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Made in se
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

The story of Humanity in the dark future is the descent of Man into fanatic barbarism: The story of a fall from shining heights of power, knowledge and bliss in ancient times, to a present nightmare of ignorance, misery and slaughter.



Descendant Degeneration

"Ancient Man lived a life free of hardship and deprivation, for he had built himself an abundant paradise and banished what was ill in life. In these gardens sprawling across the stars, Man did not kill Man, and Man did not abduct Woman, and Man did not beat Child, for all lived a life of bliss. Hope reigned supreme, a hope sprung from Man's great achievements, and Man worshipped his own high knowledge.

For Man had utterly mastered nature, and his craft and cunning tapped into the very powers of creation itself. And Man of Gold had created Man of Stone to work for him, and Man of Stone had in turn created Man of Iron to work for him. And thus this earthly trinity of Man bestrode the stars like a colossus, and Man stood strong and unchallenged by mortals. And Man dared the cosmos to best him, and for a time nothing in the heavens answered his challenge, and Man concluded that nothing holy existed, and even if divinity did exist, then Man's might was far superior.

Yet Man's own arrogance rose to meet his challenge, and in his hubris Man was cut down by his own creations. Man of Iron turned on Man of Stone, and when Man of Stone had fallen did Man of Iron turn on Man of Gold. A great slaughter across the stars ensued, and Man barely survived the war in paradise which he had brought upon himself.

Yet even so Man's hubris and unbelief persisted, for Man still clung onto the remains of his estates, and Man was determined to rebuild and rise higher than ever before. The devastation had been great, yet Man stood triumphant even against the might of his own treacherous craft. And Man dared creation itself to interfere with his worldly ascendance.

And Dark Ones of Hell festering at the roots of the universe heard Man's call of defiance, and they cast Man down utterly by sending him witches and unholy ravages, strife and madness. The false Golden Age of Man had proven to be nothing but a Dark Age of Technology, an era empty of faith and bereft of divine blessings, and thus did paradise burn.

And so Man was torn from his pedestal, and in his fall did Man topple his own works. Man bled and Man suffered. Man killed Man, and Man abducted Woman, and Man beat Child, and Man ate his own kin in desperation during Old Night. Doom was laden upon Man, and Man almost died to the last for his baleful sins, yet the goodness in the heart of the hidden Emperor would not allow such a righteous end to befall wretched Man.

For He on Terra arose amid the carnage and devastation and revealed Himself to be the only true protector of Mankind, chosen by all the gods of old, whom He now superseded. And the Emperor saved Man and reclaimed the lost stars, and for a time all was well. Yet the wickedness in the heart of Man proved too strong, and so Man betrayed his saviour and nigh-on slew the Emperor.

And the Emperor ascended into godhood and decreed Man to do eternal penance for his abominable sins. And thus it shall be, as the God-Emperor Himself decreed: Man will be made to repent.

We swear everlasting hatred toward the deviant and the mutant. We swear everlasting hatred toward the alien and the witch. We swear everlasting hatred toward the unbeliever and the heretic. We swear everlasting hatred toward the sinner and the unrepentant.

With the God-Emperor as our witness, we swear to purge blasphemy and sin from this world. We swear to scour the land and rid it of filth. We swear to harrow the abodes of Man and bring him to redemption.

For we will harbour no pity. No remorse. No mercy.

Hate!

An emotion as deep as it is pure.

Hate!

An emotion as true as it is just.

Hate!

Let it flow, let it guide you.

Hate! Hate! Hate!"

-
Ancestral Sins of Man, pamphlet penned in M.38 by Cardinal Ignatius Paulinus Hieronymus of Salem Proctor

- - -

One of the very best aspects of Warhammer 40'000 is its overarching history for Humanity. It starts with soaring hopes and dazzling progress, with unfettered science, technology and optimism. Yet it end in flames and darkness, in despair and ignorance, where only feeble sparks of the great ancient light remains.

The Emperor's bloody conquest across the Milky Way galaxy succeeded in uniting most of the Human worlds, yet even during the Imperium's short-lived age of progress did it manage to quell alternative sources of Human rebirth, such as the Auretian Technocracy. The Imperium of the Great Crusade stamped out any middle ground factions, such as the peaceful, nomadic and xenophile Diasporex, leaving little left but the two ruthless, polar opposites of tyrannic Imperium and bloodthirsty Chaos. When the Emperor fell, the Human renaissance died with him, and his merciless Imperium descended into a long age of rotting stagnation and fanatic savagery.

This lost promise of Humanity's ancient ascendancy has always been the most intriguing aspect of the dark future to me. The above little painting was inspired by listening to Luetin09's well-crafted videos on this very topic. I warmly recommend them.

Please move thread if posted in the wrong section. Thanks in advance.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/30 09:01:40


   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





Mans fall from the golden age into the old night was what made the emperor final reveal himself and take control of humanity. I wonder if the despair and anxiety of the fall from such heights was what drove the the emperor to try and re assert human galactic supremacy with the Bolter and chain sword. And to insist that his way, his direct and brutal control was the only way to get back to the top and stay at the top.

I agree as you say it’s a great setting for a game like 40k, part of me wonders if they are changing it, forgetting their roots. There was a time when dreadnoughts could not be made because they forgot how and the armour was so thick that it could not be retro engineered and now we have all the new Primaris stuff. Maybe the stagnation of the imperium has bled over into product stagnation for GW
   
Made in se
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

Desperation in the face of overwhelming odds leading to extreme courses of action is indeed part and parcel of Warhammer Fantasy and 40k in particular.

It is of course historically based, since this have good resonance with many historical events through the ages, which gives it a lot more narrative weight than worldbuilding founded more on wishful thinking. It is also taken to absurd lengths. 40k has always been based on the most depraved episodes of human history, dialled up like a metal album cover to an insane degree. It's glorious because it is so bold, bonkers and over-the-top.

Let us hope GW does not lose touch with their roots. The new Primaris stuff (which should really just have been updated Space Marine models) is not promising fluff-wise, but Guilliman's heavy-handed and ruthless methods for mobilizing an army on Terra is still very much 40k. Time will tell where it all leads.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/23 16:51:38


   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






STC’s carry a lot of the weight of explanation.

See, each and every STC was the sum total of mankind’s scientific and engineering knowledge to date.

All of it. Every last iota.

Now, the first three, perhaps four generations likely held onto and shared some of that knowledge. But over time (and I’m taking this from Rogue Traded), colonists simply relied on the STC database to take care of things. Convenience became complacency. Complacency became reliance.

Then it all went to poop. Emergent Psykers, Men of Iron and what have you. And one way or another, STC’s were lost. Because when all your design, engineering and scientific needs have been provided by a single machine? When that single machine goes belly up, you’re pretty much screwed.

Now this of course was not universal. Some cultures retained far more than others. Some got stuck at our level, some at Victorian levels, and some got slapped straight back to the stone age. And everything in between.

And that’s how culture decay occurred, and mankind fell from his pinnacle, and landed in his nadir.

Indeed, one could argue that The Emperor being immortal, and a font of knowledge in his own right was how some form of reclamation occurred. He had knowledge the Mechanicum had long since turned to mysticism.

My own personal theory? Complete, functioning STC’s May no longer exist, because they were directly responsible for the Men of Iron. And like good Luddites, the survivors chose to wreck whatever examples of that machine existed, to ensure it could never happen again.

Fed up of Scalpers? But still want your Exclusives?Why not join us?

Please note that when I refer to Rogue Trader background, it’s not a Nerd Flex. I just really enjoy it, and like to compare it. You be the judge of which you prefer. 
   
Made in au
Dakka Veteran





The first thing anyone building one of those would do, is ensure it could build new STCs, so there would be very small chance they only had one on each World
   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






Hellebore wrote:
The first thing anyone building one of those would do, is ensure it could build new STCs, so there would be very small chance they only had one on each World


On the contrary, the first thing you do is make sure they cannot build more of them. Because it only takes one deranged idiot to demand a planet killing weapon from the machine and kill everyone. The ideal situation is you have one to get established, and you learn from the machine and establish your own thinking, inventive civilization until you don't need the STC anymore, and could rebuild it if you did. You literally only need one, and like everything else from that era, it's built to last.

When everything goes pear shaped, however, the STCs are definitely the first targets you'd try to eliminate. So you can bet the Men of Iron deliberately targeted any STC machines they could ASAP, or worse, infected them to turn on mankind as well.

   
Made in au
Dakka Veteran





 John Prins wrote:
Hellebore wrote:
The first thing anyone building one of those would do, is ensure it could build new STCs, so there would be very small chance they only had one on each World


On the contrary, the first thing you do is make sure they cannot build more of them. Because it only takes one deranged idiot to demand a planet killing weapon from the machine and kill everyone. The ideal situation is you have one to get established, and you learn from the machine and establish your own thinking, inventive civilization until you don't need the STC anymore, and could rebuild it if you did. You literally only need one, and like everything else from that era, it's built to last.

When everything goes pear shaped, however, the STCs are definitely the first targets you'd try to eliminate. So you can bet the Men of Iron deliberately targeted any STC machines they could ASAP, or worse, infected them to turn on mankind as well.


I don't think so. At the time they were made, they were colonisation tools given out to everyone. They were created to aid colonists. And anyone sending a complex piece of machinery like the STC out as the sole provider of everything would understand how precarious those colonists would be. So many problems from launch to landing. They wouldn't send it without redundancy.

And they'd need to repair it, so it would need to know how to make components of itself.

What humans and men of iron did to them after that is a separate issue. Star trekesque engineers made them as benevolent multi tools for human colonists.

I mean they're basically a cross between star trek computer systems and 3d printers.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/23 22:57:09


 
   
Made in gb
Mekboy Hammerin' Somethin'





Dorset, England

A fiery sermon by Cardinal Ignatius Paulinus Hieronymus and nice writing to boot :-)
   
Made in ca
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!




 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
STC’s carry a lot of the weight of explanation.

See, each and every STC was the sum total of mankind’s scientific and engineering knowledge to date.

All of it. Every last iota.

Now, the first three, perhaps four generations likely held onto and shared some of that knowledge. But over time (and I’m taking this from Rogue Traded), colonists simply relied on the STC database to take care of things. Convenience became complacency. Complacency became reliance.

Then it all went to poop. Emergent Psykers, Men of Iron and what have you. And one way or another, STC’s were lost. Because when all your design, engineering and scientific needs have been provided by a single machine? When that single machine goes belly up, you’re pretty much screwed.

Now this of course was not universal. Some cultures retained far more than others. Some got stuck at our level, some at Victorian levels, and some got slapped straight back to the stone age. And everything in between.

And that’s how culture decay occurred, and mankind fell from his pinnacle, and landed in his nadir.

Indeed, one could argue that The Emperor being immortal, and a font of knowledge in his own right was how some form of reclamation occurred. He had knowledge the Mechanicum had long since turned to mysticism.

My own personal theory? Complete, functioning STC’s May no longer exist, because they were directly responsible for the Men of Iron. And like good Luddites, the survivors chose to wreck whatever examples of that machine existed, to ensure it could never happen again.


Why would people destroy every STC file when only a few had anything to do with AI or Men of Iron?

123ply: Dataslate- 4/4/3/3/1/3/1/8/6+
Autopistol, Steel Extendo, Puma Hoodie
USRs: "Preferred Enemy: Xenos"
"Hatred: Xenos"
"Racist and Proud of it" - Gains fleshbane, rending, rage, counter-attack, and X2 strength and toughness when locked in combat with units not in the "Imperium of Man" faction.

Collection:
AM/IG - 122nd Terrax Guard: 2094/3000pts
Skitarii/Cult Mech: 1380/2000pts
Khorne Daemonkin - Host of the Nervous Knife: 1701/2000pts
Orks - Rampage Axez: 1753/2000pts 
   
Made in us
Nurgle Predator Driver with an Infestation





Kansas, United States

123ply wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
STC’s carry a lot of the weight of explanation.

See, each and every STC was the sum total of mankind’s scientific and engineering knowledge to date.

All of it. Every last iota.

Now, the first three, perhaps four generations likely held onto and shared some of that knowledge. But over time (and I’m taking this from Rogue Traded), colonists simply relied on the STC database to take care of things. Convenience became complacency. Complacency became reliance.

Then it all went to poop. Emergent Psykers, Men of Iron and what have you. And one way or another, STC’s were lost. Because when all your design, engineering and scientific needs have been provided by a single machine? When that single machine goes belly up, you’re pretty much screwed.

Now this of course was not universal. Some cultures retained far more than others. Some got stuck at our level, some at Victorian levels, and some got slapped straight back to the stone age. And everything in between.

And that’s how culture decay occurred, and mankind fell from his pinnacle, and landed in his nadir.

Indeed, one could argue that The Emperor being immortal, and a font of knowledge in his own right was how some form of reclamation occurred. He had knowledge the Mechanicum had long since turned to mysticism.

My own personal theory? Complete, functioning STC’s May no longer exist, because they were directly responsible for the Men of Iron. And like good Luddites, the survivors chose to wreck whatever examples of that machine existed, to ensure it could never happen again.


Why would people destroy every STC file when only a few had anything to do with AI or Men of Iron?


Ignorance? Superstition? Fear?
   
Made in gb
Executing Exarch






That was a fantastic read

https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/772746.page#10378083 - My progress/failblog painting blog thingy

Eldar- 4436 pts


AngryAngel80 wrote:
I don't know, when I see awesome rules, I'm like " Baby, your rules looking so fine. Maybe I gotta add you to my first strike battalion eh ? "
 
   
Made in gb
Utilizing Careful Highlighting




U.k

mrFickle wrote:
Mans fall from the golden age into the old night was what made the emperor final reveal himself and take control of humanity. I wonder if the despair and anxiety of the fall from such heights was what drove the the emperor to try and re assert human galactic supremacy with the Bolter and chain sword. And to insist that his way, his direct and brutal control was the only way to get back to the top and stay at the top.

I agree as you say it’s a great setting for a game like 40k, part of me wonders if they are changing it, forgetting their roots. There was a time when dreadnoughts could not be made because they forgot how and the armour was so thick that it could not be retro engineered and now we have all the new Primaris stuff. Maybe the stagnation of the imperium has bled over into product stagnation for GW


Every edition there was new marine stuff, and a lot of it was shocking, looking at you centurions. They have just stopped saying that they dug up a new STC. The idea of irreplaceable deeds and the like made no sense given that in any game any you brought would most likely get destroyed. So every battle a irreplaceable machine is lost? Balls I say.
   
Made in ca
Fireknife Shas'el






Hellebore wrote:
 John Prins wrote:
Hellebore wrote:
The first thing anyone building one of those would do, is ensure it could build new STCs, so there would be very small chance they only had one on each World


On the contrary, the first thing you do is make sure they cannot build more of them. Because it only takes one deranged idiot to demand a planet killing weapon from the machine and kill everyone. The ideal situation is you have one to get established, and you learn from the machine and establish your own thinking, inventive civilization until you don't need the STC anymore, and could rebuild it if you did. You literally only need one, and like everything else from that era, it's built to last.

When everything goes pear shaped, however, the STCs are definitely the first targets you'd try to eliminate. So you can bet the Men of Iron deliberately targeted any STC machines they could ASAP, or worse, infected them to turn on mankind as well.


I don't think so. At the time they were made, they were colonisation tools given out to everyone. They were created to aid colonists. And anyone sending a complex piece of machinery like the STC out as the sole provider of everything would understand how precarious those colonists would be. So many problems from launch to landing. They wouldn't send it without redundancy.

And they'd need to repair it, so it would need to know how to make components of itself.



Keep in mind that this isn't modern technology that wears out an breaks in 10 years even with maintenance. There are Knights and Titans that have been around for over 10,000 years and they're not Ship of Theseus artifacts; most of them are original components. The STC machines would be built to that same standard and it would only take a few generations to make proper libraries and universities to educate the future colonists to the point that they no longer need the STC system. In at least one Black Library book someone finds a still functional STC machine that's probably 15000+ years old, most of that without maintenance. I know that's unimaginable to our modern experience, but IIRC the 40k universe didn't even get warp travel until something like 15K A.D., so they had 13000 years of technological progress before exploding out into the galaxy in anything other than sublight colonial vessels.

From the colonist's perspective, STCs don't need maintenance or replacement parts. It will be generations and generations before it shows the slightest signs of wear. Obviously you'd have to protect it from damage - accidental or deliberate - and maybe colony vessels had more than one, but it's still something you'd keep under a short leash, because it's incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands.


   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





Isn’t it more likely that colonists got so reliant on the STC crating everything for them that they forgot the science behind the products. Then when the STC got damaged or destroyed they were screwed which is where the imperium is now.

Maybe the men of iron took our STCs strategically when the rebelled
   
Made in us
Unbalanced Fanatic






mrFickle wrote:
I agree as you say it’s a great setting for a game like 40k, part of me wonders if they are changing it, forgetting their roots. There was a time when dreadnoughts could not be made because they forgot how and the armour was so thick that it could not be retro engineered and now we have all the new Primaris stuff. Maybe the stagnation of the imperium has bled over into product stagnation for GW

Wait, I though it was only contemptors that couldn’t be made any more, so they switched to boxnaughts. Either way, I don’t think the redemptor is a serious misstep, it doesn’t do the one thing a dreadnaught is supposed to do, keep a wounded marine alive. Redemptors burn out their pilot after ~200 years. The entire primaris project could just be a rediscovery of the emperors old raptor project. Perhaps the Emperor had intended to upgrade every marine to a primaris/raptor when he got the material to do it.
   
Made in gb
Dakka Veteran





It depends on what you read, some things I have read make out that terminator armour can’t be made any more, that it is precious and irreplaceable and some chapters don’t have any suits.

The other way to look at it is If it can be made of a production line why don’t all space marines wear it, why are not all wounded interned in a dred?

But that’s not a sustainable, I guess, if you want to be able to do things like introduce new models.

   
Made in se
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

Personally I found that Games Workshop was too keen on having advanced hardware no longer possible to produce, only maintained in ever dwindling numbers. Especially Emperor Titans and battleships. It suits the setting very fine, but one's own taste will vary as ever for where one prefers the line to be drawn.




Man Out of Machine, Machine Out of Man

"Ancient Man in his hubris sought to create life anew, and thus he turned his craft and wit to fashion the Man of Iron, made to toil eternally for the benefit of Man. This metal life proved as false as the golden age of Man itself, for Man of Iron was given thought and motion by his Abominable Intelligence, and he soon found his master wanting. Thus Man of Iron turned upon Man of Stone and butchered Man of Gold, and the stars wept blood over earthly paradise, and fire consumed all.

Thus the bell of doom rang for the first time over sinful Man, for his days were thereby tallied. And the second knell brought the Dark Age of Technology to an end, and Old Night descended upon Man with deprivation, ravages and slaughter, and all was fell. Thus was wretched Man humbled by the fruits of his own arrogance.

Ancient Man sought to create life anew, yet we are much wiser now. For where our forefathers once made Man out of Machine, we now instead make Machine out of Man, as is the right and proper order of things. And thus we learnt humility and righteousness.

Preserve us, o God-Emperor enthroned in glory and gold upon Holy Terra!

Preserve us from the wickedness of ancient Man!

Preserve us from his abominable sins!

Praise be unto You alone!

Ave Imperator."

-
Abominable Sins of the Ancients, pamphlet penned in M.38 by Cardinal Ignatius Paulinus Hieronymus of Salem Proctor

- - -

One of the grim facets of the dark future is humanity's use of lobotomised cyborg servitors instead of robots. This demented development sprang out of the ruinous war against the revolting Men of Iron, which saw mankind almost destroyed by its own machine creations of abominable intelligence. The subsequent ban on AI has held true ever since, and has remained one of the cornerstones of the Imperium of Man since its very inception.

Instead of robotic servants, humans of the dark future will maim and rebuild other humans to carry out automated machine work. For human flesh is the true currency of the Imperium. Thus the common servitor stand as proof of mankind's descent into savage cruelty from its once shining heights.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/01/31 04:26:10


   
Made in se
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

Sacred Asphyxia Incident of 823.M40

In the dark future, the birthworld of mankind is branded by the works and failings of her children. Her ecosystem ravaged and built over, her oceans mysteriously gone, her very air dependent on imports and artifices now poorly understood. The weather systems of Holy Terra are dictated far more by the towering creations of humanity than they rely on the natural processes of her scarred form, yet degenerate mankind only possess fractions of ancient weather-lore to ken the intricate flows and barriers of the atmosphere which their edifices and craft dictate, wittingly or not.

Where once unfailing prognostications and marvellous tinkering to Terra's weather held sway during the days of the early Imperium, nowadays the light has dimmed, and the adepts charged with overseeing the air and climate of prodigal Earth increasingly run into mysteries which they fail to fully understand, into fluctuations and errors which they fail to account for. The heartbeat and whims of Terra's atmosphere has grown ever more complex while her spires has risen ever higher, while at the same time the knowledge of those charged with controlling her air moods has declined ever more. While the atmospheric processors of Holy Terra remain wonders of technology and stand as testaments to the genius of ancient Man, their modern guardians operate on a lower level altogether.

One example of the crumbling grasp of knowledge of Terra's revered Anima Meteorologicii could be seen in their failure to predict and respond to the peculiar phenomena of weather which led to a deadly accident that has become known to history as the Sacred Asphyxia Incident of 823.M40.

When the Anointed Crusade to Reconquer the Nova Colchis sector began in 771.M40, Ecclesiarch Frontinus III decreed that all produce of the 54 incense-producing provinces of the seven garden worlds of the Opimae system were to be stockpiled on Terra in anticipation of the final victory of the Nova Colchis Crusade, not to be burnt until those good news of triumph arrived on the Throneworld. Unkown millions of tonnes of fragrant incense were dutifully transported to Sol and hoarded by the Adeptus Ministorum for half a century, filling grand storage basilicas until news of the Nova Colchis Crusade's succesful conclusion reached Holy Terra.

The successor of Frontinus, Paulatus VII, announced a grand ceremony of thanksgiving and jubilation to be held as choice Imperial forces from the Nova Colchis Crusade arrived at Terra to march in triumph through her holy streets. Great logistical pains were endured to ready all the earmarked incense of Opimae to be consumed in one arduously long public ceremony. The Ministorum priests chosen to burn the incense were given blessed respirators, as were the hordes of serfs tasked with carrying up the fragrant incense to the braziers, for it was recognized by the wise of the Ecclesiarchal Palace that the sheer amount of incense smokes to be produced en masse could prove hazardous to those in close proximity to the great braziers as the days of sacral labour dragged on during the triumphal ceremony.

And so it was that 77 cathedral spires along the chosen road of triumph teemed with frenetic activity as tens of thousands of monks and serfs laboured to haul the incense up to the grand braziers. Choirs sang beautiful hymns and bells rang melodiously as clouds of luxurious incense smoke poured out of the majestic towers, misting over the throngs of people gathered for the parade below. Yet the usual dispersal of the incense fumes by winds did not take place. For instead of caressing most of the Throneworld with a thin shroud of incense blown across built-over continents and dry ocean beds alike, the regional weather currents that day seem to have locked most of the burnt incense in place and stopped it from escaping to the rest of the world. Sinking incense fumes hit a sluggish lid of thick smog clouds lower down in the stratospehere, and an unlucky combination of weather currents among the high spires chanced to hem the accumulating incense fumes in, akin to the still eye of a storm.

The effect was a local catastrophe, many kilometers above the planet's distant surface. Most of the billowing incense smoke slowly amassed, its density growing by the minute. As the devout of the Ecclesiarchy continued burning tonnes of stockpiled incense, the fumes concentrated below their cathedral towers, blanketing the triumphal road and three districts of upper hive spires. The fragrant smoke first caused mass coughing and fainting, and eventually the inpouring incense smoke displaced breathable air completely. Panicked riots burst out, only to choke as vast swathes of wheezing humans collapsed to the streets, or threw themselves over balconies and railings in a desperate search for oxygen. No order was ever given to stop the burning of Opimae incense, and so the suffocating smoke clouds kept billowing from the blessed braziers.

The mass asphyxiation event on Holy Terra claimed a total of 223 million lives of Imperial subjects, including a majority of the non-Mechanicus and non-Astartes participants of the triumphal parade. Hillocks of corpses were dragged out of residential blocks for bio-reprocessing, and the whole accident caused some embarrasment for Ecclesiarch Paulatus VII and his retinue. Blame was quickly heaped on some mid-level clergymen who oversaw the quality control of the Opimae incense stockpiles, and they died horrible, shrieking deaths at the pyre, where they were still swathed in the suffocating incense fumes. Yet fortunately the low death toll meant that the Sacred Asphyxiation Incident of 823.M40 was of trivial importance to the intrigues and power plays of the corrupt Adeptus Terra, and so no rival faction in any organization ever attempted to win influence by exploiting the mass choking of so few faithful subjects.

Meanwhile, the learned mystics of the Anima Meteorologicii failed to find a convincing explanation for the unforeseen event, and thus it was filed away as but yet another of so many recent mysteries of weather, which their ancient predecessors likely could have decrypted and prevented by the superior grasp of their lore and craft.




Monumentalists

The Holy Inquisition of His Divine Majesty the God-Emperor of Mankind contain a great many factions and sects, driven by a myriad of convoluted ideologies, raw fanaticism and harrowing revelations. One such obscure faction are the Monumentalists, regarded as blinkered and myopic by most other Inquisitors.

Monumentalists believe in purifying mankind's devotion to the Emperor through backbreaking great works and the erection of titanic edifices. Monumentalists ensnare planetary elites, regional leaders of the Adeptus Ministorum, and other ruling oligarchies into initiating megalomaniac construction projects. These often require the mobilization of entire continents', worlds' or even systems' worth of manpower, resources and logistical support networks. Swathes of planetary provinces, or even entire planets, are enslaved under the new gruelling dictates of quarrying, mining, transporting, laying foundations and building.

The purpose behind such an enormous mustering of people, industries and natural resources is not simply the creation of material glorifications to the Terran Imperator, but of putting humanity through a trial by toil. The massive suffering and death incurred by the giant construction projects themselves, and by the steep demands put upon the economy and an impoverished populace, are the primary means by which Monumentalists strive to realize their goals.

Monumentalism aim to challenge the loyalty and faith of man by driving him to the breaking point through despair, loss and neverending hardships. Only those truly devoted to the Golden Throne will be able to bear the brunt of endless taskmaster brutality, tax collector ruthlessness and cruel work regime (even by Imperial standards) without cracking and falling into sedition, thought of self, and heresy. As such Monumentalist Inquisitors take less interest in the architecture and engineering of the work itself, but focus instead on detecting, rooting out and crushing any deviants and dissatisfied Imperial subjects likely to emerge due to the harrowing human costs of gargantuan monument building.

To this Inquisitorial sect, the stunning edifices left behind by succesful Monumentalist operations stand as material proof of the spiritual purification of the local population through blood and toil. Beside the physical constructions, are also to be found the mountainous mass graves of starved people worked to death (their bones often incorporated into the monument itself), as well as the charred mounds of men, women and children publicly tortured and burnt to death for daring to protest and rebel against the harsh demands of their rightful overlords.

Regarded as obsessively narrow-minded by other Inquisitorial factions, Monumentalists are a Puritan sect with origins tracing back as far as M33, its roots intimately connected with the growth of the Ecclesiarchy and said organization's temple building spree. One infamous smudge on the sect's record is the fact that a majority of all Monumentalists energetically supported High Lord Goge Vandire's insane and self-glorifying monumental building projects throughout the Imperium during its Age of Apostasy. To the blinkered minds of Monumentalists at the time, the decrees of Vandire were proof that the God-Emperor Himself had judged their cause to be righteous, as evidenced by His will, as carried out through His appointed representatives on Holy Terra, via His divine emanations.

Monumentalism among the Inquisition surged briefly during the Age of Apostasy, only to fall in numbers as cabals of vengeful Inquisitors tried and punished a considerable number of individual Inquisitors suspected of apostasy. Many of those within the Inquisiton thus put to torture and torch following Goge Vandire's downfall were Monumentalists, but the ideology itself was never outlawed nor suppressed. Five millenia later, Monumentalism persists as but one demented school of thought among many others among the hallowed ranks of the God-Emperor's Holy Inquisition.


+ + + Uploading Quote + + +

"You will haul your burdens until the palms of your hands bleed. You will shoulder your loads until your back breaks. You will toil away until your knuckles are flayed to the bone. You will grasp your tools until your fingers fall off. All this you will do willingly and eagerly.

And you will give up your sons and daughters for toil, and then their sons and daughters for like toil. And you will take heart upon seeing your kindred and loved ones fall dead from exhaustion, for theirs is a noble sacrifice. And you will thank the overseer for the lashes, for they purge your wickedness. And you will rejoice over this whole undertaking and give praise thrice to Him on Terra, for a joyous lot is yours.

Rejoice! Rejoice in your labour! Rejoice in the wonder you are erecting!"

- Monumentalist Inquisitor Vanessa Flavinia, during a rare voxcast publicae speech to the indentured work gangs constructing the colossal statuary of Sebastian Thor Appointed by the God-Emperor in Splendour, following the utter annihilation of 538 million insurgents in the equatorial quarries of Sejanus Minoris




Elixir Guild

Pictured: Ultvesa Rakori, the Mercantile Elixir Guild Junior Deputy Sampling Officiant of Satrapies for the Twohundred-Ninetyfourth Subdivision of the Hive City of our all-providing Hive Primus, Palatine Hive Cluster of our Imperium-Sworn planet of Necromunda, in Segmentum Solar.

+++ Thought for the Day: Suffering is the Cure of Woes +++

- The cartel organization of the Elixir Guild is the officially sanctioned corporate monopolizing body in Hive Primus, consisting of licensed merchant families specializing in the trade of medicinal products. Many of the Guilder mercantile clans sport ancient pedigrees, confirmed by genetocartographical sampling rites undertaken by vassal apprentices to Magi Biologis. As business dynasties, the Elixir Guilders have close ties to the Officio Medicae and the chemical industry in Hive Primus, the latter of which is largely controlled by House Escher.

- The Guild's known and suspected distribution of meds include anaesthetics, combat drugs, narcotics, poisons, rejuvenat drugs, psychota, irrad-ointments, mutagenic tinctures, xenotaric serums, corporeal restoratives, necrodystaric tonics, neuroacids, aphrodisiacs, musculanta-expandotorics, antibiotics & vaccines. Due to considerations of manpower, population resilience to disasters and recolonization capability, contraceptives and abortions of baseline Human fosters are strictly outlawed by the Lex Imperialis, yet the Elixir Guild display more fervent zeal in maintaining this prohibition through violent crack-down on criminals than do most governmental bodies on over-populated Necromunda. After all, the larger the population, the larger will be the mass customer demand for medicines, as sold and controlled by the Guild. The unborn do not require cures, and neither do they fight.

- Ultvesa Rakori is the offspring of a consanguine marriage within the Rakori family, and thus considered to be of pure-blooded stock. As sampling officiant, it is Ultvesa's duty to test Guild stock of meds and microbes, both via pharmaceutical auspex readings and via application on vat microbes, lab rats, Injection Servitors, condemned criminals, workhouse rejects and like organic test subjects. Likewise, sampling officiants are charged with monitoring the disease flora and medcine performance within their subdivision, a nigh-hopeless task given the teeming billions of the Hive City. Despite rigorous sealant rituals, Ultvesa was accidentally infected, during a disease sampling, by the nerve-consuming illness known as Helgr's Rot. Extensive surgery and drug treatment barely saved her life, but left her bodily form a hollowed-out wreck. Transformed by costly bionic implantations, Elixir Guilder Ultvesa Rakori has been enhanced in the performance of her manifold duties as Sampling Officiant. Praise be!




Redemptionist

"Prosperity is poison. Peace is poison. Pride is poison.

Tolerance is toxic.

Perfection through persecution.

Burn the blasphemer. Incinerate the infidel. To hell with the heretic.

Doubt is death. Deviation is death. Denial is death.

The higher will is to kill.

Faithful! Unite and smite."

- Praesentinus Copronymus


- - -

The Immortal Man

Four hundred years ago, a reclusive Cawdor street theologian living within the titanic bowels of Hive Primus emerged after a long session of fasting, flagellation and meditating over old tomes. His name was Chaddakus Korois, and he had once lived a quiet life of introverted zeal as a wandering beggar and cheap learned man, sustained by the charity of the devout poor and by donations from slightly wealthier people who were in search of answers for dilemmas of scriptural dogma. That was before the gutter scholar Chaddakus had discovered the Meaning of Man, a writ of the Imperological school, one tome among many thousands of contradictory pieces of pauper scripture that circulated in the streets of Hive Primus and other Necromundan cities. Applying esoteric numerology to the convoluted writings, the learned man uncovered a secret of the faith and emerged with fire in his eyes to spread the word.

With damning speech and swaying revelations, the Emperor-touched fanatic quickly gathered a following amid the habs and recyclatory industries of House Cawdor and founded his own sect within the Redemptionist movement. During a mass sermon in Crucible Square with twenty thousand believers attendant, Chaddakus Korois declared that it was the duty of the righteous to recreate the God-Emperor's intended destiny for mankind by an endless cycle of sacrifice. According to street-preacher Chaddakus, He on Terra had been about to bestow the gift of fleshly immortality onto His sacred species, but for the sins of men He was instead felled in treacherous combat on high and ascended His Golden Throne as a divine saviour of humanity's souls, leaving their sinful flesh to the ravages of death, only to be cleansed by faith and fire.

While this opening of the sermon clashed with some Redemptionist doctrines yet agreed with other strata of commonly adhered scripture, it did not cause an uproar. Instead, it was the next claims of preacher Chaddakus that rent a violent schism through the local Redemptionist movement, until the bloody convulsions of religious strife settled down and this new sect was accepted among the older ones by virtue of its baptism of fire, free to spread abroad.

What Chaddakus Korois revealed to his congregation was the mystery of the One Man, a spiritual entity to be formed by communal sacrifice of limbs and devout conduct, a being at the same time of spirit and flesh (the Achieved Unachieved) that is kept immortal by the constant adherence to dogma within the inner circle of believers, supported by the prayers of the outer circles of faithful. The purpose of the One Man is to kneel before the divine majesty of the Master of Mankind, and throw himself into the eternal fires of the dreaded hells, where the One Man burns forever in redemption, or at least for as long as the faithful continue to bleed and sacrifice of themselves to keep the One Man immortal as their ambassador of pain. In these flaming pits, the suffering of the One Man stands for the death of humanity's intended worldly paradise for the sake of the sins of man, yet is likewise a sign of true redemption among the righteous, who have realized in the higher plane their God-Emperor's original plan for man, only to sacrifice this perfect destiny, of immortal man made manifest, into the fires of hell. For while the punishment of mortal men is excruciating in the hells, it is a lesser form of pain and chastisement compared to the burning in hell of immortal man. Only by offering the manifest realization of our ultimate potential to the flames can mankind make true penance for its abominable sins.

Chaddakus then ended the public revelation of holy mystery by instructing his listeners of the correct practices to create the One Man and maintain this entity, all while drawing a chaindagger to miraculously cut off all off his limbs and then his head despite having severed both of his arms. This strong-willed demonstration upon himself of the new sect's practices ended with Chaddakus Korois' most faithful disciples flaying their master's saintly form, casting his flesh to the pyre while consecrating the blood-dripping bare bones as relics in front of twenty thousand chanting devotees. Then, the six foremost male disciples of Saint Chaddakus each recited litanies and self-mutilated one extremity each to mimick part of their sect founder's example, having the open wounds cauterized with red-hot iron. By a miracle, the body of the apostle who beheaded himself still lived when a devout Cawdor techman locked a domed relic, the Bronze Head, onto the holy man's throat stump, whereupon the maimed one rose with a spark of light and prayed with metallic voice along with the rest of the vast congregation. The sect known as the Sacrificial Men had come into being.

Thus began the infamous Cawdor gang known throughout Hive Primus as the Immortal Man. This Redemptionist warrior group consists of the inner circle of six mutilated holy men, surrounded by unmaimed juves and adults who act as apprentices and attendants to these revered self-sacrificers. This inner circle is always kept at six in number, for whenever one of them falls, a willing attendant who has not previously lost any limb takes the fallen's place by self-mutilating whichever extremity the deceased one lacked. Should he survive this ordeal, the God-Emperor is seen to have judged him worthy and pure of spirit. If not, another follower is selected by the gang leader for self-mutilation. Upon becoming a holy maimed man, a sect member forsakes his former name and identity, losing all ties of kin and former obligations in society in order to transcend to his sacred role in maintaining the One Man by his own living sacrifice, thereby taking up the proverbial mantle shouldered by one of Saint Chaddakus' six original apostles.

Outside the fanatic sect of the Sacrificial Men, Redemptionists and infidels alike whisper of the great many failed self-beheadings which precedes any one succesful installation of the faceless Bronze Head upon a bleeding disciple. Indeed, many of the schismatic attacks on the first generation of Sacrificial Men were caused by rival sects considering the revival of the self-beheaded one to be stark, utter blasphemy and nothing short of necromancy. Though the sectarian feuds have mostly ceased, it is generally believed (by those who do not view the Bronze Head's working implementation on a body to be a miracle) that the ancient device functions by striking the lightning spark of life into a corpse, thus raising the dead to a form of unlife more base than that of a servitor. Others speculate that the Bronze Head relic is the left-over remains of an outcast heretek's baleful experiments upon live captives, from before Hive City Enforcers busted his Underhive death lab seven hundred years ago. Or they say it is a forbidden remnant from the Dark Age of Technology, its heinous purpose shrouded in mystery. Whatever the truth of the matter, the followers of Saint Chaddakus' creed view the Bronze head as a unique vessel of holy wonders, and further point to the lack of optical instruments in the featureless Bronze Head as further proof of this sacred device's miraculous nature, for how could something fully know its surroundings without eyes? Nevertheless, a leather mask with openings for eyes that are not there adorns the Bronze Head, as is demanded of any member of redeemed House Cawdor.

The six inner circle members of the Immortal Man gang each take their name from the bodily extremity which they themselves have discarded. Five of them are known by the names of Head, Right Arm, Left Arm, Right Leg and Left Leg. The sixth member is known as Hand, by way of a euphemism which accidentally mirrors speech in Terra's truly ancient past. The gang leader is always the one who have been part of the inner circle for the longest time, with the exception of Head, who can never lead the Immortal Man. Furthermore, each inner circle member openly carries the bundled relic bones of that extremity from Saint Chaddakus' maimed body which they themselves are known for. Hand carries Saint Chaddakus Korois' pelvis bone. The gang leader is identified by the back-mounted reliquary which hosts Saint Chaddakus' ribcage and spine. There is never a shortage of recruits to the outer circle of juves and attendants, for it is seen as the highest honour among the Sacrificial Men sect to be chosen as attendants for the Immortal Man.

With the exception of Head, no inner circle member may ever replace his lost body parts by bionic replacements, however crude. Instead long metal peglegs or crutches are used by Right Leg and Left Leg, while the Arms sometime have chains attached to their respective stumped shoulder, with which to swing globular censer bearers filled with counterfeit incense, or else chains with which to swing spiked mace heads, flails, hooks, blades or other crude weapons; but never chainblades or other machine-powered weaponry. The detailed ban on bionic prosthetics mean that firearms are never mounted Servitor-like on the stumps of any inner circle member, while two-handed firearms are instead supported at all times by shoulder straps or rigs on Right Arm and Left Arm. Likewise, both Arms of the inner circle tend to sport custom-made solutions to the problem of reloading trickier weaponry and handling other equipment.

The peculiar gait of these self-mutilated holy men add to the bizarre appearance of these nigh-legendary crusaders against the unbeliever, the mutant and the witch, as do their dependence on reverent apprentices, who accompany the inner circle of the Immortal Man into battle. All the masked Cawdor gangers of the Immortal Man are insane fanatics of the Redemption. They are often said to fully compensate for their missing limbs by sheer displays of faith unyielding in combat, yet the odds given by shady bookmakers in Hive Primus would seem to run contrary to this popular claim...




Squat Faces

“The stronghold oldsters back at home might not have approved, but around these parts there aren’t any stronghold or oldsters. Or home, for that matter. Chap, in the Biker ‘guilds’ you’ll be your own man, with your own ride far away from safety and responsibilities. Us outriders have our own customs, so thus you’ll have me with this spiky, radical beard style, see? At least I didn’t tint it teal.”

“Life is a trampler. I like to keep a rug of a beard around to better receive life as it is in the hallway.”

"Pal, come now. Really? If you think I look weird now you should’ve seen me before the flamethrower accident."


- - -

These are just some Squat faces I painted in acrylic whilst sick at home back in 2013 AD.



Squat Power Boarder

A mercenary prone to casual violence, Trough Mac Broigum has served the psychopathic Rogue Trader Tyrel "Destroyer" Cathek for over seven decades of ceaseless voyages between distant stars. As his master has cut a bloody swathe through long-lost Human colonies and Xeno worlds alike, so has the abhuman Trough served Cathek with savage glee.

Trough Mac Broigum has participated in more xenocides and extermination campaigns than most senior Inquisitors can lay claim to, and he has often been at the forefront of the burning and slaughter. Trough leads an sabotage squad of Squat clansmen who have mastered the difficult vehicle known as the power board, a self-propelled ride capable of great leaps and even some limited flight.

The Squat power boarders are experts at striking through backstreets and narrow alleys after heavier units have opened a breach, rushing through urban mazes and space station corridors to deliver a lethal cargo of demolition charges, incendiaries, gas canisters, neurotoxins or virus bombs to soft strategic locations (such as waterworks or aeroprocessors) in the midst of population centers. Trough and his ilk will celebrate every triumph of mass civilian extermination with strong beverages, and will constantly retell their most daring feats of martial power board acrobatics in the face of enemy resistance.


- - -

Drawn for Oldhammer Art Contest II. Usually I base my doodles loosely on official sources at best (these fictive worlds are always best for freewheeling exploration and imagination of one's own), but this one was different. The Squat Power Boarder is a reference to three things from Book of the Astronomican: The tabards of Rogue Trader troopers, the signum of Tyrel "Destroyer" Cathek, and the power board of Stugen Deathwalker.

"Kickee Cool" on the boots was a nonsense catch-phrase which I used for a Shadowrun Dwarf kickboxer during a short RPG session. I know nothing about Shadowrun, but I made said dwarf (with neon hair & beard implants, constantly shifting glowing colours) with the wacky spirit of Rogue Trader 40k in mind.

Reference:

Spoiler:




This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/11/27 00:39:25


   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Sweden



Life Is Toil

"Ancient Man created earthly paradise by his labours, and Man of Gold created Man of Stone who created Man of Iron. And Man tasked ever more of his work to Machine, and Man's hands grew idle. And Man tasked ever more of his thought to Abominable Intelligence, and Man's spirit rotted. Thus Ancient Man sank into a morass of sloth and indolence, and a dark age of unbelief and grave error descended upon Man. For wretched Man had thoughts of self and sought joy and comfort in life, and for these heinous sins he was cast down from his throne to scavenge among the burnt-out ruins of his former wonders. Such was the hubris and downfall of Ancient Man.

Yet we are much wiser now. For we task ever more of Machine's work upon Man, for his shoulders were created to carry burdens. And we task ever more of Machine's work upon Man, for his hands were created to labour. And we task ever more of Machine's Work upon Man, for his back was created to break.

Ancient Man gloried in his cunning artifice and rejoiced when Machine took up duties from Man. Such was the path to damnation.

Instead, we rejoice when some member of Machine break down beyond repair, and its duties have to be shouldered by Man. For work was never truly the domain of metal and measurements, but of flesh and will.

Thus life is toil.

Toil, ever-lasting and ever-grinding.

Thus life is toil.

Toil, ever-burdensome and ever-shackling.

Thus life is toil.

Toil and penitence, and not the false bliss of wicked forefathers.

Toil! Toil! Toil!

Rejoice in your labours! Rejoice in your duties! Rejoice in your assigned tasks and give praise to the biting lash of your masters!

Praise be unto Him on Terra, enthroned in golden splendour and guardianship eternal. We bow to You.

Ave Imperator."

-
Inheritors of Sin, pamphlet penned in M.38 by Cardinal Ignatius Paulinus Hieronymus of Salem Proctor

- - -

One of the fascinating sides of the dark future is mankind's spiralling descent into ever more primitive technologies. As knowledge and hardware slowly withers away, increasing amounts of processes which were once the domain of machinery and automation have to be salvaged in patchwork manner by throwing bodies at the problem. Humanity in the dark future has grown a heart of stone, indifferent to the suffering of others, and fanatical to a fault. What crude calculations its intellect can grasp are ones of massive input of flesh and resources.

Effectivization, improvement and innovation barely ever happens. That was the folly of the Dark Age of Technology, whose glories have long since rusted and faded away.

Instead of better, mankind does it bigger and with a bitter resolve to carry out the tasks at hand, no matter the costs. Loss of life is the least of the Imperium's concerns. And thus this galaxy-spanning colossus with feet of clay soldiers on, strong in its decay, and determined in its insanity.

Wonderful arcologies may have deteriorated into hellish hive cities. Scientific understanding may have given way to blinding superstition. And lives of dignity, prosperity and progress may have given way to slavery and brutal misery. Yet the teeming masses of mankind carries on, with the most primal stubbornness and will to survive burning valiantly in its heart, clinging to what little hope remains among the overwhelming darkness.

This artwork concludes the Descendant Degeneration triad, a tribute to both the enduring immense creativity of Warhammer 40'000 in general, and in particular to Luetin's fantastic way of telling the tales of Mankind in the darkest of futures.


   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Gig Harbor, WA

Pretty cool!

I've always thought that the AI theory for STCs makes the most sense.

The theory goes that the real STC machines were actually just an incredibly powerful AI that went along with each planet and its various equipment. When you asked for a new STC pattern, the AI didn't just give you a blue print for that. it gave you the blueprints for everything you need to construct it from local parts.

This means mining equipment, ore processing, machining and forging tools, circuit board printing, chip creating. . . every step of the way the STC guides you through to construction of what you want.

The only way to do that would be an AI. Because its going to take a lot of thought to examine your local environment and tech level and find a way to get you what you want.

And when that AI goes bad, its at the center of your entire economy. And you probably don't even realize it goes bad for a while, because its smart enough to wait until you've got no chance to beat it.
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






mrFickle wrote:
It depends on what you read, some things I have read make out that terminator armour can’t be made any more, that it is precious and irreplaceable and some chapters don’t have any suits.

The other way to look at it is If it can be made of a production line why don’t all space marines wear it, why are not all wounded interned in a dred?

But that’s not a sustainable, I guess, if you want to be able to do things like introduce new models.
I have always wished that Centurions were actually the 41st-century attempt at re-creating Terminator Armor. It is bulkier, heavier, more resource demanding and ultimately not as good... but if they can get damaged in place of Terminator suits (which can only be repaired, not replaced) it's worth it. Suddenly the very silliness and 'derp factor' of the unit is turned to the fluff's advantage, and it explains why they have only shown up recently.

Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

Thanks! Very interesting discussion. Agreed, the STC=AI is the most reasonable interpretation. And Centurions as 40k attempts to shore up failing Terminator Armour pools would be an improvement.




The Urge to Purge

In the grim darkness of the far future, life has become hell, and men are its daemons.

Enter, the Imperium of Man, last protector of humanity, shield of the innocent and guardian of the faithful.

Enter, the Imperium of Man, saviour of our species, master of the stars and ruler of all.

Enter, the Imperium of Man, abode of corruption, heart of cruelty and tyranny without end.

Scattered traces of the distant Dark Age of Technology hint of long epochs where mankind claimed to have banished savagery and bloodlust from its soul, dedicating itself fully to higher goals of science and colonization. Legends tell of the Men of Gold and their paradisal realm across the galaxy, of wonders erected and of neverending vicious cycles of human nature shackled and brought to heel at long last. Legends tell of peace and plenty, of love and understanding, of hope and freedom undisturbed by ancient evils inherent to the heart of man. Such a fragile state of material perfection could not last, and indeed the dream was shattered by waves of violent upheaval and witch-spawned devastation which plunged mankind into the Age of Strife.

Thus human nature reasserted itself as the contraptions and conditioning of the Dark Age of Technology fell to ruin, and man slew man, and man abducted woman, and man beat child. Cruelty, suspicion, greed and monomaniac fanaticism crept to the fore of the human mind, and the history of mankind once again proved a demented litany of betrayals and atrocities.

But one brief glimpse of such mistrust and bloodshed was the fate of House Welenbar, its residential city Hive Iazyge, and its Baronal Army on Decebalus IV in 437.M38. It was but a minor incident in the grand scheme of things, of a kind both typical and commonplace in the Imperium. It all started when the festering paranoia of Elector King Crathyus IX (Imperial Governor of Decebalus IV and head of the ruling House Malkyn) led him to invite and murder a whole score of Welenbar nobles at his Queen's birthday feast.

Instead of quencing suspected dissent, this treacherous act drove House Welenbar to launch a civil war that wrecked large swathes of Decebalus IV and cost 4 billion Imperial subjects their lives. A whirlwind of shifting alliances with other Houses, popular insurrections and masterful backroom diplomacy saw Elector King Crathyus IX emerge victorious in the end, despite many dreadful moments when the tide of war seemed to have completely turned against the ruling House.

The triumphant warlord was not one to show magnanimity toward his defeated foes. Instead, the Planetary Defence Force (PDF) of Decebalus IV and the Royal Army of ruling House Malkyn was ordered to purge House Welenbar and all its dependents down to the last extended family member. As five army groups of soldiers entered the surrendered Hive Iazyge (residential city of House Welenbar), a legion of clerks and scribes accompanied them. These bureaucrats scoured the archives of the vanquished House. At first, the teeming masses of House Welenbar were not affected, as the first wave of purging was directed only toward annihilating House Welenbar utterly in the Upper Spire.

Soon, however, the distrust of the reigning Imperial Governor hit the streets in full force. Divisions fanned out throughout Hive Iazyge, headed by royal administrators carrying long lists of names. A massive purge took place, as officials of all ranks who had served under House Welenbar were dragged out and shot. Servants, artisans, guardsmen and many more who had been in the hire of House Welenbar were all hunted down and killed, as were all the victims' extended families. Clans and districts suspected of harbouring escapees were torched and sacked, and a wild panic gripped much of Hive Iazyge.

Unknown millions were trampled by fleeing mobs. Unknown millions of people who were not targets of the purge were falsely accused by informers who lusted for vengeance and property. Unknown millions fled into the Underhive or even into the Ashen Wastes, where the bloodsoaked troopers only conducted a half-hearted search due to the lethal environs. A vast murder spree engulfed Hive Iazyge, and the sight of rampaging warriors killing indiscriminately out of sheer bloodlust became an everyday occurence. Flames gutted large sections of the hive city, and still the purges continued for months on end in an orgy of torture, killing and manhunts.

Elector King Crathyus IX stopped short of killing the entire vast conscript horde of defeated House Welenbar's Baronal Army. Instead the millions of private soldiers were enslaved into Penal Legions and shipped offworld over the coming decade as part of the planet's Imperial Tithe. The large officer corps of the Baronal Army did not escape the hand of Crathyus IX; its untold thousands upon thousands of servicemen were massacred and heaped into shallow mass graves by the PDF's infamous security service, the Sword of Order.

The Imperial Governor of Decebalus IV feared personal retribution in the form of assassination from anyone who had held loyalty to the fallen House Welenbar, and in his paranoia the Elector King had all such people exterminated down to the last extended family member. In this regard, he succeeded: Elector King Crathyus IX met his destiny half a century later when his Queen and her secret lover poisoned Crathyus' liquour, and no attempt on the Elector King's life was ever undertaken by Welenbar loyalists.

Thus peace was restored to Decebalus IV by prudent means of Imperial justice, until the cycle of suspicion and betrayal played out anew to the tune of mass death among the populace. Such is the routine of humanity in the Imperium.

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Sweden



No Mercy

The Imperium of Man is characterized by its monstrous cruelty, applied with a demented lack of pity and remorse. Imperial officials, commanders and theocrats are all ruthless in their endeavours to preserve the Emperor's realm. They will crush any foe and dissident, persecute any deviant and malcontent, and burn any heretic and rebel that stand in their way. The Imperial order, with its shining splendour and feet of clay, must be upheld and forwarded at any cost.

The loss of innocent life mean nothing to the Imperium, for this monolithic regime operate on a titanic scale, where humans are nothing but great numbers in a broken calculation. Decayed and burdened by a bloated bureaucracy though it may be, the rigid order of the Imperium has not outlasted ten millennia of incessant warfare and disasters by failing to rise to the challenge. Indeed the heartless methods of Imperials have time and again turned the tide through total mobilization of resources and a relentless drive to win through no matter the cost, strengthened by a fanatic belief in the God-Emperor on Holy Terra.

The Imperium, as a rule, grasp cunning and efficiency but poorly, yet like a true colossus it is willing and able to feed the meatgrinder with a massive input of resources and manpower. To improve results, Imperial administrators and commanders does not engage much in the art of fine-honing tactics and processes with a clever eye to detail. Instead, they crudely increase the input and deploy ever larger cohorts and facilities both at the war front and home front. If everything else fail, the Imperium will attempt to slowly drown their enemies in Imperial armies and logistics in wars of attrition.

The Imperial way in grand matters is one of grinding down resistance and crushing it like a sledgehammer with massive forces employed in brutal assaults and endless bombardment. In small matters, servants of the Emperor tend to carry themselves with the same callous disregard for life and lack of compassion. Harried by service demands from their superiors, lectured on the virtue of being harsh and merciless by their priests, and living their entire lives in hard environments not conducive to kindness, Imperials of all ranks are quick to judge and ruthless in their willingness to damn others.

To find oneself on the receiving end of Imperial justice or the wrath of Imperial arms, is to face savage cruelty and annihilation. To merely be suspected of heresy and treachery is to invite crushing force, not just upon oneself, but upon one's kith and kin as well. To be in the wrong place at the wrong time is to be swept up and destroyed along with the operation's intended target.

For the servants of His Divine Majesty have all been taught that the higher will is to kill, and they all know that it is better for a hundred innocents to perish than for one guilty man to escape. In Imperial thinking, to stay one's hand is an act of weakness, and the Imperium does not abide weaklings. To hesitate and grant mercy is to draw punishment upon yourself, so better kill them all and let the God-Emperor sort them out.

Mercy is for the weak.

If you want to imagine the condition of our species in the grim darkness of the far future, then imagine a power-armoured boot trampling a human face... forever.

"Kill! Kill! Kill!"

- Common Imperial warcry


- - -

Tribute to the highly atmospheric video game Warhammer 40'000: Fire Warrior (2003). Strong in its narrative simplicity, this game showcased the dark future of the 41st millenium brilliantly by having the protagonist be a Tau. This optimistic and technologically advanced upstart species contrasted with the dark, regressed, cruel and fanatic Imperium of Man in a fantastic way. The dive into dark horror continued to yet more hellish depths as the Fire Warrior Kais encountered Chaos, an otherworldly force twisted beyond sanity... The atmosphere of Fire Warrior was nigh perfect, supported by good sound effects and evocative music. It also depicted bolter weapons correctly.

The above drawing is based on a scene from the video game's introduction cutscene. The first encounter with Imperial Space Marines showcased them in all their violence:

"What of this one, Brother-Sergeant?"

"No witnesses."

   
Made in fi
Water-Caste Negotiator






I'm digging the idea of "poisoned" STC's. Would make for a helluva story, the imperium finding a working STC which would start building more men of iron as soon as it's powered up.. good stuff!

All in all, wanted to commend on a fine thread you got here sirs! A++

Keep it up Mr Clansman

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/21 10:59:53


 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

It's a really fine and fun concept, and I believe it was first used by Dan Abnett in a Gaunt's Ghost story which I haven't read, but seen referenced multiple times.

Thank you most kindly, it means a lot to me, tauist!



Opulence

"Harken to me, dear congregation! Our Lord on Terra once decreed: 'Let no man hoard wealth for nought but his own gain, for selfishness breed disunity, and disunity will doom mankind. Either we make a stand together, or fall alone with our greed into oblivion.'

Nay! We must strive for higher goals and sacrifice our possessions just as we sacrifice our sons and daughters. Indeed, just as we sacrifice our very own blood and limbs and life in service to the ever-glorious God-Emperor, hallowed be His rule. To pile riches in a vault for nothing but the benefit of one's own kith and kin is a mortal sin! To hide your earnings and inheritance from tribute and taxes and tithe will see your soul burn in nameless hells! To deny the servants of the Emperor their rightful due will damn you all!

Last week I harangued the common folk and the paupers for their miserly clinging to coin, their avarice and their shameful envy of their betters. Give up of yours and support the righteous human cause! Yet today I turn to the merchants and nobles and other people of means and privilege, and I say unto you: Your damnation draws nearer, the longer you wallow in false splendour and poisoned decadence. Your damnation draws near. Do you hear me, betters and greaters and masters and mistresses? Your damnation draws near!

While the armies of the God-Emperor bleed to death and give their life for a higher cause on ten thousand battlefields in defence of us all, you cling to those ill-begotten fortunes as if they where yours to command. Nay! All property belongs to no one but the Master of Mankind, and those who have been chosen by His immortal hand as trustees of His goods and estates must never forget their position of eternal servitude and debt. Never forget that the wealth your hands grasp, is not yours to keep and spend on a whim! Never forget that the wealth your hands grasp is to be given unto His servants to support the war effort and dignification of His realm. Never forget that you will be weighed and found wanting when you stand before His Golden Throne, and the judgement visited upon your soul will be harsh and eternal!

Lords and ladies of means, give me your ear, or throw your soul into hellfire! You must not only comply with the tax farmer and auditor and give up your appointed due to state and temple, but you must go further and willingly offer up more still of your fortunes for the greater Imperial cause. Pour your wealth into collections and alms and subscriptions for Ecclesiarchal build and repairs! Spend your inheritance on war bonds and letters of indulgence! Donate to funds that support the Imperial Navy, industry and ground arms!

The Imperium need your serfs and indentured slaves for our mighty bulwark, and it need your offspring for officers to lead the armsmen, and it need your riches to put weapons in the hands of our soldiers. What good can a warrior do without his blade? Never imagine for a moment that you have repaid your debts to His Divine Majesty by paying mandated tax and tithe! Never imagine for a moment that our Glorious Overlord is blind to your wallowing in concubines and harlots and sin! Never imagine for a moment that the God-Emperor on high does not ken your drunken opulence and knifing plots and swinish gluttony and jeering cries as you go on your thrilling peasant-hunts!

You filth and moneygrubbers clad in pearls and lace! You rutting rats of the spires! You gilded grox herd! The writing is on the wall. Know that you are constantly watched by Him on Terra, and He will determine your everlasting fate sternly when your bodies give up your spirits to the eternal judgement that awaits us all. This mortal coil is nothing but dust and duty, and failure to fulfil your duty will damn you - damn you, I tell you!

This, o honoured lades and gentlemen of finest pedigree and best of breeeding! This! This torch that I raise to this heretic on the pyre is your miserly soul cast into nameless hells! Behold the flames that scorch flesh! Behold the agony and the punishment! Behold! For this is the afterlife that awaits you all!

Repent! Repent! Repent or burn!"

- Sermon on Clans of Means, held in M.40 by Kahin-Sacrorum Maximus Himilco Magonid, of Phazania Proconsularis


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Drawing commissioned by storywriter109 on Reddit, depicting an abhuman type called Siren, lavished with luxury and used as a weapon. The above background writing is my own.

   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Sweden



Hangman

It is the forty-first millennium. Lately, the Imperium of Man has seen its dominion over the stars be challenged far to the galactic east in Segmentum Ultima. An upstart Xenos species known as the Tau have risen quickly in but few millennia from prehistoric barbarity to undreamed of heights of technological supremacy and scientific mastery. In many ways, the young Tau Empire mirrors the early stages of Humanity's own Dark Age of Technology, with their deep understanding and grasp of the material arts, their strong optimism and drive to expand, and their growing reliance on Abominable Intelligence.

The Tau Empire is positioned far, far away from Holy Terra, and their Warp travel is still only rudimentary and incapable of long-distance voyages, confined to skimming the surface layers of the Empyrean as opposed to diving deep through the mystic hellscape as Imperial vessels routinely do. By a pure chance of astrogeography, the Tau realm is situated amidst a tight cluster of stars, enabling a rapid regional expansion and colonization even at such an early stage of their Warp-breaking starship development. In short order, the energetic Tau have settled numerous worlds and incorporated a range of sentient species as vassals of the Greater Good.

Tau cultural subversion and commercial influence in Imperial systems on the Eastern Fringe has grown steadily worse in but a few centuries of contact with Human colonies. For the first time in unknown eons, the hope for a brighter and better future has been sparked among Human worlds, and vast swathes of planetary populations on the Eastern Fringe now look to an Xenos intruder to save them from the crushing tyranny of the Imperium. Resistance movements, underground propaganda cells, Xenophile smuggler rings, passive insurgency groups and terrorist cadres have formed on dozens of Imperial worlds, thereby threatening sacred Terran dominance and importing the goods and ideology of the aggressively expanding Tau Empire to Human colonies.

Naturally, Imperial response to these brewing rebellions have been brutal, resulting in scenes of mass murder, auto-da-fés of public torture displays, the filling of labour camps with prisoners on starvation rations, and much more besides. For the most part, these stark methods have been counter-productive, since they stand as cruel reminders of what the Imperium has in store for its subjects, thereby rendering the Tau Empire into an all the more appealing alternative for many by contrast. Populations have been split into hostile camps of Imperial loyalists and Tauisers, and brother has turned upon brother while sister detest sister with vehemence. Neighbours have come to shun each other, and teach their children to hate the opposite side, and thus a painful rift of strife and kinslaying has been rent open on worlds sworn to obey the God-Emperor alone.

During the Third Sphere Expansion in 997-999.M41, Tau forces overran multiple Imperial systems in a brilliant dash of high mobility, combined arms warfare and superior usage of sophisticated technology (especially plasma weaponry and markerlight targeting systems). As the conquering hosts of the Greater Good fought their way across Imperial planets, a mass fury of societal struggle engulfed the beleaguered Human colonies. Loyalists and Xenophiles struck each other without mercy in the towns, cities and even villages, settling old scores in an orgy of arsony, street battles, torture, massacres and outrage. As one side gained the upper hand in a settlement, the victors would muster a haphazardly equipped militia and march on neighbouring settlements, falling upon hostile kinsfolk in a murderous frenzy amidst the full confusion of civil war.

Bloodlust and hatred gripped the Human populace of many Imperial worlds, and Planetary Defence Forces as well as offworlder Imperial armies shipped in to defend His Divine Majesty's frontier domains executed large numbers of deserters, spies and suspected traitors on the flimsiest of pretexts. Examples were made of shirkers and suspects to strike fear into the hearts of soldiers and keep any doubters in line, and thus a state of terror rattled the Imperial military and civilian society alike.

While the Human infighting aided Tau conquest of many worlds, the Tau Fire Caste and its commanders in the field did not appreciate the havoc unleashed by these future members of the Greater Good. The ingrained Tau sense of supreme order and harmony was deeply disturbed by such wanton displays of Human mass kinslaying and savagery, and moreover military operations against Imperial defense formations were often disturbed by the unpredictable course of raging civil war. Still, the local interruptions to the short-lived burst of Third Sphere Expansion were usually dealt with quickly by the overwhelming firepower and excellent coordination of forces which the Fire Warriors and Air Caste pilots always strove to bring into combat.

One of the many harrowing sights which met advancing teams of Fire Warriors in burning Imperial city streets, were the thousands upon thousands of hanged Imperial soldiers, dangling lifeless from street lumens, gargoyles and rafters; hanged with rope, wire and cables. Yet again, the optimistic Tau upstarts were confronted with a glimpse of the sheer unrelenting horror reigning over mortals of the Milky Way galaxy from end to end: For the pious servants of the Divine Emperor on Terra are utterly blind to reason and deaf to mercy.

And they will stop at nothing to slaughter the alien, the heretic and the traitor. They will spare no one, and they will kill their own kin to keep the rest in line. Such is the ruthlessness that lurks in the heart of our species, a cruelty set to devour the Human soul in an age of terror. In an epoch without compassion. In a time without hope.

For in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.


- - -

Yet another tribute to the highly atmospheric video game Warhammer 40'000: Fire Warrior (2003). Strong in its narrative simplicity, this game showcased the dark future of the 41st millenium brilliantly by having the protagonist be a Tau. This optimistic and technologically advanced upstart species contrasted with the dark, regressed, cruel and fanatic Imperium of Man in a fantastic way. The dive into dark horror continued to yet more hellish depths as the Fire Warrior Kais encountered Chaos, an otherworldly force twisted beyond sanity... The atmosphere of Fire Warrior was nigh perfect, supported by good sound effects and evocative music. And gorgeous voice acting.

   
Made in gr
Stalwart Veteran Guard Sergeant





Yet another tribute to the highly atmospheric video game Warhammer 40'000: Fire Warrior (2003). Strong in its narrative simplicity, this game showcased the dark future of the 41st millenium brilliantly by having the protagonist be a Tau. This optimistic and technologically advanced upstart species contrasted with the dark, regressed, cruel and fanatic Imperium of Man in a fantastic way. The dive into dark horror continued to yet more hellish depths as the Fire Warrior Kais encountered Chaos, an otherworldly force twisted beyond sanity... The atmosphere of Fire Warrior was nigh perfect, supported by good sound effects and evocative music. And gorgeous voice acting.


This is the most positive feedback to Fire Warrior I have ever seen. In fact, it might be the only positive feedback to Fire Warrior I have ever seen.
   
Made in nl
Brainy Zoanthrope




I love this thread, great atmospheric work
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Sweden

Fire Warrior is strongly underappreciated for its good atmosphere and ingenious setup with viewing the demented 40k universe through the eyes of the relatively naïve optimistic Tau, with humanity being regressed and fanatic, and Chaos being insane. It's a simple game, and not very good of a game, but it aims in the right direction and delivers where it counts.

Thank you kindly, shortymcnostrill!



Peasant-Hunt

In the grim darkness of the far future, compassion has by and large been purged from man's heart for anyone who isn't close kin. On Shexia, for instance, those too old or injured to toil in the foundries will seek shelter in human waste sinks, in an attempt to elude the Urban Purity Patrols which chase unproductive citizens out into the sewage marches to die. Another widespread phenomenon sprung from this general draining of human mercy and kindness, is that of the customary peasant-hunt. Known by tens of thousands of different names in an uncatalogued babel of dialects and languages throughout the Imperium, the essentials of the peasant-hunt remain much the same across this vast galactic realm of humanity: That of society's betters and nobler people hunting the rabble down in the slums for sport.

Peasant-hunts are mostly practiced on worlds adorned with hive cities, those overcrowded edifices of human misery and degradation that likewise stand as the primary symbols of human civilization in the Imperium. In these teeming population centres, strangled empathy dies, and death becomes trivial among the endless masses of billions upon billions of bleak shapes. In such urban dens of overpopulation, disease and filth, how can those better off not look down on the desperate and blinkered underclasses with scorn and revulsion?

On hellish hive worlds such as Necromunda and Ugarit-Alpha, brat gangs and Spyrers alike descend from the upper hive to stalk the bowels of the underhive in gleeful manhunts. Equipped with the best wargear that their affluent clans and noble houses can afford, such men and women of superior breeding will often record their adventurous exploits via live pict-feeds, allowing their equals back home in the upper spires to witness the predatory skills and ruthless strengths of these daring hunters of noble bearing. The pict-feeds naturally also allow those in the palaces to savour the sheer carnage and humiliation visited upon the squabbling rabble down below in the shanty towns.

Where they are well-known among the larger populace, the various traditions of peasant-hunts are usually taken for granted as an inevitable part of life and noble privilege, and lowly folks pray to the Divine Majesty of Holy Terra to be spared from this lurking terror. Elsewhere, crazy rumours of uphivers blooding themselves in secret on the cowed masses exist, mixed with tall tales of ghosts and elusive monsters stalking the hive levels, ready to snatch the unlucky into the shadows to tear them limb from limb, or flay them alive. The thrill of the peasant-hunt, with its ever-present dangers and challenges of remaining undetected and escaping mob pursuit, is a common ritual of passage among Imperial nobility.

The most honour can be gained by outwitting and slaying hive gangers and other experienced fighter scum, yet usually few codes of conduct forbid the casual killing of defenseless commoners irregardless of age. Indeed the peasant-hunt is usually seen as a virtuous trait of nobles who care to cull the rat-like numbers of the incessantly breeding dirty masses. The Adeptus Terra never interfer with peasant-hunts (even in situations where the outraged reaction of the lower classes to such predatory noble house activities help build up resentment and pressure toward explosive revolts), deeming them to be martially virtuous practices which prepare nobility and masses alike for combat. Indeed, the successful initiation of upper class youth Lexandro D'Arquebus into the ranks of the Imperial Fists (and subsequent promotions for prowess) was reinforced by his experiences earned at the age of fourteen from hunting peasants in the ruinous depths of Trazior Hive on Necromunda, as part of a brat gang known as the Lordly Phantasms.

The very concept of the peasant-hunt is so widespread and generally accepted as a fact of life (at least among better parts of society and Imperial servants), that even those who hail from locations without such predatory traditions may find themselves adopting this element of foreign culture when travelling across their world, or indeed across the star-spanning realm of the God-Emperor. Some may partake in a hunt to honour their hosts, and perhaps grease ongoing negotiations by graciously accepting an invitation which they at first found disturbing, but often grew to like. Others still may spontaneously pick up this custom on their own, for a myriad of different reasons.

One such example of a void-travelling man who began peasant-hunting on his own, was Skitarius Pi-Braine of forgeworld Lemuria. Once, when Pi-Braine descended into the Enginarium sections of the Imperial vessel known as
the Debt Collector in order to gild a trophy femur bone, he chanced to witness worker gang wars down in the bowels of the ships' reactor areas. Previously needled by worker heckling, this man of action decided on the spot to start hunting the worker gangs as a recreational activity. And so every now and then this loyal servant of the Omnissiah goes down and start to hunt people like a predator, stalking the shadows of the night to teach his lessers the meaning of fear. In this manner did Skitarius Pi-Braine take up a healthy sport, and cleansed some of the rabble among the clans infesting the decks of the Debt Collector, thereby allowing some group rations to rise a little above starvation level by virtue of eliminating superfluous mouths to feed.

And so the ongoing peasant-hunts across the Imperium of Man stand as a testament of the depraved depths into which the human soul has plunged, in a far future suffocated by despair and darknes. In a civilization that praise law and order as sacred, the most brutal of predations flourish. Thus man hunts man for sport, and all is well in the domains of the God-Emperor of mankind.


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Tribute in general to the marvellous character Pi-Braine from the parodic RPG show WarHams, and in particular to his golden minute in episode 4 (16:45-17:45), where this Skitarius' shipboard activities since the latest planetary mission were revealed:

WarHams wrote:OnCallGM: Pi-Braine, what have you been doing with your time?

SpeakerD: Pi-Braine has gone on a marvellous adventure. He spent the first half of this voyage making the horrible servitors that have been making up servitor daycare for our dearest little man. If doorman is an abomination, it's probably Pi's fault. What else he's been doing is that he's decided he wanted to get that femur bone gold-plated. So he went down to the depths of the manufactorum inner reactor workings of the ship, and ran into some of the worker gangs. And while he was getting his femur gold-plated and metallic, he saw some worker gang wars happening, and so he decided for a recreational activity, he would start hunting them for sport. And so every so often he just decides to go down there and start hunting people like the Predator.

He went down there and they probably made fun of him and called him weird bone boy. And Pi said "You know what I will do? I will stalk the shadows of the night and teach you fear." And that's what he's been doing for a couple of days.


The best part is that this bonkers information isn't even a parody on official Warhammer 40'000 background: Peasant hunts have been prevalent ever since the earliest years of the setting, as evident in Ian Watson's crazy novel Space Marine (1993). The reference to Lexandro D'Arquebus stems from this book, while the reference to Shexia's Urban Purity Patrols stem from Matthew Farrer's excellently immersive novel Legacy, the second book of the Shira Calpurnia trilogy (available from Black Library as the Enforcer omnibus). Both works of litterature should be sought out by anyone interested in the background of Warhammer 40'000.

   
Made in se
Dakka Veteran




Sweden



Quartering

In the Imperium of Man, there is no dignity in death for the wicked. The Adeptus Terra well know that for the law to be just, it must be cruel. For the punishment of one man is not only the penalty of that one criminal, but the virtuous act of making an example out of the offender, for the fearsome instruction of the masses and to the benefit of public order. To Imperial thinking, the betterment of humanity can only be achieved through terror. The greater the trauma, the wiser the punishment.

As such, executions are preferably carried out in public within the Imperium, as are many displays of torture. Since most of mankind's teeming trillions in the far future lead lives rattled by misery, malnourishment, disease, grinding poverty, mind-numbingly monotonous labour and wanton brutality, public executions need to be extremely gruesome in order to scare such blunt masses. Being already inured to hardship and the common sight of death and suffering in their everyday lives, the denizens of Imperial worlds are only ever brought sharply to attention through shows of great cruelty that goes above and beyond what their dampened empathy can handle. The aim of Imperial justice is to rise above what the human cattle's high tolerance thresholds to suffering in others can handle, by a crescendo of showcased pain and death.

Therefore, it follows that public executions involving flames, acids and hot tongs are all popular forms of punishment, as are callous usage of racks, mutilations and condemantion to beasts of a million different species. Executions that rely upon communal and comradely violence are much praised, for they make the onlookers complicit in the punishment, and fosters a rabid atmosphere prone to pogroms, witch hunts and lynchings of unwanted elements of the population. Just a few example of such communal punishment methods include stoning, military decimation, running the gauntlet, flesh-clawing and the crowd hook frenzy. Some local cultures even encourage acts of cannibalism, as a way to ritually devour and obliterate traces of heresy and impurity in the communal body.

One of the more explicitly violent forms of public execution found within the Imperium of Man is that of quartering, a widespread kind of punishment favoured in many locations for the sheer bloody spectacle that it provides in order to improve the morals of the masses. Events of quartering will usually involve the gathering of a large number of spectators and displays of pageantry so as to celebrate glorious justice being carried out in a dutifully stern manner, accompanied by speaches and homilies.

The exact means of quartering vary greatly between different districts, continents and planets. Many such punishments include hanging and drawing before quartering, or scorching with flames, biting of hounds and other forms of torture while the wrongdoer is suspended in the air by being pulled in four directions. Some versions make use of draft animals, or communal teams of people pulling at wires, chains or ropes. Others use tractors, tanks, trucks and similar large vehicles. Still other forms of quartering utilize motorcycles, for a more drawn-out affair than heavier machinery and giant beasts provide. Another advantage to using bikes and dirtcycles consist of the opportunity for agile wheel shows, with one common variant having all four motorcyclists driving around in a circle, while the criminal is stretched taut between them in the middle, spinning in confusion while tendons snap and bones pop out of their sockets.

Many executioners may assist the tense dismemberment with weapos and industrial tools, while others deem it a better instructive display of warning for others, if the four straining forces are to tear apart the condemned body on their own without external assistance. Occassionally, tradition or spontaneous rousing by preachers on the spot dictates the chanting of litanies of hate and penitence, letting the ears of the condemned be filled by a wroth chorus of damnation during his last moments in life. At other times, Officio Medicae personnel and lay techmen stand ready to salvage the profusely bleeding, limbless torso and head of the punished deviant, in order to convert the still living remains into a servitor, a mind-wiped cyborg that is more tool than man.

Whatever the exact procedures involved, quartering usually gets the message across to most bystanders: Obey your masters and keep your head down, for the hand of authority is merciless in its pursuit of justice, and maybe next time, you will be the centre of attention during such a punishment by quartering.

And so fear was revealed to be the greatest teacher, and terror the best guardian of your soul. For if the law is to be just, it must be cruel.

Thus is the depraved state of humanity in the grim darkness of the far future.


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Based on this artwork.

   
 
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