This is an index of all my Warhammer 40,000 (40K) 'fan fiction' concepts. These ideas came about while chatting to other fans in many of the Warhammer forums I frequent. These concepts deal mainly with areas not traditionally covered in the official 40K background material, such as Adeptus Mechanicus science, Imperial technology, and the mythical Dark Age of Technology. These areas of 40K are left open to speculation, and during these speculative discussions I like to put forward ideas that justify the image of 40K as seen in the artwork and stories. No matter how crazy Warhammer may seem I think it can be explained, and I endeavour to explain it away every chance I get! During the ensuing, and often lengthy, discussions on these forums my ideas were honed into the concepts that I present to you here. The musing can be used as a basis of scenarios for RPGs such as Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader. I hope to show that with a little imagination anything is possible. While based on the works published by Games Workshop, this is fan-fiction (Philhammer) and should not be taken as 'canon'.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the fans who gave input over the years, both positive and negative, which helped shape these concepts. I can safely say that without other fans none of these concepts would be here in their current form, and probably still floating around in the back of my mind never to see the light of day, if at all. Thanks all!
= Philhammer - Unofficial 'fan fiction' =
The Dark Age of Technology
A time long before the Imperial records of history begin; a time of myth in the current 41st millennium. It is an important period as all technology and social concepts derive from the highly advanced society of this era. To understand were the Imperium comes from is to understand why it is the way it is, and perhaps gives an insight into the future. This is purely speculative, and is designed with a mind to reinforce the image of current 40K.
The 'Golden Age of Technology' is a time when the humans in league with their machine allies (descendants of human technology) conquered the stars. Machines had advanced to a sentient state, and worked in partnership with humans under the 'Mars Accord' treaty. Each side brought their own strengths to the table, to create a civilization far greater than the sum of it's parts. Yet this great and powerful civilization did not last. It fell in an apocalypse born of human evolution, heralding the Age of Strife and 5,000 years of barbarism.
For ever more the Golden Age of Technology would be known as the Dark Age of Technology.
Worlds of the Imperium
There are over a million worlds under Imperial control. Worlds on the easiest to navigate warp routes were re-discovered first during the great crusade, but many more are brought into the fold every year due to the work of the Rogue Traders. However, the Adeptus Mechanicus estimated that around 70 million worlds are inhabited within the galaxy, many cut of from the Imperium due to treacherous warp routes and warp storms.
Billions to Millions
During the Age of Strife the advanced human/ machine 'Golden Age' civilization suffered a catastrophe of biblical proportions; overrun by the rogue Psyker epidemic. Billions of worlds were lost during this time to daemonic attack, and the souls of the inhabitants sucked into the warp to feed the ever growing Chaos Ghods. Humanity never forgot the fall, the death of so many of their kin and the desertion of the machines. It is recorded in the oldest legends, and handed down through the generations in fairy tales for the young and parables for the old. The Imperium seeks to reclaim the worlds humanity lost. Most they rediscover are dead worlds devoid of life and unsuitable for re-colonisation. The Imperium is but a fraction of the worlds inhabited during the 'Golden Age'. At present the Imperium stands at a mere million worlds, maybe several, but over 15 billion; dead worlds have been catalogued.
What we consider conventional socio-economic models would fail to bring about the super massive populations found on the Hive Worlds of 41st millennium (we are currently in the 3rd millennium). The reasons for the extreme populations has it roots in Earth's (Terra's) past. It is a natural progression of cause and effect, of humanity adapting to its new surroundings brought about by its short sighted mismanagement of resources, to the great technological innovations that changed our civilization forever.
Housing in 40K
As populations soared on ancient Terra, humanity struggled to cope with ever depleting resources. Many wars were fought to gain control, and many terrorist attacks endured by all populations, but in the end all resources used to power conventional technologies ran dry. During this time profound changes in the way society functioned and a person's image of their role in society came about. Born of this time is the foundations of a new way of life. The Ecopolis concept is an extrapolation of technologies being developed now, in the 21st century, coupled with the security features needed to resist humanity's greatest adversary: itself!
The Imperial Guard is the backbone of the Imperium's might. An army raised of a million worlds, all pulling together and fighting to save humanity. Drafted in the trillions, as part of Hive World population control, ordinary men and women stand shoulder to shoulder on the front lines of the Imperium's war zones. Unwanted by their home world, and desperate to win a Veteran's Pension upon completion of their tour and to start a new life on a resettlement, they fight will zeal and determination.
Nothing can prepare a citizen for the horror of 40K warfare, and the average life expectancy for a raw recruit is a mere 15 hours (of actual combat). Those fortunate enough to survive 'The Grinder' are then transferred into specialist units known as 'families', a close-knit specialist unit of comrades (brothers and sisters in arms). The most common is the sniper support family (SSF), usually a mixture of female snipers and male bodyguards, though this is not set in stone. The SSF provide cover for those within the maelstrom of 'The Grinder', it is their lot to watch untold millions die before their eyes. Their only comfort is that as part of a family they may survive long enough finish a tour.
Human populations exposed to environments other than Terra standard find certain suitable genes increase in frequency throughout the gene pool, and others decrease. This natural adoption process leads to humans with marked physical and MEME differences from the 'average' human template. The natural skewing of the gene pool to environmental conditions is tolerated by the Imperium. However, if these differences are the result of mutations in the genes affording additional advantageous adaptation, the Imperium classifies them as a new species. These 'non-humans' are marked 'xenos' and exterminated, yet many who seem to be on the fringe of the gene-pool are determined to be 100% human and welcomed into the Imperium. One of the most startling is the Ogryn, named after the first specimens found of the Death World: Colosseo I, the Ogrynn (empire).
Tolerance in the Imperium
Ogryn are at the extreme Mesomorph/ Endomorph within the human cline that shows a pronounced influence of artificial genes introduced into the human genome during the Dark Age of Technology to improve physical robustness in new colonists. It is theorised that due to harsh living endured on Death Worlds that the population's gene ratios naturally skewed towards the toughening artificial genes, which start to dominate the gene pool. The Ogryn of Colosseo I have integrated back into the general population and spread to many worlds since the dawn of the Imperium. These Ogryn are also prone to thyroid hyperactivity, which gives them their distinctive and classic 'Ogryn' look.
The Adeptus Mechanicus are an autonomous Empire allied with Terra to form the core of the Imperial infrastructure. The are responsible for all of the Imperium's advanced technology.
Cult of the Machine
The Adeptus-Mechanicus is the official title of an organisation within the Cult Mechanicus that operates in conjunction with the Imperium. The Adeptus Mechanicus builds all of the Imperium's higher technology to be used by the various Imperial Organisations. It is a secretive society that jealousy guards it's 'intellectual property', and act as guardians of humanity's most powerful technologies. The Cult worships the Deus-Emperor as the personification of the Omnissiah (Machine Ghod). They revere the spirit of the machine, the system itself, and the 'great architect'.
Technology in the Imperium is far in advance of anything we have today. Many technologies familiar to those in the 21st century such as internal combustion engines and electronics only exist on the most primitive fringe worlds. Devices such as computers are several generations ahead of what we have today, moving beyond Optoelectronic, and the organic. Familiar interfaces like keyboards, mice, HUD (heads up displays) and even future holo-interfaces are about as innovative as stone circles to the Imperium's technicians. In 40K interface technology is so advanced that is heard to tell where a human consciousness ends and a machine begins. Technology interfaces are seamless and unseen. This can throw those looking at 40K technology with an archaic 21st century mind set, and many could easily assume that interface technology is basic or non-existent.
Standardisation of Technology
The STC (Standard Template Construct) is the standard specification of technology used in the Imperium. All technology produced in the Imperium adheres to the STC specifications (similar to ISO standards (Interstellar Standards Organisation)) and all measures are maintained by the Adeptus Mechanicus (i.e. rods of measure). This means that components to an engine can be built on many different Forgeworlds and yet they will fit together flawlessly (with mk 1 persuader hammer!).
The Imperium is consists of a million worlds, all with their own interests and culture, vying for power. Keeping such a vast empire from fragmenting requires not only a firm hand, but a sharp mind. Effective intelligence gathering and prompt convert action has saved many a world. It is the holy Inquisition that is tasked with securing the Imperium from within. Seeking out the traitors and deviants that would divide the Imperium, bringing humanity to it's knees, in the face of untold alien threats and ancient supernatural powers.
Fear of the unseen
The Primarchs are genetically re-engineered clone 'sons' of the Emperor. Their bodies where created without souls and act as a vessel for the reconstituted consciousness ripped from the Emperor's own gestalt soul. Only the Emperor's unique warded DNA structure could contain such power, and coupled with his vast arcane magics (beyond alpha ability) could allow him to forge these 20 divine beings. Their creation greatly weakened the Emperor, but the advantages outweighed the sacrifice. Each Primarch is a god of antiquity reborn. Their very being infused with the positive essence of the warp: imbuing them immense psionic enhanced powers. Such is their might they could scatter whole armies and return unscathed. It is these 20 'gods' that gave rise to the hordes of demigods [Nephilim], the Space Marines, each as strong as Hercules himself and bound in Archaeotech to further enhance his powers. It is these armies that retook the Galaxy for humankind.
Magnus the Red
Quote: "Magnus the Red was a giant of a man, standing far taller than even his brother Primarchs, his hair and complexion a livid red. Most remarkable of all was the enormous cyclopean eye set deep into the Primarch's forehead; where normal men have two eyes, Magnus had one. His strength was lauded as rivalling that of Russ, but he preferred to expend his energies learning and pursuing ancient arcana than the art of battle. His physical peculiarities were never remarked upon by the other Primarchs; after all, Sanguinius was blessed with wings and Leman Russ himself bore the sharpest of fangs. Nonetheless, the Wolf-King feared that the taint of Chaos was ingrained within the giant's soul. But the Emperor would not hear of his suspicions, as Magnus was one of his own sons." [source: Index Astartes/ WD 258]
With the Emperor deified as a god by the Ecclesiarchy, the Adeptus Astartes have been proclaimed as (accorded the rank of) Angels within the hierarchy of the Imperium's religion, who bring swift judgement to those who betray the Emperor's divine will. This has led to the Adeptus Astartes being referred to as the 'Angels of Death'. Their primary operating environment is within STC structures; whether subterranean hive, interstellar ship or the vast hulks that litter space. They are tasked with keeping such structures under Imperial control, reclaiming them from xenos and renegade human alike if needs be (this role of taking STC structures is why the Adeptus Mechanicus supports the Marines to such a high degree). The Adeptus Astartes is the official name of the 'Space Marines' (with is not really an accurate translation from High Gothic), the term by which we know them.
The Space Marines are humanity's finest warriors, a perfect blending of wrought flesh and Dark Age technology. Each Marine is an awe inspiring sight to behold, standing near eight feet tall encased in Power Armour, they are living colossi. Their badge of office is their armour, a technological marvel formed from thick Ceraform plates bonded to an tough exoskeleton, and motivated by strength augmenting artificial muscles. All orchestrated by an advanced artificial brain known as a machine spirit; the ghost of the machine, acting in unity with the Marine's mind. A Marine without armour is as strong as a bull through sheer body mass, and further enhanced by his armour he goes beyond superhuman and can lift a fully loaded cart over their head! (think off the classic Superman picture with the car.) A Marine is strong enough to lift a modern day SUV and throw it aside!
Marine weapon systems
Marines are well trained in the Arts of Mars*. They utilise a wide variety off weaponry in their practice, from mono-molecular blades in knife wrestling to Plasma Cannon as anchor man in formation drills. Even the use of their bare armour as a weapon is incorporated into their Chapter's unarmed combat styles, relentlessly drilled and practised through sparing. All Marines are experts in their weapons and the weapons of all Imperial forces. Out of all the weapons available to the most elite of the elite, the Marine almost exclusively used the Bolter. With good reason.
- The ‘Arts of Mars’ is a literal translation of ‘martial arts’. The word ‘martial’ (arc Martialis) derives from the ancient Roman god of war. In a 40K sense it also refers the the fact the using technology and knowledge in combat falls under the sphere of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and their seat of power is Mars. The Adeptus Mechanicus even retain close combat techniques and combat styles in their data sanctuaries and electro-grafts (notable in jacked up death cult assassins etc.). Mars is still the ‘god of war’ in the 41st millennium.
These are the armaments of choice of the Adeptus Astartes. A versatile weapon system linked into the machine spirit of the Marine's Power Armour, a spirit that communes directly with their mind. Each Bolt responds to the Marine's intent and switches mode to match and fulfil a specific tactical role. This versatile smart weapon system is the foundation upon which tactical Marine units are based, and its use and tactics are at the core of early Marine combat doctrine. It is this versatility in the field that makes the Marines so dangerous, as they can adapt their tactics to the situation at hand in an instant.
Small arms of the Imperium
The Imperium fields a huge range of rugged weaponry derived from the dark age of technology. Though some of the more exotic devices used by the 'Iron Men', such as conversion beamers and distortion cannon, are all but lost (exclusively retained by the Adeptus Mechanicus) there are still some highly advanced weapons systems available. The Bolter has been covered above, this section covers all other hand held weapons.
The humble Autogun is similar in concept to our modern day automatics, and assault rifles. There are some differences, such as the use of caseless 'star flechette' ammunition with electronic ignition. It is also interesting that these weapons do not use any kind of gas blow-back mechanism to reload, but an electronic motor and revolting cylinder breech (similar to a Gatling gun/ G11 hybrid). The cylinder can be accessed from the side port (dud rounds are ejected by centrifugal force and do not need manual clearing). This makes the weapon highly robust and reliable. The only down side is charge, but this is supplied by a fuel cell (later the STC thermoelectric cell).
Speculative Xenos re-imaged
This is a collection of xenos re-images. Where I attempt to endow a far more alien and inhuman feel to each of these species. This is done by explaining how they came about and putting forward concepts about their nature that gives rise to completely different set of emotional responses and logical objectives. These re-images make the xenos truly 'alien'. However we can understand how they work in principle, but we cannot relate to them in any way. A note on terminology: these xenos are not 'humanoid' aliens, they are 'Slannoid' as they are fashioned in a similar body form as the ancient Slann (just as humans are Slannoid).
The Eldar are 'Elves in Space', and a continuation the Elf myth as portrayed by Tolkien. They are the perfect being. Better than humans in every way; smarter, faster, fearless and immortal. They appear in stories to show that wisdom and knowledge equals great power. A personification of academic achievement, that anything is possible if you know how; from curing disease and defects (all healthy), to correcting even minor imperfections (plastic surgery, then gene therapy). They are a symbol of the beautiful people. That a beautiful mind creates a beautiful world and people. They are angels in humanoid form. Elves are what many of us desire to be. But are Elves really an incarnation of divine perfection? (Let me introduce you to Slaanesh...) They all, Eldar and Elves alike, seem to have lost something along their way; a spark of humanity and drive, and as such they wither and die. To stave of this end, they become extreme both physically and mentally (the more extreme the worse they are). It seems to me they are as much a warning as an ideal.
The Tau are a bright new empire in the darkness of 40K. Technologically they are brilliant and advancing quickly, and fuelled with an ideology of absolutes they are sure and swift. With all of their society pulling together, working for the 'Greater Good', they have accomplished much. They seek to bring all to their cause, to unite the galaxy under their leadership, but woe betide anyone who stands in their way. Yet how much free will and greater good can there be if you only have one realistic choice? What happens when the ideology of the greater good gets in the way of those in power? Who's greater good is the greatest? With the castes sacrificing ever more under the Eternals direction, cracks are starting to appear in this young civilization. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Orks are the personification of the barbarian ideal. The fear of an unknown and ferocious enemy, an enemy that will not back down, cannot be bargained with, and cannot be cowed. Orks are the ultimate 'thugs' in 40K, even the smallest is far more massive than a mere human. However what really makes Orks truly dangerous is that their brutality is matched by their cunning, and deep within their make-up the power of psionic energy courses through their meridians. This power can be combined when many gather together, giving rise to the mighty Waaaagh! An endless war without an end. Orks live for war, and combat, to them it is as natural and common as breathing.
This section covers some of the models I have used to create my art. I've long been interested in computer generated imagery, mainly because the modelling aspect. It appeals to me because you 'build it' in 3D virtual world, move it about, and see how it works (I think engineering is in my genes). It's like bringing engineering/ architecture/ perspective drawings to life. Originally the aim was to create models for use in a comic book project, but it never got off the ground.
One of the first models I built was a Space Marine (as I rarely do things by half, and like to jump in feet first - and drown - it's more fun that way 😉 ). The model underwent several revisions, mainly because of movement problems, not having a clue, and improvements (rebuilds) as I learn. It continues to be revised though now it's more for style then anything else. At some point in the future I want to totally redesign the armour and incorporate some of the many ideas I have put forward in the forums; such as joints form the underwater 'newt suit' and my dynamic plate armour (which is really hard to explain, so I have to show it!).
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