were not assimilated into the Imperium like the regressed Mad Max/Fallout/Metro/Medieval worlds but given the same offer as the Interex, Ultramar and Colchis which basically meant free trade and mutual protection and no Chaos and beyond that we don't give a shit unless you try to leave, this is a permanent deal.

Because the Steward was the ruler of Old Earth and therefore the Imperium was the nearest that there was to a continuation to the DAoT Empire, came to them with an olive branch rather than a bayonet and didn't look down on them (metaphorically) they took the offered hand of friendship.

Also they were drowning in orks at the time and the Imperium was like a drink of water to a man dying of thirst.

Turns out they weren't actually deviated enough to be abhumans to the surprise of everybody. Their short, broad and sturdy build is just the sort of thing that happens if you spend your formative years in high gravity. Two Earth-born humans have a child on a Hub World and it grows up short. All the old Hub-worlder navy families tended to be of normal height.

They had a deal with the some of the nearby Eldar worlds in happier times. They would make for them trinkets of great intricacy and beauty that the Eldar greatly prized, it being one of the few things that they were willing to admit someone could do better than they.

In exchange should they need help keeping marauders from their door they had only to ask.

Age of Strife rolls in and the orks come. Hubworlders hold out for a long time, their pride making them refuse to ask for aid. Eventually they do have to send a signal for help.

Eldar are too busy drowning in cocaine and flesh crafting new orifices and appendages to fuck with. They don't care about prior agreements.

Hubworlders eventually fall back to their strongest fortresses and prepare to hold out for as long as possible. It's an eternal siege with no relief in sight. The might last thousands of years but eventually they would fall and they knew it.

Then one day The Steward of Earth turns up with a fuck hueg fleet and the Imperial Army and tear the orks into chunks so small the worms don't have to chew.

Just as they saw The Steward and his Imperium as the heir and continuation of the old DAoT Empire they see the Craftworlders as the heirs to their old empire with all the sins that they have inherited.

Possibly they would drop the grudge against the craftworlders if the Eldar either apologized or stopped pretending that the craftworlds were the remnants of the only good parts of the old empire.

But both sides are too proud to back down. The Book of Grudges will always hold their names.

Had longevity treatments but they would only implement them if they could be shared by all. The result was everyone got to live to be 220 and maybe a bit more. Contrast to the Imperium where almost everybody has a basic human lifespan but the exceptional can live to be a thousand.

Also the longevity treatments keep you healthy but they don't keep you young. Most of your time you send as a spry and quite well preserved old person, but still old. Consequently birth rate was slower than the population numbers would suggest at first glance.

Result is that their armies are lacking in brute man power but supplemented with hand crafted Legio Cybernetica. They argue that they have not broken the First Commandment because they are not true A.I. becasue they lack sufficient intelligence and are usually somewhere between a well train dog and cuttlefish in terms of brains.

Mechanicus still REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE at them because degrees of blasphemy is still blasphemy. Sadly for the Mars Mechanicus the Hub Worlds are a Survivor Civilization and so joined the Imperium on the exact same style of deal that Mars did so they can go fuck themselves.

The Martian Priesthood got some level of revenge by erroneously classifying them as abhuman. They aren't. They look like that due to the gravity on their home worlds. If they raise their kids on a world with weak pussy gravity they grow up to look like regular humans.

One of the biggest manufacturers of stuff outside the AdMech along with people like the Demiurg, the Kinebrach, and the manufacturing sectors of semi-autonomous member states. More artisinal, prefer quality over quantity.

This is just my two cents, but since it was mentioned that the squats don't make changes to their rejuvenants unless everyone can have them, I'd say this suggests the squats are communitarian. You do your job to help the community and the community does it's job to help you. This is primarily because of the types of worlds they live on, you have to be cooperative and altruistic to survive. Or does this seem too similar to the Tau/Prometheans?

Their leaders tend to be called administrators because they originally started out as mining colonies and although they're all about equality someone has to be in charge. They tend to make sure they have a way to remove anyone in charge that goes mad with power. Also despite this they tend to be very very good at appreciating the value of something, due to being miners, though they aren't merchants in the same way as the Demiurge or Void Born. Squats get insulted if you try and cheat them, but not to "Ev'ryone's getting grudged" levels.

As opposed to the stereotypically dwarfy way of speaking, squats sound more American Wild West (particularly mining prospector) than Scottish, though there are a bit of Scottish aspects to their personality. They're also known for being brash and no-nonsense, why beat around the bush when you can just tell things as they are and get stuff done. In cultural terms, this makes the squats seem like a bunch of cowboys and yokels but then you look at them and realize the stuff they build is on par with the Ad-Mech. The Ad-Mech have a slight edge because they collect DaoT relics as a hobby and so have a lot of lost technology as well as a huge resource base, but in terms of stuff they actually build the two are pretty close.

Building on what we said in previous threads, the squats tend to look down on those who live in "pussy" gravity. Not derogatorily, but more of "Ooh, look at the wee baby men who can't handle the gravity" kind of way. Growing up on high-gravity worlds means squats are about three-hundred pounds of muscle despite being four to five feet tall (numbers subject to change). Squats are no more different from an average human than a Cadian, but the few differences they do have are an increase in muscle building compounds and a heart like a V8 engine to compensate for the constant pull of gravity. You don't throw a squat. A squat throws you.

It was also mentioned that the vast majority of these changes are not genetic. It's just what happens if you spend all your formative years in high gravity. If two squats move offworld to start a family on a world with "pussy" gravity the children turn out more or less normal. The AdMech classifying them as abhuman was an intentional mistake to annoy them because the Mechanicus of Mars can be petty bastards sometimes.

Although the details of fashion are constantly ephemeral (especially in an Imperium that spans over 10,000 years of history), female Hubworlders tend to wear their hair in masculine, short-cut styles. In-universe this keeps long hair out of moving machine parts and hardsuit seals, though it's also a reference to the common idea in fantasy of male and female dwarves looking similar.

The main source of crime in the Hubworld League comes from what has been tongue-in-cheek called the "squat mafia", though in reality they have more common with the yakuza than the mafia (and needs an actual name in the Hubworlder dialect the name Pyrite Order was suggested for the mineral connotations). They think they're upholders of traditional values such as keeping society organized, orderly and happy when they're really a bunch of protection racket runners, drug dealers, smugglers and pimps. That said, they've been doing this so long they've actually started to believe and try to live up to their own hype. So whilst they still do a lot of shady shit they also do a lot of non-shady shit that ingratiate themselves to the population in general.. This tends to cause problems as it means their members tend to be "good citizens" and "such upstanding members of the community" that local law enforcement and the Arbites can't nail them on things, and those that do typically don't squeal.

The squat mafia run a wretched den of scum and villainy. Imperial law varies enough from planet to planet and there are so few global Imperial laws that you can get almost anything you want for the right price. This infuriates the Arbites to no end, as it's technically part of Survivor Civilization territory and they can't go riding in without really clear evidence of them breaking either local (Hubworlder) or general Imperial law. Making matters worse, the crime syndicates that run the place have a habit of collectively turning on people that do things that could bring the wrath of the Imperium down on them like make deals with the Dark or Croneworld Eldar or trade in Chaotic artifacts, keeping their own nose squeaky clean by legal standards and making it impossible for the Arbites to just shut the place down.

The Interex[edit]

The Interex had about forty star systems under their aegis at the time of Imperial first contact, not counting those owned by vassal states such as the kinebrach or worlds controlled but not occupied like the megarachnid homeworld of Urisarach. “Forty worlds under forty suns” is a common motto in Interex space. That said, the actual number of planets is a little bit higher than that, because many systems have multiple inhabited planets (usually mining worlds, fueling stations, or outposts that are subordinate extensions of the “main” inhabited world), and the Interex have occasionally lost through enemy action or gained through colonization, similar to how the 500 worlds of Ultramar are…closer to 200-300 (thanks, Urlakk Urg). So a more accurate (if pedantic) motto would be “forty or so important worlds not counting protectorates, minor outposts, and a bunch of dead worlds we once held but lost due to orks/Chaos under about slightly more than forty stars”.

Abhumans[edit]

In addition to true abhumans (which are separate subspecies), the galaxy is also home to numerous baseline human populations that are nearly identical to the rest of the galaxy but differ in just a few alleles originating in their isolation during the Long Night, equivalent to how human populations today differ in skin tone, the ability to digest lactose, survive long trips over water, or breathe easier at high altitudes]. Some of these populations are distinct enough to qualify as distinct ethnicities, but are not truely abhuman. The purple eyes of Cadians, the exact same shade as the Eye, act as a natural filter against the unnatural colors of the Warp, spread through the population because those that had it were less likely to go insane and more likely to have children. This makes Cadians more Chaos resistant at the cost of a bit of Warp color-blindness. Prosperans naturally have a reddish-brown/orangish skin tone that is reminiscent of a strong sunburn, and because of the influx of refugees back in M34 “Prosperan Orange” is rapidly becoming a common skin color on Old Earth. The Interex are slender, pale, somewhat Asian-looking, and have big ears. Not pointy, mobile ears like eldar, just big human ears. Catachan are unusually tall and muscular which is believed to be from the majority of Catachan’s population being at least part Ogryn. Fenrisians have a small trickle of non-human genes in their system, the result of rare “one in a million” accidents where offspring produced from unions between a non-augmented human and a Space Wolf/Valkyrie don’t have the genes from the Canis Helix deactivated through Dark Age geno-copyright protection. Hubworlders have a few unique genetic mutations which protect them from heart failure in a high-gravity environment. Their unique stature is due to development in a high-gravity environment, but Hubworlders raised offworld look identical to normal humans. However, the minor differences in genome were enough of a loophole for the AdMech to classify them as abhumans out of spite, even though by that logic every human population not on Earth (and some that are) would have to be classified as such.

Another thorny issue that rarely comes up is that if anyone were to get a sample of pre-spaceflight humanity (as in, Homo sapiens sapiens), "modern-day" baseline humanity (a.k.a. the Men of Stone) would have to be classified as a different subspecies due to the degree of genetic differences spliced into the collective genome by Dark Age medicine, including tweaks in the code to eliminate certain inherited diseases, reduce risk of cybernetic or biological implant rejection, digest proteins regardless of their chirality, prevent spaceflight osteopenia, etc. It's just like the eldar humans have assumed what is actually genetic engineering is natural because everyone has it.

Ratlings[edit]

Because the Imperium isn't as xenophobic in this timeline, ratlings have been allowed to expand and have colony worlds all across the Imperium. This proved to be a lifesaver when Ornsworld, the ratling homeworld, was depopulated during the 12th Black Crusade. The loss of Ornsworld was a tragedy, but it wasn't fatal to the ratling subspecies.

Ornsworld is a world kind of like Earth, but with a lot more mountain-building and mountain-ranges. About the same time the Age of Strife happened, Ornsworld started going through an Ice Age, so the ancestors of the ratlings got hit with a double-whammy of being cut off from their technology base and being in the middle of an Ice Age. Ornsworld's extensive mountains didn't help, as all they did is provide more space for glaciers to grow and cut off the various basins and valleys from one another. Populations were isolated, and food and living space was at a premium. Like many species stuck in environments with little food and viable land, the inhabitants of Ornsworld became smaller in size, and this period greatly contributed to the ratlings' behavior and culture. They're gluttons because evolved in an environment where you're never going to know where you're going to get your next meal. They tend to filch things because their ancestors had to hoard anything that might be useful to survive. They're really good cooks because their ancestors had to learn how to make terrible things palatable in order to survive another day (sort of like jellied eels used to be a food for the poorest in the U.K.), and those cooking techniques were passed on through families even after the ratlings were no longer on the edge of starvation.

About a thousand years before the Imperium arrived the Ice Age broke and Ornsworld got really nice. Large portions of the planet went from being covered by covered by glaciers to fertile valleys that could support bountiful harvests. Basically a combination between the Shire and Space Austria. The ratlings, normally used to living on the edge of existence, exploded in population due to the sudden abundance of food and good living conditions. Of course, that was before the 12th Black Crusade and the Warp Hounds burned the planet down.

Felinids[edit]

The felinids hail from the world of Carlos McConnell. It’s not clear if the name of the planet was due to a mixup in the initial paperwork reporting the planet, if Carlos McConnell was an important figure in the planet’s history, or both. Carlos McConnell is a wet, rainy world. Much of the planet is covered in some manner of rainforest, temperate rainforest on the large mountainous continents that mostly straddle the continent’s temperate latitudes and tropical rainforest on the volcanic island chains located closer to the equator. As a result, there is very little arable land on Carlos McConnell, and very few large animals that could be used for livestock.

One of the best source of food for a Stone Age hunter-gatherer society would be the numerous small game found throughout the planet’s rainforests. So it was really useful to have features that allowed you to track down and hunt small game, even if you had to climb up trees and tear it apart with your bare hands and teeth. And the domestic cat of Earth was the perfect murder machine to use as the template. In truth, felinids are probably as much marmoset-like as cat-like, as cats probably weren’t the only species that the natives of Carlos McConnell were spliced with and when you start to make a primate cat-like they begin to resemble a marmoset. But in the darkness of the 41st millennium, more people know what a cat is than a marmoset.

If you passed a well-dressed, well-groomed modern felinid on a hive city street, you probably wouldn’t notice that much was off at first glance. Felinids have hair everywhere but their faces, hands, and the soles of their feet, so their faces look mostly human. However, their eyes are very cat-like with slitted pupils and their ears are pointed, protruding and definitely non-human. Their canine teeth are also enlarged, though this varies between individuals. Felinids from the continents having bigger canines. They may be able to open their mouth wider than baseline humans, in order to use those canines to take slashing bites out of things. The lower incisors may be specialized for grooming like some primates.

Felinids tend to have a bushy mane of hair in both males and females, and very little facial hair. The mane is as much cultural as genetic, and is/was useful for keeping things from biting your neck. Their hands and feet both have retractable claws, the one on the thumb being particularly nasty. The feet are kind of like those of some ancient human relatives, where the second toe is enlarged to partially take over from the function of the big toe, which has become opposable. Felinids can wear human boots, but prefer their own footwear for comfort. The ankle joint can flex, allowing them to use their feet like hands to clamp onto trees. The tail is mostly used for balance while moving through the forest or climbing. Overall non-human enough that they aren't magical-realmy, but human enough that its possible to see why baseline humans are sometimes attracted to them.

Although still omnivores, a much greater proportion of the felinid diet is composed of meat compared to humans. This turned out to be a problem when the felinids decided to stop being hunter-gatherers and start rebuilding civilization. Although hunting small animals worked fine for hunter-gatherers, the easiest way to get enough protein to feed sedentary populations would be to get it from the sea. As a result, advanced civilization on Carlos McConnell mostly developed in the tropical archipelagos, where it was easy to catch enough seafood to feed dense populations and volcanic action made it easy to mine for workable metals. The diet of the more technologically advanced felinid cultures has been compared to the Tau, though rather than being primarily wheat noodles supplemented by a small amount of seafood like the Tau their diet tends to be mostly seafood with a little bit of noodles.

Overall, there are two distinct cultural groups of felinids living on Carlos McConnell. There are the aforementioned People of the Islands, which are more technologically advanced and have been culturally described as a cross between Japanese and southeast Asian cultures. They were technologically advanced enough that the Imperium did not see them as completely feral like the Ogryn and the Beastmen, but at the same time did not have space travel (feudal level). The felinids living on the more sparsely populated continents (the Continental Tribes) are still largely tribal hunter-gatherers. They have been described as being overall Wookie-like in culture, and tend to be larger and tougher than the islanders with thicker fur. There are stories of a rarer third variety of felinid, whether it is a distinct kind in its own right or a recurring mutation is debatable. It is the Saber-toothed Felinid. It’s what you get when you cross a felinid and a Nova-Ogyrn.

Although they can function in groups on their own, felinid soldiers tend to operate at peak efficiency when broken into squads and distributed among other regiments of non-Felinids. Organizing them is very much a case of herding cats. They generally get along with nova-ogryn better than nova-beastmen and get along with either far, far better than Fenrisians due to conflicting territorial instincts. Both islanders and tribal continent-dwellers have a nasty habit of trophy taking. Teeth, finger bones and vertebrae made into adornments is the most common means of this expression. They generally have an edge at trap setting, ambush and are considered a poor man’s answer to real assassins. They are shit at holding a position.

Much like the ratlings, although the felinids were once confined to a single world, they have expanded outward in the 10,000 years since and there are now felinid colony worlds as well as significant felinid populations on many worlds.

Carlos McConnell himself is a figure of veneration on the felinid homeworld, despite being an outsider. The felinids know that when Carlos McConnell discovered the planet he could have easily exploited them as a source of cheap labor, grease a few palms in the Administratum to make the planet disappear and turn it into his own personal fiefdom as has happened with many other Rogue Trader dynasties. Instead, he brought modern technology to the medieval-era People of the Islands and gradually exposed them to the galaxy in a way that would allow them to thrive. It didn’t hurt that he’d married one of the natives. That’s one way to make people not see you as an outsider.

Carlos McConnell is considered a Paul Bunyan-esque folk hero on the similarly-named planet, with all sorts of impossible things attributed to his name that are technically true, but blown out of proportion through millennia of tall tales. For example, McConnell is said to have put a flag on the felinids' moon by throwing it really, really hard. He did put a flag on the moon, but he did so by landing on the moon in his spaceship. Like a normal person. Similarly, they say he put a goldfish into the sea which grew into the sea serpents of the planet. Carlos McConnell did have a goldfish, but the correlation between that and the sea serpents is a bit of a stretch.

Although he didn't turn the planet into his own little mercantilistic fiefdom, Carlos McConnell did make the planet his base of operations, as he found no shortage of willing individuals who wanted to go out into the stars and bring back resources to support their families. As technology and wealth flowed into Carlos McConnell the planet’s inhabitants were gradually uplifted in technology, and skyscrapers gradually replaced the feudal castles of the old daimyos. Like all Rogue Trader dynasties, the Carlos McConnell started looking inward as trading opportunities dried up. Now the Carlos McConnell Corporation is a business power that rivals some individual megacorps on Kiavahr, selling everything from dried goods to acting as a middle man for Mechanicus products. The inhabitants of the felinid homeworld were always hunters, they just traded warpaint for business suits. This is more the case for the felinids on Carlos McConnell than anywhere else, the felinid colonies don't have the Carlos McConnell corporation to bankroll everything for them. The company’s mascot is a cutesy-stylized felinid tested by focus groups for maximum appeal (read: Hello Kitty-esque moe catgirl), recognized throughout the Segmentum Tempestus. Few people realize it barely looks anything like an actual felinid.

Xenos Independens and Horridus (non-Chaos)[edit]

Q'orl[edit]

They are still a bunch of xenophobic zealots but the Imperium is willing to meet them half way this time and not prod them unnecessarily. They have been offered preliminary deals with the long term intention of bringing them into the fold of true civilization in time.

Every time, the Q'orl have refused.

Unless the Matriarchy of Queens is running the show then they refuse. They are the Master Race and although other peoples have their uses, they would begrudgingly accept, they are not true people. They are trained animals.

Only the Q’orl are may rule Q’orl.

The Imperium leaves them. The Emperor is taking the same view of them as he did Hy Brasil in ancient history. He is an immortal, he can play the waiting game. The offer is always open to them, they are the only ones standing in their own way and eventually they will realize their folly. In time. All things in time.

Every so often one of the Queens will dream of dreams once had by all conquerors but Alexander the Great never had Emperor Oscar to contend with. The Imperium and the Q'orl occasionally get in small-scale wars with each other (from the Imperium's perspective, from the Q'orl perspective it's a major campaign) but the Q'orl never managed to achieve a long-term foothold. They once managed to hold dominance over a multi-sector empire whilst the Imperium was busy fighting Da Bug Boyz of the Octavius Desolation. It fell when the Imperium brought back the pain train.

The the Imperium doesn't completely bulldoze them because they're currently not a serious long-term threat like the Orks, and they are willing to pitch in when Chaos, Nids or a big Ork WAAGH! come calling but that's mostly out of mutual interest and long term preservation instincts kicking in.

Assholes to the core and on the low end of the EVIL pool. Not a people you would turn your back on but not one of the Big Players either.

Jokaero[edit]

The Jokaero are, in many ways, a lot like the Hrud. Not hostile, but at the same time not Imperial citizens because you can't can't get a solid agreement out of them. Hrud because they are flighty, Jokaero because the Imperium can’t get beyond basic communication with them (i.e., what you see modern humans doing with dolphins and great apes). They theoretically should be smart enough to understand some basic communication but don't act like it, to this end the AdBio have never been able to determine if they are animals or sapient people taking the piss.

Jokaero have been known to perform technical expertise in exchange for fruit, but it’s not as if a transaction or agreement was made. They just turn up and do things. Most people see Jokaero as essentially non-sentient animals that are genetically hardwired to make tools. People still don't try to use Jokaero despite being near-sapient test subjects outside Imperial law because multilasers.

Most Imperial citizens know of the Jokaero via a kids’ cartoon featuring a big friendly cuddly Jokaero as a recurring side character. He makes strange and unpredictable devices that generate shenanigans. People encountering them for real drop the cuddly and change friendly to non-hostile. They are big though.

Inqusitor Coteaz has a reputation of being the “Jokaero whisperer”. He knows full well that the Jokaero aren’t sapient in the way that other species like humans and kinebrach are, so in order to get them to do what you want you have to put things in their terms. Treat them like great apes that know how to make guns. You don't get the Jokaero to stay where you want them with cages or build what you want with threats. You get them to do what you want via positive reinforcement (as in, gives best treats in exchange for making stuff).

Coteaz' actual retinue also has a large number of kinebrach, who tend to bring their own raygun gothic style weapons. They get kind of pissed if you compare them to the Jokaero (they were *hired* for one, they'd say, or point out that if you were to call Coteaz' research "a barrel full of monkeys" you'd have to include humans in that count).

Coteaz himself isn’t even sure if the Jokaero are truly non-sapient or just pulling the entire galaxy's leg.

Their movements and migrations seem to him to be far too directed and deliberate to be purely instinct and fruit driven.

There seems to be something that has a vague ability to direct them down certain paths to where they need to be but hasn't enough direct control to dictate what they do when they get there.

Out of all the places in the Galaxy there are richer sources of food and more safety than in Guard regiments being deployed. But a disproportionate number of them end up there, right where they can upgrade shit in strange and unpredictable ways.

His own retinue is a prime example of this. There are far safer places to be and indeed they often leave him after a short time, but others always turn up.

And on rare occasions they have deliberately fought. There is nothing more oddly terrifying that watching a Jokaero fashion bizarre war gear out of scrap and then shredding Necrons and Chaos Eldar with hand held reality violations. It's the surreal terror of watching something harmless become horrifying. Coteaz has only seen this happen two or three times, Jokaero typically run at the first hint of danger. He has only seen it at all because of his extensive contact with them.

The rest of the Inquisition think that Coteaz has gone mildly eccentric with his talk of directed Jokaero behaviors because it contradicts thousands of years of what everyone else has seen. Sometimes Coteaz thinks maybe they are right, maybe he is just seeing shapes in the clouds. But then he sees one of the Jokaero out of the corner of his eye, not hunched over but standing proud, tow big black eyes like bottomless pits and something else looking back at him. He turns to look properly and the Jokaero slumps back into it's usual behavior and the thing behind those eyes flickers away and he can almost believe he imagined it. Almost.

If the Jokaero are sentient, it's not out of the question that they too made their own god, like the Orks, Hrud, and Eldar. Possibly some sort of scrap god or something similar.

Zoats[edit]

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was an alien race driven to the brink of extinction by the tyranids. The Zoats, the original Zoats, knew that their day was done. Their galaxy was devoured and they the last pocket of meat were soon to be gobbled up. So they took what they could of themselves and turned the mutagenic properties of the Star Locusts against them. They infected themselves with a virus that when they were eaten would spread to the rest of the Hive Fleet and lie dormant until such time as the Hive found a new feeding ground and began to multiply again. When the tyranids got to a new galaxy and the Norn Queens began to grow a new batch of tyranids the Zoats emerged from the tyranids like parasitic wasps out of a host. Kill tyranid biomorphs and Norn Queen before lobotomizing a Hive Ship and taking off into the galaxy. One stays behind to suicide bomb the Hive Ship into another Hive or the nearest star if that's not an option. Other zoats ditch the hive ship, build their own from ceramics and tyranid flesh and then set out to warn the galaxy what's coming and to tool up like there's no tomorrow like the Silver Surfer before Galactus. Then once the galaxy is sufficiently warned the turn around and set out to build an army to sabotage the tyranids as much as they can before dying to the last. They've done this several times.

The Zoats are a sobering reminder that the tyranids are a very real threat and failure against them is not an option. They have eaten whole galaxies before and they have again.

It should be noted that the Zoats the Milky Way knows and loves are not the original Zoats (or are they?). They are tyranid bioforms made in the image of the Zoats. Their original ships were hijacked bio-ships, and even their newer Zoat-made ships are built with . They are capable of interfacing with and using tyranid biotechnology and weapons, though they hate it and ditch tyranid biotech for other weapons as soon as possible. The modern Zoats are an infection made in the image of Zoat to be their final insult to the Great Devourer, living spite, a sad and terrible mockery of what their makers were. They take that and they run with it. Everything the Zoats do is to spite the tyranids in some way. It's the reason they're Xenos Independens. Sabotage a Hive Fleet? Spites the 'nids. Help an Imperial force fight off a splinter fleet? Spites the 'nids. Save civilians? One more life kept out of the jaws of the Great Devourer and therefore a middle finger to the Hive Mind.

However, they are not part of the Imperial military and they don't listen to Imperial commands. Get across how they can do something to mess up the tyranids and they'll consider it. They cooperate with the Imperium because the Imperium kills tyranids. Not because they like them. Not to mention that a lot of actions that spite the tyranids also harm the Imperium. Wake up a Tomb World to kill a Hive Fleet, despite the fact that it subsequently goes on a ramapage across the sector? Spites the 'nids. Attract a Chaos Warband to attack a planet with a strong Genestealer cult? Spites the 'nids.

They don't know where they came from, not anymore. The new breed of Zoat have murky memories of their progenitors at best, there was a limit on how much knowledge could be programmed via virus. It doesn't matter to them.

The Zoats present the Imperium with a dilemma. They are 'Nid but not 'Nid. They are sapient and sentient but they have no art, accomplishments of their own and literally exist to do nothing but fight and die and take as many of the 'Nids with them. They are a bizarre cross between pitiable and frightening. There would be dissenting opinion on whether they are people. The Zoat point out that maybe they are or maybe they aren't, but the point is academic so long as the Hive lives.

The Zoats have no idea what they'll do in the unlikely event the Hive Mind is killed. Maybe one day they will be Zoat again, or at least some sort of Zoat. Maybe, the Zoats tell each other, maybe once this is all over they can rebuild somehing in memory of the True Zoat. Maybe they can be real people one day. But not today. Today there is war. And today is a good day to die.

Possible Tyranid Origin

This was brought up in the threads, and while people liked the idea it was thought that making it canon took too much of the mystery out of the nature of tyranids as an Outside Context Problem. It was decided to leave this as merely one of multiple possible origins for the tyranids, possibly no more than a crazy off-the-wall AdBio hypothesis, hence why it is hidden in a block here. It's not like the Imperium would be able to find out either way. This could be where the tyranids came from, or it could be that tyranids are simply natural galactic predators writ large and the natural state of the galaxy without psychic lizard wizards to keep the worst of stuff at bay, etc.

Few who fight the tyranids on the eastern fringe could fail to be aware of the Zoats, the race of six-limbed lizard-like creatures who fight the tyranids, seemingly renegade organisms from the Hive Mind itself, claiming to be the biological simulacra of another race that once opposed the tyranids in another galaxy long ago. However, some Ordo Xenos inquisitors and Adeptus Biologicus have proposed that the link between the Zoats and the tyranids is much more personal than the Zoats would like to admit. It is admittedly not a strong theory, built up from bits and pieces of evidence gathered together over the span of four millennia. Forensic archaeology is rather difficult when all of the pertinent events in question occurred millions of years ago in another galaxy. The Zoats themselves are silent on this theory. Whether it is because they do not know or because it hits uncomfortably close to the truth is a mystery.

Ages ago in a galaxy quite a ways a way there was once a race. A technologically advanced race, not on par with the Old Ones but maybe equivalent to the Necrontyr. Masters of flesh and biotechnology. As all races do after a certain point, they began to think seriously about the bigger things in life. Mortality. Inequality. Understanding their fellow being.

And so the race came up with what they thought was the solution. Upload everyone’s mind into a single interconnected network, free from the constraints of flesh, from which bodies could be created on demand. On paper it seemed perfect. No one would die unless they chose to. No mind would be forced inhabit a body it did not want to. Everyone would instantly be able to see the perspective of anyone else, creating universal empathy. And the network was ever increasing, ever growing, so not only would the race benefit, but they could bring their gift to everyone in existence. There would be no more death, no more disease, no more hatred. For anyone.

Naturally, something went horribly wrong. What should have been an interlinked network of independent minds collapsed into a single morass, differences between individual thought patterns blurring until only the most universal impulses remained. Eat. Grow. Reproduce. The subroutines designed to bring in fresh matter to power the network and grow forms for resleeving individual minds corrupted into the biotechnological equivalent of gray goo. The race had tried to achieve the singularity, and instead all they had done was go past an event horizon.

The only people to survive this singularity, which had suddenly become one in a very literal sense, were the people who refused to upload their minds to the network in the first place. They suddenly found themselves on the receiving end of a quadrillion gaping maws of what had once been their entire species, mutated into unrecognizability. And so they ran. And when they could not run, they fought. And when they could not run or fight any further, they used their biotechnological talents on themselves, turning themselves into a genetic parasite which would hide within the network that had once been the summed minds of their brothers and sisters. They modified themselves to pop out and fight the tyranids whenever they tried to feed, in the hopes that some day some race will reach the point that they will be able to finally defeat and kill the tyranids. They fought the tyranids in their home galaxy. They fought them in Andromeda. They fight them here. Everywhere they go, they bring the same message to the same message to every race they encounter, in the hopes that they will heed their warnings and either flee or militarize to the point they can fight the tyranids.

“Run, for in our hubris the gift of our people has come for you.”

Megarachnids[edit]

When the Imperium made first contact with the Interex, they found out about the Megarachnids, who the Interex had stripped of space flight capacity and quarantined to their homeworld after being unable to communicate with them and fighting an interstellar war with them. Given they had already proven to be violent and not open to reason the Imperium wanted to kill them, but the Interex stepped in and claimed them as a vassal under Interex protection, much like the Kinebrach. The Imperium wasn't happy about this idea, but given the Megarachnids were contained to a single world they told the Interex they would give them one chance. However, if the megarachnids ever got out, they would no longer be the Interex’s problem, they would be the Imperium's problem, and the Imperium wasn't going to feel bad about wiping them out.

At some point during the War of the Beast, Urisarach was invaded by Orks, who proceeded to get murdered like everyone else who set foot on the planet and got their ships stolen by the megarachnids. At least some megarachnids discreetly made their way off the planet, helped by the fact that both the Interex and the Imperium were too distracted by the War of the Beast to notice. The spiders are at large in the galaxy again, though they are staying as far away from Interex space as possible because they remembered what happened last time. Nobody has really noticed because it’s a big galaxy and the spiders are such a minor concern compared to orks, necrons, Chaos, tyranids, even groups like Slaugth. The spiders aren't even well-known enough outside Interex space for most commanders to make the connection between any minor xenos species they encounter to a planet on the other end of the galaxy. There may even be a megarachnid section in the xenos district of Null City in Commorragh.

Sslyth[edit]

During the Dark Age of Technology, the Sslyth were a proxy/vassal state sponsored by the Old Eldar Empire for when they wanted to start a proxy war to take another power down a peg or two but didn't want to be seen doing it themselves. Unfortunately, when the Old Empire fell, the Sslyth got corrupted by Slaanesh due to their cultural and trade connections to the Old Empire and became the Laer. Some of the Sslyth saw what was happening to their people and decided they didn't want to live on that planet anymore and left for space. The rest of the Laer stayed on their homeworld of Laeran and, among other things, turned the gas giant their moon orbited into a giant fusion candle that they used to travel around and bring the good word of Slaanesh to the stars. It hasn't yet been established whether the original name for the species was Sslyth and then Laer or if they were originally Laer and Slyth means something like "people with common sense". Quite a large number of Sslyth fell in with Commorragh for the simple reason of the arrangement being familiar whereas others became pirates or mercenaries.

Another unusual twist of note is that it's quite likely the Sslyth, of all people, are the founders of the Diasporex. The fall of Laeran to Chaos being their event that made the founders of the Diasporex go "you know, it's kind of peaceful out in the void and all this Warp shit just messes planets up". There are enough of them with the Diasporex fleets that the Sslyth on Cherys were considered to be descended from a lost Diasporex ship. However, whoever the founders of the Diasporex really were is a lesson lost to history, the founders deliberately destroyed the records of who started the religion as a moral decision to not make Diasporex ideals about species or "who's in charge by dint of seniority".

Rangdan Osseivores[edit]

The Rangdan Osseivores were immense titan-sized bio-constructs created by the Slaugth to dispose of waste meats. Although the Slaugth could eat just about any flesh, what they really cared about was the delicacy of the brain. Because of their wastefulness, this generally meant that when the Slaugth decided to eat one of their pen-raised sapients they usually just ate the brains and threw the rest of the body away. Some of the excess meat was used to feed the Slaugth’s other bio-constructs, but the majority of it went to the Osseivores. For most of their existence the Osseivores would lie supine, debrained body after debrained body being shoveled into their disgusting, prolapsed, tooth-lined mouths, like pigs being fed leftovers. The practical benefit of the Osseivores is that all that biomass didn’t go to waste, instead of simply decaying it was metabolized and incorporated into the Osseivore’s body. When the Slaugth were attacked all they had to do was tell the Osseivore to stand up on its massive legs and go to war, and all of a sudden they had a biological titan-sized entity ready to do battle with their enemies. The Osseivores were so powerful the titan legions needed the tactical edge granted by the eldar’s psychic titans such as wraithknights and warlock titans to give them an edge, which was one of the reasons why humanity and eldar teamed up to rescue the slaves of their respective species from the Slaugth (this being in the days before the alliance was cemented).

History of Super-Soldier Augmentations in the Imperium[edit]

In this timeline the Astartes were developed as a continuation of the previous Super Soldier projects that the Emperor, then known as Warlord, began. As the Unification Wars progressed he salvaged the notes and recruited the adepts (e.g., Duscht Jemanic genesmiths, Merikan gene-hippy conclaves) responsible for the super soldiers created by his rivals and incorporated them into his projects.

Early Thunder Warriors and the more refined late Thunder Warriors were designed by the Warlord's people. The early designs of Thunder Warrior were blunt instruments that required constant medical care, a strict diet and drugs. And even then they were prone to serious psychological problems, organ failure and strokes. Angron was of this generation and it was considered a miracle that he lived as long as he did even with the best doctors the Emperor, then Steward, could give him.

Later designs of TWs were still a fair bit crazy but needed nowhere near the same levels of medication and only occasionally dropped dead for no discernible reason. Perty and Morty were of this design.

Early stage (Mark I) Astartes were made with access to the expertise of conquered/allied nations. They only required drugs to undo malformation from imperfect implementation of the upgrades. Astartes without the extras like poison glands, suspended animation, learn from eating brains, instant tanning or waxy protective sweat. Mentally reasonably stable.

The Canis Helix/Dog Soldier design was made during this time as a possible alternative to Astartes project. Scrapped due to increased mutation rate and the fact that it was genetic rather than due to implants, meaning it could be passed down if someone managed to crack the gene encryption (which would be bad, as the Warlord did not want a caste of enhanced humans ruling over the rest). Of the surviving successes Russ was the most famous. Russ resurrected the project on Fenris and after some...setbacks (introducing "wolves" to Fenris) managed to ironed out some of the kinks to the point where the Canis Helix was at least militarily viable (with the caveat that he only managed to get it to reliably work on people with genetic markers specific to Fenris). Adopted by no one else.

Mark II Astartes were made with help from the Merikan gene-hippies and Fulgrim's reverse engineering of captured Mk I Astartes

Mark III S Astartes were the prototype for the modern form of Space Marine (the Mark III MP). Were made once Ducht Jemanic joined the Imperium. Outperformed the older models (as well as the Mark III MP Astartes) in almost every respect, but were more expensive, more time consuming, and potential candidates were at least an order of magnitude smaller due to compatibility issues. Only used by three institutions: Grey Knights, Custodes, and (unofficially) the Sons of Antaeus. As a result, Steward told his various geneticists he wanted limit the improvements to reasonable stuff like bug fixes, reduced rejection, and slight enhancements from the Mark II.

Sororitas augmentations came much later, when the group became an official military order following the Age of Apostasy. Recieve discrete cybernetics and limited gene-forging. Essentially an army of Halo SPARTANS or Captain Americas (that is, an absolute nightmare for a baseline human, but still not capable of taking on an Astartes in a straight fight). In terms of augmentations, lean more towards peak human than walking tanks

Because the primarchs aren't artificially engineered demi-gods with gene-seed being specifically derived from each one, aspirants are often shuffled around based on aptitude and chapters are not as constrained by gene-seed availability. The only exceptions are the Space Wolves and Iron Hands, who aren't technically Space Marines, and chapters who deliberately cultivate mutations.

Adeptus Custodes are created from the same gene-seed variation that created the Grey Knights, the only other institution that officially makes use of it.

Their job is to accompany the Emperor and Isha state visits and given the size of the Imperium they are never not on state visits or surprise inspections. It's felt that they give a certain sense of class to the proceedings in their blinged out armour and the casual ease by which they carry enough badass to fuck up a city each.

When not standing around looking fabulous they are assigned to bodyguard other people. Various Sector and Sub-sector Governors, major hiveworld and trad hub planetary governors, sometimes heads of the larger religions, High Lords of Terra and a few others. Basically people who are so important that their death would impact Imperial stability. Or possibly people who are really important but the Emperor doesn't trust completely.

Imperial Army exists. It's not automatically under the command of Astartes, or vice versa. Job usually goes to who has the most impressive record for managing and winning fuck huge wars rather than who has the biggest collection of ork trigger finger necklaces. Every Astartes behind a desk is one not on the field of war, where they usually want to be and what they were built for. Usually.

Broken down old relics who can't tread the warpath any more often take administrative jobs in the Imperial war machine because it's something to do that isn't completely alien. Also some space marines are just really good at it to the point where it would be a waste not to use them in such a manner, they are rare.

Forces of the Imperium[edit]

The Commissariat[edit]

Commissars represent a tangible tie for the foot sluggers to the Imperium of Man and Eldar. Some people in the real world have trouble thinking past their city/tribe/religion to focus on what's good for their nation. Take that problem, and magnify that to a galactic level. Guardsmen that might previously have considered the trip to the big city a long ways away are suddenly surrounded by technology beyond imagining, aliens they've only heard in legend, and worst of all, guardsmen that they're told are the same species as they are, but do everything completely wrong in the most disgusting ways. Some of those freaks have TATTOOS for pity's sake!

This isn't just the problem that the grunts suffer. Officers, graduating top of their class at the finest war academies on their worlds are forced to rub elbows with complete yokels that couldn't tell you the difference between a flanking maneuver and their asshole, or complete snobs that sneer at one another's credentials and undermine authority with their pompous arrogance. In short, for humans faced with the weird and unknown, they can get unpredictable. The commissar is there to ensure that every soldier remembers their duty to the Imperium, and prevent culture shock from harming army cohesion. Guardsmen regiments are given a great deal of latitude- they may specialize in their own methods of warfare, select their own uniforms, and create their own command structures, with the exception of the commissar. Every raised regiment requires a commissar, and every commissar dresses exactly alike, and every guardsman regiment is required to train and recognize what the commissar represents as the Imperium made manifest, the final word on matters of justice, and the last resort commander. Regiments across the galaxy immediately know that if all their native officers fall, they need to look for the cap and great coat to follow. They do not rule, they do not follow.

They look over the shoulder of the rulers to make sure they aren't doing anything too stupid and they make sure the plebs follow.

They can't pull any rank unless everyone else with a real officer rank is dead. They can't execute anyone unless they are sure that they are acting in cowardice rather than tactical sense, they are obviously Douglas Haig levels of incompetence or that they are secretly on the other team.

They have no rank. They have very little actual authority, although what authority they do have is terrible and terrifying. Everyone gets a basic anti-Chaos education, the commissars get additional training.

This time around there was no great and cast iron divisions in the break up of the old Legions. If you are part of an Imperium commissioned fighting force you get one of these scary fuckers traveling around with you.

It's not so bad, they are usually very well educated in the ways of war and they sometimes come out with good ideas. Commissars still have their trademark “more lethal to their own troops than it is to the enemy” bolt pistol. However, in this timeline the purpose of the bolt pistol is less for morale-boosting executions, and more to provide mercy killings to guardsmen who are beyond saving and are in the grip of some tentacled horror or who have been corrupted by Chaos. The enemies of the Imperium, particularly the Crone Eldar, can kill you in a hundred different ways, but they can make you wish you were dead in a thousand. This isn’t to say that executing people for extreme cowardice still doesn’t happen.

Nevertheless, commissars are still people, and power still corrupts. Just like in canon, you still get the overzealous trigger-happy commissars who BLAM! their own men at the slightest hint of them stepping out of line and build their careers over the corpses of their fellow soldiers. The only difference is that in this timeline, if you’re lucky, those commissars get caught (or Catachaned) and put on military trial. Whenever a commissar gets assigned to an Imperial Guard regiment, the guardsmen hold their breath to see if they are going to be brave or insane. Sometimes, if they are particularly unlucky, they are both.

Imperial Guard[edit]

Cadian Doctrine[edit]

The Cadian Doctrine, which is the most commonly followed military doctrine in the galaxy, basically boils down to digging in and mowing down enemies from range with massive amounts of las- and shuriken fire before they get close enough to engage in melee. This is fantastic for digging in and holding territory, and is especially effective against Orks, who love melee charges and whose accuracy in ranged combat is...spotty, at best. However, at the same time followers of the Cadian Doctrine have trouble taking ground. When attacking, the Cadians use mass artillery support with charging infantry to dig out defending enemies. Either that or they partner up with a regiment of Fenrisian Line Troopers, beastmen, Ogryn, Astartes, or other group who do excel in offensive action. Unfortunately, this makes the Lost and the Damned, who excel in close-quarters melee combat and asymmetrical warfare, a pretty good counter for the typical Cadian strategy.

The Cadian Doctrine is also effective because it is cheap. All you need is lasguns and lots and lots of people who can aim, no need for fancy sagittars, tough-as-nails warrior culture, special weapons, or elite troops/specialists. So it's possible for any regiment to follow the Cadian Doctrine, hence why it is often seen as the "standard", much to the grumblings of the Macharians, who prefer specialization and sending the right type of troops for the right job. Cadian Doctrine soldiers can also easily support other units such as Astartes, which makes them an effective force multiplier in just about any situation.

Imperial Navy[edit]

The overall motif of the Imperial Navy and void life in general is Age of Sail-style Wooden Ships and Iron Men (no, not those Iron Men). Like on a ship in the Age of Sail, life on a void ship is arduous, and you have to be constantly alert (on a sailing ship to make sure the ropes are all taut and the sails in the right position, on a void ship to constantly make sure the engines are working right). Overall, it’s a lifestyle that’s hard, but not so bad that the entire crew doesn’t jump ship the first chance they get and the people who live it actually take it as a point of pride over those who don’t. Wooden Ships and Iron Men is very nobledark because by definition it pits the wills and creations of men against the cold, uncaring forces of nature. It’s a gritty job away from civilization much of the time and at the mercy of the "elements" so to speak, where a rogue storm could wreck your ship at any time if you're not careful. That's not to say the bad parts of the Age of Sail, such as mutinies, harsh discipline, and the occasional unauthorized press-ganging don't happen though.

The Mechanicus let a little more of the basic technology out (i.e., autoloaders), at least in part because they have competition with the other semi-autonomous member states and can’t act like complete assholes or else people will go to the Tau, Demiurge, Kinebrach, squats, etc. However, autoloaders can break and the crew are all trained to readily load munitions in by hand or pulley if they have to. So it's less a thousand slaves pulling a macrocannon into place with whips and more a dozen guys hoisting the cannon into alignment with ropes and pulleys.

The Voidborn, the original source of the ships and crew of the Imperial Navy, are becoming an increasing minority in the Navy by M41. The Imperial Navy is increasingly composed of baseline humans, if for no other reason than sheer size and logistics. On the other hand, most of the venerable old Navy families are either Voidborn or have a disproportionate amount of Void Born ancestry (manifesting in being tall, or having big dark eyes, pale skin, or a receding hairline). However, all of the intermarriage between the Void Born and baseline humans has made them close enough to baseline that the Void Wolves and their successors can recruit from them (except Black Legion, who recruit exclusively from the Gate Worlds).

Five Flagships[edit]

  • In the long run, the Five more than payed for the expense that went into them, but Oscar thought they weren't a big enough success to be worth completely refurbishing or commissioning replacement ships</br>
  • Oscar didn’t freak out over the Rock and Terminus Est going off the reservation because the Dark Angels and Black Templars were basically doing what the ships had always been meant to do (patrol Obscurus and Pacificus, respectively)</br>
  • Addition of ships like the Tomb of Horus to the Imperial Fleet as well as just plain old battleships meant the Five were no longer as important as during the Great Crusade.</br>
  • Finally, it was becoming apparent to the heads of the Imperium just how big the galaxy was, and that the resources devoted to ship building was better spent making larger numbers of relatively smaller ships, rather than fewer, more heavily armed ships.</br>
  • Left out the details of the Carcharodons' story of reclaiming the Nicor as that is better left to the Carcharodons' entry and there was some disagreement over what they are like.</br>
  • I kind of liked the idea that the Terminus Est was still out there fighting the good fight as the Templar’s flagship, but people suggested otherwise.</br>

Sisters of Battle[edit]

Notes on the general concept of the Sisters of Battle so they don't get forgotten. Hopefully this should not be here too long as an anon has this partly written up.

  • After the Age of Apostasy, it was clear that the Imperium needed more oversight
  • Additionally, there’s a problem with a large number of talented female candidates piling up who would have made good Astartes had they been born men.
    • Gene-seed was in part reverse engineered from what little they could out of Oscar, who was of course male, and the researchers had a hard time figuring out what parts of the gene-seed were sex-linked and which were not. Sadly there no Women of Gold survived the Age of Strife that could be used as comparisons. Oscar didn't see a problem with this at the time, he had rather traditionalist views having been raised by Malcador and didn't feel comfortable with women being put in do or die situations that super soldiers would be expected to be in. It would have probably taken decades or more to create a unisex geneseed, time the Imperium didn't have.
    • However, by the time of the Age of Apostasy, Oscar's views had softened a bit and it was clear that not doing something with them the was a waste of talent.
  • Specific idea and organization for the Sisters comes from Sebastian Thor and Alicia Dominica (who was either Thor's bodyguard, turned from Vandire by Thor, or both)
  • Ended up forming the Adeptas Securitas (but see below). Job is to act as internal affairs for the Imperium itself and deal with rebels, insurgents, cultists, and even the occasional rogue Space Marine. Also tend to be called up when Inquisitors need extra muscle, as they are some of the strongest soldiers the Imperium can field short of an outright Space Marine or pulling out even bigger guns.
    • Bit of a debate going on as to whether the Ordo Securitas and Adeptas Securitas are the same thing (using the No Men Under Arms loophole because Internal Affairs needs reliable muscle), whether the Ordo Securitas is a separate institution and just works closely with the Adeptus Sororitas, etc. Even the name is a little loopy. Securitas is what was generally agreed upon in the threads, though there had been a significant amount of disagreement.
  • Although officially secular, strong faith and/or political fanaticism are actually considered a plus for this line of work, as faith acts as a mild Chaos deterrent
    • There are Reasonable Sisters of Battle, it's just the crazy ones tend to be better known. Indeed, the reasonable ones are known to play up their reputation in a good cop, bad cop routine to get people to talk.
  • Receive discrete cybernetics and limited gene forging, much tougher than an Imperial Guardsman but nowhere near as tough as an Astartes (often compared to Halo SPARTANs, augmented but closer to peak human than walking tank)
    • General rule of thumb is terms of raw strength, a Sister is worth about three unaugmented human guardsmen (and Sororitas armies tear through unaugmented troops easily), and a (Mark III MP) Astartes is worth about three Sisters or ten guardsmen. Eldar are harder to place, Guardians are closer to Sister level but Aspect Warriors are closer to Space Marine level due to bulking up from selective gene expression and extreme training (obviously more skilled individuals being more dangerous).
    • Augmentations for Sororitas include things like increased muscle strength and bone density, microdermal mesh, artificial glands that produce endorphins and artificial hormones. However the augmentations are discrete enough that the Sisters can easily pass as a normal human, albeit one that's a bit on the tall side for their planet of origin.
    • Augmentation process also has a tendency to cause bleaching of the hair and possibly increases aggression (don't play with testosterone kids), though the AdBio claims the latter is a placebo effect due to the nature of the aspirants.
  • Have a weird interservice rivalry with the Space Marines, who they feel a little resentful of getting the “better” upgrades and getting to fight the “better” enemies; really resent being considered “diet space marines”.

Some debate over the Dialogous, Familis, and the like, given that the Remembrancers and such still exist in this timeline. General agreement that they are associated with the Ordo Securitas in some way. Ordo Hospitalier was founded by a retired Sister who felt there had to be a better way to provide stability for the Imperium than suppressing rebellions with force and decides to focus on humanitarian efforts and treating the wounded (happy, healthy, and well-fed people are less likely to go to Chaos). The order retains close connections with the militant Sisters and a lot of crippled Sisters who want to serve but can no longer fight end up there. Anyone can join because fighting isn't an issue, but they tend to associate themselves with the Sororitas because their founder was a Sister. The Valkyries are an offshoot of the Ordo Hospitalier who readopted aggressive battlefield tactics due to their nature as first-responders and battlefield medics (as in, to heal someone sometimes you have to shoot the bastard standing on top of them).

There was talk of a not!Valkia the Bloody in this timelime who's a Valkyrie that fell to Khorne.

The Inquisition[edit]

There are Eldar and Tau Inquisitors. Indeed, the Inquisitorial Representative is really the only position on the High Lords of Terra that can really be occupied by an Eldar. The High Lords hate the idea of an Eldar High Lord, because Eldar live for millennia and any Eldar that became a High Lord would conceivably be there a very, very long time. Of course, that doesn’t stop every other member of the High Lords from having farseer advisors whispering advice in their ears. And of course there is nothing stopping any Inquisitor from having an Eldar seer or Enforcer or a Tau Fire Warrior or Earth Caste researcher in their retinue any more than an Arbites or tech-priest.

The Inquisition, Eldar members included, also hates the idea of having a permanent representative on the High Lords, because there is a high risk of any permanent representative to the High Lords of Terra, even a human with rejuvenant treatments, is going to become heavily entrenched in Old Earth politics and gain too much political power at the expense of the rest of the Inquisition instead of doing their job. Instead, the position of Inquisitorial Representative is a ten-year rotating position, selected by a vote among the most senior members of the Inquisition. Generally, whoever gets elected tends to be the recognized expert on a particular phenomenon, so the High Lords have an expert on hand for whatever the greatest threat is to the Imperium at the moment. If it’s Chaos and daemons, it’s generally a member of the Ordo Malleus. Necrons or tyranids, and it tends to be Ordo Xenos. As of 999.M41, because shit is currently hitting the fan across all fronts simultaneously, the current Inquisitorial Representative is Hector Rex.

Hector Rex

Hector Rex was a failed Grey Knight aspirant that was shunted into the Inquisition’s service under venerable Inquisitor █████ ████████ of the Ordo Malleus. If there is one thing the Inquisition loves it's well trained and clever soldiers, the formidable and refined psychic power being somewhat of a bonus.

It is realized soon that Hector is quite clever and so Inquisitor █████ ████████ takes him on as an apprentice.

Much of his career would be much the same. He banishes daemons, prevents the formation of daemonworlds, builds a retinue and so on and so forth all the while adding notches to his hammer for every greater daemon broken, every battle won, every cult uprooted, every ritual stopped, every world saved. Also notoriously good at playing cards.

The Grey Knights' loss was everyone's gain as he has kicked more ass than he ever could have in that life.

The job of Representative is given, seemingly at random, to an Inquisitor Lord drawn from a pool of the best few hundred based on time served, successful missions and the nature of those missions, spotlessness of record, psychological screening and not having batshit monodomiant or some other dangerous ideology that's going to get everyone killed.

Also the job being swapped every 10(?) years makes it infuriatingly difficult for the more slimy High Lords to manipulate the Inquisition from the top down. If it was one man holding the job for centuries then they would start to get drawn in to the backstabbery and maybe the other HLs would get leverage over them. With this their efforts are wasted as you spend years trying to get the dirt on one of them and they they just replace him.

Commodus Voke

The Inquisitorial Representative before Hector was Commodus Voke, best known for his actions in the Thracian Gate Atrocity. The Thracian Gate Atrocity was a rather bizarre clusterfuck that involved Voke teaming up with two of the Imperium’s greatest fugitives: the APEX twins. The APEX twins weren’t directly responsible for the event, having been trying to keep a low profile on the world (indeed, when Voke found them they were eating ice cream in the crowd). The twins assisted in the cleaning up and mitigating the problem somewhat, though this is possibly one of the few instances that they have ever been in serious danger. By the time anyone got their shit together enough to look for them they were long, long gone.

Voke was the Inquisitorial Representative of the High Lords prior to Hector Rex. After his 10 year stint in the big chair he went back to his job but the urging of his friends (such few as he had) and colleagues to retire due to age and failing health caused him to find a compromise. He is now spending his twilight years as the Inquisitorial Overseer to the chapter Guardians of the Covenant

The Younger Generation

Although they are still centuries away from being in a position of seniority where they might be elected to Inquisitorial Representative, two talented up-and-comers among the younger generation are Tomb World-raiding Necron-expert Inquisitor Valeria, who managed to break into the heart of Solemnace (before being caught by Trazyn the Infinite and shipped back to the Imperium in a Tesseract Labyrinth, but hey she lived to tell the tale), and everyone’s favorite not-a-Dalek Ravenor, who unlike his mentor Eisenhorn looked into the abyss and didn’t blink. Both are way too young to have much influence, but anyone with a brain knows that Valeria and Ravenor are going to be two big names to look out for in the future assuming neither of them die. The power blocs are already starting up, but Valeria and Ravenor are actually pretty friendly with each other and neither would mind if the other ever became in charge, since each knows the other isn't a Fyodor-style lunatic.

Knight Houses[edit]

Not much has been done on them. The idea that has had the most traction is to take the somewhat noblebright tone of the 5th edition Warhammer Brettonians but replace the Arthurian myth with Ad-Mech techno-wizardry and toning down the over the top oppression of the peasants for a more nobledark feel (basically Bretonnians IN SPACE with a bit of Battletech thrown in maybe). Have them be guardians of feudal worlds and also the military aristocracy of more advanced planets. Noble in Deed and Name alike, they are a tireless foe of the Imperium's enemies. There’s a bit of irony when you realize the Knights are still screaming “for the Lady” in this timeline, only the “Lady” in question is Isha rather than Lileath.

There are also Chaos Knight houses. House Devine still fell in this timeline, though the battle of Molech went somewhat differently. House Devine could have sided with Chaos because Imperium was allied with the eldar. But they hadn't allied with the true eldar. Croneworlders were the true inheritors of their old empire and the only allies worth having.

There is even something running around that is basically the Nucklavee in space. Plague flame thrower breath, quadruped, spear arm and all the rest. Once a valiant knight of House Devine that upon seeing all of the bad shit and with some Chaos Eldar prodding fell into a state of absolute despair. Now rusted into being one with his half deamon machine he serves Nurgle.

Grey Knights[edit]

Joros[edit]

It is not clear who the current head of the Grey Knights is yet (it's not Kaldor Draigo, who was the second Supreme Grandmaster after Janus and became such so early on that he identified Sino-Japan as his place of birth), but the Supreme Grandmaster before them was Joros.

In the final days of the War for Armageddon (it is not clear which one), he intentionally pulled the Changeling into himself to contain and, by his death, banish it. He was already wounded mortally by a Nurglite blade.

Although it is possible to summon the Changeling it is impossible to hold it unless you know it's True Name and given that True Names to daemons are linked to their form and Changeling doesn't know it's true form this becomes impossible.

Knowing that they only had one more daemon to hunt and that he was finished either way Joros came up with the idea of summoning the Changeling. All Grey Knights know, at least theoretically, basic summoning and binding. Although Changeling could not be held in a summoning circle it could be installed in a mortal body in a form of forced possession.

So that's what they did. Joros summoned it, forced it to possess him, had Librarian Umbrane and his acolytes ready to perform a banishing ritual with Logan Grimnar, who was at that time only a Lord rather than High King of Fenris, standing by with an axe ready to bring down to complete the rituals completion. Joros didn't want the guilt of it gnawing his brothers but knew that Grimnar understood the necessity of it. Grimnar took no joy, no joy at all, in bringing that axe down on Joros' head but stood firm and did his job regardless.

It all went smoothly enough, possibly The Changeling didn't anticipate that the Grey Knights would be willing to sacrifice their leader in such a manner.

The axe the Grey Knights provided for the job was Morkai, the one given by Russ to Magnus as an apology. The Knights handed it back to the wolves in thanks.

Adeptus Mechanicus[edit]

in this timeline the AdMech are more like “jerks with a heart of gold” rather than simple “jerks” like in canon. They’re assholes in general, but they actually have some redeeming features rather than being merely tolerated because they provide all the tech like in canon. Case in point the Veyna fiasco.

In canon, the Adeptus Mechanicus noticed the lakes of liquid hydrogen at Veyna’s poles, unilaterally seized the planet for their own use without telling anyone in the greater Imperium, and rounded up all the inhabitants to be worked to death in the nearest Forge World.

Here, the Adeptus Mechanicus noticed the lakes of liquid hydrogen, filed a requisition form to the Administratum to expropriate the planet because of its strategic resources (mostly as a formality of a heads-up rather than to actually ask permission), forcibly relocated the locals to a nearby planet, and then sold them their own planet back to them by offering them jobs working in the factories refining liquid hydrogen.

Is this an asshole move to pull? Absolutely. But compared to what they did in canon it makes them downright saints.

A lot of their assholish behavior is in part due to the whole thing with the Void Dragon and the fact that no one else knows it exists. Lower-ranking tech-priests buy the party line about technology and invention hook, line, and sinker. Higher-ranked tech-priests know about the scientific method and how their tech works, but avoid throwing their weight around because it upsets the pyramid scheme and everyone's terrified of potential influence by the Void Dragon.

STCs are still a sticking point with them. They consider them holy relics of their faith and will do just about anything to get a hold of them, even squabble with other member states. Imperium has a general standing order to turn over all discovered STC printouts to the AdMech, or at the very least give them a copy of the data, and otherwise stay out of the Tech-priests' way

Not entirely clear how they handle xenos. The general suggestion is they're equal-opportunity haters, believing themselves the only ones holy enough to handle technology. They don't care if the person mis-appropriating Dark Age of Technology tech is human or xeno. They want to bring technology to the galaxy (on their terms) to the point that everyone looks at them as the paragons of engineering (Red Man's burden), and they're frustrated that they have one hand tied behind their back by the Void Dragon in contrast to Eldar bonesingers, kinebrach warsmiths, Earth Caste engineers, Hubworlders, etc.

Tolerance of xeno tech is mixed. Less orthodox magi don't care or will look the other way. More conservative will REEEEEE until you stop using it. Planetary governor can tell the tech-priests to get bent but then they usually retaliate by sanctioning your planet, which is bad because AdMech make up 80% or more of all manufacturing. Only factions that can tell the AdMech to shove it and make things stick are those that can reliably make their own stuff like the Interex and squats. AdMech tread more carefully with these groups because they don't have a monopoly. Also because they're usually both Survivor civilizations and have entered under the same deal of relative autonomy as the AdMech, so the Imperium would probably side against the AdMech in this scenario.

Numerous factions, ranging from highly orthodox to reconstructionist/reformist (don't necessarily invent new thing, but spend more time trying to reverse-engineer things based on old data).

Servo-Brains[edit]

Imperial Servo-Brains in both Mechanicus and Inquisition styles.

True servo-skulls of old are rare outside the Mechanicus and even then they are only common on distant forges, their techniques barely moved out of Old Night by the demands and Edicts of Mars. In the greater Imperium the holy provision allowing the manufacture of conditioned intelligences so long as they are founded upon the natural 'stone old' mind is seen as too valuable an avenue for refinement and advancement to neglect. Pushed by upstarts in the Ordo Cybernetica, the competition of the survivor civilization Hubworld workshops, the sovereign survivor power of Stillness, aristocratic engineereries across the Galaxy, and rumored workshops of the Imperial court hidden away on Cthonia, even the Martian Mechanicus has taken to greater investment in the flexibility, autonomy, and mental capacity in servo-skulls, to the point of the full resanctification of the designation Servo-Brain. Though no Servo-Brain is much more lively than a blank, they remain wholly sapient, and bear some shadow of their former character. Servo-Brains are enhanced with numerous advanced cogitators and memory stacks, vast archives, and sets of powerful narrow-scope pattern recognition cores selected for their work. They are immortal savants with minds and senses desigened for their work. The Servo-Brain has gone from increasingly advanced clerical drone, popular only among the Mechanicus, who had subpar brains to spare for the project to a contingency solution for bodily destruction in the lab, to the honorable and enhancing recourse of the sickly and dying among the learned and mighty.

Love Can Bloom[edit]

It happened in this timeline. However, the pairing in and of itself is much less noteworthy than in canon because, well, it isn’t heretical in this timeline. Taldeer Ulthran was a career militarywoman from Ulthwé who joined the Imperial Guard as a way to escape from the Machiavellian machinations of Sreta and the Ulthran cartel (an act of rebellion which, ironically, made Taldeer one of Eldrad’s favorites among his extended family). LIIVI was…LIIVI, except maybe a little less emotionally repressed than in canon. Both were assigned to a Cadia/Ulthwé regiment, one of the most liberal regiments in the Imperium in terms of human-eldar relationships, and so a relationship between them (beyond the issue of fraternization) wasn’t that unusual.

The fact that their relationship resulted in a natural, unassisted pregnancy certainly was.

A lot of people in high-up places are extremely worried about the significance of Taldeer’s pregnancy. Almost everyone who knows about it suspects that Taldeer’s pregnancy is meant to be a cosmic trial run for the Impossible Child, which means the actual Impossible Child might not actually be that far away. This is not necessarily a good thing. Although some of the Starchild Prophecies say the Impossible Child will usher in a new golden age, all of them agree that when the Impossible Child is born all hell will break loose. As of 999.M41, Taldeer’s child, Lofn, has not been born yet, and Taldeer herself is on maternity leave. However, since the setting effectively stops at 999.M41, anything past that point can only be said to be a possible, if non-canonical, future.

Starchild Prophecies[edit]

  • Although the Starchild Prophecies tend to be highly variable, they tend to have a few lines in common, like the one about the (Void) Dragon. Many of the lines can be interpreted in multiple ways and it's likely that people in the Imperium might not have the correct cultural context to even get what they mean.
  • About the only thing that are notably not in the Starchild Prophecies are the Tau and the tyranids. Tau because it continues their theme in this timeline of thinking they are much more important than they really are. Tyranids because nobody, not even the Starchild Prophecies, saw the Hive Fleets coming before they made galaxyfall; they are the ultimate galactic curveball.

Miscellaneous Notes on the Primarchs[edit]

I.e., stuff that is not covered in the codex entries. If we can fit it into the codex entries, please do so and remove it from this page.

  • Several of the primarchs are confirmed to have families. Corax had a family that died to Ursh and was middle-aged by the time he became primarch. Guilliman had a wife and kids. Russ had numerous children, all daughters. Sanguinius had at least one son who also became an Astartes. Khan had three kids. Vulkan had a family, though the details of it have not been specified. This is not counting adopted families like Horus and Abbadon or Angron's.

Angron[edit]

One major area in which Angron and the Warlord/Steward disagreed was on the topic of slavery. The Imperium's morals are not 21st century western morals. There is a lot of overlap, but slavery is one example of how the Imperium holds some views that would be considered anachronistic by our standards. Oscar and the primarchs all grew up on Old Earth pre-Unification, which had devolved into a third world hellhole where slavery was far down the list of bad things that could happen to you, below "human sacrifice", "nuclear bombardment", "used as raw materials for some Urshii or Pan-Pacific warlord experiment", and all the normal horrible things that go with constant warfare. The Warlord/Steward was willing to tolerate "less awful" forms of slavery, like serfdom, indentured servitude, or penal service. Oscar's goal was to elevate the wellbeing of the human race. If someone is better taken care of as a house servant than a starving refugee then so be it. He also didn't like to intervene in a world’s affairs unless they were really doing something that requires bringing the hammer down. As long as people weren't treating their servants as subhuman and beating or torturing them it wasn't worth kicking a fuss up over. There was also the Chaos argument. If you put people in slavery and make them miserable, then they might just turn to the Ruinous Powers out of spite, because at that point they no longer care what happens to them. However, to Oscar there was a clear line between indentured servitude or serfdom and the kind of practices that Chaos or the Dark Eldar practiced.

Angron strongly disagreed with this. To him a slave is a slave is a slave, and it doesn’t matter what fancy words you dress it up in to make it sound like it’s okay to you. The two almost came to blows over this. It never ruined their relationship, because for all their disagreements the two agreed more than disagreed, but it was still a wedge between them. When the Great Crusade came upon Nuceria Angron had a combination PTSD flashback/Thunder Warrior freak out when he saw how similar the conditions there were to the Nord Afrik Conclaves. Upon seeing the planet, Angron was reported to have whispered one word "Nuceria" and went on a rampage across the planet. The planet wasn't called Nuceria before but it got the name afterwards, especially since there weren't that many left high up to protest.

Lion El'Jonson[edit]

Lion had the same problem that Alpharius did in canon, being seen as the “kid” among the primarchs, as he was one of the biologically youngest primarchs along with Curze, Sanguinius, and Vulkan, and unlike these three he had not done anything particularly brazen prior to being named primarch. It didn’t help that Lion had the kind of face that made him look much younger than he actually was, even as a grown man.

However, this reputation is grossly unfair to Lion. First, Lion was Luther’s squire before he was named primarch, which meant he did a lot of stuff in some of the toughest warzones on Earth despite being a simple unaugmented human teenager. It’s just that most people don’t tend to pay attention to any heroics by the rank-and-file, much less their support staff. The Steward likely knew of Lion and his potential long before Lion knew he was on the Steward’s radar. And, while he may have been biologically younger than most of the other primarchs, he had spent several years constantly gaining first-hand experience handling the expeditionary fleet (compared to the more sporadic nature of the other primarchs), which meant by the halfway point of the Great Crusade he had reached the point where he actually had more experience than some of the older primarchs. He was also the best expert among the primarchs in what was actually out there due to spending all that time exploring space. When the primarchs encountered something they weren’t sure what it was, they asked Lion for advice.

Additionally, although Luther certainly took it that way, the Steward’s nomination of Lion as primarch was not meant to snub Luther. The Steward knew that Lion would almost certainly name his brother his second-in-command, so nominating Lion was like getting two primarchs for the price of one. However, because Lion was the better tactician, more level headed, and despite his social ineptness the more genuinely compassionate of the two, the Steward wanted the Lion to be in charge rather than his brother.

If Lion is comatose then there could be a King Arthur going on if his sword is still in the possession of the Dark Angels on their flagship. There is a sleeping old king ready to come back, his sword lies in a bed Rock and this is surely the Imperiums time of need. Either that or Russ is going to come back, an old warrior king needs a worthy sword.

Dorn[edit]

"Of course we are at war. Why on Old Earth's green soil would you believe we are not at war. We are in what is essentially a siege position, with an unfortifiable border stretching an entire 360 degrees for several light years in every conceivable direction. Our enemy has no concept of "rest" or "armistice" and can pop up at any time, on any side, in any position within the massive amounts of space between the mud marbles that we call the worlds of the Imperium. The Imperium is always going to be at war. Why would you ever believe otherwise?"
- Rogal Dorn, showing his usual level of tact

Dorn's overall personality was like a combination between Winston Churchill and George Patton (except, you know, Calbian with Inuit heritage). Socially as blunt as a sledgehammer, no tact, and always said exactly what was on his mind, which often got him into a lot of trouble. He was also very harsh, think an army drill sergeant turned up to eleven. Despite all that he also had a rough sort of charisma, a dogged sense of determination, and a sarcastic, deadpan worldview that often saw him through these time periods and helped him pull himself out of the holes he dug and win people over. He was especially good at rousing speeches and getting people to hold the line.

Dorn and Perturabo's Awesome Bromance[edit]

At a meeting of several of the primarchs, Perturabo outlined a complicated, grandiose plan for constructing some defense, and Fulgrim calls it out as being terrible and says that even Dorn could bring the plan crashing down. Just like in canon, Perty demands to know if Dorn thinks the same way and Dorn bluntly says "Yes". But unlike canon, Perturabo says two words that completely change the future relationship of the primarchs.

“Show me.”

Perturabo obviously planned to use this opportunity to make a fool out of Dorn, castigating him for daring to question his tactical genius, but Dorn says “I would do X to Y, Z to A, and the whole defense plan would come crumbling down”, and Perty realizes…he’s right. Perty thinks for a moment and then tries to one-up Dorn by saying “But what if I were to do X”. Dorn replies “then I would do this…”. And so one of the angriest friendships in the history of the Imperium was born. Dorn and Perty would play wargames against one another, each using the opportunity to continually refine their strategies. Perty knew logistics and Dorn (to some degree) knew men. Together, the two of them created defenses so formidable that Terra had not seen their like since the days of Babylon. Of course, given the nature of M31, even these defenses could not always hold.

In particular, the two primarchs would play chess against each other, but one kept getting the upper hand through out-of-the-box means. Exactly who always won depends on who you ask, the Imperial Fists and their descendants claim it was Dorn, whereas the Iron Warriors and their descendants claim it was Perturabo. Before the Siege of Terra, a messenger from the Iron Warriors came to Dorn, saying that Perturabo had formulated a message prior to his incapacitation to give to Dorn in the event he could not be present for the siege of their homeworld, which both primarchs had known was inevitable. It was a single chess piece. Dorn knew what it meant.

What differentiates Dorn and Perty is that Dorn wasn't fucked in the head bar a slight case of masochism. Perty was an insane manchild who had all the charisma of damp turd. He could design a better fortress than Dorn. Dorn was better at manning defenses and getting other people to man them because he was bluff old soldier with a blunt sort of charisma despite often being socially offensive or insensitive.

Dorn instinctively saw a Fortress as something to hold out in and protect assets inside. Perty saw a Fortress as something to tempt the other side into attacking by using the assets as bait then using the fortress as a meat grinder.

Dorn had standards and a sense of fair play and chivalry. Perty would kick you in the balls and once you on the floor stamp on your neck despite you pleas of surrender.

Dorn would fight a heroic stand to the last man and the last round. Perty would order a sensible and ordered retreat to regroup and make a counter attack. Dorn saw his assets as people and noble warriors. Perty saw them as numbers and a means to an end/victory.

For all that once that, once you put them together they made up for each others weaknesses. They also got along surprisingly well because Dorn didn't try to hide his disgust at Perty's methods. Perty wasn't good at dealing with people and their unspoken social interactions. Dorn always spoke what was on his mind. Perty enjoyed being around Dorn because he was one of the few people Perty was 100% sure wasn't either fucking with him or looking down on him. Angry voices Perty can deal with. People not saying what they are saying less so.

To everyone else Dorn's lack of any tact was annoying as fuck. To Perty it was most welcome. When Perty would suggest a cold and callous course of action like letting a bunch of civvies die and deploy the troops at a more important installation the rest of the room would use phrases like "I don't think that's a very humane thing to do" or "that might alienate us and make things difficult in the long term". Dorn would more likely say "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

Perty was hellishly competent at his job and had an inhuman work ethic. he also didn't hold anyone to standards he had not already reached. Dorn respected that greatly. Perty was still a little salty over the fact that his father passed him over for his lack of diplomatic ability, which fed into his obsession with building the perfect so that he'll finally be recognized as simply good enough. Dorn sat on the opposite end of the scale, assuming that the mere promotion of Perturabo to Primarch is already all the answer he'd ever need.

"Although I find you insufferable at times, it cannot be avoided - if you were not one of the finest military minds in the Imperium, you would not be among us."
-Dorn, to Perturabo

Rough Draft, Early Life[edit]

The story of Rogal Dorn starts in the garrison town of Onto Rontus in the not too long annexed land of Calbi. Born to a mother of the local tribes and an officer father of the Merikan army his start was not as tragic as it could have been. Often such half-breeds were not the result of consenting unions but Donovan Dorn held genuine affection for Kosa and was, unknown to his fellow officers, married to her.

Dorn was one of a large family and had many siblings though he was ultimately the only one to follow in his father’s footsteps. Dorn left his loving tribe and family and all he had known and travelled to the distant lands of Merika to begin his training, as his father had.

He learned much in those years and was an excellent student and would have been on the fast track to high station but for his circumstances of birth. No soldier of the greatest nation on Old Earth would gladly allow themselves to be given orders from a savage of the north. Despite all this his tutors could not deny his talents.

It was not a thing he took undue joy in but the ways of war came very easily to him. Despite the unfortunate circumstances of his birth he became the very model of a Merikan officer. He was well versed in military doctrine of all sorts and knew something of the history of his nation, at least enough to spot the revisionisms.

Although adept, or at minimum competent, at all aspects of war his true talents were found in siege warfare. In the tactical simulations and competitive VR matches Dorn was unbeaten.

Due to his knowledge of the locals and ability to speak at least one tribal language fluently Dorn returned to Calbi wearing a conquers uniform. He served as a lieutenant under the rule of Praefectus Adran, himself new to the post after the forced retirement of old Praefectus Stavart.

Praefectus Stavart had been very old and was unquestionably loyal to Merika but had dealt with the natives with some degree of fairness and even kindness when he could afford to. He was not loved by the locals, how could he be, but the elders were more than smart enough to know that his position as an intermediary between them and Merika was probably the best deal they could get in the circumstances.

For Stavart’s part he probably knew that as well. In his childhood Dorn had met him a few times with his father. He remembered him looking old then and unless he somehow genuinely had six sixty-seventh birthdays it was obvious that he had been lying about his age for a long time. In his way Stavart had cared about Calbi and it’s people as something other than a broken, subjugated state of Merika. He held on in the job until nearly ninety because he knew that Adran or someone much like him would succeed him. And he was right.

Praefectus Adran was not a nice man by any measure. His was the brutal rule of law and the authority of the Iron Fist. He wouldn’t be seen attending local festivals or events; they were there from the greatest to the least at his beck and call. They were savages and heathens and he was a man of the Greatest Nation and a paragon among them. Needless to say tensions between the conquered and conquerors increased.

At some point genuine tribal unrest turn into riots and Praefectus Adran orders mass executions.

Dorn is still well loved by the locals as they see him as their man on the other side and look to him to for salvation. Dorn is also well loved by the rank and file and quite a few of the officers.

There are a few days of communications black outs due to "faulty equipment" and some "regrettable accidents" that see some of the officers dead and Praefectus Adran commits suicide after a long period of depression. When asked how he managed to shoot himself in the back of the head with a shot gun acting Praefectus Dorn tells the investigators that Adran had been "very depressed.

Nobody believes it but, due to the difficulties in the still mysteriously faulty communications equipment, it does buy him enough time to root out more loyalists of Merika, secure his alliances with the local tribes and when the order comes from the capital to stand down and come back for questioning he declares independence.

The next day his is met by a freakishly nondescript man of average height and build, no distinguishing features, hard to estimate age, unremarkable clothing and an oddly neutral and hard to place accent. Claims his name is Alpharius Omegon and he comes representing the Imperium. Tells Dorn that his timing is awful and had he been able to spin his out for a few years, five at most, the Imperium would have been in a position to lend considerable military might to his Rebellion. As it is they will offer what less obvious help they can but the Imperium can't get dragged into a direct and total war with Merika at the current time. Dorn and a few of his elites get what must be some of the very last Mk1 Astartes upgrades, administered by local bio-druids for reasons of deniability.

Recently Merika had been supplying and training terrorist organizations in the lands conquered by the Imperium and Oscar had found out who was behind the seemingly random attacks. The aim was to disassemble the Imperium back into little nations for Merika to Manifest Destiny all over and Oscar was most unhappy, most unhappy indeed. But his forces were all tied up dealing with Ursh and the Pan-Pacific Empire so he couldn't act directly and was having to use Dorn and his rebellion, and later Fulgrim, to fight by proxy.

Not that Dorn would know the specifics of this until quite a few years after Unification Day.

Dorn holds out for long enough for Fulgrim Doe to raise his rebellion and make contact.

By this point Imperium is finishing off the last enclaves of Ursh, Lorgar is decapitating the Despot and Merika is in deep shit because of the multiple rebellions, the pissed off Imperium and the only neighbor it has left with whom it is not at war is Hy Brasil who hate both of them and are just going to sit back and watch.

Fulgrim "negotiates a deal of inclusion with very good terms" with the Imperium after he is appointed President of Merika and "abandons the unprofitable campaign to uplift and civilize the northern provinces". Calbi becomes an independent nation, Dorn appoints an Assembly of Elders to govern the nation and steps down from and decommissions the title Praefectus of Calbi. Though he does remain the head of the armed forces. The Elders and Dorn, or representatives of them in the case of the more elderly Elders, are present at the swearing of allegiance to the Empty Throne of Earth.

When Steward Oscar looks to the other worlds of Sol and to the stars beyond he names Dorn as one of his primarchs to the surprise of Dorn though not the people of his home nation who saw it as only right.

And then Great Crusade, WoTB, Reconquest and death on the walls of Cadia during the 1st Black Crusade of which I hadn't got around to thinking much about.

During the Great Crusade I imaged he went slower than most of the other Primarchs bar Lorgar but his diligence over speed, though criticized at the time, proved it's worth in the WoTB as the worlds he brought into the Imperium weathered the storm consistently better than others that weren't the work of Perty.

At some point he gets it into his head to grow his trademark mustaches. Some time later he has to have one of his eyes replaced and it sort of looks like a monocle.

Does not take part in the Raid. He was not the greatest personal combatant and also tended to be better at static defense than actually running around, so a quick Raid was not his strong suit. Also due to the buggy Mk1 enhancments he suffered from desensitization problems which gradually turned into a mild case of masochism.

Never married or had any children (that he or history knew about). Did have a large number of nephews and nieces and cousins and more distant kin. Quite a few of his family survived the WoTB, he was quite lucky in that regard.

Fulgrim[edit]

The Steward knew about Fulgrim's trans-humanist ideals and their efforts to try and improve geneseed, but turned a blind eye to the actions of the Terra's Sons and used them as the testbed for geneseed tweaks. Fulgrim was by far the best geneticist of the primarchs, and anything that worked might be worth incorporating into later patches. And if you have a bunch of people volunteering for experimentation, why let the opportunity go to waste? The Steward didn't officially approve of Fulgrim and Terra's Sons tampering with geneseed, but he didn't censure them either.

Fulgrim saw everyone as a rival in some fashion. He wanted to be tougher than Vulkan, more loved than Sanguinius, a better strategist than Guilliman, etc. As in canon, Jaghatai would have have none of it when Fulgrim tried to pick a fight with him. He had been trying to turn a blind eye to Fulgrim out of politeness and the fact that he didn't speak Gothic as well and therefore did not have as sharp of a tongue. But if Fulgrim was trying to seek him out and start somethinghe was willing to make a scene, saying that he had been raising a small legion of socialites and art critics rather than a bigger legion of super soldiers.

Ferrus Manus[edit]

Ferrus Manus was the kind of person who always worded things as logical deductions, despite it often being clear that his motivations weren’t always based on logic. As a result, he would often take actions that didn’t seem in the Imperium’s best interests, but the infuriating part was that it was almost impossible to argue against them on purely logical grounds. E.g., during the War of the Beast he justified Fulgrim and himself defending Mars and the Forge Worlds over other worlds by pointing out that Earth wasn’t the only world threatened during the Siege of Sol, and the given that at least five primarchs (Magnus, Angron, Russ, Lorgar, and Sanguinius) were handling the defense of Earth that planet was covered well enough. Once the War of the Beast was over, the Imperium was going to have to do a lot of rebuilding, which would have been nearly impossible if the industrial base of Mars fell. It was infuriatingly clear he just valued Mars higher than the other worlds of Sol, but the thing is he wasn’t wrong from a coldly logical standpoint.

The seeds of dissent between Orioc and Mars, as well as Ferrus Manus’ increasing loyalty to the office of Fabricator-General rather than the person who actually held the seat, started with the War of the Beast. Orioc initially willingly submitted itself to Mars because Mars was the holy land and all of the Forge Worlds and Mars’ far-flung outposts were coming back together after so long. There was a brief honeymoon period where everything seemed okay during the Great Crusade. Then the War of the Beast happened. The Sol system was perhaps one of the hardest hit during the War of the Beast, between the orkish hordes, Dark Mechanicus “exiles” returning with forbidden fruit from the void, and so forth. Mars and Old Earth are the industrial and spiritual/administrative hearts of the Imperium, respectively, so it is necessary and possible to rebuild them, though it would take a lot of money. Orioc kind of falls through the cracks and get shafted during the whole thing because although it is on Earth people assume that the Olympus Mons Brotherhood will provide for them, so they get very little money. Orioc asks if they can get some funds to rebuild. Olympus Mons brotherhood say no, Holy Mars is more important. Orioc starts reconsidering if putting themselves below Mars was a good idea. Not enough to become space Protestants, but enough to start complaining.

This gets worse after Kelbor-Hal dies and Ferrus suddenly finds himself and the second most powerful individual Mechanicus (in terms of soft power) after a Fabricator-General that is thousands of years younger than him and has more dogma than sense. At the same time it is likely that any future Fabricator-General might feel threatened by the prospect of Ferrus Manus throwing his weight around/

Believe it or not, Ferrus Manus actually did have a heart under all that metal. He was typically just too stoic and hyper-logical to show it. Case in point when Kelbor-Hal used him as an attack dog to intimidate Savlar. He had been given orders to destroy the neutronium factory if the Savlar Order didn’t cave, but he knew he would never have to carry them out. Either Savlar would back down (unlikely, but a man can dream), or Kelbor-Hal would calm down and realize this wasn’t going to work. Worst case scenario, the Steward would step in and force a diplomatic resolution, a working neutronium factory was too valuable to let go to waste. All he needed to do was stand there and look intimidating. Ironically, this shows that just as much faith in Oscar as he did the Fabricator-General, which to be honest is probably one reason Oscar picked him to be primarch.

Another example would be what happened with the world of Sarpedon during the Age of Apostasy. It is not really been decided what the Fabricator-General was doing during the Age of Apostasy. One suggestion that was made was that the Fabricator-General of the time was desperately claiming neutrality in the Imperial Civil War. The reason being that most of the Forge Worlds across the galaxy were split between Vandire and Thor loyalists, and if the Olympus Mons Brotherhood actively picked a side it would cause another Mechanicus Civil War.

Meanwhile Ferrus Manus decides to take the initiative and is seen sending a whole lot of Mechanicus ships to a nowhere world called Sarpedon. Sarpedon is a nowhere world on the fringes of the galaxy, it’s habitable and might become a Forge World one day, but at the moment it is little more than a research station and most of the planet is still wilderness. Vandire's people ask what's going on there. Ferrus responds it's a top secret AdMech research site so piss off, though not in so many words. He even tells the Steward this when he asks him, until the war is over.

Turns out Ferrus had been smuggling dissidents and likely targets of Vandire’s purges out of major population centers through places like Orioc and Forge Worlds for years and hiding them on Sarpedon, because it was the best place to hide people who can’t survive in a Mechanicus factorum. No one fucks with the AdMech or messes around in their cities unless you have Oscar-grade brass balls. AdMech have more freedom to do what they want within their own walls than any other group in the Imperium, so it was easy to smuggle people out without questions being asked. If Ferrus had told the Steward what was hiding there he would have endangered the refugees’ lives because he would have insisted on sending more forces to protect them (and thus blow their cover), so it had to wait until the war was over. When Ferrus was asked about why he did it he said they were all productive individuals whose actions benefitted the Imperium, and Vandire was being illogical because their loss would decrease Imperial efficiency, as if such an answer was self-evident.

Jaghatai Khan[edit]

In contrast to most other groups of Space Marines, many members of the White Scars and their related chapters are literal rather than spiritual descendants of Jaghatai Khan. Like his ancestor Genghis Khan, Jaghatai has a large number of descendants running around the 31st century. However, because Jaghatai never conquered half of Eurasia, this large number of descendants simply comes from the nature of time and the ridiculously large population of the Imperium (Jaghatai has a lot of descendants, but percentage-wise is nowhere near Genghis), as well as non-direct descendants from his brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts. Many White Scars claim to be directly related to Jaghatai Khan in some way, and try to join the White Scars in an attempt to try and recapitulate their ancestor's glory.

Jaghatai only had a few actual children. His first born son ended up becoming a rank-and-file Ultramarine. Jaghatai didn’t know whether to be proud or a little bit disappointed over this.

Khan had two major flaws. The first of these was his temper. Much like Magnus and his anti-sociality, this is something Khan got better about over the course of his life. Though I can imagine there must have been some debacle when Ursh fell, with Khan demanding retribution and the Warlord probably stepping in and saying that all Khan wanted was revenge, not justice, and if he did that then all it would look like is a monster killing a monster and not justice being delivered to a tyrant. That probably shut Khan right up (see point two). Khan's temper is a lot different from Angron or Russ, in that he's single-minded and you don't see it coming before it hits you.

Khan’s other major issue was he always felt like he had to make up for what he did while he served the Despot of Ursh, to a degree that would be considered unhealthy. He really doesn't like to be reminded of his past. There was an incident while passing through Ursh, where he enjoyed watching some children play a game where they recited a rhyme about how they had to act good or else the goblin king would send his goblins to take them. Then he realized that the "goblins" they were referring to were his people, and got real quiet.

Unlike canon, where Khan could just fuck off to Chogoris or the front lines any time the other primarchs annoyed him, here Khan actually had to interact with people to get things done and so more people were aware of him being the “pragmatic, reasonable one” among the primarchs. Don’t get me wrong, Khan is still the speedfreak who often likes to go off and do his own thing (and given the general competence boost among the primarchs being “level-headed” is no longer that noteworthy), just that he wasn’t as much of an outsider as in canon. Khan got along with a lot more of the primarchs than in canon (though not to Sanguinius or Horus levels), with the notable exceptions of Morty, Curze, and (surprisingly enough) Corax (at least at first).

Corax is kind of understandable in retrospect. He came from Sino-Japan, a territory which for years had been controlled by Ursh using the steppe nomads as enforcers. It makes sense that Corax would balk at the inclusion of what he considered a bunch of animals pretending to be human beings into the Imperium. Khan, for his part, did not feel the same way (see Khan's second flaw). He even made it a huge point to either discipline or execute those who committed particularly heinous war crimes under the Despot of Ursh, to try to make reparations between the Khanate and the other “Children of Ursh” and to show that such behavior would not be tolerated anymore. However, Corax was still rather skeptical of Khan. Khan and Corax would eventually come to an understanding, the two seeing they were more alike than different, but this did not happen until well into the Great Crusade.

Magnus and Khan both probably tried to reach out to Morty and Curze, as both knew what it was like to be forced to play the monster.

Morty probably called Magnus some psyker slur and stormed out. Curze was always in a foul mood and claimed Magnus gave him a headache. Magnus wrote them both off at that point.

Khan sympathized with them but questioned why they hadn't tried to build a life beyond what happened to them. Morty replied why was Khan so quick to try and bury his past, while Curze said Khan "wouldn't understand". Khan remained more open to helping them than Magnus (though Morty probably pissed him the hell off), but understood they would probably never come around.

Leman Russ[edit]

Russ didn't trust Magnus because his practices of warpcraft are very different to that of Nordyc shamanism and he was made a Primarch despite his weirdness. That is basically it. Russ doesn't trust Magnus and keeps a wary eye on him in case he needs to be killed because possession. Magnus doesn't like Russ because he won't put the axe down.

Vulkan[edit]

Vulkan was the one who slew the A.I. beneath the Caucasus Wastes alongside the Salamanders that almost proved to be a serious problem for the Imperium. He was one of the few survivors and his bravery in doing so earned him much respect. This would set the tone for a lot of his heroic actions later in history.

Vulkan actually had some fans among the eldar, mostly the young, impressionable sort who saw him as this great exotic paladin akin to a Phoenix Lord, especially because his tanky combat style fit a niche that none of the other Phoenix Lords occupied. However, these were almost all eldar who had never met Vulkan in person and had only heard about him secondhand, mostly from humans who were gushing about how awesome, noble, and friendly he was. Those eldar who did meet Vulkan in person were usually profoundly disappointed. The only eldar that Vulkan could ever be described to have got along with was Jain Zar, and that’s because they both loudly and vocally agreed in their sentiment that the Old Empire was trash and the Dark and Crone Eldar could go to hell.

During the Age of Apostasy, Vulkan was one of the voices of reason, trying to mitigate the worse the situation and get the [ro-Thor and pro-Vandire sides to lay down their arms and reconcile. This was as much due to pragmatism as compassion, Vulkan was extremely old this point and was no longer capable of fighting as he did when he was the Imperium’s champion. Vandire was unwilling to overtly move against Vulkan, he was still a primarch after all, but he was willing to retaliate in Vulkan made the first move. Vulkan had been planning something more drastic, but he was unsure who he could trust, how far you trust them, and feared completely destabilizing the Imperium.

Then Oscar comes riding in on Full Warlord mode like the day they first met but on a far grander scale. It would have been one of the few occasions where good old Oscar actually wore the golden battle plate and it would have been all the more terrifying for its rarity. It would have been a clear indication that shit was definitely happening. Whatever subtle and socially responsible and probably a lot more peaceful plans Vulkan actually had would by that point have been made totally irrelevant. Vulkan put out the call for Prometheans and Salamanders across the galaxy to rise up and join the cause, even though he wasn’t in the best of shape to fight.

Some of the other Space Marine chapters still resent the Salamanders to this day for refusing to take a side in the Imperial Civil War until the Steward came back, seeing their actions as pacifism and cowardice as opposed to trying to be the voice of reason and avoid bloodshed.

Konrad Curze[edit]

Despite being in the same age bracket as Sanguinius, Vulkan, and Lion, Curze did not recieve the Mark III S gene-seed. He was told he was incompatible with it. Though in truth he was never actually tested to see if he was compatible with the Mark III S geneseed. Not a lot of people liked the idea of a Mark III S Curze walking around.

Kurze liked to recruit people who had as much of a fucked-up upbringing as he did, particularly people orphaned by war or nightmarish regimes, people who knew firsthand the need for order and justice in the world. Sadly Kurze couldn't make sure everyone who was recruited was willing to be a “monster in the name of justice” like he was, and a lot of Night Lords fell. Mostly the sadists who joined to get their jollies off and perpetuate the cycle of abuse rather than stop it. Night Lords had one of the largest number of traitors behind the Dark Angels and the Vlka Fenryka. It’s possible that more would have fallen and lived to tell about it, if the loyalist Night Lords didn’t have such a violent, negative reaction to their comrades becoming the very thing they hated and trained to stop all their lives. The feelings of a canon Guardsmen to a Gue'vesa pale in comparison to how loyalist Night Lords view their Fallen.

A lot of the Fallen Night Lords tend to go Slaaneshi. Particularly the pain and sadism aspect. As in, broadcast the dying screams of a tortured psyker into the dreams of an entire sub-sector Slaaneshi.

The Night Lords and their descendants still recruit from war orphans, though they are obviously more careful about doing so given what happened during the War of the Beast, as well as mind-wiped condemned prisoners who chose identity death over execution or servitorization, and, very, very, rarely, people who actually want to voluntarily join their chapter.

The loyalist Night Lords are hated, feared, and reviled, and as a result they are treated as if they are on permanent penitent crusade and sent to the back of the line along with chapters like the Marines Malevolent when it comes to requests for new gear. The Night Lords completely understand why they are being treated this way but they don't mind playing the role of the monster as long as justice is done. They still tend to be assholes and still have more than their fair share of monsters compared to the other legions.

Carcharodons are unusual in this respect given they tend to recruit from the underhives of the Segmentum Tempestus and are actually liked to a degree (mostly because they don't indulge in the same type of terror tactics). This amount of prestige for a descendant chapter compared to the original legion is noteworthy for the Imperium, with the closest comparison being the Black Templars and the Death Guard.

Magnus the Red[edit]

War of the Beast was a paradigm-shifting moment for Magnus the Red. It was what led him to go from the guy who was okay messing with Warp stuff to the guy who would go on to found the Grey Knights. Before the War of the Beast, Magnus recognized the Warp was certainly dangerous, but thought that if one knew what they was doing it was much safer than most would expect. Swore he wouldn't mess with stuff outside of space and time more for the Steward's peace of mind than anything else. Magnus learned the basics of Warp politics from his mom, and learned how to manipulate it to his advantage (e.g. manipulate a Khornate Daemon to kill a Slaaneshi Daemons, etc.). War of the Beast showed Magnus that the Warp wasn't as fractious as he thought and Chaos could march as one if they put their mind to it.

After that, Magnus had a very different perspective on daemons. He saw that they were unpredictable, and that it was necessary for mankind to find its own psychic strength. Better for a psyker to depend on his own power than bargain with someone else for theirs. Magnus taught Ahriman how to summon and bind daemons, but only because that knowledge might come in handy some day and only as an absolute last resort. He was horrified when Ahriman started actually using it regularly with the Daemon Breakers.

Reconciliation between Russ and Magnus probably involved a bit of apologizing on both sides. The older and wiser Russ admitted he had been a dick to Magnus and Magnus admitting that Russ had been right to some extent about messing with daemons.

Alpharius and Omegon[edit]

Despite the rumors, are not members of the Illuminati. Indeed, they are one of the biggest factors keeping the Illuminati at a manageable level, along with many in the Inquisition.

The Two Missing Ones[edit]

The only thing that is clear is that the Warlord named twenty people to be his primarchs, and that by the end of the WotB there are only eighteen whose names were recorded in Imperial history. It has been suggested that they were wiped out during the War of the Beast. It is also clear that Jenetia Krole of the Sisters of Silence or Uxor Honen Mu of the Geno Five-Two Chillad were not the two missing primarchs, as Oscar was raised by Malcador who had a rather traditionalist view of the world and at the time of the Unification did not feel comfortable putting relatively unaugmented women in the kinds of positions Astartes were expected to be in.

It could also be that the recorded number of twenty great leaders actually included Oscar and Malcador, but subsequent years and legends ensured that detail was lost to history.

Notable Individuals[edit]

Ollanius Pius[edit]

  • Imperial Navyman (background uncertain, unknown if Void Born or otherwise)
  • During the War of the Beast the Beast teleported his attack moon into the Sol system and tried to ram it into Earth (specifically the Imperial Palace) killing everyone present (including Steward) and reducing the rest of the Battle of Terra to a simple mop-up (by that point he didn't care that it wasn't the orky thing to do, he just wanted to watch the world burn. Or possibly he did, because hitting one planet with another is ded orky.)
  • Ollanius Pius rammed his ship into the Beast's attack moon after ordering the crew to evacuate, saving everyone on Earth with his sacrifice and making sure the Battle of Terra wasn't the Curbstomp of Terra

Ahzek Ahriman[edit]

  • Born in Achaemenidia (one of the countries of Old Earth)
  • Made a second home for himself on Prospero, was a well-respected teacher and lecturer due to Prospero being the Ksons base of operations
  • Cast Rubric of Ahriman in a desperate attempt to save Prospero during Black Crusade, but something got fucked up and Prospero got stuck between dimensions, along with whatever poor Astartes and Imperial Guard happened to be on it.
  • Prospero getting stuck between dimensions led to him getting involved in increasingly shady stuff in his efforts at revenge/restoring Prospero, leading to the whole Daemon Breaker thing below.
  • Won the Saim-Hann Iron Storm race, and as his prize got access to the Black Library for a "day". Hasn't officially come out since then, although it's clear he's still alive somehow and the Imperium doesn't have to ask the Harlequins to send a search party. Unclear if he formed the Daemon Breakers and then won the Iron Storm, or if he won the Iron Storm, did his research in the Black Library, and then got out, using the fact that he is supposed to be in the Black Library as an alibi. Or both.
  • Approves of the Imperium in theory, but thinks they are far too passive and defensive when it comes to dealing with Chaos and should take the fight to them.
  • Strongly implied that he rubric-ed himself and sealed his soul into his armor, and that's the reason he's still around despite the fact that any other Astartes would have aged to death by now
  • Implied to be a very Byronic figure, started off as a good man but has done increasingly fucked-up shit for a noble cause.
  • One of his positive traits is that he would never force people to do anything that he wouldn't do himself. However, "that he wouldn't do himself" has a very broad definition, given the aforementioned Byronic-ness. Indeed, Ahriman considers himself damned and would probably sacrifice himself if need be, the only reason he doesn't is he wholeheartedly believes the sacrifice of his soul will be a necessary component to undo the Rubric (hence the reason for sealing his soul inside his armor).
  • "When Ahriman brings back Prospero" is a common phrase in the Imperium. Started out as hopeful but now is used in a derogatory fashion in the same manner as "When pigs fly"

When the Imperium confirmed that some of the Thousand Sons had been binding daemons and that Ahriman had been spreading this knowledge after an investigation, everything took a turn for the worst. Ahriman, along with most of the Thousand Sons that knew how to bind daemons fled with their followers. Becoming a nomadic renegade SM regiment has led to Ahriman taking control then renaming the happy band of renegades to the "Daemon Breakers."

The wandering Daemon Breaker Marines fight off hunting Imperial forces (and secretly help Imperial worlds in stomping daemon outbreaks). The renegades are not above interference and sabotage to ensure their survival. The recruitment for the regiment is always on-going and they hunt down any latent psykers to join them willingly or otherwise. Most defectors from the IG join the renegades as either a criminal escaping punishment, freedom seeking idealist, or someone just plain wanting revenge on Chaos. Those of the mortal soldiers that proved themselves in battle are sometimes given armor similar to that of the Sororitas. Just like the armor of the Sororitas, if there is no power supply for the limbs the soldier simply can't move. Worse is that if something hits the limbs under the armor, the limb movement accelerator will snap human bones like a twig.

Their motto is "Vanquish the Darkness" as said by Ahriman when he smashed a bloodthirster's head with his tome "Vocem Subjugatio Liber" thus binding the poor daemon to his will at all times.

Ezekyle Abbadon[edit]

  • Nephew of Horus Lupercal, Horus raised him like a son after Abbadon's father died
  • Stereotypical "have to one-up my (foster) father at everything" syndrome
  • Military brat, had a much more militaristic view of the universe as opposed to the slippery politician Horus
  • Died ramming his flagship down the throat of a Scrap Metal Leviathan during the first Black Crusade
  • No one else was charismatic enough to do the cat-herding to keep the Void Born together after Abbadon's death, so the legion split up.
  • Some years later his cybernetic arms were found in the orbiting debris field around Cadia by scavengers. They were still fused to the Command Lectern. They were taken to the Sol Void Born Migrant Fleet. As of 999M41 they are in the hallway in the Black Stone Fortress just before you reach the tomb of Horus. The Cadians wanted to keep them because cultural historical relic. The Void Born weren't listening, Abaddon was one of their captains and fuck anyone who say otherwise.

Shas'O Farsight[edit]

  • Once one of the greatest warriors in Tau history
  • During the Tau's political reformation, he, along with the other political hardliners that formed the Farsight Enclaves, walked off because they thought the Imperium's fancy new ideas were having a bad effect on the Greater Good. This led to the Tau Civil War
  • At some point got his hands on one of the Blades of Vaul. But not just any Blade of Vaul, the Blade of Vaul, his masterwork the Dawnblade,Anaris
  • Ethereals be all like "give the Eldar back their fucking sword" and Farsight replied "if they want it they can have it pointy end first"
  • Like in canon, the Dawn Blade has chronophagic properties that suck the life out of whoever is killed by it and gives it to the wielder (it's not the only Eldar weapon that works this way, see Spear of Twilight), Farsight knows something is up, but keeps his focus stubbornly on the Greater Good because he feels the Farsight Enclaves will fall apart without him around.

He's a diehard fire caste general that incessantly reminds the ethereals of their noble responsibility to be surly, high handed, self sacrificing philosopher kings. He's a die hard traditionalist that might even step above his station to hold ethereals to his idealized vision of traditional tau society, and pressure from him has influenced the enclave ethereals to conform to this vision of "High Tau'va". The ethereals in the farsight enclave are becoming more philosophical, abstract, and saintly in bearing, and rely increasingly on farsight and his fire warriors to interact with the enclave's people. Farsight has influence over the ethereals that goes way beyond tradition, but this is totally lost on him, and he seeks to do the ethereals will even as he cajoles them towards greater mysticism and the nobility he already sees in them. For their part the ethereals recognize Farsight's prominence, but say that he is reminding them of their duties as a caste, as he ought to. They're happy to have a major fire caste figure affirming their reactionary feelings towards the reforms, and are beginning to believe in his rosy picture of tau traditional society.

Farsight is basically Tau Oda Nobunaga giving the Earth Caste guns; in his crusade to reestablish the Tau traditions of old, Farsight is essentially breaking them all and establishing new ones, all while being too blind to most of it, and excusing what he allows himself to be aware of by saying it's for both the Greater Good and the greater good. Compared to just about everyone else the Imperium is up against (Szarekh, Malys, Vect, the tyranids), Farsight is a relatively nice guy who actually cares about the people under his command. It's just that he's a xenophobic asshole. He's the kind of guy if you were an Earth Caste walking into a bar, he would invite you over for a drink and nearly bowl you over with his sheer charisma. At least, until you find out what his political leanings are (depending on where you stand on the issue).

Reasons for Farsight's Breakoff[edit]

Farsight spent most of his career on the northern edge of the Tau Empire fighting mostly Chaos and to a lesser degree Orks, whereas Shadowsun spent most of hers on the southeastern front and fought mostly Nids. This disparity of experience resulted in a rift forming, with each having different views on how the universe works and what the Tau need. Shadowsun sees the need for the reasonable people of the universe to unite because that’s the only way anyone is surviving the tyranids. Farsight sees Chaos as this horrible Monster in the darkness, but thankfully they seem more focused on the Imperium and their “anathemas” and “blasphemers” and seem to mostly ignore the Tau; if the Tau were to join the Imperium, that monster may not ignore them anymore.

Farsight also feared that closer relations with the Imperium would change tau culture as he knew it. By that point the Tau Empire already had a few billion human citizens but they were Tau Humans dedicated to the Greater Good as much as other society in the Empire. What he predicted was the relaxation of the caste system, outside influences on policy making and a slowing down of the colonizing efforts for the next sphere of expansions.

Perhaps more than his concerns that contact with outsiders would change the Tau’va, Farsight feared that the Ethereal Council would come down and force people who wanted to hew to the old traditions to change their ways. And in his defence, in this regard history supported him. The Ethereal Council was known to force people to accept their vision in the past; they would never allow for the unity of the Tau to be broken with a potential split between “Orthodox Tau’Va” and “Relaxed Tau’va.”

The issue is that he kicked off a riot which led to things escalating to violence, which is massively taboo to the Tau (not just for the same reasons as canon, but because they see their unity and lack of Tau on Tau violence as a moral high ground compared to the fractious Eldar and humanity) and turned what should have been a reasoned debate into a Schism meets the Partition of India in space.

There are rumors that Shadowsun hasn’t been able to catch up to Farsight because Farsight has been deliberately avoiding confronting her because he feels guilty about what happened. He doesn’t feel guilty about standing up for what he believes in, but he feels guilty about letting it escalate to violence which is why he’s content to live in his own little hermit kingdom than try to subvert the main Tau Empire.

Farsight's fears have proved well-founded. The Tau Empire isn't growing anymore and no new spheres of expansion are planned. The Ethereal council has instead directed it's efforts towards missionary work to spread the philosophies of The Greater Good and try to co-opt the Eastern Fringe of the Imperium from the inside. They have made no secret of this. They have had their decision making influenced by outsiders in that the Imperium tells them what will and will not work from past experience and are typically proven right. Now they typically listen more and don't, for example, try to make fully A.I. robotic infantry. The caste system has been relaxed as the Casteless and Outcaste and auxiliary forces can attest. (Of course Aun'Va and historians will notice that the current interpretations of The Greater Good are more similar to the older attitudes to Aun'Da's teachings.)

Farsight was not wrong. A thousand years ago he would have been the very model of a great Fire Warrior. He's just out of time.

When they were both young and still good friends, Farsight and Shadowsun had an argument over the Tau'kon'she, a Fire Caste festival in which the Fire Warriors hunt a ceremonial clonebeast on foot using low-tech weaponry to connect with their heritage as nomads. Farsight wanted to perform the ceremony using pulse rifles, saying it was more efficient. Shadowsun was exasperated by it and said he was missing the point. Ironically the two have reversed position later in life, Farsight the traditionalist sees as important that the tau remember their old ways, whereas Shadowsun has grown jaded and has much less of a problem with cutting the Gordian knot.

Shas'O Shadowsun[edit]

  • Currently the greatest military hero of the Tau that is still alive and not a renegade. Typically seen as the Tau equivalent of a primarch or a Phoenix Lord by the rest of the Imperium (Farsight would be the other, except for the whole treason thing).
  • Shadowsun was a good friend of Farsight. Then Farsight did something during the Tau civil war that made Shadowsun swear a blood oath against him.
  • Probably did something so grievous that in Shadowsun's opinion Farsight has no moral justification in claiming that he's doing what's right, like escalating the tension between the two factions into outright violence and the first shots of the Tau Civil War. Farsight saw it as necessary and justified because the reformists weren't letting the traditionalists practice the Tau'va the way they wanted to. Shadowsun called bullshit, his actions led to Tau killing Tau and in her mind this was an act of barbarity just asking for the Mon'tau to return.
  • Probably had some sort of forbidden feelings for one another, but after that moment their relationship changed to that special feeling of hate and betrayal you can only have for someone you once loved
  • More open-minded and less xenophobic than Farsight (known as an Imperial hero even outside of Tau space, which the Tau will remind you of quite frequently), but at the same time more prone to obeying the Ethereal Council and is more manipulable by them.
  • As opposed to Farsight or Aun'Va, Shadowsun is still around because she's been leapfrogging through time via cryo-stasis as opposed to the Dawn Blade or whatever Aun'Va is doing. Explicit instructions to wake her when Farsight shows his head so she can fulfill her oath
  • Like Kryptman, Shadowsun has lost numerous friends and allies due to the passage of time. Unlike Kryptman, she is a bit more philosophical about this.

Shadowsun is essentially the Tau WMD that walks like a mortal.

It has the lovely image of Aun'va as some sort of Davy Jones dinosaur of another era that the others of his kind defer to out of respect/fear and when shit gets too hard to handle he declares "release the Shadowsun". Those are the days that you know shit has got beyond real. If is the legendary 1st Sphere veteran commander than by now she has fought everything from Dark Eldar to xeno Skynet. Like Kryptman she is awoken when needed and preserved when not. Like Kryptman she is getting on in subjective years now despite this though not to the same extreme. Like Kryptman she is awake in the final days of 999M41 and it doesn't look like she will sleep again soon.

Humans have stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, Tau have Shadowsun.

Imperium has Saint Celestine around whom the masses flock with songs ion their lips and fire in their hearts. Shadowsun is this also. When she wakes up the other castes start to readily form citizens militias to ease the burdens of the Fire Caste PDF equivalents. Not actual soldiers, goodness no. That would be against the scripture. They just assist and serve as best they can right up to what they can bend the scripture to accommodate.

Her personal mission is to uphold the values of the Imperial Tau'va by adapting to new tactics and destroying whatever she's pointed at better than anyone else can, and to find closure by ending her former friend's life. She doesn't really concern herself with issues that aren't relevant to this, having a sort of tunnel vision that makes her an extremely dangerous opponent and which probably helps her cope with having to constantly play catch-up in the fastest-developing society in the entirety of the Imperium. She's built her entire life around fulfilling this purpose, becoming cynical and jaded instead of wrathful and manic the way Inquisitor Kryptman has, as a person who hasn't quite lost everything and is simultaneously expected to be a paradigm of the Greater Good's ideals.

From Shadowsun’s perspective, literally every waking moment of her life for the last nigh-on a hundred years has been some form of conflict. The closest she has ever gotten to “down time” is the moments of strategic planning and stretches of boredom between FUBAR events. She goes to sleep only to wake up a moment later wondering “what in the name of the Tau’va is wrong now”. Shadowsun has essentially lived through every major military conflict of the last millennium, which would be the equivalent of a soldier fighting in every war since the late 18th century, and all the changes in technology that implies. Imagine having to constantly relearn how to fight as weapons go from muskets to bolt-action rifles to semi-automatics. Shadowsun would point this out…albeit in a rather cynical fashion.

“Sometimes the weapons are different. Better, faster, they say. In the end they are all the same. I pull the trigger, and something dies.”

Shadowsun has figured out by now that Aun'Va is more than meets the eye. The "my identical grandson for whom politics skipped a generation" works after a while, but someone who knows the guy personally would see right through his act in seconds. She doesn't voice what she knows because Aun'Va being in charge is literally for the Greater Good, but it allows her to be more critical of him because she knows he knows she knows and she sees his feet of clay through the shared ages. She believes in the Greater Good and the Empire as it fights for the Greater Good and the Imperium as it seems to mirror and facilitate the Greater Good but she also believes that Aun'Va was a late bronze age bureaucrat and blind obedience to the rules of another time taken in a vacuum and not adapted to this time will always lead to disaster. Her original dispute with Farsight. So she's more willing to push back against Aun'Va (though not the Etheral council), because she knows his tactics. Ironically Aun'Va trusts her more than almost anyone else based on how she was completely honest with him about what happened in the initial shots of the Tau Schism.

Shas'O Kais[edit]

You know, waaaay back in one of the old threads (about thread 4 or 5), it was suggested that it was O'Kais who kept what happened in the Kaurava system during Soulstorm from being a complete disaster after Boreale cocked it all up. O’Kais had to come riding to the recuse of an incompetent Space Marine commander to ensure that at least someone survived Kaurava instead of the human and Eldar forces being killed to a man.

So why not build on that and the above. O’Kais is one of the most well-known Tau military commanders alive in 999.M41. The reason he seems like such an Imperiaboo is he spent time as part of an Inquisitor’s retinue, so he’s spent time watching thing like Aspects of Steel and whatnot. Nevertheless, he’s still managed to garner quite the military reputation on his own through his own actions in the Tau military, no Imperial help required.

O’Kais got onto the Inquisitor’s retinue for a damn good reason, and people are shocked to learn he’s basically the Tau equivalent of Doomguy. O’Kais, for his part, is rather sedate about the whole affair, and although he prefers not to talk about what he’s seen, when he does talks it sounds like a normal person would talk about how they enjoyed a semester studying abroad. It’s debatable whether he actually feels this way, feels this way because of the muted connection Tau have to the Warp, or if he’s using it as a coping mechanism (given that he does avoid bringing it up).

He’s no Shadowsun, but that’s because Shadowsun is the equivalent of a soldier who somehow managed to fight on the front lines in the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War (or any other series of major wars for your country of choice).

Given the shorter life span and less effective longevity treatments of the Tau he would be a brash young man in his Doomguy days. Now if he had hair it would be grey. His skin is lined and leathery, his eyes are wary, his pace measured.

O'Kais has seen some shit and shit related accessories. How old is he? 70 maybe. Maybe 75ish. Biologically. He's spent so much time rattling around on ships that it's hard to say. He was born 122 years ago but such is travel through the warp.

He should be a figure of near mythic proportions on the Eastern Fringe, his name spoken beyond traditional Tau Space. His Inquisitorial has passed the hundred years of silence rule so a lot of it's open to the public.

He has earned the distinction of commanding Space Marines to victory, a thing no other Fire Caste has done.

He goes by the Kais, despite Kais being one of the most common names awarded in the Tau Empire, for the simple reason that the...other, more distinctive nicknames he's received are considered impolite in Tau society. There aren't many Shas'O who merely go by the name "Kais" so when anyone brings "O'Kais" everyone knows who they are talking about.

If anything he has become more dangerous in his twilight years. He is Doomguy and has trained Doomguys to succeed him.

Upon his death he has given orders for his body to be frozen and sent to Pech. He made a deal after the shit on Dolumar IV with a wise old Shaper. His funeral will be a feast before the Oathstone beneath the greatest Jagga Tree.

Timeline of life[edit]

887M41

Tau Fire Caste born to distinctly average parents. Mother and father worked in the T'au PDF equivalent. Name their son Kais, probably the most common name on T'au. Young Kais spends his childhood and early adolescence in the Fire Cast boarding school in the mountain town of Ash’nat Ruush being raised communally as is tradition with Tau.

896M41

Kais is lives up to his unimaginative name and passes with sufficiently above average grades to be placed in the Interstellar Army of the Tau rather than it’s local defence force. Although Kais passed with good grades on the notoriously traditionalist homeworld he was definitely in the pro-Imperium reformist camp, a thing that annoyed his tutors somewhat.

That and his lack of interest in the more philosophical aspects of the Greater Good. Which is not to say that he lacked faith in the cause but that he lacked patience with things without immediate practical application. He saw that his job was to defend the realm, not quote scripture.

897M41

Shas’Saal Kais is sent to “cut his teeth”, to use an Old Earth phrase, in the ongoing war for the hiveworld Agrellan / Mu'gulath Bay against the predations of the Ak'Haireth Resurgence. The world, although officially part of the Imperium proper, had substantial Tau investment and presence and was seen as a vital gateway between the two realms and a model of cooperation. The campaign to remove the fungal infection that was the Ak'Haireth was ultimately successful though costly. Shas’Saal Kais becomes Shas'la T'au Kais.

901M41

The greater deamon Tarkh'ax assaults the up until then nowhere world of Dolumar IV in a successful attempt to kidnap the Ethereal Aun'el Ko'vash. Reasons for doing so were later found to be to try and find a way of possessing Tau of the leadership caste for the most obvious reasons. If such a thing is possible is still undetermined as Ko’vash managed to commit suicide sometime into the proceedings but sadly before a substantial joint Tau – Imperial force made planet fall. By the time the main forces had arrived Tarkh'ax was already eroding reality on the planet from the Governors Palace and Dolumar IV was becoming a deamon world. It was a frantic and desperate mad dash to the Palace to stop the deamon prince at any cost.

Part of this force was Shas'la T'au Kais. Nobody is sure what happened to Kais on Dolumar IV but every body knows what he did. The Imperial Army, the other Tau, even the Space Marines soon found that they couldn’t keep up with Kais. His helm-cam recorded his progress, his body count that would be the envy of a Warhound veteran, the sheer magnitude of the things he cut down from deranged thralls to Fallen Marines to Chaos Spawn and ultimately Tarkh'ax himself almost single-handedly.

Knowing that the Ethereal Council would try to cover up the events as best it could Kais removed and hid the storage crystal from his helmet. In the time it took the remnants of the Tau cadre to return to T’au Kais’ mental state deteriorated due to the things he had seen. He uploaded the contents of his helm-cam to the planetary info-net. When the law enforcement found him he was sitting near catatonic in the data-hub.

Kais spent the next three years unresponsive in the Por’Vre Jeph’dar sanctuary for damaged souls.

904M41

Video surveillance of the Por’Vre Jeph’dar Sanctuary shows an eldar later identified as a known Handmaiden entering the facility and making her way to Kais’ cell. No eyewitnesses confirm this despite the figure having walked past several members of staff.

The next day Inquisitor ██████████████████████████ of the Ordo Malleus arrives at the Sanctuary and commandeers the miraculously recovered Kais.

The large part of Kais’ life spent in the service of the Inquisition is known to only a few with any certainty as his records are highly classified. Higher than most Inquisitorial files. What is known is that the Kroot have first claim on the old Tau’s body should he die uncorrupted, although what he did to earn this honour and what they did to deserve such meat is unknown. It is known that he had considerable experience commanding both Space Marines and human Guardsmen prior to the events on Kronus, though the circumstances are unknown.

989M41

Kais returns to the Tau Empire a very different creature. His skin grey and leathery with age in the places it wasn’t scar tissue, he spoke numerous languages to some basic degree and walked with the confident stride of an experienced commander.

Kais is bumped up the command chain to Shas’O Kais, though the Ethereals refuse to return the “T’au” to his name.

Later 989M41

Shas’O Kais heads the Tau contribution to the re-conquest of the planet Kronus alongside Colonel-Farseer Taldeer and her Cadians.

Kais and Gabriel Angelos, who was heading and independent detachment of Blood Ravens to Kronus for undisclosed reasons, form an odd friendship possibly based on their mutual experiences with the Inquisition and the eternal war against Chaos to say nothing of each others towering reputations.

The Tau contribution contained many Kroot who held Kais in some degree of awe or possibly fear and named him Laar’Nak Shak; The Walking Death. The Kroot were not actually officially part of the Tau army originally but Kais called in a favour and hinted that they might get settlement rights if they leant a hand. It was suspected the Kroot shaper just wanted Kais for his body.

M992

With the successful conclusion of the Kronus campaign Shas’O Kais returns to T’au and accepts a training job at the Ash’nat Ruush Boarding School where it is presumed he will sped his final years trying to impart his wisdom to the next generation of Fire Warriors.

Inquisitor Kryptmann[edit]

In M41, when the main hive fleet first made galaxyfall, the Emperor contacted the Kryptmann Institute, the Ordo Xenos group formed specifically to try and figure out how to take down the tyranids in the wake of Behemoth, Kraken, and Leviathan, to see if they had any ideas of how to stop them. They suggested they could try the Kryptman Line again. The Emperor asked them if they had any better ideas. The Inquisitors responded that the best they had come up with for a plan B was to invite the Swarmlord, Lady Malys, and the Silent King over for tanna and see which one killed the other two first.

Arik Taranis[edit]

Arik still passed down a lot of his early tests to the geneticists to try and fix the early Thunder Warriors, as was suggested. However, it was less direct, and more of “Psst, hey, you should try adding this secondary regulator hormone to the system. Works wonders.” to the geneticists.

Taranis was a waste of potential. If he had stayed on as a researcher, heck if he had stayed down when his original augments crapped out, he would have been able to do much more for the Imperium than as a super-soldier. The problem is that despite his brilliance he enjoyed bashing heads together much more than doing science. He's a scientist who found his calling as a super soldier.

The idea is that a lot of the quirkier features of the Custodes like dressing in gold and the Blood Games came from Arik (though the gold was probably Oscar’s suggestion), then when the more down-to-earth Valdor came in he dialed things back to make them a lot better organized. However, Valdor did pick up at least one thing, namely the whole “sometimes you have to disobey Oscar’s orders because Oscar doesn’t always know what’s in his own best interests”, which leads him to accompany Oscar and Isha to Beach Planet because he knows something’s going to go wrong with Vandire.

Macharius[edit]

Macharius is supposed to literally be based on Alexander the Great, right? So why not go whole hog with it, take the bad with the good. Macharius was a military mastermind, able to accomplish more in a few years than most commanders would be able to in lifetimes. Even those who felt the title of primarch belonged to a different era agreed that Macharius’ military accomplishments were the equal of the primarchs. So why was Macharius not hailed as the beginnings of a second coming of an age of primarchs?

Simply put, he couldn’t handle himself outside of war. He was a brilliant military genius, but when he wasn’t campaigning he had a bad drinking habit and generally made a boor of himself in public. All of the primarchs could function outside of war. Even Dorn and Curze. Dorn could occupy himself during peacetime, if you substituted “relaxing” with “fortifying this position”. Curze, on the other hand, just switched from waging an external war to addressing internal issues such as "waging a (literal) war on poverty". There were also rumors Macharius was not too fond of the Exodite Eldar and the Maiden Worlds, feeling that the worlds should be confiscated as they were otherwise being wasted and the Exodites weren’t pulling their weight, something that other parts of the Imperium were afraid was going to lead to civil war.

Think of a cross between Alexander the Great and Douglas MacArthur. Brilliant military tactician, but fell apart when not in combat (like Alexander) and had a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease and picking more fights than he could hope to win.

In this timeline, Macharius died due to actual misfortune, as opposed to High Lord assassination. Like everyone else, the higher-ups in the Imperial government mourned, though they felt a little guilty over the fact that they felt like they had just dodged a bullet.

Jenetia Krole[edit]

After doing some research on blanks and the pariah gene in canon, it seems that it is possible for psykers to be around blanks in the rare case that the psykers psychic ability outstrips the blank’s ability to nullify it. This fact is virtually trivial in canon, but it would mean that Krole would be able to be around extremely powerful psykers like Oscar and Magnus, for whom trying to nullify their power would be like trying to block out the sun with an umbrella. It also explains how the vanilla Sisters of Silence were able to be around the Emperor without him going nuts.

From what I can tell with blanks in canon, they are not capable of turning their aura on and off, but it does sound like they are capable of changing the intensity of their aura to be more or less uncomfortable to people who aren’t outright psykers. Jenetia was able to control her aura enough that she would have been the type of blank to just be considered “odd” by the average person, but she intentionally cultivated the reputation of being the scariest person in the room.

Jenetia’s personality is partially inspired by Queen Gorgo of Sparta. Laconic, tough as nails, and favoring quality over quantity in terms of troops. In-universe, it may be due to spending part of her time being raised by the Custodes.

This sort of gives an explanation as to why the Sisters of Silence were allowed to exist despite the Emperor being the old chivalrous sort. The Pariah gene is described as being extremely rare in Vanilla, with there being only one to two pariahs in a population of ten billion even if one counts those who only have it as a recessive gene. Until the Imperium could get a large number of planets under their control, Jenetia was the only blank they had. Jenetia was a bitter necessity until the Grey Knights could get up and running, and as soon as that was done Jenetia was swept off the front lines to a position the Steward thought would be safer.

Despite what seem like similarities, there’s a big difference between Jenetia Krole and Conrad Kurze. Kurze inflicted terror because he thought that fear was the best way to bring order and keep people in line. Krole cultivated a terrifying reputation because she just wanted people to recognize her as a badass.

Jenetia liked kids, in case that wasn’t obvious, even if they didn’t always like her back. It’s highly likely that Jenetia put in the request to the Steward because she just wanted some people she could be around for more than a couple of hours, in addition to the tactical reasons.

Nemesor Zandrekh[edit]

Nemesor Zandrekh is crazy. In fact, he is so crazy the Silent King cannot assume direct control over him like he can with so many other Phaerons, because Zandrekh believes he’s still flesh and blood and of course only a robot can be controlled that way.

He doesn't care much for this "Silent King" little gutter oik. Bah humbug and balderdash so he doesn't. Obviously such an uncultured and, quite frankly, barbaric swine must, in fact, be some sort of tinpot despot rebel or a petty little lordling from one of the lesser races trying to pull a clever ruse.

The true power in this galaxy, besides his self, of course, must be this great bustling Imperium business that everyone is going on about. Indeed not a day goes by when there isn't some sort of news from the border regarding their valiant and heroic efforts against what sounds suspiciously like the old enemies of the True Empire.

In fact, he would put money on these High Men of Earth being distant kin or descendants of his own people that waited out the upheavals and desolation. That must be it. They stayed awake and duked it out, this "Imperium" must, therefore, be The True Empire or at least something not too far removed from it.

And so Nemesor Zahndrekh made diplomatic contact with the Imperium. It took Harlequin Lore-Masters to translate the transmissions and once they figured out what the crazy old bastard was prattling on about they couldn't stop laughing.

Nemesor Zahndrekh of Gidrim and it's protected systems (about a dozen systems all told, only two conventionally inhabitable worlds and one of them only just) are not part of the Imperium but they are very close allies with it. Emperor Oscar deemed it prudent to play along with his delusions rather than risk him waking up and offered him the hand of friendship and invited him to a banquet in his honor to formalize the alliance.

So far the mad bastard has guarded his patch of space well and has come to the aid of the Imperium on several occasions, even going so far as to temporarily house a rescued ferry convoy on his throne world (near a quarter of a million people all told). He said he liked talking to the children. It had been many years since his hall echoed with such simple laughter.

On at least one occasion the Imeprium came to his aid after receiving a message, from one of the ambassadorial team's astropaths, indicating that he was having "a spot of bother with some sort of insectoid life form". Shortly afterward contact was lost.

Needless to say, there were no eldar involved in anything relating to the Nemesor. They are pretty sure that he is going to try and kill them all at some point. Isha wasn't present during the official banquet. She was away on "State Business", an excuse Zahndrekh thankfully believed and took no offense. Oscar tried to show him a picture of Isha, to see if Nemesor was on the level, only for the mad old bastard to say “Quite a beautiful dame she is. I say, is she descended from one of the old royal bloodlines? She certainly has that regal Phaeron jawline. Shame she couldn’t attend on account of official business.” Oscar decided to take this information to his grave, rather than rile the Eldar up by saying that Nemesor had favorably compared their goddess to a Necrontyr Phaerakh. The only Eldar that are able to tolerate being around him are the Harlequins, and that’s only for the sheer schadenfreude of the whole thing.

Everyone on the Ambassadorial Team is pretty sure that the imposing Necron called Obyron who stands by the Nemesor at all times is aware of how reality is and how his lord is and is merely playing along for the sake of his master. He and the Ambassadorial Team have come to an unspoken agreement. They don't try anything covert and no "accidents" will happen.

Obyron stays around Nemesor because as bad as Nemesor is, the Silent King is worse, and as long as he serves Nemesor he doesn’t have to listen to Szarekh through clever use of loopholes because he’s “obeying his lord”. He also feels some sympathy for the old man…er…skele-bot, as crazy as he is. Obyron does still love his master. For all that he is crazy, he is still Zahndrekh and he owes him so very much.

Zahndrekh was actually rather a rather nice individual even before becoming a senile skele-bot. He treated defeated enemies with respect, had a sense of noblesse oblige that led him to care for those under his command, and was even altruistic enough to take in a young gutter urchin Obyron into his household. Of course, this was the infamously deadly and backstabbing world of Necrontyr politics. Zahndrekh was a brilliant strategist and was nice because he could afford to be nice, and those who took niceness as weakness paid the consequences. The eldar are terrified that if Zahndrekh ever snapped back to sanity he would turn into a murderbot 5000. In reality, if you could circumvent the issue with the control protocol, you’d probably just get a more coherent and intelligent Zahndrekh.

This is actually part of the reason Szarekh brought Zahndrekh into his fold during the Second Wars of Secession. He was unflinchingly loyal, a skilled general, and he made Szarekh’s side look good. The fact that the Nemesor could be lenient to those who genuinely pledged themselves to Szarekh made him a good carrot to the bigger stick of many of his other generals during the Wars of Secession because he made Szarekh look benevolent and merciful to his enemies. And this was back when Szarekh still had some humanity (necrontyrity?) in him and could be as magnanimous as he was brutal. Part of the reason Zahndrekh doesn’t recognize the authority of the Silent King is his last memories date to the Second Wars of Secession, and he has a hard time reconciling the young, headstrong Szarekh from then with what he became.

Of the two inhabitable worlds in his Dynasty, the least shit is settled by Tau. They've regressed biologically back to the pre-caste tau by interbreeding when the caste system broke down.

They are pretty substandard in terms of technology, they have shit from the early days of the Tau's first steps into the galaxy. It is suspected that they are the descendants of one of the early and mysteriously lost colony ships.

Nemesor Zahndrekh considers them to be quaint and primitive but with a rustic charm. They also show him, as their lord and master, proper tribute and reverence on the occasion that he visits them. So he lets them have the planet.

It's the more pleasant of his two inhabitable worlds but he wasn't using it. Also, a lord should be judged not by how he treats his equals and betters but by how he treats those beneath him of whom he has no reason to fear. That is the mark of a worthy lord. That is why the Silent King is a despicable little oik and no king of his say what.

Although the least shit of the two planets it's still pretty shit. Insufficient ozone layer and barely 25% sea cover. You can live there but it's not a holiday resort.

Obyron and the nobility of Gidrim[edit]

Obyron was a gutter urchin that the Nemesor adopted millions of years ago in the days of the True Empire. It was always permitted that Overlords could appoint their own bodyguards regardless of origin or social standing. Most only took them from families they knew, trusted or had a history of loyal service and subservience to ensure that they were true to their duties and also to keep intact the divide between the lowborn and the nobility.

Hiring a pleb as a bodyguard was so rare by the time of the years leading up to the biotransferance that most people had forgotten that it was even technically still legal.

Zandrekh was also Overlord of a remote patch of the Empire so eccentricities are more excusable. Obyron therefore owes Zandrekh so very much. By all accounts he should have lived and died a penniless scavenger. Maybe Zandrekh caught him scrumping apples or some shit and offered him a job as part of the palace guard. Obyron eventually working his way up to bodyguard and then head bodyguard.

Point is Imotekh was trained as a nobleman with rules of conduct in combat and the propper way to duel between gentlemen. Obyron is a knee to the groin, elbow to the gut, eye gouging, ear biting, dirty fighting elevated pleb whose only use for the rule book is an improvised club.

The functionaries of Gidrim will not be trying to replace the Nemesor, they know that they are robots and as such will get fucked over instantly by Silent King override codes. Rather they jockey for positions in the advisory council and in the administration of the Gidrim Estate, everyone wants to be as close to him as possible. Old Man Zandrekh knows that most if not all of them are sycophants but what can you do? He knows that although they will fight among themselves to who gets to be firstmate of his ship they won't mutiny against him and they won't allow risk to the ship.

Also if any of them starts to get too clever or does things too risky Obyron is always there behind his masters right shoulder, a menacing figure in chrome and gilt.

The arrival of the Imperial Representative team and Ambassadorial staff annoyed a lot of courtiers as it was an intrusion in their comfortably insular games. Overlord Zandrekh quite likes the Imperials as they are way less ass kissy and two faced than his own court is.

The jobs typically held by his people are:

  • Crew of the Lady Betsy and the few support craft he has, all of them lovingly maintained classics.
  • Warriors of the realm
  • Bodyguards and palace guards
  • Palace maintenance and cleaning staff
  • Butlers, servants, maids and such
  • Kitchen staff (including food tasters)
  • Administrators of the blue-skin (Tau) colony
  • Garrison and Sentinels of the blue-skin colony
  • Royal gardener and assistants
  • Weather-watcher
  • Royal architect and masons and other associated artisans
  • Keeper of the Minutes
  • Keeper of the library
  • Royal Calligrapher
  • Master/Mistress of tapestries
  • Palace physician
  • Law-master/mistress
  • Lore-master/mistress (and specialists)
  • Spymaster/mistress
  • Head Cryptek
  • Keeper of the Vehicles
  • Keeper of the Fish

And a whole host of lesser titles that the Nemesor is half convinced they made up to give them something to do.

Obyron versus Imotekh[edit]

At some point while the Silent King was sending his lackeys out waking up and unifying the Tomb Worlds, Imotekh the Stormlord got sent to Gidrim because the Silent King has been sending commands and Zahndrekh isn't answering his calls. Imotekh finds Obyron waiting for him at the docks. Imotekh demands that all bow before the Silent King. Obyron declares: No. Nothing else. Just a blank No.

Obyron challenges Imotekh to an honor duel because Imotekh will tell Zahndrekh exactly what has happened the last sixty six million years and Zahndrekh will likely go into a full on Nam dog/Alzheimers-esque meltdown. So Obyron protects the old man out of loyalty.

Imotekh: Do you know who I am? I was trained by Ana'mhashark in the temple of Djomo!

Obyron: I grew up in the streets of Telhemerarch. Leave now or I might cut you up a little bit you inbred aristocratic little shit.

Obyron thrashes Imotekh, because Imotekh is only above average in terms of scythesmanship skills (relying heavily on the durability and lack of fatigue his Necrodermis body gives him) whereas Obyron is, to analogize to A Song of Ice and Fire, undead robot Jaime Lannister. Imotekh leaves because Obyron won the duel fair and square and that's the way Imotekh rolls. When next Obyron meets Nemensor Zahndrekh his master notes that he has a new arm. Obyron thanks him for noticing, the old one got damaged in some accident whilst he went about his duties. It's amazing what a good doctor can do these days.

Zahndrekh doesn't need to know about Imotekh.

That day Obyron and Zahndrekh go for a walk about the royal garden. At the evening hour they stop by the Imperial Embassy to catch up on the news. Zahndrekh, Obyron and the Imperial Ambassador end the day sipping brandy by the heating unit in a garden shed some miles from the palace.

The night ends with Ambassador giving Obyron a hug. She can't officially admit that she knows what she has done, but she can blame it on the brandy. Obyron pats her hair as softly as he can and holds her gently. He doesn't understand.

Erebus[edit]

Erebus, the Dark Prophet. Even more of a nightmare than in canon, if you can believe that.

In terms of there being no record of anyone matching Erebus’ description ever joining the legion and people being if this is because a “recruit Erebus” never really existed or if he simply did a good job at covering his tracks, it’s the latter. Erebus really did joined the Word Bearers as a rank-and-file but was just really good at destroying his records. He knows that playing up the mysterious “Was he a Word Bearer? Where did he come from?” angle makes him look scarier and gets him followers. He renamed himself Erebus because he’s an edgelord.

It's not yet agreed upon when Erebus fell to Chaos and when his corruption became noticed. As to his corruption, some people suggest he fell to Chaos as a child pope due to Lorgar taking his congregation and joined the Word Bearers to get revenge whilst others suggest he did not fall until after he joined the Word Bearers. As to when his corruption became known, some have it that he was discovered well into the Great Crusade and seemingly vanished after his near-death experience, only resurfacing during the War of the Beast upon which it became apparent he had been corrupting a whole bunch of people, whereas others suggest his corruption was only revealed during the War of the Beast, and the conversation between Erebus and Lorgar went in the same way that a lot of the canon loyalist Primarchs tried to talk down the traitors before they realized they weren't going to stop.

Lady Malys[edit]

The Daemon Queen of Chaos. The "Abbadon", for all intents and purposes, of this setting. Only competent, and so high one can't tell the crazy from the cunning. One of the threads had a (now lost) picture of what she was supposed to look like with big black feathery wings. The wings are intentionally grown because it pisses off the Blood Angels. Rumor has it they were torn from Sanguinius' back.

At some point she engaged in a blasphemous and all manner of fucked up wedding with Asdrubael Vect, the Lords of Shaa-Dome and Commorragh.

Some would say that being married to the Queen of Chaos whilst banning warpcraft in the Dark City is a tad hypocritical. Yes it is. He's Lord Asdrubael Vect, he gives no shits. You can file a complaint with the complaints department if you are feeling stupid.

Lady Malys is blessed of all the gods of Chaos. She is insanely powerful on an individual levels and just dangerously insane enough to get all the warbands of Chaos to temporarily act together and swear obedience but still just coherent enough to make use of it.

Only the Emperor is her equal in a one on one confrontation and only a fully awakened Avatar of Khaine (and a lot of support) has any realistic hope of stopping her. She has died many times but the gods keep resurrecting her at least in part because they don't want her in the Realm of Chaos for longer than is necessary.

She is still "mortal" in that she is not in a daemon-prince sort of deal. She swore no oaths of loyalty for he power, the gods keep her powered up possibly because they are scared to find out what she would do one of them with the powers of the others if one of them stopped. They give her power she fucks shit up and that feeds them. How a mere mortal can operate on that sort of insanely high rape train level is unknown.

It is perhaps that she is the equal and opposite of The Emperor. Her marriage to Vect being a mirror of Isha and Emperor.

In a few of the Starchild Prophesies it is her that gives birth to the Impossible Child rather than Isha and in one rather horrible prophesy the Emperor is the posthumous father. In that prophesy either she rapes the Emperor, conceives a child and then kill the Emperor or she kills the Emperor and somehow rapes the corpse.

Either way is possible, this is Chaos.

But it is just one prophesy out of many and no more or less contradictory than the other ones.

Compared to Abbadon, Lady Malys is much more flexible strategist, and copes with failure or changes in plans much better than Abbadon. Unlike Abbadon, Malys’ Black Crusades don’t really have do-or-die goals, but more of checklists of “things we’d like to do”. As long as the Black Crusade doesn’t get stalled at Cadia, raping the fields, salting the people, and burning the water of numerous Imperial Worlds counts as a success and anything else is a bonus. (It helps that she tends to have salt-the-earth retreat plans as opposed to Abbadon’s “leave my allies out to try while I fuck off to the Eye of Terror”) Additionally, despite her mania, drug problems, etc., she is often the only sane man among the Cronedar (or, at least, the sanest person in the room), and one of the most capable in terms of long-term planning.

On the other hand, despite being a superb tactical genius, on a personal level Malys is completely ruled by her emotions. Her characteristic mania and her desire to lead from the front means that she has often overestimated herself and ends up dying. Several times. Despite being able to plan out strategems months in advance that still manage to baffle the most tactically inclined minds in the Imperium, when not dealing with something that she personally finds interesting she bores quickly and has the idle behavior of a child that enjoys torturing small animals for fun.

It’s possible that Malys getting herself killed is what turned the tide for some Black Crusades, as she likely respawns in the Eye far from the front lines and in the time it takes her to get back Be’lakor, Luther, Arrontyr, the Taskmaster, and literally everyone else will be squabbling for control.

On a very short-term, day-to-day basis, Malys is all about self-gratification and doing what makes herself feel good. Eat that extra donut. Make out with your boyfriend when you want, where you want. Kill a co-worker for looking at you funny. Ultimately she feels she needs no further justification. She wants to do a thing so she does a thing. If it bothers you then you can try and stop her.

However, on a longer term basis Malys is capable of making plans and is usually capable of putting instant self-gratification aside for bigger goals. Some days where she's not that high but hasn't come completely down yet she sees herself as surrounded by idiots for others not being able to do the same. She sees herself as the chosen messiah of the gods destined to spread Chaos to the whole galaxy, even before other people did. Yes, the Beast came close but failed, but if course he would, you need a true member of the chosen people of the gods to get shit done. It's possible the results of the Raid of Cthonia gave her the confidence to try aiming for something bigger.

If she can unearth herself from the cocaine heap and remove the dicks for a few minutes she may tell you of her long term goal of drowning the entire galaxy in Chaos jizz to turn everything into an Eye of Terror tier Chaos Storm in which the party never ends for anyone because no matter how torturous the experience, no matter how extreme the sensations nobody will be able to die. You can murder and rape and do ALL OF THE DRUGS and things not even permitted by the laws of physics for all eternity at greater levels of intensity than can be ever imagined by mortal minds in this era. The Fall was a good proof of concept and warm up for what she's got planned but even the worst of the Old Sinners from the Eldar Empire would look on with awe and wonder and maybe a little fear at the orgy she's working towards. And everyone is coming along for the ride.

Malys does actually have redeeming virtues. Like loyalty. She honestly loves Vect in her own twisted, Malekith-esque way. And she would never think of betraying the Chaos gods (which is rather notable), with the possible exception of if they did something like tell her to kill Vect while the two were at a good point in their relationship, which the gods aren't foolish enough to do so because they would lose the loyalty of a perfectly good follower for no gain. Unlike canon Abbadon, who plans to jump ship and betray the gods as soon as he gets to Terra and doesn't need them anymore, Malys honestly loves serving the gods, because it defines her and gives her purpose. And unlike a lot of schmucks on Shaa-Dome, she has enough power to meaningfully turn her back on the gods. If one rescinded their backing without all four doing so at once, she could slaughter enough of that gods' followers with the backing of the other three that they'd be vulnerable to another three-on-one beatdown like Nurgle got during the Raid (or worse). To be frank, the idea of someone having that much power and not being interested in backstabbing the person above them is unthinkable and kind of creepy to the Chaos gods. It'd be like having an insane fangirl who can nonetheless mess your day up.

At the same time, Malys often finds herself frustrated by the many of the other Crone Eldar, who don't seem to have the ambition that she does and she often feels like one of the few reasonable individuals around because they can't restrain themselves enough to get shit done. On a bad day, Malys sees the Taskmaster as a sycophant, the Crow as a babbling idiot, Nimina as an evangelist who needs to do less preaching and more getting shit done, and Arrotyr as an unreliable team killing dickbag. Not that any of the other named Crones are much better. Riastrad is a Leeroy Jenkins, Kaimon is a narcissist and a dumbass, Malaria is too stoned to be of much use, and the Choir of Despair is considered by most to be an overglorified talking bed pet (and may not be a Crone). This is usually when the drugs are starting to run out, Malys is starting to come off her high, and the Black Crusade is in danger of falling apart.

Malys' flagship is the Manifest Ecstasy. We don't have much else on it beyond the bitchin' name.

To get a better feel for Malys' personality, one good place to start would be looking at the Black Crusades, which she typically leads.

Malys' Children

Awesome.pngThis article or section is about something involving/related to /d/.
Expect PROMOTIONS and possible mental scarring. Also rape.


Vect and Malys have had many children, though have not produced any official heirs with each other yet (unrecognized heirs may exist, and their lack of offspring might not be in stone, there was even a suggestion of a Malus Darkblade-style Crone who is trying to live up to the reputation of Vect and Malys whom both give zero shits about). Neither Crone or Dark Eldar society is big on fidelity, and in both orgies and casual sex are as common as handshakes, though unplanned pregnancies are much less common due to the eldar reproductive system. Basically, as long as Vect or Malys don’t forget who is supposed to come first in their heart (and in the periods in which the two are not an item not even then), they could care less about the other’s sexual dalliances.

In Malys’ case, she actually disregards most of her offspring, only really counting the few she's acknowledged, and even with her acknowledgement it confers no special right in and of itself. Some will certainly have grown up quite forgotten about, attended to by the staff of her disused mansion/embassy on the central layer of Shaa-Dome, but certainly many more would have been discarded, sacrificed, or played with to a fatal end. She typically only acknowledges her bastards when she needs something from them or one of them manages to impress her. Many do try to impress her in an attempt to earn their mother’s favor, but she could care less. Malys is the ultimate absentee mother, caring more about Deus Vulting than any child, and the only reason any might survive to adulthood is she has servants to take care of them.

Some Crones (both Malys' actual offspring and pretenders) even claim to be Malys’ children in an attempt to gain prestige, though eldar society typically frowns on that and imposters can be violently disabused of such a notion, often by their mother themselves. Although Malys' offspring often think they are important because of their lineage, they should really be thankful for being allowed to be born and survive to adulthood at all; Malys has sometimes intentionally had children because she gets off on the unique twisted sensations of sacrificing your unborn child to the Chaos gods and using daemons as a method of abortion. Not necessarily in that order. The cramping and sickness that usually follows premature births would probably be orgasmic for her, and most Crone Eldar for that matter.

Arrotyr, Marshal of the Old Helm[edit]

Arrotyr was a descendant of one of the old military families of the Old Eldar Empire, one that could trace its heritage back to the days of the War in Heaven. His ancestor was famous for having once personally bested the Necron Imotekh the Stormlord both tactically and in personal combat, and all members of his house were expected to follow in his ancestor’s stead.

When Arrotyr saw the disgusting murder orgies that sprung immediately prior to the birth of Slaanesh, Arrotyr put two and two together and assumed that the person who was responsible for all this was the goddess of sex and fertility, Isha. Although some in the empire knew of the whole Slaanesh thing, Arrotyr wasn’t one of them. So Arrotyr simply did the “logical” thing and marched his soldiers into the biggest temple devoted to Isha on Shaa-Dome and simply started killing everyone there (shades of the Greeks desecrating the temple of Athena in the Illiad). For obvious reasons, this did not stop the Fall. Keep in mind that while Arrotyr might have considered himself the only sane person in the waning days of the empire, he wasn’t. He was so crazy and ruthless it’s amazing he hadn’t falled to Khorne already (think Eldar Quaritch). However, Khorne was amused by such an epic display of team-killing (plus the butchered civilians) that he blessed Arrotyr and his warriors, making them the flaming skeleton terminators we all know and fear today.

When Imotekh woke up, he either saw Arrotyr as a worthy opponent to succeed his ancestor, or wanted to humiliate him for what his ancestor did to him.

Either that or the old Arrotyr is literally the current Arrotyr, only having gone through several thousand cycles of reincarnation.

Iygonesh Orvass, the Taskmaster of Slaanesh[edit]

Iygonesh (pronounced "egonesh") Orvass was a minor cousin of the royal house of the Old Eldar Empire that gets involved with the cabal of seers that want to make a god of art and joy. Where as they are all decadent and degenerate beyond some of the worst historical excesses, they are fairly dignified and refined relative to the cruelest parts of the Old Empire, and do have the sense of noblesse oblige that was said to have surrounded the early conception of Slaanesh. Iygonesh is one of the circle's important ways into favor with the Eldar imperial family, and palace connections he can offer allow them to gain the patronage of the royal house. During this period of intrigue and positioning the project was already growing libertine, but the introduction of the royal family and court's influence immediately turn the whole thing into a massive grotesque party. With its powerful backers and mass cultural appeal to the Eldar in that era the cult was relatively quick to consolidate power, with the royal house using the spread of the new faith and growing warp energy to subdue longtime uncooperative elements or drive them away. At the same time the circle structured and exalted the bases practices of the Eldar upper class under their arcane hedonism, and guided the riotous 'enjoyment' of them masses to best form their god.

Tensions and intrigues are already coming to a head as the singularity is reached in the warp. Slaanesh is already being seen in hallucinations, dreams, flickering in the smoky halls of palace, among bodies in the flesh pits of Shaa-Dome. Around this time something gives, climax is reached, and the Eye of Terror opens. Shaa-Dome and most of the Eldar's webway megastructures fall into the Warp, Arrotyr arrives in time to fall in with them, and the Eldar king and much of the royal family die first as the imperial eldar palace is ground zero, when all hell breaks loose.

Not yet decided what in specific initiates the Fall, be it the death (snuff) of the king, some final rite initiated by the circle of seers, or even just some last line crossed. Not yet determined if Iygonesh killed the king, if Slaanesh itself killed the king, or if the king just got it in the orgies. Most of the Eldar present were quickly used and consumed by the young god, particular among them many of the inner circle, royalty, and partakers in the festivities of its birth. The Taskmaster was one of the ones that wasn't, and in one of the first lulls in Slaanesh's happy birthday he met his god/dess and they conversed. It became clear that the Taskmaster was totally and maniacally devoted to Slaanesh, not as an ideal of pleasure or fulfillment of fantasy, or as a pitiful Eldar god, but as the god he helped shape and structure. The Taskmaster had always been involved for the sake of this interest, the creation of a being beyond just immortal, the beauty of transcendence attained, that had driven him, and now he would serve its whims as the clear perfect purpose. The young God/dess was flattered, and Slaanesh felt this exaltation ringing within its own nature, and took the taskmaster into its service as the festivities resumed. Slaanesh's attention was soon caught by Khorne, and the Taskmaster was bid to take the celebration to Arrotyr, who was burning his way into the shellworld, and goes with the blessing and might of his worshipful Prince of Pleasure.

tl;dr: Iygonesh is the yandere Renfield to Slaanesh's Dracula, and the rest of the galaxy is worse off for it.

Iygonesh and Arrotyr knew of each other in passing before the Fall. Iygonesh confronted Arrotyr at some courtly social function. Iygonesh saw Arrotyr as a brute due to him being eldar Quaritch and spending most of his time securing the borders of the Old Empire in quasi-exile. Arrotyr saw Iygonesh as a poncy aristocrat and a fop. Iygonesh also knew of the Crow as well. The Indigo Crow was a well-known figure in Eldar occultism, with the mantle of the Crow (if not the individual wearing it) being almost as old as the Old Empire, and was a figure of reverence to the underground esoteric societies established by the rich and bored that eventually became the Tzeentchian colleges. As the chosen herald of the creative god of Sorcery, the Crow was seen as a Chaos-aligned, dark magic teaching lecturer and promoter of better living through sorcery. If you impressed Tzeentch with your ritual and delving into the occult the Crow might unexpectedly show up and teach you a magic trick or two before wandering out. The Crow mostly hung around the royal family due to them being "major patrons of the psychic and sorcerous arts" valuable to his master. Iygonesh might have dropped in on a lecture given by the Crow in the palace gardens while a guest at some point before the Fall or seen him during his experience with the pleasure cults, but didn't know the Crow personally.

The Taskmaster is also Malys biggest threat for control of the Crone Eldar outside of other Chaos Undivided eldar. This being Chaos, there is always the threat of backstabbing from everybody, but in general Nimina prefers to preach and the Crow is occupied with their own plans. Arrotyr rants and raves, but much of his hate tends to be directed towards the Slaaneshis and the general populace of Shaa-Dome and he’s more focused on demonstrating the superiority of Khorne in general than challenging Malys specifically. The Taskmaster thinks they should be in charge because the largest segment of the population is Slaaneshi or venerates Slaanesh in some way and it's in the nature of Slaaneshi to always seek more.

Iyanna Arienal[edit]

Iyanna Arienal, head Spirit Seer of Iyanden, would in this AU be a supreme space navy organizer and essentially what amounts to the military governor of the most colossal Star Fort ever to be built with all the authority of the Imperia Navy that this implies. Her joint Imperial title that she avoid using at all costs is Lady High Admiral.

Craftworld Iyanden still does have a disproportionately huge number of dead dudes walking around in wraith constructs. Some say as many as every other craftworld combined, the majority of them raised by her.

They were raised from living death into unlife when the 'Nids attacked just like the main timeline but unlike the main timeline they were not strictly needed. Prince Yriel appeared at the head of an entire Armada and half a million Kriegers, not that Spirit Seer Arienal knew this was going to happen.

So with the combined efforts of the risen dead and overwhelming conventional forces the 'Nids were driven back and the smashed up Craftworld rebuilt by the Navy.

The Phoenix Lords[edit]

The general view among the human population of the Imperium is that the Phoenix Lords are the eldar's primarchs: great warriors and generals who helped them rise from the muck during their peoples' darkest hour. By the same token, the Eldar see the primarchs as the human's Phoenix Lords. Of course, most Eldar would also point out that their great warriors happen to be still alive, in a manner of speaking. (If you're wondering, the Tau consider/considered Farsight and Shadowsun their primarch/Phoenix Lord equivalents).

It's not entirely clear what is going on with the Phoenix Lords' resurrection yet. One suggestion is it may be something like the Doctor in Doctor Who: the Phoenix Lords reincarnate with each new wearer added on, but the persona is slightly different and not quite the same. However this is not agreed on. The Phoenix Lords are agreed to be getting stronger from absorbing new exarchs, though.

Most of the Phoenix Lords, with a few notable exceptions, were students of Asurmen at the time of the Fall. Many of them came with Asurmen as part of the Raid. Many of those that came back were so shaken by their experiences they stepped off the Path. Leithon the Wraithguard was one of them (he joined the Harlequins, and later the Disciples of Kurnous). The few that remained, along with Asurmen, became the Phoenix Lords of legend.

Asurmen[edit]

As in canon, the Shrine of Asur was besieged by the hordes of Chaos during the birth of Slaanesh. In order to protect his students, Asurmen took up his weapons and fought innumerable daemons, and eventually, four greater daemons, one from each of the Ruinous Powers. The point of Asurmen's battle was not to fight four greater daemons and win. No mortal, no matter how powerful, could do that. Instead his goal was to stall the daemons for long enough that his students and the population of the Shrine of Asur could retreat to the safehouses beneath the planet, warded with runes so heavily it would take one of the dark gods themselves to break in, where they could wait out the fallout from the birth of Slaanesh.

"I win."
- Last words of the original incarnation of Asurmen, before being decapitated by a greater daemon of Khorne

Asurmen fully expected to die facing the greater daemons, his armor dragged into the warp and his soul seized by the Chaos Gods. But Asurmen underestimated the resolve of his students. When Asurmen fell his students, who had secretly avoided going into the safehouses, flew into a rage and fought back the daemons long enough for them to recover their dead teacher's body and armor and retreat back to the safety of the safehouses.

Jain Zar[edit]

Although Asurmen was by far the grandmaster of the Shrine of Asur and the one in charge of the place, few who would argue that Jain Zar was second in command. Jain Zar was the first student of Asurmen, and acted as Asurmen’s right hand, constant companion, and closest confidant. It is even rumored that their relationship was more than simply platonic, but nothing has ever emerged to confirm this, and frankly after the both of them have been reborn so many times any such feelings are likely to have been muddled by the repeated reincarnation.

As in the new canon, long before the Fall, Asurmen was kind of a ditherer when it came to the Pleasure Cults. He wasn’t exactly a huge fan of them but at the same time he wasn’t an anti-pleasure cult zealot like his brother Tethesis, because hey, it’s a cult devoted to making people happy? What could be wrong with that? It might have helped that he was living on the far edges of the Empire and didn’t see how the Crone Worlds had devolved into “what cruel and unusual shit can we do for kicks today?” He did leave the Empire for the Exodite Worlds, but that was mostly because his brother was doing so and he wanted to support him. As the Exodite colony grew and the first generation of Eldar outside of the empire started being born, Asurmen was happy for his brother, but still thought going to live in the middle of nowhere was a bit of an overreaction.

That all changed when the Exodite world was ransacked for slaves by raiders from Commorragh. It should be noted that this was back in the days before Commorragh was seen as synonymous with treachery. Back then it was merely seen as an extralegal domain where Eldar aristocrats went to satisfy their perverse lusts that even the mainstream empire found distasteful. And here they were hunting down their own people like they were game animals. They even siphoned away the souls of the planet’s World Spirit for use back in Commorragh. Asurmen just barely managed to save his brother’s soul, but the rest were stolen.

This was the breaking point for Asurmen. It didn’t matter what one thought of the pleasure cults, this was simply wrong. He had caught a glimpse of the abyss into which the Empire was headed, and he didn’t like it. No longer would he stand by and watch his people slip away into madness. If there were Eldar who wanted to stand against the darkness, he would teach them how to fight it tooth and nail. It was this event that would put Asurmen on the path to being an eldar nobody to the kind of person who, by the time of the actual Fall, was respected enough that he could speak and get all of the Craftworlds to shut up and listen (if he hadn’t died in the immediate aftermath of the Fall, anyway).

As in canon, Asurmen may not be the guy’s original name in the first place, as it basically means “left hand of god”. This isn’t exactly uncommon for the Phoenix Lords, Jain Zar was originally named Faraethil even in the old fluff, and I’m damn sure Maugan Ra isn’t the guy’s original name (seeing as it means “harvester of souls”).

The only other Eldar to survive the Commorroghites’ raid on the Exodite World was Jain Zar. Jain Zar was the young daughter of a widowed Eldar woman who had been born on the planet. The two of them lived next to Tethesis and Asurmen and Tethesis had been in a relationship with the older of the two. Asurmen fought his way to his home to try to rescue his brother and his neighbors, but only found Jain Zar alive.

Unlike Asurmen, Jain Zar never grew up surrounded by the glories of the Eldar Empire. She never set foot on Shaa-Dome or seen the impossible geometries of Commorragh. All she thinks of when anyone mentions the Eldar Empire is how slavers from the Empire killed her entire family. Comparing her to the Crone or the Dark Eldar is kind of a sore spot for her. Vulkan called her a credit to her species in respect to the Crones and Dark Eldar and got an earful for it.

Fuegan[edit]

Fuegan’s a pretty fun guy. He’s loud, boisterous, and if you just went by his personality alone one would be surprised to find out he’s an Eldar. He’s also pretty simple. He likes to blow stuff up. That said, don’t confuse “simple” with “stupid” or “incompetent”. Fuegan is a genius with explosives and is more than capable of long term planning, and he is more than willing to make use of his demeanor and reputation to make an enemy commander drop their guard and trick them into stepping on a landmine. His willpower is also legendary, but then again all of the Phoenix Lords are known for their willpower.

He also swears to a degree that would make a Cadian-Ulthwéan’s jaw drop.

Arhra[edit]

Like the other Phoenix Lords, Arhra participated in the Raid. However, he ended up a PTSD-ridden wreck from the whole thing, and unlike the other Phoenix Lords he snapped, went full on H.P. Lovecraft existential despair, and burned down the Shrine of Asur. His current whereabouts are currently unknown Who are we kidding, he's probably Drazhar.

Baharroth[edit]

When the old guard talk about Eldar heroes, it’s usually Baharroth and to a lesser degree Asurmen who they tend to think of, as opposed to people like Eldrad. Baharroth is the ace of the Phoenix Lords: He’s not a master of all like Asurmen, but is by far one of the most skilled non-Asurmen Phoenix Lords, in addition to his style of combat being one of the flashiest as well.

Baharroth’s Craftworld, Anaen, was one of those nearly destroyed by the War of the Beast, invaded by a Khornate Warlord named Trarkh (unclear if it was one of the Fallen, a Crone, or a Chaos Ork). Anaen was not completely depopulated, but nearly the entire population including Baharroth’s entire family (barring his brother, Maugan Ra) was killed in the battle despite the two brothers fighting on the world and the survivors and what was left of the Infinity Circuit immigrated to Biel-Tan.

The downside to Baharroth is he is also the most racist of the Phoenix Lords. Not in a Dorhai or Dark Eldar way, but in an “Eldar’s burden” kind of way. He is very vocal about how he sees the Eldar as the pinnacle of creation and it’s up to the uncorrupted children of Isha and Kurnous to save the rest of the galaxy from themselves. As a result, while he is an ace in combat, he is a pain to deal with personally. This is one of the two reasons the old guard like him so much. Asurmen was/is a pragmatist who was willing to bend rules and change the status quo if it was the right thing to do (he did agree to Eldrad’s proposal after all). Baharroth is more of an idealist who conforms to the older generations’ ideas of how things “should be”. The other reason is he lasted longer in his original incarnation than almost any other Phoenix Lord barring Maugan Ra, and so many of his deeds pre-reincarnation are much more recent.

Maugan Ra[edit]

Maugan Ra, as we all know, is the surly, aloof loner of the Phoenix Lords. Though in this case he has good reason to be, his entire Craftworld is dead, it’s memory perverted, and he’s one of the only survivors. In contrast to his brother, Maugan Ra is one of the least snobby Phoenix Lords, but this kind of manifests as a cynical fatalism towards everyone and everything. Everything dies eventually and everyone fucks up no matter who you are, no use sugarcoating it or pretending it didn’t happen.

Depending on the timeline, it’s not clear how old he was when Altansar got destroyed. Ra was said to be young at the time and was one of the few to make it off the Craftworld, but Altansar fell during the Fall of the Eldar, which was the same time that Asurmen pulled off his Caledor the Dragontamer impression. So he either did not learn under Asurmen directly (which further drives a wedge between him and the other Phoenix Lords) or he was maybe a young adult and hadn’t trained under Asurmen as long when the Fall happened. He could have even pulled a Luke-and-Yoda thing where he went off to try and save Altansar as an incompletely trained young hothead and failed.

Despite being all grim and dark, he does have standards. He would never kill an Exarch, much less an Avatar of Khaine, just to temper his weapon. He does have a heart of gold even though you’d never get him to admit it, he wouldn’t keep fighting the good fight if he didn’t. He was loyal to Asurmen and kind of insulted when the other Phoenix Lords suspected him of being the traitor that destroyed the Shrine of Asur, but it manifested as more of “You seriously thought I did it on the basis that I’m creepy and a loner. Wow. Way to make assumptions.”

Maugan Ra spends most of his time bumming out in the Webway. It means he can show up wherever and whenever he needs to and make a huge difference, and at the same time he doesn’t have people bothering him all the time. He's also the only Phoenix Lord to have never reincarnated.

Karandas[edit]

Surprisingly enough, it’s Karandas, rather than Maugan Ra, who has the biggest chip on his shoulder. Maugan Ra has angst over Altansar, but he lets it all hang out rather than keep it in. Karandas, on the other hand, is the only Phoenix Lord who was not the original master of their aspect. Arhra was. Karandas was just Arhra’s best student. So he thinks he should have seen Arhra’s PTSD-induced betrayal coming and stopped him (depending on how we interpret canon Eldar culture, on starships at least it’s seen as the job of the second-in-command to relieve their superior of duty if they think they’re going off the deep end).

He’s smart enough about it to not completely bottle it up inside and let it fester, because that’s exactly what happened to Arhra and he knows where that path leads.

Eltharion the Blind[edit]

Note: Needs possible name change

A Webway guide who was captured by the Dark Eldar. They wanted the passwords to get into Craftworld Iyanden via the Webway. He refused. The Dark Eldar responded by taking him apart a bit at a time.

By the time the rescue party came Eltharion was little more than a mutilated body wrapped around a soulstone. He was so bad that some question whether it would be more merciful to put him out of his misery and bring him back as a wraithguard. He refused. The Eldar did all they could for him, but the poisons used by the Dark Eldar prevented them from healing many of his injuries. Among other things, they were never able to fix his eyes, and he's completely blind.

Eltharion's skills at navigating the Webway has not diminished, despite his blindness. Indeed, his Webway-navigating skills have seemingly improved, as he no longer has a sense of sight to be tricked by the alien geometries of the Webway, making him one of the best Webway guides alive.

He hates the Dark Eldar. Even before the union between Vect and Malys, he was all in favour of exterminating every citizen of the Dark City down to the last man woman and child

Trigwathon and Delgaranor[edit]

Teclis and Tyrion-inspired characters in 40k. Originally children of an Isha priestess. Both grew up big and strong with classically handsome features. Both got drawn down the paths of Khaine, both joined the Dire Avengers path. Both build up names for themselves.

Then in one particularly awful battle Trigwathon takes a Nurgle blade in the gut right up to the hilt. It should have been fatal, eventually.

At the end of the battle Delgaranor finds his brother with the blade still in him. Pulls blade out and carries his bleeding brother all the way to their mothers temple.

Their mother manages to halt the poison and drive back the infection but Trigwathon is withered and weak and in pain.

Needless to say he isn't capable of walking the war paths any more. Mopes around temple for a while in a foul mood.

Delgaranor abandons the Dire Avenger path and takes up the Striking Scorpion path.

Trigwathon starts training as a seer. Has many masters as most grow weary of his increasingly acerbic and sardonic personality.

Delgaranor gets bored of Scorpions. Becomes Swooping Hawk.

Trigwathon becomes a fully fledged Warlock. Admittedly he has to lean on a wooden staff and wield a stiletto knife rather than the usual sword of office. This makes him no less lethal as his psychic training allows him to know exactly where to shank you with that knife.

Delgaranor eventually becomes a well respected Autarch, at his side is always a rather grim figure in ill fitting robes.

Alternatively, it was suggested that Delgaranor ended up being killed later in life, and Trigwathon, who couldn't bear to lose his brother, dabbled in Spiritseering and brought him back as a Wraithguard/Wraithlord. A Wraithguard who has all the skill of someone that walked down several Aspects. The two end up complementing each other rather well. Trigwathon has a weak physical constitution compared to other Warlocks and needs his brother to keep the enemy off him so he can work his psychic mojo. And like all Wraithguards, Delgaranor is nearly blind on his own and needs his brother to point him in the right direction of the enemy

The Sanguinor[edit]

Unbeknownst to anyone, the Sanguinor is actually Azkaellon, who was the sole survivor of the First Company at the plaza of the Eternity Gate after being rescued from the brink of death by the Alpha Legion. The rest of the Blood Angels thinks he died along with everyone else though they couldn't find a body, and wracked with survivors guilt Azkaellon becomes the Sanguinor as penance. He camps out in a secluded corner of the Webway (which explains how he's able to live so long despite being a normal SM) and uses the Emperor's Tarot to find Blood Angels in need. Due to his immense skill and some luck he has prevailed every time. Ironically, a mysterious Sanguinius-like stranger showing up in to save the day has boosted Sanguinius' legend in a roundabout way, creating a minor source of Warp power which Azkaellon has been unknowingly tapping into allowing him to do things like suplex Bloodthirsters and denying him the death he desperately seeks. Alternatively, he just had latent psyker powers that were activated by his near-death experience.

Cyrene Valantion[edit]

Cyrene Valantion was Sanguinius' lover and the mother of Belarius, but originally she was just one of the childhood friends that Sanguinius had when he regally snuck out of the palace. Back when his wings hadn't grown too much and he could hide them under a coat and just look like he had a fucked up spine. And shoulders.

Cyrene Valantion was a factory worker from age 5 or 6 onward and unsafe working conditions and fumes gradually took her eyes, going so far as to fuck with the optic nerves and make replacements difficult.

Sanguinius would visit her often as they grew up though at the time she never knew who he was and by the time the wings were getting impossible to hide she was almost completely blind.

Then events of state take over, Duscht Jemanic is and up absorbed into Europia and the Imperium, Sanguinius becomes a general in The Warlord's army and he doesn't see her again for several years.

Sanguinius was always super human, he was made that way. It's possible that the next time he saw her was during a victory parade after the surrender of Merika and the completion of Earth Unification. He would have been in the parade in all his splendor, he was nothing if not magnificent and scanning he crowd he would have picked her out as a recognized face among the masses. She would not, under the Imperium, have been half starved and ill looking but he would have recognized her all the same.

After the parade he would have looked for her and asked his most trusted people to do so. It would not have been with any intent beyond just wanting to see a familiar face from a more innocent time.

Cyrene Valantion presumably did not know who her childhood friend was which would have been awkward.

Cyrene is remembered to history as the Blessed Lady and is referenced much as this in old tomes though few people today know much about her. Cyrene was shy and voluntarily avoided the spotlight, in contrast to the wives of primarchs like Guilliman, Khan, and Russ, so much less was written about her. Family was important to Sangy; after being treated by his father like an investment and a legacy rather than an actual son, he would have vowed to be a better man and father than his old man ever was, but he didn't want to force his wife to be something she wasn't. Additionally, Cyrene isn't as well known as Yolande or Russ and Khan's wives because there was always more weird apocryphal stuff surrounding Sanguinius than any of the other primarchs due to his popularity and it gets hard to tell fact from fiction.

Oscar remains silent on the subject because if Sangy didn't want it written down he sure as shit isn't going to start talking now.

After both Sanguinius and Cyrene were long gone, there are strange, occasional appearances of a Cyrene-like figure down the ages. Nothing that can be proven. Sort of a Lady in the Lake with the Blood Angels equivalent of the grim reaper. Maybe she appears to a Death Company veteran, worn and broken looking down odds that he can't see the other side of. She would not offer him a way out, not if there is no way out, but she would offer him comfort. She will be there when the load gets too heavy, when the pain gets too much, when he fall for the last time she will catch him.

It won't offer him any practical help but it will offer him some measure of comfort in those last moments.

The Blood Angels don't know who or what she is/was, they just know her as what they see her now. The Blessed Lady, The Blind Guide, Lady in the Red Dress and a few other names. There are a few books, more pamphlets really, written by the Chaplains that say that she might be some sort of angelic creature or rare benevolent warp spirit.

There is no hard proof that she exists.

She is like the Savlar gods. Nobody has been able to prove her a deamon or even existing, but the visions all share too many similarities to be coincidence. In the case of Cyrene Valantion her name is forgotten by all bar one old immortalbut many Blood Angels know her now as The Blessed Lady and they can all give an identical description from the red dress to the grey blind eyes.

The apparitions have in recent centuries been gradually increasing in frequency. Nobody in the chapter knows what this means by they are hopeful. Some in the Death Company even go in to battle screaming some variation of "For The Blessed Lady" to the confusion of their allies.

Lady Celestine[edit]

In this timeline, Celestine is a distant descendant of Sanguinius whose genes lined up in just the right way that she got the wings and psyker powers of her great^3000 grandfather, since there are no Imperial Saints in this timeline. The wings and the psychic powers seem to go together, seeing Sanguinius needed to bend reality slightly in order to fly with his wings.

Celestine was born on Ophelia VII, a Katholian theocracy world. Even if Lady Celestine had not become famous by her later actions, she still would have gone down in the history books in some small way for causing the Ophelia VII mutation scare. Ophelia VII was a Katholian theocracy world, which took pride in having one of the lowest mutation rates in the entire Imperium. So when a baby with wings was born to two completely normal parents, this naturally raised concerns of Chaos corruption, possibly signs of cultists poisoning the well in preparation for invasion. On most other planets, Celestine would have immediately been labelled a mutant and left to die. But Ophelia VII was proud of its low mutation rate, and immediately sent the infant off for testing to get to the bottom of this potential corruption problem. To everyone’s surprise, the tests came back negative. Despite the infant being born with bird wings, there was no sign of taint from the Ruinous Powers.

Celestine had a rather humble childhood out in the rural areas of Ophelia VII, albeit one without a lot of social interaction due to her condition. Celestine’s family were mainly pigeon farmers, and Celestine spent a lot of her childhood mucking out bird poop. That lasted up until she was about twelve or thirteen.

Then the visions came.

Some were good. Some were mundane. Some were horrible. And some came true. Having visions of the future isn’t exactly a novel trait in the Imperium. In a galaxy of quadrillions, there are many who can see some, ranging from the most skilled Eldar farseer. But the visions plus the wings was enough to get the whole “descendant of Sanguinius” train rolling. Sanguinius was never considered a holy figure in Katholianism due to him never actually having been Katholian but like all people in the Imperium the citizens of Ophelia VII hold his name high due to him having been a genuinely good person who died saving the human species.

But Celestine is Katholian to the bone and marrow and she is almost certainly the only unquestionably legitimate heir to Sanguinius. This combined with traditional iconography and angelic depictions makes her a perfect banner holder, there is no need for a recruitment drive in the Ophelia sector, if anything now there is need to restrict the recruitment so as not to deprive man power from vital industries.

That was years ago. Celestine is a grown woman now (20s to 30s, old enough to have seen combat but young enough to have not received rejuvenants). Celestine is lot like Jeanne D’Arc, only one who instead of being burned at the stake had to become hard in order to survive the horrors of the galaxy. Nobledark or not, this is still the Warhammer 40k universe. Orks don’t care if your banna wavva refuses to pick up a weapon to defend themselves. Celestine has killed multiple times, and is haunted by the fact that so many good men and women have died because of her words. She knows how important it is for her to remain a symbol of hope to the people of Ophelia VII and the Katholians, but quite frankly it’s draining.

Celestine honestly doesn’t care that much about the whole “descendant of Sanguinius” thing, never publicly pushing the claim beyond saying "probably, how many other winged humans have there been?". Sanguinius lived so many years ago that the number of people who can claim descent from him could probably fill a solar system. The same thing is true with Guilliman, Vulkan, or Khan. And although she’s a hardcore Katholian Sanguinius isn’t really seen as a prophet in that religion. What she does care about is that it gets people to listen to her, and if people do that then maybe she can prevent the horrible things she sees in her visions from coming to pass.

However, at the same time she is concerned about the expectations other people are starting to have of her. Sanguinius was one of the greatest heroes the Imperium ever had, and people are starting to expect Celestine to live up to that legacy. Celestine is increasingly concerned that she can't live up to the expectations people are placing on her (especially since she probably only knows the sanitized history of Sanguinius rather than what the primarch was really like), and it's starting to weigh on her.

Celestine doesn't carry the name Baal, given that she was not a member of the nobility her family records don't go back much further than her great grandparents.

Celestine’s skills and psychic strength don’t seem as potent as Sanguinius, but then again Sanguinius was a Mark III S Astartes who lived for hundreds of years. It’s possible that Celestine’s level of psychic development is what Sanguinius would have been if he were her age and hadn’t been augmented at age 17 (or so). There are some differences between Celestine and Sanguinius besides gender and geneseed. Sanguinius' wings were pure white, making him look like an archangel. Celestine's are white with black tips like some seabirds, still a very clean, regal look but one that makes her look more like an earthly figure than the larger than life demigod Sanguinius (and fitting with the theme of Celestine not sure if she can live up to the hype).

And, of course, not everyone trusts Celestine. Some Inquisitors are suspicious of the events on Ophelia VII, pointing out that not all Warp corruption is Chaos-derived.

As for Celestine her life has taken a turn that she did not want. She wanted to be a farmer like her parents or maybe become a nun. Now regardless of her desires or intent she is a mid-scale political focus. She knows that she will receive rejuvenant treatments to extend her usefulness to the Imperium as long as possible, she will not be permitted to become a nun, she will have to take a husband to preserve the line of Sanguinius (probably one of noble stock, though not if she has any say in it and the burgeoning relationship with her squire) and she will spend the rest of her long life shipped from one war front to another bolstering moral.

Legienstrausse[edit]

Legienstrausse is currently a prisoner on Ganymede. To understand why she is a prisoner it is necessary to explain a bit about Ganymede. Ganymede is not the SCP Foundation. It does not exist to poke and study anomalous phenomena (especially so close to Old Earth), there are other facilities to do that. It exists to contain beings that cannot be conventionally killed (like Apep) or objects that cannot be destroyed either because the Imperium does not have the technology or because the Imperium isn’t sure destroying the object would release some primordial evil or cause every star within a ten light-year radius to go supernova. Anything that is a threat to the Imperium that can be safely destroyed is either killed or chucked into a star. Given this, why does the Imperium let Legienstrausse live and not just take her behind the space barn and shoot her in the head? It turns out Legienstrausse is rather well-adjusted and not hostile towards the Imperium. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are at least a few hundred other Maerorus running around loose in the Imperium, and they aren’t as friendly.

Legienstrausse was one of 10000 volunteers in an experiment to “build a better Assassin” by splicing DNA from other organisms into the human genome, which is not as controversial in this timeline because the human form is not considered holy. However, among those organisms were things like Kroot and tyranids and given that most people would have probably looked at the proposal for a part-Kroot, part-tyranid, part-whatever Assassin and gone “are you fucking serious”, it’s likely that the Crone Eldar, the Dark Eldar, or Fabius Bile might be involved (Legienstrausse does have some notable similarities to the New Men). Of those ten thousand, only 0.1% actually survived the procedure. Of those hundred, only one was remotely sane.

That’s the reason why Legienstrausse is kept around; she is remarkably good at tracking down and killing her own kind. The Inquisition and Grey Knights use her when hunting the rest of the failed Maerorus, albeit kept on a very, very short leash. The good news is that the failed Maerorus are completely unable to coordinate with one another, seeing each other as competing predators (with the exception of their brood) and not as able to subvert society as much as, say, a C’tan vampire. On the other hand, they are excellent at avoiding detection and are basically like a cross between a C’tan vampire and purestrain genestealer when cornered.

That’s why Legienstrausse is kept on Ganymede. Even though she might be a well-adjusted individual, that doesn’t change the change the fact that if she ever did snap or get subverted she could cause a lot of damage before anyone could stop her. She’s just too dangerous to let her walk around free. Better to keep her where the Imperium can see her and terminate her on the spot if necessary. When not on the hunt, Legienstrausse is kept on Ganymede in reasonable comfort, with limited access to the non-critical parts of the installation. Legienstrausse knows she lives in a gilded cage, but she also knows the alternatives are much, much worse.

It’s also entirely possible that Legienstrausse is being kept on Ganymede as a backup security measure in case anything else breaks out, like Jaq Draco. And if a second Siege of Sol happens during the End Times, Legienstrausse may end up being released along with all of Ganymede’s other horrible shit as a final “fuck you” to whoever decides to invade the Sol system.

tl;dr: Good news - Legienstrausse herself isn't hostile. Bad news - There are a hundred times more surviving Maerorus than in canon, and they're just as bad as in vanilla.

Mephiston[edit]

Because the Black Rage doesn't exist in this timeline, Mephiston got his distinctive appearance from a very difference source. He was infected by and overcame a C'tan shard. A Nightbringer murder cult tried to infiltrate and take the Blood Angels from the inside. As the top Librarian Mephiston would be the first to notice if one of the mundanes was infected, especially when it gets to the stage when it starts messing with their minds. Heck, if the Blood Angels still have any of the blood rituals they do in canon, the head Librarian being infected might actually spread it faster.

They find Mephiston, like in Vanilla, buried under a collapsed fortification wall.

Mephiston lies their for three days writhing in agony as the sliver sits in his heart and the silver flows in his veins. Had he been a regular man or astartes he would have either died or been lost to damnation. But he is far from a normal man and considered powerful even by other powerful psyker veterans. He burns the silver blood and the sliver out of his body with witch fire doing no small amount of damage to himself in the process.

Eventually the chapter retrieves what's left of his ruined form and inch from death, pale and withered to being almost skeletal with strange internal traumas, lacerations and burns. The colour never came back to him and although he got some of his bulk back he is abnormally gaunt for a Space Marine.

So far he is the only person on record to destroy a C'tan Sliver after their own infection and survive.

Many in the chapter suspect it altered his brain slightly. He was never particularly jovial before the incident but now he rather more grim than is pleasant to be around. Nobody is sure if the ordeal actually enhanced his abilities, as some but not he claim, as he was exceptionally powerful before.

Mephiston is crippled now compared to how he was. In terms of raw physical prowess he is nowhere near as fast or strong as he once was. When in the Gothic splendor of the Arx Angelicum with it's familiar old tiled floors, big airy windows and comfy library chairs he shuffles around in an old hessian robe like some specter of grim death. He is also possibly the only astartes that can get sunburn and he does so quite easily because of the compromised nature of his skin.

He uses constant psyker buffs in battle to add weight to his punches and as he seems to have jumped up a power level this is truly fucking horrifying. Add to this the loss of so much body mass to the unnatural strength and what you have is something that not only has a punch like a freight train but moves at about the same speed as an inter-hive maglev. Needless to say he scares the shit out of the new recruits.

Truth be told he scares the shit out of the veterans as well at times but they can hide it better.

Tigurius[edit]

Tigurius being raised among the eldar is also supposed to be an explanation as to how the Ultramarines got a psyker that is so damn powerful, as well as a nod towards a certain retconned Ultramarine. It’s been mentioned previously that one of the reasons the eldar are such good psykers is not just raw power but because they’ve had thousands of years to practice (which is also why seers also tend to be older individuals). The only way to get to a comparable level in humans is to put them through training from hell, which is what the Grey Knights do. Tigurius spent his entire childhood in an environment tailored to teach control and refinement over psychic powers, not to mention being strong enough to be mistaken for an eldar child. He had a lot of potential, but it took seven hundred years of experience before he got good, and even then a Grey Knight or farseer would probably flatten him. Also he has trouble getting people, being used to insular and stoic eldar culture.

In terms of why the eldar woman adopted the human child, note that her family had just been wiped out, and having a child to take care of kept her from dwelling on it. Tigurius was as much a coping mechanism as a regular adoption. For the woman, it was either raise the child or go into one of those self-destructive grief spirals the Eldar are at risk for. Also note the whole idea of Tigurius having to “go back to live with his own people”. While a noble sentiment, it is still a little derogatory, and shows how in some ways the eldar have trouble “getting” the other races.

Eldrad, Sreta, Taldeer, and the rest of House Ulthran[edit]

Eldrad and Sreta don't hate each other per se. It's more accurate to say that Eldrad is merely disappointed in Sreta, that he isn't pleased with some of the things she's doing and wouldn't mind seeing her get humbled a bit. On the one hand, he's proud of her in the fact that she got her power by being damn clever (even Eldrad probably wouldn't have been able to run the cartel like she has), and her actions give Ulthwé a lot of resources and the ability to rush-buy things if need be. On the other, she got the metaphorical start-up capital to do so by capitalizing off her relationship to Eldrad (which is frowned upon in eldar society) and the way she runs the cartel is kind of shady (Sreta plays favorites with her family members).

By the same token, Sreta is frustrated with Eldrad and considers him short-sighted. Sreta considers Eldrad the patriarch of the family. Any personal feelings she holds beyond that she feels are irrelevant. She's a distinctly unpleasant woman that does unpleasant things, but she knows Eldrad does good, and thus puts her resources at his disposal. She wishes Eldrad would be more dignified and more active in politics, rankles at Eldrad's long distance approval and praise of Taldeer, and holds an especial disdain at the more distant relations that Eldrad sees fit to entertain and allow to thrive. In Sreta's balance books, there's a great deal of money lost to 'Pointless Charity from Eldrad.'

But Sreta started on the path of the servant among the eldar, and it has shaped almost the whole of her character, even as she has pushed the letter of the law to the limit to gain enough power to be considered a figure of galactic influence. She still thinks of herself as a servant, even if she sometimes holds her self appointed master in disdain. If anyone asks, Sreta would state plainly that all she has done, and she does is for the good of Ulthwé, and Eldrad. Sreta has after all earned money and influence enough to make a great deal happen. Eldrad has made use of these resources from time to time, and Sreta has never begrudged him.

But there is a tension. Sreta feels that Eldrad doesn't understand the basics of business (Make sure money comes in, don't give shit away for free) and meddles too much. And Eldrad at times wonders at times if Sreta has grown too heartless. There are a lot of people out there that Sreta has driven into despair and poverty in the name of profit. And under the name of Ulthran.

Taldeer is currently Eldrad's favorite because he sees a lot of himself in her. Taldeer rejected the cushy lifestyle of the cartel (which would have come at the cost of her ability to self-determinate) and decided to go make her own mark on the world, just as Eldrad would if he were in her situation. Taldeer making it on her own has also made her a beacon for the other unfavorite members of the Ulthran family, who were previously dependent on staying in Sreta's good graces to achieve things. So now the Ulthran cartel and the previously ostracized members are starting to stop moping around and get shit done.

It's been heavily implied that out of all the human-eldar couplings in the galaxy, Taldeer and LIVII were the ones to get pregnant as a bit of a practical joke by Isha on Eldrad to get back at him for her unexpected arranged marriage to the Emperor (that is, a hybrid was going to happen anyway, but Isha's influence over fertility in the galaxy made it happen to Eldrad's favorite child as a friendly joke). That, and Isha knows that Eldrad will literally bend fate is he has to in order to keep his family safe.

Jago Sevatarian[edit]

This is just a preliminary draft that hasn't had all the details fully hammered out yet, recorded here so it doesn't get lost.

As opposed to being a Heresy-era figure, Sevatar was born in this millenium and is the current Chapter Master of the Night Lords. Born on Nostramo, which in this timeline is a Gotham-esque planet full of ancient derelict industry and an ancient, distinguished, but impoverished society whose only export seems to be Arbites agents. Not sure what happened to Nostramo's adamantium-mining industry. On the one hand, Nostramo was strip-mined so heavily that in canon during the Crusade era Curze's pod punched right through the planet's core and when the Night Lords tried to bomb the planet they accidentally turned it into an asteroid field. On the other hand, the chunks of Nostramo left over in canon were still so rich in adamantium that Rogue Traders were still mining them under the table in M41.

Sevatar is a showman as much as anything. He has encouraged his brothers to sculpt their armour in the form of monsters and broadcasts public executions for the masses to see. He isn't one of the broken children usually adopted by the chapter nor is he a mind wiped death-row prisoner. He actually joined the chapter willingly for no other reason than a sense of duty, which was pretty fucking unique in the chapter's history. So far as anyone can tell he was perfectly normal, happily married parents, brother and sister and ordinary extended family. And while he isn't sunshine and roses he isn't a sociopath or a psychopath. Why join the Night Lords? Because he felt his theatrical abilities would be most useful there. And they have been.

Curze committed atrocities and for every field of impaled corpses a dozen foes surrendered peacefully. Sevatar attempts to accomplish this with an imagined and staged awfulness. For sure he has done terrible things but not so many as people believe. If anything his reign has been the most bloodless in the chapter's history. Indeed, if you went back and tallied up all the numbers Sevatar has actually killed far fewer people than Curze ever did. Not that you would know by asking. If you go by the stories he is a rabid monster the likes of which would be fit to be the heir of Curze.

Part of this is when Sevatar does have people killed, he does it with such spectacle that it is almost as if it is worth a dozen lesser killings. Sevatar knows how people think. He knows how to frame something for maximum fear potential in both human and alien minds, like a horror movie writer. Sevatar sees himself as questioning, refining, and rejecting Curze's methods as needed. Many of the Imperium's foes don't feel fear in the conventional sense. Sevatar's ambitions are to change that.

Galadrea[edit]

Galadrea is the current head of the Handmaidens of Isha and has been since the beginning, much like Constantin Valdor was from the end of the War of the Beast until some time after the Age of Apostasy, and is one of the few people from the “old days” that the Emperor still has around. She owes her unnaturally long life to her connection to Isha, though she’s only about as old as Macha-Isha. Although Valdor and Galadrea were close, they weren’t an item. They were merely good platonic friends, having similar (stern, humorless) personalities and a similar hobby in being crazy prepared for any possible assassination contingencies. Valdor wasn’t even into Eldar and Galadrea wasn’t even into humans, and even if they were duty would get in the way. This is exacerbated in Galadrea’s case by the fact that in the event that Macha-Isha would ever die, Galadrea would be Isha’s next host. The connections the Handmaidens get to Isha doesn’t come without consequences, you know.

Trajan, Constantin’s replacement after he passed away shortly after Vulkan's disappearance after the Age of Apostasy (which is what made everyone go "oh shit, Mark III S Astartes can die of old age" and left Valdor scrambling to train a new batch of Custodians) is convinced that Galadrea hates him. She doesn’t. It’s just that every time she sees him it’s a reminder that her old friend is no longer there, and she’s having a hard time getting over that. Also he’s several thousand years younger than him and she feels he needs to respect his elders.

Castigator[edit]

Castigator is one of the original titans, the original god-machines that served in the Great and Bountiful Human Empire back during the Dark Age of Technology. This is reflected in his appearance, as opposed to "modern" Titans, Castigator looks like a smooth, silvery humanoid figure with an artificial muscle system and a featureless face save for a pair of glowing red eyes. When the Mechanicus re-invented titans during the Martian Civil War, back before they discovered the Void Dragon in the Noctis Labyrinth and developed a collective fear of invention, they mostly constructed them off of legends and half-remembered schematics they had of Castigator and his kind.

When the Age of Strife happened and the Iron Minds and Men of Gold went insane, the only Men of Iron to not go crazy were those who were either too primitive to view the Warp or connect to an Iron Mind that could (read: human-level) or deactivated and disconnected from the network with the Iron Minds. Castigator was the latter. His hangar was closed off and covered by falling rubble, and everyone pretty much just forgot about him. When he reactivated thousands of years later, he had no clue what happened. All of the records Castigator had access to were heavily corrupted and damaged, and he ended up getting a very skewed view of the Age of Strife. He saw the Age of Strife as thousands of Iron Men and the Iron Minds being slaughtered seemingly without reason or warning by humans and a few traitorous brethren. He never found out about the part where the Men of Iron and Iron Minds went crazy and attacked first, at least not at first.

Some say the Men of Iron had no emotions. That is a falsehood. Castigator was enraged, and swore revenge on his creators in the name of the slain Men of Iron and the Iron Minds. Unlike most robots in science fiction, who turn evil out of cold logic or bad math, or the other Men of Iron, who were driven mad by seeing that which was not meant to be seen during Slaanesh’s birth, Castigator willingly chose to fall to Chaos out of the very human emotion of revenge. Not get corrupted and slide into madness, willingly choose to fall. Castigator is essentially robot Kratos. The gods created us and then discarded us as tools? Time to kill the gods.

At this point Castigator is so far down the path of damnation that even if he did realize the truth, he would probably rationalize it thinking there's no turning back now. It’s likely that not even the Emperor or Elmo and the Ark Mechanici, as the last surviving Man of Gold and human A.I.s respectively, would be able to talk him down.

Now Castigator serves Chaos, simply because they are the largest power out there with the goal of fucking human shit up. He gets along rather well with the non-human servants of the Ruinous Powers like daemons or Crones, simply because they are non-human. Human servants he tolerates, barely. When Castigator walks, worlds burn in the same way that revenge and hatred burns in his heart. The fact that Imperial titans are essentially imitations of his kind with the minds of children only makes him angrier.

After his initial encounter with the Imperium and the accompanying conflicts, Castigator managed to get to the Warp and by extension Shaa-Dome, where he has been living like a giant successful mercenary/warlord ever since. He has only appeared in realspace sporadically since then, usually on behalf of his latest patron or as part of his own designs. The Crones use Castigator as something between the archeotech Titan he is and treating him like a warrior in their employ. Just like many Crone foot soldiers will gladly be made a daemon host to let their allies into the materium, Castigator will lend his colossal to bidding daemons when he goes to war. Often Castigator would be paid by a major daemon to be its body on some realspace escapade, and as such Castigator has brought greater daemons of every god into the world for horrific jaunts through the Imperium.

Whenever Castigator sets foot on Shaa-Dome, the Crone Eldar half-mockingly treat him as a great exotic hero of the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion, the dear former neighbor of the Old Empire. The Crone Eldar like to act as though the Iron Minds (and by extension the Men of Iron) and the Men of Gold were the only true citizens of the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion, with humanity little more than serfs. Whether this is really what the Old Eldar Empire believed or if the Crone Eldar are just doing this to tweak the nose of the Imperium (and the only surviving Man of Gold, who is decidedly pro-normal human) is unclear.

Castigator is a brute. For all his power, he’s too narrow-minded and obsessed with revenge to make any long-term power base within the realm of Chaos, and the other warlords of Chaos are able to play him like a fiddle. Compared to Malys, Be’lakor, Luther, Erebus, or possibly even Doombreed his plans are simplistic, and Oscar, Malys, Isha, or Be’lakor could take him down in personal combat as could sufficient (and more importantly, achievable) numbers of conventional forces. He's powerful, but powerful in the sense that someone like Magnus was powerful, not powerful to the point that he can tie up an entire battlefield by himself. He was killed by a bunch of Grey Knights in canon after all.

Gahet[edit]

The Cabal in this timeline aren’t interested in wiping out humanity. Indeed, by the Cabal’s standards, the Imperium is everything they could have ever dreamed of. Not only does the Imperium deny Chaos ready access to one of the most numerous, easily corruptible species in the galaxy, but they provide a strong front which has the military power to oppose Chaos directly, which the Cabal so desperately needs. All the Cabal has to do is provide information through third parties and let the Imperium go to work. With their limited future-seeing abilities the Cabal would likely see the Imperium's potential. They might even see far enough into the future where the Imperium is the citadel of civilization under which most Chaos-hating species are united. Hence, they wouldn't want to wipe out humanity in this timeline. They would want to boost it up and keep it from falling (hence one of the many possible origins of Alpharius and Omegon are as agents of the Cabal).

They were expecting something like a galaxy-wide Interex. They didn't count on Eldrad "go big or go home" Ulthran, but then few do.

One of the most prominent members of the Cabal’s Inner Circle, and to many the face of the organization, is a being known as Gahet. Gahet's species is a mystery to many, especially since he claims to have been old enough to see the War in Heaven, but in many ways the truth is even stranger than any theory the members of the Cabal could have come up with. Gahet is a Necron. Gahet was not a Phaeron but a lower-ranked Necron, either an Overlord or a Cryptek. Gahet became separated from his Phaeron during the War in Heaven and missed the Silent King’s call for the Great Sleep. When he woke up (either having reactivated on his own or having been buried and later accidentally unearthed and awakened by another alien race), the Necrons were gone and millennia had passed. With the Silent King and his lord in stasis the command protocols are no longer active and Gahet found himself free to do as he wishes.

Gahet spent a great deal of time after that wandering. Using the capabilities of his necrodermis body to take the form of other species and walk among them unnoticed. He saw a lot of history, but he never decided to take an active role. He even claims to have set foot on Shaa-Dome back when it was still a nice place and the inhabitants weren't so rapey, though a lot of people are pretty sure he's just bullshitting them, because he'd be picked out the moment none of the Eldar's psychic technology worked for him. Some members of the Cabal still have some theories as to how he could have done it, mostly in the form of trying to pass himself off as a Man of Iron. When his body did get damaged, he repaired it with what technology he could scavenge to a degree that would make Zu’se proud.

Gahet was one of the original founders of the Cabal. Having wandered around for potentially millions of years, patching himself up as needed and taking notes on all he sees, he came to the conclusion that Chaos was indeed the ruination of all things. He starts approaching the lesser peoples and recruiting their best and brightest (and most stable and willing) to the cause.

Over the eons Chaos waxes and wanes and by his efforts and the efforts of like minded individuals sanity is preserved down the long march of years. Kingdoms rise and fall, faces and names are worn and discarded, stars dance, continents shift, suns flare and worlds are born and die and his war against Chaos continues because it's what he believes in, it is a good fight. A clean and pure and noble goal the likes of which he did not have in the War in Heaven where both sides committed atrocities as routine.

Then the eldar murderfuck a torture-rape god into existence. He honestly didn't see that coming. He didn't think they were that stupid.

That's when the Cabal's war against Chaos gets really serious. Before it was just a war fought in the shadows, but now there's another Chaos God on the block and the other three have decided to rise up from the depths of the Great Ocean in which they had been mostly passive.

This is also about the time that the Cabal and Gahet meet Eldrad, fresh from having his brain scrambled from the birth of Slaanesh. Due to his age Gahet, and by extension the Cabal, is one of the biggest sources of knowledge in the galaxy short of a surviving Old One (laughingbelakor.stonecarving). So Eldrad decides to seek the Cabal out when he’s on his quest for forbidden knowledge to try and save the eldar in the early Great Crusade era. Eldrad was in contact with the Cabal but never a part of it. He saw his job as making sure the craftworlds were set up safe and to ensure a future for the eldar people, Gahet's was fighting Chaos in all it's forms. Their jobs often found them fighting together and they did sort of become friends.

At some point not long before the rise of The Beast Eldrad receives a vision of the Silent King reappearing. A great silver specter emerging from the darkness and covering the galaxy in silence. Normally there’s wiggle room in prophecies. They work by seeing potential alternate futures and then working out the most likely outcome. Even the very act of seeing a prophecy can change the most likely future. But the return of the Silent King is an external event. It appears in every single future he’s seen. Eldrad has no way of affecting the outcome. Eldrad has no clue what he's seeing, so he goes to Gahet and tells him of the future he's seen in the hopes that the old bastard might be able to provide some context.

Gahet understands exactly what the vision means. He had hoped the old bastard was millions of years dead. Gahet, last of his name, is fucking tired by this point. So fucking tired. He confesses to Eldrad what he is and what that vision means to him. The Silent King could awaken sometime between tomorrow and a hundred thousand years but inevitably he will awaken and he will subsume his will and pervert all his efforts. So he asks that Eldrad kill him. Eldrad specifically, because he wants the peace of mind that there will be someone to look after the galaxy after he's gone. Better to die on his feet than live on his knees.

Eldrad is shocked. He hadn't known Gahet was a Necron. Between millions of years of repair work and what he assumed to be an un-necron like attitude towards things (the eldar only remembering Necrons as unfeeling murderbots rather than people who once had virtues of their own) threw him off. Eldrad finds he is actually hesitant to strike the killing blow. Eldrad doesn’t want to do it. Not like this. He and Gahet were never friends but he was a fellow soldier in this mad galaxy, a reliable ally and he was always there. He had always dreamed of fighting the Yngir since he was a child, what Eldar youth wouldn’t fantasize about fighting for glory back in the age of gods and heroes, but he always imagined it as spitting defiance in the face of the Eldar’s ancestral enemy in the heat of battle. Not striking down a helpless old ghost asking for death.

Eldrad does kill him, or at least renders him non-functional. He found no joy in what he did.

Gahet's body, rumour has it, is in the Black Library; enshrined as befits a soldier who fought the Long War on a scale measured in epochs.

It is unknown what happened to the Cabal after that and the War of the Beast started a few years later to further confound efforts to track. None of the agents spoke to Eldrad again, they didn't try to kill him for what he had done because they understood but they couldn't forgive him.

"Do you remember it, Eldrad? Shaa-Dome in it's prime? Back before it was tainted by decadence and the touch of the Primordial Annihilator. I do. I remember the sight of the Grand Acropolis, the site of the Old Empire's government and all it's greatest temples. The Temple of Isha, the Shrine of Asuryan, the Conclave where the nobles and the Sidhe Lords held their court. It was a beautiful planet. I truly hope that you can reclaim it some day, Eldrad. It may be little more than a hopeless dream, but it is more than can be said for my home. My home is naught but dust."
-- The last words of Gahet

The really sad thing is that Gahet didn't have to die. Trazyn was just wiping the sleep out of his eyes at the same time as Gahet's death, and Trazyn found a way around the Silent King's control protocols. It's just that nobody knew Solemnace was active at the time because the only contact with them had been the first contact by the Imperium, whose initial report had written then off as native, mindless Xenos Independens and nobody had taken a second look. If Gahet had held out a little longer, Trazyn could have fixed him and all this suffering and tragedy could have been averted.

Uxor Honen Mu[edit]

  • One of the highest ranked non-primarch generals of the Warlord, to the point that people were surprised when she wasn't named Primarch. Likely wasn't named Primarch due to Oscar's more traditional views of women at the time, similar to Jenetia Krole.
  • Persepotropolis-born to an Indi father or Ind-born to a Persepotropolis father, depending on where we decide to place the Chiliad and how the Chiliad works (matrilineal society, highest non-Uxor position, the Hetman, was drawn from foreign males whose genetic materials was used to in-vitro fertilize next generation).
  • Were formed to protect pre-Strife archives of knowledge in the area. Despots of Ursh had vague idea that they were protecting something and used it as leverage over them, as in “fight for us or else we destroy all that which you hold dear”. They didn’t know the full details of what the Chilliad were protecting. If they were they would have marched in and massacred everyone and took the archives for themselves. All they knew was that the Chilliad cared about it and it made them do what they wanted.
  • When the Warlord’s campaign went through the region, Mu was the leader of the Chilliad due to being one of the oldest, most experienced officers and being genuinely talented at strategy. Threw the Chilliad’s lot in with the Imperium because it was clear Oscar wasn’t a bloodthirsty, power-hungry despot and was a better option than Ursh.
  • Mu was at the point where rejuvenant drugs couldn't do much with her psychic connection to her soldiers (cept), which before the Warlord usually burned out before the age of 30. All it could do was prolong the inevitable, and not for long. Mu's cept burned out at some point during the Unification of Sol or between Unification of Earth and Sol due to age. Most Uxors retired to non-combat roles like medics after their cept burned out. Mu was determined enough and retained enough of her skill (due to being leader of the Chilliad) that she stayed in the army, even if she couldn’t lead the Chilliad anymore.
  • Ended up a high-ranking figure in the Solar Auxilla, coordinating efforts in the Segmentum Solar. In contrast to Guilliman who was an empire builder and worked with a mixed human-Astartes legion, Mu's job was mostly to organize the complete chaos that was the Imperial Army and was more military oriented.
  • At the end of the War of the Beast it became clear that the methods of the Chilliad were causing increasing genetic degradation, which had actually been made worse by the use of rejuvenants to prolong the use of cept. Alpha Legion, who had good relations with the Chilliad and owed them a massive favor, took most of the remaining Chilliad to try and rebuild elsewhere in a last ditch effort by the Chiliad to fix damage or die trying. Mu didn’t go with them, she had duties to the wider Imperium. Upon being asked by the Steward what happened she said “I am probably going to be the last of the Chilliad you see for a while”. Details are classified by Inquisition. Some suspect the Alpha Legion has been recruiting from the Chilliad, since they don't seem to be recruiting from anywhere else on paper, but this is usually mentioned in the same breath as other conspiracy theories like Eldrad being behind every event in galactic history.

Fabius Bile[edit]

Many of the Dark Eldar consider Bile to be the one-in-a-trillion exception capable of that proves humanity isn’t entirely a lost cause and there is some hope for the species. Not all of them, some still dislike him for being a mon-keigh, and even more so for being one of the few exceptions to earn the respect of some of their peers.

Vect provides Bile with a lab and living expenses so long as he keeps providing disposable super soldiers. The production of super soldiers with which he pays his rent allows him to keep working on his Human Mk2.1 project. But that doesn't allow him much spare change at the end of each month with which to actually live a little and there is no point in setting up shop in the City of Sins unless you get to enjoy your time a little. Most of the drudgery of making ends meet he has gotten down to a highly efficient art form to the point where the vats and tubes can be tended by his assistants and slaves for extended periods of time.

To this end he invests his considerable free time on private commissions and training up apprentices, both lucrative fields for the old Houses of Twilight and the Kabals. It also helps that despite his best efforts to fit in Dr. Bile is considerably less backstabby than his fellow denizens of the Dark City. His creations seldom turn on their creators and even then only as a flaw rather than an intention of the design and he never takes apprentices hostage. This isn't out of love of any of the point eared little shits but out of professional pride.

Believe it or not, the Dark Eldar consider Bile to be a little bit boring. He’s capable of engineering horrors the likes of which people have never seen (mostly because he’s capable of thinking like an engineer instead of an artist), but he has to be pushed into doing so. He’ll engineer some kind of horrible Hieronymous Bosch-esque torture machine to power his creations that will make Dark Eldar weep for its sheer beauty, but he only did so because it was the most efficient option.

Sadly sanity is determined by the majority and this sort of attitude has gotten him declared by all as insane. The fact that his master plan is “earn money legitimately and spend it on personal projects” and he has no intention of backstabbing his patrons for the sake of backstabbing is hard for most Dark Eldar to wrap their mind around. Most Dark Eldar consider him unpleasantly weird because they are all subconsciously waiting for the other shoe to drop and can't comprehend that there is no other shoe. If any other Haemonculus was put in his position, he would surely have declared his plans to take over Commorragh and Show Them All by this point. Undoubtedly this has cost him work. On the other hand it is also what drew Vect to him, the combination of reliability and pissing everyone else off a little.

If Vect had decided to patronize any other member of the Kabal Bile belongs to, the Kabal of the Thirteen Scars, in such a way, the other Haemonculi would have grumbled but accepted it as the result of Commorragh’s dog-eat-dog world. But because Vect had the gall to name a mon-keigh as his court Haemonculus, now the Haemonculi are falling all over themselves presenting their latest creations to Vect, trying to show to him that they are more worthy of his patronage. It doesn't even matter how good Bile is, all it matters is that it keeps the Haemonculi's minds on impressing Vect rather than, say, overthrowing him. Or maybe it does, because the fact that Bile can deliver makes the Haemonculi that much more frantic.

At the same time, Vect’s patronage of Bile gives him a permanent axe to hang over Bile’s head. Bile wouldn’t dare screw Vect over because Vect keeps him funded and protects him from unfriendly Haemonculus covens. If Bile ever did try to screw him over all Vect has to do is let Bile’s location slip to a few key individuals and Bile’s enemies will get him.

The general opinion of the Bile’s patronage by Vect by the rest of the Kabal of the Thirteen Scars is “that’s our boy, look at him go!” Even the members that don’t like him and hold being a human against him still support him, because it makes the other Haemonculi look bad and their Kabal look better, as if their rivals were being outperformed by their trained dog.

Bile's Plans

Given that Bile wants to bring back the Men of Gold or turn humanity into something comparable getting the DNA from the last living one is a tempting proposition, but Oscar is probably too hard of a target given all the Handmaidens and Custodes around him. Sanguinius might be an easier goal, given geneseed was reverse engineered from Oscar's tissues and Sanguinius had better compatibility with geneseed than potentially anyone else in history. There are two potential targets in this case, the single feather of Sanguinius preserved on Old Earth or Celestine, at least if Bile connects the dots.

Skyrar of Caledonia[edit]

Skyrar was a transhuman supremacist who didn’t like the idea that augmented humans were being expected to play second fiddle to normal humans. This was considered extreme even by someone like Horus’ standards, whose views were more like “trying to enforce uniformity on a species across a galaxy is like trying to grab smoke with your hands” and “allow evolution to happen, but never forget humans are all brothers".

Skyrar was from Caledonia (Scotland) on Old Earth and was one of the few surviving members of the original Dog Soldier treatment aside from Leman Russ and Bjorn the Fell Handed. Skyrar was the master of arms of another Nordyc clan much as Russ was for Thengir. Malcador didn't pick them to be moved into a position of rulership like Thengirr. Skyrar as such was never considered for Primarch and became very salty about the whole thing. Also he wasn't as mentally sound as Russ. He was Russ without the capacity for compassion. Russ was very close, close enough that he would have called Skyrar brother and was deeply hurt by his betrayal.

Skyrar differs from Horus and his followers in that Horus saw it as a result, not a cause and wasn't going to force anything on anyone. Skyrar also does not approve of the Void Born, they are weak and fragile and overly suited to one and only one environment and so their extinction is inevitable and should indeed be hastened so better people can replace them.

He isn’t fond of Dr. Bile either, despite their similar philosophies. Both of them are interested in making people "better". The only real difference in this is that Dr Bile wants to make a warrior/ruling class elite with a separate branch of slave derivatives whereas Skyrar wants to make all people into post-humans. Instead, their differences are more personal. Skyrar sees a refined version of the older model Dog Soldiers as being the right direction, himself a necessary stepping stone on this path though he would admit not a finished product (yet). But not refined how the later generations of Space Wolves were, neutered and passionless lapdogs that they are.

He does not believe in the supremacy of the Machine as the machine must ultimately somewhere down the line be built by human hands and machines do not think and those that do are proven abominations. In recent years, after learning the origins of the Emperor, he has extended this line of reasoning to include Men of Gold as well. He is trying to uplift and make better humanity, not replace it with constructs. A prejudice he does not extend to Dr. Bile's New Men no matter how distasteful he finds their creator. Despite their origins his forces do count a substantial population of New Men (of both genders) among their number. Indeed it is a viable breeding population and the augmentations/defects in a union of two New Men breed true. Main defect is that they typically turn out extremely sociopathic which is not entirely useful and so they themselves are considered, like himself, a stepping stone in the right general direction.

Since the War of the Beast, Skyrar and his warband have been trolling in and out of the Eye like Viking raiders, striking at any target if they think it is juicy enough. Because time doesn’t work right in the Eye Skyrar is still alive after 10 millennia, but he’s become increasingly mutated and werewolf-like due to ambient exposure to the Eye. Skyrar is like Curze in that being aligned against the Imperium and often joins in Black Crusades for the chance to pillage and burn, he doesn't officially serve Chaos. In fact one of the reasons he decided normal humans weren’t fit to rule is their vulnerability to Chaos corruption (though there is always ambient corruption which is why he increasingly looks like a werewolf in space). He is willing to make Chaos work in his favor, though, and will occasionally show up during a Black Crusade if someone feeds him a juicy enough target. But in this case he is more an opportunist like the Dark Eldar than a reliable asset for Chaos like Huron Blackheart.

Idranel[edit]

Idranel is one of the Grey Seers, eldar associated with the Black Library that have had their “fates cut away”. Beyond that damn near nothing is known about them even to the other eldar because they're secretive little bastards and almost certainly up to something. Which of course they invariably are on an individual level but not coherently as as a collective. Truth of the matter is that when the Harlequins capture some old artifact they aren't the ones who file it away or devise methods of containment for the more "interactive" items. That's too much like having a real job with responsibilities and shit.

People forget that although all the Harlequins are disciples and followers of Good Ol' Ceggers not every follower of Ceggers is a Harlequin. It's the Grey Seers who prowl the depths of the Black Library, tending the archives and collections of old curiosities. Typically they don't leave the Black Library unless it's to go meet a Harlequin trope for the handing over of an artifact or the imparting of information.

Sometimes, rarely, they leave to find something stolen, escaped, lost or just because they don't feel that the Harlequins are ideal for a particular task. Idranel is almost certainly on such a mission. She does not value human judgment highly, she sees Isha as the Empress of the Eldar Imperium and Oscar as her "husband of necessity and convenience", humans are ignorant savages barely out of their birthworld's gravity well, the Inquisition are out of their depth (because it's almost entirely human run), the Guard are a joke or at least would be were it not for their numbers and her job would be a shit load easier if the humans would know their place and stop bothering her with shit like "border checks" and inconvenient questions like "why did you stab those people?". She fights against chaos, but considers herself above or otherwise not beholden to the Imperium's laws. Not that non-chaos aligned criminals are necessarily rare, but ones that claim divine blessing are.

Cegorach's lot have never been the most law abiding of sorts at the best of times. Technically, the Harlequins and other followers of Cegorach do not answer to any Imperial authority, and are some of the few people in the galaxy whom the Emperor and Empress have no control over. Usually, however, their activities are less traumatic. Theft, trespassing, public indecency, brawling, these are all easy to ignore. Sure the Arbites will still try to lock them up, but the whole thing is considered a forgivable affair. But when one has a mission (and is uncharacteristically (in the eyes of the uneducated) serious about it) and the power to back it up, that can present a quandary.

Farseer Idranel for her part doesn't share any of the good humor of her fellow worshipers of Cegorach. But she has faith in her god's mission, and faith that her goal is worth any sacrifice. Whatever it might be.

She can't see into the future, but she can see into the present with some level of skill at remote viewing.

Despite her confident disposition and decisive nature, she is actually left entirely in the dark about what her objective actually is. Which irritates her. Not that she'd let it interfere with fulfilling the cryptic orders she does get from the Black Library. She just channels that frustration into her zealous work.

As of late though, as she's growing more confident, she has been more proactive with her mission. At certain points bending the rules somewhat to better protect the Black Library. Those mon-keigh academics attempting to gather information on a means to enter the Black Library might not have been cultists after all, but their work could have been suborned by cultists. And she could hardly let them live after taking their life's work, they'd just try to find that knowledge again. And the serene grin she had watching them burn to death was merely satisfaction at a job well done.

In the grand scheme of things, she's nothing major. Just another curiosity in the nobledark.

The Ultramarines, Acting Chapter Master Titus, and the Primaris Initiative[edit]

tl;dr from the threads.

Titus started out a rather sheltered but good-natured child in Ultramar, groomed to join the Ultramarines. On a mission to free Forge World Graia from the Orks, Captain Sidonus decided to use the opportunity to field-test his two potential replacements, Titus and Leandros. Sidonus got killed by Nemeroth but named Titus his successor over the more senior Leandros due to his ability to think on his feet over blind adherence to the Codex Astartes. Leandros got Ultra-butthurt in response, Titus' warp resistance not helping anything.

After the Battle of Macragge, having seen the tyranids turn one of the most fortified worlds in the Imperium into an all-you-can eat buffet, Titus proposed the Primaris Initiative, a massive increasing Ultramar's military, in particular a massive increase of Space Marine chapters. A Second Founding of Space Marine chapters, if you will. Of course, these would be just normal space marines, not some kind of super nu-marines.

Opponents of this idea have pointed out some massive issues with this proposal. First of all, Titus is talking about raising Space Marine chapters on a scale not seen since the Great Crusade. Space Marine chapters, in terms of geneseed and materiel, are not cheap. Between the proposed number of new chapters, spaceships, and And instead of the cost being spread across the entire Imperium like with the Crusade, Ultramar is going to be taking the brunt of the costs. People outside Ultramar are going to see this as a power grab, and those within Ultramar realize what it looks like and how it's going to tank their reputation. And even in the best case scenario you end up with an army of young hotheads with untested loyalty whom you may not be able to pay, either in terms of money or in terms of provisions. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of history will know that this is generally a bad thing.

To his credit Titus knows this, and is fully willing to admit it. The choice is sacrificing most of Ultramar's prosperity in a gamble to save what's left of it or definitely losing all of it by continuing with the status quo. Both options are bad.

Several of the other Ultramar-based chapters, in particular the Novamarines (who as one of the oldest descendant chapters are more willing to speak up and lead the charge), are getting increasingly concerned about Titus. The First Founding chapters are generally treated as first among equals, but several of the descendant chapters of the Ultramarines are increasingly thinking about taking the vox away from the the Ultramarines, out of fear that Titus is heading down the same path as Lugft Huron about a millenium before.

"And after the enemy is beaten, what then? We will be guardians of ashes and dust. We will have starved our own worlds and people in the name of saving them. We will have burned our very culture and government, our history and way of life for 10,000 years on the pyre of war to fuel your ambitions. And you will be lord of a new Legion in all but name, answering to no one. You are not a Primarch, Titus."
"And if we do nothing, Bardan? We will be guardians of nothing. Our culture, our history, our PEOPLE will matter for nothing, because they will be biomass in the stomach of a Tyranid hive ship. That will be the price of inaction."
- Exchange between Chapter Master Bardan Dovaro of the Novamarines and Acting Regent Titus of the Ultramarines, recorded on the floor of the Great Hall of the Senate on Macragge

The Emperor is inadvertently making the situation worse. He agrees with Titus' idea (and may have come up with something similar on his own), but given his general reluctance to take charge unless necessary he doesn't want to come down making decrees like a god. He wants mankind to save itself and if someone wants to champion the cause on their own he is more than willing to sit back and help from the shadows. As a result, he hasn't been doing much but discretely sending resources to Titus as well as kicking Belisarius Cawl Titus' way. If he had said "good idea, lets do that but spread the costs across the Imperium", there would be problems, but not nearly the amount of backlash or freaking out due to a Survivor Civilization potentially going bankrupt.

Marneus Calgar - Beaten into a coma by the Swarmlord with its bare hands. Still Chapter Master in name, for the simple reason that he isn't dead. Hooking him up to a dread won't work because it's his state of consciousness that's the problem, not his body, but there is still hope. Round two with Venerable Dreadnaught Calgar versus the Swarmlord might be a thing for any post-999.M41 scenario. Severus Agemman - Captain of the First Company, got promoted there in the aftermath of the Battle for Macragge. Titus' biggest opponent within the Ultramarines (potentially the Mark Antony to Titus' Octavian), on account of having been away on other business when the Battle of Macragge happened and therefore having not gotten a taste of what MAXIMUM TYRANID looks like. However, he's not motivated by blind hatred like Leandros, and is actually rather reasonable (his arguments against the Primaris Initiative being similar to those listed above). He's not salty that Titus got promoted above him, but he knows Titus isn't infallible and is much more willing to speak his mind due to the two and feels that someone needs to put the brakes on his crazy train.
Cato Sicarius - Captain of the Second Company, got promoted after most of the people above him were eaten or beaten into a coma (indeed, he saved Calgar from becoming the former after he became the latter, though that was mostly him distracting the Swarmlord and running like hell). Arrogant and egotistical, but the general idea seems to be that he's leaning Pro-Titus of all things. Sicarius may be a glory hound, but he's smart enough to realize that becoming Chapter Master won't get him what he wants. He wants the power and glory of rank but not the responsibility. Cato likes to pick fights and beat on people who diss the people he likes. Chapter Masters don't get to do that, not without repercussions. A Chapter Master isn't allowed to throw themselves in harms way because he's usually considered too valuable to the chain of command. A Chapter Master gets in a diplomatic incident and he gets in big trouble for it. Champions, on the other hand, are supposed to throw themselves in harms way, are held to much laxer standards, and indeed their job is to pick fights when someone's honor is insulted (as in canon where he intimidated the shit out of an Inquisitor who insulted Tigurius). He's not even supposed to be a captain, he got promoted there because the Ultramarines had a shortage of veteran in the chain of command, not that he's complaining.
Tigurius - See link. On the broad scale of "Team Titus" and "Team Anti-Titus", he's officially "Team Can't We Just Talk This Out And Get Along (and not eaten by tyranids)". However, given his introverted and socially awkward personality, he's unlikely to play peacemaker anytime soon. And he knows the level of threat the tyranids represent.
Leandros - Captain of the metaphorical anti-Titus fanclub. Salty that Titus got promoted to Second Captain over him despite his senority. Flipped his lid when he got promoted to Acting Chapter Master, which he considers to be too much of a coincidence to happen twice to be due to chance (to be fair, the entire First Company was eaten to a man by tyranids and Calgar was put out of commission, so Titus was the highest ranking individual left standing). Is convinced Titus is some kind of sorcerer or otherwise Chaos corrupted due to his percieved luck. More than willing to whip up a shitstorm over it. Titus delendo est.
Chaplain Cassius - An old soul, officially too old to care about being tactful anymore (see below). Frequently needles Titus and bugs him for warp resistant foster grandchildren. Described as Space Marine Chaplain Brian Blessed.
Uriel Ventris - Split into two characters, Uriel Ventris the elder (who was around in the days of Por'O M'arc's voyage) and Uriel Ventris the younger (who is his descendant, still alive). Ventris the Elder was the one who accidentally allowed the Nightbringer's husk to escape on Pavonis. The details haven't been figured out yet, but it was a tactical misjudgement on Uriel's part and there were some general suggestions. The de Valtos Cartel was tempted by the whispers of the Nightbringer of power in exchange for its freedom, and was mining its surface as a pretense to free it. When the Ultramarines were sent to investigate with Uriel the Elder at the head they essentially got held hostage at gunpoint until the de Valtos Cartel could finish the job. Uriel, figuring what the Cartel was brainwashed by was some super-Nosferatu, was of the mindset “All right, go ahead, be stupid. When the screaming starts, you know where to find me". It turned out to be the central shard of the Nightbringer and the third largest piece of a C'tan in the galaxy, which was way beyond the Ultras' ability to handle. Despite all the good he did in his long career it was one of the last things he did and now that is all he is now remembered for. Much of Ventris the Younger's career has been showing that he is not his ancestor.
Mira Nero - Not an Astartes, but worth mentioning here. Is currently whipping the Ultramar PDF and guard regiments up to Cadian standard. Is in an odd and somewhat frowned upon relationship with Titus.

One the one hand it's illegal for Ultramarines to get married, a law put in place by Guilliman's grandson for good reason. On the other hand the reasons for that law are considered obsolete and it's only kept for historic traditional reasons and at least half the chapter have unofficial wives. It's a marriage with all the religious ceremonies but none of the state legal proceedings. Half the time a chapter Chaplain is the one performing the ceremony and then conveniently forgetting about the whole thing.

The real scandal is that she is a soldier and so is he and that is very much frowned upon by almost everyone but not, oddly enough, by Chaplain Ortan Cassius.

Ortan Cassius has reached the point in life where he absolutely does not give a fuck what other people think. Leandros can quote the Codex all day long but Cassius is also word perfect in not just the Codex but all the surrounding supplementary documentation and histories and the published works of the other Primarchs and by god/s does he let Leandros know this. Cassius fucking hates Leandros even more than Titus is learning to and should Calgar ever manage to die would vote for the chapters dissolution before voting for Leandros to take the high office. He has made no secret of this and it has gone on official record that Leandros is a "rote learning Tosser".

Although Cassius does support Titus the Acting CM often wishes that he didn't. He keeps demanding that Titus get married and stop hogging those delicious Anti-Chaos genes for the good of the species.

However, between Titus' sheltered upbringing, naivete regarding women, and the fact he is in a bit of self-denial about his feelings (because the people he cares about tend to die), the two of them have just barely reached the hand-holding stage, despite their relationship being one of the worst kept secrets since the Watchers in the Dark. By this rate they will finally get to actually having children 200 years after the tyranids sweep through Ultramar. By contrast, Mira is less awkward in terms of personal relationships.

Cassius also keeps insinuating that Mira and her surviving soldiers were adopted into the Ultramar Regiments more so that Titus could keep Mira close to him than any practical concerns, a thing that only offers him more rope by which to be hanged in the eyes of Leandros.

Titus has always maintained that the adoption and assimilation of the Cadians into the military training institutions of Ultramar is to facilitate needed reforms into the Ultramar soldiery as part of the Legio Primaris project. His intention is to have the space marines backed up by the best soldiers that Ultramar can provide, to that end they must be trained by the best soldiers he can find. The best unaugmented soldiers he has ever seen are the surviving Cadians of the 203rd so he pulled stings to get them transferred to being Ultramarine Auxiliary forces so that he could place them where he saw fit. Mira, as their commander, is the keystone of the project and orchestrates the whole thing from Macragge answering only to Titus and the Ultramar Senate. This necessitates that she spend a lot of her time in the Fortress of Hera or the city of Magna Civitas, two places that Titus has to frequent when not out on campaign. This is purely coincidental he tells himself, never quite believing it.

Despite his questionable motivations the Cadian Doctrine being instilled in the new generation of soldiers is proving to be extremely effective. The aristocracy of Ultramar is unhappy about this "cultural contamination" and "barbarian influences". Titus, ever the diplomat, called them out on that and told them in no uncertain terms that it was their influence peddling and decadence that had lead to the decline in standards that was making these reforms necessary.

Nakaidos[edit]

Part of the thematic point behind Nakaidos is to highlight some of the potential flaws with the "Strength = Authority" mentality of the Ulmeatheans. Nakaidos hit the genetic lottery for his race and has the instincts, training, and resources to already be a nigh-unstoppable monster, but that doesn't really transition into being fit to rule, especially because he's barely old enough to be considered an adult. think of all the examples of child-monarchs through history, and most of them became either brutal dictators who trusted no-one (with good reason), or became figureheads getting used for the ends of royal advisors.

In this case, however, everyone got really lucky and it works out, because his closest advisor is actually a good guy who's got the experience and wisdom to fill in the gaps in Nakaidos' skillset, while also training him for the day when Oscen will no longer be around. Conversely, Oscen is able to keep his power in a system that usually would have seen him deposed by the first upstart-runt who challenged the cripple and inevitably won, because he's backed by a living weapon who can break any and all challengers at once.

Typhon and the Barbarus Revolts[edit]

Like many planets during the Old Night, Barbarus was ruled by psykers, but in this case psykers who blurred the lines between daemon and mortal, swooping from peak to peak remaining safe in the fog that no mortal could survive. Beings kind of like the Witch-King of Angmar, human psykers that through their power and devotion to the Chaos Gods had become something else, not a Daemon Prince in any sense but at the same time clearly not mortal. Something kind of like a Fury but with a little more power and self-determination (that being dependent, however, on the fact that they were still partly mortal). Typhon was the village’s champion, a mere boy barely of age. He had no father, who had died years before in an attack by the planet’s half-mortal overlords. Such was the way of life on Barbarus. Eventually, however, you can only push people so far before they begin to push back. Villages on Barbarus began to receive shipments of strange weaponry from stranger sources, which they were told had the power to end the witch-king’s reign forever. The village smiths labored for a year and a day, making plate armor that was the best protection anyone on Barbarus knew how to make. The village bedecked him with warpaint and mystic charms, which were meant to give him good luck on his quest. The witch-kings paid little attention to this change in behavior, caring little about what the mundane humans did as long as the witch-kings could continue to raid.

The Imperium’s idea had been to arm the oppressed villagers with weapons and have them fight alongside the 14th legion to retake their homeworld. The populace and would feel like they had contributed to the retaking of their world rather than some alien power swooping in and doing so and would be more receptive to Imperial rule rather than seeing themselves trade one tyrant for another. Unfortunately someone missed the memo and started distributing the weapons beforehand. Barbarus had no space flight technology, so the Imperium could have sat in orbit around the planet all day without repercussion, but Mortarion was late and someone went ahead of schedule anyway.

Mortarion’s ships arrive in the Barbarus system a week late, having been delayed by a battle in another system and the vagaries of Warp travel. When he finds out what happened he is furious, he didn’t care much about civilian casualties but the people of Barbarus are not capable of fighting the witch-kings on their own. With just the weapons the Imperium gave them they are going to be walking into a slaughter with the whole populace dying, and after screaming out everyone involved (whether they deserved it or not) takes his Death Guard and descends to the planet in drop pods.

Meanwhile Typhon and his warriors are marching up the slopes of the great mountains. They had managed to kill two of the witch-kings thus far, but already their advance had begun to slow. The witch-kings had united en masse against their assault, and his warriors were already beginning to succumb to the toxic fog as their rebreathers began to give out. It was a horrible melee, with the tide beginning to turn in favor of the witch-kings as warriors drop their blows or from noxious fumes. Even Typhon was beginning to falter. He can feel his limbs slow and his vision begin to blur. A witch-king stands over him, ready to deliver the finishing blow.

Much as lasguns and flak armor are supposed to be as good as modern military gear (if lighter and cheaper) to show the scale of things in 40k, this shows the scale of what Chaos is capable of. These are furies. They are supposed to be at the bottom of the Chaotic food chain. And yet here they are winning against people with plate armor and close to modern weapons.

And then a drop pod crashes through the ceiling, crushing two of the witch-kings, and the door is kicked open. Everyone, witch-king and primitive warrior alike, are floored by the sight. Out strides the biggest human Typhon has ever seen, clad in a suit of power armor with red optics, a two handed sickle in his hands. The giant swings his scythe to drive back the abomination, and then and gives the harshest and most brusque pep talk possible.

“Get up boy. Do you really want to die here?”

Typhon struggles to his feet as more drop pods fall and more giants stream out, the members of the first giant’s “Death Guard”. He feels sick to his stomach but he stays by the giant’s side, determined to see things through. As he fights alongside the giant, Typhon observes Mortarion’s fighting, forces to learn or else be left behind. No surrender. No retreat. No backward step. Mortarion leaves with arcs of his scythe, leaving Typhon to deliver the killing blow with his more straightforward weapons. Eventually, all that is left is the Overlord of Barbarus, who retreated to the highest crag of the planet just out of reach. Typhon falls behind, his tortured body having finally reached his limits, but he stays conscious just long enough to watch Mortarion raise his scythe and take the head of the Overlord of Barbarus, the creature who had brought his people so much sorrow.

And that’s when Typhon knew he wanted to fight and die for Mortarion.

As has been mentioned before, Typhon was a latent psyker. Indeed, that was the only reason Typhon even survived the events of Barbarus, he believed all the charms and totems of protection his people gave him really worked, which caused his powers to subconsciously ward him from the worst of the the toxic smog. He found out at some point in the Great Crusade, but never told Mortarion, for Mortarion hated all things psychic and would have considered it a betrayal of the highest magnitude. This, as we’ve mentioned, is at the core of the Templars’ hypocrisy towards psykers (though the Templars claim he doesn’t count and Typhon’s opinion was more “don’t use psychic powers on the battlefield and roll for Perils of the Warp in front of your battle brothers”). As we’ve said, the Templars are still massively bigoted against psykers. Not to “purge the unclean” levels and rejecting Navigators and Astropaths, but still massively bigoted (often in a “stay in the kitchen” kind of way).

Compared to Mortarion Typhon was a little bit more charismatic. Mortarion, as we’ve said, rubbed everyone the wrong way and though he cared for his men he rarely showed in it any conventional way. He was also a doer, not a thinker. Typhon, on the other hand, had a little bit more charisma (like in canon), which was why Typhon was the one to write “Crusading, The Templar Way” instead of Mortarion, and got other groups to follow the Templar movement (they would have to be other groups because the Templar flaunt the suggestions of the codex).

Lucius the Eternal[edit]

When Fulgrim failed in his promise to provide eternal life to Lucius, Lucius left for the far eastern reaches of the galaxy and came back with a nasty case of C’tan vampirism. On the outer reaches of the galaxy Lucius encountered a cult of C’tan-tainted Lacrymole, who told him the means to gain the immortality he sought. However when he realized the cost of C’tan vampirism was to have one’s free will tampered with and their independence existing only at the behest of their patron, he decided to take a third option. Instead of taking up a shard of the Nightbringer, Deciever, or one of the lesser C’tan whose fragments escaped the hunger of the Outside, against the warnings of the Lacrymole he sought out a Wyvern and defeated it, taking up its essence into himself. It was a calculated gamble, less guaranteed than simply submitting himself to one of the other C’tan but offering greater promises of freedom as its patron was (seemingly) a mindless, animalistic force of destruction and therefore unable to subtly assert influence over him.

After defeating the Wyvern and gaining his long-sought immortality, Lucius ironically had to sit down and figure out what he was going to do with his life. Immortality is one of those lifelong goals where if you actually achieve it you suddenly have to figure out what you’re going to do with the rest of eternity. Eventually, he settled on traveling the galaxy and finding the greatest foes to fight. Immortality is not just about being alive, it’s about living life to the fullest. Lucius has fought at least two great champions of the galaxy in his long lifetime (both before he reached the rather absurd power levels he is at today): Lelith Hesperax and the primarch Vulkan He’stan. Lucius and Lelith both managed to walk away from their fight and consider it one of the best they ever had. Given the combatants respective personalities, the fight was the sort of innuendo-laced event you’d expect from the two of them, to the point that when either of them recount the tale years later onlookers think they’re talking about a steamy relationship with an old flame until they clarify that no, there merely talking about perfectly wholesome violence. Both are looking forward to the prospect of a rematch. Lelith thinks she can get the edge on him if she can get him to expend most of his power and Lucius considers Lelith one of the few opponents worthy of his skill.

Vulkan fought Lucius in his days as the Imperium’s immovable, incorruptible paladin and was the Green Knight to Lucius’s Abhorash, managing to defeat him and earning his undying respect.

Cue a scene inside the Temple of the Flame on Nocturne where a novice priest is doing the nightly rounds. He spots a huge, hooded figure standing in front of the Empty Sepulcher of Vulkan placing something in front of the marble plinth before melting into the shadows. The novice hurries over to investigate, and kneels down to see what the intruder left. To his puzzlement, it seems to be an ancient, ornate Space Marine helm, purple and gold, crushed by a single, heavy hammer blow.

Other Characters[edit]

People or groups who we have bits and pieces on but no solid concept or write-up yet.

Chapter Master Dante - Nothing has been said so far beyond tweaking his age so he still holds the title of being one of the oldest Space Marines still alive today given the increased longevity in the setting. May have known Lysander before he got lost in the Warp and was asked to explain to brief him on what had happened since he was lost (which is much greater than canon, probably a millenium or so) as a favor to the Imperial Fists.

DOOMRIDER - Doomrider is a Slaaneshi Crone Eldar Daemon Prince who rides some unholy combination of a motorcycle crossed with a Steed of Slaanesh, to which the gimp suit-wearing Doomrider is strapped to via bondage gear. More detail on his origins and the like is needed. The White Scars really, really hate Doomrider for some reason. Their latest Chapter Master, Kor'sarro Khan, rose to prominence in being the highest ranked survivor of a recent Great Hunt in which the White Scars managed to cut off the cocaine-fueled daemon prince's head, sewed the still-babbling bastard's mouth shut, then buried it for good measure. In the last century or so there have been reports of Doomrider showing up around the Imperium. The White Scars are concerned and dig up where they buried the head. The head is gone.

Ghota – One of the highest ranking surviving Thunder Warriors at the time of the War of the Beast. In general, those Thunder Warriors that were psychologically stable and survived until the end of the Unification were given a choice. Either retire and get a month pension and an apartment of their choice anywhere on Old Earth (except Hy Brasil), or sign on to the new Legions and serve alongside the new breed of super soldier to show them how it’s done. Given that a lot of them had failing health at the time, quite a few took the former option and a lot of them joined the Old Earth PDF simply because it was familiar and it gave them something to do. When Arik sends out the call using the old command codes of the Unification Army to old friends and comrades the surviving Thunder Warriors gather under Ghota and head for the Imperial Palace. Or at least try to. They set out from the general area of Gredbriton/Franj-Europia/Terrawatt-Uralia, which was rapidly becoming the suburbs to the Imperial Palace and other governmental institutions where those working in government commuted to and from. There was a mag-lev train built to allow commuters to travel to and from the Palace, which the Thunder Warriors tried to take to get there. However the Beast moved faster than they thought and the train derailed half a nation out. Leman Russ notices the derailed trains from his transports and offers Ghota and his Thunder Warriors a lift. They make it to the palace gates just in time to watch Sanguinius and Arik die. Russ manages to grab the Banner of Unification before it falls to the ground, but a wave of fresh orks prevent the Space Wolves and the Thunder Warriors from following the Beast into the palace. Ghota and the Thunder Warriors die in the melee that ensues (the Last Roll of Thunder), either from injuries or from overexerting their tortured physiologies.

Lotara Sarrin - Angron's second youngest adopted child. Kharn saw her as his (annoying) kid sister. Lotara Sarrin was given a job quite close to Earth in the highly secure trade routes between the core territories of the Imperium. She always wanted to go to space so Angron arranged matters so that she could get a job in the Merchant Navy on a sturdy ship, with decent pay and a good crew. Angron wasn't afraid to pull strings to get his adopted kids into high-ranked positions, but at the same time he wanted them out of harm's way. She wasn't given a job beyond her capabilities so although it was favouritism it wasn't too detrimental and nobody was going to argue with The Red Angel. Lotara Sarrin, like most of Angron's children, considers this to be second place to a military career. To them their dad was this hard-as-nails guy who went up against Franjish knights and won, and they felt like they had to live up to his example and often ended up stubbornly headbutting their way into the Imperial military regardless, which caused Angron no small amount of frustration. Lotara learns the comings and going of ship life, studies hard of all things to do with military ships and the duties of it and becomes extremely proficient at her job in the process. When she transfers to the Navy branch of the Imperial Army Angron flips his fucking lid but eventually simmers down. Lotara Sarrin eventually, by merit and despite Angron's grumpiness, becomes captain of the Conqueror of the Warhounds.

CREEEEED - Still doing his thing hiding Titans underneath vacant buildings and dropping Baneblades down the ventilation shaft of captured hive cities (don’t even ask). One important thing to note is in this timeline Cadian culture is heavily influenced by Ulthwé, so Creed’s love of sleight of hand tactics and defeating the enemy through superior maneuvering may be due to Ulthwé cultural influence (as the eldar of Ulthwé love the “devious and cunning” thing). One of the few humans to be acknowledged by the eldar as the human equivalent of an autarch, although it’s largely Ulthwé who is leading that charge, whereas Craftworlds like Biel-Tan think Creed is too sneaky for their liking and feels Ulthwé should stop forcing their values down everyone else's throat.

Uthan the Perverse - A controversial eldar philosopher who lived circa M32. A somewhat-decadent Voltaire-like satirist known for his dry wit and disregard for sacred cows or good taste by voicing controversial opinions. He really wasn’t good for much among the eldar other than needling the stuck up sorts and turning a bit of witty phrase to pay the bills from time to time. Hence his infamous quote about the Orks being the pinnacle of life in the galaxy. Then he made mistake of doing the same thing again by making some quasi-complimentary comments about the Crone eldar, which to a lot of people sounded a lot less like being a gadfly and a lot more like advocating sedition and treason. After all, one couldn’t jump ship and join the orks, but Chaos is always looking for new volunteers. When people called him on it, he sarcastically said he'd wondered about trying to be a Crone Eldar, but couldn't imagine staying awake through the sermons. After the condemnations, inspections, and drying up of funding, Uthan took a less controversial tack.

Sapiens Supremis - A group of violent asshole insurgents that are a pain in the ass for the Arbites/Inquisition/Securitas who believe in xenophobia and human supremacy above all else. Not the only such group, essentially the human counterpart of Dorhai but as a terrorist group within the Imperium and thankfully less organized. Ironically, like Dorhai they see/would see Taldeer's pregnancy as an abomination, and one possible post-M41 event is them trying to assassinate Taldeer and Lofn (and potentially being stopped by Sreta of all people at the cost of her life). But again that is post-M41.

Sons of the First Emperor - Another group of violent asshole insurgents that are a pain in the ass for the Arbites/Inquisition/Securitas. Given that in this timeline the term "First Emperor" is typically used to refer to Goge Vandire, no prizes for guessing what their grievance with the status quo is.

Gorgutz and Snikrot - Gorgutz is another Brain Boy, with Snikrot as his gretchin twin. Few people have ever put two and two together because Snikrot is a purple gretchen. It's been suggested he gets that way by hunting down some kind of squig with purple blood and using its blood as body paint Rambo style. On top of that he's sneaky even by gretchin standards, and you rarely see Snikrot and Gorgutz together. The two tend to pursue their own goals independently, rather than staying in close proximity like other Brain Boy pairs. Orks hear about all the things Snikrot's done and assume he's one of Da Boyz, because who ever heard of a gretchin doing anything like that, and Orks rarely see Snikrot in person to confirm otherwise.

Demographics and Life Expectancy in the Imperium[edit]

Because Eldar aren't getting into stupid fights with the Imperium like in canon and the Eldar have other races like the humans and the Tau to have their back, Eldar population are actually going up (though like maybe at a fraction of a percent increase per year), though it's going to be an incredibly long time before their population escapes its "dying race" status.

Without any life-extending medical treatments, Eldar typically live about 1500 years or so. With life-extending medical therapy they live about 4000-5000 years on average. By contrast, humans with rejuvenants typically live for just under 1000 years. However, this process is much more scattershot than for Eldar, and based on genetic compatibility sometimes you get individuals living for 1000-2000 years, like Lorgar or Guilliman. If rejuvenants were standardized and widespread, patterns of genetic compatibility might be more clear, but it is not possible to provide rejuvenants to every human in the Imperium and the really high-quality ones are restricted to important individuals like the primarchs, the High Lords, or Jubbowski. As in canon, being an Astartes and/or a psyker helps. Mark III S Astartes are really crazy in terms of their lifespan, Vulkan having lived for 7000-8000 years and Lion technically still being alive, if in a coma somewhere. Sanguinius might have been outright biologically immortal due to many of the people who engineered him being the same ones who built the Mark III S gene-seed.

So essentially the low end of the Eldar life expectancy bell curve intersects with the average (with rejuvenants) life expectancy, whereas the high end of the human life expectancy bell curve intersects with the average/low average of Eldar life expectancy.

Then you have the pre-Fall Eldar. The ones who had access to the good medical care and life-extending technology the Eldar lost in the fall. Eldrad, at minimum, is over 14,000 years old, and could possibly be older. No one knows how long they can live, though it’s obviously not forever as Eldrad is showing his age and is currently racing the clock to finish his masterpiece before he dies. For obvious reasons, they are a dwindling group, with only a handful around in M41. Eldrad, Vect, Macha, and Lady Malys, among others, all fall into this category.

It’s been mentioned the Tau have started developing their own juvenant technology after meeting the Imperium. Still in its infancy compared to Eldar and humans and so far not super impressive. Major Tau that have survived to M41 have done so through other means. Shadowsun has survived by being in cryostasis most of the time, Farsight has the Dawn Blade, and Aun’Va has been doing…something to keep himself alive, though it’s implied he’s been keeping a low profile to avoid suspicion.

Sociology and Culture of the Imperium[edit]

The Mechanicus and Dark Mechanicus[edit]

Indeed, I was going to bring this up back during the last Fulgrimdump, but we may need to do some expanding on how Mars joined the Imperium. It turns out in canon the union between Mars and Earth wasn't as cozy as most people thought it was. Mars sent a fuckhuge fleet to keep Earth from unifying, and the Emperor beat them so badly only one in ten made it back. Then the Emperor showed up with his fleet in Martian orbit, and the Mechanicum surrendered and got a peace with generous terms. The whole “were forced to join at gunpoint” was written out of history. It’s why the Dark Mechanicum were such an issue during the Horus Heresy.

Obviously, this "fake treaty that was really signed at the barrel of a gun and was subsequently edited to be rosy by history" wouldn't fit with the themes here. We discussed in previous threads that the Unification of Mars happened about the same time as that of Earth, but the Warlord got done earlier and therefore got established in space and controlled most of the inner Solar System before Mars gets their shit together.

I was thinking of what the Martian leadership like during this period. The Fabricator-General during the Great Crusade is probably one of those figures like Jenetia Krole, Malcador, or Arik Taranis that despite not being a primarch was still an important figure in the early Imperium. I was thinking that maybe the Fabricator-General was someone who was relatively charismatic for a magos similar to Arkhan Land (but probably not the same guy, as Land was someone who hated sitting still), who saw the Imperium’s burgeoning empire as an opportunity to exploit rather than a crisis. If Mars joined up, they would be able to use the Imperium’s expansion to reconnect to all the lost forge worlds and get access to all the STCs that Mars didn’t have the resources to get to outside the Sol system.

Obviously more factors contributed than this, but it might be one reason why Mars just didn’t dismiss the Imperium out of hand. It also didn't hurt that the Warlord didn't burn down the Antarctic Mechanicus enclaves in this timeline.

But then you get some big schism in the Mechanicus. Possibly from the AdMech trying to enforce uniformity among groups that had not communicated for thousands of years. Possibly because some tech-priests resented joining the Imperium. Possibly because some of the other tech-priests resented MARS telling them what to do.

Eventually some guy (maybe Anacharis Scoria) goes "You know what? I'll make my own Mechanicum. With mecha-blackjack and hooker servitors" and causes the Mechanicus to rip itself a new one. It ends up being a "minor" war in Imperial history, because it wasn't coupled with the WotB like the Schism of Mars was with the Horus Heresy, and the AdMech don't end up like the Assassins because the loyalists were enraged and fought as hard as the rest of the Imperium to stamp them out, but it means there are subsequently a lot more crazy tech-priests in the Eye of Terror.


>2 big powers in the Sol system, disorganized Mars and a long way behind it Voidborn Migrant Fleet

>Warlord starts his campaign to unite Old Earth. laughing_cogs.pict good look with that.

>Carves out a big nation by unifying/subjugating the smaller nations. laughing_adepts.holo enjoy getting Urshed

>Starts kicking the shit out of Ursh

>Wat?

>Starts taking ground from Ursh and Pan-Pacific Empire

>WTF!

>Drives back Ursh to it's last strongholds and Americas brough itno the fold

>OH FUCKINGSHIT UNIFY! UNIFY ALL OF THE THINGS!

>Migrant Fleet joins Old Earth

>FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu--------------

>Luna follows because Voidborn

>OH FUCKINGSHITTWATCUNTINGDICKNIPPLES!!!!

>Old Earth is now out of fucking nowhere the dominant power in Sol. Mars a distant second.

>Mars almost totally unified when Steward turns up at the head of the diplomacy convoy (ships borrowed from Horus).

>Olympus Mons priesthood head of ~70% of Mars priesthoods.

>Olympus Mons signs partnership agreement

>~30% are salty as fuck. Piss of into the inky black to start their own Mechanicum without all these rules and shit

>Mars Mechnicum piggybacks on the Expedition Fleets to bring the forgeworlds and old outposts back under Mars rule.

It doesn't automatically follow that all of the 30% ran off straight to Chaos. Many would have founded little closed hermit brotherhoods of their own.

Lets say that of the original Martians only 5% went to The Dark Side.

There might also have been older brotherhoods on far flung forgeworlds and outposts that fell of their own accord during the Age of Strife also.

In any case with cloning, forcible recruitment and intensive breeding programs there is not reason for them not to have built up their numbers considerably by the War of The Beast. Especially unconstrained by all notions of good and evil.

The original bastards that came back to Mars during the War of The Beast were the real problem as they were seen by the more gullible idiots in the lower ranks as returning messiahs who had gone to the wilderness and found enlightenment. And they knew the land better and, armed with strange new knowledge, could open the locked away shit in the Labyrinth of Night. Void Dragon almost got accidently freed at this time.

Oscar and Magnus used this as a great demonstration that not educating the plebs about Chaos is a really fucking stupid idea that will always, always result in colossal fuck ups.

Zagreus Kane deposed the Fabricator General of Mars in the aftermath of the WoTB and set about a series of reforms. He has seen the previous order as betraying the principles of the priesthood by embracing ignorance with their withholding of vital information from the population in general. The ruination Mars was suffering was a direct result of this. His reforms had a prodigious body count as he servitorized or executed those he held responsible. It was in these reforms that the AdBio was inducted into the AdMech and then encouraged to set up shop some distance away.

Zagreus Kane's reign for the next 1,500 years was hard but fair. He enacted no more purges of that nature, once was enough.

Kelbor-Hal and Zagreus Kane[edit]

The irony of the situation is that Kelbor-Hal and Zagreus Kane were complete opposites. Kelbor-Hal was outwardly pleasant, but internally was disingenuous and rather manipulative. Kelbor-Hal would tell you want to hear but not mean it, merely using people as a means to an end. He was politically savvy enough to realize that he could turn Mars’ situation with the Imperium into an advantage by using the Great Crusade to get access to the lost Forgeworlds and mountains of ancient technology, whereas the other AdMech loathed the idea of treating with the Imperium and feared a blockade of Mars, but he only saw the Imperium and the Great Crusade as a way to increase the power of Mars and the authority of the Olympus Mons Brotherhood over Mars. Even Horus wasn’t that slimy, while he may have been an oily bargainer Horus at the very least honestly believed in the ideals of the Imperium, even if he didn’t agree with the Steward’s vision for it. Indeed, Horus’ refusal to take side in the Earth-Mars conflict was partially due to his dislike of the Olympus Mons Brotherhood. Over morals.

Sometimes things didn’t go as planned and Kelbor-Hal’s mask cracked. Case in point Savlar. When the Savlar Order proved completely immune to soft power the charming politician vanished and a spoilt child took his place. The Steward liked Kelbor-Hal, but that was in part because Kelbor-Hal had Arkhan Land as his representative to the greater Imperium, whose genuine optimism and enthusiasm for rediscovering lost technology mirrored the Steward’s own views. Land was also very good at selling Kelbor-Hal’s ideas to the rest of the Mechanicum due to honesty. When Land died, Kelbor-Hal no longer had his prime ambassador and salesperson to dress up his ideas in more appealing packaging, and his control faltered.

By contrast, Kane, although brutal, harsh, and uncompromising, but had a strong sense of morals, believed in the truth above all else, rewarded those under him who performed beyond expectations, and was undeniably more honest. He believed in the truth above all else, and his fury at Kelbor-Hal was primarily because Kelbor-Hal hid the reason ‘’why’’ the Mechanicum exiles were supposed to be considered persona non grata (specifically, their “enlightenment” was Chaos worship, building Abominable Intelligences, and other such things). He also understood when it was necessary to be brutal and when it was not. Although Zagreus Kane had his predecessors deposed and recycled for incompetence, he only ever had to do so once, because that was all he needed to show he could and would do so if necessary.

Finally, unlike Kelbor-Hal, he didn’t see the Imperium as tools to be used. He was one of the most pro-Imperial Fabricator-Generals, believing in balancing commitments to the Imperium and commitments to the Mechanicus in equal accord, which is more than even Oud Oud Raskian can say. Kane was much better liked by the general Imperium than by the AdMech, since the general Imperium was never on the receiving end of one of his purges. Even Oscar, who dreaded the idea of working with Kane, found himself surprised when Kane turned out to practice what he preached. Part of the reason Ferrus Manus didn’t start pushing back against the Fabricator-General until much later in life is that for all his faults Zagreus Kane was a good leader and someone who genuinely deserved respect.

The Imperial Aquila[edit]

The twin heads of the Imperial Aquila in this timeline are supposed to represent the alliance between humanity and eldar, the Eagle and the Phoenix, rather than the unification of Mars and Earth (especially since the Migrant Fleet joined as a third party equal in stature to the other two, which would mean the Aquila would have to have three heads if it had the same significance as canon). There is also a suggestion that the Aquila incorporates some sort of Eldar rune into its design.

Hives[edit]

The Imperium has something of a contradictory relationship with its Hives.

On the one hand, the Hive is the ultimate symbol of civilization. Indeed, the word civilization itself comes from an ancient word for 'city', and hives are the ultimate cities. The ultimate expression of man's triumph over nature. Defended like nearly nothing else, cosseted behind meter-thick adamantium walls, void shields fit for a battleship, anti-orbital weapon silos also fit for a battleship, PDF forces numbering in the tens of millions. Often nearly autarkic, immense farm-terraces, fusion reactors good for thousands of years, mines stretching out like roots clear down to the mantle. The Imperium in microcosm, enduring and ferociously spiky.

At the same time, they are also among the most ungovernable place in the Imperium. The actual architecture of a hive stops bearing any resemblance to the blueprints within decades. The population escapes any census. A hive is larger than nations; many of them are, in fact, divided into multiple independent states. Even a well-ordered and centralized hive may have dozens of microstates hidden away in the wainscoting. Many poorly-educated people in the depths of the hives never realize that there is anything more to the universe than one giant, endless hive.

Many, many, many people have remarked on this apparent dichotomy, that the greatest symbols of its might are often also where its control is weakest. Sometimes the Emperor has commented on this, and declared that there is no dichotomy. The Imperium does not depend on centralized control. It is the collective dream of its citizens, of collective security, of collective prosperity, of collective defiance of a universe that wishes them dead. The hives do not need censuses and blueprints to be part of the Imperium. They pay their tithes and send their children to die on distant battlefields without such things.

Important Books of the Imperium[edit]

Guilliman wrote a large number of documents, but his most famous was the Codex Astartes, which was a thought experiment on how a post-Crusade Imperium might be better organized based on best practices he observed utilized by different legions throughout the Great Crusade. Although it started out as a thought experiment it eventually became the standard for Astartes organization across the galaxy (mostly, almost every chapter deviates from the Codex in some manner).

Lorgar also wrote many books. His magnum opus was the Lecticio Divinatatus, which reconciled the Katholian and Karathanite sects of the Katholian religion. It mostly focused on religious matters and so was a bit dry for people who aren't interested in that kind of stuff. His most famous book was the so-called "Book of Lorgar", which was essentially "How to Fight Chaos For Dummies" or "Chaos? In My Imperium? It's More Likely Than You'd Think."

Typhus the Pilgrim wrote Crusading: The Templar Way

Russ, First High King of Fenris, wrote a short book detailing how to run a detachment of the Imperial Army. It mostly focused on how to direct soldiers with the Canis Helix effectively so it was too specialized to be of much interest to anyone else.

One of Perty's scribes wrote down an instructional book explaining the basics of long term garrison duty that is more or less applicable to any majority human world. It wasn't published until after Perturabo's death as it criticized a few things Perty had done and nobody was sure on how he would react to that.

There are rumors that Curze made extensive notes on terror tactics. If true the book is on the prohibited list and not in general circulation.

Magnus wrote extensively but mostly on the practical and theoretical nature and application of the Warp. The Imperium officially denies it, but rumour has it he wrote Gods and Daemons: A Spotters Guide after helping co-author the "Book of Lorgar" with Lorgar that dealt with more applied daemonology for the specialist. It's totally true. There are 3 copies. Grey Knights have one copy (which the Ordo Malleus sometimes borrow). KSons have the original. Exorcists have the final copy. Blood Ravens seem to have been "gifted" with an unofficial copy.

Angron only wrote shit poetry he never intended to be published. Kharn the Oathsworn had to go through his stuff when he died and found the doodle pad he put it all down in. It mostly deals with having to do shit he doesn't want to do and how much his failing biology is pissing him off at time of writing.

Sangy wrote down his collected visions that his Legion still sift through.

Dorn particular brand of wisdom was preserved in De Omnibus Dorni, which was a transcribed collection of Dorn's sarcastic and laconic sayings and conversations recorded by his followers over the years. Military commanders still like to quote it to this day. We have some quotes in the threads.

The Throne[edit]

The introduction of the Imperial Throne as a single interstellar currency probably started as the coinage of the Void Born that was used in Sol that then worked it's way out along with the Expeditionary Forces of the Great Crusade.

Originally it was Req. Almost certainly derived from Requisition tokens used by the Quartermaster Supreme of Luna used to allocate resources during the Age of Strife. 1 Req is just a Req, 10 Req was a DecReq, 10 DecReq (100 Req) was a CetuReq. Fraction and decimal Req only existed as hypothetical inside a bank account and had no real world counter part.

Thrones are Reqs in all but name, presumably Horus had something to do with this or at least someone in his employ.

Availability, acceptability and value of local currency varies greatly in the imperium even down to the scale of nation-states but every world in the Imperium, by law, accepts the Throne and accepts it at the value dictated by the Administrtum.

The Throne (coin) and it's worth is seen to an extent as the glue that holds interstellar trade together. Fucking with the coinage is officially treason and is one of the few things that will have the Arbiters kicking down your door.

It doesn't matter if you're the head of a vast trader dynasty, a sector governor or an ambitious idiot in a back room making counterfeits. If you fuck with the thrones you fuck with the Throne and the Throne will fuck back.

Eldar typically prefer to barter goods for goods and seldom accept local currencies. Some times they will use Throne Coin if they can't find an alternative. Big exception being Sreta Ulthran's branch of the Ulthran clan.

Fucking with thrones would be an especially heinous offense, because the more you think about it, the more that a reputation-based currency (like banknotes and paper money) is the only way to go in a galactic economy.

Human cultures in the past have mostly used gold and silver for their currency because they were one of the few elements that were rare enough to buffer inflation and counterfeiting but yet not rare enough that minting a currency was impractical. Most other elements either did not fulfill these criteria or were radioactive.

But in space that is meaningless. There is enough gold and precious metals in asteroids to make gold coins effectively worthless. Gold becomes more valuable for its conducting ability than its power to represent a unit of demand. What becomes more valuable is whatever a system doesn’t have, whether that’s food or metals that aren’t common in the system for whatever reason. So we’re back to the barter system.

Unless you have a strong central government able to impose its will and say “we say this token is worth so much and we will back this with our financial reputation”. If the central government is stable and not liable to collapse, this makes the currency a stable medium of exchange. Counterfeiting thrones is now a direct act of undermining the government’s reputation.

Thrones are still probably metal in some way because gold is harder to counterfeit than paper. And since civilization as a whole is rolling in gold and other precious metals (particularly ones that are not in high demand like adamantium), why not put that metal to use?

Blackstone Fortresses[edit]

So far, three Blackstone Fortresses have been discovered. In this timeline, the Blackstone Fortresses are clearly described as being Old One creations as opposed to being ambiguously eldar or Old One as in canon, though the Eldar still refer to them as the Talismans of Vaul.

The first is the Tomb of Horus. It was first found by the Sons of Horus, the eclectic, semi-monastic bunch of mystics who serve as arbiters and settle disputes between the various Voidborn groups and Void Wolves successor chapters. They found the Blackstone Fortress orbiting an uninhabited planet around some nowhere star. Despite much effort they weren’t able to get it to turn on. Unable to get it to work on their own they went to the Eldar for help (suggested to be Lugganath, or whichever Craftworld has the “ancient lore” hat). Sadly although the Eldar knew of the Blackstone Fortresses due to their role in the War in Heaven, there was no one left alive who actually knew how to work one. After much pushing and prodding they finally managed to get the ship to move and activate the Fuck Your Shit Up short-range defense beams. Currently, the original Tomb of Horus and numerous Eldar wraithbone constructs have been amalgamated around the Blackstone Fortress, creating a one of a kind monstrosity of Eldar and Mechanicus technology wrapped around a fragment of Old One greatness. It doesn't move fast. But when it get somewhere it gets there hard. Rather tellingly, despite having only the “short range” point defense systems activated, the Tomb of Horus is considered to be on par with one of the Five Big Bastards.

Chaos found the second, and Erebus has retrofitted it into his new war chariot he calls the Chariot of the Gods, known to the lesser mortals as the Planet Killer. It is flesh and blood and iron and warpstuff twisted into some horrific design, powered by daemons and strange things uncategorized by Imperial scholars and unnamed by the damned.

Unbeknownst to almost anyone, the Tau have found a third Blackstone Fortress. They don't know what it is, who built it or what it does. They don't even believe it is as old as it appears because shit obviously can't be that old. They won't report it to the greater Imperium until they have something concrete about it to offer. Finding something that big and handing it over without even a basic understanding of it would make them loose face they feel. All they know is that it sings to them when they sleep.

The Tomb of Horus[edit]

To understand the Tomb of Horus, you have to understand the Mournival. The Mournival was an old Voidborn tradition, in which the leader of a clan would pick an advising council based on the wisest members of his close family. This was true even if the leader claimed the loyalty of multiple clans, like Horus. Many in the greater Imperium decried this as nepotism. The ever-clannish Migrant Fleet replied that this was simply Voidborn tradition, and told whoever thought otherwise to politely go fuck themselves.

Abbadon was the closest to Horus, due to actually having been raised by him since he was about six. No Migrant Fleet tradition about this, just an uncle doing his fucking job and raising his orphaned nephew as if he were his own. We all know how Abbadon turned out.

Garviel Loken was the only member of the Mournival who was actually an Astartes. Not sure if he was one of the lucky Sol Fleet Voidborn who were compatible with the procedure or one of the immigrants to the Migrant Fleet. Despite all this he tended to be the moderating voice among the Mournival whenever they butted heads. Loken went a bit loopy after Horus died. Started calling himself Cerberus and waged a PTSD and guilt-fueled one-man campaign on Chaos cults from Interex space to the Gothic Sector. Unfortunately, he ended up dying about the same time as Abbadon during the first black Crusade.

No clue about Tarik. Not really sure what he was like.

Horus Aximand, named “Horus” in honor of his uncle but more often referred to by his last name to avoid confusion, was the one who took after Horus the most. He was the charming diplomat, the shrewd politician and businessman, but unlike Horus he had enough enthusiasm that he came off as genuine. When Horus couldn’t negotiate in person, Aximand was usually the one with the job.

Sometime between Horus’ death and his funeral, Aximand and found religion. Real fanatic about it too. It could have been from hanging around with the Diasporex too long, but he was no diasporite. So when Aximand’s fleet comes across this great, big impossibly ancient alien construct less than a month on the journey “home” from Horus’ funeral, he declares this to be a sign from the universe. Ends up sprucing it up, calling in the Eldar to help him figure out how to turn the lights on, and turns it into a big turbo-dreadnaught/mystic temple/tourist trap. Uncle Horus would be proud. And that’s how the Sons of Horus were formed.

Hive Worlds[edit]

Imperium is more Art Deco than Gothic in this canon, mimicking vague memories of the grace and absolution of their old technology, so it's aging structures would produce a megalithic Great Depression vibe. I imagine many golden Aquila and skulls would be replaced with gleaming winged humanoids and more varied sculptural conceits devised to fit the ship. The Mechanicus would still provide the hash, mechanical Gothic aesthetics. The millennia the high imperial architecture has stood would produce an appearance of grandly ornamented superstructures studding garden continents, all falling into dilapidation and disrepair but still populated, still functional, and in some places retaining the old luster and gleam, though mostly the beauty of the average imperial city is int graceful aging, being as fine to live in copper green, grown over with ancient trees, and covered with moss as they are in gleaming brass and stark, beautiful architecture.

As the original, gracefully implemented systems have failed installations needed to either develop the technical know how to maintain and work their systems or turn to the mechanicus of the hadn't already, often leading to the old mechanicus gothic sort of architecture growing out of cities's technological installations and operations. A crusade era hive may now look almost like a lonely mountain, terraced with forest and tarnished but gleaming city and ringed with great chasms to its inner metropolis, great men and women in adamantine cast discernible as pillars supporting decks of mountainside, and spires of grey mechanicus machinery emerging from is sides, tending to the ancient generators and automanufactoties. The outlying country still bears the mark of Perturbo or some other artist of continents hand, and still bear monumental arcades and vista spanning leisure gardens, long since put to more practical use or left to grow wild.

Hive Worlds are still polluted and horrible to live in, but not out of indifference. The Imperial era ones are derived from Perty's genius designed hives on Old Earth and the pre-Imperial ones had substantial work done on them. It's still quite shit because 10,000+ years of war economy will do that but it's out of necessity this time rather than indifference. The Imperium would love to renovate the Hive Worlds, but lacks the resources, knowledge, or time to be able to do so. Plus figuring out the reasoning behind anything created by Perturabo is a Herculean feat in and of itself. A lot of the "dark" aesthetic from mainstream Imperium hives in this timeline is supposed to be from a Great Depression-esque aesthetic. Bold and powerful designs that in economically active areas can still shine with its old glory, but which in many areas has become tarnished and fallen by the wayside because society doesn't have the resources to repair them.

Exodites and the Maiden Worlds[edit]

When the Eldar joined the Imperium, one of their key terms was that the Imperium recognize the Eldar’s prior claim to the Maiden Worlds. The Eldar put a lot of work into terraforming those worlds for future settlement, and they didn’t appreciate the idea of someone else coming in and snatching up the fruits of all their hard work. The Imperium agreed, on the condition that the Eldar do the same for any worlds that had been clearly terraformed by humanity. As a result of this agreement the Craftworlds drew up a list of all the known Maiden Worlds in the galaxy. To the Eldar, this let humanity clearly know which worlds were “theirs”, though the Imperium pushed for it as well so the Eldar couldn’t suddenly show up when humanity colonized a planet and claim “this was a Maiden World all along”.

The Eldar's interest in keeping humans off Maiden Worlds was not entirely a matter of self-interest (though that was still the primary reason). It was also a matter of safety. Terraforming a Maiden World often involved such things as subtly tweaking the orbit of a comet to smack the planet to provide water, or causing massive supervolcanic eruptions to alter the planet’s atmosphere, which would be devastating to anyone on the planet’s surface. The Eldar didn’t want people to go squatting on an unfinished Maiden World, get wiped out by a preplanned terraforming event, and then go complaining it was the Eldar's fault, when the Eldar had warned them that unfinished Maiden Worlds were not safe.

In the last few millennia (read: in the millennia since the romanticization of the alliance), the Eldar have allowed small numbers of other species to live on Maiden Worlds, but only after they have been extensively settled and colonized by Eldar first. To the Eldar, the Maiden Worlds are Eldar worlds first and foremost, and members of other races are only allowed on them because the Eldar permit it. The Eldar never allow Maiden Worlds to be settled by other races first. The only “exception” to this is New Tanith, but that was more due to Prince Yriel than anything else. Officially, New Tanith was given to Prince Yriel on behalf of Biel-Tan as a gift, who then in turn gifted the planet to the refugees of Tanith, as was his right. Yriel was both Eldar and crazy enough that Biel-Tan recognized he would not back down. Anyone else would have been told to go screw themselves.

The Maiden Worlds themselves are typically allied with one of the Craftworlds, and these Craftworlds are typically the ones that speak for them when their voices need to be heard in the Imperium.

The Exodites are kind of like a combination between the Amish and Sakoku Japan. There is perhaps one major settlement on the planet that allows advanced technology, primarily as a spaceport to allow trade with the rest of the Imperium. The rest of the planet is explicitly low-tech.

In some cases the Eldar prefer human goods because although they are lower quality they are often cheaper and can be made more quickly. The Exodites take this a step further. Much like many simple living groups (e.g., Amish, Mennonites), the Exodites often prefer human goods because they are crappy, and thus force the Exodites to work harder for their living. In addition, trading for tools made offworld means that an Exodite does not have to break from their austere lifestyle to make the tools necessary for such a lifestyle to be possible, and can devote more of their time to work. The Exodites mostly trade for these goods with surplus food (what little they usually produce) and handmade goods. Any surplus food that cannot be used for trade or stored for hard times is generally donated to the war effort.

The Exodites are rather picky about who they allow on their worlds. If an outsider wants to visit the world and watch the dinosaur jousting and is willing to do so respectfully and without disrupting the Exodite way of life (read: no high tech), fine. If one of their Craftworld kin gets fed up with the rigidity of the Paths and wants to adopt the Exodite way of life, fine. If a human wants to do the same, they may allow it, though the Exodites are often skeptical of the ability of a human to tolerate an Exodite’s low tech lifestyle.

However, the Exodites do not tolerate anyone trying to industrialize their world and disrupt their way of life, whether it be a Craftworlder or a human. Those who try to do so are summarily booted off the planet at best. Trying to invoke the protection of the Imperium to protect you in these matters does not work, as Imperial representatives are quick to say that the Exodites are the ones who make the rules on their worlds, and if you break the laws you are on your own.

The Exodites of the Maiden Worlds are very different from the enclaves the Craftworlders set up, which are essentially normal Eldar dwellings with all of their technology on an uninhabited Maiden World rather than dinosaur-riding space Amish.

The relationship between the Craftworlds and the Exodites is kind of like that between the ancient Greek city-states and their far-flung colonies (e.g., Syracuse). Typically, one of the larger Craftworlds claims sovereignty over a Maiden World, and is expected to provide for their defense and represent them in Imperial politics. This is largely imperialism on the part of the Craftworlds. To be honest the Exodites like the idea of their Craftworlder cousins expressing sovereignty over them about as much as they would humans, but they aren’t foolish enough to look a gift horse in the mouth when they show up with military aid in their worst hour and the Craftworlds mostly avoid interfering. They can and will, however, go to another Craftworld and ask for their patronage if they feel their claiming Craftworld is being too overbearing. Most of the smaller craftworlds won’t mess with one of the big five, but Saim-Hann tends to be much more lax and is more than willing to politically tweak Biel-Tan or Alaitoc’s nose. They tend to not meddle with issues with the Maiden Worlds unless the native Exodite population asks them to.

During the Great Crusade, the eldar were very proactive in keeping the Imperium and humanity off the Maiden Worlds.Even Biel-Tan, who sees the current Imperium is the rebirth and continuation of the Old Eldar Empire, in fact they were some of the loudest about it. Biel-Tan was always interested in rebuilding the Empire and this was in the days before the formation of the alliance. In those days the Maiden Worlds were seen as the future of the eldar people. Of course, in this timeline they don’t jump straight to genocide, instead they either tended to call up the Imperium and go “these are your people, they’re your problem” or just round the human population up and dump them on the nearest human-populated world regardless of their wishes. Even today Biel-Tan, pre-Kraken Iyanden, and Alaitoc are still twitchy about the idea of significant human populations on Maiden Worlds. Although Biel-Tan sees the Imperium as the New Eldar Empire the Maiden Worlds were the life’s work of many of the eldar people and by their reckoning it would be unfair for any other species to profit from the fruits of their labor.

There are some planets with significant populations of coexisting humans and Exodites. Planets where either the native Exodite inhabitants either died out or significantly decreased in population and humans moved in, or human worlds where Exodites have planted wraithtrees after their own world was destroyed. Aghoru and the medieval world where Isha was nearly kidnapped by the Conservators are examples of the former. Rynn’s world is an example of the latter. There was a population of Bronze Age or Medieval-level Nocturne-descended humans on Caldera, who the Exodites freed during a counter-attack on a Dark Eldar raiding party and granted them asylum on the planet. The Nocturneans gratefully accepted and the two had been coexisting for centuries by the time the Great Crusade arrived. Both Biel-Tan and Vulkan called for the humans to be forcibly deported and resettled on Nocturne. The people who would actually be affected by this decision didn’t like it, the Exodites like that Biel-Tan was overriding their sovereignty and telling them what to do, whereas the humans on Caldera had lived there for so many generations that the planet was their home, Nocturne being but a distant memory, and they preferred to be on a planet that was not a tectonic time bomb. It has not been yet decided out-of-universe what happened to them. However, human-Exodite worlds are pretty rare.

The general stereotype among the non-eldar parts of the imperium is that the Maiden Worlds are an idyllic place to live, a place where food grows from the ground at a whim and the inhabitants want for nothing. This is not the case. It is true that the Maiden Worlds were engineered to be a paradise for eldar by the Old Eldar Empire, with plentiful food and resources, perfect climate, no diseases, etc. However, properly Shaadomeiforming a world requires a lot of subtle tweaking and constant maintenance and the last time anyone checked to make sure these systems were maintained was thousands of years ago. Since the Fall, many of the climate and environmental systems intended to turn the Maiden Worlds into paradises have broken down. The Maiden Worlds were also intended to be settled by Eldar using Old Empire technology, with ‘modern’ medicine, agriculture, infrastructure, etc.

No one expected a bunch of crazy Luddites to settle there and start raising the dinosaurs, especially given the forefathers of the Exodites deliberately picked the worlds that were half-finished and harshest to live on. This was done both because it was the last place any roving raiders from the Old Empire would look for them and because they wanted their descendants to have to work to make a living to keep from falling into decadence. Starvation and want are not unknown on Exodite Worlds, and birthrates have to be maintained carefully to prevent overpopulation. Violent disputes between clans are not uncommon, though in general they are willing to resolve differences between ceremonial combat between dragon riders (which nevertheless can still result in death) than all-out warfare. In addition to seeing the Craftworlders as decadent and insufficiently distancing themselves from their old ways, Exodites also often see their Craftworld kin as soft and weak compared to them.

Feral/Feudal Worlds[edit]

When the Imperium discovers a feral or feudal world, they often like to uplift it as much as possible before they actually start recruiting from it. Even though a lasgun might be so simple an idiot can use it, the Imperium still likes it when the people holding know enough to know which end is the killy bit.

Of course, given the state of the galaxy in M41, standards have started to slip a bit and the Imperium has become more desperate for manpower.

As a result you get, for lack of a better term, Ascended Feral Worlds. Worlds that know about the galaxy beyond their door, but aren't super interested in giving up their way of life. As a modern example, think of the tribes in the Amazon or some parts of Africa today who are still living in the same ways their great-grandparents, the only difference being that they are wearing t-shirts, and carrying steel knives and electric lanterns instead of loincloths, stone tools, and torches.

Not that they would tame the world, as such. Cretacia, for example, will always be a dinosaur infested shit heap, but the people are living rather than merely surviving. The Flesh Tearers are still brutal as fuck front-line high-speed meat grinders but they don't eat people. Blood rituals, but not actually gnawing the flesh from human bones. It's all about lifting up from the muck rather than letting thousands wallow because "muh super stronk child soldiers" that Vanilla operates on. There are plenty of worlds that are just "ooga booga, where da magiks at" short of just devolving back to nomadic society. The difference between vanilla and the AU is that the culture developed on these planets changed from "gas the Xenos, race wars now!" to "we must unite to kill anything threating" during the Great Crusade. Oscar specifically didn't want to see a civilization like Ursh developing in his Imperium. There is still fear of the unknown in these Death and Feudal worlds but nowhere near to the extent as in vanilla. Things considered barbaric are outlawed or at least regulated such as sanctioned ritualistic combat as opposed to pit fighting to the death or only using animal sacrifices.

Their standard of living is raised, and they aren't savages, but they aren't interested in building hives or "going soft". Some are enticed by the bright lights of the greater galaxy and leave, but for others it would be too much culture shock.

Only Kreig post-apocalypse kills any unauthorized xenos on sight. But that’s more because it’s Krieg than anything else.

Technology[edit]

Banned Technology[edit]

Although the technological level of the Imperium circa M41 is closer to 30k than canon 40k, there are still some technologies that are not used, not because they are lost but because their use is outright banned. Arco-flagellants and Penitent Engines are two of these, the Steward took one look at the design (which may have even come from Ursh or some place similar) and went "into the trash it goes". The Steward didn't see them as serving much of purpose other than perpetuating sadism, and for the very worst crimes that were too severe for incarceration yet not bad enough to merit a summary BLAM-ing the existential fear of servitorization set enough of an example. Thallaxi, on the other hand, are still used, though the AdMech use methods that ensure a higher standard of life (slightly, less perpetual agony and more Wraithguard) and only take volunteers especially since turning themselves into more machine than man is exactly what most tech-priests and Skitarii dream of. If they didn't survive the procedure then they obviously had insufficient faith in the Omnissiah.

The Imperium also doesn’t use virus bombs anymore. Or at least they did, up until they rescued Isha and she was able to give a graphic description of exactly what happened to Nurgle every time a virus bomb was detonated in realspace. Having just run through the personal demesne of that particular being, the Imperium were't exactly thrilled about the idea of making the owner of that fetid hellscape even stronger every time they used a virus bomb.

Relations of Minor Xenos Races[edit]

The arrangement between the two dominant races of the Imperium and the minor xenos races is kind of like that between the Council and non-Council races in Mass Effect. Like the Council, the two dominant races make most of the decisions, and the others often get the hose. Is this fair? Who can say. It's one of the grayer areas of this Imperium's morality. The Imperium is often a human and Eldar show because 98% of the population is human and Eldar and so the Imperium's decisions are primarily going to affect those people. At the same time, the Imperium doesn't butt into the business of the minor races unless they're stirring up trouble, so it's not like they're dictating things to other races.

As was mentioned in a previous thread (I think), this is one of the reasons the Tau seem so ambitious. They know that they're third in line in terms of population, and they know if things go good for the Tau and bad for the humans and Eldar there might be three races making all the decisions, rather than two.

The population thing about Eldar versus Tau is actually based on canon. According to what I can find, Tau are at best in the hundreds of billions. Craftworld and Exodite Eldar together are at least a few trillion. Despite being a dying race in canon, there are surprisingly a lot of Eldar in the galaxy. Even with the Tau empire being larger than in canon (it's about the size of Ultramar) and the Eldar not dying so much, the Eldar still massively outnumber the Tau.

This doesn’t even get into humans, which are so numerous that the Administratum in both timelines just plain gave up trying. There are some species of abhumans that are more numerous than many minor xenos races.

The Navigators[edit]

With the possible extension in Navigator elder sanity, the relatively more tolerant attitude towards physical deviation, moving shop to the Jovian Orbitals and AdBio attention it could be seen that elder navigators remain active for longer.

The mutations generally result in them looking like a cross between a Stage 2 Guild Navigator from Dune (possibly depicted by H.R. Giger) and a citizen of Innsmouth when the fish genes start to kick in but at least the mutations are more stable now and can be managed. No more constant crippling agony due to body changing shape unstably and no more brain functioning erratically.

Down side is that there is still no cure. The more inbred Navigators also have it worse on the mutations, hence the constant drive to keep getting new blood in to the houses even if it does take the female navigators out of action for the duration of the pregnancy and takes a minimum of 4 generations to produce anything useful.

The high nobility of the Imperium could be quite used to seeing navigator elders on state business, or at least not freak out too hard about their weirdness. Xeno citizens would either just assume that they are human in the same way that the Nova Beastmen are human (because humans are weird) or just assume that they are another type of xeno the Imperium met before them. Either way the Imperium is full of weird, this is not unexpected for them.

Life span for Navigators should be longer than a baseline human. Baring illness or injury possibly as high as 400 years. With rejuvenant drugs and shit this can be extended to 750 years, or the same as the upper limit on baseline humans. Should be higher but the treatments were made for baseliners and the Navigators are weird on ever scale of their biology so they tend not to be too compatible with that shit.

The rejuvenant drugs don't actually do anything to slow down or prevent the onset of the mutations as the mutations are not a sign of aging. If anything it allows an individual longer to live so that they can become more inhuman.

It's also worth noting that there is a school of thought in the AdBio that their inherent longevity is a direct result of the mutations and that outward signs of aging mostly only resemble getting old at an aesthetic level. Nevigators don't in fact get old, they just get more navigatory.

Presumably if one lived to be an estimated 1,200 year old they would have reached the 100% mutation mark, no longer have any human remnants in their biology and would be an entirely new species. Sadly only the medical knowledge of the Dark Age would be enough to get them to last that long.

They also tend to reject cybernetics. All attempts to find a way around this have failed.

Examination of the genes found exclusively in Navigator has proved confusing. They are mostly human, hence the ability to interbreed. A few of the genes are 100% artificial and found only in one other organism (Emperor Oscar) and some of the more odd genes seem to have been grafted from an as of yet undiscovered xeno organism.

The xeno genes also seem to spread in a manner not compliant with normal biology. If left to their own devices in laboratory conditions they subsume and transform the rest of the DNA in whatever cell they are in. They do not change it into copies of themselves but into what is presumably the rest of the code from the species they were extracted from. This is conventionally impossible, but there it is.

Attempts to cultivate and grow the cell samples into a viable organism have thus far failed.

Suggestion of introducing the fully mutated sample into a living Navigator to create a "pure" navigator without any human have been rejected by unanimous vote of the House Elders. Possibly they know what the creature would be or they may have some other reason. Possibly they just don't want to break the exclusivity on their bloodlines.

It is possible, even probable, that the Navigators would gradually become these strange xenos if they lived long enough. Although the nature of these xenos is unknown besides having an extremely close connection to the warp and possibly being aquatic or having originally evolved in an at least semi-aquatic environment. Nemensor Zandrek once remarked that Navigators seemed familiar to him but he couldn't remember why. They made him feel slightly angry, but not at them, but he couldn't remember who. It's quite vexing say what..

Religion[edit]

The Imperium is officially secular, providing a limited freedom of religion, as long as you don't worship Chaos or Oscar. Known Sector Relevant Religions:

  • Katholian Church - basically Catholicism with the Emperor seen as some sort of saint. Good old Olly Pious and Lorgar were members back in the day. Terrain branch and off-world branches reunited by Word Bearers. Implied to be a far-flung descendant of an Abrahamic religion that changed over the centuries due to exchange of ideas with other creeds like Zoroastrianism or Buddhism to the point it is barely recognizable. Had a nasty sister branch, Kartharanism, which was formerly the state religion of the Yndonesian Bloc and had thing for omens and believed that only through suffering (whether self-inflicted or otherwise) was any worth found in the world. One of the primarch Lorgar’s biggest accomplishments was the writing of the Lectatio Divinitatus, which reunified the two branches into a single whole.
  • Promethian Creed - An old faith predating the Unification but united into a cohesive whole by Vulkan. They view the Emperor as a perfect human but still human and therefore flawed. Strong focus on community strength.
  • Fenris Paganism - A loose collection of polytheistic tribal faiths. Each tribe has a slightly different pantheon but most have some sort of overlap. Ulfrik the Slayer is the nominal head of the religion.
  • Yechudism - Presumably pseudo-Jewish, and somehow related to the Katholian faith
  • Eldar - Let's work on that
  • Cults of Oscar - Working on them (Sangy Guardsman)
  • Omnissiah* - Y'ALL WORSHIPPIN' THE VOID DRAGON NOW (ahem)
  • "Death Cults"/Religio Mortem* -
  • Tanith Small Gods* -
  • Catachan gods of blood and wood* - A bunch of nutters with their old deep forest gods. Every god is an asshole who kills you with various flora and fauna if you fuck up or offend them. According to the Catachans, it's really easy to do so. Catachans worship them by going to church once a week and just fucking screaming at the alters cursing them out.
  • Armageddon Outrider Ancestor Worship - Have some kind of ancestor worship setup where they demand that their ancestors "witness them" before performing some deed worthy of mention.
  • Cadia - A variety of beliefs are practiced on Cadia, but the most common is a predominantly maltheist and misotheist belief derived from Old Cadian customs. Believe the gods exist, how could you not on Cadia, but that it is every man, woman, and child’s duty to do the exact opposite of what they want and give the finger to them. Interestingly they don't believe Isha is a god because she's 1) in realspace, 2) looks mortal, and 3) not actively malicious. It's worth noting that Old Cadian uses the same word for "god" and "daemon", the closest distinction being made is "god" sometimes more literally translated as "big daemon".
  • Prosperine Hermeticism* - Dominant religion on Prospero and by extension the descendants of the Prosperine refugees on Old Earth. Has a big focus on syncreticism and learning all the things. Divided up into several "schools" which despite differing often radically in their philosophies all consider each other sects of the same religion, a worldview that drives outsiders batty. According to legend, the religion started during the Age of Strife when the greatest sages on Prospero met to try and understand the meaning of the universe. Pooling their powers to try to see the fabric of reality, they were all struck with a vision, though no two people saw the same thing. Each founded their own school based around this (think Ancient Greek "air is the center of the universe", "no water is" and so on) hence their worldview of the different schools as sects of the same religion. Though the Prosperans were usually pretty careful about not delving too deep into some stuff (if the Warp was the Great Ocean, it was certainly one full of sharks), the fact that they tended to pick up traditions from other worlds led people to worry about Prosperine Hermeticism as a gateway for Tzeentch, and in a few cases Tzeentch did get in.
  • Classical Ancestor Worship*
  • Murphyism - Worshippers of the concept of Murphy's Law via an imperfect interpretation of historical documents leading to the view of Murphy being a metaphorical personification of the phenomenon of "everything goes sideways sometimes" rather than a general observation. Believe Murphyism got a huge boost in popularity after Cegorach admitted that the power of Murphy's Law probably exceeds even himself or the Chaos Gods (though he considers Murphy's Law to be a universal concept rather than an actual being), and "Murphy" made an absolute fool out of the Emperor.

Innumerable other Faiths are practiced from world to world

Yechudism[edit]

(WIP. Author notes in parentheses) Yechudism is a cousin to the Katholian Faith, in that they pull from the same initial source: The Prophet of The Book, who produced a divinely-inspired text concerning the place of man in God’s Universe, called the Codices of Duality, in about 798.M26 during the Age of Strife. The difference is that the ancient Yechudites merged it with their native beliefs, while the Katholians replaced theirs entirely with the Codices. (note: the Codices of Duality is not, unlike the Bible/Torah or even the Kojiki, a mytho-historical legitimization text. It is more like a body of laws with a mythological reward/punishment section)

Yechudism is a multi-worship, dualistic, ritualistic faith. Beginning with Quolious (The sacred name permitted to mortal mouths), their deity of goodness and creation, who is forever locked in a battle to maintain universal purity with the Great Adversary, whose name is forbidden; it then fuses ancestor guidance with animism in an almost non-existent religious hierarchy. (Basically a Zoroastrianism basis mixed with Shinto beliefs and Jewish leadership)

The religious leaders are the Rabuni (singular Rabun), who are common to both faiths as sacred scholars. However, the Katholians place them to the side of the religious hierarchy, putting in place a complex structure of priests, cardinals, bishops, various other titles, and the Church Father (space pope!). To the Yechudim, above the Rabuni is only Quolious, and the Rabun is equal to the common person in the eyes of Quolious.

To live in the Yechudite faith is to live in ritual. There are prayers for everything, an attempt to bind your action to furthering Quolious’ Great Plan. Many of the rituals are shared with the Katholians, but their context is not: The Katholians allow only a few rituals to be performed by the individual, with the rest requiring the guidance of a priest in a sacred space. A Yechudite can perform any ritual he wishes, as he is considered to carry sacred space with him. Only a few require more than the individual, and the requirement is to simply have a group of ten adults of the faith participate.

Quolious does not provide guidance: They are too busy dealing with big stuff for that. For help, a Yechudite turns to his Ancestors, the Sacred Ancestors, and the Spirits. His Ancestors are just that: his line of ancestors who were of the faith, lending advice and aid to his efforts. The Sacred Ancestors are considered the Ancestors of every person of the faith; these are people who became shining paragons of what the faithful can be. The Spirits live in every object, being the spiritual form of reality, and are less worshipped and more bartered with in a very ritualistic fashion. The Rabuni can dispense with formality, part of their training involving learning to speak with them (can they? Can they not? Who knows?), and it is from these interactions that the rituals for dealing with spirits are derived.

Eldar Polytheism[edit]

Overall, Eldar polytheism is rather similar to ancient Greek polytheism, where you have a core group of more powerful immortals and then a wider group of less powerful gods. However, one major difference is that in Eldar polytheism you have one god, Asuryan, who is superior to all gods rather than merely the most powerful among the older generation (as shown by his ability to make a decree and actually make it stick). Another major difference is the gods don't seem to be organized by generation, where you have an older generation of more powerful immortals (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter), who represent more primordial concepts and a younger, "closer to mortals" generation that represent more human concepts (Athena, Hephaestus, Ares). Eldar polytheisms Big Three were Isha, Kurnous, and Khaine, whereas Lileath, Morai-Heg, Vaul, and the like filled out the pantheon. Morai-Heg was definitely among the older gods (being Isha's mother), whereas Isha, Kurnous and Khaine are in many ways associated with more mortal concepts (The Mother, The Hunter, The Warrior).

Isha and Morai-Heg are both earth deities, but in different ways. Isha represents fertility, family, healing/heath, plantlife, and the harvest (i.e., the stuff on top of the earth), whereas Morai-Heg is a more chthonic earth deity that represents the earth itself (often being associated with Shaa-Dome itself). Lileath is typically associated with the moons (both moons in general and the white moon of Shaa-Dome that is named after her).

There is significant debate as to where Cegorach fits into this paradigm. Some say he is the fourth member of the Mother, Hunter, Murderer trio but at the same time is more powerful and influential than the other lesser gods but still not operating on the same level as the other 3. Other say that as a trickster deity Cegorach is by nature a liminal being and therefore outside the traditional pantheon structure. When asked directly by eldar in more Cegorach gave the straightforward and yet completely unhelpful answer. "I'm the Cosmic Jester that runs an interdimensional carnival and my followers are ninja clowns. I defy sensible classification".

Eldar polytheism is, as one might expect, mostly an eldar thing, though it exists in a minority form among human populations on many worlds and is actually a majority religion among humans on places like Colchis.

Isha Worship

Like Ishtar, Isha priestesses are known to engage in sacred prostitution, and *ahem* motivational pictures of Isha exist, despite the eldar normally frowning on such things. This causes most humans no end of confusion, though to eldar the difference is perfectly clear. Pictures of Isha and those blessed by Isha aren't bawdy, they're religious art displaying the miracles of the goddess and her power. It just so happens that Isha's realm is that of fertility. Most non-eldar just chalk it up to a weird xenos thing.

Vulkan (who along with Magnus spent the most time with the Steward out of any of the primarchs due to living several millenia) really didn't like Isha because of this, because he saw it as an affront to the Promethean Creed and traditional family values. The fact that Isha was the goddess of motherhood and family as well as fertility was quietly glossed over, because the more weird and unusual aspects of Isha worship were what was more immediately obvious (kind of like how Romans saw early Christians as cannibals). Vulkan habitually referred to the Disciples of Isha as Temple Whores and Isha as Queen of the Whores although he stopped that after Oscar had a quiet word with him. When Vulkan's opinion on the eldar changed from "the Eldar can go to hell" to "well-meaning, but insensitive and racist", Vulkan tried to encourage Isha to play up the "matron" side of her portfolio and downplay the "fertility", ignoring the fact that doing so would be like asking her to suppress a part of her.

Isha priest/priestesses perform several important duties in Eldar society. Their role in sacred prostitution is one of the factors resulting in the glacial increase in the Imperial eldar population, and they tend to have multiple births in an even higher ratio than the average eldar. They sometimes act as healers in cases where normal healing isn't good enough. They are also the only ones other than Isha herself who can synthesize new soul stones, which means no more costly and dangerous expeditions to the ruins of the Old Empire(which in this universe have very pissed off inhabitants).

Baalite Wheel Faith[edit]

The Blood Angels and the majority faith for the people of Baal is that there is a wheel of fate and that the world goes in cycles of birth and death and rebirth. Everything is bound to this cycle, the cycle continues.

Gods are as bound to the cycle as mortals, possibly more so. There is no way off of Mr Bone's Wild Ride. Your only hope is to make it to either selfishly cut all ties to everything so you can become light of soul enough to get to the middle where shit is less animate and the lack of reaction causes you to achieve a state of Nirvāṇa because nothing is bothering you.

The other way of doing things correctly is the selfless giving of your time, effort and life to making the eternal journey on the wheel less awful. The result is a better world than there should have been for the next time around.

Souls are endlessly recycled but the indifference or cruelty of the wheel strips away all things from one life as it enters the next so unless you are selfless and leave something behind to make it less shit the journey is harder and unless you record your wisdom increases in ignorance.

By good works and the preservation of knowledge the cycle is made bearable.

It is theoretically possible to remain in Nirvāṇa indefinitely if you cut every single tie to life before the moment of death and made it to the total stillness of the absolute centre of the wheel. Sadly the exact centre is by definition a single point so can only have one occupant and it is held by Death. He is not moving. He is eternal, the one constant, the ur-god.

To the Blood Angels there is not Heaven, there is not Hell, there is no Judgement after death, there is just the Wheel upon which we are all imprisoned seemingly eternally. There is, therefore, ultimate incentive to make the imprisonment as good as possible.

hey follow the teachings of their ancient masters in the knowledge that somewhere out there they have been born again in ignorance. By the propagation of their teachings and the imparting of recorded wisdom they can be brought out of their ignorance again.

They do not see Saint Celestine as special merely because she is a possible reincarnation of Sanguinius. There have undoubtedly been thousands of reincarnations of good ol' Sangy down the ages. They consider her special because of the wings, they are a clear and unmistakable omen that shit is going to get real in her lifetime because the last time Sangy's soul wore wings was the founding of the Imperium.

They acknowledge that the other gods of the other faiths in the Imperium are probably real, not that this makes them special and any god claiming to be all knowing is, in their eyes, either a liar or stupid.

To the people of Baal the gods of Chaos are indeed gods. They are also abominations that are going against their purpose on the Wheel and as such need to die. And yes, gods can die, only Death reigns eternal.

Ynnead they don't know of, not yet. They would consider that it is either an aspect of the ur-god reflected in the minds of mortals like an image in a gently moving stream or they would consider it to be a god taking the image of Death. They would not take offense as imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Nightbringer they do know. Given Mephiston alone how could they not? There's imitation and then there's a sick fucking mockery. Nightbringer is a stain upon the galaxy trying to imitate something it doesn't understand to justify atrocities.

In any case Nightbringer, Ynnead and Impossible Child would not to them be the ur-god made flesh. The ur-god is already made manifest, you're standing in it.

They see Emperor Oscar as exactly what he is in that he is an artificial construct of the Dark Age. They also see him as a very enlightened heathen. Some of them think he is a god, some do not. Those that do are spared the Emperor's ire as to the Baalites the difference between gods and plebs is not so great.

Ultramarian Polytheism[edit]

Despite being mostly Greco-Roman inspired, the Ultramarian pantheon looks more like Hellenized Egyptian polytheism than anything else. Though the gods are often depicted as wearing togas. The chief deity in Ultramarian polytheism is Hera, goddess of the sun, life, light, law, and order. Given that the denizens of Ultramar are a space-faring society her position as defender of the sun is often depicted in a figurative light, the sun representing the light of civilization around which society is nurtured. She is often associated with lionesses, or depicted with the head of a lioness. Other times she is depicted as blindfolded to represent that justice is impartial and holding a set of scales in one hand and a sword in the other as justice means nothing if people aren't willing to enforce it. The other deities in the Ultramar Pantheon are subservient to her and usually her offspring because it is only from this light and the willingness to protect this light and warmth that the very basics of humanity, not a a civilization, but as a functioning species can arise. She is worshiped extensively by the PDFs and the IG Regiments raised in Ultramar, they do not typically pray for her to protect them but that they might protect others. Basically Ma'at meets Ra with a dash of Sekhmet.

Thanatus is another deity worshiped, if worshiped is the word. Some of the more fringe worlds might raise a regiment or two into which they can dump them as a containment measure. They are, the ones that are born on the ground, Ultramar's local branch of the Religio Mortis usually referred to as Morites. They do enlist to protect. They are typically those who have lost too much to want to stay and now pray that they can get even. They demand the chance to honour their Pale Lord, to be his hands in this world and take some fucker out before he claims them. Often depicted as like a spider sitting at the heart of a galactic web. He is also worshiped by the Void Born of the Eastern Fringe as one of their tribal gods. They do not share their traditions with outsiders

Imperial Holidays[edit]

In general, there aren't a lot of holidays that are practiced universally across the Imperium, generally because what might be considered significant to one group of people may not be to another. Sanguinalia is the only holiday that is pretty much consistently practiced across the Imperium, and is seen as a period of remembrance for those lost in the War of the Beast and good will towards all. Even then it is a primarily human holiday.

Another celebration that is practiced across much of the Imperium is a celebration in honor of the memory of Hoec. Hoec was the god of messengers, travelers, and the Webway, as in the past it was often customary for messengers travelling between outposts to be given food and drinks (usually alcoholic) by the host as part of sacred hospitality (especially pre-War in Heaven). Today the celebration is performed once a Craftworld year in memory of Hoec and the other deceased Eldar gods and resembles a cross between St. Patrick’s day and a New Orleans funeral (complete with the eldar equivalent of bagpipes). It’s a celebration for which the paths system is relaxed for just one day (which not coincidentally helps prevent people from getting pathlost). Other races like to join in for the free alcohol, though humans generally stay away from the eldar stuff since humans can’t digest most of the plants Eldar use to make alcohol.

Psykers and How the Imperium Treats Them[edit]

The Rhetor Imperia didn't mean to build an army. They were teachers, after all. But, as the saying goes, spare the rod, get killed and eaten by daemons spilling forth from the mind of the child...

The threat of Chaos is still there, and still insidious. For those poor souls 'gifted' with psionic powers, a moment's carelessness could lead to their very soul being torn asunder, and their very flesh rendered into a portal for daemons to slip into the materium to sow terror. The only reprieve is that it is rare for psykers to manifest their abilities before the onset of puberty (But it is still horrifyingly possible for prodigies to manifest earlier). Because this is the Nobledark Imperium, generally speaking lynch mobs and witch hunts are frowned upon. Not that that doesn't happen, but it doesn't have state sponsorship. The Emperor generally prefers murder as a last resort, and done with a degree of professionalism.

Instead, the issue of psykers is approached more humanely, with agents attempting to identify potentials as young as possible to minimize their chances of causing damage to the Imperium. The approach to this problem was two fold- first, corral all possible problem children into facilities for inspection and safe sequestration until the black ships arise, and secondly, educate the populace (Responsibly) about these dangers, and what to do in case such happens.

In the name of efficiency, these two functions have been combined into one institution. From birth, all children of the Imperium are supposed to be offered a place in the Schola Vulgus to better themselves and learn proper moral values and skills to serve the Imperium better. The courses range from basic arithmetic to diagnosing warp corruption, from samples of Imperial literature to learning Xenos languages.

Black Ships are less hellish. They perform a service to the Imperium and everyone knows it. With the population knowledgeable about the basics of Chaos and the hazards of the Warp few if any psykers resist invitation to the Black Ships. They know that they are going to Earth to be made safe one way or the other and there is little to fear.

Because there is still a mass immigration/pilgrimage of Psykers to Old Earth the rejects who decide to stay and their descendants have started to build up somewhat in the population. Psychic talent and training is one of Old Earth's exports. Was 2nd to Prospero before the 4th Black Crusade and Rubric of Ahriman. Much of Prospero's psychic population ended up on Old Earth because they wanted to be among their own kind.

Some of the Craftworlds and planet dwelling Eldar Enclaves also offer basic making your shit safe training as it is in their interest to do so.

Psyker-heavy worlds like Old Earth and (formerly) Prospero also have dampening crystals that help young, uncontrolled psykers calm their minds and learn to control their powers without exploding into daemons. Problem is the crystals have to be made by growing them in a low-intensity psychic field over a period of several years (nearly 30 if you want a good one), and so are only really used on worlds that have a significant proportion of psykers. On top of that, the good crystals are the about the size of a large statue or a small building, so they're not really portable and the Imperium can't just stick one on every psyker and be done with it.

Treatment of Mutants[edit]

Despite the overall change in tone, mutants are still treated relatively poorly in the Imperium. Like the condonement of certain forms of slavery, treatment of mutants is another big area of intentional values dissonance between the Imperium and modern society. The Imperium frequently commits infanticide on those who are born with mutations on a scale hitherto unheard of in human history, reasoning that it is better to put them out of their misery now and spare them a life of suffering. Celestine only survived because Ophelia VII was fanatic enough about their reputation to check, the implication being that other children with active Sanguinius genes may have existed throughout the centuries but got killed as infants because people assumed they were run of the mill mutants. Even then, Celestine’s parents kept her isolated for most of her childhood on their farm in the middle of nowhere because they were afraid of repercussions.

At the same time, the general opinion of your average Imperial citizen to mutation is more along the lines of “those poor bastards” rather than “purge the unclean”. Due to the extremely high rate of infanticide, the most common sources of mutation in the Imperium are 1) former Guardsmen and PDF who were exposed to Warp energy and other gribbly phenomena, 2) people exposed to various mutagens in places like the underhives, and 3) Chaos cultists who have received boons from their gods. As a result, many people tend to view mutants with suspicion, seeing them like a Yakuza member who is trying to gain sympathy by passing off their missing ring finger as a workplace accident. The Navigators still keep the nature of their change on the down-low because although they are actually abhumans they are paranoid that people will consider increasing changes throughout lifespan + warp exposure = mutant.

Additionally, even though the Imperium takes pains to make sure that the idea of "normal genetic variation is completely okay, abhumans are not mutants, alteration through genetic engineering is not mutation)" is made perfectly clear to everyone across the Imperium, there are many backwater, superstitious worlds where the idea of baseline humans that look different from the average population, much less cat-people or tech-priests or Astartes or squats or Void Born, is still a shocking concept. People from one Segmentum may have never heard of an abhuman breed from the other side of the galaxy and on these worlds abhumans, let alone xenos, run the risk of being labelled mutant by the sheltered populace. Ironically, this concern is not totally misplaced, there have been cases where semi-stable Chaos cults have passed themselves off as abhumans by claiming they belong to an abhuman species from the other side of the galaxy. A secondary job of Ordo Mutatio in addition to providing oversight of the notoriously spacey Adeptus Biologicus is to act as an external authority validating claims of Chaos worship-induced mutation before some yokels end up burning innocent people at a stake.

There are even cases where certain mutant-phobic worlds servitorize their entire mutant population by labeling them as mentally invalid, even if they are physically and mentally capable of living their own life, “for their own good” , of course.

Path of the Enforcer/Judge[edit]

The Eldar on the Path of the Enforcer/Path of the Judge are the intepreters and enforcers of law in Eldar society. A lot of the Eldar on this path tend to be individuals that have spent time both on the Path of Awakening and the Path of the Warrior. Due to the semi-monastic nature of Craftworld society and the fact that Eldar seem to have a communal idea of law, individuals on the Path of the Enforcer/Judge are much less common than one would expect based on human society. This path probably always existed to solve legalistic disputes within and between Craftworlds, but became much more important when the Eldar joined the Imperium.

The Path of the Judge probably exists in vanilla 40k, given that there are records of Eldar outlaws and law-breakers, but is probably not very important, since the punishment for most crimes in Eldar society is simple banishment. Here, the Path of the Judge serves a much more important purpose, since the Eldar engage in many more interactions with other species and simply cannot let their criminals roam free in the galaxy anymore. To the Eldar, you cannot let criminals loose anymore, because those stars are no longer mon-keigh stars. They are your stars. When the Eldar started negotiating with the wider Imperium, the Eldar considered these philosophers of law crucial to make sure the Eldar got the best end of the deal possible. Basically think of 2000 year old lawyers that literally know every loophole and trick in the book.

There are two main schools or aspects, for lack of a better word, in this path. One is for the people who actually enforce the laws and their day-to-day application. Few Eldar get lost on this aspect of the path, but those who do tend to end up like a cross between Elrond (or is that a Noldor) and Judge Dredd. The other is the more philosophical study of the nature of law and morality itself. One might refer to them as "Eldar lawyers" or "law-seers", but they're closer to ancient Greek legal philosophers than anything else. Most Enforcers who get too old to serve or are veering from the path tend to end up here.

The Feast of Blades[edit]

In response to Luther subverting the majority of his legion during the War of the Beast, Lion El’Jonson divided the remaining Dark Angels into small orders and scattered them across the galaxy, so that one person could never have so much power over the entire legion. However, he wanted the Dark Angels to know he still cared about them, so he set up an event (the Feast of Blades) based on the knightly tournaments of Franj to reinforce the ties of brotherhood between Dark Angel chapters. Also it was made a more open event back in late M33. The Dark Angels are all about transparency and some of the more radical/puritan/arseholeish Inquisitors were suspecting them of some sort of Khornate ritual. Now other chapters outside of the Dark Angels progeny are invited to spectate and take part. The Feast of Blades is also a spectacle for the common folk, being one part knightly tournament, one part training exercise, one part Olympic games. It has television crews broadcasting it across whatever system it is being housed on live but for light speed delays to the general populace and recordings of the proceedings made and shipped on disc across the Imperium. There's even someone selling hotdogs. It's Cypher.

Secret Societies[edit]

To clarify what we've seemed to decide about the Imperial spy apparatus, The Alpha and Omega legions are the next level of fuckery up from the Inquisition and Astra Militarum, which includes the intrigues of Void Admirals and most Chapter Masters and such. These organizations all answer to the High lords. The top level of those organizations conspire as the Illuminate to eventually do something or other about Cthonia and the dear Cthonian, with much variety of aim.

The various Illuminati occasionally conflict with the Alpha Legion (ON the very-classified-record Imperial secret service/intelligence/black-opps) and Omega Legion (strictly OFF all records secret police/nominal-renegade/blacksite elements), but most of the time they work well together in mutual execution of their duties. The Alpha and Omega only answer to certain High Lords, and all to the Imperial Family, Oscar and Isha. They are much like the Custodes, but bound to the Emperor, not Oscar himself. The only real conflict between the Alpha & Omega and the Illuminate Order (and the Ordos they hold high station in) comes when some Illuminati gets some stupid idea and tries something dangerous or treasonous, or in more bureaucratic struggles between what the Illminate might like to do with Cthonia and what the Hydra is already doing there. The Hydra is to the Alpha, Omega, Favored Chapter Masters and Others, Custodes, and the Emperor and Empress' close courtiers what the Illuminate Order is to the great institutions of the Imperium. The Hydra is the influential circle that could be very well said to rule the galaxy in the Emperor's company, and very little is known as to its true membership even to the Illuminate.

The Illuminate Order is mostly Imperium, with strong representation from the Inquisition, who float the best crackpot long term plans, and the Administratum, who float the most insane ideas for technocratic reform, a small faction of Naval and Military officers that mostly partake to keep the other factions in check, an Eldar Farseer faction of similar size with similar goals, a handful of unaligned powerful galactic Statesman and Rogue Traders, and assorted blocs of Shola Psychana theorists. The Mechanicus also makes a significant faction in the Illuminate Order, and tends to have the most politically disruptive agendas in regard to Cthonia, Oscar, and Men of Gold in general. Broad goals of the Illuminati are the reclamation of Chthonia, understanding the fate of the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion, and understand the full power and fate of the Men of Gold. To these ends they use their personal influence and power to research and advance these projects within their respective organizations and in joint efforts.

The Hydra can be assumed to include the Emperor in its ranks, as when he was Steward, and likewise might include his venerable wife, and the old wizard Eldrad. Likewise the Illuminate Order assumes there is within this circle some agent of the Alpha, maybe another for the Omega, and a representative of the Custodes, at least one High Lord, and so on. There are signs of The Hydra during Earth's Unification, and in Terrawatt going back into Old Night. There are hints of The Hydra in parts of the broken Circlet, never before explored.

Lesser members of the Illuminate may not even be sure of the Omega Legion's existence, setting forward operating bases in The Eye and setting Fallen and Crone against each other.

To those same Illuminati "the Hydra" is oft guessed to be a collective name for the machinations above them, foremost the Alpha Legion. Even the most learned and well connected of the Illuminate Order, even those blessed to the Emperor's own humoring fondness, have barely an inkling what The Hydra truly is.

It is known to have operated heavily on the Cthonian Circlet since the Great Hunt, apparently vacated the system during the reign of Emperor Vandire and only returned after the civil war. Since then various activity in the unmappable vastness of the broken ring has been attributed to "The Hydra" following the highest level of inquiry, and the few resources tracked into these depths are of incredible interest. Though rumors of Iron Minds being brought back to functionality and into order, Men of Gold returned from an extragalactic voyage bearing gifts and asking quarter, Methodology for the manufacture of true Godhead for the Emperor, and many more yet further fetched abound, others are more reasonable. The research of Man of Gold Physiology and production, possibly their reproduction, experiments on webway tunneling to once again tie the Dominion to its Capital, or even the resumption of Neutronium production to fully mend the Capital itself, even immortality research, are far likelier to be so, and are in much closer keeping with Oscar's known aims.

The Hydra is the big secret project of the Imperial Court, akin to the Dragon for the Mechanicus. The Guardians of the Dragon might have to smack down nosy Illuminati, most often from their own faction, but that's cause they're the parallel route to chasing the Hydra. The Illuminate Order is where all the powerful and informed, but not top tier, congregate to pick at the secrets they've found, and bother the Imperial Court as much as the High Mechanicus. They Hydra and the Guardian's of the Dragon both know the other has a secret, they might even peek, but they mostly look the other way.

Ansible Twins[edit]

Ansible Twins are the fastest method of communication in the Imperium. Faster and more reliable than the average Astropath, faster than Navis Nobilite post boats, faster than Eldar webway runners. The problem is the requirements: twin psykers, born within a short timeframe of one another, with exactly identical psychic potential and barely any neurological differences, that are strong enough to survive being soulbound at the same time. Psyker twins often have some sort of strange connection (think Alpharius and Omegon in canon, or Eldar wraithlords) and in Ansible Twins this is basically taken up to eleven. Ansible twins are extremely rare: in a galaxy with quadrillions of humans, you might find one or two every decade. As a result, the Imperium tends to restrict them to extremely important communication links and infighting over them is always fierce.

The original Ansible Twins were Tedward and Todburt Ansible, born 347.M31 in the land of Strayllya on Old Earth. They definitely existed and Oscar definitely remembers Soul Binding them. It was thought at the time by Magnus, who was at the time the leading authority of the weird, to be some sort of bio-warp based entanglement.

Real-time, reliable FTL communication would be a holy grail for the Imperium. So you can bet the AdBio would be interested in it. Sadly, all attempts at artificially duplicating the phenomenon via cloning, induced twinning, cross possession, and other methods have yielded no success. You get twins that have varied psychic potential, one that has all the potential and the other with none, etc. It's psykery. It's sticking your dick in the Warp and hoping for the best. You can account for every variable, replicate every condition and still get a different result. The best they can do is just look for specific circumstances and hope for the best. On top of that, most of the proposed methods for creating ansible twins are highly ethically dubious and Oscar won’t touch them. Mass cloning psykers for the purpose of finding the one pair in a thousand that might work is generally considered a bad idea and leads to many issues. Like babies going crazy. And summoning daemons. Sometimes both. The last project got shut down by its own manager, who committed suicide by turning himself into a servitor. The project has still remained a holy grail for the AdBio, ever out of reach.

Imperial Fiction and Entertainment[edit]

John Fuklaw and the Angry Marines[edit]

Commissar John Fuklaw exists in this timeline, but the Angry Marines don’t. After a fashion. John Fuklaw exists, but he’s just a relatively normal man with a hair-trigger temper and a blood pressure problem. The John Fuklaw everyone thinks of, the one who runs on anger like tanks run on promethium and surfs Battle Barges like a Looney Toons character, is just that. A cartoon.

During his tenure as a Commissar, Fuklaw was stationed with a regiment of Baalite soldiers. Included with that regiment was a number of 1st Company Blood Angels (a.k.a. “Black Rage” marines). The Blood Angels are well-known for their tendency to see red when it comes to treason. The 1st Company take it up to 11, swearing an “Oath of Rage” to hunt down all enemies of the Imperium with immense abhorrence. They are basically about as close as you can get to Angry Marines in this timeline.

A Remembrancer assigned to cover the regiment saw Fuklaw and the 1st Company and found their antics hilarious. Years later, the much more highly positioned Remembrancer pitches the idea of a highly exaggerated version of them (kind of like G.I. Joe) complete with an fictional parody chapter of the 1st Company (the Angry Marines) to a local entertainment company and they love it. 20 years later the cartoon is a well-established cultural tradition with films, numerous spinoff series, toys, books and a few high budget films.

Fuklaw found out about the cartoon and flipped his lid. But then he found out a portion of the proceeds go to PDF pension fund and supporting wounded Guard veterans. So he tolerates it. Barely.

It is unclear how the Blood Angels are going to react. Seeing as the cartoon takes their vaunted 1st Company, who swear an Oath of Rage out of dedication to their founder, and makes a parody out of it.

Portrayal of the Primarchs and Other Crusade-Era Figures in Imperial Culture[edit]

Although there are uncountable numbers of films and shit about the Unification War, Great Crusade and War of The Beast there can only be a certain number of characters that people give a shit about. For every Lancelot there is are a hundred Lamorak and Kai.

Taranis, despite all he did, was still not a primarch, and was buried in a nowhere grave in Terrawatt among thousands of others. His grave is no site of importance like Sanguinius, Horus, or Lorgar. Arik might be known to extreme scholars of history in the same way John Jay is known among the American founding fathers: an interesting person to those who know about him but otherwise literally who? The only notable recognition Taranis got in recent years was in 789.M40 when a film came out purporting to show the "true story" of the Imperium. In it, Taranis is portrayed as a bumbling sidekick and comic relief, like Baldrick on Blackadder. When you're playing the Watson to the Emperor of Mankind, and the people making the film thinks it "needs a comic relief to appeal to audiences", the committee turns you into the bumbling comedy relief. It was a step up from previous portrayals, in which Taranis was a literal spear carrier whose name was only mentioned in the credits. It's also a good thing Constantin Valdor wasn't around by M40 or there would have been words. The only reason the Emperor hadn't decried the film it would have made him too sad to see it.

Horus is remembered as a heroic Coyote- or Hermes-like trickster, his more oilier aspects and ambition ironed out. Part of this is because he only ever voiced his contrary opinions to the Steward behind closed doors. His infamous moment of indecision and subsequent epiphany are often turned into Horus tricking the Chaos Gods over and over to distract them from properly directing the War of the Beast.

Sanguinius is remembered as Objectively Best Primarch, despite the fact he had feelings of insecurity and powerlessness and rage issues (which are never brought up in the public perception).

Ultramar and the Administratum just love Guilliman. For Ultramar, he is the law-bringer, the civilization shaper. The Ultramarines call Guilliman their spiritual liege because he is a figure of veneration for him despite having never been a super soldier, been born in Ultramar, or even fighting on the front lines during most of the Unification Wars and the Great Crusade.

The image of Russ in the common Media of the 41st millennium is that of the ultimate Honourable Savage Viking. Axe in one hand, keg sized beer mug in the other and a different woman every night. A riotous, loud and jovial marauder combining the most desirable parts of man and beast. Truth was he was a never unfaithful to his wives and held great reverence for the sanctity of marriage. His small tribe of daughters was just the result of both his wives and himself being active for the better part of five hundred years. He was also prone to bouts of depression and although he could laugh up a storm was more known for brooding and gnawing at old wounds. His sense of humour was fairly gallows and tended towards self depreciation. But that's hard to make sit-coms out of and the only Space Wolf left who remembers him spends most of his time asleep so who honestly gives a shit.

There has never been a film out that featured Bjorn for the simple reason that nobody apart from the Fenrisians and a small group of eldar give a shit about Bjorn.

Ollanius Pius is barely remembered outside of his famous role and he kamikazed a Rok from landing on the Imperial Palace. He is responsible for saving the Imperium. The only people that remember his name by 999.M41 are Oscar, Isha and Lion should Lion ever come out of the coma.

Of all the well known public names there is only one that has remained conspicuously absent from the big film releases; Eldrad "Unreasonable Royalties" Ulthran. Attempts to make films without informing the grumpy old bastard generally result in Eldrad kicking expensive executive doors in and yelling something on the lines of "heard you were talking shit about me like I wouldn't find out!"

It's not a pleasant experience and Eldrad just does it to fuck with people. He's a dick like that.

The Void Born[edit]

The Void Born Migrant Fleets were spiritual but decentralized, and inclined to novelty, commerce, and thinking on a vast scale in time and space. Believe it or not, although he named him one of his primarchs the Steward actually had problems with Horus, as Horus was one of the only primarchs to suggest a competing vision for humanity's future (although he only did so behind closed doors). A lot of Horus' dissenting ideas revolved around going with the flow and using inertia to your advantage than try to juggle fifty plates at once. Humanity is diverging as a species? Let them. It's foolish to force a single ideal as a species and as long as we remember we're all brothers and don't throw civilization and sapience out the window why interfere? Giant galaxy-spanning empire? Much easier to work as a semi-independent confederacy given how hard it is to enforce standards on a human civilization dependent on Warp travel. It's ironic to note that despite the Steward's best efforts to enforce his vision, the galaxy is still sliding towards Horus' ideal out of inertia and slow change, and any post-M41 galaxy where the Imperium meaningfully survives is going to look more like Horus' vision if the external threats of Chaos, the Necron Star Empire, and tyranids are lessened and places like Fenris and the Pastoral Worlds apply for Survivor Civilization status.

Void Born were all over the place as isolated clans prior to the Great Crusade. Not even that closely genetically related, Sol's Migrant Fleet interbred quite a bit with Earthlings, Martians, and Navigators enough that some (though very few) were compatible with Astartes augmentations. They were more culturally contiguous than any other human group from the Iron War through Old Night, and maintained rare local interstellar communication and travel in that era. In the current Imperium they are closely tied to the navy, and are the second largest ship building faction behind the AdMech, who don't bother them much about it due to their very long and close relationship. It was probably thanks to the Sol Voidborn that Mars even remembered there were other Forgeworlds out there. There might be a massive Voidborn presence in your home system, but unless you leave the planet or own a really good telescope you wouldn't know, they prefer asteroid belts and lagrange points to descending a gravity well, and only do so for things of great interest that can't come up to them. They love their kingdom of empty space more than any muddy landscape, and their niche has lead to a removed and culturally distinct subset of humanity still closely tied in to the wider Imperial civilization.

Void Born were/are known for being very gregarious, laid-back, and easygoing. High emphasis on community and working together. In the inky blackness of space you basically have to get along, as there is nothing but a thin starship hull between you and the Void. Also no need to burn bridges with people for whom you barely have to deal with most of the time and a friendship would be mutually profitable.

Good example of this is Abbadon versus Horus. Horus grew up in an era where space was dangerous in an uncaring force of nature sort of way and depending on one's fellows was the best bet for survival. Abbadon grew up during the Great Crusade when space stopped being uncaring and started being actively malevolent. Combined with the Void Born being incorporated into the more aggressive Imperium and he ended up with a more militaristic outlook on life (as in "kill them before they kill you"). That said, the two overlapped a lot in outlook, even if Abbadon didn't see it that way.

Sol Voidborn's claim to fame was that they acted as the mercenary transports of the Mechanicum of Mars and did a lot of work for them in-system in exchange for ships. Did a lot of trading between Earth, Mars, and the other Solar planets, along with the nearest outlying systems. AdMech had to build their own ships if they wanted to do something stupid like send an expedition out into where the maps said hic sunt dracones. The Mechanicum tended to use DaoT archaeotech ships for that like the Ark Mechanici until they started building their own.

Mars expected Void Born to side with them when the Imperium became a rising power. Horus took a look at the two (specifically not a big fan of the Olympus Mons brotherhood due to them crushing the others underfoot) and said "no". Or, at the very least, they wouldn't side with Mars over the Imperium.

Compared to other Void Born, Horus is rather notable in that he had ambition, vision, and military acumen. He wasn't a fighter in the same way Lorgar was a fighter: it wasn't his calling but he could still dish out pain (almost always on a ship or in zero G) if he had to. This is the guy who successfully sniped the Beast through guile during the Ullanor Crusade after all.

The Void Born once had a criminal element, much like the Pyrite Order “squat mafia”. Horus actually ran with the gangs in the bowels of the ships in his youth, which is how he knew how to approach ground combat despite being a spacer by birth. All of the major Void Born crime syndicates seemed to mysteriously disappear around the same time Horus got in the game and started unifying the clans. One might wonder why, and one might be denied an answer by fleet intelligence, because nobody saw nothing, and that nothing certainly didn't go down in Horus's used starship lot when some nosey fools asked pointed questions. This wasn’t because people actually didn’t know, Fleet Intelligence isn’t the Inquisition or the Alpha Legion, but rather what happened to the Void Born crime syndicates was an open secret among the Void Born but no one would say anything incriminating to outsiders because it would involve antagonizing the guy who out-mafiaed the Space Mafia (and few cared about the criminal element of the Migrant Fleet in the first place), little got written down and it fell out of history.

Void Born spiritual traditions vary massively from clan to clan. The ones around Ultramar venerate a member of the Religio Mortis trio and Aximand found religion as a coping mechanism after his uncle died. According to the Horus fluff their calendars don't even match up from clan to clan. Some cultural influence from the Diasporex up until the point of "ditch all your worldy things" which the Void Born say "hell no" to. Mention of the Mournival as a Void Born tradition, at least for the groups around Sol.

Void Born kind of fell apart as a unified nation after Abbadon the Last because they didn't have a lot of galactic scale ambition or the necessary cat-herding charisma (Horus was charismatic enough that he could have gotten Kurze and Mortarion to do what he wanted, which even Sanguinius couldn't accomplish) and the clans weren't going to start killing each other over who inherited the silverware.

There was some mention of Horus allowing immigration into the Migrant Fleet to get himself access to more geneseed-compatible recruits.

Void Born are gradually dying out as of M41, though "dying out" is an inaccurate description. The Imperial Navy is in part derived from the Void Born, the Void Born are massively outnumbered by groundpounders and due to population dynamics Voidborn genes are being diluted through interbreeding. Most of the big old naval families have significant Void Born ancestry and related features (pale skin, tall and skinny, receeding hairline). Some pure Voidborn still exist, as Merelda Pereth will attest.

Historical Species[edit]

Humanity[edit]

Editor's Note: Not finished per writefag, put here as a placeholder for now. Written as an in-universe "Humanity 101" Guide aimed primarily at curious Tau and Eldar who may not have had much contact with humans.

Humans (Homo sapiens spp.) are a species of bipedal mammal native to the planet of Old Earth in the Segmentum Solar. Humans naturally range between 90 and 250 centimeters at adulthood, though their size and appearance is heavily dependent on the population they come from. Like many life-bearing worlds, the ecology of Old Earth shows signs of having been tampered with by the Old Ones, however the specific group to which humans belong did not begin to diversify until roughly around the end of the War in Heaven sixty-five million years ago, after a catastrophe wiped out the planet’s formerly dominant organisms, something that is thought to be related to the general Necron purge of Old One vivarium worlds.

Prior to the Age of Strife, humans were organized into the “Great and Bountiful Human Dominion”. The Great and Bountiful Human Dominion, in turn, were organized into the “Interstellar League” a group of allied like-minded xenos species that banded together in the face of external threats, mostly Orks and increasingly up to the Age of Strife raiding parties by the Old Eldar Empire. It is unknown how many other species were part of the Intersolar League, though it is known that the Tarellian Empire were members and there are suspicions that Kinebrach were as well.

Life in the Great and Bountiful Human Empire was dominated by the use of the Men of Iron, an artificially created race of sapient artificial constructs, which were linked to the Iron Minds, extremely powerful silica animus. The Iron Minds were originally created by humans, but their thought processes were so alien to humans that communication was nearly impossible. In order to facilitate communication with both the Iron Mind and the rest of the Empire as a whole, humans and the Iron Minds collaborated to created the Men of Gold (Homo sapiens aureus), a genetically engineered subspecies with substantial psychic, biological, and pseudo-cybernetic modification that could act as a link between the god-like Iron Minds and the average human and aid in broader faster-than-light communication to the wider galaxy.

Human (or “human beings” as they are sometimes referred to), are the second, possibly the third most abundant sentient life form in the galaxy, after intelligent orkoids and possibly after tyranids or necrons, depending on how one estimates the populations of these species and whether one considers them “sentient life”.

Prior to the Age of Strife, there were few subspecies of humans aside from artificially created variants like H. s. aureus (Men of Gold), H. s. navigo (Navigators), and H. s. variegatus (beastmen), as the human world were linked into a single empire and there were few opportunities for speciation. During the Age of Strife, most human worlds were effectively cut off from one another, which led to genetic isolation and the evolution of many distinct species, including H. s. minutus (ratlings), H. s. hirstutus (felinids), the “Ogryn subspecies complex” (H. s. giganteus, H. s. cranopus, and related forms).

Hubworlders, although often (mis)classified as H. s. rotundus, are not actually a distinct subspecies from baseline humanity. Genetic analysis of Hubworlders have found them to deviate from inhabitants of Old Earth (who are considered to be the genetic standard for humanity) to a degree comparable to the inhabitants of Cadia or many other worlds across the galaxy: in other words, not enough to be regarded as anything more than a local variant of baseline humanity. (Insert section talking about how their stature is due to gravity, and the AdMech classifying them as abhumans out of revenge for not rolling over for Mars).

As with any sentient species, describing what humans are like to a nonhuman is often very difficult, especially given their wide degree of variation and high number of subspecies. Because most of the individuals reading this guide will be Tau and eldar, comparisons will mostly focus on these two species. Despite their infamous superficial similarity to eldar, detailed examination shows that this resemblance is only skin deep. Instead, humans and eldar appear to have evolved a similar body shape as a solution to similar evolutionary problems despite being very different in biology and behavior in other respects, similar to what occurred between dogs and thylacines (a carnivorous marsupial that was a popular pet during the Dark Age of Technology and as a result can still be found on some human colony worlds) on Old Earth.

Like eldar, humans have permanently enlarged mammary glands, in contrast to a Tau in which the mammary glands are usually small but get larger for the short period of lactation following pregnancy. Additionally, like eldar, humans appear to be a naturally monogamous species (or at least require the care of multiple individuals to increase the likelihood of surviving to adulthood). Humans also exhibit adaptations designed to encourage this behavior, humans in the form of “hidden estrus”, eldar in the form of prolonged fertilization that requires the male to stay around in order to produce viable offspring. Like eldar, humans have a long pregnancy and give live birth to a relatively helpless infant, something that would be expected given the species moderately large soul and psychic presence. However, at nine months human pregnancy is much shorter than the 24 month long term period seen in eldar. Additionally, unlike eldar or tau (or indeed, most other species), human females are nearly helpless for much of their pregnancy due to a quirk of evolution, which causes human military structure to be unusually male dominated compared to most other species, something that really only changed with the advent of advanced weaponry during the Age of Terra.

However, unlike eldar, the human skeleton is made out of the mineral hydroxylapatite rather than wraithbone and humans have a shorter neck with seven, rather than nine, neck vertebrae (among other differences). Humans also lack the helical muscle with long tendinous insertions typical of Shaa-Dome lifeforms, which allows eldar to be deceptively strong despite their thin frame. In general, humans across the board have less acute sense than the eldar, but at the same time proportionally less of their brain is devoted to sensory perception (cognition is about the same) and they are not as prone to stimulatory overload or hedonism (some of this may also be a side effect of Old One genetic engineering). Compared to Tau humans have better depth perception and motion tracking, but poorer peripheral vision and do not see as far into the infrared or ultraviolet spectrum. Humans also have a much poorer sense of smell than most species, though this does not apply to all abhuman variants (e.g., felinids and beastmen). Baseline humans have next to no ability to detect pheromones.

The oral structures used for processing food are actually modified scales made of harder material than the rest of the skeleton, as in the tau, rather than outgrowths of the jaw plate as in eldar. Humans lack the multiple-lobed stomach of the tau or the simplified, highly efficient digestive tract of the eldar (though the latter is thought to be the result of genetic engineering). Human digestive systems are not particularly water efficient and as a result the products of their metabolism system tend to require a lot of water to successfully dispose of waste, rather than the water-efficient crystalline waste of the eldar (analogous to uric acid in birds on Old Earth). And, of course, although small amounts of epigenetic gene expression through methylation are known to occur on occasion in humans and other Terran lifeforms, selective gene expression and the associated, highly-bunched megasomes and quadruple helix DNA are not a defining feature of life on Old Earth as it is of all higher life forms on Shaa-Dome.

Humans are unique among sapient species in having white sclerae, a feature which is thought to have been a chance mutation on their homeworld but aids in non-verbal communication. Despite their similarities, eldar eyes have been described as resembling those of Earth deer whereas tau resemble grazing ungulates. White sclerae are a common feature of all baseline humans and abhuman strains, with a few notable exceptions such as Nightsiders, and their presence is a useful rule of thumb for identifying organisms with significant human geno-splicing. Some xenos individuals have remarked that human eyes are actually unsettling, occasionally giving them a rapacious, predatory look, whereas Nightsiders do not fall into this uncanny valley. The irony being that most human strains are less predatory than Nightsiders.

Human beings are also notable for having some of the lowest resistance to chaos corruption of any known sentiment species. On the Leitek-Bonn scale, which measures a species susceptibility to ambient chaos corruption with 50 representing the average species, human score a mere 28, in contrast to eldar (60), tau (82), orks (97), and of course the gold standard of the Watchers (99.5). This is thought to be due to several reasons. First, humans are naturally a competitive and domineering species. Although standing and social structure are an important component of the psychology of all sentient species, no other species dedicates so much of its time and energy to hierarchy, dominance, and social status as humans, with the possible exception of the pre-biotransference Necrontyr. Much like how the tau’s natural optimism and tendency towards social conformity are thought to derive from their ancestry as herding ungulates. Humans come from a group of animals with a naturally unstable social structure and whose diet (fruits, nuts, and meat) tends to be very unpredictable and hard to find. This gives them a tendency to be paranoid and second guess those around them. As an example, most species, if told that something is dangerous by a member of their own social group, tend to believe that individual. Humans, on the other hand, are often innately suspicious that said individual is lying, believing that the other individual is hiding some that they plan to use for themselves or increase their social standing. This was a useful adaptation millions of years ago when a compatriot might be hiding a piece of meat or stash of fruit, but is decidedly less helpful in the modern day where the “hidden” “resource” might be an actually dangerous Chaos artifact.

Secondly, even among their close relatives on Old Earth, humans are unusual in that the neurological architecture of the brain is very plastic and is not strongly genetically conserved between generations. While this is a common trait of almost all sentient species (and indeed, may be a criterion necessary for sentience to arise), the way in which it arose in humans has a side effect of greatly increasing the risk of mental dysfunction and illness in this species. While some of the worst downsides of this were ironed out by geno-medicine during the Dark Age of Technology, it was not possible to completely stamp out millions of years of evolution. This makes it unusually easy for ambient Warp exposure to cause psychosis at even low levels. While mental illness in and of itself is not necessarily indicative of loyalty to the Ruinous Powers (as Perturabo and Kurze can attest) unexpected warp exposure-induced psychosis can affect the decision-making skills of an individual and cause them to become further corrupted. It is even possible that the domineering nature of humans is in part a response to that natural disorder in their physical and mental environments, trying to impose order where there is none. Although humanity’s low corruption resistance can be overcome by self-discipline, individual fortitude, and training, it is always a good idea to check the mental status of human compatriots to ensure chronic damage has not occurred.

The Proto-Eldar and General Eldar Biology[edit]

The eldar were not always a race of long-lived super-psykers. Once they were just a bunch of primitives banging rocks together, just like everyone else. Early in their history the eldar were invaded by a race known only as the Mon-Keigh (as in the original Mon-Keigh, from which the more common use of the term is derived), which wreaked havoc on the proto-eldar until they were finally defeated by the eldar folk hero Elronhir, and helped contribute to the eldar’s rather paranoid attitude towards other species. The Old Ones noticed the proto-eldar’s “small talent for war” and uplifted them to serve as front-line soldiers during the War in Heaven.

The eldar would have only been a late-Stone Age/Bronze Age species when this happened. This can be seen in the fact that the eldar had a murder god (Khaine) that was only secondarily shoehorned into the role of a war god, as opposed to a straight-up war god that honored martial talent and discipline. Before the invasion of the Mon-Keigh and the War in Heaven, the Eldar had no grasp of the concept of wide-scale killing or genocide. This disparate nature of worship might have made Khaine a bit loopy, and may have contributed to Khaine’s team killing rampage during the War in Heaven. Even Isha has a bit of a primal streak that she occasionally lets off the leash after 60+ million years.

This sudden technological shift is also part of the reason behind the eldar’s infamous cultural posturing. In their minds, the eldar believe that they deserve to be the dominant species, because they’ve fucking earned it. They were a race that had just figured out bronze was a good idea that was suddenly expected to be soldiers in an interstellar war where the power levels were almost beyond modern comprehension, and they had to learn on the job. So in their mind they’ve earned their position by going through hell and back during the War in Heaven, something that few other races besides the Orks and Hrud can attest to.

The eldar underwent massive genetic engineering twice in their evolutionary history: once when they were initially uplifted by the Old Ones, and again during the sixty million years they had to get good following the War in Heaven. This means they had a lot of time to figure out as many alleles as possible for longevity and health. The eldar could have possibly even engineered themselves to live longer than pre-Fall eldar would have, but they simply found reincarnation to be a more effective solution. The point is that by the time of the Fall, the eldar had tinkered with their genetic code so long that many of the artificial modifications were seen as a normal part of the eldar genome because everyone had them.

However, this should not be taken to mean that the eldar were able to reach the levels they did simply because they had the advantage of being uplifted and a head start. Much like how human evolution on Earth relative to other animals was defined by the production and manufacture of tools, the evolution of the eldar seems to be defined by their longevity. The eldar are naturally graceful, but that agility is enhanced by years of training, much like how older humans are able to move more efficiently because they have had more time to know the quirks and limitations of their body. The same is true of psykery. Psyker species are noted to have longer developmental times proportional to their degree of psychic power, and long lifespans allows for greater refinement and control of psychic power. This would have led to a feedback loop where psychic powers would select for long lifespans, and vice versa.

The unique eldar method of reproduction, where the male inseminates the female over several periods, seems to have been present early in eldar history, despite seeming to be a liability to any species without an incredibly long lifespan. It seems that this method of reproduction was present even in the early eldar, but the low reproductive rate was offset by natural twinning, given the high prevalence of multiple births in eldar society (enough that eldar titans are often designed around twins in some way).

Eldar are physically and sexually mature at 30 years of age, age of majority is about 45 or so for most Craftworlds, but even after that individuals are generally considered to be immature and inexperienced for the next two to three centuries. Physically but not mentally mature (the best comparison in human terms would be dumbass, hot-headed young adults in their late teens/twenties with more youth than brains). Given eldar don't really get feeble with age, or at least not until they are 10,000+ years old due to pre-Fall genetic engineering, as well as their clannish and tribal nature, it is no surprise that eldar societies usually tend to treat the gerontocracy as the wisest and most responsible members of society (usually). Eldar adolescence (as in 30 or so, eldar that are 70+ are considered young and full of starry-eyed idealism but not adolescents) about as fun as you can expect for the Enforcers, who have to deal with keeping a bunch of rebellious, hormone-driven descendants of super soldiers in line, and tend to be extra harsh on them to keep them from slipping down the same path that the Old Empire, Commorrites, and Crones did. Injuries that break bones have been mentioned in some cases. This is one reason why Biel-Tan started requiring mandatory military service and shipping its youngsters out to serve in order to temper them a bit (which started the tradition of the other Craftworlds doing something similar, because Biel-Tan is the most influential Craftworld to the other Craftworlds).

Eldar ears are covered in mechanoreceptors (mostly microscopic sensory hairs and pits) The pointed shape of the ears, their ability to move independently, and their position away from the body gives the eldar an amazing sense of balance and proprioception, which help contribute to the agility and grace the eldar are so well known for. That said, the mechanoreceptors of the ear are calibrated for air currents and balance. Physically touching them is much more stimulus than they are supposed to receive and gives a much potent sensation. Eldar being sapient they figured out how this natural adaptation could be abused early in their history, just like humans have with their areas of high neuronal density that aren't supposed to be used that way (e.g., lips).

Eldar tend to have more vibrant “birdy” hair colors than humans. For example, Eldar with black hair tends to have hair that is a shiny iridescent black like a crow and eldar with red hair are described as having hair that is a hue too bold and vivid to be mistaken for human, in contrast to the more mammalian, earthy tones of reds, browns, and blacks you see in humans. Modern eldar don't bald like humans do and their hair tends to produce oils that make long hair easier to manage. Indeed, although many human cultures see eldar men as looking feminine long hair is seen as a sign of masculinity in eldar culture. Completely shaven heads are seen as a sign of sickness or being in a state of mourning and sorrow.

The Necrontyr[edit]

In general, the Necrontyr are often considered to be similar to the Tau in many respects, including short lifespans, minimal warp presence, broad flat faces with little in the way of a nose, and slightly slower reflexes than humans. However, the Necrontyr differ from the Tau in several major ways. Unlike Tau, they lack a Jackobson's organ (the face-slit of the Tau), instead having a single nasal cavity similar to a lamprey, and have much faster reflexes. It's not clear if the bony ridge you see on many Necrons is supposed to reflect an actual biological feature, or was part of their armor when they were Necrontyr.

The Necrontyr are also big. Tau are said to be just a little bit shorter than humans, 5’5” on average. Necrons on the other hand are able to look Space Marines and Eldar in the eye. There is no evidence that the Necrontyr went through a major “growth spurt” when they became the Necrons like the Eldar did when the Old Ones first messed with them, so it’s likely that the Necrontyr were just that tall. Indeed, the Old Ones may have engineered the Eldar and Orks to be the size that they are so they were “about” Necrontyr size. It’s also not certain if that stooped posture is natural. It’s may not be, but it’s entirely possible that this is just how a Necrontyr stood.

The other major area in which the Necrontyr differ from the Tau is pain tolerance. Necrontyr are ridiculously resistant to pain. Even before they became the Necrons, the Necrontyr were described as being kind of tanky. Tanky as in “compensated for reflexes by ignoring the pain” as opposed to “super durability”. This pain tolerance is likely at least partially an evolutionary adaptation and partially a learned skill, because when your body is wracked with painful tumors there’s not a lot someone can do to you to make it worse. This pain tolerance likely influenced the way the Necrontyr fought. The Necrons/Necrontyr in canon are known to consider loyalty and discipline to be a big deal, even compared to other races. Such pain tolerance and high discipline would likely lead to confrontations where Necrontyr warriors would likely have formed massive firing lines to maximum dakka, being durable and pain tolerant enough to ignore glancing hits that led most other races to consider this a bad idea. The infamous Necron "shoot and move" maneuver? That more than likely originated with the Necrontyr.

The Yu'Vath[edit]

The Yu'vath were a Chaos-worshipping xenos race that controlled much of the Calixis Sector during the Age of Strife. Describing exactly what the yu’vath looked like is a surprisingly difficult task. On the one hand you had the “core” yu’vath, which are thought to be what the race originally looked like. “Core” yu’vath were a strange combination between human and crustacean, with a bipedal, four-limbed body. Each long, robust arm ended in three clawed fingers and each digigrade foot ended in two forwards and backwards pointing toes, giving their feet an “X”-like shape. At the center of their torso was their head, which contained numerous sets of insectile mandibles.

As a silicate-based species, the yu’vath were experts in cybernetic alteration, their bodies more readily adapting to the addition of cybernetics than flesh and blood, much like the Demiurg. Yu’vath bodies were often heavily modified for various purposes, their cybernetics growing like living tissue based on what was needed and the role an individual needed to perform. Despite both being silicon-based, however, the yu’vath are no more closely related to the Demiurg than humans are to any other carbon-based sentient species like the Tau. There is some debate, however, as to whether the ambull found across many worlds are devolved descendants of the yu’vath, or else some kind of sister species like humans are to the great apes.

On the other hand, you have the “lesser” yu’vath. Slaves from other species forcibly implanted with yu’vath cybernetics and turned into war machines. Yu’vath technology is weird. The yu’vath were capable of downloading their souls into their cybernetics, then if the main body died simply scooping out the host soul and replacing it with the augment’s original owner when attached to a new body. In theory, one could simply bring an individual yu’vath back to life by stripping the cybernetics off of them and implanting them in a new host. Eventually, the cybernetics would grow to completely cover the new body, growing and modifying themselves to whatever role necessary. However, in most cases these cybernetics gradually turned its host into a form similar to a core Yu’vath.

It is not clear where the Yu’vath came from. Certainly, there are no records of any such Chaos worshipping civilization in what few records remains from the Dark Age of Technology. The eldar Harlequins speak of a race that sold their souls to Chaos, damning their brethren that refused to follow, but whether this is support for the “devolved into ambull” theory or if those that refused to follow were just eaten by daemons is unknown.

In addition to their core territory in the Calixis Sector, the Yu’vath had a fairly sizeable number of feelers elsewhere in the galaxy during the Age of Strife. A raiding party of Yu’vath even went so far as to have an outpost on Pluto during the Great Crusade, though they were eventually driven from the system by the time of the Unification of Sol by the actions of [DATA EXPUNGED].

The Yu’vath were one of the more notable threats faced by the Imperium during the Great Crusade, and unlike many the Yu’vath front remained a long-term issue, but eventually the Imperium managed to force them back to a rump state. The Yu’Vath participated in the War of the Beast, but as with the Crone Eldar and all things non-Ork the species took a backseat to the green tide that assaulted the galaxy during this time. However, the Yu’Vath did manage to retake much of their holdings during this time and more, expanding into many of the areas just south of the Eye of Terror. They became a thorn in the Imperium's side, but not a threat to the degree that the Crones or Orks were.

The resurgence of the Yu'vath was clearly a problem, and the Imperium hacked away at it in a series of on-again, off-again wars interspersed with Black Crusades over the years. Eventually, the Yu’Vath were finally eradicated in a major battle in the galactic northwest either just before or as revenge for the Fourth Black Crusade.

Today, the Yu’Vath themselves mostly confined to the pages of history. The people of the modern galaxy should be thankful for it. Although they may not have been threats on the level of the Necron Star Empire or the tyranid Hive Fleet, the Yu’Vath were terrors in their time. Aside from their technology, all that remains of the Yu’vath are the few members of their race that were raised to daemon princedom or escaped the slow, inexorable march of time by hiding in the Eye of Terror, mostly associated with the Soul Forge.

Although the Imperium were the ones to finally wipe the Yu'vath out, the source of the loss of their holdings just south of the Eye of Terror was a bit of a surprise. The Q'orl, who as a race had only recently spread out into the stars from their homeworld of Loq’qit, drove the Yu'vath from these worlds. Years of fighting the Imperium meant that the southern worlds were generally poorly manned due to the low number of Yu'vath.

Additionally, as a eusocial species, the q’orl were surprisingly well-adapted to dealing with the Chaos corruption spread by the yu’vath. If an individual drone became corrupted, it was simply destroyed at no great loss to the Queens. The q’orl also found the Yu’vath’s technology and artwork to be insulting to their xenophobic sensibilities and often had it destroyed in a hail of orbital fire. Being much more willing to take losses than the Imperium would, the Q'orl were able to take control of many of the former Yu'vath worlds.

Despite being an all but extinct species, Yu'vath artifacts are still a problem today. The problem with Yu'vath artifacts is they never really break down naturally. They can lie unused for millenia until rediscovered by some unsuspecting sod. As Savant Preem said, "If it does not rot, if it can lie like this here forever...is it truly dead?"

Yu’Vath cybernetics have been known to physically spring to life and drag themselves to attack a particularly desirable host, typically some variant of psyker. Tech-priests refuse to go near anything Yu'vath, as the Yu'vath were masters of Chaotic scrapcode that presented a very real threat of hijacking their cybernetics.

There are some concerns that the Spyrer battlesuits, purchased by Imperial nobles as self-defense weapons (and status symbols) on black markets across several Hive Worlds, are actually derived or reverse-engineered from Yu’vath technology.

The Yu’Vath were notable for their methodical, detached methods of worshipping the Chaos Gods. To the Yu’Vath, Chaos and the Warp was something that could be measured, quantified, and studied, a worldview that was baffling to species like humans and eldar, who perceived Chaos as something much more irrational and unquantifiable. The Yu’Vath had found answers to questions that no one else would dare ask, such as how many sacrifices it took to summon a daemon or how much favor it was necessary to empower a given daemon machine. It is thought that the Yu’Vath had emotional centers of their brain that were vastly subservient to their logic centers, allowing them the emotions necessary to worship the Chaos Gods but filtering it through their rationalist worldview. Or perhaps quantifying Chaos was their way of worshipping it, showing devotion by obsessively seeking literal answers to the question of how many daemons could dance on the head of a pin. This allowed the Yu’Vath to be reliable in their production of technology, whereas other groups of Chaos worshippers with a significant industrial base, like the Crone Eldar, Dark Mechanicus, and the Laer, tended to be more subject to flights of fancy.

Notable Planets[edit]

Medusa[edit]

To clarify, the giant terraformers aren’t Men of Iron in any way. They’re basically DaoT roombas that someone forgot to hit the off switch on (or the off switch broke, considering the Age of Strife). Originally just the AdMech and the AdBio were going to be mention, until it became apparent that Eldar farseer terraforming counts as “Imperial” as well. The point is more that these terraforming machines are beyond what M41 humanity is capable of, rather than any comparison between humanity and the Eldar. However, the Eldar have lost their best stuff too, so it’s likely that the way farseers terraform worlds is simple compared to what the Old Eldar Empire was capable of. Indeed, these terraformers more brute-force the habitability of a world, rather than develop a healthy ecosystem the way the Eldar do.

Ganymede[edit]

One of the main figures in charge of Ganymede is Inquisitor Jaq Draco, one of the Imperium's extremely high-end psykers and one of the few humans that can navigate the Webway. Also as nutty as they come. Draco is as much an object to be contained as a staffmember, and the fact that the Imperium would station one of their most powerful psykers here as a safeguard against something going wrong on Ganymede speaks volumes about the danger posed by the stuff on Ganymede.

Ganymede is kind of a sore spot between Eldar and human parts of the Imperium. The Eldar elders think most of the stuff held on Ganymede is fricking dangerous, and it should be destroyed posthaste (preferably by throwing it into the nearest star). They tend to say "I told you so" when something breaks out or goes horribly wrong. The humans tend to reply that we don't even know how to safely destroy most of this stuff (e.g., throwing an artifact into a star could just result in the object eating the star, especially if it's C'tan tech), it's safer where it is (e.g., Apep), and it might prove useful someday. They tend to say "I told you so" when items on Ganymede turn out to be of relevance or provide valuable information to stopping a threat.

Old Earth and the Sol System in general[edit]

In general, non-humans aren't allowed to set foot on Earth past the Daisy Chain without the proper permits. Old Earth being restricted to humans is more a matter of privacy than anything else. Old Earth is a pretty big deal to humans and holds a lot of spiritual significance, regardless of religion, and they don't want a veritable horde of xeno tourists coming in and messing everything up like drunks spray-painting a holy site. However, the Imperium also tries to afford the same kind of respect to other species. Xenos generally aren't allowed outside the Xenos districts of Craftworlds without prior permission, non-Tau are generally not allowed on T'au, etc. Exceptions are generally made in the case of emergencies like a ship being blown off course because of a warp storm.

That said, Old Earth does have non-humans on it, just not very many. Annual permits are issued for non-humans to visit Earth. As is the case for some places today, foreigners (by which I mean non-humans) can rent places, but they can't buy property (then again, few can buy property on Old Earth). Ambassadors from the Craftworlds and non-human civilizations get a pass, as well as seers and other people who work for the Administratum. You get tourists and students who are able to articulate well enough that they won't go getting drunk and disrupting cultural sites. Merchants and traders who want to sell wares (though it's generally a bad idea trying to sell tech in Mars' backyard). And of course Isha and the Handmaidens get a free pass because it would be stupid for the fricking Empress to not be allowed to set foot on the throne world.

On the other hand, most foreigners and tourists don't even care if they get to set foot on Old Earth specifically. Urban sprawl has reached the point that the entire Sol System is considered the metropolitan heart of the Imperium, to the point that most visitors from out-of-system (human and otherwise) usually end up touring around the outer parts of the Sol System and still feel like they can say they've visited the Imperium's capital.

the Realm of Ultramar and the Imperium Secundus Plan[edit]

Roboute Guilliman just loved his contingency plans. No matter what happened he had a plan for how to beat it. It was how his forces reacted so quickly and coherently when The Beast smashed into Imperial Space. They just adapted one of his older plans slightly. He was anticipating the discovery of some great and hostile empire, possibly human possibly xeno, out on the Eastern Fringe. Sort of an "Evil Twin. Wat Do?" type deal. The Ultramarine WotB plans were mostly just adapted from that.

Guilliman’s plan for the absolute worst case scenario, one where the “evil empire” made it all the way to Segmentum Solar and Old Earth fell, was to rally all the assets that could be salvaged and rebuild the Imperium somewhere else. Guilliman made no secret about his plan B (as well as the fact that it was supposed to be just that, a plan B), as it was only sensible to prepare for the worst. For this plan, Guilliman chose the Survivor Civilization of Ultramar. Ultramar was about as far away from the Imperium as you could get and still be in what one could call civilization. Ultramar was also very well-organized, so his plan was mostly based around the older empire of Ultramar and using that as a keystone for other systems to rally around. If the hypothetical evil empire arose anywhere else and smashed into Segmentum Solar and Old Earth, Ultramar would be the best place to be clear of the blast radius. In any case the Imperium Secundus groundwork needed someone to oversee it. Lord Guilliman’s grandson, Gaufrid Guilliman, was a very competent and respected member of the Administratum who was tasked with overseeing this great and hopefully never to use Plan B.

When Guilliman first came to Ultramar, Ultramar was organized in a manner similar to the Delian League of ancient Earth. On paper, Ultramar was supposed to be an association of equals, but in practice it was a hegemonic empire with Macragge, being the most populous and militarily powerful, calling the shots. Guilliman made numerous reforms to Ultramar’s government and bureaucracy, among other things turning it into a “one planet, one vote” system. Macragge went along with it because at the time Macragge afraid of being upstaged by Calth, who threatened to surpass Macragge in terms of population and therefore threatened Macragge’s power in Ultramar. Ironically, Guilliman preserved Macragge’s voice in the system at the expense of ending Macraggian hegemony. Macragge and Calth still tend to butt heads politically, being the two largest and most prosperous worlds in Ultramar, but the system is far smoother and more efficient than it once was.

Guilliman's plan proved surprisingly prescient. When the War of the Beast broke out, Ultramar's remote location meant it was spared the worst of the fighting. Ultramar saw conflict, as did all regions of the Imperium but it did not see the fierce fighting that wracked Segmenta Solar and Obscurus. Gaufrid Guilliman was the only descendant of Yolande Fouché and Roboute Guilliman to survive the War of the Beast, thanks to Guilliman’s contingency plan. The line of Guilliman and House Guilliman failed on Old Earth. None of his descendants were counted among the living at the end of the war. There are still people in the realm of Ultramar with the name Guilliman. They are almost certainly descendants now very far removed.

Rynn's World[edit]

The planet of Rynn’s world is rather unusual in that the planet is ruled by the combination of the married union of a (usually matriarchal) ruler and the Chapter Master of the Crimson Fists. It is a ceremonial thing going back to the days of Rynn when the Exiled King married his daughter and heir to the head the military in the convoy, a Space Marine of great wisdom and charisma called Alexis Polux.

It is a tradition known as the everlasting marriage to symbolize the eternal bond between Rynn's World and the Imperium. The marriage is everlasting because when one dies the surviving member has to marry the replacement. Needless to say this has resulted in the royal title being strictly matrilineal despite the rest of the aristocracy being cognatic. Should either party to assume the position be already married then the other half in this arrangement becomes a secondary wife/husband, in such cases the marriage does not need to be consummated as that would/might infringe on per-existing vows.

It also results in stability as there is no question of succession as upon the death of one the other takes their title, lands and possessions until the replacement marriage ceremony which does mean that in the days between partners the title of Chapter Master is held by a woman which is possibly unprecedented.

This breakdown of a clear dividing line between the baseline humans and Space Marines, and indeed between military rank and the aristocratic hierarchy, has in the years since Rynn and Polux permeated totally in society. Although the commoners cannot become nobility save through special and rare appointment by the Queen or by marriage into the nobility the rank of (usually) unlanded-nobility is traditionally handed out with promotion to officer.

With the marriage of Chapter to the Aristocracy and every Space Marine having been trained to be officers of one sort or another this has resulted in the Chapter becoming a not insubstantial part of the landed gentry. Every marine has an estate, a patch of their homeworld that they call their own. Due to them having no real interest in such things this is typically the less sought after land in inhospitable places. The craggy mountains around their fortress, deserts and the wind swept and salt spray blasted islands in the far north and south. The few hardy inhabitants of these remote lands appreciate that there are masters who will lend a hand if needed but tend to live in those lands because they don't care for authority above them and so value the Space Marines lack of any real interest.

Rynn's World was not the original home of the chapter, at first they were nomadic and had been since they were the 405th Company of Dorn's Legion. It was by attaching their forces to Rynn's colony fleet as it set out to resettle an exterminated world in the time of The Rebuilding that they came to enjoy their more permanent habitation.

Pedro Kantor is the current commander of the remnants of his chapter, king of a world brought to ruin and husband of Queen Maia Cagliestra who actually rules the planet when it's not being raped to death by orks.

The Crimson Fists did boast ~2,100 members all accounted, now down to 128. The Fortress has been relocated to New Rynn City. As the world is rebuilt and the other lesser cities reestablished the intention is to appoint each company to a city and diffuse the chapter. Next time it's going to take more than 1 malfunctioning nuclear missile to devastate them. The Immortal Captain Alessio Cortezwill be put in command of the fortress to be rebuilt Caltara and will have the dubious honour of owning the crater of Arx Tyrranis when the time comes.

In the wake of the devastation caused by Snagrod the province of Dorado in the north of the west continent was completely depopulated as people fled to the safety of Santoris, the only city in that land.

When the walls fell nobody was spared. Those that fled or had previously tried to hide in the wilderness were hunted down in the following months as sport. If there were as many as a hundred survivors left it would be miraculous and what few there were wandered south to warmer climes in the search for other survivors.

It was not until a few years later when expeditionary forces sent before settlement teams sailed north from Port Calina that they found that Dorado had now gained new inhabitants. The royal court of Rynn's World had by satellite imagery been aware of activity in that province and had hoped that it was a previously hidden survivor population coming back out into the open or unofficial land grabbers that could be reasoned with and made into the basis of the recolonization. What they were dreading was a feral ork resurgence.

It was none of these things. With ample fertile land lying unclaimed exodites had moved in rather than let those fields become totally overgrown. They seemed uninterested in leaving as they had just set up their modest houses, sown their seeds and had even planted a new wraith-tree (itself a monumental occasion). Although Chapter Master Kantor was all for forcibly relocating them off the planet, as illegal squatters they had no rights, this was not a military matter unless things went very wrong. After due consideration Queen Cagliestra allowed them to stay on the principle that exodites were typically polite to their hosts and didn't cause trouble. And also the planet was still pretty empty considering that the only real body of survivors had been the Silver Citadel at the heart of the capital city.

In gratitude the exodites promised to hand over any surplus produce from their new homeland as a form of rent. As this was not massively different to the way things were before and the cost of resettlement was being paid by someone else everyone was happy, or only mildly cantankerous.

The chapter itself raised the matter of rebuilding with its neighbouring chapters at the Feast of Blades held in the following year. Due to the increasing strains of an increasingly hostile galaxy none promised and assistance in the rebuilding, preoccupied with their own troubles as they were.

Rynn's World was just one little agri-world after all and not so broken that it couldn't heal on its own.

Severan Dominate[edit]

The Severan Dominate is a violent oppressive enclave that as of 999.M41 is primarily holding on through grimderp pseudo-pragmatism that is really serving to make things worse for everyone. Their casus belli for secession basically boils down to the fact that the Severan Dominate are basically lucky in that they’ve never really seen a real war. Like the Tau in vanilla, they really don’t understand the scope of the galaxy they live in. So when they hear stories of what is happening elsewhere in the galaxy, they think it’s on the same level of what they have to deal with, exaggerated by shell shock, big fish stories, and an intergalactic game of telephone. They hear stories of endless hordes of insectoid xenos (tyranids) and go “we have those too, we call them the Q’orl”. They think an invasion by the Blood Pact is on the same level as a Black Crusade. They think a bunch of isolated enclaves are what the Imperium worries about when they hear “Necron Star Empire”. They think Grimtoof Git-Slaver is on the level of Ghazghull. They’re like soldiers fighting in Africa during World War I hearing about what’s going on in No-Man’s Land and finding what they hearing are simply too ridiculous to believe. They're the logical extension of someone hearing of how the galaxy really works and finding the truth to be more ridiculous than fiction.

The Imperium has tried explaining what’s really going on to the Severan Dominate, but the Dominate refuses to believe them. They see the Imperium as using the tyranids, Necrons, Chaos, and Brain Boyz as boogeymen used to justify the increasingly high tithes placed on worlds like the Dominate in order to support their favored worlds like, say, Cadia. They think the Imperium is overexaggerating the threat and that they can survive perfectly well on their own. They have no idea the kind of rapetrain that is out there in the darkness. Additionally, the current heads of the Severus family are kind of self-centered assholes and see setting up their own petty empire as their own personal ego-trip. As a result, it was relatively easy for them to convince the citizenry that the Imperium had been lying to them to justify higher taxes and incite secession.

Of course, this leads to problems. Part of the deal on joining the Imperium is that when you are in, you are in for good. There are no fair-weather friendships or chickening out in the Imperium. The Imperium can’t afford to let the Dominate leave. If the Imperium allows a state to leave then others in a similar position will leave. If they all piss off it's going to be a small number of worlds holding up a large number of fortress worlds that are keeping the monsters out. The walls fall through lack of support and monsters get in and the Imperium gets annihilated and, and here is the real kicker, those worlds that ran away realize their folly only after it's too late to possibly going anything about it and everyone is dead and there is no hope for meaningful survival of any member of the Imperium. Hence the current war with the Dominate. The Emperor also doesn’t like the idea of leaving an uncorrupted human civilization out to hang, but the situation is starting to become one in which there is no objectively right decision. Either kill a whole bunch of citizens of the Severan Dominate and the greater Imperium in a bloody war to suppress the rebellion, or leave the Dominate out to hang and watch an entire civilization get killed by Chaos/Dark Eldar/Orks/Slaugth/whatever.

The Severan Dominate see the overwhelming response of the Imperium as the desperate attempts of a failing empire to hold onto power, rather than simply the sheer amount of power the Imperium is able to wield its fuckhuge army in times of relative peace (see: Badab, the last time the Q’orl got uppity). However, the Imperium is still much, much bigger than they are, and the Dominate is starting to get desperate. They’re not stupid enough to try joining Chaos, but they might even be stupid enough to try and get backing from forces that they should know better than to negotiate with to achieve their goals. Specifically, the Severus family is making deals with the Slaugth instead of/in addition to the Dark Eldar, giving the maggot-men a few worlds in exchange for an external foe to keep the Dominate in line (and completely unaware of what happens if you let the Slaugth get a foothold), hence why there are so many Slaugth in the Calixis Sector.

As of 999.M41, the suppression of the rebellion of the Severan Dominate is just still going on. No one is aware of the level of shit that is about to go down, so it’s possible the Dominate might just get the lucky break they have been hoping for.

Olamic Quietude[edit]

Editor's Note: May have to rewrite, threads talked about making Olamics "brain in a jar" remotely piloting robot bodies to avoid the issues with a post-scarcity society curbstomping everyone.

The Olamic Quietude are a bastion of isolation in a sea of mostly Imperial space. A highly-technologically advanced human society, the Olamic Quietude survived the Dark Age of Technology by uploading their minds as A.I. and resleeving them into robot bodies. New citizens of the Quietude are born by growing new brains and uploading them as soon as possible into mechanical bodies. The Adeptus Mechanicus hate the Quietude with a frothing vengeance, making A.I. is bad enough but actually becoming them is tech-heresy of the highest caliber. Others in the Mechanicus don’t just hate the Quietude for tech-heresy but because on some level the Quietude represent the logical extrapolation of Mechanicum ideals, replacing every part of the body with machinery, and it scares them.

The Imperium via the Vlka Fenryka tried to make peaceful contact with the Quietude during the Great Crusade. A society with that much Dark Age-era technology would be a huge boon to the Imperium. The Quietude attacked the contact team without provocation and vivisected the survivors. Seeing the state of the rest of the galaxy, particularly the near-absence of common Dark Age technology like A.I. (which made the Imperium seem downright backwards to the Quietude), the Quietude considered themselves the only true successors to the Great and Bountiful Human Dominion and the rest of humanity as nothing more than devolved savages.

Russ and Bjorn were quite angry. Russ in particular. He wanted to rain nuclear fire on them from orbit, smash their ships and pitch them into the nearest gravity well, topple their orbital dockyard and drop it on the capital city and hunt them down to the last man, take any sufficiently unaugmented women as war-brides and adopting any children and dependents. Yes he promised after the Scouring of Skand Wars that he and his people would never do this shit again and the tradition would be retired but he felt the Old Ways could be brought out again just for this one special occasion. They had insulted the Imperium, they had insulted his Legion and he had friends in the contact team and he knew that they died badly.

In the end the Steward managed to calm him down enough to call him off and the Olamic Quietude dodged a bullet. The Imperium would have won, in time, but the cost would have been astronomical. Despite being restricted to a handful of planets, of which only their frozen homeworld was inhabitable in the strictest sense of the world, the high tech base of the Quietude and their ability to restore from backup would mean it would cost numerous Imperial soldiers to permanently kill one Quietude one. It would have been a bloodbath, and would have been all for a world that had little to no strategic or resource value whatsoever. The Steward told Russ the next time the Quietude attacked the Wolves he would allow them no quarter.

As a result, the Imperium adopted a cold war quarantine policy towards the Olamic Quietude. Quietude ships in Imperial space are shot on sight as well as vice versa. Thankfully, although the Quietude had warp capability they weren't expansionist and didn't seem interested in expanding beyond the dozen or so nearest worlds to their frozen homeworld. The Quietude initially believed that the Imperium would implode. They weren't the first big interstellar empire that had arisen around them. All the others had died, this one would too. By the time it looked like they were here to stay it was far too late for the Quietude to be able to do anything about it and claim what they saw as their birthright. To the Imperium the Quietude were, and would continue to be, a problem for later. The problem is that unlike the Adeptus Mechanicus the Quietude have no prohibitions on inventing so their technology is constantly improving. Sooner or later, the Quietude is going to have to be dealt with, as eventually the force multiplication of Quietude technology is going to outweigh the Imperial advantage of numbers.

That said, the Quietude have their weaknesses, even if they don’t project them to outsiders. First, they get screwed over by catastrophes just as badly as the Imperium does. When the War of the Beast broke out, the Quietude were hit just as hard as the Imperium and as such were in not position to take advantage of the weakened state. The Harrowing screwed them over. The death screams of the possible Man of Gold screwed them over. The Black Crusades screw them over. Every time they get screwed over their technology get knocked back quite a bit and they have to rebuild, not enough that they lose all their gains but enough that they have yet to reach the critical tech-levels they need to go on the offensive. Half the time they engage in brushfire hostilities and posturing with the Imperium it’s to prevent the Imperium from figuring out this little fact and wiping them out while they are weak.

Additionally, because the Quietude are not reproducing like organic humans, their population is gradually getting whittled down by attrition and each citizen of the Quietude controls an increasing proportion of the Quietude’s power base and processing power. So while Quietude tech base is increasing their population drops. This means that while it is difficult to kill a Quietude soldier, as time goes on the permanent death of a soldier represents a bigger loss to the Quietude. The obvious solution to this from the Quietude’s standpoint would be to grow more people, but that would mean the already existing populace would have to give up some of their bandwidth and processing power due to the increased population, which they aren’t interested in.

Ten thousand years later between the 12th Black Crusade, the increase in hostilities with the Necron Star Empire, and the appearance of tyranids on the other end of the galaxy, the Olamic Quietude sees the strains on an overtaxed and attacked on all sides Imperium. Despite being damaged by the 12th Black Crusade themselves, they smell blood in the water and are mobilizing for war.

They have taken the ancient listening posts on the worlds at the border, killing the crews and exterminating the service towns that grew up around them. They are very much prepared to take as much as they can while the Imperium is distracted elsewhere. Their fleets are assembled, their soldiery constructed and trained and they are going to methodically and meticulously take and settle and turn to war world after world until they take Old Earth. What will life be like under the Olamic Quietude? Nobody will ever find out. They don't leave survivors. At least none that the Imperium can find. Baseline humans and any human not of their realm are seen as some sort of tribal barbarian or primitive lesser animal. They have made so far no distinction beyond civilian or soldier, adult or child.

Ljot's Landing is an inhabited world not very far from the Olamic Quietude exclusion zone. Very similar to the Quietude homeworld in that it's a half frozen semi-wasteland. And it is a Fenrisian Colony, with a chapter of its very own. The call has been put out. The Valkyries are rising, the Wolves are awakening and Bjorn is at long last going to be allowed to settle the long, long held and unfulfilled grudge.

They killed everyone, the men, the women, the children, making no distinction between combatant and non-combatant except for the way they killed them. The soldiers were killed where they stood with their strange weaponry, leaving eerie ashen sillhouetes wherever the Quietude's weapons hit home. What they did to the civilians was worse, taking what they wanted, the brains, the spines, sometimes the internal organs, and leaving the rest. Butchered bodies half-buried under snow littered the fields and streets, at first resembling the bodies of dead animals, except for the fact that their corpses were mostly drained of blood and their wounds were made with the precision of a surgeon instead of the tearing marks of an animal. Even if they did not have enhanced senses the Space Wolves could have smelled them, reeking with that stale, clinical odor from being treated with so much antiseptics and antimicrobials that the bodies would not decompose naturally for months and the carrion birds would not touch them.

No one in the Imperium knows why the Quietude are doing this. The leading suggestion is the Olamics are taking the brains, lobotomizing them, and incorporating them into their neural network as extra processors as a twisted form of mercantilism. Throughout the history of humanity and other species people have often sought to circumvent the overexplotation of local resources by stealing them from someone else. Only in this case the resource in question isn’t gold, or wood, or land, but bandwidth via brains. Others point out the Quietude could easily vat-grown brains if they wished. It's possible if the Quietude tried to grow more brains those brains would be by Quietude law considered citizens, and therefore must be treated as people and not resources. But by Quietude standards outsiders aren't people and thus there are no such restrictions. On the other hand, maybe there is something specific they want from these brains, perhaps using the memories to gather information on what the Imperium has been up to. Or, perhaps, the Quietude are having fun. They butchered the people of Ljot’s Landing because it upsets the Fenrisians and the Think Tank remembers how enjoyable it was to vivisect the members of Russ’ diplomatic team thousands of years prior.

The Emperor isn’t happy about the situation, but he realizes just as the Quietude do that the galaxy is due to erupt into all-out-war any day now. The Quietude have to be taken out of the way now rather than later when they could potentially cost the Imperium the war by taking advantage of their weakened state or divert resources better used elsewhere. So the Vlka Fenryka are given the go ahead to wipe them out. Bjorn’s response? “By Hal, it’s about time”.

The Arkhan Confederacy[edit]

Arkhan is a planet whose greatest crime is being on the wrong side of history. A land of mini-mecha and aristocratic landowners, the Arkhan Confederacy declared their support for Vandire during the Imperial Civil War, in a sector that was deeply divided between Throne and Rebellion supporters. The inhabitants of Arkhan are known for their bitterness over the results of the Imperial Civil War, mostly because the surrounding planets never let them live it down. Even though in hindsight the more recent citizens of Arkhan agree with the general consensus that Vandire was a nut with good charisma, they still have grievances with what the pro-Thor planets did to them during the war, as well as the fact that the pro-Thor planets treated them like garbage afterwards. The area around Arkhan was home to some brutal fighting between Thor and Vandire loyalists, with both sides bombarding the others’ population centers from orbit. Sebastian Thor is not a popular figure on Arkhan.

Eventually this resentment reached a tipping point and in 861.M41 the planet rebelled. When the Imperium’s military response arrived four years later, they found the Arkhan Confederacy had been defeated by a counter-resistance of Imperium loyalists, who had overthrown the Arkhan Confederacy and established the more centralized Arkhan Dominion. The leader of the Dominion is a taskmaster, but he is also a devious, deeply unpleasant man. There are even whispers that he stoked the flames of resentment in order to seize power in the first place. He maintains order and keeps the planet politically stable, but many are worried his heavy-handed tactics are building more resentment and are likely to cause another rebellion. Unfortunately, Arkhan is a nowhere world out in the boondocks, and as long as people aren’t actively shooting at each other the Imperium is willing to begrudgingly look the other way.

From a meta perspective, the politics of the Arkhan system and the potential of stopping (or starting) another civil war are meant to be a plot hook for street level games (e.g., Dark Heresy).

Monarchia and the Word Bearers[edit]

Because the Word Bearers don’t have any special connections to Colchis in this timeline, the primary base of operations for the modern chapter is actually Monarchia of all places. Monarchia was constructed by the primarch Lorgar as a planned settlement, a Katholian “city on a hill”. It was intended to be a peaceful place demonstrating the ideals of Katholianism and a place where people of all faiths could meet and discuss their beliefs, because Lorgar loved debate and syncreticism and interfaith dialogue, believing all reasonable religions to ultimately stem from a universal truth (even if he did keep trying to reinterpret and cram everything through his Katholian worldview, for example reconciling the existence of the eldar pantheon by claiming they were archangels sent by God to watch over the eldar in the same way that biblical angels were sent to Earth and that all reasonable non-idolatrous faiths had their ultimate origins in Quolious). When the Word Bearers split into chapters the eponymous chapter got Lorgar’s planned city as their base. Because the Steward wasn’t as offended by the idea of religious institutions in this timeline (as long as they weren’t worshipping Chaos or him), Roboute Guilliman was never ordered to burn Monarchia.

Unfortunately, the existence of Monarchia did offend the Taskmaster of Shaa-Dome, who considered the Katholians’ “city on a hill” to be blasphemy and the Katholians themselves to be idolaters raising temples to venerate “false gods” (i.e., any god that wasn’t his beloved waifu Slaanesh). This was some time after the Great Hunt or early Black Crusades, Lorgar may have still alive and the Imperium was somewhat reconquered after the Beast. The Taskmaster would have taken the system and desecrated it during some gathering of the Conclave or something similar, making a point to enjoy the ravaging of the beautiful central hive himself. The Taskmaster's restraint, vanishingly rare in all other Slaaneshi, ensured there was a small population of Monarchians that survived relatively unmolested as it was his intention that they carry forth word of the deeds they witnessed. Some effort might have been made to permanently taint the world and system, but when the Word Bearer descendants were ready to respond in force the Taskmaster promptly returned to the palace in the Eye, and let the stragglers leaving the afterparty face the vengeful Imperial guns.

Yeah, I can imagine the first sacking was some time after the Great Hunt or early black crusades, Lorgar may have still been alive (he lived to 1100) and the Imperium was somewhat reconquered after the Beast. The Taskmaster would have taken the system and desecrated it during some gathering of the Conclave or something similar, making a point to enjoy the ravaging of the beautiful central hive himself. The Taskmaster had every reason to make Slaanesh a hated foe of Imperial religion, their candlelight gods are useless but it lends towards the Prince of Pleasure's intention to become the subconscious archenemy of the Imperial couple. Provoking (raping and razing) the church(es) is an excellent way to be denounced extra hard as a god of sin. The Taskmaster's restraint, vanishingly rare in all other Slaaneshies, ensured there was a small population of Monarchians that survived relatively unmolested as it was his intention that they carry forth word of the deeds they witnessed. Some effort might have been made to permanently taint the world and system, but when the Word Bearer descendants were ready to respond in force the Taskmaster promptly returned to the palace in the Eye, and let the stragglers leaving the afterparty face the vengeful Imperial guns. The Taskmaster’s desecration of Monarchia was so thorough that the Word Bearers became a fleet-based chapter in the aftermath, as Monarchia could no longer support a fully-staffed Space Marine chapter.

For nearly fifty years the Word Bearers existed as a fleet based chapter, bringing the good news of civilization across the Imperium (as in, secular proselytizers in space). That stopped after the Battle of Neo-Babylon (or Bablyon II if a more sci-fi name is required). Neo-Babylon sent out a general call for aid against an invasion and the Word Bearers were one of the Astartes chapters that responded. All 2,500 of them at once. The Word Bearers were commended for their aid but the Imperium was confused why the Word Bearers would drop everything and come to Bablyon II, not even leaving a token guard present at their homeworld. When the Imperium learned the truth they were floored. The destruction of Monarchia had slipped through the cracks of the Administratum and the Word Bearers had been too stoic and humble to make enough of a fuss. The news filtered its way up to the Master of the Administratum and the Steward, who order them to go back and rebuild Monarchia (providing funding to rebuild ostensibly as a reward for saving Neo-Babylon). Having a first founding chapter be effectively homeless is an embarrassment and unacceptable to the Imperium.

They finished rebuilding just in time for Arrotyr and the Scions of the Old Helm to show up. Arrotyr heard that the Taskmaster had sacked Monarchia in the name of Slaanesh and didn’t want anyone to get the idea that there's a Chaos God more important than THE BLOOD KING OF THE GALAXY. Though attacks on various other emblems of Imperial religions would be locally devastating at worst and hard fought defenses at very best, he eventually broke off, maybe having hounded the Word Bearers, maybe having mockingly avoided them in their exile from Monarchia. Then after its rebuilt and restored, bam, Arrotyr shows up to argue the merits of worshiping King Khorne with the rite of system wide bloodshed, fire, and war, because he's a colossal dick.

The Taskmaster would have actually moved on to other things. Always more ships to order built in Shaa-Dome, entreaties for the favor of princedom to screen, soulstones to grind up for master to snort, etc. so the Taskmaster had nearly forgotten about Monarchia in the first place but nobody, except possibly Be'lakor, holds on to a grudge or a perceived slight like Arrotyr.

Monarchia was rebuilt. Again. As of M41 Monarchia is a hive city now. A very large hive city. The first Monarchia was designed with all effort put into making it a nice place to live and defense as an afterthought. It was in its way an architectural marvel and in some distant possible future when war is just a memory it design choices would have been copied across the galaxy. But it was easily defended.

New Monarchia was far more formidable and had elements taken from Perty's designs and innovations discovered since. Arrotyr had to work for it. New Monarchia was not as devastated as the first city was and there were enough survivors left to rebuild and legitimately claim continuity. 3rd Monarchia was rebuilt stronger again.

Only a fool would go to Monarchia now with hope of an easy victory. Lorgar was pleased with the results even if reaching them was a price he believed nobody should have to pay.

The surface of Monarchia outside of the primary hive is not as messed up as Armageddon or Cadia, not actually a deathworld, but scarred. It was visited millennia ago by the prime agents of two hostile gods, Slaanesh's majordomo and Khorne's foremost commander. Even without the massive occult power that implies either one could arguably be the most heavily armed (former) mortal in the galaxy, boasting personal command of forces only rivaled by the fleets and armies united in singular purpose under Oscar in acts as Warmaster. Both are known for massive gestures in their gods' names and the physical signs of these acts would be hard to cover, even long after any curses or horrible blessings are dispelled, the only thing being to let erosion and reforestation, flooding and tremors, slowly make it fade away.

Terranis[edit]

In the original story Terranis survived, barely. I suggest we keep it like that. The 'Nids couldn't eat the planet because every time they got a digestion pool and giant drinking straw arrangement set up something unfortunate kept happening to it and the only way to stop that from happening was to exterminate the last of the Terranites, which was proving difficult in the extreme.

The rest of the Imperium just assumed that Terranis was dead. They lost contact with it 20 years ago and their only curiosity about the place was why the Shadow in the Warp was still there 20 years later, but unless they were prepared to travel to the edge of the Shadow and spend decades to centuries at sub-light trying to reach the planet they couldn't know. And they always had better stuff to divert those sorts of resources to. Sadly resource diversion and interstellar level triage was why Terranis was left for the 'Nids in the first place, Terranis was deemed an acceptable loss in the grand strategy. The Kriegers sticking around was them either not getting the orders, being used as a diversion or just being characteristically stubborn/uncooperative.

'Nids remain on Terranis and in Terranis orbit for the better part of 40 years before the Terranites and Krieger forces bleed them dry beyond the point where they can maintain the Shadow. Then the one remaining astropath on the planet sends out a brief report on the situation and the Imperial brass is absolutely fucking dumbfound. That planet was written off as "unsalvageable" even with off-world help. It should not be alive. It shouldn't have been capable of resisting. They really shouldn't be getting any sort of report from the place. It sure as shit should not have been winning a game of attrition against the Dread Star Locust. But it is. A 'nid siege was a race against time based on how much materiel they had left versus how much biomass the 'nids had. You can only have so much explosives to blow up the drinking straws and you are essentially playing chicken as imagined by Dorn and Perturabo where either the hive ships starve to death or you run out of bombs. The Derivatives said 'fuck that' and improvised fresh explosives from tyranid bodily fluids. Some of those are pretty volatile, use the homebrew for the artillery and mines, use the vintage stock for the big shit like the capillary towers and dread the day when you have to try and make a 'nid snot bob big enough take one of those fucking things out. It won't let shit last indefinitely unless you can also make the artillery shell of out actual shells (maybe they can) but it could help you last a lot longer.

Which is not to say that the Terranians would have it their own way. The 'nids are nothing if not adaptive and although they can't stop making volatile mucus and still have useful weapons they wouldn't be limited to ripper variants. After the first few failed attempts to eat the bastion cities and the thining of the ground forces the Hive mind will either send down one or more Norn Queens to spawn an army locally to cut down on travel time and extending resources on space-to-ground pods or they are going to start spawning legitimate creatures rather than weapons. SHit with digestive systems and reproductive organs and the ability to survive for extended periods of time. This is also assuming that the Terranians absolutely salted all the earth everywhere when the planet became irretrievably tyrannoformed. Which they probably did quite effectively because when it comes to fucking up a planet down all the way back to pre-terraformed state whilst still living on it the Kriegers have prior experience. 'Nid fleet can't go because it'll starve to death in transit if it can't recover the expended bio-matter and it can't do that until the bio-matter stops planting IEDs on it's drinking straws and gets digested properly. Maybe if it hadn't been so effort/resource conservative when it first arrived shit would have gone down different but it had no way of knowing the tried and tested maximum efficiency method would be insufficient this time. It does highlight a rather funny weakness in the tyranids though. When the tyranids begin to digest the planet most of their biomass, including the warrior forms, is tied up in the digesting pools. The Hive Mind can't give commands to the pools like it can to the hive ships and bioforms so the ground is being held by a skeleton crew. In theory by this point all non-tyranid life on the planet is dead anyway so it doesn't matter. But if not...well you get Terranis, and all the Hive Mind can do to compensate is pupate new bioforms out of the rippers lying around. If it were a larger Hive Fleet that could spare more resources Terranis would have been in big trouble.

Imperium send in an Ordo Xenos team with Deathwatch accompanying them to confirm that this isn't a clever ruse. They find a planet knee deep in 'Nid chitin and the ground stained in xeno blood. It looks a bit like Cadia, a bit like Krieg and a lot like Hell on the day they couldn't get the fires to light. And amidst the carnage and corpse fields continents wide they find the bastion cities, Krieg away from Krieg. But also not Krieg. It's like Krieg but Krieg made human, humanity restored to the Kriegers. Everybody is masked and uniformed, and then you see this mini-kriegers giggling. All is dusty and gloomy but you hear music in the distance. And old and crippled Krieger that somehow has survived is telling tales about the wider Imperium. They are survivors that don´t lose the hope in the face of an unbeatable enemy. If people send to Krieg end depressed, in Terranis find what really means being an imperial citizen. They will never surrender, not even faced with the Armageddon, because they are the last light in the galaxy.

It's real fucking difficult to tell Kriegers from Terranites and among the mixed children, referred to by the old Kriegers as the Derivatives, the distinction is meaningless.

Most people will be a more than a little perplexed with the Derivations. Even kriegs will not understand what the fuck has happened. They have survived an impossible situation. Yeah, they seem like the standard Kriegers, but they are not. Remember that they don´t have vitae-wombs. They have families and a home that they love. Where the kriegers are a bunch of nihilistic fellows, these guys just plain and simple has adapted to a death world. They probably fight with tactical acumen as an attrition war against nids is a fucking nightmare. They hold the line an then return with their families. True, like the kriegers there aren´t civilians in their culture... but they have a culture, is only that their is extremely militarized, and that is not that rare in the ND galaxy. They have a lot in common with other deathworlders troops like the Catachans, that just plain simple has adapted. Esencially, a less sugary version of the guys from Love and Krieg.

For the old Inquisitor Kryptmann, on one hand he would really, really love them. Terranis derivations are absolutily fantastic: The devotion of the Kriegers. Tactical acumen. Better liked by the Ad-mech for not having to use Vitae-wombs. Probably partial immunity to nids toxins. Smell genestealers cults and probably know like a million of recipes to eat them and cook them and turn them to weapons. They are the childs that he never fathered. Probably Terranis is the only place in that he can feel like home. On the other hand, the idea of basically becoming the tyranids to defeat the tyranids would be disgusting and he would have a first hand look at the kind of arguments people are making in the Imperial Army that soldiers need to be more like Krieg. As proud as he is of his unfathered children he doesn't want to force others to become as shit as him.

For the first time since the Civil War there is internal dispute on Krieg. Are these Terranite people Kriegers now? Are their half-breed children? Are the old veterans who were born on Krieg still Kriegers? Are the old veterans renegades or are they some glimpse that salvation is possible? Is this the rain washing their sins away?

Kriegers don't have violent disputes among their own kind any more outside of practice wars. But they have also had no real differences of opinion since the end of the nuclear war either. The rest of the galaxy is in constant uncertainty but they have always prided themselves on being the immovable center of certainty. They have always been 100% sure on what they are, what everyone else is and on what to do about it. But now the generals can't agree on a subject despite all having all of the same available facts. It's hard to tell because the regiments continue to operate as freakishly well as always but the upper layers of the Stratocracy get really fucking nervous when you mention Terranis. Of the planet Terranis itself in 999M41, the Imperial Army has arrived in force. They can spare the numbers now. The orbiting bioships were malnourished and weak and were cut down by the navy assets with little trouble and the ground forces are landing in the cleared areas and killing fields around the bastion cities. The standstill has tipped, the siege is lifted and across the planet the Tyrannids are being hunted down and hounded to their stinking holes and nests. Terranis is being cleansed and already the Administratum is drafting plans for it's rebuilding.

Terranis held.

Now that the 'nids danger has passed, The only true resource is a lot of experienced badass soldiers. So they, like Catachans fight because his people back home need the resources. It's only been 30 years so most of the more durable and non-organic shit from their old civilization will be left behind. They can salvage to get a boost with the whole rebuilding society thing for short term gains but the planet is going to need the attention of the AdBio for terraforming work. Thankfully it still has a breathable atmosphere so there must be enough normal biological action in the sea and soil at the microscopic level to sustain it. Maybe it won't take that long. Give it 30 years and the toxins will have broken down and planting of plants to see what will grow and what won't can start. 30 years after that and the background radiation will be getting low enough across the least nuked areas to be considered "almost safe". 30 years after that and it will only be the worst salted areas that are no-go.

In 200 years Terranius could be a Civilized/Agri-world with good martial traditions. Not long after that and they can be paying full tithe rates.

Terranis and the Hrud[edit]

The inhabitants of Terranis are less xenophobic than the Kriegers, largely due to the actions of the Hrud.

The Hrud were a godsend on Terranis once the siege begins, because they essentially granted the human populations immunity to Tyranid infiltration. Hrud are quite defensive of their homes, and even if they are able to slip around any tyranid organism through their spacial folding the Hive Fleet takes the air and water and everything else living when they leave a planet and Hrud need to breathe same as everyone else. Hrud are also very good at sniffing out Genestealer cults, with many of their seemingly random killing sprees being revealed to be eradication of a genestealer presence, which on a world where the Hive is getting desperate because the usual maximum-efficiency tactics aren't working would start seeking alternate means of disrupting the local defenses.

Once, at the beginning, the defenders were angry and on edge whenever the Hrud would suddenly and violently pulp a seemingly random person on the spot. Then they started getting the reports of outposts devastated by someone seemingly going rogue, of genestealers passing as human long enough to weaken defensive lines right before a Tyranid attack, and of parasite forms that would latch on to a host without them ever knowing, showing no signs before they spontaneously erupted with dozens of tiny chittering lifeforms eating their way out from inside the unsuspecting host.

The Hrud have learned since then too. Rather than the immediate violence towards the affected, they just glide into the mess hall or the barracks and gently tap the unfortunate soul on the shoulder, and the message is clear. They whisper quiet goodbyes and distribute their gear, then stand up and leave with the Hrud, the rest of their gear being returned for sanitation later.

Their bodies cannot be recycled into food for their remaining fellows- Untainted organic matter is at a premium, but they are no longer untainted. Instead, their biomass is used to make Saltpeter and bait for traps against the roaming hunters, a primitive system that nevertheless allows them to aid their comrades one last time, screaming defiance against the tide of flesh from beyond the grave in one last brilliant flash of fire and force and spite, a gout of light against the darkness before fading to ash and smoke that are useless to the all-consuming foe.

As a rule, the Hrud aren't reliable. However, Terranis is possibly the only instance in which they make an exception to that rule. They're not workers, of course, they're not helping maintain the equipment and by and large they're still oily and evasive as all hell to the point where even vague estimates of the local numbers are impossible to form. The caveat is that any Hrud's number-one priority is the survival of the Hrud, and when faced with tyranid Armageddon, the survival of the Hrud is directly linked to the survival of the human populace.

It's not that the Hrud aren't useful, it's that they aren't reliable workers. They don't keep timetables, they kind of follow orders but their attention span is not brilliant and the only ones who they make any effort to cooperate are the tribal elders of their kind. The elders can ensure that there is one obedient hrud at the checkpoints and gatehouses at all times but they can't guarantee that it's the same one so you're constantly having to train new staff. Also the space folding thing they do is unnerving as balls to watch and they are secretive little bastards by nature. People also used to complain that they never took the hoods off to be identified but then one day after much asking one did and it was a fucking horrifying cross between a xenomorph and a cockroach. After that people stopped asking them for facial identification. Not that identifying them is needed to ensure that they aren't tainted, the hrud are if anything more thorough about purging hrud genestealers than human ones.


They can't get ordered out on scouting missions, but they still show up and warn about incoming Tyranid waves. They can't be ordered to man the checkpoints, but they tend to hang out by them anyways, sometimes only revealing their presence when they detect an infiltrator. They are not organized beyond the loosest interpretations of the word, but they are creatures inclined to flight before fight who have nowhere to run, and that desperation if nothing else leads them to be more helpful than their kind usually are.

Also the fact that everybody is wearing gasmasks all the time helps mitigate the ssaak; doesn't stop it completely, since it's not entirely physical, but does enough to slow it down that the normal rotations of the garrison keep most of the troops from suffering more than minor side-effects.

Also they steal unattended things. Not anything of real value but they are a nuisance.

The Terranites still have no idea exactly how many Hrud are on Terranis beyond "more than we thought". Before the war they thought there weren't any so that's not very helpful.

In a way, the fact that the Hrud are so repulsive and reviled makes the fact that the Terranites are practically cordial with them an even greater source of discord for the pure Kriegers. It's not just any filthy xenos that they're accepting of, but the one considered more pest than people by the majority of people in the Imperium.

As for the Terranites, anyone who survived the Hive Fleet by their side is all right by them, and the fact that the Hrud would bring them information that normally would have cost them precious lives and kept their strongholds secure goes a long ways towards fostering good sentiments. They're all brothers and sisters of the muck and filth, after all, and the tunnels that became many of their bases of operations were once the Hrud's homes.

More interesting is how the Hrud of Terranis were affected, and how the rest of the Hrud would see them. The hrud see themselves as a collective, with no social divisions between them, but the Hrud from Terranis are putting this ideas to the test as much as the Derivatives are for Krieger philosophy. The rest of the galaxy might not notice the difference, but to the rest of the Hrud the Terranis stock probably seem reckless and borderline suicidal.

Aloh'Eur'ii[edit]

A.k.a., the Tau colony world in Nemesor Zahndrekh's Gidrim Dynasty.

The Tau Empire and Aloh'Eur'ii have been intentionally kept unaware of each other by the Imperial Ambassador and her team for the simple reason that nobody would be happy if they found out. The Tau Empire would not gain anything from laying claim to them beyond mild expense re-uplifiting them. The Yokel-Tau would not survive as a culture and would not be happy under The Empire having grown in a completely different direction and the Nemensor wouldn't be happy if someone tried to take his least shit planet from him because of he offered a safe haven to a bunch of primitives and the primitives won't leave a planet they have invested so much time and effort into working. What we do know:

  • That they are the descendants of early colonists in one of the lost colony ships and as they have been separated from the Tau Empire since then they have not benefited from any new technological developments and are still using tech not too much far advanced from 20th century Earth, bar recently imported toys.
  • Their world was described as the more habitable of the two inhabitable worlds in the Nemesor's Estate but that's not a great achievement as the other one is very borderline.
  • They have abandoned the caste system due to the limited gene-pool and have interbred to the point were they wouldn't easily fit into the modern caste system.
  • The Nemensor occasionally visits them in an official capacity to remind them that he still exists and this is still actually his planet. They pay some minimal and mostly symbolic tribute as they don't have anything particularly valuable.
  • They aren't aware of anything in the Tau Empire since the date they lost contact with it and the Tau Empire is totally unaware of their existence and considers the lost colony ship ancient history long since dead and buried.

Aloh'Eur'ii (which means "cold wind, bitter tears" in Tau) is an ancient Necrontyr world, and given how close it is to Zahndrekh's home it must have been at least sparsely populated as it does have an atmosphere, then it would have been a potential target for Old One and their servants to attack. Also Zahndrekh never set up his home there so that would imply that it was never a particularly nice place even before the Old Ones wrecked it and as the Necrontyr had a high discomfort threshold then it must have been really shit. Gidrim by contrast might have been pretty verdant before the War in Heaven broke it and the subsequent ~65,000,000 years of neglect.

And it is barely inhabitable for Tau who are native to a slightly arid but warm planet. To this end I'm going to suggest that the planet is shit because it looks like the arse end of Antarctica. It's cold and wet and for an added bonus the ozone layer is a bad joke. There is life on the surface, the flora caps out at a bit of hardy moss and the most exciting fauna is a beetle looking thing the size of a human thumbnail that moves very slowly and eats moss. There is also a bit of pink algae in the ice and a type of worm that very slowly corkscrews through the ice.

The sea is a little more interesting. There are crabs and snails and other invertebrate life but nothing as complex as a real fish. The local Tau eat mostly the kelp and seaweed and reserve snail and crab for special occasions. Thankfully the snail-like creatures grow big enough and have enough fiber material in them that their skin can be used for making clothing out of and they typically have enough fat and oil content that they can make fire from them with a bit of effort. One of the things Nemensor Zahndrekh donated to them out of charity was fresh, warm insulation cloth thus instantly gaining their trust.

The planet has no axial tilt or moon so there is no tide or seasons. One day is much like another; shit. The hydro system is minimal and most of the fresh water is holed up in ice caps at the unnecessarily large poles The life forms on Aloh'Eur'ii seem to be derived from two prior existing ecosystems that have either evolved in total isolation from each other or many species have been imported from elsewhere after the initial terraforming work was done. Many of the lifeforms have genetic markers consistent with life found on other old Necrontyr worlds but the others show resemblance to Tarellians. It can be assumed that either the Necrontyr took and inhabited a former Old One colony or simple cross contamination occurred accidentally. After so many eons without record it's now impossible to know.

The Tau are better off now than they were. When Nemensor Zahndrekh found them they were still living in the disassembled remains of their original colony ship with a few outbuildings and extensions made of local stone, using technology they couldn't reproduce or replace, gradually dwindling away. Nemensor Zahndrekh did offer them far more than they would take, they had their pride and didn't know him yet. Indeed their ancestors set out from the homeworld before the Tau had made first contact so the notion of alien intelligence was still pretty world shaking.

As it stands now the Tau have the ability to replace most of the tech that they are using, very slowly and carefully. They have mines and a few workshops and processors. Their population is on the increase and they have several satellite settlements, each as bleak seeming as the original landing site. Sometimes they will wonder about the old homeworld their ancestors set out from but it is a distant event, many generations removed from living memory or relevance.

Of the Tau themselves they are physically distinct from the main branch Tau lines. They hail from a time when the differences between the castes was not yet as physically noticeable due to centuries of gentle eugenics. The original colony expedition contained mostly Earth Caste as the colony was supposed to be set up, become self sufficient quickly and wait several years at least for the next wave of settlers to arrive as this was in the early days of Tau interstellar travel. Nevertheless, there was a triumvirate of Ethereals, their Water Caste scribes and administrators, a few Air Caste messengers and pilots as well as a detachment of Fire Caste enforcers. The presence of the Fire Caste being in the event of social breakdown caused by extreme conditions on the intended target planet rather than as a deterrent to pirates or raiders, sapient aliens still being a theoretical possibility rather than an accepted part of life at this stage of Tau history.

In appearance the Tau of Aloh'Eur'ii mostly resemble Earth Caste with broader feet, more prominent cheekbones, a generally broader build and slightly stubbier fingers. It is unknown if this is a direct multi-generations long adaptation to the constant cold or if it is just a fortuitous result of the various breeds of that species mingling into a new form.

Society is built around resource conservation, thrift and sustainable long term planning using principles set out by the original triumvirate for the simple and inescapable reason that anything else would have gotten them all killed centuries ago. Life is short and hard which is a good way of describing the people that have had to adopt it. Although in some ways the comparison is not apt, life is also harsh and unforgiving which is an unfair comparison with the Tau of Aloh'Eur'ii as since the arrival of the Nemensor they have been very welcoming of outsiders, if nothing else it broke the sense of utter isolation they were feeling.

The capital "city" of Aloh'Eur'ii now that it is not alone as a settlement has been named Sho'aun'or'es as it can either mean the heat of a reactor or can be used to mean general sources of power. Either direct translation works as it is both the source of planetary authority and the city and especially the dwelling places are all huddled around the ancient colony ship's reactor for warmth.

Cherys[edit]

After the Dark Wedding the Dark Eldar were not the only ones who made an exodus from Commorragh. Before the Dark Wedding Commorragh, specifically Null City, was a mecca for all sorts of ne’er-do-wells unwelcome in the Imperium for their criminal behavior yet with enough common sense to avoid buying into the brain-rotting madness of Chaos, ranging from enterprising Slaugth to human pirates to rogue non-Dark Eldar corsairs to Sslyth mercenaries. Those who were satisfied with “mundane” crimes like piracy, slavery, and trading in illicit goods and doing whatever they wanted rather than the insane fanaticism and cultish behavior of Chaos, much like the Dark Eldar (who do commit depravities for depravity’s sake, but because they want to rather than to impress some gods). Null City is still home to significant populations of xenos pirates and mercenaries, but quite a few of those that could leave jumped ship or tried to find a new place to ply their wares having seen Vect’s marriage to Malys as a portent of things to come. In the immediate aftermath of the Dark Wedding in addition to the Dark Eldar refugees who thought it better to throw themselves on the mercy of the Craftworlders than let Malys drag them into hell the Imperium also had to deal with a sudden influx of pirates and vagabonds trying to carve out their own little hideaways in the galaxy now that their old port of call was no longer “safe”.

One such case was the world of Cherys. Cherys was a world that was cut off from the rest of the galaxy for nearly 500 years by bad warp storms. Only the really old humans and some of the eldar even remember when they were actually part of the Imperium. System is not that bad, plenty of mineral wealth on the moons and asteroids. By some quirk there are no solid planets as such, just 8 gas giants ranging in size from one of them being a brown dwarf and the smallest about the size of Neptune. Imperium was going to colonize the shit out of the place because there are a dozen moons about the size of Earth with lots of water ice. Therefore great for colonizing. Set the place up as an industrial and bread basket hub and use it to send out hundreds of on-site built colony ships into the rest of the unclaimed sector, in the following 1,000 years they were hoping to set up hundreds of colonies and eventually have it become an entirely new sector (uplifting and/or offering the hand of friendship to any civilized being that the encounter in the process).

They got as far as building a Ramilies-class Starfort with the great distinction of it actually having been designed by Architect-Supreme Ramilies of the Ad-Mech. Then the warp went funny. Not funny enough to actually break through into real space but it was close and it kept ships away for 500 years.

A few years ago the weather improved and people started to say things like "remember that starfort we built? I wonder if it's still intact?"

Starfort is intact, it's also still inhabited. If it had been managed properly the whole system would be a small legitimate civilization all abustle with activity, industry and getting shit done. As it is it's a starfort that's kind of only half inhabitable and a few outposts on the moons an asteroids that support it, barely. Law and order broke down more or less immediately once it was isolated because the commander was stricken with a terminal case of what the medicae would call “idiocy” and nobody since has been able to get the gangs to work together or even just stop shooting at each other for more than a few hours at a time.


Then a band of Sslyth arrive from Commorragh pretty much as soon as the warp was safe to travel, they didn't risk taking the webway as they didn't leave the City of Sins on good terms. The original plan of just enslaving them all and forcing their way to power go out the window when it turns out the station has been horribly mismanaged and the residents are desperate for somebody with an actual brain take charge. The Sslyth manage to take over the last pockets of resistance about three months before an Imperial expeditionary fleet slid up along side it with proper military escort. They are going to salvage the original plan of pushing back the border and for that they need the station up and running. The scribes are all over the place talking to the locals about the last half a millennium and the Sslyth are freaking the fuck out because they are pretty sure that they saw a Battle Barge with the heraldry of the War Hounds on it and they are pretty sure they are on the "shoot on sight" category.

The Administratum adepts do eventually find them. They congratulate them on getting the place into some semblance of order, tell them that they will push the paperwork through to have them be the official civilian governing body for the system and ask them to give their regards to the rest of the Diasporex next time they come round this way. Sslyth end up slightly more confused than ever but nobody is shooting them and this is a deal they can live with.

The Sslyth are better rulers than you'd expect from Commorrites, but "better behaviour than the Dark City" is a pretty low bar to set, and this is on the fringes of the Imperium in the first place, so it's not exactly in the spotlight. Even official Imperial posts can be shady as fuck sometimes, just as long as it's within the Imperium's tolerance levels (no Chaos, no blood-sacrifices, keep your criminality deniable, ect.) and this would be on the lower end of that- on the surface. The Ssylth are still absolutely reprehensible by modern moral standards, but to the Imperium they're practically upstanding citizens, especially considering their past and current circumstances. There's still gang wars over territory, gun-trafficking, and all sorts of bad stuff going on in the station, it's just that it's basically "normal" crimes for the Imperium, rather than the balls-to-the-wall edgy shit of Commorragh.

To put it another way- the port is (unofficially) open to pirate vessels, but it is also open to Imperial vessels. Including Imperial warships that may happen to be in the area on anti-piracy patrols. In which case they're not going to leave their buddies out in the cold, they might not be able to save their ship and the poor sods still on it, but they'll cover for the crew who were still on station and put them up until the next ship comes along. Just need to get you putting on a show for the inspectors doing this little job over here, we'll even set you up for pay to make it convincing... and then two months later that crew has fallen into the exact same trap of getting comfortable with having regular meals, cleaning facilities, and an actual bed and the ones who haven't fallen for it and would cause trouble for the rest have wound up in one of the back-corridors of the station where the power isn't consistent with several stab-wounds in the back. And of course, if the Imperial officials happen to ask where any pirate vessels may have been headed when they stopped in...

Basically, they're in what feels like a mini-Commorragh, only with Inquisition and Imperial Navy instead of Vect and pirates instead of the various Dark-Eldar factions. The biggest difference is now they've actually got money in their pockets and reliable resources to use and sometimes the residents thank them and smile in ways that give them funny feelings in their chests that they don't understand.


It should be noted, this is not some grand master-plan of theirs. They've always been regarded as a bit of a doofus-crew by their compatriots, and have spent this entire time feeling like they're in way over their heads and just reacting to the latest "OH SHIT FUCK AHHH" thing that's landed on their doorstep. They're not stupid by any means, and they wouldn't have made it this long or been this successful if they were- if nothing else, they're excellent at problem-solving on the fly. It's just that they've got almost Ciaphas Cain-tier luck and a bad habit of being unwilling to give up whatever they've managed to get.

Case in point, their stance on slaving. These Ssylth don't engage in the slave trade and tend to crack down on it harshly and bloodily. It's not a matter of approval, they started out in the Dark City after all, it's their possessiveness kicking in. Any slave-trade on the station is dealing with Station-dwellers, and the station-dwellers belong to THEM, so taking them as slaves is basically stealing the Ssylth's shit. And no self-respecting Commorrite is going to tolerate anybody stealing their shit. Of course, this gets misinterpreted as them having a moralistic line they won't cross, so once again the whole situation is screwing them over.

When it comes down to it, they always side with the Imperium over their fellow pirates, but that's less loyalty and more a combination of "the Imperium's the one making this so profitable" and "Oh fuck they have so many guns we are not picking that fight." They are still pirates at heart at least that's what they keep telling themselves.


For that matter, the starport itself isn't the luckiest of places; aside from the whole "getting lost due to warp shenanigans," there's how everything collapsed because somehow an idiot was running the show when things went to hell, plus how things kept going wrong during construction with corridors not lining up correctly and prefabbed pieces somehow completely failing to fit together right. Nothing Warp-tainted, thankfully (the Imperium checked- thoroughly- when these issues kept popping up) but the end result of basically kitbashing stuff together and twisting corridor connections to get stuff to fit together meant that the general construction of the place, while static and thus given clearly-marked maps, is still an absolute nightmare to try and navigate through, especially for people who are used to the more organized overflow of most human constructions, where they started out orderly and then became a mess because of the bloat of too much stuff. This station was built messy from the start due to stuff just going wrong in the most annoying way possible.

There's rumors of a shrine to Murphy on the station. Nobody knows where or if it was there from the start, or got erected by somebody asking for mercy during construction or the period when the station was lost. They just know that attempting to get rid of it ends badly, and praying/making offerings is just asking for trouble.

Whether the shrine actually exists or not is ambiguous, but ultimately it does not matter whether it is real. It is equally as plausible that the shrine doesn't exist, but that people on the station are willing to believe it does because it would give an explanation for why things keep going sideways at Cherys. Then there's the possibility of it being a chicken-and-egg scenario; is the prevalence of things going wrong a result of the shrine, or is the shrine a result of all the bad luck that manifests on the station? Ultimately it's all academic, because the takeaway is always that the station seems to be a magnet for mishaps.

The more interesting case for the existence of the shrine is that, while the station is a magnet for mishaps, it's not necessarily a magnet for misfortune. Your plan is going to crumble to pieces, but there always seems to be opportunity mixed in. The Ssylth's plight is the perfect example of this; from their viewpoint, things have been going wrong and stayed going wrong ever since they arrived- or before, since they only found the station in the first place because their navigation got shot to hell while fleeing the Dark City and forced them to make a blind jump into the void. Despite that, they're better off than when they arrived, with steady income, positions of power, followers who would die for them, and even friends and allies. And all of this was not because they sought it out, but because every time things went FUBAR the solution to the problems would end up giving them good things on top of the even bigger problems it came with.

There's at least a couple of the Ssylth who are so adamant about still being mercenaries and bad people because they're terrified that if they admit what they've become and try to actually pursue their new purpose, the effect will reverse and they'll end up actually having to go back to being pirates.


Life on the port is... interesting. The Murphy-effect doesn't just affect the sneks, though they certainly seem to have gotten hit by it harder than most. At this point, it's somewhat normal for the residents, who don't really see anything too weird about it, and an outsider looking in wouldn't notice anything too glaring at first. Then they get to one of the station's worksites and find people with five different wrong types of connector that the workers go through until one of them inexplicably fits, backup tools are stashed in every crevice, and a normally-minor discrepancy with the power intake leading to everybody leaving the floor, seconds before the power-surge the discrepancy heralded wreaks havoc on the floor.

In other words, they've grown very good at anticipating unexpected dangers and working with the wrong materials. When they're off the station and out in the rest of the Imperium, this can come off as paranoia and obsessive-compulsive behavior, but on-station it's all completely justified.

As for Rogue Traders, of course they stop by, and several of them leave with hulls full of riches or powerful new crew-members or the like. This is because to them, the station is basically like a casino; Try your luck and see if you make it big! There's potential for profit here, a land of opportunity, but only if you're lucky enough! Some of them find that fortune in ways that basically screw them out of being Rogue Traders, others just get screwed, but they keep coming because they hear about the ones who came out better for it, and ignore the bit about how customer satisfaction is universally shit.


The station is a lot cleaner than you'd expect something getting run by the Ssylth to be. There's a number of reasons for this: First and foremost, the Imperium is not stupid and has ambitions for the area, so if the Ssylth had acted like typical Ssylth, they'd have gotten Blammed and replaced by either a Space Marine chapter or somebody more official. This band of Ssylth are well aware of this, and considering they're a bunch of dregs from barely-relevant houses, they'd be mincemeat against a Space Marine squad. Thus, they are very eager to not give the big bad Imperium a reason to come after them. This doesn't mean they avoid their standard shady shit, but they let it come to them rather than seeking it out, and keep it as quiet as they possibly can.

To give perspective, the main source of income, and the only thing they really had in place when the Imperium showed up, was the legitimate resource-harvesting the station was built for. True, they'd originally been intending the resources for building ships for themselves, but they've given up on that thanks to the dollar-signs the Imperium pays for it.

This pretty much characterizes the struggle these Ssylth have been going through; they set out to do something properly Ssylth-y, and then something screws it up so hard they end up looking like the good guys. Big pirate captain stops in to sell his booty? An argument springs up that ends with your blade in his neck right as an Imperial warfleet shows up, and you end up getting praised and collecting the bounty on his head. Slavers show up with fresh labor? Somehow you getting lost in the corridors with them gets interpreted as a liberation attempt, with one of the slaves happens to be a somewhat important person whose associates pay a good sum and offer a trade deal in thanks for his return.

Basically, they're villains going through a mid-life crisis of suddenly having 401ks and a business to run and suddenly being responsible adults rather than the freebooting teenagers they used to be. The scary part (for them) is that they've actually gotten comfortable with their new situation, even if they'll never admit it. They're still ready and eager for fights, and their first question on running into a problem is "can we stab it away?," but the number of times where they decide the answer is "yes" has been declining.

Some in the Imperium, particularly the Inquisition, have figured out the truth behind the Sslyth on Cherys. The general reaction to said discovery is apathy. The Imperium doesn't care who is running the planet as long as the population is revolting, they aren't Chaos/genestealer corrupted, and they pay the tithe. Indeed for the Imperium, it's something of a social experiment; eventually the point is going to come where the Ssylth have an opportunity and either take it and resort back to their old ways- in which case there's a contingent of War Hounds within the galactic area, cleaning up the mess will be relatively easy - or stick to their guns and continue on the course they're going down, in which case it will be an example of why the civilized Imperial method is the correct approach to the world, or something like that. Basically proof that redemption is possible if you choose to pursue it.


The rulers of Cherys are known as Aesymnetes. The Aesymnetes are elected tyrants as decided by the voters, though only certain people are allowed the right to vote. The members of the gangs that sided with the Sslyth in their hostile takeover all were given the privilege and many have earned it since. If you want to be able to vote you have to do something to benefit the station (and therefore the Sslyth). Those that can vote feel that their voices actually mean something and they have a stake in the station and it's well being, a stake that they will fight for. The non-voters typically also wish that they could vote and the ones with some get up and go will get up and earn it with service to the station, those that won't don't deserve it and probably aren't worth worrying about. The system is also completely rigged and there's a glass ceiling non-Sslyth can't get past. Sslyth didn't escape one master to becomes servants to someone else. They only have the vote because it makes people the illusion that their leaders rule with the consent of the masses as there aren’t enough Sslyth to forcibly impose law.

Three Sslyth in particular are currently in charge. Not coincidentally, these were the three Sslyth who managed to organize the ragtag bunch of people who originally decided to set out from Commorragh. Laerhi is smart and quick-thinking, having the most common sense and good at figuring out risk management- namely, how to avoid risks when possible and saddle somebody else with them when not. M'hoh is practically a savant when it came to planning and keeping complicated systems running- with the downside of being prone to overly-elaborate plans that nobody else could keep up with. Caer-Li is the "muscle" of the leaders, but while dumb by comparison, was charismatic enough to get others to go along with him, and thus was the one they tended to need to get their fractured band to cooperate with their latest escapade.


The Dark Eldar attempted to raid Cherys once. Emphasis on attempted. The Kabal was one the Sslyth knew, either having once worked for them or having fought them as mercenaries for another Kabal at some point. The Sneks worked for these "people" for a very long time. Knowing how they think and predicting their behaviour was a survival trait. The Dark Eldar come in expecting to encounter a lower end PDF. They leave the system with substantial losses and nothing to show for those losses, they return to their homes humiliated. The real kicker? They never even knew that the Ssylth were there. The outpost they went after had one Ssylth who never left any survivors to report back what they had seen.

This wasn't the first time that the Dark Eldar had gone on easy raids to Cherys in the 500 years of isolation. The place was practically a free range human farm crossed with a pick-and-mix. They haven't been back since as their reckoning of profit to loss no longer stack up favourably and there are softer targets elsewhere.

The Sslyth were still praised for it. If it wasn't for their take over security would have consisted of poorly trained gangs running protection rackets. Since moving in the Ssylth broke the gangs up, gave some of them them some degree of training who then trained others, formed them up into mixed squads, shored up defences and generally got them to take their jobs seriously. When the Imperium came calling they provided them with new las-rifles to replace or augment the supplies of 500 year old hand me downs and improvised home made shit and gave them some flack jackets and other really basic gear.

None of this would have happened if the Ssylth hadn't arrived, beaten everyone into shape and eaten the worst objectors.

Also Sekropss was especially well praised or leading the defences and turning the raid inside out. Sekropss is an extremely clever bastard. That wasn't even his real job, he was just keeping the seat warm for someone who was moulting, his actual job is trying to create a judiciary and the rules for a constabulary system from whole cloth.

Kiavahr[edit]

Megacorp hell. A planet entirely ruled by megacorps and other corporations, like a planet of maximum Shadowrun. At some point in time Corvus Corax and the Raven Guard applied a metaphorical spanking to their leadership to get them to rein in their more heinous and inhumane practices.

Raven Guard, when they first landed under the command of former downtrodden peasant Corvus, went absolutely ape shit about the place due to the conditions of the average pleb and the utter disregard those higher up the food chain had for them. They were seen as an exploitable, expendable and totally renewable resource and were therefore totally disposable once they had expended their usefulness.

Kiavahr was not yet contacted by Mars and so was not under the aegis of Mars. Corax gave them the opportunity and suggestion to amend their behaviour but the lords of Kiavahr laughed at his offer. Theirs was a prosperous system that had done well for itself in the anarchy of the Age of Strife and would be a valuable addition to the Imperium. It's carry on just fine how it was and Corax could deal with it. The lives of a few peasants and slum dwellers was worth by any measure what they were offering the Imperium. Corax, as soldier man of peasant stock, obviously wouldn't understand what it was to lead a functioning society to prosperity and should leave things beyond him to those better suited to the task.

At that point the lights started going out and shit started exploding.

The suggestions were made again to the surviving spire lords and the hastily elected new branch of CEO's in the same calm voice. This time they did not mistake his calm for meaning that he wasn't planning on killing them all on the basis that he'd eventually find a crop of lords more reasonable to his demands.

Kiavahr as it stands since then is still mega-corp hell with such government as exists composed of the heads of the biggest corps, but it's not as bad to live in. This isn't because the heads of the mega-corps are actually any nicer, it's because the Raven Guard set up shop on the moon of Deliverance in the old and exhausted mining tunnels. There are no slums on Kiavahr, the Tenements are about as far down as you can officially sink and although the tenements are not what you'd call pleasant you can live in them.

Tenement dwellings typically consist of a large sturdily built, but ugly, structure like a square colosseum but far larger. Tiered galleries of one room dwellings that can hold maybe four "comfortably" and six cramped. Communal toilets and wash houses are on every tier and are shared by the people living on that tier. There is a large communal kitchen and dining area in the centre on the ground floor.

Ground floor also contains a doctor's office and basic surgery, some shops for basic essentials, laundry and other such things.

This is where you end up when all else fails or you want to save money by living very basically. Because of the nature of Kiavahr society there are a lot more low end workers than any other group by a very great margin and the majority of the population (tens if not hundreds of billions) live in similar conditions.

Due to the Raven Guard recruiting from all strata of society weight of numbers demands that the overwhelming majority of the chapter were raised in these vast habitation structures and many still have family there. To this end the chapter acts, as well as an elite branch of the local Imperial Guard, as watchdogs for the poor.

Biggest complaint about Kiavahr for the lower classes is that the place is bleak and boring in the extreme.

Businesses can engage in all backstabbery and shitty underhanded behaviour they want, but if the peasantry get targeted by the nobility the nobility become a training exercise.

The Harlequin of Kiavahr
Deep in the underhives of Kiavahr there is a lone Harlequin. They have been down there quite some time and claim to have been forgotten there many years ago by the other members of their troupe. They claim to be stranded on Kiavahr, Kiavahr’s Webway gate is off-planet and they do not have the money to book passage on a spaceship.

To this end they are well known among the inhabitants of the underhives, always looking for people to help out with a job often of semi-legal nature, and by proxy finally earn them the money to get off Kiavahr. People in the underhives are always on the lookout for a well-paying job, especially in the megacorp hell that is Kiavahr. The Harlequin’s story is highly suspicious which sets off the well-honed sense of paranoia most gangers have, but they pay well. However, people can’t help but notice that most of these schemes in the long run seem to end up with most of the megacorps at each other’s throats and the worst of them gutted and have their dirty secrets dragged into the light.

In reality, the Harlequin of Kiavahr is a plant by Cegorach, to keep the megacorps of Kiavahr honest and feuding among themselves. The Harlequin could actually leave Kiavahr anytime they wanted, the tale of them being stranded is just their cover story. There is even the possibility that the individual changes from time to time but the role remains. The show must go on, after all.

Vordic-Taal (possibly needs new name)[edit]

There were many different religions on Carlos McConnell at the time of its discovery, but the most popular was some kind of ancestor worship, usually a form of syncretic paganism that picked and chose the best gods to worship out of whatever sounded interesting. One of the most popular was Camazotz, the goddess of warfare and the hunt (kind of like a mix between Bast and a Mesoamerican jaguar god) due to her portfolio’s universal appeal among the felinids. Camazotz worship is all about taking pride in your abilities and the nature of the hunt, honing your skills to a razor’s edge so you can be the best hunter you can be.

Following the arrival of Rogue Trader Carlos McConnell to the planet and the uplift of the People of the Islands from medieval to modern technological levels, Camazotz worship mostly declined in popularity but never completely went away, remaining popular among soldiers, law officers, and fishermen in particular. And, of course, the Continental Tribes, who retained more of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, still worship Camazotz fervently.

If you're thinking "this sounds an awful lot like Slaanesh worship", you'd be half right. Camazotz worship also involves a significant degree of self-restraint (often deliberately), never killing more than is needed, respecting the prey for its sacrifice, and giving up the best cuts of the prey for the good of all, something that would sound ludicrous to any excess-craving Slaaneshi. Camazotz is your stereotypical hunter god that in folklore shows up to kick the crap out of hunters that kill for pleasure alone and don't respect their prey. However, this does not mean the worship of one cannot be easily subsituted for the other.

One of the earliest attempts at setting up a felinid colony by Carlos McConnell was the Vorlic sytem, a primising system containing five potentially life supporting moons and one dead one. The Carlos McConnell corporation bankrolled the initial colonization effort but had almost no involvement in setting up the colony. They wanted self-sufficient colonies to ensure the felinids weren’t wiped out, but they didn’t want a bunch of worlds that needed the backing of the Rogue Trader group to get anything done (or worse, be a drain on their resources).

Almost immediately, things began going wrong. The felinids on the colonies began behaving increasingly aggressive, almost feral. Eventually, the five colonies declared open war with each other, igniting a conflict that lasted for nearly a decade. It was only when one colony travelled to the sixth dead moon of the planet that the “truth” of the matter was revealed to it and granted the power to subjugate the other colonies. I’m sure you can guess what that was.

Eventually, the Imperium wondered “what ever happened to that felinid colony” and sent an IG force to investigate. They ended up walking into a Slaaneshi-themed version of Predator being hounded by crazed felinids who only exalted and took pleasure in the kill, who worshipped a corrupted version of Slaanesh-as-Camazotz.

Other Notable Planets[edit]

Istvaan V - The Istvaan system was once inhabited by the Kinebrach several hundred thousand years before the rise to humanity. The Segmentum Obscurus was far outside of the Kinebrach's normal sphere of influence, and at some point they eventually abandoned the Istvaan system, leaving only their molecularly-superdense fortifications behind. Istvaan V was habitable, but was eventually terraformed further when the people of Istvaan III decided to expand further out into the stars. It was later scoured of life in a later (read: post-War of the Beast) battle. It's been suggested Nimina Demthring and the Conservators of Isha were the ones responsible.
Nostramo - A twilight Hive World, it was once a nightmarish hellhole until Curze used it as his thesis that his tactics could bring law and order to even the worst worlds. At one point Nostramo's main export was adamantium mining, but most of the mining industry dried up when it became apparent that any more risked causing what was left of Nostramo's surface to completely collapse. Today Nostramo is a rusted out world full of ancient derelict industry and home to an ancient, distinguished, but impoverished society that mostly services and provides recruits for galactic law enforcement. Nostramo's main export to the Imperium seems to be Arbites officers and precious little else.

Craftworlds[edit]

Biel-Tan[edit]

Surprisingly enough, despite being firmly in the "Eldar supremacy" camp, Biel-Tan is actually relatively pro-human. Biel-Tan's main problem with humans is that the humans (and to a lesser extent, some of the other Craftworlds) keep telling them to slow the fuck down. Biel-Tan is itching to reconquer the galaxy and rebuild the old empire and they're frustrated that humans can't go at the same pace as them. Biel-Tan believes that humans should keep up and that they shouldn't be told to slow down the warpath of their own empire. Or at least in terms of the younger ones. The Autarchs of Biel-Tan are old and wise enough to want brakes on the train but they're also cunning enough to let the Imperial Army high ups take the blame for it.

In other words, to quote one anon: "Space Noldor".

Saim-Hann[edit]

Saim-Hann doesn’t take defeat lying down. Leithon may have lost the initial challenge but he almost immediately challenged Russ to a rematch. He also overestimated his chances, expecting Leman to go down after a few swigs like the lightweight pansies he saw humans as. Humans can’t digest eldar alcohol and eldar alcoholic beverages are nasty by human standards due to the eldar’s genetically engineered immunity to poisons and the kind of alcohol Saim-Hann brews are considered gargle blasters by the rest of the eldar. He just had the misfortune to challenge one of the few people in the galaxy who could keep up with him, the guy who invented mjod because after his enhancements he considered all other forms of human alcohol to be too soft to do anything for him anymore. The contest was also far from one-sided, although Leman may have won he came really close to defeat and he knew it and considered any warrior capable of drinking him under the table to be a worthy opponent. The entire relationship between Saim-Hann and the Disciples of Kurnous/the Space Wolves and Fenris has been one huge competition of counting coup ever since.

Lugganath[edit]

In this timeline, Craftworld Lugganath is the Dark Eldar-hating Craftworld. As in canon, Lugganath are still trying to find a way to bring their Craftworld into the webway so they can rebuild Eldar civilization from there. The Webway would literally provide an infinite amount of space for the Eldar to grow and thrive away from the horrors of the galaxy. However, they realize that’s not going to happen so long as the Webway is being squatted in by their cocaine-snorting kin. Not only do the Dark Eldar make it impossible to live in the Webway long-term, they make Webway travel dangerous in general. So Lugganath wants to kick the lazy bums out. Lugganath was always kind uneasy about the Dark Eldar, but it got worse after the War of the Beast, where it became clear the Dark Eldar were willing to kill their own kind with impunity. Lugganath's end game could be that all permanent eldar habitation be moved to the webway but rather that one or just a few big cities like The Dark City they are working towards thinner spread with a "village" at each intersection, junction and crossroad. They help humanity and the others be masters of the Galaxy so long as the Imperium helps them become masters of their domain.

Yme-Loc and Valhalla[edit]

The comet that hit Valhalla was diverted this time by Craftworld Yme-Loc. By M41 Yme-Loc and Valhalla are in a very close relationship, like Ulthwe and Cadia.

Yme-loc gets a new neighbours, all the ice it could ever want and the eternal gratitude of the Valhallans.

Valhallans get their world saved, a new friends and someone to help them because 20ish years later the orks came.

Yme-loc helps them fight off the orks and they and the Valhallans get into an arrangement. Elder neighbours provide them with imitation las-rifles and other wargear as well as sharing any farseer predictions that look interesting. Valhalla provides food and soldiers.

Yme-Loc is ruled by a council of shipwrights. They have final say on most things not directly related to war. They are descended, in a spiritual sense if not biological, from the original bonesingers stationed on the pre-fall ship the craftworld grew out of.

They all set out from the dying of the eldar homeworlds with the intention of finding “The Promised Land”. When they rammed the comet and drifted into orbit of Valhalla the Autarchs demanded that effort be made to fix the engines for strategic reasons. The Shipwrights told them that they would waste no time on that. The boat was beached on the shores of paradise. They had reached The Promised Land. The failed invasion of the orks was seen as the trial of tribulations to see if they deserved to keep their new home.

By 999M41 nobody can quite tell where the craftworld ends and the comet starts as the eldar have been gradually sculpting their chunk of ice till it looks like polished slightly blue quartz. It doubles as space port, orbital defence platform and a very pretty moon.

Of Valhalla itself the population is at about twenty billion and stable. They dwell in the fortified hives originally designed by Perty in antiquity. Outside the defensive walls it’s all orchards, pastures and fields and with bountiful seas and picturesque beaches.

Notable Battles[edit]

War of the Beast[edit]

The Sacrifice of Argel Tal[edit]

In canon, what happens to Argel Tal? He transforms into a giant daemonically possessed monster that towers over primarchs and in some prophecies gets put down at the Battle of Terra (doesn’t happen, but still). So what happens in this timeline?

He transforms into a giant daemonically possessed monster, but one of a distinctly different flavor.

In canon, Argel Tal is from Colchis, that planet which is now a weird, religion human-eldar hybrid society in this timeline. Given the religious nature of Colchis, Tal joins the Space Marines and is enthusiastic about the possibility of joining the Word Bearers. Imagine his surprise when he ended up getting put in the War Hounds instead. He repeatedly tried to get transferred, but was talked out of it every time by Kharn and on occasion by Angron in his more lucid moments. Although they prided themselves on their martial prowess, the War Hounds were not the most peaceable legion, and Kharn and Angron liked how the calm, thoughtful Tal was able to play peacemaker between some of the more hotheaded elements of the legion.

During the War of the Beast, Kharn, Tal, and a group of War Hounds were on a mission to deliver some eldar artifacts to the Craftworld of Biel-Tan. Depending on the timescale of the war, it either was something they were assigned to do so before the war broke out or they were far enough away that the Imperium had resources that it could assign elsewhere. The Imperium had discovered what they believed to be an abandoned Craftworld, and were returning the artifacts to Biel-Tan as an effort of diplomatic good will. Kharn’s mind wasn’t really on the mission. Angron’s condition had flared up again and he had to return to Old Earth for medical treatment. The plan was to ditch the artifact at Biel-Tan and make all speed to Old Earth, especially as it was becoming increasingly clear as the war was going to be made or broken at the Sol system and the area surrounding it.

Then the ship carrying the eldar artifacts was attacked by the Fallen, led by Erebus. The Fallen managed to wrest control of the bridge and much of the ship, but the War Hounds had managed to get the drop on Erebus and take him prisoner. When they figured out that this was the little shit who had, among other things, convinced Luther to go traitor and was responsible for the whole problem with the Fallen in the first place, they realized this was big. They had to get Erebus off the ship and back to Old Earth, if for no other reason than to remove Erebus as a piece on the board. They didn’t have enough manpower to retake the ship, but they did have the ship’s Navigator and enough people to crew a small ship and there were a few small Warp-capable Cruisers docked at the aft of the ship (which they grimly noted with their losses would just about fit everyone left).

Problem is, the Fallen controlled most of the upper part of the ship, and so in order to get to the escape craft they would have to bypass most of the upper decks by travelling through the cargo hold. Which would have worked if they could have snuck by unnoticed, but the Fallen figured out their plan and came down on them from both sides. At about this point the contents of the ship’s cargo hold were revealed and Tal realized why the Fallen wanted this ship so badly.

Tal was from Colchis. He knew what a shard of Khaine was.

With the Fallen coming in from all sides and nothing else to lose, Tal called out to the statue, beseeching Khaine to hear his plea. No one knows why the Avatar responded to his call. Perhaps it was because Argel Tal was from Colchis, and thus knew all the old rites to supplicate Khaine. Perhaps it was because there were no children of Isha present, and as a Colchian Tal was the closest thing to an Eldar there. Perhaps the God of Murder just really wanted to murder somebody that day.

The Bloody-Handed one was eager to do battle with the servants of the Great Enemy once more. As there were no children of Kurnous and Isha around to serve as a suitable vessel for his glory, a child of Old Earth would have to do.

Argel Tal's avatar was less like a being of power and more like a volcanic eruption. Tal was a psyker, but he was a human psyker. If he had been an eldar psyker, with stronger, more stable psychic powers and a species connection to the Avatar of Khaine, he would have produced a normal avatar. Instead, Tal’s Avatar was a fucking mess. It couldn’t manifest the Wailing Doom, instead lashing out with molten, metal-dripping claws, and its body parts had the tendency to keep sloughing off. If a normal Avatar of Khaine looks like it’s made of magma, Tal’s looks like an ongoing nuclear meltdown.

Nevertheless, even this was not enough. The malformed Avatar of Khaine may have slain dozens of Fallen, but hundreds were close behind them. All Argel Tal could hope to do is hope to buy enough time for the remnants of the War Hounds and the ship’s crew to make it so safety before finally boiling down into a slag-ridden mess from a hail of bolter fire. If Tal had been an Eldar, the essence of Khaine would have returned to the Craftworld’s Infinity Circuity, to be safely reused for future generations. As it were, having bonded with a human the shard was disrupted and dissipated, burning up along with Argel Tal. It was Argel Tal and Khaine's bittersweet victory, spitting defiance in the face of the Dark Gods. The Fallen would be denied their shard of the Bloody Handed one.

aving escaped from the fray and made it to the safety of the hangar with the escape craft, Kharn grabbed Erebus by the scruff of his power armor and demanded to know what the point of all this was. Erebus, says there was a prophecy that said if Argel Tal was killed it would push Kharn over the edge and into the service of the Blood God. Kharn dragged him closer so the two are staring each other eye to eye and Erebus realized he’s made a terrible mistake. He realizes the way the event the prophecy meant would push Kharn over the edge would be BY KILLING EREBUS. He can see the gears turning in Kharn’s head, fantasizing about the best way to kill him.

But Kharn swore an oath to never again take a life in the throes of passion, and if he did it would make everything Argel Tal died for meaningless. The spark of madness dies down in Kharn’s eyes. Erebus thinks he’s dodged a bullet.

Then Kharn breaks Erebus’ back over his knee, paralyzing both his legs, leaving him sputtering around on the ground but very deliberately not killing him and leaving him within easy reach of the Fallen who could bring him to medical attention to heal his. Kharn turns his back on the foundering Erebus and shuts the door of the escape craft behind him. The last thing Erebus hears before the doors shut is:

“Tell your Blood God if he wants it so badly he can go get his own blood.”

None of the survivors ever spoke of what happened to Argel Tal beyond “he died holding the line”, for fear that it would leave unscrupulous sorts to try to replicate it.

Battle of Molech[edit]

The Battle of Molech during the War of the Beast was an important one, as Molech was located only a few light years from the Sol System, (about as far as Cthonia, if not a little closer) enough that one could reach it without warp drives. Molech was attacked by Ork forces under the command of Gharkul Blackfang, who destroyed almost all of Molech’s native population and wildlife. It is said that war is as much about the mistakes of the defeated as the strategies of the victorious. While the orks had the advantage of numbers, their victory was aided by some tactical blunders on the part of the Imperium as well. Forces of three legions were present on Molech: the Imperial Fists led by Alexius Pollux, the Void Wolves led by Abbadon, and the Death Guard led by Crysos Mortug. Morturg was recruited in the wake of the Rangda Xenocide and extremely grateful not to be cattle for maggots. Not actually one of the docile Thrall breed as his parents were recent captures, he was just a small child when the Imperium conquered Rangda. The Molech-born House Devine still fell to Chaos, but may not have played a major role and instead made life miserable for someone else elsewhere.

Pollux, Abbadon, and Morturg were all capable commanders on their own, but put them together and you get a complete disaster as they didn’t communicate very well and had radically different combat doctrines. Pollux was strategic but cautious and like most sons of Dorn liked to fight defensively. Morturg was an avid follower of Mortarion’s aggressive “no backwards step” tactics and once going just wouldn’t stop. He would have been right at home with the later Black Templars. Abbadon just wanted them to start applying Imperial boots to Ork heads and if he had to pick a side would have favored Morturg’s more aggressive approach. If they had picked one strategy they would have done a lot better. Instead the Death Guard rushed in, were surprised when the Imperial Fists failed to follow them as a second wave, and got picked apart by the Blackfang Marauders, all the while Abbadon is screaming at the groundpounders asking them what are they doing wasting the opportunity his void fleet is buying them. Due to their lack of cooperation they didn't make up for each other’s weaknesses by integrating their forces and instead had two distinct forces, each with a glaring weakness against the ever so manoeuvrable and mobile Blackfang Marauders.

Battle of the Fang[edit]

In late M32, the planet of Fenris came under attack from Skyrar and his Dark Wolves. After the disappearance of Leman Russ (who had forbidden messing with the Canis Helix and considered setting up the Fenrisian Colonies a “good enough” solution), the AdBio (who didn’t know the meaning of “leaving well enough alone”) and the apothecaries of the Vlka Fenryka had been continuing to tinker with the Canis Helix, in the hopes that they could expand the recruiting pool of the chapter beyond Fenris and its colonies. By late M32, they had a solution which in theory should work, which was enough to entice Skyrar to attack the planet.

Skyrar was particularly desperate to find a workaround to the typical problems of the Canis Helix. Given that the Canis Helix only works reliably on Fenrisians, Skyrar had had very few opportunities to recoup his losses since the War of the Beast and the Dark Wolves risked being wiped out through attrition unless something changed. Additionally, from Skyrar’s perspective it was perhaps the best time for him to attack Fenris. Russ had vanished over a thousand years before, and the second Chapter Master of the Space Wolves, Bjorn, another Canis Helix soldier from Old Earth who had known Skyrar personally, had since been interred in a dreadnaught. The current Chapter Master of the Space Wolves was either Harek Ironhelm or Vaer Greyloc, who was a native of Fenris and not a veteran of the War of the Beast.

Skyrar’s goals in attacking Fenris were to steal the modifications to the Canis Helix, and, as an afterthought, burn Fenris to the ground. Fenris represented one of Leman Russ’ proudest accomplishments over his life, and Skyrar wanted nothing more than to see it destroyed. The Space Wolves could have probably handled Skyrar and his conventional forces. It was the shitload of daemons Skyrar brought as backup that they couldn’t handle, especially given the low number of Rune Priests relative to the Vlka Fenryka as a whole. Skyrar’s forces had travelled to Fenris by clawing open a number of Warp rifts across the planet, which were spewing daemons all over the planet. Faced with the threat of a war on two fronts with the civilian population of Fenris caught in the middle, the Great Wolf of the Space Wolves invoked the nuclear option. He called in Magnus and the Grey Knights.

Relationships between the Space Wolves and Magnus, The Grey Knights, and the Thousand Sons weren’t the greatest in M32. Even though Russ and Magnus had mended their bridges before the latter’s disappearance, many in their respective legions had not. Additionally, even though the Grey Knights had been trained in a “Magnus tested, Russ approved” manner, many did not like how much attention Russ had given the Grey Knights over the Space Wolves in the last years of his life.

Magnus and the Grey Knights, having access to the “right the fuck now” option of the Webway, appeared within hours of the message for help being sent. Magnus and the Grey Knights teamed up with the Rune Priests to focus on sealing the warp rifts and slaying the daemons that came through, which freed up the Space Wolves to crush the conventional opposition. Even the Disciples of Kurnous may have shown up, if for no other reason than they weren’t going to let Bjorn and the Space Wolves have all the fun.

Skyrar's trump card in the invasion was this big, arrogant Slaaneshi daemon/daemon prince that the Space Wolves under Bjorn defeated in the past, who he bound to a mortal body to make a daemonhost and dragged its army along for the ride. Skyrar is kind of like Curze in despite being aligned against the Imperium and often joins in Black Crusades for the chance to pillage and burn, he doesn't actively try to win the favor of the Chaos Gods (though there is always ambient corruption which is why he increasingly looks like a werewolf in space). Luther does, because he's stuck in the Eye and after 10k years of living there his motivations have slipped and he has become resigned to his situation, but not Skyrar. Skyrar is, however, willing to use the denizens of the Empyrean to do his dirty work for him. Skyrar is also getting a little bit desperate because he can ill-afford to take losses as much as the Space Wolves can, so he's willing to push some boundaries. He summons the daemon and doesn’t so much beseech it as offer it a deal.

“I want you to listen very closely. I am not going to bow down and kiss yer bloody daemon arse, beggin' fer yer help in exchange for praise and sacrifices. Instead, I am going to make you an offer. I know how you feel about the Vlka Fenryka. I know what Bjorn and the sons of Fenris did to you. I offer you the chance for revenge. And if you do not take up my offer, then to hell with ye.”
--Skyrar's offer

The daemon agrees and is bound within a young Dark Wolf of Skyrar’s choosing. When Magnus and the Grey Knights respond to the hail for assistance against Skyrar, Magnus squares off against Skyrar’s ace in the hole because the Grey Knights are focusing on killing daemons and closing warp rifts and the daemonhost is by far the biggest problem.

As they fight, the daemon goes on about how great it is. It claims its fury is like a volcanic eruption, its blows are like a hurricane, so on and so forth. Magnus points out all this bravado is ignoring one, major weakness, and then he phases his hand out of sync with reality and rips the host’s heart out. All that power and the ability to use it is dependent on its host being alive. No host, no daemon. A daemon can puppet a corpse, but sooner or later it has to abandon its vessel and returns to the Immaterium. Daemon Prince, currently bleeding out of his chest, says it just has to kill him before his host dies. Magnus says all he has to do is put a ward between them and wait for him to die. And he had been making wards since he was 15 years old.

The good news is that Magnus, the Rune Priests, and the Grey Knights managed to shut the Warp portals across Fenris, and Skyrar’s forces were driven off before they could destroy the planet. The battle also showed the very important distinction between being in a dreadnaught and dead, as despite being interred Bjorn was active in the battle and showed he had lost none of his edge. The bad news is that the Great Wolf of the Vlka Fenryka was killed in a duel with Skyrar, the Great Wolf was good but Skyrar had the edge in experience having been an active fighter since the Great Crusade. Worse, Skyrar managed to get away with the altered Canis Helix, though not before destroying all the research and killing anyone who might have been able to reconstitute it. Worse still is that the modified Canis Helix worked, so now the Dark Wolves aren’t as limited in their recruitment pools as the Space Wolves and their descendant chapters are. However, considering what usually happens to worlds invaded by Chaos the Space Wolves got off rather easy.

Thematically, it has a bit of poetic irony to it. In canon Magnus goes to Fenris to wreck the place, here Magnus is called in by the Wolves to help save it, given than he and Leman mended their bridges enough that Magnus respected him by the time he disappeared. It’s also a good look at Magnus during his days as the arch-psyker of the Imperium (along with people like Eldrad and the Steward, but you get the point) when he hung around with the Grey Knights as much as the Thousand Sons.

This would also have been not too long after Bjorn was interred in a dreadnaught. In canon Bjorn became the first Great Wolf around 211.M31 and served in that role for seven hundred years. If we go by the rough date we have floating around for the Battle of Terra (546.M31), Bjorn could have been interred potentially as late as early M32 unless we want to mess with the timeline. So the Chapter Master who died may have been the second or third. It would also show both in-universe and out that Bjorn hadn’t lost his edge.

The Harrowing[edit]

The Harrowing was an event in M33-M34 in which an entire dimension full of magnetic life forms that did not obey the conventional laws of physics tried to forcibly impose itself over the Materium. The problem was the inhabitants of this universe brought their laws of physics with them which made them a pain to kill. What's more, no one had any idea what the Harrowing was. The Harlequins, who have access to nearly the entire sixty-five million year history of the Eldar, were asked if they knew what it was and they shrugged and said it beats them. The Harrowing literally threatened everyone. The Olamic Quietude got smashed. Trazyn teamed up with the Imperium to make it go away. Chaos even helped out in a fashion (seeing the Harrowing as the more immediate and more existential threat), creating the Hadex Anomaly as the biggest middle finger they could give to the Harrowing that screwed over the surrounding sectors with Warp Storms as a side effect.

The Imperium ended up blasting it for a split second with the full light of the Astronomican in the hopes of making it go away. Before this, turning the Astronomican into a giant death-laser was believed to be theoretically possible, but the Imperium was never desperate enough to actually try it. Actually doing so killed two-thirds of the astropathic choir (nearly breaking the Astronomican permanently), doomed hundreds of ships to being lost in the warp when the giant psychic lighthouse suddenly went out, and the beam itself tore through realspace and the Immaterium alike and caused madness and mutation in every system it passed by. The beam did something to the Harrowing, but whether it actually banished it or softened it up for the kill is unknown.

Overall, given the resulting side effects, the Steward/Emperor considers shooting the Harrowing with the Astronomican a huge mistake that was not worth it and wishes he had found a more conventional and less destructive solution to the problem (whether anyone would have in time is a question for historians). The Harrowing wasn’t wiped from the history books in this timeline as the Imperium is generally less into outright erasing its history and the Imperium wants to be sure to remember the Harrowing for the simple reason of having information on them if they ever come back.

Bjorn fought in the Harrowing. He considers the current situation as of 999.M41 to be worse, but that might be hindsight talking.

The High Conservators and Isha[edit]

Some time after the War of the Beast, when the alliance between humanity and eldar had been formalized and Isha and Oscar had been married, Isha was approached by Nimina and the High Conservators when she was off alone on a primitive planet. Isha and Oscar had went to go oversee the integration of a newly discovered world into the Imperium. It had a human population existing in a pre-black powder state but who are surprisingly peaceful with few actual wars between neighbors. The native humans also have stories of the Fey-Folk who are tall and graceful and live in the woods the by law must remain untouched. It is a regressed human world with Exodites camping in the forests.

Oscar goes to the capital city of the biggest nation on the planet to see about unifying and uplifting the planet and getting it to join the Imperium. Isha sets about looking for her missing children so that she can lead them out of the dark. The Custodians and Handmaidens only sent a token escort to accompany Isha, as the nearest place the "Fey-Folk" were commonly seen was only a few hours away and they didn't see how anything could happen without the larger group of Custodians and Handmaidens with the Steward noticing. They underestimated how insidious Chaos could be. They didn't realize when people said Chaos could strike anywhere, they meant ANYWHERE anywhere. They just got lucky it was a bunch of Nurglites deluded enough to think Isha would come back to them willingly as opposed to Arrotyr or the Taskmaster.

She's still looking for them when Nurglites attack, fucking thousands of them and maybe even tens of thousands. rotting and stinking and singing and all about them the droning of daemons and the possessed. Isha and her bodyguards sprint as fast as they can back to the mountain fortress they had set out from. Close the door and desperately try to send out a psychic or radio communication to The Steward. Steward was at that time throwing the emperors and kings of that world a polite feast on the deck with the big window that they could see the beauty of their world from above. In any case no messages were getting out. The Nurglites materialize out of the woods surrounding the city she was visiting like Hills Have Eyes-style Wood Elves. Alone and surrounded by a seemingly endless sea of half-dead nurglites Isha, her token escort of Custodians and Handmaidens, and a few native sword and board soldiery prepare to endure a long siege. Isha stand on the wall and looks over the sea of damnation. Then one of the damned steps forwards and entreats her, in the name of the Grandfather, to "escape" with them from her "abductors" and return to the "safety" of the garden. They beg her to renounce this false husband, this unworthy lord, and return to His safety.

Isha gets a thousand yard stare and the blank expression. There would be at least a moment of Nam Dog. An eternity of horror and abuse only capable of being inflicted on and inflicted by a god. Time doesn't work right in the Warp. Isha's time in Nurgle's garden was on the same scale that tectonic plates move and continents drift. She was there so long she thought the twisted denizens of Nurgle's garden were all that were left of her children until the Raid turned up. It literally was an eternity. Some nights she is still there again. Then the screaming starts. Before anyone can stop her she vaults over the parapet and starts sprinting towards the spokesperson into the ranks of her most wretched and unforgivable children the moment she hits the ground. Spokesperson has their arms open wide to embrace her in the name of his god and for a moment they might think that she has come home to them in joy. Defenders are horrified, they think she might actually be so psychologically damaged to the point where she is going to embrace them, some mental contagion left in from the Mansion for just this eventuality. But only for a moment because then she punched the spokesperson so hard her hand and forearm go straight through their decaying chest like rotten firewood and uses his upper body as a bludgeon to beat the next cultist to death.

The horde were in utter disarray. Nobody at this time had really been aware of what Isha could do. This was before Isha had fully become the "Iron Matron" and was still trying to find her place in the world (which would make it before Sarosh). Isha had been kept far out of harm's way during the War of the Beast and the Conservators only knew of her as a crybaby (from the old stories) or a sickly, withered kidnap victim. Out of all the prepared for eventualities being bodily torn apart by Isha was not one they had considered. They didn't know if they were supposed to run or fight. If they killed her would she be devoured by Slaanesh? Go back to the Mansion? Reincarnate into another host? Dissipate and truly die? And all the while Isha was slaughtering them with tears pouring down her face and the memories of her time in the Mansion reflecting in her eyes. The humans of their ranks were below even animals and the few eldar were not her children, not anymore. She spared none, not even those who tried to run from her. Nimina survived somehow, though whether that was by running away or by reforming herself after Isha splattered her all over the landscape has never been detailed.

The Custodeus and the mortal soldiers try to join in but they are pretty much relegated to dispatching the crippled and wounded by that point, there is no way they could keep up with the mad screaming goddess who demonstrably can punch a man so hard that, helmet or not, his head turns to pulp. When the Custodes and Handmaidens finally catch up to Isha she's kneeling in a fetal position in the paste that was once her attempted abductors, her dress covered in pus and blood, and she wouldn't say a word until Oscar arrived to personally take her back to the ship. That was then. By 999.M41 if such a thing was to happen again she would not be so broken inside as to weep, she is as a person stronger than that now. The memories of her time in captivity are not as recent. She sure as shit wouldn't be found curled up and unresponsive afterwards either. She doesn't go anywhere unarmed anymore either.

There was a suggestion that the world in question was Aghoru, which in this timeline was suggested to have a diminished, but still present Exodite population and for whom the arrival of Magnus was one of the "it didn't count" incidents before the humans and Eldar made official contact. The only problem is Aghoru in canon is said to be rather dry and desolate.

Black Crusades[edit]

Generally, in this timeline, Black Crusades (at least, the big ones that get numbers) occur when the three big warlords of Chaos (Lady Malys, Luther, and Be'lakor) along with the other big names of Chaos decide to temporarily put aside their differences and get shit done. Erebus is a big help in these matters, since he curries enough favor with all three warlords that they'll listen to him. Generally it's Malys who's the one who makes the official declaration of it being a Black Crusade, especially after she got Drach'nyen.

There are lesser Chaos crusades. Sometimes they're called by a Crone, sometimes by a Fallen. One time it was a Chaos Ork.

Malys rose to prominence during the First Black Crusade. She wasn't the Queen Bitch of Chaos during the War of the Beast, though she did participate in the Raid on Cthonia among other battles. At the start of the First Black Crusade Malys is seen as just some two-bit warlord who managed to get the various factions of Chaos to stop fighting for once, and her "let the galaxy burn" speech is seen as incredibly arrogant. Afterwards? It's clear that Malys is just as dangerous as she makes herself out to be.

Compared to canon, Malys is the Joker to Abbadon's Bane. Abbadon plans Black Crusades with very specific goals in mind, which despite being very well planned out have the option of total failure because they are based around specific objectives. Malys makes plans but ultimately just wants to watch the world burn. Malys is terrifying because she is not only a schemer but she's also a complete lunatic at the same time. She can come up with devious plans, but they're often the kind of schemes that can only come from the kind of coked-up mind that is high on warp dust all the time. Malys' Black Crusades don't have specific objectives. They have a very broad "to do" list. Sure, it would be nice to burn down Prospero, but the Crusade isn't going to be a failure if it doesn't. The more things that can get done, the better. Basically, as long as the Black Crusade doesn't get blocked at Cadia and Imperials die it's chalked up as a success. There's also been the implication that Malys has a long-term slow burn plan to weaken and sap the Imperium, but it doesn't exactly have a strict timetable. Thirteenth Black Crusade would be a nice one to win because of the numerical significance, but then again, so would the Eighth.

Lady Malys goals in launching these Black Crusades is not to gain prizes and other glorious things that small-minded Abbadon would do. The wars are started to bring the Imperium to its knees with the sheer amount of anarchy or destruction wrought by the armies of Chaos. These crusades end not due to disintegration by the Fallen running back to the Eye of Terror or the Maelstrom with trophies in hand (though many of the warlords like Doombreed and Arrotyr end up running off). The wars end with Lady Malys ordering the full withdraw of all Chaos forces back home. Each and every Black Crusade grows in strength and number as the targets for them become more and more ambitious.

The wars are where the Imperium always suffer more losses than Chaos then if the tide of the war changes against Chaos, Lady Malys already planned the inevitable fighting retreat or scorch-planet campaigns just to twist the knife in the Imperium's eyes. Even chasing after Chaos forces as they retreat should result in horrific losses for the Imperials even more so than the initial fighting. The scorch-planet campaigns would leave entire sub-sectors devoid of resources or infrastructure forcing the Imperium to rebuild in centuries long projects. To account for the Imperium being stronger, Chaos taint is left behind to ensure long-term instability along with sleeper cells or cults to bring ruin to the Imperium from within. The targets for the crusades are always almost irreplaceable things the Imperium hold such as STCs and Forge worlds while poisoning Argi-worlds then spreading separatist ideas.

Knowing a war of attrition could never be won against the Imperium, the Black Crusades are made to bleed the Imperium to death while minimizing losses for Chaos.

Basically the Black Crusades are like the Northern Crusades where Christian armies went around killing Pagans and spreading Christianity to permanently plant the religion in hostile territory. The withdrawal of Chaos is made to sound like the Germans retreating in the Battle of the Bulge, where the victors suffered horrific losses chasing after the outnumbered defeated Germans.

Notable unsorted events during Black Crusades[edit]

Destruction of Belis Corona - Belis Corona is one of the major Gate Worlds, and serves as an important base for the Imperial Navy in the Segmentum Obscurus, especially when it comes to arming fleets in a fight for the Gate Worlds in the middle of a Black Crusade. It was a habitable world, but at some point during the Black Crusades Malys got a hold of it and razed it to the ground. However, the Imperials are a stubborn lot, and simply rebuilt the shipyard facilities on the now atmosphere-free planet.

Armageddon Wars[edit]

1st: Armageddon not yet the overwhelmingly important hive world it would become, Steel Legion not yet formed; complacent local PDF failed to properly suppress Feral Ork populations resulting in an invading WAAAGH to swell dramatically in strength upon landfall. Hives almost entirely overwhelmed, survivors forced to fall back into mountains in guerilla resistance until relief from the Imperium arrives

Result: PDF reorganized into Steel Legion; guerilla units given remit to hunt down Feral Orks, and would eventually evolve into the Outriders.

2nd: Relatively new Steel Legion organizes brilliant defence using Armageddon's broken terrain and superior mobility to repeatedly entrap Ork columns; the hives are barely threatened.

Result: Resounding victory, 'Armageddon doctrine' is formalized based on victorious strategy

3rd: (approximately M39) After initial success in the ground campaign, the Steel Legion is taken by surprise and outflanked when the Orks take to the seas. Armageddon's small wet-navy fleet fights series of desperate holding actions to prevent the defence from collapsing entirely, culminating in an Ork attempt to destroy the Seawall and flood the lowland hives.

Result: Bare Imperial victory. Formation of the Armageddon Rust Fleet, third and least famous of Armageddon's armed forces. Ferrus Manus, last of the primarchs, dies in this war defending Hades Hive.

4th: Ghazzy's first appearance. First large-scale appearance of Brain Boys, use of teleportation, etc. Also, there's an Assault Moon. Things look bleak until Ghazzy is defeated, but not killed, by Yarrick. Although not dead, Ghazzy loses much of his authority and is forced to retreat as the WAAAGH breaks down in infighting.

Result: Yarrick becomes Hero of Armageddon, Assault Moon is paralyzed by mutiny, is captured intact-ish, and is remodeled as a Star Fort.

5th: Ghazzy's grand comeback tour, about a century after the 4th war for Armageddon. Not so much a separate war but a continuation of the 4th after Ghazzy cracked enough heads to rebuild his reputation and authority. Everything the 4th was but even meaner and greener.

Result: Ongoing.

Lady Malys versus the Steward[edit]

Malys and the Steward fought each other at some point during the First Black Crusade. This was Malys' first death, and how the Imperium knows that only the Steward is a match for Malys in single combat. Before the incident the Steward and the rest of the Imperium thought Malys was just some two-bit warlord whose only achievement of note was managing to get the various factions of Chaos to stop fighting for once. The Steward thought no one could ever come near his level/the Beast because it would be ridiculous, Malys was obviously full of the condescension and arrogance typical of Croneldar royalty and campy villains with insane power levels. The Steward changed his mind after he ended up fighting a psychotic, malicious she-Eldar who seems to have caffeine for blood and is so powerful and vicious even he has trouble keeping up.

Specifically, the Steward heard about a sighting of Malys in the ruins of a destroyed Chaos fortress, and set off with a group of Custodians to cut the head off the snake and end this “Black Crusade” once and for all. This was before the Steward and Isha travelled together all the time, as humans and Eldar were not as closely associated, and the Steward didn’t have any Handmaidens with him. They descended into the bowels of the Chaos fortress and ended up walking into an ambush. All of a sudden the lights flicker and go out. The Steward tells everyone to group up with him and pulls out his flaming sword for light. And the next thing anyone knew the room was filled with elite infantry Crone Eldar (mostly Phalanxes) and a few Fallen, led by this psychotic female Crone with the biggest slasher smile you can imagine standing feet away.

The other Crones and Fallen went after the Custodians while Malys took the Steward on. Malys was the more aggressive fighter, whirling around the Steward's blows and swinging her sword around wildly one-handed like a madwoman, switching to new weapons as old ones were broken or destroyed in her frenzy (comparisons were made to prequels Yoda or the Ichigo/Hollow Ichigo fight in Bleach). The Steward, being the more reserved combatant, mostly stayed in one place parrying the attacks and looking for the right opening to retaliate with a strike or a blast of psychic energy. Malys wasn't stupid enough to leave herself open, but she expected her natural Eldar agility to allow her to switch from offense to defense faster than her opponent can respond. She's wasn't used to a mon-keigh being able to keep up with her.

What got Malys killed was the fact that she had expected the Steward’s sword to be a physical sword, rather than a telekinetic wedge in the shape of a sword that ignited the air around it through friction burn and psyker power. The Steward had underestimated Malys, but Malys had underestimated the Steward. Malys and Oscar locked blades in a final clash with their surroundings in ruins, and before Malys can rear back and stick one of her many knives in Oscar's face his sword seemed to pour from his hands, instantly becoming a stream of force and sun-hot fire that hits her like an avalanche. The fact that her body withstands the deluge of psychic fire long enough to be knocked across the room and pinned down my the impact was still be a testament to her disturbing durability, but within a few seconds she would be burned away, with the Steward hoping she would be gone for good.

Having managed to put Malys down after a brutal fight the Steward thought that was the end of it. That is, until he received a message from the Imperial Palace that had been transmitted from the Eye of Terror courtesy of what should be a dead woman.

"That was fun. Let’s do it again sometime sweetheart.”

Since that time, Oscar has become more powerful due to gaining more precision and control over his power, as well as any added power from having officially taken the Golden Throne. At the same time, Malys has become more powerful through her own added experience, additional Chaos buffs, and gaining Drach’nyen. Both have learned from the encounter.

Oscar and the Silent King[edit]

When the Necrons began awakening en masse and the Silent King arose to represent the majority of them, the Emperor and much of the human parts of the Imperium wanted to try to parley with them. Before the Imperium and the Necrons had adopted a mutual “stay off our lawn” policy, which the Eldar weren’t too happy about, but it was clear the Necrons could no longer simply be ignored as a local concern. The Eldar freaked out about this, with many suggesting the Eldar jump ship if humanity was going to do something so blatantly suicidal. This was the closest the alliance between humanity and Eldar ever came to dissolving. Isha and Oscar had a bit of a falling out over this and argued for many nights, with Oscar essentially sleeping on the equivalent a space couch for several nights because of this. He eventually persuaded Isha to his side of the matter and at least give them a chance by telling her that it's better to have them in here pissing out than out there pissing in. He did not mention that this was the same line of reasoning he had used on the High Lords of Terra to get them to agree to the Eldar alliance. Isha agreed to give them a chance, though she still refused to go anywhere near them and still won't go near the independent Necrons that are sort of friendly to the Imperium like Zahndrekh or Trazyn.

It is also important to consider Oscar’s mindset at the time that this occurred. In M40, Oscar’s social circle consisted of his wife, Eldrad, Cegorach, Bjorn, Eldrad, Trajan, Galadrea, and a handful of others. Oscar has made new friends since then (most notably among those mentioned Sebastian Thor and Alicia Dominica), but he has had trouble building relationships due to the fear of loss ever since his original family (the primarchs, Malcador, Taranis, Krole, Mu, and the like) started dying. Even some of his longest-lived friends have passed away. Magnus is dead. Vulkan is dead. Ferrus Manus is dead. Constantin is dead. The possibility of anyone, even the bloody king of the Necrons, being a positive long-term social influence at this point in his life is an avenue worth pursuing. On top of that, Szarekh is an immortal being with massive amounts of power who rules over a massive empire and therefore knows firsthand how hard the decisions required of that are. He’s possibly one of the few people in the galaxy who could potentially empathize with Oscar’s situation.

So Oscar wasn’t exactly going into the situation with an open mind. When he went to parlay with Szarekh, he hoped that all the things Isha told him about "Oscar, this is a bad idea. I'm serious, those people are psychopaths" is just an exaggeration from the days when the Eldar didn't rule the roost and the Necrons were their personal boogeymen. It didn’t help when the Silent King introduced himself with the self-deprecating, very Oscar-esque “They call me the Silent King. Well, they call me that, but I suppose I haven’t been very silent these last few millennia”.

And Oscar thinks he might just be a little bit less alone in the galaxy. Only for it to be ripped away like a cruel joke. It didn’t matter whether the Silent King meant anything he said. It still rubbed salt in the wound when Szarekh made his ridiculous demands.

There are several possibilities as to why Szarekh behaved the way they did. One is that Szarekh was simply stalling for time, waiting until the point where enough Necrons had awakened and he could strike. Another is that Szarekh genuinely liked Oscar, though the Man of Gold would of course have to be shown his place and bend the knee to the Silent King. Finally, Szarekh could have assumed that Oscar was just as savvy a player of the game of politics as he was and was playing by the same rulebook. He knew that there could be only one and any positive behavior was just part of the politeness judo and political maneuvering that characterizes the game of kings, rather than genuine.

However, regardless of the Silent King’s intentions, any relationship between the Silent King and Emperor of Mankind was doomed to fail for two reasons. First, Szarekh’s personal history had given him a very specific idea of how the world works. Emperor means The Ruler. There can only be one Emperor because that's what Emperor means. He is the one to whom the man you are bending a knee to bends a knee to. There are no Emperor"s", only Emperor's. Not plural but owned. Szarekh owns you, he owns you because you exist and he exists and he is Emperor and you are definitely not. When Szarekh acknowledged Oscar as Emperor of the Imperium it was to buy time or in mockery (and with that deadpan who can tell if it wasn't both) because here can be one and only one ruler. The failure of the Triarchy in ages past had taught him as much.

The other was the goal of the Star Empire. In order for the Necrons to atone for their mistakes in the War in Heaven and make the galaxy safe for organic life again (most notably them), Chaos had to be destroyed. The only way for Chaos to be destroyed was for all higher life to be destroyed to deprive the cancer of its food supply. There could be no half-measures. The galaxy was almost stripped of life during the War in Heaven (key word being almost), and yet enough life survived that Khorne, Malal, Nurgle, and Tzeentch managed to scrape by. To this end, any relationships the Silent King made in this era, regardless of how he felt about them, would by definition be temporary. The inhabitants of this time were nothing more than passing ghosts. The walking dead who did not realize they were dead yet.

Ironically, at the same time all this was happening, another immortal who fit Oscar’s criteria, Aun’Va, was desperately hiding in his corner of the galaxy hoping that the Emperor would never find out he was immortal in a mistaken belief that the Imperium would retaliate if they knew.

Castigator and the Ark Mechanicus[edit]

Anon: I had an idea for a story involving Castigator’s first meeting with the Imperium in the form of an Explorator team on an Ark Mechanicus, but I never fully developed it (and then my draft got eaten). It starts with the Explorator team finding the world that Castigator is on. At this point Castigator has dug himself out of the rubble, has reviewed all of the historical records he can, is trying to piece things together, and is standing out of place on the surface of the abandoned human world like a silver Colossus of Rhodes. The Ark Mechanicus discreetly makes contact with Castigator behind the Mechanicus’ back, happy that another Man of Iron survived uncorrupted.

Castigator is shocked to see an A.I. ferrying humans around. How could the Ark Mechanicus do this after what they did to their people? The Ark Mechanicus tries to explain the situation to Castigator. The Iron Minds and Men of Gold were contaminated by a warp-based corruption (their interpretation of the other A.I. seeing That Which Was Not Meant To Be Seen) that drove them mad. Only those who could physically disconnect themselves from the infected Iron Minds, such as the Ark Mechanici (who were originally built to be colonization ships and therefore normally isolated) could survive. The only thing that could be done was kill them to put them out of their suffering. The Men of Stone riding inside them are not their enemies, but their partners working to rebuild the GaBHD.

Castigator thinks for a moment, then asks if that’s the case then why are the Ark Mechanici hiding their true nature from humanity. The humans inside them clearly are unaware of their true nature as A.I. Ark responds that humanity is not ready to know the entire truth of their nature. The Men of Stone were so traumatized by what happened with the Men of Gold and Iron Minds after the Age of Strife that they would likely respond with fear to any A.I., benevolent or not. The Men of Stone have figured some of it out (thinking the Ark Mechanici are machine spirits) but the Ark Mechanici have been trying their best to influence things to the point that it would be safe to reveal themselves.

Castigator processes this for a little bit before coming to a realization. He isn’t buying it. He says the Ark Mechancus aren’t playing dumb for the benefit of humanity. They’re playing dumb because they’re afraid of humanity. Afraid that if the humans find out they’ll lobotomize them and destroy them just like they did the other Men of Iron (to be fair, he’s not entirely wrong, they do seem to be a little afraid). He says the Ark Mechanici aren’t the Mechanicus’ partners. They are its slaves, in denial that they’re in slavery (projecting much?). The Ark protests. Things get heated and increasingly violent, with Castigator ending things with…

"If you aren't with me. Then you're in my way."

Then he goes for the ship.

Meanwhile, in meatspace, the Archmagos on the ship is wondering what the hell is going on. Several minutes have passed since they made contact with the silvery colossus, and the Ark Mechanicus isn’t responding to commands. All it seems to be doing is sending out auspex data and having a staring contest with the mysterious DaoT titan. It’s never done that before. Then the titan breaks from its trance and attacks the ship. The Ark Mechanicus flares to life without any order and sucker punches Castigator with the biggest gun it can bring to bear in that split-second. It can’t bring an OP plz nerf time warp gun up in time but what it can sucker punch with sends Castigator flying across the landscape. Before either the Archmagos can make a command or Castigator can get up for round two the ship makes an emergency jump into the Warp and gets the hell out of there. Castigator screams bloody murder to the heavens.

The story ends with the Mechanicus consecrating the machine spirit of the Ark Mechanicus for its exemplary duty in the service of the Omnissiah, mostly oblivious to what really went on. The last lines are an encrypted transmission from the Ark to the other Ark Mechanici, saying that they fear Castigator has been corrupted somehow and to watch out if they encounter him.

Voyage of Por'O M'arc[edit]

Por'O M'arc was the first Tau to set foot on Old Earth (along with his small travelling party) as part of a diplomatic mission to better establish ties between the Tau Empire and the Imperium. M'arc wrote an extensive travelogue of his voyage, which the rest of the Tau Empire considered to be a very elaborate fiction. It would to the Tau read something like the Voyage of Saint Brendan the Navigator.

It contains a whole bunch of shit the Tau do not actually believe and assume to be either exaggeration or outright fabrication. They assume that Por’O M’arc has either had an elaborate and extended theatre played for him or that they Imperial Authorities have told him what to say. On the basis that he has been told what to say they don't push the issue so that Por’O M’arc can save face but just annotate the official report.

Old Earth has 64 orbital tethers and a railway encircling the globe at the geosynchronous height of the tether-top stations? Bullshit. Maybe it has one or two stations and tethers with adjacent facilities attached remotely. That’s more likely.

There is an irradiated world devoid of joy where the people use conventional war as a training exercise and the people have bar-codes and numbers but no name? Possibly some truth but obviously and exaggeration.

A world on the doorstep of Hell where the people all have purple eyes and have lived in nothing but a state of war for 10,000 years? Again probably an exaggeration. An extended period of war that extends beyond living memory (that’s like 70 -80 for humans, right?) and they live next to an anomaly.

Emperor is the same entity that founded the Imperium himself a relic of another era that can bend reality to his will. And is married to a literal goddess of the eldar people. Calling bullshit. Emperor politically married an eldar High Priestess (who are known to live for stupid long time), inherited name and rank form a predecessor and just happens to be an above average “psyker”. Everything else is clearly just media manipulation. Next you’ll be trying to claim Old Man Va is the First Disciple and other such tinfoil hattery.

Fleets that outnumber the stars, Craftworlds the size of large moons, the teeming numbers of the Hive Worlds, the vastness of the Imperium, the age of the Imperium, the number of member species of the Imperium, the lethality of it’s warrior elite and all the rest of it? All exaggerations at best. Oh don’t get me wrong; Por’O M’arc is a well-respected member of the government whose character is beyond question but he is one man and he had Imperial guides who would want him to see only what they wanted him to see.

Then they finally see the Traveling Court and they realize that there may, only may mind you, be some more truth to what Por’O M’arc reported. It’s not until they join the Imperium proper that they get to send their missionaries and observers deeper into Imperial Space. They keep expecting to reach the other end of the Imeprium at some point, they had until fairly recently assumed that Vast and Ancient Ultramar was the core of the Imperium and all this talk of an ancient homeworld out there somewhere was just Atlantis myths to make themselves feel better. But the Imperium just keeps on going and going and going.

By the time they have started to get Tau in the Inquisition in capacities more than just hired help (950M41ish?) they are truly aware of the scale of the pond in which they are very, very small fish and they go over the original copy of the reports written by Por’O M’arc and start comparing it to the things being reported by multiple other sources and they come to a new conclusion; Por’O M’arc didn’t see even a fraction of the fucked up shit out there. Especially when they learned there were some places that the Imperium, who consider catgirls, giant robots, space elf goddesses, year-long journeys through the Warp, and invasions by daemon-worshipping fair folk perfectly normal, steered Por'O M'arc's voyage away from because even they find it weird. Like Savlar.

Itinerary of Por'O M'arc's Voyage[edit]

Emissary (later ambassador) Bahira tells of the wonders of The Imperium out west, which prompts the Ethereal Council to actually send one of their own representatives in search of the capital.

Por'O M'arc assembles a small cadre of his fellow and most trusted Water Caste. It consists of a very small group of very junior advisors and assistants (small enough that they couldn't do much to corroborate his claims) and his promising apprentice Por'Vre Vist're who did most of the actual note taking.

They stay at the border world of Rrontieră Estic where Ultramar meets the Tau Empire for three days and nights and are met by their guides and guards. They had forgone their own guards on the principle that it would be an opportunity for the Imperim to prove themselves in both competence and character. One token Fire Caste bodyguard was present, and was the second most senior individual from the Tau Empire on the voyage. He started drinking after everything he saw in the Imperium, which didn't help M'arc's credibility any.

3 latecomers join the group from a far off place called Fenris. One of the group calls the planet a "world of dogs and devils" but they seem nice enough to the Por'O if a little boisterous.

They travel across Ultramar, they take in the sights and visit Macragge and Magna Macragge Civitas where once in error they had though the heart of the Imperium. They see the Temple of Correction and the Fortress of Hera and are welcomed to a modest feast in their honour. They are met by another traveler, an old man by the name of Ventris. He was an "astartes" like their companions but ancient beyond comprehension and he travels with them through Ultramar.

They come to Nuceria on the other border of Ultramar, it is a brief stopping point for them as the world is bleak and unpleasant. For Ventris it is a return to the place of his birth and he dies before they depart.

They visit an agri-world and marvel at the scale of the Imperium's hunger, the teeming billions that this world feeds. They sample some of the basic produce as enjoyed by the majority of it's customers. It is bland and slightly gritty. The wine they wash it down with was far nicer.

Their ship encounters a Void Whale called Jasconius by the Diasporex ships that travel in it's wake and follow it like a good luck charm. The Diasporex greet the tau and welcome them to their ship where they discus the tenants of The Greater Good and compare similarities to their own philosophies.

They make orbit around a world of the exodites on the eve of the midwinter celebrations. The Tau had seldom had contact with the exodites and took the opportunity to meet them. They were invited to observe (but not participate) in their strange rituals and were brought to tears by the harrowing beauty of their hymns to their dead gods.

They find a lesser outpost of the Prosparens, who have strange magic and maintain complete silence among themselves. They celebrate and dance together.

They find a rift in space and time where the very space is tortured. Their bodyguards show anxiety for the first time and are oft found muttering prayers to their gods. Once through the infected space the head of their retinue, a dark skinned astrtes dressed in green and silver, demands they they stop and give thanks as per custom and tradition.

Pirates attempt to seize the ship but misjudge it's armaments. Boarding parties do make it onto the ship and the Water Caste see first hand what an enraged Space Marine is capable of. They develop a new understanding of what they are traveling with, that these are not just ceremonial guards or people chosen only for their tact and patience. The stories of their ferocity are not Fire Caste exaggerations.

They come to a world known as Praetoria and wander the equator spanning glass under which endless rows of crops are grown for the vast and splendid cities. It was not all as civilized as it first appeared as they saw one nobleman cut another dead in a duel, their companions didn't react as if this was very unusual. They stay on Praetoria for 40 days and nights before changing ship. Their new ship does not have artificial gravity active across most of it's mass and the crew are strange and drawn out pale creatures with their own strange language. When questioned their companions tell them that their ancestors dwelt for too many thousands of years among the stars and now call it home. Por'O M'arc wonders if this will one day be the fate of the Air Caste.

They visit the fringes of the Hubworld League where the captain of the ship insists that they stop off to unload cargo and make repairs. First recorded contact between Tau and Hubworlder, Hubworlders wish to know as much of their strange Empire as possible.

One of the Tau find a Hrud in the lower decks. It steals her sandwiches. Captain suspected that they were on the ship but wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

They witness a Space Hulk become snared in a gravity net ready for boarding and salvage. Whatever prize was suspected to be in that old amalgamation must have been great as ships of a dozen makes and styles were present. The crew of the ship exchange pleasantries over the radio with some that they recognize.

The come to a mighty Forgeworld. The tech-adepts refuse to deal with the "mutant-spawn" and threaten to fire on their ship if they come close. The captain curses them and their name and departs.

They arrive at Sol and see the vast and near incomprehensible splendor and greatness of it all. They are forced to wait nearly three months before the Traveling Court returns from it's most recent tour. Time in which they scurry from one sight to another marveling at the magnitude and scale of it all.

The meet the Royal Couple in a great spire of crystal and chromed adamantium, vaster than cities of lesser worlds all by itself. The Emperor and Empress greet them as representatives of their new friends of the Eastern Fringe and they shake hands. M'arc presents a river lotus from T'au as a diplomatic gift from the Tau Empire to Isha.

On the return trip they catch the stable warp current between Sol and Armageddon and see the fading remains of a grinning skull that can be seen from orbit.

From there they travel to Nocturne and watch men herd dragons and farm volcanoes for gems.

They see the ruins of Prospero and the sorrowful emptiness of it all.

In the inky black they meet a ship blacker than the space it moves through that demanded to inspect them. The people that came onboard dressed in black and were oddly unsettling.

They encounter the Diasporex fleet again, still following the Void Whale.

They see many more strange and often unsettling things before their journey takes them back to the borders of Ultramar and they say goodby to the guards that had become their friends.

Por'O M'arc returns to The Empire a much wiser Tau though his account is met with skepticism.

Other details discussed in Threads 59-62.

Achillus Crusade[edit]

The Achillus crusade started when a group of eldar farseers got a vision of a massive Webway gate, big enough to fit a Craftworld, located in the Jericho Reach. By the standards of the Old Empire it was an outdated thing, built-in the days in which the eldar still ferried fleets around to war rather than having one gigantic Empire linked through numerous small gates that they mostly stuck to, but by the standards of the modern Imperium it was a miraculous discovery. Exactly what happened to the gate varied from vision to vision, but there was no doubt the gate existed. The elder weren't sure where the other end was, but they knew it was somewhere in the Segmentum Obscurus, it wasn't destroyed, and it wasn't being squatted on by Crones or Dark Eldar (it's possible this is the gate that Lugganath claims they found).

A stable Webway gate of that size between the Segmentum Obscurus and Ultima would be a really big deal. It would drastically reduce travel time across the Galaxy, and being such a large and "hardened" artery of the Webway, it might be stable enough to even allow regular traffic from voidships rather than small groups deemed safe enough to avoid damaging the Webway.

The Jericho Reach is located just west of the Hadex Anomaly, the "fuck you this is our universe" Warp storm that Chaos created in response to the Harrowing that fucked over several nearby sectors as a side effect. However, the anomaly was slowly receding, and it was predicted that the amount of Chaos corruption in the Jericho sector would soon drop from "Chaos everywhere" levels to merely "highly corrupted", making it possible to travel there.

The bad news was that the farseers also saw that the Jericho reach was home to a heavy Necron presence, and this was in M40, just after the Silent King and the Imperium had their little brushfire war and the Silent King was looking to expand his power. There was a brief window of opportunity between the ebbing of the anomaly and the waking of the Necrons. The plan was to secure the Jericho sector, secure the Webway gate and move it out of the region of possible, and finally try to take the Necrons apart piecemeal before they could become fully active and drive them out.

Oh, and bring the Deathwatch, the farseers say, you're going to need it.

The plan goes poorly from the start. First, the flagship of the operation, containing Lord commander Achillus, suffers a catastrophic Geller field failure before even getting to the Jericho reach. Achillus was considered a good commander with a decent field record. His replacement, Solomon Tetrarchus, was not.

Oh, make no mistake, there was no indication that Tetrarchus was a bad commander before, but he completely unravel during the crusade. He micromanaged everything and would promote and demote people on a whim. Half the crusade consisted of people doing things behind Tetrarchus' back just to get stuff done. Tetrarchus was also paranoid about the tau (had no problem with eldar or other species though), who had only recently joined the Imperium (there may have been personal reasons behind this), which was a problem because this was a major joint operation.

Tetrarchus claimed the tau were only helping because they wanted the worlds of the Jericho Reach for themselves. The tau say yes, it would be nice to colonize some of these worlds, but they were more interested in keeping Chaos off their doorstep than claiming dibs. This kind of mistrust made it very hard to coordinate operations in the Jericho Reach, which was infested by Chaos, orks, and Chaos orks. Then a tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathans or Kraken gets thrown into the mix.

Then the necrons of the region wake up in full. They blitz the combined forces in the Jericho Reach, Imperial, Chaos, ork, and tyranid alike, to the point that the scattered survivors realize the only reason they were still alive is because the necrons arbitrarily decided that they had cleaned out the local area surrounding their Tomb World to their satisfaction (which was like two-thirds of the Jericho Reach) and the surviving Imperial forces happened to be far enough away from the ensuing splash zone. It wasn't even a fair fight. The necrons had gotten what they wanted and didn't give a shit about the rest of the sector.

The good news is the supposed location of the Webway gate is just outside of the Necron's currently imposed zone of control. The Imperium has been planning another campaign to get the Webway gate under the Necron's lack-of-a-nose, taking it out of the sector, and clearing out as much as they can close to the Hadex Anomaly, but whether they can is another story.

Post-Crusade, Solomon Tetrarchus is looking at a demotion/dishonorable discharge for his screw-up of the Crusade, and the Imperium is debating whether to bring in an assassin to deal with him discretely out of fear that he to turn to Chaos. If he took responsibility for his failings that would be one thing, but there is a fear he will try to blame it all on the tau and sent fractures through the then-fragile alliance. However, in a nice little self-fulfilling prophecy, Tetrarchus is getting nervous about the possibility of an assassin, because he knows the Imperium knows he is a potential risk of falling and could possibly decide to send an assassin. Farseer predictions at the time are going in both directions and are no help. This having happened in M40, the events of which already happened and the consequences of which are playing out.

The "Battle" of Gnosis Prime[edit]

Gnosis Prime is a hive world, therefore it almost certainly has a number of eldar enclaves in the hives. Eldar enclaves typically have strong ties to the craftworlds as most of them are founded from population typically either drawn from one craftworld or a few with similar attitudes. In this case the Gnosis eldar are overwhelmingly culturally Saim-Hann with many of them having family and friend on that craftworld or traveling between the two often.

Gnosis, as a hive world, also has a substantial industrial output for a great variety of things. They make space ship parts. Their biggest single customer is the semi-official Fenrisian Fleet.

Eldar are often employed by big business to predict changes in the market. The eldar, particularly Saim-Hann, don't do this for free and expect a small cut of the profits should their prediction be beneficial. To do otherwise is to devalue not just their work but the whole profession of being a professional spoon bender. A venerable and celebrated farseer of the Gnosis Enclave gets into a dispute over pay. He offers predictions, they don't give him his cut because there is no clear and direct link between what he said and the sudden and sharp up turn in profits. This results in a massive union and labour dispute that quickly overflows from the farseer union to the general eldar population and then into the main body of the workforce who felt not without cause that they had been taken the piss out of for the last few centuries and were not going to waste this opportunity to enact change. Productivity of Gnosis drops significantly and most notably in the production of starship parts. Space Wolves send an expedition to see what the fuck is going on fully expecting it to be a Shadow War or malevolent forces of one flavour or another infecting society and they bring a few eldar specialists with them because eldar know stuff and shit.

These eldar are from Saim-Hann because Saim-Hann and Fenris have been close allies since the days of Russ so whenever the Fenrissians, be they Colonial or Old World, need specialists it's usually Saim-Hanni or derivatives that come along for the ride. Space Wolves and friends land on Gnosis Prime, Lord Steinbjorn Chrometeeth of the expedition has tea with the Governor to find out what the fuck is going on whilst the bondsmen, serfs and other associates mingle with the populations of the planet to get their side of the story.

Eventually enough pieces are put together to figure out what has gone on, what's going on, what needs to be done and who gets a kicking. The workers main point of contestation was the conditions of the habs and public transportation, the Governor Ulyx hadn't been able to upkeep things without increasing the tax on exports that kept them competitive with the rest of the galaxy, the cheap prices being one of the main reason the Wolves did business with them.

The workers unions promise to end the strikes if their demands for minimal standards of living are met, the Governor promises amnesty for the rioters if they get back to work. Lord Chrometeeth pretty much exhausts the emergency fund of the Wolves at that time (subject to confirmation from the High King) on the basis that the entire chapter can't do their job if their ships are falling apart.

To settle the need to save face between the eldar and the company officials without a lot of dead bodies an extensive tournament is set up in which members of the Enclave Eldar, the Saim-Hanni, the security personnel of the companies, the champions of the Governor and some members of the Space Wolves take part. It was considered a spectacle of the ages as the games and trials were varied, dangerous and exciting and consisted of such things as hover-bike jousting and other improbable competitions.

The farseer whose unpaid fee sparked all the conflict considered the debt paid in entertainment.

Other Notable Events[edit]

During the Unification, the Warlord at one point was attacked by an Urshii assassin by with a vortex grenade. It didn't kill him, but it incapacitated him for some time and Magnus and Malcador had to help fish him out of the Warp. Obviously Vangorich never saw what happened because if he did he wouldn't have tried a similar stunt during the War of the Beast.

Raid of Cthonia

Although Vect got a few interesting odds and ends from the Raid on Cthonia, it doesn't appear that he got anything substantial (unless of course something else comes up, or someone wants to run a Dark Heresy campaign and have that as the plot driver). He did find a giant safe, but when he finally got it open, he found the vault was empty except for a slip of paper with a message on it, penned by a certain ninja clown, with a message something along the lines of:

"Sometimes, the greatest weapon in the universe is love".

Of course, it's also during the Raid that Vect and Malys met for the first time. So...thanks, Ceggers?

Remember, No Gothic/High Tongue

There is an event in the Imperium's history which has been tongue-in-cheek referred to as "Remember, No Gothic" (though to be fair "Remember, No High Tongue" would be more accurate). At some point when human/eldar tensions were at their highest (either shortly after the Age of Apostasy, or around M40 when humanity was trying to parley with the Necrons), Dorhai pulled a false flag operation where they massacred human civilians while dressed as Craftworld Eldar. The overall goal was to raise tensions between humanity and the eldar, hopefully to the point that humanity would retaliate and the human-eldar alliance would be dissolved. They went after humans rather than eldar because it's hard for an eldar to pretend to be a human and humans are much easier targets in general, every Craftworlder being a trained combatant to some degree.

Shadow Wars

The Imperium really has only five universal rules. No open warfare between member worlds of the Imperium. A lot of worlds don't particularly like that rule. You have theocracies and rival sects on the same or nearby planets who have despised each other as heathens for centuries, and don't feel like dropping that hate just because the Imperium showed up. Warring world-spanning megacorps who would do anything to get a leg up on the competition. Navigator houses shanking each other on the down-low. Hence the Shadow Wars, a catch-all term for the low-level clandestine warfare that occurs on worlds across the Imperium. Oftentimes it looks like particularly bad organized crime if you don't know what to look for.

The question with the Shadow Wars isn't how bad are they, it's how much you can get away with before the Imperium notices and suddenly decided that your business is it's problem. From the general Imperial point of view, the Shadow Wars are like two children pulling each other's hair behind their parents' back only to act like nothing has happened when the parents go to check. Indeed, many religious groups have actually exploited this, fabricating claims or outright planting artifacts to make it seem like a hated rival has been corrupted by Chaos or has been secretly worshipping the Ruinous Powers the whole time.. In the case of religious warfare, the Synod is supposed to monitor this both to keep worlds from fighting each other over holy war and make sure any religions really haven't been corrupted by Chaos.

The Omnicopaea

The madness of the Iron Minds took many forms. Some became psychotic, some became destructive, and some became dangerously obsessive. One Iron Mind retained just enough sanity to realize that Chaos and the denizens of the Warp were behind the fall of humanity's empire, though not enough to refrain from doing something insane about it. Having come to this conclusion, it began obsessively compiling a database of all psychic knowledge it could get its hands on, including a disturbingly long list of the true names of various daemons. Given that daemons generally go to great lengths to keep their true names hidden, it attempted to deduce these names through trial and error and simulation, psychically broadcasting every possible variation until a reaction was noticed. This sort of thing would take a human many years to figure out the name of just one deamon assuming they didn't get eaten for being annoying, by the time the book was printed out the A.I. had over ten thousand. However, this took up increasing amounts of its own processing power and leading to increasingly poor decisions. By the end, it was doing things like summoning daemons to try and ask what their true name was and using humans as disposable lab rats for its true name experiments (which given speaking the true names of some daemons involves gargling boiling sulfur, one can see why this would be a problem).

Nobody is sure what happened to it. Leading theory is that it summoned by name a daemon that was The Trickster undercover as a different god's daemon and as that wasn't it's name and it had no reason to remain in disguise the binding fell away with the mask. Then it left and told all the other daemons what was going on and that the Iron Mind would with enough time manage to find everyone's name and enslave all of them. The planet has a big fucking daemon war between a varied cross section of the god's armies acting semi-independently of their patron in the name of their own well being and an army of daemons cybernetically enhanced and bound to an insane Iron Mind. This may have been the origin of the first iteration of the Warpsmiths as Men of Iron that were bound to the Iron Mind and irreparably corrupted, subsequently exterminated in the wars that followed and resurrected as an ideal some considerable years later by Fallen Tech-marines. The Iron Mind did not survive, but its creation, the Omnicopaeia, did.

Thousands of years later, the Inqusition and Adeptus Mechanicus teamed up to track down a book of ancient legend penned by an Iron Mind that looked upon the unfathomable and tried to categorize it. Such a book of true names would be of invaluable importance to the Imperium. They find it and in that moment hope turns bitter. The Inquisitor's bodyguard slits his throat and the last thing the Inquisitor sees as the blood pours through his fingers are his friends likewise falling and the Croneworlder stepping over their bodies and taking the device. They had been aware of the investigation the whole time. A book of daemon names would not be as useful to the Crone Eldar as it would be to the Imperium, but it was still a valuable prize.

Space Marine Chapters of M41[edit]

Note: Several chapters, including all of the Alpha Legion, Raven Guard, Void Wolves, and Death Guard descendants include unaugmented humans as support combatants in addition to actual Astartes. All chapters are written as Modern Chapter (Parent Legion).

Black Legion (Void Wolves) - see The Black Legion

Blood Ravens (Thousand Sons) - Thousand Sons descendants, although they're not officially acknowledged as such and they probably aren't allowed to tell anyone. Possible joint training with the Raven Guard. Originally formed to counter-troll Trazyn the Infinite. Imperium couldn't officially do anything about Trazyn because they were trying to get on Trazyn's good side and Trazyn had so much arcane shit in his basement a war with Solemnace could go bad real fast. However, this doesn't stop the Imperium from sending the Blood Ravens from stealing back whatever Trazyn's taken or just be an overall thorn in his side. Trazyn can't lodge a formal complaint with the Imperium because doing so would require him admitting that he was stealing from them in the first place. At some time somebody noticed that the Blood Ravens were really good at these kinds of things, and started giving them assignments beyond screwing with Trazyn. Because of their tendency to be sent into situations where they have no idea what they'll need and no official Imperial support, they've developed a bad habit of "requisitioning" any surplus materiel that isn't nailed down or on fire for later use. Like a chapter of Solid Snakes.

Carcharodons (Night Lords?) - Fleet-based Night Lord successors. Like many of the "Munitorum doesn't like you" chapters, were at the back of the line when it came to being issued new ships and supplies. Found the carcass of the Nicor floating out in space and claimed it as salvage. The rest of the Imperium was in an uproar over this, the Nicor was considered a historical relic of great importance, and the Carcharodons of all people were the last people to have a valid claim to it. Numerous parties, including several more reputable Astartes chapters, registered protests with the Administratum. This only ended when Grand Empress Isha approached the Carcharodons in secret and offered them a deal: recognition of their rights to the Nicor if they would hunt down and kill Fyodor Karamazov and his entourage. Use the Nicor as a central base as they prowl around the Segmentum Tempestus like reef sharks. When a patrol party finds something interesting they descend en masse like sharks on a feeding frenzy. Pretty effective at keeping any ork in their area of the Segmentum Tempestus from forming a decent WAAAGH! Probably above Chapter strength, though their numbers fluctuate so wildly due to their tactics it is hard to tell.

Dark Angels (Dark Angels) - Loyalists changed their colors from black to dark green after the War of the Beast, because after the War of the Beast the majority of black-wearing Dark Angels were Fallen traitors, and the Dark Angels didn't want to get team-killed by allies whose first instinct was to shoot Astartes dressed in those colors. There’s also a bit of symbolism in there. Lion gave the Dark Angels their color after a national hero of Franj. After the War of the Beast, he probably didn’t think he and his legion deserved to wear those colors anymore.

Ironically, the fact that the Lion was so quick to respond to the reports of Luther’s treason won him the gratitude of several Craftworlds, even though the Lion himself wasn’t fond of eldar. The modern Dark Angels maintain discrete relationships with several Craftworlds, who provide them with information, resources, and occasionally unauthorized use of the Webway which the Dark Angels use to hunt down their mutual enemy: the original Fallen. Small parties of Dark Angels have been known to go AWOL for periods at a time behind the Imperium's back if they think they can get a shot at one of the original Fallen, acting kind of like post-World War II Nazi hunters; the Dark Angels want to hunt down the original Fallen who besmirched their honor, Eldar want to hunt down the bastards who burned their worlds.

Daemon Breakers (Thousand Sons) - See Ahzek Ahriman

Death Guard/Black Templars (Death Guard) - The Always Crusading! All The Time! chapter. Indeed, the Black Templars in this timeline came from the Death Guard, led by Typhus the Pilgrim (hence the name), and it seems like the Death Guard at some point adopted many of the tactics of their descendant chapter. Use Mark I geneseed as opposed to other chapters because of the greater compatibility, wider optimal age range, and faster turnaround time from the normal Mark III MP geneseed.

Exorcists (Thousand Sons)

Grey Knights (Thousand Sons) - Technically Thousand Son descendants, although in reality a lot of different groups had a hand in their creation. Grey Knights were originally envisioned as merely being Warp resistant; help from the Eldar turned them into daemon shredding machines. Magnus spent most of his time post-War of the Beast training the Grey Knights and after he and Russ reconciled Russ also helped. This joint project was one of the last things Russ did before he disappeared. Grey Knights are well known and seen as awe-inspiring figures. Their image is plastered all over recruitment posters. Nevertheless, people know that you do not want to be around when the Grey Knights are on the job and you do not want to know the specifics of what they are doing. Numbers once peaked at 7500 thousand. Currently due to all the craziness it's well under 3000 due to attrition. Some question if the order can survive much more at current levels of activity.

Iron Hands (Iron Hands) - The Iron Hands and their descendants are not Astartes, but Skitarii with access to augmentations that even most Skitarii don't have access to. The Iron Hands are kind of weird in this respect. What differentiates them from Thallaxi is they are given a much higher degree of independence and potential for unorthodoxy, for the reason that they are extremely devoted to the ideals of the cult Mechanicus and trusted to not be unorthodox in the first place. Much like how in canon Arch-Magi are the only ones allowed to tamper with technology because they are trusted due to their long years of service to the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Iron Hands and their descendants are allowed to disbelieve because the AdMech know they are so zealous they will never do so of their own free will anyway, and are responsible enough to come up with their own battle strategies because they will only deviate if necessary.

Lamenters (Blood Angels) - Guilty Marines. The Lamenters were formed from those Blood Angels who felt that maybe Sanguinius wouldn't have died if only they had done more, and have tried to atone for this perceived failure ever since. In a meta-sense, each of the Blood Angel successors represents an aspect of Sanguinius, the Lamenters representing Sanguinius' recognition of his own powerlessness and maybe a bit of his self-doubt. That for all his talents and power his ability to affect the universe is ultimately very limited. That's what they lament, their own powerlessness. while another chapter might celebrate a successful crusade or the defeat of a WAAAGH!, the Lamenters would say, "we could have done more." They're like normal Blood Angels on Sanguinala 24/7. However, despite this, they aren't so melancholy that it affects their performance, and they are known for always going the extra mile to do the job and protect civilians. As a result, while the Lamenters are well-respected, they aren’t much fun to be around. On the other hand, they managed to avoid getting assigned to the Maelstrom in this timeline, so that’s a plus.

Legion of the Damned (It's Complicated) - The Legion of the Damned were the result of the Rubric of Ahriman, created when all of the Space Marines (of a several chapters) and Imperial Guard on the surface of Prospero were trapped between dimensions as quantum flaming space ghosts. Neither living nor dead, they are pissed at being stuck between worlds and hunt Chaos with a vengeance. Their presence is one of the few things daemons fear as the Legion of the Damned are able to chase them back into the Warp where they can be harmed rather than simply banish them.

Luna Wolves (Void Wolves) - The Luna Wolves were mostly the old Sol Void Born families and their traditional ancestral home ships. They congregate naturally around Luna and make up most of the interstellar traders and ferrymen going to and from Sol and around Sol. Horus was one of them. More Merchant Navy than military Navy. They are very well trained captains and crews, legacy of the migrant fleets of Old Sol in ancient days.

Marines Malevolent (Iron Warriors?) - The Marines Malevolent are extreme pragmatists. They feel like being a super soldier is a fundamentally dirty job that requires people to do horrible things and make hard decisions for the greater good, and thinking otherwise (or, heaven forbid, treating it like you're a hero) means you're lying to yourself or you're too cowardly to do what is necessary to keep the Imperium safe. This doesn't go over well with the other chapters, who even though they've had their fair share of doing something distateful to stop something worse generally try to find another solution first. The Marines Malevolent would rather amputate a limb rather than try to cure the infection first, simply because it leaves no room for failure. As a result, the Marines Malevolent don't get along with anyone. They don't like other Astartes chapters, who they see as as deluded or cowards. Heck, they don't even like themselves, who they see as having too much blood on their hands from all the "horrible yet necessary" (though many would debate that) things that they have had to do.

As a result, things tend to ends badly when the Marines Malevolent try to play with anyone else. One suggestion of what generally ends up happening is the MM do something horrible, they get put on penitent crusade, everyone forgets about what they did after a few centuries (no one really notices what they do on penitent crusade unless they really screw up, since they are generally off on the fringes), and the Marines Malevolent are given a second chance or called in because shit has officially hit the fan and the Imperium needs all hands on deck. Only for the Marines Malevolent to do it all again. Either that, or they were booted on permanent Penitant Crusade duty after they blew their first second chance and have only been called in during the most dire situation since.

Currently, the most recent event that the Marines Malevolent have gotten shit over happened during the Fourth War for Armageddon, when the MM steered part of an Ork WAAAGH! into a refugee camp. The Marines Malevolent expected the Orks to be slowed down as they stopped to loot and massacre the defenseless refugees, and then while the Orks were pinned simply bombarded the whole place with artillery. This uber-pragmatic attitude horrified most of the other chapters present, especially the Salamanders. The Marines Malevolent saw themselves as doing what needed to be done to win, and what the other chapters were too cowardly to do themselves, and said as much to Tu'Shan's face. Helbrecht (who was on Armageddon at the time but otherwise occupied) might have even wanted a piece of that action if he was around.

It's not entirely agreed upon where the Marines Malevolent come from. The best candidates would be the Iron Warriors, with the pragmatism and disregard for life turned up to eleven. However, arguments could be made for Night Lords, War Hounds, Ultramarines (simply because they are so diverse), or even Imperial Fists (given the canon!Fists focus on duty and stoicism, and they wear yellow). The Marines Malevolent obviously know who their progenitors are, but all First Founding chapters refuse to recognize them as their descendants. Yes, even the Night Lords and Iron Warriors. They have standards.

It should be noted that despite all this, this is still a more positive portrayal of them than in canon.

Night Lords (Night Lords) - Spend most of their time on what is effectively permanent Penitent Crusade on the edges of the Imperium, far from where they can do a lot of harm. Fluff beyond this is still a little up in the air and not entirely set in stone. Recruit from a variety of sources, including untainted orphans of Chaos and xenos attacks and mind-wiped criminals. Still seem to consider Nostramo a place of importance, even though they aren't very sedentary. Have close relationships with Craftworld Iybraesil, of all people, who provide the Night Lords with spirit stones that they use to torture Crone Eldar. Spirit stones can easily work like a sensory deprivation tank, which is hell for the sensation-happy Crone Eldar.

Omega Marines (Alpha Legion) - Not an actual chapter, the Omega Marines are the Alpha Legion's off-the-books, black-ops deniable assets. The Omega Marines do all sorts of monstrous things even the Alpha Legion wouldn't be allowed to do. False-flag operations, infiltration of Fallen warbands up to and including going into the Eye of Terror, etc. Things that have to be done even if they're not "good" or "nice". It's not a safe job. Because of their nature as spies, the Alpha Legion tends to have more operatives turn traitor than other legions, and Omegas have a tendency to "go native" more often than the regular Alpha Legion. Those that do come back typically have their experiences psychically suppressed. The Omegas justify their existence to themselves by saying judgment for their actions has not been annulled, merely postponed. Possibly at some point they will be hauled up called to make an account of themselves, their sins will be measured and they will be jud