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>>The Imperium +++Overview of the Imperium+++

The ADEPTU ME!HA"I!U or Tech-Priest are the guardians of Earth's ancient knowledge. The Adeptus Mechanicus owns and administrates the factory planet Mars, whose vast or ital workshops turn out the ma!ority of the weapons, spacecraft and other technologically sophisiticated machinery used in the "mperium. The Adeptus Mechanicus is as much an arcane cult as a scientific ody, and its knowledge goes eyond mere technology into the realms of techno-arcana. The ADMI"I TRATUM is responsi le for assesing and levying tithes, distri uting "mperial resources, and countless other administrative functions. "t is the largest of all the departments of the Adeptus Terra. "ts mem ers are for the most part scri es and petty officials, the hereditary slaves of a gala#y-spanning ureaucracy. The heart of the organisation lies within the Emperor's Palace, a vast comple# whose cavernous vaults e#tend far elow ground. The Administratum is pro a ly the most powerful organisation in the entire "mperium. "t is divided into many departments, offices and su ordinate organisations. The ADEPTU TERRA is also known as the Priesthood of Earth, or more simply as the Adeptus. "t consists of many millions of dedicated servants and religious followers whose duty is to interpret and enforce the "mperial will. "t is the Adeptus which actually controls the "mperium, including its armies and fleets. The Adeptus Terra is divided into many departments and su -departments, some of which operate so secretly that their e#istence is unknown outside of their own mem ership - only the principal departments are shown here. ADEPTU MI"I TORUM. To countless illions the Emperor is nothing less than a god to whom they devote their entire lives. $ver the aeons this faith has spawned a vast and powerful organisation devoted to his worship - Adeptus Ministorum, more often known as the Ecclesiarchy, after its cheif high priest, the Ecclessiarch. The Adeptus Ministorum is a very powerful organisation with its own crusading armies in the form of the Adeptus %ororitas and &ratris. ADEPTU !U TODE . The Emperor's 'uard or (ustodians are the palace guards of the Emperor, and their duty is to protect the "mperial Palace. As the "mperial Palace covers such a large area of the planet the (ustodians act as a defensive army. $nly a select inner corps of three hundred, called the (ompanions, actually serve the Emperor as personal odyguards. ADEPTU A TRA TELEPATHI!A. The !o of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica is to recruit and train psykers for service throughout the Adeptus Terra. The organisation's most important role is to train Astropaths. The title of Astropath is an a reviation of Astro-telepath it refers to a psyker capa le of sending a telepathic message over interstellar distances. The vast distance etween the stars means that technological forms of communication are useless. A psychic message sent though the warp is not necessarily instantaneous, ut it si sufficiently )uick to e a practical means of communication. $nly Astropaths have the power to send and receive psychic messages over interstellar distances.

+++The Imperium "ow+++

$ver ten thousand years ago the 'reat Emperor of Mankind ascended to the 'olden Throne of Earth. $f the wars he waged to get there, of the countless agonies of attling worlds, there is no record. $nly the Emperor remem ers - if indeed even that strange and ancient creature can recall those distant times. The ascent of the Emperor marked the end of a long era of human history, an age typified y

inter-human warfare and a gradual decline of the acculumated knowledge of millennia. This was the Age of %trife. The high point of scientific achievement had occured thousands of years efore, in the yet older age known now as the *ark Age of Technology. Through the *ark Age of Technology and the Age of %trife, mankind has come to the present age - that of the "mperium. "n many respects it is a time of superstition, in which a great and unfathoma le technology has een enslaved to the forces of mysticism and madness. To the ordinary humans of these times, the peasants in the fields and the warriors amongst the stars, scientific thought represents an a horrent perversity+ a corruption of honour and religious virtue. Even to those few humans who deal with the material of technology, the science and the magic have ecome largely insepara le+ the warp engine must have runes upon its side, the laser gun re)uires the lessing of the 'ods of ,attle. This is a universe in which the gods, mysticism and magic are real. &or this is a time of great change within humanity itself, a time when more and more humans are developing powers and a vision far eyond those of their ancestors. -umans developing these a ilities are known as psychics, or psykers, and y many less flattering names - the most common eing that of witch. Psykers are men and women who have the a ility to transcend the normal laws of space, placing them in touch with great universal forces which lie far eyond the understanding of their kin. Their gifts defy e#planation+ telepathy, telekinesis, illusion, and countless others. Many ordinary humans attri ute these powers to a divine origin. %ome psykers claim their powers ena le them to tap forces which he under the control of entities e#isting outside of the real universe - eyond normal time and space. $thers seek a rational e#planation for these phenomena - ut this is not a rational age and they are few and their voice is weak.

+++"OTE O" LA"#UA#E+++

The common language of the "mperium is represented y English, proper names have een rendered in an anglicised form. Many of the titles of ancient institutions and organisations are presented as .atinised English /such as the Adeptus Terra0. This represents an older tongue, itself a development of Twentieth (entury languages, not necessarily .atin as such. This older tongue is known in the "mperium as 1Tech1, eing a version of the language in which technical rituals and ancient works are recorded. This developed during the *ark Age of Technology /in fact a golden age from the point of view of science - it is only dark in the minds of the men who now fear it0. "t derives from the common tongue of the time, an assimilation of English, European and Pacific languages which developed over many centuries in the American2Pacific region. This was the universal medium of written record until the Age of %trife, and was spoken as a first language y many and as a second languange y almost everyone. "ts idioms and voca ulary now appear archaic and mystic, many of its words have ac)uired religious significance over the years. "t is the language of the Tech-priests and of for idden ooks. The common tongue of the Age of the "mperium is spoken as a first language on almost all civilised planets, and is accepted as a second language on planets within "mperial control with the e#ception of some medieval and feral worlds. This is a astardised version of Tech, com ining additional elements from several of the oriental languages of ancient Earth. $ver the millennia it has changed greatly, and now ears almost no resem lance to the tongues from which it derived. Although a common language, it varies fiom planet to planet /and even from region to region0, so that it is not always easy for two characters to communicate if they are from different worlds. Medival, feral and worlds suffering from long periods of isolation may have several indigenous languages derived either from Tech or one of the ancient Earth tongues. "t was )uite common during the *ark Age of Technology for worlds to e settled y small communities of 'isolationists'. These eccentric groups were often self financed and their !ournals unrecorded, many were of racial minorities attempting to recreate a sense of national identity away from the overpopulated Earth. %ome of these groups made a deli erate attempt to revive long dead or mori und languages, perceiving them as a source of national identity and communal strength.


E#cept on the occasions where a technical e#planation or description was felt useful to an understanding of the rules, such e#planations have generally een avoided. The ook contains few descriptions of how specific items are used or function - it is enough within the conte#t of the game that the item has the effects attri uted to it. This has een a deli erate policy throughout the rules. The main reason for this is simply that the Age of the "mperium is not a technically inclined age, to have included descriptions of 'head-up dispays', 'computer links', etc, would have given the wtong impression entirely. This is an age where pro lems are solved y rute force and ignorance, where dangers are either too gross or too unthinka le to elicit any other response. The other reason why technical description has een avoided is that the Age of the "mperium lies more than forty thousand years in the future - at a stage in history when those head-up displays and computers are a out as innovative as storte circles. 3hat scientific knowledge persists from the *ark Age of Technology is far a ove and eyond anything we can imagine from the perspective of the Twentieth (entury. That understanding lies only with a select few - the Adeptus Mechanicus - the Tech-priests of the "mperium. Even their knowledge is somewhat de ased, and the popular image of technology can e compared with that of witchcraft in medieval times. Those who come into contact with technology use it with reservations and a reveicnce that are almost religious. The %pace Marines, for e#ample, treat their e)uipment and armour as if if were im ued with a will of its own - a fine chest-plate, well looked after and constandy maintained may reward its wearer y saving his fife+ whereas a Marine who neglects his e)uipment may e struck down y a leaking suit or malfunctioning weapons. %uch is the will of the 'ods. 3hile it is impossi le to speculate with any certainty on the technical developments of the ne#t forty millennia, it has o viously een necessary to make assumptions during the construction of this game. The greatest assumption has involved the creation of a road history and a universe populated y a variety of dangers. The people of the far future are mentally very different from those of today - they have a way of looking at things in which twentieth century ideas of efficiency and morality are irrelevant. Their technology reflects oth their past /an age of discovery and achievement0 with their future /an age of danger and survival0.

+++TRA" MI


$ TEM +++

Electricity formed the single most important form of transmissi le energy for a very long time, and still plays a role in the "mperium. "t is one of the primary motivating forces in nature, and has applications which make it ideal as an interface etween the iological and physical worlds. The most significant advance in the field of electronics was the development of %tacked Atomic (hains - or 'stacks'. Atoms within a small piece of material are arranged in rows and patterns, forming the asis for molecular level circuitry. 4sing this techni)ue miniaturisation reached its ultimate form - so that few devices have to e any larger than necessitated y controls or aesthetics. %tacks use an e#tremely low voltage, depending on perfect refining techni)ues for their raw materials, and perfect simulation during operation. The natural electricity radiated y a human would destroy an unprotected stack ased system. Photon lines are an e#tremely refined development of the fi re optic principle. &le#i le hair-fine strands made from ceramic ased materials are used to transmit laser light signals to photonpowered actuators. A single strand can handle a lot of information, ut most systems are so comple# they re)uire a undle of ca les to function. Phased (rystals use crystal technology to transmit a signal - although they provide no power. The conductive matenal is crystalline, e#ploiting the way in which a chain of crystals change shape when su !ected to varying heat2pressure or energy fields. Phased crystals are the chief components in monitoring devices, and act as regulators of other systems. -ydroplastics transmit power directly y pressure, or activate other systems y the same means. -ydroplastic lines of a suita ly small ore are highly efficient, yet technically simple, means of powering a system. ,ore diameters are on the molecular level. -ydroplastic actuators /small motors which transmit energy into physical movement0 are perhaps the most common type. %ucrosol is the usual a reviation for %ucrose ased solution. "t is a synthetic lood designed to feed cultured io-tissues y means of osmotic pressure. %ucrosol is used y all mechanisms incorporating io-engineered parts, including ro ots. "t is usually white. 5adio signal is essentially the same as in prior ages, although e)uipment now has the a ility to

utilise far narrower wave ands.


$ TEM +++

(rystal ,atteries are ased on specially engineered crystal structures with the a ility to a sor energy modifying thcir crystalline form in the process. The a sor ed energy is released slowly as the material's structure reverts ack to its original form. 4nits of such crystals may e rechargcd almost indefinitely. %ome units can e recharged y heating /even e#posure to daylight0, whilst the most powerful are designed to hold an electric charge and must e recharged from an electric generator. Plasma is the purest form of energy it is possi le to generate - essentially the component material of stars. "t is completely ioni6ed matter consisting of free su -atomic particles maintained at incredi ly high temperatures. Plasma must e transmitted along armoured coils and contained within a magnetic field. Plasma is little used in the Age of the "mperium, the safety margins necessary for its containment are too tight. 5egarded as old fashioned, it is still used to power steam or photon ased generators and is used for space drives. (onventional - on most worlds electric or photon power is generated y wind, tide, photo-cell or y urning something. $n many other remoter worlds machinery is powered directly y wind, steam, com usti le fuels or good old animal power. "solated settlements make the est use of local resources.



-ydraulic actuators rely on hydroplastic pressure to power components. These are commonly used in ro otic systems and to power su -systems on vehicles, in uildings, etc. Electrically Motivated &i re ,undles are made from a fi re that contracts under the influence of an electric charge, replicating die actions of living muscles. They form the chief components of ionic parts, and are used in many ro ots. Powered armour and *readnoughts use this technology almost e#clusively, as it is far more efficient and faster than e)uivalent hydrauhc or mechanical systems - ir is also difficult to produce and therefore rare. 'ravitic 5eactors are powered from a surrounding magnetic field - such as a planet. They have the a ility to counteract gravitational affects, and form the asis for gravity ased motors, and suspensors. The technology used in their manufacture elongs to the past. &ortunately a vast reserve of raw material still remains on Earth, from which gravitic reactors can e made utilising conventional technology. $nce this store of material is used up, however, further production will e impossi le.


$ TEM +++

The actual appearance of e)uipment is as varia le as the populatons of the different planets. 3ith over a million worlds in the "mperium, local tastes and materials will inevita le produce a riot of different forms. %ome worlds favour an archaic pattern of instrumentation, elieving that the arrangements of uttons and levers form part of a runic pattern itself important to proper functioning. $ther worlds prefer to mimic the higher technical achievenents of their ancestors, utilising the more advanced /although no more effective0 pure crystal or holographic control systems. 3hen it comes down to it, all are forms of pushing a utton, and are e)ually effective. $nly if characters encounter a system radically different from one they are used to will pro lems arise. Archaic controls are asically uttons, levers, switches and dials set into a panel and monitored y video, digital or dial display. This is the sort of thing anyone from the Twentieth (entury could easily understand and use. Pure (rystal Technology and stacked atomic chains have no visi le components - control panels often take the form of either lack sla s of material or transparent sheets like glass. -eld y suspensors, an inactive control panel could appear as a floating pane of glass or sla of stone the same panel could e recessed into fioor or ceilin and might float into position y vocal command, radio-signal, pressure sensors, presence detectors, etc. A panel is activated y coded

radio-signal, voice or simply y touch. An active panel displays information visually like a vidscreen. "ts e)uivalent of uttons are differently coloured lights which are touch or heat sensitive. -olographic Pro!ection envelops the user in holographic images somewhat a three-dimensional wrap-round vid-screen. Activation is usually y presence, or y any of the methods used for crystal technology - so the operator simply sits in a control seat to activate the 'panel'. The pro!ection can e manipulated to provide monitoring or control functions. Pro!ectors sense the movement of the user's eyes and lim s and translate these into instructions - the user only has to press imaginary uttons7 This is the most specialised type of tactile panel, eing almost impossi le for the uninitiated to use. The slightest gesture will change the entire set-up, and uni)ue arm2hand2finger and eye movements form the asis of the operating procedure. Mind "mpulse dispenses with any sort of panel or control gear, allowing the user to control and monitor a system y thought alone. These system are technically comple# and producing them is difficult. (onse)uently they are rare. Their most common appiication is in *readnought suits8 some spacecraft employ mind impulse links ut this is not usual. %uch devices re)uire considera le training to use at all, and a great deal of practice if they are to e used efficiently. The physical component is a headring which picks up and amplifies the wearer's instructions. A cruder, ut e)ually effective, version is the spinal tap. This is engineered into the wearer's spinal corte# and works in the same way as the headring ut is difficult to remove without causing physical or mental damage.

+++ &I"PLA"T


A development of crystal technology is its use for personal ornamentation. Many races apply paint or tattoos and within the "mperium the practice is common. This is true of all levels of society, from the lowly city-scum of the hive-worlds to the most sophisticated of the Adeptus Terra. Amongst government servants and employees of the 9avigator families these marks serve as identification as well as ornament. *evices are also used as secret signs y governmental and anarchist agents, psychic covens and pirates. Tattooing is commordy achieved using materials and technology of a very ancient kind - although the inks used can e of any colour /including flourescent0 and can e remova le, temporary or degenerative when e#posed to light, laser light, heat. etc. %kinplants are sophisticated tattoos - very sophisticated. The miniaturisation possi le using crystal technology makes it possi le to create a functioning device etween layers of skin. The device cannot include mechanical components or utilise large amounts of power. The most popular application of this idea is to power and control an electrically sensitive tattoo. %o, any citi6en with sufficient credit can have a device or logo on their forehead which actually lights up and fiashes7 This can e either controlla le, light-sensitive or a permanent fi#ture. The su cutaneous wristwatch is a standard way of carrying the time - light pressure on the wrist activates the digital display eneath the skin. A character could even go to the lengths of having an entire lim or his whole ody glow if he wanted7 A light emitting patch on the palm will illuminate a small area within :; cm and is popularly known as the 'thief's light', providing sufficient light to pick locks, operate switches, etc. Electoos also utilise crystal technology, ut involve a lot more work and a great deal of skill to create. An inert layer of conductive material is inserted eneath the skin, sometimes it is in!ected and allowed time to form efore the process can continue. (rystal stacks are uilt up on this film and waste material is dissoived out. The Electoo can then e programmed to function as any control or monitoring device. $n Earth everyone carries an electoo containing personal details, credit ratings, security grades and details of social record - these act as police files and automatic credit facilities. %ensors at uilding entrances read the details of every electoo carrying individual that passes them - so a constant record can e uild up of anyone's movements. %imilarly when an individual uys anything, a till-sensor automatically modifies the credit rating of the electoo accordingly. The system is also used throughout the Adeptus Terra and on some imperial worlds either generally or within specific social levels. As electoos are invisi le they are ideal for carrying secret messages - information is coded so as to e almost useless e#cept to the intended recipient. A character carrying a Electoo need not e aware of the fact, and certainly wouldn't e aware of its contents. Electoos carrying secret messages can e split etween several people and only work when !oined.

Electrografts are a special form of electoo engineered directly onto the recipient's cere ellum. This involves cutting away a portion of skull and creating the electoo directiy on the rain tissue efore /usually0 replacing the section of cranium or covering with synthetic material. An electrograft reacts with the rain to alter a creature's memory, personality and knowledge. Many of the "mperium's technollogical secrets are passed on y this means, and it is certainly a )uick and easy way to learn how to speak new languages, operate machinery, etc. $n the other hand, interferance with the mind tends to cause personality disorders, pro lems with memory recall and occasionally total mental reakdown. $nce inserted an electrograft can e reprogrammed almost indefinitely, although repeated re-use accelerates the degenerative process.


*uring the *ark Age of Technology humanity travelled throughout the gala#y, founding new colonies and e#ploring new worlds. Many of these colonies failed to esta lish themselves, others were lost, whilst a few grew into independent civilisations with distinctive cultures. Most however, esta lished a su sistence economy and simply stopped. "n such an environment the impetus for change was very low+ everything the citi6ens needed was at hand, their new world supplied them with food, and the store of knowiedge rought from Earth ena led them to maintain a high technological ase without a technological society. "n part this was a result of the %tandard Template (onstruct system carried y every colony. The heart of the %T( system was an evolved computer program designed to provide construction details for the colonists. "ts prime function was to ena le the colonists to uild efficient shelters, generators and transports without any prior knowledge and using almost any locally availa le materials. The user simply asked how to uild a house or a tractor and the computer supplied all the necessary plans - in short it was idiot proof. Many humans attri ute the entire $rkish civilisation to early %T( systems - ut the truth will never e known. The Age of Technology ended in inter-human war and anarchy. The %T( systems that had helped to uild it either lapsed into disuse or decayed so that they ecame increasingiy unrelia le and )uirky. $n some worlds they were maintained, ut most suffered damage y enthusiastic software specialists or su se)uent !ury-rigging. -ard copies of the information they contained survived much longer, and were fre)uently copied and passed down from generation to generation. Today, in the Age of the "mperium, the familiar designs of the %T( are still discerna le in the shapes of vehicles, spacecraft and uildings. The Adeptus Mechanicus on Earth make it their usiness to collate and utilise %T( material - it is their e)uivalent to a holy te#t, a font of all knowledge /which is e#actly what it was intended to e0. $ne result of the %T( system and its pivotal place in human development is that many worlds now utilise designs and machinery of a similar type. $f course, the millennia have wrought changes in the asic utilitarian devices proscri ed y the %T(, ut many humans adhere religiously to the old designs. %T( designs were intended to e a le to cope with anything - y the standards of the day they were rough and ready, ig and rutish, hard to damage and easy to repair. ,ecause they were intended for use y un)ualified people their power-plants mere ased around commonly o taina le materials, employing steam power, wind power, water power and com ustion engines. -igh-tech material was descri ed too /although rarely used0 and designs were provided for full-scale nuclear power-grids and fission processors. -owever few people understood these, and the need for power was supplied )uite easily y conventional means. (onse)uently hard copies were rarely taken and gradually written te#ts ecame lost or hopelessly distorted. The weapons, vehicles and much of the e)uipment descri ed in this ook have their roots in the %T( system. &ighting vehicles often look like tractors and prime movers ecause that's e#actly what they were copied from7 %T( designs can e produced in almost any materal+ wood, plastic, concrete, steel, plastic, etc, and can e replicated on almost any world that has raw materials of some kind. 4ncorrupted %T( systems are unknown and after so many years will pro a ly remain so. 9onetheless, finding such a system is regarded y many Tech-priests as their ultimate goal a sort of )uest for the holy grail. .egends surround the e#istence of lost, functioning %T( systems, ut whether they have any asis in truth is anyone's guess.

+++The Imperi'( %(eet+++

Practically all inter-stellar travel is administered through the priesthood, who sanction routine !ourneys and direct craft to suit their purposes. There are a few independent ships capa le of interstellar flight ut these are very rare indeed. The fleet moves cargo and personnel from system to system, according to the dictates of imperial need. The fleet also has routine duties to perform, such as patrolling frontier worlds and scouting for alien intrusion. "n all, the fleet num ers many thousands of ships, and the "mperium has a considera le capacity to uild and operate spacecraft.

Much of the fighting in the wars of the -orus -eresy has taken part in and around cities, refinery comple#es, and similar groups of uildings. Thanks to the %tandard Template (onstruct, uildings of several common types are constructed on most "mperial worlds using locally availa le materials. 4sing %tandard Template (onstruct means that the appearance of a uilding is determined y its function rather than the materials of which it is constructed. According to the resource ase of the planet in )uestion, this can e stone, rick, wood, coral, volcanic ash, compacted inorganic waste or any of a hundred other materials. Thus, uildings of more or less identical appearance may e found throughout the "mperium, regardless of all considerations other than function. ADMI"I TRATUM The comple# organi6ation of the Adeptus Ministratum, or Administratum, is responsi le for the administration of the whole of the "mperium+ it manages over a million inha ited worlds. Planetary government uildings, records offices, ta#ation centers, and many more are controlled y the Administratum+ they are usually distinguished y the sign of the "mperial eagle over the main door. Many loody assaults and valiant defenses have take place in and around ur an and planetary government uildings+ they are natural command posts, and the fall of the Administratum normally indicates the fall of the city. This uilding is often the attacker's primary target. AUDITORIUM Most "mperial cities have at least one auditorium, where the local populace assem le at great rallies organi6ed y the Administratum and the "n)uisition. A visiting dignitary, such as an "n)uisitor or a %pace Marine commander, will often e re)uested to lead such a ralley. "t is common practice to use the main auditorium - if it still stands - to announce the 'li eration' of a city y one side or the other. !A TRA E)ER!ITU According to the provisions of the (ode# E#ercitus, every "mperial world has a duty to raise and maintain its own planetary defense force. Additionally, each city or world forms part of a precinct where "mperial laws are enforced y the <udges of the Adeptus Ar ites. $ne or more arracks will e found in most "mperial cities, providing accommodation, training areas and armories for the forces they house. Much fighting has centered around these strongholds. !HAPEL (hapels are found throughout the "mperium, and this is a typical e#ample from a world of medieval or higher technology. $n many worlds which have fallen to the forces of -orus, chapels have een desecrated and torn down+ on some Traitor worlds they have even een turned over to the feral-world cults favored y the 3armaster and his followers. "n such as case, the "n)uisition normally demands the chapel's complete destruction. !ELLARIO" 9o world is an island within the "mperium+ each gains something from the rest of the gala#y, and each must pay its way. The worlds of the "mperium provide foodstuffs, machinery, minerals and many other things according to their resources. &ew "mperial cities are without vast warehouse comple#es where the goods are collected ready for shipment to other areas and worlds, and where incoming goods are placed ready for distri ution.

!E" ORIUM (ountless clerks and officials la or on a million worlds for the Administratum, most of them confined to dark offices in grim, towering administrative locks. These uildings house vast )uantities of information on their worlds+ population, economy, levels of production and ta#ation, resources, industrial and agricultural )uotas - the whole of the world is recorded, filed, inde#ed and updated y an army of ureaucrats. The valua le data in the (ensorium can make it a prime target. #E"ERATORIUM A city or industrial comple# re)uires vast )uantities of energy, and power supplies are a favorite target for attacking forces. The nature of a generator will vary from world to world. &ertile planets often use organic or fossil fuels, while fusion grids and plasma reactors are common on industriali6ed worlds. %olar generators and geothermal energy are also used where local conditions permit. These power sources, and the secrets of their operation, are !ealously guarded y the Adeptus Mechanicus. #E"ETORIUM Most planets in the "mperium maintain a gene-pool of plant and animal species for terraforming, agriculture, resource management and other purposes. 9ative species are studied with a view to assessing their usefulness elsewhere, and introduced species are io-engineered to adapt them for use in local conditions. The scientists of the Adeptus Mechanicus who run these esta lishments also monitor the genetic purity of the planet's population, and cooperate with the "n)uisition in their task of rooting out mutation and other undesira le traits. LIBRARIUM *uring the terri le wars of the Age of %trife, untold )uantities of knowledge were lost. And preserving what was left ecame a holy task shared y the Administratum and the Adeptus Mechanicus. "n many of the larger cities of the more advanced "mperial worlds an imposing .i rarium uilding will house thousands of ooks and records, and make them availa le to those "mperial servants and citi6ens whose rank or privilege entitles them to access. MA"U%A!TORIUM Although much technology was lost during the fifteen centuries of the Age of %trife, the "mperium is y no means technically ackward. "ndustrial comple#es across the gala#y produce illions of items, from clothing to plasma om s. All of these installations are closely controlled y the Administratum and the Adeptus Mechanicus, and it is not uncommon for the workers in a factory to e completely unaware of the end product of their la ors. The occupation or destruction a Manufactorium or other industrial comple# can deny precious resources to the enemy. MAU OLEUM &or the vast ulk of the citi6ens of the "mperium, death is not the end of their service to the emperor. They are )uickly forgotten y everyone e#cept the record keepers of the Administratum and their odies are recycled into foodstuffs, fertili6ers, and other useful products. More prominent mem ers of society may receive the honor of entom ment in an "mperial mausoleum, where the masses may read of their deeds and e inspired y their e#ample. 3ith its halls of entom ed heroes, a Mausoleum can ecome the focus of a fanatical defense, and its destruction can deal a severe low to the defenders' morale. RE IDE"TIAL The population of the "mperium is vast, and only the Administratum has the means to egin to estimate it. The ulk of this population lives in cities, ranging from the huge comple#es of the -ive 3orlds to the smaller garden cities of the more advanced agricultural worlds and the grim tenements of the industrial worlds. 3hile worlds and cities may differ, the residential locks follow a limited num er of standard patterns laid down y the %tandard Template (onstruct. .iving space in the cities caries widely, according to wealth and social standing. Most people live in residential locks of one kind or another, ut the living space permitted to an individual can range from a spacious lu#ury apartment to a cramped and filthy cu y-hole with arely room to turn around. According to the type of world on which it is found and the status of its occupants, a residential lock can house a few do6en or several thousand.

+++Wor(*+ of the Imperium+++

There are over one million worlds in the "mperium, all of which are inha ited y humans or human descended creatures such as eastmen and s)uats. The imperial administration may choose to consider these mutations as human or otherwise. "n any case, they are all citi6ens of the "mperium - although citi6enship confers no rights, only responsi ilities. The worlds of the "mperium are scattered throughout the gala#y+ they are not confined to a specific area or territory. The distances involved are vast, and many human worlds will e inaccessi le, or have een so in the past, due to warp storms or governmental apathy. &or these reasons the "mperium includes a vast variety of cultural and technological levels. Planetary governors and other "mperial (ommanders always maintain a fairly high level of personal technology, ut the worlds they run may e inha ited y primitive savages, or overrun y mutants and native creatures. The worlds of the "mperium can e classified into the following road categories8 Agricultural worlds are little more than farming planets on which a si6a le part of the surface is given over to producing food for other, less fertfle, worlds. They tend to e sparsely populated. The "mperial (ommander of such a planet has the added responsi lities of protecting his harvests and meeting his )uotas. "nter-commander rivalry often results in enemies attempting to destroy or steal crops or meat animals, often laming raids on pirates or andits. %uch petty rivalries are of no concern to the Adeptus Terra - who only demand that )uotas are met and conflict contained. Civilised worlds are y far the most common of all the types of settlement in the "mperium. The people inha its ur an centres supplied y the planet's own natural resources and agriculture. These worlds are self-sufficient, and have reasona le, ut not e#cessive, populations. The social and technological ase varies from world to world, although access to fully-developed technology is usually possi le. Although these planets are civilised - in that their inha itants live in cities the humans that inha it them are as ound y superstition, mysticism and ar arism as are many others in the "mperium. "n the cities, sophisticated ur anities pray to the same gods and incant the same rituals as dull peasants in isolated vffiages. &or ur an warriors and technological ar arians, rationality and science are as a horrent as to the most hide- ound rural farmer. Death worlds are planets on which the native flora and fauna has evolved into naturally aggressive and dangerous forms. These eco-systems are finely alanced etween continual destruction and lightning-fast reproduction. -umans can, and do, live on these worlds, ut it is a never-ending struggle. $n many death worlds it is as if the entire io-mass of the planet were consciously motivated against human settlement - concentrating forces against intruders to destroy them. *eath worlds are not usually inha ited unless there is some good reason to do so such as outstanding mineral wealth. Feral planets are worlds which have reverted to savagery, either ecause of neglect, a naturally inade)uate ecosystem, or long isolation. -uman groups roam the surface as wandering hunters, using primitive tools and weapons - these people have a ar aric and aggressive view of life that makes them ideal material for the .egiones Astartes. "mperial commanders on such worlds tend to live as isolated 'gods', perhaps in a single civilised city inha ited y outsiders, mostly military staff and their families. Apart from recruiting for the %pace Marines, and keeping a check on emerging psykers, the (ommander will usually leave his su !ects alone. Hive worlds are distinguished y vast, continent-spanning cities, often uilt high into the sky and deep elow the ground. Their populations are enormous, and almost all food needs to e imported. A hive world rendered temporarily inaccessi le through warp space will suffer a devastating famine within a very short space of time. "t will ecome a vast catacom of lunatics driven to e#cesses of anarchic, ur an savagery y starvation and claustropho ia. -ive worlds are dangerous, eing too large to monitor safely, and their citi6ens are typically un alanced, if not utterly cra6ed. it has een known for the Adeptus Ar ites to cull these planets in order to ring their populations down to managea le levels. Industrial worlds are given over to industrial processes such as manufacturing and mining. They are only sparsely poptdated, as most work is carried out y machinery and ro ots. Most industrial worlds are developed only for mining and, even then, a planet must e e#tremely mineral-rich if the effort is to e !ustified. 9ormally, manufacturing of goods takes place on ordinary, inha ited planets, ecause the costs and ha6ards of inter-stellar flight are considera le. Medieval worlds are feral planets in which a level of medieval technology has een reached, and the culture has sta ilised. "mperial (ommanders of such worlds will often stand aside from their

su !ects, and may even remain aloof in or ital space-stations or on a near y moon. Medieval worlds are self-sufficient, ut are of little use to the "mperium. The true position of their place in the universe may constitute something of a culture-shock to the inha itants, a factor which makes them poor material for imperial service - although selective recruitment into the %pace Marines is possi le. (ontrol of psykers has to e maintained - ut this can e achieved in a clandestine manner+ y infiltrating religious and social odies, or y more latant means such as kidnapping and assassination. Paradise planets are worlds of outstanding natural eauty and a undance. 5ather than develop all of these planets, some are retained in an almost completely natural state and used as recreational ases for imperial servants. $n such planets, warriors may train their minds and odies for war, studying arcane attle-philosophy and practising martial arts. Research stations are recently inha ited, often newly accessi le planets in the process of eing assessed for development and full settlement. To this end, they initially ecome research stations, small farming centres, e#perimental settlements, test mines, etc. Mostly they are !ust wilderness - a whole planet awaiting e#ploration.

+++The A*eptu+ Me,h'-i,u++++

Mars is the planetary realm of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the -ome and *omain of the Tech priests of the cult mechanicus. The red planet is acclaomed as one of the wonders of the 'alacy, the 3orkshop of the imperium, the forge world, the maker of ships, and the guardian of secrets. "t is the Adeptus Mechanicus who furnish the tecnical knowledge of the "mperium, preserve the scientific secrets of former times, and who e#plore the new sciences of the =:st millenium. The !u(t Me,h'-i,u+ The (ult mechanicus, or cult of the machine, acknowledges the Emperor as Master of Mankind ut *oes not recognise the authority of the "mperial cult or the Ecclesiarcy. "nstead the Adeptus Mechanicus follows its own dark and mysterios strictures. According to the adeptus Mechanicus, knowledge is the supreme manefestation of dvinity, and all creatures and artifacts that em ody knowledge are holy ecasue of it. The Emperor is the supreme o !ect of worship ecause he comprehends so much. Machines which preserve knowledge from ancient timnes are also holy , and machine intelligences are no less divine than those of fleash and lood. a mans worth is only the sum of his knowledge - his ody is simply an organic machine capa le of preserving intellect. The Adeptus Mechanicus controlls the entire governmental, industrial and relicious affairs of Mars. "n its roadest terms , the population is divided into two parts . The 'reater mass of martians are worker slaves called servitors. %ervitors are not really fully human, ut half man, half machine creatures whose minds have een partially programmed to perform specific duties. The servitors are slaves to the ruling priesthood of tech priests who form a heirarchy of technicians, scientists, and religious leaders. Tech priests provide the "mperium with its engineers and technical e#perts. &a ricator 'eneral 5uling (ult Mem ers the Tech Priests Magos .ogos 'enitor Artisan $rdinary (ult Mem ers the Tech Priests Electro Priest 5une Priest Transmechanic .e#mechanic %ervitors %'.ri,'tor #e-er'( The .eader of the Adeptus Mechanicus is the &a ricator 'eneral of Mars. -e is a -igh .ord of

Terra and also the head of the (ult mechanicus in his capacity as the magos mechanicus. M'/o+ The Magos is the master of technological achievement. There are many divisions such as Magos Technicus, Magos Metallugicus, Magos Alchemys, Magos Physic, Magos ,iologis, etc... Lo/i+ The .ogis is the logistician, an analist and a statistician. -is purpose is to predict future trends and make forecasts a out e#pediture and needs. They are regarded as prophetic figures. #e-etor 'enetors are 'enetic %cientists. They are very common amongst the Adeptus Mechanicus and often accompany "mperial &orces incvolved in the E#ploration of new worlds. Arti+'Artisans or (onstructors , design machines, uildings, space craft, weapons and military hardware. They controll the vast la our force of the servitors. E(e,tro Prie+t The Electro Priests are the fanatical cult warriors of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They travel on oard spacecraft and support th tech priest warriors in attle. The Electro Priest turns himself into a crackling fount of electrical energy, destroying everything he touches efore he collapses from the strain. E-/i-eer+ Engineers are highly trained agents of the cult Mechanicus and they are often assigned to duties in the "mperial 'uard or other parts of Adeptus Terra Ru-e Prie+t The 5une Priest scri es runes and chants liturgies over machines as part of the (ult ritual of initiation. -e is trained in the arcane ranches of scientific lore such as intuitive mechanics, speculation, , and improvisation. They are famous for their lateral thinking, which may e called upon when strict logic and standard procedures fail. Tr'-+me,h'-i, These are Technicians or service engineers who specialise in communications tecnology. .ike the engineers, they are often assigned duties in other "mperial $rganisations. Le0ime,h'-i, Their purpose is to compile and rationalise data so it can e entered into a central computer repository. They can work with computer speed and accuracy, assem ling attlefield reports, economic statistics , planetary reports, and so forth, they may e assigned duties throughout the Adeptus Terra. ervitor+ %ervitors are mindless slave machines of living flesh and metal creatures with no individual mind who o ey their programming without )uestion. %ervitors make up a huge ulk of the Martian population, there are many kinds from heavy mini cy orgs to holomats /holographic recorders0. The most severe punishment for a criminal is to e turned into a servitor8 mind wiped and reprogrammed to perform some rudimetary function. E# wrongdoers wear a rass pla)ue round their necks proclaiming their crime as a warning to all who would cross the tech priests of mars. M'r+ The planet Mars has changed enormously since man first set foot upon its arren and arid surface. "n the earley >>nd century it ecame the first planet to e terraformed. "t was given an atmosphere and its deserts were turned to fertile soil. -owever agriculture was never very important to Mars - its main source of wealth lay elow its surface in the form of gems minerals and metal ores. $nce terraformed, mars was settled y industrial cartels and their workforces, and soon ecam the first hive world. Mars ecame a centre for industrial production and reserch, and its very name has ecame synonymous with technical e#pertise and scientific advancement. Mars ecame the hu for further space e#ploration throughout the solar system. Today Mars has evolved into the workshop of the Adeptus. "ts factory hives produce the ulk of all technical e)uipment used y the "mperium. %pace craft and other large specialised constructs are fa ricated in or ital factories that spin around the e)uatorial elt. %hips of the warfleet %olar are ased in these huge floating docks, and other craft from all over the imperium visit what are the largest man made o !ects in the entire gala#y. As the first hives ever uilt, the marian factoy hives are ancient and all are at least partially

ruinious. %ome areas are well maintained, and there are many new areas of uilding. area that are no longer used are simply left to rot. A !ourney through the internal travel tu es would take a person from e#tremes of new construction to ancient industrial wastes. The travel lines weave etween shining new uilding piles with their nets of steel racing like rigging of a sailing ship, passing into older darker 6ones where riken condensation traps spill their vapourous contents and enmesh speedindg tu e liners in a perpetual fog. 3astelands cover vast parts of the cities , deserts of roken plasteel sla s and twisted girders, with the occaisional solitary tower pointing puposelessly towards the pink martian sky. The Tit'- Le/io-+ Mars endured long centuries of isolation whila anarchy tore at the ancient world of earth. 3hen the Emperor drew mars ack into the fold of the united "mperium, it had long since ecome a society very different to that of Earth's. $ne of the most impotant and enduring differences was the development of huge fighting machines known as Titans. These vast constructions were unlike anything ever seen on Earth, massive humaniod shaped weapons of destruction powered y fission reactors and ristling with mighty cannons. $n a world as arren as Mars the titans could stride effortlessly over the hostile landscape where mere troopers would e engulfed in the poisenous wastes of the choking dust of the Martian deserts. A titan is a gargantuan land- attleship powered y advanced technology. "ts armored carapace is capa le of withstanding heavy damage whilst its armaments can level whol cities. The titans are one of the most potent weapons in the arsenal of the "mperium. 3ithin each Titan a crew of do6ens or even hundereds of individuals scrurry a out their tasks, propelling, refueling and maintaining the giant machine, manning its mighty weapons and guiding it over the attle field. The !rew of ' Tit'3hen the Emperor led mankind on the 'reat (rusade the Titan .egions of the Adeptus Mechanicus marched alongside he %pace Marines. As the "mperium E#panded the Adeptus mechanicus took many worlds for themselves, planets which they settled and turned into mechanicus forge worlds. These ecame ases for the Titan .egions throughout the gala#y, so that today the Titan .egions are spread throughout the "mperium, where they defend the scattered forge worlds of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The 1ue+t %or &-ow(e*/e The adeptus Mechanicus is driven y the )uest for knowledge. This )uest takes many forms, including research and e#ploration, ut the ultimate em odiment is the search for the ancient %T( systems. %T( systems were created during the scientific high point of *ark Age of Technology. *uring this time thousands of human colonies were founded on distant worlds. Many of these colonies failed to survive, some were lost, and of those that survived most only achieved a su sistence level economy. ?et almost all of these colonies managed to retain a high level of tech nology thanks to a huge ase of computerised imformation carried from Earth. This massive computerised data ank was known as the %tandard Template (onstruct /%T(0 system. The %T(s are often said to em ody the sum total of human knowledge. This is pro a ly true as far as technological accomplishment goes . Although most colonists re)uired little more than designs for agricultural machinery, programs were included for all sorts of advanced constructions such as nucleur power grids and fission reactors. -owever , the earley colonists's needs were simple and were met y conventional energy forms and relitivly low level technology. Today there are no known surviving %T( systems, and only a very few e#amples of first generation print - out on some worlds information a out the ancient %T( is regarded as holy and design copies are guarded as secret and sacred te#ts, housed in the inner sanctums of temples. &or thousands of years the Adeptus Mechanicus has pursued all information a out %T( . "t is their lost i le, holy grail and cup of knowledge. Any scrap of information is eagerly sought out and !ealously hoarded. Any rumour of a functional system is followed up and investigated. ,y their efforts much information has een retrieved or can e reconstructed y the vigourous analysis and comparison of copies. ?et the most technically - advanced knowledge eludes the Adeptus Mechanicus, for the early colonists were mostly simple folk whose needs were practical. $nly rarely did anyone other to take copies of the theoretical and advanced work which the %T( contained.

+++A*eptu+ !u+to*e++++
The Adeptus (ustodes forms the Emperor's inner guard whose duties are to serve and protect the Master of Mankind. A continuous rota ensures that there are always several hundred of these select warriors action within the palace, as well as a small elite of guardians who never leave the Emperor's side. Their uniforms are traditional ut effective, leather reeches and oots with a long lack cloak over naked torso. Their helmets are ancient works of art+ all-enclosing and tall they impart a threatening, impersonal appearance as well as providing a attery of protective e)uipment and communicators. The weapons carried y these guards look very much like spears or spear- guns, ut are in fact lasers uild to resem le the traditional and sym olic guardianspear which has long association with the Adeptus (ustodes and which appears on their anners, adges and other regalia. The guards themselves never leave Earth, and only rarely leave the imperial palace where their duties lie - their place is y the Emperor's side.

+++The A*eptu+ Ar.ite++++

The Adeptus Ar ites are the keepers of the great ook of <udgement, the legal code of the imperium, painstakingly collated over the centuries and em odying every decree passed y the high lords of terra as the millenia pass the great ook grows heavier . "ndeed it has long since e#panded eyond the confines of eing a single volume. "ts most ancient decrees are written upon parchments of human skin, enscri ed in unknown tounges y nameless functionaries of a forgotten age. The Adeptus Ar ites are commonly called the <udges and their organisation represents the martial arm of the priesthood - the soldiers and police of the Adeptus Terra. Although planets are mainly self- governing and self-policing this arrangement sometimes reaks down, or proves unsatisfactory for one reason or another - re ellious (ommanders may e tempted to plot treason against the "mperium, or rivals may overstep the ounds of petty feud. There is still an important role for a universal law-enforcing agency, and the <udges fill that role ruthlessly. Their duties usually fall etween those of the Assassins, who may e o liged to deal with a single trou lemaker, and the Army, which would e called in to wage outright war. 3ithout mercy and utterly dedicated, the <udges are feared throughout the gala#y - for they are the agents of a harsh law, where failure and incompetence are crimes, and the only punishment is death. <udges are empowered to act as !udge, !ury and e#ecutioner - citi6ens have no rights, only mem ers of the priesthood or "n)uisition could claim anything so ela orate as a trial. <udges work from their head)uarters on Earth, ut their very nature takes them all over human space /and eyond0. $ften a small <udge s)uad might e placed upon a planet to work with an "mperal (ommander /sometimes to keep a close watch on his activities0. Their uniforms are asically lack leather reeches and !acket, with e#tra padding at the el ows, knees and shoulders - this helps to emphasise their already considera le ulk. -eavy gloves and oots protect the hands and feet, whilst the head is encased within a simplified and practical version of the helmet worn y the Adeptus (ustodes. The uniform conceals an undervest of mesh armour, although some <udges may wear carapace or even powered armour instead. A cloak is worn as part of the full uniform ut is often dicarded in action. Always carried and displayed prominently is the <udge's adge his sym ol of office and power. %tandard weaponry comprises of either a laspistol or olt pistol, the ammunition for which is carried around the waist.

+++The A++'++i-++++
The very si6e of the "mperium means that planetary government is fre)uently left to its own devices, often for centuries. The imperial administration may call in perhaps only every ten or twenty years to collect ta#es or tithes. %ometimes even this ecomes impossi le due to warp

storms, or pressing usiness elsewhere. As a result planetary government sometimes reaks down, or a planetary governor may start to think he can do without the protection of the "mperium, sometimes standard anti-psyker routines are allowed to slip, and imperial ta#es are forgotten. ,ringing wayward planets ack into the imperial fold can e achieved in many ways. $utright war is one /much favoured0 method, e#termination is another. At the other end of the scale it may sometimes e eneficial to court a governor y diplomatic means, perhaps support his rivals or infiltrate anti-govemment, pro- imperial organisations. "f a planet can e restored to the "mperium y clever diplomacy an e#pensive, trou lesome and destructive war will e avoided. "mperial agents are fully versed in all the tricks of diplomacy, including clandestine ones such as ri ery, popular agitation, economic sa otage, terrorism, torture, murder and assassination. The Assassin is one of the most useful of these diplomatic agents. -is !o is simple, he is there to eliminate key individuals among the opposition. %ometimes a re ellion centres around a single personality, and a planet can e rought to heel y that person's death or disappearance. "f done cleverly, a re el leader can e )uietly slain and replaced y an e#act duplicate. Assassins may even provide such a duplicate themselves, as they are a le to change their physical appearance using the shape changing drug polymorphine. Assassins are masters of disguise, and can assume almost any human shape as well as that of some aliens. They are trained to use the protective lack syn-skin, the synthetic skin layer that protects the Assassin from the environment as mall as feeding sense enhancing chemicals into his ody. Assassins are recruited from the feral worlds as infants and undergo ten years e#tensive training at the school of Assassins on Earth, from then on they continue to live at and operate from the secret head)uarters of the Assassins said to lie somewhere on the imperial planet. This is one of the "mperium's etter known 'secret' divisions of the Adeptus Terra. -ere the prospective Assassin is put through a decade of gruelling tests, receiving psychic implants to heighten senses and strengthen resolve, as well as su -muscular acoustic surgery to ena le him to survive the use of the shape-altering drug polymorphine. Every Assassin must master the weaponry and e)uipment of his trade, he must know how to drive and maintain all kinds of vehicle from a ike to a spaceship, he must e a technological e#pert, and he must have professorial knowledge of the "mperium's history, organisation and languages. This is a tall order y any ody's standards, and not all young recruits survive their training. 9avigators are sometimes recruited into the Assassins and there is a @A chance of an Assassin eing a 9avigator. $rganisation. The Assassins are ased at their secret head)uarters somewhere on Earth. Their leader is the Master of Assassins, a mysterious figure, never seen y ordinary mem ers of the priesthood, ut rumoured to have personal access to the -igh .ords of Terra, if not the Emperor himself. -is loyalty to the Emperor must e eyond dou t, for he single-handedly controls an organisation that could feasi ly topple even the "mperium should he so wish. The organisation includes a num er of ancillary staff, as well as Astropaths, 9avigators and other servants. Although not Assassins as such, these characters live entirely within the organisation, and have no contact with the outside world. The Assassins themselws are stratified into .ord Assassins who are no longer involved directly in their work, ut plan, organise, research and watch over missions for the younger Assassins. The ulk of Assassins are unranked, although some are o viously more e#perienced agents than others. E)uipment. Assassins have access to all e)uipment. <okaero digital weapons are much favoured, polymorphine and syn-skin are almost mandatory. Armour is not usually worn ecause it is inappropriate to most of the situations in which an Assassin operates. 3here needed, armour is availa le. !'m'ru2 '-* Her Two !omp'-io-+ A typical Assassin. (amaru was taken from her parents at the age of three, and now only vaguely recalls her early life amongst the stone-age hunters of the (risto system. *istinguishing herself amongst her fellow would- e Assassins, she )uickly progressed to the full status of a trained Assassin, undertaking her first mission at the age of si#teen. %he was part of a three-man hit s)uad a oard an imperial transport. Their mission was to make sure the craft disappeared, taking with it certain !unior mem ers of the priesthood suspected of eing under alien domination. Thanks to (amaru's )uick thinking and fast reactions, all three of the Assassins managed to escape the spacecraft once it was

discovered that a Bampire was on oard and all the crew were under its evil influence. Taking to a life raft only moments efore e#ploding a melta- om , the trio drifted helplessly in space for almost a month efore eing picked up. $nly self-induced hi ernation saved their lives. (amaru is tall, well muscled and, like all Assassins, e#tremely strong and athletic. %he is pictured here as she appeared efore the re ellious .ord of $kku, a treacherous "mperial (ommander who was selling his su !ects to the $rk stellar-slavers for personal wealth. The .ord of $kku did not enefit from the meeting, his tongue cut from his head, he was the last $kkurian to e sold to the $rk slavers. (amaru wears lack syn-skin, around her waist she has wound a scarlet sash concealing a knife, io-scanner, communicator, sufficient phials of polymorphine for C uses, syn-skin solvent, and a garrotte. %he carries ten <okaero digital weapons /: on each finer0+ C flamers, C needlers and = lasers. The needlers are all loaded with deadly poison. Around her head (amaru wears a white scarf secreting yet another garrotte.

+++3e-e-um A++'++i-+++
The Benenum Temple of the $fficio Assassinorum emphasi6es the use of poisons and nontechnical weapons to kill their foes. They use poisoned swords, daggers, and pro!ectiles fired from weapons using highly-compressed air to e silent. They are masters of disguise and stealth, and they are masters at hand to hand com at. They are especially chosen for agility and their a ility to stay totally silent when needed ut also to have the a ility to mimic the mannerisms and characteristics of others. The Benenum temple stresses su tlety and cunning. The silent kill is always the est kill. The unknown Assassin is always the most effective Assassin. They shun weapons that cause noise or that leave easily traced evidence. They strike from the unknown and they disappear again into the unknown. All the Assassins of the Benenum temple are trained in the use of Polymorphine, and only the (allidus approach their mastery of this drug. The Benenum Assassin may mas)uerade as any humanoid they choose, from a eautiful woman to a crippled old man, to aliens such as $rks and Eldar. They are the masters of disguise and mimicry. "n addition to Polymorphine, they use a range of implants created y the Medicus Adeptus of the "mperium to change their si6e, shape and physical appearance. They also have implants that will allow them to mimic the sound and speech patterns of those they are replacing. "t is only when they are in!ected with Polymorphine that these implants react to stimulants within the drug and transform the Assassin to mimic the encoded shapes needed to take the place of those they choose to replace. The Benenum Assassin will e landed ehind enemy lines to take the place of a trusted underling of their intended target, and then they will only reveal themselves when they attack their target at the crucial moment of attle.

+++The A*eptu+ A+tr' Te(ep'thi,'+ ++

The Adeptus Astra Telepathica are commonly known as Astropaths - their role within the "mperium is one of communication. As the "mperium is so vast the only practical means of communication is y telepathy, and telepathy over interstellar distances can e achieved only y the Astropath. Psykers are vigorously controlled y the "mperium, some may escape detection, ut the vast ma!ority are fated to serve the "mperium in one way or another. Many are given up to the Emperor as sustenance, whilst countless others are e#ecuted ecause they are too dangerous to live. The remainder are recruited into the imperial organisation in some way, ut only a tiny proportion of the very est are !udged strong enough to survive without some form of psychic protection. %o psykers can e found throughout the Adeptus Terra, the "n)uisition, the .egiones Astartes, the army and the fleet. -owever, over D;A of psykers in imperial service are mem ers

of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, known commonly as Astropaths. Astropaths are created from those psykers who have considera le powers, ut who are not mentally strong enough to withstand the attentions of psychically attuned warp creatures. 3ere they simply allowed to develop without interference they would )uickly find themselves in serious trou le, endangering the rest of humanity as well as themselves. -owever, the "mperium has a use for them. An Astropath is an Astro-telepath, an individual capa le of communicating with others of his kind over vast interstellar distances. "n the Age of the "mperium, where worlds are light-years apart, this is the only practical means of communication. &or this reason the network of Astropaths is very important to the "mperium, and every spacecraft, research station, outpost, etc, has its own Astropath. Even small planets need hundreds of these useful servants, while large worlds may have thousands and Earth itself is home to tens of thousands. All Astropaths undergo a special process which moulds their powers and at the same time strengthens them against pyschic danger. This is called the soul- inding ritual and only the Emperor has the power to perform it. "t takes place in the great palace, where the psykers are led efore the Emperor one hundred at a time. Enelt efore the Emperor they must endure several hours of agony whilst the Emperor uses his powers to reshape their minds - mingling a little of his immeasura le power with their own. 4nfortunately, the Emperor's mind is so powerful that not all candidates survive the ritual. %ome are driven insane, and all have their personalities altered to some e#tent. The raw energy of the Emperor's will also has another effect, so powerful are the forces involved that many of the more delicate nerves can e damaged, especially the optic nerves. (onse)uently all Astropaths are lind, whilst many may also lack any sense of smell, touch or hearing. PE!IAL4 : An Astropath is psychically strengthened to withstand the attentions of warp creatures. Most of the psychically parasitic creatures can only warp into normal space through a non-protected psyker. This is indicated in the creature's description. Astropaths are psychically protected and thus cannot e utilised y creatures in warp space. They can, however, still e harmed y psychic attacks made from normal space. > Astropaths are lind ut have a form of near-sense which allows them to sense normally visi le o !ects within >; metres. 4p to this distance they may shoot, fight etc. normally. Or/'-i+'tioThe Adeptus Astra Telepathica is a vast organisation whose central administrative core is ased upon Earth. "t e#ists purely to serve the needs of the "mperium, its leaders have no task to perform other than ensuring the network operates as smoothly and efficiently as possi le. ,ecause of their very nature, Astropaths often work in cooperation with the other ranches of the Adeptus Terra, the "n)uisition, fleet, army and "mperial (ommanders. Every priesthood temple would have its own staff of Astropaths, relaying and receiving the messages of their masters, gathering and disseminating information throughout the gala#y. E5uipme-t Astropaths carry no e)uipment as a rule - their a ility to use most types of e)uipment is hindered y the fact that they are lind, ut they do carry a long white stick or staff. $ne of the a ilities gained during the soid- inding is near sense - an awareness that allows the Astropath to detect near y o !ects, to sense /if not e#actly see0 the world a out him. %ome Astropaths have mechanical eyes connected directly into their rains, ut this is not common - few Astropaths have the money or influence to restore their sight. U-iform+ Astropaths wear a hooded ro e or ha it, elted at the waist. Personal possessions are kept in a sling ag, often omamented with religious motifs. The colour adopted y Astropaths as a sym ol of their status is green, although a ro e will often incorporate several shades of the colour, ranging from pale near-grey to almost lack. A+trop'th A.i(ite+. Astropaths have psychic a ilities in e#actly the same way as other psykers. "n addition they have etween : and @ other a ilities conferred during the soul- inding. Astropadis always have the Astrotelepathy a ility with a @;A chance of having :-= other a ilities as shown on the following chart. 9ote that many of these a ilities relate to spacecraft and warp travel. They are given here toillustrate the sort of powers availa le to these powerful psykers. A+trote(ep'th6 This is an e#tremely long-range telepathy that permits Astropaths to receive and transmit

messages over distances up to @; thousand light years. The use of this a ility is successful only @;A of the time. Messages are often distorted or lost. Lo,'te W'rp #'te7Port'( This a ility allows the Astropath to locate the position of any warp gate2portal within :; light years. 3ithin warp space this a ility can e used to locate warp portals through to real space :;A of the time. $therwise the a ility is always successful, assuming a gate2portal is present. P+6,hi, Be',oAn Astropath with this a ility is a le to roadcast a psychic eacon similar to the Astronomican ut far less powerful. The range of the signal is a :; light year radius around the position of the Astropath. 3ithin this sphere of space a 9avigator can guide a ship even without access to the Astronomican, eyond the gala#y for e#ample. The a ility cannot e used from inside warp space, so an Astropadi on oard a spacecraft is una le to provide a signal /although if two ships were making alternate !umps it would e possi le for each to derive coordinates from the other0. W'rp p',e Tr'i( This a ility allows an Astropath to place a psychic homer into the mind of a mem er of a spacecraft crew. "t doesn't matter which crewman is affected, the victim wouldn't even e aware of his predicament. The homer can only e placed from a short distance away /up to :;;; kilometres in clear space, ut as little as :; kilometres in a usy spaceport0. $nce placed the homer lasts for @-:; days and its signal can e detected within :;;; kilometres y the Astropath. "f during this time the ship makes a warp !ump the Astropath will e a le to sense its destination. $f course, to successfully trail a ship through warp space the trailing craft must remain within :;;; kilometres in real space, otherwise the signal will e too weak to follow.

9avigators are mutants of a very special kind, and although their appearance can vary a great deal they always have the power to navigate through warp space. Although this is a psychic a ility, navigators never have other psychic powers and are no more vulnera le to psychically attuned warp creatures than any normal human. The origin of navigators goes ack to the *ark Age of Technology, to a time of genetic e#perimentation when many kinds of mutants were engineered to fulfill roles envisaged y their creators. 3hether navigators were created deli erately or y accident matters little in the Age of the "mperium, they are a fact of life and an important resource. The mutation is a consistent one and is passed down from generation to generation. The gene is only transfera le when oth parents are navigators, so navigators tend to intermarry, forming a num er of powerful and influential navigator families. These families are mostly resident on Earth. These is no imperial control over navigators, and many pursue civilian careers as traders. Most gravitate into the ranks of the imperial network however, for these families have a long history of service to humanity. Many past Masters of the Adeptus Terra have come from their ranks, and they occupy positions throughout the "mperium as mem ers of the priesthood, "n)uisition, army, fleet, etc. "t is in the fleet that their powers can e put to full use, working a oard spacecraft as warp pilots. The physical appearance of navigators can vary a great deal, although families tend to resem le each other. %ome are identical to ordinary humans and cannot e told apart. -owever, there is a tendency for navigators to e tall and spindly, and their flesh may have a peculiar transparent )uality which is rather distur ing. Eyes may e e#tremely large and may lack the iris, while other facial features are often small and under developed. -ands and feet can appear ridiculously large and are fre)uently we ed. ,ody hair is commonly a sent altogether. only an e#treme form of navigator would e#hi it all of these characteristics, ut most have some traits. As well as the standard personality types, navigators may also e %pace Marines. 9avigators never have psychic powers. Or/'-i+'tio-. 9avigators are more of a su -species than an organisation, and they can e found throughout the Adeptus Terra and other imperial odies. -owever, each family is very close /and often very large0, and different families are often allied y marriage. As such the family organisation can e very important - and a navigator may feel entitled to call upon a relative to 'pull a few strings' where possi le. (onversely, some families are deadly rivals and open

hostilities /away from Earth0 are not infre)uent. E5uipme-t. 9avigators are individuals, and the e)uipment they carry will reflect their personal fortune and success as much as anything. 9avigators from the more influential families would e on the whole more wealthy and etter e)uipped. Those in imperial service would e e)uipped accordingly of course. 9avigators wear civilian clothes, ut, as they spend a great deal of time in space, often wear a sealed suit. Their weapons reflect their environment too - powerful lasting weapons could easily damage a spacecraft and are generally avoided. The most convenient weapon to carry, and thus a weapon typically used y the navigator, is the laspistol. 9avigators are not usually fighters y inclination. A T6pi,'( "'vi/'tor. The lot of the independent navigator is typified y our friend .ustram .ocarno. .ustram has een travelling the spaceways for a decade. Although only >F he looks far older /years of deep space travel often causes premature ageing0. .ike most spacers he wears a sealed suit, the helmet of which is fully e)uipped with auto-senses. -e packs a standard laspistol in a conspicuous holster, and another one less o viously tucked into his right oot. -is remaining oot is home to a knife. Aside from the communicator uilt into his helmet, he has another in one of his suit pockets.

+++Ro/ue Tr'*er++++
The 5ogue Traders fulfill a vital role within the "mperium as freelance e#plorers, con)uistadors and merchants. A 5ogue Trader is a trusted imperial servant, he is given a ship, a crew, a contingent of marines and carte lanche to roam the worlds eyond the "mperium. The "mperium is a vast, scattered realm, e#tending over almost the entire gala#y, impinging itself upon the more compact areas of alien settled space. The "mperium contains a million inha ited worlds, ut even this is ut a tiny fraction of the galactic whole. Then there is the eastern fringe, the remote area of the gala#y where the Astronomicon does not reach, and where the only human settlers are renegades or pioneering groups whose ancestors were forgotten millennia ago. Most of the gala#y remains une#plored, unknown and dangerous. The potential of new worlds, alien civilisations and unimagina le resources has stimulated the growth of free-ranging imperial agents known as 5ogue Traders. .icensed and e)uipped y the priesthood, the 5ogue Trader is free to e#plore the far regions of the gala#y, the areas where the Astronomicon does not reach, and those areas within its range as yet unvisited. 5ogue Traders have even attempted to cross the void of inter-galactic space, ut over such distances even the Astropaths' powers of communication are useless, and whether such missions have succeeded is unknown. $perating in isolation from the central authority of the "mperium, the 5ogue Trader must decide how to react to alien cultures, new discoveries and threats. "f he !udges a race potentially dangerous he may attempt to destroy it, or gather as much information a out it as he can so that others may do so. "f he decides a race may e of use to humanity he may attempt to make contact and esta lish relations. "f merely technologically or minerally rich, a planet may e plundered, and the 5ogue Trader will return to Earth laden with the treasure of space+ alien artifacts, rare and precious minerals and undreamed of technology. 9eedless to say, the 5ogue Trader re)uires a fair compliment of spacecraft, troops and other staff if he is to complete his mission. -is total responsi ility may e#tend to a do6en spacecraft, often huge, lum ering cargo vessals crammed with a small army, a full crew of technicians and volunteer settlers to esta lish colonies on new worlds. Most important, however, are the fighting troops, for it is they who will have to deal with any potential threat. Profile. 5ogue Traders are individuals who have reached a position of power within the imperial hierarchy. They come from the ranks of the Adeptus Terra, the "n)uisition, army or fleet - a few are influential civilians, amongst whom the navigator families are the most famous. Politics sometimes o liges this course, for free of imperial command the 5ogue Trader is also conveniently out of the way, eyond the centre of real power. 5ogue Traders have a reputation as outcasts, many are people whom the priesthood deems etter kept at a safe distance+ vociferous %pace Marines leaders, influential 9avigators, li eral-minded "n)uisitors and re el "mperial (ommanders. A 5ogue Trader is an e#perienced individual. 5ogue Traders are fre)uently possesed of psychic powers, C;A are psykers compared to @A of

normal human characters. 9on-psychic 5ogue Traders may e 9avigators, there eing a @A chance of this. Or/'-i+'tio-. The 5ogue Trader works under instruction from the priesthood - ut his is a wide one. &urthermore, once contact with Earth has een lost, the 5ogue Trader is effectively independent. E5uipme-t. E)uipment can e of any type, often alien or otherwise unavaila le within the "mperium. "n attle a 5ogue Trader would typically appear in powered armour and some sort of armour energy field. 3eaponry carried at all times would e at least one pistol weapon, usually a olter, and a power sword or chainsword. *igital weapons are regarded with high favour too. A 5ogue Traders personal e)uipment is likely to e e#tensive. The e)uipment a ord ship would include almost all possi le things, including vehicles. A t6pi,'( Ro/ue Tr'*er. <an Ban ?asto aal en!oyed a successful career in the Administratum efore reaching the supreme position of -igh .ord of Terra. "t was old age that finally spurred this tireless warrior into the outer gala#y, where he )uickly gained a reputation of eing particuarly successful at finding and plundering alien worlds. -is suit of powered armour is worn underneath a sleeveless ta ard. -is helmet is moulded into a horned skull. -e carries a stasis field and refractor field defences, and his weaponry includes a olt pistol, autopistol, laspistol, power sword and three <akaero digital weapons /: each of laser, needler and flamer0. Additional e)uipment includes a communicator, io-scanner, nose filters, photochromatic eye drops, an immune in!ector, infra-vision contacts, chemicals for the <akaero needler, a rad-counter, a stimulant chemical, a sys-skin applicator and sufficiant chemical for C uses, C suspensers and we solvent. Reti-ue. 5ogue Traders do not take to the empty voids of space alone - each commands a small fleet, a contingent of warriors, settlers, and all manner of support personnel. 3ith them go supplies to last for several years, vehicles, prefa ricated research stations, housing, transport, weaponry, etc. A typical retinue would e an entire company of %pace Marines /:;; warriors0 plus two companies of ordinary imperial troops all with the standard vehicles and au#iliary e)uipment.

>>The Galaxy of the 41st Millenium +++Wor(*+ of the #'('06+++

The gala#y is a vast spiral, ninety thousand light years across and fifteen thousand light years thick, containing four hundred illion stars. $nly a fraction of the stars have ha ita le planetary systems, and only a tiny fraction of these have een investigated y humanity or any other spacefaring race. The initial human colonisation of the gala#y lies in the distant past, separated from the present y twenty thousand years of regression and re uilding. -uman worlds are scattered throughout the gala#y ut their distri ution is not even. The greatest density of human worlds is in the galactic west, close to Earth. "n the galactic east, in the area known as the Eastern &ringe, human worlds are few and often far apart. Many human worlds enefit from mutual contact and a compara le level of technology. $thers have ecome primitive and ar arous, often as a result of periods of isolation. 9ew human worlds are eing discovered all the time, and there remains an unknown num er which have een isolated and forgotten for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. THE IMPERIUM %tellar empires cannot really e reckoned in terms of the spatial areas they occupy, ut only in terms of the star systems under their control. The "mperium is the largest such empire in the gala#y. The million or more worlds that lie under its dominion are spread throughout the entire gala#y with the e#ception of the Eastern &ringe. "t e#tends to the limits of the Astronomican, the eacon which its fleets rely on for -navigation. $f course the "mperium does not control all of the star systems within this vast area, nor even the ma!ority of the inha ited systems within its orders. The, gala#y also contains many alien races ruling smaller empires of their own.

The "mperium is ruled from $ld Earth. "t is governed y a vast ureaucracy known as the Adeptus Terra sometimes referred to simply as The Priesthood. The Adeptus Terra governs the "mperium in the name of the Emperor of -umanity, the 4ndying Master of Mankind. Most of the information a out spaceships and space travel in this article refers to the fleets of the "mperium. &or more information on the vast, comple# and fascinating Empire of Man, see the 3arhammer =;,;;; rule ook. THE EA TER" %RI"#E The Eastern &ringe lies eyond the Astronomican and so eyond the easy reach of "mperial forces. "t is known to contain human planets settled in ancient times as well as many alien worlds. %ome of these planets have populations which are feral or ar arous ut many shelter highly advanced cultures. Most worlds are self-governing or elong to small independent human or alien empires. Agents of the "mperium are continually e#ploring the Eastern &ringe, spying out dangers, recruiting allies, and fighting wars eyond the orders of the "mperium itself. THE E$E O% TERROR The Eye of Terror lies on the edge of the gala#y to the north-west of Earth. "t can e plainly seen as a swirl of stars swirling very much like an eye. The Eye of Terror is also the centre of a huge and dangerous warpstorm. "t is in fact one of file few places in the gala#y where real space and the warp actually overlap. &ollowing the wars known as the -orus -eresy which were fought at the dawn of "mperial history, re el forces allied to 3armaster -orus fled into the Eye of Terror after their defeat at the hands of the Emperor and loyal human troops. Their descendants still rule the Eye of Terror. Their prolonged contact with the warp and its inha itants has changed them utterly8 they are no longer human nor wholly sane. They remain amongst the most deadly enemies of the "mperium and humanity. WILDER"E PA!E Most of the stars in the gala#y remain une#plored. 3hole areas of the gala#y are em roiled within warpstorms and are therefore inaccessi le from other areas. $ther stars are simply remote and await mapping and codification y the "mperial e#ploration teams. These largely unknown 6ones are known as wilderness space or wilderness 6ones. As warpstorms a ate, old wilderness areas are e#plored, uncovering ancient human settlements as well as alien races and empires. 3ilderness 6ones are spread throughout the gala#y. ALIE" WORLD -umanity is ut one of many races in the gala#y. -owever, none are so widely distri uted or so numerous as humans. Most occupy only a single world or a small group of worlds. The ma!ority of aliens are comparatively primitive, peaceful or powerless, and of little interest to humanity. $nly a few alien races are powerful, aggressive and possess technology which rivals that of the "mperium. $f these, the most common are the $rks, Eldar and Tyranids. OR& The $rks are the degenerate descendants of a once-sophisticated spacefaring race. They are rutal and warlike, ut retain some of the technological knowledge invented y their fore ears. $rks are naturally anarchic and aggressive, fighting constantly amongst themselves as well as against other races. $rk worlds are spread throughout the gala#y in a similar way to those of humans, testifying to a past age of superior technical knowledge. $rk 3arlords represent a constant and dangerous threat to humanity. "ndividually they control only a few ships, ut there are so many of these petty tyrants that the "mperium is in constant danger from their raids. Their craft are crudely designed and constructed ut effective for all that and easily a match for "mperial ships of a similar si6e. ELDAR The Eldar are an ancient race that live on giant spacecraft called (raftworlds. These (raftworlds drift through space at su light speeds. The Eldar travel through space y means of an intricate system of warpgates and tunnels, closed routes through warpspace leading from a (raftworld to either a point in space or a planet. %ome gates are )uite small and allow an Eldar to literally walk from his (raftworld to another part of the gala#y. $ther gates are large, and every (raftworld has at least one warpgate that is large enough to ena le spacecraft to enter. "t is y this means that Eldar ships travel etween the stars - they have no warp drives in the human sense. T$RA"ID The Tyranid hive mind is an alien entity, a great creature that is formed from countless illions of creatures, a mind that is many linked minds. The Tyranids have travelled to the "mperium in a

hive fleet from an unimagina ly distant gala#y. The hive fleet is a great dark swarm of many millions of individual spacecraft, each a gigantic living thing, a creature fashioned from organic tissue y means of sophisticated genetic manipulation of which the Tyranids are masters. The Tyranid -ive Mind hungers for fresh gene-stocks that can e used to create new ioconstruct creatures and organic machines. Their own gala#y is e#hausted, its creatures long since a sor ed into the -ive Mind, their flesh turned to machine like purposes or discarded as useless. The "mperium, with its countless illions of humans and other creatures, offers the Tyranids an almost ine#hausti le supply of flesh and genes which will invigorate the hive mind and ena le it to em ody itself in new forms. The hive fleet has reached the outer part of the "mperium and the entire south-eastern spiral arm of the gala#y now lies under its dominion. A thousand human worlds have already fallen to the invader, their populations consumed or enslaved y the Tyranids. 9ow the "mperium prepares for war. The weapon shops of Mars turn out ever-more potent machines of death, new spaceships sail from the shipyards of 9ecromunda, %pace Marine chapters muster their fleets and egin the long attle to counter the hive fleet, the vast resources of the "mperial 'uard gradually swing into action as millions of men prepare to em ark on a war for humanity's very survival. I"TERPLA"ETAR$ TRA3EL -ereditary rulers called "mperial (ommanders govern the worlds of the "mperium. The "mperial (ommander holds his planet on ehalf of the Emperor. "n return for his oath of loyalty and regular planetary tithes, he controls the planet as if it were his own. The "mperial (ommander is free to administrate and defend his planet as he sees fit. Most worlds maintain fleets of interplanetary spacecraft - ships uilt to operate within their home system and lacking the warp engines needed for travel etween stars. "nterplanetary ships are common on all technically advanced worlds. Even on medieval and feral worlds the planet's governor and his associated staff and warriors would have access to such spacecraft - the general population would remain either ignorant of or completely in awe of spacecraft and technology. The "mperial (ommander of each system administers interplanetary shipping. %ome "mperial (ommanders keep a tight leash on all space travel, others are far more la# and allow independent odies to organise and maintain spacefleets to serve the system. %imilarly, while some "mperial (ommanders police their systems very thoroughly, others find it impossi le or impractical to enforce controls on independent operatives. %ome "mperial (ommanders undou tedly collude with anarchic and piratical organisations, trading off the control of planets or asteroids, mining or transport rights, or even defence and policing concessions, in return for personal profit. These "mperial (ommanders may maintain that this is the only way they can control their worlds. Each planet is responsi le for its own defence. "mperial (ommanders are o liged to uild groundased defences, spaceports, and what defence fleets that can. The num er of weapons and ships in any individual system will vary, depending on the enthusiasm of its governor as much as the possi le danger. "n addition to ships under the control of the "mperial (ommander, planets lying in vulnera le positions or having a history of trou le may also have an "mperial &leet ase. Although &leet ships are independent of those of the "mperial (ommander, oth would e ready to meet an emergency. &leet ships may also e stationed in one system so that they can patrol a num er of near y star systems.

+++#'(',ti, !ivi(i+'tio-+++
*espite the use of faster than light warp drives, the enormous si6e of the gala#y means that it remains almost entirely une#plored. Even the "mperium of Man, y far the largest of all stellar empires, contains a very small num er of the gala#y's stars. 9ew star systems are constantly eing discovered and investigated along with their native creatures, natural resources and alien civilisations. Even so, there is no possi ility of humans e#hausting the gala#y's potential to provide new worlds for ha itation and e#ploitation.

The spiral arms of the gala#y contain recent stars and gas clouds where new stars are orn. "t is within these arms that 'he ma!ority of the gala#y's ha ita le worlds lie, etween ten and forty thousand light years from the galactic centre. Earth lies appro#imately C; thousand light years from the galactic core in the main western spiral arm. 9ot all human-settled worlds are glo al conur ations like the Earth. %ome are relatively sparsely settled. *ifferent worlds have different social structures, different economies, and different levels of technology. The same is true of alien worlds, although as most aliens are less mo ile than humans their worlds tend to e self-supporting and less specialised. IMPERIAL !OMMA"DER 3orlds elonging to the "mperium are ruled y a planetary governor called an "mperial (ommander. The "mperial (ommander may e appointed and replaced y the ruling ody of the "mperium, the Administratum, ut in almost all cases he is a hereditary ruler whose family was appointed to the governorship hundreds or thousands of years ago. The "mperial (ommander is a feudal ruler. -e holds his world for the "mperium - in return he must meet his feudal o ligations. These o ligations vary from planet to planet depending on the arrangement made when the ruling family was installed. (ommon to all these conditions are certain o ligations. "mperial (ommanders must always help and co-operate with "mperial officials and "n)uisitors. They must maintain the rule of the "mperium over their domain. They must provide troops for the "mperial 'uard as re)uired y the *epartmento Munitorium. They must control psykers within their domain and provide a levy of psykers for the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. And they must pay the tithes set y the Administratum. "n other respects "mperial (ommanders are free to govern their worlds e#actly as they please. I OLATIO"I M A ma!or factor in the social, economic and technical development of human and alien worlds is the relative isolation of each solar system. "nterstellar travel is not rare, ut the vastness of the gala#y means that most worlds are distant and sometimes difficult to reach. The continual threat of warpstorms sometimes results in worlds eing cut off for indeterminate periods of time and sometimes for good. "n the "mperium, interstellar shipping remains the preserve of the Adeptus Terra. "mperial (ommanders ultimately rely upon the "mperium for e#ternal contact. *ue to all of these factors most settled worlds are insular. Their inha itants may well acknowledge the e#istence of the "mperium, ut this is hardly apparent in their daily lives. T$PE O% ETTLEME"T !ivi(i+e* Wor(*+ The ma!ority of human and advanced alien worlds may e descri ed as civilised - although the term refers to their ur an landscapes rather than to any pretence of social decorum. These are worlds with large ut alanced populations centred in large cities. They are self-supporting worlds where factories turn out the ma!ority of their needs, and carefully managed farms produce sufficient food to feed the inha itants. A/ri,u(tur'( Wor(*+ These are little more than farming planets where most of the world's surface is given over to producing food. The food they produce is shipped to the hungry hive worlds and the technological materials they re)uire are imported in return. These worlds are difficult to protect from food pirates and interstellar raiders. "t has een known for rival "mperial (ommanders to raid and steal grain and cattle arges from each other. The resulting skirmishes sometimes reak out into hill-scale war. I-*u+tri'( Wor(*+ These are factory planets given over to manufacture or mining. They are sparsely populated as most functions are accomplished mechanically. $nly worlds possessing )uantities of rare material are really worth developing in this way. .ike agricultural worlds, they are difficult to defend. Hive Wor(*+ -ives are huge ur an conglomerations which can stretch across continents and which may reach miles into the sky. A planet may comprise many individual hives divided y areas of polluted waste - in some cases the world is completely uilt-up forming a single planet-wide hive. -ive worlds have huge, unmanagea le populations and rely upon constant recycling to produce food. %uch planets are usually rife with anarchic and destructive forces and as a result provide the richest source of fighting men for the "mperial 'uard.

Me*iev'( Wor(*+ Many re-discovered human worlds have regressed to a social and technological status usually descri ed as medieval. 3hen these worlds are a sor ed into the "mperium they do not change much. There is little point in ringing technology to a society which is getting on perfectly well without it. %er'( P('-et+ &eral planets contain long-isolated populations where society has declined into complete savagery. &eral planets have a technological asis which is su -medieval and often stone age. The "mperium regards the populations of such worlds as harmless ut useless. The worlds may e e#plored and e#ploited for mineral wealth or settlement potential, in which case the natives may have to e controlled or e#terminated. De'th Wor(*+ These are planets which are simply too dangerous to support human settlement. They vary a great deal in type. Typical worlds may e world-wide !ungles which har our man-eating plants and carnivorous animals, or arren rockscapes strewn with volcanoes and wracked y nuclear storms. These worlds are impossi le to settle ut must e properly e#plored which necessitates the provision of outposts and other facilities. Re+e'r,h t'tio-+ 3orlds which contain no significant sentient population are often used y research units where dangerous e#periments can e conducted into new aspects of technology. Perhaps the most common type is a ,reeding 4nit where local wildlife undergoes domestication and evaluation for food potential. PLA"ETAR$ DE%E"!E Each planet is responsi le for its own defence. "mperial (ommanders are o liged to uild groundased defences, spaceports, and what defence fleets that can. The num er of weapons and ships in any individual system will vary, depending on the enthusiasm of its governor as much as possi le danger. "n addition to ships under the control of the "mperial (ommander, planets lying in vulnera le positions or having a history of trou le may also have a &leet ase. Although &leet ships are independent of those of the "mperial (ommander, oth would e ready to meet an emergency. &leet ships may also e stationed in one system so that they can patrol a num er of near y star systems. %hips uilt y "mperial (ommanders are pure interplanetary craft with no warp drives. &leet patrol ships would of course e interstellar ships with warp drives ut they'd also have many small interplanetary ships operating from the launch ays uilt into their hulls. "n times of war or danger, fleet ships from all over a sector may e diverted from their normal duties to form a ,attlefleet. 5arely is it necessary to divert ships from other sectors, nor would it e worth moving vast num ers of ships !ust to defend a solitary world. A common "mperial ploy is to let a world fall, knowing that it can easily e retaken once sufficient craft can e mo ilised. This is not a popular tactic with the populations of such planets, ut spacecraft are valua le and difficult to replace whereas humanity is prolific. UB8 TELLAR HIP The vast ma!ority of spacecraft in the "mperium are su -stellar ships which travel only within the confines of their own star system. The laws governing the ownership and operating of su -stellar ships are the concern of the "mperial (ommander of each system. The "mperial authorities take no great interest in what happens on this, galactically-speaking, tiny level. %u -stellar ships divide into many kinds, from warships to industrial craft. W'r+hip+ Most space warfare centres around planets, installations and other important targets within a solar system. "t is therefore sensi le to maintain su -stellar craft in the pro#imity of vulnera le systems. These craft may e &leet vessels operating out of a fleet ase, or they may e vessels elonging to the "mperial (ommander of the system. !'r/o hip+ "f a system has several inha ited planets it will need cargo ships of one kind or another. These may e owned and run y the planetary government or y private individuals, cartels or companies. Most systems would have oth government-controlled and privately-owned craft. I-*u+tri'( hip+

These include all manner of ships used for maintenance, manufacture and mining, owned y governmental or private groups in the same way as cargo ships. Re+e'r,h hip+ Bery few systems are fully e#plored - there are always parts of a solar system which are uninvestigated. The e#act nature of research or e#ploration varies from system to system. A common ship of this type is the mineral prospecto which investigates potential mining areas. p',e t'tio-+ "t is not always possi le to uild ases or docking facilities on planets or asteroids, so space stations may e constructed instead. These are huge craft which provide all the facilities normally availa le on a planet. Be',o-+ ,eacons are small space stations. They serve three functions. &irstly they act as navigational eacons y roadcasting a local signal. %econdly, they monitor passing spacecraft, sending information regarding si6e, course and registration signal. Thirdly, they act as emergency refuges where the crews of crippled ships can survive until they can e rescued. ,eacons usually have a small crew, although some are entirely automated. The position and num er of eacons in a system varies from none at all to hundreds.

+++I-ter+te(('r Tr've(+++
3ithout space travel mankind would have died millennia ago in the poisoned desolation of earth's sterile deserts. Today, interstellar spaceships form a frail lifeline ena ling humanity to survive amongst the stars. The defence of the "mperium, trade, communications and transport are each dependent upon interstellar travel and ultimately upon interstellar spaceships. "nterstellar spaceships are e)uipped with warp drives ena ling them to travel etween the stars. A few of these craft are owned y "mperial (ommanders, 9avigator families or other independent organisations or individuals. The vast ma!ority elong to and are controlled y the Administratum, the administrative ranch of the Adeptus Terra. All legally operating human ships, whether owned y the "mperium or not, are registered and policed y the Administratum. THE WARP An understanding of interstellar travel re)uires some knowledge of the warp. The material universe is !ust one aspect of reality. There is a )uite separate and co-e#isting immaterial universe. This is commonly known as the 3arp or warpspace, also known as (haos, the otherworld, the ether, the empyrean, the void and the immaterium. The study and e#ploitation of the warn is the aim of warp technology, the most important achievement of which is warp travel. 3arpspace may e e#plained in terms of an endlessly road and infinitely deep sea of raw energy. This energy carries within it the random thoughts, unfettered emotions, memory fragments and unshakea le eliefs of those who live in the material universe. "n this sense it is the collective mind of the universe itself. "t would e overly simple to claim that this is all there is to the warp, ut the image is a useful mental tool which helps us to understand it. THE PRI"!IPLE O% WARP TRA3EL A spacecraft drops into the warp y activating its warp engines. As a ship leaves the material universe it enters a corresponding point in warpspace. The ship is then carried along y the tides and currents of the warp. After travelling in this fashion for an appropriate time, the ship uses its warp engines to drop ack into real space. ,ecause the material universe and the warp move relative to each other, the ship reappears in a new position several light years from its starting point. This process is called a !ump or hop and the process of entering or leaving warpspace is known as a drop or shift. <ourneys are undertaken in short !umps of up to = or @ light years. .onger !umps are unpredicta le and dangerous. The tides of warpspace move in comple# and inconsistent patterns and ships attempting longer hops often end up wildly off course. this limitation to apply to all warp travel then humanity w$ir"d not have spread throughout the gala#y as it has. "t is misi le to make long !umps of many light years y steering a within the warp itself - sensing, responding to and e#ploiting its currents and there y directing the craft towards corresponding point in the material universe. $nly the wige human mutants known as 9avigators can pilot a craft through the warp in this way.

%ome people are sensitive to the movements of warpspace. They can, for e#ample, sometimes tell that a spacecraft is approaching even ' efore it drops ack into the material universe. This human sensitivity to the warp is not generally well developed. -owever, in a minority of people this sensitivity is far more finely tuned. These people are known as psykers and they are a le to consciously control and use the energy of the warp to affect the material universe. 9avigators are powerful psykers of a specialised kind who can use their powers to steer spacecraft in the warp. THE A TRO"OMI!A" A"D THE WARP The Astronomican is a psychic homing signal centred upon the Earth. "t is powered y the continuous mental concentration of thousands of psykers. The Astronomican cannot e detected in the real universe ut only in the warp. "t is y means of this signal that 9avigators can steer their spaceships over long distances. The Astronomican's signal is strongest close to Earth and gets increasingly weaker further away. "t e#tends over a spherical area with a diameter of a out @; thousand light years. ,ecause the Earth is situated in the galactic west, the Astronomican does not cover the e#treme eastern part of the gala#y. 9or is the e#tent or strength of the signal constant - it can sometimes e locked y localised activity within the warn itself. %uch activity may e compared to the hurricanes or storms of a terrestrial weather system and is known as a warpstorm. 3arpstorms may e so had, and so long-lasting, that entire star systems are isolated for hundreds of years at a time. A warpstorm not only o scures the signal of the Astronomican, it is also dangerous for spacecraft travelling near y. 9o spacecraft can venture within a warpstorm and e#pect to survive, although there are tales of miraculous escapes and of ships eing thrown tens of thousands of light years off course. 3arpstorms are not the only dangers within the warp. There are sentient energies and other immaterial life-forms that inha it it8 creatures formed from /and part of0 the shifting stuff of the warn. &ew are friendly and many are hostile. They are known to mankind as daemons. TIME DI PLA!EME"T The time differences etween real space and warpspace are )uite drastic. 9ot only does time pass at different rates in oth kinds of space, ut it also passes at very varia le rates. 4ntil a ship finishes its !ump, it is impossi le for a ship's crew to know e#actly how long their !ourney has taken. Time passing in real space is referred to as real time. Time passing on oard a spacecraft is referred to as warp time. &or e#ample, a :;; light year !ump will seem to take from >C= to DC= hours to a spaceship's crew, ut etween C days and C weeks will have passed in real space. These times do not include !ourney times out to and from !ump points on the edge of the star systems. "t takes from days to weeks of travel at su -light speeds to reach a drop from the spaceship's starting planet, and a similar time to re-enter the destination system. The "mperium is appro#imately F@ thousand light years from edge to edge. A !ourney of this length would take etween F@ and C;; days in warp time, and etween G years and =; years real time. WARP "A3I#ATIO" $nce a spacecraft activates its warp drives it is plunged into a dimension very different from our universe. "t is convenient to imagine warpspace as consisting of a relatively dense, almost li)uid, energy which is devoid of stars, light and life as we know it. $nce within warpspace a ship may move y means of its main warp drives, following powerful eddies and currents in the warp, eventually reaching a point in the warp corresponding to a destination in real space. The most difficult aspect of warp travel is that it is impossi le to detect the movement of warpspace once a ship is in the warp. The ship can only lindly carry on, its crew trusting that it is going in the right direction. The longer a ship remains in warpspace the greater the chances of encountering some une#pected current that can turn it unknowingly offcourse. 9avigation of warpspace can e achieved in two ways8 the calculated !ump and the piloted !ump. All warp-drives incorporate navigational mechanisms. 3hen the ship is in real space, these monitor the ever shifting movements of the part of the warp corresponding to the ship's current position. ,y o serving these movements in the warp it is possi le to calculate a course, corrective manoeuvres, and appro#imate !ourney time to a proposed destination. (alculation relies on the assumption that the 'warp-currents o served from real space don't change significantly during flight. This method is known as a calculated !ump. "t is not safe to make a calculated !ump of more than four or five light years at one go. The longer the !ump, the greater the chances of a significant change in warp current movement.

The second, and more efficient, form of warp-navigation is the piloted !ump. This method relies upon two factors8 the human mutants known as 9avigators and the psychic eacon called the Astronomican. The Astronomican is centred on Earth and is not only controlled y, ut is directed y, the psychic power of the Emperor himself. The Astronomican is a eacon that, ecause it is psychic, penetrates into warpspace. A 9avigator on oard a ship in the warp is a le to pick up these signals and can steer a spaceship through warpspace, compensating for current changes as he does so. A piloted !ump can safely cover a far greater distance than a calculated !ump. @,;;; light years would e the normal ma#imum !ump, ut longer !umps have een made. IMPERIAL PA!E HIP The whole structure of the "mperium is founded upon the craft that transport its armies and officials across the gala#y. "t is the fleets that carry vital food to the starving hive-worlds, and which ring technology and e)uipment to the agricultural planets. 3ithout its fleets the "mperium would soon collapse and humanity would perish in many parts of the gala#y. "nterstellar craft may e privately owned ut most operate on ehalf of one of the "mperial organisations. $f these, the "mperial &leet is the largest, num ering tens of thousands of warships and hundreds of thousands of cargo vessels of varying si6es. "n addition to its spacecraft, the &leet maintains military spaceports, space stations, mining and factory ships, various or ital research stations and countless unmanned or iting spaceships that serve as early warning, e#ploration and research satellites. %o vast is the "mperium that the &leet is divided into five main sections, each functioning as an independent administrative unit /although they co-operate whenever it's necessary0. Most of the higher levels of &leet command come directly from the ranks of the Priesthood - principally from the Administratum. The overall fleet commander is also a -igh .ord of Terra and resident on Earth. The Priesthood also maintains a small num er of its own ships. %ome of these reside permanently on the "mperial planet, whilst others are scattered throughout the gala#y, transporting "mperial servants on missions of the greatest importance or secrecy. A further corps of ships lies under the direct control of the Adeptus Ar ites, the <udges, to he used for transportation and war. The %pace Marines have their own interstellar transports and attlefleets. Although not large in num ers these are manned y the most ferocious and highly-trained warriors in the gala#y. Each %pace Marine chapter has sufficient ships to act as a space ound home ase, including e)uipment transports and landing craft %pace Marine (ommanders are at li erty to purchase craft or capture enemy craft and use them how they will. "ndividual chapters use their own colour schemes and markings and their ships are immediately identifia le. $ther interstellar craft form a minority. The small e#ploratory fleets of the 5ogue Traders may num er as many as two hundred ships at one time, ut are scattered eyond the fringes of human space. $ther "mperial organisations, such as the $fficio Assassinorum, also have access to interstellar craft, ut the details of these ships are well-guarded secrets. "nterstellar ships in private hands make up a fairly small fraction of the total. "n addition there are space stations, mines and factory craft also owned y individuals, corporations or mercantile families ut these are a rarity. As far as interstellar travel is concerned, the "mperium is allpowerful and ships not controlled y the "mperium are only permitted to e#ist ecause their owners are co-operative and useful. The most noteworthy privately-owned ventures are the great mercantile families of 9avigators. Even the largest of these owns a relatively small num er of craft, ut in terms of real wealth this represents a huge investment. Most of these ships are ancient - family possessions nurtured and maintained over die millennia - ut they are generally large and well uilt. THE E#ME"TAE MA9ORI The "mperium is divided into five fleet 6ones known as the %egmentae Ma!oris. Although intended for purposes of fleet administration and shipping controls, the %egmentae have evolved into administrative divisions of the Adeptus Terra. All shipping is supervised within the !urisdiction of one of the five %egmentae. Each %egmentum has an or ital head)uarters called a %egmentum &ortress which forms the ase of fleet actions within the %egmentum. The %egmentum &ortress is controlled directly y a high-ranking official of the Administratum known as the Master of the %egmentum. :o-e e/me-tum %ortre++ (entral %egmentum %ola Mars

9orth %egmentum $ scurus (ypra Mundi %outh %egmentum Tempestus ,akka East 4ltima %egmentum Ear *uniash 3est %egmHntum Pacificus -ydraphur e,tor+ Each %egmentum is divided into sectors. The si6e of a %ector varies according to local demands and stellar density. A typical sector might encompass F million cu ic light years, e)uivalent to a cu e with sides almost >;; light years long. u.8 e,tor+ %ectors are divided into su -sectors, usually comprising etween > and I star systems within a :; light year radius /some may encompass more systems - others only :0. This si6e is governed y the practical patrol ranges of spaceships. ,ecause su -sectors are divisions of worlds /rather than volumes of space0 there are vast num ers of star systems within each sector which do not fall within a su -sector. These are referred to as inter sectors - and are commonly known as wilderness 6ones, for idden 6ones, empty space and frontier space. "nter-sectors may contain gas or dust ne ulae, inaccessi le areas, alien systems, une#plored systems, uninha ited systems and uninha ita le worlds. THE %LEET The "mperium's interstellar ships comprise merchant vessels, warships, civil craft and several other specialised types. These are organised into specific fleets8 merchant fleets, warfleets, and civil fleets. Each of the %egmentae Ma!oris has its own merchant, civil and warfleets. %o for e#ample, the 3arfleet %olar is the 3arfleet of the %egmentum %olar, the Merchant Pacificus is the merchant fleet of the %egmentum Pacificus, the (ivilis Tempestus is the civil fleet of the %egmentum Tempestus and so on. THE MER!HA"T %LEET The com ined merchant fleets comprise almost D;A of all interstellar spacecraft in the "mperium. Each fleet is ased in one of the five %egmentae Ma!oris, and its administrative staff operate from the %egmentum &ortress. &or e#ample, the %olar fleet is ased on Mars, while the fleet of the northern 6one -the %egmentum $ scurus - is ased on (ypra Mundi. Although these fleet ases are huge ports e)uipped with docks, shipyards and repair facilities, their main function is to administrate the fleets operating within their area. $nly a small proportion of ships ever travel to the %egmentum &ortress where they are theoretically ased. Each merchant ship serves its fleet under an arrangement called a merchant charter. 9ot all charters are the same - some confer more power and responsi ility to the ship's captain than others - ut all types take the form of a feudal oath sworn to the fleet authorities on ehalf of the Emperor. A captain may not register his vessel with the fleet authorities until this oath has een sworn and a record of it entered at the %egmentum &ortress for that 6one and on the %egmentum &ortress on Mars. !I3IL %LEET Although the vast ma!ority of interstellar spacecraft are part of the merchant fleets, there are several thousand ships registered to individuals, families or trading cartels. All privately owned interstellar craft operate along routes licensed to them y the fleet authorities responsi le for shipping within that %egmentum. These route licences must e ought, and must e renewed after a fi#ed time, usually a hundred years. This means few privately-owned ships like to risk the effects of time dilation on long !ourneys. A licence may run out efore the ship has completed its !ourney7 (ivil fleets vary in si6e from a single vessel to several do6en. $ne of the largest is that of the 9avigator family 5edondo, num ering =F registered interstellar ships. Most ship owners have only a single vessel.

+++The A+tro-omi,'-+++
The Astronomican is the psychic homing eacon that allows 9avigators to traverse warpspace. "t is the duty of the Adeptus Astronomica to maintain the Astronomican. To this end the organisation recruits a proportion of the young psykers collected y the psychic levy of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. This is the main source of recruitment for the Adeptus Astronomica

and conse)uently the vast ma!ority of its senior mem ers are psykers. A smaller proportion of its staff are not psykers, ut are drawn from the ranks of those slave-families which have provided menial workers for the Adeptus for thousands of years. The Adeptus Astronomica is a small organisation ased in a remote comple# known as the &or idden &ortress. 4ninvited access to the &ortress is not permitted - even <udges and "n)uisitors must seek permission efore they can enter. The &or idden &ortress is uilt in a sheltered crag near the tip of a vast mountain range in a land once known as 9epal. To outside appearances the mountains remain unchanged y the hand of man ut in fact the &or idden &ortress e#tends deep down into the rock and throughout the entire mountain range. The leader of the Adeptus Astronomica is the Master of the Astronomican. -is task is to oversee the organisation and to represent it on the %enatorum "mperialis as a -igh .ord of Terra. The o !ect of the Adeptus Astronomica is to teach and train young psykers so that they can serve in the Astronomican. The organisation is really a vast teaching institution controlled y a class of older mem ers known as "nstructors. %ome "nstructors are accorded the title -igh "nstructor and entrusted with the guardianship of certain aspects of the organisation's teaching. "ts day-to-day affairs such as maintenance and provisioning are taken care of y a ody of administrative functionaries. ?oung psykers are initiated as Acolytes. They are taught how to control and use their powers in much the same way as psykers taken y the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, ut in addition they are introduced to the .ore of the Astronomican. They learn the value of their lives, study philosophy and are gradually rought to an inner understanding of the universe and the nature of the warp. $nly those who achieve this mystic state can ecome mem ers of the (hosen, those who will give their psychic energy to the Astronomican. The rest, those whose studies fall short of this ideal, remain within the organisation and ecome "nstructors or are a sor ed as administrative functionaries of the &or idden &ortress. THE !HO E" The pinnacle of an Acolyte's e#istence is to e selected as one of the (hosen. This is a considered a great honour. The (hosen are regarded as occupying a uni)ue and rarefied level of e#istence far eyond that of the "nstructors or even the Master of the Astronomican. The (hosen's head is shaved and he wears yellow ro es and the scarlet adge of the (hosen. The rest of his life is spent in prayer and contemplation, until he is called to serve in the (ham er of the Astronomican. THE !HAMBER O% THE A TRO"OMI!A" The (ham er of the Astronomican is a huge hollow sphere carved from a single mountain peak. "ts outward form is a giant dome, the lower half of the sphere eing uried under the rock. Ten thousand multi-tiered seats cover the entire inner surface of the sphere. Each seat faces the very centre of the sphere where a raw all of psychic energy dances in space. This all of energy is created y the (hosen as they release their powers into the Astronomican. "n this way their psychic power is drained into the energy- all and then through the warp, directed y the mind of the Emperor himself. As the energy of the (hosen is drained away they slowly fade and die. The average psyker lasts for a out three months - a out :;; die every day and their places are taken y new (hosen.

+++ te(('r %(eet++++

The "mperium's interstellar ships comprise merchant vessels, warships, civil craft and several other specialised types. These are organised into three specific fleets8 merchant fleets, civil fleets and warfleets. Each of the %egmentae Ma!oris has its own merchant, civil and warfleets. %o for e#ample, the 3arfleet %olar is the warfleet of the %egmentum %olar, the Merchant Pacificus is the merchant fleet of the %egmentum Pacificus, and the (ivilis Tempestus is the civil fleet of the %egmentum Tempestus. E#ME"TAE RE#I TRATIO" All interstellar spacecraft are registered as elonging to one or more of the %egmentae fleets. 5egistration allows a ship to e identified, and permits the fleet authorities to record and administrate shipping within each of the %egmentae.

A ship which is not registered in a %egmentum may only travel to that %egmentum with the special permission of the fleet authorities. This is purely an identification measure. An unidentified and unregistered ship is assumed to e hostile, and would e attacked and destroyed. MER!HA"T !HARTER Each merchant ship serves its fleet under an arrangement called a merchant charter. The different types of charter are descri ed elow. They all take the form of a feudal oath sworn to the fleet authorities on ehalf of the Emperor. A captain may not register his vessel with the fleet authorities until this oath has een sworn and a record of it entered at the %egmentum &ortress for that 6one and on the %egmentum &ortress on Mars. Here*it'r6 %ree !h'rter This is the most coveted and most highly honoured form of captaincy. "t is also the most ancient. A hereditary free captain nominates his successor, and that successor swears the oath of allegiance and there y ecomes the new captain of the ship when its current captain dies or retires. The captain is 'free' in that he may trade freely within the %egmentum where his fleet is ased. Many of these old captaincies are ased in all five of the %egmentae Ma!oris. Although the hereditary free captain is theoretically an "mperial servant, his o ligations are few. The ship may trade where and how it pleases within the confines of its charter. Here*it'r6 !h'rter -ereditary captains may pass their ships to favoured, or related, successors as descri ed a ove. As well as inheriting a ship, the captain inherits a route or routes, and can only carry cargo and passengers along this route. %ome routes are more profita le than others and so are more highly regarded. %ree !h'rter &ree captains are appointed to command individual vessels y fleet officials. They are usually esta lished fleet officials themselves, having worked their way up the ranks to a position of responsi ility. &ree captains may trade as they wish within the %egmentae, e#cept they are usually for idden from trading along esta lished routes. "nstead, they roam the less-densely populated sectors, areas where regular services are either not needed or would e too costly to run. %(eet !h'rter A fleet captain is appointed to his position in e#actly the same way as a free captain, ut plies fi#ed routes like the hereditary captain. This is the least prestigious level of interstellar captaincy, and is also the least secure. A fleet captain may e deprived of his command and given a shore posting at anytime, his ship reassigned to someone else. A T6pi,'( !h'rter A typical e#ample of a merchant charter is the cargo ship Amaranthus which has een captained y the %orensen family over the last nine thousand years. "t is one of the oldest ships in the Merchant 4ltima fleet, with a hereditary free charter registered in the C>nd millennium. The ship has undergone several ma!or re uilds since that time, the last eing two hundred years ago. The %orensen family has amassed a considera le fortune in its time, and now owns a num er of interstellar craft. !I3IL %LEET The civil fleets contain privately-owned interstellar craft operating along routes licensed y the fleet authorities. (ivil fleets usually id for route licences as they come up, the route going to the fleet prepared to pay the most for it. This system ena les the "mperium to maintain routes which, for whatever reason, it finds inconvenient to service from its own craft. "t is also a good way of raising revenue. As well as route voyages, the fleet administration also issues one-off licences for single trips. Many of the smaller fleets manage to survive entirely in a hand-to-mouth fashion reliant upon one-off licences. E#actly who captains a civil ship is entirely up to the owners. "n many cases the owner is the captain. 3ith the larger fleets, the owners appoint a captain who is effectively an employee. %LEET OR#A"I ATIO" The three fleets of each of the %egmentae Ma!oris are organised and administered y the fleet authorities in that %egmentum. This organisation is part of the Administratum -the great ureaucracy of Earth and government of the Emperor. The officials of the individual fleets are

responsi le in their turn to %egmentae fleet officials, who are responsi le to the administration of the %egmentum as a whole. The highest official in each %egmentum is its .ord (ommander and of these the .ord (ommander of the %egmentum %olar is the foremost, often taking his place as one of the -igh .ords of Terra. The following list riefly outlines the important ranks in the organisation of a %egmentum's warfleet /often also known as the naval fleet0. W'rf(eet !omm'-*er The highest ranking of the military officers is the 3arfleet (ommander. -e is in charge of the entire naval contingent of a %egmentum, num ering many thousands of warships. There are only five 3arfleet (ommanders, one for each of the %egmentae Ma!oris. They rank e)ually, although command of the 3arfleet %olar is generally regarded as the most prestigious position. The 3arfleet (ommander formulates the naval fleet strategy throughout the entire %egmentum, overseeing repair schedules, supervising construction programs and ensuring the general spaceworthiness of the fleet. -is personal staff is divided into armament, maintenance, design, construction and a thousand other working committees. p',e !omm'-*er+ 4nder the 3arfleet (ommander are individual %pace (ommanders responsi le for naval operations within each sector. The %pace (ommander is ased at the %ector &ortress, along with other sector-level administrative staff of the Administratum and other ranches of the Adeptus Terra. -e must answer not only to his naval superior, the 3arfleet (ommander, ut also to the Adeptus %ector (ommander in overall charge of the sector. The %pace (ommander has direct command of a portion of the %egmentum's warfleet. A typical command comprises a out @; interstellar ships, although the num er would o viously vary depending upon the needs of the sector. &ifty ships is very few when you consider that a typical sector has etween C; and =; thousand stars forming a cu e with sides appro#imately >;; light years long7 These warships are divided up into patrol vessels, ships on permanent station in one star system and the reserve fleet. The reserve fleet is usually stationed at the %ector &ortress. #roup !omm'-*er+ 'roup (ommanders are in charge of a portion of a sector's fleet. They are sometimes ased around the %ector &ortress or, more often, on one of the permanently-manned docking stations in one of the su -sectors. 'roup (ommanders are responsi le for patrolling and keeping order within su -sectors and inter-sectors around their ase. A typical command consists of a su -sector ase, non-com atant staff and a couple of s)uadrons of ships. $ne s)uadron is usually a patrol s)uadron, while the other is held in reserve to meet specific threats. 'roup commanders often serve as ,attlefleet (ommanders when the need arises. The ,attlefleet is a temporary force, summoned to meet a single crisis or defeat a particular enemy. "t usually consists of spaceships from only two or three neigh ouring su -sectors at most. The ,attlefleet (ommander is generally the most senior of the 'roup (ommanders whose warships are involved in the attle. 5u'*ro- !omm'-*er+ A %)uadron (ommander is in charge of a s)uadron of spaceships. -e is also a ship (aptain and leads his s)uadron from the ridge of the ship he commands. A typical s)uadron might e three spacecraft of which the (ommander's ship is one. 3hile the ,attlefleet (ommander dictates the overall tactics of the force, the %)uadron (ommander's task is to make decisions a out the formation and manoeuvres of the spaceships he leads. !'pt'i-+ (aptains are in charge of individual ships. "n terms of fleet organisation, they are the lowest ranking officers - on their own ships, they are a solute commanders. $n a spaceship that is vast eyond elief, crewed y tens of thousands of men and women, the (aptain's position is one of huge prestige and honour. To the spaceship's crew, far distant from the higher organisation of the fleet, their (aptain is the voice of the Emperor and the sym ol of supreme power in their shipound lives. ILLE#AL HIPPI"# The "mperium is large - large enough to hide in if you really want to7 The Administratum has a

great deal of control over interstellar shipping one way or another ut, even so, there are illegally-operating interstellar craft. These ships are owned and operated y unregistered merchants, smugglers and even y pirates. They are taking a grave risk, ecause any unregistered ship is automatically assumed to e hostile y naval forces. All illegal ships are at a considera le disadvantage compared to registered vessels. 9avigators are, on the whole, loyal citi6ens. They are also )uite rare. "nterstellar travel without a 9avigator is relatively slow ecause the ma#imum distance a ship can !ump is only four or five light years compared to five thousand. There are navigators who will work on oard illegal ships, ut they are few and far etween. The vast ma!ority of illegal interstellar shipping is therefore locallyased, usually operating within a group of close su -sectors or from peripheral inter-sectors. U"RE#I TERED HIP There are many reasons why a captain may e tempted to run an illegal ship Planets all have local laws governing what can and can't e imported and e#ported. %ome planetary governments also charge an import duty or have comple# )uarantine laws. The cargoes and passengers of official ships are always carefully checked and recorded. Many routes are the property of hereditary captains or are operated e#clusively under a fleet charter. There are all sorts of people, including "mperial (ommanders, who may wish to circumvent one or other of these o stacles. Even registered ships may e tempted to reak the law occasionally if the price is right, ut they run a far greater risk ecause their craft are very easily identified and traced. A typical unregistered ship operates out of a hidden supply dump near the solar-system's !ump point. "t would e foolish for the captain to ring his ship into the solar system itself, so cargoes are ferried to the supply dump y su -stellar ships. The location of die ship's dump must e kept secret, and it is often necessary for a captain to change the ase's location every few months. An "mperial (ommander may take a la# attitude to illegal shipping if it suits his purposes to do so. The illegal trader's greatest enemy is treachery7 PIRATE HIP "nterstellar pirate ships operate in a similar way to unregistered traders, ut their intentions are far more sinister. &ew "mperial (ommanders will tolerate pirates in their %ystem, so most pirate ases are within otherwise uninha ited %ystems. %ome pirates operate e#clusively against registered shipping, others are indiscriminate in their choice of victim. Pirates and unregistered traders often colla orate, sharing information and sometimes using the same facilities. pirate's usual mode of operation is to lie in wait !ust inside a system's !ump point. "f the target is leaving the system, the chances are that any accompanying su -stellar craft will have turn ack y now. The pirate leaps upon the craft, aiming to oard and remove the cargo efore the ship !umps. Although a pirate could attack and destroy a cargo vessel, little would e accomplished doing so. E"EM$ RAIDER Mm are interstellar craft elonging to enemy forces. $f Jm, e#aedy whose enemy they are depends on whose side m 4t on7 "mperial (ommanders are prone to )uarrel with their neigh ours. "n these )uarrels one side may e prepared to hire illegal ships, even pirates, to attack and destroy a rival's shipping. %uch fights are common, ut are directed mainly against su -stellar craft elonging to the foe. "t would e e#tremely stupid for an "mperial (ommander to attack "mperial fleet vessels - to do so would invite immediate and uncompromising retri ution. 9eedless to say, mistakes do happen, and "mperial (ommanders often find themselves on the wrong end of an "mperial Planetary Assault unit. The other enemy raiders encountered y "mperial fleets are those of alien races, foremost amongst which are the $rks, Eldar and Tyranids. Most attles with aliens are relatively smallscale conflicts with only a few spaceships on either side. %ometimes a ma!or war will reak out with large attles fought etween powerful fleets. The war may spread across several neigh ouring star systems and might take years or decades to resolve. ,y far the largest war currently underway is against the Tyranid -ive &leet Eraken. The Tyranid fleet threatens every race in the gala#y as it literally consumes the populations of the planets it con)uers in its insatia le progress. Already the south-eastern arm of the gala#y has fallen to the Tyranids. Also within the category of enemy raiders are the (haos fleets. These are manned y the Traitors who fled to the Eye of Terror at the end of the great civil war known as the -orns -eresy. &or ten

thousand years, the degenerate remnants of those anished from the "mperium have fought a constant war against mankind. They regularly launch raids into "mperial space and, less fre)uently, larger invasions.

Each of the five warfleets serves within one of the %egmentae Ma!oris and is responsi le for protecting shipping within it. Most space attles take place around installations or planets, most of which can he defended efficiently y means of su -stellar craft and planet- ased defences. Even so, it is impossi le to provide total defence for every "mperial world. The warships of the "mperial &leet are highly mo ile and e#tremely potent weapons, a le to gather to meet large threats where necessary. 3arship captains are "mperial servants like their merchant rethren. -owever, all warship captains are appointed y the administrative officers of the %egmentum, and have no rights of ownership regarding their vessels. The organisation of the fleets is far more rigid than that of the merchant fleet, with a hierarchy similar to that of the land- ased armed forces of the "mperium. BATTLE%LEET "mperial space is so vast, with so many star systems and areas of 3ilderness %pace to e patrolled, that even the many thousands of spaceships in the warfleets must he spread thin, with individual ships and s)uadrons set out on their own assignments. The "mperium cannot maintain permanent fleets ready to respond to invasion or re ellion. 9or would it make sense to do so - it would take so long for a fleet to get from its ase to the war 6one that the enemy would surely have moved on y the time it arrived. "nstead, temporary attlefleets are gathered together whenever they are needed. 3arships within a relatively small area are summoned to !oin the ,attlefleet. "t is rare for ships more than @; light years from the attle 6one to e included in the fleet and more commonly only those within :; or >; light years are summoned. Even with ships this close to the attle, it will take at least days and more often weeks for them to arrive. $nly during the very largest of wars, lasting for many decades, does the "mperium ring attlefleets together and dispatch them en masse to a war6one. %uch a war is currently underway in the gala#y's south-eastern spiral arm. -ere the Tyranid -ive &leet Eraken is ine#ora ly advancing, con)uering and consuming the planets in its path. A massive campaign involving millions of men, thousands of ships and whole chapters of %pace Marines is eing fought against the Tyranid invasion. &leets are eing mustered in all the %egmentae to egin the long !ourney to the war6one. The !ourney will take decades in some cases and many of the crew will never see the attles they are heading towards - ut the "mperium knows all too well that in mere decades the Tyranid threat will e as strong as even E"EMIE O% THE IMPERIUM The attlefleets of the "mperium must com at many enemies -$rk raiders, Eldar pirates, the Tyranid -ive &leet and other alien invaders. "t must also fight forces from within the "mperium itself. Most of these attles are small-scale and involve only su -stellar craft in skirmishes with smugglers, rigands and re els. ,ut occasionally larger conflicts occur when whole systems or groups of systems must e rought into line. %ometimes these systems- have their own fleets and the "mperium must send its largest attleships and cruisers to crush the enemy. "n these circumstances an "mperial ,attlefleet will e facing an enemy containing ships e#actly like its own - the enemy will also e using ships like 'othic (ruisers, &irestorms, *ictators, (o ras and so forth. These re ellions most often happen when an area of the "mperium is cut off y a warpstorm. 3arpstorms are common occurrences and systems fre)uently lose contact for a few years - when the storm passes, contact is re-esta lished and little has changed. %ometimes storms last for decades, even centuries, and systems that are cut off for this long can stray far from "mperial authority. $nce the warpstorm has died down and travel to the system is feasi le again, the "mperium may e re uffed y an independent federation or find itself in the midst of a local war. A ,attlefleet will e assem led to return the system to "mperial control and "mperial spaceships will find themselves facing ships that perhaps once served alongside them in other wars. "t is also not unknown for s)uadron or fleet commanders to re el and turn against the "mperium.

using the awesome power they command to carve out their own petty empires on the fringes of "mperial space. The most infamous re ellion in the "mperium's long history is that of 3armaster -orus when fully half of the "mperial forces turned against the Emperor and mankind was divided in a terri le civil war. $nly the death of -orus himself and the anishment of the re els to the Eye of Terror rought peace to the "mperium. Even now, a constant vigil is kept around the Eye of Terror where the (haos fleets remain, often launching small raids and occasionally ma!or incursions into "mperial space. PA!E HIP O% THE IMPERIUM Most spaceships are old - open space, the most hostile environment to man, preserves the plastics and metals that spacecraft are made from. %pace gives them with the power to endure through generations of men. The "mperial fleets num er many thousands of ships, the ma!ority of which are at least a thousand years old. %ome are as old as the "mperium itself, a full ten thousand years. A very few claim a pre-"mperial origin. "t is difficult for those orn under the claustropho ic sky of a planet to appreciate the great dignity which is inherent in all old spacecraft. The spaceships of the "mperium are vast constructions that take many decades to uild. Each craft represents a huge investment of time and resources. ,ut once completed, fitted out' armed and commissioned, a spaceship continues in service for centuries, even millennia. After that, it may e refilled. modernised, reconstructed and live on practically indefinitely. ,arring a ma!or accident or destruction in attle, a ship is immortal like a great city, its population and fa ric e#isting in a constant state of decay and renewal. Throughout this time there is a constant process of re uilding and renewal. -ulls are damaged y attles, asteroid storms and the ravages of the warp. Mechanical parts inevita ly wear down. Electrical components fuse. Engine housings crack or melt under the immense pressure and heat created y plasma and warp drives. To com at this constant process of decay, every interstellar spaceship has a maintenance crew of hundreds or thousands of dedicated craftsmen, continuously striving to repair and refit the ship. "nside a large "mperial warship there are factories and workshops, huge forges and plasma furnaces, even small refineries and ore smelting plants to provide raw materials for the work of reconstruction. "nterstellar spaceships are powered y plasma and warp drives. Plasma drives are used to move through star systems at su -light speeds. They urn with the fierce energy of a star, converting their fuel into a super-heated gas plasma to create the immense thrust needed to propel these gargantuan craft through space. As a large interstellar spaceship moves out of or it towards the edge of a star system ready to !ump into the warp, the fiery arc it traces across the night sky can clearly e seen from the planet it's leaving. "t appears to e a great comet streaking through the heavens - on many worlds, the arrival or departure of a spaceship is read as an omen, a divine har inger of !oy or doom. 3arp drives are altogether more esoteric and terrifying understood y few even among a spaceship's crew. 3hen the spaceship reaches the !ump point at the edge of the star system it's leaving, its plasma drives are turned off and its warp drives engaged. These hurl the spaceship out of real space and into warpspace, propelling it through the warp to a destination light years away. "f a spaceship's warp drives were switched on while it was still within a star system. the huge rent in the very fa ric of space that they create would e catastrophic for the population and planets of the system. The spaceship itself would e torn apart as the massive pull of the star's gravity reacted unpredicta ly with the energies released y the warp drives. &ully one-third of a spaceship can e taken up y its engines with their huge thruster ports, cavernous com ustion cham ers, generators surrounded y massive protective cladding and the miles of pipes, tunnels, corridors and ducts needed for the control mechanisms, fuel supply and access y service crews. The living areas of a spaceship contain the thousands, often tens of thousands, of men that serve a oard. These areas are often uilt up from the ship's hull into huge domes and spires that rise hundreds of metres into space. $n some ships, they seem like the heart of a mighty city, immense towers rising to touch the stars, their sides glittering with lights ridges spanning the void etween them. $n others they resem le a gigantic cathedral, the towers colonnaded and sculpted. Bast carved figures of legendary heroes recede into the darkness of space - huge horned gargoyles leap and leer from the highest pinnacles in mockery of the tenors of warpspace - golden domes la6e with the light of stars.

$n freighters and merchant vessels, the rest of the ship is taken up y holds containing the ship's precious cargo. $n warships this space is filled y the colossal power generators that drive their weapon systems. These towering structures hum and crackle with the monstrous energies ounded inside. They are housed within deep shafts which disappear from view into a darkness that is roken only y the crackling lue arcs of lightning which leap from the generators. 3hen a laser attery is fired with a titanic unleashing of energy, its power well is filled with a furious roar. "n attle, a warship echoes with the thunder of its weapons, its decks shuddering with the recoil of their furious discharges.

+++The #'('06+++
The "mperium of Mankind is spread across almost the entire gala#y and consists of more than a million worlds. Although this is a huge num er of planets it is as nothing when compared to the immense si6e of the galla#y. The "mperium is actually spread very thinly across space8 its worlds are dotted through the void and divided y hundreds, if not thousands of light years. "t is therefore wrong to think of the "mperium in terms of a territory which e#tends across the galla#y. The truth is far more comple#. 3ithin the gala#y are countless alien civilisations, many $rk empires, and vast areas occupied y the Tyranids or given over to (haos. Most of the gala#y remains une#plored. 3ho knows what secrets lie undiscovered amongst the starsK 4ndou tedly there are other advanced civilisations, lost human colonies, and the ruins of long dead races waiting to e e#plored. The pattern of human settlement throughout the galla#y undou tedly owes much to the nature of space travel. All interstellar travel is undertaken using power warp drives which lanuch a spacecraft into the alternative dimension of warp space. 3ithin warp space a ship can cover the e)uivalent of many thousands of light years within a relatively short time, dropping ack into real space far away from its starting point. ,ecause of the unpredicta le and tur ulent nature of warp space, some parts of the gala#y are harder to reach than others. %ome 6ones are eternally isolated y violent currents of movement within warp space. $ther areas are difficult to get to or can only e reached during periodic lulls inthe warp. More i6arre still, some part of warp space act like power vortices, pulling or sucking helpless spacecraft to their doom. $nly the spaccraft of the "mperium can fully e#ploit the medium of warp space to travel from one side of the gala#y to another. $ther races, such as $rks, can only travel short distances through the warp and this limits the si6e of thier individual empires and prevents them ecoming united. "t is only this factor which ena les the "mperium to function as a whole. THE TIDE O% THE WARP The reason why spacecraft of the "mperium can move )uickly over the entire gala#y, while other races suffer more restrited ans slower spaceflight, is a com ination of three factors. The first is the maintenance of the ancient technology y the Adeptus Mechanicus - the Tech Priests of Mars who preserve the lore of ancient science on the ehalf of the Adeptus Terra. 3ithout the technological advantage of efficient warp engines it would e impossi le for the "mperium to defend its scattered planets. The second factor is the e#istence of human mutants known as 9avigators - a race apart which traces its origins to uncertain times of the *ark Age of Technology. $nly a 9avigator can pilot a ship within warp space. -is swollen cranium house a mind which is to the tides and currents of the warp, ena ling him to guide his ship through warp space to its eventual destination. $therraces must rely upon guesswork and endless corrective manoeuvres to travel even short distances through the warp. The third factor which makes warp travel possi le is the immeasura ly powerful psychic eacon called the Astronomican. ,roadcast y a choir of psykers from Earth, the Astronomican reaches out through warp space, guilding spacecraft to their destination. $nly a 9avigator can sense the guiding light of the Astronomican, and only he can follow its psychic signal. "t is the Astronomican which allows a 9avigator touse his powers to the full+ without it not even the most powerful 9avigator could pilot his ship over the immense distances which separte the worlds of the "mperium. PERIL O% THE WARP 3arp space is a alternate dimension composed of energy as opposed to physical space of the marerial universe. There are dangers within the warp which can wreck spacecraft and carry them

off course, une#pected tur ulence, warp storms, and loops that can trap a ship for eternity. These dangers, though considera le, are nothing compared to the greater and unimagina le dangers that lurk in warp space. To understand these dangers it is important to realise two important facts a out the nature of the warp. &irstly, warp space is composed entirely of psychic energy. "t is this psychic energy which a human psyker draws upon to use his powers, to send telepathic messages hurtling through the warp from world to world, or to propel a psychic olt of energy against a foe. %econdly, warp space is not empty ut inha ited y many strange and dangerous creatures, the most dangerous of which are the 'reat 'ods of (haos and their legions of daemons. *aemons lust after the flesh and lood of living creatures. They want only to destory mankind, to drag the souls of men ack to their shadowy realm, to o literate the material universe and engulf it within the energy of warp space. &ortunately this is not easy to accomplish. *aemons cannot e#ist for long in the material universe and they need to find psychic gateways in order to leave the warp. %uch gateways e#ist ut they are rare. The most vulnera le gateways of all are the mind of psykers. A psyker's power open up a path etween reality and the warp, a path which a daemon may find and follow to the mind of the psyker himself. %uch are the dangers of the warp - at once a oon and protector, and an unimagina le horror. 3ithout the a ility to travel throughout warp space the "mperium would certainly collapse and mankind would fall victim to the thousand perils that threaten to destory it. 3ithout psykers the whole system of astro-telecommunication would e non-e#istent, and it would e impossi le to guide the "mperium's armies and fleets against its many enemies. &or these reasons at least warp space is essential to the "mperium's very e#istence. ?et at the same time warp space har ours terrors so great, dangers so profound, that much of the "mperium's efforts are spent in com at

against them.

+++The Link between the+++ +++ Warhammer World+++ +++and the 4 k !ni"erse +++
In the incalculably distant past, the World was visited by the starfaring race known as the Old Slann. Their degree of scientific advancement caused some of the species they met with to worship them as gods, while others reviled them as demons. The Old Slann performed many scientific experiments on the World, and although the knowledge of their presence is lost in the present day, many of the races which inhabit the World found their origin in these experiments. The Old Slann travelled by means of interdimensional gateways, spanning the distances between the stars by travelling through warpspace, a parallel dimension which connects all points in the material universe. One of their first tasks upon arriving on the World was to set up a pair of gateways, one at each pole of the planet, to allow them to come and go as they pleased. Warpspace, however, was not an empty void, but was composed of a form of power wholly alien to the material universe. It was inhabited by entities who were e!ually alien. "s their great ships travelled through Warpspace the Old Slann protected themselves with powerful enchantments, but eventually something went wrong. #recisely what happened can now only be guessed. #erhaps the protective enchantments broke down, or the beings that lived in Warpspace found some way to overcome them. Or perhaps the gateways broke down under the strain of the magical forces that cycled continually through them. Whatever the cause, the gateways collapsed. $oth poles were destroyed, and permanent dimensional tunnels were created between the World and the void of Warpspace. "mong the matter sucked through into the World is warpstone, a substance formed of the condensed and solidified essence of %haos. Warpstone dust rained down upon the World at the time of the catastrophe, twisting many races into strange and horrible shapes and leading to the creation of many new species. Seven thousand years later, the battle between &aw and %haos still rages across the face of the World, with most of its mortal inhabitants caught helplessly in the middle. The dimensional openings at the poles change constantly, shrinking with the ascension of &aw, and growing as %haos gains the upper hand. "ll the while, a constant stream of raw %haos floods through from the void. 'or millennia, the tide of %haos has ebbed and flowed across the face of the World. The worst incident in recent history was the great Incursion of %haos (( years ago, when )orsca was completely overrun and the %haos hordes ravaged the northern parts of the Old World. This tide is, however, only a single aspect of %haos. "nd in warpspace, the primal void of %haos, the beings of %haos still

wait and spread their taint across the Imperium and the universe. Warp creatures hover around the vulnerable psykers of humanity, seeking a path into existence through an unprotected mind. *very psychic is a potential gateway from the void of the Warp, an unwitting agent of %haos to be filled with a terrible power. Only the vigilence of the *mperor+s In!uisition protects humanity from the threat within itself. "nd even within the Imperium there are the foolish and weak,minded who turn to the darkness. $y embracing the power and the horror of Warpspace, all that they desire will come to pass... The Warhammer World is bound by storms of magic so that it remains isolated from the other worlds of the human galaxy. *lsewhere, the forces of the Imperium tenaciously fight the influences of %haos, so that the open agression of %haos %hampions and their forces is restricted to -ones not controlled by the Imperium. On worlds where %hampions of %haos attain daemonhood or death there are monoliths to their memory .ust as on the Warhammer World. %osmic monoliths are tablets, flat stones, or death caskets that float through space itself. They can celebrate a %hampion whose mortal life ended while battling an engagement between space fleets. Often they orbit a world, transmitting their inscriptions to passing craft or pro.ecting their image directly into spaceships. Space /ulks are huge space wrecks that float through space, often phasing in and out of the warp, appearing and disappearing in unpredictable and mysterious ways. They usually comprise 0sic1 many wrecks fastened together, and are inhabited by a variety of deep,space creatures who use the hulks to travel the galaxy. The forces of %haos sometimes use the hulks themselves, and many are so large that they are virtually worlds where conflict between rival %haos Warbands and other inhabitants are inevitable. %haos monoliths are built to %hampions who die or attain daemonhood on these space hulks. Imperial 2arines raiding a space hulk often find these monuments to %haos still intact, a shuddering reminder of the omnipresence of the %haos threat



!ATA!HA" BRAI"LEA% This plant is unusual in that it is possessed of what appears to e animal-like intelligence, al eit of a fairly low, instinctual level. The plant itself is a small tree, not particularly conspicuous amongst the other flora of (atachan, the plant's home planet. 3hat makes this plant remarka le is its a ility to detach its leaves, which are capa le of flying through the LairM for many meters, propelled y a wing-like undulation. Each leaf is a macro-cell, and part of the plant's overall intelligence. E)uipped with rasping hooks and intrusive nerve undles, a leaf aims to attach itself to a living creature, in!ecting fi res which grow throughout the host's nervous system until it ecomes a mere tool of the plant. 3hilst incapa le of high intellect, a ,rainleaf can direct its victims in a sensi le and rational way, ena ling them to use weapons and e)uipment... !REEPER (reepers are plants possessed of an animal-like a ility to move their long, sinuous lim s. This response is not consciously e#ercised, ut is a asic reaction to the presence of animals. A likely victim will e sei6ed, dragged towards the immo ile main part of the plant and crushed to death y its powerful lim s. There the ody will )uickly rot, dissolved y powerful en6ymes secreted from the trunk. #A %U"#U This is a fairly widespread type of fungus, occuring in various unrelated ut essentially similar forms throughout the gala#y. "t generally appears as a mushroom and is often )uite large and may reach over > meters in height....%hould an animal approach too closely /G meters0 the fungus releases a store or poisonous gas. This store is uilt up withing the plant's tissues and once released takes several hours to regenerate. The gas persists for a out an hour, leaving the fungus unprotected only for a short time. The gas itself is deadly although the specific to#icity varies from species to species. PI&ER The %piker is one of the most dangerous plant forms in the entire gala#y. A %piker can e of any si6e, ut tends to e man-si6ed, a out > meters tall and upright. They have a vaguely cylindrical shape, and are covered with a thick layer of hair-like leaves, out of which protrude countless thin, sharp spikes. These spikes are what make this plant dangerous. Piercing the skin of an animal, they release a genetically intrusive chemical that literally starts to reform the victim's ody tissue into that of a %piker. A human taking a spike in the arm will soon find his arm ecome hairy and immo ile, and within a short time his whole ody will e covered in spikes. Although the victim remains mo ile for some time, the physiological changes destroy the mind, so that the victim wanders aimlessly. Eventually all mo ility is lost and another %piker will have een created.

+++The #'('062 p',e Tr've(+++ +++'-* The A+tro-omi,'- +++

The gala#y contains some four hundred thousand million stars of various types. $f these only a fraction are presumed to have ha ita le planetary systems, and only a fraction of these have een investigated. Most are situated within the spiral arms etween ten and forty thousand light years from the galactic center. The very si6e of the gala#y means that, despite the use of faster than light warp drives, most of it remains unknown. Even the human controlled "mperium, y far the largest and most widely distri uted of all stellar empires, contains only a tiny fraction of the gala#y's stars. 9ew worlds are constantly eing discovered and investigated, along with their attendant civili6ations, creatures and resources. Even so, there is no possi ility of either humans or aliens e#hausting the gala#y's potential to provide new worlds for ha itation and e#ploitation. 3arp space is the medium through which faster-than-light spacecraft travel etween the stars. "t is, in a sense, an alternate reality or parallel dimension in which the laws of time and space are different from those of our own universe. Movement within warp space ears a distinct relationship to distance traveled in normal space, and this relationship can e manipulated to make faster-than-light travel possi le. "t is not strictly true to say that distances in warp space are 'shrunk' compared to those of normal space. A more accurate analogy would e to think of warp space as a dense fluid medium which is su !ect to constant movement, currents, undertows, etc. This is not percepti le in warp space itself of course, ecause the fluidity is only relative to our own reality. A spacecraft can e#ploit this phenomenon y entering warp space, allowing itself to e shifted along y its natural flow, and then re-entering normal space a distance away from the starting point. A metaphor commonly used to e#plain how warping works is that of the fast flowing stream. The stream represents warp space, moving rapidly along its motionless anks, representing real space. A leaf dropped into the water upstream will move along, floating on the surface of the water. The leaf does not move relative to the water, ut is merely carried y it until it lodges at some point downstream from its original location. This is a useful metaphor as far as it goes, ut it must e remem ered warp space is far more comple# in its movements than the linear stream, for it can move in all sorts of convoluted and ewildering patterns. %pacecraft are also a le to make corrective movements in warp space and can enter or leave warp space at a chosen moment. Even so, warp travel is never totally predicta le, either in its duration or eventual destination. W'rp torm+ 3arp space is an e#tremely volatile medium, and can represent a dangerous one for spacecraft within it. $ccasionally, the normal current movements of warp space ecome amplified into raging storms of savage and destructive ferocity. %uch storms may last for only a few moments, or they may last for many years. At est, a warp storm might throw a ship off course or delay it, at worst a warp storm can make warp travel impossi le in some parts of the gala#y. %torms are constantly forming and dying down, at any time at least :;A of the gala#y's solar systems will e inaccessi le ecause of storms. -alf of these systems are cut off for less than a year, ut many remain isolated for many years or even centuries. "ndeed, some systems have always een isolated, and show no sign of ecoming otherwise. The Hum'- "'vi/'tor 4nlike the closely packed empires of other races, the "mperium is flung wide across the entire gala#y, its worlds are often hundreds if not thousands of light years distant. 9ormally it would e impossi le to maintain such a vast area of space as a single political entity. 3hat makes it possi le to do so is the e#istence of human 9avigators. 9avigators are a su -species of humanity some of whom resem le humans so closely that they are indistinguisha le, others are so physically alien that the relationship is hardly apparent. All navigators are capa le of entering a trance-like dream state in which they are a le to mentally steer a spacecraft through the medium of warp space. 4nder the intuitive guidance of the 9avigator, a ship is a le to traverse distances of tens of

thousands of light years in a single !ump. Perceived !ourney time is :-= days per thousand light years, e)uivalent to :-G months of real time. Even so, a !ourney from one edge of the gala#y to the other would take etween I@ and @:; months of real time. &or these reasons, worlds remain self-governing even within the "mperium. The A+tro-omi,'"n order to guide their spacecraft through warp space, 9avigators re)uire a signal to steer y+ a sort of real space reference point which can e perceived from warp space. As only psychic signals penetrate oth real and warp space, this signal has to e a psychic one. %ome psychics are capa le of roadcasting a short range signal of this type /:; light years0 ut the principal signal is centered upon Earth and is called the Astronomican. &urther details a out the Astronomican and the psykers who maintain it /the Adeptus Astronomica0 are discussed later. &or the moment it is only important to ear in mind that the Astronomican permits navigators to utili6e their powers. The range of the Astronomican is far greater than :; light years although it is not infinite. 3arp storm activity can also affect the total range, ut a out @; thousand light years is the usual distance. As the gala#y has a diameter of a out I@ thousand light years, with Earth appro#imately C; thousand fight years from the center in the galactic west, this means that the Astronomican does not cover the eastern fringe of the gala#y at all. The Astronomican marks the effective oundaries of human space8 human groups e#isting eyond it are rare, isolated and comprise an unknown )uantity.

+++"'vi+ "o.i(ite+++
The 9avis 9o ilite - also known as the 9avigator -ouses - is an institution which predates the "mperium y many thousands of years. "t is the most ancient of all human organisations. "t was founded sometime in the *ark Age of Technology and survived through the Age of %trife to the present day. $ver this period of appro#imately C;,;;; years, the fortunes of the 9avis 9o ilite have constantly wa#ed and waned, ut its power has never een roken. Today it thrives as a vital part of the "mperium. The 9avis 9o ilite is divided into many individual -ouses or 'reat &amilies. Each -ouse is a large related family, ut it is also a literal house, a fortified mansion where the -ouse leader - or 9ovator - lives together with his immediate kin and retainers. This mansion is regarded as the seat of the entire 'reat &amily, even though it is only the hereditary ruling family that lives there. The 'reat &amilies of the 9avis 9o ilite are uni)uely composed of a particular form of human mutant called a 9avigator. The mutation is not a spontaneous or natural one, ut rather the result of genetic engineering conducted in the distant past during the earliest history of the 9avigator -ouses. This engineering created the 9avigator 'ene that distinguishes 9avigators from ordinary humans. The gene itself can only e preserved y intermarriage, as it is lost when a 9avigator reeds with an ordinary human. This factor has led to the development of the closely-related 9avigator families. "A3I#ATOR The genetic creation of 9avigators has a single purpose8 to endow a human with the a ility to steer a spacecraft through warpspace. $nly 9avigators can do this - no other human or machine has the a ility to navigate warpspace in this way. "t is this a ility that allows human spacecraft to travel so )uickly compared to alien craft. 3ithout 9avigators to steer its ships, the "mperium would )uickly fragment into thousands of separate stellar empires, each only a few do6en light years across, whose spacecraft would e o liged to use tiny and dangerous lind !umps to cover interstellar space. The physi)ue of 9avigators is unusual. The feature which distinguishes all 9avigators is the Third or 3arp Eye situated in the centre of their forehead. 9early all young 9avigators traditionally work in space as pilots. $ver the years they gradually increase their familiarity with the warp and their powers ecome stronger. This mental maturation may take as many as fifty or a hundred years of space flight, ut as 9avigators can live for three or four hundred years this is not a great proportion of their lives. As they grow more e#perienced they also change physically. The white and iris of the Third Eye

gradually vanished leaving a single lack pupil. The eye itself hardens, and the eyelids shrink leaving a single staring or . $ften the 9avigator continues to grow more massive as he ages and his ri s enlarge, ecoming prominent as internal gills develop in the chest cavity. THE HEIR APPARE"T The most powerful 9avigators in each of the 'reat &amilies are called -eirs Apparent This signifies that they may one-day contend for the position of Paternova, the ruler of all the 9avis 9o ilite. The Paternova may come from any of the 'reat &amilies and from any social level within thern. The -eirs Apparent are usually the oldest 9avigators, although not all develop in this way and some 9avigators live out their entire lives without undergoing the physical changes descri ed. The -eirs Apparent are often itter rivals who will even go as far as to try and eliminate each other if they get the chance. This sometirnes leads to protracted personal vendettas or even family feuds etween two 9avigator -ouses. The Adeptus Terra is fairly tolerant of minor skirmishing of this kind, although open hostilities etween -ouses are discouraged as much as possi le. 4nfortunately, this keen rivalry sometimes draws -eirs Apparent into marginally unlawful or even outright illegal practices. Their personal am ition makes them vulnera le to all sorts of dangerous influence, from colla oration with aliens to dealings with the daemonic. These deviants are a minority - most -eirs Apparent conduct their rivalries without courting such dangers. THE PATER"O3A The Paternova is the leader of all 9avigators and the most powerful of all his kind. The Paternova may live for up to a thousand years. 3hen he dies all the e#isting -eirs Apparent egin to change - they egin to grow even larger and stronger. Their gill structure ecomes fully functional allowing them to survive in hard vacuum as well us underwater or in normally poisonous environments. Most important, they start to fight. They are drawn to com at with each other, uilding up a pitch of aggression that eventually overrides all other considerations. As -eirs Apparent are killed those who survive change even more until finally only one remains alive. "t is this vastly changed and e#tremely powerful individual who ecomes the new Paternova. The Patenova lives in the Palace of the 9avigators which lies on Earth in the centre of the 6one held y the 9avis 9o ilite. &ollowing his accession, the Paternova never leaves the palace. The e#isting staff, soldiery and other retainers of the palace are replaced y those drawn from the Patemova's own -ouse. The chief amongst his servants is the Paternoval Envoy who ecomes a -igh .ord of Terra and sits on the %enatorum "mperialis. The role of the Paternova is an o scure part of 9avigator iology although no-one dou ts its importance. The Paternova is descri ed as the guiding father whose powers transcend the warp itself. *uring the interlude etween the reign of one Paternova and another, all 9avigators other than -eirs Apparent suffer a considera le reduction in their powers. Their a ility to navigate the warp is impaired, warp !ourneys ecome longer, ships are une#pectedly lost, and younger 9avigators may lose their a ilities completely. As soon as the new Paternova is installed the powers of 9avigators are restored. -owever, not all are restored to the same degree. 9avigators elonging to the same -ouse as the Paternova find their a ilities enhanced, as if their lood relationship were ena ling the Paternova to transmit his powers more effectively. 9avigators elonging to the -ouse of the old Paternova lose this enefit, and so individuals may find their powers impaired. THE "A3I#ATOR; WARP E$E The unusual feature shared y all 9avigators is the Third Eye or 3arp Eye. 9avigators normally keep this eye covered with a andanna or covering which is itself often decorated with an eye. This has led many humans to dou t the e#istence of this Third Eye. "n fact the Third Eye is the focus of the 9avigator's power. The eye ena les the 9avigator to see the shifting currents of warpspace and so to guide his spacecraft within the warp. "t is said that a 9avigator can always see the warp even when he is in the material universe, and that it is this constant e#posure to the unnamed horrors of (haos that leads to their strange physical changes. "t has een known for 9avigators to react suddenly and violently to invisi le things in the warp, and to collapse, lose their sanity or even die as a result.

The eye has other powers too, although these are employed far more rarely and are the su !ect of some mysti)ue. These powers develop with the 9avigator's e#perience of the warp, so that they are most developed of all in the -eirs Apparent. The uncovered stare of a 9avigator can kill a man, and that of an -eir Apparent is said to ward off even the daemonic creatures of the warp. 5ival 9avigators sometimes fight using the power of their eyes to last each other - such open conflicts are rare ut spectacular. "t is also said that the eye of a 9avigator has prophetic powers and that it can literally see into the future. 9avigators are very reluctant to talk a out their powers and it may well e that only the Paternova understands the full potential of a 9avigator's a ilities.

+++A*eptu+ Me,h'-i,u++++
Mars is the planetary realm of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the home and domain of the Tech Priests of the (ult Mechanicus. The 5ed Planet is acclaimed as one of the wonders of the gala#y, the workshop of the "mperium, the forge-world, the maker of ships, and the guardian of secrets. "t is the Adeptus Mechanicus that furnishes the technical knowledge of the "mperium, that preserves the scientific secrets of former times, and which e#plores the new sciences of the =:st Millennium. THE !ULT ME!HA"I!U The (ult Mechanicus, or (ult of the Machine, acknowledges the Emperor as Master of Mankind ut does not recognise the authority of the official "mperial (ult or the Ecclesiarchy. "nstead, the Adeptus Mechanicus follows its own dark and mysterious strictures. According to the strictures of the Adeptus Mechanicus, knowledge is the supreme manifestation of divinity, and all creatures and artefacts which em ody knowledge are holy ecause of it. The Emperor is the supreme o !ect of worship ecause he comprehends so much. Machines which preserve knowledge from ancient times are also holy, and machine intelligences are no less divine that those of flesh and lood. A mans worth is only the sum of his knowledge - his ody is simply an organic machine capa le of preserving intellect. RA"& O% THE ADEPTU ME!HA"I!U The Adeptus Mechanicus controls the entire governmental, industrial and religious affairs of Mars and is thus very diverse and comple# in its organisation. "n its roadest terms the population is divided into two parts. The greater mass of Martians are worker-slaves called %ervitors. %ervitors are not really fully human, ut half-man half-machine creatures whose minds have een partially programmed to perform specific duties. The %ervitors are slaves to the ruling priesthood of Tech Priests who form a hierarchy of technicians, scientists and religious leaders. The Tech Priests provide the "mperium with its engineers and technical e#perts. The leader of the Adeptus Mechanicus is the &a ricator 'eneral of Mars. The &a ricator 'eneral is also a -igh .ord of Terra and one of the most powerful mem ers of the %enatorum "mperialis. -e is also the head of the (ult Mechanicus in his capacity as the Magos Mechanicus. THE 1UE T %OR &"OWLED#E The Adeptus Mechanicus is driven y the )uest for knowledge. This )uest takes many forms, including research and e#ploration, ut its ultimate em odiment is the search for ancient %T( systems. %T( systems were created during the scientific high-point of the *ark Age of Technology. *uring this time thousands of human colonies were founded on distant worlds. Many of these colonies failed to survive, some were lost, and of those that survived most achieved only a su sistence level economy. ?et almost all of these colonies managed to retain a high level of technology thanks to the huge ase of computerised information carried from Earth. This massive computer data ank was known as the %tandard Template (onstruct /%T(0 system. The o !ective of the %T( systems was to provide all the technical information needed to construct anything that settlers might need. The user simply asked how to uild a olter, tractor, house or whatever, and the computer supplied the details for fa rication. %T( systems would calculate the constructional loads placed on locally-availa le materials, work out the depths of foundations, define the means of manufacture and assem ly, and present the most efficient ways of achieving what it was the settler asked. The systems were designed to e practically idiot proof, so that even the least technically-accomplished person could uild a vehicle, aircraft or weapon given

time. $ne result of the %T( system and its pivotal place in human colonisation is that human material culture is very similar, even on worlds which are many thousands of light years apart. The %T(s are often said to em ody the sum total of human knowledge. This is pro a ly true as far as technical accomplishment goes. Although most colonists re)uired little more than designs for agricultural machinery, programs were included for all sorts of advanced constructions such as nuclear power grids and fission reactors. -owever, the early colonists' needs were simple and were met y conventional energy forms and relatively low-level technology. Every original colony had at least one %T( system. 3ith the passage of time these gradually failed, and passed out of use. %ome colonies were forward-thinking enough to make drawings or hard copies of some designs, which were in turn copied repeatedly with varying accuracy. %ome %T( systems ecame corrupted and useless, and were eventually destroyed. Today there are no known surviving %T( systems, and only a very few e#amples of firstgeneration print out. $n some worlds information a out the ancient %T( is regarded as holy and design copies are guarded as secret and sacred te#ts, housed in the inner sanctums of temples. &or thousands of years the Adeptus Mechanicus has pursued all information a out the %T(. "t is their lost i le, -oly 'rail and (up of Enowledge. Any scrap of information is eagerly sought out and !ealously hoarded. Any rumour of a functional system is followed up and investigated. ,y their efforts much information has een retrieved or can e reconstructed y the vigorous analysis and comparison of copies. ?et the most technically-advanced knowledge eludes the Adeptus Mechanicus, for the early colonists were mostly simple folk whose needs were practical. $nly rarely did anyone other to take copies of the theoretical and advanced work which the %T( contained. ALIE" &"OWLED#E The technical achievements of non-humans, such as Eldar and $rks, and isolated human civilisations, such as %)uats, are of almost as much interest to the Adeptus Mechanicus as rumours concerning the %T(. "ndeed, non-human knowledge is often more useful and usually far easier to o tain. Mem ers of the Adeptus Mechanicus always accompany "mperial e#ploration teams, 5ogue Traders and %pace Marine chapters, and so are ideally placed to investigate the technical a ilities of other cultures. Even e#tinct civilisations are vigorously investigated and their technology recorded. BIOLO#$ A"D BE$O"D The Adeptus Mechanicus is not only interested in technical achievement, ut also in iological and natural science. Thus, the flora and fauna of a newly-discovered world will e recorded, and samples returned to Mars for classification. 3eather systems and su terranean morphology will e mapped, atmospheres analysed and all aspects of the natural ecosystem studied. %uch studies are vital for further colonisation. *angerous animals and plants must e considered, useful species may e studied for potential domestication. 3eather and geographic sta ility must e determined and sometimes sta ilised. Thanks to their in-depths knowledge of such things the Adeptus Mechanicus has the a ility to mould a world's climate and ecology to meet human needs.

+++WARP PA!E A"D P $&ER +++

The material universe is but one aspect of reality. There is a !uite separate and co,existing immaterial universe. This is commonly known as the warp or warpspace, although it is also known as %haos, the otherworld, the ether, the empyrean, the void and the immaterium. Warpspace may be explained in terms of an endlessly broad and deep sea of raw energy. This energy carries within it the random thoughts, unfettered emotions, memory fragments and unshakeable beliefs of those who live in the material universe , it is the collective mind of the universe itself. "ll living creatures exist in warpspace as well as in the material universe, although most are not conscious of the fact. 3ust as a man+s body inhabits the material universe, his soul inhabits that of the warp. The body is part of the universe and made of matter4 the soul is part of the warp and is made from the stuff of raw %haos. /uman sensitivity to the warp is not generally well developed. The soul itself is not aware4 it is simply a coherent lump of %haos energy maintained whole by its anchor to the material body. /owever, in a minority of people this sensitivity is far more finely tuned. These people are psykers and they are able to consciously control and use the energy of the warp to affect the material universe. There

are many kinds of psykers, not all of them /uman, some of whom are tolerated or encouraged within /uman society while others are regarded as dangerous and are actively persecuted and destroyed. #$%&'I& #(W)*$ "s power from the warp flows into realspace, it splits into eight parts, each perceived by those with psychic awareness 5often called the second sight6 as a separate colour. 3ust as the warp comprises tides and currents of emotion that over the millennia have melded together to form the great #owers of %haos, so in realspace each of the colours of psychic power draws on a certain type of emotion or energy from warpspace. This gives each colour its own distinctive effects when used by a psyker. " small amount of raw energy from the warp leaks through into realspace all the time. Those with psychic powers see this energy as layered mists of colour, building into boiling, turbulent clouds and multihued storms where the barrier between the warp and realspace is particularly tenuous. To cast a psychic attack, the psyker pulls energy of one colour into himself, draining the surrounding area as he concentrates and focuses the colour. When he uses his powers, he further weakens the distinction between warpspace and realspace, allowing more power to flow through, providing additional impetus to his attack and replenishing the mist of colour that surrounds him. To those with psychic second sight, it appears that the psyker is the centre of a maelstrom as fragments of colour whip and twist around him. "s he gathers all the energy of one colour, the storm dies for a brief moment and he stands at the calm centre of the boiling clouds , he moulds the power into his chosen form, turning it with his mind from raw energy into potent weapon of attack or a shield of defence. Then he releases the pent,up energy, hurling it at his enemy or pushing it out to form an impenetrable shell around him. Those with the second sight see psychic attacks in many ways. *ach psyker interprets what he sees according to his understanding of the warp4 some as a dance of pure colour7 others as a strange geometry of mystical symbols drawn from the arcana7 many as images of power and destruction taken from the mythologies of their homeworld. Where one may see bolts of startling colour, others will see the talons of huge beasts grappling with their enemies or strange forms with a 8aemonic glint in their eyes ripping and tearing. 'or some, skeletal hands reach out of the darkness with the touch of death where others see all,consuming hellish fires burning with the souls of the damned. One will see spiders and beetles whose eyes glow with an uncanny radiance and whose feet send out sparks as they skitter along faint webs of colour to reach with thin feelers into the minds of their victims. "nother will see pools of darkness that spread from the caster to consume everything they meet with the insatiable hunger of the warp. *ven those without the second sight see flickering shadows, or catch a sight of something from the corner of their eyes, bringing a moment+s dread apprehension before the psyker+s attack bursts upon them with its full energy, surrounding them with deadly fires or a hail of coloured bolts that strike down all in their path. "s well as using the power of the warp by drawing it into realspace, the psyker can reach out within the warp itself to clutch the soul of an enemy and break the thread that connects it to a living body. 'or a second the eyes of his victim will go blank and any who look into them will feel drawn in, sucked by the black emptiness of death, before the victim crumples to the ground in silence , only his soul, torn apart by the psyker, screams unheard with the agonies of annihilation. The links of those who are weak are easily broken7 the psychically strong are anchored to their souls with adamantine chains and only the most powerful of enemies can threaten them. "s they feel the presence of animosity in the warp, they can concentrate their power into the chain, setting it aglow as if .ust pulled from the fires of a furnace, throwing back the assailant with a white psychic heat that bums any who approach. #$%+)*$ I, T') IM#)*I!M 2ost /umans do not have psychic powers, although all /umans have at least a limited potential for psychic activity. /owever, a small but growing minority of /umans do develop tangible powers. These people are called psykers by the Imperial authorities , on their own worlds they may be known by many names4 warlock, witch, necromancer, spirit walker, exorcist, speaker in tongues, shaman. #sykers are dangerous individuals whose powers can only be tolerated when safely harnessed within the Imperial organisation4 the psychic universe is the universe of %haos and therefore perilous. It is a universe inhabited by 8aemonic aliens that care nothing for living creatures and wish only to use and destroy /umanity. "ll psykers, even the most powerful, offer these aliens a potential means of entering and affecting the material world. *very planet in the Imperium is bound by law to control its psychic population. #ersecutions or witch,hunts are an everyday part of life on most worlds. The same laws oblige rulers to set aside a levy of young and relatively promising psykers for transport to *arth by the "deptus "stra Telepathica. The -deptus -stra Telepathi.a The "deptus "stra Telepathica is dedicated to the recruitment and training of psykers for service throughout the Imperium. The head!uarters of the organisation is on *arth, but its ships travel the Imperium and its offices extend over most of /uman space. The institution is divided into a teaching body called the Scholastia #sykana and a recruiting body known as The &eague of $lackships. These two are united under the 2aster of the "deptus "stra Telepathica and his advisory council of several hundred senior officials drawn from the main divisions. The Lea/ue of 0la.kships The &eague consists of a substantial fleet based throughout the Imperium. The ships visit each world every hundred years or so. "s the fleets approach their destination, the ruling Imperial %ommander is instructed to prepare the customary levy. On many planets, this is a holy time , a time for re.oicing as the young hopefuls gather for their chance to be taken to the stars and serve the unseen 2aster who rules them all. Once the levy has been collected, the $lackship %aptains make an

initial evaluation of their cargo before proceeding to the next world in their circuit. When the holds are full, the $lackships turn towards *arth. It is common for In!uisitors to travel on board these ships, as this gives them a good opportunity to investigate a planet+s potential for psychic corruption and other heresy. The $.holastia #sykana The Scholastia #sykana is a vast teaching institution dedicated to the training of psychics. 2ost recruits are drawn from the levy collected by the $lackships, but a minority are handed over by the In!uisition, the 3udges or through other channels. The role of this institution is to teach young psychics how to develop and control their powers. The future of each psyker depends on his abilities and character. Initial evaluation divides the levy into several groups depending on their innate psychic power and their willingness to serve the *mperor. The &hosen Those whose powers and strength of character are sufficient to resist possession and 8aemonic taint under normal circumstances are chosen to serve in an elite capacity. They are often known as primary psykers or the %hosen and they will learn to serve the Imperium in many ways throughout the galaxy. The very young may be indoctrinated into the Space 2arines as &ibrarians7 the most talented may become In!uisitors or 9rey :nights. *ven these chosen psykers are not invulnerable to the powers of 8aemons and psychic aggressors, but their training gives them a fighting chance against all but the most potent of these creatures. -stropaths "stropaths are selected from the second ranking of psykers, those whose powers are considerable but inade!uate to resist the dangers of possession or 8aemonic corruption. "stropaths undergo basic training coupled with a thorough study of telepathy. They are taught how to use the *mperor+s Tarot, how to cast horoscopes, and the practices of cheiromancy and augury of all kinds. Once they have been prepared in this way they undergo the uni!ue $inding ;itual which gives them a little of the *mperor+s strength. $a.rifi.es The psychic levy inevitably includes many whose powers are too random and whose minds are too vulnerable. If left unrestrained they would soon perish and their doom would lead to further deaths , maybe even to the destruction of entire /uman worlds. In a teeming universe their loss is of no great matter but even in death they can serve, for the *mperor must feed upon raw psychic energy if he is to survive as the protector of /umanity. They become sacrifices to the *mperor, their souls leached from their bodies to sustain the 'ather of 2ankind. LI0*-*I-,$ " 2arine chapter+s &ibrarium is both its command and communications centre, and the repository for centuries of wisdom and history, culled from the reports, treatises and memoirs of the chapter+s greatest warriors and finest minds. $ecause interstellar communications are achieved by psychic means, sending messages through the warp rather than through realspace, most of the 2arines who work in the &ibrarium are psykers. :nown as &ibrarians, they are recruited from among the youngest and most promising primary psykers trained by the "deptus "stra Telepathica. &ibrarians also have potent psychic powers which they use on the battlefield to augment the conventional weaponry of their brother 2arines. &ibrarians hold a functionary rank, describing their role as well as their position. The four battlefield ranks of &ibrarian, in ascending order of importance, are &exicanian, %odicier, *pistolary and %hief &ibrarian. *ach of these enters battle ready to support his brothers with a range of psychic attacks and defences. They are fielded in many different situations, especially when 2arines of the chapter face psychic opponents such as covens containing ;ogue #sykers or followers of the %haos #owers. In addition to their duties as warriors, each performs an auxiliary role. The &exicanian prepares a report of each battle for the chapter+s records. The %odicier evaluates the reports of &exicanians and provides a strategic overview of campaigns. The *pistolary is a more powerful &ibrarian , his role is that of chief psychic communications officer. /e transmits and receives psychic messages on the battlefield. The most important of all fighting &ibrarians are the %hief &ibrarians, superior in rank and psychic power. They report directly to the chapter+s commander and hold overall responsibility for the maintenance of communication lines. They also scrutini-e their subordinates+ battle reports and give recommendations for honor awards, drawing on their intimate knowledge of the chapter+s glorious past to appraise a 2arine+s valorous actions. '%0*I1 #$%+)*$ "ll 9enestealers are psychic. They share a limited form of telepathy that lets the members of a brood communicate. They also use their power to hypnoti-e their victims before striking to implant their seed, lulling them into submission and then erasing the event from their minds. Only when the much,loved firstborn of such a victim arrives does the truth become apparent , by then the victim is ensnared, bonded to his /ybrid child by chains of parental love, strengthened by the pull of the /ybrid+s latent psychic power. 'rom this beginning, a brood of /ybrids and followers will grow, owing allegiance to their founder and #atriarch. The psychic power of a brood is shared between all the members and is focused on the #atriarch. The #atriarch has the strongest soul and the greatest ability to draw power from the warp. /e is a mighty psyker and his attacks can be devastating , to those unprepared to face him, it may seem as if the very gates of hell have opened when he unleashes his full power. /e also passes on part of this power to his children, feeding and directing currents of warp energy towards them and strengthening their own psychic abilities. In #urestrain Stealers, this psychic power is latent. In many cases,

however, /ybrids of the <rd and =th generation are able to direct their psychic power, casting psychic attacks to annihilate their enemies or shielding themselves and their kin from harm. &ike other Stealers, they draw their power from the brood+s shared presence within the warp7 each /ybrid benefits from this presence, having a greater ability as part of the brood than he would alone. $ecause they draw power from the brood+s strongly,bonded souls, the abilities of /ybrid psykers vary less than those of their /uman counterparts. *ven so, some /ybrids are gifted with much greater talents than others , it is one of these who will rise to the exalted position of 2agus, standing at the right hand of the #atriarch, second only to him in power, and interpreting his will to the /uman and other cult followers of the brood.

+++A*eptu+ A+tr' Te(ep'thi,'+++

The Adeptus Astra Telepathica is dedicated to the recruitment and training of psykers for service throughout the "mperium. The head)uarters of the organisation is on EarthD ut its spaceships travel the "mperium and its offices e#tend over most of human space. "ts chief responsi ility is to train psykers to serve as Astropaths.



Most humans do not have psychic powers, although it is generally accepted that all humans have at least a limited potential for psychic activity. A small ut growing minority of humans develop tangi le powers - these people are called psykers. Psykers are dangerous individuals whose powers can only e tolerated when safely harnessed within the "mperial organisation. After all, the psychic universe is the universe of (haos and therefore perflous. "t is a universe inha ited y daemonic aliens that care nothing for living creatures and wish only to use and destroy humanity. All psykers, even the most powerful, offer these aliens a potential means of entering and affecting the material world. Every world in the "mperium is ound y law to control its psychic population. Persecutions or witch-hunts are an everyday part of life on most worlds. The same laws o lige rulers to set aside a levy of young and relatively promising psykers for transport to Earth y the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. "t is from this levy that the Adeptus Astra Telepathica divides those who will live and serve from those who will e sacrificed to the Emperor.



The institution is divided into a teaching and a recruiting ody, called the %cholastia Psykana and the .eague of ,lackships respectively. The two are united under the Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica and his advisory council consisting of several hundred senior officials from the main divisions.


The .eague consists of a su stantial fleet ased throughout the "mperium. The ships travel around a huge circuit, visiting each world every hundred years or so. As the fleets approach their destination, the ruling "mperial (ommander is instructed to prepare the customary levy. $nce the levy has een collected the ,lackship (aptains make an initial evaluation of their cargo efore proceeding to the ne#t world in their circuit. 3hen the holds are full, the ,lackships turn towards Earth. "t is common for "n)uisitors to travel on oard these ships, as this gives them a good opportunity to investigate a planet's potential for psychically- ased corruption.



The %cholastia Psykana is a vast teaching institution dedicated to the training of psychics. Most recruits are drawn from the psychic levy collected y the ,lackships, ut a minority of recruits are handed over y the "n)uisition, the <udges or through other channels. The role of this institution is to teach young psychics how to develop and control their powers. The future of each psyker depends on his a ilities and character.

Prim'r6 P+6<er+
Those whose powers and strength of character are sufficient that they can resist possession and daemonic taint under normal circumstances. Primary Psykers are chosen to serve the "mperium only if they are young, intelligent and willing to learn. After five years of asic psychic training in the %cholastia Psykana they are ready to !oin any of the "mperial organisations in a suita le capacity. The very young may e indoctrinated into the %pace Marines as .i rarians, the most talented of all may ecome "n)uisitors or 'rey Enights. Primary Psykers are not invulnera le to

daemons and other psychic aggressors, ut their training gives them a fighting chance against all ut the most potent of these creatures.

Astropaths are selected from the second ranking of psykers, those whose powers are considera le ut inade)uate to resist the dangers of possession or daemonic corruption. .ike Primary Psykers, they must e young, vigorous and willing. Astropaths undergo asic psychic training efore they assume their role of telepathic communicators throughout the "mperium. They are taught how to use the Emperor's Tarot, how to cast horoscopes, and the practices of cheiromancy and augury of all kinds. $nce they have een prepared in this way they undergo the uni)ue ,inding 5itual which gives them a little of the Emperor's strength.

The A*eptu+ A+tro-omi,' ',rifi,e+

%ome Primary and %econdary Psykers are reserved for the Adeptus Astronomica. They are handed over to complete their training under the auspices of that organisation. The psychic levy inevita ly harvests many whose powers are to= random and their minds too vulnera le. "f left unrestrained tiwJy would soon perish, and their doom would lead to further deaths and may e even to the destruction of entire worlds. "n a teeming universe their loss is of no great matter, ut even in death they can serve - for the Emperor must feed upon raw psychic energy if he is to survive as the protector of humanity. These sacrifices are fed into the Emperor's 'olden Throne so that the Emperor and the "mperium itself can continue.

The T'i-te*

Thanks to the vigorous checks of the ,lackship (aptains few tainted psykers get as far as Earth. Those who do are weeded out and destroyed on account of the daemons they har our or the destructive powers they possess. ?et despite these vigorous precautions a few of the Tainted do get through. "n the past important mem ers of the "mperium, even -igh .ords, have een psykers of this kind. 3ho knows how many individuals have slipped past the checks and ecome important officials without their true nature eing discoveredK


Astropaths are e#tremely important within human society ecause they offer the oflly means of communicating over interstellar distances. Astropaths are capa le of sending telepathic messages across space and they can receive messages sent y other Astropaths if their minds are correctly attuned. Telepathic messages travel through the warp and so travel faster than light, although not instantaneously. The need for Astropaths is enormous. They are a common sight in the "mperium and are easily distinguished y their green ro es. Astropaths serve in the &leet as ship- oard and shore- ased communicators. They serve in the "mperial 'uard, the "n)uisition, the Adeptus Ministorum, the %pace Marines and throughout the Adeptus Terra. The "mperial (ommanders of distant worlds must have Astropaths if they are to communicate with the rest of the "mperium. %imilarly, Astropaths are an essential part of civilian life, working for commercial shippers and anywhere where interstellar communication is needed. This vast ody makes up a network covering the entire "mperium thus facilitating the transfer of information from one end of the gala#y to the other.



9o ordinary psyker could transmit a message through the warp, nor could he receive a telepathic message over such vast distances. Astropaths only gain this a ility as a result of their many years training, culminating in a special ritual which com ines some of the Emperor's own power with their own. This ritual, known as %oul ,inding, rings the mind of the psyker close to the psychic greatness of the Emperor. "n the Process, some of the Emperor's vast energy is transferred to the Astropath. The transference of energy is traumatic for the psyker - not all survive despite years of preparation, and not all those that survive retain their sanity. Even the survivors suffer damage to the sensitive nerves of the eyes, so that almost all Astropaths are lind. "n fact their increased psychic skills tend to make up for this loss of sight, so that they would not appear lind were it not for their distorted, sunken and empty eye sockets. %oul ,inding is said to affect Astropaths in other ways, and it is commonly claimed that once an Astropath's mind has touched that of the Emperor he gains a new understanding and insight into

the nature of the universe.

== Imperi'( Hi+tor6 +++The Emperor+++

The Master of Mankind, the Emperor of the "mperium, has sat upon the 'olden Throne of Earth for ten millennia. -is ody is kept alive y means of ancient technology and sheer effort of will, for the Emperor is the greatest psyker of all, an almost ottomless repository of psychic energy. -e is no ordinary man - in many respects he is a god, and is worshipped as such y untold illions. 4ltimately, the Emperor has a solute power within the "mperium. The Emperor of the "mperium, Master of Mankind, .ord of -umanity and 'od of the human race, has ruled his vast spacial realm for longer than any living man can remem er. (ountless millennia ago he was orn to mortal parents, growing into manhood little realising the fate awaiting him. As a youth he egan to manifest strange powers, powers which intensified and multiplied as he grew older. 9ot least amongst these powers was that of longevity - a virtual immortality that gave him time to develop his a ilities fully. &or long ages he lived secretly amongst mankind, as empires grew and fell, and mankind discovered how to control and e#ploit the Earth. As his powers evolved he learned of the dangers eyond his own world, of the psychically attuned creatures that roamed the voids in etween space, hungering and clawing for the life-stuff of living creatures. &or countless ages he hid within humanity, nurturing his powers and waiting. At last, over ten thousand years ago he egan his struggle, for he knew that humanity was on the verge of a revolution, a genetic revolution which would create a new psychically aware race, a race of which he was the first and most powerful. 3ithout his guidance he realised the emerging race of psychics would fall prey to the dangers he had already faced, the perils of entities that fed upon psychic energy, or who used that energy for their own horrific purposes. %o, the Emperor emerged from long hiding, creating the Age of the "mperium over ten millennia ago in a series of wars now remem ered y none save their victor. -is rule has een a long and harsh one, for there is much at stake - the life of humanity itself. The strain of his constant vigilance has taken a heavy toll upon the man that was once human, for now his ody can no longer support life, and his shattered carcass remains intact only ecause it is held y a spirit itself sustained y the strangest of machinery - ancient artifacts constructed y the Emperor in an elder age. "t is ironic that this creature, whose will e#tends to over a million worlds, is now una le to leave the life-giving machinery of his imperial throne, una le to so much as lift a shrivelled finger or twitch a shrunken eye. The living carcass of the Emperor is immo ile, held fast within the iomachine that sustains his spirit. The mass of this machine is contained within the imperial palace+ room upon room of twisted technology, pulsing with a life and will of its own - living, reathing, reproducing and writhing like a giant, mindless organism. -eld within this perversion of science lies the Emperor himself, or rather what now remains of his carcass, the seat of his omnipotent will. The Emperor understands the dangers that face his race, and has assumed the role which seems preordained for him, that of its guardian. Perhaps he is a freak, or perhaps nature created him as the protector of her metamorphosis. Either way, the Emperor is now the custodian of his race, and he alone ears the knowledge of its fate. To this end the Emperor maintains strict control over the development of humanity and contri utes directly to its survival y utilising his powers. -e plays a vital role in space travel within the "mperium. in order to steer a craft over great distances, a human navigator uses a mental homing signal, a sort of psychic eacon to guide him through warp space. To provide a mental signal throughout human controlled space would not e possi le to any ordinary psyker. -owever, the Emperor is no ordinary psyker - his powers go eyond those of mortals. Even so, the strain of transmitting a continuous signal would prove far too strenuous, and he merely concentrates his powers on directing a signal created y others. These are the imperial servants known as the Adeptus Astronomica, psykers whose odies and

souls are leeched of energy. This energy is pro!ected y the mind of the Emperor in the form of the psychic eacon known as the Astronomican. The sheer )uantity of mental energy is vast, and only the mind of the Emperor is sufficient to handle so much raw power. The fate of the Adeptus Astronomica is a sad one, for their efforts soon reduce them to empty husks of one and dry flesh. Many die every day. They are not the only psykers who are asked to make the ultimate sacrifice, for the Emperor cannot eat as men eat, or drink fluids or reathe air. -is life has passed eyond a point where such things can sustain him. &or the Emperor the only via le sustenance is human life-force - soul - and he has a great and insatia le appetite. 9or will !ust any human suffice for this purpose, for the soul-donor must e a very special person in their own right, someone with psychic powers. The "n)uisition scours the "mperium in a tireless search for emergent psykers, individuals too vulnera le to e left alone. %ome of these men and women will e recruited into the Adeptus Terra /especially the Adeptus Astronomica and Adeptus Astra Telepathica0 ut many more will serve their Emperor in a more gruesome way. 'iven up to the weird machinery that surrounds the Master of Mankind, their souls will e graduary leeched from their odies to feed the Emperor's spirit. -undreds must die in this way every day if the Emperor, the "mperium and humanity are to survive. "t would e simple to think of the Emperor as an evil corruption of nature. ?et, as the Adeptus Terra teach, the sorrow and slaughter that feeds his divine corpse is a trifling price to pay for the survival of the race. 3ithout the Emperor there would e little space travel and no protection in a hostile universe. .eft uncontrolled, the emerging race of psychic humans would ecome the unwitting vehicle of humarnity's destruction. &or there are many foil aliens which not only feed upon the life-force of other races, ut which use that life-force as a means of opening portals in warp space, infiltrating populated planets via the poorly protected minds of ine#perienced psykers. The master of Mankind knows that to protect his race he must survive, must live forever if necessary, or until such time as psychic humans have evolved sufficient strength to withstand the dangers they face. "f thousands much endure pain and death for his sake, how considera le must e the agony of a creature whose ody is all ut destroyed, whose mind is encased inside a rotting shell and whose every thought is enslaved to the task of serving his race.

+++The A/e of Apo+t'+6+++

P'th to D'm-'tioThe power of the Ecclesiarhy spread into every facet of "mperial life. &rom hum le miners and clerks, through "mperial 'uard and 9avy officers to planetary 'overnors and the -igh .ords of Terra themselves, every ody was an adherent to the "mperial (reed, in theory at least. &re)uently the -igh .ords would take their lead from the views of the Ecclesiarch, elieving that he was the mouth of the Emperor+ a elief the Ministorum did nothing to contradict. %oon the Ecclesiarchy was indirectly dictating "mperial law, organising armies, deciding which threats gained priority and where to direct "mperial resources. As the grip of the Ecclesiarchy grew, elements of the "mperium railed against such control. "n the -igh .ords' councils the &a ricator 'eneral of the Adeptus Mechanicus opposed the will of the Ecclesiarchy, and the (hapter Masters of the %pace Marines also viewed "mperial orders with dou t. &ollowing their lead, the Administratum egan to fight against the pervasive force of the Ecclesiarchy. Angered y their loss of control, the Administratum egan to re-esta lish itself as the commanding, inding power within the "mperium. %o egan a feud that has lasted F,;;; years to the present. The Administratum e#ercised its influence in a num er of ways, undermining the authority of the Ecclesiarch, influencing votes in the council of the -igh .ords and positioning its own loyal followers in powerful posts. &rom the late C=th to the early C@th millennium, the power of the Ecclesiarchy waned. &ollowing the election of a series of disastrously weak and incompetent Ecclesiarchs, the Administratum managed to wrest much of its control ack from the Ministorum. As time passed the Administratum gained dominance once more. To the populace at large the Ecclesiarchy was as mighty, all-seeing and powerful as ever, ut ehind the scenes the Administraum was dictating the agenda of the -oly %ynod. "n an attempt to escape the clutches of the -igh .ord of the Administratum, Ecclesiarch ,enedin "B moved the -oly %ynod and the upper echelons of the Adeptus Ministorum to the planet of

$phelia B"" in the %egmentum Tempestus. This had een ,enedin's diocese as a (ardinal and was possi ly the richest planet after Terra and Mars. The Ecclesiarchal palaces on $phelia covered nearly D;,;;; s)uare miles and soared =,;;; metres into the sky.They were only rivalled y the "mperial palace on Earth. %eparated from the designs of the Administratum y sheer distance, the power of the Ecclesiarchy grew again. 3ith a succession of punishing increases in tithes, the resources of the Ministorum reached its height. The (ardinals of different dioceses competed with each other to erect the most magnificent monuments, to uild the largest and most ostentatious temples and cathedrals. The purges of socalled heretical cults increased singnificantly, as any opposition to the word of the Ecclesiarch was ruthlessly crushed. %eparated from the Administratum, the Ecclesiarchy egan to form its own fleet of interstellar ships and armies. The &rateris Templars, as these forces came to e known, num ered many commercial transports and warships, and do6ens of fighting armies each of which rivalled an "mperial 'uard regiment in strength. All the while, the Ministorum uildings on Earth were left to ruin and crum le. "n the middle of the C@th millennium, nearly three hundred years after the move to $phelia B"", 'reigor N" was elected to the position of Ecclesiarch. A deeply spirtual man, 'reigor was seen as the ne#t step in the Ecclesiarchy's growth8 a fresh outlook to spur on what had increasingly ecome a stagnant -oly %ynod. -owever, the (ardinals were totally unprepared for what would come ne#t. 'reigor announced that the Adeptus Ministorum would return to Earth. Although this was vigorously opposed oth within and outside the Ecclesiarchy, 'reigor felt that the true centre of the &aith should e Terra, the home world of humanity. 9one could dissuade him from this course, and though it took him twelve years to organise the return, with the time needed for marshalling his resources and the physical re)uirements of warp travel, the doors of the Ecclesiarchal palaces on Earth were finally opened once more. The refur ishment of the palaces took a heavy toll on the already thinly stretched resources of the Ecclesiarchy. Their funds depleted y the e#tremely e#pensive usiness of relocating to Terra, the Ecclesiarchy had to increase tithes even further to alance the costs of the re uilding. As the re uilding progressed, 'reigor N" egan laying the groundwork for other changes within the structure of the Adeptus Ministorum, changes that were seen as radical y many of his peers within the -oly %ynod. Again, he refused to ow to opinion, ut efore his innovations could e put into action, 'reigor died of food poisoning. Tears were wept at his funeral /it is said that si# million followers filed past his open-topped casket0 and the (ardinals spoke of a great man that had een taken from them too soon. -owever, no sooner had the tears dried and 'reigor's ody een interned in the great Mausoleum of 5emem rance than a new, more conservative Ecclesiarch was elected and the Ministorum continued as it had done efore. De+,e-t i-to A-'r,h6 &uelled y the growing demands of the (ardinals, Ecclesiarchy tithes were increased once more. 4nfortunately, much of the populace was already stretched to reaking point and this further increase was seen y many as unnecessarily e#or itant. Across many worlds of the "mperium the populace openly re elled againts the Ecclesiarchy and refused to pay. Even Planetary 'overnors spoke out against the e#cesses of the Ministorum, ut they went unheeded. The Ecclesiarchy responded with a vengeance, sending its armies to crush any sign of revolt and e#ecuting higher officials as heretics. Ale#is NN" used the $fficio Assassinorum to eliminate several 'overnors who redirected their tithes to pay for their own Planetary *efence &orces, and is )uoted as saying, ''They had forsworn the Emperor's protection for their own worldly gains.'' The tithes were used to uild ever larger temples, to line the highways of planets with statues of past Ecclesiarchs and to decorate the Ecclesiarchal palaces with the rarest metals and gems.The unrest continued, massive uprisings spreading across the "mperium, only for the &rateris Templars of the Ecclesiarchy to arrive and )uell any insurgencies. All those who defied the rights of the Ecclesiarchy were decried as heretics and suita ly punished. %ome thought the Ecclesiarchy's loody methods of control were e#cessive, ut it was nothing compared to what was to come. Even as the "mperium struggled to survive amidst ushfire wars and a lack of true leadership from Earth, further disasters efell humanity. "n the early CGth millennium the incidence of warp storms started increasing. Travel etween all ut the warp soon ecame a tumultuous mass of roiling tempests and storms. 9avigation ecame difficult everywhere and hundreds of systems

were totally isolated. 3ith the resources of the Administratum and Ecclesiarchy turned towards their power struggle, much of the "mperium devolved into anarchy. "n those few worlds still accessi le y starships, the power of the Ecclesiarchy was rutally enforced y the &rateris Templars and any slight deviation from the holy decrees was marked as heretical, with the urnings and hangings which attend that crime. %eeing the turmoil wracking the "mperium, (haos raiders poured forth from the Eye of Terror to attack and despoil their ancient foes. $rk 3arlords rampaged across vast tracts of the gala#y and there was no ody who could halt them. $n the planets cut off from Terra, (haos and 'enestealer cults rose in re ellion and overthrew their governments, damning entire worlds to slavery and slaughter. Those worlds are not overun y alien attackers strove to retain what they could. As time passed even the most advanced worlds were rought to their knees. As efore, with no central guidance from the Adeptus Ministoeum even the worship of the Emperor egan to devolve into a series of cults and sects, and in the trying times of those centuries those who were once rothers under the light of the Emperor fought against each other to assert their religious ideals. Much of the "mperium was under the malaise of a preapocalyptic gloom. (ra6ed 6ealots denounced the Ecclesiarchy and claimed the Emperor was displeased with their greed and e#cesses- sending the warp storms as a test to !udge the truly faithful and set them apart from heretics and sinners. %purred on y these statements, citi6ens turned to flagellation and selfmutilation to prove their elief and faith. 3hole populations ecame seething masses of despairladen cults, each trying to outdo the other in their tortuous devotion to the Emperor. %trange splinter groups grew in power, preaching e#treme causes. ,loodthirsty pogroms eradicated many innocents as the populace tried to stem the wrath of the 'od-Emperor. "n some communities any small deviation from what deemed normal rought instant death to a child and its family. 3hole populations were enslaved or slaughtered, deemed heathens for some real or suspected deviancy. Hi/h Lor* 3'-*ire The name most infamously connected with the Age of Apostasy and the architect of the 5eign of ,lood was 'oge Bandire, CG:st -igh .ord of the Administratu. Bandire had a hard reputation and was a staunch opponent of the Ecclesiarchy's dominance. "t was rumoured he used Assassins and lackmail to achieve the rank of -igh .ord, and none within the Administratum dared oppose him. %hortly efore his ascendancy to the vaulted rank of -igh .ord, Bandire was instrumental in the election of Ecclesiarch Paulis """, a degenerate inccompetent who was easily controlled y Bandire and his followers. $nce he had esta lished his position within the Administratum Bandire moved in to take over the Ecclesiarchy. 3hile other -igh .ords had manipulated the Adeptus Ministorum covertly, Bandire personally led a handpicked contingent of "mperial 'uard officers into the Ecclesiarchal palace and overthrew Paulis """ in what can only e called a military coup. *eclaring Paulis to e a traitor to humanity he had the Ecclesiarch summarily shot and took upon himself the dual role of -igh .ord of the Administratum and Ecclesiarch. %haken and terrified, the -oly %ynod could do nothing to oppose Bandire as he set a out eradicating any within the Ministorum who opposed him. As Bandire's wrath fell upon the (ardinals all those not already fleeing elected to return to $phelia B"" to escape the -igh .ord's clutches. -owever, fate thwarted them and as their ship entered the warp it was engulfed y a huge storm and they were never seen again. Bandire claimed it was the will of the Emperor+ evidence of his divine right to reign over the "merium in the Emeror's name. Bandire elected (ardinals of his own choosing to fill the mahogany enches of the -oly %ynod cham ers. -e chose a calculated mi# of weak-willed fools and rilliant geniuses with !ust the right amount of cruelty to ensure they would enforce his will without any )ualms. The -igh .ord now had total, unopposed control of oth the Ecclesiarchy and the Administratum. The "mperium was a out to face its darkest time since the -orus -eresy. The Rei/- of B(oo* Bandire was insane8 a paranoid megalomaniac who saw plots and intrigue everywhere. -is mind was twisted in every way and he delighted in torturing his victims, declaring he was purifying their souls for the Emperor. -e e#pected his every word to e recorded for posterity and was constantly accompanied y a plethora of scri es whose !o was to note down anything he said or any particularly innovative tortures he inflicted in the converted catacom s eneath the

Ecclesiarchal palace. -is mood would swing violently, laughing one moment and murderously angry the ne#t. Bandire would often fall into a trance-like state, during which he would argue with himself in a mum ling voice and on other occasions he would shout out loud for no apparent reason. -e claimed he was receiving messages from the Emperor. These meditative periods would always e followed y outs of e#cessive violence. -e had a huge tri-d map of the "mperium installed in is audience cham er, with a constant relay of current warp strom activity. As soon as a world was reacha le, he would dispatch a war fleet to esta lish control. The 5eign of ,lood affected the whole "mperium. %ycophantic Army and 9avy officers were only too ready to e#ecute Bandire's orders8 virus om ing the hive world of (alana B"" without reason+ invading the farmlands of ,oras Minor and enslaving every female child under twelve years of age+ using the or ital atteries of <hanna to melt the planet's ice caps, drowning nearly = illion people in the resultant floods. The list goes on and on, meticulously recorded y Bandire's scri es. Bandire would dictate long speeches emoaning the wretched state of the "merium, demanding !ustice o !ect of hate. D'u/hter+ of the Emperor Early in the 5eign of ,lood Bandire's e#tensive network of spies notified the -igh .ord of a particular sect which had previously eluded the attention of the Ministorum. "t was a small cult, perhaps only @;; mem ers in total on the little known agri-world of %an leor. Bandire was furious when he first heard of the group, ut as his agents continued to e#plain the nature of the cult, his interest swerved from homiccidal intent to covetousness. The sect, known as the *aughters of the Emperor, contained only female mem ers and devoted itself to worship of the Emperor through inner purity. The *aughters of the Emperor studied the ancient arts of war using a ta#ing learning process to clear their minds of all worldly considerations, honing their skills over their entire lives. -is interest pi)ued, Bandire ordered a ship to prepare immediately for a !ourney to %an .eor and announced he would honour the world with an Ecclesiarchal visit. 3ith an entourage of nearly a hundred thousand servants and soldiers, Bandire on %an .eor. As the miles-long procession made its way to the temple of the *aughters of the Emperor, Bandire's agents moved ahead of the Ecclesiarchal train, forcing the meager population of the farms and towns to line the streets and show due respect. Those who failed to cooperate were e#ecuted as heretics, regardless of their reasons. Even newly- orn a es and ancient elders were dragged from their homes to witness the arrival of the Ecclesiarch. The crowds were supplied with laurels and gifts to present to Bandire, showering him with scented flowers and crying their praise at gun point. -olo-vids of the various creemonies performed y Bandire were spread throughout the accessi le "mperium and the propaganda was used to further enforce the power of the Ecclesiarch. 4pon reaching the temple, Bandire found the gates arred against him and was informed y a young *aughter of the Empecting that the order did not recognise his authority. E#pecting the customary e#plosion of rage and destruction, Bandire's terrified functionaries feared for their lives. -owever, Bandire had anticipated such an insolent response and had already considered the solution. -e ordered the *aughters of the Emperor to witness a feat that would prove he had the favour of the Emperor.3ith a small odyguard of men, Bandire entered the temple and was conducted to the main hall. ,efore the assem led order Bandire knelt in supplication to the Emperor, praying for his protection, clutching the Ecclesiarch's 5osarius in oth hands. %tanding again, he ordered one of his guards to shoot him with his laspistol. The officer refused at first, egging with Bandire not to endanger himself. Bandire's response is )uoted as, ''there is no danger, " have the Emperor's protection. *o you dou t thatK'' The officer had no answer to such a )uestion, loaded as it was su tle malice and the threat of punishment. -e duly raised his pistol, aimed at the Ecclesiarch's chest and pulled the trigger. As the olt of energy struk Bandire there was an e#plosion of light, linding all who stood in the hall. As they recovered their senses, they saw Bandire standing totally unharmed in the centre of the cham er, leaning on his one walking cane. Almost as one, the 'uardsmen and *aughters of the Emperor fell to their knees in worship. As he later oasted to his scri es, Bandire had gam led that the isolated *aughters of the Emperor would have never heard of a 5osarius or the conversion field generator it contained. Taking oaths of fealty from the *aughters of the Emperor, Bandire elevated the sect to the position of Ecclesiarchal odyguard and took them ack to Terra with him. &rom then on, the

warrior women ecame his personal retinue of soldiers and companions, and Bandire renamed them the ,rides of the Emperor. They were trained y the est teachers in the "mperial 'uard to com ine their own skills with the modern weapons of war and world of their dedication to the protection of Bandire spread through the "mperium. They were his constant guardians and his silent e#ecutioners, who would kill with a word from their lord. The ,rides not only served as Bandire's odyguard, ut also as servants and companions. They tasted the -igh .ord's food, fed him when he fell weak with illness, nursed his frail ody and entertained him with singing, dancing and other, more e#otic, skills. &or all their gaiety on occasion, the ,rides of the Emperor were still hardened fighters, and when the -oly %ynod tried to have Bandire assassinated a few years later, the ,rides went into the meeting cham ers, locked the doors and emerged an hour later carrying the severed heads of every (ardinal present. e.'+ti'- Thor The violent repression and wanton slaughter continued for seven decades after Bandire's ascension to the Ecclesiarchal palace.The resources of the Adeptus Ministorum were directed towards loodthirsty pogroms and the uilding of immense new monuments to the Emperor and Bandire. -owever, Bandire's insanity was ever directed outwards, and thogh distant planets oasted mile-high spires and cathedrals, the Terran palace itself was allowed to fall into decay once more. 3hole wings of the sprawling uilding collapsed from the weight of centuries, and the immense chandeliers and incense urners of the audience cham er were allowed to gutter and die. 3hile the rest of the "mperium glowed with the radiance of gold and platinum and sparkled with the light of millions of rare gems, Bandire's own domain ecame a dark lair of shadows and dank, chilling winds. *ust lay knee-deep in places, the ancient relics were tarnished and stained, tapestries ecame torn and mildewed and rats and other vermin left their trail across the priceless rugs and carpets. $ccasionally !ust a single candle would e lit in the enormous e#panse of the great hall, with only the odd footfall etraying the presence of the ,rides of the Emperor in the darkness. Even during the day, the patina of grime and filth on the stained glass windows let through only a trickle of sunlight. 3hen sweeping rains cleaned the outside of the windows a shaft of righter light might play a out the floor of the great hall, ut at these times Bandire would retire to his cham ers and sit for days on end in complete silence. The -igh .ord fell into long, nightmare-ridden sleeps, crying out in hysterical screams. -is ancient ody was pumped full of drugs and eli#irs to keep the inevita le diseases and depredations of age at ay. -owever, with the guns of the ,rides of the Emperor always ready to o ey his will, the crippled -igh .ord still commanded with an iron fist. "n his more lucid moments, the ailing Bandire could e heard muttering a out the light, and the writings of his scri es recorded that his fear of light seemed to grow with every passing day. "t was with trepidation that a young agent appeared on Terra, coming ack from the northern reaches of the gala#y, around the planet *immamar. -is report was distur ing to the -igh .ord's advisors and caused Bandire to reak into a fit of apoplectic rage. *immamar had denounced the -igh .ord as a traitor of the "mperium and the ancient rites of the diocese. The name of one man was heard again and again, all across the %egmentum $ scurus. -is name was %e astian Thor. 9one on Terra knew where this man came from or what his ultimate purpose might e. The puppet -igh .ords raged with de ate for over a mouth as to what course of action to take. After his initial out urst, Bandire withdrew into himself more than ever, and for most of the council meeting would e seen huddled in the velvet and e ony throne of the Ecclesiarch, surrounded y the ever vigilant ,rides of the Emperor, his eyes staring at nothing. As more news came in of the revolt, it ecame clear that things would have to e stopped soon. 3ithin three months another eighty systems had declared their loyalty to the (onfederation of .ight and only the 3eight of Ministorum armies and fleets in other sectors prevented similar occurrences all across the northern reaches. The most trusted and loyal of the &rateris Templars were dispatched to deal with the threat, and were ordered to ra6e *immamar and eradicate every living creature on the world. The war fleet was duly sent, ut shortly after it !umped into warp space outside the (la# system it was smashed asunder y a warp storm of gigantic proportions. The last astropathic transmission reported white arcs of energy tearing apart the hulls of the ships, the power of the storm literally twisting men and machines apart, turning soldiers inside out and disintegrating everything. The

(la# system has een cut off ever since y the swirling tempest, and it is clamed that those who pass close y can still hear the screams of the dying and feel the panicked last thoughts of the Astropaths echoing through the whole region. "t is an area of ill omen now known as the %torm of the Emperor's 3rath. 3ith this huge low to the Ecclesiarchy's military power, the whole of the %egmentum $ scurus erupted into re ellion. The (ardinal palaces were stormed y fren6ied converts who tore down the hangings, urned the icons and smashed the ornate stained glass windows. Through all the madness, the name of %e astian Thor still kept appearing. 3ho was this shadowy figure who seemed intent on the destruction of the Ecclesiarchy and with that, the "mperrium itselfK Perhaps he was some from of vessel for the gods of (haos, another -orus attempting to enslave humanity once more. $r may e some other alien influence controlled him, one of the many creatures of the warp or one of the immensely powerful elder races, hitherto undetected. As more information was relayed ack y the Ministorum's agents, the -igh .ords were stunned y the news. Thor was no daemonic entity intent on corrupting the "mperium, he was !ust a man, orn in a *immamar %chola Progenium ha itat. "nterrogations of old companions revealed that he had een a devout, if somewhat introverted, follower in his early life. -owever, Thor recently claimed to have visions of the Emperor, and warned that disaster was efalling mankind. "t was claimed that Thor had cast an old Preacher from the pulpit in the middle of a prayer session and denounced the ways of the Ecclesiarchy. 3ith an elo)uence and charisma the informants could not e#plain, Thor spoke to those present, reaching into their hearts and minds with his words. 9ews of the incident spread and soon thousands travelled to hear Thor's sermons and went away with a new religious 6eal urning in their souls, spreading the message even further. Mem ers of the heretic (onfederation of .ight approached declared his loyalty to the sect. Thor was rought efore the "mperial (ommander, 'aius 3elkonnen, and spoke of his visions and dreams, and of his am ition to rid the "mperium of Bandire's tyranny. 9o one could e#plain what rare power was held in Thor's voice, ut the 'overnor immediately swore his loyalty to %e astian Thor and placed *immamar's army at his disposal, as the adept had re)uested. As word spread, anarchy em roiled the %egmentum $ scurus, and descration, looting and wanton destruction erupted. Although Bandire'sspies were e#posed and driven out with startling efficiency, it ecame clear that %e astian Thor's 'army' had grown to over @ million followers within the space of a year, and the huge entourage was slowly making its way through the "mperium towards Terra. Even some of the surviving &rateris Templars !oined his forces. Many legends sprang up around Thor and his long !ourney, and miraculous events were attri uted to his presence. %ome of this can e e#plained y the oratory skills of the young adept, such as the way the population of the planets he passed through would gather their resources to feed and house his immense following. $thers remain true mysteries, like the 9avigator's tales of the utter calmness of the warp as they !ourneyed from system to system. Though the rest of the gala#y was still em roiled in the raging tempests that had engulfed the "mperium for many hundreds of years, the massive fleet of the (onfedertion of .ight passed through the warp without hindrance. The Paternova of the 9avigators du ed him A stracta Preomnis, Master of the 3arp. 9ews of %e astian Thor spread from the %egmentum $ scurus to other parts of the "mperium. *istance e#aggerated the message and soon Thor was eing hailed as a god-like eing. 3ith much of its armed might destroyed at (la#, the Adeptus Ministorum could do little to stop system after system, diocese from swearing loyalty to the new wave of elief centred around Thor. *espite fierce opposition from many (ardinals and (onfessors who saw their power, traditions and whole way of life eing destroyed, Thor's creed converted millions of followers. (o-operation and sacrifice ecame the doctrine of those who heard Thor's impassioned speeches, delivered from different planets along the route to Terra. Although many opposed Thor, all across the "mperium the tide had changed against Bandire. The masses had een pushed too far, and this time they had a leader to unite ehind. The W'r+ of Apo+t'+6 More distur ing news was to reach the (ouncil of the -igh .ords. 4ntil now, the Adeptus Mechanicus and %pace Marine (hapters had played only a small role in the Age of Apostasy. The vagaries of warp travel made any long distance !ourneys ha6ardous at est and impossi le in some areas. "nstead the Adeptus Astartes' planets and the &orge 3orlds of the Adeptus Mechanicus ecame fortresses amidst a sea of anarchy. These organisations were on the

defensive, protecting the few systems they could from the ravages of the Age of Apostasy and the carnage of Bandire's 5eign of ,lood. $f all the "mperium, it was these small empire-like enclaves which survived the whole epoch with the least harm inflicted, the guardianship of the Adeptus Mechanicus and %pace Marines protecting them from the worst events of that terri le era. 3ith news of %e astian Thor and the spread of the (onfederation of .ight, many %pace Marine (hapter Masters in the %egmentum %olar and the nearest sectors of the rest of the "mperium egan voicing their support for this movement. The Adeptus Mechanicus issued a summons for the -igh .ords to account for themselves and to indict and e#ecute Bandire as a traitor. Bandire's response was to dissolve the (ouncil of -igh .ords and order his remaining armies and fleets to attack the re ellious %pace Marines and (ult Mechanicus. Many officers refused such a suicidal endeavour, only to e urned or hanged as heretics. They were replaced with more tracta le commanders, ut y this time Bandire's treachery was revealed. Enraged y what he saw 'astaph -edriati#, the &a ricator 'eneral of the Adeptus Mechanicus, ordered regiments of the Martian Tech-'uard to transport to Earth. These regiments were !oined y the "mperial &ists, &ire -awks, %oul *rinkers and ,lack Templars (hapters. Although much of the Ecclesiarchal palace had fallen into ruin, the central comple# which housed Bandire's throne room still remained an almost impregna le fortress. &or months the com ined forces of the Tech-'uard and %pace Marines tried to reach its walls, only to e constantly thwarted y the ,rides of the Emperor, who num ered some :;,;;; fighters y this time. As the huge cannons of the Adeptus Mechanicus pounded on the walls of the palace and the %pace Marine assault s)uads fought down mile-long corridors littered with dead, the attention of the -igh .ords and Bandire was turned outwards. ,ut it was from within that the greatest threat was to come. The Hi/h Lor* %'((+ %ince the 5eign of ,lood started, another organisation had remained apart from the loodshed and devastation. 3ithin the secure walls of the "mperial palace, the Adeptus (ustodes continued their eternal vigil over the 'olden Throne. To escape the anarchy that prevailed, and to ensure the protection of the Emperor himself, the (ustodians had cut themselves off from the outside completely. $nly scraps of information passed through the sealed walls of the most holy of places, and it was only when the %pace Marines and Adeptus Mechanicus moved against Bandire that the true e#tent of the treachery perpetrated y the -igh .ord ecame known to them. "n secret meetings with the commanders of the %pace Marines, the Adeptus (ustodes learnt of the 5eign of ,lood and the ,rides of the Emperor defending the traitor -igh .ord. The mysterious order advised the %pace Marines to continue their attack while they would do what they could. The defences of the Ecclesiarchal palace were no o stacle to the Adeptus (ustodes, with their lifelong knowledge of the "mperial palace and its thousands of miles of hidden conduits and secret corridors. A small contingent of (ustodians, led y a (enturion of the (ompanions, made its way into the very heart of Bandire's domain. %urfacing not far from Bandire's audience cham er, they were confronted y the ,rides of the Emperor. (alling for a truce and a parley, the (enturion laid down his weapons and walked unarmed to meet the guardians of Bandire. &or an hour he made an impassioned plea for the ,rides to revoke their oaths, striving to convince them that they were fighting for evil, not the Emperor. -owever, they were not to e swayed y his arguments, and the nameless (enturion had only one option left. .eaving his men as hostages, the (enturion guided their leader and a odyguard of five female warriors ack into the tunnels.

+++The Reform'tio-+++
The E,,(e+i'r,h6 Re.orAlthough Bandire's 5eign of ,lood ended with the death of the -igh .ord, the Age of Apostasy was to continue for many centuries. Much of the "mperium was still wracked y warp storms and all manner of small empires and kingdoms were eing carved y "mperial (ommanders and (ardinals. The %e astian Thor had egun his pilgrimage to Earth. -owever, with no (ouncil of -igh .ords and no Ecclesiarch there was little hope that the rest of the "mperium could e swiftly restored to its former power. The %pace Marine (hapter Masters and the &a ricator 'eneral of the Adeptus Mechanicus set

a out resurrecting what remained of the -igh .ords of Terra. The copious notes of Bandire's scri es provided damning evidence against many of those who had profited from the 5eign of ,lood, and -edriati# was adamant that all those implicated would face a trail for their conduct, sooner or later. Many of the organisations were encouraged to purge their own ranks, such as the 9avigators and (hartist (aptains, "mperial (ommanders were promoted from within the ranks of those who had opposed Bandire, while other -igh .ords were vindicated y their peers and duly kept their seats in the (ouncil. -owever, there was still no Ecclesiarch. The Tri'( of e.'+ti'- Thor Messages were sent to %e astian Thor, re)uesting that he !ourney immediately to Earth. -is reply was simple, e#plaining that he had more work to carry out in the northern reaches efore he could continue his !ourney to Terra. A fast transport ship was sent to collect Thor, ut again he refused the invitation, insisting that he was not yet ready. E#asperated, the -igh .ords issued a decree declaring Thor a traitor and demanding he stand trail on Terra for various seditious activities against the appointed officials of the Emperor. Thor was taken into custody without violence, commanding his followers to stay their hands and let the Emperor protect his messenger. The galleries of the huge courtroom were filled with thousands of Thor's supporters, watching the proceedings with tense anticipation. The poor and wealthy alike travelled from all across the "mperium to witness the trail of the "mperium's latest saviour. The <udicium Terran ecame a focal point for the faithful and the end of long pilgrimages. Many of those who set out arrived months or even years after the trial had finished, ut were determined to complete their !ourneys and show their support for Thor. The prosecution of Thor was vigorously pursued y certain mem ers of the -igh .ords, their pride affronted y Thor's dismissive refusals. -owever, for every charge, there was clear and concise evidence of Thor's innocence. -e had not incited the people to smash the temples of the Ministorum, there were documented accounts of his sermons decrying such ehaviour. -e had not fought against the soldiers of the "mperium, and many of those who had een sent against him were now num ered amongst his most loyal followers. &inally, after two months, the trial came to its end. The -igh .ords consulted each other for three days, de ating what to do with this charismatic young man. "t was (aptain-'eneral E#celsor of the Adeptus (ustodes who delivered their verdict. After e#plaining that Thor was found innocent of all charges rought against him, E#celsor e#plained the dire need of the "mperium for a new Ecclesiarch. %ince Thor had een proved totally innocent of even the most petty crime, he was an o vious candidate to fill the post in such a time of spiritual need. The crowds roared their approval, thanking the Emperor in his divine wisdom for sending Thor to deliver them. %peaking )uietly, Thor declined the offer and the (ouncil erupted into chaos. 3hile the other -igh .ords ranted at one another and at Thor's impudence, and the watching supporters gasped in despair and dis elief, E#celsor took Thor aside and spoke to him. Although no one truly knows what the (aptain-'eneral said to Thor, it is widely elieved to have een, 1 ?ou will leave Terra as an Ecclesiarch, or you will not leave Terra at all...1 As the fell silent once more,Thor announced that he would take on the mantle of Ecclesiarch, ut only on certain conditions. -e was to have the full acking of the -igh .ords whenever he needed it. -e would make changes to the organisation of the Ecclesiarchy and they would trust him in his actions. -e also wanted to continue as he had een, moving across the "mperium, preaching to the people directly. "t was as an orator that the Emperor had guided him, and with his sermons and prayers he would unite the "mperium under the Emperor once more. 9aturally, the -igh .ords agreed Thor " was the >D>nd Ecclesiarch. The Reform'tioThere were a num er of important changes to the Adeptus Ministorum after the 5eign of ,lood and throughout the Age of Apostasy. Many of them were at the instigation of %e astian Thor himself. Although Thor strongly disapproved of the way the Ecclesiarchy had een previously run, he was enough of a statesman to realise that radical changes in the &aith were not what was re)uired. There was enough insta ility already and what the populace was crying out for was solid leadership. Although many of Thor's ideas were never fully realised during his lifetime, the foundations he laid down during his time as Ecclesiarch continue to hold the Adeptus Ministorum together to this day. The first change e#ecuted y Thor was the formation of the %ynod Ministra on $phelia B"".

Although the -oly %ynod remains on Terra and (ardinals from all over the "mperium are free to gather there and discuss the issues concerning the Ecclesiarchy, the %ynod Ministra acts as a secondary governing ody further from Terra. This has a two-fold effect. &irstly, the %ynod Ministra relays and disseminates the dictates of the Ecclesiarch and the -oly %ynod, enforcing the laws of the Ecclesiarchy. %econdly, it provides a defence against the manipulation of the Ecclesiarchy y other organisations or even a single individual within the ranks of the Ministorum itself. 9ever again will a -igh .ord or Ecclesiarch have total power over the Adeptus Ministorum. "n a similar vein, each of the dioceses was roken down into smaller areas. Again, this had two effects. Each (ardinal had less personal power and controlled fewer men and resources. %econdly, with more (ardinals within the -oly %ynod there would e more opposition to radical changes and plans and so further diluted the power held y any one individual. $ther transformations were at the order of the -igh .ords of Terra. The most important of these was the *ecree Passive ;;;:>II2MCG. Amongst other prohi itions on military activity, the *ecree Passive for ade the Ecclesiarchy from controlling any 'Men under arm'. %e astian Thor was ordered to dis and the &rateris Templars of Bandire and any armies and fleets assem led y other mem ers of the Ministorum while separated from Terra. This was duly done, ut for one e#ception. %eeing that some military force would e needed, and not wishing the Ecclesiarchy to e totally su servient to the will of the Adeptus Terra and the "mperial 'uard, %e astian Thor kept the one army he was allowed under the *ecree Passive. *ue to the archaic wording of the law, the *aughters of the Emperor did not reak the an. "ncorporating the sect fully into the Ecclesiarchy was difficult, ut eventually they were renamed the $rders Militant of the Adepta %ororitas. Although the -igh .ords were uncomfora le with this development, they had no legal standing to oppose Thor and his argument that the Adepta %ororitas would regulate the Ecclesiarchy as much as enforce its will did not fall on deaf ears. Even with these ma!or changes, there were hundreds of other details to e seen to8 the %chola Progenium needed organising again, the tithes would have to flow into Ministorum vaults once more, there were shrines to e refur ished and temples to e re uilt. -owever, after spending a wearisome decade on Terra, Thor departed the Ecclesiarchal palace and left the ulk of the work to the Arch-*eacons and (ardinals. -e !ourneyed all across the "mperium for the ne#t eighty years, )uelling heresy and apostasy wherever he came across it. At the age of ::> %e astian Thor returned to Terra. -e was to live for another si# months efore finally the Emperor claimed his soul. A massive wing was uilt onto the Mausoleum of 5emem rance to contain his sarcophagus. The week after his death was declared a period of mouning and over seventy million pilgrims filed past his tom within the first year. -uge murals commemorating his life and works adorn the three-mile long passageway leading up to his urial cham er, and the people of the "mperium still travel to Terra to ga6e upon the face of the Emperor's most faithful servant.

+++The B'*'. W'r+++

"n D;:.M=:, as a result of .ufgt -uron's apparent mental desta ilisation, the Master of the Tiger (laws and .ord of ,ada attacked and destroyed an "mperial investigation fleet as it entered or it around ,ada . -uron's action can e understood with the enefit of hindsight. The Adeptus Mechanicus had long complained of the Tiger (laws' tardiness in su mitting gene-seed for routine analysis, whilst the chapter had amassed a huge de t in planetary tithes stretching ack over a hundred and fifty years. And when the "mperium moved against its wayward chapter, a full scale re ellion was initiated, the most serious of its kind since the end of the &ourth Ouadrant 5e ellion in FI;.M=:. The Tyrant of ,ada , as (ommander -uron "s known in "mperial histories, was a power-hungry and am itious individual who should never have risen to power within a Marine (hapter. -e was plainly a dangerous individual, a le in many respects ut lacking the a solute dedication to humanity vital in a .ord of the "mperium. "t will never e known for sure, ut current hypotheses suggest that the (ommander was either an alien shapechanger, or otherwise su !ect to alien domination of a most unnatural kind. A sudden and une#pected manifestation of psychic powers may lie at the heart of the matter. ,y D;C three other chapters, the Mantis 3arriors, E#ecutioners and .amenters had !oined the

re ellion. "mperial shipping was attacked, and a ship elonging to the &ire -awks (hapter was captured y the Mantis 3arriors in D;=. The &ire -awks immediately retaliated, and soon five whole chapters were involved in the fighting. The Emperor recalled the Marines Errant from the Eastern &ringes, ut they )uickly found themselves fally occupied protecting "mperial ships in transit. "n D;G two more loyal Marine units, the 5ed %corpions and the Minotaurs, had een rought in, and the threat to "mperial shipping was more or less )uashed. "n D;F the 5ed %corpions and &ire -awks were recalled to their normal service duties in the galactic east, and two more chapters, the 9ovamarines and -owling 'riffons were committed to space-lane duties. Meanwhile, the %tar Phantoms egan the task of esieging ,ada whilst two other chapters were drafred in to investigate the worlds occupied y the Mantis 3arriors and E#ecutioners. The .amenters were caught in an am ush y the Minotaurs in D;I and eventually surrendered after loody ship-to-ship fighting. This came as a great low to the Tyrant, and the rest of the war consisted almost entirely of close sieges. The uprising came to an end in D:> with the fall of ,ada and final defeat of the Tiger (laws. ,efore the war was over, The E#orcists, &ire Angels, %alamanders, %pace %harks and %ons of Medusa all ecame involved for short periods of time, chapters replacing other chapters as pressures elsewhere necessitated their re-deployment. 3ith the re ellion over, The Mantis .egion, E#ecutioners and .amenters were granted the Emperor's forgiveness, su !ect to undertaking a hundred year crusade. The homeworlds of the Mantis .egion and E#ecutioners were forfeited to the %pace %harks and %tar Phantoms for their part in the war. The other legions received salvage rights to spacecraft and a proportion of the ooty. The Tiger (laws were all ut destroyed. $nly a contingent of a out two hundred fought their way through the E#orcists' lockade and escaped into deep space. They have not een heard of since. $f the fate of "mperial (ommander .ufgt -uron, Master of the Tiger (laws and Tyrant of ,ada , nothing is known.

>>Imperial Go"erment +++The Hi/h Lor*+ of Terr'+++

The "mperial organisations are so huge and so very comple# that it would e impossi le to descri e them in any detail within this volume. 9ot even the (urators of the Estate "mperium, the million-strong records office of the Administratum, can not list all the departments of the Adeptus Terra, let alone give details of their composition or purpose. The description that follow therefore only concentrate on the vital aspects of the most important organisations. "n particular, this volume is concerned with the fighting warriors of the Emperor's armies and not with the petty details of "mperial ureaucracy. -owever, it would e inappropriate to e#amine any of these powerful fighting organisations without at least a cursory look at the mighty -igh .ords of Terra themselves. The -igh .ords are the twelve most powerful men in the gala#y. They rule the "mperium in the Emperor's name, and it is they who send the "mperium's fleets to war and who direct the "mperium's ine#hausti le armies. Their task is to interpret and enact the Emperor's will, relying upon -is potent mind to guide their thoughts and inspire their actions. Each of the -igh .ords is leader of one of the most powerful organisations in the "mperium. A comple# we of political skulduggery, promises of support, and considerations of mutual interests, ind them together and determines who will hold office and who will not. "n practice, some of the "mperium's organisations are so powerful that it would e unthinka le for their leader not to e a -igh .ord. $ver the millennia different organisations have provided -igh .ords depending upon which was the most powerful at the time. 5uthless am ition and rivalry characterises all of these great men, and their organisations vie against each other for portions of the "mperial power. The following offices are almost invaria ly represented as -igh .ords ecause they are the cornerstones of the "mperium, the most important of its ancient insitutions. The Master of the Administratum The "n)uisitorial 5epresentative

The Ecclesiarch of the Adeptus Ministorum The &a ricator 'eneral of the Adeptus Mechanicus The 'rand Provost Marshal of the Adeptus Ar ites The Paternoval Envoy of the 9avigators The Master of the Astronomican The 'rand Master of the $fficio Assassinorum The Master of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica These nine posts are virtually sacrosanct. %hould they ecome empty due to death or retirement, it is usual for the successor to the title to ecome -igh .ord. The position of "n)usistorial 5epresentative is not held y any specific "n)usistor, ut the seat is retained for whichever individual is sent on ehalf of the "n)uisition. %imilarly, the place of the Paternoval Envoy is open to whoever might e the Envoy of the Paternova of the current ruling family of 9avigators. The remaining three posts are most likely to e filled from amongst the following mighty officals8 .ord (ommander of the %egmentum %olar .ord (ommander Militant of the "mperial 'uard (ardinal/s0 of the -oly %ynod of Terra The A ess %anctorum of the Adepta %ororitas (aptain-'eneral of the Adeptus (ustodes (hancellor of the Estate "mperium The %peaker for the (hartist (aptains

+++A*eptu+ Mi-i+tro-um+++
The Emperor is a eing of god-like powers. "ndeed, it is common for citi6ens of the "mperium to honour their Emperor as a god, especially upon primitive or degenerate planets. This deification of the Emperor is not officially recognised ut is accepted and even encouraged within the Adeptus Terra. The Emperor, for his part, suffers from no illusion a out his humanity and sees himself only as the first servant of mankind. -owever, even those who work close to the Emperor, mem ers of the Adeptus (ustodes and the Adeptus Mechanicus, are riddled y superstition and fervour. This has led to a general acceptance of the Emperor's deification, and the esta lishment of the "mperial (ult. The cult was envisaged as a means of reinforcing loyaly amongst primitives, feral worlds and the uneducated levels of society. -owever, over the centuries the cult has ecome more generally accepted and even its administrators have ecome ' elievers'. The cult organisation, sometimes known as the Adeptus Ministorum, is a division of the Administratum. The 'Ministry' is run y the -oly %ynod of Terra whose mem ers all hold the rank of (ardinal. The chief, known as the Ecclesiarch, is elected from amongst their num er y the %ynod. The organisation is also known as the Ecclesiarchy for this reason. Although technically su ordinate to the Master of the Administratum, the Ecclesiarch is e#tremely influential and is almost invaria ly included amongst the -igh .ords of Terra as an Administratum representative. The working priests of the Ecclesiarchy are fully initiated mem ers of the "mperial (ult known as Preachers. %enior Preachers may e placed in charge of a Mission of up to several hundred Preachers and despatched to spread the word amongst unenlightened worlds. The principal tenets of the "mperial (ult are the persection of mutants, the a horrance of aliens and the worship of oth the Emperor and "mperial ideals. ,y increasing the awareness of these dangers, al eit in a relatively unsophisticated way, the Adeptus Ministorum makes the !o of the "n)uisition that much easier. -owever, missionaries do sometimes come into conflict with "n)uisitors as their fields of responsi ility overlap. Trained Preachers administer the rites of the "mperial (ult to devotees all over the "mperium. The army, navy, and all ranches of the Adeptus Terra have Preachers within their ranks. As well as common Preachers there are special officers empowered to cunduct the most important (ult rites. The most common of these are the (onfessors. (onfessors are highly e#perienced individuals whose success as Preachers has led to their elevation to (onfessors. They travel from planet-to-planet, spreading the faith and holding evangelical rallies. 9ew cult recruits are encouraged to 'confess' personal mutations as well as mutations or strange ehaviour amongst their friends and relatives. (onfession is not necessarily good for the soul... ut it does help the process of mutant control which is vital to the future of humanity.

The Administratum represents the vast ulk of the multi-million strong priesthood. "ts mem ers are stratified into countless ranks and su -divisions, with responsi ilities that e#tend to every aspect of life in the "mperium. At the lowest level are hum le scri es and clerks, at the highest level are the mighty -igh .ords of Terra - an inner council whose task is to interpret the Emperor's instructions and formulate policies ased on them. The most powerful of all the .ords of Terra is the Master of the Adeptus Terra, chosen y the Emperor himself and the practical figurehead of the whole "mperium. 3hilst the main administrative centre is Earth, the Administratum also have countless minor posts scattered throughout the gala#y - these are called temples, and each temple houses a staff comprising mem ers from several divisions of the Adeptus Terra as well as the Administratum. These uildings com ine the functions of church, fortress, arracks, !ails and office for the mem ers of the priesthood that inha it them. .ike other non-com atant servants, the mem ers of the Administratum wear a monastic style of dress, ut their ha its vary in colour according to rank and, to some e#tent, area of responsi ility. The asic colour for the lowliest scri e is lack, whilst as an individual's standing increases so his clothing is lighter, various shades of grey and eventually pure white. $nly the -igh .ords of Terra wear red ro es, ut they may wear pure white for informal occasions and daily use. -igher ranking mem ers are likely to carry weapons, and eventhe lowest ranks may carry weaponry if they are away from Earth. Mem ers of the Administratum are a common sight throughout the gala#y gathering information, assessing ta#ation, productivity and making reports for appraisal ack on Earth.

+++P('-et'r6 #over-me-t+++
Planetary Administration lies in the hands of governors called "mperial (ommanders - a title which corresponds roughly to the term '.ord'. The (ommander is appointed y the Administratum to oversee a planet or, more rarely, a continent or a special pro!ect of some kind. The position is often regarded as an hereditary one, associated with an ancient title /*uke of (alaco, ,aron of ?mgarl, .ord of .am s 3orld, etc0. Although duty- ound to the priesthood, the (ommander is essentially an independent governor, and so long as his ta#es come through, his )uotas are met and his planet kept in order, he is free to run things in any manner he chooses. (ommanders can recruit and maintain their own armies and inter-planetary fleets, and may even e permitted access to interstellar spacecraft.

>>$pa.e Marines +++ PA!E MARI"E +++

The %pace Marines are the product of genetic engineering, intensive training, iochemical alteration and implant surgery which takes them to the limits of -uman development and eyond. A %pace Marine can survive terri le wounds, heal with superhuman speed, and perform incredi le feats of strength and endurance. A Marine is genetically related to all the other mem ers of his (hapter, since each Marine carries some genetic material from the (hapter's founder, or Primarch - one of a small group of super-humans created y the Emperor and his scientists. "n numerical terms, the %pace Marines are a small force compared to the countless illions of "mperial citi6ens, ut their superhuman a ility and fearsome reputation makes them worth many

times their num er in conventional troops. They are held in awe throughout the "mperium. Each %pace Marine (hapter is a fully self-sufficient fighting force, with its own space fleet and machine pools as well as support and technical personnel. The Techmarines are trained y the Adeptus Mechanicus, and can repair almost any piece of military e)uipment, from a olter to a spaceship. A (hapter's fleet is its home, providing accommodation, training facilities, machine shops, armories, shuttle silos, chapels, a mausoleum and every other facility the (hapter re)uires. The fleet travels endlessly through the gala#y+ task forces split off from it for individual missions or campaigns, and re!oin the fleet when the mission is accomplished. The (hapter provides for all a Marine's needs. Tradition and ritual are of great importance, with as much emphasis on moral welfare as on physical training and com at skills. The (hapter is a Marine's family+ all other ties of lood and loyalty are renounced. A %pace Marine is devoted to the Emperor, to his (hapter, and to the craft of war+ these things are his entire life. Each (hapter is headed y an "mperial (ommander - during the -orus -eresy, most of the (ommanders were Primarchs. "n addition to their support and technical personnel, a (hapter contains tens of thousands of Marines /9ote that after the -eresy new (hapters were formed with far smaller complements so that no (ommanders would ever wield the same power as -orus0. %pace Marines may e recogni6ed y their distinctive powered armor - which includes air and lood purifiers, drug in!ectors and communications e)uipment. 9europlastic fi er- undles replicate and amplify the wearer's movements, so that powered armor is no more cum ersome to wear then a normal suit of clothes. Each (hapter has its own colors and insignia, which are used on its armor and vehicles as well as on the flags and anners which are often carried into attle. "t also has its own particular rituals and traditions. The %pace 3olves, for instance, have a completely different .itany of (om at then the 4ltramarines. Even the most asic activities, such as weapons checks and maintenance routines are turned into rituals+ a Marine's every action must e#press his devotion to his (hapter. "n the earliest stages of the -orus -eresy, the %pace Marines who sided with the 3armaster kept to the original colors and rituals of their (hapters. .ater on, however - particularly after the death of -orus and the withdrawal from the %ol system - this egan to change. The litanies proclaiming devotion to the Emperor had already een dropped, and they were replaced with declarations of allegiance to -orus. As the feral world cults introduced y -orus spread throughout the Traitor (hapters, most (hapter rituals changed eyond recognition. "nsignia and colors also egan to change+ most common was the replacement of imperial insignia with the Eye of -orus or with sym ols from the feral cults. %ome Traitor Marines went so far as to re-paint their armor in new colors.

+++Hi+tor6 of the+++ +++ p',e M'ri-e++++

I"TRODU!TIO" The .egiones Astartes is known always as the %pace Marine, it comprises :;;; independent fighting units called (hapters, each of roughly :;;; fighting troops. Each (hapter has its own (ommander, one of whom holds the title of Master of Marines. Each (ommander is su !ect to the orders of top-ranking mem ers of the priesthood - ut only in a general, non-military sense. %o, whilst a (ommander may receive orders to destroy a target, the means to e employed are left to the (ommander - his only duty is to succeed7 The %pace Marines represent the "mperium's main strike-force of mo ile warriors, ready to travel anywhere at any time. Amongst men and aliens alike they are popularly called Angels of *eath. THE ORI#I" O% THE LE#IO"E A TARTE The .egiones Astartes /%pace Marines0 were instrumental in the early wars that put the "mperium on the galactic map. At the end of the Age of %trife, Earth was a single sovereign planet which had only recently ecome free of volatile warp-storms. 3ith the sudden dispersal of these storms, it ecame possi le once again for spacecraft to travel to and from Earth. Earth's forces had carved out an Empire that stretched almost half-way across the gala#y within two hundred years.

This was the &irst (rusade. 5esearch and development leading to the creation of the %pace Marines was undertaken in the thirtieth millennium immediately prior to the eginning of the &irst (rusade. This work was conducted in the super ly e)uipped la oratories uilt deep inside the planet Earth. The o !ective of the program was to create a caste of warrior elites, characterised y super-human strength and unflinching loyalty. These new warriors were organised into their own special units called 'chapters'. Those chapters created at the time of the &irst (rusade are known as (hapters of the &irst &ounding. There were originally >; of these, ut only F survive in forty first millennium. %ince the &irst &ounding there have een twenty five other occasions when the Emperor has felt it necessary to create new chapters. The most recent Twenty %i#th &ounding was in the year FCI of the current millennium. #E"E8 EED A"D :$#OTE There are nineteen varieties of gene-seed corresponding to the nineteen different super-human organs which are surgically implanted into the %pace Marine. Most chapters have e#isted for thousands of years. *uring that time, gene-seed elonging to some chapters has mutated. This has resulted in changes in tlhe e#act nature of the artificially cultured organs. %uch changes, may sometimes make an implant useless. "n other circumstances changes in an organ might reduce its effectiveness, or cause new and strange effects. 3hatever the result, it will affect the entire chapter - all %pace Marines elonging to a chapter share implants cultured from the same original gene-seed. As well as mutant implants, many chapters have lost one or more types of gene-seed due to accident, genetic failure, or some other cause. Bery few chapters therefore possess all nineteen implants. All possess the carapace implant /phase :D0. "t is this implant which marks a %pace Marine for what he is - irrespective of other implants, training or psycho-surgery. 3ARIATIO" BETWEE" !HAPTER Each organ serves a specific function as outlined a ove. Although a chapter's Apothacaries and surgeons are a le to perform the necessary implant operations, they do not necessarily understand the e#act functioning of each organ. The processes involved are incredi ly ancient. Procedures are handed down from generation to generation, ecoming increasingly ritualised and misinterpreted. &or these reasons, the efficiency of each organ differs from chapter to chapter, depending on the condition of that chapter's gene-seeds and the degree of de asement of its surgical procedures. "n some chapters, mutation of gene-seed, poor surgical procedure, or inade)uate post-operative conditioning, has twisted the functioning of implants. &or e#ample, the omophagea gene-seed of the ,looddrinkers has mutated so that all ,looddrinkers have an unnatural craving for lood. "n some chapters individual organs are either useless or a sent altogether. REPRODU!I"# 'ene-seed can only e o tained y removing one or oth progenoid organs from a living /or very recently deceased0 Marine. The whole purpose of the progenoid organ is to provide gene-seed to ena le the chapter to continue. "t is not possi le to create a 6ygote in any other way. Each chapter's stock of gene-seed is therefore uni)ue to itself. 'ene-seed has a great deal of religious significance to a chapter, representing its identity and future. 3ithout gene-seed a chapter has no future. The e#tinction of a type of gene-seed means that a 6ygote has een lost forever. The e#tinction of a phase :I or :D gene-seed would effectively mean an end to a chapter. As each marine has only two progenoid glands, the rate at which a chapter can create new Marines is restricted. "t may take many years for a chapter to re uild itself after heavy losses. 'ene-seed is often rendered useless if a marine is e#posed to high radiation levels or other forms of genetic distur ance. The efficiency of different chapters' progenoid gene-seed also varies, and some chapters are a le to make up their num ers faster than others. According to their charter, each chapter is o liged to send @A of its genetic material to the Adeptus Mechanicus on Earth. This 'tithe' has two purposes. &irstly, it ena les the Adeptus Mechanicus to monitor the health of each Marine chapter. %econdly, it ena les the Adeptus mechanicus to store gene-seed with a view to founding new chapters. A new chapter cannot e founded overnight. A single suita le gene- seed must e selected for each 6ygote. Pygotes are then grown in culture and implanted into human test slaves. These test slaves must e iologically compati le and free from mutation. Test-slaves spend their entire lives ound in static e#perimental capsides. Although conscious they are completely immo ile,

serving as little more than mediums within which the various 6ygotes can develop. &rom the original slave come two progenoids, which are implanted within two more slaves, from which come four progenolds and so on. it takes a out @@ years of constant reproduction to produce :;;; healthy sets of organs. These must e officially sanctioned y the Master of the Adeptus Mechanicus and then y the Emperor himself. $nly the Emperor can give permission for the creation of a new chapter. RE!RUITME"T A"D I"ITIATIO" The various implants cause vital changes in a Marine's physi)ue and mental state. Many of these changes are controlled y natural hormonal secretions and growth patterns. "mplants may not prove effective, or may not ecome fully functional, if they are carried out once the recipient has reached certain stages of natural development. "t is therefore inevita le that recruits must e reasona ly young. Tissue compati ility is also essential, otherwise organs may fail to develop properly. The third consideration is mental suita ility. The catalepsean node, occulo e, and sus-an mem rane will only develop to a usea le condition under the stimulus of hypnotic-suggestion. A recruit must therefore e suscepti le to this particular treatment. These considerations mean that only a small proportion of people can ecome %pace Marines. They must e male ecause 6ygotes are keyed to male hormones and tissue types, hence the need for tissue compati ility tests and psychological screening. "f these tests prove successful a candidate ecomes a neophyte. 3ith the completion of organ implantation and attendant chemical and hypnotic training, the su !ect ecomes an initiate. An initiate receives training efore !oining the ranks as a full rother. A Marine usually !oins the ranks etween the ages of :G-:I. Pressures during wartime may accelerate the process. THE RI & Althrough the chapters are careful to select only the most suita le candidates, not all neophytes survive to ecome initiates. This is in part to the degeneration of knowledge amongst the individual chapters that makes screening procedures less effective than they were. 9or are operational methods entirely satisfactory in some cases. "n many chapters implant surgery is heavfiy ritualised, and often accompanied y scarring, incantation, periods of prayer, and all sorts of mystical practices which compromise medical efficiency. &or e#ample, the %pacewolves, phase :F implant is acompanied y the withdrawal of the initiate's canine teeth and their replacement with longer canines. The chapter regards the additional surgery as part of the initiation ceremony. "f an implant fails to develop properly, it is likely that a Marine's meta olism ecome adly out of synchronisation. -e may fall into a catatonic state or suffer outs of hyperactivity. "n either event, he will pro a ly die. Those unfortunates that do not die almost invaria ly suffer mental degenerating into homicidal maniacs or gi ering idiots. -owever, when a chapter is at full strength these misfits may e put out of their misery. "f the chapter is short of Marines they are often allowed to live, and may e placed within their own special units. Those who display uncontrolla ly psychotic tendencies can e recruited into suicide assault s)uads, or as suicide om ers. %ome chapters deli erately foster such creatures, even going so far as to implant deformed 6ygotes into some initiates. This is very dangerous, and the practice is discouraged y "mperial edict. ,ut old traditions die hard. P $!HO8!HEMI!AL A"D OTHER !O"DITIO"I"# "mplantation goes hand-in-hand with chemical treatment, psychological conditioning and su conscious hypnotherapy. All of these are essential if the Marine is to develop properly. !hemi,'( Tre'tme-t - 4ntil his initiation, a Marine must su mit to constant tests and e#aminations. The newly implanted organs must e monitored very careully, im alances corrected, and any sign of maldevelopment treated. This chemical treatment is reduced after completion of the irritation process, ut it never ends. Marines undergo periodic treatment for the rest of their lives in order to maintain a sta le meta olism. This is why their power armour suits contain monitoring e)uipment and drug dispensers. H6p-other'p6 - As the super-enhanced ody grows, the recipient must learn how to use his new skills. %ome of the implants, specifically the phase G and :; implants, can only function once correct hypnotherapy has een administered. -ypnotherapy is not always as effective as

chemical treatment, ut it can have su stantial results. "f a Marine can e taught how to control his own meta olism, his dependence on drugs is lessened. The process is undertaken in a machine called a hypnomat. Marines are placed in a state of hypnosis and su !ected to visual and aural images in order to awaken their minds to their unconscious meta olic processes. Tr'i-i-/ - Physical training stimulates the implants and allows them to e tested for effectiveness. I-*o,tri-'tio- - a Marine is more than a human with e#traordinary powers. Marines have e#traordinary minds as well7 <ust as their odies receive :D separate implants, so their minds are altered to release the latent powers within. These mental powers are, if anything, more e#traordinary than even the physical powers descri ed a ove. &or e#ample, a Marine can control his senses and nervous sysem to a remarka le degree, and can conse)uently endure pain that would kill an ordinary man. A Marine can also think and react at lightning speeds. Memory training is an important part of the indoctrination too. %ome Marines develop photographic memories. $ viously, Marines vary in intelligence as do other men, and their individual mental a ilities vary in degree.

+++THE %OU"DI"# LE#IO" +++

"o. : > C = @ G F I D :; :: :> :C !h'pter Tit(e *ark Angels Prim'r,h .ion El' <onson "ote+

QAll known records e#punged from li rary - order origination unknownQ Emperor's (hildren &ulgrim "ron 3arriors 3hite %cars %pace 3olves "mperial &ists 9ight .ords ,lood Angels "ron -ands Pertura o <aghatai Ehan .eman 5uss 5ogal *orn Eonrad (ur6e29ight -aunter /E#communicate Traitoris0 %anguinius &errus Manus /E#communicate Traitoris0 /E#communicate Traitoris0

QAll known records e#punged from li rary - order origination unknownQ 3orld Eaters 4ltramarines Angron 5o oute 'uilliman Mortarion /E#communicate /E#communicate Traitoris0

:= *eath 'uard Traitoris0

:@ Thousand %ons Traitoris0 :G :F :I :D >; .unar 3olves 3ord ,earers %alamanders 5aven 'uard Alpha .egion

Magnus the 5ed -orus .orgar Bulkan (ora# Alpharius

/E#communicate /E#communicate Traitoris0 /E#communicate Traitoris0

/E#communicate Traitoris0

+++The !re'tio- of+++ +++' p',e M'ri-e+++

There are nineteen varieties of gene-seed corresponding to the nineteen different super-human organs which are surgically implanted into the %pace Marine. Most chapters have e#isted for thousands of years. *uring that time, gene-seed elonging to some chapters has mutated. This has resulted in changes in the e#act nature of the artificially cultured organs. %uch changes may sometimes make an implant useless. "n other circumstances changes in an organ might reduce its effectiveness. 3hatever the result, it will affect the entire chapter -- all %pace Marines elonging to a chapter share implants cultured from the same original gene-seed. As well as mutant implants, many chapters have lost one or more types of gene-seed due to accident, genetic failure, or some other cause. Bery few chapters therefore possess all nineteen implants. All possess the carapace implant /phase :D0. "t is this implant which marks a %pace Marine for what he is, irrespective of other implants, training or psycho-surgery. Imp('-t+ The nineteen organs created y the ancient technicians of the Emperor are descri ed elow. Each of these organs is e#tremely complicated and ecause many of the organs only work properly when another organ is present, the removal or mutation of one organ may affect the functioning of the others. &or these reasons, implants must e constantly monitored, and many Marines have to undergo corrective surgery or chemo-therapy to re- alance their meta olism. Ph'+e > 88 e,o-*'r6 He'rt. The simplest and most self sufficient implant. The secondary heart is capa le of oosting the lood supply or maintaining full life functions even with the destruction of the recipient's original heart. The phase : implant ena les Marines to survive low o#ygen concentrations and traumatic in!ury. Ph'+e ? 88 O++mo*u('. This is a tu ular shaped organ whose small si6e elies its comple# structure. The ossmodula monitors and secretes hormones affecting epiphiseal fusion and ossification of the skeleton. At the same time, the specially engineered hormones encourage the forming ones to a sor ceramic ased chemicals administered in the Marine's diet. Two years following implantation, this will have caused considera le strengthening of the long ones, e#treme ossificaiton of the chest cavity /caused y growth of the ri s forming a solid mass of inter-laced one plates0 and a general increase in the si6e of the recipient's skeleton. Ph'+e @ 88 Bi+,ope'. This organ is implanted into the chest cavity. "t is small, appro#imately circular and, like the $ssmodula, its primary action is hormonal. The presence of the iscopea stimulates muscle growth throughout the ody. Ph'+e 4 88 H'em'+t'me-. This tiny organ is implanted into a main lood vessel. The haemastamen serves two purposes. "t monitors and to some degree controls the phase > and C implants. The organ also alters the constituent make-up of the recipient's lood. As a result,

Marine lood is considera ly more efficient than ordinary human lood, as it has to e when you consider the e#tra iological hardware a Marine carries inside him7 Ph'+e A 88 L'rr'm'-;+ Or/'-. This is a liver shaped, dark, fleshy organ a out the si6e of a golf all. "t is implanted into the chest cavity along with a complicated array of lood vessels. The organ generates and stores special 'larraman cells'. "f the recipient is wounded, these cells are released into the lood stream. They latch onto leucocytes in the lood and are transported to the site of a wound. $nce in contact with air, the larraman cells form a skin su stitute of instant scar tissue, staunching the flow of lood and protecting any e#posed wound area. Ph'+e B 88 !'t'(ep+e'- "o*e. This rain implant is usually inserted into the ack of the skull via a hole drilled into the occipital one. The pea-si6ed organ influences the circadian rhythms of sleep and the ody's response to sleep deprivation. 9ormally, a Marine sleeps like any normal man, ut if deprived of sleep, the catalepsean node 'cuts in'. A man implanted with the node is capa le of sleeping and remaining awake at the same time y 'switching off' areas of the rain se)uentially. This process cannot replace normal sleep entirely, ut increases a Marine's surviva ility y allowing perception of the environment whilst resting. Ph'+e C 88 Preom-or. The preomnor is a large implant which fits into the chest cavity. "t is a pre-digestive stomach which allows the Marine to eat a variety of otherwise poisonous or indigesti le materials. 9o actual digestion takes place in the preomnor. "ndividual sensory tu es assess potential poisons and neutralise them or, where necessary, isolate the preomnor from the rest of the digestive tract. Ph'+e D 88 Omoph'/e'. This is a complicated implant. "t really ecomes part of the rain, ut is actually situated within the spinal cord etween the cervical and thoracic verte rae. &our nerve sheaths called neuroclea are implanted etween the spine and the preomnoral stomach wall. The omophagea is designed to a sor genetic material generated in animal tissue as a function of memory, e#perience or innate a ility. This endows the Marine with an unusual survival trait8 he can actually learn y eating. "f a Marine eats part of a creature, he will a sor some of the memories of that creature. This can e very useful in an alien environment. "ncidentally, it is the presence of this organ which has created the various flesh eating and lood drinking rituals for which the Marines are famous, as well as giving the names to chapters such as the ,lood *rinkers, &lesh Tearers, etc. Ph'+e E 88 Mu(ti8(u-/. This is another large implant. The multi-lung, or 'third' lung, is a tu ular grey organ. ,lood is pumped through the organ via connecting vessels grafted onto the recipient's pulmonary system. Atmosphere is taken in y means of a sphincter located in the trachea. "n to#ic atmospheres, an associated sphincter muscle closes the trachea and restricts normal reathing, thus protecting the lungs. The multi-lung is a le to a sor o#ygen from poorly o#ygenated or poisonous air. Most importantly, it is a le to do this without suffering damage thanks to its own efficient to#in dispersal, neutralisation and regeneration systems. Ph'+e >0 88 O,,u(o.e. This small slug-like organ sits at the ase of the rain. "t provides the hormonal and genetic stimuli which ena le a Marine's eyes to respond to optic-therapy. The occulo e does not itself improve a Marine's eyesight, uts it allows technicians to make ad!ustments to the growth patterns of the eye and the light-receptive retinal cells. An adult Marine has far etter eyesight than a normal human, and can see in low light conditions almost as well as in daylight. Ph'+e >> 88 L6m'-;+ E'r. This organ ena les a Marine to consciously enhance and even filter certain types of ackground noise. 9ot only is hearing improved, ut a Marine cannot ecome di66y or nauseous as a result of e#treme disorientation. .yman's ear is e#ternally indistinguisha le from a normal human ear. Ph'+e >? 88 u+8'- Mem.r'-e. This flat, circular organ is implanted over the top of the e#posed rain. "t then grows into the rain tissue until completely merged. The organ is ineffective without su se)uent chemical therapy and training. -owever, a properly tutored Marine may then enter into a state of suspended animation. This may e a conscious action, or may happen automatically in the event of e#treme physical trauma. "n this condition a Marine may survive for many years, even if earing otherwise fatal in!uries. $nly appropriate chemical therapy and auto-suggestion can revive a Marine from this state -- a Marine cannot revive himself. The longest known period of de-animation followed y successful re-animation is @GF years in the case of rother %ilas Err of the *ark Angels /d. C>: M.>F0. Ph'+e >@ 88 The me('-o,hrome , or melanochromatic organ, is hemispherical and lack. "t

functions in an indirect and e#tremely complicated manner. "t monitors radiation levels and types om arding the skin, and if necessary sets off chemical reactions to darken the skin to protect is from ultraviolet e#posure. "t also provides limited protection from other forms of radiation. Ph'+e >4 88 Oo(iti, &i*-e6. This red- rown and heart shaped organ improves and modifies the Marine's circulatory system ena ling other implants to function effectively. The oolitic kidney also filters lood e#tremely efficiently and )uickly. The secondary heart and oolitic kidney are a le to act together, performing an emergency deto#ification program in which the Marine is rendered unconscious as his lood is circulated at high speed. This ena les a Marine to survive poisons and gases which are otherwise too much for even the multi-lung to cope with. Ph'+e >A 88 "euro/(otti+. Although the preomnor protects a Marine from digesting anything too deadly, the neuroglottis ena les him to assess a potential food y taste. The organ is implanted into the ack of the mouth. ,y chewing, or simply y tasting, a Marine can detect a wide variety of natural poisons, some chemicals and even the distinctive odours of some creatures. To some degree a Marine= is also a le to track a target y taste alone. Ph'+e >B 88 Mu,r'-oi*. This small organ is implanted in the lower intestine where its hormonal secretions are a sor ed y the colon. These secretions initiate a modification of the sweat glands. This modification normally makes no difference to the Marine until activated y appropriate chemo-therapy. As a result of this treatment, the Marine sweats an oily, naturally cleansing su stance which coats the skin. This protects the Marine against e#tremes of temperature and even offers a slight degree of protection in vacuum. Mucranoid chemo-therapy is standard procedure on long space voyages and when fighting in vacuum or near-vacuum. Ph'+e >C 88 Bet,her;+ #('-*. Two of these identical glands are implanted, either into the lower lip, alongside the salivary glands or into the hard palette. ,etcher's gland works in a similar way to the poison gland of venomous reptiles y synthesising and storing deadly poison. Marines are rendered immune to this poison y virtue of the gland's presence. The gland allows the Marine to spit a linding contact poison. The poison is also highly acidic and corrosive. A Marine imprisoned ehind iron ars could easily chew his way out given an hour or so. Ph'+e >D 88 Pro/e-oi*+. There are two of these glands, one situated in the neck, the other deep within the chest cavity. These glands are important to the survival of the Marine's chapter. Each organ grows within the Marine, a sor ing hormonal stimuli and genetic material from the other implants. After five years the neck gland is mature and ready for removal. After ten years the chest gland ecomes mature and is also ready for removal. A gland may e removed any time after it has matured. These glands represent a chapter's only source of gene-seed. 3hen mature, each gland contains a single gene-seed corresponding to each 6ygote implanted into the recipient Marine. $nce removed y surgery, the progenoid must e carefully prepared, its individual gene-seeds checked for mutation, and sound gene-seeds stored. 'ene-seeds can e stored indefinitely under suita le conditions. Ph'+e >E 88 B(',< !'r'p',e. This is the last and the most distinctive implant. "t looks like a film of lack plastic when it's growing in the tanks. This is removed from its culture-solution and cut into sheets which are implanted directly eneath the skin of the Marine's torso. 3ithin a few hours the tissue e#pands, hardens on the outside, and sends invasive neural undles deep inside the Marine. After several months the carapace will have fully matured and the recipient is then fitted with neural sensors and transfusion points cut into the hardened carapace. These artificial 'plug-in' points mesh with features integral to the powered armour, such as the monitoring, medicinal and maintenance units. 3ithout the enefit of a lack carapace a %pace Marine's armour is relatively useless.

+++ p',e M'ri-e Armour+++

Most humans who have any contact with %pace Marines will know and recognise the most common types of %pace Marine armour )uite readily. -owever, there are other older types which remain in service to this day and which are very different in their design. %ome %pace Marine (hapters use only a single type of armour while others make use of several different types. Many of the older variants have special associations for particular (hapters and may e worn y ceremonial guards or y elite units &or e#ample. $ther %pace Marine (hapters are less formal in their use of armour, mi#ing various types into their fighting units with little or no regard for

conformity. The degree of uniformity within a %pace Marine (hapter varies a great deal from (hapter to (hapter and is often determined y historical precedent or tradition. The initial evolution of %pace Marines and their armour occurred during the long period of Earth's isolation that preceded the rise of the "mperium and which later ecame known as the Age of %trife. The Age of %trife lasted &rom appro#imately the >Gth millennium to the eginning of C:st / ie roughly from >@;;; A* to C;;;; A* - further references to dates are given in terms of millennia0. *uring these five thousand years the ancient pan-galactic human civilisation of the past roke down and was replaced y many thousands of local civilisations ased around either a single solar system or, occasionally, a small cluster of near y stars. The reason this happened is that warp travel /the means y which spacecraft travel throughout the gala#y0 ecame dangerous and eventually impossi le due to colossal distur ances in the fa ric of the warp. These distur ances, known as warp storms, were caused y the growth of the (haos Power %laanesh - a thorough discussion of which appears elsewhere in this volume, along with a description of the &all of the Eldar. *uring the Age of %trife Earth and the other planets of the Terran solar system were una le to communicate with other human worlds, ut maintained contact with each other. &or much of this period the government of Earth held sway over the entire system, at other times Mars and the Moon were dominant. &or much of the time the different worlds found themselves at war. *uring the >Ith millennium Earth government roke down completely and the planet divided into do6ens of inter-warring nations. After two and a half thousand years of continuous warfare little remained of the once sophisticated civilisation of the past. The planet had ecome a attleground fought over y techno- ar arian warlords and their warrior hordes. This was a dark time for the people of Earth8 a time dominated y rutal rulers like Ealagann of 4rsh, (ardinal Tang, and the most infamous of all, the half-mad half-genius 9arthan *ume Tyrant of the Panpacific Empire. "t was against this ackground of techno- ar aric warfare that the first %pace Marines were created and the first %pace Marine Armour type developed. %ORMATI3E MARI"E ARMOUR This first type of armour is now often referred to as 'Mark :'. "n fact this is the sort of armour worn y the techno- ar arian warriors that dominated the Earth. 3hen the Emperor egan his con)uest of the planet his retinue was e)uipped and armed in the same way as the troops of other warlords. The first %pace Marines formed part of that retinue and were e)uipped with the same sort of armour as other warriors of the time. The thunder- olt and lightning em lem on the reastplate of this suit was the personal adge of the Emperor in those days, predating the "mperial eagle which only ecame the sym ol of the "mperium much later. This em lem gives the suit its other common name - Thunder Armour. This is not really a single enclosing suit and offers no atmospheric protection or life-support facilities - all of these eing unnecessary while fighting was restricted to Earth. The helmet and the top plume are fairly typical, ut these early suits were manufactured on an entirely local asis and their e#act designs were often a matter of personal taste. The main part of the armour is the massive powered torso which encloses the chest and arms. ,eneath the armoured chest plate coiled energy ca les transmit power into the arms, effectively multiplying the wearer's fighting a ilities three or four times over. *uring this period most fighting consisted of close com at, warriors preferring to grapple with each other rather than use long range weapons - the power of a warrior's chest and arms was therefore of paramount importance. The warrior's legs are not power armoured at all ut enclosed in tough padded reeches. "n the e#ample shown the warrior wears armoured greives and armoured oots. These were not standard y any means, ut were worn y many of the etter e)uipped warriors and were common amongst the early %pace Marines. The warrior wears a ackpack which provides his suit with power - most of its ulk is taken up y a cooling mechanism meant to prevent the power unit from overheating. 3arriors e)uipped in this way fought during all the Emperor's wars on Earth, and also on the Moon and Mars which have Earth-type atmospheres. Mark : armour is unlikely to e seen on the =:st millennium attlefield ut ceremonial units are sometimes e)uipped in this way. MAR& ? $nce the Terran system was secure and the process of re uilding firmly in and, the galactic

con)uest could egin. Even efore the warp storms and the Age of %trife ended, the Emperor started to make provisions for his 'reat (rusade. Part of these plans included the re- e)uipping of the %pace Marine armies with a far more sophisticated fighting suit. 3ith its advanced technology the newly con)uered planet of Mars ecame the centre for munitions development. 9ew types of armour were produced in great num ers in the Martian factories under the direction of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the ruling class of Tech- priests installed to administrate its affairs on ehalf of the Emperor. This ena led the entire %pace Marine (orps to e re-e)uipped. The new type of armour was the (rusade %uit, which ecame soon ecame known as Mark > armour while the old style ecame Mark : retrospectively. The armour is totally enclosed and lifesustaining, and so suita le for fighting on alien worlds as well as in deep space. "t is arranged into articulated hoop-shaped plates for ease of movement and these now cover the legs as well as the chest. The additional energy ca ling re)uired to operate the leg armour can e seen in the e#ample illustration while the chest coils are enclosed y armoured plates. The old armour had deli erately placed these coils on the outside to help keep the armour cool, ut more efficient coolers in the Mark > did away with this necessity. The ack pack retains the old shape ut is now much more efficient and contains all the e#tra e)uipment needed to maintain life-support, air recycling, fluid recovery, and the various automatical medical &unctions which have remained common to %pace Marine armour ever since. The helmet is now fitted with automatic sensory devices developed in the Martian workshops. These consist of e#terior sensors which gather visual and audio stimuli from the immediate environment - effectively functioning as eyes and ears. The information gathered in this way is processed y a computer rain and then transmitted directly into the wearer's mind y a neural connector. The practical result for the wearer is that he appears to see and hear )uite normally, ut he can also see infra-red and ultra-violet light, and hear a wider range of sound fre)uencies. The wearer is also a le to selectively enhance a visual image or sound should he wish. "f e#posed to linding lights or deafening noises, the computer processor acts as a safety valve and dampens down the stimuli preventing damage to the %pace Marine. This sort of armour was used throughout the 'reat (rusade. Many maintain that it is the most efficient of all %pace Marine armours, although its overlapping plates are notoriously difficult to repair. Actual e#amples of this armour, much repaired and carefully maintained, are still used in small num ers y many %pace Marine (hapters. MAR& @ The Mark C armour variant dates from the inner-galactic wars etween the Emperor's forces and the inha itants of worlds close to the galactic core, which included many of the %)uat -omeworlds, not all of which were entirely pleased to find themselves the o !ect of galactic recon)uest. Mark C armour was never intended to replace Mark >, ut to Provide an optional heavy armour type suita le for fighting on oard spacecraft and in tunnel comple#es. -igh casualties suffered during early attles had shown the need for such armour. Mark C therefore placed considera le emphasis on frontal protection, while the rear armoured plates were lightened to compensate. This armour was reckoned ideal where cover was minimal and com at was a matter of frontal assault. The suit itself is a highly modified Mark > with the addition of fi#ed armour plates to the ody and lim s and a new heavy armoured helmet. The sloping plates of this helmet were intended to deflect shot to the left and right, and was to inspire the Mark = and G helmet designs. 9o %pace Marine forces were ever e)uipped solely with this mark although many modern (hapters still use Mark C armour for oarding actions and tunnel fighting. 3hile a successful solution to a specific need, Mark C armour is too clumsy and uncomforta le for everyday use. As the most visually rutal of all Marine armour, it is sometimes used as a asic uniform for ceremonial guards. Mark C armour is sometimes called the "ron %uit or Armorum &errum in recognition of its great strength. MAR& 4 The 'reat (rusade lasted for appro#imately >;; years at the end of which came a period of political consolidation. The %pace Marines were now scattered far and wide throughout the gala#y, many serving as garrisons rather than as campaigning armies, and their si6e was scaled down to reflect this new role. Much of the e)uipment of the past was rapidly wearing out, including the old Mark > and C armour suits produced on Mars. 3hile some Marine (hapters

chose to continue local production and maintenance, the Martian factory hives of the Adeptus Mechanicus set a out producing a new variant. This was to e the Mark = or "mperial Ma#imus %uit. The main change was to a andon the separate a utting plates in favour of larger infle#i le armour casings incorporating the fle#i le !oints originally developed for the Mark C. The result was only marginally less mo ile than the earlier type and considera ly easier to produce and maintain. Technical secrets uncovered on newly con)uered worlds ena led the Martians to develop a more efficient armour, improving the )uality of protection and reducing the weight of the suit at the same time. "mproved armouring of the power ca les ena led the main arm and chest supply to e safely relocated on the e#terior of the armour, while use of new material also allowed the si6e and num er of ca les to e reduced. The helmet is an entirely new type, the asic shape inspired y the sweeping front of the Mark C. "n earlier armour the helmet is fi#ed and the wearer's ead is free to move inside. "n Mark = and later versions the helmet is not fi#ed ut moves with the wearer's head. This facility reflects the constructors' increasing e#perience with neural connector gear and the use of new materials which flooded into the Martian workshops as the 'reat (rusade progressed. Mark = armour was designed to e the ultimate and final type of %pace Marine armour, a le to offer the est protection in a variety of conditions. The Martian factories were turned over to its production and many of the %pace Marine armies were entirely or partially re-e)uipped. MAR& A The general issue of Mark = armour was only half complete when the -orus -eresy roke out. This threw the entire program of supply into turmoil. "n fact many of the most recently supplied (hapters were to turn against the "mperium while many loyal (hapters were forced to continue with older variants, and the confusion was considera le. The %pace Marine armourers Techmarines and Artificers0 had hardly got used to the new armour and many were as yet una le to maintain it properly let alone duplicate it as was originally intended. 3ith the Mark = newly in service the need for large num ers of spares had not een anticipated, so that suits )uickly ecame unusa le due to )uite minor attle damage. "t was soon found that the new and rather specialised materials used in the construction of the Mark = were unavaila le locally and this increasingly ecame a pro lem as (hapters moved from attle-6one to attle6one. The "mperial forces were soon forced into a fall- ack position. Production of Mark = armoured ceased, and a new type of armour was designed almost literally over-night. This was the Mark @ or -eresy %uit. The Mark @ used as many pre-Mark = components as possi le. .arge stocks of these e#isted and the Marine Artificers were already familiar with their application. $nce supplies of the new materials used in the Mark = armour dried up it ecame necessary to re-use older su stances. "n the illustration the lighter chest, arm and leg ca ling of the Mark = has een replaced y older and heavier style ca ling made from more readily availa le materials. -owever the ca les are now e#posed ecause they are too ulky to fit under the new style chest plate. This was to prove a consistent weak spot in the design leading to the fitment of all kinds of improvised chest armour. A distinguishing feature of the Mark @ armour were the heavily studded armour plates. This was an attempt to reinforce the Mark = pattern plates when inferior materials were used due to lack of the proper supplies. An e#tra skin plate was fitted around the armour using molecular onding studs. The e#tra weight was considera le, especially if a further chest plate had een added, leading to increased pressure &or energy from the power pack. As a result the wearer either had to turn up the power output and suffer intolera le heat uild-up, or leave the power supply as it was and accept reduced power levels. The helmet type illustrated is a spin-off from the Terminator development program, an early type of pre- production helmet, sharing the same type of auto-sense components as contemporary Terminator suits. ,eing something of an improvised stop-gap, it is common for Mark @ suits to vary a great deal. 3here Mark = helmets, armoured plates and ca ling were availa le these were often used. *espite its inauspicious origin the Mark @ armour proved remarka ly dura le and e)ually importantly it was easy to produce and maintain. -uge )uantities were shipped out to %pace Marine (hapters during the -eresy, including to (hapters which su se)uently went over to -orus. As -orus's own supply position ecame tenuous Mark @ suits were scavenged from fallen

enemies and used y his forces. After the -eresy most of the Mark @ suits were roken up or dismantled to Provide spares. &ew (hapters maintain e#amples of the design, preferring perhaps to forget the dark days of the -eresy. 5enegade %pace Marine (hapters may still e e)uipped with this armour. MAR& B At the same time as production of Mark = armour ceased, work egan on a long term development program to replace the Mark = with a more dura le type. The Mark @, or (orvus %uit, was only ever perceived as a stopgap design. The weapon development workshops on Mars egan to e#periment with a mi#ture of new and old technology, making the newer materials more dura le where possi le. A nota le feature of the resulting armour types /Marks G and F0 is the provision of dual technology circuits. These permit relatively rare or sophisticated functions to e temporarily replaced or repaired using common or very simple technology. Although development was incomplete the new armour was rushed into production while the forces of -orus advanced throughout the Terran solar system. -astily e)uipped %pace Marines wore the new style Mark G armour into attle while the development la oratories were disassem led and prepared for transfer to Earth. *uring the Martian campaign forces of -orus eventually overran the production facilities for %pace Marine armour and soon egan to manufacture new suits for their own use. (onsignments were distri uted to other forces elsewhere in the gala#y so that this new type of armour ecame )uite widespread. *istinguishing features of the Mark G armour are its relatively clean appearance due to rehousing the main power ca les under the armour plates. The e#terior chest and arm ca les are duplicated under the chest plate and automatically isolated from the main system if damaged - thus providing a failsafe and overcoming the vulnera ility of the Mark @. The helmet is an improved version of the Mark = rather than a new type, although a new type was under development and was to e used on the Mark F. The left shoulder armour retains the same construction method as the earlier Mark @ and for the same reasons. 3here supplies of material were short it is the right side of the warrior which needs to e etter protected while he fires his weapon, thus the left side could e most easily replaced y slightly less effective plates. The need to economise in this way was very real at the time. .ater the studded pad ecame associated with the Terran campaign and the final heroism of the %pace Marines so that it ecame a traditional em lem of those days. MAR& C 3hile the final attle for Mars was underway the "mperium, reali6ing that the planet would eventually fall, set a out duplicating the munition production lines ack on Earth. The armour development teams from Mars were transferred wholesale to continue the development program and incorporate their latest work into a new armour type. As -orus's forces finally overcame the defenders of Mars new Mark F armoured suits started to reach the %pace Marines on Earth and the Moon. Mark F represents the fulfillment of the new design program which was really only half complete in the Mark G. "n fact, so effective was the Mark G that oth types continued in service thereafter and many (hapters chose to continue with their old armour rather than adopt Mark F. The main improvement is the newly designed chest plastron which covers the chest and arm ca ling. This ears the eagle device and gives the armour its common name of Armorum "mpetor or Eagle Armour. The other main difference is the a andonment of the studded right shoulder piece and the su stitution of the new helmet for the old Mark = derived model. "mprovements were made to the knee !oint articulation, ut this modification had already een incorporated into many of the later Mark G suits. $n the whole it is &air to say that Mark F represents the final development of Mark G and that the two sets of armour have a great deal in common. Parts from one are readily interchangea le with parts from another, so that a Mark F helmet will fit a Mark G suit and vice versa. !HAPTER 3ARIA"T The F asic marks of %pace Marine armour were all developed up to and during the period of the -orus -eresy. *uring the production history of each mark various improvements were incorporated in the light of field e#perience. Thus there is a certain variation even within each mark although this is usually limited to the types of material used rather than to stylistic changes. &ollowing the end of the -eresy much in the "mperium changed, including the organi6ation and num er of the %pace Marine (hapters. 3hereas up until this time there had only een twenty (hapters, henceforth the huge pre- -eresy forces were to e roken up into many smaller

(hapters. The new (hapters that were founded were e)uipped with whatever suita le armour and weaponry was availa le. &or the most part the armour used was either Mark G or F, ut with a fair sprinkling of older types. %ince that time each (hapter has largely taken over the production of its own e)uipment. That is not to say that every (hapter produces every single item of hardware that it uses. %ome (hapters trade items with other %pace Marine (hapters, or they commission work from local fa ricators. This latter option is especially common where (hapters hold the governorship of the world they live on - in which case the planet is effectively owned y the (hapter and its resources can e organi6ed y the %pace Marines as they wish. "n other %pace Marine (hapters supplies are purchased through the Adeptus Mechanicus. MARI"E ARTI%I!ER 3ithin each (hapter %pace Marine armour is maintained y skilled Marine Artificers, These are not %pace Marines, ut highly trained and dedicated servants who spend their entire lives working for the (hapter, Artificers are !ust one of the many types of 'civilian' servants who work for their %pace Marine Masters. "n some (hapters these Artificers traditionally work together in a single huge workshop and their products are distri uted amongst the %pace Marine (hapter as a whole. "n other (hapters individual Artificers are the personal servants of either a %)uad of :; Marines or an individual officer. These Artificers are very proud of their %pace Marine masters, considering the status and reputation of their unit or officer to e of the utmost importance. "n their turn the %pace Marines are e)ually proud of the Artificers whose fine workmanship adorns their armour and weapons. $ver the history of a (hapter especially talented Artificers ecome famous and !ustly cele rated, and e#amples of their work are much sought after. "n many (hapters it is traditional for Artificers to come from special families, and for fathers to pass on their skills and position to their sons. "n other (hapters the position is open to all, ut involves a long period of apprenticeship to an older Artificer. The Artificer's !o is to decorate and maintain the (hapter's armour and weapons. "n fact, the (hapter also has Engineers and Techmarines whose role is to manufacture much of the e)uipment, so the Artificers are involved more with decoration, engraving, customi6ing and modifying the asic e)uipment. &or e#ample, when a %pace Marine earns a com at honour it is the Artificers who make the honour adges and fasten them on to the Marine's armour. %imilarly, the Artificers make rank adges, long service adges and other marks of distinction that are used y their (hapter. $lder types of armour are associated with the past history of many (hapters and often with the deeds of heroic individuals. Artificers will carefully hunt down e#amples of ancient armour-to use as the raw material on which they can engrave honour marks or purely decorative features. %uch pieces will e lovingly restored, often plated with silver or gold, and then painstakingly engraved with naturalistic scenes, a stract designs or (hapter adges. A piece of armour that can e shown to have elonged to an old (hapter hero is valued a ove all others. As successful %pace Marine $fficers are often presented with ancient pieces of armour, a single armoured plate or helmet might have a long and famous history and could have elonged to a whole succession of %pace Marine heroes and een worked on y many famous Artificers. I"DI3IDUALI ED ARMOUR As well as resurrecting old pieces of armour for nota le %pace Marines, the Artificers also decorate new armour and modify armour to suit particular individuals. $nly %pace Marines earning some kind of reward or honour would e given such items. As a result of their efforts over the many thousand years the (hapter has een in e#istence, it is )uite common to find suits which com ine elements of the different marks as well as )uite uni)ue suits which have customi6ed armoured plates or helmets. %ome (hapter reserve such armour for special individuals, officers, or high ranking commanders. There is no fi#ed rule on this, it is a matter of (hapter tradition and preference how such armour is used. -owever, it is generally the case that very high ranking officials inherit special suits of armour, which they may then com ine with their own e#isting suits so that their individual honours or personal pieces of armour are retained when they are appointed to a new position.


%pace Marines have access to the full range of "mperial weaponry and e)uipment. Their training and iochemical engineering ensure that they are natural masters with any type of weapon, from rocks and sticks of feral world savages to the sophisticated needlers and neuro-disruptors favored y spies and assassins. &or nearly all their com at duties however, they use standard weapons mi#es, relying on a narrow range of favored general purpose weapons. The standard %pace Marine weapon is the olt gun, or olter. This is a light, rapid-fire weapon, firing a hail of small-cali er e#plosive shells. ,olter shells generally use mass-reactive fuses, so that they e#plode after penetrating the target, rather then upon impact8 this makes the olter a highly effective anti-personnel weapon. The main close assault weapon is the olt pistol, a smaller version of the olter that works on identical principles. 3hile it lacks the range of the larger olt gun, its handier pistol configuration makes it ideally suited for close fighting. $ther favored close assault weapons include the power glove and the chainsword, oth of which are most commonly issued to officers leading assault troops. The power glove is a scaled-up metal gauntlet surrounded y an energy field which gives it the strength to punch through armor and even steel ulkheads. The chainsword is as it sounds - a sword-like weapon whose edges are fitted with a loop of moving lades. The %pace Marines also use a wide range of support weapons, of which the most common are heavy olters, melta-guns, plasma guns, las-cannons and missile launchers. The heavy olter is a larger version of the olt gun, which can lay down a curtain of fire across a wide area. 3hile its firepower against personnel targets is devastating, its shells are too light to harm armored vehicles. Also known as the melter or fusion gun, the melta-gun is a heat weapon, whose short range is alanced y its effectiveness against oth infantry and vehicles. A small scale controlled fusion reaction inside the weapon's firing cham er causes it to pro!ect a last of heat so intense that metal or plastic can e melted almost instantly. The plasma gun fires small packets of superheated gas plasma. .ike the melta-gun, its killing power helps make up for its short range and it is e)ually effective against infantry and armored vehicles. The las-cannon, or laser cannon, is a favorite anti-vehicle weapon, with a long range and sufficient punch to knock out a .and 5aider. As well as eing a popular infantry weapon, it is often mounted on vehicles. The missile launchers rival the las-cannon as the most popular infantry weapon. "ts variety of loads makes it e)ually effective against vehicles and infantry, and its range is e)ual to that of a las-cannon.

+++ PA!E MARI"E+++ +++ARMORED 3EHI!LE +++

The %pace Marines are not purely an infantry force+ they command a wide variety of fighting vehicles, ranging from one-man !etcycles to or ital artillery platforms. The .and 5aider is the main armored fighting vehicle of the %pace Marines. Thousands of these tanks are in action on oth sides in the -orus -eresy, and they are produced in large num ers y the Adeptus Mechanicus in oth camps. "ts sturdy frame is e)uipped with heavy ceramite armor, and its four las-cannon give it a devastating punch in almost any direction. "t's anti-personnel weaponry consists of two heavy olters. "n addition to its roll as an armored fighting vehicle, the .and 5aider can carry up to ten Marines into attle+ it is very popular as a heavily-armed transport. The 5hino armored personnel carrier is one of a family of armored vehicles that are widely used throughout the "mperium. The 5hino is the most common of these designs, and is the standard %pace Marine personnel carrier and armored transport. "t is more lightly armed and armored then the .and 5aider, ut like a .and 5aider it can carry up to ten troops. The 3hirlwind missile carrier is one of several 5hino variants. "t is more or less identical to the original chassis, ut the original olter armament is augmented y a turret-mounted multilauncher, giving the 3hirlwind a powerful support capacity.

&rom the eginning of time, man has elieved that the stars control his fate. Through their movements, people have seen future events and intimations of the will of their gods. "n the fortyfirst millennium, illions still watch the sky fearfully, searching for a portent of doom. ,ut in this time, they have reason to fear. &rom the stars come ships, some to trade, many to wage war. Most feared of all are the ships of the .egiones Astartes, gravid with their cargo of death - the .and 5aiders of the %pace Marines, ursting upon the unsuspecting, roaring like thunder, urning all efore them. The %pace Marines are rightly feared y ordinary folk, for their presence signifies death as surely as the plague ells of Pho os. The images of the %pace Marines and the .and 5aider ,attle Tank are forever meshed in the popular imagination. "n some cultures, the vehicles are portrayed as (hariots of *estruction ridden upon the solar winds y the Angels of *eath, poised throughout the gala#y, ready to crush the serpent of (haos. MA"2 M$ TI!I M A"D ME!HA"I! Mysticism is an important part of everyday life in the "mperium. A twentieth century man might recognise in the .and 5aider nothing more than a huge attle tank, a mere engine of war. ,ut the men of the forty-first millennium are wiser. They know that every .and 5aider has its own spirit, and its own destiny. 3hether a .and 5aider is uilt in the Martian weapom-shops of the Adeptus Mechanicus or in the armouries of the %pace Marines, its purity and spiritual welfare are given as much attention at every stage of construction as its mechanical aspects. A wildcat /or other locally-o taina le predator sacrificed within its ceramite framework. Armoured panels are inscri ed with runes of protection as they are reverently olted in place. (omponents are checked and lessed efore assem ly. As each .and 5aider grinds towards the end or the production line, preparations are made for the (eremony of (ommission. .and 5aiders are delivered to the %pace Marines, the "mperial 'uard, the "n)uisition, the Adeptus Ar ites, to certain 5ogue Traders and to other, more secret and o scure "mperial odies. %pace Marine .and 5aiders are handed over to a Techmarines. or &rater Astrotechnicus to use the proper title. "n other cases, it will e accompanied to its new home y an Adeptus Mechanicus Technomat - a human machine programmed with the knowledge re)uired to service his charge. &or many technicians, the commission represents the culmination of years of training+ learning how to divine the runes of engineering, memorising the liturgy of maintenance, and studying the routine of service. "f a Marine .and 5aider should e lost, its Techmarine offers prayers of mourning for its spirit. "f a Techmarine is slain, his .and 5aider must e reconstructed y one of his technical rethren. "n the field, this is often done simply y taking a ring earing the vehicle's serial runes from the dead Techmarine, and the full reconstruction takes place later. THE LA"D RAIDER I" BATTLE The .and 5aider is ideally suited to the style of warfare favoured y %pace Marines. .ike the Marines themselves, the vehicle is capa le of fighting in almost any environment. The .and 5aider also offers protection and transport for a s)uad of troops, as well as carrying many of their supplies and ack- up e)uipment. $n *eath 3orlds and in other harsh environments, the .and 5aider ecomes a vital life-support as well as a fighting machine. "n attle, the s)uad normally disem ark, leaving the .and 5aider and its Techmarine crew to fight independently. "ts adapta ility allows it to fight in a variety of roles. 3here appropriate, a single .and 5aider or a small group will e sent forward with troops in order to provide covering fire and support. $n other occasions, .and 5aiders from several companies, are rought together into huge armoured formations, ready to do attle with enemy vehicles or defences. LA"D RAIDER !AMO !HEME Marines are warriors of a wholly practical devotional order 3hilst their endless liturgies and prayer may appear, to the uninitiated, to e men superstition, they serve an important and real function. &or e#ample, while preserving the accumulated e#perience of millennia, the doctrinal lore of camouflage schemes is not so dogmatic as to prevent the adoption of appropriate or innovative colours and patterns where appropriate. %o while there are innumera le official or

approved colour schemes, there are also many which have een evolved y individual chapters to meet their particular re)uirements in certain situations. %ome Marine chapters adhere rigidly to the traditional patterns. The chapter of the 5ed %corpions not only sticks strictly to the lore of camouflage handed down from their original founding and em odied in the (ode# "mperialis, ut views any deviance from this practice as tantamount to heresy. This his led to the 5ed %corpions actually refusing to fight alongside other Marine chapters on a num er of occasions - one of the reasons why they were mostly confined to space lane duties during the ,ada 3ar. The (ommanders of the "mperial 'uard are less stringent a out such things than Marines, and will sometimes design their own schemes for a specific campaign. 3herever they may e serving, .and 5aiders may sometimes appear garish in comparison to the camouflage schemes evolved for use in the limited range of com at environments offered y twentieth-century Earth. A .and 5aider camouflaged for use in the spectacular co alt chromate deserts of 'alen B, for instance, would e highly conspicuous in a yellow- rown silicone o#ide desert eneath Earth's yellow sun. Many schemes show no attempt at camouflage as such, ut consist of solid heraldic colours proclaiming the identity of the occupants as surely as the shield of a medieval knight. "ndeed, there are some Marine chapters whose tradition actually for ids the use of camouflage on the grounds that 1the colours of cowardice'' are 3holly inappropriate to a true warrior. This attitude, although y no means rare amongst the .egiones Astartes, is not officially recognised and is not em odied within the ancient (ode# "mperialis. Most strange of all are the fully Pictorial designs painted onto .and 5aiders oth y Marines and y the "mperial 'uard. These take the form of actual paintings of attle scenes or of famous events in the history of the unit concerned. Although this is a spectacular e#ample of vehicle decoration, machines rarely enter the attle 6one wearing such lavish paint schemes.

+++The &ursed 2oundin/ 341st5+++

The Twenty 'irst 'ounding was the largest since the Second 'ounding. It took place sometime immediately before the "ge of "postasy, a time of %ivil war which divided and almost destroyed the Imperium. The new %hapters were dogged by bad luck right from the start. Several disappeared mysteriously whilst in action or in warp space. *very surviving %hapter of the founding is affected by spontaneous genetic mutation of its gene,seed. "s a result the %hapters have gradually dwindled in si-e as their inability to raise and induct recruits means that battle casualties cannot be replaced. Worse still, some %hapters have developed genetic idiosyncrasies, mutations which strain the tolerance of the In!uisition and threaten the %hapter+s survival. 'ew %hapters have suffered as ignominious an end as the 'lame 'alcons whose spontaneous and extreme physical corruption turned them into a race no longer human or sane. The %hapter was declared *xcommunicate and driven from its home world of &ethe by the 9rey :nights.

+++The D'r< A-/e(++++ +++Hi+tor6+++

The origins of the *ark Angels (hapter are shrouded in mystery. There are no records of its eginnings nor any mention of its part in the Emperor's 'reat (rusade. Any reference in the "mperial histories of its deeds during the accursed times of the -orus -eresy has een deleted. ,ut yet a legend persists that once the *ark Angels teetered on the rink of (haos, that a terri le etrayal esmirched all the (hapter's honour. %uch is their shame that from that time they have striven for a solution from the sins of millennia past. The *ark Angels are now considered to e one of the greatest of all the %pace Marine (hapter with their *eathwing company eing particularly revered. $nly the highest ranking mem ers of the *ark Angels (hapter know the terri le shameful secret of what happened ten thousand years ago - a secret that drives the *ark Angels to search throughout space and time for the final conflict that will ring them redemption or damnationR The Prim'r,h+

To understand what happened to the *ark Angels we must return to a time more than :;,;;; years ago. To a time efore there were any %pace Marines+ to a time when the Emperor created Primarchs. To help him in his 'reat (rusade to reclaim the gala#y for humanity, the Emperor, in his wisdom, created the genetically-engineered superhuman Primarchs. The mutant genes used as the asic uilding locks for these elite warriors had taken centuries to gather and refine, and despite the Emperor's est efforts of psychic shielding, his industry did not go unnoticed y the *ark 'ods of (haos. 9ot having the resources to actually destroy the incu ator capsules in which the em ryonic Primarchs grew, the (haos Powers com ined their energies and instead stole them away from the Emperor, scattering the amniotic tanks and their foetal occupants throughout the warp. The twenty incu ation capsules drifted through the warp for decades or even centuries, until finally coming to rest on human-inha ited worlds throughout the gala#y. The capsule of one Primarch, he who was to ecome known as .ion El'<onson, founder of the *ark Angels, was dropped on an isolated planet on the northern fringe of the Eye of Terror - the death world of (ali an. !'(i.'(ali an was as cruel and harsh an environment as any in the gala#y. "n the leak forest that covered the glo e lived creatures that had een y (haos, and which were of such ferocity that mere day-to-day survival was a constant struggle. The human inha itants of (ali an were forced to live in huge fortresses and castles, located in clearings hacked from the forests of the planet. (ut off from earth y the 3arp storms that savaged the gala#y in the Age of %trife, civilisation on (ali an devolved ack into a semi-feudal state, with most of the population ruled over y a small warrior elite. The no ility of (ali an were a luff and pugnacious race. 5aised from childhood to live and die y the sword, they were great warriors and e#tremely rave. They fought in a form of power armour much like that used y the %pace Marines, and like them their main weapons were the chainsword and olt pistol. Most other forms of advanced technology had, however, een lost, and the warrior no ility therefore rode into attle on huge warhorses known as destriers. The no les' life was one of constant struggle as they fought against the multitude of chaotic creatures that threatened to overrun their small settlements. %ometimes a particularly fearsome creature would stay in one area and terrorise it, in which case the ruler of the community would declare a )uest against the monster, and the no les from all around would come and attempt to kill the east. %laying a )uest-creature could ring honour and fortune for the no le lucky enough to kill it - more often than not though it rought only a loody and horrific death at the teeth and talons of a hell-spawned a omination. The $ou-/ Lio%uch then was the planet where the young Primarch's capsule crash-landed. Most of the other Primarchs were fortunate enough to e found and raised y the local human inha itants of the planet they landed on. %uch was not to e <onson's fate, for his capsule landed in a remote and isolated region of (ali an many miles from the nearest human settlement. -ow <onson survived those early years on (ali an is a complete mystery. ,y rights he should have died within the first few minutes he was e#posed on the planet. ,ut <onson did not die. %omehow, as a young child on one of the most deadly death worlds in the "mperium he not only survived, ut grew strong and tall. 3hat it was like for him in those grim and dark days none can say, for there was no-one there to record the events of his life, and <onson never spoke of those times himself. All that can e said for certain is that for a decade <onson was forced to trust to his own wit and skill in order to survive. -e had no-one to aid him, he could rely on only himself. And so it was, in this state, that at the turn of the decade since his arrival on the planet, the Primarch encountered his first humans. The Or*er The rave warrior knights he encountered elonged to a group known simply as the $rder. The $rder had a reputation across all of (ali an for the honesty, no ility and fearless skills of its rother-knights in attle. 4ni)uely amongst the knights of (ali an, then mem ers, or rothers, of the $rder were selected y merit rather than inheritance. Anyone could !oin the $rder, no matter how low orn they might e. (ontingents of rother-knights from the $rder travelled across the planet, giving their aid whenever it was needed. "t was while on one of their great e#peditions that a and from the $rder came upon the wild man

that lived in the forests. Thinking him a monster, the knights were ready to kill the Primarch when one of their num er, sensing that there was something more to the creature than was at first apparent, halted his fellows. .uther, for such was the name of the Primarch's saviour, and the other knights returned to civilisation, taking with them the man orn of the forest. ,ecause of his appearance and the place of his discovery, the $rder gave the wild man the name of .ion El'<onson, which meant 'The .ion, the %on of the &orest'. <onson easily adapted to the ways of humans, learning to speak remarka ly )uickly. ,ut of his time growing up in the forest he never spoke. 3ithin the fortress monastery of the $rder of the Primarch was assimilated into human society on (ali an. There he and .uther formed a close friendship. "t appeared that the two men filled in the gaps in each other's personality. 3here <onson was temperamental and taciturn, .uther was charming and charismatic. 3here .uther was rash and emotional, <onson was a rilliant strategist and unstoppa le once decided upon a course of action. They realised that they complimented each other and, as such, ecame an incompara le team. $ver the following years <onson and .uther rose through the ranks of the $rder. Their e#ploits ecame the stuff of legend on (ali an, and the reputation of the $rder rose accordingly. The num er of young warriors wishing to !oin the $rder grew and grew, so that in time many new fortress monasteries had to e uilt. As the $rder grew in si6e <onson and .uther argued for a crusade against the monsters that infested the forests, to cleanse the planet once and for all of their foul presence. The oratory of .uther convinced the 'rand Masters of the monasteries and most of the no les of the planet to !oin in the crusade, ut it was <onson's supreme a ility at planning and organisation which ensured that within the course of a single decade the entire planet of (ali an was cleared of the monstrous creatures that had once inha ited it. A golden age dawned for the inha itants of the once trou led planet. "n recognition of his triumph against the creatures of (haos .ion El'<onson was proclaimed new %upreme Master of the $rder and (ali an. Although .uther did not openly egrudge <onson the honour he had won, he would not have een human if he did not feel some twinge of !ealousy. Thus was lit the first small spark that would lead to the schism which would tear the *ark Angels (hapter apart. ,ut all this was in the future - for the present the people of (ali an en!oyed a time of peace and plenty. The Emperor Re',he+ !'(i.'Meanwhile, un eknown to <onson and the people of (ali an, the Emperor was waging his 'reat (rusade across the gala#y, reuniting humanity and purging entire star systems of their alien oppressors. As the "mperium's wave of con)uest advanced across the gala#y, "mperial %couts rediscovered the isolated world of (ali an. "t was not long efore the Emperor was at last reunited with the Primarch and was filled with !oy as would e a father on finding his lost son. The Emperor's first action was to give .ion El'<onson control of the *ark Angels .egion. This ody of %pace Marines had een created y the Emperor from its Primarch's gene-stock and had fought alongside the other "mperial forces as the 'reat (rusade was waged across the gala#y. (ali an was made the home world of the *ark Angels and the whole of the $rder moved to !oin its ranks. Those knights who were still young enough had the .egion's gene seed implanted within them, while those too old for this process underwent surgery to transform them into elite warriors of the "mperium. The first to e rought into the .egion in this way was .uther, who ecame <onson's second-in-command, !ust as he always had een within the $rder. The 'reat (rusade, of course, had to go on8 there were countless human worlds that were still under the influence of (haos or suppressed y the harsh rule of alien races. %o it was that <onson and many of the *ark Angels set out with the Emperor to continue the attle for humanity and .uther was left ehind in charge of the remainder of the .egion on (ali an. *espite the importance of .uther's position, it was not one that suited his am itious personality. As <onson's fame spread throughout the gala#y and reports of his great deeds and prowess in attle reached the the .egion's home world, .uther felt ro ed of his share of the glory. -e wanted the fame and recognition that he felt he deserved as <onson's e)ual. -is role as planetary governor of some half-forgotten ackwater world seemed more and more to him like an insult. The seed of !ealousy and dissension that had een planted within .uther when <onson was made the %upreme Master of the $rder now egan to grow and rankle within his heart as the Primarch ecame more and more cele rated and famous.

The %'(( of !'(i.'Then came the terri le days of the -orus -eresy. As the Emperor fought 3armaster -orus for the possession of the Earth, .ion El'<onson was far away fighting for humanity alongside .eman 5uss, Primarch of the %pace 3olves .egion of %pace Marines. -earing of the potentially disastrous proceedings taking place around the Earth, the two generals hurried ack as )uickly as they could. (oming into Earth's or it they realised that they had arrived too late. Events had already taken their terri le course and the cataclysmic final attle was over. The forces of (haos had een defeated, ut they had left the "mperium in ruins. And for <onson one final, shattering etrayal remained to e discovered on his return to his home world of (ali an. "t had een many long years since <onson had een to (ali an, and he longed to see his home world once more. As the unsuspecting ships of <onson's fleet moved into or it they were met with a devastating arrage of defence laser fire. %hips e#ploded into flame and crashed to the surface like monstrous comets. %tunned y the attack, <onson withdrew and attempted to find out what had happened. A captured merchant ship soon provided the answer8 .uther had used his skills at oratory to lead the *ark Angels under his command to the path of (haos, instilling his own feelings of !ealousy and rage in the *ark Angels who had een left on the (ali an during the 'reat (rusade. .uther had convinced them that they had een shamed, that the Emperor had turned his face from them. 3hile <onson and those %pace Marines who had gone with him attled for humanity light years away, .uther's feelings of anger and !ealousy had grown within him like a corrupting canker until they were his only purpose and driving motivation. .uther was now a man o sessed, whose own neuroses had pushed him over the edge and made him dangerous eyond imagining. The fury of <onson and the loyal *ark Angels at learning this horri le information knew no ounds. They had fought from one end of the gala#y to the other and thought that the curse of (haos had een cleansed from the planets of the "mperium, and now they found that their own home world and their own rethren, had een corrupted and turned against them. <onson immediately ordered an assault on the planet, driving the re el *ark Angels ack to their fortress monasteries. Enowing that one surgical strike was all that was needed to end the conflict .ion El'<onson led an assault on the greatest monasteries himself. -e knew that this was where he would find .uther8 and so it was that there, the two former friends, now mortal enemies, faced each other. Even thought the Primarch possessed superhuman powers, the two opponents were e)ually matched, for .uther's own, already considera le a ilities, had een enhanced y the dark gods of (haos. 3hat followed was a fight of titanic proportions during which the two e)ually-matched adversaries laid low for low against each other, tearing down the monastery around them until the whole massive edifice had een levelled y their attle. Meanwhile the massed guns of the fleet carried on pounding the planet, reducing the fortress monasteries to ru le. The very surface of (ali an egan to crack and heave under the strain of the om ardment. As the planet itself started to reak apart, the attle etween <onson and .uther reached its clima#. .uther, weakened y the long com at, staggered and fell, leaving himself open to a death low from <onson's power sword. ,ut <onson could not ring himself to strike the fatal low. As he hesitated, .uther, aided y the powers of (haos, unleashed a furious physic attack that knocked <onson to his knees and left him mortally wounded. ,ut as the dying Primarch struggled to stand, his no le features racked with pain, it was as if a curtain was lifted from .uther's eyes and he realised the full e#tent of what he had done. -is was a triple etrayal8 of his friend, of the *ark Angels, and of the Emperor. The truth shattered his sanity and he slumped down eside <onson, no longer willing to fight. .uther's psychic cry of pain and despair echoed through the warp and the (haos gods realised, that once again, they had een defeated. They lashed out in fury and frustration. A rent appeared in the very fa ric of space and a warp storm of unprecedented fury engulfed (ali an. "n an uncontrolla le, swirling flood of psychic energy the warp rushed into the physical universe. Those 'fallen' *ark Angels who had served under .uther his clandestine masters were sucked from the face of (ali an into the warp and scattered throughout space and time. (ali an, already weakened y the loyal *ark Angels om ardment, was ripped apart and destroyed, the de ris eing sucked into the warp. The only part of the planet that survived the storm was the huge fortress monastery where <onson and .uther had fought. Protected y force fields of awesome power the monastery and a

huge chunk of the ed-rock of (ali an held together. 3hen the storm a ated this was all that was left of the once magnificent home world of the *ark Angels. The *ark Angels flew down to the dark surface of the rock and ga6ed a out them in horror at all that remained of their once eautiful home world. The great fortress had een ra6ed to the ground and of all the living things that had once teemed across the face of (ali an only one remained. At the heart of the ruined wasteland the %pace Marines found .uther. The warriors were una le to get anything coherent out of the shell of the man who had once een <onson's closest friend and second-in-command. .uther !ust constantly repeated the same words over and over again8 The Primarch had een carried away y the 3atchers in the *ark and one day he would return to forgive .uther for the terri le sins he had committed. $f the mighty Primarch, .ion El'<onson, there was no sign. The !h'pter To*'6 This story of treachery and etrayal is the *ark Angels' secret shame. 9one know of it other than the *ark Angels, their %uccessor (hapters and, may e, the Emperor on his 'olden Throne. Even within the (hapter itself very few ,rother-Marines know e#actly what happened during those fateful days. The organisation of the *ark Angels (hapter has een shaped primarily y events in its history. As a result it is different from that of any other order. The (hapter is monastic in nature with much time eing given over to worship and prayer. There are also many different levels within the (hapter which individuals may gradually rise through. $n attaining each level, they find out a little more a out the truth ehind the *ark Angels' origins. Most *ark Angels themselves know nothing a out the eginnings of the (hapter. "t is only those at the very top who have learned the whole truth. The ulk of the *ark Angels (hapter is organised along strict (ode# lines, as laid down in the (ode# Astartes. -owever, the &irst (ompany and the %econd (ompany oth have special $ organisations. The %econd (ompany is known as the 5avenwing, and is trained as a special mo ile formation e)uipped completely with either ikes or land speeders. The &irst (ompany is the famous *eathwing, and although it appears superficially to e the same as any other (hapter's &irst (ompany, it is actually a highly specialised formation. "t is only when *ark Angels reach the *eathwing that they learn the story of .uther's etrayal. More terri le still they learn that many of the *ark Angels that followed .uther are still alive. These damned warriors are known as the &allen *ark Angels, or simply 1the &allen1, and it is the eradication of this stain on the (hapter's honour which drives and motivates the (hapter to this day. As long as still one of the &allen stays alive, the honour of the (hapter will never e restored. Even within the *eathwing company there are various levels of admission, and with these come gradually increasing levels of knowledge. The %'((e- D'r< A-/e(+ "n the eyes of the *ark Angels %pace Marines, the only way that they can rid themselves totally of their shame, and restore their honour and trust in the Emperor's eyes, is if all the &allen are found and either made to repent or are slain. -owever, since the &allen were cast through the warp to all corners of space and time, this is no mean task for the *ark Angels to achieve. 4nlike the "n)uisitors and 'rey Enights of the "mperium, whose role it is to root out the agents of (haos at work within the gala#y, in this regard the *ark Angels are only concerned with finding the &allen of their (hapter. Although the *ark Angels will e called upon for many different missions for the "mperium, the search for their &allen comrades is a constant )uest that they can never relin)uish. 9ot all of the *ark Angels' damned rethren have succum ed to the power of (haos to the same degree. %ome of the &allen have em raced the ways of the *ark 'ods totally ecoming true (haos %pace Marines. These &allen do not elong to a (hapter of their own, like Angron's 3orld Eaters. "nstead they are dispersed throughout space and time as either isolated individuals or in small ands. -owever, most of the &allen realise that their actions to the fall of (ali an were wrong. *isgusted y the corrupting influence of the (haos gods and una le to reconcile themselves with their order they lead a solitary e#istence. Many of them ecome mercenaries or pirates, roaming the gala#y as masterless men. $thers are willing to atone for their sins and in an attempt to do so have integrated themselves ack into human societies taking on the role of any ordinary person. This only make s the *ark Angels' task of finding the &allen as they are not easy to identify as such. ,ut it is still the *ark Angels' duty to try and track them down. "n order to do so, they must

investigate any rumour or story relating to the &allen, in case it should lead them to one of their corrupted rethren. The *ark Angels can go for years without hearing any rumours that might lead them to one or more of the &allen. 3hen they do however, and their mission is a success, those &allen that are captured are taken ack to the 5ock. *eep inside its dungeons "nterrogator-(haplains attempt to make the &allen repent. $ccasionally they do and for their pains die )uickly. More often than not though, the captured &allen refuses and suffers a long drawn-out and agonising death at the hands of those who would save their soul. The %i-'( e,ret The only people that know a out the disastrous events that took place on (ali an all those millennia ago are the Emperor and the *ark Angels themselves. The *ark Angels will never reveal the truth to anyone outside the (hapter for they could not ear others to know the truth of their terri le shame. And all the while, deep within its cell, .uther, the etrayer, speaks of what is to come. ?et even the highest ranking *ark Angels do not know everything, although they may think they do. ,uried even deeper within the 5ock, is the final, greatest secret of the (hapter. $nly one person in the entire universe knows the truth - the Emperor himself. &or hidden inside a secluded, unreacha le cham er at the heart of what once was the planet (ali an, .ion El'<onson lies sleeping, waiting with the 3atchers in the *ark for that time when he will e needed once again to defend the "mperium against its enemies.

+++The A-/e(+ of Retri.utio-+++

After the -orus -eresy, the *ark Angels founded three chapters, to track the &allen. These three chapters share in the secret of the &allen. As the glorious light of the Emperor was shed on more star systems, the %pace Marines needed to create more chapters, in order to etter protect the elievers from the traitors of (haos. Thus, the Angels of Bengeance founded the Angels of 5etri ution. The Masters of the 4nforgiven decided that it would e improper to share the secrets of the &allen with this lesser chapter, and so the Angels of 5etri ution were not initiated into the secrets of the deathwing, or that of the interrigator-chaplains. The Angel of 5etri ution were gifted with two things8 The chapter standard The secrets of the 5avenwing. The Angels of 5etri ution refer to this part of their chapter as 1the Emperor's &ist1. The Angels of 5etri ution use The (ode# Astartes standard markings to reflect their lack of knowledge of the &allen, though this is unknown to them. The company itself emphasi6es mo ility and firepower, scattering the Emperor's &ist throughout the attle companies, so that each attle company might e self-sufficient, working together as a unit. "n addition, the veterans are not separated out into a spearate company, ut lead their companies, lending their e#pereince to the younger rother marines who are rising to veteran status themselves. The scouts are also attached to a company after they are implanted with the gene-seed of the *ark Angels, as passed to the Angel of 5etri ution. This overall effect of this is to create a strong sense of unity in the companies, making them into a complete fighting force that is accomplished at working together. This sense of unity is directed into the 'lory of the Emperor y the (haplains of the Angels of 5etri ution. 4nlike most other chapters, the Angels of 5etri ution have at least three chaplains in a given company. This scheme was originally decided on y the Master of the *ark Angels to prevent the landishments of the &allen from turning the (hapter from the 'lory of the Emperor. That the (hapter still maintains a large num er of chaplains is a tri ute to oth their devoutness and their steadfastness. ,ecause the companies have diverse troop types, they are larger than the norm. There are only eight companies in the Angels of 5etri ution. There are the five attle companies and one reserve company for each of the ma!or tactical types. The reserve companies serve as a home for %pace Marines whose s)uads have sustained e#cessive casualties, or who left their original company to seek veteran status. The (hapter %tandard is given for a fifty year period to the

company that has distinguished itself most in the eyes of the Emperor in the previous period. &or a company to maintain the standard, it must e#cel eyond the level which allowed it to attain the standard in the first place, for the standard aids the marines in attle. "n the history of the (hapter, only the second company has een a le to retain the standard for a second fifty year period. "n the end of the fourty-first millenium, the Angels of 5etri ution have een given the task to protect the world of Anduin. &or reasons unknown, the Eldar seek something on this world. The Angels of 5etri ution have fought many campaigns across the forests of Anduin against the &ire 3arhost of the Eternal 9ight, under the command of Eldrad 4lthran. -is warhost has left the (raftworld and what he seeks in unknown, ut it must e of great importance to the Eldar to cause Eldar to leave the craftworld at his great age. The fourth company has orn the runt of the fighting to date, since they are the current earers of the %tandard of 5etri ution.

(loud 5unner ga6ed on the wreckage of his home and felt like weeping. -e closed his eyes and took three reaths, ut when he looked again, nothing had changed. -e turned ack towards the dropship *eathwing. 3easel-&ierce had !ust descended from the ramp. -e ga6ed round ferally at what once had een (loud 5unnerSs village and rought his storm ,olter into attack position. A grin split his skull-like face. 1*ark Angels, e wary. *eath has walked here,1 he said. The sun glistened off 3easel-&ierceSs lack Terminator armour. 3hith his white hair and y-shaped scar-tattos, he looked like the Eater of ,ones come ack to claim the world. (loud 5unner shook his head in dis elief. &or two hundred years he had the memory of this place in mind. Altough the (hapter was his home and the ,attle ,rothers were his family, he had always felt his spirit would return here when the Emperor granted him rest. -e glanced in the direction of the urial mounds. They had een roken open. -e made his way to the entrance. -e could see that the ones had een roken and mingled. "t was a lasphemy that only the itterest of foes would preform. "t marked the ending of his clan. 1The ghosts of my ancestors wander homeless,1 he said. 1They will ecome drinkers of lood and eaters of e#crement. My clan is dishonoured.1 -e felt a heavy, gauntleted hand on his shoulder and turned to see .ame ,ear ga6ing down on him. Two centuries ago, (loud 5unner and he had elonged to enemy clans. 9ow the clansmen who they had fought alongside were dead, and the old rivalry had long ago ecome fast friendship. 1The *ark Angels are your people now,1 said .ame ,ear in his soft voice.1"f necessary we will avenge this dishonour.1 (loud 5unner shook his head.1That is not the 3ay. The 3arriors &rom The %ky are a ove the s)ua lings of the clans. 3e choose only the ravest of the Plains People. 3e take no sides.1 1?our words do honour to the (hapter, ,rother (aptain,1 said .ame ,ear, stooping to pick up something that lay in the grass. (loud 5unner saw that it was a metal a#e-head. %orrow warred with curiosity and won. 1This was not the homecoming " had imagined, 1(loud 5unner said softly.1 3here are children gathering flowers for the Autumn &eastK 3here are the young ucks racing out to count coup on our armourK 3here are the spirit-talkers who wish to commune with usK *ead. All dead.1 .ame ,ear limped away, leaving (loud 5unner alone with his grief. QQQQQQQQQQ Two heads Talking studied the desiccated odies within the lodge. $ne had een an old warrior. -is shrivelled hand still clutched a stone a#e inscri ed with the thunder ird rune. The other had een a s)uaw. ,etween her skeletal fingers was the neck of an infant. %he strangled the child rather than let her fall into the hands of the enemy, said ,loody Moon. The .i rarian noticed the undercurrent of horror in the marineSs voice. -e took a deep reath, trying to ignore the musty stench that filled the house. 1%omething evil happened here, ut it happened decades ago1, Two -eads Talking replied, seeking to relieve ,loody MoonSs superstitious fear. -e wanted time to consider, to pro e the events of the past. The aura of old terror almost smothered him. %hadows lay over this lodge.

%omething was ominously familiar a out the psychic aura of the area. 1.ord %haman . . .1 said ,loody Moon. The .i rarian almost smiled, the ha its of their ancient former lives had returned in strength now that the once more walked the soil of their homeworld. 1,rother .i rarian is my title, ,loody Moon. ?ou are no longer my honour guard. 3e are oth Marines.1 1.ord - ,rother %haman,1 ,loody Moon continued. 19o warriors of the plains would have wrought such havoc. *o you think. . . K1 13e shall have to investigate, old friend. 3e must visit the other lodgetowns and speak with their chieftains. "f has returned to the customs of the 5eaving Time, we will put an end to it.1 "t was rumored that some of the -ill (lans still kept the old daemon-worshipping practices from time efore the EmperorSs people came. "f that were true, it was up to marines to take action. %omehow Two -eads talking did not think it would come to that. This did not have the feel of daemon worshippers, although there was a taint in the air that it was akin to it. An almost recognisa le horror clawed at his mind. -e fought it down and hoped that his suspicions were not true. QQQQQQQQQQ The city reared a ove the plain like a soot-grimed leviathan. (loud 5unner spotted it efore the others and ordered .ame ,ear to land the dropship in a valley, out of sight of its walls. &rom the row of the hill, he studied it trough magnoculars. "t was an ugly place that reminded him of the hiveworlds he had visited. "t covered many miles and was enclosed y monolithic walls. 'reat smokestacks loomed in the distance, elching acrid chemical clouds into the greyish sky. $utside the walls, the rivers ran lack with poisons. As (loud 5unner watched, he saw herd elk eing driven s)uealing from arges towards great a attoirs within the walls. &rom huge stone arracks, people swarmed through the streets towards enormous, rick f actories. %mog drifted everywhere, occasionally o scuring the grimy city and its teeming inha itants. 1That is were .ame ,earSs metal a#e came from,1 said Two -eads Talking, lowering himself to the ground eside (loud 5unner. 1" wonder who uilt itK1 1"tSs a nightmare,1 murmured (loud 5unner. 13e return home to find our lodges ravaged and this . . . a omination in its place.1 1That city could hold all the clans of all the peoples of the Plains and ten times more esides. (ould our folk have een enslaved and taken there, ,rother (aptainK1 (loud 5unner remained silent, considering. 1"f they have een , then we will go down with flamer and storm olter and free them.1 13e must know efore we act . 3e could e outnum ered and trapped,1 replied the %haman. 1" say we go in with weapons armed ,1 said 3easel-&ierce from ehind them. 1"f we find foes we urn them.1 1%uppose they think the sameK The soot and filth give the place an $rkish look,1 said .ame ,ear. -e had een scouting further along the crest. 19o $rc ever put stone and stone like that,1 countered Two heads talking. 1That is human workmanship.1 1"t is not the work of the People,1 said (loud 5unner. 1Those arracks are hundred times the si6e of a lodgehouse and uilt of rick.1 1There is only one way to find out anything,1 said Two heads Talking. 1$ne of us must visit the city.1 The warriors nodded assent. Each tapped a scar-tattoo to indicate that he volunteered. Two -eads Talking shook his head. 1" must go. The spirits will shield me.1 (loud 5unner saw the rest of the warriors look at him to see what his decision would e. As (aptain, he could overrule the .i rarian. -e looked at the city, then at the %haman standing )uiet and proud efore him. A sensation of emptiness, of futility came over him. -is people, his village had gone. 1As you wish, .ord %haman. %peak to the spirits and seek their aid,1 he said, giving the ancient ritual answer. 1,loody MoonSs s)uad will remain here to watch over you. The rest of us will take *eathwing and seek out any surviving logetowns.1 QQQQQQQQQQ 9ight fell as Two -eads Talking completed his preparations. -e laid the four nine-etched skulls of his predecessors on the ground a out him. Each faced one of the cardinal points of the compass

and watched over an approach from the spirit realm. -e lit a small onfire in the deep hollow, cast a handful of her s on the fire and reathed deeply. -e touched the ceremonial winged skull on his chest-piece and then the deathSs head inlaid on his elt. .astly, he prayed to the Emperor, tamer of thunder irds and eacon of the soul path, to watch over him as he made magic. Then he egan to chant. The fumes from the her s filled his lunges. -e seemed to rise a ove his ody and look down upon it. The other Terminators acked away from the spirit circle. A chill stole over him, and life leeched away until he was close to the edge of death. 'reat so s wracked his ody, ut he mastered himself and continued with the ritual. -e stood in a cold shadowy place. -e sensed chill white presences at the edge of his perception, clammy as mist and cold as the gravemound. A ove him he could hear the eating of mighty pinions from where *eathwing, the Emperors steed and earer of the souls of the slain, hovered. The %haman talked with the presences, made pacts that ound them to his service and rewarded them with a portion of his strength. -e sensed the hungry spirits surge around him, ready to shield him from sight, to cloud the eyes of any who might look upon him, causing them to see only a friendly eing. -e walked from the circle, past the watching Marines. As he crested the row of the hill, he saw the distant city. Even at night, its fires urned, lighting the sky aand turning the metropolis into a giant shadow cast upon the land. A ove them, through the gloom, loomed the Mountains of %torm. (loud 5unner wodered how .ame ,ear was taking it. The ig manSs face was a lank mask. -e was not allowing himself to think a out what might have happened to his people. The -unting ,ears village was the last they had visited8 the most remote, uilt in caves eneath (loud-'irt Peak. .ame ,ear limped up the narrow pathway in the cliff-face. (loud 5unner tried not to think of the other lodgetowns they had seen. They had found nothing ut desolation and desecrated graves. 9o living soul e#cept the Marines walked among the fallen totems. They had uried the odies they had found and offered prayers to the Emperor for the safety of their slain kin. (loud 5unner could see 3easel-&ierce pause. The gaunt manSs hand played with the feathered hilt of his ceremonial dagger. -e studied the ledges a ove the paths and seemed to sniff the air. 19o sentries,1 he said. 1As a uck, " raided these mountains. The -unting ,ears always had the keenest watchers. "f anyone was alive, we would have een challenged y now.1 19o71 .ame ,ear shouted and ran across the threshold and into the caverns. 1%)uad Paulo, overwatch71 (lod 5unner ordered. &ive Terminators fro6e in position, guarding the entrance. 1The rest of you follow me. -elmets on. Eeep your eyes peeled. 3easel-&ierce, esta lish a fi# on .ame ,ear. *onSt loose him.1 9ight-lights cut in as they entered the cave mouth. *o6ens of tunnels led from the place. (hittering things flapped away from their lights. &or a moment, (loud 5unner allowed himself to feel hopeful. "f they were to find any survivors of the Plains People, it would e here. "n this huge night- lack ma6e .ame ,ear's people could have hidden out for years, dodging any pursuit. As they followed .ame ,ear's locator signal through the warren of tunnels, despair filled (loud 5unner. They passed hallways where the dead lay. %ometimes the odies were marred y the mark of spear and a#e+ sometimes they were crushed and mangled y inhuman force. %ome had een ripped asunder. (loud 5unner had seen odies utchered like that efore ut told himself that it was not possi le here. %uch a thing could not happen on his homeworld - in vast hulks that lay cold in space, perhaps, ut not here. They found .ame ,ear standing in the largest cave of all. ,ones littered the floor. %cuttlers fled from their lights. .ame ,ear so ed and pointed to the walls. Paintings dating from the earliest times covered the caveside, ut it was the last and highest-situated representation that drew (loud 5unner's attention. There was no mistaking the four-armed, malevolent form. -atred and fear chased each other through his mind. 1'enestealers,1 he spat. ,ehind him, .ame ,ear moaned. 3easel- &ierce gave his short, arking laugh. The sound chilled (loud 5unner to the one. QQQQQQQQQQ Two -eads Talking stalked past the city's open gates. The stench assailed his nostrils. -is concentration faltered, and he could feel the spirits struggling to escape. -e e#erted his iron will,

and the spell of protection fell into place. %tudying his surroundings, he realised that he had no need to worry. There were no guards, only a toll-house where a pasty faced clerk sat, ticking off accounts. "n its own way this was ominous8 the city's uilders o viously did not feel threatened enough to post sentries. Two -eads Talking studied the scri e. -e sat at a little window, poring over a ledger. "n his hand was a )uill pen. -e was writing y the light of a small lantern. Momentarily, he seemed to sense the .i rarian's presence and looked up. -e had the high cheek- ones and ruddy skin of the Plains People, ut these the resem lance ended. -is lim s seemed stunted and weak. -is features had an unhealthy pallor. -e gave a hacking cough and returned to his work. -is face showed no sign of manhood scars. -is clothes were made of some coarse-woven cloth, not elk leather. 9o weapon sat near at hand, and he showed no resentment at eing cooped up in the tiny office rather than eing under the open sky. Two -eads Talking found it hard to elieve that this was a descendant of his warrior culture. -e pushed on into the city, picking his way fastidiously through the narrow, dirty streets that ran etween the enormous uildings. The place was laid out with no rhyme or reason. Bast s)uares lay etween the great factories, ut there was no apparent plan. The city had grown uncontrolled, like a cancer. There were no sewers, and the roads were full of filth. The smell of human waste mingled with the odour of frying food and the sharp tang of cheap alcohol. .ow shadowy doors of inns and food ooths rimmed each s)uare. 4nwashed children scuttled everywhere. 9ow and again, huge, well- fed men in long, lue coats pushed their way through the throng. They had facial scar-tattoos and they walked with an air of swaggering pride. "f anyone got in their way, they lashed out at them with wooden atons. To Two -eads Talking's surprise, no-one hit ack. They seemed too weak-spirited to fight. As he wandered, the .i rarian noticed something even more horri le. All the mem ers of the crowd, e#cept the urchins and the luecoats, were maimed. Men and women oth had mangled lim s or scorched faces. %ome ho led on wooden crutches, swinging the stumps of legs efore them. $thers were lind and were led a out y children. A dwarf with no legs waddled past, using his arms for motion, walking on the palms of his hands. They all seemed to e the accidental victims of some huge, industrial process. "n the darkness, y the light dancing from the hellish chimneys, they moved like shadows, scra ling a out crying for alms, for succour, for deliverance. They called on the -eavenly &ather, the four-armed Emperor, to save them. They cursed and raved and pleaded under a polluted sky. Two -eads Talking watched the poor steal from the poor and wondered how his people had come to e laid so low. -e remem ered the tall, strong warriors who had dwelled in the lodgetowns and asked nothing of any man. 3hat malign magic could have transformed the People of the Plains into these pathetic creaturesK -e felt a shock as a child tugged at his arm. 1Tokens, Elder. Tokens for food.1 Two -eads Talking sighed with relief. -is spell still held. The child saw only a safe, uno trusive figure. -e could feel the strain of inding the spirits gnawing away at him su consciously, ut they had not yet slipped his grasp. 1" have nothing for you, oy,1 he said. The urchin ran off mouthing o scenities. QQQQQQQQQQ *epressed and angry, the Marines left the cave village. (loud 5unner noticed that .ame ,earSs face was white. -e gestured for the ig man and 3easel-&ierce to follow him. The two s)uad leaders fell in eside him. They marched up to a great spur of rock and looked down into a long valley. 1%tealers,1 he said. 13e must inform the "mperium.1 3easel-fierce spat over the edge of the cliff. 1'The dark city is theirs,1 said .ame ,ear. There was a depth of hatred in his )uiet voice that (loud 5unner understood. 1They must have con)uered the People and herded them within.1 1%ome clans resisted,1 (loud 5unner said. -e was proud of that. The fact that his clan had chosen to continue a hopeless struggle rather than surrender gave him some comfort. 1$ur world is ended+ our time is done,1 said 3easel-&ierce. -is words tolled like great, sad ells within (loud 5unner's skull. 3easel-&ierce was right. Their entire culture had een e#terminated. The only ones who could remem er the world of the Plains People were the Marines of the *ark

Angels. 3hen they died the clans would live only in the (hapter &leet's records. 4nless the *ark Angels roke with tradition and recruited from other worlds, the (hapter would end with the death of the present generation of Marines. (loud 5unner felt hollow. -e had returned home with such high hopes. -e was going to walk once more among his people, see again his village efore old age took him. 9ow he found his world was dead, had een for a long time. 1And we never knew,1 he said softly. 1$ur clans have een dead for years, and we never knew. "t was a cursed day when we rode the *eathwing ack to our homeworld.1 The s)uad leaders stood silent. The moon roke through the clouds. ,elow them, in the valley, they saw the faded outline of a giant winged skull cut into the earth. 13hat is thatK1 asked 3easel-&ierce. 1"t was not here when last " stalked in the valley.1 .ame ,ear gave him an odd look. (loud 5unner knew that his old friend had never pictured the rave of an enemy clan walking in his people's sacred valley. Even after a century, the tacitum, skeletal man could still surprise them. 1"t was where our spirit talkers made magic,1 answered .ame ,ear. 1They must have tried to summon *eathwing, the earer of the 3arriors from the %ky. They must have een desperate to attempt such a summons. They trusted us to protect them. 3e never came.1 (loud 5unner heard 3easel-&ierce growl. 13e will avenge them,1 he said. .ame ,ear nodded agreement. 13e will go in and scour the city. 13e num er only thirty, against possi ly an entire city of %tealers. The (ode# is )uite clear on situations like this. 3e should virus- om the planet from or it,1 (loud 5unner said, listening to the silence settle. .ame ,ear and 3easel-&ierce looked at him, appalled. 1,ut what of our peopleK They may still survive,1 .ame ,ear said, like a man without much hope. 13e must at least consider that possi ility efore we cleanse our homeworld of life.1 3easel-&ierce had gone pale. (loud 5unner had never seen him look so dismayed. 1" cannot do it,1 he said softly. 1(an you, ,rother (aptainK (an you give the order that will destroy our world - and our people - foreverK1 (loud 5unner felt the weight of terri le responsi ility settle on him. -is duty was clear. -ere on his world was a great threat to the "mperium. -is word would condemn his entire people to o livion. -e tried not to consider that .ame ,ear might e right, that the People might not yet e totally enslaved y the 'enestealers. ,ut the thought nagged at him most of all ecause he hoped it was true. -e stood fro6en for a moment, paralysed y the enormity of the decision. 1The choice is not yours alone, (loud 5unner,1 said 3easel-&ierce. 1"t is a matter for all the warriors off the People.1 (loud 5unner looked into his urning eyes, 3easel-&ierce had invoked the ancient ritual+ y rights, it should e answered. The Terminator (aptain looked at .ame ,ear. The gigantSs face was grim. (loud 5unner nodded. 1There must e a 'athering,1 he said. QQQQQQQQQQ Two -eads Talking saw a commotion reak out across the s)uare. A s)uad of luecoats forced the maimed eggars to one side. People were crushed underfoot as they pushed through the throng like a lade through flesh. The .i rarian dropped ack toward the entrance of a tavern. A surly ravo with fresh-scarred cheeks came too close. -e raised his truncheon to strike Two -eads Talking, o viously perceiving him as one of the throng. "t ounced off the carapace of his Terminator armour. The luecoat s)uinted in astonishment at him, and then acked away. A palan)uin orne y two s)uat, shaven-headed men in rown uniforms moved through the path cleared y the ully- oys. Two -eads Talking looked at the sign of a four-armed man on its side and a thrill of fear passed through him. -is worst suspicions were !ustified. 1Alms, Elder, give us alms,1 the crowd pleaded, voices merging into one mighty roar. Many had a ased themselves and kneeled, stumps and grasping hands outstretched in supplication towards the palan)uin. A curtain in its side was pulled ack, and a short, fat man stepped out. -is pale skin had a luish tint, and he was wearing a rich suit of lack cloth, a white waistcoat and high, lack leather oots. A four- armed pendant dangled from a chain hanging around his neck. -is head was totally hairless, and he had piercing lack eyes. -e ga6ed out at the crowd and smiled gloatingly, great !owls rippling ackward to give him a do6en small chins.

-e reached down and found a purse. The crowd held its reath e#pectantly. &or a second, his ga6e fell on the .i rarian, and he looked pu66led. A frown crossed his face. Two -eads Talking felt a tug on his leg and fell to one knee, although it went against the grain to kneel to anything e#cept the image of the Emperor. -e felt that malign glance linger upon him and wondered whether the fat man had somehow penetrated his ound spirits' disguise. QQQQQQQQQQ All the s)uads gathered around the fire. The great logs smouldered in the dark, underlighting the faces of the Marines, making them look daemonic. ,ehind them, *eathwing sat on its landing claws, a ulwark against the darkness. -e knew that eyond it lay the city of their enemy, where dwelled a omination. 9earest the fires s)uatted the s)uad leaders, faces impassive. ,ehind them were their men, in full attle regalia, storm olters and flamers near at hand. &irelight glittered on the winged swords painted on their shoulder pieces. Their gar was "mperial, ut the scarred faces that showed in the firelight elonged to the Plains People. -e had known these men for so long that not even Two -eads Talking could have done a etter !o of reading their mood. "n each stern visage, he saw a thirst for vengeance and a desire for death. The warriors wished to !oin their clansmen in the spirit realm. (loud 5unner, too, felt the tug of his ancestral spirits, their clamour to e avenged. -e tried to ignore their voices. -e was a soldier of the Emperor. -e had other duties than to his people. 13e must fight,1 said 3easel-&ierce. 1The dead demand it. $ur clans need to e avenged. "f any of our people survive, they must e li erated. $ur honour must e reclaimed.1 1There are many kinds of honour,1 responded ,loody Moon. 13e honour the Emperor. $ur Terminator suits are the adge of that honour. They are signs of the honour our (hapter does us. (an we risk losing all traces of our (hapter's ancient heritage to the %tealersK1 1&or a hundred centuries, the armour we wear has orne Marines safely through attle. The suits will not fail us now,1 replied 3easel- &ierce hotly. 13e can only add to their honour y slaughtering our foe.1 1,rother Marius, ,rother Paulo, pray, silence,1 (loud 5unner said, invoking formality y the use of (hapter ritual and calling 3easel- &ierce and ,loody Moon y the names they had taken on when they had ecome Marines. The two Terminators owed their heads, acknowledging the gravity of the moment. 1&orgive us, ,rother (aptain, and name penance. 3e are at your service. %emper fideles,1 they replied. 19o penance is necessary.1 (loud 5unner looked around the fire. All eyes were upon him. -e weighed his words carefully efore he spoke again. 13e are gathered tonight, not as soldiers of the Emperor, ut y ancient custom, as warriors of the People. To this, " give my lessing as (aptain and 3archief. 3e are here as speakers for our clans, !oined in rotherhood so that we might speak with one voice, think as one mind and discern the correct path for all our peoples.1 (loud 5unner knew his words rang false. Those present were not speakers for their clans. They were their clans - all that was left. %till, the ritual had een invoked and must e kept to. 13ithin this circle there will e no violence. Till the ending of this gathering, we will e as one clan.1 "t was strange to speak those words to warriors who had fought together in a thousand attles under a hundred suns. ?et it was the ancient rite of meeting, meant to ensure peaceful discource among the warriors of rival tri es. -e saw some Marines nod. %uddenly, it felt right. The ways of their people had een orn on this world, and while they were here, they would keep to them. "n this time and space, they were ound y the ties of their common heritage. Each needed the reassurance after the trials of the day. 13e must speak concerning the fate of our world and our honour as warriors. This is a matter of life and death. .et us speak honestly, according to the manner of our people.1 QQQQQQQQQQ The Elder fondled his chain of office and continued to stare at Two -eads Talking. A frown creased his high. ul ous forehead. A ruptly, he looked away and fum led in his purse. A ragged cheer went up from the crowd as he threw handfuls of gleaming iron tokens out to them, then withdrew into his palan)uin to witness the scram le. The Marine watched people grovel in the dust, scra ling for coins. -e shook his head in disgust as he entered the tavern.

Even the most de ased hive world dweller would have shown more dignity than the ra le outside. The place was nearly empty. Two -eads Talking looked around at the packed earth floor and the crudely made ta les over which slouched a few ragged, unwashed drunks. The wall were covered in rough hangings which repeated a stylised four-armed pattern made to look like a crude star. $utside, in the distance, he heard the long, lonely wail of a steam whistle. The innkeeper leaned forward against the counter, gut straining against the ar-top. Two -eads Talking walked over to him. As he reached the counter, he realised that he had no tokens. The innkeeper stared at him coldly, ru ing one stu led, roken-veined cheek with a meaty paw. 13ell,1 he demanded peremptorily. 13hat do you wantK1 Two -eads Talking was surprised y the man's rudeness. The People had always een a polite folk. "t paid to show courtesy when an offended party might hit you with a stone a#e. -e met the man's ga6e levelly and e#erted a portion of his will. -e met no resistance from the man's weak spirit, ut even so, the effort was fatiguing. The innkeeper turned away, eyes downcast, and poured a drink from a clay ottle, without eing asked. $utside the doorway came the sound of footsteps. The doors urst open, and a crowd of workers flooded in, ellowing orders for drink. ,oth men and women had gaunt, tired faces. Their hands and are feet were as grimy as their clothing. Two -eads Talking guessed that a shift had !ust ended. -e took his drink and sat down in a comer, watching the workers slump down in the chairs, listening to them listlessly curse their overseers and their lack of tokens. A group set up a dice game in the corner and gam led indifferently. After a while, Two -eads Talking noticed that people were drifting through a doorway in the ack of the tavern. -e rose and followed them. 9o-one seemed to o !ect. The room he entered was dark and smelled of animal fat. "n its center was a pit surrounded y cheering, cursing workers. Two -eads Talking made his way forward, and the crowd melted away a out him. -e stood at the edge of the pit and saw the o !ect of everyone's attention. *own elow, two great Pains weasels were fighting, ripping long strips of flesh from each other while the audience roared and etted. Each was the si6e of a grown man and wore a spiked metal collar. $ne had lost an eye. ,oth were leeding from do6ens of cuts. Two -eads Talking was disgusted. As a youth, he had hunted weasels, matching stone a#e against ferocious cunning. "t had een a challenge in which the warrior gam led his life against a fierce and deadly adversary. There was no challenge to this cruel sport. "t was simply a safe outlet for the loodlust of these weary, hungry workers. The .i rarian departed from the pit, leaving the workers to their sport. As he left, he noticed that a luecoat had entered the ar and was talking to the artender. As he stepped outside, he saw that they were looking in his direction. -e hurried into the smoggy night, thinking that he felt inhuman eyes watching him. QQQQQQQQQQ (loud 5unner looked at the faces round the fire. They were waiting for him to egin. -e took three deep reaths. ,y long tradition, he must e the first to speak. A 'athering of 3arriors was not an argument in the formal sense, where words were used as weapons to count coup on the enemy. "t was a pooling of e#perience, a telling of stories. 3ords must have no sharp edges on which to snag anger. -e chose his carefully. 13hen " was twelve summers old,1 he egan, 1" dwelled in the ?ellow .odge among the young ucks. "t was my last summer there, for " was pledged to marry 5unning *eer, who was the fairest maiden of my clan. 1$ften, the ucks would talk of the 3arriors from the %ky. A hundred years had passed since their last visit, and the red star was visi le in the sky. The time was near for their return. 1-awk Talon, my grandfatherSs grandfather, had een chosen and taken to the spirit realm to serve the 'reat (hief ,eyond The %ky. My loodline had ac)uired much honour ecause of it, although he had left his son fatherless and needing to found a new lodge. 1%ilver Elk was a uck with " had vied for 5unning *eerSs hand. ,ecause she had chosen me. -e oasted of how he would e chosen. -is word were a taunt , aimed at elittling my kinsmanSs honour. %ilver ElkSs own line had no spirits who had ridden *eathwing and ventured eyond the sky. 1" was stung and responded to this taunt. " said that, if that were so, he wouldnSt mind clim ing

'host Mountain and visiting the A ode of the Ancestors.1 (loud 5unner paused to let his words sink in, to let the warriors imagine the scene. The memory seemed fresh and clear in his own mind. -e could almost smell the acrid wood smoke filling the young menSs lodge and see the the furs hanging from itSs ceiling. 1That was what %ilver Elk had wanted me to say. -e sneered and replied that he would go to the mountain if someone would accompany him as a witness. -e looked straight at me. 1%o " was trapped. " could not ack out with dishonour. " had to go, or he would have counted coup on me. 13hen she heard, 5unning *eer egged me not to go, fearing that the spirits would take me. %he was a %hamanTs daughter and had the 3itching %ight. ,ut " was young, with a young manSs pride and folly, so i refused her. %eeing that " could not e swayed, she cut a raid from her hair and wove it a out with spells, making it a charm to return me safely home. 1"t was a three-day trip at hunterSs walk to 'host Mountain. &ear was our constant companion. 3hat had seemed possi le in the warmth of the lodge seemed dreadful in the cold autumn nights when the moon was full and spirits flitted from tree to tree. " elieve that if either of us had een alone, we would have turned ack, for it was a terri le thing to approach the places of the restless dead at night as winter approaches. 1,ut we could show no fear, for the other was a witness, and our rivalry drove us forward. 9either wanted to e the first to turn ack. 1$n the evening of the third day, we met the first warning totems, covered y the skulls of those the sky warriors !udged and found wanting. " felt like running then, ut pride kept me moving on. 13e egan to clim . The night was still and cold. Things rustled in the undergrowth, and the moon leered down like a 3itching %pirit. %tunted trees hunched over the pathway like malign ghosts. 3e clim ed till we came to the vast empty plateau marked y the sign of the winged skull. 13e were filled with sense of achievement and enmity was, for the moment, uried. 3e stood in a place few men had ever seen. 3e had defied the sprits and lived. %till, we were on edge. 1" donSt know what " thought wen %ilver Elk pointed upward. There came a howling as of thousand roused ghosts, and fire lit the sky. Perhaps " thought the spirits had chosen to strike me down for my presumption. Perhaps " was so filled with terror that " thought of nothing. " know that " fro6e in place, while %ilver Elk turned and ran. 1"f " had een afraid efore, imagine how " felt when " saw a great, winged shape in the distance and heard the roar of the approaching thunder ird. Picture my horror when " saw it was *eathwing itself, steed of the Emperor, chooser of the slain, 3inged -unting %keleton. 1" itterly regretted my folly. " could not move to save myself, and waited for *eathwing to strike me with its claws and release my spirit. 1" was surprised when the thunder ird stooped to earth on front of me and ceased its angry roaring. %till, " could not run. "ts eak gaped, disgorging the massive, lack-armoured forms of the (hosen dead. $n each shoulder, they ore the sign of the winged lade. 1" knew then that " was in the realm of spirits, for -awk Talon, my grandfatherSs grandfather, stood among them. " had seen his face carved on the roof pole of our family lodge. -e looked old and grey and tired, ut there was still a family resem lance. 1To see a face so familiar and so strange in that dreadful place was somehow reassuring. "t ena led me to overcome my fear. &illed with wonder, " walked forward till " stood efore him8 that terri le, gri66led old man whose face was so like my own. 1&or a long time, he simply stared at me. Then he smiled and started to laugh. -e clasped me to his armoured reast and shouted that it was a fortunate homecoming. -e seemed !ust as pleased to see me as " was to see him.1 (loud 5unner paused, comparing his ancestorSs return to his own. There was no laughter here as there had een among those Marines long ago. -e understood now how glad the old man had een to see a familiar face. -e was glad that -awk Talon wasnSt here now to see the destruction of their people. 1$f course, " was overwhelmed, standing among these legendary warriors, speaking with my ancient lood-relative. " knew they had returned to choose their successors in the EmperorSs service, and forgetting everything else, " egged to e allowed to !oin them. 1The old man looked at me and asked me whether " had any reason to stay or any reason to regret going. " thought of 5unning *eer, and " hesitated, ut " was a callow youth. Bisions of glory

and the wonders eyond the sky filled me. 3hat did " truly know of lifeK " was eing called on to make a choice that " would have to live with for centuries, although " did not know it. 1My ancestor did. -e saw my hesitation and told me etter to stay in that case. " would have nothing of it, and insisted that they put me to the test. 1They strapped me to a steel ta le and opened flesh with metal knives. " had endured the 3easel (law ritual to prove my ravery, ut the pain was nothing to what " then endured. 3hen they opened my flesh, they implanted things which they said would ond with my flesh and grant me spirit power. 1&or weeks, " lay in feverish agony while my ody changed. The walls danced, and my spirit fled to the edge of the cold place. 3hile " wandered lost and alone, one of the ,rothers stood eside me reciting the "mperial litanies. 1"n a vision, the Emperor came to me, riding *eathwing, mightiest of thunder irds. "t was different from that which had orne the %ky 3arriors home. "t was a east of spirits+ the other had een a ird of metal, a totem cast in its image. 1The Emperor spoke to me, telling me of the great struggle eing waged on a thousand thousand worlds. -e showed me the races other than man and the secret heart of the universe, which is (haos. -e showed me the powers that lurked in the warp and e#posed me to their temptations. -e watched as " resisted. " knew that, if " had given in, he would have struck me down. 1Eventually, " awoke, and " knew then that my spirit elonged to the Emperor. " had chosen to a andon my people, my world and my ride for his service. " knew " had made the correct choice.1 -e shook his head and touched his charm of raided hair that he still wore round his throat. -e wondered if he had made the correct choice all those years ago, if he would happier staying with 5unning *eer. The right , old vision he had possessed in his youth had faded and lost its glamour over the years of endless warfare. " never even said good ye to her, he thought, and that somehow was the saddest thought of all. -e !udged that he had swayed many of the Marines, ut when .ame ,ear leaned forward to speak+ he knew that the struggle had only egun. 1" would speak of 'enestealers, 1the ig man sad )uietly. " would speak of 'enestealers, their terror and their crueltyR.1 QQQQQQQQQQ Two -eads Talking wandered the nighted streets. They seemed empty now that the workers had returned to their arracks. A slight ree6e had sprung up, owing flecks of ash through the streets, clearing the smog slightly. A itter ash-taste filled his mouth. -e passed y the factories where giant steam engines stood, still working. Their din filled the air. Their pistons went up and down like the nodding heads of maddened dinosaurs. -e knew they never rested. -e strode down a street of rich mansions, driven y mor id curiosity. -e felt as though he had een shown the pieces of a vast pu66le, and if he could only locate the last piece, it would all fall into place. Each mansion he passed had wrought-iron gates which ore the signs of the 9ight-owl, the Puma and the 5at. These were the totem animals of the -ill (lans. Two -eads Talking wondered whether the chieftains of these people dwelled within. -e could well elieve that they might make pacts with whoever had done this. Those people had dark reputations. -e felt anger grow within him, driving out the sense of ewilderment. -is life had een rendered meaningless. -is people had een etrayed. -is world had een stolen. Even the *ark Angels had een destroyed. Ten thousand years of tradition ended here. There were no more old huntsmen of the plains for the %ky-3arriors to recruit. The (hapter might continue, ut its heritage had een destroyed - it would never e the same again. Two -eads Talking was of the last generation of Marines recruited from the Plains People. There would e no more. As he moved eyond the mansions, toward the polluted river, his spirit senses warned him he was eing followed. Part of him did not care, would welcome confrontation with whatever watchers shadowed him. &rom up ahead, he heard a groan of pain. QQQQQQQQQQ 13e do not know where they come from,1 said .ame ,ear. 19ot even the (urators of the Administratum know that. They appear without warning, carried in the mighty space hulks which

drift on the tides of warpspace.1 A shiver passed through even these hardened Terminators. (loud 5unner saw the ga6e of those who had faced the 'enestealers turn inward. Their faces reflected the grim memories of the encounters. 4nconsciously, they sat up straighter and looked around nervously. &or the first time, it was rought home to the (aptain that they really did face the 'enestealers once more. They faced a threat that could kill them. 1They are dreadful foes8 ferocious, relentless, knowing neither pity nor fear. They do not use weapons, perhaps ecause they do not need them. Their claws are capa le of tearing adamantium like paper. 1They do not use armour, their hides are so tough that they can survive, for a time, unsuited in vacuum. They have the aspect of a east, yet they are intelligent and organised. They are the most terri le enemies any Marine has faced since the time of the -orus -eresy. 1-ow do " know thisK " have faced them, as have others here.1 (loud 5unner shivered, recalling the times he had faced the %tealers. -e remem ered their chitinous visage, their gaping !aws and four rending claws. -e tried not to recall their linding, insect-like speed. 1"t is not their fearsome attle prowess that makes the %tealers such dreadful opponents. "t is something else. " will tell you of it. 1$ne hundred and twenty years ago, efore ever " donned Terminator armour, " was sent with the fleet that investigated the strange silence of the hive world Thran#. 1The "mperial 'overnor had not paid tri ute for twenty years, and the Adeptus Terra had decided that perhaps a gentle reminder of his sworn duties was in order. 1The fleet arrived earing sections from the *ark Angels, the %pace 3olves, the 4ltramarines and an "mperial 'uard regiment from 9ecromunda. As the fleet moved into drop position, we e#pected resistance, re ellion. ,ut the or ital monitors did not fire at us, and the 'overnor spoke fairly to us on the comm-link.1 1-e claimed that the world had een cut off y warpstorms and $rkish raids. -e apologised for the non-payment of tri ute and offered immediate reparations. -e suggested that "n)uisitor Ban *am, who was in charge of the punitive e#pedition, descend and accept his o eisance. 13e were naturally suspicious, ut Ban *am suggested that any chance to take a world ack into the "mperial fold without the e#pense of military action should at least e investigated. -e re)uested that the *ark Angels provide an honour guard. 3e set our locators and teleported down into the 'ovemor's reception hall. 1Thran# was a world encased in steel. "ts natives never saw the sky. The 'ovemor's hall was so vast, though, that clouds formed under its ceiling and rain fell on the trees that surrounded the 5uler's Pavilion. 1"t was a sight to stir the lood. .ong ranks of guardsmen flanked the curving metal road that led to the pavilion. The pavilion itself floated on suspensors a ove an artificial lake. The governor sat on a throne carved from a single industrially cultured pearl, flanked y two eautiful lind maidens who were his court telepaths. -e ade us welcome and showed us the tri ute. 1"t was rought from vaults y specially red slaves, grey-skinned eunuchs with muscles like an $gryn's. Even so, they could arely carry the chests. They paraded past us in a seemingly endless procession, carrying industrial diamonds, gold-inlaid olters, suits of armoured ceramite and !ade. 1All the time the governor, -uac, kept up an endless, amia le chatter. 3e watched, da66led and eguiled y his smooth voice and affa le manner. As the long day wore on, we egan to accept that there was no need to fight, that we should simply take the tri ute and go home. 1$ur minds were pleasantly efuddled, and we were prepared to agree to anything our gracious host suggested when the great cryogenic coffins were rought forth. -uac claimed they carried his greatest treasures. "t is a measure of how under his sway we were that we almost took them, without thinking. 1"t was Two -eads Talking who said no. -e stood there, for a moment, like a man emused, and then he egan to chant. "t was as if co we s had een lifted from our eyes and we saw the snare that had een so su tly set for us. 1The spell of the Magus, for such was -uac, was lifted, and we saw to our honor that we had almost taken two 'enestealer coffins ack to our fleet. All that afternoon, as our minds had een lulled y the long, slow march, -uac had een inserting su tle, mystical tendrils into our minds.

1%till, so near to eing enthralled were we that we almost protested when Two -eads Talking riddled -uac and his two apprentice with olter fire. $nly the .iving *readnaught -awk Talon !oined in the firing. 3e reacted slowly when he warned us to defend ourselves. -uac's guardsmen almost had us. 1,ut we were Marines. 9o sooner had they opened up with their las- rifles than we returned fire with our olters, cutting them down. Ban *am tried to contact the fleet ut our comm-links were eing !ammed, and we could not teleport out. There was nothing for it. 3e had to fight our way to the planet's surface and hope that a dropship could reach us. 1"t seemed as if the whole planet had turned against us, and that was more or less what had happened. Two hundred of us fought our way out of the audience room. 3e were met y armed men, unarmed children and their mothers. All threw themselves against us with insane ferocity. As we cut them down, they showed no fear - only a strange, unholy !oy. The whole world had een infected. 1$ur trip to the surface was a nightmare. 3e attled along dark corridors, crawled up access ladders and through narrow hatches never meant for Marines. " saw %teel &ist tum le ack headless from one hatchway. Ban *am lo ed a handful of crack grenades through and we were spattered with the remains of a full-grown %tealer.1 1My rother 5ed %ky was pulled down y a wave of feral children with e#plosives in their hands. They detonated them as they crawled over his ody. -e did not live. 1Twice in the endless corridors, we were almost overrun. "t came to hand-to-hand com at with purestrain %tealers. Twenty of our rothers were cut down efore Two -eads Talking's force a#e and (loud 5unner's power sword carried us clear. 1"t was while guarding the final hatchway that " lost the use of my leg. A %tealer cut right through the floor and gra ed me, trying to pull me down. " lasted frantically at it. The last thing " remem er was its horrid, leering face as it pulled me down toward it. Around it was a group of Thran#ians who stroked and pushed against it fondly. 1The others told me what had happened when " woke up in the medical ay of the ship with a new ionic leg. Two -eads Talking and (loud 5unner had pulled me clear and carried me to the roof of the world, where the dropship waited. 1There was only one thing to do8 order the E#terminatus. The whole place was sterilised from or it with virus om s. .ater, in)uisitorial investigators ascertained that the whole usiness had egun only si#ty years efore, when an unrecorded space hulk had swung through the system. 1"t had taken only three generations for the %tealers to infect a whole world. &or that is how they reproduce - y turning people into hosts for their offspring. Their victims endure this willingly, due to the %tealers' hypnotic powers. 1Many nights " have lain awake wandering whether we could have saved the world if only we had arrived sooner. Perhaps if we had een a le to eliminate the %tealers efore the cancer had spread, we would not have had to order the E#terminatus. (loud 5unner could see that the warriors had een swayed and angered y .ame ,ear's tale. -e could tell that they were considering the assimilation of the People as reeding stock and the possi ility that, y swift action, they might prevent it. 1.et us go,1 said 3easel-&ierce, leaping to his feet. 1.et us enter the city and kill the %tealers' spawn.1 %everal other warriors made to accompany him. 13ait1, said ,loody Moon. 1The gathering is not over and " would speakR.1 QQQQQQQQQQ Anger and impatience drove Two -eads Talking toward the sound of pain. ,y the ank of the river, in the shadow of a monstrous factory, he saw that a group of luecoats had pinned an old man against the wall and were slowly and surely eating him to death with their truncheons. $ne of their num er held a lantern, occasionally giving a calm, precise order. 1Talk seditious nonsense, would youK1 said one ravo. -is stroke ended with the crack of reaking ri s. The old man groaned and fell to his knees. The other luecoats laughed. 1Preach heresy against the "mperial cult and the warriors from the sky, ehK 3hat makes you old fools do itK ,y the Emperor, " thought we had got the last of you.1 Their victim looked up at them. 1?ou are deluded. The 3arriors from the %ky would not have uilt this place and herded us here the way elks are herded to the slaughter. 9or would they have roken the urial mounds of our people. ?our masters are evil spirits summoned y the -ill (lans,

not true %ky 3arriors. *eathwing will return and rend them asunder.1 1%ilence. laspheming no-name,1 said the leader of the luecoats. 1?ou wish to prove your courage, do youK Perhaps we should return to the old ways, drunkard, and practise the 3easel (law ritual on you. The old man coughed lood. 1*o what you will. " am Morning %tar of the line of 5unning *eer and %ilver Elk. " have the 3itching %ight. " tell you that the spirits walk. Ancient powers stalk the land. The red star ums right in the sky. A time of trou le is coming.1 1"s that why you chose to start ranting this nightK " had thought the only spirits that talked to you came from a ottle,1 said another luecoat, kicking Morning %tar in the ri s. The old man groaned. Two -eads Talking made his way forward through the mist, till he emerged into the lantern light. The luecoat leader spoke to him. 1'o away, uck. This is 3arrior .odge usiness. "f you don't want to !oin this drunkard in the river, you'll leave now.1 1?ou dishonour the idea of the 3arrior .odge,1 said Two -eads Talking )uietly. 1*epart now, and " will spare you. 5emain a heart eat longer, and " will surely grant you death.1 The old man looked up at him, awestruck. Two -eads Talking could see the winged skull tattoo of a %haman on his forehead. A few ravos laughed. %ome, the wiser ones, heard the soft menace in the Marine's voice and acked away. The leader gestured for the luecoats to attack. 1Take him71 Two -eads Talking parried the swipe of a truncheon with his forearm. There was a metallic ring as the ludgeon snapped. -e roke the ravo's nose against the utt of his force a#e then lashed out with his foot, driving it into another luecoat's stomach with inhuman force. As the man ent dou le the .i rarian chopped down on his neck, reaking it. The luecoats swarmed over him now. Their truncheons were as ineffective as twigs against a ear. A few tried to gra his arms and immo ilise him. -e shrugged them off easily, swinging killing lows with weapon and el ow. 3here he struck, men died. As the attlelust swept over him, he felt the ound spirits slip away. -e knew that he stood revealed in his true form. The last of the luecoats turned to run. Two -eads Talking hooked an arm around his neck and twisted. There was a crunch of shattering verte rae. The old man ga6ed on him with religious intensity. 1The spirits spoke truthfully,1 he said, as if he did not )uite elieve it. -e reached out and touched him, making sure he was real. 1?ou have come at last to free the People from their ondage to the false Emperor and lead them ack to the plains. 3hat is your name, %ky 3arriorK1 1"n my youth, it was Two -eads Talking, apprentice to %pirit -awk. 3hen " entered the service of the true Emperor, " took the name .ucian.1 -e could see tears running down the old man's scarred cheeks. 1Tell me, old man, what has happened to our folkK -ow did they came to fall so lowK1 1"t egan when " was a uck,1 said Morning %tar, wiping his face. 1$ne summer night, the sky urned, and there was a great roaring. A trail of fire raced across the sky, and there was an e#plosion. 3here we are now was a vast crater, and in the centre, when the Temple of the &our-armed Emperor stands, was a great, red-hot pile of metal. 1%ome people thought the %ky 3arriors had returned, that the roaring was the voice of their thunder ird. The %hamans knew that this could not e so, for *eathwing returns only once every hundred years, in autumn, and it had een only fifty years since the red star was last visi le.1 13e were pleased ecause we thought that we might ride *eathwing. Most of us had reckoned on eing old men when the %ky 3arriors came again. 1Those who met our chiefs were not the armoured warriors of legend. They were fee le, paleskinned men who claimed that they had come from the Emperor to show us the way to uild an earthly paradise. They preached the virtues of tolerance and rotherly love and an end to warfare. The chiefs sent them packing, which was a mistake, for when honeyed words did not succeed, they tried force of arms. They allied with the -ill (lans and gave them metal lades which our weapons could not withstand. 1Eventually, clans were forced to trade for the new weapons in order to withstand their enemies. Tales were told of how witching spirits with four arms and terri le claws destroyed our warriors. %oon, the pretenders ruled the Plains, taking slaves and destroying utterly those who opposed them. 1Then came the uilding of this great city, using slave la our and paying the freemen in trade

tokens.1 %uddenly, the old man's eyes went wide with horror. -e was looking past Two -eads Talking and into the night. The .i rarian turned, and from the mist, shapes emerged. $ne was the fat man who earlier had een riding in the palan)uin. &lanking him were two huge four-armed figures. Their carapaces glistened like oil. They raised large claws which glittered in the moonlight. 13e would have told you all this if only you had asked,1 said the fat man, ga6ing at Two -eads Talking with his dark, magnetic eyes. The .i rarian fle#ed his fingers, and his force a#e hummed a song of death in his hand. QQQQQQQQQQ 1"t was in the time of (ommander Aradiel, a hundred summers gone,1 said ,loody Moon. 13e were a oard the attle arge Angelus Morte on sector edge patrol when the alarms went off. %ensor pro es indicated that a space hulk had dropped from warpspace near us. *eep scanning revealed nothing. 3e were ordered to investigate. 13e crouched within the oarding torpedoes and were fired at the hulk. "t was unpowered and dark when we disem arked, so helmet lights on, we moved to secure the perimeter. 3e met no resistance, ut as per standard operational procedures, we proceeded with e#treme caution. 13e identified the hulk as Prison of .ost %ouls, an appropriate name as it turned out. 3e moved nervously through the shadowy corridors, for the taint of the warp still hung a out the craft. "t made us uneasy.1 1At first, there was no sign of danger. Then we came across the odies of some %pace 3olves. They had een riddled with olter fire. 3e could not guess how long they had lain there - perhaps since the hulk had last entered normal space. "t might have een ten years or ten thousand - we did not know. The tides of warpspace are unpredicta le, and time flows strangely there. 1,rother %ergeant (onrad ordered us to e wary. Then a terri le thing occurred. A %pace 3olf's corpse sat upright, its eyes glowing crimson. '?ou are doomed,' it told us. 'Every one of you will die as " have.' 3e riddled it with fire from our weapons, ut still its horri le whispers echoed in our minds. 13e egan to fall ack. All around us, ,lips suddenly appeared on our sensors. They were running parallel to us, trying to cut us off from the oarding torpedo. 1At corridor intersections, we caught sight of armoured figures. 3e e#changed a few shots with them. " hit one and heard its scream over the comm-link. They were using the same fre)uencies as we were. 3hen we realised that, our lood ran cold. 3e asked ourselves8 could these e MarinesK 13e did not have long to wait for an answer. They swarmed down the corridor toward us in a vast wave. They were gar ed in the armour of Marines, ut they was horri ly mutated. %ome clutched rusty olters in tentacles instead of hands. %ome had faces that were moist and green and slimy like toads. %ome had claws and e#tra lim s. %ome dragged themselves along, leaving a trail of mucus ehind them. 1The mark of (haos was upon them. They called on -orus and those powers that are etter not named. And we knew them - they were renegades, survivors from the Age of -eresy who had pacted with (haos in e#change for eternal life. The fighting ecame close and heavy. They had the weight of num ers, ut we had our Terminator armour and the strength of righteousness. 1&or a moment, it looked as though they might overwhelm us, ut then our thunder hammers and lightning claws came into play, and we cut through them ine#ora ly. They fought like daemons, and they had the strength of the damned, ut eventually we won. 1" stood looking down at the ody of my last foe, and a thought occurred to me8 this man had once een a Marine like myself. -e had undergone the same training and indoctrination as " had. -e had sworn to serve the Emperor. And yet he had etrayed humanity. -ow could this eK 1-ow could a true Marine ecome forswornK "t seemed unlikely that he would suddenly turn his ack on the pattern of a lifetime and pact with the *arkness. 3hat had (haos to offer himK 13ealthK 3e have no use for the au les that other men covet+ we already have the finest of everything that a man could wish for. %ensual gratificationK 3e are taught its transitory nature. PowerK 3e know true power, which is the will of the Emperor. 3ho among us could e)ual his sacrificeK1 19o - as " stood over his ody " came to understand. -e had deviated not in one leap ut in small steps, y increments.

1&irst he had come to place trust in the 3armaster. An easy step, for was not -orus the chief champion of the EmperorK 1Then he had come to follow the 3armaster. 3ho would notK A soldier follows his commander. 1Then he had come to elieve -orus divine. An easy mistake. 3as not the great -eretic one of the Primarchs of the &irst &ounding, gifted with god-like powers second only to the Emperor himselfK 1Thus did he stray from the path of truth, till eventually he lost oth his life and soul. "t is a way that is open to anyone, one small mistake leading to another until at last the 'reat Error is reached. This " came to realise as " studied the ody of the renegade on the Prison of .ost %ouls. " resolved then and there to su mit myself to the Emperor's will. " knew that all our regulations and our codes have a purpose, and it is not for us to )uestion them, for they keep us from the path of the deviant. Around the fire, there was silence. (loud 5unner could tell that ,loody Moon's words had touched a chord within the Marines. -e found himself e#amining his own conscience for signs of heresy. The implication of ,loody Moon's tale was )uite clear8 if they lapsed from the service of the Emperor, they were taking the first step down the road to damnation. -e had also reminded them that they were Marines, the chosen of the Emperor. "f they did not keep the faith, who wouldK &or a long time, all was )uiet. Then 3easel-&ierce indicated his wish to talk. 1" will speak of death,1 he said, 1the death of men and worlds....1 QQQQQQQQQQ Two -eads Talking felt the impact of the fat Magus' will like a physical low. The great, dark eyes seemed to swell, to ecome ottomless pits into which the .i rarian fell. At his feet, Morning %tar whimpered. 3ith a wrench, the Marine roke the psychic contact, thankful that his .i rarian's armour was e)uipped with a psychic hood. The Magus was strong, and Two -eads Talking was already tired. The %tealers raced toward him. The .i rarian raised his storm olter and sent a hail of shells la6ing out. Tracer fire ripped the night apart. The leading 'enestealer was shredded y the heavy ullets. The other dodged with inhuman speed. Marning %tar leapt etween the .i rarian and his assailant. A claw flickered, and the old man's ody was torn in half. Two -eads Talking lashed out with his a#e, willing it to strike hard, and its lade urned coldly as it passed through the %tealer's neck. -e leapt ack to avoid its refle#ive death-strike. The Magus laughed. 1?ou cannot escape. 3hy struggleK1 The fat man concentrated, and a halo of power played around his head. The .i rarian hosed him down with fire, ut some force intercepted the shells, causing them to e#plode harmlessly a few feet from their target. Two -eads Talking strode forward, swinging the a#e. -e felt his own power uild within him as the lade arced toward his target. %omething stopped it a foot away from the Magus's head. 'reat muscles ulged under his armour as he forced it forward. %ervo- motors whined as they added their strength to his. %lowly, ine#ora ly, the Marine forced the lade toward his enemy. %weat ran down the fat man's row as he concentrated. A look of fear passed across his face. -e could not save himself, and he knew it. -e gave a single shriek as his concentration lapsed. The force a#e sheared through him from head to groin. Two -eads Talking felt the Magus' psychic death scream echo through the night. -e sensed hundreds of minds answer it. "n the distance, through the deadening curtain of mist, he heard the sound of scuttling, coming ever closer. Enowing his only chance of survival lay in swift flight, Two -eads Talking turned and ran. QQQQQQQQQQ $ur world is dead,1 said 3easel-&ierce. %ome Marines muttered a out the fact that he was addressing them directly, rather than keeping to the ritual. -e silenced them with a short, chopping gesture of his right hand. 3hen he spoke again, his tone was scathing and savage. 1This ritual is a sham. "t comes from a time that is ended. 3hy pretend otherwiseK ?ou may wish to delude yourselves y keeping with the old ways, ut " do not. 1?ou can speak in para les a out our oaths to the Emperor, the horror of the %tealers or the nature of damnation. " choose to speak the truth. 1$ur people are dead or enslaved, and we sit here like old women, asking ourselves what to do.

-ave we een put under a spellK 3hen were we ever so indecisiveK A true warrior has no choice in this matter. 3e must avenge our people. $ur weapons must taste enemy lood. "t would e the coward's way not to face them.1 1,ut if we fail...1 egan ,loody Moon. 1"f we fail, so e it. 3hat have we to live forK -ow many summers have we left efore we die of old age or are encased in the cold, metal ody of a .iving *readnoughtK1 -e fell silent and glared around the fire. To (loud 5unner's surprise, he looked down, and the fury seeped out of him. 1" am old,1 he said softly. 1$ld and tired. " have seen more than two hundred summers. "n a few more, " will e dead, anyway. " had hoped to ga6e again on my kin efore then, ut it is not to e. This is my only regret.1 (loud 5unner could see the weariness in him, felt its echo in his own mind. Every man a out the fire had served the Emperor for centuries, their lifespans increased y the process that turned them into Marines. 1"f " had remained among the people,1 3easel-&ierce said, 1" would e dead y now. " chose another path and " have lived long - longer perhaps than any mortal should. 1"t is time for an ending. 3here etter than here, on our homeworld, among the ones of our kinK The day of the Plains People is done. 3e can avenge them, and we can !oin them. "f we fall in com at, we shall have had warriors' deaths. " wish to die as " have lived8 weapons in hand, foes efore me. 1" elieve that this is what we all want. .et us do it.1 All was )uiet e#cept the crackling of the fire. (loud 5unner looked from face to face and saw death was written in each of them. 3easel- &ierce had voiced what they had all felt since first seeing the shattered lodges. They had ecome wraiths, walking in the ruins of elder days. There was nothing left here for them, e#cept memories. "f they departed now, all that loomed efore them was old age and inevita le death. This way, at least, their ending would have a meaning. 1" say we go in. "f the contamination has not spread too far, we can free any survivors,1 said .ame ,ear. (loud 5unner looked at ,loody Moon. 1Providing we command *eathwing to virus- om the planet if we fail,1 he said. The rest of the warriors put their right fists forward, signifying assent. They all looked at him, waiting to see what he had to say. -e felt once more the pressure of command fall on him. -e considered the destroyed lodges and his own loss and weighed them against his "mperial duty. 9othing could ring ack the Plains People, ut perhaps he could save their descendants. ,ut that was not all there was to it, he reali6ed. -e wanted the satisfaction of meeting his foes, face to face. -e was angry. -e wanted to make the %tealers suffer for what they had done, and he wanted to e there when they did. -e wanted vengeance for himself and for his people. "t was as simple as that. %uch a decision was not the correct one for an "mperial officer, ut it was the way of his clan. "n the end, to his surprise, he found out where his true loyalty lay. 1" say we fight,1 he said at last. 1,ut we fight as 3arriors of the People. This attle is not for the Emperor. "t is for our murdered clans. $ur last attle shall e fought in accordance with our ancient ways. .et us perform the rite of *eathwing.1 QQQQQQQQQQ Two -eads Talking ran for his life. Through the darkened streets, 'enestealers pursued, loping along, swift and deadly. -e sensed their presence all around. -e leapt over a pile of ru ish which lay in his path and swept round a corner into a main road. Two workers poked their heads through a doorway to see what was going on. They swiftly withdrew. Two -eads Talking ran wearily. -is heart was pounding, and his reathing was ragged. The strain of maintaining the spell of concealment for so long had sapped his strength. -e wondered how long he could keep up this pace. -e risked a swift glance over his shoulder. A 'enestealer had !ust rounded the comer. -e fired his storm olter at it, ut his shot was inaccurate, and the %tealer lurched ack into cover. %ensing danger in front of him, he turned. &rom out of a shadowy doorway, a %tealer uncoiled. -e had !ust enough time to raise his force a#e efore it sprang. -e thrust the lade out efore him, chopping into the monster's chest. The momentum of the thing's charge knocked him over. A claw cut into his arm, searing it with pain. "f his low had not landed cleanly, he realised, he

would have een dead. "gnoring the pain, he rolled onto his elly, catching a clear glimpse of his pursuers as they charged. -e s)uee6ed the trigger of his olter and stitched a line of fire across their chests. The strength of the armour allowed him to hurl off the am usher's carcass with ease. -e continued on his way. 9ot much further, he thought, forcing himself to reel onward. -e could see the huge walls !utting upward a ove near y uildings. -e recited a spell to free his mind of pain and made for the gates. -is heart sank when he saw what awaited him - a mass of hunched, evil-faced men with dark, piercing eyes. %ome held ancient-looking energy weapons. %ome gripped lades in their three hands. Towering over them were purestrain 'enestealers, fle#ing their claws menacingly. Two -eads Talking came to a halt, facing his foes. &or a moment, they eyed each other in respectful silence. The .i rarian commended his spirit to the Emperor. %oon *eathwing would e carrying him off. -is olter was almost empty. 3ith only his force a#e, he knew he could not withstand so many. As if at an unspoken signal, the 'enestealers and their rood surged forward. A olt from an energy weapon urned into his armour, melting one of the skulls on his chest plate. -e gritted his teeth and returned fire, cutting a great swathe of death. There was a loud click as his olter !ammed. -e did not have the time to clear it, so he charged to meet his foes, chanting his deathchant. -e rushed into a sea of odies that pressed against him, hitting him with lades and rending claws. -e summoned the last dregs of his strength to power his force a#e and swung it in a great dou le arc. -e lopped off heads and lim s with a will, ut for every foe who fell, another stepped into place. -e could not guard himself against all their lows, and soon he led from scores of great wounds. .ife fled from him, and overhead he thought he heard the eating of mighty pinions. *eathwing has come, he thought, !ust efore a low smashed into his head and all consciousness fled. QQQQQQQQQQ (loud 5unner paused riefly efore he painted out his personal cloud-and-thunder olt insignia an his armour's right shoulder. -e felt changed. ,y lanking out his "mperial insignia, he had lanked out part of himself, cut himself off from part of his history. %lowly he egan to etch in new totem signs on the armour, the marks of vengeance and death. As he did so, he felt the powers of the totem spirits egin to enter him. -e looked at 3easel-&ierce. The gaunt man had finished painting out all the icons on his armour. "t was now white, the colour of death, e#cept on its left shoulder, where the skull had een left unchanged. "t seemed somehow appropriate. They performed a rite that dated ack to ancient times, efore the Emperor had come to tame the thunder irds. $nly once efore had (loud 5unner seen it performed. As a oy, he had watched a party of old warriors, sworn to vengeance, paint their odies white and go after a horde of -ill (lan raiders that had killed a small child. They had painted their odies the funeral colour ecause they did not e#pect to return from facing so overwhelming a foe. ,loody Moon looked over from eside the fire and gave him a weak grin. (loud 5unner walked over to him. 15eady, old friendK1 he asked. ,loody Moon nodded. (loud 5unner ent over the fire and put his hands into the ash. -e pressed his palms, fingers together, flat against his face, making the sign of *eathwing on each cheek. 1" wish Two -eads Talking would return,1 said ,loody Moon, repeating (loud 5unner's gesture. 1-e may yet surprise you.1 ,loody Moon looked dou tful. (loud 5unner gestured for the warriors to assem le. They formed into a circle around the dead fire. $ne y one, they egan to chant their death-songs. QQQQQQQQQQ Even as they carried him through the long steel corridors, Two -eads Talking knew he was dying. .ife leaked from his wounds. 3ith every drop of lood that dri led over his earers, he ecame weaker. "t felt like some evil dream, eing orne down dimly lit tunnels y the hunched, daemonic figures of the 'enestealer rood. The .i rarian watched these events through a fog of pain, wondering why he was still alive. Part of his mind realised that he was within whatever vessel had carried the rood to his homeworld.

Agony lanced through him as one of his earers !olted him slightly. "t took all his will power not to scream. They entered a long hall in which a hunched, dreadful figure waited. -e was placed on the floor in front of it. "t cocked its head to one side side, studying him. Tears ran down the .i rarian's face from the pain as he forced himself to his feet. 'enestealer guards raced towards him, ut the huge creature glanced at them, and they fro6e in position. Two -eads Talking stood unsteadily, knowing he faced a 'enestealer Patriarch. -e had heard dim legends of such things, the progenitors of entire roods, the most ancient of their lines. -e looked into his enemies' eyes. -e felt an almost electric shock pass through his ody as their minds made contact. The .i rarian found himself confronted y a foe that was ancient, implaca le, deadly. -is mind reeled under the assault of its ferocious will. -e felt an urge to kneel, to do homage to this ancient eing. -e knew that it was worthy of his respect. 3ith an effort, he managed to restrain himself. -e reminded himself that this was the eing that had destroyed his people. -e made to throw himself at it, to aim a killing low with his good arm. -e sprang, ut his legs gave way underneath him, and the Patriarch caught him easily, almost gently, and held him at ay with its claws. The long ovipositor on its tongue flickered out, ut did not touch him. %uddenly, he found himself engaged in a itter, psychic struggle. Tendrils of alien thought insinuated themselves into his mind. -e locked them, chopping them off with the lades of his hatred. -e countered with a psychic olt of his own, ut it was stopped y an ancient will that seemed impervious to outside influence. The Patriarch e#erted his full power, and Two -eads Talking felt his defences egin to uckle under the terri le pressure. The cold, focused power of the 'enestealer was enormous. Even fresh, Two -eads Talking dou ted he could have matched it. 9ow, strength fading ecause of his wounds, e#hausted ecause of his earlier struggles, he could offer no contest at all. -is outer screen fell, and the Patriarch was within his mind, sorting through his memories, a sor ing them into itself. &or a second, while it was disoriented, he tried a psychic thrust. The %tealer countered easily, ut for a moment, they met mind to mind. %trange alien memories and emotions washed over the .i rarian, threatening to drown him. -e saw the Patriarch's past spread out efore him. -e saw the long trail that led through despoiled worlds and past many children. -e saw the hive world it had fled from in a fast ship, !ust efore the virus om s fell. 3ith a shock, he realised that he had een there himself - on Thran# - and that the creature had recognised his aura from then. -e saw the ship crippled y an "mperial attle arge and arely a le to make the !ump into warpspace. -e e#perienced the long struggle to return to normal space and the fro6en etemities it took to escape and crash-land the crippled ship an a new, virgin world. -e saw the pitifully few survivors emerge+ only a few purestrains and three hy rid techs. -e saw them make a#es from the wreckage of the ship for trade with the tri esmen, and he watched them start the long struggle to esta lish themselves in a hostile world. -e was gratified as the we of psychic contact e#panded with each new rood mem er. -e felt cold satisfaction at the destruction of the tri es and the knowledge that soon a new industrial ase would e uilt. The ship would e repaired. 9ew worlds to con)uer would e within reach. &or a leak moment, despair filled Two -eads Talking. -e saw the %tealers planning to spread to and infect new worlds. And he could do nothing to stop this old, invinci le entity. -e almost gave in. -e could see no way out. *eath loomed, and that thought gave him pause. -e knew what he must do. Part of him gave way efore the Patriarch's assault+ another part willed his spirit towards o livion. -e stood once more in the cold place, sensed far-off the spirit of the Emperor, right and shining as a star. 9ear at hand were the angry ghosts. The Patriarch was a hungry, ominous presence, determined to enslave him. %omewhere in the distance, he could hear the thunderous pinions of *eathwing coming to claim him. Too late, the Patriarch realised what he was doing and tried to reak the link. Two -eads Talking focused all his hatred, anger and fear and held the link open, a task made easier y their earlier intimate contact. The Patriarch struggled frantically, ut could not free himself. The wing eats came closer, drowning the .i rarian in a roar that might have een a hurricane or his own last reath. &rom the middle of a vorte# of agony, he was orne up into darkness. The

maelstrom sucked in the Patriarch. "t died, slain y the .i rarian's death agony. ,riefly, Two -eads Talking felt his foe vanish, felt the sense of loss from its rood. As the .i rarian's spirit rose higher, he reached out and touched the minds of his comrades, idding them farewell, telling them what they must do. Then Two -eads Talking knew no more. QQQQQQQQQQ (loud 5unner felt the presence as he stared into the fire. -e looked up and saw Two -eads Talking standing efore him. The .i rarian looked pale. -is face was distorted y agony, his ody gashed y dreadful wounds. -e knew that this was a spirit vision, that the old %haman was dead. &or a moment, he thought he heard the sound of titanic wing eats and saw the mightiest of thunder irds soaring toward the moon. The presence vanished, leaving (loud 5unner feeling cold and alone. -e shivered in the sudden chill. -e knew he had een touched y *eathwing's passing. -e looked toward the others and knew that they had seen the same thing. -e raised a hand in a gesture of farewell and then swept it down as a signal for the Marines to advance. &illed with determination, the white-armoured Terminators marched toward the distant city. QQQQQQQQQQ (loud 5unner sat enthroned and looked down upon his visitors. -is people were drawn up in long ranks, forming a corridor along which the Marines advanced warily. They were led y a (aptain and a .i rarian. &rom the doorway, the huge armoured form of a dreadnought performed overwatch. (loud 5unner found the sight of that old, familiar form comforting. -e saw the uneasy, worshipful faces of his people look to him for reassurance. -e kept his face grim and calm. -e sensed the ,attle ,rothers' unease at the strangeness of the folk within the great lodgehouse. They held their olters ready, as if e#pecting violence to erupt at any moment. (loud 5unner was glad to see them. %ince .ame ,ear's death, he had felt very alone. -e spotted several familiar faces among the oncoming "mperial warriors. Memories of the old days in the (hapter -ouse flooded ack. -e took three deep reaths, touched the ancient, white-painted suit eside him, for luck, and then spoke. 1'reetings, ,rother %ky 3arriors,1 he said. 1'reetings, ,rother E6ekiel,1 said the Marine .eader suspiciously. (loud 5unner ru ed his facial scar-tattoos with one gnarled hand, then grinned. 1%o they made you a (aptain, eh ,roken EnifeK1 1?es, ,rother E6ekiel. They made me a (aptain when you failed to return.1 -e paused, o viously waiting for an e#planation. 1"t took you ten years to come looking for the *ark Angels' honour suitsK1 the old man asked with a hint of mockery. 1There has een war8 a great migration of $rks through the %egmentum $ scura. '"he (hapter was called to serve. *uring that time the a sence of our Terminators was felt grievously. ?ou have an e#planation for this, of course.1 The Marines stared at (loud 5unner coldly. "t was as if he was a stranger to these grim youths, or worse, a traitor. -e remem ered the first time he had stood among Marines and, for the first time in long years, ecame aware of their uncanny )uality. -e felt isolated and uneasy. 1These are not our people, (loud 5unner. 3hat happened hereK1 asked a deep rolling voice. -e recognised it as the dreadnought's. %uddenly, he did not feel so alone. -awk Talon was there, hooked into the life-support systems of the dreadnought. There was at least one person present who was on his side, who was old enough to understand. "t was like their first meeting under the shadow of *eathwing, when he had sighted that one familiar face among strangers. 19o, honoured forefather, they are not. They are the untainted survivors of the 'enestealer con)uest.1 -e heard the shocked murmur of the Marines, saw the way that they instinctvely rought their weapons to ear on the lodge people. 1?ou had etter e#plain, ,rother E6ekiel,1 said ,roken Enife. QQQQQQQQQQ (loud 5unner found himself telling his tale to the astonished Marines. -e told them of the Terminator company's landing and of their discovery of the devastation that had een wrought y the 'enestealers. -e told them of the 'athering and of the choice the warriors had made - of Two -eads Talking's spirit walk and the Terminators' final march on the city. -e spoke to them in the intricate synta# of the "mperial tongue, not the language of the Pains People.

13e marched through the lack gates and were assaulted y %tealers. At first they seemed confused, as if they had suffered a great shock. They attacked in small groups with no pattern and no guiding intelligence, and we cut them down. 13e pushed through crowds of screaming people as we followed our .i rarian's locator eacon toward the city centre. -uge purestrain %tealers erupted from uildings as we advanced. They attacked with insane fury, ut without thought, and so we ested them easily. 1"n the centre of the city we found a temple - a uilding that o scenely parodied the "mperial cult, dominated y a huge four- armed statue of what was intended to e the Emperor. 3e toppled it into the street and eneath it found an entrance into the underworld. 1*own we went into the cold, metal corridors. 3e passed through airlocks and ulkheads. "t was like a uried spacecraft. 3e still followed the locator fi#, determined to reclaim Two -eads Talking's armour and avenge his death.1 1At first we made easy progress against isolated %tealer attacks, ut then a change occurred. &or a while, there was peace. 13e e#changed wary looks. ,loody Moon asked if we could possi ly have killed them all. " can even now picture the pu66led look on his face. "t was still there when a %tealer dropped through an air vent and took his head off. " lasted the thing with olter fire, reducing it to loody mush. 19ow the %tealers egan to attack again. ,ut this time their attacks were co-ordinated, guided y some malign intelligence. "t was as if they had een leaderless for a time, ut a new fiend had now taken charge. 1They flanked us through parallel corridors, dropped through vents in the ceiling. -ordes of %tealers and their human rood attacked from all sides. 3aves of them scuttled forward with linding speed, threatening to overwhelm us with sheer num ers. "t was a horri le sight, watching those great armoured easts race closer, ignoring their kin as they were cut down. 1%till they came. $ur point men and rearguard were am ushed and killed. The threats came so fast, we almost didn't have time to respond. 1" saw a score of them slain y flamer fire, and the stench that filled the air was indescri a le. They spent their lives recklessly in their lind lust to kill us. There was a sense of terri le, oppressive anger in the air. "t was as if they had a personal score with us and were all prepared to die to settle it. 1Any other s)uad, even other Terminators, would have een eaten ack y the sheer, fury of their attack, ut we wore the mark of *eathwing. $ur funeral dirges had een sung - fear was not in us, and we had our own scores to settle. 3e pushed forward, inch y tortuous inch. 1,lood washed the corridors as we fought our way into a great central cham er. There we found the ody of Two -eads Talking. -e was dead, his ody rent y great wounds. 9ear y lay the ody of the Patriarch, not a mark upon him. 1The hall was full of foes, purestrain and rood. A handful of us had fought our way into the throne-room. 3e faced many times our num er. &or a moment, we stood e#changing glares. " think oth sides sensed that they faced their ultimate enemy - that the outcome of that fight would decide the fate of this world. 1There was )uiet in the hall, silence e#cept for the cycling of our reathers. " could hear my heart eating. My mouth felt dry. ,ut " was strangely calm, sure that soon " would e greeting the spirits of my ancestors. The %tealers formed up, and we raised our olters to the firing position. 1At an unspoken signal, they charged, mouths open ut making no sound. A few of the rood fired ancient energy weapons. ,eside me, a ,attle ,rother fell 3e laid down a arrage of fire that tore the first wave to pieces. 9othing could have lived through it. Everything we fired at died. ,ut there were !ust too many of them. They swarmed aver us, and the final conflict egan in earnest. 1" saw 3easel-&ierce go down eneath a pile of %tealers. -is olter had !ammed, ut he fought on, screaming taunts and insults at his foes. The last " saw of him, he was tearing the head from a %tealer, even as it punched a claw through his chest. Thus passed the greatest warrior of our generation. 1.ame ,ear and " fought ack to ack, circled a out y our enemies. Power glove and power sword smote the %tealers as we cut them down. "f there had een only a few more purestrain, things would have gone differently that day, ut most of them seemed to have died in the initial futile attacks. 1As it was, things were close. .ame ,ear fell, wounded, and " found myself reast to reast with a

huge, armoured horror. The leader knocked my sword from my hand with a sweep of a mighty claw. " thanked the Emperor for the digital weapons in my power glove and sprayed the monstrosity's eyes with poisoned needles, linding it. "n the rief respite, " found time to ring my storm olter to ear and slay it. 1" looked around8 only Terminators stood in the hall. 3e whooped with !oy to find ourselves still alive, ut then the num er of our fallen struck us, and we stood in appalled silence. $nly si# of us survived. 3e did not count the num er of the %tealers fallen. 1"n the world a ove, the children of the Plains People waited. A huge crowd had gathered outside the temple to see the outcome of our attle. They looked at us, awe-struck. 3e had destroyed their temple and killed their gods. They did not know whether we were daemons or redeemers. 13e looked on the weary creatures who were the only remnants of our former clans. 3e had won, and we had reclaimed our world. %till, our victory seemed hollow. 3e had saved our descendants from the %tealers, ut our way of life was gone. 1As we stood efore the assem led throng, it struck me what we must do. The Emperor himself provided inspiration in that moment. " e#plained my plan to the others. 13e drove the crowds from the city and assem led them on the plain outside. 3e searched for traces of the rood among them, ut there were none. The %tealer taint seemed to have een destroyed in our vengeance war. 1" walked through the factories and past the toppled chimneys. Then we took our flamers and urned the city to the ground. 3e divided the people up into si# new tri es and said our goodyes to each other, for we knew we would likely never meet again. Then we led our descendants away from the still- la6ing city. 1.ame ,ear took his folk to the mountains. " rought my people to my old village, and we re uilt it. " do not know what ecame of the others. 1" have told these people that " was sent y the Emperor to lead them ack to the old ways. " have taught them how to hunt and fish and shoot in the old manner. 3e do attle with the other tri es. $ne day they will again e worthy of ecoming %ky 3arriors.1 (loud 5unner fell silent. -e could see the ,attle ,rothers had een moved y his tale. ,roken Enife turned to the .i rarian. (loud 5unner felt the pressure of mind-to-mind contact. 1,rother E6ekiel speaks the truth, ,rother (aptain 'a riel,1 said the .i rarian. ,roken Enife looked up at the old Marine. 1&orgive me, rother, " have mis!udged you. "t seems the (hapter and the Plain's People owe you and your warriors a great de t.1 1%emper &ideles,1 said (loud 5unner. 1?ou must take ack the suits. They elong to the (hapter.1 ,roken Enife nodded. 1Perhaps a favour. "n honour of our dead, leave the suits the colour of *eathwing. The deeds of our rothers should e remem ered.1 1"t will e so,1 replied ,roken Enife. 1*eathwing will e remem ered.1 The Marines turned and filed out past the dreadnought. The mighty eing stood there, watching (loud 5unner with inhuman eyes. The Terminator's departure left (loud 5unner suddenly tired. -e felt the weight of his years heavily. -e sensed the dreadnought ga6ing at him and looked up. 1?es, honoured ancestorK1 he asked in the tongue of the Plains People. 1?ou could go ack with us. ?ou are worthy of ecoming a .iving *readnought,1 it said. -e wished he could return and spend his last years with his (hapter, ut he knew that he could not. -is duty was to his people now. -e must return them to the Emperor's way. -e shook his head. 1" thought not. ?ou are a worthy chieftain of the People, (loud 5unner.1 1Any %ky 3arrior would e, Ancestor. &ew are given the chance. ,efore you depart, there is something " must know. 3hen first we met, you told me " should not ecome a %ky 3arrior if there was anyone " would regret leaving ehind. *id you have any regrets a out ecoming a MarineK1 The dreadnought stared at him. 1%ometimes " still do. "t is a sad thing to leave people you care a out ehind, knowing they will e lost to you forever. 1'ood ye, (loud 5unner. 3e will not meet again.1 The dreadnought turned and departed, leaving (loud 5unner enthroned among his people, his hands toying with a raid of ancient hair.

"'me+ of the De'thwi-/ '-* their Tr'-+('tio-+ Akkad /%tone -eart0 E6ekiel /5a6or 3ing0 A6rael /3easel &ierce0 %ergio /.ame ,ear0 Aradiel /Two Tongues0 (onrad /,loody Moon0 .ionus /.ong %pear0 'a riel /&ire 3alker0 'ideon /-awk Talon0 Marcus /.onely -unter0 .ucius /%talking *eath0 Matthias /5ed &o#0 5aphael /'rey Mane0 9athaniel /3ind 5unner0 Pluvius /,lood ,lade0 $ctavius /%wift 3ing0 Antonius /&lying Eagle0 (ali an /"ron &ist0 (laudius /5ed (row0 Adonai /%tone -and0 4riel /'reat ,ear0 %ammael /*oom 3alker0 Bicconius /.aughing %un0 %aphon /Pale (row0 Malloc /5ain ,ringer0 Amael /%pirit 5unner0 ,ethor /%narling ,ear0

+++Lem'- Ru+++++
.eman 5uss is one of the most famous of the ancient heroes of the "mperium. Many legends tell of his deeds during the dawn of "mperial -istory. -e was one of the twenty io-engineered superhumans who would ecome the founding fathers. or Primarchs, of the original %pace Marine (hapters. They were created y the Emperor to e stronger and tougher than any -uman efore or since. &rom their io-engineered genes the %pace Marines were cloned. ?et even they were a pale reflection of their awesome progenitors, whose genetic material had to e diluted a thousand times for a single Marine. Even efore his irth, .eman 5uss was the su !ect of titanic events. As the twenty foetal Primarchs slowly developed, suspended in their io-support medium, *aemonic eyes o served them from the warp. The *aemons saw the pink and naked Primarchs lying in their amniotic tanks, and perceived the Emperor's plan. &rom the twenty Primarchs, a whole race of superhumans would e created. They would e -umanity's greatest champions and the scourge of aliens and *aemons alike. The *aemons saw this and raged. Aware that they could not face the Emperor himself, for he was a eing of god-like power, the *aemons hatched a plan. (om ining their strength, they roke down the mental arriers constructed y the Emperor to cloak the infant Primarchs, and, prevented from hurting them, sucked them into the warp. The a es were scattered throughout the gala#y, thrown onto twenty different worlds to e adopted y whatever parents they could find - parents that were not always -uman. Thus it was, on the planet of &enris, that a mewling infant was discovered y a she-wolf as she

hunted for her new- orn cu s. A lesser child would have een torn apart y the giant wolf that stood as tall as a man, ut no such fate would efall this golden man-cu with eyes like a wolfking. 'ently taking the child in her mighty claws, the she-wolf ore him ack to the safety of her cave where he grew up amongst the wolf pack as part of the she-wolf's family. 3ithin a few short years the child was an adult, for as a Primarch he was more than a normal man and grew as rapidly as his wolf- rothers. -e might have lived out all of his years with the wolves, had not Thengir, Eing of the people of 5uss, sent his hunters into the forest to clear the pack from his land. The old grey she-wolf, and many of her cu s and claw-kin, died upon the spears and arrows of the Eing's hunters, ut the wolf-man was spared, and rought, ound and gagged, efore Eing Thengir himself. The Eing took the wild man from the forests into his care, and named him .eman - .eman of the 5uss. Amongst men for the first time in his life, .eman )uickly learned their skills, showing a natural aptitude for the way of the warrior. -e mastered their weapons - iron a#es and swords and won many glorious victories. 'reat tales were told of his strength and courage8 how he could pluck a tree from the ground and reak it over his knee+ how he could stand against a hundred men in attle, and within mere minutes have them egging for mercy+ and how he could consume an entire o# and wash it down with a whole arrel of eer. 3hen Thengir died, .eman ecame Eing of the 5uss. 4nder his leadership, they won many victories, for in attle .eman was all ut invinci le 3hen his armies marched, the howling of wolves heralded their path+ when he fought, a pair of giant wolves attled y his side. Eings themselves, they were &reki and 'eri, his wolf- rothers that had escaped from the Eing's hunters, and now had countless wolf-packs of their own to command. The tales of Eing .eman were told far and wide, and came to the notice of the Emperor himself. 5ecogni6ing the power of a Primarch at work, he traveled to &enris and confronted the 3olf-Eing, who lindly refused to pay him homage as the Master of Mankind. (hallenged, 5uss oasted that he could out-eat the Emperor, and proceeded to consume three whole o#en. &orcing the Emperor to ack down, 5uss oasted he could out-drink the Emperor, and drained the royal cellars dry to prove the point. 5uss oasted he could defeat the Emperor in com at+ the Emperor held his powerglove aloft for a moment, and rought it down on the Primarch's head, felling him with a mighty low which would have killed a lesser man. .eman 5uss admitted defeat, acknowledged the Emperor, and swore to serve him faithfully. 3ithin years, all the Primarchs had een found, and ecame the fathers of twenty (hapters of %pace Marines. .eman 5uss ecame the progenitor of the %pace 3olves. and was counted as a loyal servant of the Emperor. 3ithin a hundred years the %pace Marines had recon)uered the gala#y, and the "mperium was orn. Throughout the 'reat (rusade the %pace 3olves were at the front line, their leader at the head of the attle with two great wolves at his side, his coming announced y the howling of the pack. $n the world of *ulan, the %pace 3olves and *ark Angels were to assault an enemy held fortress. 5uss claimed the right to lead the attack, ut '.ion' E"'<onson, commander of the *ark Angels, refused and started the attack early. 5uss was furious, and egan a feud which was to continue for three centuries. The Emperor intervened to )uell the fighting. and ordered that the disagreement e settled with a duel. .eman 5uss faced his friend in com at and took a lade through the heart+ the duel was declared a draw, and the normally fatal wound healed within weeks. The Primarchs were to fight four more times efore the death of El'<onson. &riends to the end, they were united y shared rivalry and sense of honour. The feud would arise again. ut not in 5uss's lifetime. Then came the etrayal. .ike 5uss, -orus was a Primarch. 4nlike 5uss he ore the title of "mperial 3armaster, and had complete control over five (hapters of %pace Marines. Perhaps -orus was tainted y (haos when a ducted as a a e, or perhaps he was weakened y the e#posure to the warp. 3hatever the cause, -orus was responsi le for the largest treachery Mankind has even known. "n a single moment he threw away his love for the Emperor and the "mperium, he cast his pride into the dirt, discarded everything he stood for, and struck out. Across a hundred worlds, a thousand million men wept for their Emperor, who had een so cruelly etrayed y a man he called friend. &or the first time, Marine would fight Marine in what would ecome known as the -orus -erecy.

+++The %'-/+++
Towards the center of Asaheim there is a range of mountains taller than any others on the planet of &enris. The tallest peak of all lies in the very middle of the range and rises like a single gnarled tooth a ove the surrounding mountains. This peak, and the %pace Marine fortress that is uilt upon it, is called The &ang. The &ang is many times as high as the mountains around it, so that it stands alone as a citadel hewn from the rock. .ike a dagger driven into the elly of the sky, The &ang pierces the atmosphere of &enris. The fortress of The &ang is clad in armour of immense thickness and strength and is cloaked y void shields more powerful than those found on even the most mighty of the Emperor's warships. $utside Earth, The &ang is said to e the greatest fortress in the human gala#y. *ark shafts cut miles into the mountainside, concealing laser cannons which are capa le of crushing the most heavily armoured spacecraft. These huge weapons are as ancient as the %pace 3olves (hapter itself, and the thermal reactors that power them are testament to the precious technology from the distant past. 4pon the tip of The &ang is the %pace 3olves' fleet dock, where hundreds of spacecraft are maintained in armoured hangars inside the mountain. &rom here the %pace 3olves !ourney to distant attlefields throughout the gala#y.

+++The P('-et %e-ri++++

&enris is one of the deadliest worlds in the "mperium. "ts weather is infamous8 winters are cold and icy+ the rief summers are almost intolera ly hot. -owever, once every few years or so comes the season known as -elwinter. The planet's long or it takes it far from the sun, and it ecomes cold for many standard years. At the same time the planet passes through a swarm of meteors that om ard its surface like a rain of om s. The contrails of the descending meteorites fill the night skies, and the impacts cause the earth to shake like a frightened east. *uring this period the tri es of &enris take to their ships and search the icy seas for places of safety. .oading all their possessions onto their longships they navigate through the ice ergs in search of safety. %ome make their homes on the very surface of these floating islands of ice. $thers are lost to the mighty tidal waves caused y the impact of meteors. Many more will die when attacked y ice whales and kraken. Eraken are the most tterrifying monsters of the deep. They come to the surface only during -elwinter which is !ust as well, for a full grown kraken can measure as much as five miles long with tentacles that drag a full twenty miles. 9ormally they dwell only in the deepest of ocean trenches ut the tectonic shifts caused y the constant meteor impacts distur them and cause them to rise. $ne of the most ancient tales of 5uss tells of how he went fishing one day and caught the &ather of Eraken, the legendary monster whose tentacles girdle the world and hold entire continents in their grip. 5uss is said to have pulled the monster from the sea lifting it y its tentacles. 3hen his awed comrades shuddered in terror, 5uss declared that it was too small and threw it ack, declaring he would return later when the tiddler was full grown. "mperial scholars think that this story is mere legend ut with a core of truth. 5uss may have encountered a kraken and killed one. "t would not have een eyond the power of a Primarch such as he. "ndeed, this kraken may e the source of the so-called kraken's egg, a giant leathery piece of flesh more than fifty foot across that lies within the Trophy 5oom of The &ang.

+++The Me-tor Le/io-+++

The Mentors are a relatively new (hapter. &ormed in the Twenty-%i#th &ounding, during the middle part of the current millennium, they received the num er III. This previously elonged to the %tar %corpions (hapter. The latter were a (hapter of the Twenty &ifth &ounding and had the dual misfortune of producing redundant gene-seed and eing utterly devastated y 3arp entities when the (hapter's &leet ecame trapped in 3arp-space. The e#act fate of the %corpions is not known. -owever, the Emperor decreed that the chapter e considered dead.

The redundant gene-seed hampered "mperial efforts to re uild the %corpions .egion and eventually the ,io-engineers and (hem-architects of the Adeptus Mechanicus were forced to conceed defeat. &or a time it seemed that the num er III would never e raised again, ut some years later, a new &ounding in the offing persuaded the Priesthood to revisit the chapter regalia. Thus the Mentors were orn. They received the uniforms and num er of the e#tinct chapter ut instead of the redundant seed, they were given an entirely new generation of genetic material collated from the storage anks of the Earth la oratories.

+++LE#IO" O% THE DAM"ED+++

"n the year DGC of the current millennium, %pace Marine chapter '&ire -awks' was ordered into the (rows 3orld su -sector. (rows 3orld and ad!acent planetary systems had fallen into anarchy following heavy raiding y Eldar Pirates. The '&ire -awks' intervention would drive the Eldar from the human worlds, restoring "mperial rule and teaching the alien invaders an important lesson. The entire chapter-fleet, including the chapter's mo ile space-fortress, made a successful warp !ump from the Piraeus system a mere :>; light years from (rows 3orld. The five ships, over eight hundred rethren, and two thousand other personnel e#pected to reach (rows 3orld years after the event the chapter was officially declared lost in the warp and presumed destroyed. The great ,ell of .ost %ouls tolled a thousand times, and it said that the Emperor himself ordered a ,lack (andle to e lit in the Adeptus (hapel of &allen -eroes. $n DGGFDIG.M=: a routine "mperial patrol passed through the $rk held system of <akor-tal. The s)uadron uncovered altogether une#pected scenes of devastation. The limited facilities availa le to the patrol could uncover no clue to the identity of the attacking forces. The incident was noted and passed into the everlasting record of the Administratum. A rash of similar incidents within the same and ad!oining sectors soon egan to arouse the interest of the "n)uisition. %)uadron commanders throughout these sectors were reinforced and ordered to dou le their routine patrols. The incidents continued pace, increasing rather than declining in fre)uency and destructiveness. Even so, no sign of the CG>IDIF.M=:, a patrol ship in the Maran su -sector narrowly avoided a collision with a space-craft at the (ift !ump-point. The patrol ship was entering the (ift system as the unidentified craft was leaving. Alerted y the close encounter, the patrol crew scanned the entire !ump-area and discovered two long cylindrical o !ects within the intruder's pro!ected flight-path. These were hauled a oard and proved to e standard space coffins without identification markings. The coffins were shipped ack to earth and opened y the Adeptus Mechanicus. The coffins themselves were identified as elonging to the A solute, one of the spacecraft from the vanished &ire -awk fleet. "nside were the armoured remains of two %pace Marines. The unconventional armour colours and unofficial insignia pu66led the investigators, ut serial num ers tallied with e)uipment made y or issued to the &ire -awks. The armoured suits were e#pected to house mem ers of the lost chapter, and were carefully roken open. The odies within were human, ut further identification proved impossi le due to their advanced state of decay. The full truth would not emerge until almost a year later when a esieged "mperial research station received une#pected help. The garrison had een attacked suddenly y $rk pirates. After three hours of fighting the situation looked hopeless. Then, without warning, the $rks found themselves attacked in the rear. The ferocity of the fighting appalled even the station's defenders. 3ithin half an hour, several hundred $rks had fallen to the mysterious, powerarmoured figures. Then, as suddenly as they had appeared, the warriors vanished. This time they left ehind a anner - the gnarled chapter flag of the &ire -awks - and inscri ed upon it was the motto In dedicato imperatum ultra articulo mortis /For the Emperor beyond the point o death0. As well as the anner there was a recorder and sundry other sealed items. These were immediately shipped to Earth. &rom the data contained in the recorder the Administratum was a le to determine e#actly what had happened to the lost chapter. &ollowing their warp-!ump the entire fleet had een caught within a warp-storm of terrific intensity. %tunned y the power of the warp, the chapter was forced to endure the attacks of powerful warp entities. %hip after ship was destroyed and a sor ed into the fa ric of the warp. %oon only one craft remained. ,y a daring warp-e#it maneuver the craft urst out of warp-space, emerging far in the galactic east, thousands of light

years off-course and eyond even the psychic light of the Emperor. The original survivors num ered two hundred rethren. All gene-seed had een lost, all initiates killed, and most of the chapter's masters were gone. 9one of the ordinary human staff have survived at all. To make matters worse the rethren had changed. This change ecame more o vious over the ne#t few months. %kins egan to lacken and lister, flesh egan to fester and putrefy. %lowly they egan to die. 3ithin days of the transition into normal space it ecame o vious that the chapter had een e#posed to some form of dangerous mutation or disease. "t took many years to navigate a way ack into the "mperium, during which time almost half the rethren succum ed to the malady. Those who remained were no longer sane. Pain and despair had driven even their hardened minds eyond the point of rationality. *oomed to agoni6ing deaths, they gradually ecame o sessed with their fate. 9ow they only wanted to die. ,ut they were still marines, still loyal to the Emperor and humanity. They would not die without purpose. %o egan the unstoppa le war of the .egion of the *amned7 The marines elected to remove all insignia from their armour. "nstead their armour would e lack, decorated y each rother with whatever em lems of death he chose /the accompanying illustrations show some typical variations0. Most rothers employed a similar theme - skeletons, ones and skulls. All ranks and companies were a olished, most of the chapter's officers were already dead and the remaining warriors were too few to make up a fully functional chapter hierarchy. all rothers were to e e)ual efore death - leveled y the certainty of their assured e#tinction. The warriors decided to e#pend their lives attacking enemies wherever they could e found. The disease had ro ed them of their sanity, ut not their loyalty7 And their condition gave them powers - powers that endow them with incredi le fighting a ilities. As the fatal malady takes a firm hold, the victim egins to degenerate and putrefy. -owever, even as his ody decays, he grows in supernatural vigor. Even though the marine's lim s ecome rotten and twisted he gains strength far eyond that of a normal marine. These powers heighten as the disease rages through the victim's ody. At the moment of death, each rother reaches a peak in power, at which point the raw energies of the warp transmute the death throes of the doomed marine into a erserk orgy of destruction. These changes are reflected y the profile and special rules given later. Make no mistake - the .egion of the *amned may e few in num ers, ut their powers are awesome7 <ust as their odies are changed y contact with the warp, so their minds are hardened too. ,rethren are completely immune to all forms of psychic attack or interference. They cannot e affected y the special psychic attacks of warp-creatures - although they may e harmed physically y physical attacks that such creatures may have. Astral specters and other immaterial creatures cannot harm them in any way.

+++The Dr',o-i'-++++
The *raconians were created in the %econd &ounding from the geneseed of the %alamanders. They were given the world *raconus as their recruiting world, and to uild their chapter fortress upon. &rom this world they take their name, and they recruit the hardened individuals who work the 'reat &orges of the world, and who have adapted to the great heat and dangers of a world that is covered with volcanic activity. The .egion has fought continuisly since its &ounding in the service of the "mperium and to defend Mankind against the incursions of (haos, the $rk -ordes, and the ravenous Tyranids. They have een called upon on many occasions to respond to Tyranid invasions due to their special affinity for fire and its effectiveness against the Tyranids. They have developed special tactics to take advantage of their preferred weapons, and the Techmarines have developed uni)ue weapons and vehicles that use the eternal flames of *raconus. &or the thousands of years since the end of the -orus -eresy the *raconians have continued to faithfully serve the Emperor, and even during times of isolation from Earth, the .egion's loyalty and faith has never wavered. The history and lore of the .egion is filled with the heroic deeds of individuals and units as a whole in their service in the continuing struggles against the enemies of Mankind.

The 4ltramarines are a (ode# (hapter descended from the 4ltramarines .egion led y 5o oute 'uilliman /5ow- aut <ewl-a-man0. 3hen the Primarch was rediscovered y the Emperor, 'uilliman had ruled the planet Macragge for five years. "n that short period of time, the planet had gone fome a corrupt aristocrasy supported y impoverished slaves, to a world where the people were prosperous and well fed. 'uilliman destroyed the old social order, and in its place he instituted a system that rewarded honest and hard work, placing honora le men in charge of the government. "t ecame a world who's 1cities had een re uilt in glittering mar le and shining steel1. Macagge's small fleet of spaceships ran regular trade routs etween the local systems. ,ringing raw materials, more people, and prosperity to 'uilliman's thriving planet. 1The Emperor was astounded to find a world so well ordered and prosperous, and realised at once that 5o oute 'uilliman was a Primarch of great a ility and vision.1 *uring the 'reat (rusade, he commanded the 4ltramarines who's ase had een relocated to Maccrage. -is greatest talents were waging war, and he led the 4ltramarines to many great victories in the 'alactic %outh. 'uilliman succeeded in li erating more worlds than any other Primarch. "n addition, through his organi6ational skills and tactical e#pertise during the (rusade, the 4ltramarines suffered fewer casualties and grew to e the largest %pace Marine .egion. 4nfortunately, the great success of the 4ltramarines had taken them to the southern edge of the gala#y !ust when they would e needed the most. The '-orus -eresy' plunged the "mperium into a savage civil war, far from the loyalist forces of the 4ltramarines. The traitor -orus had moved with such speed, that even the news of his treachery did not reach 'uilliman until Terra itself was under siege. ,eing so far out of position, the 4ltramarines were una le to provide much help to those heroic forces fighting on Earth against far superior num ers. Their most nota le action during those times was the destruction of a large force of Traitor Marines moving to reinforce -orus' position. /Most likley, of the 9ight .ords. Possi ly of the Alpha .egion.0 After the death of -orus and the retreat of the Treacher .egions, the 4ltramarines li erated many human worlds from (haos occupation. *ue to the heavy losses suffered y loyal Marine .egions during the -eresy, the 4ltramarines were divided and deployed across the entire "mperium in order to keep or restore order. They defended much of the gala#y from $rk hordes, Eldar pirates, and other threats to "mperial order. 5o oute 'uilliman is credited as eing the primary author of the '(ode# Astartes'. The holy tome created su si)uent to the -eresy which detailed the reorgani6ation of "mperial forces. "ts o !ectives included the recognition and correction of gene-seed defects revealed as a result of the corruption of the traitor marines y the Powers of (haos. %even years after the -eresy, the (ode# was implimented in the %econd &ounding. The 4ltramarines .egion was divided into a large num er of '(hapters', consisting of a out one-thousand men. The e#act num er and names of (hapters created from the 4ltramarines .egion has een lost through time. -owever, the 'Apocrypha of %karos' is said to list the total as twenty-three, without listing the (hapters y name. ,ecause the 4ltramarines were divided into so many more (hapters than other .egions, their 'ene-seed ecame the stock type for Marine (hapters. "n GDI M=: the (hapter was part of a com ined %pace Marine force led y Marneus (algar, consisting of the Angels of A solution, .amenters, Marine's Errant, and the %ilver %kulls. *uring this seven year crusade the force inflicted a series of ma!or defeats on the $rk empire of (haradon 1delaying the invasion y 3aaagh Argluk y some thirty years.1

The .amenters are a %uccessor (hapter of unknown origins. -owever, the ,lood Angels (hapter anner depicts %anguinius wearing a ro e with a sym ol like the .amenters (hapter adge. "n GDI M=: the (hapter was part of a com ined %pace Marine force led y Marneus (algar, consisting of the Angels of A solution, Marine's Errant, %ilver %kulls, and the 4ltramarines. *uring this seven year crusade the force inflicted a series of ma!or defeats on the $rk empire of (haradon 1delaying the invasion y 3aaagh Argluk y some thirty years.1

*uring the ,ada 3ar, the .amenters had, for some strange unknown reason sided with the Tiger (laws+ along with the E#ecutioners, and the Mantis 3arriors. "n D;I M=: the .amenters were caught in an am ush y the Minotaurs (hapter, and 1eventually surrendered after loody ship-toship fighting.1 "n D:> M=: they were granted the Emperor's forgiveness, and sent on a one hundred year crusade along the Eastern &ringe. After the chapter had een een forgiven, the (hapter's anner was sent to the Adeptus %ororitas 1to e restored and purified. Their handiwork was indeed inspired y the Emperor *eified, and it is said that they wept as they wove, contemplating the Emperor's great sacrifice for humanity. The anner ecame known as the ,anner of Tears and was taken with the .amentors on their penitent crusade.1 "n DD> M=: Tyranid -ive-fleet Eraken invaded from the 'alactic East, the .amenters and the %cythes of the Emperor (hapter were originally alone in dealing with this threat. *uring the fighting, .amenters spacecraft 1engaged ships of the Tyranid fleet. ,oarding parties entered the immense alien craft, gathering vital information a out the Tyranids and successfully destroying untold thousands of aliens.1 ,ut the Marines were outnum ered literally millions to one, and appro#imately nine-tenths of the (hapter was destroyed in the fighting. Their current disposition is unknown. -owever, it is possi le to raise an entire (hapter from two Pygotes in fifty-five years. (ertainly, to completely re uild the .amenters would take considera le less time.

+++The &rimsons 2ists+++

The %rimson 'ists are one of the oldest Space 2arine %hapters, being part of the Second 'ounding in the <>st millenium. They are descendants of the original Imperial 'ists &egion, which had the great honour of being based on Terra itself. The %rimson 'ists took their name from the ritual which ;ogal 8orn, #rimarch of the Imperial 'ists, conducted to initiate the new %hapter 2asters. $oth 8orn and the %hapter 2aster slit the palms of their left hands and clasped them together in a strong warrior+s handshake7 their blood mingled together, physically strengthening the %hapter 2aster+s gene,seed and forming a symbolic bond between the #rimarch and his genetic sons. The endeavors of the %hapter have been recorded in the many volumes of the ;ynn %hronicles, although much of this valuable history was lost with the unfortunate destruction of the %rimson 'ists+ 'ortress,2onastery on ;ynn+s World. Those few burnt and tattered tomes that remain tell of nearly ten thousand years of illustrious devotion to the *mperor and unflinching prosecution of the %rimson 'ists+ duties. "Once a Crimson Fist becomes a full Battlebrother, his left gauntlet is painted crimson. Upon becoming a member of the Crusade Company he is allowed to paint his right glove also. The most honoured Crimson Fist warriors are gifted with one of the Chapter s ancient power gloves as a symbol of their might at arms." The most legendary campaign executed by the %rimson 'ists was the %rusade of ;ighteous &iberation, conducted for three hundred years during the <?th 2illenium. "t this time, now known to Imperial historians as the "ge of "postasy, the Imperium was wracked by internal strife and physically disrupted by swirling warp storms. 2uch of the turmoil arose from a massive schism within the religious organisation of the 2inistorum of Terra. "fter the arch,traitor 9oge @andire was finally killed, the %rimson 'ists took it upon themselves to wrest back control of Imperial worlds that had fallen from the *mperor+s grace. The whole %hapter left ;ynn+s World aboard its battle barges and strike cruisers and forged its way through the warp storms to liberate those planets which had fallen into anarchy or been invaded by alien races. The first such world they came across was Welte, which they found sub.ugated by the Ork warlord 9har )a--ghar , loathed by many at the time as the brutal #lunderer of #olemis. " force taken from four different %ompanies descended upon Welte, whilst the rest of the %hapter dropped back into the warp to locate other such stricken worlds. &ed by the valiant %aptain Sandria-, the %rimson 'ists fell upon 9har )a--ghar like a blue storm. They struck at his ore mines, burnt the slave factories and wrecked the ramshackle convoys that transported food and weapons across Welte+s treacherous dust bowls. 9har )a--ghar+s Orks soon found themselves scattered across much of the world trying to protect the few installations that still stood. It was then that $rother,%aptain Sandria- mustered his force once more and attacked )a--ghar+s stronghold in the ruins of what was once Welte #rime, the world+s capital. With most of his warbands chasing ghosts across the dust bowls, 9har )a--ghar could do nothing as the blue,armoured Space 2arines advanced relentlessly through the shattered town. )a--ghar himself led a final counter attack, but he and his cadre of burly Ork warriors were wiped out as they ran the gauntlet of the %rimson 'ists+ deadly fire. With 9har )a--ghar dead, the %rimson 'ists left Welte, leaving the fragmented Orks to the Imperial citi-ens who had been so brutally enslaved and repressed. Welte was .ust the first of eighty four worlds re,con!uered by the %rimson 'ists during the %rusade of ;ighteous &iberation. Over the %rusade+s three hundred years, the %hapter+s numbers dwindled through age and battle losses7 whilst crusading, the %rimson 'ists were unable to recruit initiates to replace their losses. 'inally, after breaking the four,century long rebel siege of $arenthal on *xcelsiva II, %hapter 2aster :ordova declared the %rusade of ;ighteous &iberation to

have ended. Only one hundred and twenty eight Space 2arines were left and ever since then, the numbers of the %hapter+s 'irst %ompany has always been kept at one hundred and twenty eight warriors, and its %aptain is also always the %hapter 2aster. They are known amongst the %rimson 'ists as the %rusade %ompany, and it is considered a bad omen if the %hapter goes to war without the %ompany being at full strength. &ike other Imperial 'ists descendants, the %rimson 'ists have always been noted for their -ealous devotion to the *mperor, even more so than other Space 2arine %hapters. On at least two occasions this has led to the %rimson 'ists being called upon by the /igh &ords of Terra to exterminate a fellow Space 2arine %hapter. The first of these was the Sons of 9ideon, who were deemed *xcommunicate after a routine In!uisitorial inspection had found the %hapter+s geneseed had been corrupted to such a degree that chemical imbalances in the Space 2arines+ brains had driven them insane. The %rimson 'ists destroyed their homeworld of 9ideon I@ and the proceeded to hunt down the remnants of the Third %ompany which had escaped the attack and was butchering it+s way through the four billion inhabitants of the %olar star system The second %hapter to have suffered the wrath of the %rimson 'ists were the 2arines @igilant. The %hapter had fallen under the mind,control of a rare warp entity which had eradicated all martial instinct of the Space 2arines, rendering them useless as a military force. The unfortunate 2arines @igilant put up no resistance at all as the %rimson fists used orbital mass drivers to turn the renegade %hapter+s verdant home planet into lifeless desert. The %rimson 'ists+ willingness to turn on their brother marines has earnt them something of a reputation as the "deptus Terra+s lapdogs amongst the more unorthodox Space 2arine %hapters, such as the Space Wolves, White Scars and *xorcists. "!othing is "nown of the fate of #ogal $orn, %rimarch of the &mperial Fists. 'ome myths claim that he yet lives, secretly commanding the Companions of the (deptus Custodes ) the e*ceptionally deadly warriors who guard the +olden Throne itself." "t the present time, the %rimson 'ists are currently recovering from a catastrophic war against yet more Orks, during which a malfunctioning missile detonated the armoury of their 'ortress,2onastery, totally destroying it and wiping out a large proportion of the %rimson 'ists+ initiates and stored geneseed. /owever, if there is one thing that rings clear in the annals of the %rimson 'ists, it is their stubborn tenacity to fight to the end. &ord :antor, the current %hapter 2aster, has already combated several attempts for the %hapter to be disbanded due to irrecoverable battle losses and has vowed bloody vengeance on all of Ork,kind7 those who are wise in such things know that this is not an empty boast. %hapter Organi-ation4 The %rimson 'ists are in most respects a %odex chapter. "s a result of a large crusade the %rimson 'ists were once reduced to a mere >(A 2arines. 'rom that day the chapters >st %ompany, known as the %rusade %ompany, has been kept at >(A 2arines, and its %aptain is also always the %hapter 2aster. It is considered a bad omen if the %hapter goes to war without the %ompany being at full strength. %hapter %olors4 The %rimson 'ists took their name from the ritual which ;ogal 8orn, #rimarch of the Imperial 'ists, conducted to initiate the new %hapter 2asters. $oth 8orn and the %hapter 2aster slit the palms of their left hands and clasped them together in a strong warrior+s handshake7 their blood mingled together, physically strengthening the %hapter 2aster+s gene,seed and forming a symbolic bond between the #rimarch and his genetic sons. The %rimson 'ists have also carried this on into their colours. Their basic armour colour is a deep blue, usually with metallic trimmings. Once a %rimson 'ist becomes a full $attlebrother his left gauntlet is painted crimson, upon becoming a member of the %rusade %ompany he is allowed to paint his right glove also. The most honoured %rimson 'ist warriors are gifted with one of the chapter+s ancient power gloves as a symbol of their might at arms.

==The Horu+ Here+6 +++The !orruptio- of+++ +++W'rm'+ter Horu++++

$n the feral world of *avin, the ad!utant came smartly to attention efore the vast wooden desk. 1The local representatives are outside, my lord 3armaster.1 The 3armaster nodded once, without looking up from the stack of reports. 1Thank you, ,e!and. Make them comforta le and tell them " shall !oin them directly.1 ,e!and

cleared his throat nervously. 1Permission to speak freely... my lordK1 This time, the 3armaster looked up. The ad!utant tried to hold his ice- lue ga6e, and failed. 1" know, ,e!and,1 said the 3armaster. 1?ou're not happy a out this warrior-lodge initiation.1 1%o soon after your illness, my lord...1 1&rom which " am fully recovered. " had the Apothecaria of five %pace Marine chapters fighting for the honour of healing me. "'ve een ack to full duties for a week now, with no ill-effects. ?our concern is touching, ut unnecessary.1 ,e!and shuffled uncomforta ly. 1,ut, my lord, we don't know what's involved...1 1" have a reasona le idea. A little pain, to e endured without crying out+ duels with a range of promitive weapons+ trials of strength and speed+ a few primitive rituals - little different from mystic warrior lodges in any other feral-world culture. ?ou know "mperial policy+ esta lish ties which can e e#ploited in later recruitment.1 -e paused. 1This really is othering you, isn't itK1 The ad!utant tried to meet his ga6e, and failed again. 1.isten, ,e!and. ?ou are an outstanding staff officer, and " value your loyalty and concern. ,ut why does one warrior-lodge initiation on one feral world distur you soK "'ve gone through more than twenty of these rituals in the past. "'ve een a %pace Marine and a commander of Marines for more than a century. ?ou need have no fears for me.1 1My lord, "...1 The 3armaster rose a ruptly. 1Enough.1 -is voice was softer, more dangerous. 1" am -orus, 'eneral and 3armaster. The first soldier of the "mperium, su ordinate only to the Emperor himself. %hall it e said that -orus ran away from a hutful of savagesK1 ,e!and struggled for words. 1My lord... " have had - dreams...1 -is distress was genuine. -orus laid a hand on his shoulder. 1(ontrol yourself.1 he said gently. 1?ou are e#cused for the rest of the day. 'o to the Apothacarion for a psychological update. And then, perhaps, to the (hapel. A few hours' meditation will do you good. 4nless you prefer to report these dreams and su mit yourself to the "n)uisition for psychic potential testingK1 ,e!and swallowed hard. 19o, my lord.1 13ell, then.1 -orus patted his shoulder gently. 1'o now, and we'll say no more. Meanwhile, " must meet the elders of the Enife of %tone.1 And in the 3arp, something smiled

+++The Horu+ Here+6 !'mp'i/-++ +

E0p'-+io- F !o-5ue+t The irth of mankind's "mperium egan with the death of the Eldar race. The innate psychic powers of the Eldar rought a out their own destruction y the forces of (haos. Their psychic death scream was echoes in the warp y the irth of a new and terri le god of (haos. This emergent entity was %laanesh the prince of pain and pleasure, ane of the Eldar. The psychic shock of %laanesh's irth had two immediate effects. The catharsis effctively lew away the warp storms created y the millennia long uild-up to %laanesh's creation, thus ending Earth's long isolation. -owever, the unleashed energies were so great that they could not e wholly contained within the warp. 3here the populations of Eldar were greatest, the warp literally spilled through their minds and mi#ed with material space. This created the scattered 6ones of warp overlap in the material universe, the largest and most significant of which is the Eye of Terror. The Emperor of Mankind had long forseen the creation of %laanesh and had prepared for that fateful day. ,y the time that the warp storms were ended y the irth of %laanesh, the %pace Marines and other "mperial forces were ready to egin their recon)uest of the gala#y. The forces

of (haos were already strong, and many human worlds had een taken over y (haos (ultists or aliens. "t was a long hard struggle, ut with every victory the "mperium grew stronger as new warriors !oined the 'reat (rusade. .ed y the Emperor himself and his mighty Primarchs the 'reat (rusade of mankind swept through the gala#y like a firestorm. 4ntold illions of humans on thousands of worlds were li erated y the triumphant %pace Marine .egions. The dark and sinister hold of the gods of (haos was shattered, alien domination was overthrown and he "mperium was forged in a heroic age of con)uest and rediscovery. -umanity rose to the task of re uilding its ancient heritage, and everywhere the alien oppressor was defeated and driven out. (haos retreated to its own realms, to the 6ones of warp-real space overlap such as the Eye of Terror. Pri*e '-* Betr'6'( ,ut the forces of (haos were not )uite so easily eaten. They whispered to the Primarchs from the warp, distur ing their dreams with promises of power, appealing to their pride, their martial prowess, and their courage. 9o single Primarch was wholly resistant to these unspoken temptations. The character of each was sorely tested, and fully half of them failed that test. %o su tle was their temptation that they never even suspected how their own loyalities were changing. &or e#ample, Mortation Primarch of the *eath 'uard .egion fully elieved that he was the herald of a new age of !ustice, Angron of the 3orld Eaters geneinely thought that he alone could save humanity from destruction. -orus too, the greatest Primarch of all, was convinced of the virtue of the martial ideals for which he fought. ,y appealing to their virtue and courage, the Primarchs were tempted to lead their %pace Marine .egions against the Emperor. "nitially, even the Primarchs had little idea that they had fallen to (haos, ut when they re elled their good intentions gradually fell away as (haos saturated their souls. The %pace Marine .egions that they lead also turned slowly ut inevita ly to (haos. The corrupting influence of (haos soon spread to the "mperial 'uard and Adeptus Mechanicus forces, including the Titan .egions and the .egio (y ernetica. &rom there the rot spread further into the "mperium itself. $ver half of the Adeptus Mechanicus alone were ready to !oin an Empire dedicated to (haos. The leader of the re ellion was the 3armaster -orus, the greatest and most trusted Primarch of all. -e had stood y the Emperor's side throughout the long years of the 'reat (rusade. They had fought ack-to- ack at the siege of 5eillis when the Emperor saved -orus's life. $n the attlefield of 'orro, -orus had repaid the de t y hacking the arm from a fren6ied $rk as it struggled to choke the Emperor's life out of him. The Emperor had entructed -orus with leading the crusades along the Eastern &ringe while he returned to Terra to consolidate the rule of the vast "mperium now under his control. "n the Emperor's a sence -orus's plans were !ust coming to fruition when the "mperial commander of "stvaan """ declared the whole of the "stvaan system an independent principality. The Emperor, ignorant of the change in the 3armaster, ordered -orus to pacify the system. -orus chose to do so y virus om ing "stvaan """ from or it. The voracious life-eater virus slew every living thing on "stvaan """ in a matter of minutes+ twelve illion souls died with a death scream that pulsed louder than the Astronomicon. 3hole continents and hive cities were charred to ash as the mass of o#ygen released y the instant rotting of all organic material on the planet urned in the atmosphere and covered the world in a gigantic firestorm which raged for days. ,efore the last fires were out -orus despatched the Titans of .egio Mortis onto the planet's surface to root out any who had survived in protective shelters or underground unkers. *uring the om ardment a handful of %pace Marines still loyal to the Emperor sei6ed control of the &rigate Eisenstein. They had discovered the taint of (haos spreading through -orus's command and as the 3armaster withdrew to "stvaan B to mashal his forces the loyalists fled into warp space to warn the "mperium. Outri/ht Re.e((io-orus's fall came as a great shock to the Emperor. -e hesitated, stunned y the e#tent of the 3armaster's treachery, una le to eleive that his friend and general was really gathering forces against him. The "n)uisition egan a purge of the Adeptus Mechanicus and "mperial 'uard ut fighting roke out almsot immediately as oth organisations were shattered into loyalist and re el factions. $n Mars Tech-priests fought with ancient, for idden weapons as oth sides strove to win dominance.

The corrupted "mperium tore itself apart as old feuds were revived and am itious planetary lords sei6ed the opportunity to declare their independence or !oin with the 3armaster. Many of them did not realise what manner of monster they were allting themselves with ut others em raced (haos wholeheartedly. Planterary attles raged across the gala#y as re els attacked loyalists or vice versa. The "mperial fleet dithered and only succeeded in driving the re el ships from the "mperial home system. "n the process they suffered such heavy casualties that they withdrew to their .una ases. After an almost fatal delay the Emperor finally ordered seven .egions of the Adeptus Astartes to destroy -orus and his re els. $nly with the death of -orus, the figurehead and inspiration of the re ellion, would the revolt come to an end. ,ut organising and mo ilising such a crusade to the other side of the gala#y took precious months. -orus used the time well, consolidating his position and esta lishing his claim as the 19ew Emperor1 within hundreds of systems. 3herever -orus was accepted, the worship of (haos followed. The assault of the loyalist .egions against -orus's strongholds on "stvaan B were a disaster. The .egions struck with their customary ferocity and cunning ut this time they fought rother %pace Marines. ,oth sides possessed troops as fully capa ale and hardened as the other, every stratagem and ploy was met and countered. "n the end strategy was overturned y treachery as the initial wave of three loyalist .egions were first mauled during their landings and then destroyed in detail. $nly five %pace Marines, earing the gene-seed of their departed rethern, eventually managed to escape and carry news of the disaster to the Emperor. %omehow -orus had managed to corrupt four of the seven .egions sent against him. After the initial landings the 'loyalist' follow-up waves had attacked their allies instead of the re els. -orus now controlled nine %pace Marine .egions and had destroyed three loyal .egions. Throughout the "mperium loyalists and re els were fighting each other to a virtual standstill, although the tide of attle was turning, ever so slowly in the Emperor's favour. -orus knew that if he could crush the heart of the Emperor's resistance he could remould the "mperium in his own warped image. -e ordered an assault on Earth. Tot'( W'r The real tragedy of the -orus -eresy was the ruination of the Emperor's finest creations - not only the Primarchs ut the %pace Marines as well. The re el forces spread the corruption of (haos everywhere they went. Throughout the gala#y the forces of (haos ecame stronger as humans were seduced y the values represented y the (haos Powers and even to their worship. The Emperor's great spirit was weakened as the etter )ualities of humanity were perverted and misdirected y the su tle warping influence of (haos. %uch was the position when the forces of (haos gathered around Earth. The .una ases, the astion of Earth's defences, fell to -orus after a hard fight, and the re el fleet moved into Earth or it. After a rief attle the Terran defence lasers were )uashed y heavy om ardment from space. The last s)uadrons of the loyal fighters poured volley after volley into the huge ships ut failed to penetrate even their shields. $nce their last shots had een fired the pilots steered the fighters directly into the enemy craft. "t was a gesture of defiance - no more. -orus's drop ships fell like rain upon the "mperial palace, disgorging company after company of Traitor Marines. The palace spread over many s)uare miles of astions, walls, corridors, skyscraping towers, vast space ports and the fighting was fierce and determined. The Traitor Marines and re el "mperial 'uard units supported y (haos Titans and huge daemonic engines gradually forced ack the loyal Marines and Emperor's 'uards. The defenders refused to give way, and the attackers were forced to win their way foward stepy-step over the casualties of oth sides. "n places the dead lay so thickly that corridors were locked y the press of odies. %till the loyalists could not prevent the attle ecoming a siege, and fighting raged along the walls of the outer palace for over a month. Eventually Titans of the .egio Mortis demolished parts of the towering walls and the Traitor .egions poured through to assault the inner palace. The Emperor 't B'6 As the re el forces slowly closed the drawstring upon the loyalist troops, the Emperor readied himself for the final attle with his odyguard of %pace Marines and (ustodes. Two of his Primarchs stood y him8 5ogal *orn of the "mperial &ists and %anguinius of the ,lood Angels. The last hour of humanity had come and the few gallant defenders prepared themselves for certain

death. "t was then, when his victory seemed certain, that -orus made his one and only mistake. -orus lowered the defense shields on his or itting attle arge. At the time it seemed that he wished to use a psychic pro e to witness for himself the final moments of the Emperor. "t was his undoing, for a soon as the shields fell the Emperor ecame aware of his presence. The Emperor did not miss this crucial opportunity. 3ithin a matter of seconds the teleport links were keyed to -orus's arge and the Emperor, his immediate entourage and the two loyal Primarchs, 5ogal *orn and %anguinius, were transported right into the nest of -orus himself. -orus was the greatest of all (hampions of (haos, an Arch-(hampion and (aptain of the 'reat Powers - a (haos .ord of the highest rank. As the Emperor and his and of warriors materalised inside -orus's attle arge they saw for the first time the full e#tent of the Primarch's treachery. The ship had een transformed into something so horri le that some of the %pace Marines were sent instantly mad. Their minds were completely lasted y the sight, they gargled incoherently as they crawled and twisted on the deck. The faces of men and daemons leered at them from the ulkheads, they had not odies, their flesh melted into the slimy lack walls. 3ith a disgusting sucking sound the creatures heaved themselves into the corridors, clawing and gra ing at the mem ers of the oarding party. "t took only a few minutes to reach the ridge, though many rave men died in those minutes nd hordes of no-longer-human things perished amidst the flames and singing oltguns. There on the ridge the Emperor confronted his old 3armaster, only to discover -orus poised over the roken ody of %anguinius - the Primarch had found -orus first and had died at his hand. The Emperor launched his attack, as much a struggle etween two old friends as it was a struggle for the fate of humanity. ,oth knew that whichever of them won would inherit the rule of the gala#y and ecome the undisputed Emperor of Mankind. "f -orus won then (haos would reign supreme and mankind would !oin the Eldar as a dead race. The #o(*e- Thro-e The fight with -orus was waged oth in the material universe and in the warp, their odies and their spirits attling for survival. Though -orus dealt him grievous wounds the Emperor fought not only for his life ut ut of untold illions across the gala#y. "t was -orus who faltered first, perhaps ecause some shred of humanity survived in the Primarch and etrayed him in the end. The Emperor destroyed his friend with the last vestiges of his strength, his ody was all ut destroyed, and his psychic powers were also dealt a severe low. 3ith the death of the 3armaster the forces of (haos on Earth melted away. %ome of those not too long in the service of (haos were suddenly free from its illusions and )uickly switched sides, fighting with all the more vigour in their attempts to make amends for their treachery. $thers whose corruption was more deeply rooted, seeing that all was lost, retreated to their ships and fled into open space. The Emperor's ody was hastily returned to Earth and palced in a lifepreserving stasis field. The life support unit known as the 'olden Throne was )uickly uilt to encase the Emperor. -is powers survived, ut his ody was shattered. At first he was a le to communicate semicoherently for rief periods+ later he lapsed into complete silence. That silence has remained undistur ed now for almost ten thousand years. Bitter Defe't As news of the 3armaster's defeat spread out from ancient Terra loyalists attacked re els with renewed vigour. -ard on the heels of the news came loyalist reinforcements and the tide of attle turned decisively against the re els. The attles still raged on long and hard for a full seven years efore the last re el formations were destroyed or e#iled. Those re els that could flee to the Eye of Terror did so. Many had declared for the 3armaster without comprehending that daemon worship was the re ellion's cause. They rapidly fell victim to the Traitor .egions, who, it is said, grew ored of the diet of human flesh. 3ith the future of the "mperium assured the Emperor passed !udgement upon the re els. They had roken faith with him and trafficked with daemons. They had ecome enemies of humanity and could not e suffered to live in the "mperium of Mankind. All record of the Traitor .egions would e e#punged and they were to e driven into the dust ne ulae and hell worlds of the Eye of Terror, anished from the material universe and o literated from history. "t would e as if the Traitor .egions had never e#isted. "n this decision the Emperor tempered his vengeance with reality - the "mperium was so weakened y its inner struggle that no other punishment was possi le. ,ut the Eye of Terror

remains a dreadful canker in the heartwood of the "mperium, an open wound that drips corruption into surrounding systems and serves as a haven for deviants and heretics. 3orst of all, the Traitor .egions still lurk in the Eye of Terror, consumed with hatred of the Emperor, The "mperium and all mankind.

+++The A++'u(t o- E'rth+++

$n the thirteenth of %ecundus, C;,;:=, the om ardment egan. &rom or it the 3armasterSs ships laid down an unrelenting arrage of missiles and deadly energy eams. The aim was to cripple the defences around the EmperorSs Palace and make possi le a massive invasion of Earth. The lunar ases had already fallen and the defending fleets had een scattered. $n Mars, as across the entire vast "mperium, itter civil war raged. $n countles worlds lood-mad warriors clashed. %ome had pledged loyalty to the Emperor. $thers had sworn fealty to 3armaster -orus, and, through him, to the dark powers of (haos. The EmerorSs realm was in turmoil and some of the greatest attles in human history were eing fought. $n the hive-world of Thran# over a million warriors died in a single day on the killing fields of Perdagor. $n the la6ing deserts of Tallarn, at the EaSan %ailent fifty thousand tanks clashed in the greatest armoured action of all time. *uring the spacedrop on Banaheim three hive-cities were depopulated y re el forces as a warning against resistance and still the defenders fought to the last man. .ike a cancer the -ersy infected the entire structure of the "mperium. Everywhere rave men gave up their lives to try and e#cise that cancer. "t was on Earth, at the very heart of humanitySs realm, that the fate of the gala#y was to e decided. "n those last days, the sky was lack with dustclouds and the earth was split y gigantic fissures. Tectonic plates shifted under the stress of the om ardment. Mountain chains shivered and seas evaporated and ecame salty deserts. 5ains of lood and ash dripped from the dark sky. Everywhere oracles muttered evil portents and men went mad with fear. -ideously twisted ships full of the lost and the damned hung in or it over the ravaged world. %hielded from the devastation y the cunningly wrought defences of the Adeptus Mechanicus a pitiful few stood ready to repel the invaders. The em attled remnants of the EmperorSs army were desperately trying to hold out until reinforcements arrived. The Emperor himself oversaw the defence of his fortress-palace, personally commanding the Adeptus (ustodes, his elite guard. -e was accompanied y %anguinius, white-pinioned Primarch of the ,lood Angels and his (hapter of %pace Marines. "n the palace grounds stood the stalwart Adeptus Ar ites. The palace was not the only astion of resistance. There were others+ each an awesome fortified city filled with daunless soldiers. ,eneath their &ortress-Monastery, grim-visaged 5ogal *orn led the stern "mperial &ists in final prayers. 3ithin the armoured factory comple#es of the Adeptus Mechanicus, techpriests put aside their tools and girded on the fearsome weapons of their order. "n the ru le of urned-out ha areas Primarch <hagatai Ehan mustered the 3hite %cars, the (hapter of %pace Marines he had personally instructed in the art of lightning warfare. Three full Titan legions stood ready to defend their Emperor. As the earth shuddered under the om ardment, tank divisions roared across the tortured landscape to take up their position against the coming invasion. ,rave men checked their weapons and offered up last prayers. *efence lasers swivelled to face the tur ulent threatening sky. %uddenly, the night was streaked y the plasma contrails of drop-pods. 3ithin the EmperorSs halls even the %pace Marines shuddered damned rethren. The terrifying prospect of facing those corrupt Primarchs who had sold their souls to (haos filed every manSs mind with indescri a le horror and dread. QQQ The pods touched ground and from them erupted the mightiest champions of (haos, the renegade %pace Marines of the lost (hapters. These were no longer the fine human warriors of legend ut twisted creatures, odies warped y the energies of (haos, minds twisted y their

devotion to the dark powers. "f what had happened to the %pace Marines was ad then what had happened to their Primarchs was worse. They had een created higher in the EmperorSs esteem and had fallen further. 9one of their former comrades would have recognised them - they had een transformed into creatures oth daemonic and e#ultant. Mighty Angron ellowed orders to his lood-drinking followers, the 3orld Eaters. ,randishing his great runesword he led them against the defenders of Eternity 3all %pace Port. Around his redarmoured followers olter shots whined. 4nflinchingly they advanced, determined to spill lood for the ,lood 'od. At MortarionSs soft-spoken command the *eath 'uard emerged silently from the festering cocoons of their drop-pods and advanced on their terror-stricken foes. The dread runes on MortarionSs scythe glittered eerily in the night as he gestured for them to advance. Magnus the 5ed glared triumphantly a out him with his one watchful eye efore ordering the mage-warriors of the Thousand %ons to cast their spells of doom. A hail of deadly olter shells cut down do6ens of the EmperorSs (hildren. 4ndeterred, the wounded howled with pleasure at the e#perience and chanted the praises of their Primarch &ulgrim. The 5enegade %pace Marines surged forward to carve a path through their foes. Perhaps some defenders went mad with fear. Perhaps the corruption of (haos ran deeper than anyone suspected. Perhaps some were foolish enough to think that they could negotiate with the ultimate enemy. 3hatever the reason one last vile treachery was to take place. Many units of the "mperial army that had pledged loyalty to the Emperor turned lasphemer even as the Traitor %pace Marines made their drop. "t was almost as if it were a pre-arranged signal. "n one of the asest acts of etrayal in humanitySs history they turned their weapons on their rother warriors and cut them down like dogs. Thus did the .ions 'ate %pace Port fall to the re els. As the heretics chanted and howled their mad prayers, the air shimmered and slavering daemons emerged from the warp to spread terror and dismay. Then indeed did it seem to the defenders that they were living in the last days of mankind. -uge at-winged ,loodthirsters swept triumphantly across the weeping skies. (lawed Eeepers of %ecrets danced lasciviously on piles of corpses. 'reat 4nclean $nes chuckled as they lum ered through the ruined streets spreading trails of filth and slime and disease. Enigmatic .ords of (hange perched atop the towers and statues and supervised the coming of (haos to the heart of the world. Mighty ships egan the descent from or it, hoping to overwhelm the defenders y sheer weight of num ers. 4nlike the drop-pods these presented fine targets for the weapons of the defenders. And thus did the attle for Earth egin in earnest. *efence lasers lasted many renegade ships from the sky, sending thousands of tons of fused metal death raining down onto the ground elow. $ne giant craft span out of control and crashed into a ha -unit, killing a hundred thousand people. Another was welded to the ground, disgorging its passengers into a lake of u ling tar and plas-crete. The vessel of the 3arped *ogs was vapourised and that Titan .egionSs name passed into history. As )uickly as they disem arked the Traitors surged forth from the space ports to esiege the astions of the defenders. Their first o !ective was to silence the defence lasers inflicting such casualties on their comrades. The re els were met y a wave of "mperial defenders, desperate men who knew that they were giving their lives for their home and their Emperor. "n the tightly packed streets around the space ports the fighting was close and deadly. ,olters chattered and missile launchers delivered cargoes of death from uilding to near y uilding. Traitor tanks rum led through the avenues, turrets swivelling to ring weapons to ear on the hastily improvised arricades of their former comrades. %oon the defenders of Eternity 3all %pace Port had een swept aside y the merciless assault and the hordes of the 3armaster were in total possession of the spacefield. More and more intricately wrought dropships descended from or it. They towered over the landing ground like nightmare skyscrapers. The dark runes on their sides glowed evilly in the gloom. -undred-meter high doors opened in their kilometre long sides. &rom their red depths Titan ten times the height of a man emerged. They were warped giants+ the armour of their carapace fused and moulded inte new shapes y the power of (haos. 3ithin them were men melded to their machines. %ome of the hideous Titans had strange potent weapons, others were a i6arre hy rid of the organic and the machine. Metal tentacles lashed, spiked tails whipped ack and forth. Engines roared like the voices of angry easts. ,anners fluttering, the Titans of %torm .ords and the &laming %kulls legions marched forth. At .ions 'ate

%pace Port the traitors welcomed the towering lack war engines of the Ehornate host. Minotaurs and trolls and cultists seethed like angry ants around their ases. 5einforced y this fresh wave of troops the hordes of -orus swept on, driving through the e#hausted and demoralised "mperial troops to the very walls of the EmperorSs palace. Ehornate warriors mounted on estial daemonic <uggers raced towards the mar le and steel outer ring. -ordes of horn-headed T6eentchian disc riders soared on the wind, olts of mystic power erupting from their clenched fists to rake the defenders. %laaneshi east riders swept aside the "mperial 'uard infantry and reached the %aturnine 'ate. 5ound the walls itter fighting ensued as the "mperials sallied forth, trying to drive the attackers ack efore the main ody of the assaulting troops arrived. Men died in their thousands. &rom pill o# emplacements in the palace walls "mperial gun crews rained death down on the relentless attackers. Again and again the streets outside the palace were swept clear of heretics. Again and again new foes stepped forward to take their place. 9ow indeed it seemed the tide of attle had turned against the Emperor. The space ports were firmly in the grasp of the minions of the 3armaster. -undreds of thousands of troops poured down from or it. 'oat headed eastmen, gi ering mutants and hideous amorphous (haos %pawn surged out of the drop ships. 4nder the anner of the great eye, the sign of -orus, the lackeys of the four 'reat Powers of (haos marched united. Mounted on 5hinos, lurking within mighty ,ehemoths and clinging to the sides of gigantic war engines they made their way en masse to the EmperorSs palace. .ooking down on the seething sea of foulness the defender's hearts went cold. Mingling with the daemons and the mad-eyed cultists, the trolls and the eastmen they could see heretical %pace Marines and traitor 'uardsmen. These were people they might have once fought alongside, who had once een as loyal to the Emperor as themselves. They looked upon a dark mirror of their souls. *own there they could see martial honour ecome erserk madness, human cleverness ecome sly treachery, hope ecome foulness and love ecome a omina le lust. The rave men on the walls knew that there was no way out. -ere they must stand and fight and die. There would e no mercy from those elow. This was a war where there could e no honoura le peace. "t was destroy or e destroyed. &or a moment all was silence, then Angron strode forth. "n his ra6en voice he demanded that the loyalists surrender. -e told them that their cause was hopeless, that they faced a foe who could not e defeated. They were cut off, outnum ered, and defending a ruler too weak to e worthy of their loyalty. "n that moment the men on the walls felt their resolve weaken. .ooking at the transformed face of the Primarch wo had een one of the EmperorSs finest warriors, they saw an invinci le, relentless foe acked y a num erless horde and all the daemonic might of (haos. There was a clamour on the walls as %anguinius and the ,lood Angels arrived. %tanding on the wall, the angel-winged man glared on Angron with angry contempt. &or long moments their ga6es locked. Each Primarch seemed to e measuring the other, searching for chinks in the armour, for any sign of weakness and lack of resolve. 3ho knows what they saw thereK Perhaps they communicated telepathically, rother Primarch to rother Primarch. The truth will never e known. Eventually Angron turned and walked ack to his lines. -e told his troops that there would e no surrender+ they should kill everyone they found within the palace. 9o stone should e left upon stone. 3ith a roar the horde advanced towards the walls. 'reat .ords of ,attle lurched forward on iron wheels, crushing anything in their way, unloading racks of missiles and turning the area on the top of the walls into la6ing storms of death. *oom urners sent tongues of superheated metal licking out at the emplacements. Molten rass filtered through the windows and scalded those inside. Multi-tracked (auldrons of ,lood s)uirted !ets of o scene daemonic ichor onto the defenders. Enormous fleshhounds of Ehorne loped forward in their wake. Titans armed with specially constructed siege weapons lum ered inte position. ,attle cruisers dropped megatons of e#plosive death onto the defenders. Every loyal warrior knew that he was already dead+ that there was no way he could survive the coming of the daemonic army. The soldiers fought with the desperate feorcity of hopeless men, firing until their weapons were empty, snatching up the olters of the fallen, and facing monsters with the utts of their guns when all ammunition was e#hausted. Three times the horde managed to scale the walls, and three times it was driven off y the valiant efforts of %anguinius and the ,lood Angels. 3earily the Primarch marshalled the defenders, rallying the roken, speaking

words of comfort to the mortally wounded, fighting with cold, implaca le fury when he was called upon to do so. %lowly though, despite his efforts, the (haos forces managed to erode the defence. They seemed num erless as the grains of sand on a sea shore and -orus spent their lives carelessly. $utside the walls "mperial forces frantically raced from their astions to try and relieve the palace. Titan legions oldly cut their way towards the centre of the re el army. The 3hitescars harried its flanks. 9o attempt to reak the re el line succeeded. ,reaking through that lood-mad horde was a near impossi le task. All four of the daemonic Primarchs inspired their followers to feats of fiendish ravery. &or every (haos warrior who died it seemed two more stood ready to take his place. "n or it the 3armaster watched approvingly. "f the palace fell and the Emperor died loyalist legions across the gala#y would lose heart and the war would e over. 3ithout the psychic shield of the EmperorSs power, humanity would swiftly fall prey to (haos. -orus would stand triumphant amid the ru le of humanitySs greatest empire. -e would ecome a new and angry god. "f he did not win soon reinforcements would filter in from the corners of the "mperium, and his attack would falter. &or the 3armaster this was the desperate ultimate gam le. Everything was staked on this attack. "t had to succeed, and at that moment it looked as if it might. *ay y day the siege wore on, casualties rose from the thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. ,odies had to e ulldo6ed from the accessways to the %aturnine 'ate y war machines. (haos Titans la6ed at the walls, specially constructed missiles ripping great chunks from the masonry. The Titans of the &ire 3asps answered their fire with volcano cannons. The smell of urning flesh filled the air as the corpses of the dead were incinerated in funeral pyres a hundred foot high. $ scene ash parched the throats of the defenders. The 3orld Eaters uilt a pyramid of scorched skulls si#ty foot high in Temple %)uare. ,y night the chants of degenerate cultists echoed through the streets and daemons flitted among the ruins of Eart. %lowly, foot y torturous foot, the defenders were forced ack. The great walls of the palace were riddled with hundreds of kilometres of ulkheads and corridor. 3ithin this ma6e itter hand to hand fighting ensued till entire sections of passage were filled with loated corpses. &eeling progress was too slow, -orus ordered the Titans of the *eathSs -ead .egion to demolish entire sections of the wall. *espite taking tremendous casualties the great 3arlord Titans roke through, and the forces of the 3armaster flooded inte the palace grounds. 3hile all this was taking place <hagati Ehan had implemented a change of plan. 5ather than throwing away his forces against the near invinci le ulk of the main (haos army he launched a lightning raid against .ions 'ate %pace Port. This night attack was spearheaded y the shavenheaded warriors of the 3hitescars, wo led the remnants of the :st Tank *ivision and elements of the surviving 'urad armies against te surprised heretics. Ehan threw a defensive perimeter around the space port and held it against all counter-attacks. The flow of men and materials towards the palace was halved at a stroke. This success gave heart to the defenders. They swiftly attempted to sei6e Eternity 3all %pace Port ut here the forces of the 3armaster were etter prepared. The attackers were am ushed and driven ack y traitors. -orus knew it was imperative to keep his eachhead secure. The final push on the inner palace had egun. The attle raged across the grounds of the "nner 'ardens. 3hat had once een a vast parkland was swiftly turned into a killing ground. Men used statues for cover and monuments for unkers. ,lood swirled in the waters of the ornamental lakes. 'roves of ancient redwoods urned. The smell of the urning mingled with the acrid odours of weapons and engines and death. 5ed-eyed, snatching sleep when they could, oth sides fought a total war. Tranches were hurriedly e#cavated in the meadows. %nipers killed men as they tried to sip rackish water from the ruined fountains. ,oth sides fought with unimagina le naked ferocity. ,oth sides sensed the end was near. Eventually %anguinius was forced to retreat to within the palace itself, personally holding the 4ltimate 'ate against the oncoming horde while the last of his wounded men was carried through. <ust as the giant ceramite gate was a out to close a ,loodthirster of Ehorne leapt upon him. The daemonSs huge talons closed around his throat. %anguinius took to the air. Angel and daemon wrestled over the warring armies. ,oth sides halted for a moment to watch the titanic struggle. "t was a conflict such as has een rarely seen+ two eings of awesome power wrestled. %anguinius was weary and near the end of his strength and the daemon gouged great wounds in

his flesh. The heretical throng roared its approval as the Primarch was cast to the ground, the impact splintering the granite. &or a moment the Primarch lay still and a groan rose from the ,lood Angels, the daemon stood over him and howled in e#hultation. Then slowly and painfully the ,lood Angel rose and sei6ed the creature, raised it high and roke its ack across his knee. Then with a halo of power playing round his head he tossed its roken carcass ack amid its followers. They eat their chests and rent their hair and wailed in dismay as the 4ltimate 'ate shut. The great %ky &ortress ore 5ogal *orn and the remnants of the "mperial &ists to the inner palace. The loyal old general was determined to stand and die with his Emperor in the final hour. The %ky &ortress raced away from the palace in a desperate attempt to reach <hagatai Ehan and return him to the palace. "t was destroyed y a la6e of fire fron the *eathSs -eads Titan .egions. Even in death its commander wrought havoc on the enemy, ringing the crippled vehicle down into the entre of the (haos -orde. "t seemed as if a new sun was orn on Earth as the plasma reactor e#ploded, lasting out a crater three kilometres across. Those within the palace knew they were cut off+ now they were truly alone. $nly a miracle could save them. 9ow the final siege egan. Through great reaches in the outer walls more and more armaments and reinforcements were rought to ear. The 3armaster himself prepared to teleport down to the surface and supervise the destruction of his former lord. Then a daemon from the 3arp whispered to him the words that he had dreaded. A loyalist fleet under .eman 5uss and .ionSel <ohnsom earing a fresh army of %pace 3olves and *ark Angels was only hours away. "t would take days to reak humanitySs last citadel, even with -orus leading his troops. "t seemed that time had run out for the 3armaster, that his gam le had failed. -orus was first among the fallen, with the power of a god and the cunning of a daemon. -e resolved to try one final desperate gam it. he could still kill the Emperor. -e ordered all commnet communications locked so that the defenders would get no word from their rescuers and then he used his psychic powers to the full to prevent the Emperor ecoming aware of this. &inally he dropped the shields of his command ship. "t was an invitation and a personal challenge that he knew the Emperor could not resist. -e was eing offered a chance finally to smite the foe who had harried him for so long. The Emperor rose to the challenge, and he and his surviving Primarchs teleported a oard the 3armasterSs attle arge. -orus used his powers to separate the Emperor from his loyal followers. The loyalists were transported to different spots within his hideously altered ship. %anguinius he had rought directly to his throne room. "n his evil cunning the 3armaster offered the ,lood Angel a chance to switch sides, reasoning that the winged PrimarchSs followers would e useful when the %pace 3olves and the *ark Angels arrived. %anguinius refused. -orus grew wrathful and attacked him. At the peak of his powers the ,lood Angel would have een no match for the 3armaster and now, sorely wounded and weary he had no chance at all. -orus strangled him with his are hands efore the throne the Powers of (haos had gifted him with. The Emperor found -orus shortly after this and what happened ne#t is the su !ect of legend. The two mightiest eings in the history of mankind clashed. They met lade to lade, power to power, mind to mind and tested sinew and psychic power to the ultimate.

+++A.o'r* the W'rm'+ter+ +


Even through the shields the impact makes the "mperial Palace shake. 3ith a %creech of tortured stone an angel topples from its alcove high on the throne room wall and crashes to the mar le floor a kilometre elow. "t shatters into a million pieces. %plinters of stone flash across the hall like shrapnel. &rom his throne the Emperor watches his warriors mill around in confusion. This hall holds ten thousand men, seasoned veterans, and all are now panicking. -e knows they are more frightened y his silence than y the enemy. They look to him for leadership and he can give them none.

&or the first time in his millennia-long life the Emperor knows despair. The magnitude of his defeat stuns him. The lunar ases have fallen. Most of the Earth is under the 3armaster's heel. 5e el Titans surround the palace and are held at ay only y the desperate efforts of a few loyalists. "t is only a matter of time efore the palace's defences fail and the last astions of resistance fall. 1%ire, what are your ordersK1 asks 5ogal *orn, massive dark-haired Primarch of the "mperial &ists. -is golden armour has lost its lustre, is dented in a do6en places y olter shells. The Emperor doesn't answer. -e is lost within himself seeking answers to his own )uestions. -e has come at last to the dark place, the time of testing, the era hidden from his precognitive vision and eyond which he cannot see. The moment he has always dreaded has arrived. "s my time over, he wondersK "s this where it all endsK "s this why " have reached the limits of my prophetic powers. "s this where " dieK -e feels ewildered. Even now, with the Traitor 3armaster's forces attering at the gate, he finds it difficult to elieve that he has een etrayed. -orus was more than a trusted comrade, more like a favoured son. $f all the Primarchs the Emperor relied on him most. 9ot for a second had the Emperor dou ted him, not even when word had come from the %avage 3orlds that the 3armaster was gathering forces. -e had deluded himself that -orus must have good reason to do so without consulting him. " should have een warned y the failure of my precognition, he thinks. 1%ire, what are your ordersK1 asks Eane, acting &a ricator-'eneral of the Adeptus Mechanicus. -e stares at the Emperor, a trick of the light turning the glass slits of his rass mask into accusing eyes. $nce more the Emperor does not reply. Eane's presence reminds him that not even the head of the Adeptus is to e trusted. -is superior, the former &a ricator-'eneral, has chosen to side with -orus. $n Mars civil war rages etween factions of Tech-Priests. Ancient, for idden weapons are eing deployed. Biral plagues kill millions. &usion om s scar the earth. %o much will e lost. -e thinks of the slow piecing together of the old science. The .i rarium Technologicus is in flame now, ancient core data systems in meltdown. The 'reat (rusade, as much a )uest for knowledge as a war to reclaim the human worlds, is ended. The 3armaster's treachery has seen to that. 1%ire, what are your ordersK1 Asks %anguinius, angel winged Primarch of the ,lood Angels. -e ga6es at the Emperor with la6ing eyes, his face a mask of terri le eauty. The Emperor knows they rely on him for guidance. They still elieve in him. They think he can lead them from this trap. They are wrong. -orus is the greatest general the gala#y has ever known. 3ho should know etter than his creatorK -e is schooled y a century of warfare. There will e no way out, no loopholes, no flaws in the plan. The 3armaster would have to e mad to leave one. The Emperor looks down on the faces of his followers, sees the trust written there, feels the weight of responsi ility it rings. -e knows that for their sake he must try, even if it is hopeless. -e casts forth his clairvoyant sight, lets his mind drift eyond the ruined gardens of the palace, over fields where colossal Titans attle y the twisted light of the sculpted moon. -e sees the whole war spread out eneath him, his pitifully outnum ered legions eing mowed down y the traitor hordes. -e reaches up to the sky, where he senses the fleet of attle arges that rain or ital doom upon the tortured Earth. Amid those thousand glittering points he finds the 3armaster. -ope flickers within him. The shields of -orus's ship are down. ,riefly he wonders why. "s the traitor's confidence so overwhelmingK *oes he wish to witness the attle himself. $r is it a trapK The Emperor touches the ship and recoils from what he senses within. -ow could -orus have done this, make a pact with the ultimate a ominationK The Emperor comes to a decision. Trap or not, this is the only opportunity he will get. -e has no option ut to sie6e it+ the position is so desperate. Even as his spirit returns to his ody, the ominous thought strikes him that the 3armaster must know this. 13hat are your orders, %ireK1 %anguinius asks again. The Emperors eyes snap open. -is voice is full of authority. 1Prepare to teleport. 3e will take the attle to the enemy.1 The men smile confidently. They now have a purpose. 3hile he reels off the teleport co-ordinates they move, without )uestion, to o ey.

A flash of light, a feeling of coldness. They have teleported into the 3armaster's ship. The Emperor takes an instant to reorientate himself and realises that something has gone wrong. -e stands in a vast, warped cham er with only a few marines in attendance. The Terminators and the Primarchs are not present. -ow is this possi le he wonders. (ould -orus have disrupted the teleportation eamK "s he so powerfulK "nsane voices gi er madly inside his skull. There are figures trapped in the stone walls of the vast room. -ands reach out for him, grasp at him with rock-like strength. -e shrugs them off easily. -is comrades are not so lucky. ,olters chatter and flash as the marines attempt to fight off their daemonic assailants. A man screams as he is drawn into the dark and slimy walls. As he vanishes, ripples spread from his point of disappearance. The Emperor's sword lashes out, severing lim s, freeing trapped marines. -e summons his psychic energies. A nim us flickers around his head as he unleashes his power. A tidal wave of destruction rips through the daemons, leaving his own men unscathed. -e scans a out him, seeing the Primarchs ut the walls of the 3armaster's ,attle ,arge are resistant to his mindsight. -e gestures for the surviving Marines to follow him. They wonder through a ship distorted eyond all recognition y the warping power of (haos. 'reat sphincter-doors distend from walls of flesh-like stone. Transparent veins ear rivers of lood along conduits in the floor. (arpets of mucous cover a road of tongues. 3inged and distorted things that might once have een human flit through archways of one and pearch on ledges of ri . The marines gasp in horror. -e e#erts himself to calm them, psychically soothing their fear of this dreadful place. All the while he scans the area looking for the spoor of -orus. -e knows now the nature of the pact the 3armaster has made and the dreadful conse)uences of his victory. They pass pits that gape like glistening gullets in the floor and echo the eats of a distant giant heart. They are showered y waterfalls of stinking yellowish li)uid that cascades down cliffs of carved cartilage. %ometimes they hear weapons fire ut when they arive at the source they find nothing. Mists of rain ow vapour drift across their field of vision o scuring corridors of carnivorous stone. (louds of insects swarm over their faceplates and choke the e#tractors of their airpipes. They switch over to internal o#ygen supply. They are am ushed y scuttling skull-faced things in the armour of marines. They fight hordes of mutated easts. $ne y one they die. "n the end the Emperor stands alone. Then and only then is he allowed to enter the presence of -orus. The 3armaster estrides the ody of a roken angel. ,ehind him the tortured Earth fills the viewport, a au le for -orus to sie6e with one clawed hand. (orpses of massacred marines lie everywhere. &ace glowing with internal loodlight, -orus speaks. 1Poor %anguinius. " offered him a position of power in the new order. -e could have a seat at the right hand of a god. Alas he chose to align himself with the losing side.1 The Emperor stands transfi#ed, trying to force fro6en words from his tongue. "n the end he can only wisper+ 13hyK1 Mad laughter rings out. 13hyK ?ou ask me whyK -ave all those millennia tought you nothingK 3eak fool, your timidity prevented you from inding the forces of (haos. ?ou shied away from the ultimate power. " have ound it to my will and will lead humanity into a new age. ", -orus, Master $f (haos.1 The Emperor looks at his former friend and shakes his head. -e sees the trap that has ensnared -orus. 19o man can master (haos,1 he says )uietly. 1?ou have deluded yourself. ?ou are the servant not the master.1 A look of rage transfigures the 3armaster. -e stretches out a hand and a olt of force leaps forth. The Emperor screams as agony wracks his ody. 1&eel the true nature of my power then tell me " am deluded,1 roars -orus, in the voice of an angry god. ,eads of sweat stand out on the Emperor's forehead, he steels himself against the pain. 1?ou are deluded,1 he says. $nce again -orus gestures and lances of pure poison sear through the Emperor's veins. 1" let you come here, old friend, so that you could witness my triumph. Eneel efore me and " will spare you. Acknowledge the new master of mankind.1 *esperately the Emperor summons his power and lashes out. .ightning flicker etween the

com atants. The stench of o6one fills the air. The Emperor leaps forward, sword raised. 3eapons clash as the attle is !oined on every level8 physical, spiritual, psychic. ,olts of force flicker as mortal gods clash, alancing the fate of the gala#y on every low. 5unesword and lightning claw ring against each other with a sound like thunder. Energies potent enough to level planets are unleashed. A ackhand uffet from -orus knocks the Emperor through a stone ulkhead. The counterstroke tears a supporting column out of the ceiling as the 3armaster ducks. "n the warp the Emperor hears the (haos Powers howl as they feed their pawn more power. The .ord of -umanity stands alone against their massed might and knows that he is losing. %omehow he cannot ring his full force to ear on the 3armaster. -orus shows no such restraint. A lightning claw cuts the Emperor's armour as if it were cloth, sheers through flesh and one. The Emperor ripostes with a psychic stroke intended to disrupt the 3armaster's nervous system. -orus laughs as he deflects it. -is claws take the Emperor across the throat, opening windpipe and !ugular. Another low severs the tendons of his wrist, causing the sword to drop from nerveless fingers. "nsane laughter echoes round the cham er. -orus reaks several ri s with an almost playful punch. A surge of energy seers the Emperor's face, melting the flesh till it runs, ursting an eye all, sets the hair alight. The Emperor stifles a whimper, wonders how he can e losing. ,lackness threatens to engulf him. -orus grasps his wrist, splintering ones. ,lUood pumps from the Emperor's throat. -orus lifts his foe a ove his head and rings him down across his knee, reaking his spine. &or a second the Emperor knows only darkness then a flare of agony rings him ack to consciousness as -orus rips his arm from its socket. The 3armaster howls with estial triumph. %uddenly the attering stops. Through his good eye the Emperor sees a solitary Terminator has entered the room. The marine charges toward the 3armaster, storm olter la6ing. -orus looks at him and laughs. &or a moment he stands triumphant, allowing the marine to see what he has done to his Emperor. The Emperor know what is going to happen ne#t, sees the gloating triumph on -orus' face. There is no trace of his friend left there. There is only a daemon driven y insane destructive fury. -orus turns his urning ga6e on the Terminator and the marine's flesh flakes away to reveal his skeleton then even that is gone, reduced to dust. The Emperor sees the trap that has een set for him. -e has een restraining himself, trying not to hurt one who has een as a son to him. 9ow he sees that there is no trace of his trusted comrade left. -e knows that he must stop this sem lance of his former friend and avenge the fallen Terminator. -e must strike one deadly low. -e will get no other chance. -e gathers every particle of his power, focuses it into a mighty olt of pure force, more coherent than a laser, more destructive than an e#ploding sun. -e aims it at -orus, a lance of power destined for the madman's heart. -orus senses the upsurge of energy and turns to face the Emperor, a look of horror on his face. The Emperor lets fly. "t strikes the 3armaster. -orus screams as destruction rains down on him, twisting and writhing in titanic agony. -e strives frantically to counter the Emperor's death low ut his struggles ecome ever more fee le as the lethal energies play over him. *riven y all the force of his rage and pain and hatred the Emperor wills -orus's death. -e senses the forces of (haos retreat, disengaging themselves from their pawn. As they do so sanity returns to the 3armaster. The Emperor sees realisation of the atrocities he has commited flicker across -orus' face. Tears glisten there. -orus is free ut the Emperor knows he himself is dieing and that the Powers $f (haos may once again posses the 3armaster and he will not e there to stop them. -e cannot take that risk. -orus must die. ?et for a second, looking into his old friends face, he hesitates, una le to do the deed. Then he thinks of the slaughter that still goes on outside, may go on forever. 5esolve hardens within him. -e forces all mercy and all compassion from his mind, empties it of all knowledge of friendship and love. -is eyes lock with -orus and see understanding there. Then with full cold knowledge of what he is doing the Emperor destroys the 3armaster. 5ogal *orn enters the cham er. -orror fills him as he sees the mutilated form of the Emperor and the shrivelled husk inside the warmaster's armour. -e curses himself for taking so long to fight

through the (haotic hordes. -e knows now why their attacks ceased and why the ship is reverting to normal. -e rushes to the Emperor's side, detecting the faint pulse of life. Perhaps there is yet hope. Perhaps the ruler of the "mperium may live. *orn will do his est to ensure it

+++The 1eath of $an/uinus+++

8uring the dark days of the /orus /eresy the $lood "ngels %hapter of Space 2arines found itself embattled upon *arth itself. The full force of %haos was arrayed against them, and as the armies of /orus fought their way toward the centre of the *mperor+s palace, all appeared lost. Bet, as the most lowly "dept of the multitudinous offices of the "deptus Terra knows, in the end the *arth was saved and /orus defeated, though at a terrible cost. The story of the 8eath %ompany of the $lood "ngels is .ust one of the many echoes of those great events which still affect the Imperium today. "s the forces of /orus closed in around the *mperor the position seemed hopeless. The battle, and with it the fate of humanity, would be resolved within a matter of hours at the most. The outcome seemed no longer in any doubt, and the *mperor and the remnants of the loyal Space 2arine &egions prepared for final stand. They were doomed and humanity was condemned to eternal damnation in the hells of %haos, yet they were determined to prove their defiance to the last. If %haos must triumph, as it surely would, then it would do so only in the face of the greatest resistance possible. The $lood "ngels had fought long and hard since the bombardment began. They were already battle weary, but within them the human spirit burned as vigorously as ever. The winged #rimarch Sanguinius seemed to be everywhere at once. Wherever the fighting was thickest he appeared, soaring over the battlefield and swooping down upon the daemonic hordes below. Together with his Space 2arines he had defied the might of "ngron, the %haos #rimarch of :horne whose World *ater %haos Space 2arines had devastated a hundred human worlds. Bet the onslaught was too great, and the $lood "ngels had been beaten back to the Cltimate 9ate in the *mperor+s #alace. "s the *mperor and his #rimarchs gathered for a final stand, /orus made the fatal mistake which cost him victory. To this day no,one can say why /orus chose to drop the defensive shields around his ship, allowing the *mperor to teleport aboard and destroy /orus. /istoricii of the "deptus Terra point to the expected arrival of the Space Wolves and 8ark "ngels &egions, maintaining that /orus was deliberately throwing down a challenge to the *mperor in an attempt to lure him into a trap. If this is correct, /orus was determined to resolve the conflict before the arrival of the other Space 2arine &egions. $ut it seems unlikely that /orus did not know the relief force was still several days away. *ven with these additional Space 2arines it is hard to imagine how the *mperor could defeat the inexhaustible hordes of %haos. The *cclesiarch 8eacis ID wrote, #erhaps it was some vestige of humanity within the monster that he had become which finally betrayed /orus. /is love for the *mperor, once sincere but long since turned hate, may yet have overcome %haos in the end. 2aybe it was so. The veil of history was drawn over those events >E,EEE years ago, and such things will never be known for certain. "ccording to all records of those troubled times the *mperor, Sanguinius, and a small force of Space 2arines in Terminator "rmour boarded the Warmaster+s space fortress. The story has become part of the folk,myth of the Imperium, and is told a hundred different ways, but on the following details most versions agree. "s they materialised the boarding party found themselves divided, and Sanguinius was positioned closest of all to /orus himself. It is said that the Warmaster offered Sanguinius a place beside him, a #rincedom in /ell, and everlasting life as a minion of the %haos 9ods. 'or the last time in his life Sanguinius renounced %haos and prepared for battle. /orus was once the most mighty of all the #rimarchs. )ow he bore heinous marks of his %haos 2asters. /e was swollen with power, gigantic of si-e and distorted in his daemonic form. )ow he was more powerful than any mortal creature. 'or his part Sanguinius still bore the wounds of his battle on *arth. /e had fought 8aemons and survived, but against /orus he was as an insect to a hungry and gigantic monstrosity. It was a short and bloody battle before the bra-en throne of /orus. The blade of Sanguinius sang as it spun through the air, cutting and stabbing at the Warmaster+s "rmour. The armour of /orus bled where that blade touched it, for now the Warmaster and his armour were one, it had grown to be part of him. It was not for long that /orus endured this whirling dance. /e lashed out clumsily. &ightning %laws arced through the air, catching upon bulkheads and doors, tearing great gashes and sending molten metal shrieking across the floor. Soaring over /orus+ head, Sanguinius easily avoided those sluggish strokes, and eagerly sought out a weak spot in /orus+ defenses. "s he flew he spotted a damaged link of armour on the Warmaster+s neck, and Sanguinius stabbed out with all his remaining strength. /is blade lodged at once in the Warmaster+s armour. /orus screamed more with anger than with pain, and reached out to strike the winged #rimarch. Steel talons dripping with plasmic energy closed upon the winged "ngel of $aal.

"ccording to some versions of the tale it was this wound that Sanguinius struck which opened a chink through the armour of /orus, enabling the *mperor to slay his enemy. The $lood "ngels certainly say as much in their doctrine. They pray to Sanguinius as they do to the *mperor, for he remains their patron and guide in death as he once was in life. In any case, when the *mperor found the Warmaster it was as he stood over the broken body of Sanguinius, the #rimarch+s wings twisted and feathers still at last. The rest of the tale has no direct bearing upon the future of the $lood "ngels and is well known. Suffice to say the *mperor defeated /orus after a long and hard,fought battle in which the *mperor was himself mortally wounded, and after which he was placed in the eternal stasis of the 9olden Throne from which he has ruled the Imperium ever since. "fter the final battle was over, and the forces of %haos were retreating towards the *ye of Terror, the established Space 2arine &egions were reorgani-ed into the smaller Space 2arine %hapters. The $lood "ngels had lost many warriors in the war, but worst of all the genetic banks which provided their implants had been partially destroyed. The only way to make good the damage was to reculture gene,seed from the body of Sanguinius, the #rimarch whose genetic structure had been used to create the $lood "ngels. &ive germ cells were isolated within Sanguinius+ body, and eventually new implants were cultured. In this way the %hapter was rebuilt using the gene,seed of Sanguinius taken from his dead body. "t the time all seemed well, and it was only over the following millennia that the gene,seed showed traces of mutation. Such matters are not unusual. *very %hapter+s gene,seed is sub.ect to a process of evolution or decay, and so must be vigorously examined and periodically purged of fault. "s a result most %hapters have idiosyncrasies, but in the case of the $lood "ngels these were to prove very strange indeed. )x.erpt from 4nd edition War/ear $f all the sorrows of the -orus -eresy the doom of the Emperor weighs most heavily. ?et even this woe would have een greater were it not for %anguinius Primarch of the ,lood Angels, the 3inged Angel at the Emperor's right hand, and foremost 'uardian of the Master of Mankind. As attle raged across the or ital fortress of -orus the 'reat ,etrayer, %anguinius found and fought the enemy, and was destroyed y the 3armaster, a roken angel cast down at the feet of a omination. This was how the Emperor found his greatest enemy and his most loyal friend, and so egan the attle for the -eart of Mankind, over the ody of the 3inged Angel. "t is said it was through the chink in -orus' armour opened y %anguinius that the Emperor was a le to deliver the fatal low. Thus the rightest of all the Emperor's host did not die in vain, crushed upon the steps of -orus' foul altar, ut dying gave the Emperor the one chance to destroy forever the 'reat ,etrayer. $f all the Primarchs of the %pace Marines it is %anguinius whose temples rise aside those of the Emperor, and whose name is cherished y ordinary folk in gratitude for the life that was taken and the life that was spared. Alone of all the Primarchs his memory is honoured y a sanctified day of cele ration, the %anguinala, when Adepts across the gala#y wear upon their reast the red adge of the .ord Angel.

>>The Imperial Guard +++THE IMPERIAL #UARD+++

The "mperial 'uard is not a single army ut many armies of countless millions of men and fighting machines. At any one time the "mperial 'uard fight across a hundred war6ones and upon ten thousand planets. "ts forces may e fresh and hopeful of a )uick victory, or they might e waging wars that have een going on for centuries and claimed illions of lives. Each army and each war is uni)ue in at least some respects. The tru,ture of the Imperi'( #u'r* "mperial 'uard armies are amassed to take part in specific wars or campaigns and are usually recruited as close to the fighting as possi le. &or e#ample, during the rief ut loody war against invading $rks on the world of 5y6a, an army was raised from worlds such as (atachan, 4lani,

,arac and *ulma'lin, all of which lie within ten thousand light years of 5y6a. Ten thousand light years can e traversed within :;-=; days y warp-capa le spacecraft. ,y the time ships have een moved into position, munitions collected and troops assem led, the response time over this distance is in the order of etween C; and :>; days, typically a out F@ days. This is the standard response time for the raising of "mperial 'uard armies, though for prolonged conflicts troops may e rought in from much further away. "t is the speed of space travel that has shaped the way in which the "mperial 'uard operates. The distri ution of the fleet and settled human worlds is such that armies can e assem led only slowly. This process is too slow to guarantee the safety of any individual world at any moment. &ortunately, the "mperium has other forces which can react more rapidly, such as the fleets and %pace Marine (hapters. "n any case, a planet's initial lines of defence are its or ital fortresses and its own .ord's troops. These defences have only to hold out long enough for an "mperial 'uard army to e collected together and transported into position. Re,ruitme-t Every planetary .ord in the "mperium recruits, e)uips and maintains his own planetary defence forces. The num er and types of troops vary tremendously from world to world. The forces of a multi- illion population hive world like 9ecromunda are vastly different from those of a sparsely populated forest world like 5y6a. 5egardless of the si6e of its armies, each world is o liged to make :;A of its total armed forces availa le for recruitment into the "mperial 'uard in any year. An army is gathered from a num er of worlds, usually over a radius of no more than ten thousand light years, and its theoretical si6e is a tenth of the entire armed forces of those worlds. "n practice, planetary .ords are often called upon to provide greater forces and more fre)uently, especially if the immediate danger is great. $n the other hand a planet which is far from any war 6one may not e called upon to provide troops for many decades. Troops recruited from a world at one time are formed into a single "mperial 'uard regiment. As a result there is no such thing as a typical si6e for a regiment. 5egiments can consist of a few hundred men or hundreds of thousands, depending on the si6e of their .ord's armies. 3hen a regiment is recruited it is named after its home world and given a num er, such as the 9ecromundan Dth, the :st (atachan, and so on. 5egiments continue to serve until they are dis anded, after which their num er is given to the ne#t regiment to e recruited from their home world. "n this way regiments ac)uire a degree of continuity and tradition, even though successive regiments earing the same name and title are recruited at different times. %ome regiments have ac)uired common nicknames such as the 9ecromundan Ith which is recruited only from the Palatine hive of 9ecromunda, and which is always known as the %piders. Another e#ample is the Crd Attilan, which is known as <akai's 5aiders after a notoriously savage former colonel of the regiment. E5uipme-t 5egiments !oin the "mperial 'uard uniformed and e)uipped as their planetary .ord's own forces. "nevita ly this means that the appearance of regiments is very varied. <ungle &ighters from the steaming death world of (atachan are hardly likely to wear the heavy insulating cloths and cloaks of the Balhallans whose world is covered in thick ice and where anyone caught on the surface would )uickly free6e. %imilarly the ar aric skins and furs of the nomadic Attilans are a far cry from the glittering formal uniforms of the Mordians. 5egardless of their appearance almost all newly recruited troops carry the universal lasgun. This weapon is easy and cheap to manufacture and maintain, and hence ideally suited to the needs of planetary forces. $ther weapons are more-or-less standard across the "mperium although individual planetary forces may favour one kind over another. The Emperor's demand is simply that troops e e)uipped and trained ready to fight in his armies. As well as providing troops a planet's .ord may e called upon to provide heavy e)uipment in the form of locally uilt tanks, artillery, troop carriers, etc. As with lighter armaments these tend to a standardised asic form across the "mperium, with only minor variations in design and uild )uality. "ndeed, planetary .ords are o liged to provide heavy weapons of a asically standard type for the "mperial 'uard, as well as stocks of spares, fuel processors, and logistic support as appropriate. Although a planet's defence forces will almost certainly include locally designed vehicles, often of the most wild or specialised kind, these are almost never recruited into the "mperial 'uard ecause of the difficulty of maintenance and impracticality of keeping them running.

#'theri-/ The Armie+ $nce an army is recruited its first task is to rende6vous near to its destination. The Adepts of the *epartmento Munitorium must organise the recruitment and transportation of new regiments and their supplies. %ometimes the fleet will detour to a near y &orge 3orld of the Adeptus Mechanicus to take on e#tra heavy weaponry, siege machines and super-heavy tanks as well as fuel and general munitions. 3hile travelling through the warp the new regiments continue to train and receive many hours of induction from the fleet's (ommissars. "n)uisitors keep a wary eye upon the recruits for signs of psychic distur ance or daemonic possession. E)uipment is checked and passed for "mperial use, or else found wanting and discarded to e replaced y more suita le items. Tanks and other vehicles are repainted in campaign schemes. ,y the time it reaches its destination the new army is ready for attle. Many wars are mercifully short. The sledge-hammer of the "mperial 'uard comes down upon the enemy with such force that all resistance may e crushed within a matter of days. $ther wars drag on year after year, decade after decade, ecoming ogged down in a stalemate with no foreseea le respite. $nce a war is underway it will a sor fresh "mperial 'uard regiments from all over the gala#y. "f victory is not swift the *epartmento Munitorium will draw in regiments from eyond the normal :; thousand light year range, including troops from worlds in the relatively peaceful %egmentae %olar and Pacificus. W'r :o-e+ $nce a regiment has een raised it does not normally return to its home world. "f it is victorious it will e moved from one war 6one to another. (asualties will inevita ly reduce the si6e of a regiment over time. 5egiments that fall elow com at strength, or which lose their senior officers, are placed under the command of other regiments and effectively incorporated into them. This is very common practice in permanent war 6ones, so that a typical regiment may in fact consist of the remnants of many regiments, all gathered under the command of a surviving colonel. 5egiments which have served for more than ten years are usually transferred from protracted war 6ones into armies of con)uest. 9ot only are these the est troops ut they are also the oldest, having fought gallantly for the Emperor for a decade or more. Their reward is to take part in the con)uest of a new world. "f they are successful the entire regiment earns the highest honour the "mperium can estow, the gratitude of the Emperor and the right to settle a new planet. All over the "mperium there are worlds which were originally populated in this way. Their people are the hardy descendants of victorious "mperial 'uard regiments. .ong wars lead to high rates of attrition of oth men and their e)uipment, so that regiments gradually lose their distinctive appearance as their original gear wears out and is replaced. 5egiments that have een in the field for several years may ear little resem lance to the units which left their home worlds. 5eplacement clothing may not match their original uniforms, or it may have een adapted from that of other regiments. "mprovisation to suit the local conditions will undou tedly change the appearance of units, especially if the attle 6one is radically different in climate or io-type to the regiment's home world. A.hum'- Re/ime-t+ The incorporation of a human regiments into the "mperial 'uard is a controversial matter. A humans are human descended creatures such as 5atlings, %)uats and $gryns, whose physical appearance and mental capa ilities are )uite different from those of their human ancestors. They represent the descendants of the first wave of human e#ploration into the gala#y. $ver tens of thousands of years of isolation they have evolved into creatures capa le of living in high-gravity worlds, in deep space, and in all kinds of polluted or dangerous environments. Today it is generally accepted that a humans are a part of the human race and not aliens. Many thousands of years ago the "n)uisition led wars of destruction against human-descended creatures which its masters deemed unworthy of full human status. 3hen human settled worlds were discovered the "n)uisition would conduct a lengthy process of *9A analysis to determine if the population was still fully human y the "n)uisition's stringent standards. As a result the populations of many planets were eradicated and their worlds resettled. "n time the "mperium developed a much roader definition of humanity. $gryns, 5atlings and %)uats came to e regarded as fully human. $ther individual a human mutations were treated with comparative toleration. -owever, even today the "n)uisition is distrustful of these newly evolved races and of those in the Adeptus Terra who advocate the integration of newly

discovered a human races into the "mperium of Man. The *epartmento Munitorium recruits from all worlds in the "mperium regardless of human type. As a result the "mperial 'uard includes $gryns as well as 5atlings. 9owadays there are no %)uat %tronghold planets in the "mperium itself, the last having seceded during the Age of Apostasy. $gryns are characteristically large and tough if somewhat stupid. Their com at role tends to e as close assault troops where their ulk, determination and lack of imagination give them a considera le advantage. 5atlings, on the other hand, are too small and slight to make good troops, although they are famously good shots. ,ecause $gryns and 5atlings have very specific areas of competence it is )uite usual to divide regiments into smaller units which are placed under the command of other regiments in the field. The tr'te/i, !omm'-* The strategic command of the "mperial 'uard is provided y the *epartmento Munitorium of the Administratum. This department of the Adeptus Terra forms the general staff of the "mperial 'uard responsi le for munitions, supply, recruitment, training, transportation and all aspects of the "mperial 'uard esta lishment. The chief of strategic staff of the *epartmento Munitorium is the .ord (ommander Militant of the "mperial 'uard, a powerful official and often one of the -igh .ords of Terra. 3ithin each of the four outlying %egmentae of the "mperium there is a separate strategic command ase alongside the fleet ases at (ypra Mundi, ,akka, Ear *uniash and -ydraphur. The fifth ase is on Earth in the %egmentum %olar. Each of these has its own strategic command staff and reserves. The .ord (ommander of each %egmentae is in charge of all military operations within his area, an awesome responsi ility indeed. "n any active war 6one there are hundreds of senior commanders with thousands of personal staff. "n addition there are tens of thousands of scri es, o servers and organisational officers of the *epartmento Munitorium. "ndeed, for every fighting man there stands ehind him a virtual army of ureaucrats and support personnel whose efforts keep the armies going. -owever, within the "mperial 'uard itself there is a comple# system of high ranking officers responsi le for the strategic and grand tactical military operations. These staff officers rarely take part in the fighting. $ccasionally an "mperial 'uard general might find himself em roiled in the action, ut this is likely to e y accident rather than y intent. The only staff officers who regularly fight at the front are (ommissars. !ommi++'r+ "mperial 'uard regiments are recruited from all over the human gala#y. 3arriors from one planet speak different, sometimes unintelligi le, dialects or practice strange customs which are affling to soldiers from other worlds. These vast differences make it hard for some regimental commanders to operate closely with troops from different worlds. "f colonels, captains and lieutenants are to function as part of a cohesive army they must e united in their common purpose no matter how culturally diverse their ackgrounds might e. (ommissars provide the link etween regimental commanders and strategic officers. (ommissars have to e tough. %ome regiments are composed of savage former gang fighters, or vicious ar arians, who are naturally antagonistic to authority. The colonel of such a regiment is likely to e as wild and anarchic as his men, if not more so7 The loyalty of such troops must e earned and the (ommissar must e prepared to demonstrate his courage in attle. (ommissars are recruited into the *epartmento Munitorium from the %chola Progenium, the rigorous orphanages for families of Adepts run y the missionaries of the Adeptus Ministorum. Many serve as %torm Troopers efore ecoming (ommissars, so they are hardly strangers to warfare. Every regiment has at least one (ommissar and many large regiments have several who remain with the regiment while it is deployed in a war 6one. The chief task of the (ommissar is to preserve the fighting spirit and loyalty of the regiment. "f discipline is la# the (ommissar will step in to reinforce it. "f the regiment's officers are incompetent or lack courage the (ommissar must retrain and fortify them or, failing that, allow the regiment's s)uads to e dispersed to other commanders. "f troops are rowdy and trou lesome the (ommissar must keep order. A (ommissar knows that the est troops are the hardest to keep in line. -e em odies strength, ravery and loyalty, and serves as the ultimate e#ample of human courage. (ommissars are also 6ealots fiercely loyal to the "mperial (ult. "n the %chola Progenium they are schooled to love the Emperor and desire nothing more than to serve to the est of their a ilities.

They tolerate no disloyalty and remain vigilant for spies, mutants and agents of chaos that may have infiltrated the men under their charge. They are versed in the "mperial scriptures and will fre)uently give readings efore attle is !oined. Most of all they despise the Emperor's enemies and desire nothing more than the chance to crush the foe eneath the righteous heel of "mperial might.

+++ torm Trooper++++

The %torm Troopers are the "mperial 'uard's est fighting regiment. 4nlike other regiments they are recruited from all across the "mperium, from the very est "mperial 'uard units. (ompanies or attallions of %torm Troopers are sent to war 6ones to olster the fighting strength of other "mperial 'uard regiments. "n com at, they provide a core of well-trained, well-e)uipped s)uads that can edeployed amongst other "mperial 'uard regiments as needed. %torm Troopers are also recruited from the orphan sons of "mperial officials from all over the gala#y. The families of men who die in the Emperor's service are looked after very well y the missions of the "mperial (ult, the most famous of which is the %chola Progenium. -ere young orphans are schooled to love the Emperor. They are shown the many ways in which they can earn the Emperor's gratitude and there y attain the highest honor in the "mperium. They gladly em race a demanding and unremitting regimen of prayer, study, and physical training. Though hard, the path is trod willingly for all know that those who e#cel are marked for greatness. Many students of the %chola are recruited into the "n)uisition, the Ecclesiarchy, the 'uard %taff $fficer (orps, and the %torm Troopers. The est of these often attend the %chool of the (ommissar, and ecome the Emperor's representatives on the attlefield.

+++Imperi'( #u'r* Rou/h Ri*er+++ +

There are many worlds in the "mperium where the horse is still widely used. 9ot all of these are feral or mediaeval worlds. %ome, like Avar """, have a privileged class which spends a great deal of time on horse ack, whiling away their leisured hours with e)uestrian sports and hunting. $thers, like 9ew Elondike, have rough terrain and low native fuel resources, which make the horse a more practical form of transport than a motori6ed vehicle. Even among the feral and mediaeval worlds, there is an enormous range of cultural types which may give rise to elite cavalry forces. There are the outriders of nomadic herding cultures, as on *olgan "B and Temu!in's 3orld+ there are mounted raiders such as the -orse .odges of (ochise and the !o"a!i of 9ovgorod+ and there are formali6ed horse-warrior aristocracies such as the -oly $rders of Avalon and the bado!ai of Epsilon Tokugawa """. (ommon to all these planets with diverse cultures and customs is their e)uestrian elite, a warrior class that has accumulated generations of e#perience and tactical wisdom in the use of cavalry on the attlefield. These horse-warriors are always su !ect to close inspection y the "mperium, and they are fre)uently drafted y the "mperial 'uard when a regiment is raised from their home world. $n the move advanced worlds, cavalry units are always incorporated into the Planetary *efense &orce and it is from this that the 'uard recruits. $n some of the more primitive worlds, the 'uard recruits directly from tri es and clans of horse warriors - legends and great epics are orn at these times, and tales of undying heroes !oining the %tar 5iders to attle on the &ields of the 9ight are commonplace. The ond etween a rider and his mount is not easily roken, and the horse-warriors are not recruited merely for their courage or skill at arms. The 'uard does not overlook their speciali6ed skills, and riders arc always accompanied y their mounts when they are drafted into a regiment. After retraining with the weapons and tactics of the "mperium, these horse-warriors are formed into mounted platoons, universally known as 5ough 5iders.

I have seen war in all its orms# I have seen eral world savages braining each other with stones# and I have monitored the death o a whole planet at the hands o a virus bomb$ I have seen %pace Marines drop to certain death# and win$ I have seen &itans crush whole platoons under oot$ 'ut there is no more stirring sight in war than the charge o massed cavalry$ *ravin 'rat6, :=th Tharinga. 5egiment, "mperial 'uard

*uring the long period of transit to thew regiment's posting, 5ough 5iders are trained in the use of "mperial 'uard weapons and tactics, !ust like their infantry counterparts. They are also trained in the use of the imperial 'uard hunting lance with its shaped-e#plosive head, and in advanced cavalry techni)ues. "mperial 'uard transit ships are large enough to provide e#tensive training areas even for mounted units, as well as the sta ling and accommodation needed for the horses and their riders. "t is not only the riders who learn new skills - their mounts are given iochem treatment and e#tensive training to prepare them for modem attlefield conditions. $nce they arrive at the com at 6one, months or years after leaving the familiar terrain of their home world, 5ough 5ider horses will not panic under fire, or shy away from unusual sights and smells such as $rks and *readnoughts. $ver the cratered terrain of a attlefield that has suffered a heavy om ardment, horses have often proved superior to motor ikes or armoured vehicles. A platoon of skilled 5ough 5iders can e an effective assault and skirmishing force, a le to move rapidly over the roken ground, and e)ually a le to clim steep slopes as to gallop along narrow ravines. And when they finally confront the enemy, 5ough 5iders can charge into the opposing lines with their e#plosive lances, )uickly changing to chainswords and laspistols after the initial onslaught.



.ike other mem ers of the "mperial 'uard, 5ough 5iders retain many of the customs of their home worlds. The use of tattoos, ritual scarring, unofficial uniforms and tri al sym ols is widespread amongst the 5iders, and many platoons retain the pennants of their old tri e or unit, flying them from 'their lances elow an official 'uard anner. The horses of the 5ough 5iders are free6e-marked on the rump with "mperial 'uard insignia8 the free6ing rand painlessly destroys the pigmentation of the hair and leaves a permanent mark in the shape of a styli6ed eagle surrounding the head of a horse. Many horses also retain the rands and markings they carried efore recruitment to the 'uard+ among some of the 5iders drawn from more ar aric cultures it is even the custom to ritually scar or tattoo the mount along with its rider, leaving raised welts or colourful markings to commemorate the platoon's most heroic actions. "n many regiments, the officers of the 5ough 5iders are drawn from a long-esta lished ruling elite. *espite their recruitment into the 'uard and their official ranks, these no les are regarded y oth themselves and the other troops of the regiment as natural leaders, a le to command the service and respect of their home world inferiors eyond the call of duty. "t is common for these no le 5iders to pass their leisure time in the hunt, using infantrymen as eaters to flush out the e#otic wildlife of the planets on which they are stationed. Their training and the use of e#plosive lances hardly makes for a fair competition etween hunter and hunted, and it is usually considered poor sportsmanship to arm the lance unless the prey is especially large and ferocious. $ther customs are upheld even on the attlefield, and the 'uard may condone unusual tactics y 5ough 5ider platoons if the skills of their home worlds are shown to e effective against the "mperium's foes. The most common 5ough 5ider tactic is to charge the enemy with e#plosive lances, switching to chainswords and laspistols once the platoon have made their initial reakthrough. %ome 5ough 5iders, especially those who were accustomed to fighting with cavalry sa ers, prefer to arm themselves with chainswords, slashing fiercely to either side as they contact the enemy. $ther units tend to stand off, firing at their opponents with lasguns, often galloping past and making themselves hard targets to hit. 3hatever their tactics, the mo ility and speed of 5ough 5iders always make them a potent force on the attlefield, a le to spearhead an attack as easily as run a flanking maneuver, thus keeping enemy commanders on their toes watching for une#pected attacks y the mounted 'uardsmen.


&he air was bright with laser ire above &hree Platoon(s position$ &he )hiteshields watched as our *r! Dreadnoughts lumbered through the smo!e + an armoured spearhead# trying to brea! through the Imperial ,uard line$ %uper+attac! *nslaughter# -arren though automatically. two power claws# one las+cannon# one heavy bolter$ And they were heading straight or &hree Platoon$ %i/ las+cannon ired almost together$ &wo Dreadnoughts ell amid crimson sheets o lame# but the other two !ept comming$ A deadly curtain o bolter ire wiped out hal o A and ' s0uads$ -arren darted out rom behind a heap o rubble# "ig"agging through the smo!e and ire to the wrec!age o the Command %ection$ Captain Murdin was dead# and Commissar &raidir was serioysly wounded$ -arren prised the platoon(s standard rom the dead ingers o the *rderly# and !nelt over the Commissar$ 1Permission to advance# Commissar21 he as!ed$ His eyes were bright + here was his chance to prove himsel $ &he Commissar raised his head a little# and smiled wea!ly$ 1&he Emperor guard you$1 he whispered horsely$ &hen died$
Children# you call them3 &hey pull a trigger 4ust as well as veterans# and they have the spirit o a bull nartha/$ Call them childeren i you wish + I call them troops$ ,ood troops$ +Colonel Marus Cullen 5th Pannonia Regiment )hen the youngsters come o age + the precise age varies according to the regiment(s homeworid culture + they begin their training as ,uardsmen$ During their trainning period they are o icially designated probitors6 in practice# they are given names rom the regiment(s homeworid culture# such as Cadets# Probationers or ,un 'abies$ 'ut by ar the most common name or probitors# especially in regiments rom eral or mediaevil homeworids# is )hiteshields$ *n these worlds# the young warriors carry shields with no mar!ings + not until they have proved themselves in battle can they claim the right to display the tribe(s colours or the heraldry o their athers$ &his practice has been continued in the ,uard# and all probitors have blan! insignia. they show neither regimental# company nor platoon symbols until they earn the right on the battle ield$ In most regiments# recruitment to the )hiteshields represents the irst phase o the youngsters( passage into adulthood# and is accompanied by appropriate rituals rom the regiment(s home culture$ )hiteshields continue to per orm menial and support duties# but combat training ta!es up an increasing proportion o their time# until they are 7udged to be ready or action$ Finally# they get a chance to prove their mettle in combat and to demonstrate that they are worthy o becoming true warriors in the ,uard$ Regiments o the Imperial ,uard are generally posted to combat "ones immense distances rom their homeworlds# and it is rarely practical to recruit rom the homeworid to ma!e up or combat losses$ &he ,uard there ore uses various other methods o bringmg regiments up to strength# depending on the circumstances. amalgamating depleted regiments into a single ighting orce is common practice# especially when the regiments are being constantly transported to new battle "ones$ Regiments that are le t to garrison a world they have con0uered# on the other hand# recruit rom local sources + the most common method 8and by ar the sa est on hostile planets9 is to dra t the sons o the regiment into the ,uard when they come o age$ &he children athered by members o an Imperial ,uard regiment are usually brought up completely within the regiment itsel $ It acts as a !ind o e/tended amily$ in using the youngsters with the culture o the homeworld they have never seen# and assigns them menial and support duties which would otherwise eat into the regiment(s ighting strength$ RITES OF PASSAGE It is o ten observed that )hiteshields wor! aster# train harder and ight more iercely than most e/perienced ,uardsmen$ For a )hiteshield# passing rom probitor to true ,uardsman is ar more

than a simple promotion6 it is their entry into adulthood + this gives them the status and respect due a ,uardsman and$ most important$ the right to bear the regimental insignia and the ritual mar!ings o a warrior )hen a )hiteshield ta!es to the battle ield# he is driven by a desire to prove his courage and s!ills that borders on the anatical$ )hiteshields are earless in the ace o enemies that older# and wiser# ,uardsmen treat with caution$ For a )hiteshield# ailure to win his colours is a terrible blow + showing cowardice is un orgivable$ and an honourable death is certainly to be pre erred to the dishonour and ridicule heaped upon the wea!+hearted$ )hiteshields serve alongside the other s0uads in their regiment$ distinguished only( by their bravery$ and the white badges and helmet stripes on their uni orms$ Each )hiteshield s0uad has an e/perienced sergeant to guide it through training and in its irst battles$ &he s0uads are usually put into a normal platoon to learn rom the e/ample o the troopers around them + occasionally a company will orm up a platoon solely o )hiteshield s0uads# trusting that their courage will compensate or lac! o e/perience$ *nly those who distinguish themselves in battle are allowed to become ,uardsmen proper$ %ome regiments merely demand that a )hiteshield ta!e part in a battle without giving way to ear$ Many only accept those who have drawn blood or !illed an enemy# sometimes re0uiring the young warrior to collect a trophy to prove his claims. an opponent(s bac! banner or weapon perhaps# or a more gruesome and bloody memento ta!en rom the body o a allen enemy$ At the end o his training# a ter he has shown his s!ill# a )hiteshield is ceremonially awarded his colours. his blan!# white badge is replaced with the regimental number and the colours o his platoon6 he ta!es the sholder moti o his company6 and the helmet mar!ings o the s0uad to which he is assigned$ More important than this# however# are the uno icial rituals in which the new ,uardsmen is welcomed by his ellows into the regiment$ &hese rituals are ta!en rom the regiment(s homeworld culture and vary widely throughout the ,uard6 tattoos and ritual scars are common and receiving these rnar!s without a cry o pain is as much a test o the youngster(s courage as his bravery on the battle ield$ At last the )hiteshield emerges rom his training as a ull member o the ,uard# wearing his scars and tattoos with as much pride as the uni orm o his regiment# ready to return to the battle ield with his new e/perience and# perhaps# a little more caution$ *nly in the %pace Marines o the :egiones Astartes are courage and e/pertise per ectly blended$ ln other troops they are present in varying degrees and proportions# and many scholars have debated their relative merits$ For my own part# I come down on the side o courage$ For courage can sometimes ma!e a virtue o ine/perience$ I mysel have commanded Imperial ,uard troops whose probitor units have achieved great things# because their courage was in inite and because they were too ine/perienced to realise that their goal was impossiblc + :eman Russ DC ;atura 'elli# 'oo! <I= Every man in the regiment who could stand was in the assembly hall$ -arren stood at rigid attention in ront o the dias# along with the other two survivors o the )hiteshields$ His body elt li!e one huge bullet+hole# and he was di""y rom loss o blood# but elation orced everything else to the bac! o his mind$ He hardly heard Colonel &arvit(s words$ 1$$$'ecause o Probitor -arren(s courage and 0uic! thin!ing# and the dedication o the )hiteshields ollowing his e/ample# the *r! spearhead was destroyed$ It is my 4udgement that the )hiteshields have proved themselves worthy o ull ,uard status$ I order that the survivors be assigned to *ne Platoon to replace losses# and the others buried with ull regimental honours$ Does any man here !now o any reason why this order should not be carried out21 %ilence$ 1&hen let it be done$1 &he Colonel(s orderly came orward# and removed the blan! white badges rom the chests o the three )hiteshields$ -arren ound himsel holding his breath ar the Regimental colours were a i/ed to his la! tunic$ 1)hen they are 4udged to be it# these three men shall recieve the scars they won today$ And ,uardsman -arren shall be inducted into the High Eagle :odge# under my own patronage$1 &he hall resounded with cheering as the three were led away to the med+bay$ -arren thought o the rituals o ull manhood that awaited him# and o the mysteries o the High Eagle :odge# most respected o the regiment(s warrior lodges$ He had proved himsel today$ 'ut now he was tired$ More tired than he had ever been$

-arren gritted his teeth against the pain and concentrated on staying per ectly still$ ;ot only was it a disgrace to linch or cry out# it was also dangerous + and he didn(t want to end up with a severed artery instead o the irst scares o manhood$ At last# Ad4udant Morth straightened up# wiping his &orathim hunting !ni e$ -arren rela/ed + and then yelped in pain as the two sargents rubbed a blac! powder into the cuts$ 1&his will sting a litle$1 said %ergeant Raddon in his deadpan voice# and %ergeant Ferth laughed$ -arren Reddened$ 1Don(t worry# little warrior$1 said Ferth cheer ully$ 1&hey all 4ump a bit + I did + but the powder ma!es you scare well$1 1)ell$1 said Morth# stepping bac!# 1-ou(re no longer a child# -arren$ -ou have your uni orm# you have your lasgun# and when those cuts heal you(ll have your irst scars$1 He sheathed his !ni e and stood at attention$ 1Report or training# ,uardsman$1 ,uardsman$ &he word echoed round -arren(s head as he marched down the corridor# lan!ed by the two sergeants$ From now on# there would be no more !itchen duties$ He had proved himsel in the ield + he was now a )arrior$

+++Pe-'( Le/io-++++
1&he Penal :egions are made up rom the scum o civilisation# the heretical# criminal element that is active on every planet across the gala/y$ It is the Adeptus Arbites who deal with these lawless souls# and the best way is to send them to the Penal :egions$1 There are those who serve the Emperor unwillingly. Those that are disloyal and re ellious. Those that are willing to spread anarchy and disenssion through the ranks of the "mperials. These men and woman are rounded up y the Emperors police force. The Adeptus Ar ites, and shuffled off into dank dark cells never to e heard from again. Those that are lucky enough, the toughest of criminals are inducted into an oraganisation like noneother. The .egions Penatante, or the Penal .egion as it is more commonly known. The Penal .egions ranks are swelled with the undevout. Mass-murderers, re ellious P*&, thieves, rapists, and hi!ackers all form the Penal .egions for their sins. The Penal .egion is not an army in its own right, ut is useful where greater num ers are necessary to win the day. 9ew troops have their heads shaved and tattooed with unit insignia, and e#plosive slave-collars are put around their necks. The collars are a disciplianary device rather than a means of turning the troops into -uman ,om s. The Penal .egions are part of a regular fighting force of the "mperial 'uard, and a commander who regards Penal troops merely as cannon-fodder and uses them wastefully is lia le to end up in a Penal .egion himself. 1&here are those who undervalue the Penal 'attalions$ 'ut they should consider this. should a man who has wronged the Emperor be allowed to wrong him urther2 For each man e/ecuted is a man who can no longer serve# and to ail in service to the Emperor is the greatest o sins1 -.eman 5uss, Meditations on "mperial (ommand, ,ook NN" &his Penal :egion$$$$:egion >>> was ormed rom the scum in the %egmentum %olar$ Men# women and beasts 8unusual# yes$$$9# prisoners all# during the Dar! Founding# were gathered# and rather graciously granted a trip among the stars with Crusading Marine Chapters$ Many agreed# and adventure and terror would be !inship to them all$$$$$$$ *emitri lowered his rifle, 'damned his foolishness on Armageddon, running from the $rks was folly. And whats worse was surviving the (ommissars ,olt ,last to the ack. "f one thing was certain the Emperors divinity was involved'. -e had een placed among the thieves and cut-throats, to serve out the rest of his misera le life among the legions of Penal warriors. -e was etter than that. $r so he thought. .arge of stature, *emitri had een a -eavy weapons trooper with & (ompany Crd Platoon Dth Armageddon Army. *emitri clutched the .as-rifle. '%o small' he thought. 9othing like the -eavy ,olter he used to tote. A noise followed him out of past thoughts, a clanging from the cla#on a ove his head. This had een a damned upset. Everything had run smoothly for F months. 4p until now. 9ow the ship was eing oarded, ut y whatK %creams were heard on decks a ove, getting louder. The fighting had egun. Ar itrator Malu# clutched his ,olter and eltched out commnads. 'Ah right ya lads, its een )uite a pinic fer you so far. .ets give these pirates, these scallywags a whipping they've never had. .ets send em ack to da ships they've come from' *emitri looked at the young

Ar ite and grinned. ' <ust a oy' he thought ' ut devout'. The noises grew louder, and seemed a it discerning, growlingK 3ith that the Ar ite released the last doors, they heaved open under the pressure of steam, smoke and fire. '3hat a mess....' *imitri was cut short. '(-A5'E77 ya ra le...its into the mouth of -ell for ya77 ' 3ith that the Penal %)uad lunged forward. %moke filled the room and nothing could e seen. *imitri grasped his weapon tight. A oard the $ sidian tooth, (hapter Master Ea al felt an emptiness in his owels. The adepts voice was monotone on the PA. 'Penal %hip C;@- mark Alpha registered %egmentum %olar overrun.'

+++O/r6- %i/hter++++
$gryns are an invalua le assett to the "mperial 3ar Machine. $gryns come from cold, harsh worlds with are arren and rocky. To survive these adverse conditions, their odies have ad!usted admira ly. Their stocky frames are accustomed to long periods of starvation and prolonged darkness. 3ith this physical enhancement, their mental a ilities have also diminished considera ly. -owever, they are e#cellent fighters. %pecially trained (ommissars spend long periods of time patiently training these lum ering easts, and instilling the necessary procedures to handle their weapons in their simple minds. There are two )ualities which make $gryns e#cellent fighters8 :0 They are a solutely without fear. 9o psychology affects them whatsoever, and they cannot e roken under any circumstances. >0 $nce efriended, they are a solutely loyal. They will go to any measures to please their masters.

+++!OMMI AR TRAI"I"# 1UAD +++

The %chola Progenium teach and train orphans of "mperial $fficials until they are ready to ecome (adet (ommissars. As such, their training continues on the gala#y's attlegrounds where they are formed into special s)uads. &ighting alongside "mperial 'uard units, they are completely devoted servants of the Emperor whose loyalty and ravery know no ounds. *evotion to the "mperial cause, sound !udgement, unshaka le resolve and honour are the )ualities re)uired in a (ommissar. Personnel selected to ecome (adet (ommissars are drawn from schools run y Missionaries of the Ministorum. There are many such schools throughout the "mperium, known as %chola Progenium. -ere, orphans of "mperial $fficials who gave their lives in the service of the Emperor are educated y the Missionaries. They soon learn to regard the Emperor as their spiritual father and uild a strong personal devotion to the "mperial cause. Their sole am ition is to serve the "mperium and -umanity in some way, and the special )ualities of theft education make them well suited for service in the "mperial 'uard or the "n)uisition as (adet (ommissars. "t is the duty of the (ommissars in the "mperial 'uard to maintain the highest standards of discipline and inspire the troops y their own e#ample. They have the power of a solution in order to restore the morale of the troops at critical moments on the attlefield. (ommissars are oth feared and respected. They do not often need to e#ercise their powers ecause their presence among the troops is enough to instil devotion and confidence. "t is important that (ommissars remain aloof from ordinary troops in the "mperial 'uard. (ommissars need to e#ercise authority over ordinary officers, often in front of the officer's own unit. The (ommissar must e seen as representative of the Emperor and thus a superior authority to any officer. &urthermore, a (ommissar is re)uired to deal with troops from many different tri al and racial origins, so cannot e associated with any particular group himself. (onse)uently, the origins and recruitment of (ommissars is of vital importance to their efficient e#ercise of discipline. !OMMI AR TRAI"I"# 1UAD

!ADET !OMMI AR The (ommissar-'eneral of an "mperial 'uard 5egiment selects the most promising recruits from those recommended to him y the schools of the Ministorum. After asic "mperial 'uard training these ecome (adet (ommissars and proceed to special training for their demanding responsi ilities as (ommissars. The est way to achieve this is for the (adets to e instructed under attlefield conditions. &or a (adet (ommissar to learn how to function according to his vocation, he must understand the nature of the troops for whose morale and spiritual welfare he is accounta le. ?ou cannot teach in theory what has to e practised in a storm of energy eams, was how (ommissar'eneral $ in -eethe summed 4P the need for (adet (ommissars to live, fight and if necessary die alongside the troops they were supposed to inspire. &or this reason, (adet (ommissars use the same standard weapon as "mperial 'uardsmen, the lasgun. This training forms the asis of much of the respect accorded to (ommissars y 'uardsmen, for they know that only those (adets who have shown ravery and devotion in the face of enemy fire are selected. &or an e#perienced (ommissar, there is no greater recognition of his service to the Emperor than to e deemed worthy of instructing a new generation of (ommissars. !ommi++'r Tr'i-i-/ 5u'* The (ommissar-'eneral is the senior (ommissar of the regiment with the longest service and most e#tensive campaign e#perience. -e assigns (ommissars to "mperial 'uard officers according to his <udgement of the attlefield situation or the character of the "mperial 'uard $fficers in )uestion. (adet (ommissars are allocated to (ommissar Training %)uads y the (ommissar-'eneral of an "mperial 'uard regiment. These s)uad mem ers are identified y a lue uniform trim and (adet adge. The (ommissar-'eneral assigns one of his (ommissars to take the regiment's (adets and form a tactical unit in its own right, known as the (ommissar Training %)uad. The unit is made up of one (ommissar and nine (adet (ommissars. The (ommissar Training %)uad accompanies "mperial 'uard forces into attle and takes part in some of the fiercest fighting. The training of a (adet (ommissar has no fi#ed duration. A (adet )ualifies as a full (ommissar on the !udgement of the (ommissar-'eneral. -e will e awarded his (ommissar status as soon as he is deemed worthy of it y his actions. This provides great inspiration to the other (adets on the attlefield. The new (ommissar can then e allocated (ommissarial duties in his own right. (ommissar Training %)uads are highly motivated fighting units, respected y all other troops in the "mperial 'uard. Any "mperial 'uard force accompanied y such s)uads will consider itself fortunate and pro a ly destined for victory. 3hen a (ommissar decides that a (adet has failed in his duty, ut has not shown cowardice or insu ordination, the (adet is relieved of his position and duties. (ommissar (adets who fail their training can often get a commission in a penal attalion. $thers volunteer for service in a 5ogue Trader entourage. %ometimes, their destiny will e decided y the (ommissar-'eneral or (ommissar under whom the e#-(adet trained. !OMMI AR TRAI"I"# 1UAD I" A!TIO" The (ommissar Training %)uad is often deployed in the most critical 6one of the attle or with the most hard-pressed detachment of the 5egiment. 1u'(if6i-/ '+ ' !ommi++'r Players who deploy (adet (ommissars in their "mperial 'uard force may check to see if any )ualify as fully fledged (ommissars during the action. A (adet must accumulate >@ merit points to e deemed a full (ommissar y the (ommissar-'eneral. "f these are accumulated during a single attle, the (adet can e awarded attlefield promotion. $therwise merit points can e carried over into another game and accumulated during a series of attles. Merit points are earned y the following actions8 5estoring the morale of a faltering unit R@ points, %laying an enemy personality ...........R.> points, %urviving a attle .......................: point, (apturing an enemy standard or personality.. C points, Assuming command of a halted or retreating unit : point, ,earing the (ommissar %tandard ........... C points, (haracter !udgement of (ommissar-'eneral *G points Q 5oll once for this at the end of the attle.

3hen a (adet is promoted his )ualities are sometimes tested y his appointment to different kinds of unit. Oualified (ommissars a#e often attached to A human units, 5ough 5ider units, $gryn and aerial units. Those who have performed in an outstanding manner can e seconded to, the %ecutor regiments of Titan $rders. A (adet (ommissar, who achieves attlefield promotion continues to function, normally for the duration of that attle, acting as ad!utant, to the (ommissar commanding the s)uad.. !ommi++'r t'-*'r*+ The (ommissar Training %)uad may carry a standard. This standard ears a motto chosen y the (ommissar-'eneral. The standard marks the position of the (ommissar Training %)uad on the attlefield. "t may e orne y one of the (adet (ommissars as a test of character and must never e allowed to fall into enemy hands. "t is entirely up to the player as to whether his s)uad carries a standard. !OMMI AR TRAI"I"# 1UAD Retreating *r! units returned to their battered stronghold by passing through a breach in the wall$ ,uard units ollowed up mercilessly and now intended to swarm into the stronghold by the same route$ C and ? Companies engaged *r!ish de ensive units on the lan!s while the recently rein orced E Company drove straight into the heart o the remaining enemy irepower$ Commissar+,eneral &agullen allocated his &raining %0uad to E Company or the assault$ Fras! listened to the mu led sounds o battle get louder and clutched his lasgun as the lumbering Rhino shoo! up its occupants$ -our sacri ice does not go unnoticed# he thought as be loo!ed at them$ He !new ew o them by name but it did not matter that the aces changed$ It was the e/pression those aces held that was important$ He saw devotion in their eyes and be !new that the Emperor was with them$ &he machine lurched once more and halted$ &he driver(s voice shouted over the intercom$ ( (Disembar! &he heavy door o the carrier opened and the terrible roar o weapon ire bit the troops$ &he unit ran rom the rear o the vehicle$ *ther troops were disembar!ing rom tbetr carriers too$ &he Rhinos had halted hal way up a steep pile o rubble and debris that bad once ormedpart o the ortress wall$ *ne s0uad scrambled most o the way up the slope immediately but were cut down by a sudden intense burst o boiler ire$ Fras! was with another two s0uads o ,uardsmen who threw themselves to the ground as rag grenades e/ploded around them$ Fras! ptc!ed himsel up and 0uic!ly glanced around$ &he troopers saw him and and rose to their eet# shouting cries o Imperial loyalty and charging orwards$ &he cadet saw no doubt in the eyes o his comrades and he ran with them$ And they were united as they surrendered themselves to the embrace o the Emperor(s will$


$n the day of the &east of the Emperor's Ascension. =;,D=:. a massive $rk assault on the hive world of Armageddon egan. %ystem ships from space hulk Alveus Alpha Alpha %e#tus smashed through the or ital cordon of the planet, annihilating the o solete or ital monitors. A massive space drop swiftly overwhelmed most of the western continent of Armageddon Prime. .ightning assaults y the highly mo ile $rk forces encircled hive after hive. Tens of thousands of $rk ,oy6 lasted through the hives' outer defences and massacred or enslaved the populations within. Across the continent the forces of humanity were driven into retreat. *ue to criminal negligence on the part of $verlord von %tra /cross-reference to Administratum file8 Armageddon =;;;=, Prosecutions for war-crimes0, the ill-prepared human forces were nearly swept away under the green tide. *ivisions of the Planetary *efence &orce were sent out piecemeal y von %tra only to e outflanked and destroyed y the enemy. Endless columns of $rk war machines raised plumes of dust hundreds of metres high as they raced across the ash-wastes of Armageddon Prime. The voices of a hundred thousand $rks roared their rutal cries of victory. 5eports came in from attlefield after attlefield where the lood of rave human warriors stained the multi-coloured sands. "t ecame o vious that von

%tra had seriously underestimated the cunning and strategic a ility of his foe 3arlord 'ha6ghkull Thraka, $ver oss of all the 'offs, Prophet of the 3aaagh7 Bon %tra fled to the relative safety of thc south, to Armageddon %ecundus, the industrial heartland of the hive world. Two days later the $rks invaded Armageddon %ecundus and the true attle for Armageddon egan. Armageddon %ecundus contained I;A of the world's industrial capacity, vital not only for fighting the campaign in hand ut also for securing surrounding star systems against alien threats. 'ha6ghkull wished to rip the industrial heart out of his foe. The only hope of relief was from the %pace Marine (hapters ut von %tra refused to call for help, still elieving he could defeat the $rks and claim victory for himself. The $rks' assault started in the %eason of %hadows when the volcanic mountains of Armageddon erupt, sending great clouds of smoke and dust swirling across the tur ulent lood-coloured skies. Massive armoured columns smashed into the thinly-held "mperial order positions. 3ar uggies raced across the la6ing sands towards the human lines. A howling mass of green-faced devils overran the hard-pressed human defenders. ,y the flickering light of the Palidus Mountains, as Mount Eschatus itself erupted and lava u led and hissed down its slopes, man and $rk fought and died. ,olters thundered relentlessly. 'argants lum ered forward, dwarfing fleeing human warriors, myriad turrets spitting death. The $rks punched holes through the human lines and drove south. Two tri es swept east of the Palidian range heading south towards -ades hive. The remaining $rk tri e struck out west towards the port of -elsreach. As the %eason of %torms roke, lowing the clouds from the sky, the $rks' drive south continued. They punched through the pitiful improvised defences the human survivors had uilt along the river anks and swept round the Palidus Mountains to "nfernus hive. *emoralised y continuous news of defeat, with no faith in the promises of the planetary overlord and dismayed y the sheer si6e of the mechanised $rk hordes, the 'overnor of "nfernus surrendered without a fight. ,ikemounted $rk outriders harried the hundred kilometre-long refugee columns that fled the city, herding them ack to "nfernos and slave la our in the factories. 'iven the fact that the $rks measured senior citi6ens, women and children against their own inhuman standards of toughness, hundreds of thousands were to die in captivity. %oon -ades hive cluster was esieged and the site of the heaviest fighting yet seen during the campaign. The legendary (ommissar ?arrick supervised the defences. "n those dark days he seemed to e everywhere, supervising the welding shut of the great last portals, personally negotiating treaties of allegiance with the hive gangs and inducting them into the army, raising the spirits of a people demoralised y starvation and defeat with his own un)uencha le elief in ultimate victory. Ama6ingly he welded together a ragtag army capa le of standing off the $rks. At -ades they halted. $ne can only imagine what it must have een like. The hundreds of kilometres of earthworks hastily thrown up y the slave gangs overseen y whip-cracking $rk 5untherd6, the giant 'argants lasting away at the distant hive spires, guns thundering like the laughter of mad gods. -undreds of thousands of red hate-filled eyes glaring at the pri6e, so near and yet so unreacha le. The human population scuttling through the shadows of the hive, endless kilometres of corridor darkened from the need to save power. Thousands starving or eating rats and roaches. 3ho knows what feats of heroism and horror took place in that place, at that timeK Those who survived do not talk much a out it, save to praise the ravery of ?arrick. "n the west the defenders of the port of -elsreach, heartened y the resistance in -ades, put up a rave fight. They defended the dock yards and refineries ravely. %treet gangs using improvised weapons am ushed the $rks at every turn. -astily converted armoured supertankers were pressed into service to evacuate non-com atants. There was not enough room to take everyone so lots were drawn for erths on the ships. 3eeping families parted knowing that they pro a ly would never see each other again. $nce the last ship had sailed the defenders knew there was no refuge for them+ each mem er of the assem led -ive *efence 4nits swore a mighty oath to sell his life as dearly as possi le. *riven y hate and rage they fought the $rks with the fury of a erserk rhinodon. %uicide om ers leapt amid $rk patrols and detonated their chest om s. The corridors of -elsreach ran with lood. The drivers of the great loading cranes in the har our welded themselves into their vehicles and attacked the 'argants. 3ave after wave of $rk attacks were repulsed until even the $rk generals egan to dou t the wisdom of their attack. Messages of hope from -ades hive were roadcast over the comm-net in -elsreach.

"t was the people of -elsreach's darkest hour when the port finally fell. *efeat, when it came, arrived from a most une#pected )uarter. $rk 3eird oy6 summoned a monstrous psychic storm. 3aves of pain urst into the minds of the hive's defenders. %ome went mad, some died of shock, the heads of some e#ploded. 4nder cover of this storm the $rks entered -elsreach and wiped out the defenders to the last man. 3hen word of the fall of -elsreach reached -ades (ommissar ?arrick ordered an hour of silence and then locked himself in the Emperor's (hapel to pray. %ome say that the old man communed with the deity and found fresh inspiration. Those who knew him well say he wept. 'ha6ghkull himself arrived to supervise the siege of -ades. -e had heard tales of itter human resistance and thought he'd etter oversee the defeat of ?arrick personally. &or weeks a long duel was fought out under the dreadful yellow sky. 'ha6ghkull tried every stratagem. -e feinted assaults on one part of the hive while the main strength of his troops attacked elsewhere. -e airdropped %torm oy kommando units onto the peaks of the hive spires and ordered them to seek entrance through the ventilation system. -e ordered his Mek oy6 to uild him mighty siege engines, enormous towers with huge !ackhammers, modified 'argants with earthmoving lades and great scoops, giant earth oring drills which sought to eat through the surface of the hive. &or every strategy implemented y the $rks (ommissar ?arrick found an answer. Mo ile reserves used the hive's transport infra-structure to respond to the feints. The kommandos were met y volunteer cadres of tunnel fighters, drug-cra6ed madmen chosen from the depleted ranks of the city's maintenance engineers, many of whom had lost all their loved ones during the siege. These men slipped into the maintenance shafts stripped naked, armed only with olt pistol and knife and an e#tensive knowledge of the system that ena led them to lay traps and am ushes. These men fought a lonely and unsung war in the terri le darkness ut they did their !o . 9ot a single $rk kommando emerged from the air shafts alive. %uicide s)uads from the -ive *efence &orce sallied out at night and assaulted the siege machines with melta om s and power a#es. 3hile the siege of -ades continued $rk columns rolled south from -elsreach and "nfernus. They were heading for Acheron and what appeared to e the last astion of human resistance. "t was the eginning of the %eason of &ire and temperatures outside the hive cities had started to soar. The hardy $rks and the specially e)uipped human military didn't have to worry ut the refugees who had escaped the $rkish net egan to die in droves. The Acheronians steeled themselves for attle. They knew their time had come. .ooking out through their hive's ocular monitors they could see the endless ranks of $rks approaching. -ornhelmed ikers, kustomised war uggies and great siege engines stretched out to the hori6on. The only promise of support they had was from $verlord von %tra . "t consisted of his personal good wishes and twenty of his elite personal odyguard who had displeased him. 3ith an earthshaking roar the $rks advanced, the air itself vi rating with the thrum of thousands of powerful engines. They swept through the outer hives of the cluster and laid siege to the core hive itself. Poorly provisioned and inade)uately armed as his forces were, the hive governor refused to surrender. 1)e will ight to the last man#1 he announced. 1And then our ghosts will come bac! to haunt the *r!ish scum$1 The $rks charged, confident of victory. %uddenly great holes were torn in their ranks. Mighty e#plosions tossed their vehicles into the air like chaff. The inha itants of Acheron looked on in ama6ement as the or ital om ardment continued. 'reat ships filled the sky and "mperial Thunderhawk gunships dropped earthward, delivering advance s)uads of %pace Marines into the fray. Taken y surprise, the $rks reeled ack. The %pace Marines continued to pour from their landing craft, olters spitting death. The hive defenders rallied and emerged to aid their saviours. &or the first time since the campaign started the $rks tasted defeat. A relief force headed y the %alamanders, the 4ltramarines and the ,lood Angels raced north in an effort to relieve -ades hive. <ust as the %pace Marines roke through the $rk front lines, -ades fell. $rk oy6 scoured the corridors, the last last doors were cracked and fighting raged through the former homes and workplaces of the people. "n the last few hours the fighting was deadly and virtually hand-to-hand as attle raged through the last secure areas of the hive. (ommissar ?arrick was one of the few survivors. -is terri ly wounded ody was found in the ruins, do6ens of $rk odies heaped a out him. &ortunately for the "mperium this e#ceptionally rave warrior lived to fight another day. "n the west a new wave of $rk reinforcements had arrived and a massive push against Tartarus hive egan. The "mperial lines had een stripped are in order to mount the ill-fated relief

operation on -ades hive and the $rks easily roke through and pushed on south to esiege Tartarus hive. 'ha6ghkull himself took personal command of the assault and launched his last desperate attempt to win the war. &or days everything hung in the alance. "f the $rks could take Tartarus they could reak the ack of "mperial resistance, devastating the %outh's industrial ase to the point where the war would ecome unwinna le. "t looked for a while as if the 3arlord might succeed as headlong assaults swept over the city. "n a desperate gam le the ,lood Angels returned to their ships. The %pace Marines descended y drop pod and Thunderhawk gunship ehind the main ody of the $rk spearhead, cutting off an entire 'off $rk tri e and 'ha6ghkull himself. A thin line of red-armoured %pace Marines held the handful of intact ridges across the viscid flow of corrosive sludge known as the %keletus river. 4nless they recaptured the ridges over the %keletus the $rks could not retreat from the trap Tartarus had ecome and would soon run low on food and ammunition. %oon the %alamanders, 4ltramarines and "mperial 'uard forces returning from -ades hive would crush the $rks once and for all. The only way the $rks could escape would e to overrun the ridgeheads and fight their way across the %keletus.


AR $ARRI!&+++

'viour Of Arm'/e**o-

(ommissar ?arrick was an old man when $rk 3arlord 'ha6ghkull Thraka attacked the world of Armageddon and the siege of -ades egan. -is years with the "mperial 'uard had een eventful ones for he had seen action on a do6en war6ones with regiments from 9ecromunda, .uther Mc"ntyre, and Armageddon. -is last mission was to run the *epartmento Munitorium recruitment program on Armageddon, where the =th regiment was eing reformed. Armageddon eing a large and populous world with a su stantial military recruitment ase, the =th Armageddon was a ig regiment V almost an army in its own right. "n his youth ?arrick had learned the $rk tongue whilst fighting on B'run. %ince then he had made a study of the creatures and was considered an e#pert on the $rk mind. *uring the attle for Armageddon this knowledge was to prove invalua le, though it undou tedly could have een used to etter effect were it not for the stu orness and arrogance of -erman von %traa , the .ord of Armageddon. 5ather than listen to the advice of the old (ommissar, von %traa had him anished to -ades, a sprawling hive comple# away from the seat of government. As it happened, this was pro a ly the est decision von %traa made during the whole war. The $rk assault was swift and seemingly unstoppa le. Bon %traa 's armies were y no means small or poorly e)uipped, ut they could not stand efore the savage $rk advance. $nly when the $rks reached -ades did the surging tide come to a halt efore the well ordered defences that (ommissar ?arrick had )uickly put into position. Even so, the initial $rk attack led y 3arlord 4gulhard would have swept away human resistance were it not for the presence of ?arrick himself. The $rk 3arlord glimpsed the (ommissar across the attlelines and drove his forces directly to where ?arrick stood. 3ith a ar arous roar the $rk threw himself upon the (ommissar. -e swung his snapping attle claw at ?arrick and severed his right arm at the el ow. The 3arlord's ellow of victory was cut short as ?arrick, fighting the pain and shock as no normal man could, swung his chainsword in a crimson arc and severed 4guihard's ony head from his shoulders. The $rk's ody collapsed to the ground whilst the head continued to sneer and curse momentarily until the creature's e#traordinary meta olism finally conceded that it was dead. ?arrick calmly reached down and plucked the attle claw from the $rk's twitching ody -e held it aloft so that all the green-skinned warriors could see it and know their champion had suffered defeat. A hush fell over the attlefield as man and $rk ga6ed in silence upon the gnarled old man randishing the loody claw Then the humans cheered and the $rks wailed in horror, and all at once the defenders leapt upon the aliens with indomita le vigour. $nly when the $rks had een eaten from -ades did ?arrick allow himself the lu#ury of passing out. 9ews of this incident spread like wildfire amongst the $rks. They said that ?arrick could not e killed and that his ga6e was death to even the most powerful $rk. 3herever ?arrick fought the

$rks would flee in terror, or whatever passed for terror inside their inhuman green skulls. ?arrick understood the $rk mind well and e#ploited this weakness to the full. -e had 4gulhard's attle claw fa ricated into a prosthetic lim to replace the arm the 3arlord had taken from him. .ater he lost his left eye to a splinter shot from a laser, and had a io-implant made that pro!ected a pulse of laser light. This terrified the $rks even more and they called him the ,ale Eye who could kill with a glance. &or si# months following the fight in which ?arrick lost his arm the defenders of -ades held out against further attack. Those who survived paint a confused picture of heroism and dark savagery as the $rks gradually infiltrated the hive comple#. ,ut all agree that it was ?arrick who kept the defenders together, who rought them ack from defeat time and time again, and whose dogged elief in ultimate victory gave others the strength to go on. The time that he ought was to make all the difference. ,y the time relief forces of "mperial 'uard and %pace Marines arrived the $rks had een worn away y the human defence. Even as ?arrick and his few remaining defenders gathered for the last stand the $rk armies were crum ling away. ?arrick was one of the few survivors of the fighting around -ades. -is arely living ody was found y rescue searchers amongst the ruins, do6ens of $rk corpses heaped at his feet. "t took ?arrick many months to recover from his in!uries, y which time the $rks had een defeated and a new .ord installed in place of the insane and incompetent von %traa . The old (ommissar accepted nominal retirement and a training post on Armageddon where the planet's armies were eing reformed. -owever, the knowledge that the supreme $rk 3arlord 'ha6ghkull Thraka was still living proved too great a distraction for ?arrick. After only a few months of peace he strapped on the $rk attle claw and reported for duty, vowing that he would not rest until 'ha6ghkull was hunted down and destroyed at last.


Macharius was one of the greatest war leaders the "mperium has ever known8 a military genius of the highest cali re, a ruthless and am itious commander whose dreams of con)uest reshaped the "mperium at the eginning of the forty-first millennium. After millennia of disorder the "mperium was finally united in more than name. At the (onclave of 'athalamor held in the shadow of Mount Amalath at the tom of the 'reat (onfessor, on the *ay of Ascension itself, over eight hundred Masters of the %pace Marine (hapters gathered to reswear their oaths of loyalty. The old power of the Ecclesiarchy was waning and with it the introspective and self-destructive ha its of mind that had divided the "mperium over the previous centuries. The schism of the Apostasy was fading from memory and few remained to champion a cause that seemed increasingly irrelevant. The hard-core of ,ucharan dissenters had fled far and wide into the Eastern &ringe away from the "mperium and the persecutions of the Ecciesiarchal (onfessors. Mars and the Empire of the Tech-Priests, for centuries divided from Earth y religious wars and intolerance on oth sides, reforged its old alliance at the Treaty of (eres. "n the past the TechPriests had found good reason to distrust the Adeptus, and had wisely remained aloof from the turmoil that had enveloped an unsta le "mperium. ?et even the Techno-Magi could see that the "mperium had emerged more strongly united than ever. &rom the &orge 3orlds poured armaments and ships to e)uip the "mperial armies and carry them to new worlds. $nto this stage strode .ord (ommander %olar Macharius and ehind him marched the greatest armies of con)uest the gala#y had ever seen. The growing anarchy of the previous centuries had left many old worlds a andoned y the "mperium. %ome had fallen to $rks, others to enemies unknown, whilst hundreds had simply stopped paying tithes and had effectively slipped eyond the control of the Adeptus. "t was these worlds that felt the first low of the new armies of reconstruction. 9ew "mperial 'uard armies swept down upon the enemy without warning or mercy. Planets were laid are, invaders destroyed and human worlds swiftly rought under the "mperial yoke. "n)uisitorial teams which followed in the wake of the con)uering forces reported scenes of

devastation and suffering worse than that caused y rampaging $rks. Missionaries from the Adeptus Ministorum set a out restoring the faith amongst the survivors, ut so appalling were the conditions left y thecon)uering armies that many millions died from hunger and disease. -owever, it was years efore rumours of Macharius' uncompromising campaign reached the Adeptus of Earth. At first all the Adeptus Terra had were reports of worlds newly li erated and alien hordes defeated and of ancient human communities rediscovered and rought ack into the light of the Emperor. Many fierce attles had een fought and at each encounter the new "mperial 'uard armies of reconstruction had performed rilliantly. Macharius' strategy of sudden and decisive attack was working etter than could have een imagined. A hundred worlds fell to him in one year, three hundred the ne#t, and in the third year of the campaign nearly seven hundred planets were taken y the com ined forces of the fleets of the %egmentum %olar and the "mperial 'uard. "t seemed that nothing could stop Macharius. 3ithin five years his armies reached the old orders of the Astronomican. They found planets which had not seen an Adept for over five thousand years, where tales of the Emperor, of %pace Marines, and the dark days of the -orus -eresy were treated as myths. They found worlds where humans hadturned to the dark certainties of science, and created many new and wondrous machines. There were worlds which welcomed Macharius with open arms and others which resisted the forces of the "mperium in vain. The Adeptus Mechanicus long lamented the destruction of Adantris &ive whose hyper-technology kept the "mperium at ay for two years efore it was destroyed in the conflagration of a re-directed comet. $f its secrets nothing now remains. At the edge of the gala#y Macharius' armies stood undefeated. ,ut the long attles had taken theft toll. -is troops had suffered years of constant warfare and had travelled so far from home that communication and supply were no longer practical. "t was as if they had left human space altogether, so dimly did the Emperor's light shine at the fringes of the Astronomican. Even the ships' 9avigators could sense only darkness around them. Macharius pressed forward, into the thin halo of $ld %tars that surround the gala#y. These are ancient worlds where men have never known the Emperor. Their ancestors left Earth over thirty thousand years ago at the dawn of human history. At this point Macharius' generals wavered. They pleaded for him to reconsider. -is men, tired and ageing, hesitated. The halo was dark and for idding. 9avigation was slow without the guiding eacon of the Astronomican. The Astropaths were virtually eyond range of psychic communication. There was a sense of growing unrest amongst the armies and fleets. Macharius knew that the end was come. -is armies had simply run out of energy at the moment of his greatest challenge. To make matters worse, some of the e#ploratory teams had failed to return from theft missions, whilst others reported mysterious phenomena. The troops whispered that the $ld %tars were haunted, that the worlds which or ited them were inha ited y ghosts, and that the halo was not a place for living men. Macharius locked himself in the state rooms of his capital ship and drank himself into a stupour. -is generals waited. They had shared in their commander's dreams. &or years his am ition has carried them across the depths of space and to the edge of the gala#y. ,ut now they would not go on. (ould not go on. *runkenly Macharius accused his men of etraying him and now he rooded in silence over his maps and charts, reports of new civilisations, and tales of the greater mysteries that lay amongst the $ld %tars. 3hen he reappeared it was to order the fleets ack into the "mperium. -is soldiers cheered their hero. -is generals sighed with relief. ,ut Macharius was a roken man. -e had dreamed of oundless con)uest and had awoken to find human fear and frailty. $n the return !ourney Macharius died. The apothecaries said it was a fever contracted in the !ungle fighting on <ucha. Those closer to him said he had died so that he could e with the heroes of old who never alked at danger or shunned the unknown. -is troops wept openly at the news of their leader's death, for though they had refused to follow him into the void, they revered him almost as a god. Macharius' ody was carried in stasis to the supply ase he had created at the launch of the campaign decades efore. $ver the interim the world had grown into a usy port through which poured Adepts, ministers of the "mperial (ult, Tech-Priests, and many others all !ourneying to the new worlds that Macharius had unveiled. The ase had een named Macharia y the captains of the fleet. 9ow the .ord %olar's ody returned to Macharia and was interred in a great sepulchre that had een prepared for it. At his funeral march a million men filed past his tom and a

hundred generals laid their swords upon his sarcophagus. "t is said that the whole "mperium wept for the fallen commander, though it is dou tful if the populations of some of the worlds he con)uered ever felt so kindly towards him. "n truth he was a rutal con)ueror and a ruthless soldier, though he was often generous towards his troops and even to con)uered worlds whose defenders had impressed him in some way or other. -e was certainly a charismatic man, and one for whom others proved willing to lay down their lives. 9oone has led the "mperial 'uard to more victories or greater con)uests, nor won so many worlds for the "mperium, nor taken armies eyond the edge of the gala#y and the light of the Astronomican. After his death Macharius' old generals could not hold his con)uests together. Their own rivalry erupted into civil war, and the con)uered territories found themselves divided into warring military empires led y "mperial 'uard generals. %ome of the newly assimilated planets took the opportunity to secede from the "mperium altogether elieving that with the death of Macharius the "mperium's power had een roken. The Macharian -eresy, as this period of struggle is called, was finally ended y a (rusade in which almost a hundred %pace Marine (hapters took part. "t lasted for nearly seventy years after Macharius' death, a testament to the astonishing speed and wide e#tent of the .ord (ommander %olar's con)uests. Though many of Macharius' most distant con)uests were lost to the "mperium forever, the ma!ority were pacified successfully. Today these worlds form a su stantial and prosperous part of the "mperium.

The world of Tallarn was once a fertile planet athed in the gentle orange light of its twin suns. $ceans, plains and lush !ungles covered its surface, and its people prospered. The world was a virtual paradise. All of this ended during the -orus -eresy.



"n a devastating surprise attack, the "ron 3arriors (haos %pace Marines struck the planet. Thousands of virus om s rained down on Tallarn and the people ran to their enviro-shelters, deep eneath the surface. As they hid, safe from the devastating io-infestation, the deadly coils of *9A mutated as they were programmed to do. Animals, plants, even insects died as the virus did its work, destroying the planet's ecosystem and leaving an empty shell devoid of life. After seven weeks of isolation the virus had run its course and the remaining people of Tallarn emerged upon the surface. They found a world covered with the acrid slime of plants and corpses not yet decayed - for the world was completely sterile, without even acteria to aid the decomposition of its dead. The stench was strong, and more than one person died from it. The "ron 3arriors sent their task-force to repossess the world for the *ark 'ods of (haos. &rom underground unkers the Tallarn forces emerged to do attle with the invaders. %oon, reinforcements from oth sides arrived, rival space fleets ringing vast armies to fight over the worthless remnants of the dead planet. The ,attle of Tallarn raged for many months and was the largest armoured conflict of the -orus -eresy. $ut reaks of viral infection from rogue *9A residue made it almost impossi le for infantry to operate outside their protective shelters. The attle was finally decided y armies of tanks. 3hen the fighting ended the empty, putrid wastes of Tallarn were littered with the wreckage of more than a million shattered vehicles.

(haos was driven from Tallarn at great cost, yet for all the millions that died there seemed little gained from the fight. The planet was destroyed and rendered useless for large scale ha itation, industry or agriculture. The armies of the "mperium might well have given up Tallarn had their commanders reali6ed the e#tent of the devastation, ut once the armies were in motion there was no going ack. At the time the (haos attack made little sense. "t seemed insane that even the fickle 'ods of (haos should e#pend such energy fighting over a devastated world of no particular strategic significance. ,ut in the aftermath of the -orus -eresy there were few left to ponder such )uestions. Amongst the evils of the time it was !ust another demonstration of the random destruction of (haos.



3ithin a thousand years of the -orus -eresy Tallarn evolved into a very different world from the prosperous planet of former times. *eserts of sulphurous sand stretched from pole to pole and all water disappeared e#cept for a thin residue in the atmosphere. 9o vegetation remained on the surface e#posed to the listering, wind- lown sands. All that grew was the carefully hus anded crops of the Tallarn themselves, sheltered in their protective horticultural domes. The surviving Tallarn now lived in domed towns or in natural caverns hollowed out in the planet's rock. &ierce winds drove the Tallarn into their shelters, corrosive sulphur storms made all travel risky, and eventually a system of tunnels was uilt to facilitate travel eneath the surface. A ove their settlements the Tallarn uilt vapour traps to catch water from the thin atmosphere. These tall towers still stand a ove their domes to this day, and all the water they use is caught y these cunning devices and channelled into su terranean holding tanks.


*uring the construction of an arterial tunnel, Tallarn miners struck an outcrop of hard lack rock. They were una le to reak through this strange su stance which was )uite unlike any other they had encountered. After some days they decided to divert their tunnel to go around it. As they did so they discovered something very strange. At first the lack wall seemed like a natural formation, ut soon they reali6ed they had uncovered a deli erate construction. The initial e#cavations revealed a huge wall of strange lack rock carved over its entire surface with weird entwined figures. The figures were human si6ed yet not entirely human, possessing a grace and eauty which rendered their grotes)uely inscri ed cavorting all the more perverse. 'iant earth movers were rought in to dig out the layer of sulphur sand in which the wall was uried, and it y it it was slowly and painstakingly e#posed to the daylight. The Tallarn soon discovered the wall was not straight ut curved, in fact part of a huge circle. (arefully their most skilled technicians worked to uncover the entire thing, a huge ring-shaped mound almost half a mile across.


"t was not until the whole circle was e#posed that the disaster happened. 3ith a last of power the circle screamed and writhed, its inert form turned suddenly to moaning flesh. 3here efore there had een carvings now there were the creatures themselves, Eldar creatures, yet twisted with an uncanny evil, locked together y some sorcerous ond into a sickening em race of depraved passion. 3ithin the circle itself, lackness oiled and stars wheeled - stars that elonged in another part of the gala#y altogether.


"n the *ark .i rary of the Eldar a custodian shivered as he felt an unaccustomed surge of power. Adrift from time and space his mind searched the endless, strands of pro a ilities and found the thread tGt led to Tallarn. After so long it had een discovered8 the (ursus of Alganar, legend of evil from efore the &all, vorte# of unimagina le power, one of the three mythical 'ateways of the 'ods. -is mind shifted into synchronicity with -the &arseers of his race, tracing the paths that linked his mind to the (raftworlds of the Eldar. 3hen that knowledge touched the &arseers the Avatars of Ehaine would wake. And Ehaine would recognise the work of his ancient destroyer %laanesh ,ane of the Eldar, Prince of the (haos 'ods.

The Eldar struck from the skies without warning or e#planation. To the Tallarn it was an unwarranted act of aggression. .ittle could they imagine that the fate of the entire Eldar race was ound up with their strange discovery. To the Eldar there was no time for e#planation or discussion. They couldn't know whether the Tallarn were in league with (haos or whether the fierce desert people were unwitting pawns in the *ark 'ods' game. As far as they were concerned the only option was to attack, to destroy the (ursus if they could efore it was too late. The Tallarn fought ack with characteristic ferocity. ?ears of living upon the urning sulphur deserts had honed them into resilient fighters. To the Eldar the deserts were an unknown )uantity. Even the hardy Aspect 3arriors died under the heat of the sun, whilst the Eldar 'uardians fen to the lightning raids of the human fighters. ,ut the Eldar did not give up. They could not afford to a andon their attack. The survival of the gala#y depended on it.



,ut it was already too late. The gateway that was the (ursus grew in power y the minute. "ts screams and wails filled the desert as the dark light rightened and flu#ed within its core. .ights and stars swirled and clashed, fountains of spinning incandescence spat into the night sky. The laughter of gods re ounded across the sulphur dunes and Eldar and humans alike shuddered in terror. &rom the (ursus poured the minions of (haos. There were things indescri a le to men. Things that awakened primal terrors in Eldar hearts - horrors of slime and flame that cackled and ounded into attle, transparent odies of pure energy dividing and reuniting in a cascade of colours, vile fleshy things that pulsed with inner power and sucked at the air with poisonous lips. .ong-legged a ominations carried slender and elegant creatures upon their acks, eautiful and yet sickening to look upon. "t was as if all the =aemons of hell had fallen upon Tallarn.


The human commander called a truce and hurried to the Eldar lines where the alien %eers sat waiting. Enowledge had finally opened their eyes. The runestones lay cast upon the desert floor. -ope in union was predicted. *ivision would lead to damnation, darkness and death. 3ith their fates so clearly predicted, the Eldar and Tallarn !oined forces. The two races fell ack efore the (haos onslaught. Many were caught and destroyed in the early confusion, ut the (haos advance was slowed y the merciless hit and run tactics of the desert raiders. -umans led Eldar !et- ike riders into the attack, and soon the Tallarn and Eldar were a le to regroup. As the daemon hordes advanced eyond the (ursus their power waned, as if they were dependent upon its pro#imity for their power. And so it was, for the tendrils of (haos though long are very tenuous, and only lood-letting and victory can sustain the link etween the *ark 'ods and their minions.



3ith skill and cunning the Tallarn drew out the (haos attle lines. (hoosing their targets carefully the Tallarn launched one attack after another, always retreating efore the (haos hordes could turn to meet their fire. "t was a tactic calculated to drain the power of the horde, and it worked etter than even the wily sons of the sulphur desert could have hoped. The Eldar %eers saw the runes change, saw the opportunity develop. The daemons were fading fast, their glittering odies growing ever more transparent, their cries ever weaker 9ow was the time to hit them hard. 3ith a furious charge the Eldar and Tallarn threw their remaining strength against the gi ering horde. "t was a last effort that would result in a solute victory or utter defeat. The (haos hordes shuddered and the odies of the daemons seemed to fade and dull. The crackle of energy died and the spark of life vaporised into the oily air. Many lay dead, human and Eldar, gored y monstrous claws, crushed y the sensual caress of a poisoned tongue, or torn apart y ra6or sharp teeth. Many Eldar waystones were collected from the field, and many Tallarn taken ack to their domes to surrender the water from their odies to the hydrotanks. ,ut it was victory nonetheless.

$nce the Eldar had departed in peace, and the people of oth races had e#changed their promises of friendship, the Tallarn returned to the (ursus. They found the lack stone cold and lifeless once more, !ust as it was when they had first uncovered it. -owever, they knew now that the stone was not dead ut merely sleeping, awaiting its time again, waiting for the call of its evil masters. The Tallarn uried the (ursus eneath the sulphur sands once more and placed within its circle the mysterious devices that the Eldar had given them for that purpose. Then they sealed the surface with plascrete and turned their acks upon it.

(adia is !ust one world amongst many thousands in the "mperium of Mankind, ut it has a special and honoured place in the history of Mankind. (adia stands upon the edge of the Eye of Terror

within a narrow corridor of sta le space known as the (adian 'ate. This forms the one and only truly predicta le passage etween the (haos-infested daemon worlds of the Eye of Terror and Earth. There are other routes, ut these are less sta le, inherently unpredicta le paths that will scatter fleets through time and space. 9o attlefleet of any si6e can rely upon these unsta le passages, ut must pass through the (adian 'ate. (adia is therefore one of the most strategically important planets of the gala#y, and its defence is vital to the survival of the "mperium of Mankind. !h'o+ R'i*er+ $n several occasions the forces of (haos have moved against the world of (adia, and raging attles have een fought in the rings of 5ouran and even on (adia itself. A large part of the "mperial fleet is stationed at (adia or near y. %uch huge attles are rare, ut the constant intrusion of (haos raiding craft is commonplace. (haos %pace Marines make fre)uent forays onto the surface of (adia, and must e hunted down and destroyed efore they can entrench themselves. As recently as five years ago, a large force of (haos %pace Marines penetrated the defences of (adia undetected, and went into hiding in the uplands of the *orac Alps. 4nknown to the (adians, these troops dug themselves in and esta lished a formida le fortress. %oon they were !oined y reinforcements and their forces increased until a large army was ready to attack. &ortunately, the (haos %pace Marines were detected when a ship carrying more raiders was intercepted in or it. The (adians' own defence troops were a le to contain the invaders and eventually defeat them. %uch incidents are not rare y any means, and the (adians have developed a powerful army which is e#pert at rooting out and destroying the invaders. The !'*i'- ho,< Troop+ The most powerful fighting formations of the (adian forces are called shock troops. They are chosen from the fastest moving and hardest-fighting of the (adians. As all (adians must train in the defence forces, all the est fighters are )uickly identified and inducted for further training. 3hen (haos raiders are discovered the shock troops are sent to hunt them down, and only if the force is particularly large or well e)uipped will the (adians send for help. Even the %pace Marines that have come to destroy especially large (haos forces have found the (adians impressive and powerful allies. The (adians manufacture e#cellent weaponry and other military e)uipment. the world itself is heavily industrialised and has many large cities with highly skilled populations. This is reflected in the (adians' armament and wargear, which is made in uniform patterns and camouflaged in a manner most suited to the mi#ed terrain of the (adian wilderness.

+++The P('-et 3'(h'(('+++

3ALHALLA The planet of Balhalla was once a temperate paradise of forests and road fertile plains. There is no record of its settlement, ut legends recall a world ripe for coloni6ation and development. "ts people spread across the world and prospered. The planet's main land masses were distri uted more or less evenly, one centered at the northern pole and the other at the south. The e)uatorial regions themselves were dominated y a huge warm ocean eleven thousand miles wide. Appro#imately ten thousand years ago, Balhalla was struck y a comet of immense si6e and weight. The planet's defense lasers poured shot after shot into the comet. This did nothing more than reak off several smaller fragments of what proved to e virtually solid iron. A mile wide fragment struck the northern continent causing massive earth)uakes and destruction, ut the main comet ody landed in the sea. At first the confusion and devastation made it hard to gauge the full effect of the strike. The oiling seas, clouds of vapor and pall of dust cut off the light. Temperatures plunged to free6ing over the whole planet. Even more significantly, the impact had knocked the whole world from its or it. &or ten years Balhalla spun eccentrically until it finally settled some fifteen million miles further from its sun. ,y then the planet was a very different place indeed. I!E WORLD Balhalla had ecome a fro6en world of ice. The survivors of the disaster found themselves pushed further and further towards the e)uatorial oceans as glaciers engulfed the polar continents. Eventually, there was no more land left, and they were forced to live upon the ice itself. Though

DDA of all life had een destroyed the people struggled through, uilding their cities deep inside the ice, eneath the glaciers and upon the fro6en ocean. 3hat little life remained they carefully cultivated, growing nutrient slimes and algae in vats hewed y thermal stills. &ate had dealt the world a cruel low ut had not finished with Balhalla. <ust as the threat of starvation seemed to e receding, another and e)ually dangerous foe appeared. $rks came in their thousands, their damaged space fleet lown upon the winds of the warp to the ice world. &inding little to sustain even their undemanding appetites, the $rks launched themselves upon the Balhallans with a ferocity sharpened y hunger. "t was a fight for survival. The $rks were marooned and the only food on the whole planet lay inside the cities of the Balhallans - the precious organic cultures and the inha itants themselves7 A DE PERATE TRU##LE The fighting raged throughout the su -glacial cities of the Balhallans The thermal stills which rose a ove the ice were easy targets for the $rks, ut the green-skinned creatures ignored them and attered their way through the duck plasteel shutters that protected the access tunnels to the ice cities. ?elling their foul war cries, the $rks charged downwards instead, right into the heart of the cities. The fighting raged through the galleries and tunnels of Balhalla. The defenders knew every inch of their fro6en domain, every gallery and shaft, and they made good use of their familiarity in each encounter As the $rks fought their way inwards they found themselves constantly am ushed, or led unwittingly into dead ends where tunnels would e collapsed ehind them. ,y the si#th week of fighting the $rks reached the main food cham er with its hundreds of nutrient slime vats. Almost half the $rks had een killed, ut the remainder were every it as determined as ever The scent of the u ling green slime assailed their keen nostrils and they licked their scaly lips in anticipation. The Balhallans prepared to put up a final resistance. "f the cham er was captured they would starve within a week. Every man, woman and child that could carry a gun crowded into the cham er and its surrounding galleries. The attle would decide which race would survive on Balhalla. THE %I"AL BATTLE The $rks attacked in a great mass. The green-skinned warriors were maddened with hunger and no longer seemed capa le of rational thought. "f the attack had een etter planned it might have succeeded, ut as it was the $rks were repelled, though at great cost. Almost half the defenders were slain or hurt. The $rks retreated and prepared for another rush. The second $rk attack came in two simultaneous thrusts. The first was repelled easily ut this proved to e nothing more than a feint. The second was directed against a small side cham er, part of the nutrient packaging plant that ad!oined the main production vats. The packaging plant eventually fell to the $rks, its defenders dead at their posts after e#acting a heavy toll amongst the enemy. &rom their newly won position the $rks rapidly moved reinforcements forwards. The humans found themselves in a crossfire, and were soon forced to give ground in the main cham er itself The $rks were amongst the huge vats. These were Pits hewn into the ground and filled with the sticky green algal slime. The raised sides of the pits provided cover for attacker and defender alike. The fighting intensified as the $rks struggled forward, pit y pit, and the humans gradually retreated or fell at their places. 3I!TOR$G After three hours the $rks had lost half their num er ut had forced the Balhallans ack against the ice wall. The defenders' prospects looked grim as they prepared for a fresh assault, determined to sell their lives as dearly as possi le. As the $rks rose and howled their attle cry, a mighty e#plosion tore through the cavern. "ce pillars toppled and fell into the nutrient pools, and the floor heaved and roke under the $rks' feet. The Balhallans rose in their turn and with an almighty scream fell upon their attackers. The $rks roke in confusion as fiery machines s mashed through the floor, and the roken cavern floor swain in a mi#ture of slime and green ichor. The Balhallans had won the day ecause se their stiff resistance gave their engineers time to ore an ice shaft under the cavern floor. At the vital moment the old ice urners, industrial machines used to form the su -glacial cham ers themselves, had een allowed to urst through and run amok amongst the $rks. The intensely hot urners, carried y their own high pressure steam, had terrified the $rks. Those who did not run were adly urned or melted, and those who escaped were cut down y the vengeful Balhallans.

Though the planet of Balhalla is no longer a populous or affluent world, the Balhallans are famous throughout the gala#y. After destroying the $rks on their own world, regiments of Balhallans !oined with other "mperial 'uard to rid many worlds of the $rk invaders. Always the Balhallans fight with the same grim determination they displayed in the ice cities of their home world. "n attle their courage and -tenacity earn them the respect of other regiments from all over the "mperium.

"n the long and sinister annals of the "n)uisition there are many tales of treachery and horror, of the destruction of worlds and the triumph of man's greed and foolishness. "t is a record of human weakness and the power of the *ark 'ods of (haos. ?et amongst that record of lost planets and mortal defeat there are a few stories of human victory - rare cases where the daemonic army of (haos has een turned aside at the moment of success and driven ack into the void from which it came. $ne such place is Mordian - the 3orld of Eternal 9ight. The Mordian day is the same length as the Mordian year, the small planet turning upon its a#is once each time it completes a circle of its sun. As a conse)uence, one side of Mordian is constantly urned y the fierce heat of the sun, whilst the other side lies in eternal darkness. The scorched side is lifeless and arren, a desert of splintered rock and canyons where mighty armies clashed during the Age of Apostasy many years ago. $n Mordian, all life is on the dark side. The slow revolution of Mordian does little to stir its thick atmosphere, so the weather is constantly hot and still with no natural ree6es to move the oppressive air. "n the sultry darkness the Mordians go a out their daily lives. Ancient and ruinous cities sprawl across the planet's dark surface. Pyramidal, multi-leveled towers reach for the sky and rise like mountains towards space. -undreds of millions of people e#ist upon a land surface arely one tenth the si6e of earth. Mordian is a world that seethes with people, a crowded and dark world whose rulers, the Tetrarchs, must fight a constant attle against anarchy. $nly the most careful hus anding of Mordian's resources keeps its massive population alive. All food, all clothing, all essential resources and supplies are strictly controlled, rationed and recycled. This ena les the Mordians to survive al eit with the utmost effort and in considera le impoverishment. %uch harsh and demanding conditions naturally reed discontent. &ew people really understand the predicament they or their planet is in. $thers care nothing for their fellow men and seek only to accrue personal wealth and power regardless of conse)uences. "n the decaying, multi-levelled cities crime is rife. 'angsters and criminal warlords rule an underworld where life is cheap and where the desperate are merely pawns to e e#pended as their masters please. THE IRO" #UARD The Mordian "ron 'uard stands etween order and anarchy. They are the champions of the Tetrarchy of Mordian, uniformed in right colours and fiercely loyal to their cause. Their enemies are all those who would divert the scant resources of Mordian or threaten its continued e#istence. They fight a constant attle against the criminal warlords of, the undercity, insane gangs of canni als and misguided ra lerousers who would sooner see universal destruction than endure the sacrifice necessary for the survival of the world. The "ron 'uard are ruthless in pursuit of their enemies. Their discipline is legendary and their training is as rigorous as possi le. All who fight in the "ron 'uard understand full well the horror that would engulf their world if they were to fail in their duty. Their loyalty and determination is all that keeps Mordian from plague, starvation and savagery. THE !O" PIRA!$ O% !HAO The greatest threat to Mordian came one hot summer. The stifling heat was unusual even for Mordian, and the planet seethed with unrest. ,eneath the streets rooded a secret conspiracy that posed a threat far greater than any seen efore. "n the depths met a dark conclave, a group of men who knew the e#tent of Mordian's wealth and wanted it for themselves. Away from the sight of saner citi6ens they made their incantations and called upon the *ark 'ods of (haos. A spell was egun. "t is impossi le to say how much innocent lood was spilled to fuel their sorcery, or what sinister pledges were made to their dark masters. Those who cast the spell sought only personal enrichment, their lust for power knew no ounds. They would destroy the

planet itself if they had to. They cared no more for its teeming millions than did the (haos gods. The summer grew hotter as the spell neared its completion. Many strange things were reported in the capital. The canni al mo s and criminal gangs were restless. Men saw winged monsters hovering in the city lights. People disappeared without trace. A &$ O% %LAME At last the spell was complete and suddenly the world shook as its sky erupted into flame and disgorged the 3arlords of (haos itself. &rom the Eye of Terror distorted and ugly spacecraft soared into the Mordian sides to rain fire and destruction upon the world. (haos %pace Marines poured into the city slaying all around in a great and loody sacrifice to their gods. *aemons stalked the urning towers and hunted the souls of those that fled from the devastation elow. &rom their dark hiding places the servants of (haos crawled to the surface to athe in the fire and terror of the world confident of their masters' favour now that their work was done. !HAO WAR As the sky e#ploded into flame the Tetrarchs of Mordian ordered their Astropaths to send psychic calls for help. The power of (haos was so strong that the Astropaths' minds melted with the effort. "t was impossi le for anyone to say whether the messages got through or if help was on its way. Meanwhile, the "ron 'uard fought a gallant resistance against the daemonic assault. 3hilst lesser men fled in terror efore the might of (haos the "ron 'uard stood their ground, pouring volley after volley into the enemy ranks. At last the "ron 'uard captains were forced to give the order to withdraw. Though their men would stand until the end they could achieve little against the hordes that opposed them. 5eluctantly the "ron 'uard regrouped around the capital, a andoning the rest of the planet to the enemy. 3hilst the forces of (haos rampaged throughout Mordian the "ron 'uard prepared the capital's defences. Every uilding ecame a fortress, every tower a strongpoint, and every street and pla6a. a killing-6one for the "ron 'uard's carefully sighted weapons. At the center lay the Tetrarchal palace itself, from which the defence of the capital was coordinated. 3hen the attack egan the "ron 'uard was well prepared. (haos %pace Marines fell efore their well disciplined fire as shot after shot struck their ranks. (hanneled into well prepared fire traps the (haos Marines were easily repelled, ut far greater and more potent foes followed upon their heels. ATTA!& %ROM THE DEPTH &rom the sewers and service ducts poured an army of those who had sold their souls to the *ark 'ods. (lad in rags and armed with no more than iron ars and lengths of chain they threw themselves upon the defenders. *riven y their insane devotion to (haos they cared little if they lived or died, and thousands were cut down y the devastating weapons of the "ron 'uard. 9onetheless, this attack from an une#pected source left the defenders unprepared for the ne#t assault. The forces of (haos moved upon the "ron 'uard with purpose. *aemons and (haos Marines advanced as one. ,loodthirsters of Ehorne roared a great challenge to chill mortal lood. Eeepers of %ecrets stalked the attlefield, slaying those that dared to look upon them with a withering glare. 3hirling -orrors skipped and chattered in an eerie lur of incandescent power. "t was a terrifying sight, yet the "ron 'uard held firm efore the onslaught though many paid the ultimate price for their devotion. %treet y street, uilding y uilding, the "ron 'uard fell ack into the heart of the city. Their lines drew tighter ut refused to reak, as attack after attack was repulsed. 3hen losses grew too heavy to endure, or as positions were outflanked and ecame untena le, the "ron 'uard withdrew to another line, always preserving what they could of their men and weapons. "t was a attle fought with all the tactical rilliance and discipline the est "mperial troops could hope for. ?et it was a attle the Mordians could not win. Eventually they would have nowhere left to retreat to. THE BATTLE %OR THE PALA!E At last the "ron 'uard took position around the Tetrarchal palace itself, the last strongpoint on the whole world. ,ehind hastily constructed defences the infantry waited for the inevita le attack. &rom the towers and ceremonial alconies the arrels of lascannons and other heavy weapons glinted in the fight of the urning sky. %uddenly the horde of (haos was upon them, screaming and ellowing in its might. 'reater *aemons of 9urgle strode clumsily amongst their minions, rising a ove them four or five times

the height of a man, giants and lords of their foul kind. The loated daemons shuffled forward, putrid innards spilling over the ground, nauseous gasses u ling from rents and tears in their leathery flesh. ,eside them were the (haos %pace Marines of that pestilential god, their armour green and rancid with decay, their rank odies stiff with disease. ,efore them came a lack cloud of flies which u66ed a out the "ron 'uard, crawling into their eyes and ears, and filling their mouths with lack hairy odies. The "ron 'uard's lasguns spat a volley of death into the screaming horde. Again the lasguns cracked with a single voice, as the captains ordered shot after shot into the vile mass. &rom the Tetrarchal palace came the chatter of autocannons, the angry scream of oltguns and the piercing shriek of lascannons. 3ith mechanical precision the weapon crews loaded and fired, loaded and fired, never stopping for one moment or reaking their routine. *aemon gore ran like a foul river in the once white s)uare, ut as one east fell another twice as hideous marched over its ody towards the "ron 'uard's position. The captains ordered their men ack to the palace steps and formed a firing line. Their discipline intact, the "ron 'uard prepared for a single volley efore the forces of (haos fell upon them. Their final moment had come, though there were few left now to witness their inevita le defeat.



.ittle could the defenders of Mordian know of the power or purposes of (haos. -ow could they imagine, as the hordes of (haos advanced upon them, that the (haos gods' hold upon Mordian was ut a tenuous one. The spell that had rought them to mortal space and im ued the flesh of their servants with physical energy was almost spent. The fires that urned in the sky were growing dim and the ellows of daemons echoed shallowly in the air. As the "ron 'uard watched, their enemies dissolved efore their eyes. The sky darkened to its customary lackness. "n the dark the guiding lights of "mperial spacecraft glittered amongst the stars. The "ron 'uard had won not !ust a attle, ut the most precious thing of all - time. &rom eyond the or it of Mordian "mperial psykers had wrought a counter spell to reak the hold of (haos. 3hilst the "ron 'uard fought upon the planet, a separate attle of wills had raged etween mortals and gods. $nly the "ron 'uard's heroic resistance had given the psykers enough time to work their mystical a ilities efore (haos won the planet for all time.

+++"e,romu-*'- Dth ; pi*er+;+++

There are many ancient "mperial 'uard regiments with long and glorious histories. $ne of the most famous is the 1%piders,1 as the 9ecromundan Ith is commonly called. This regiment is recruited from the ar aric hive world of 9ecromunda and its warriors come e#clusively from the %pider (lan of the Palatine -ive comple#. The %piders are raised as warriors in the lower ha layers of the hive. -ere amongst the ruins of past millenia they defend a territory where decaying water pipes, power lines and partially collapsed ventilation shafts are the currency of power. Their lives are savage and violent, and their very survival depends upon their skill at arms and determination in close com at. The %piders are paid and armed y the "mperial (ommander of 9ecromunda to keep down other re ellious clans, and so, on paper at least, form part of the planet's own army. This arrangement suits the %piders admira ly and, so long as they stay in the lower parts of the hive, it suits the "mperial (ommander too7 9ecromunda supplies many regiments for the "mperial 'uard, of which the %piders are one of the est. At the ,attle of *eucalion it was the spectacular heroism of the %piders that ena led the "mperial 'uard to hold onto its landing fields long enough to evacuate the planet. $nly the %piders and 3armaster %olon's own troops remained to hold off the overwhelming enemy forces as regiment after regiment filed into the troop transports. 3hen the last transports landed a massive enemy arrage fell amongst he ships, destroying half of them. "mmediately and without waiting for orders the %piders' commander 5aevan Mort6 advanced towards the foe. The 3armaster %olon and his troops had no choice ut to take to the remaining ships, and although they waited until the last minute efore taking off none of the %piders left *eucalion that day.

The world of Attila is a it smaller than Earth with a single continent which covers almost half its surface. The center of this massive continent is prone to such e#tremes of temperature that it remains uninha ited, a aking desert in the summer which ecomes a su -6ero sea of sand and snow over winter. ,etween the death lands of the continental center and the coasts is a elt of rich steppes thousands of miles deep punctuated with mountain chains, mighty inland lakes, and vast rivers. $nly towards the coastal edges does the grassland give way to verdant forests, encircling the entire continent with a thin ar oreal and. -umans settled on Attila many thousands of years ago and must have adopted the nomadic life almost immediately. The original landing site of Ehanasan has grown into the only city on the whole planet. The ustling metropolis is a gathering place for the tri es of Attila and the center of its government. The ulk of the population are nomads who su sist from their herds of ovigors, gigantic shaggy and savage animals native to the world of Attila. Their rich flesh and dark lood form the asic su sistence diet of the tri es. 3hen the summer comes, the Attilans drive their herds towards the heart of the continent, following the spring thaw and new grown pasture. "n winter, they retreat towards the outer grasslands a utting the coasts, and here their animals find enough gra6ing to keep them alive until the year's turn. The "mperium recruits some of the most ferocious mounted warriors from this ar aric world. Attilan regiments of "mperial 'uard 5ough 5iders have fought all over the gala#y in many different theatres of war. $n worlds thousands of light years from Attila the image of the scarred tri esman resplendent in his crude furs and edecked with eads and rings is as familiar as it is frightening. The Attilans' warrior prowess is founded upon a tradition of fighting amongst themselves, for the tri es of Attila respect only power and a king must e prepared to demonstrate his might to dou ting rivals. 3hen a lord of the Attilans defeats an enemy he cuts off the eaten man's head and his artificers turn the skull into a drinking cup as a permanent sym ol of his victory A tri al chieftain may have many such skulls, ound with ornately carved gold or inlaid with silver, em ellished with ru ies and sapphires of immense worth. The Eing of Ehanasan and .ord of Attila is the most mighty of all, acknowledged as the Eing of a Thousand %kulls7 "t is said that Attilans are orn in the saddle, and they are amongst the greatest horsemen in the gala#y. The horses they prefer are thick-set easts, ill-tempered and likely to ite or kick anyone unwise enough to give them the chance to do so. The riders depend upon their horses a great deal, and value them more highly than gold. "n adversity a warrior will draw off some of the animal's lood and drink it to sustain himself. "n this way Attilans can live without food or water for many days, ena ling them to operate deep ehind enemy lines without supplies. (haracteristic features of an Attilan warrior are the scars that he ears upon his cheeks, long knife cuts of white tissue which stand out against his weather eaten skin. These marks are cut into his cheeks as a young man, and ashes from the camp fire are ru ed into the wounds so that they leave deep and prominent scars. Attilans wear their hair in long raids. They do not wash themselves or clean their clothes, elieving that to do so would affront the spirits of water with which they superstitiously people their land. This tradition has proven hard to reak, despite considera le effort on the part of the Adeptus Ministorum preachers in the arely tolerated mission in Ehanasan. "ndeed, it is sometimes said that the stench of an Attilan is as powerful a weapon as his hunting lance7

>>The In6uisition +++The I-5ui+itio-+++

The "mperium is so vast and the task of directing the fate of humanity such an important one, that running the day-to-day usiness of empire is as eneath the Emperor as is the fate of a

single planet or a mere handful of illions of people. &or this reason the will of the Emperor is e#ecuted via two colossal organisations - the Adeptus Terra /also known as the priesthood0 and the "n)uisition. "n)uisitors are special agents of the "mperium+ free-roaming trou le- shooters ound y no laws or authority. Every "n)uisitor is empowered to investigate any possi le or potential threat to the future of humanity, whether that threat comes in the form of political aggression, administrative inefficiency or genetic deviation. There are no ounds to the "n)uisitor's field of operation8 alien plots, mutation, corruption, crime and incompetence a4 come under his !urisdiction. "n)uisitors usually operate alone, ut where necessary they will re)uisition, hire or purchase men and materials to help with their duty. Many "n)uisitors maintain a small personal staff to aid them in their work. They may also re)uest the cooperation of the Adeptus Terra in matters where their special forces are re)uired. The most common threat posed to humanity, and therefore the most common pro lem faced y the "n)uisitor, is that of psykers. The "n)uisitor must e on his guard not only for individual psykers /who are mostly harmless0 ut for organisations, secret cults and other, so-called revolutionary groups working to protect and hide emergent psykers. Although such groups might start with good intentions, they always fall under the sway of psychically attuned aliens creatures that wish only to destroy or enslave mankind. Another great threat to humanity which the "n)uisition la our to e#pose is that of mutation - the constant pollution of the human genepool. Although most mutations are harmless, if the race is to develop into the new, psychically aware creature envisioned y the Emperor, other sinister and potentially dangerous mutations must e destroyed. Mutations which affect psykers can produce creatures almost as great a threat as some of the psychically attuned aliens. -is work through the gala#y has earned the "n)uisitor the name of witch-hunter, torturer and worse. 3here necessary he is oth of these, and things more terri le, for any means !ustifies an end so vital and so endangered. Profile. "n)uisitors often come from the ranks of the priesthood. They have human profiles, ut onlyan e#traordinary human could take on the responsi ilities of the "n)uisitor. "n)uisitors are often drawn from the ranks of psychic mem ers of the priesthood - so any "n)uisitor has a @;A chance of having psychic powers. Psychic "n)uisitors are also individuals who haw een !udged y the Adeptus Astrapathica as mentally strong enough not to re)uire ritual soul- onding with the Emperor /see the Adeptus Astra Telepathica for a full description of this process0. Or/'-i+'tio-. Every "n)uisitor is a free agent, operating independently of other "n)uisitors or central authority. They would, however, regard it as a matter of honour to repond to fellow "n)uisitors in trou le or re)uiring assistance. %imilarly, the first loyalty of every "n)uisitor is to the Emperor, and an imperial command would e o eyed whatever the circumstances. $f all the "n)uisition agents only one, the Master of the "n)uisition, may e said to rank a ove the others. -e works directly with the Emperor on Earth, and has direct access to the Emperor himself. -is task is to report on the "n)uisition's mission to the Emperor, and to communicate the Emperor's commands to scattered agents throughout the "mperium. E5uipme-t. There is no item of e)uipment which is unavaila le to the "n)uisition. Their very duty places them in constant contact with e#otic, often alien, technology. E)uipment carried y each agent is a matter of individual choice, and might e varied depending on circumstances. Most "n)uisitors wear powered armour, often discreetly hidden under a ta ard and worn without a helmet. An armour energy- field of some kind would feature on the e)uipment list of almost all agents. 3eapons carried at all times would include at least one pistol /usually a olter0 and a sword /often a chain sword or power sword0. $lder, richer or luckier agents might even oast <okaero digital weapons, even as many as ten, although :-= would e more usual. A typical "n)uisitor is represented here y the renowned $ iwan %herlock (lousseau - a tireless e#poser of psychic misdeeds and genetic deviance. -e wears a suit of skin tight powered armour under a long, enveloping cloak. .ike most "n)uisitors, he distains the open wearing of a helmet in favour of civilian head-wear /"n)uisitors tend to e eccentric in their dress as well as their lifestyles0. 4nder his cloak are hidden various energy-field devices - conversion field, stasis field and refractor field /only one can e used at once of course0. -is favoured weapon is the olt pistol, although he also carries a power sword and three <okaero digital weapons+ hand flamer, laspistol and needle pistol. -e has several grenades secreted a out his person, including two each of

lind, choke, haywire and knock-out, and one each of crack, plasma, stumm, tanglefoot and vorte#. -e also has a communicator, io- scanner, energy-scanner, nose filters, photochromatic eye drops, an immune in!ector, infra-vision contacts, chemicals for the <okaero needler, a portarack, a rad-counter, a stimulant chemical, a syn-skin applicator and sufficent chemical for three uses, three suspensors and a can of we solvent. As can e seen, $ iwan %herlock (lousseau is e)uipped for !ust a out anything - ut then he has to e - he's an "n)uisitor. U-iform+. "n)uisitors do not wear uniforms, instead they wear civilian dress - itself varia le throughout the "mperium. They do wear a adge of office as a sign of authority, ut as often as not they will e working under cover and would not display it.

+++I-5ui+itor+ '-* the+++ +++Or*o M'((eu++++

"n)uisitors are free-roaming special agents of the "mperium and are ound y no laws or Authority. Every "n)uisitor is empowered to investigate any possi le or potential threat to the future of humanity+ whether that threat comes in the form of political aggression, administrative inefficiency or genetic deviation. There are no ounds to the "n)uisitor's field of operation8 alien plots, mutation, corruption, crime and incompetence all fall within his !urisdiction. "n)uisitors usually operate alone, independant of one another. They may also re)uest aid from theAdministratum of Terra, and this re)uest is rarely not answered. The most prominent threat to humanity is, of course, psykers. They are ruthless in their apprehension and e#ecution of suspected psykers. The "n)uisitor's work has earned him the title of 3itch--unter and Torturer. 3hen necessary, he is oth of these and things more terri le, for any means !ustifies an end so vital as the protection of humanity. The $rdo Malleus is also a part of the "n)uisition, although, secret. 9ot even other "n)uisitors know much a out them... save they keep watch over the other "n)uisitors. The origins of the $rdo are very ancient, and predate the Emperors eing placed in the 'olden Throne. Even though the $rdo watches the purity of the "n)uisition $rdinary, it is also charged with safe-guarding humanity against the creeping forces of (haos /something an ordinary "n)uisitor knows nothing a out0. 4nlike the "n)uisition $rdanary, the $rdo has a rigid hierarchy. "t is controlled y a council of :GD Masters, each of whom has a right to personal audience with the Emperor. Their authority e#tends to even the Master of the "n)uisition, and more than one has een tried and e#ecuted y the $rdo Malleus. ,elow the Masters are the Proctors and the Proctors Minor, each of whom controls a (ham er of the $rdo. There are two (ham ers the (ham ers Practical /those $rdo who operate in the field0 and the (ham ers -istorical H Theoretical /those $rdo who are to old for field work and simply do research0. The $rdo acts under the Emperor's warrant, and has a completely free hand. -e can demand anything he wants to carry out his duty. An "mperial servant /from the Adeptus Astartes to (huckus the store clerk0 must simply o ey, no )uestions asked /Assassins are e#empt from this, however0. F@A of all $rdo (ham ers are psychic. The military arm of the $rdo is the GGGth chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, the 'rey Enights. -owever, oth %pace Marines and "mperial 'uard are often conscripted y the $rdo for troops. "t is worth noting that such conscripted troops suffer a terri le fate... not only are they destined to face the mind-warping atrocities of (haos, ut after the attle, they are all killed y the $rdo (ham er and2or 'rey Enights. They are, of course, given posthumous honours for their having to die while serving the Emperor and saving -umanity. The %pace Marines are too valua le to simply kill, though. %o, each %pace Marine who is conscripted to assist an $rdo is Mind-%cru ed. -e will not remem er anything a out either the $rdo (ham er, the 'rey Enights, eing conscripted and what was attled with. "ndeed, those memories are destroyed.

+++Grey +ni/hts+++
The 9rey :nights are uni!ue among the &egiones "startes as the only chapter to have full knowledge of the dark secrets

of %haos , they alone know of the existence of 8aemons and their appearance in the real world, and they alone are e!uipped to battle and defeat mankind+s most terrible enemy. While the 9rey :nights are technically "deptus "startes, they do not involve themselves with the ordinary activities of Space 2arines. They are instead, a part of the In!uisition. "nd act as the military arm of the Ordo 2alleus, with their main base being located on Saturn+s moon Titan. The 9rey :nights are uni!ue in that they have no antecedants. The %hapters 9ene,seed was designed from an unknown source by the "deptus 2echanicus. The high ratio of psykers in the chapter points to a source outside of the normal processes of existing Space 2arine %hapters. There are conflicting reports of when this chapter was founded. I believe that the account of their being the first chapter created after the /eresy, to be the most likely. /owever it is also rumored that they were created upon the direct orders of the *mperor during the 9reat %rusade. The marines are sub.ected to training far more difficult than that of normal %hapters. To date these extraordinary measures have been effective4 in >E,EEE years of combat against the forces of darkness not one 9rey :night has failed in battle or betrayed the *mperor in word or deed. The 9rey :nights+ color scheme for #owered "rmor is a grey similar to that of the Space Sharks. /owever, their more well known units, Terminators, wear metallic armor. The most common colors are gold, brass, and steel. *ach 9rey :night Terminator goes into battle carrying his personally hand crafted copy of the +&iber 8aemonicus+, the %hapters sacred book of battle rituals. It can often be seen displayed in its ornately decorated ceremite case, hanging from a chain or fastened to his breast,plate. )emesis 'orce weapons are the standard class of armament use by 9rey :night Terminators. The )emesis is a double, handed weapon and comes in several forms, often as a halberd or a two,handed sword. Whatever their shape, all )emesis weapons have the same basic design and function4 the blade is a powerful force weapon housing a psi,matrix attuned to the uni!ue psychic field of it+s owner7 and the haft or handle contains a modified storm bolter which can be used in both ranged combat and close assault. The 9rey :nights secret fortress,monastery is located on Saturn+s largest moon, Titan. The fortess is also the home to a uni!ue library of knowledge known to a select few as the +&ibrarium 8aemonica+. It contains information about the Warp and the forces of %haos, tens of thousands of tomes of arcane lore and diabolism, accumulated over the millennia by the Ordo 2alleus. 2ost of the %hapter is scattered throughout the Imperium, usually organised into small units that have trained and fought together for their entire lives. When reports of possible 8emonic incursion are received, they are able to respond immediately and investigate. It is not unusual for 9rey :nights to be out in the farthest reaches of the Imperium for several decades at a time. When they die, a 9rey knights only re!uest is to have their remains returned to Titan. Where they can rest at last from their constant vigilance in the hallowed crypts far beneath the monastery amongst some of the Imperium+s greatest and most unsung heroes.

+++The Or*o M'((eu++++

The $rdo malleus is an inner college within the "mperium, it's activities and e#istence shrouded in secrecy. The "n)uisition goes to great lengths to hide the e#istence of (haos and it's warped servants from the ulk of -umanity. The Emperor and his advisors fear that such knowledge would have a terri le attraction for -umanity, and (haos would e hastened. The $rdo, when it is mentioned at all, is always referred to as a watchdog on the "n)uisition itself. "t's purpose, as the "mperium's elite /and only0 *aemon-unters, is altogether more serious and sinister. The origins of the $rdo Malleus are very ancient, and predate the Emperor's confinement in his throne-machine. The $rdo was originally esta lished to police the thoughts and deeds of the "n)uisition itself, ut is now also charged with seeking out and destroying all manifestations of (haos within the "mperium. "t's chief targets are the raiders of the Traitor .egions, and covens of (haos worshippers who infect the "mperium, and the %ensei, who are regarded as a great threat to the good order of the Empire. 4nlike the rest of the "n)uisition, the $rdo has a rigid and formali6ed hierarchy. "t is controlled y a council of :GD Masters, who have the right to direct audience with the Emperor. Their authority e#tends even to the Master of the "n)uisition who has, on more than one occasion, een tried and e#ecuted y the Masters of the $rdo. ,elow the Masters are the Proctors and Proctors Minor, each of whom controls a (ham er of the $rdo. The (ham ers, named for their founding Proctor, are the asic unit of the $rdo. The rank

and file of these are the "n)uisitors $rdinary. 3ithin a parallel organi6ation of '(ham ers Theoretical and -istorical' are the "n)uisitors -istorical. These are the older mem ers of the $rdo who can no longer carry out active duties for reasons of ill- health or infirmity. They are assigned to research and collation pro!ects in the vast Administratum .i raries. The num er of "n)uisitors $rdinary and -istorical in a (ham er varies from only a few score for the (ham ers Theoretical and -istorical /which are engaged in research and disreputation0 to hundreds for some of the cham ers Practical /the sector esta lishments of the $rdo in the field0. The $rdo acts directly under the Emperor's 3arrant, and has a completely free hand. An $rdo "n)uisitor $rdinary can demand anything in carrying out his duty. 9o e#planation needs to e offered+ the "mperial servant faced with an $rdo "n)uisitor must simply o ey. The commonest demand y "n)uisitors $rdinary is for troops to support their action. %uch forces never survive under an "n)uisitor $rdinary's command, ut posthumous honors are heaped upon units attached to the $rdo. The Or*o M'((eu+ I-5ui+itor The "n)uisitors of the $rdo Malleus are drawn from the ranks of the "n)uisition, ut are trained and conditioned to a far higher standard. The $rdo prides itself on the psychic a ilities of it's mem ers. More than F@A of $rdo "n)uisitors have psychic a ilities, having een deemed strong enough to undergo the soul onding ritual with the Emperor. Mem ers of the $rdo favor a simple and sinister uniform. They wear lack, loose-fitting ha its over their armor with large hoods that hide their faces in shadow. 'raphic electoos /a form of tattoo0 are a traditional, though unofficial, addition to the uniform of the $rdo. ,ecause graphic electoos appear to move eneath the owner's skin, their appearance can e )uite distur ing. Again y tradition, $rdo "n)uisitors have one graphic electoo for each coven mem er they have discovered and cleansed, and it is not uncommon for successful "n)uisitors to e covered from head to foot in ela orate designs. The designs for $rdo electoos have fi#ed for generations, and the motifs chosen are always variations on *aemons and scenes of the daemonic, the $rdo's enemies. This makes an $rdo mem er's electoos particularly horrifying. The adge of the $rdo, the "mperial eagle clutching a rod and an a#e, is usually worn on the shoulder or the right reast. Proctors and Masters are always psykers, and carry a force weapon indicating their authority. The #re6 &-i/ht+ The $rdo has a complete (hapter of the .egiones Astartes attached to it on a permanent asis. The 'rey Enights were a single (hapter created during an unregistered &ounding shortly after the /official0 Third &ounding. Although technically Marines of the Adeptus Astartes, the 'rey Enights are, to all intents and purposes, part of the "n)uisition. They are listed as a Third &ounding unit, and y the Emperor's instruction, were designated (hapter num er GGG. -owever, they have never een attached to any Marine force, and y tradition their (hapter Master has always een an "n)uisitor of the $rdo rather than a %pace Marine. "n effect the 'rey Enights are a '(ham er Militant' of the $rdo Malleus, and occasionally refer to themselves as such. The 'rey Enights are fully as effective as any other Marine (hapter. They are specially screened to e#clude all ut the strongest and most resilient psykers, a measure designed to prevent any *aemonic contamination. As a result, few of the 'rey Enights have any psychic power whatsoever. Their training and surgery rituals are, if anything, more demanding than those of 'ordinary' Marine units. 5ecruits are conditioned to ignore pain and fear, and undergo neurosurgery to isolate and ypass their fear centers. They are e#posed to wild psykers, mutants and deviants of every kind. They are trained to destroy them without conscious thought. This training produces a rigidly disciplined and controlled mind to which the presence of *aemons is less of a shock than for normal eings. Their lives are ones of self-denial and spartan purity, filled with rituals to strengthen the mind and the heart against the horrors they must face. The 'rey Enights are also im ued with a 6eal and purpose to dwarf that of any other Marine (hapter. $ften entire companies are granted an audience with the Emperor, a privilege normally reserved for the Adeptus (ustodes. To date these e#traordinary measures have een effective8 in over :;,;;; years of com at against the forces of darkness, not one 'rey Enight has faltered in attle or etrayed the Emperor in word or deed. Added to this spirit is the finest e)uipment in the "mperium. The 'rey Enights are given only the

est Marine e)uipment, with attle-proven and improved designs eing given to them efore any other Marine unit. The 'rey Enights are ased in a secret fortress-monastery on Titan, the largest of %aturn's moons. -ere the young aspirants are sent to undergo hundreds of trials of oth ody and spirit. &inally the handful of survivors /for none who fail survive0 are implanted with the (hapter's geneseed and egin their real training. Their odies are hardened to withstand pain and fear and their minds are disciplined to withstand against the foul machinations of (haos. The fortress-monastery also contains a uni)ue repository of knowledge a out the warp and (haos which has een painstakingly pieced together y the $rdo Malleus down the millennia in the .i rarium *aemonica. This gloomy and for idding place contains tens of thousands of tomes of arcane lore and dia olism, cracked with age and heavy with the psychic evil they have rought upon the universe. Every 'rey Enight Psychic Terminator carries the (hapter's sacred tome of attle rituals, the .i er *aemonicus, in a special ceramite case upon their armor. This holy ook contains the essential tenets of warp lore rendered from the dusty shelves of the .i rarius *aemonica and is one of the 'rey Enight's greatest weapons. The ma!ority of the (hapter's strength is scattered across the "mperium in fast ships guided y the finest 9avigators of the 9avis 9o ilite. these forces are typically organi6ed in small teams that have trained and fought together for their entire lives. Thus they stand ready to respond instantly to the first reports of daemonic incursions anywhere in the "mperium. 'rey Enights may e stationed in the farthest reaches of the gala#y for decades at a time. All 'rey Enights hope to e returned to their adopted homeworld of Titan when they die. There they can rest at last from their constant vigilance in the hallowed crypts far eneath the monastery amongst some of the "mperium's greatest and most unsung heroes. $nly the 'rey Enights survive in the service of the $rdo. All other troops die when given over to them. The reason for non- survival is simple8 any troops that an "n)uisitor $rdinary has commanded have een e#posed to *aemons. They are therefore privy to one of the most closelyguarded "mperial secrets+ that *aemons e#ist and (haos is a terri le threat. Those that survive a attle or campaign are e#ecuted, with full honors, shortly afterward. They are e#penda le, and entire "mperial regiments and corps have een dispatched y the $rdo Malleus. The most nota le occasion was at the end of the 9e##as E#cuplation /M=;.@G:0. An incursion y the Traitor .egionnaires of the Emperor's (hildren was opposed y a complete "mperial Army corps. $nce the invasion had een eaten ack the corps was destroyed y or ital om ardment from an $rdo warship. The "mperial records were altered to show that a renegade force of Eldar was responsi le for the destruction of the unit. The only general e#ception to this policy of secrecy- y- e#termination are Adeptus Astartes units. E#ecution of a Marine is seen as wasteful. Marine units are mind-scru ed rather than killed8 their memories destroyed rather than their odies. Mindscru ing removes any and all memories of the $rdo's true purpose, ut re)uires its victims to e completely retrained. Mind-scru ed Marines cannot even feed themselves, let alone fight for the "mperium. $f the Adeptus Astartes only the 'rey Enights are allowed to retain their memories. The centuries have proved that the 'rey Enights can keep the secret of the $rdo's hidden war against (haos as well as any "n)uisitor

+++1uote+ from the I-5ui+itor++++

%ome may )uestion your right to destroy ten illion people. Those who understand realise that you have no right to let them live7 + * icio E/terminatum In E/terminatus E/tremis $f creations most foul " eheld the .ord of All and knew that " was dead. + In0uisitor 'rand :ast )ords Aye (aptain - &aith is the strongest weapon in your armoury now. + In0uisitor :ord ?ryptman At the 'attle o -mnar %trike fast and suddenly. Attack without warning. %ecure victory efore the foe is aware of his danger. 5emem er always, a war is easily won if your enemy does not know he is fighting. + In0uisitor :ord ?ryptman From the Macharian Heresy Against the 'reat Enemy the Eldar have no hope of victory. They hang on to e#istence, yet their

grip upon the universe is slipping, their hold ecomes more precarious with every passing year. + In0uisitor C"eva! Discussing with :ord ?ryptman ?ou are not free whose li erty is won y the rigour of other, more righteous souls. ?our are merely protected. ?our freedom is parasitic, you suck the honoura le man dry and offer nothing in return. ?ou who have en!oyed freedom, who have done nothing to earn it, your time has come. This time you will stand alone and fight for yourselves. 9ow you will pay for your freedom in the currency of honest toil and human lood. + In0uisitor C"eva! Address to the Council o Ryanti Though " have seen within the ,lack .i rary and spoken to its most terri le guardian, " can never reveal what happened there+ not to any man nor even the Emperor himself for " am so forsworn to powers eyond your knowledge. " can only say that a time of inconveiva le horror is a out to egin. A time when mankind will all the might of the "mperium cannot endure when the strength of the Eldar fails. Even now, our doom stalks us across the stars. + In0uisitor C"eva! At the Conclave o Har There is a terri le darkness decending upon the gala#y, and we shall not see it ended in our lifetimes. + In0uisitor C"eva! At the Conclave o Har They have only one purpose and there is nothing they will not do to accomplish this, no matter how vile or loathsome it might e. These a ominations mean to destroy everything proud and no le, everything we hold dear and have fought so long to achieve. + In0uisitor Agmar *n &yranids The more " learn a out these aliens, the more " come to understand what drives them, the more " hate them. " hate them for what they are and for what they may one day ecome. " hate them not ecause they hate us ut ecause they are incapa le of good, honest, human hatred. + In0uisitor Agmar *n &yranids -eresy is like a tree, its roots lie in the darkness whilst its leaves wave in the sum and to those who suspect nought it has an attractive and pleasing appearance. Truly, you can prune away its ranches, or even cut the tree to the ground, ut it will grow up again ever the stronger and ever more comely. ?et all awhile the root grows thick and lack, gnawing at the itter soil, drawing its nourishment from the darkness, and growing even greater and more deeply entreched. + In0uisitor :ord ,alan ;oirgrim Master o the *rdo Malleus 9ow the past must unveal one of its darkest secrets, the story of the Plague of 4n elief and its most heinous vector ,ucharis the Apostate (ardial of 'athalamor. 9ever has the "mperium endured such as crisis of faith, not since the dark days of the -orus -eresy itself. + In0uisitor :ord ,alan ;oirgrim Master o the *rdo Malleus

+++Di+,u++io- .etwee-+++ +++!'pt'i- ter-+++ +++'-* Lor* I-5ui+itor &r6ptm'-+ ++

%pace Marine (aptain %tein looked out upon the desolation. &or three days the "mperial 'uard's heaviest weaponry had pounded the forest of ?mnar. 3here trees had once grown in un roken ranks now there was thick red mud and wood pulp. %corched craters pock-marked the landscape and massive rocks lay where e#ploding shells had tossed them. The ground still smoked, and (aptain %tein guessed that it would e hot to the touch. -e was grateful to e insulated from the heat and stench y his urdensome Terminator armour. 1"s it doneK1 he asked, almost to himself, 1"s it really overK1 1$ver71 e#claimed the other man, 1(aptain, it has not yet egun.1 "n)uisitor .ord Eryptman pointed to the south. -is gnarled hand clicked and u66ed as prosthetic tissues and osteo-steel stetched and spun. (aptain %tein caught a flash of rilliant scarlet upon

the rass finger ring that adorned the io-constructed hand. The "n)uisitorial %eal. 1" see them "n)uisitor,1 said the %pace Marine (aptain. -is vision, though many times keener than that of an ordinary man, strained to reveal tiny movements in the distance. 'radually, as if responding to a common signal, the tortured soil moved, pushed up from some as yet unseen force. 1"t won't e long now (aptain,1 Eryptman warned, 1" know these enemy. ?ou can't kill them with guns and swords. %end the (onfessors and the (haplains to their station, and let every warrior prepare for the greatest attle of his life.1 1*aemons...,1 e#claimed %tein, 1may the Emperor protect us71 "n)uisitor .ord Eryptman nodded. 1Aye (aptain - faith is the strongest weapon in your armoury now.1

+++I-5ui+itor &r6ptm'-+++
1?ou know what you must do, ,orshakK1 "n)uisitor Eryptman asked sternly. The psyker nodded shakily. 1"-" must read this alien artifact and t-tell you what " find.1 Eryptman nodded. -e mistrusted ,orshak - like all empaths, the psyker was highly strung ut there was more to it than that. There was a weakness a out the skinny youth that made Eryptman suspect that ,orshak might e receptive to malign influence. -e resolved to watch him closely. They made their way down the cold corridor of the Talasa Prime ase. The two lack-ro ed security novices saluted Eryptman at the door. -e answered their salute y punching his fist against his chest. 1PasswordK1 asked one of the novices. $rdinarily Eryptman would have een unfa6ed y the need to give the code words. Even here in one of the most heavily-guarded citadels of the "n)uisition he could understand the need for vigilance. -owever, he was nervous a out the alien artifact and the circumstances it had een discovered in.. (oupled with the reports of sector wide unrest, it had set his nerves on edge. -e wondered if the appearance of this strange creature was the har inger of some new threat to the security of the "mperium. 1$pus *ei,1 he said testily. The cold-eyed novice stepped aside. Eryptman raised his ring and pointed at the door seal. 19o arrier stands in the way of the truly faithful,1 he said. The red !ewel set on his ring pulsed. The runes on the door flared to life and the door dissolved. Eryptman gestured for ,orshak to proceed then followed him into the secured area. -e knew they were safe in isolation. The secret of the dissolving door was one of the "n)uisition's most carefully-guarded secrets and he was one of the few men privy to it. The artifact sat on a plinth in the centre of the room, the eerie lue aura of the stasis field glowing a out it. They moved across to the dais and looked down upon it. 1"-it l-looks alive,1 muttered ,orshak. -e clawed at his shaven head with one dirty nail- itten hand. 1"-" d-don't like it.1 1"t doesn't matter whether you like it,1 said Eryptman. -e understood ,orshak's unease. The fleshy, pulpy appearance of the thing set his stomach turning. *uring his own novitiate he had studied torture techni)ues. The appearance of the thing reminded far too much of an arm from which the flesh had een flayed to reveal muscle. 1<ust read it.1 1?-you say that this was taken from the wreckage of the freighter --hammer of &-foesK1 ,orshak asked. 1?es, it was stored in stasis.1 This was more like it. The psyker had egun to collect information in order to facilitate his reading. 1And that there w-was n-no crewmen on oard.1 19o living crewmen. Many of the escape pods were fired. They have yet to e found A out three of the crew have still to e accounted for. 3e found the odies of the others. They had een killed with something that appeared to e organic material. Eaten right through as if y a com ination of acid and giant worms. The ship had een decompressed. 3e found the ody of its Astropath floating near the stasis cham er. -e had died of o#ygen starvation. The artifact was in

the cham er.1 ,orshak took a deep reath. -is lined face looked even more worried and careworn than usual. -e peeled off his gloves resignedly. 1"-"'m ready,1 he said. Eryptman intoned the litany. The stasis field de-activated. &or a long tense moment they waited. At first nothing seemed to happen and they rela#ed slightly. Eryptman checked the readings on the rass-rimmed screen of the wall monitor. The techpriests had een correct, no iological contamination. %o far, so good. -e ecame aware that ,orshak was looking at him. -e nodded. The psyker proceeded+ a grimace of distaste passed over his face as he touched the mucus-coated thing. -e pulled his hand ack. A thin film of slime glistening on his skin. 14rgh,1 he said. 1'et on with it.1 3ith a slight shudder he grasped the thing once more. -e closed his eyes and took a deep reath, settling down into the trance state needed for psychic receptivity. A faint nim us of light played around the eye sym ol tattooed on his forehead. 3hen he spoke his voice seemed deeper and more confident. 1"-it is alive,1 he said calmly. 1%entientK1 asked Eryptman. 1,- arely. "'m receiving conflicting impressions of the thing. "'ve !ust arely made contact. "-it's so - alien. "t's like trying to read the mind of a s-spider.1 1Try for a deeper reading.1 ,orshak nodded. -is reathing slowed. "f Eryptman had not known etter he would have said ,orshak was asleep. -e noticed a small tic had appeared far ack in the psyker's !aw. 1"-it's alive and part of it h-hates. "-it's so fierce. 9-no. $ne of them is so fierce. "t lives to ite and claw and spit, it chews up the other part, the little part and makes it into sh-shrapnel. Th-there's three of them. $ne ites, one guides and o-one - and one dies.1 1$ne diesK1 1?-yes, one lives to die. "-it's odd. The small one is many. "t lives to die. "t is chewed up and turned into pro!ectiles and it i-infects the target.1 1%peak sense, man.1 ,orshak had started to sweat. The strain of contact with the alien thing was starting to tell. 1"-it's a weapon a-and i-it's alive. The ullets are alive. The firing mechanism is a-alive and the gun's alive. "t's a kind of sym iotic organism l-like the martian tree-cra . "-it's alive and we - it hates you - us.1 Eryptman's mind reeled. A living weaponK A living rifleK -e tried to think of how such a creature might evolveK "t was madness - weapons were designed not orn. 1Try psychometry - find out what happened on the -ammer.1 13e are picked up y the sensitive one, the one who speaks at distance. -e senses our hate and he responds. At first he is curious then he grows to know and love us. -e is united with us. -e senses our loodlove and we hunt - we hunt the meat-things, the enemies of our makers. -e knows our need to plant our seed within them. -e knows we hunger to spurt forth the little hungry ones who eat the meat. -e carries us and we seek our prey through the red dark of the long-long corridors.1 Eryptman noticed how agitated ,orshak had ecome. The gun had started to thro in his hand. The fleshy muscular sacs pulsing like the valves of a great e#posed heart. -e senses that something was wrong. 1Put the thing down, man. "t's doing something to your mind.1 13e h-hunted the meat-things, to lay the young-eggs within their flesh. Again and again we send them forth, pleasure ursting through us mi#ed with the pain as we send the little eaters out their way. &ire them out to ore through the meat.1 ,orshak swivelled the huge gun to ear on him. Eryptman threw himself to one side. The thing in ,orshak's hands spasmed. There was a terri le tearing grinding sound.. Eryptman remem ered that ,orshak had said a out the gru s eing chewed up and spat out. There was a sound like a man vomiting. A urst of mucus sprayed out. %omething hard cracked on the wall ehind him. A stink, as of e#crement mi#ed with ile, filled the air. 1?es-yes, we hunt the meat-things - ut they flee into the great dark and they trap the ship - soon it is hard to reathe ut the meat-thing, our carrier, our partner, places us in stasis so we might live. 9ow we have new partner. 'roupmind complete.1

Eryptman rolled ehind the dais, drawing his pistol. The grinding sound continued. A urst of shrapnel tore into the dais. %team rose from the stone where the acidic mucus eroded rock. Eryptman leapt up and lasted. The olt flew straight and true in ,orshak's chest. -is ri cage e#ploded. 3hat was revealed within reminded Eryptman oddly of the weaponf alling from the psyker's dead hands. -e fought to control the urge to pump olter-shells into it. "t lay there dormant. ,orshak's mouth continued to open like a fish's would when out of water. The "n)uisitor understood now what had happened on the -ammer. The ship's astropath had melded with the weapon and hunted the unarmed crew. They had fled in the escape pods, after decompressing the ship. 5ather than let the weapon die, the astropath had put it in stasis and suffocated himself. That )uestion answered, Eryptman could hand the artifact over to the techpriests for dissection. There were still other )uestions that needed answers though8 who had made the gun, there had it come from, were there any moreK Eryptman had a premonition that he and the whole "mperium would soon need to know the answers. "n)uisitor Eryptman would find those answers, he had to. QQQ "n)uisitor Eryptman pushed ack the huge pile of papers, removed his reading glasses and ru ed his eyes wearily. -e had een working all night trying to make sense of the mass of reports coming in from all over the sector. As usual, the room was chilly. -is young aide (arel had lit a small fire, ut it wasn't vigorous enough to warm the high-ceilinged office. -e got up from his straight- acked chair, stretched his long sinewy lim s, and walked over to the window. "t was a cold winter afternoon and would e dark in a couple of hours. Eendrick's 3orld was an unwelcoming place, its people ackward and intensely superstitious. The "mperial presence here was only a gesture+ this world had nothing much to offer. E#cept solitude perhaps, since it was located on the fringe of one of the spiral arms of the human gala#y. Eryptman had travelled here to continue the "n)uistion's investigations into the phenomenally high level of unrest in the sector. The reasons were far from clear, and now a missing Marine chapter had to e added to the ever-growing list of planetary revolts and 'enestealer infestation. %till, at least the austere regime of the "mperial stronghold, a converted monastery, was to e welcomed. -e had imposed a rigorous new timeta le on the staff and discipline had een greatly improved as a result. %ince the discovery of the strange organic weapon and ,orshak's unpleasant death, he had een uneasy. Eryptman was not psychic himself, ut he trusted his intuition. -e couldn't help feeling that all these events were somehow related ut so far the connection had eluded him, and ,orshak's dying face continued to haunt his dreams. -e looked through the narrow window and saw a shower of meteors arcing through the pale sky, dark trails of smoke spiralling ehind them. They had een falling for a week now and the locals had een getting very e#cited - spouting all sorts of stupid nonsense a out the end of the world. &our hundred year's instruction in the "mperial (ult had o viously een a complete waste of time. 3ith a snort of disgust, Eryptman turned his attention ack to the tottering stack of reports. QQQ Ten miles down the valley, a lone meteor shrieked through the cold evening air. "ts impact with the hillside created a small crater and its heat charred a lack ring in the surrounding heather. A nauseating smell like car onised meat rose from the meteorite, which was roughly ovoid in shape, and a out two feet high. (uriously, its ridged and warty form was more like some loated, alien organ than a lump of sterile rock. After a few minutes, the meteorite toppled over on its side. A large native game ird approached and peered at it with one greedy eye. The cancerous looking thing shook again, faint sounds emanating from within. The ird stalked closer, until it was right eside the meteorite, which still trem led spasmodically. The ird raised its eak and plunged it straight down into the meteorite, splitting it open like an overripe fruit. A spray of yellow sputum urst out and a formless creature catapulted onto the ird, engulfing it in a glistening organic mass. "t was all over very )uickly. The creature wrapped itself tightly round its prey, compressing it, a sor ing it. 9o feather or claw was wasted. As it contracted round the ird, a trickle of lood and odily fluids dri led out, turning the charred ground into a disgusting loody- lack mud. %low changes rolled over the creature's ody as it developed a more consistent appearance8 an

em ryonic spine and ri cage erupted from amid o scenely pulsating organs, its pallid skin darkened and sprouted stu ly feathers. 3ith prolonged sucking noises a thick neck and head worked their way out from the top of the creature, while strong clawed legs sprouted from underneath. A stu y tail elongated from its spine and two eady eyes popped into e#istence. &or an hour or so it lay on the ground, twitching its new lim s, recovering from the ordeal of its metamorphosis. &inally it lurched unsteadily to its feet and shook its ody like a wet dog might do - shaking off a little hail of ash, one fragments and loody saliva. The creature now resem led a hideous mismatch of em ryo ird and insect. 5aising its powerful head, it sniffed the air, then loped off over the heather and rocks into the twilight gloom. (old, this place is cold. (old and hard. (lear air, carries scent well. .ittle life all around, animals, irds. %tupid, slow, good for eating. -ungry, need more food, need more ulk. 3e must hunt. Many large life upwind. &ind the place-of-stone. &ind and kill the prey. QQQ Eryptman did not look up at the knock on his door. 1(ome in71 he shouted, irritated. (arel, his young aide, came into the office, carrying a pile of papers in his thin arms. -e shut the door )uietly and advanced in silence to Eryptman's desk, too much in awe to speak. Eryptman scratched his signature on the ottom of the form and replaced the pen in the gargoyle-shaped inkwell. 13ell, what is itK1 he asked, looking up. 1The latest atch of reports from the outlying posts. The communications pro lems is getting worse+ we've lost contact with four more outposts. The engineers we sent out haven't een heard from since they left.1 Eryptman didn't like this at all. 9ews from the outposts was invaria ly tedious and inconse)uential. -e wouldn't miss it. 3hat did increasingly worry him was why there was no communication. The comm-lines on this world were so simple that they almost never malfunctioned. An oppressive sense of fore oding weighed down on the "n)uisitor. Everything was falling to pieces around him - e)uipment malfunctioning, locals ecoming hysterical, communication through the warp eing o structed. Most worrying of all, the .amenters Marine chapter was missing, and couldn't e contacted. The "mperial stronghold was ecoming increasingly cut off from the rest of the planet, and now from the "mperium as well. Eryptman didn't elieve in coincidences. ,ut it was times like these that tested the mettle of loyal servants of the "mperium. -e straightened his lack damascene !acket, ad!usting the formal collar so that it lay more comforta ly a out his neck. 1Put the reports down here.1 -e indicated a free space on his cluttered desk . (arel looked more worried than usual. The oy was a orn worrier, ut had a good, tidy mind for one so young. 'iven time, the "n)uisitor knew he could mould this young man into a loyal and dependa le "mperial servant. &eeling a little guilty for his earlier a ruptness, he asked 13hat's the matter, (arel. "s something trou ling youK1 1" know you told me not to mention local gossip, sir, ut its the meteor storms, and all the other odd things which have een going on.1 1Things. ,e more specific, (arel. "ne#actitude is a sign of confused thinking.1 1" can't sir, its only rumours. A num er a locals horri ly murdered, that lam s over 5akkish way that it a oy's head off, a monster dog had een terrorising hill farmers on the 3estside Moor....1 1Enough7 "t's !ust the odd incident which has een lown out of proportion y the farmers. ?ou shouldn't take it so seriously, (arel. Meteors are simple astronomical phenomena, they don't signify the end of the world. "n future, please try to raise yourself a ove the level of your superstitious ancestors. " suggest you learn the first seventy verses of the (anticles of (atechism to clear your head. "'m far more concerned a out what's happening to the .amenters and what's causing this communication reakdown. -ave Astropath &aren reports to me immediately. -urry now71 (arel gave a half ow, then scuttled off, the studded wooden door anging heavily ehind him. Alone, Eryptman's feeling of fore oding returned. -e'd told (arel that all these stories of

mutilated corpses and rampaging monsters were sheer superstitious hysteria, ut who was he trying to convince, (arel or himselfK The locals, though superstitious, were remarka ly pragmatic and unimaginative. These strange happenings must have some asis in fact, though he couldn't egin to imagine what. Everything was so vague. 3ere the meteors carrying some sort of virus that infected animals and turned them madK %hould he, ought he, overlook the possi ility of some sort of (haos activity in the regionK There was only a tiny incidence of emergent psykers on Eendrick's 3orld, so it seemed unlikely they would have attracted any attention from the warp. And the sparse population and relative unimportance of the world suggested it would e of little interest to (haos cultists. The light flickered, and dimmed. The shadows of the winter evening drew close around the "n)uisitor. -e wearily opened the ne#t report and tried to concentrate. QQQ The creature galloped tirelessly up the valley, racing over the scree, ounding over rocks and streams. "t roke its course once to devour a large gra6ing rodent, and y the time it had finished a sor ing its ulk and reforming its ody, the sun was setting. "ts ody was now larger, thicker, less suited for speed, more suited for attack. The creature's neck was losing definition, causing its head to recede into its shoulder+ its maw deepened and widened, drool running off ranks of long sharp incisors. "t now somewhat resem led a crudely-flayed wolf. The old monastery s)uatted at the head of the valley, limned in lood y the setting sun. "t was a huge, sprawling edifice, uilt centuries ago y a dour people with more interest in solidity than aesthetics, and more 6eal for truth than comfort - men much like "n)uisitor Eryptman in fact. ,uilt into and onto a massive granite crag, it almost seemed a natural e#tension of the rock itself. 3hen the "mperium rediscovered Eendrick's 3orld, it was decided to use the empty uilding as their primary communication and administrative stronghold. The creature crouched ehind a rock, spying out the place. "ts eyes had widened to cope with the fading light, and organ uds waved from its forehead, reading the scents on the air currents. 3ith a soft ripping noise, long hooked claws shot from its paws. "ts tails shortened and thickened and sprouted a cruel stinger. As the sun finally sunk ehind the monastery, the creature leapt onto the rocks, propelled upwards on its powerful hind legs. -unger, hunger7 %mall large life a ove. " go up7 3e recognise this place-of-stone. $ur prey is here. 5emem er his scent7 QQQ &ar a ove a young guard patrolled the parapets of the monastery, ru ing his hands together to warm them. -is lasgun weighed heavily across his shoulder and he shifted it into a more comforta le position. &rom his vantage point, he could see down the arren valley to the ranks of mountain eyond, a dreamscape of misty greys and rowns in the fading light. The glow-glo es sputtered into life, their fee le light making the place surreally two-dimensional. *efaced statues of forgotten native gods crowded the walls, their shapes worn y weather and time. The young guard paced restlessly up and down his stretch of attlements. -e een on patrol for three hours and the cold winter night had set in. -earing the wind moan and wail, he shivered and pulled his cloak more tightly around him, feeling hemmed in y stone and shadows. -e did not hear the approach of *eath. As he turned away, something catapulted over the parapet and smashed into the ack of his neck, knocking him to the floor. "ts warm ody enveloped his head. The musky stench was disgusting. -e dropped his lasgun and flung his arms up to his head trying to tear the creature away. %avage claws raked at his throat, ripping open his windpipe. -e tried to scream ut all his horror and pain !ust came as a racking gurgle. -is )uesting hands pulled at the thing, futilely trying to pull it off, ut is was slippery with a corrosive fluid. 5a6orsharp teeth flayed the skin from his fingers. The pain was terri le, uilding up inside him with no release. &ire seared through the ack of his neck as claws cut deep through the top of his spine, cracking his verte rae apart. %ensation flared and dimmed. The last thing he felt was something punching through his eye sockets. QQQ &ood, warm food. Eat and a sor . 'row larger, grow larger. Teeth to tear, claws to rend. $ur enemy is here. 3e hate him, we will find him and destroy him. Enter the place-of-stone. %eek out

our enemy, hunt him and destroy him.. The creature reared up its ody and stretched open its !aws, revealing row upon row of dripping needle-sharp teeth. %wishing its tail from side to side, it went down the steps into the monastery. All that remained of the guard was a messy pile of torn and loody clothing, a slimy smear on the stone, and a lone disconsolate eye all. QQQ The door to Eryptman's office swung open admitting a worried (arel. 13here's Astropath &arenK1 demanded Eryptman. 1*idn't you give him my messageK1 1?es, sir. Astropath &aren said to give you his apologies ut he couldn't leave the Astral (ham er, they were too usy. -e's sent you a coded message scroll and the latest atch of off-planet reports. Astropath Merril had a fit, sir. -e was foaming at the mouth...1 1?es, (arel, that'll e enough. %tay here while " look through the reports.1 (arel o ediently stood to attention y the door, while Eryptman scanned the coded scroll from &aren. Eryptman knew that the Astropath would have come if he could. There must e a ma!or crisis to prevent him. -e picked up the scroll and pressed his long inde# fingers to the runes on either end. The cylinder hummed softly and split open, disgorging a thin sheet of vellum. Eryptman peered at the Astropath's spidery writing, difficult to read in the dim light. The message read8 1Eryptman, too usy too see you. 3orsening pro lems with astro-telepathic communication. Everything is fragmentary, distorted. "t's worse trying to send. There's a great impenetra le presence, a psychic void. 9ot a warp storm, something else. %omething utterly alien, like nothing we've ever e#perienced efore. A solid darkness, a shadow in the warp. And it's growing. 3e recoil efore it, we cannot fight it. 3e dwindle efore its might. Astropath Merril has foreseen a time of darkness. (ome to the Astral (ham er as soon as you can.1 Eryptman put down the vellum with a shaking hand. As he released it, the paper discorporated itself in a puff of acrid smoke. 3hy did he have this sense that events were speeding up eyond his capacity to understand themK And what did he mean, the %hadow in the 3arpK 3hy did Astropaths always have to use such flowery language, why couldn't they !ust tell you the plain factsK Eryptman picked up the other comm print outs and scanned them as fast as he could. .oss of contact with *arson B" following increased reports of %tealer activity in the sector. 9ot the slightest trace of the .amenters. "t was as if they had een wiped out, which was, of course, so unlikely as to e considered impossi le - under normal circumstances. 3hat force could possi ly cause an entire chapter of Marines to disappearK A cold fear was growing in the pit of his stomach. -e was !ust starting to read an incomplete account of a devastated research station on a planet in the ne#t system, when a dishevelled guard urst in. 1"n)uisitor Eryptman, -aral's een killed71 he cried, white-faced with shock. 1There's nothing left ut -1 (lutching his mouth, and making swallowing noises, he lundered ack into the passage. 1(arel, go with him. &ind out what's going on, and get ack to me as soon as you can.1 (arel left the door open, and Eryptman heard alarms go off, their wailing muffled y the la yrinthine corridors and the thick stone walls. -e opened a drawer and took out his olt pistol "t was a eautiful weapon, thousands of years old, passed on from "n)uisitor to "n)uisitor. "ts familiar heavy weight in his hand, the fine carvings on its arrel, reassured him, gave him strength. After checking the purity seal was intact, he roke open a case of olter shells and loaded fifteen of the rass shells into the gun. The shells were heavy and cold, stamped with the mark of the weapon factories of Mars. -e placed the gun on the ta le, ready. QQQ The creature padded awkwardly down the gloomy corridors of the old monastery, vent-like nostrils flaring, reading the scents carried on the sir currents. "t was the height of a tall man, ut with a much thicker ody, its centre of gravity lower than a human's. "ts two upper arms were short and coarse, glistening with raw tendons and skinless muscle. 9eck and shoulders had virtually fused together, and its face - mostly composed of its ferocious gaping maw - seemed to e sinking down to its torso. A rudimentary lim stood out from the top of its head, from which e#tended a crude three-fingered clawed hand. "ts ack legs too had shortened and roadened, and a secondary tail reached forward from etween them, tipped with a hard, horny su stance.

The protu erant ack one also ended in a muscular tail, which curled upwards and ackwards. (orrosive venom dripped from its tip, leaving tiny pockmarks in the flagged stone floor. &le#i le chitinous plates ran down its ack, and when it moved, pulsing, phosphorescent organs showed through. "t e#uded a disgusting slime continuously, occasionally shaking off the e#cess and leaving a rank and slippery trail in its wake. Man ody good food, easy to a sor . " am strong, " shall destroy. The prey is close, " have tracked him down. " am the living weapon. 3e remem er this place of cold stone darkness. 3e remem er Eryptman. 3e come. 3e are retri ution. QQQ Eryptman returned to the reports. There were numerous accounts of e#tra-normal occurrences, distur ingly similar to those on Eendrick's 3orld. (ontact with the %cythes of the Emperor erratic ut possi le - !ust. %ome mention of unidentified alien craft spotted y a %pace 3olves patrol on the edge of the spiral arm, ut then communications lost /always this pro lem with communications0. Three more merchant space ships were missing, not in the warp, ut normal space. 9ew out reaks reported of %tealer cult activity. All these things could e taken as isolated incidents, ut he was convinced there must e a connection. 3hy couldn't he see it, understand the patternK Everything whirled round in his head8 'enestealers, the .amenters, meteors, monsters, mutilated odies, the %hadow in the 3arp. -is head ached trying to contain all of it,. (arel returned to the office, out of reath. 1The monastery's not under attackK1 asked Eryptman. 19o sir, ut whatever killed -aral is now in the uilding. There was a slimy trail of footprints leading down the tower steps. All the guards are looking for it, ut it could e anywhere.1 -e made an encompassing gesture of helplessness. Eryptman understood the pro lem. The monastery was so huge and ram ling that they were still discovering new areas in it. Assuming the invader didn't lose itself and starve to death, it could hide out indefinitely. (arel dropped three heavy iron ars across the door to secure it. *rawing his laspistol from its concealed holster under his ro es, he took up guard y the door, weapon in hand. Eryptman hoped the guards could deal with the invader )uickly. -e should e supervising the hunt himself, ut he had to go talk to Astropath &aren first. 3ith a sudden wrenching impact, the door splintered open, throwing splinters of wood and steel across the room. The creature leapt in, and gathered itself to attack. Eryptman was stunned y the creature's dramatic entrance and horrific appearance - he stood motionless for a couple of fatal seconds. .ooking into its glittering lack eyes he saw himself, his scarred face roken into a myriad of tiny images. -e knew this creature wanted him, wanted to kill him. And the creature knew it had found its prey. -e gra ed wildly for his olter, and knocked it off the desk onto the floor. %eeing its opportunity, the creature started started towards him, propelling itself forwards with an odd ounding, striding motion. (arel leapt etween the monster and Eryptman, firing his laspistol at point lank range. "t turned on him with incredi le speed for its ungainly shape, clasping his head, crushing his skull. 'o ets of rain and one fragments fountained across the room. (ontinuing the tremendous force into the ceiling, reaking his ones with a sickening crunch. "nstinctively, he kicked over his chair, flung himself to the ground, and rolled under the desk as the creature landed on top of it with a crunch. -e fired lindly up through the wood, and rolled out the other side. -e came out of his roll in a fluid motion, simultaneously firing another shell at the creature, which had !umped down to the other side of the desk. This attack had some effect, ripping away part of its spine to e#pose the muscles and spraying the far wall with red mucus. Enraged, the creature opened its mouth and screamed a horrid, gurgling cry, then lifted the edge of the desk and sent it crashing towards the "n)uisitor. Eryptman couldn't move out of the way fast enough, he was knocked over, one of his legs caught under the heavy desk. -e fired wildly as he fell, ut his shot missed, and e#ploded through the window, spraying shards of glass everywhere. ,efore he could pull his leg free, the creature had !umped on him, scra ling and clawing at his ody, trying to pinion his arms. Mighty Emperor, give me strength, prayed Eryptman, struggling to escape the steely grip of the claws. As the creature's grip on him tightened, it sta ed at him with its forward-thrusting tail, trying to spike open his chest. Eryptman realised that the creature was slowly,, ine#ora ly

drawing him closer to it, towards its gaping maw. The foetid rank odour it e#haled made him gag. As the creature forced him up to its mouth, Eryptman, with a superhuman effort, managed to free his right arm and fire his oltgun straight into the creature's mouth. The shell shot down the creature's throat and e#ploded inside its ody. The creature was torn apart from the inside8 chunks of flesh and one rained over the room. Eryptman was flung violently ack against a wall+ he felt his ri s go in a lance of pain. The whole attack had taken ut a few seconds. Eryptman fum led through the wreckage looking for stimm-pills and painkillers. -is foot slipped on some loody it of the alien carcass and he fell into the chair, gasping with pain. 3hat was this creatureK 3hy had it een sent to kill him, and who had sent itK -e had no dou ts that the creature had een instructed to do this. 4nlike a mindless monster, it had attacked with ruthless efficiency, refusing to e distracted, as though guided y some cold and calculating alien intelligence. The mi#ture of stimulants and painkillers was making him feel heady. A terri le understanding assailed his consciousness. This creature is the link, he realised. %omehow this creature connects all these events, all the weird happenings. -e could almost see the pattern. The "mperium must e warned7 (lasping his tattered lack !acket a out him, Eryptman staggered painfully out of his office, heading towards the Astral (ham er. QQQ Astropath Merril was lying in a cot outside the Astral (ham er, the white of his eyes rolled up, mum ling endlessly a out the %hadow in the 3arp. Eryptman tried unsuccessfully to soothe him, then gave up. Merril was eyond any help he could give. The Astral (ham er was a great spherical vault, its high ceiling lost in shadow. $rnate mar le couches, evenly spaced against the outer wall, pointed into the centre of the room, where the podium of the (hief Astropath was positioned. $n every couch ut one lay an Astropath. The ends of couches were inset into the wall, so the psykers' heads were hidden. The cham er was lit with dim red light, and when Eryptman entered he had the impression that the grey-clad odies of the Astropaths were floating in a great circle around him. &aren, looking harassed, strode down from the podium to greet him. -e looked very old and tired, his fine grey hair all dishevelled. Eryptman )uickly e#plained the situation, outlined his theory, stressed the gravity of the threat. To his surprise, the astropath took him perfectly seriously, saying nothing, !ust nodding his head thoughtfully. As they discussed how est to communicate the situation to the "mperium, they were interrupted y the Astropath who had finally managed to contact the %cythes of the Emperor. 1The %cythes of the Emperor are under heavy attack, they don't know how much longer they can hold out. Their situation is critical. They must have support. 3ait - they're sending us a warning....1 The Astropath's reathing was fast and la oured. %weat dripped from his forehead, as he struggled to maintain contact with the eleaguered Marine chapter. &aren reached out a hand to support him. 13arn them, warn them, the Tyranids are coming7 T-E T?5A9"*% A5E ($M"9'71 3ith a hoarse scream, the Astropath fell to the floor, clutching his head. %imultaneously, the odies of the other Astropaths !olted on their couches as they too roke psychic contact, the strain too great for them to ear any longer. $ne of them plunged over to &aren and Eryptman. 1The shadow7 The %hadow in the 3arp7 "t's too strong, we can't reak through. "t's inhuman7.1 -e roke down and slumped to the floor, so ing. The lights in the Astral (ham er flickered and went out. &aren and Eryptman stood in the middle of the room, the shadowy forms of the Astropaths lurching and moaning around them like lost souls. They looked at each other, their grim faces illuminated y the runes of the machinery. 1TyranidsK1 reathed Eryptman in horror. 1Another hive fleetK1 &or the first time in his life, the "n)uisitor was truly afraid.


t'r !hi(*+++

As the spirit of the Emperor drifted through the warp it gradually dissolved into the flow of energy, returning to the cosmic of the nature of the warp in its uncorrupted form. $nly a tiny core of the Emperor's humanity remained whole, like a small child o ing upon the tide of a colossal storm in a tiny reed oat. Thus the soul of the Emperor was cast adrift into the warp. 3hile the Emperor's soul survived there was still hope for mankind. &or !ust as the 9ew Man had een orn from the collective souls of the shamans of old, so the Emperor's soul might e re orn one day. ,ut the day would lie far in the future, when the cries for a new saviour would strengthen the core of the Emperor's soul and rekindle it into new life. Meanwhile the soul of the Emperor was merely a potential, a child awaiting irth, the %tar (hild. The humans that were left in charge of the "mperium had no real understanding of what had happened to the Emperor. The concept that he could e orn again never occurred to them. To the rulers of the "mperium, the Emperor continues to live, though his ody was roken, y means of his indisputa le powers. $nly a few select individuals learned the secret over the following millennia, and they ecame the highly secret rotherhood known as the "lluminati. The "lluminati await the irth of the %tar (hild and the second coming of the 9ew Man. They know that their knowledge makes them dangerous heretics in the eyes of the "mperium, and conse)uently maintain a strict secrecy over their activities. Meanwhile the "lluminati remains a secret force in human space, working away ehind the machinery of government, preparing the way for the re irth of the 9ew Man. The e-+ei 3hen a (hampion of Ehorne, 9urgle or any other (haos Power pledges himself to the service of his Patron Power, his very soul ecomes part of the Power's energies. The %tar (hild also has his (hampions, known as the %ensei. Although they do not necessarily know their true identity, these people are actually descended from the Emperor's own descendants, and their genetic structure is similar to his. 9ot all the Emperor's descendants are %ensei, and almost none of them realise that they carry genes from the Emperor or that it is this which gives them their powers. The fortuitous com ination of genes the %ensei have inherited from the Emperor makes them very special. Their most important trait is their immortality. Although they can e killed they do not age, and possess ama6ing powers of recovery. They are also protected from the (haos Powers, and the untainted flow of the warp can move through them unimpeded. A %ensei cannot e#perience hate, itterness, or irrational anger, ecause these things are part of the disharmony of the (haos Powers. They radiate natural confidence and harmony, and can even draw upon the energies of the warp to use their psychic powers. %ensei do not risk attracting daemons or other malicious psychic forces y using their powers. ,eing untainted y (haos Powers they are utterly invulnera le to the predations of the (haos Powers. "n fact ecause they har our no trace trace of the emotions and concepts em odied y the (haos powers they are largely invisi le to them. %ensei are heroes who wander throughout the gala#y, sometimes in the company of a select and of other powerful heroes. The psychic powers of a %ensei make him dangerous heretic in the eyes of the "mperium, so that he and his followers risk capture and death at the hands of the "n)uisition or other "mperial forces. They are not so much the enemies of the "mperium as of 5epression and in!ustice in all their guises. 5epression e#ists throughout the "mperium, much of which is !ustified, ut not all y any means. 3herever a %ensei appears he can e sure of huge popular support, while the forces of oppressive goverment recognise him as an implaca le foe. The e-+ei A*ve-turer B'-*+ The "mperium regards the %ensei and their followers as dangerous andits, nihilists and psyker who, if not actually in league with (haos, are weakening the ulwark which the "mperium has set against its threat. All over the "mperium, forces are deployed to chase groups of %ensei, and in their turn the %ensei are forced to operate as outlaws. -owever the conflict does not weaken the resolve of either side. The "mperium is strengthened y the resolve of the "mperial forces, while the %ensei are spurred y their attle against cruelty and oppression. %ensei outlaw ands are known as Adventurer ,ands. They occur all over the "mperium as the champions of underdogs and scourge of authority. They hide in underground caverns, or deep inside cities, or lead freedom fighters from the forest and mountains. %ome sail the seas as pirates and operate from secret islands and coves. $thers sail space itself as pirates of a different

kind, oarding and ro ing "mperial cargo vessels as they move ponderously etween planets. Everywhere they champion the poor against the rich, the oppressed against the oppressors. They are rave, they are popular, and they see themselves as the enemies of oth (haos and oppression.

>>&haos +++The Tr'itor Le/io-++++

"n the time of the -orus -eresy, nearly half of the %pace Marine .egions deserted the Emperor to follow 3armaster -orus. 9ine of the twenty .egions that were in e#istence at that time re elled and ecame the Traitor .egions. Each of the Traitor .egions has its own uni)ue character and fighting stlye, ut they are all united in their hatred of the "mperium and their thirst for revenge for the defeat they suffered ten millenia ago. The De'th #u'r* *uring the -orus -eresy, the *eath 'uard !oined 3armaster -orus in many attles and raids on the "mperium. 3hen -orus led his forces against Earth and the Emperor, the *eath 'uard ecame lost in the 3arp. 3hile they were trapped in the 3arp, a strange and deadly infection started to spread amongst the .egion, spreading from ship to ship. The stinking pestulence flooded the gut and disteanded the flesh and rotted its victims from the inside out. Even the .egion's Primarch, Mortarion, ecame infected, and in his delirium he called upon the powers of (haos to aid the %pace Marines. -is fevered ravings were answered y 9urgle, and he ecame 9urgle's champion. After -orus's defeat, Mortarion led his *eath 'uard in a campaign of destruction over a score of planets, until finally retreating into the Eye of Terror. -ere he recieved 9urgle's ultimate reward, and ecame a full-fledged *aemon Prince, ruling over one of 9urgle's greatest Plague 3orlds in the Eye of Terror. Mortarion sends out fleets of Plague %hips into the 3arp to carry their contagions throughout the gala#y. The Wor* Be'rer+ Even efore -orus had een corrupted, .orgar, Primarch of the 3ord ,earers, egan to worhip the gods of (haos. -e revelled in the different aspects of each of the dark powers, dedicating himself to (haos in its purest form, as (haos 4ndivided, and he )uickly led the 3ord ,earers along the same path. The fanatical 6eal the 3ord ,earers had shown in their worship of the Emperor was )uickly diverted into e)ually fanatical devotion toward (haos. The 3ord ,earers are the only (haos %pace Marine .egion of the original nine to still have (haplains, who enforce a strict regime of rligious o servance upon their ,rothers. 3ord ,earers are 6ealous in the e#treme, marching forward under huge anners dedicated to (haos in its myriad forms. The "i/ht Lor*+ Their Primarch, Eonrad (ur6e, called the 9ight -aunter, knew only one way, that was the use of viscious force. -is methods were simple, viscious and direct, if you roke the law you died, there was no appeal, 9ight -aunter was !udge, !ury, and e#ecutioner upon the world 9ostrama, where he had set himself up as a vigilante against the crime lords of the planet. 3hen the 'reat (rusade finally reached this dark world, and the Emperor was reunited with this dark-visaged young Primarch, 9ight -aunter was placed in command of the 9ight .ords. The 9ight .ords )uickly gained a reputation for ruthless efficiency, and a cynical disregard for human life. As long as they achieved their o !ectives, the means didn't matter to them. 3hen the Emperor recalled 9ight -aunter to answer the charges of cruelty and destruction against him and his men, 9ight -aunter )uickly defected to the side of 3armaster -orus. 9ight -aunter, operating from a planet deep in the widerness area of space known as the Eastern &ringe, led the 9ight .ords on a campaign of terror and genocide that has rarely, if ever, een e)ualled. Even after -orus had een defeated, the 9ight .ords continued their attacks until finally the "mperial Assassin M'%hen was a le to infiltrate 9ight -aunter's ase and slay the Primarch, with this act the 9ight .ords

)uickly stopped eing an organised threat to the "mperium. The 9ew .ords now strike from the Eye of Terror, where they have retreated to, and they fight for the pure pleasure of it, and for the material rewards it can ring, and not ecause they worship some deity. They loo down upon the more dedicated (haos Marines, and .oyal Marines, considering them fools. The A(ph' Le/ioThe Alpha .egion was the last .egion creatd during the &irst &ounding, it eing the >;th .egion. 3hen -orus made his pact with (haos, the marshall pride of the Alpha .egion was their downfall. The 3armaster was a mighty warrior himself, he commanded armies and fleets, and commanded at the forefront of the Emperor's wars. ,y comparison, he made the distant Emperor on Terra seem weak and cowardly. The Alpha .egion continues to fight a covert war against the "mperium to this day. They are connected with (haos (ultist of many of the settled worlds of the "mperium. The Alpha .egion directs the activities of (ultists across entire sectors and they instigat massive insurrections against "mperial rule. The Emperor;+ !hi(*reThe Emperor's (hildren were among the units assigned to crush -orus and his re el .egions on "st aan B. *uring a parly, the .egion's Primarch, &ulgrim, and his highest ranking officers were corrupted y the decadent pastimes -orus and his (haos worshippers offered. The "mperial (ult was )uickly supplanted y the gratifying worship of %laanesh. 3hile corrupt eyond human comprehension, the Emperor's (hildren are a savage fighting force. .ike many of %laanesh's followers, they have ecome known as 9oise Marines. Each suit of armour, evry olter or chainsword is worked into fantastic patterns and coloured in praise of %laanesh. The Iro- W'rrior+ The "ron 3arriors once formed the Emperor's most a le ody of siege troops. The "ron 3arriors' Primarch, Purtura o, e#celled in siege and warfare a ove all else. 3herever the "ron 3arriors fight they throw up great evil citadels in their wake, and hold them against all comers. &ields of trenches and forests of ra6orwire surround the strongholds of the "ron 3arriors. Even after -orus's defeat, the "ron 3arriors were only driven out of the "mperium worlds at a terri le price. The Thou+'-* o-+ Their Primarch is Magnus the 5ed, called the 5ed (yclops or (yclopean Magnus, due to his one large eye and his flaming-red hair. Magnus had already een touched y (haos long efore the -orus -eresy, from his long study of the Arcane arts. Even though the Thousand %ons tried to use their occult powers to warn the Emperor of -orus's heresy, the Emperor, mistrustful of anything tinged y (haos, declared the Thousand %ons heretics and sent .eman 5uss and the %pace 3olves to devastate the Thousand %ons' homeworld of Prospero. The Thousand %ons were driven to war against their Emperor, and had to fight alongside the Traitor .egions for their survival. The Thousand %ons turned to T6eentch and asked for his patronage, as she is the greatest wielder of Magic among the (haos gods. Magnus the 5ed was elevated to the rank of *aemon Prince of T6eentch and given a *aemon 3orld to rule over. -e rules from his great volcanic fortress called The Tower of The (yclops. The topmost level of the fortress has a single living eye, which watches over the landscape and the minions of its .ord, The Eternal 3atchdog of The %orcerer Eing. $ver time, the Thousand %ons started to degenerate and ecome mutated. The %orcerers of the Thousand %ons !oined together in a ca al led y Ahriman. Even though they risked the wrath of their *aemon Primarch, they cast the spell The 5u ric of Ahriman, purging the Thousand %ons of mutation for all of eternity. This caused the great schism within the .egion, and caused the ca al to e anished y the enraged Primarch and scattered to fight in different Traitor .egions across The Eye of Terror. The B(',< Le/ioThe ,lack .egion egan life as The .una 3olves, created during The &irst &ounding. The Emperor later changed its name to The %ons of -orus, in honour of its Primarch, in recognition of his and its many accomplishments in The 4llanor (rusade. "t was as The %ons of -orus that the .egion fought in the -orus -eresy, serving as -orus's Praetorians throughout his campaign. They were the first to remove the "mperial Eagle from their armour and ,anners, and replaced it with The Eye of -orus. &actions of the other Traitor .egions later lamed The %ons of -orus for causing the rout from Earth y retreating into 3arpspace with the ody of their eloved 3armaster.

The %ons of -orus at first worshipped one (haos power after another, more and more of their num er ecoming possessed y *aemons. $ver the centuries, they were also thinned out y their constant wars with the other Traitor .egions and (haos forces. 3hen A adon came to power in the .egion as their new 3armaster, his first edicts re!ected the name of -orus and their ancient .egion title. -e ordered the remaining mem ers of the .egion to repaint their armour lack in eternal memory of their shame at allowing the ody of the 3armaster to e taken. -e then led then in a lightning raid which destroyed the 3armaster's ody and all of his clones. The .egion's remaining attle arge acts as a secret ase for A addon and his ,lack .egion from which they make raids into the "mperium and The Eye of Terror. The Wor(*e'ter+ The 3orldeaters were easily converted to following the (haos god Ehorne due to their marshall pride and their elief that The Emperor and The "mperium had ecome soft and decadent. They have totally devoted themselves to fighting as close com at troops, feeding upon the er6erk rage of Ehorne and distaining ranged weapons as the weapons of weaklings. They arm themselves entirely with pistols and close com at weapons, huge chaina#es and chainswords ecoming their favoured tools of loodshed. The 3orldeaters have split into separate s)uads, each following its own (hampion of Ehorne. They have ecome so engrossed in their fighting rage that any chance for them to operate as a cohesive .egion is long past.

+++The )mperor7s &hildren+++

&hapter 'istory8 "ll the first founding %hapters were created to take part in Imperial %rusades. It was, however, nearly sixty years before the *mperor+s %hildren saw action. "n accident during gene,seeding almost destroyed the %hapter as it was born. Once the %hapter had been re,established with rescued gene,seed it proved to be a loyal and efficient unit, distinguishing itself in several campaigns. The *mperor+s %hildren were one of the units assigned to pacify /orus and his rebel %hapters, and were the first unit to defect to the Warmaster. 8uring a parley, the %hapter 2aster and his highest officers were corrupted by the decadent pastimes that /orus and his chaos,worshippers offered. 8rugged, pleasured beyond endurance, and finally broken, they agreed to keep the %hapter neutral. )eutrality was all that /orus needed. The rot !uickly spread to the whole %hapter, and the *mperor+s %hildren willingly embraced %haos in all its indolent depravity. The Imperial %ult of the %hapter was !uickly supplanted by the more gratifying worship of Slaanesh. "s one of the Traitor &egions, the emperor+s %hildren invaded *arth, but took little part in the fighting around the Imperial #alace. Simple pleasures had given way to complex debaucheries. While their allies fought and died the *mperor+s %hildren slaughtered more than a million people and rendered them down to create endless varieties of drugs and stimulants. %ountless thousands more died to give the &egionnaires more direct, if cruder, en.oyment. When the assault failed the *mperor+s %hildren fled into the eye of Terror with the rest of the Traitor &egions. They were the first to begin raiding Imperial worlds for captives and plunder. Their excesses soon knew no bounds and simple raiding could not supply enough raw /uman material for their orgies of worship. "t this point, the *mperor+s %hildren turned on the slaves and servants of other Traitor &egions, an action which began a series of wars within the *ye of Terror. The struggles of the *mperor+s %hildren continued until the destruction of the cloned /orus by the $lack &egion. "t that point all the Traitor &egions resumed raids on the Imperium. The *mperor+s %hildren have again proven spectacularly successful at this pursuit, and the worship of Slaanesh within the *ye of Terror has never been pursued with such fervor. &hapter (r/ani9ation8 The *mperor+s %hildren have retained some of their former organi-ation as 2arines, but have altered it to suit their new loyalties. While corrupt beyond /uman comprehension, the &egionnaires of the *mperor+s %hildren are a savage fighting force. &ike many of Slaanesh+s followers, they seek and find a perverse en.oyment in battle. The danger of combat is a rediscovered thrill and aphrodisiac, allowing them to reach new extremities of debauchery. #sykers are particularly highly regarded by the *mperor+s %hildren, both as enemies and within their own ranks. The broadcast terror of an enemy psyker can be en.oyed in its own right as a new sensation, while a &egionnaire,psyker can kill his enemies with pleasure or pure sensation, the greatest act of worship for a servant of Slaanesh. %lose combat, where the enemy can be touched and directly destroyed, is also much favored by the *mperor+s %hildren. 'ew of them enter battle without some form of close combat weapon. 2any &egionnaires aspire to die of pleasure while hosting a 8aemon, and as a result the &egion has many #ossessees and

Summoned 8aemons within its ranks and as allies. The *mperor+s %hildren take a delight in the changes that %haos and the daemonic has wrought in them, seeing these mutations as means to new pleasures or marks of Slaanesh+s approval. Only in one matter has 2arine tradition been completely maintained. The %hapter name has been retained unchanged throughout the &egion+s exile. Successive &egion %ommanders have taken pleasure 5unsurprisingly6 in reaffirming the &egion+s title. It has become a direct and grievous insult to the grandeur of the false *mperor and his staid Imperium. &hapter &olors8 The &egion+s original %hapter colors of gold and purple were abandoned long ago, as was the Imperial double,headed eagle which was, at one time, forbidden to all other 2arine %hapters. With the /orus /eresy and the defection of the %hapter, the right to use the double,headed eagle motif was passed to other, loyal, %hapters of the "deptus "startes. " few of the original Traitor 2arines have retained their original %hapter colours, although the Imperial badge has been replaced by Slaanesh+s male,female rune. 'or the most part, the *mperor+s %hildren use Slaanesh+s pastel shades on their armor, reserving particular colors for different companies within the &egion. Officers and sergeants are, however, still marked out by gold or silver helmets and rank badges. The original 2arine armor designs have long since been corrupted in the *mperor+s %hildren. Over the years the mutations wrought by %haos have been echoed in the shapes of the &egionnaire+s arms and armor. " sensuous delight has been taken in making each &egionnaire+s appearance grotes!ue and different from his comrades. *ach suit of armor, every bolter, or chainsword, is worked into fantastic patterns and colored in praise of Slaanesh. *ach &egionnaire alters and changes his armor slightly, adding to its !uality and beautifying it. 'or the most favored, the weapon smiths of the &egion sometimes carve scenes of debauchery into shoulder and breast plates.


!ULTI T +++

(haos (ultists are often hidden within what sppears to e loyal communities of "mperial citi6ens. They come from all classes and occupations, and can appear on any of the millions of planets with the "mperium. These cultists are as great a threat to the "mperium as the many raids y renegade (haos Marines, as they strike at the "mperium from within, spreading terror and destruction. they corrupt the citi6ens and defenders of the "mperium and infect the "mperium with the taint of (haos. These followers of the (haos 'ods organi6e themselves into covens structured as religions, and they su vert and recruit new mem ers with promises of divine notice and rewards, with promises of power and gifts granted y the 'ods of (haos. These (ults are especially attractive to am itious individuals and those who are ored with living within the restraints of life within the "mperium. Those who seek thrills and adventure are easily swayed y the leaders of these cults and rought to the worship of (haos. %ome are seeking the power to warp reality through %orcery and psychic a ilities. %ome are seeking wealth, while others seek power over their fellow man. The ma!ority, though, are !ust misled ordinary people who are condemned y their misguided eliefs. Many followers of (haos comes from those of very low intelligence, and those of unsta le mentality. Murderers and those who have commited other despica le crimes seek sanctuary within the (haos (ults in an attempt to escape !ustice. %ome (ults worship (haos 4ndivided, while others worship an individual (haos 'od. Either way, they strive to further the cause of (haos in its struggle to cominate the gala#y and destroy the "mperium. The (ults that cause the most damage are those that worship one individual (haos 'od and have gained the power to summon daemons from the 3arp to aid them. The "n)uisition is ever searching out these (ults, striving to rid the "mperium ofi the infection of (haos.

+++#e-er'ti-/ D'emo- "'me++++

&his is provided as a tool or adding some character to your Chaos armies$ &here are no new game rules here# 4ust pure old+style ,) lavor$ %M@&: players might want to use the ollowing

in ormation to come up with names or their avorite ,reater Daemons$ Epic AB! players can do the same# and hope ully might ind some inspiration or naming daemon and daemon engine detachments$ Cse what you li!e and orget about the rest$ And above all# en4oy3 Every daemon has a true name that they never willingly reveal to anyone or anything, as knowing a daemon's true name gives one power over that daemon /e#tremely strong daemons sometimes oldly proclaim their true names, a sure sign that the creature is too powerful for the knowledge to e of any help0. As a result, daemons often adopt use-names to identify themselves. 4se-names have no real power, and a daemon may adopt new ones from time to time depending on its moods. 'enerally speaking, the longer the name, the more powerful the daemon. (haos champions can e gifted with True 9ames as they progress upon the path of chaos, ut chances are the champion will continue to use his2her real name and not reveal the daemon name. ,esides, 15hug'guariihlulan's ,er6erkers1 !ust doesn't have a nice ring to it... D'emo- True "'me+ The True 9ame ta le appears elow+ it is used to generate 1elements1 /similar to sylla les0 of a daemon's True 9ame. 'reater *aemons have a true name composed of /:dG # the num er of their (haos god0 elements. 5oll that many times on the ta le and string the results together into a single word. Particularly powerful '*s will use >dG instead of :dG in the a ove formula. The num er of elements in the true name of the god's other servants is e)ual to the (haos god's num er only. %o for instance, a .ord of (hange would have a True 9ame composed of :dG # D or >dG # D elements, and a &lamer of T6eentch would only have D elements in it's True 9ame. %laanesh's num er is G. 9urgle's num er is F. Ehorne's num er is I, and T6eentch's is D. Second First Die Roll (d6) Die Roll (d10) 1 2 3 4 5 6 ----1 A COG FL LL SS CC 2 ER ! "" # AA DA 3 FOL $$ S% A&L DE G'G 4 ('( )% AE D% G# O 5 )%L A D% %% OA )L 6 A( D* %L OE * AO + E , OO *L AR EE ,, O! ** &% EO ,L . R% / ,O E* ,R "% 10 // C% FF S 0' #% The ook encourages you to re-arrange whatever is rolled to produce something more pronounca le /good luck0 or more appealing. The e#ample they give is 1''garulhliiulrhan1, which they re-arrange to 15hug'guari'ihlulan1. D'emo- U+e8"'me+ The ta le elow is for generating elements of *aemon use-names. 5oll four times on the ta le for 'reater *aemons, and string the results together into two names of two elements each /onetwo three four0. 4se-names for lesser *aemons are one word composed of two elements. Second First Die Roll (d10) Die Roll (d20) 1 2 3 4 5 6 + . 10 -----1 1l2e d3n4le dre4 5ondle 4rind 4r2nt 63d 7o8 92i:ersl3s; 2 s2c< t;i4; 13ne c3rn3l 5iddle ;ot 62c2s s3te :e8 121o 3 c;e= do4 4i11er 4n3= 4ro7e 632l o553l 72s s73s6 s7ittle 4 s=ord =r3c< c3c<le 53n4 ;366er 6ilde= rot to3d 1ile 1lister 5 c3n<er e3t 5ester 5l28 4l2t ;3te ic;or le7er 6ire rend 6 r2t s<2ll s7i<e tre61le :o6it =ind 1r2te d2n4 4lo7 42t + 63r< red s7ider t;r3s; 134 1l3de cold de3t; 53ce 5ist 4r31 4ristle ;el6 loon 7est 72<e ri7 s;3r7 s726e s=e3t . :ile =;i7 1l2nt drin< 43ll 4ross 6344ot r31id sore t3int

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 1+ 11. 20

=or6 1elc; 1o4 12ttoc< cr2s; 5ire 5rot; 4o11le 4ri6 li:er 63i6 6o2lder 7inc; scr3tc; slo11er s7e= st3re =3rt =o11le1lood doo6 5o2l 4rin loose 72trid slo1 stin4 =it;er 38e 1l3c< 1re3< dre3d e>e t;r2st 52r> 4r2e ;e3rt lo3t; 63n4e 923<e r;e26 sc26 s62t te3r t=ist =3ter 1l3st c2t 5o36 4reen le=d 7l342e sl3<e s92ee?e =;ine 3s; 1e3st c;3os cr31 drool 5iend 4n3s; 4r3s7 ;3c< lic< ni11le 7ierce re37 sc31 s7ite s72rt t;ro1 =3r 1eetle cr3?e 5les; 4ore li7 7ile sin s7ot =3r7 1end 1li4;t 1o=el cl37 53t 5l2s; 526e 4o1 ;o=l l2st 63n oo?e rotten sine= sl24 s7oor :eno6 =i4;t 1ite cl3= 5ilt; 4l2tton <ill 73in scr37e s7ine =3il 12r1le The ta les are really !ust a guideline+ 5$( encourages you to fool around with whatever you roll up /or to !ust choose what you want off of the ta les and not roll at all0 in order to get something that you like and that suits the daemon. &or instance, if you roll up 1%uckthigh1 for a ,loodletter, you might want to re-roll or !ust pick something suita ly Ehorne-ish like 1*oomspike1 /although the first name would e good for a *aemonette of %laanesh0. The ook also encourages adding titles and whatnot to the name to make it sound more impressive, such as 1*oomspike the 5ender of .im s1. %o "'ve also included the alternate daemon titles for each daemon type found in the 5$( ooks to provide some inspiration. 3hen it comes to naming actual units in =;k or &, armies, the ook encourages you to create a name for any greater daemons and assign a title to units of lesser daemons, possi ly working in the name of one of the lessers. %o for instance you might name your Eeeper of %ecrets 1&lu#carnal &leshpiercer1 and your unit of *aemonettes 1The ,ringers of <oyous *egradation1 or perhaps 1%uckthigh's ,ringers...1 D'emo- Tit(e+ -ere are the alternate daemon titles, which should, at the very least, give Epic =;k chaos players some inspriation for detachment names. &hor-e tit(e+4 ,loodthirsters8 &ists of Ehorne, *eath ringers of Ehorne, *rinkers of ,lood, ,looded $nes, .ords of %kulls, 'uardians of the Throne, Eaters of 'ore and &lesh, -igh-handed %layers+ ,loodletters8 Ehorne's (hosen, Takers of %kulls, Teeth of *eath, -orned $nes, 9aked %layers+ &leshhounds8 ,easts of Ehorne, -unters of ,lood, &lesh-5enders, "nevita le $nes+ <uggernauts8 ,lood (rushers, %oul (rushers, <uggers, &eet of Ehorne, ,lights of Ehorne. (''-e+h tit(e+4 Eeepers of %ecrets8 %layers of %laanesh, *espoilers of the &lesh, &easters of Pain, 'reat -orned $nes, ,ase $nes+ *aemonettes8 (hildren of %laanesh, *e auched $nes, ,ringers of <oyous *egradation, %eekers of *ecadence, 'ivers of "ndescri a le *elight+ &iends of %laanesh8 ,easts of %laanesh, 5ams of %laanesh, ,eastials, 4nholy $nes+ %teeds of %laanesh8 &lesh .ickers, *egraded $nes, Tongue .ashers of %laanesh, 3hips of %laanesh. "ur/(e tit(e+4 'reat 4nclean $nes8 &ly Masters, Plague .ords, %tench .ords, &ather 9urgles+ Plague earers8 Tainted $nes, Maggotkin, 5ot earers, 9urgle's Tallymen+ 9urglings8 Pus %pores, Mites of 9urgle+ ,easts of 9urgle8 ,easts, %lime -ounds, 9urgle's .apdogs. THee-t,h tit(e+4 .ords of (hange8 3atching .ords, Eyes of T6eentch, &eathered .ords+ -orrors8 3hirling *estroyers, 'rum lers, %creamers, %pinning %ourguts, %)uealers, 3hiners+ &lamers8 ,urning -orrors, &ire *aemons of T6eentch+ *iscs of T6eentch8 %ky-%harks of T6eentch.

+++&hor-e2 The B(oo* #o*+++

1Ehorne is the god of anger and destruction, the warrior god of (haos whose ellows of rage echo throughout time and space. -e sits upon a great throne of rass atop a mountainous pile of leached skulls. 3henever a (ampion of Ehorne is slain in attle his skull is added to the pile, which slowly grows higher and higher. Ehorne is a fighting god and his daemons and mortal (hampions are amongst the most potent warriors of all. Ehorne is a no le warrior who respects

strength and ravery, who takes no !oy in destroying the weakm and considers the helpless unworthy of his wrath. "t is said that fate will spare any rave warrior who calls upon Ehorne's name and pledges his soul to the lood god. "t is also said that Ehorne's daemons will hunt down and destroy any warrior who etrays his honour y killing a helpless innocent or murdering in cold lood. Ehorne's great delight is attle and the spilling of lood.1 - 5enegades 1Ehorne is the ,lood 'od, the angry and murderous god of (haos, one of the great four Powers. -is great rass throne sits upon a mountainous pile of ones - the remains of his followers who have died in attle, and of the many they have killed in his name. The growing one pile reflects the success of his worshippers, feeding his glory ut never )uenching his thirst for lood and death. Ehorne is the Power of (haos in its aspect of mindless and a solute violence, destroying everything and everyone within its reach, slaying oth friend and foe alike. -e is the -untsman of %ouls who drives the great armies of (haos efore him. -is horn sounds in the depths of the Eye of Terror, urging his followers ever onwards in search of fresh prey. Ehorne watches the wild destruction wrought in his name, and his ellows of rage and delight can e heard echoing across the 3arp. Ehorne is commonly depicted as a muscular humanoid figure hundreds of feet tall, sitting on a vast and weirdly-carved throne of rass, which in turn rests on a mountain of lood-stained ones. -e is dressed in plate armour of a strange and alien design, ela orately carved and worked with a repeating skull motif. -is head is covered y his huge winged helmet, with only a portion of his estial, snarling face showing eneath it. The sym ol of Ehorne is a skull, the sym ol of death. This is often rendered as an N-shaped rune with a ar across the ottom. -is followers favour red, lack and rass in their dress and armour, the hues of lood, death and Ehorne's own armour respectively. The num er eight is also associated with Ehorne and this is reflected in the organi6ation of his daemonic armies and followers. Ehorne is worshipped y oth (haos Marines and foul ,eastmen alike. -e has no temples as such, ut is worshipped upon the attlefield. &urthermore, his followers elieve that they would displease him y wasting valu le time uilding temples and worshipping in them when they could e slaying in Ehorne's name. Every life taken y a follower of Ehorne increases the ,lood 'od's power. -e looks with particular favour upon those who take the lives of their friends and allies, and the more death and destruction a creature has caused, the more welcome it is as a sacrifice to Ehorne. &ollowers of Ehorne have no friends and few long-term ac)uaintances - all are soon-to- e sacrifices to Ehorne. Even another follower of Ehorne may try at any time to offer their lives to the ,lood 'od7 &ollowers of Ehorne may have allies for a short time, ut they are always aware that all other intelligent eings fear and hate them, and will seek to destroy them at any opportunity.1

+++THee-t,h2 !h'-/er of the W'6++++

1T6eentch is the god of fortune and chance and the cosmic architect of fate and destiny. -is ody is covered with faces which constantly shift and change, reflecting the mood of T6eentch as his all seeing mind pro es the endless strands of fate which hold the universe together. T6eentch schemes and plots to further his own unimagina le purposes, sometimes supporting a mortal cause, at other times hindering it, ut constantly manipulating the vastly comple# strands of fate which hold the secrets of life and death. ,ecause T6eentch's plots are so convoluted it is impossi le to divine what his true purposes or intentions are. -is machinations invaria ly turn out to e more su tle and comple# than they first appear, and even his most loyal followers are likely to discover only too late that they are !ust pawns in a cosmic game of the gods. T6eentch is also the god of mental energy and magic - the raw forces of change themselves.1 + Renegades 1T6eentch is known y many titles including the (hanger of the 3ays, the Master of &ortune, the

'reat (onspirator, adn the Architect of &ate. These titles reflect his masterly comprehension of destiny, history, intrigue and plot. "n his mind he listens to the plans and hopes of every man and every nation. 3ith his all-seeing eye he watches these plans unfold into histroy. T6eentch is not content to merely o serve the fulfilment and isappointment rought y the passage of time. -e has his own plans8 schemes which are so comple# and closely woven that they touch the lives of every living thing, whether they know it or not. T6eentch feeds upon the need and desire for change that is an essential part of human nature. "t is also a part of dwarven and elven natures, ut not to the same e#tent as mankind is a far more volatile and am itious species. All men dream of wealth, freedom and a etter tomorrow. 9or are these dreams the preserve of the impoverished or powerless as even rich men dream of further riches, or of an end to their responsi ilities. All these dreams create a powerful impetus for change, and the am itions of nations create a force which can change history. T6eentch is the em odiment of that force. T6eentch is the greatest magician of the (haos Powers. Magic is one of the most potent of all agents of change, and those who use it are amongst the most am itious and the hungry for power. Many (hampions of T6eentch are also 3i6ards, while others are likely to e given magical powers or artifacts y their Patron. %ome *aemons of T6eentch are creatures made from magical energy, and they often appear to e transparent or glowing with an inner light. The .esser *aemons, or -orrors, cast spells around them as they move, while the &lamers of T6eentch pro!ect multicoloured flames of raw magic. The 'reater *aemons, the .ords of (hange, are more su stantial, and their very thoughts appear as magical multicoloured mist which swirls a out their heads. All this magic gives the followers and *aemons of T6eentch a very distinctive and colourful character. T6eentch is also the 'reat (onspirator, the master of plot and intrigue. ,ecause he is aware of the dreams and plans of all mortals, he is a le to predict the likely course, or courses, which the future might take. T6eentch perceives every event and every intention, and from this information his mighty mind can work out how each will influence the future. T6eentch is not content to merely watch the drama of history as it unfolds. -e has purposes of his own, although what they are is impossi le to say for sure. -is intentions are complicated, his schemes highly sophisticated and incredi ly long-term. Perhaps he has plans to otherthrow the other Powers, or to e#tend his dominion over mortal realms. 3hatever his ultimate purpose, he seeks to achieve it y manipulating the individual lives of men, there y altering the course of history. ,y offering power and magic he can recruit influential people to his cause, and affect the lives of many more at a single stroke. -owever, few of T6eentch's plots are simple, and many may appear at first contradictory to others, or against T6eentch's own interests. $nly T6eentch can see the threads of potential futures weaving forward in time like tangled alls of multicoloured wool. The skin of T6eentch crawls with constantly changing faces, leering and mocking the onlooker. As he speaks, these faces sometimes repeat what he says with su tle ut important differences, or provide a commentary which throws dou t upon his words. This makes it very hard to interpret what e#actly T6eentch is saying. These lesser faces appear and disappear )uite )uickly, ut the actual head of T6eentch does not change. -is puckered face sits low down and has no neck, so that it is hard to distinguish his head from his chest. -is curving horns appear to spring from his shoulders rather than from his head. The firmament surrounding T6eentch is heavy with rooding magic. "t weaves like li)uid smoke a out his head, forming su tle and interwoven patterns. &orms of places and people appear in the smoke as T6eentch's mind contemplates their fate. Every Power of (haos has his opposite num er, another Power whose nature is the antithesis of his own. T6eentch is the eternal adversary of 9urgle. -is energy comes from the e#citement and will to change, to forge one's destiny, change fortune, and gain power. This is )uite the opposite of 9urgle, whose power comes from defiance and hopelessness.1

+++"ur/(e2 Lor* of De,'6+++

19urgle is the god of plague, pestilence, decay and physical corruption. -is ody is huge and loated, his rotting flesh swollen with decay and pock-marked with sores and lesions. Tiny daemons called 9urglings crawl all over his putrid carcass plucking at torn flesh and sucking at

the leprous sores and putrid oils. 9urgle is full of mor id energy and enthusiasm, and his daemons travel through time and space spreading plagues and corruption as they perform their *ance of *eath round cities and towns they wish to infect. Mortals who die from 9urgle's plague are never free of their agonies, as their souls are claimed y the plague god and they ecome new daemon servants in turn. A mortal so much as touched y a daemon of 9urgle will catch some foul disease, and is doomed from that moment on to die. "t is held that a mortal who is dying of sickness can forstall his death y calling upon 9urgle and pledging his soul to the .ord of *ecay.1 + Renegades 19urgle is the 'reat .ord of *ecay and the Master or Plague and Pestilence, his carcase is riddled with disease and infestation. 9urgle is also the .ord of All ecause all things, no matter how solid and permanent they seem, are lia le to physical corruption. "ndeed, the very process of construction and creation foreshadow destruction and decay. The palace of today is tomorrow's ruin, the maiden of the morning is the crone of the night, and the hope of a moment is ut the foundation stone of everlasting regret. 3hat is the response of living men to the undenia le and inevita le futility of lifeK "s it to lie down and accept death and the coming to naught of their every endeavourK 9o it is not7 &aced with the inevita ility of death what answer can there e ut to run through life at a great and unstoppa le pace, cramming each day with hope, laughter, noise and ustle. Thus, happiness and human endeavour are sired y a coming to terms with decay and futility. This realisation is the key to understanding the 'reat .ord of *ecay and his worshippers. $nce we comprehend what it is that the (haos Power 9urgle em odies, it ecomes easier to understand what might otherwise seem a contradictory or even peverse nature. $n the one hand he is the .ord of *ecay, whose ody is wracked with disease+ on the other hand he is full of une#pected energy and a desire to organi6e and enlighten. The living know that they will die, and many know that they will lie with disease or other torment, yet they drive this knowledge into a corner of their minds and keep it pinioned there with all manner of dreams and activity. 9urgle is the em odiment of that knowledge and of the unconscious response to it, of the hidden fear of disease and decay, and of the power of life which that fear generates. 9urgle is the eternal enemy of hte (haos power T6eentch, the .ord of (hange. 9urgle and T6eentch draw their energy from opposing eliefs. 3hile the energy of T6eentch comes from hope and changing fortune, that of 9urgle comes from defiance orn of despair and hopelessness. The two 'reat Powers never lose an opportunity to pit their forces against each other, from mighty attles on the (haos 3astes, to comple# political intrigues among mortal men.1 + Realms o Chaos. &he :ost and the Damned '...Thus happiness and human endeavor are sired y a coming to terms with decay and futility. This realisation is the key to understanding the 'reat .ord of *ecay and his worshippers. $nce we comprehend what it is that the (haos Power 9urgle em odies, it ecomes easier to understand what might otherwise seem a contradictory or even perverse nature. $n the one hand he is the .ord of *ecay, his ody wracked with disease+ on the other, he is full of une#pected energy and a desire to organi6e and enlighten. The living know they will die, and many know that they will live with disease or other torment, yet they drive this knowledge into a corner of their minds and keep it pinioned there with all manner of dreams and activity. 9urgle is the em odiment of that knowledge and of the unconcious response to it, of the hidden fear of disease and decay, and of the power of life which that fear generates. 9urgle is the eternal enemy of the (haos Power T6eentch. 9urgle and T6eentch draw their energy from opposing eliefs. 3hereas the energy of T6eentch comes from hope and changing fortune, that of 9urgle comes from defiance of orn of despair and hopelessness. The two 'reat Powers never lose an opportunity to pit their forces against each other.

+++ (''-e+h2 Lor* of P(e'+ure+++

1%laanesh is the .ord of Pleasure whose followers a andon all self-restraint and inhi ition to

em race the countless possi ilities of mind and flesh. %laanesh is neither male nor female, ut a distur ingly eautiful amalgam of the two. "t is said that any mortal who ga6es upon the image of %laanesh will ecome enslaved y the god's eauty and willingly o ey the .ord of Pleasure's slightest whim. The very touch of the god's reath overwhelms mortal senses with the scent of delight, melting the resolve of the toughest warrior and su merging his mind in waves of pure pleasure. The slightest purr of the god's voice is enough to stimulate the senses into eternal and lissful o livion. To the followers of %laanesh the mortal world is grey and insipid compared to the sensual paradise of their master's affection.1 - 5enegades 1%laanesh is the .ord of Pleasure, the Power of (haos dedicated to the pursuit of hedonistic pleasures and the overthrow of all codes of decent ehaviour. -e reigns in a vast and lu#urious palace in the void, where favoured followers litter the floors, indulging themselves in all forms of perverse pleasures of the flesh. %laanesh takes the form of a ise#ual humanoid, male on the left side and female on the right, with an unearthly, unnatural and almost distur ing eauty. Two pairs of horns rise from his flowing golden hair, and he dresses in a mail shirt fringed with velvet. -is right hand holds the magical !ade sceptre which is his greatest treasure. The sym ol of %laanesh com ines the conventional sym ols for male and female, although it is seldom worn openly y his followers. "n its place they often wear items of !ewellry earing erotic motifs. &ollowers dress in ro es which are often opened to leave the right side of the chest uncovered, a re)uirement of many of the rituals involved in his worship. Pastel and electric shades are the chief colours, although white is often used as well. These colours are also sometimes carried over into everyday wear, although they may e modified to fit in with current fashions. 5egardless of any considerations, all %laanesh followers wear gar of sensuously high )uality. %i# is regarded as the num er of %laanesh, and this is reflected in many small and large things y his followers. %laanesh has a neutral attitude to many of the gods of (haos, and is generally too caught up in his own pleasures to e interested in alliances and co-operation. Particular enemies are the followers of Ehorne, whose elief in pain and death is completely opposed to %laanesh's principle of a life of unrestricted pleasure. &ollowers of 9urgle and T6eentch are su !ect to %laanesh's usual neutral attitude.1 - 5ealms of (haos8 %laves to *arkness

+++The E6e of Terror+++

&he region o space !nown as the Eye o &error lies on the edge o the gala/y to the north and west o Earth$ It can be plainly seen as a swirl o stars in the orm o a vast and unblin!ing eye spanning over ten thousand light years o space$ &he Eye o &error is the largest !nown "one o warp@reality space overlap$ &here are many other such Dones scattered throughout the gala/y# but they are much smaller and much less signi icant$ At the centre o the Eye o &error is a hole in the abric o space li!e a puncture in the s!in o a balloon$ &he raw energy o Chaos pours through this hole and mi/es with the material universe$ As a result o this intermi/ture# the Eye o &error is not wholly sub4ect to the laws o time or space$ Its boundaries e ectively mar! an end to normal and habitable space$ There are stars and worlds within the Eye of Terror, ut they are unlike the familiar stars, solar systems, and planets that populate the rest of the gala#y. Each world is a self-contained manifestation of a uni)ue nightmarish su -reality, a vision of hell formed without regard for the logic of either astrophysics or nature. The energy of the warp saturates these places and sustains a cosmology ased on the inhuman perceptions of the powers of (haos. Thus there are worlds which are flat like dinner plates, worlds surrounded y circling fire alls which provide light and warmth, and tiered worlds like gigantic wedding cakes rising step- y-step on supporting pillars. 9o-one can say e#actly how many of these realities e#ist inside of the Eye of Terror. There must e many thousands if not tens of thousands. "ndeed, their num er and even their very form are pro a ly inconstant and unpredicta le. ,ecause the Eye of Terror is so steeped in chaotic energy it is not as inhospita le to daemons of

chaos as normal space. This is not to say that daemons can live or move completely freely within the Eye of Terror, ut their con!uration is vastly easier and their power is correspondingly greater than it would e elsewhere in the gala#y. The centre of the Eye of Terror is more hospita le to daemons than the fringes as it is more highly saturated with chaos energy. The worlds which lie closest to the centre of the Eye are called the *aemon 3orlds. D'emo- Wor(*+ $n the *aemon 3orlds, (haos reigns triumphant7 A daemon can move unhindered from the warp to one of the *aemon 3orlds. The (haos Powers regard these worlds as provinces of (haos in the gala#y of matter - material colonies of their immaterial empires. The four 'reat Powers continuously compete to possess the *aemon 3orlds. Armies of daemons and their living allies fight huge loody attles to determine which of the (haos Powers will possess them. These attles often last for hundreds of years, so that the entire world ecomes little more than a gigantic arena where the opposing forces are pitched against each other. The (haos Powers do not, of course, appear in person to lead their armies - they are spectators to events and not participants. Their generals are 'reater *aemons and favoured *aemon Princes who, ecause they were once alive, understand the nature of oth the material universe and the immaterial 5ealm of (haos. $nce a *aemon Prince has con)uered a world, his grateful Patron gives it to him as a gift to rule over as he wishes7 3hen a *aemon Prince takes control of his hard-won world he uses his mighty powers to reshape it to a form which pleases him. ,ecause of this, every world is different and all are e)ually spectacular in their own way. The most powerful psykers in the "mperium have reported dreams or visions in which worlds of The Eye of Terror have een revealed to them. $n one world a lack sun stands in a white sky and smoky threads pour from it onto a tangled lack city - this is said to e the homeworld of the *aemon Prince Pertura o, formerly the %pace Marine Primarch of the "ron 3arriors. Another world has oiling lakes of lood from which spheres of fire float into the sky and spread their light across the firmament - the ruler of this world is the *aemon Prince ,u onicus, formerly a mortal (hampion of 9urgle on one of the myriad lost worlds in the gala#y. Bisions of such places distur the psychically sensitive throughout the entire gala#y. To the living inha itants of the rest of the gala#y, the prospect of entering the Eye of Terror is terrifying. 9avigators will shun space for thousands of light years around it rather than risk a minor deviation in course which might take them into its oundaries. most 9avigators have personal e#perience of close encounters with (haos near the Eye of Terror. Many can recalls other 9avigators who traveled too close to the Eye in a foolish attempt to cut days from their !ourney time only to vanish forever. $n the Eldar (raftworlds there are sealed doorways which were once warp gates leading to living worlds, since swallowed up y the eye of Terror. 9ow those entrances are sealed with onds of 3raith one a thousand times stronger than steel, and cursed with runes so potent that !ust to look upon them would drive a mortal creature insane. 3ithin the Eye of Terror the (haos Powers e#ert such an influence that normal mortal life can e snuffed out at a whim. Even psykers, whose psychic energy is greater than that of ordinary men, cannot resist the will of (haos for long. Eventually, all mortal creatures who remain inside the Eye of Terror ecome either the slaves of (haos or its (hampions. The Eye of Terror is home to countless millions of living creatures. Many of these are human, or were once human efore (haos perverted them into forms no longer recognisa le as such. Every world in the Eye of Terror has its mortal population whose (hampions and war ands form the mortal armies of (haos in the gala#y. Even *aemon 3orlds have mortals who live there and worship their chaos masters as gods. The Eye of Terror offers a place of sanctuary to human worshippers of (haos forced to flee from the "mperium. The "n)uisition never rests in its id to oust (haos (ultists from "mperial worlds, and whole planets have een destroyed in order to eradicate thriving cults. -owever, despite the vigilance of the "n)uisition, many worlds har our secret (haos (ultists. Even "mperial officials are sometimes drawn into these cults and led to etray their race and the Emperor. (ultists who have the means and courage to flee the "n)uisition often make for the Eye of Terror and the welcoming arms of their chaos masters. These traitors are useful servants ecause they know a great deal a out the "mperium and its defences. Mortals who take refuge in the Eye of Terror can ecome very powerful (hampions of (haos many will have dedicated themselves to (haos and might already e well on the way to daemonhood. Many mortals took refuge in this way following -orus's defeat y the Emperor.

Those Traitor Marines who survived the defeat were led in to the Eye of Terror y their Primarchs. They were !oined y re els from the "mperial 'uards, the &leet, and other former followers of -orus, including many ,eastmen. %uch is the natuer of the Eye of Terror that some of the very individuals who fled there in those far off days are still alive ten thousand years later, granted vastly e#tended mortal lives y their (haos Patrons. 3hether this reflects a reward for their loyalty or a punishment for their failure it is impossi le to say. D'emo- B'tt(e+ The mortal population of a world in the Eye of Terror serves (haos in two e)ually important ways. Mortals provide the manpower for the armies of (haos, especially for armies which roam eyond the Eye of Terror in the material universe. Mortals also worship the (haos Powers and there y add their own psychic energies to the total energy availa le to their master. $n the *aemon 3orlds life is war+ war is the name of (haos, war fought to amuse or serve the (haos Powers. Mortal (hampions, war ands, mortal and daemonic armies, all attle together in an endless cele ration of strife. the (haos Powers revel in the adoration of their favourite warriors, and savour the lood that is shed willingly in their honour. %hould the pace of conflict slacken, a (haos Power will invite a rival Power to send an invading army to one of his worlds so that they can en!oy the sport of attle. The limits and terms of the tournament are determined eforehand8 the num er of troops, daemons, and (hampions to e committed for e#ample. The wager is likely to e possession of the planet itself7 The (haos Powers love such contests and will often gam le whole worlds on the outcome of a single com at etween two mortal (hampions. Although the Eye of Terror seethes with almost perpetual warfare, not every mortal creature is necessarily harnessed to attle. (haos wants the est warriors after all7 $nly those who are rave enough to fight their way to freedom from the slave pits, prayer-gangs and lack factories are good enough to fight for (haos. The remainder serve through work and worship. %laves are rewarded in the itter way of (haos+ they learn to love the lash and ecome fren6ied with pleasure as they approach e#tremes of self-sacrifice, trying to outdo their neigh ours in their efforts to please their masters. <ust as the inudustrial slaves la our to produce the weapons and armour for attle, so vast prayer gangs are put to work worshipping their masters. $n the *aemon 3orld of ,u onicus, for e#ample, the e)uator is surrounded y a dancing human chain which sings and dances the praise of 9urgle as it circles the world. The dancer develop 9urgle's 5ot and gradually mutate into Plague earers. The Plague earers !oin their master and new mortals take their place so that the circle is never roken. This theatrical conceit pleases 9urgle tremendously, so that ,u onicus has commanded that it should never cease. This is a typical e#ample of the vast scale of worship which the (haos Powers en!oy. $ther e#amples include planets where millions of people chant the same mantra in a cry of perpetual worship so that the whole world vi rates to their voices. The entire energies of another are spent uilding and tolling ells as ig as cities whose thunderous peals re ound around the glo e while thousands of slaves la our to swing them. There is said to e a world elonging to 9urgle where the entire population is enslaved to keeping the accounts of disease and pestilence, recording every incidence of sickness in the entire gala#y. The %or,e+ of !h'o+ The Eye of Terror is the focal point of (haos in the gala#y. "ts countless worlds provide the ases from which armies and raiders attack the rest of the gala#y. The "mperium lives in fear that the forces of (haos will unite into a huge army of con)uest and pour into human space, destroying and taking over human planets. This has never happened ecause the various (haos worlds don't form a united empire ut comprise countless independent realms ruled y rival (haos Powers and *aemon Princes. The different *aemon Princes and other daemonic rulers regard their neigh ours as rivals, even though they all share a common master. 3hen the rival forces of (haos do decide to act in concert they pose a potentially dangerous threat to the "mperium, the %)uat -omeworld, $rks, Eldar and all other intelligent lifeforms in the gala#y. &ortunately, alliances etween different daemon rulers ten to e fragile arrangements which often fall apart even efore their target is reached. $nce they have captured the odd planet their natural tendencies to s)ua le over the spoils almost invaria le dissipates the their forces and rings their reign of terror to a close. This disunity is particularly noticea le where the forces of several powers are involved in a common enterprise. $nly when (haos raiders are led y a single e#tremely powerful leader are they really dangerous.

&ortunately for the "mperium, it is rare that a leader of sufficient cali re emerges. Almost invaria ly the impetus of each fresh attack is )uickly spend, so that human forces can take advantage of their enemy's disunity to make good their initial losses. !h'o+ Re-e/'*e+ The most common threat to the "mperium comes from relatively small groups of raiders, invaders and space pirates referred to as (haos 5enegades. A typical force of (haos 5enegades is ased around a core of one or more (hampions of (haos plus their attendant war ands. "n most cases all the (haos 5enegades in a force come from a single world, and their troops comprise not only mortal (hampions and their followers, ut also a num er of other followers of their (haos Patron. (haos 5enegades are accustomed to war and death on their homeworld and regard the gala#y as little more than a giant attlefield. The logical e#tension of their e#istence is to find new attles to fight, fresh worlds to con)uer, and new peoples to enslave on ehalf of their chaotic master. The (haos 5enegades are often aided y other forces of (haos. Among these are the (hapters of Traitor %pace Marines which turned to (haos during the -orus -eresy, and which still e#ist in the Eye of Terror. These Traitor Marines roam the various worlds over which their Patron Powers have cominion, !oining war ands, sometimes ecoming (hampions and even progressing to ecome *aemon princes. $nce of the most active (hapters of Trator Marines is the "ron 3arriors (hapter. This (hapter is dedicated to (haos in its undivided Ma!esty and is ased on the world of the *aemon Prince Pertura o. As they own allegiance to no (haos Power in particular, they will often !oin with (haos 5enegades regardless of the (haos Power they follow. 3hen the (haos 5enegades land on their target worlds they may e !oined y allies from among the world's own population, or y other marauding forces such as $rks or pirates. These allies are all too willing to !oin with (haos 5enegades and fight with them in return for a share in the spoils of war. As the (haos 5enegades move out of the Eye of Terror and towards their targets they are !oined y other (haos sympathisers and all manner of free ooters. renegade leaders use the contacts with the (haos (ultists and treacherous humans to direct their attacks as effectively as possi le appearing from nowhere to attack a vulnera le space convoy or a defenseless planet. 5enegades also lend their weight to the (haos (ultist risings on human worlds, with the ultimate aim of overthrowing "mperial government and installing the cultists in power. (ultists who !oin up with (haos 5enegades are sometimes taken ack to they Eye of Terror where they enter the service of their master. $rks and human pirates, free ooters, and other nihilistic groups also !oin 5enegades for a share of the loot - they don't really care which side they support and are )uite happy to fight for (haos against human or other forces. "n this way many of the lawless and discontent elements of the gala#y are drawn to the service of (haos - some make the mistake fo returning to the Eye of Terror where they are caught in the endless cycle of attle and damnation. W'rp Tr've( ,ecause the Eye of Terror e#ists oth in real space and the warp it can e reached y spacecraft travelling in either the material universe or the immaterial warp. ,y moving into the Eye of Terror a spacecraft can move etween the two alternative universes. 5enegades have access to many kinds of spacecraft, including captured vessels as well as the remnants of the fleets assem led y -orus to attack Earth during the -eresy. ,ecause of the comple#, non-linear progress of time within the warp, craft which are thousands of years old are still in service, many as gleaming and potent as the day on which they were launched. $ther craft are uilt on worlds within the Eye of Terror, raised y the servants of (haos as sacrifices to their daemonic masters. The outward appearance of such ships varies a great deal, ut on all it is one of corruption and madness. The flow of the warp can carry a spacecraft through time as well as space, so that what seems like a few days' travel may take a craft through thousands of years of time. "mperial ships are uilt to minimise these effects, and their crews are careful to navigate round the worse eddies and whirlpools of the warp. (haos spacecraft are inconsiderate of such matters and they are content to drift through time and space until the winds of chance ring them upon a suita le target. %hips sometimes get caught up in the warp and su !ected to the distur ing effects of time distortion. Even some of -orus's original forces suddenly reappear after ten thousand years of

travel, unaware that their cause is lost and determined to continue their attack upon the forces of the "mperium. $ne of the most weird and e#treme results of spacecraft eing caught y temporal whirlpools in the warp is the creation of (hampions fated to foresee their own Heroic Death. The lives and deaths of all living things have an e#istence in the warp. (aught up in such a cyclone of time a man might witness his own death, or that of another, the more heroic and spectacular his doom, the more likely it is to e revealed. $nce a (hampion's glorious fate has een seen, and it ecomes known that he will achieve a -eroic *eath, his fame spreades throughout the gala#y. The manner of his doom will e e#plained y countless followers of (haos, and the rave deeds which he is yet to perform earn him a formida le reputation. ,ecause his doom is certain, the (hampion need have no worries a out eing slain at any other time, and can therefore disregard such petty fears for his own safety as might otherwise concern him, and spend his remaining life living up to the glorious image of his own death.

+++The !'r-iv'( of De'th+++

The space inside the wagon was cavernous out of all proportion to its tiny e#terior si6e. The cacophonies that filled it were indescri a le+ the s)uealing, screaming, chattering and ickering of the 9urglings was eyond mere human imagining. A million unruly school children left to their own devices could not egin to rival the anarchy or intensity of that daemonic din. The grating drones of the Plague earers all counting at once produced a sound so ass and penetrating that it made the vital organs of every daemon vi rate and )uiver in time with its eat. Then there were the indescri a le noises, the creaks and groans, the little pops of ursting pustules, the sloppering slicky noises of the frantically affectionate ,easts, and other sounds which were impossi le to ascri e to any one source in particular. Amidst it all, waving his arms, the 'reat 4nclean $ne was trying to make himself heard. 1AhhR 'entlecreatures, children, pretties... lend your ears to your loving &ather, cease thy aimless chatter, anish thy anal ur lings...1 "t was )uite useless, the noise continued apace, the s)ueals and laughter reaching a new crescendo. The 'reat 4nclean $ne appeared for a moment to e hurt y his fellow daemon's rudeness. 1%-4T 4P,1 he ellowed. The noise stopped instantly, not even the eat of little daemonic hearts or drip of tiny daemonic noses could e heard. The rown of every Plague earer furrowed in concentration as each tried desperately to remem er the last num er he thought of. The 'reat 4nclean $nce )uickly regained his composure, for he was used to such things. 1'entlecreatures our pretties... now is the time to sing the songs of fate, for the moment has come for the *ance of *eath71

+++%'ther "ur/(e+++
&ather 9urgle settled his great mass down among the supporting heap of his smallest minions. Those lucky enough to escape eing crushed y their master's ulk s)uealed delightedly as they snuggled into the damp warmth of his flesh. 9urgle reclined comforta ly and his corpulant face assumed an air of triumphant e#pectancy. 9urgle gave a dignified nod to one of the Plague earers. E#citedly, the daemon egan to eat its drum, slowly and rhythmically at first, and gradually faster and faster as it ecame carried away y the sense of occasion. All of his servants applauded, and 9urgle acknowledged them with a smile and regal wave of his festering paw. "t was the prelude to attle that e#cited the daemons, drawing s)ueals of anticipation from the tum ling little 9urglings. This time the cavalcade was to e !oined y others8 (hampions of 9urgle and their mortal war ands, who were also going to take part in the great war. the ,easts ounded and fussed in their eagerness to welcome the mortals, causing considera le disarray and the odd casualty amongst the serried ranks of warriors.

The war ands flocked to the sound of the drum. They came in carts and wagons like those of 9urgle's own cavalcade, marched into camp, or simply distilled from the surrounding woods like shadows at sunset. %ome of the most severely mutated of them wore right carnival masks and voluminous ro es, completely failing to hide their uni)ue disfigurements if that was in fact their purpose. The Plague earers carefully recorded the name of each (hampion as he arrived, announcing his titles as loudly as they were a le among the rising laughter and s)ueaking chatter. The show pleased &ather 9urgle immensely8 the usy carts with their tinkling ells, the gaily-coloured masks and carefully decorated palan)uins earing various daemons or (hampions. -e sighed with satisfaction and patted the little 9urgling that had crawled into the crook of his arm and puddled there.

==A(ie- R',e+ +++THE ELDAR+++

Although humanoid in appearance, the Eldar are actually )uite unlike humans. An Eldar stands a little taller than a man, with long graceful lim s and elegant elongated features. Their meta olism is faster than that of humans, so they are swift footed, )uick thinking, and in many respects superior to mankind. -owever, they are on the whole a little more fragile and perhaps not )uite as strong physically, although as in all species these )ualities vary enormously from individual to "ndividual, and some Eldar are very strong indeed. They are very long lived as a species, some surviving for a thousand years, ut they are not prolific. EARL$ HI TOR$ The Eldar are an ancient race+ their spacefaring history predating humanity's y many thousands of years. "n the distant past, the Eldar encountered the $ld %lann, the greatest of all spacefaring peoples, and learned many arcane secrets a out the universe from them. After the passing of the $ld %lann, which itself happened thousands of years efore man's first stum ling attempts at spaceflight, the Eldar continued to flourish and their civili6ation e#panded throughout the gala#y. Eldar space travel, like that of the $ld %lann, is ased around the principle of warp-tunnel engineering. Tunnels were constructed from star to star, passing through the warp and allowing spacecraft a means of moving rapidly throughout the gala#y. 3arp drives, as used y human spacecraft, were not used y the early Eldar and this kind of travel within the warp rather than through tunnels was regarded y the Eldar as dangerous and impractical. RA!IAL DI A TER The Eldar civili6ation collapsed at its very height. Today, its remnants reflect, ut cannot hope to e)ual, the achievements of that long past era. The $ld %lann are said to have forewarned the Eldar a out the dangers that they would face. They taught how every living thought and feeling creates an echo in the warp, and how like characteristics re-echo together, creating a unified circulating wave of energy. %uch waves form vortices of pure energy manifesting a collective consciousness and will. The %lann called these conscious warp creatures the Powers of (haos. The Eldar fell victim to the monster created y their own racial inclinations8 a Power of (haos raised y their common am itions and motives. As the Power grew stronger, its echoes egan to permeate the minds of the Eldar themselves, reinforcing the )ualities upon which it fed and furthering its own growth. The natural am itions and ideals of the Eldar, healthy enough in moderation, were soon reinforced to a point of o session and insanity. 3ithin a few generations the e#tremes of ehavior overthrew all other considerations and the whole civili6ation fell into madness and decay. $nly a few Eldar re elled against the life of sy aritic ease now almost universal amongst their kind. These were the few that had heeded the warnings of the long vanished $ld %lann, turning their minds away from their natural inclinations and towards the aversion of racial disaster. "n order to escape the decaying civili6ation around them, they constructed many vast spacecraft, self-contained worlds where they could live wholly untainted y the mass of their race. These craft worlds were the only portion of Eldar society to survive the fall of the Eldar race. All the

living Eldar are the descendants of these rave and hardy people. The fall of the Eldar is said to have happened in a single orgy of destruction. 3hen the Power of (haos finally achieved sufficient energy, it egan to draw all Eldar consciousness to itself, literally draining the minds of the Eldar. Every Eldar world was emptied of life, and almost the entire race perished. The energies of the Eldar passed into the warp, and ecame the creature known as %laanesh, the Power of (haos given form y the dreams of the Eldar. This relationship is important to those Eldar who survived, ecause in %laanesh they perceive the worst side of their race, the side of their character which caused their downfall and to which even the survivors are inclined. THE !RA%T WORLD Today the entire Eldar civili6ation is located on oard the giant craft worlds that float throughout the gala#y. The si6e of these worlds varies tremendously, some are almost the si6e of a small planet whilst others are little more than a city floating in space. The craft worlds still preserve the warp tunnel technology of the Eldar, and every craft world has many entrances to warp tunnels inside it. %ome warp tunnels are large enough only to admit a single Eldar, others are large enough to drive a su stantial vehicle through. The largest of all are located outside the craft worlds, either contained within or suspended in space near y. They are virtually invisi le of course, little more than a patch of darkness, ut they allow whole spacefleets to move etween the different craft worlds, and from craft worlds to solar systems throughout the gala#y. "n this way the Eldar can move easily and )uickly through the gala#y. THE I"%I"IT$ !IR!UIT 3hile the $ld %lann taught the Eldar a out the dangers of the warp, they also taught them a out its many positive aspects. They taught how the mind of a living creature passes upon death into the warp, where it may, if the individual mind has achieved power, remain whole and immortal as a spirit in the warp. The $ld %lann elieved that the o !ect of life was to perfect the mind, and there y achieve conscious immortality as a spirit in the warp. $nce created an immortal spirit could reincarnate as a living creature, and would always return to the warp as a whole spirit upon death. -owever, the $ld %lann also warned that such an e#istence was impossi le if an individual's own thoughts were too close to those of a Power of (haos, for when that happened a deceased consciousness would e devoured y the greater Power, losing its identity and melting into it. Today the Eldar know that upon death their consciousness will not survive, ut will e devoured y %laanesh and further invigorate that which is the eternal shame of their race. They can have no immortal life as a spirit, and in death can only hope to serve the creature they regard as their most potent enemy. "t was as a response to this fate that the Eldar developed the "nfinity (ircuit. The "nfinity (ircuit is a repository of Eldar minds, a collection of o !ects called %pirit %tones. The consciousness or spirit of one or more Eldar is preserved in each %pirit %tone. $f course, a consciousness is not )uite like a living mind, so many Eldar minds can occupy a single %pirit %tone manifesting a collective consciousness, or pool of knowledge. Although %tones are individual repositories, all share the energy of the entire "nfinity (ircuit, and are linked y that energy flowing etween them. 3hen an Eldar dies his spirit passes into a small temporary spiritual repository called a 3ay %tone. The 3ay %tone can only hold the spirit for a limited time, during which the Eldar's spirit must e transferred to a %pirit %tone for it to survive. All Eldar wear a 3ay %tone, a small stud or decorated em lem which will hold their spirit if they die, usually on their reast. Each craft world has its own "nfinity (ircuit, spread over many %pirit %tones where the consciousness of its past citi6ens resides. The craft world's "nfinity (ircuit represents a vast repository of wisdom and e#perience, and it is treated with ultimate respect y the Eldar who live upon that craft world. Every Eldar knows that his fate is to !oin his forefathers in the "nfinity (ircuit when he dies. "f an Eldar dies efore his spirit can e gathered, this is regarded as a great loss and a terri le fate. The "nfinity (ircuit of the craft world is regarded in many respects like a living creature, which in some ways it is, contri uting its own undying wisdom to the government of the living. There are many small %pirit %tones containing one or only a few collective minds. These smaller %pirit %tones sometimes lie at the heart of machines, spacecraft, or other mechanical devices in such as way that the consciousness they contain can !oin and harmoni6e with the minds of living Eldar. The relationship is a useful one to the surviving Eldar, and one that has grown to e

entirely natural for them. The ultimate e#amples of Eldar meshing with %pirit %tones is that of the creatures called Avatars. Every craft world has a num er of Avatars, attle-suits uilt around a %pirit %tone housing the ideali6ed spirit of an Eldar principle. %uch stones contain only the parts of consciousness that most em ody an aspect of the Eldar character. An Eldar who ecomes an Avatar melds his own personality with the ideali6ed spirit of a racial principle, ecoming a living manifestation of that attitude of the Eldar character. $nce an Eldar has donned the suit of an Avatar, he and the %pirit %tone are united until he dies, the Eldar simply forgets he has his own personality and ecomes enmeshed within the single-minded thoughts of the Avatar. 4pon death, the Eldar's own spirit passes into the stone and awaits a new Avatar. The Avatars are important to the Eldar, they are living virtues, the em odiment of what they see as worthy a out their race. The Avatars are the most important occupants of a craft world. A further e#ample of this melding of Eldar and %pirit %tone is the Phantom Titan, where the minds of its living crew meld into the %pirit %tone of the Titan itself, and are governed y its vast fighting e#perience. 4nlike the Avatar the melding is only temporary, ut it still ena les the crew to fight with all the attle-wisdom and ferocity em odied y the spirit in the stone. THE LA T HOPE Although very long lived, Eldar are not a prolific race. This may e one side effect of their spiritual fall. As a result most Eldar populations are in a state of slow decline, and many craft worlds are all ut deserted. The Eldar nurture one last hope. They elieve that when the "nfinity (ircuits hold all the spirits of their race, all of the craft worlds will unite into one "nfinity (ircuit, and the collective spirits of the Eldar will !oin to form a new Power of (haos that will attle and su due %laanesh, so that Eldar spirits may once more e a le to merge with it and form a single, alanced entity. ,y doing so, if such a thing is possi le, they hope that this will allow the Eldar race to e recreated in a etter form. Meanwhile the Avatars of the craftworlds must guard the %pirit %tones from harm and continue to survive, so that all Eldar can see and form in their own minds a concept of the Eldar virtues that will enter along with their spirits into the "nfinity (ircuits.

+++E(*'r B',</rou-* I-form'tio-+ ++ +++D't'fi(e >+++

%IR LIRITHIO" I HEART ARMOURED %OR BATTLE J The &ir .irithion of the "yanden (raft 3orld have a most unusual attitude towards com at. This Eldar clan are slow to ire and they never go willingly to war+yet they are , once on the field, among the most fearsome of all opponents. To the &ir .irithion, war is a cancer to e eradicated. They strive to cut out the disease ut leave the ody unharmed+ to this end they will go to inordinate lengths to purge their enemies of elligerent leaders while leaving the unwilling masses unharmed. This tactic of course, relies on the idea that the masses will e routed upon the death of their leaders. As a conse)uence, the first time the &ir .irithion found themselves fighting $rks, they suffered the iggest defeat of their long and glorious history. They struck at the $rk command post with a lightning strike, killing all of the tri e's leaders in one fell swoop. E#pecting the $rks to fall apart without leadership, they did not e#pect the retaliation they recieved, and were taken y suprise. their losses were heavy that day. &ir .irithion are regarded is the surgeons of the attlefield y most o servers. They heve fought many highly effective campaigms, such as the route of a company of Emperors (hildren on the moon of ,althon+ a strike force of Phantoms went deep into the Balley of Envy and destroyed the trators' command center. The leaderless and attered Marimes were forced to withdraw to a savage feral world in the outer system, where they were killed y a virulent plague that caused their .arraman's $rgan to emit cells uncontrola ly, terminaly thickening their lood.

%IR DI"ILLAI"" I PROTE!TOR O% THE %ALLE" J %ince "mperial records egan the Eldar Phantoms of the %aim -ann (raft world have een known as the &ir *inillainn - the Protectors of the &allen. ?et on their own time scale, this name is ut a recent ac)uisition earned y an act of outstanding courage and selfless service to another clan many thousands of years ago. .ord Amthillon, leader at the time, sacrificed a third of his force to protect the dying warriors of the &ir .irithion (lan - his companions in the field - so that their spiritstones could e retrieved. ,y that single act of self sacrifice the &ir .irillyon - the Enights of Purpose were renamed. the &ir *inillain. %ince that day the Phantoms of the %aim--ann (raft 3orld have astonished even "mperial forces with their selfless heroism. %IR %ARILLE!A IO" I WAT!HER O3ER A"!IE"T WRO"# J "t is widely-rumoured among the few Eldar unaware of the truth that the true location of the ,lack .i rary - said to hold the Eldar codices that concern themselves with the worship of (haos and tell of the Eldar's downfall - must e the ,iel-Tann (raft 3orld. Although this is certainly untrue, the Phantoms of ,iel-Tann do display an unparalleled hatred of (haos. The driving force ehind this hatred is afeverent wish that no other race should suffer the terri le downfall that efell the Eldar. "n)uisitor Trant tells of his !ourney to Truan "N to destroy a Ehornate coven. -owever, Trant arrived too late - upon reaching the surface he found that virtualy the entire population had een wiped out. "n the ru le of the western continent's capital city he found a half- urnt anner earing the sym ols of the &ir &arillecassion - the Phantoms of ,iel-Tann. They had arrived efore him. %IR IOLARIO" I EA#LE BOR" O% %IRE J The &ir "olarion - Eagles ,orn of &ire -were almost completely destroyed four centuries ago when they lost control of the warp gates on oard their (raft world, .ugannath, allowing the *aemons of the warp to enter and attack them. &or many years the clan drifted helplessly in space while they la oured to make the necessary repairs+ stranded, and with their num ers severly depleted y the creatures in their midst, they were reduced to eing one of the weakest Eldar clans. $ver time however, thanks only to their own unrelenting and steadfast efforts, they have not only regained the power they once had, ut have e#ceeded it tenfold. their almost total o literation is now regarded y their leaders as a aptism of fire. "n the months after their warp gate accident, the "yanden (raft 3orld sent Eldar troops to near y systems to gather materials for repairs. $n the $rk world of 'ragnar they found a lake of li)uid copper vital to the resta ilisation of their warp gates. Although their operations to drain the lake were constantly hampered y attacks from $rk 'argants, the presence of the &ir "olarion Phantoms meant that they were a le to get the metal they re)uired without sustaining heavy losses. Most Eldar craft-worlds have their own Titan forces whose crews work together with an "nfinity (ircuit. The "nfinity (ircuit is used in many forms y the Eldar, where other races would use computers and similar devices. Each "nfinity (ircuit is imprinted with the character and memories of a living Eldar through the process of 'soul-grafting' /Failleanam 0. The Eldar's ody is left as a mindless husk, ut his thoughts live on in the "nfinity (ircuit . %oul-grafting is seen as the ultimate sacrifice that an Eldar can make for his people, and the ancestors and relatives who live on within "nfinity (ircuits are treated with great respect. They are revered and marked y the title of &uisich+ ;ovasmair, which "mperial sources normally translate as .ord-Phoeni#. The "nfinity (ircuit of an Eldar titan is normally mounted in the centre of the crew compartment, and takes the form of a large and intricately faceted piece of carrecenad , the 'soul-stone' which forms the asis of "nfinity (ircuit technology. 4nlike their -uman counterparts, the crew of an Eldar Titan is not physically connected to the machine+ smaller chips of stone set in head ands allow the crew to meld psychically with the "nfinity (ircuit and the highly-sophisticated Mind "mpulse 4nits it controls. An Eldar Phantom crewman is immediately recognisa le y the %pitit %tone he wears upon hisforehead. 4pon ecoming a Titan crewman, a ceremonial and is wraped around the Eldar's

head+ almost immediately, the and onds to his skull and sends tendrils into his rain. The head and ears a small chunk of %pirit %tone taken from the Titan that the Eldar is to serve. 4pon taring his place in the cockpit, each crewman psychically links with the Titan using the fragment of the stone. "n effect, the Titan and crew ecome a single entity. The and may only e removed upon tk Eldar's death. .ike all Eldar, a Titan crewman ears a %pirit %tone on his chest that, upon his death, will preserve his spirit for a short time. The shape of this stone often reflects the sym ol of the Eldar's clan8 the &ir .irithion, for instance, have heart-shaped stones. ,ecause of the close links that are re)uired etween the Titan's crewmem ers and the Titan itself, it is usual for each crew to consist of Eldar from one family. This affords them a great deal of respect within the craft world's hierarchy, as a family must e truly worthy to serve in a Titan clan. 3hen in attle, each crewman wears a close-fitting oiler suit that contains the life-support systems he needs. -is oots are made of a slightly adhesive su stance that is ideal for moving around the organic tu es and passageways that cris-cross the Titan. 3hen outside the Titan, each Eldar wears either a !acket or a coat for warmth. .ike the oiler suit itself, these topcoats ear the Titan's rune and victory sym ols on the left shoulder, and the Eldar's clan sym ol on the ack. The Phantom has a crew of four - three living Eldar and one "nfinity (ircuit. The "nfinity (ircuit is normally mounted in the centre of the crew compartment in the Titan's head, and the living crew -fre)uently lood-relatives of the "nfinity (ircuit - occupy couches around it. 4nlike their -uman counterparts, they do not have specific functions. Each crew mem er is e)uipped with a head and in which is set a fragment of the carrecenad stone+ y means of this they merge their minds with the "nfinity (ircuit, forming a composite mind capa le of handling multiple thoughts and actions. This mind is linked to the Phantom's mechanical systems y Mind "mpulse 4nits which are far in advance of those used y the "mperium. The relationship etween a Phantom's living crew and its "nfinity (ircuit is intimate and all-sharing+ they know each other totally, and are marked y their a ility to finish each other's sentences and thoughts out loud. "n any other Eldar, this would e unthinka le presumption, ut Titan crews are know for the closeness they develop and the eccentricities that arise from it. To Eldar outside the Titan (lans, they are almost a race apart.



"yanden was going to war. 'rav-tanks %ped forward, leading the way for the Titans. &our Phantoms wore the green and gold of .irithion, with the heart and thorns on their anners. ,ehind the Titans came an army of 3alkers, and a ove them hovered a swarm of <et ikes, u66ing like angry hornets. 'racefully, the Titans picked their way through the "nfantry that Milled around their feet. The leading Titan ore the sigil of .ord-Phoeni# &iallathandirel, 3all against Evil. "n its head ,a domed mass of (arrecenad soul-stone held the essence of the Eldar who had orne that name. The living crew - lood-relatives of the .ord-Phoeni# - reclined on couches around the stone. Each wore a head and of polished metal, set with a smaller rother of the stone on the floor Their eyes were empty+ their minds were one with their Ancestor. They had ecome -&iallathandirel. The crew's eyes saw nothing8 it was the mind of the Titan that eheld the $rks through the sensors that were his eyes and ears. There were many foes8 hideous 'argants towered a ove ,uggies and ,attlewagons. -ere and there among the mass of troops could e seen the s)uat, rutal *readnoughts. $rks covered the ground like a poisonous green mould Iolavai Firnamaidd 7 The attle-cry came from all places and from nowhere it flew from the throats of the living, and echoed round the silent stones. Time for the killing. 'rav-tanks leapt forward, spitting right laser-fire. Artillery added many voices to the song of war. *readnoughts and 3alkers loped forward and ehind them, with shorter strides, ran the attlesuited Avenging 3arnors The Phantoms leapt ahead, swift movement and right laser- olts weaving a tapestry of death.

&illathandirel led, dancing in a storm of refracted colour as defensive screens roke up his image. Missiles flashed from the Phantom's wing, and his pulse laser traced a line of fire across a 'argant's shields. %wift ,ad altrilas raced forward. .ady *ou le-Armed 3ith %words of .ight. and a 'argant died. $ne of her pulse lasers destroyed its shields. and the other roke its oily heart in a gout of fire. Missiles and laser fire rained down on the $rk infantry. %pirit 3arriors rought 3artraks and ,uggies fiery doom. ,ut the $rks were taking their own toll. &rom a score of positions. las-cannon picked off *readnoughts and 3alkers. &iallathandirel saw 5ash .antillifieth. ,right %layer of *arkness. rush forward through a storm of enemy %hells. ,efore he could fire. his pulse laser was destroyed and right lue sparks showered from one wing. The crippled Phantom swerved violently and his power fist tore into the head of a 'argant. &ar off to the left. another 'argant died. (aught in a we of fire from the 3alkers and artillery, it egan to pour smoke and settled on its road haunches. $ne of its turrets rattled riefly and *readnoughts fell like grass in the wind. Away to the right a ha6e of colour solidified into rave ,rylidassian, $pener of The 'ates of *oom. The Phantom stood like a statue as a vorte# of light swirled out from his *-cannon. The last 'argant toppled and crushed the troops eneath. -alf its right side had simply vanished. The Phantom was lit up with fire - his pulse laser turned to slag. ,efore he could seek safety in movement he was destroyed. &iallathandirel was saddened+ another %pirit-,rother would dance no more. The $rks were wavering+ their charge had een rought to a standstill. -ere and there pockets of infantry dug in, and hails of olters fire greeted the advancing warriors. This was the &ate-time+ the moment at which all would e lost or won. %uddenly, the air was filled with the scream of flight packs. .ike a storm of meteorites. the &ian %ilspeiraigh plummeted into the heart of the $rk infantry positions. %eeing the (aurifellianaidd was almost a shock after the stories. .iafil had heard - they looked very like himself. -e tried not to stare at the shifting red-and- lack of soul-stone in their headands. 1"t is my thought,1 said one, 1that the $rks...1 1Agreed.1 The second interrupted. 1,ut recall...1 1Bery different terrain.1 A third voice. 1-owever...1 1.uatheinn on the left flank can...1 1"f necessary. 3e shall know more from this riefing.1 .iafil was relieved to reach the riefingcham er. The (aurifellianaidd's constant interruption of each other made him very uncomfona le. "n the head of the Phantom, three Eldar reclined on ornate couches, loose-lim ed and emptyeyed, twitching occasionally against their straps as their minds moved the great war machine. Each wore a metal head and set with a luminous red stone, shot through with a shifting filigree of lack. At the centre of the triangle formed y the three couches, a larger piece of the same stone was set into the ca in floor. A slight smile appeared simultaneously on three vacant faces as the renegade -umans came into view. "t was a huge force. (rowds of infantry scurried like insects y the feet of the lum ering, unlovely -uman Titans. The Eye of -orus glared from a do6en anners, proclaiming their allegiance to (haos. The first Phantom was already dodging as a attery of weapons came to ear from the Traitors. A hail of plasma and laser fire cut through the whirling, multicoloured shards of disrupted light where the Phantom had een, !ust as its pulse laser spat a volley of multi-coloured laser olts. The flare of void shields was followed y an e#plosion as a Traitor Titan lost a power first. A second volley of shots smashed into a uilding as the Phantom ducked ehind it. Another Traitor Titan met its doom as the searing volley of a pulse laser cut its legs from under it, ut the second Phantom had stayed still a fraction too long. As its shape coalesced out of the whirling holo-field distortion, a macro-cannon spoke, and the pulse laser was snapped in two like a twig in a hurricane. The third Phantom was no more than a lur. "ts -olo-field defences scattered its image over a wide area as it strode flat out, trying to outflank the Traitor force. A trail of file followed its disrupted form, ut the Traitors could not find their target. The !et ikes screamed down on the Traitor infantry as the dreadnoughts and artillery opened fire

on the foremost of the Traitor Titans. A pair of plasma cannon vanished in a oiling cloud of vapour, and its legs ground to a sparking, sputtering halt. A cluster of lue icons appeared on the holo. ,lue for unidentified. ,rannon snapped the comm open. 1Prae ete aures, -ornet 'roup, this is .eader. These could e our Traitors. $dd num ers will proceed left around the uildings. Even num ers will follow me to the crest of the hill. Await my order to fire. Acknowledge.1 The white icons representing the rest of the &ire 3asps force flashed gold once, and the formation split with parade-ground precision. -alf of -ornet 'roup followed ,rannon's 9emesis to the crest of the hill, spread out in arrowhead formation. 1Moderati will prepare their weapons.1 1Macro-cannon ready.1 1Plasma gun ready.1 1.as-cannon ready.1 1(hain fist ready.1 1Iyanden is ready.1 ,rannon punched the comm utton angrily. 13ho said. . . K1 At that moment, his 9emesis crested the hill. $n the plain elow, a force of Eldar was waiting. There were three slim, deadly-looking Eldar Titans+ dreadnoughts, infinity-circuit ro ots and war walkers stood at their feet while a small group of !et ikes hovered y the shoulder of the lead Titan. To the rear, ,rannon could !ust make out a detachment of mo ile field artillery. Even as ,rannon took in the si6e of the Eldar force, the strangely-accented voice sounded again. 1Iyanden is gladdened# riend Hornet.1 %omething a out the languid tone irritated ,rannon, and he tried to keep his voice level as he replied. 1This is -ornet .eader. 3hat is your purpose here, "yandenK1 1*ur purpose is not incompatible with your own# riend Hornet$ )e# too# see! those whom you call &raitors$'' 1This is "mperial usiness, "yanden.1 ,rannon replied through clenched teeth. 13e have not een informed of any treaty of co-operation.1 1&here is none .'' ,rannon was sure he heard a hint of supercilious mockery in the Eldar's tone. 1*ur business is not with your Imperium# either as riends or as enemies$ )e see! those whom we see! or reasons o our own.1 1"yanden.1 ,rannon's tone was stiff with formality and irritation. 1,e informed that this planet is within "mperial !urisdiction, and that your presence here constitutes a technical invasion. "f necessary, we stand ready to...1 1&o wea!en both our orces %uch a thing would gladden those you call &raitors# who# by the way# are approaching$ -ou will pardon us or the present# although we shall be happy to continue this discussion in a short time$1 The Eldar force had already egun to move off, and the lead Titan raised its power fist in a casual wave as it turned. Almost at the same tirne, a thick spread of red Traitor icons appeared at the edge of ,rannon's holo-display. 1-ornet 'roup, this is .eader. Pugna incepta. All Titans will move to engage the Traitors. Treat the Eldar as non-hostile, ut e on your guard. Those decadents are capa le of anything.1 As he led -ornet 'roup toward the Traitors he recited the &ire 3asps' .itany of (om at silently, summoning his faith in the Emperor to overcome his resentment of the Eldar's high-handed attitude and clear his mind for the coming attle. The &ire 3asps arrived !ust in time to see a damaged Eldar Phantom charging a Traitor 9emesis The severed stump of its pulse laser locked a scything chain-fist as plasma vaporised one of its wings, then its power fist sie6ed the 9emesis y the arrel of its las-cannon, the Phantom locked one leg ehind the 9emesis' knee-!oint, and the Traitor Titan toppled and fell. $n the Traitors' far flank, a pulse laser volley crashed into the lind side of another Titan, fracturing the reactor vessel at its heart. Plasma oiled skywards, and another Traitor Titan staggered cra6ily out of the e#plosion, struck a uilding and fell.

The "mperial Titans of -ornet 'roup fell on the Traitors' near flank like a thunder olt, laying down a holocaust of plasma and laser fire as they advanced. 3ith the Traitors already weakened y the Eldar, the attle was rief &iallir led his 3ind 5iders high over the attle. "n the distance four of the ugly, rutish $rk 'argants lum ered forward, contrasting grotes)uely with the Phantoms of &ir .irithion they faced. 'rav-Tanks sped forward weaving as they headed for the chosen artillery positions. The 3ind 5iders left the Titans ehind. &iallir wondered riefly what it must e like to have a machine respond as if it were your own ody. Then he laughed out loud. -e knew. -is (ycle rolled and swerved, sharing his laughter. &ar elow him the artillery was firing. E#plosions appeared among the advancing horde of $rks. 3ith the wild song of the Avenger keening through his veins, &iallir led the 3ind 5iders to the attack. 1Iolavai Cei ulgaithann 71 %i# voices echoed the warcry as the 3ind 5iders swooped. %huriken tore through steel and leather. flesh and one. $rks scattered8 ,ikes and 3artraks swerved madly to avoid the onslaught. A 3artrak gunner died trying to ring his las-cannon to ear. Another was faster - &iallir threw his (ycle into a tight turn as a lasa- olt gra6ed his front fairing. ,ehind him 5hiadlior fell in a storm of olter shells - now they were five. -ugging the ground the <et (ycles screamed along the $rk lines. 'rav-tanks hurried to reach the gap efore it closed. 5u le flashed y, inches away - vital cover against the concentrated olter fire of the $rk infantry. &ive $rks died against the stump of a wall ut Mathlahir fell with them. *odging and weaving the four <et (ycles headed deeper into the $rk lines. Auto-cannon shells marched along a wall ehind &iallirs shoulder+ he flung his (ycle sideways out of the line of fire and swung round the uilding. The 'argant came as a complete surprise &iallir swerved and clim ed, almost rolling over in the effort to avoid the huge machine .iassalath reacted an instant too late. A do6en $rks died at their firing-posts as the three <et (ycles flashed past. The 'argant was ehind them efore the answering olter fire started. The 3ind 5iders ore down on the front line to find it awash with Avenging 3arriors. The whole of the $rk centre had dissolved into small hand-to-hand skirmishes, and stalking *readnoughts sowed destruction along the flanks. A wrecked 'argant lay on its side, a makeshift fortress where a small group of $rks made a determined stand. They took the $rks y surprise. A huge $rk stood ellowing orders - &iallirs shurikens cut him in two and the others fled. 3ith Eldar infantry all around them and <et (ycles attacking from ehind, panic spread )uickly. A few fired ack, and Talission fell. The two surviving 3ind 5iders made a low pass over the ruined 'argant. ut there was no answering fire. &iallir e#changed a wave with one of the Avenging 3arriors, and headed ack toward the Eldar lines. 5alahir sat )uietly in the hold of the &alcon, waiting for the Bengeance to egin. Around him sat nine others, all clad, like him in the mask of The Avenger. Ten Eldar, one face, $ne mind. The Avenger's %ong eat soundlessly through his mind as he knew it eat through nine others - and across the attlefield, in thousands more. Two thousand minds, two thousand guns, one mind, one song, one spirit. %o it was taught - that each was The Avenger and The Avenger was all. An e#plosion !olted the 'rav-Tank ut it veered and regained its course 5alahir was thrown against the straps of his harness and for a moment his concentration strayed. Then his mind ecame one with the song again+ his spirit rose and fell in tune with two thousand others. Through their mental song with distant ears, he heard the dull crump of $rk weapons and the voices of lasers and shuriken cannon. They lended somehow, forming ass and descant to the song of war. The &alcon stopped a ruptly, as a dancer stops at the end of a high leap. 5alahir loosened his harness and stood up in a single motion, holding his shuriken catapult in readiness. *oors swung open, and the Avenging 3arriors went to war. The Phantoms were almost with them, lurs of colour ehind and to the right. <et (ycles screamed overhead as the &alcon sped away with the rest of its group, to harry the $rks left

flank. "n the distance 'argants lum ered forward like mo ile uildings, towering a ove the crowd of infantry and the hordes of wheeled and tracked vehicles. The air was right with laser fire and the ground shook to the tread of the huge machines. The heavy weaponry was already within range+ soon it would e time for shurikens. The <et (ycles sowed e#plosions along the $rk front line+ one fell, like a shooting star. $rk vehicles lurched forward from the flame and smoke spitting shells, plasma and laser fire. *odging etween ruins and ru le the Avenging 3arriors ran forward to meet them. A gang of 3artraks thundered down on their position. spewing, death as they ounced and !olted across the roken ground. Their lasers were answered with shurikens. The driver of the leading vehicle slumped across his handle ars+ it swerved a ruptly into one of its fellows. The surviving crews !umped clear of the wreck, drawing olters. 9one lived long enough to fire. The other 3artraks were past them now, heading deeper into the Eldar force to e#change fire with the 3alkers. 5alahir looked around+ across the attlefield the wave of vehicles had cut through the Eldar infantry. A few headed straight for the Phantoms prompted y some suicidal ravery to attack the iggest target they could find. Meanwhile the $rk infant) was closing. %huriken and olter fire lit up the air with a deadly- right hail as oth sides dug in. The roken ground was a deathtrap - whoever left cover first would die first. <et (ycles made a strafing pass over the $rk positions ut their fire would never e enough to reak the deadlock. 5alahir thum ed his communicator into life. 1 Iolavai %ilspeiraigh 71 There is food for the -awks here7 .et us feast on the sorrows of our enemy7 The attlefield was silent. (orpses were strewn across the ground, their weapons as roken as their odies. Behicles lay smoking, overturned, their dead crews sprawled on and around them. ,ut among the death, there was movement. 'rim graceful figures glided from ruin to ruin, from wreck to wreck. %lowly, silently, the Eldar took ack their dead. At the center of the field, where the fighting had een fiercest, si# great pyres were lit. The $rks were ignored, their odies left to feed the carrion- easts which already scuffled and chittered among the ru le. 9ot for them the rites of &ienespiorath+ no remem rance for the enemy. .iathair turned his ack on the pyres for the fourth time and went ack toward the ruined uilding. A !et ike passed him, the normal scream of its engine lowered to a mournful hum as its rider rought ack a fallen comrade. &urther away, he could see a group of searchers carrying odies into a 'rav-Tank. To his left, a ,anshee strode towards the pyres holding the ody of an Avenging 3arrior in its great hands like a roken doll. "t was late now, and the dead were truly lost+ earlier a few had een saved into the spirit-stones of the .ords-Phoeni#. 9ow, the slain were eyond saving, their spirits sucked into the void, into the great a omination which the Eldar must ear, of which only the -arle)uins speak. "nside the uilding, .iathair kicked an $rkish carcass aside and gently lifted the last of the Eldar odies in his arms. &or the fourth time he made the !ourney ack to the place where a fresh pyre was eing uilt. The mask of the Avenger snarled up at him from the helmet8 my life was sold dearly. -e laid the corpse on top of the growing pyre. -e did not look ehind the mask, to see who it was+ it was irrelevant. All the dead had died in the spirit of the Avenger, their other selves forgotten, 9o names, no faces - !ust snarling masks and la6ing shuriken catapults. Pain is ours, and sadness at your parting, 9ever to taste of our victory's !oy. The fires are lit for you, those who live weep. 9ot enough $rks e#ist to atone for your lives. The dirge rose over the communications network, stately and measured. Though the lost had no names still they were lost. -e had found the four dead from his coillineir and performed the marcarath which the living owed the fallen. A great shadow fell over the unlit pyre+ one of the Phantoms now towered a ove it. A huge pulselaser reached down, with something like gentleness - a flash, a crack, and the pyre was lit. The Titan stood over the pyre as it urned, arms crossed and head owed in mourning.

+++E(*'r B',</rou-* I-form'tio-+ ++ +++D't'fi(e ?+++

$verhead, a sun the colour of lood eat down turning the ash plain into a lake of crimson light. A good omen, Earhedron decided. They would sweep the foul influences of (haos from this world. -e surveyed the scene through the eyes of his 3arlock mask, his long thick ro es fluttering in the ree6e. -e scanned the hori6on, hoping to catch sight of the enemy. "n his mind lethal energies pulsed and surged. -e felt the urge to unleash them creep through him. -e was a vessel for transcendent power. All he had to do was focus it through his channelling runes or his witch lade to ring death to his enemies. -is mind cast ack to his time as an Aspect 3arrior, an e#perience he had hoped never to have su mit himself to again. (ountless times had he stood waiting like this for attle to commence. As a &ire *ragon Earhedron had fought on fields of ice under tur)uoise skies, danced through whirling red dust on urning desert plains, crept through underground la yrinths of dank dark stone. The ancient weapon he ore remem ered too. "t had not always een his - he had retrieved it from eside the fallen ody of the famous 3arlock Tatheya, where she lay surrounded y dead $rks. The song of wings filled the air as a group of %wooping -awks soared ecstatically into the warm sky. They drifted la6ily upward, catching thermals like giant irds of prey. Earhedron knew that their seeming indolence was illusory. The Eeen-eyed $nes kept careful watch in case the enemy attempted a surprise attack. -e studied the s)uad of Aspect 3arriors sitting on the near y rocks, meditating on the inner nature of their weapons. The sun glinted off their lue armour, highlighting the &ire %hrine rune that marked them as elonging to their (raftworld. Their shuriken catapults lay dormant across their knees. Earhedron was not fooled y their apparent passiveness. -e knew that the *ire Avengers could shift from )uiet repose to instant action in the link of an eye. A high-pitched keening wail filled the air as the -owling ,anshees performed the *ance of %kulls near their dropship. Earhedron watched as the women sparred in slow motion with invisi le foes, each movement part of some greater intricate pattern, as if the whole unit were one organism sharing a single mind. %carlet tresses swept through great arcs as the women swayed. .angourous kicks !ust seemed to miss each of the dancers. As the ritual continued the pace of the footstamping and handclapping speeded almost impercepti ly until the ,anshees moved and tum led almost too fast for the eye to follow. A shimmering of air etween the gateway tetrahedrons announced the arrival of a s)uad of chitinously armoured %triking %corpions. They skittered across to the Parseer's position and owed efore Eelmon, the chosen ,attleseer. Eelmon acknowledged their presence with an ornate salute. Mandi lasters clicked acknowledgement then they turned and moved to take up a perimeter position. 9ear y atop a great utte, *ark 5eapers, arranged in three-man fireteams, stood immo ile as statues. Their massive forms radiated menace yet their presence was strangely reassuring. Earhedron knew no enemy could approach without eing the target of their missile launchers. A line of &ire *ragons weaved across the plain as the Eldar army arrived through the gateways and assem led, s)uad y s)uad, on the plain. A thrill passed through Earhedron as he realised the e#tent of the force the (raftworld was fielding. 4nit after unit of 'uardians arrived and took their place in the formation. Mighty %pirit 3arriors stalked among the ranks on long insect-like legs. As the last of the force assem led Earhedron speculated on the nature of the enemy they were to face. The corruption of chaos must e mighty indeed to !ustify the deployment of such a massive military strength, he thought. As the formation was nearly complete a change of mood swept through the army. -e felt tension galvanise the near y *ire Avengers. The ,anshees ceased their dance and stood poised like allerinas, waiting. A hush of e#pectation settled over the assem led Eldar. The whole army held

its reath. %uddenly the smell of o6one filled the air. A crackling, hissing sound emerged from the gateway tetrahedrons. The runes along their sides la6ed as if eing overloaded with power. A loody glow illuminated the area etween the pyramids. %pace seemed to warp and then the Avatar was there, looming over his honour guard of E#archs. Even the mighty masked warriors were dwarfed y his massive presence. The incarnation of Ehaine stood half-again as tall as those who surrounded him. "n his left fist he clutched a gigantic attle lade. ,lood dripped from the fingers of his left hand. (rimson eyes glowed like red-hot rock within his helm. -e swept a urning glance over his awe-stricken followers. Earhedron felt a cold wash of horror drench his soul as he eheld the god-like eing, followed y an unholy thrill of anticipation. The Avatar