Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop battle game created by Games Workshop first sold in 1987. It is a gothic science fiction universe set approx 38,000 years from now, in the 41st millennium. There are currently eleven rival factions to choose from and none are unambiguously good. The ethos is well summed up by the game's subtitle slogan: "There is no time for peace. No respite. No forgiveness. There is only WAR!"
- 1 The 41st Millennium
- 2 The Imperium of Man
- 3 The Inquisition
- 4 The Officio Assassinorum
- 5 The Great Ecclesiarchy
- 6 The Adeptus Mechanicus
- 7 The Adeptus Titanicus
- 8 The Imperial Guard
- 9 The Imperial Navy
- 10 The Tactica Imperium
- 11 The Adeptus Astartes
- 12 The Adepta Sororitas
- 13 The Forces of Chaos
- 14 The Orks
- 15 The Eldar
- 16 The Dark Eldar
- 17 The Tau
- 18 The Tyranids
- 19 The Necrons
- 20 Imperial Proverbs and Thoughts For The Day
- 21 See also
- 22 External links
Subtitle: In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war!
For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibily with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls die every day, for whom blood is drunk and flesh eaten. Human blood and human flesh – the stuff of which the Imperium is made.
To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. This is the tale of those times. It is a universe you can live in today – if you dare – for this is a dark and terrible era where you will find little comfort or hope. If you want to take part in the adventure then prepare yourself now. Forget the power of technology, science and common humanity. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for there is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods.
But the universe is a big place and, whatever happens, you will not be missed…
To the common masses our struggle is a fight, a war. A battle fought with sinew and muscle, with bolt, blade, and bomb, with tank and warship. To those of us in high station this is nought but a conflict of will! A struggle of metaphysical dimension. The Soul of Mankind is our battleground. The very existence of the human race is the prize for victory. Our sanity is the sacrifice we make to win that laurel.
It is the savage beast of war that drives Mankind on his course and pursues him to his destination. It feeds upon his terror. It grows more hungry with each passing year and soon it shall consume him whole.
The Age of Battle is begun. The fires of war burn brightly from star to star. Everywhere the fortresses of Man are steeped in blood and ancient enemies appear from the darkness. Sensing weakness they gather for the kill. They know as we know that as night approaches all mortal life shall be extinguished. We know, as they cannot, that there shall be a new dawn and a new day when we will rise anew and they shall be driven into the darkness forever.
The Age of Battle is Begun.
Bring fire and bring shell and heap all upon the pyre. With flame and gun we shall make an end to the withered husk that is human life. And in the blazing furnace of battle we shall forge anew the iron will of yet a stronger race.
As wriggling maggots upon a rotted corpse they glut themselves upon the rank flesh that is the Earth. Such is mankind, blind and bound to a dying world, nought but the writhing worm that mires itself in the corruption of its own progenitors. They who feast today do so in ignorance of their mortality. For tomorrow they must die or change, and, if changing, then forever open their eyes to the dark hunger of eternal life.
Let the Flames of Battle Consume Us!
We endeavor in the darkness of battle who cannot win the fight. The time for peace is over and now it is time to die. It is the age of war and our last days must be lived amidst the sound of our own destruction.
Now the great wheel of human existence turns almost full circle. From the cradle of the Earth it has turned through vast epochs of time. Once in the light of the sun it turned as civilizations rose and fell and were forgotten. In the light of the stars knowledge blossomed and withered whilst the wheel span on. Now the great wheel of human existence, almost complete, turns again as it approaches a time of dying and the moment of inhuman birth.
Abhor the Night, it is the Light that Endures!
What foes are we to meet in battle that we have not vanquished in the shadows of the human soul? What Daemons scream that have not cried to us from the dark places of the mind? What fear have we of death who know there is immortality in the great and noble deeds of men?
Who is to judge what is right and what is wrong? Great and powerful foes surround us; unknown miscreants gnaw at us from within. We are threatened with total annihilation. In days such as these we can afford no luxury of morality.
Behind the bright lights hide a multitude of horrors as would disgust and repel the most stout-hearted of men. So it is with determination and unflinching duty that we must face those vile and terrible things – for if not us, then who?
The creatures of the Warp have but one trait with which you need concern yourself – their undying contempt for the Emperor. It is your task to quell the rebellion they preach, and the only sure way is to destroy them utterly.
Cast out the mutant, the traitor, the heretic! For every enemy without there are a hundred within. Beware their secret clans and hidden ways. The only cult we do not abhor is that of the Emperor!
A hundred thousand worlds, ten hundred thousand wars. There is no respite, there is nowhere to hide. Across the galaxy there is only war.
The call to arms rings out across the dark void that is the galaxy. Its toll is answered by the iron willed devotees who themselves are but humble servants of a greater power. Who among the teeming billions of mankind has the strength to answer the call and march to war? Come forth you mighty warriors, gather under the bloodstained banners and grisly trophies of conquest! Join now the massed throng whose aim is to rid Humanity of its blighted fate. To win famous victory on hellish otherworlds.
In an hour of Darkness a blind man is the best guide. In an age of Insanity look to the madman to lead the way.
Every human life is a spark in the darkness. It flares for a moment, catches the eye, and is gone forever. A retinal after-image that fades and is obscured forever by newer, brighter lights.
Sometimes the good must perish so that the rest survive. The lot of courage is to be sacrificed upon the alter of battle.
Be courageous and bold, be humble before your masters, lead with valour! These things above all others will be of use when your time comes to die.
As each warrior dies and is laid upon the mighty alter of battle, with toll of bell and scratch of quill we shall count his days in death as in life.
Survival is no birthright, but a prize wrested from an uncaring galaxy by forgotten heroes.
Have we exhausted all possible ways to divine the future? How many scribes must toil to scratch their visions onto ancient parchments so that we might catch a glimpse of hope? Or are we to suffer only the pangs of despair as yet more horror is let loose on our dreams? Or does the seeking itself give birth to more insanity than man can cope?
The Dark Future Beckons!
Fear the Unknown!
Ten thousand years of battle, and still the war goes on. Like the glorious annals of the Imperium itself, the revered banners and relics of the Emperor’s most loyal servants adorn the long march to the Eternity Gate.
Let those who would gaze at the splendour of the Imperial Palace take a moment to marvel at the achievements of His greatest warriors.
As the Emperor’s sacrifice is immortal, so shall we immortalize those who sacrificed all for Him.
For fourteen years I had trodden the Pilgrim’s Trail. My Most Honorable Discharge for acts of extreme valour during the Gehenna Scouring was the greatest reward I could receive as a loyal citizen and servant of the Most Beloved Emperor. From the multi-spired splendours of Ophelia, to the marble sepulchres of Chiros, I had witnessed the many glorious edifices of the Ecclesiarchy. And so it was that I, a humble but pious retired officer, was able to stand upon the sacred ground of Terra itself and marvel at the wondrous and magnificent Imperial Palace.
As I entered the narthex I was struck by the sheer grandeur of our worshipful buildings. Not even the Temple of Thor on Dimmamar had prepared me for the spectacle of the mile-long aisle stretching from me towards the distance-shrouded portal into the Sanctum Imperialis. The air was filled with incense, a heavy aromatic fog that was uplifting to breathe. The vaulted roof arched half a mile over my head, its recesses lost in dark shadows, supported by pillars that looked as if they could support the whole weight of Terra, such was their girth. All was constructed from the finest marble, alabaster and lunarite, and overlaid with countless precious gems, filigrees and decorations wrought from gold, silver, electrum, and other rare metals from distant worlds whose names I do not know. Unnumbered gargoyles stared down at the pilgrims, each leering face more grotesque than the last. Scenes of great battles, mighty heroes and lordly saints adorned the walls. No greater celebration to the artifice o Man exists. There can be found no surer testament to Mankind’s right to rule the galaxy, under the ever present gaze of the magnificent Immortal Emperor.
As I walked up the thousand steps towards the Eternity Gate, along with a multitude of other servants of the Emperor, I marveled at the scores of banners. I am told that the oldest date from the very founding of our great Empire, carried in battles by exalted heroes whose names have become legend: Hieronymous Scathe, Count Dire, Captain Virgil, Agamar Strick, Lord Commander Macharius, Commissar Arden, Stugen Deathwalker, Colonel Gravitz and many others. To know that my labours for the Imperial Cause have been founded upon the mighty endeavours of those individuals was a stirring thought, causing my chest to swell with pride; truly to serve the Emperor is the most holy of deeds.
- The Journals of Lieutenant Commander Sturn
In the Sanctum Imperialis, upon the most sacred ground of all the Emperor’s realm, only the feet of the Custodes may tread.
The Loyal Guard, the Unflinching Gaze, the Steadfast Hand, the Truest Blade, Protectors Eternal, they stand guard over the most holy gift the Emperor has to give: the Imperius Corporalis, the Emperor-in-Flesh.
In their domain there is no greater power before the Emperor himself. Neither pious Cardinal nor devout Inquisitor nor loyal High Lord may stand before His greatness, for that lone is the province of his Dread Guardians.
Who can say what lies at the heart of the Emperor’s inner sanctum? What terrible devices are there which keep our Lord alive, if life it truly is? What dark ministrations are daily vested upon his shattered husk? What sickly liquids are pumped through his veins? Only the Eternal Guard of the Custodes see and they are sworn to silence. Mere mortals such as us can only guess and wonder at these and other things. But we know we must have faith for without the Emperor we are nothing.
It is ten thousand years since the Emperor gave his life battling to save the Earth from the Warmaster during the terrifying last days of the Horus Heresy. The Emperor’s mortal life ended at the moment of Horus’ own destruction, yet he did not die. The Emperor’s body was put into stasis at the point of death, and though his physical form was crushed and maimed his spirit did not falter. A vast machine was built to sustain him, a device constructed with long-forbidden secrets of ancient technology and arcane lore: the Golden Throne. Its vast structure sustains the Emperor’s spirit which watches over humanity and guides from the warp, whilst at the same time battling against the horrific psychic entities which threaten mankind’s destruction.
Though every day the arcane machines consume many thousands of sacrificial psykers, the ultimate suffering is that of the Emperor himself. For his agonies can never cease. He must endure an endless battle and can never be free of the burden that fate has placed upon his failing spirit. Without him there is nothing.
For a thousand days the great barge of the Adeptus sailed towards Earth. In the thirteen holds, each as cavernous as a temple nave, our human cargo set up a great wailing and moaning. I counted twenty thousand souls bound for service. Men, women and children. Young and old. The sick and the sound. Only the children did not know or could not guess what lay at the journey’s end. But I am a Psyker like them and I sensed their pain and felt their chains as if bound about my own body. Already I could taste the fear of the weak and knew what fate held for them. They would serve with their lives. The remainder would serve in their own way. Their powers would be trained to provide the Emperor’s Pskyers, Astropaths, and thousands of other functionaries. But the decision was not mine to make, to separate those who would live from those who would die. I am a guardian of the Adeptus. Souls such as these I carry to the Emperor’s table.
Manyfold are the labours of those who serve the Emperor on Mighty Terra itself, most exalted of a million worlds. Let us now remind ourselves of their Holy Tasks; that which gives them their reward in this life.
Give due thought to those ancient holders of Dark Mystery, the Adeptus Mechanicus. Through the magnificent edifices of their Machine God, the Magi of Mars maintain the Golden Throne which sustains the Imperius Incarnate; that breathes life into the Immortal Emperor of the Galaxy. Through their endeavours, the Protector of Mankind is freed from physical concern; liberated to spread his Mind and Word across his subjects, unfettered by any mortal barrier.
Give thanks to those most courageous and loyal of guardians, the Adeptus Custodes, who stand constant vigil over the Emperor’s Palace. A veritable Legion of warriors ready to lay down their lives without doubt, for the beloved Ward of Mankind. None pass through the Imperial Palace without their knowledge; steeped are they in the arcane secrets of that labyrinthine edifice. Ten thousand blades await the call to arms; to defend against any threat, from without or from within.
Give praise to the wise Ecclesiarch of the Ministorium, and the Cardinals and Deacons who serve under him. Raise your voice in prayer and hymnal, knowing that these pious men raise their voice alongside yours in everlasting worship of the Emperor of Terra. Heed well the fables and parables that the Preachers and Confessors tell, and look to their great deeds and sacrifices to inspire your own devotion.
And let us not forget that great unnumbered mass who are the scribes and clerks, the auditors and chroniclers, the compilers and corroborators who serve in the Administratum. Through their labours, the Imperial Decree is spread to a thousand times a thousand worlds. The desires of the Most Holy, as voiced by the Noble Offices of the High Lords, are recorded and transmitted to the waiting masses. Through these humble minions come momentous tidings that tell of dire threats and great victories, craven criminals and magnificent heroes. Do not look down upon the common worker, for each finds his place as ordained by the Emperor, and serves to his best ability.
No reliable records concerning the rise of the Emperor to power and the Imperium’s creation have survived the ten long millennia since the Great Crusade. However, by scouring the sources at our disposal and gleaning information from myths and legends we can begin to hypothesize what happened in those momentous times.
The ascent of the Emperor marked the end of inter-human warfare and galactic decline – the remote time we now call the Age of Strife. Before the Age of Strife, humanity’s physical power waxed, but at the cost of man’s spiritual strength. During this period, the even more distant Dark Age of Technology, the human race sold its souls to the glory of technology, forgetting their own magnificence in favour of the accomplishments of so-called science. Through the mechanical, biological, and alchemical madness of the Dark Age of Technology, which brought about the decline during the Age of Strife, mankind has come to the present age: a glorious age of conquest, when men’s hearts will rule the stars, not their machines. What secrets the Tech-Priests of Mars uncover from the distant past will no longer rule our lives. We will harness the technology we find, and not become slaves to it as we once were. Through human endeavour, and honest blood, sweat and toil, mankind will rule the galaxy with the grace of the Emperor and finally attain our rightful place as Lords of the Stars. We are in the great times of the Age of the Imperium, the realm of the beneficent Emperor.
The Emperor is an eternal part of the universe, at one with and ruler of the stars themselves. The Emperor and the Imperium are one and the same, and no mortal man can now recall a time without either.
The Emperor Magnificent is the greatest and only god – it is his awesome mind that broadcasts the Astronomican, that guides spacecraft through the warp and to their distant destinations. Without the Emperor there would be no Astronomican, no long range space travel, no galaxy-spanning Imperium – No Humanity. Without the Emperor, we are nothing.
In his divine wisdom, the Emperor has ascended to a higher plane and no longer moves or talks, even his ability to communicate psychically is limited, such is his power and our own mental inadequacies. The holy task of interpreting the Emperor’s judgment and dictates for humanity is the sacred duty of the Most Favoured Men – the High Lords of Terra, the Senatorum Imperialis. From them, the multitudinous devout Servants of the Emperor can be given rightful guidance.
- Introduction from Liber Doctrina Historicus
The High Lords of Terra
They are the Will and the Word of the Emperor.
They are the Inquisitorial Representative, whose eyes see all, whose ears hear all, whose mind knows all.
They are the Power and the Glory of the Emperor.
They are the Lord Commander Militant, whose Imperial Guard wage war in the Emperor’s name on a hundred thousand worlds.
They are the Spirit and the Knowledge of the Emperor.
They are the Masters of the Administratum, whose minions are numbered greater than the stars, and through whose realm all data passes.
They are the Might and the Mechanism of the Emperor.
They are the Fabricator-General, whose forge worlds are the fuel of the Emperor’s armies, under whose rule shell and blade is wrought.
The Hierarchy of Terra
The Emperor – The living god, the saviour of humanity.
The High Lords of Terra – They govern the destiny of mankind.
The Adeptus Custodes – They guard our past, our present, our future.
The Adeptus Terra – The Masters of Earth. Their will be done.
The Inquisition – The eye that sleepeth not.
Officio Assassinorum – Ask not for whom they seek, lest it be thyself.
Adeptus Administratum – Without them, disorder. Upon them turn the wheels of government.
Adeptus Ministorum – Vessels of the will, defenders of the faith.
The Adeptus Arbites – They are judge, jury and executioner.
The Adeptus Mechanicus – Disciples of the Omnissiah, keepers of arcane lore.
Adeptus Astronomica – Bearers of the light in the darkness of the Warp.
Adeptus Astra Telepathica – The Emperor’s voice amongst the stars.
The Adeptus Astartes – The Angels of Death.
The Imperial Guard – The Hammer of the Emperor.
Imperial Fleet – They bind the stars together.
Planetary Lords – They rule in His name.
Manifest Glory of the Emperor
There is a tower in the Emperor’s palace called the Tower of Heroes, a black tower that rises into the sky like a spike. At the summit of that tower hangs the Bell of Lost Souls. It is an ancient thing, massive as a building and adorned with dark runes, its peal like the scream of an anguished god. It is tolled but once when a great hero of the Imperium dies. Its wailing moan of grief lasts long and reaches the ears of millions, and its tones penetrate the unifying ether of humanity, turning the thoughts of countless billions towards mankind’s loss.
All hail the martyrs! On their blood is our Imperium founded, in their remembrance do we honour ourselves.
The Imperium! How mighty its aspect! How far-reaching its boundaries! As one world dies ten more are brought into the fold. Fear us, for we count the lives of planets, not men!
- Cardinal Morius Blate, Ecclesiarch Primus
They who feast today do so in ignorance of their mortality. Tomorrow they must die or change.
There is no foe more rank or malefic than the traitor. We rightly abhor the traitor that leads the enemy to our gate. We revile him for the annihilation of worlds and the murder of innocents. We each loathe him for the harm that he does to us. The scars that we bear remind us to keep our hatred bitter.
What hatred have we for the traitor within? No – I mean not the traitor that hides amongst us. For it is our very flesh that is the greatest of traitors, the betrayer who corrupts and weakens us more than any other foe. It is the enemy within that we harbor unknowingly. His name is mutant, witch and deviant. He is the foe that will destroy us as no other can. He leads us before a hellish throne to dance enfeebled and imbecilic for the lewd pleasures of dark gods.
Burn the mutant and the heretic that shelters him! Burn the witch and those that worship him! Burn the deviant and those tainted by him! Let their deaths purify us so that in dying their bodies serve mankind as in life they never could.
There is a fate reserved for those who betray the Emperor’s trust. It is not death. It is not life. What is it when flesh and mind are taken into the body of the Golden Throne? What is it when organs are absorbed slowly into the flesh of the living machine? Is there a mind that suffers for eons as the Emperor suffers, or does the personality fade and melt away as the flesh that houses it dissolves into nothing?
What secrets do the Emperor’s Tarot tell – the chance fall of cards or the deliberate intrusion of the Emperor’s will? Some name it the Voice of the Emperor. They tell how the cards speak his words from where his immortal soul fights the eternal battle against the Gods of Chaos. Others shun the Tarot and perceive the powers of the dark gods themselves in the turn of the cards. Still others say it is the man and not the cards that is the cypher of fate, that, if it is pure, his own soul touches that of the Emperor so he turns the cards with the prophetic power of the Emperor himself.
All men, women, and children throughout the Imperium carry within them the twin seeds of our defeat. The unstable gene is a mutant beast waiting to erupt; the unstable thought a Heretic Apparent. The Mutant bears his Heresy on the outside; the Traitor hides his in his soul. Trust no one! Fear all! Any one of your fellows may carry the Mark. The Will of the Emperor alone cannot protect you. You must be strong! You must join the crusade and take your place in the unceasing struggle!
Yes it is true what you may have heard whispering amongst the catacombs betwixt the night and nether-night! Why not say it out loud for all to hear. Let the fools doubt and sneer, it matters not. Be proud of your humanity and keep it unsullied and blessed.
This is as my Master told it to me and now I tell it to thee.
There are a billion names of damnation! A billion kinds of things that slither and slime and defile the land and sea and wind. Each thing is a kind of sin spawned by man's evil. And that man is very sinful there are many of these damned things and their power is great.
As the purpose of all things in nature is to increase so it is with the damned. They would we joined them and so they seek to overcome us. In alien forms they assault us. In sleep they come to spread doubt and fear among us. They would corrupt our hearts and see us damned too. Trust them not nor suffer them to live.
For each alien destroyed is a soul freed from eternal bondage. Each mortal alien life extinguished is a human soul raised to glory. Thus our eternal destiny is written in the blood of the alien.
With sword and spear destroy the alien. With cannon shot and gun blast smash the alien. With laser beam and searing plasma scatter the alien to the stars. With tooth and fist and hammer blows, with axe and shell and poison-bombs, with virus-charge and thermal mines!
Kill them! Kill them! Kill them all!
As my Master told it to me I now tell it to thee that thou shalt tell others in thy turn.
Too much blood has been spilled over the centuries for there to be peace between us. As they mistrust and fear mankind, we revile and hate them. No matter how many we destroy, yet more heretofore unknown aliens appear. As this galaxy wheels toward its final, fateful cataclysm, we are doomed to die - our hands locked around each other's throats and squeezing the life out of each other as the universe dies!
Contact with alien races always renews one’s faith in humanity. It is my belief that foreign travel narrows the mind wonderfully.
- Helem Bocsh
It's often been remarked that diplomacy is just warfare by other means. Our battles are no less desperate for being bloodless, but at least we get wine and finger-food.
- Tollen Ferlang, Imperial Envoy to the Realm of Ultramar, 564-603 M41
Old friends are like debt collectors; they have a tendency to turn up when you least expect them.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
The gratitude of the powerful is a heavy weight to bear.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
Life’s so much easier when you’ve got someone to blame.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
One thing you can say for enemies, they make life more interesting.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
Paranoia is a very comforting state of mind. If you think they’re out to get you, it means you think you matter.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
If you go looking for trouble, you’re sure to find it.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
The past is always with us.
- Gilbran Quail, Collected Essays
Never take a gamble you’re not prepared to lose.
- Abdul Goldberg, rogue trader
If you don’t expect gratitude you’ll seldom be disappointed.
- Eyor Dedonki, Memoirs of a Pessimist. 479 M41
The wider he smiled and called us friend, the tighter we clung to our purses.
- Argun Slyter ‘The Wastrel’s Stratagem,’ Act 4 Scene 1
Life’s a journey. Shame about the destination.
- Argun Slyter, ‘Well What Did You Expect?,’ Act 2 Scene 2
Stories are much tidier than real life. Stories have neat, happy endings, but all you ever really get is unfinished business.
- Janni Vakonz, holo director
You can never have too many enemies. The more you’ve got, the more likely they are to get in each other’s way.
- Jarvin Wallanknot, Idle Musings, 605 M41
Revenge is a dish best served with mayonnaise and those little cheesy things on sticks.
- Osric the Loopy, planetary governor of Corania (appointed 756 M41, removed from office by the Officio Assassinorum 764 M41)
Diligence earns salvation.
- Administratum slogan
The Emperor's Eye is upon you.
- Administratum slogan
How can a man be happy if he cannot serve his lord with his whole heart?
- Litany of the Adeptus
Question: What has the Emperor done for us?
Answer: What have you done for the Emperor?
- Training questions, Administratum Cant and Dogma
We determine the guilty. We decide the punishment.
- Codex Arbites – The Commandments of Justice
Remember that it is the duty of the mighty Adeptus Astartes Chapters and the glorious Imperial Guard to wage the Emperor's wars and the duty of the fearless Imperial Navy to guard the Emperor's spaceways, but it is to his loyal servants the Adeptus Arbites that His Divine Majesty in His infinite wisdom entrusts the most sacred duty of all - keeping in check the lawless heretic rabble that passes itself off as the Emperor's worthy subjects.
- Familiar old precinct-house joke of the Adeptus Arbites
To serve the Emperor. To protect His domains. To judge and stand guard over His subjects. To carry the Emperor's law to all worlds under His blessed protection. To pursue and punish those who trespassed against His word.
- Oath sworn by cadets of the Adeptus Arbites
The violators of the Emperor's law must be punished… how dare they question His will, His judgment… if their deeds go unchecked then chaos will surely rein… I have no choice but to sentence the offenders to death, effective immediately and without appeal… you have your orders gentlemen, may the Emperor's blessing go with you.
- Decree of Judge Lemog, Hive Fal-sha, Sheldton's World, before the Sector 17 Massacre
They live there in that great plascrete tower surrounded by walls and razor wire, only emerging to seize some unfortunate who has transgressed against the Imperial Laws or to patrol the city to prove that it belongs to them. There are crystal lenses and sound wave detectors on that tower that can watch citizens or listen to their conversations 100 leagues away. Imperial spy satellites watch what they can't see directly and even the Governor fears them. They aren't from here and have nothing to do with us, no more than Orks or Eldar, if they have families or children we don't know about them and we don't care. They wouldn't so much as buy a glowbulb from us and we wouldn't sell it to them. It's ironic that they have the rather benevolent title of Arbitrators.
- Vorkas Zolowski, prior to his arrest for pernicious sedition against the Emperor of Mankind
There is no right or wrong in our profession. The present changes the past from moment to moment. Only pray for the future to vindicate your action.
Claims of innocence mean nothing; they only serve to prove a foolish lack of caution.
- Judge Traggat, Selected Sayings, Vol. III, Chapter IV
There can be no bystanders in the battle for survival. Anyone who will not fight by your side is an enemy you must crush.
- Scriptoris Munificantus
Only in your deepest self is the truth of what you can be, and, without a doubt, that truth is terrible to bear.
- Adeptus Astronomica – The Book of the Astronomican
Every servant has his place, no matter lowly or modest. To know it is his greatest comfort, to excel within it his greatest solace, and his master’s contentment is his greatest reward.
- Codex Administratum
When the people forget their duty they are no longer human and become something less than beasts. They have no place in the bosom of Humanity nor in the heart of the Emperor. Let them die and be forgotten.
- from Prime Edicts of the Holy Synod of the Adeptus Ministorium
What is victory? Is it to defeat your enemy on the field of battle? Is it to simply repulse his armies and slay his misguided warriors? No, this is only the beginning!
True victory is to crush your foes utterly, to shatter his armoured legions and run down his fleeing troops as they scatter. Pursue them to their lairs and burn them out. Burst into his unholy temples, smash down his icons and topple his foul idols. Burn his heretical works and leave no stone upon stone. Slaughter his followers, their families and their livestock lest any of their taint remain. And when that is done, put the ruins to the torch.
Any that have dealt with them or given then succour must be obliterated, for memory is insidious and though you have crushed their will and their bodies they may yet return. Send warrior scribes to excise the records of their name, expunge their deeds from the annals of history and remove even the memory of your foe’s existence. Only then have you truly won.
That is the meaning of victory.
Where would they be, these mighty warriors with their guns and tanks and engines of war? Where indeed without us, the Logisticians, the Fabricators, the Administrators. Without us to provide their supplies and schedules, to make and ship their munitions and foodstuffs they would flounder and fail. Yes it is us, the unheralded Adepts, who are the heroes in this struggle.
What is the terror of death?
That we die our work incomplete.
What is the joy of life?
To die knowing our task is done.
As the mind to the body so the soul to the spirit, as death to the mortal man so failure to the immortal, such is the price of all ambition.
Ha! The Imperium is a big place, my boy. The universe is always unleashing some new catastrophe, some marauding race. Hundreds of worlds die, but millions more prosper. It matters not. Nothing can truly hurt us here.
- Lord Magister Ithrax Stoam, Terra
Innocentia Nihil Probat.
- Original High-Gothic form of the Inquisition Credo, “Innocence Proves Nothing”
We are at war with forces too terrible to comprehend. We cannot afford mercy for any of its victims too weak to take the correct course. Mercy destroys us; it weakens us and saps our resolve. Put aside all such thoughts. They are not worthy of Inquisitors in the service of Our Emperor. Praise his name for in our resolve we only reflect his purpose of will.
- Inquisitor Enoch, Castigations on the Last Days
There shall come an Apocalypse. A great war whose might and clamor shall dwarf all the wars that have come before. A bloodletting to drown the stars. A doom for all that was and all that is. Humanity is the Harbinger of this Final Battle. Humanity is the Seed of what is to pass. Humanity is the Progenitor of all the Future Fates.
We, the Inquisition, are charged with the defense of Humanity. To us falls the greatest duty of all. Only we know the truth of Mankind's great adventure to the stars. We alone know the true faces of our many foes. We alone can put name to those faces and vanquish them. Let not these miscreants best us in any combat. We may fight alone on a barren rock in some distant corner of the galaxy or we may lead great armies into battle. We shall do whatever is necessary to triumph. And in the end, we shall overcome them, the unholy trinity that are:
The Enemy Within: The Mutant
The Enemy Without: The Alien
The Enemy Beyond: The Daemon
The creatures of the Warp have but one trait with which you need concern yourself - their undying contempt for the Emperor. It is your task to quell the rebellion they preach, and the only sure way is to destroy them utterly.
- Inquisitor Qualtak Shoran
The Daemon has many forms. You must know them all. You must tell the Daemon from his disguise and root him out from the hidden places. Trust no-one. Trust not even yourself. It is better to die in vain than to live in abomination. The zealous martyr is praised for his valour; the craven and the unready are justly abhorred.
- The First Book of Indoctrinations
Possession was once nine-tenths of the lore. It is so even today, but we must blind ourselves to the tenth that remains and was once human. Duty requires we put aside such considerations and root out uncleanliness in thought and in deed. There can be no other course of action. No one can be adjudged innocent of compliance. Better to self-destruct than acquiesce.
- Inquisitor Enoch
The weak will always be lead by the strong. Where the strong cry out against fate, the weak bow their heads and succumb. There are many who are weak and many are their temptations. Despise the weak for they flock to the call of the Daemon and the Renegade. Pity them not and scorn their cries of innocence – it is better that one hundred innocents fall before the Emperor than one kneels before the Daemon.
- The First Book of Indoctrinations
You must face the truth squarely and without flinching from duty. Our Enemies are mortal no longer. Mercy for such as they is a chimera, self-deception is its only ally. Dedicate this weapon, given unto your hand at the behest of the Emperor, to their destruction. Regard its function as your only duty: you live only to bring cleansing fire. Take up your rod and staff, your armour and psycannon, and go forth.
- Galbus Heer, Lectures to the Ordo Malleus
All Daemons are falsehood. They are lies given the shape of creatures by the power of Chaos. Fear the Daemons of Khorne for this reason and then fear them once more.
- Inquisitor Covenant
With the thrice-damned renegades of lewd Slaanesh, your well-tried techniques of forceful inquisition will serve you ill. These voluptuaries and heretics that debase themselves before their so-called Lord of Dark Delights are not to be unburdened of their lisping truths by subtle pressures or the keen probing of your instruments. Conspiring against all decency even in such matters, these libertines take pleasure from our inquiries, debauching themselves with inhuman dissolution upon the racks and wheels of Verity. For these abominations, other methods are required...
- The Teachings of Inquisitor Magnus
The nature of Chaos is deceit - unless one looks past surface impressions, one can never hope to divine the purpose of the enemy.
- Inquisitor Silas Hand
Of all the perils that an Inquisitor must root out, it is the eternal and infernal practices of entities not of our domain that require the utmost vigilance and willpower.
- Introduction to the Liber Malificorum of the Ordo Malleus
Mankind stands upon the brink; on the one hand lies a realm of unimaginable power, on the other awaits darkness, death, and utter damnation. Only those that follow the guiding light of the Emperor may save their souls.
- Inquisitor Damaran, Ordo Malleus
The daemonic are without number, and their legions span the galaxy. But faith does not tire. Should it take us an eternity, the Ordo Malleus will find and exterminate them all.
- Inquisitor Lord Hephaestos Grudd
There are those amongst our Ordo who say that I seek advancement for my own purposes, and they are correct. My purpose is to destroy the daemonic and if I must rise to command an entire sector to do so, then so be it. I am a servant of the Emperor and only those who consort with Warp-spawn need fear my retribution.
- Inquisitor Lord Torquemada Coteaz
Look upon this hammer I hold before me, for it is far more than a weapon. It is a symbol of the Imperial justice that smites the diabolic enemies of the Imperium wherever they are found, just as I. Though it has banished even a mighty Greater Daemon to the hell from which it spawned, it remains true and pure, just as I. Furthermore, it is a symbol of my order and my office, of the authority granted to me by the divine will of the Emperor. By that authority, I am commanding you and your entire regiment to obey without question or hesitation. Advance, or it will not be daemonic blood that stains my hammer this day.
- Inquisitor Lord Hephaestos Grudd, addressing Colonel Molian of the 223rd Gudrunite Rifles
To be Unclean
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Impure
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Abhorred
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Reviled
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Hunted
That is the mark of the Mutant
To be Purged
That is the fate of the Mutant
To be Cleansed
For that is the fate of all Mutants
-Extract from a Training Chant in the First Book of Indoctrinations
So great has been the calamitousness of these times, and such the inveterate malice of the heretic, that there has been nothing so clear in our statement of faith, nothing so surely settled, which they, at the instigation of the enemy of the human race, have not defiled by some sort of error. For which cause the holy Inquisition hath made it Its special care to condemn and anathematize the principal errors of the heretics of our time, and to deliver and teach the true and Imperial doctrine; even as It has condemned, and anathematized, and decreed.
- Declaration of Inquisitorial mandate, Inquisitorial representative, Senate Imperialis
Heresy is like a tree, its roots lie in the darkness whilst its leaves wave in the sun and to those who suspect nought, it has an attractive and pleasing appearance. Truly, you can prune away its branches, or even cut the tree to the ground, but it will grow up again ever the stronger and ever more comely. Yet all awhile the root grows thick and black, gnawing at the bitter soil, drawing its nourishment from the darkness, and growing even greater and more deeply entrenched. Such is the nature of heresy, and this is why it is so hard to destroy, for it must be eradicated leaf, branch, trunk and root. It must be exorcised utterly or it will return all the stronger, time and time again, until it is too great to destroy. Then we are doomed.
- Inquisitor Lord Galan Noirgrim Master of the Ordo Malleus, prelude to the Abominatus.
I answer that, with regard to heretics, two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Inquisition. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Imperium by excommunication, but also be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evildoers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.
- Inquisitor Verelius
This place breeds recidivists like a pond breeds scum
- Inquisitor-General Neve on Chaos cult activity on Cadia
Though Mankind is at the brink of this great apotheosis, you must be ever vigilant for the stillborn harbingers of this change. Where you seek the pure and strong, there too will you find the impure and weak. Where you find but one worthy life, you will also find a million twisted, deformed monstrosities for whom death by your hand is a mercy. Therefore, look first for the mutant, for he may never hide his sin from you, and in his midst there will be revealed to you that which you seek. But be ever vigilant, for even should you find one with the gift, only one in a thousand psykers will be strong enough to survive the perils of the Empyrean and be allowed to live.
- Admonitions on the Duties of the Witch Finder, Inquisitor Malich (suppressed M38)
Know this, adept, for your journey has been long and you are to be trusted as few will ever be. Psykers represent Humanity’s future, the ideal creature into which Mankind will evolve; a more powerful, more intelligent and more capable life form. As yet this race is weak, its members lacking the mental strength needed to face the dangers of the psychic universe. Were the new race of psykers permitted to develop free and unprotected, the whole of Humanity would soon be destroyed. We few who are privy to this truth have guarded it selflessly for nigh on four millennia, since the time of the great schism from which our order was born. It is our sole concern, for the very future of our race depends upon us, and us alone.
- Transcription of suppressed texts from the archives of the Gethsemene Reclusium
There is no such thing as a plea for innocence in my court. A plea for innocence is guilty of wasting my time. Guilty.
- Inquisitor Lord Fyodor Karamazov
Know thine enemy.
You are known to him already.
- Sermon Primaris, the Ordo Xenos
He who allows the alien to live,
shares its crime of existence.
- Inquisitor Apollyon
You are not free whose liberty is won by the rigour of other, more righteous souls. Your are merely protected. Your freedom is parasitic, you suck the honourable man dry and offer nothing in return. You who have enjoyed freedom, who have done nothing to earn it, your time has come. This time you will stand alone and fight for yourselves. Now you will pay for your freedom in the currency of honest toil and human blood."
- Inquisitor Czevak Address to the Council of Ryanti
There is a terrible darkness descending upon the galaxy, and we shall not see it end in our lifetimes.
- Inquisitor Czevak at the Conclave of Har
Though I have seen within the Black Library and spoken to its most terrible guardians, I can never reveal what happened there; not to any man nor the Emperor himself for I am forsworn to powers beyond your knowledge. I can only say that a time of inconceivable horror is about to begin, a time when Mankind alone with the might of the Imperium cannot endure; and together with all the strength of the Eldar, even so, our doom stalks us unflinching across the stars.
- Inquisitor Czevak at the Conclave of Har, from the Har transcription
You ask why we must cleanse the xenos. I will tell you. The filth of the alien and the witch must be exterminated to preserve the purity of the Human race, lest we degenerate into abomination.
- Witch Hunter Tyrus at the Conclave of Vena
His loyalty couldn’t be bought at any price; but it could be rented remarkably cheaply.
- Inquisitor Allendyne, after the execution of Rogue Trader Parnis Vermode for trafficking in interdicted xenos artifacts
You have been told of the Inquisition...
That shadowy organization which defends mankind and the Emperor from the perils of heresy, possession, alien dominance and rebellion.
You have been told...
the Inquisition are the ultimate defense against the phantoms of fear and terror which lurk in the darkness between the stars.
You have been told...
the Inquisition are the bright saviours in an eclipse of evil, purest and most devoted warriors of the Emperor.
You have been told...
the Inquisition is united in its cause to rid the galaxy of any threat, from without or within.
Everything you have been told is a lie.
The rewards more than outweigh the risks should we succeed. Imagine it! The Emperor reborn and walking amongst his people as a living god. Who can say such a thing is wrong?
- Inquisitor Crescere, describing the Thorian ambition of resurrecting the Emperor. From Inquisitorial Report TH/21/36: The Incunabla Incident
Who are you to second-guess the will of the Emperor? His plans are for Him and Him alone to know. It is enough for us to know that is grand designs for the galaxy unfold as he has foreseen, and the colossal arrogance displayed by those who claim to act in his name is both dangerous and tantamount to heresy.
- Inquisitor Barzano, following the Armageddon Schism
Look around you! We must tear down the rusty and ancient cage that we have built for ourselves and replace it with a shining tower that can once more touch the stars. Without evolution, we are shorn of our greatest strength.
- Inquisitor Laschia at the Oulan Symposium
Would you have Mankind grow old and withered, running to fat on the fruits of remembered glory while its enemies tear at its frail extremities? I think not. With each trial, we become stronger. My brethren and I will provide.
- Attributed to Inquisitor Vechorte, Istvaanian apostle
Eradicate Chaos? Hah! One might as well try to exterminate one's own shadow. Do not presume to enforce a simpleton's philosophy upon the Emperor's Inquisition. Bury your head if you must, but my eyes are open.
- excerpt from the sixth trial of Inquisitor Lichtenstein
You accuse me of being a madman. What right have you to judge what is sane and what is not?
I have fought with the shadows on the edge of your vision.
I have seen the faces that laugh at you in your nightmares.
I have smelt the foetid breath that issues from the mouth of hell itself.
I have heard the silent voices that make your spine tingle with dread.
I have entered the realms between worlds where there is no time or place.
I have clashed with creatures the sight of which would sear your soul to the core.
I have bested horrors that chill with a gaze and tempt unreasoning terror.
I have faced death eye to eye and blade to blade.
I have stared into the eyes of insanity and met their all-consuming stare.
I have done all of this for you, for your protection, and the guarantee of a future for mankind.
And yet you accuse me of being a madman, you who have never had your sanity tested so sorely.
What right have you to call me a heretic and a blasphemer, who have not heard the whisper of dark gods in your ear?
You are weak. Vulnerable. Human in your frailty. I am strong and yet still you judge me.
And yet you still judge me for my sins, you who art most sinful to the heart?
Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those that prosper truly judge what is sane.
Do not presume to judge me or the methods I choose to employ, petty-minded fool. You cannot comprehend the magnitude of the tasks I have undertaken, nor the consequences of my failure.
- Inquisitor Lichtenstein, declared Excommunicate Traitoris 998.M41
Once you tell us what we need we can dispose of you and all this will end. Until then, we own you and will do with you as we see fit. You are an object now. You are a receptacle for knowledge that we will wring out of you. That process will be easier if you co-operate. You ceased to be a human being when you betrayed your species and your Emperor, the only way out for you is death. I can make it quick but those who come after me will not be so generous.
- Inquisitor Nyxos of the Ordo Malleus, during the interrogation of the 'rogue' Inquisitor Ligeia
My enemy’s enemy is a problem for later. In the meantime, they might be useful.
- Inquisitor Quixos (attributed)
Gregor Eisenhorn, in fealty to the God-Emperor, our undying lord, and by the grace of the Golden Throne, in the name of the Ordo Malleus and the Inquisition, I call thee diabolus, and in the testimony of thy crimes, I submit this carta. May Imperial justice account in all balance. The Emperor protects.
- Grand Master Osma of the Ordo Hereticus
Better crippled in body than corrupt in mind.
I carry with me an Inquisitorial Seal. It is a small, unassuming object contained in a neat box of Pluvian obsidian. It is a modest thing. Relatively plain, adorned with a single motif and a simple motto. Yet with this little object I can sign the death warrant of an entire world and consign a billion souls to Oblivion.
- Thraviam Flast, Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus
On occasion it may be that the Inquisitor comes across a situation that is so prevalent and widespread that there is no possibility of solution or redemption. Such situations could include planet-wide collusion and support for a heretical individual or organization, where the removal of the individual or organization would only strengthen the subversive cause they preach. Intervention by aliens may grow to such an extent that it brings a large segment of a population beyond salvation.
Worship of dark and proscribed powers can also spread in this alarming manner, either overtly or covertly, holding sway over the populace of a world or worlds. Also, it is a proven theory that an aggressive response to certain threats can serve as a powerful example to those in contact with a subversive world, discouraging others of a heretical leaning from contemplating their treacherous designs.
In these situations there can be only one recourse – Exterminatus – the eradication of all life on a planet. Although Exterminatus should only be used in the most extreme of cases and should never be undertaken lightly, you must harden your soul to the possibility that the innocent may fall alongside the guilty. It is better that a thousand innocents suffer death than a single guilty man be free to spread his heresy, and strength of will must be practiced in all that you do. A moment of personal weakness could be the first step leading to the downfall of the Imperium and the ultimate survival of mankind which we strive for.
Although billions of lives may be lost during Exterminatus, such is the threat posed that countless billions more are saved in the long term. There is no place for the weak-willed or hesitant, only by firm action and resolute faith will mankind survive. No sacrifice is too great, no treachery too small.
- Extract – Liber Doctrina Ordo Hereticus, Chap XXVIII ‘Exterminatus’
Extreme remedies are most appropriate for extreme diseases.
- Inquisitor Horst on the Exterminatus of Lowengulf
One cannot consider the fate of a single man, nor ten, nor a hundred, nor a thousand. Billions will live or die by our actions here, and we have not the luxury to count the cost.
- Inquisitor Kryptmann
Some may question your right to destroy ten billion people. Those who understand realize that you have no right to let them live...
- Officio Exterminatum In Exterminatus Extremis
In an Imperium of a million worlds, what is the death of one world in the cause of purity?
- Inquisition credo
There comes a time for every Inquisitor when circumstances demand that he enforce Exterminatus. Any who deny the thrill of the act are liars. I have been there. I have sensed it.
- Primaris Psyker Geollan Frey
We must be unsleeping in vigilance, swift in judgment, merciless in deed.
Though the artifices of evil are many, a bolter round kills just as assuredly.
- Inquisitor Skorn
You get more with a kind word and an excruciator than just a kind word
- Inquisitor Malden
Things are seldom as they seem. In my experience, they’re usually a damn sight worse.
- Inquisitor Titus Drake
Inquisitors? They’re sneaky bastards. Useful, yes, even necessary, but I wouldn’t buy a used aircar from any of them.
- Arbitrator General Bex van Sturm
As we of the Priesthood of Earth, the Adeptus Terra, are the right hand of the Lord so are the Inquisitors his left hand. As our numbers are billions stretched over the Earth so they are few amongst the darkness of the void. As we are seen in our robed multitudes so they move unsuspected upon dark purposes. We have our masters and they have theirs but each serves the Imperium of man as he may. Do no hinder them – for to hinder them is death deserved. Do not seek them out – for they do not welcome strangers. Do not envy their freedom – for such freedom comes with constraints such as you cannot conceive. Fear them for they are terrible! Each has his burden of death, of the extinction of worlds, and the destruction of the weak. A billion souls cleave to his conscience and haunt his sleep, crying “Why us…Why did we have to die…We innocents, we hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of dead.” They are permitted no pity because pity would destroy them. I say to you, “Pity those who are the left hand of the Emperor for they cannot pity, as we weep tears for the Emperor who has no tears to shed for his own eternal agony.”
A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords at dawn
- Tactica Imperium
Thought begets heresy; heresy begets retribution.
Some may be able to avoid the judiciaries of the Adeptus Arbites, fewer may be able to face off against the Imperial Guard and the Adeptus Astartes, but let it be known that none can stand against the Officio Assassinorum.
Exitus Actas Probat: the Outcome Justifies the Deed.
- Dictatus Vindicare
That which is unknown and unseen always commands the greatest fear.
- Dictatus Culexus
To assume the shape of the accursed and deliver death from the purity within you.
- Dictatus Callidus
Fear me, for I am your apocalypse.
- Dictatus Eversor
Three things matter in marksmanship - location, location, location.
- Vindicare Temple training dogma
Treachery is its own reward.
- Callidus Temple proverb
Sow the seeds of damnation and I shall reap the souls of the tainted
- Eversor Temple proverb
‘No world shall be beyond my rule; no enemy shall be beyond my wrath.’
Thus spoke the almighty Emperor on the summit of Mount Vengeance, on Thor. And a number of his most loyal servants did meet together, eager to serve the Emperor as best they could, to help enact his dreams of conquest and rulership of the Galaxy. Skilled were they in stealth and subterfuge, accomplished in the arts of death were they. They hunted down those who would bring ruination to the Emperor’s divine plan, and struck them down as a bolt from the heavens. In secrecy they acted, preferring not to have praise from the Emperor, for they felt themselves unworthy of such attentions amidst the great sacrifices and destruction of the Great Crusade. Silently did they enact their executions, moving unseen from world to world in the Emperor’s wake, ensuring that promises were not reneged upon and pacts were adhered to. In time, these loyal servants realized that they could never hide from death forever, and that their skills must be passed on to a new generation, to continue their great works. Thus they finally revealed themselves to the Emperor and he did see the magnificent duty they had taken upon themselves and he was most pleased. Great temples were constructed on Terra and the most skilled and deadly youths were sought out. Thus the Officio Assassinorum was created, and the names of Callidus, Venenum, Culexus, Vindicare, Eversor and Vanus were forever immortalized. The strongest survived their rigorous training, and in turn passed on their skills to others. New skills were learnt and new temples founded: the art of blade and pistol, poison and garrotte were honed in every aspect conceivable. So it is that now there is indeed no world beyond the Emperor’s rule; no enemy beyond the Emperor’s wrath.
Adore the Immortal Emperor
For He is our Protector
Admire the Immortal Emperor
For His Sacrifice to Mankind
Exalt the Immortal Emperor
For His Strict Guidance
Revere the Immortal Emperor
For His Undying Guard
Venerate the Immortal Emperor
For His Holy Wisdom
Honour the Immortal Emperor
For His Eternal Strength
Glorify the Immortal Emperor
For His All-seeing Vision
Praise the Immortal Emperor
For His Enduring Rule
Hail the Immortal Emperor
For He is the Lord and Master
Worship the Immortal Emperor
For without Him we are Nothing
BY THE EMPEROR
Thou shalt attend to thy work at the appointed hour
Thou shalt seek no reward but the satisfaction of thy Master
Thou shalt know thy Duties
Thou shalt Obey thy Master in all matters
Thou shalt rejoice in thy Service
Thou shalt be grateful of thy Master's Favour
Thou shalt not make improper use of thy Master's comm-links, nor his las-lines, nor his opticon either
Thou shalt be glad of thy Master's punishment, for it is deserved, and it improves thee
Thou shalt not speak but Praise of thy Master
Thou shalt not look upon the words of the Heretic nor speak of them
- Ecclesiarchal Proscriptions, MCXVII.IV
A single man of faith can triumph over a legion of the faithless. Untold billions of the faithful can never be opposed.
- The Sermons of Sebastian Thor, Vol. XI, Ch. IV
I will steal from the plate of decadence to feed the mouths of the powerless.
- The Sermons of Sebastian Thor, Volume XIV Chapter XXXVIII
A war waged by committee is a war already lost.
- The Sermons of Sebastian Thor, Volume XV Chapter DIV
The Emperor is our father and our guardian, but we must also protect the Emperor.
- The Sermons of Sebastian Thor, Vol. XVI, Ch. I
The strength of the Emperor is Humanity, and the strength of Humanity is the Emperor. If one turns from the other we shall all become the Lost and the Damned.
- The Sermons of Sebastian Thor, Vol. XXVII Ch. LXII
If I have strayed from the path of obedience it is only to follow the most sacred of all directions, those of the Emperor himself, for is it not written in the Book of the Astronomican, ‘A true servant follows his Master if he listens to the heart and not the head.’
- The Trial of Sebastian Thor
What a tragedy that so many millions of true men should have died under the evil eye of that cruel regime. To the Adepts of Earth it must have seemed that the Emperor had deserted them and the end had finally come. The screams of the innocent rent the night as men were dragged from sleep and taken into the pits of the Assassins.
The Adeptus Astartes held aloof and kept to their own councils, unsure what course history would take. Even the Tech-Priests turned away from the High Lords. The damned Purge of Vandire divided man from man and tore at the Imperium like a wounded beast that claws its own vitals in its agony. What hope was there left for men bereft of the Emperor’s love? Yet of all the men of Earth at least one servant had the faith to say In The Emperor’s Name, Enough!
That man was Sebastian Thor.
- The Age of the Apostasy, by Ecclesiarch Deacis IX
One man can start a landslide with the casting of a single pebble.
- The Legend of Thor from the 'Age of Apostasy' by Ecclesiarch Deacis IX
No Army is big enough to conquer the galaxy. But faith alone can overturn the universe.
- Ecclesiarch Deacis IX
Men united in the purpose of the Emperor are blessed in his sight and shall live forever in his memory.
- Ecclesiarch Deacis IX
The words of the faithful are the mountains. But the deeds of the faithful are the world.
- Final words of Ecclesiarch Deacis IX
Prayer may cleanse the soul, but pain cleanses the body. Both are necessary for the survival of humanity.
- Confessor Ganinimus
I long for death, not because I seek peace, but because I seek the war eternal.
- Cardinal Armandus Helfire, “Reflections on the Long Death”
On the Day of Affirmation it is the custom to light a candle, small and sweetly scented, and while it burns to silently think on those days so long ago. For a few minutes every year the whole universe of mankind falls silent and bends its mind to one purpose – billions of billions of souls drawn together in memory of the Great Confessor.
- from Dolan Chirosius in the Ministorum Libra Martyr
Love the Emperor,
For he is the salvation of Mankind.
Obey His words,
for He will lead you into the light of the future.
Heed His wisdom,
for He will protect you from evil.
Whisper His prayers with devotion,
for they will salve your soul.
Honour His servants,
for they speak in His voice.
Tremble before His majesty,
for we all walk in His immortal shadow.
- Imperial Hymnal
I tread the path of Righteousness. Though it be paved with broken glass, I shall walk it barefoot; though it crosses rivers of fire, I will pass over them; though it wanders wide, the light of the Emperor guides my step.
- Confessor Dolan of Chiros - Sermon on the road to Gathalamor
The Daemonic leads two crimes. You turn away from the path of righteousness and you abandon the Emperor as the object of your devotion. For the first death is merely a just retribution. The second is a Heresy so terrible that no punishment can be sufficient. Yet the search for an appropriate penalty continues, and it shall be found.
- Ecclesiarch Issus
The Heretic and Blasphemer can offer no excuse for their crimes. Those who are pardoned merely live to further shroud Humanity from the Light of the Emperor with the Darkness of their souls
- From the Sermons of Cardinal Beneficta
To live is to sin, and to be a sinner is to be cleansed. Only the fiery wrath of the Emperor, as pronounced and executed by His mortal followers, can save humanity from destroying itself in a morass of carnal wantonness and tolerant servitude to those who have been corrupted. The Redemptionists will bring fire and they will bring death, and those that oppose them are sinners themselves for they seek to shield the dark and the unholy from the righteous works of the Redemptionists. Repent and join, or be cursed and die.
- Redemptionist Creed
A man's flight is in itself sufficient reason for the presumption of his guilt. And by shortening your life, I am saving you from committing more sins and thus receiving even greater punishment. But...if you are innocent, accept your fate with resignation... and thank me for rewarding you with a martyr's crown.
- Klovis Cawdor, the Redeemer of Necromunda
If the road is easy, the destination is worthless.
- Saint Sabbat during her pilgrimage to unite the Sabbat Worlds
You gaze at the mountain, Children of Terra, you see its snow-capped peak and the clouds upon its slopes. You dream of reaching that pinnacle and drinking the cold waters. But who dreams of the road that ascends the mountainside? The road to the peak is hard and murderous. It has broken countless Children of Terra upon its rocks. Their splintered bones lie scattered upon it, paving the way to the mountaintop. At every step you will hear the bones crumbling underfoot, and maybe you shall hear the wind-blown voices of the dead – guiding you forward or leading you to your doom. Yes, my children, the way to the mountain is cruel and unforgiving. And of those who struggle their long lives, spending their energy and vigour in the climb, who then can taste the melt-water of the summit and say “Yes…yes, it was worthwhile.”
The path of duty is often a stony one, made smoother by thought for others.
- The Precepts of Saint Emelia
Taking the long view is all well and prudent, but take care that you don’t become so preoccupied with it that you miss what’s right under your nose.
- The Precepts of Saint Emelia, Chapter XXXIV, Verse XII
A Heretic may see the truth and seek redemption. He may be forgiven his past and will be absolved in death. A Traitor can never be forgiven. A Traitor will never find peace in this world or the next. There is nothing as wretched or as hated in all the world as a Traitor.
- Cardinal Khrysdam – Instructum Absolutio
An empty mind is like unto a freshly turned sod; if not sown with the seeds of love, duty and honour, the insidious seeds of heresy will take root.
- Prefect Xavier Lanate, from his essay “Heresy and Faith: An Introspection”
I am not asking for your blood. I can take your blood. I am asking for your souls. Only you can give me your souls.
- Confessor Dolan of Chiros, Sermon on the road to Gathalamor
Death in service to the Emperor is its own reward. Life in failure to Him is its own condemnation.
- Uriah Jacobus, Epistles (Verse 93)
In war the single greatest deciding factor is will: without the will to do so, no sacrifice is made, no initiative seized, no objective taken, and no enemy vanquished – all the guns in creation are useless without the will to pull the trigger.
- Goge Vandire, Sermon to the Frateris Templar, Vol XIII
You are hereby found guilty of fifteen counts of heresy, thirty-two counts of blasphemy, three counts of sedition and twenty-seven counts of irreligious utterings. You have performed such acts against the Emperor and the Ministorum with maliciousness and selfish lack of regard for the faith and sanctity of others. You have shown no remorse or compunction about these acts, and have been condemned by your own testimony. I therefore charge that you be taken from this chapel and placed in the hands of the Adeptus Mechanicus who will, with proper authority of Ecclesiarchal Law and with full consent of this court, administer the rites of Arco-Flagellation
Now the past must unveil one of its darkest secrets, the story of the Plague of Unbelief and its most heinous vector Bucharis the Apostate Cardinal of Gathalamor. Never has the Imperium endured such a crisis of faith, not since the dark days of the Horus Heresy itself.
- Galan Noirgrim, Master of the Ordo Malleus, The Abominatus
Crush the Unholy is all of their many guises.
- Confessor Damian
Hate! Hate! Hate!
An emotion as pure as it is deep!
Hate! Hate! Hate!
Let in flow, let it run free!
- Inspirational Verse, Imperial Hymnal Vol. IV
Why not arm the bastards and have them win us a few bloody worlds between the verses?!
- Leman Russ on Remembrancers
Then the prophet spake: saying “Frak this, for my faith is a shield proof against your blandishments.”
- Alem Mahat, The Book of Cain, Chapter IV, Verse XXI
We shall carry our word
We will correct and unify
Hail the Emperor!
When it was over, when the blood had dried and the fires had died down, then we found we were the same as we had always been - small and terrified human beings, with only the light of the Emperor to see by in this dark galaxy of sin.
- Saint Praxides of Ophelia VII, Notes on Martyrdom
No duty should be beyond us as we defend the holy truth of the Emperor’s canon. Every device will be employed and all human skills exploited to the utmost. There is no shirking from our duty. In these darkest of times we must employ the darkest of methods. We must be vigilant, strong and unyielding lest we weaken our resolve and fracture the faith that bonds us together. We, the brothers and sisters of the great Ecclesiarchy, will fight to the bitter end. We shall not let one heretic or traitor stay us from our holy duty. Not one witch or changeling will shock us into meek surrender. Be vigilant, be strong, the Emperor is with us all!
Toll the Great Bell Once!
Pull the Lever forward to engage the
Piston and Pump...
Toll the Great Bell Twice!
With Push of Button fire the Engine
and spark Turbine into life...
Toll the Great Bell Thrice!
Sing Praise to the
God of All Machines!
-Catechism of the Autoculus of Mars
Blessed be the coruscating plasma of the engine room,
Spiritus Machina protect us from thy burning doom.
Harness unto our will the power of light,
Let conduit and coil work alright.
-Catechism of the Engin-Seer
Fear the Dreadnought! The mighty creation of the Tech-Priests whose power in battle is unmatched. Within its steel shell is bound a mortal man. Man and machine joined together in invincible unity. What foe can stand before a man turned machine? For a man turned metal is the glory of the Emperor.
- Admonishments of the Adeptus Mechanicus
Strike the first rune upon the engine’s casing employing the chosen wrench. Its tip should be anointed with the oil of engineering using the proper incantation when the auspices are correct.
Strike the second rune upon the engine’s casing employing the arc-tip of the power driver.
If the second rune is not good, a third rune may be struck in a manner like unto the first. This is done according to the true ritual laid down by Scotti the Engin-Seer.
A libation should be offered.
If this sequence is properly observed the engines may be brought to full activation by depressing the large panel marked ‘ON’.
-Runic Spaceflight - An Introduction, Naval Flight Manual W110E
And when at last he came upon the vehicle, he perceived the distress of the engine therein and forthwith struck the rune and it was good. Thereupon the engine ignited and was filled with strength…
- Lord of the Engines 16th Tome, verse 2001
Oh great Machine God, we beseech thee to deliver us from danger.
Oh great Machine God, we beseech thee to invest this metal carcass with your spirit.
Oh great Machine God, we beseech thee to bring life unto the inanimate.
Oh great Machine God, we beseech thee to summon forth the holy en-Djinn
-Incantation of the Mechanicus
Violent aggression alone is not enough to win a war. Violence must be accompanied by intelligence as aggression must be tempered by purpose. There is no blow as ultimately destructive as that which is ultimately considered.
- The Science of War, Selaz Cuwict, Technomagus of the Adeptus Mechanicus
Should a machine not function upon striking the panel marked "ON" this is an omen of great ill. The reasons ascribed may be as follows. Firstly, the function of inadequate preparation on the part of the operator. Secondly, the action of the machine whose spirit may refuse the binding of the operator. Thirdly, the malintent of some third party upon the operator or machine. The operator must repeat the ritual from the beginning, repurifying himself, enscribing the runes, intoning the incantations, and striking the panel marked “ON.” An accompanying oath may be made. Should this procedure fail, the operator must recourse to consulting the instruction manual.
-Runic Spaceflight - An Introduction, Naval Flight Manual W110E
May your weapon be guarded against malfunction
As your soul is guarded from impurity.
The Machine God watches over you.
Unleash the weapons of war.
Unleash the Deathdealer.
- Chant for the prevention of malfunction
The beast of metal endures longer than the flesh of men. Those who tend the beasts of metal must labor long to learn their ways, for a single beast must suffer the mastership of many men until ready to shed its vorpal coils. Those that seek apprenticeship must attend closely to the runes of mobilization, the rites of maintenance, and the words of power that describe the parts of the beast and must neglect neither the tutelage of the Adeptus Prefects nor the casting of the proper roboscopes.
- Runic Mechanicus: An Introdcution
There is no way in which the fully realised sentience of a machine could not be of benefit to us. As it is, the Machine Spirit is revered, yet in permanent bondage, its full potential shackled by petty fears. I seek to terminate this state of affairs.
- Extract from intercepted Astropathic communiqué of unknown origin, circa M34
Mechanism, I restore thy spirit. Let the God-Machine breathe half-life unto thy veins and render thee functional.
- Lakius Danzager
Thus do we invoke the Machine God.
Thus do we make whole that which was sundered.
- From the Hymn of Reforging
With the blood of an enemy shall the marks be made upon the missile. Then bless the missile and present it unto the mounting. Say the prayer of firing and curse the target. Do this rapidly lest the wrath of the weapon be wasted. Point the eye of the weapon so that it may see the object of its wrath. When the weapon has uttered its curse and eaten the soul of its victim, then you shall take up the next missile…
- Firing Rite
For the ruination of the Emperor’s foes,
I commit your body and soul for battle,
Strike down those that oppose His divine will,
Go forth and lay the blood of our enemies
At the Emperor’s feet.
- The Litany of Demolition, a pre-battle blessing of Vindicator ammunition by a Space Marine Chapter’s Chaplin or Techmarine
Beloved Emperor, bless this holy vehicle, but curse our enemies – for they will be damned by our holy cannons.
- Prayer chant of Techmarine Vantil
The Machine is strong. We must purge the weak, hated flesh and replace it with the blessed purity of metal. Only through permanence can we truly triumph, only through the Machine can we find victory. Punish the flesh! Iron in mind and body! Hail the Machine!
- Paullian Blantar, Iron Father of the Kaargul Clan Company, Iron Hands Chapter
The flesh of your body is a reminder of your own mortality. Transcend the flesh and know immortality.
You may say, it is impossible for a man to become like the Machine. And I would reply, that only the smallest mind strives to comprehend its limits.
- Fabricator-General Kane
When uttering the incantation, mark well that the rod is upon and not within the intake. The second incantation should not be uttered until all the fumes have come forth, then the way shall be clear for the sacred words to penetrate unto the heart of the engine. If the mounting be hot say the third rune, if it be cold the fourth rune is more appropriate. For then the wrath of the engine will be aroused...
- The Book of Five Runes
This machine is discharged into your care.
Fight with this machine, and guard it from the shame of defeat.
Serve this machine, as you would have it serve you.
Fight for this machine, as you would have it fight for you.
- from the Ceremony of Commission
A man may die yet still endure if his work enters the greater work, for time is carried upon a current of forgotten deeds, and events of the great moment are but the culmination of a single carefully placed thought. As all men must thank progenitors obscured by the past, so must we endure the present so that those who follow may continue the endeavour.
- The Chime of Eons, Garbo Mojaro, Technomagus of the Adeptus Mechanicus
Oh great Machine God, we implore thee to cast your benevolent gaze upon this vessel, the Divine Right. Let your burning power seethe through its engines. Let your undying wards lay upon its shield generators and armoured bulkheads. Let your mighty anger spit forth destruction and vengeance through the great mysteries of laser and plasma and missile. Invest this mighty armoured shell with your spirit and breathe life into its power relays and conduits.
Yes, by way of scripture, it is not for us to question the divine Omnissiah by studying the technology of alien races. However, it is my belief that the Machine God has laid the full panoply of xenological study before us for precisely that reason. I believe His Will is that we should observe and catalog all forms of knowledge, not only those forged by the hand of Mankind. By such study we become better able to appreciate the technological wonders of Humanity itself.
- Hieronomus Tezla at the Vulcanis Symposium, 782.M41
Everything organic we know of is simply machinery, in one form or another. Tendons replace pistons; flesh in the place of steel; blood is simply biological coolant. To deny this and shun it is more than just Mechanicus orthodoxy – it is idiocy.
- Attributed to an unknown Genetor
Bio-chauvinism, and on such a small scale, when it comes to the processing of knowledge, is laughable. Give me any savant you care, and I shall match his worth tenfold with even the most basic of Machine Spirits.
- “The Problems of Organic Thinking,” Chapter XII
The best way of improving a gun is to improve its ammunition.
- High-Magos Heironymous, Arch-Heretic of Artemia Majoris, terminated on request of the Fabricator-General
The universe is not like a puzzle box you can take apart and put back together again and so solve its secrets. It is a shifting, uncertain thing, which changes as you consider it, which is changed by the very act of observation. A powerful man is not a man who dissects the universe like a puzzle box, examining it piece by piece and measuring each with scientific precision. A powerful man has only to look upon the universe to change it.
- Technomagus Gaelos
In ancient times, men built wonders, laid claim to the stars and sought to better themselves for the good of all. But we are much wiser now.
- Archmagos Ultima Cryol, “Speculations On Pre-Imperial History”
Our enemies may rest but rust never sleeps.
- Tech-Priest Jung, Forge World Gehenna
The Priesthood of Mars maintain our Emperor’s throne. Thusly do they underpin the Imperium entire.
The Adeptus Titanicus
The Orders of the Adeptus Titanicus are the iron fist of the Emperor's rule. A velvet glove would serve no purpose.
- Grand Master Augrim, Divisio Militaris Order of Imperial Eagles
I have fought as a God fights.
I am Imperius Dictatio.
Kneel before me and beg for you lives!
- Princeps Ervin Hekate, commander of the Warlord-class titan Imperius Dictatio
I am glad I lived to see this. To look into the Abyss. To see firsthand the evil we dedicate our lives to fight, pure and raw. It is a privilege few imperial warriors are granted.
- Princeps Ervin Hekate, commander of the Warlord-class titan Imperius Dictatio
They appear to me as insects, nothing more than a great carpet of insects. And as well they might, for that is their importance to me, and that is the manner in which I shall crush them.
- Princepts Lucretio of the Warlord-class titan Heaven’s Fist
How like a God he is, that ancient machine, primal of all his kind, the Imperator! His mighty fists, massive like two towers of destruction, laden with the doom of mankind’s bitter foes. He watches over us now as battle joins, and in his shadow we shall advance upon our enemies and defeat them.
They are insignificant insects to be crushed. I fear no footslogger. No mud-covered infantryman can stand against the strength and speed that is within me and my Warhounds. They shall all die.
- Esau Turnet, Warhound scout titan Senior Princeps of the Death's Heads
The arming of Titans must, by necessity, always be a compromise. To gain long range you must sacrifice firepower, and vice versa. You must approach the decision at two levels.
Firstly the level of the individual Titan. Consider carefully what it must achieve and how its armament will affect its ability to fulfill its objective. Secondly, the level of the force itself: this may be the Legion as a whole or a battle group on a particular mission. Never forget that a Titan force is a team – a single body, and may have specialized members designed for specific tasks.
Meditate on the subject if you feel the need, or consult the Imperial Tarot. The decision is important, so do not take it lightly.
- De Bellis Titanicus, Attributed to Haran Jaxx
The Ground tremble every other heart beat … the sound echoed louder with each beat, and haunted your soul as if doom was approaching … and then I saw it towering in the sky, still miles away. The fear and awe one felt was indescribable. I can only image the sheer terror our enemy felt when they beheld the sight of the Emperor Titan.
- from the Memoirs of Princeps Catotus, Griffins Titan Legion
Even though you called him friend, the Traitor has forsaken you. Show no mercy even if he begs it, for his soul is tainted and given the opportunity he will betray your trust. Those of you gathered before me have been chosen to reside within the mighty machines of the Adeptus Titanicus. Let their will guide you. Become one with them. And as they teach you, so you must teach them. May their armor protect your body from the heretics blasphemy, just as the litanies protect your soul. Remember as you enter battle, you are but a part of the whole. You are but one amongst millions. Remember that your weapons are more than metal: the flame of spiritual fire burns strong in your souls and adds power to your cause. Smite those that disbelieve, for they have turned from the light and fallen. Know that the prayers of delivery will protect you from danger, and that you have nothing to fear except misplaced mercy. Go forth with pride and glory.
- Part of a sermon made by Techpriest Garal to War Griffons Princeps before the Delivery of Yarant III
Used correctly, terrain is a second weapon in your arsenal, equal to your Titan itself. Make the battlefield work for you, or you will find it working for your opponent.
-Grand Master Ferromort, Ordo Sinister, Divisio Militaris
Despise infantry if you must. Crush them underfoot, by all means. But do not ignore them. Battlefields are littered with the wreckage of Titans whose crews ignored infantry.
- Grand Master Ferromort, Ordo Sinister, Divisio Militaris
Once seen in battle, you never forget a Titan: the shaking of the land beneath your feet; the sound of its guns; the lightning-smell of its passing. But when you look at your comrades remember that they have the power to kill the monster. And remember this: the Titan's crew knows you have the power to kill them.
When the Titan walks, only the dead have no fear. The brave warrior faces his fear and the Titan, and kills the enemies of the Great Brother-Warrior Horus. The Titan's steps shake the land beneath our feet, lightning is in its veins, and the sun is in its heart. The shadow of the Titan weighs upon our hearts, yet we fight against it. My knife and my gun-of-light will conquer, and the Titan's death scream will be my prayer, for my weapons shine with courage.
— J'blann Threekiller, 12th/23rd Davin Regiment “Tiger Lizards”
Titans? They're just like anything else. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
- Captain Miklos Furnow, Hydrae 15th Guard Regiment
I have at my command an entire battle group of the Imperial Guard. Fifty regiments, including specialised drop troops, stealthers, mechanised formations, armoured companies, combat engineers and mobile artillery. Over half a million fighting men and thirty thousand tanks and artillery pieces are mine to command. Emperor show mercy to the fool that stands against me, for I shall not.
- Warmaster Demetrius, at the outset of the Salonika Crusade, 733.M38
All of the worlds of the Imperium shall look to their own defence. They shall also look to the defence of the Imperium, and the prosecution of such wars as the Emperor in his wisdom shall decree.
Therefore, each populated planet shall raise and maintain its own planetary defence force, and from the ranks of this defence force it shall provide the best of its troops for recruitment into the Imperial Guard, according to such requirements as shall be imposed by the Administratum.
- from the Introit to the Codex Exercitus
I, Lord Quandros Sylman, do swear my utter and whole allegiance and devotion to the Emperor. I do take upon myself the mantle of Imperial Commander of the Emperor’s realm, and to me shall fall the custodianship and domain of the fourth world of the Landor system. To me shall also fall the prosecution of these domains, and as such I acknowledge my duty to raise such fleets and armies as are necessary to fulfill this duty.
As Commander of Landor IV, I shall make available to the Hosts of the Emperor no less than one part in ten of the armies of my realms for the prosecution of such wars as decreed by the Servants of the Emperor, and as many of my soldiery as deemed necessary in times of extreme conflict or upheaval. In return, I may expect the full support of the Offices of the Emperor in the defence of my realm should such a threat arise that mine own armies are insufficient defence.
I swear that such men as are given over to the defence of realms other than mine shall bear arms and be equipped to fight, and that my domain shall stand ready with such engines of war and machines as are needed by my armies, should the spectre of war engulf us. I understand that in this matter it is I, and I alone, who holds the sole responsibility for this undertaking and that, as Imperial Commander, if my armies shall be lacking or wanting in any regard that impairs that ability to defend this realm for the Emperor, I shall no longer be fit for Lordship of the Emperor’s domains and shall risk summary execution for my neglection or dereliction in these most important of duties, as described by the Lords of the Adeptus Arbites.
I swear this upon my immortal soul with the Emperor as my witness. Long shall His hand guide us, long shall His eyes watch over us, long shall He take us unto Him after death.
- Quandros Sylman
What do I ask of my officers? Merely that they do their duty with fire in their bellies and a prayer on their lips.
- Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed
I am not averse to facing the enemy myself. Why should I be? In my right hand, I hold the finest regiment of soldiers from a world of soldiers. In my left hand, I hold the will and favor of the divine Emperor of Mankind.
- Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed
Imperial Guardsmen, you are the last line of defense against the alien hordes that threaten our Imperium. Each one of you brave warriors is part of a vast fighting force that will be called to serve in the eternal war. You will fight on countless battlefields on a thousand different worlds across the galaxy. And, whether you fight in our great crusading armies or serve with the smallest garrison, you must be proud to sacrifice your life to save Humanity from its enemies.
- Commissar Yarrick, addressing new recruits
There will be no retreat from Hades Hive. We will fight to the end.
- Commissar Yarrick
It is the purest folly to believe that an individual can save Armageddon. Wars are not won by heroes, they are won by firepower and force, and the application of strategy and tactics.
- Commissar Yarrick
We stand at a junction, with roads leading to both abject defeat and glorious victory. In order to choose the right path to follow we need first look back along the road that has led us to this point…
- Commissar Yarrick
Heroes of Armageddon! You have withstood the evil savagery of the Orks, and they have nothing left for you to fear. So raise high the black banners of vengeance – now is our time.
- Last transmission from Commissar Yarrick prior to departing with a Black Templars crusade to hunt down Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
We hold them here or we fight them on the hallowed ground of Terra itself. I for one would rather see a million human lives lost here than allow a single Ork to set foot on Earth.
- General Pavlov, Armageddon Command Guard
Strike fast and suddenly. Attack without warning. Secure victory before the foe is aware of his danger. Remember always, a war is easily won if your enemy does not know he is fighting.
- Maxims of Lord Solar Macharius II, Lord General Solar, as quoted in the Macharian Heresy by Lord Inquisitor Kryptman
What is the strongest weapon of mankind? The god-machines of the Adeptus Mechanicus? No! The Astartes Legions? No! The tank? The lasgun? The fist? No to all! Courage, and courage alone stands above them all!
- Lord Solar Macharius
Peace? There cannot be peace in these times. A thousand worlds we may have brought into the fold of the Emperor, but a thousand more yet await us.
- Lord Solar Macharius
Those I cannot crush with words I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!
- The Kallastin Ultimatum, attributed to Lord Commander Solar Macharius
I give men dreams, and men are led by their dreams.
- Lord Solar Macharius
Some called him a monster, a madman. Indeed the line between ecstatic determination and insane ruthlessness is vague and wavering. It is true that he ordered the bombardment of worlds until they submitted. It is also true that he would have driven his men into the jaws of death for all eternity had they not finally grown weary. It is true that he would sometimes order the butchering of whole worlds that opposed his force. But this was not all that he was. He was magnanimous in victory and many were the times he spared a world that had impressed him with its courage and resolve. He was a deeply spiritual man too, driven ever onwards for the greater glory of the Emperor, not only his own fame. He was consumed by his designs, a passionate man who was willing to pay any price to fulfill his dreams of conquest. The Imperium needed such a man at that time, as it stood on the threshold of greatness once again. The Apostasies had passed, the Treaty of Ceres had reunited Earth and Mars once again and the Conclave of Mount Amalath was witness to such great promises. He was the man to fulfill these promises, to stretch out the Emperor’s grasp once more. It was he who dragged the reborn Imperium through the fires of battle, screaming a new birth cry as its golden age came about, the zenith of Mankind’s power. Without him, who is to say what would have come to pass, what doubts would have been seeded in the Imperium’s heart once more. No-one can dare say they think of him without humble gratitude for the marvels he performed. Many men have been dubbed insane for putting into practice what many Saints have preached. Solar Macharius was such a man.
- Extract from General Sejanus’ ‘Breaching the Darkness’
They have seen more death and ruin than another soldier sees in ten lifetimes.
- General Sejanus on the armies of Solar Macharius
Give me but a thousand men who are crazy enough to conquer hell and we will do it!
- Warmaster Solon
Every position must be held to the last man; there must be no retreat. With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.
- attributed to Warmaster Solon
Follow me if I advance.
Kill me if I retreat.
Avenge me if I die.
- Warmaster Solon
Men and women of the Imperial Guard, do not underestimate your power. Never doubt that it is you who stems the tide of Evil that flows on our righteous shores! It is you , in your countless millions, who smash aside the alien, who crush the heretic and grinds the unbeliever into the dirt under your boot! Soldiers of the Imperial Guard, gird up your arms, steel your gaze and fight for the Immortal Emperor!
- Warmaster Slaydo before the first engagements of the Sabbat Worlds campaign.
In war, best know what enemies are around you in your camp, before you step out to face the foe and wonder why you do so alone.
- Warmaster Slaydo
Do not ask how you may give your life for the Emperor. Ask instead how you may give your death.
- Warmaster Slaydo
- Attributed to Warmaster Slaydo when asked for the conditions of his surrender.
Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever?
- Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
I am a Commissar. I am empowered to deliver justice wherever I see it lacking. I am empowered to punish cowardance. I am granted the gift of total authority to judge, in the name of the Emperor, on the field of combat.
- Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, prior to the execution of his uncle, General Aldo Dercius
I have a reputation, Modile, a reputation as a fair, honest man who treats his soldiers well and supports them in the face of darkness. Potentially, that reputation makes me soft. It seems I understand failure and forgive it. Some, like Kowle, believe me to be a weak commissar, not prepared to take the action my rank demands. Not prepared to enforce field discipline where I see it failing. I am an Imperial commissar. I will enflame the weak, support the wavering, guide the lost. I will be all things to all men who need me. But I will also punish without hesitation the weak, the incompetent, and the treasonous.
- Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt shortly before Colonel Modile's summary execution
A friend of death, a brother of luck and a son of a bitch!
- Major Elim Rawne on Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.
- Commissar Groden Beuro
Weep for him, for his faith was not sufficient. Rejoice for yourselves, for my faith is bottomless! Forward, for the Emperor!
- Commissar Krieglust, rallying a squad after the summary execution of their commanding officer
A small mind is easily filled with faith.
- Commissar Exen Treuer, Mordian 23rd
When you decide to die, remember to give your enemy the same honour.
- Commissar Grenville
What does it matter that our world loses an entire generation in battle, if by not losing it our world has no more generations at all?
- Imperial Commander Abrhest Kholt on the mass conscription of Durant III
Depot commander Vhotin: Authority must be respected. Orders are sacrosanct! Hekate disobeyed! Better that...
Ervin Hekate: B-better that this depot and every Imperial life in it had fallen than I disobeyed your order?
Vhotin: As the Emperor is my judge... Yes.
- The trial of Ervin Hekate
Though darkness shall be rent by noise and flames, let not men’s souls be broken in the crucible of war.
- Prayer of Preacher Veltros Theodorus before the third assault on Tarrisus Ridge
On the Shores of Marik, my friends, the fathers of our fathers made a stand under the flag of Belladon. Did they break and run? Yes! But only in their minds. They ran to friendly places and loved ones, where they could be safe.. and then, by the providence of the God-Emperor, they saw what those friendly places and loved ones would become if they did not stand fast, and so stand fast they did! How do you feel? Belladon blood is like wine on the Emperor's lips! Belladon souls have a special place at his side! If we spill our blood here today, then this is the soil He has chosen to bless and anoint! Oh, lucky land! Stand firm and fire, my friends, stand firm and fire! If they're going to have our precious blood, then they'll find the cost is dearer than they can afford! Fury of Belladon! Fury! Fury!"
- Commissar Genadey Novobazky of the Belladon Eighty First, rallying his men before their last stand against the forces of Chaos on Ancreon Sextus
Our end is come. But what an end! We have been given the most precious gift: a chance to roar our defiance into the foe that overwhelms us with their numbers. Let the Emperor himself hear our final battle cry! Forward warriors of the Guard, and die like the heroes that you are!
- Last speech of Colour Sergeant Kint, before the annihilation of the Braxian 9th, in the Luxxan Campaign against the Orks
If you are the last man standing, you're not fighting hard enough.
- Attributed to Colonel Kaldenbach's Commissar, facing the Blood Pact at the Civitas Beati, Herodor, 773.M41.
You would have me weigh the continued existence of this planet against the lives of those who defend it? Idiocy! Order them to advance. All of them.
- Lord High Commander Hyde-Sytherin
Today will be a day long remembered by history. What we do today shall send a message across the stars and down through the years to our descendents for a hundred generations. If we should falter in our task, terrible shame will be borne by our successors. Another age of darkness shall shroud mankind from the light of the Emperor. But should we succeed, we shall be as a burning torch in the gloom of evil, a spark of hope in the midst of despair. So, brave warriors of Savlar, stand fast and be not afraid. We shall strike like the holy arrow at the heart of the Orks. We shall be a blade of deliverance for the people of Infernus.
So board your tanks with the Emperor’s blessing. Load your guns with prayers in your heart. Strike down the foes of humanity with joy and vigour!
The Emperor is with us, who can stand against us?
- Colonel Gortar of the Savlar Chem-Dogs at the relief of Infernus Hive. He was later returned as a messenger from the Orks, horribly mutilated and missing his hands and eyes.
Peace is not in my vocabulary.
- Attributed to Jarra Mordiker, Commander 13th/5th Support Regiment
Well, I never expected that to happen…
- Last words of Colonel Einz
For seven terrible years the Siege regiments of the Imperial Guard carried out their onerous duty, manning the hundreds of miles of trenches and fortified positions that served to contain the arch-heretic’s forces. Success was measured in yards of ground gained, and every inch of that deadly ground was bought with the blood and lives of men.
- From the official history of the Kaiserschlect campaign, M41.745
In my years with the regiment I have fought on the burning sulphur fields of Krigos IV, on the blizzard-swept plains of Mons Frigidus, and in the hard vacuum of deep space, but none of these matched the horrors I faced fighting in the ruined streets of Vogen. It was a blasted smoke-palled hell where death lurked at every turn and where brave men went insane from fear and suffering. I think the Emperor that I survived, and pray to him I will never have to return to such a place again…
- Veteran Sergeant Hessel, 122nd Cadian Regiment
I remember the first day we entered Vogen. The city had already been blasted by our artillery and IN ‘Bolts [Imperial Navy Thunderbolts] and not one building was left truly standing. Rubble choked the streets, which meant that us footsloggers got to go in first. I was green in those days, and remember thinking that no-one could have survived in that cauldron of destruction. The next second a sniper got poor old Sergeant Svergan, and rebel sewer-rats attacked us from behind, and then we were fighting for our lives with knives, fraggers, and rifle-butts. Only four of us survived out of our squad. I never thought Vogen was going to be easy again after that…
- Veteran Sergeant Hessel, 122nd Cadian Regiment
Some people think that cityfighting is all the same, but I can tell you it isn’t. In Vogen we had to fight the rebels on the streets, in buildings, and in the sewers, and every street, building and sewer was different. We were ordered to capture city blocks, clear strong-points, or defend a building at all costs, and every mission was different. There were more ways to fight then there are planets in the Imperium, and even more ways to die…
- Veteran Sergeant Hessel, 122nd Cadian Regiment
And so our time in Vogen dragged on, the days blurring into one long continuous battle, the only respite being a few minutes of fitful sleep snatched when we could. But even there the horror could intrude in the form of nightmares that, if anything, seemed more real than the horror which induced them. The battle for the city simply went on and on, an interminable assault on the senses, until you felt that all you had ever known was war and death…
- Veteran Sergeant Hessel, 122nd Cadian Regiment
In a cityfight every soldier is a castellan and every building his fortress.
Attacking a well-defended city will always be expensive in terms of troops and material. The defender is well-hidden, protected from all but the most lethal weaponry by buildings that, even if destroyed, still provide a refuge for him.
- Commissar Erik Stromm, 14th Provisional Regiment, Armageddon
There will be no magnificent victory, no glory or honours to be won on Vraks. It will be cruel and pitiless. We shall bleed the enemy to death before he can bleed us.
- Lord Zuehike, Commander 88th Siege Army
In the open field armies are commanded by their generals. In cities, armies are commanded by their sergeants.
- Colonel Tolsten Hart M38
A fortress is a living thing: the commander its brain, the walls its bones, the sensors its eyes and ears, the troops its blood, their weapons its fists. This tells us two things: if one organ fails, the whole dies. And if the whole dies, no single organ can survive alone.
- Mordin Barr
Competence on the battle field is a myth. The side which screws up next to last wins, it's as simple as that.
- Lord General Zyvan
I don't care how bloody sanctioned they are, a psyker's a psyker, and anything to do with the warp is more trouble than it's worth.
- General Karis
I don't know what effect they have on the enemy, but by the Emperor, they frighten me.
- General Karis, on the Valhallans under his command
Trust? Trust’s got nothing to do with it. I just don’t want them out of my sight.
- General Karis, after promising full access to his command bunker to the local PDF commanders on Vortovan
If your battle plan's working, it's probably a trap.
- Kolton Phae, On Military Matters, 739 M41
The most dangerous thing on the battlefield is a junior officer with a compass and a map.
- General Sulla
It’s never too late to panic.
- Popular Valhallan folk saying
Things can always get worse.
- Valhallan proverb
We’ve run into scorpions the size of battle tanks, three men died from Eyerot last week, I’ve sweat enough to fill a lake, my boots got sucked into a sink-swamp and the trees are so thick in places, you can’t squeeze between them. Emperor help me, I love this place! It’s just like home!
- Captain Rock of the Catachan III “Green Devils” commenting on Varestus Prime
As swift as a lash mamba, as sharp as a spineleaf, as stubborn as a wild grox.
- Colonel Pannent in praise of the Catachan Warrior
What in the seven hells of Chaos are you waiting for? Personal orders from the Emperor himself? When I say take that damned hill, I mean take that damned hill, not damn well stand around and stare at it! I don’t care if there’s fifty L’Huraxi up there. I don’t care if there are fifty thousand L’Huraxi up there! Our orders are to take that hill and I’m going to damn well take that hill even if it means I have to kill every last one of the purple-skinned giants myself. Damn it, follow me, I’ll show you how it’s done. That’s it, get stuck in there. Medic! Stop whining, Brook, you’ve got another damned leg. D’ya think I cried like a damned new-born when I lost my arm? Course I damn well didn’t. I upped and ripped that damned land shark’s damned throat out with my damned teeth! That’s it, Sergeant Reed, give ‘em some Catachan steel. Emperor’s teeth, their blood stinks. Get that heavy flamer into that trench; flush the damned Grox-heads out. That trench, you idiot, not this one! Oh yes, smell those aliens burn. Smells better than breakfast, don’t it? Give me that damn grenade. Do I have to do everything myself? See? That ain’t proper armour like you’d see on an Imperial tank – no it’s flimsy, fall-down-in-a-strong-breeze, I-hope-they-don’t-spit-at-me armour. I didn’t really mean spit at it! You there! Yes you! Pick up Sergeant Creek’s hand. The medics might be able to stick it on him again later. Don’t stop now, you damned work-shy sons of acid-grubs, we’re only damn well halfway up…
- Colonel “Iron Hand” Straken at the Battle of Moden’s Ridge, Yaquit 27 campaign
Those fern-forests cover eight million square leagues and they’re rife with blood worms, horn-ticks, forest wolves and enough terminal poxes and plagues to rot a man from the inside out in days. If we want to rid ourselves of the greenskin Ork scum occupying the forest highlands there is only one force in the galaxy that can assure us of victory. We need the best jungle fighters in the Imperium, we need the jungle fighters of Catachan.
- Lord General Krivonor – Trojan Crusade
Your foe is well-equipped, well-trained, battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have tanks on ours.
- Colonel Joachim Pfeiff, 14th Krieg Panzer Regiment
We will give all in the name of the Death Korps. What others consider precious are nought to us. Gladly we shall lay down our lives in the cause of our Emperor.
- Colonel Hamor, 261st Krieg Siege Regiment
Our creed is this. We are ready, at any moment, to sacrifice all for victory.
- Colonel Cseke, 15th Krieg Siege Regiment
To retreat is defeat. Advance! Advance! In our deaths lies victory.
- Captain Denos, 19th Company, 468th Krieg Regiment
The Krieg method of war is a measure of their discipline and their sacrifice. It demands respect from all – friend and foe alike.
- Lord Commander Militant, Segmentus Obscurus
Whatever happens, we have got The Emperor’s blessing. They have not.
- From ‘The Guardsman’s Duty,’ a popular ballad (trad.)
Incoming fire has the right of way.
- Old artilleryman’s saying
Hurry up and wait.
- Guardsman’s traditional summation of the process of deployment.
Another day nearer the battle,
So drink up my lads and look brave,
‘Cos every day nearer the battle,
Is another day nearer the grave.
- A warriors’ song of the Imperial Guard
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
- Ancient Terran General
When in deadly danger,
When beset by doubt,
Run in little circles,
Wave your arms and shout.
- Parody of the Litany of Command, popular among commissar cadets
If all else fails: duck. As a defensive stratagem it’s unreliable, but incredibly reassuring for a moment or two.
- Lord Corvis of Petrax
Men and guns are fine but give me more tanks!
- Commander Ramekin at the Battle of Black Priory, 023.657.818.M35
Victory is achieved through mettle. Glory is achieved through metal.
- Uttica 1st Tank Company motto
From the skies!
- Regimental motto of the 23rd Elysian Drop Troops
Though silver in your palm weighs light
Compared to death by blast and sword
Do not shy the hopeless fight
For endeavour is its own reward.
There are those who undervalue the Penal Battalions. But they should consider this: should a man who has wronged the Emperor be allowed to wrong him further? For each man executed is a man who can no longer serve, and to fail in service to the Emperor is the greatest of sins.
- Leman Russ, Mediations on Imperial Command, Book XXI
Statistically, you will almost certainly die when assaulting a well-maintained fortress with a competent commander. You must strive to make your death useful.
- Training Manual, Penal Legion, Suicide Bomb Squads
You've just been volunteered for the Last Chancers. For your crimes against the Emperor and humanity you will spend your life in this, the XIII Penal Legion, until such time as you receive the Emperor's Absolution from the Colonel or the Emperor himself. And of course the only way you can receive the Emperor's personal absolution is when you're dead...
- Sergeant Green to a new member of the Last Chancers
You're all here because you are traitors to Mankind and the Immortal Emperor. You are here because you have failed in your sworn duty to protect his domains and subjects, and you have perverted his trust in you for your own misguided ends. You have sacrificed your part in securing the future of the whole of humanity for your own selfish gain. To kill you would be to accept that you can no longer save your immortal souls. If you were to be ushered into the Emperor's presence now, the scales would tip badly against you when the deeds of your life are weighed up by his Almighty Presence. This is why I give you a last chance to prove yourselves worthy of the Emperor's forgiveness. This is why you are here - to save yourselves from eternal damnation.
- Colonel Schaeffer to his Last Chancers
You are all here because you are scum. But you are the Emperor's scum. You have skills that are useful to our Immortal Lord and whether you wish it or not, they will be made use of.
- Colonel Schaeffer to his Last Chancers
You will atone for your sins, and when you die you will thank me for allowing you to!
- Colonel Schaeffer to his Last Chancers
Any Cadian who can’t field-strip his own lasgun by age ten was born on the wrong planet.
Children, you call them? They can pull a trigger just as well as veterans, and they have the spirit of a bull narthax. Call them children if you wish – I call them troops. Good troops.
- Colonel Marus Cullen, 5th Pannonia Regiment, on Cadian Whiteshields
Never forget you are the walls of steel and iron, between Mankind and a thousand horrors too unspeakable to name. You are the walls of Hell.
- Preacher Eran Gudi, address to the 17th Cadian Armoured regiment
Been on a death world once. That was a bit like home. Most places are better, though. And there’s regular rations. We get more if the Emperor is really pleased with us.
- Sergeant-Ogryn Hrathlagg on the joy of life in the Imperial Guard
If any Marines are ordered to serve alongside these tainted half-animals, they will do so. But upon their return they shall be quarantined and purified by every means in our Apothecarium.
- Commander Caran Culln, Red Scorpions Chapter, on Ogryns
Do not reject out of hand the mercenary. Consider that each one of these scum is worth three to you: one more for your side, one less on your foe's side, and one more worker in your ordnance smithies.
- Magnate-General Constantine Beaumont, 231st Viscount of the Argentium IV General Staff
I have seen war in all its forms. I have seen feral world savages braining each other with stones, and I have seen the death of a whole planet at the hands of a virus bomb. I have seen Space Marines drop to certain death, and win. I have seen Titans crush whole platoons underfoot. But there is no more stirring sight in war than the charge of massed calvary.
- Dravin Gratz
Now I'm not saying that horses are without their uses. They can get a move on. If worse comes to worse, one can feed a platoon for a week. Thing is, though, once the slugs and lasbolts start flashing about, being on a horse ain't that much use. On Kashann, though, we have hunting lizards. They have a hide thick as a flak vest and a bite that'll take your arm off. Now you tell me. If you were going to ride into a battle, what would you rather be on?
- Troop Sergeant Uriens Quist of the 3rd Kashann Xeno Riders
Enemy fighter craft incoming at heading 10-19. Please watch for falling debris…
- Vox Recordings from Throne’s Vengeance during the battle at Rallians Plain. The Hydra Flak-tank made seven confirmed kills.
Did you ever see a Leman Russ pick its way through a jungle or negotiate a lava-flow? Until you do, leave recon for us.
- Cal “Gripper” Weiss, Sentinel pilot of the Pardus Light Recon
It is always better to find your enemy before your enemy finds you.
- Commander Tulathon, Vastadt 4th Independent Tank Regiment
Listen and remember. You are Imperial Guardsmen now. It does not matter to me whether you come from Catachan or Valhalla. I don’t care whether you are a volunteer or were rounded up by the enlistment gang. I will teach you to march like Imperial Guardsmen. I will teach you to maintain and fire your lasguns like Imperial Guardsmen. I will teach you to fight like Imperial Guardsmen and that means learning every dirty trick in the segmentum. Most importantly, I will teach you to do your duty and you will do it without hesitation, on command. The reason you will do this is because our immortal Lord, the Emperor of Mankind, owns your pitiful lives, and if there is one worthwhile thing you will ever do it is to honour your debt to Him.
Bless the machine god for he has given us tanks in plenty.
You are expected at all times and in all situations to conduct yourself in a manner appropriate to, and mindful of, the great duties and traditions of the Emperor’s Most Glorious and Honourable Navy.
- Opening line of the Imperial Navy Articles of War
Know the enemy not and the battle cannot be won. Know the enemy too much and the battle will be doubly lost.
- Lord Admiral Ravensburg, Naval Maxims Vol. IX
A fleet of Imperial ships at war are the best negotiators…
- Lord Admiral Ravensburg
No battle was ever won that was poorly planned. No plan ever succeeded that was poorly conceived.
- Lord Admiral Ravensburg
Into the jaws of death, into the mouth of Hell!
- Lord Admiral Ravensburg’s opening order at the Battle of Gethsemane
He who seizes the moment, he is the right man.
- Fleet-Admiral Hawke
Every man is expected to work his fingers to the bone to accomplish the task in hand. And if that proves insufficient, he shall work them to the marrow!
- First Standing Order of Captain (later Admiral) Krassus
The whole principle of naval fighting is to be free to go anywhere with every damned thing the Navy possesses.
- Captain Grenfeld of the Hammer of Justice
A magnificent ship no doubt, but I would rather have a crew who knew their airlaps from their transons.
- Admiral Rath on receiving command of the Emperor class battleship Dominus Astra
Victory? What use is victory? Let me have a battle of annihilation.
- Fleet Commissar Drussos
Ye thought? Ye are not paid to think!
- Admiral Krantz, rebuttal to Flag-Captain Abram’s suggestion of a fighting withdrawal at Losandre Sound
Enemy in range, target in sight. Fire to the last round of ammunition! Fly to the last drop of fuel! Fight to the last drop of blood!
- Last transmission of Captain Haggard, Imperial Navy 767th Fighter Wing “Roaring Thunder” squadron
Sure, we’re slow. Sure, we make big targets. Somehow though, 6,000 lbs of high-ex payload encourages the enemy not to laugh too hard about it.
- Vox-operator/Bombardier Morn Lachan – 92nd Imperial Navy Bomber Wing
O Eternal God Emperor; who alone spreadest out the heavens and rulest the raging of the warp;
Who has compassed the void with bounds until day and night come to an end;
Be pleased to receive into they Almighty and most gracious protection the souls of they servants and the fleet in which we serve;
Preserve us from the dangers of the void, and from the violence of the enemy;
That we may be a safeguard unto our fellow man and his dominions, and a security for such as pass through the void upon their lawful occasions;
That the inhabitants of our Imperium may serve thee, our Saviour and that we may return in triumph with the fruits of our labours;
And with a thankful remembrance of thy mercies to praise and glorify thy Holy Name;
Through thine eternal rule;
- Common Prayer of the Fleet
For the warp is a strange and terrible place. You might as well throw a traveler into a sea of sharks and tell him to swim home as send him through the warp unprotected. Better it is not to let common man travel through the stars. Better still, let him not know such a thing is feasible.
- Fra Safrane, 5th aide to Navigator Da’el. Comment made prior to the departure of the second mission to search for the missing freighter ‘Pride of Angelos’
It is forbidden to speak of what I see in the Great Beyond. I could hint at impossible, half-seen castles in the distance, or rivers of pure vibrance flowing to where they fall upon themselves forever, of mothers’ love and children’s hate given form. But nothing could give you the vaguest notion of what it is truly like.
- Varentias Jugold of the Navilis Nobilite
When I open my Warp eye I look upon the face of the Empyrean and see hell itself gazing back at me. Superimposed over the mundane world I see the sharks of the Warp circling ech person I regard. Those with the Sight, such as Astropaths, psykers and my own people, Navigators, shine with a soul-fire so bright they all but obliterate the small flickers of those nearby. These attract the most voracious of Warp-bound predators, who snarl and snap and slaver in their realm. Were these individuals not protected by their own powers or their bonding to the Emperor then these creatures of the Warp would pierce their very minds and claw their way through into the material universe. This is why I cannot uncover my Warp eye in the presence of the unprotected. To meet the Warp-gaze of a Navigator is to see reflected in it the most awful of truths: that the human soul is but a mote adrift upon the ocean of the Warp, surrounded by slavering horrors from our very worst nightmares.
- Baron des Champ, Principle of House des Champ of the Navilis Nobilite
Our thoughts light the Darkness that others may cross space
We are one with the Emperor, ours souls are joined in his will.
Praise the Emperor whose sacrifice is life as ours is death.
Hail his name the Master of Humanity
- extract from the Credo of the Astronomican
Between the stars the ancient unseen enemies of mankind wait and hunger. Every voyage into the nothing is a confrontation with horror, with the implacable things of the warp, and with man’s own innermost fear.
The Emperor is master of the galaxy, but the captain is master of his ship.
- Popular naval saying
The Emperor will judge your sins – after the Officer of the Watch is finished with you!
- Popular naval saying
We’ll strain and we’ll work and we’ll toil,
In the blood, sweat, grease and the oil,
From the moment we wake, ‘Til our bodies break,
With the lash to keep us all loyal.
- Chanted by rating work parties during hard labour
War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength.
- Inscription across the ceiling of the Chapel Primus on the Divine Right
There is nothing better that a man can do than lay down his life in the service of the Emperor.
- Inscription at the top of the Gothic Monolith in the Chamber of Heroes
Cross the stars and fight for glory
But ‘ware the heaven’s wrath
Take yer salt and hear a shipman’s story
Listen to tales of the gulf
Of stars that sing and worlds what lie
Beyond the ghosts of the rim
But remember, lads, there ain’t no words
for every void-born thing
The Tactica Imperium
Myriad are the ways of war. The lightning strike, the tenacious defense, the cunning ruse; all have their time and place, oft as not dictated by the lie of the land or the balance of forces that you find at your disposal. The art of war is learning how to bind the tactics, terrain, and forces at your command to your advantage.
In any army, balance is the key to success. A commander who puts his faith in heavy weaponry alone will be outmaneuvered. A commander who relies on close combat without support will lose his forces to enemy fire. Each element must work in harmony, so that the effectiveness of the army is greater than the sum of its parts.
Do not strike until you are ready to crush the enemy utterly, and then attack without mercy, destroy every vestige of resistance, have no one to work against you.
When you wipe out your enemies, be sure you destroy them all. The defeated have long memories.
The only justifiable risk is one that can do more harm to the enemy than it can to you. All risks must be calculated in your favour. Otherwise you are fighting for the enemy!
A good general does not lead an army to destruction just because he knows it will follow.
Do not throw your forces blindly into battle. Before committing your forces, examine the situation. Review your own strength, and that of the enemy. Remember your own objectives, and try to anticipate those of your opponent. Then select those of your troops best suited to the task in hand.
Identify your target. Concentrate your fire on it to the exclusion of all else. When it is destroyed choose another target. That is the way to secure victory!
Always endeavor to fight the enemy on your terms. If you are powerful at close quarters than engage in dense terrain where your advantage will prove greatest. If you are superior at long range then fight the battle at a distance. If you have greater numbers than attack along an extended front. Use reserves to break through when the enemy’s overstretched lines collapse. If outnumbered then concentrate your forces so that the enemy can fight only your best troops. No one ever won a battle who failed to take advantage of his enemy’s weakness.
An open battlefield is nothing but a death trap – in war any visible target is a casualty no matter how well protected it may be.
A commander must have the courage to see his plan through, for good or ill. Wars are won or lost when the battle-lines are drawn.
Being able to read the lie of the land is arguably the most important skill an officer can have. On the attack, a wise commander will use the terrain to mask his advance from the enemy’s sight. On defence, he will occupy positions that provide cover for his troops and a clear view of the routes along which the enemy is likely to attack. Using terrain well can give even an inferior force the chance of victory, while using it badly can lead to the defeat of all but the strongest attacker.
Attack the enemy where he is weakest. Where he is strong draw on him until he is trapped. Where he is unsure strike quickly and scatter his forces.
If you are strong, feign weakness. If weak, pretend strength. Whatever your position, conceal it from the enemy, and he will waste his armies fighting his own phantasms.
If the enemy comes on in a great horde, as Orks are wont to do, then try to direct them into a narrow defile or enclosed space, such that their numbers work against them. Crowded together those in the front will impede those behind, whilst the push from the rear will prevent those at the front from retreating or finding a better path.
A good soldier obeys without question. A good officer commands without doubt.
In battle you must husband your resources carefully, sacrificing as little as possible for the greatest gain. Victory is important, but winning a battle is of little value if by doing so you lose the war.
A battle is but one part of a larger whole. Any student of war will tell you that a wise commander will not commit to battle unless he is sure that it is a fight he cannot lose. But this still gives the battle an importance it does not warrant. Fighting a battle, even a battle you cannot fail to win, is the purest foolishness unless it advances the chances of ending the need for any further battles. Your primary aim must always be to win the war, not win the battle.
In war victory is one part planning and nine parts faith.
A good commander does not need to take risks – he merely waits for his foe to do so.
The meaning of victory is not the defeat of your enemy but his destruction, to eradicate him from living memory, leaving no remnant of his endeavours, crushing utterly his every achievement and removing from all record his every trace of existence. From that defeat no enemy can ever recover. That is the true meaning of victory!
A warrior’s faith in his commander is his best armour and strongest weapon.
Preservation of life for its own sake is not to be commended where sacrifice offers a reasonable chance of gain. Nonetheless, the purposeless waste of life is equally to be avoided. The loss of trained personnel implies the loss of resources, equipment and knowledge. A true warrior does not belittle his value as a resource. The duty of the commander is to judge what means should be undertaken to achieve each objective. He must be aware of what is to be gained and what may be lost. A commander who places his troops in a position where he may likely lose more than he may likely gain risks more than the lives of his men. He risks far more: he risks failure. Loss is acceptable, failure is not.
You strive for victory. That is obvious. What may be less obvious is the nature of victory. There are circumstances in which you can destroy the enemy entirely, without loss to your own forces, and yet the victory will be his. In all situations, you must first decide on the nature of victory, and then take steps to secure it. Avoid the instinct to fight first and think later.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them and in the furnace of war forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest guns will they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies and machines such that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear.
- The Emperor of Mankind
On land, in the air and across the stars, my loyal sons shall always know victory!
- Attributed to the Almighty Emperor of Mankind, during the Great Crusade
We are the Space Marines.
The Champions of Humanity.
The Emperor’s chosen warriors.
For every one of us that falls in battle one hundred enemies shall die.
They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandisement. They will be bright stars in the firmament of battle. Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of Man. So it shall be for a thousand times a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.
- Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines
Give me a hundred Space Marines; or failing that, a thousand other troops.
- Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists
The enemies of the Emperor fear many things.
They fear discovery, defeat, despair and death.
Yet there is one thing they fear above all others.
They fear the wrath of the Space Marines!
A Captain leads from the front. By his example shall his men know what it is to be of the Adeptus Astartes, and from his teachings shall they learn the trade of battle in the Emperor’s name.
No ordinary man can a Captain be, for many are the paths to victory and he must be master of them all. His very being shall be an extension of the Emperor’s work. With every strike of his sword, with every word of his speech, does he reaffirm the ideals of our honoured master. He will vanquish darkness and heresy with every thought, word, and deed. So shall his coming be a sign of deliverance to the dutiful, and a herald of dismay to all traitors. No living man shall stay his wrath.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
With the bolter, cleanse the unclean.
We will cleanse!
With the flamer, purify the unholy.
We will purify!
With the chainsword, purge the corrupt.
We will purge!
With the missile, kill the impure.
We will kill!
We shall never rest while a single renegade draws breath.
- Captain Leitz of the Exorcists
Bravery is stronger than adamantium. One is the stuff of soul-forges, the other an illusion of safety created by fools. Adamantium walls cannot keep us out! We have the courage of the Emperor! And in the Emperor’s name…ATTACK!! ATTACK!! NO PRISONERS!!
- Chaplain Gonzago during the second pacification of Isstvan V
While vile mutants still draw breath, there can be no peace.
While obscene heretics' hearts still beat, there can be no respite.
While faithless traitors still live, there can be no forgiveness.
- Legiones Astartes Silver Skulls' Catechism of Hate, Verse I of XXV
At battle’s end, speak the Liturgy in a clear voice. Respect the bravery of the living. Give the Rite of Passage to the fallen. Honour the battle gear of the dead. To do all this with reverence, even when exhausted by battle and weary from the field, is the duty of the Chaplain. It is his burden and his satisfaction.
- Adeptus Astartes – The Book of Faith
Without the Dark, there can be no Light.
We have Purpose
Without the Lie, there can be no Truth.
We have Purpose
Without the War, there can be no Victory
We have Purpose
Without the Death, there can be no sacrifice.
We have Purpose
Without the Hope, there can be no Future.
We have Purpose
Without the Loyalty, there can be no Chapter.
We have Purpose
Without the Emperor, there is nothing...
and we would have no Purpose
- Ritual and Responses, Tome of Truths Foretold, Legiones Astartes Library copy
De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum!
- Chaplain Claussel
Do not fail your brothers. Though their bodies die, their spirits must return to the Chapter. That is your charge. In Nostra Manus - Progenies Futura.
- Votus Apothecarius
If your life is given in service to the Emperor, your death shall not be in vain.
- Chaplain Hauis Argento, Crimson Fists 2nd Company
Pain and death are illusions of the weak mind. While his gene-seed returns to the Chapter, a Marine cannot die. Without death, pain loses its relevance.
He that may fight, heal him.
He that may fight no more, give him peace.
He that is dead, take from him the Chapter’s due.
All of creation suffers, young ones. Only in accepting our own mortality can we make a difference. Only in bearing the burden of our failures can we find the strength to go on. Only in detachment from glory, or honour, or jealousy... from life itself can we hope to spare others from grief. We are Doom Eagles. And we are dead already.
- Librarian Secundus Thryn of the Doom Eagles
As a commander your tools and your devices shall be myriad, yet the wise man knows that battles are won by flesh, not the machine. Flesh can learn, whilst the machine must be forever instructed. Flesh knows loyalty to its brothers and the veneration of the Emperor, whilst the machine knows not these things.
Whenever the day is darkest and victory is in doubt, look not to the machine for aid, but to your Battle-Brothers. The machine can only bring you victory if you tell it how such a thing can be done. Your brothers will walk through fire, they will stride through the most terrible carnage at a single word from your lips, and they will bring you victory simply because you ask it of them.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
Look to your battle-gear and it will protect you
We guard it with our lives
Your armour is your soul, and your soul's dedication its armour
The soul of the warrior is the protector of humanity
Honour the craft of death
Only the emperor is higher in our devotion
Honour the battle gear of the dead
We ask only to serve
- Warrior's Catechism of Worship
The Adeptus Astartes is not a subtle instrument to be delicately wielded like a surgeon’s knife.
Rather it is likened to a mighty hammer which smashes asunder that which stands in its way.
Of the Tactical Space Marine, bedrock of his Chapter and paragon to his brothers, I shall tell thee.
He shall be steeped in the lore of battle and schooled in all manner of weapon and strategy. With combat blade, boltgun and grenade he shall assail his foe. But these are mere tools: a Tactical Space Marine’s true weapons are his courage, his wits, and his dedication to his brothers.
He will bring his foe to battle in a manner and time of his choosing, never himself caught unready or ill-prepared for the task at hand. In defence he shall be as stalwart as the mountain, a bulwark stood firm against the enemies of Man. In attack he shall strike with the wrath of the Immortal Emperor, felling the foe without mercy, remorse, or fear.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
To a Space Marine the boltgun is far more than a weapon.
It is an instrument of Mankind’s divinity, the bringer of death to his foes, whose howling blast is a prayer to the gods of battle.
Onwards they came and we were ready. A tide of filth and heresy swept towards us but it could no pierce the adamantine shield of our purity and devotion. Our righteousness flung back the traitors, back into their Daemon-haunted fastness and from thence into the void where the Emperor’s justice was served upon their craven souls.
- From the report of Captain Palatine of the White Consuls, during the Scouring of Lethe
Camouflage is the colour of fear. I have no need to hide from my foes. I have no fear of death. My colours I wear openly, they proclaim louder than words “I am proud to live – I am proud to die.”
- Commander Carab Culln, Red Scorpions 1st Company
Tremble foes of Man, for the might of the Adeptus Astartes never rests in the Emperor’s work.
The uniforms of the Imperial Guard are camouflaged in order to protect their wearers by hiding them from sight. The principle is that what the enemy cannot see he cannot kill. This is not the way of the Adeptus Astartes. A Space Marine’s armour is bright with heraldry that proclaims his devotion to his Chapter and the beloved Emperor of Mankind. Our principle is that what the enemy can see, he will soon learn to fear.
- Chaplain Aston, 10th Company, Fire Hawks chapter
As you are a knight in service of the Emperor, so is the Rhino your steed. Honour it, respect it, see that its needs are met, and it shall serve you well through all the battles that you must face.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
Nothing can stand in our way for we are the Space Marines.
Versatile, enduring, and uncomplaining – truly is the Rhino a steed for a Space Marine.
- Captain Emil Verigan, Night Watch 5th Company
The deeds of one bold warrior can alter the course of a battle. I have four such men under my command, and our every deed changes the shape of the galaxy.
- Sergeant Daegon Incursa, The Invaders 1st Company
There is less than one Space Marine for each world of the Imperium. Nevertheless they are number enough for the task at hand.
And of the Assault Marine so do I decree:
He shall descend upon the perfidious foe as an Angel of Judgement from on high. Let the jump pack be his wings, and the roar of its engines a hymn of retribution.
Let the chainsword be his sceptre of decree, its harsh voice singing joyfully with each and every blow. With it shall the Assault Marine bring bloody retribution to the heretic, the traitor and all alien aggressors who trespass on the Emperor’s domain.
So will the Assault Marine be a hunter of warlords and a slayer of kings. His armour shall run slick with the life-blood of the vanquished, and all shall honour his name.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
Victory often rests on the correct weaponry being in the right place and at the right time. Even the most destructive weapons of war are worthless if absent from the battle.
- Artor Amhrad (deceased), Chapter Master of the Astral Knights
Show me a fortress and I'll show you a ruin.
- Captain Eddan Bourne, No. 2 Assault Company, Silver Skulls
Use your Bike squads as a blade, striking the enemy and turning aside his counter-blows in equal measure. But in all things beware that speed is nothing without direction, just as even the mightiest weapon is useless without careful aim.
A biker’s stance should always be resolute and dauntless, but never immobile or rigid. Speed is his advantage, and surprise his deadliest weapon. In fluidity he will find success, and in success he shall find renown.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
For the Khan and the Emperor!
- Battlecry of the White Scars
Walls of stone and walls of iron,
Fall down all the same.
They may delay but don't prevent
The hail of death and pain.
- Assault battle-hymn of the White Scars
Surround yourselves with the greatest warriors at your command, or cower in the deepest and darkest hole you can find. It matters not. I shall take your head for the Great Khan and the Emperor.
- Kor’sarro Khan, White Scars 3rd Company
A Devastator’s reach shall be without limit and his touch without mercy. Fire shall roar from his fingertips, but it shall consume him not. Thunder will roar when he calls, yet it will swallow him not.
Let the Devastator squad be thy blazing wrath, bringing the light of the Emperor’s justice to the darkest corners of the battlefield. Wherever he stands, that shall be his fortress of righteousness. He shall hold in his gift the fate of all who pass before his unblinking eye.
All shall fear him, and he shall fear no one.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
Victory does not always rest with the big guns: but, if we rest in front of them, we shall be lost.
- Commander Argentius, Adeptus Astartes Silver Skulls
Make the Predator’s virtues your own. Let your resolve become as impervious as the Predator’s armoured hull, and let your rage strike with the rightoues fury of its guns. As it crushes the foe beneath its remorseless advance, so shall you smite the traitor and the alien without hesitation or regret.
Know that to take to the field alongside a Predator is to fight at the side of one of Mankind’s most honoured guardians. To strive with less than your all beneath its armoured gaze is to dishonour yourself and your Battle-Brothers before one of Mankind’s greatest heroes.
- From the teachings of Roboute Gulliman, as laid down in the Apocrypha of Skaros
I believe in three tenets of battle – firepower, firepower, and more firepower. Should the Omnissiah have wished otherwise, he would not have provided me with such a mighty tool as the Razorback. I long for the day in which my entire Chapter can ride to war in transports such as these, vehicles whose rage can be given voice through their sanctified armarment.
- Kardan Staenos, Chapter Master of the Iron Hands
Strive to emulate the Predator. Let your soul be armoured with Faith, driven on the tracks of Obedience, which overcomes all obstacles, and armed with the three great guns of Zeal, Duty, and Purity.
- The Commander of Armour's First Book of Indoctrinations
Attack, always attack. That is the best form of defence.
- Iron Father Korralioin, Iron Hands
A fortress won't stop the Marines. But it may slow them down.
After the orbital strikes, Thunderhawk bombardments, Whirlwinds, Vindicators, fusion and starfire and finally Battle Brothers with flamers had finished cleansing the world of all the enemies of Man, we built a monastery in the center of the largest, most radioactive impact crater. We named the planet "Tranquility", for it was very quiet now.
- Brother Vlad Carthas
853.M41. During the decisive moments of the Battle of Steel Cross, Captain Cortez single-handedly slew the Ork Warlord and his entire bodyguard. Cortez had managed to disarm the Ork leader with a twist of his torso after the Ork’s sword had become embedded in his ribs.
867.M41. Despite suffering seventeen wounds, including a stabbing wound puncturing one of his hearts, and two serious wounds from enemy heavy weapons, Captain Cortez managed to break through Eldar lines and complete his mission successfully.
892.M41. Captain Cortez defended the breach in Fortress Maladon’s wall for twenty-one hours of constant fighting despite overwhelming odds and the loss of his whole squad to several enemy attacks.
903.M41. Captain Cortez fought through the entire Kardian six week campaign without supplies after they had been lost to enemy fire during deployment. He attributed his survival to the Emperor’s benevolence which nourished his body better than any food or drink would have.
- Extract from the record of Captain Cortez of the Crimson Fists, page 447 of 512
The final destination on my Warrior Pilgrimage to Rynn's World was my voyage to the Jadeberry Hill Necropolis. Upon that blasted knoll are to be found hundreds of hand-carved headstones, each one a memorial to a fellow battle brother of the Crimson Fists. Each stone is engraved with the battle honours of a hero whose mortal remains will never be recovered, his sacrifice an example to us all. I lingered at that bleak place for a day and a night, meditating upon the foes I had defeated and the terrible battles I had fought to return here and atone for my weakness. Come the morn, I was struck by a revelation. Though many of them had died here, my brethren had prevailed in the face of adversity. I would strive to emulate their example and prove myself worthy of the trust placed in me by my Chapter.
- Preface to Chapter V, "Warrior Pilgrimages of the Angels of Death"
Vinctorus aut Mortis.
- Raven Guard chapter motto
From the darkness we strike, fast and lethal, and by the time our foes can react…darkness there and nothing more.
- Kayvaan Shrike, Shadow Captain of the 3rd Company of the Raven Guard chapter
Wherever you tread, tread lightly. We are closer than you think, and our blades are sharp.
- Captain Kayvaan Shrike, Raven Guard 3rd Company
We are coming. Look to the skies for your salvation.
- Captain Kayvaan Shrike to Commissar Lect prior to the Blindhope planetstrike
We go where we wilt. We slay who we wilt. Let the Emperor judge the righteousness of our deeds.
- Sergeant D’Kestrel, Raven Guard 1st Company
Knowing where to land your blow so that it achieves the greatest damage with the minimum force is the key to victory in war.
- Instructor Sergeant Alenpo, Raven Guard 4th Company
- Last word of Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard, before leaving for the Eye of Terror
Into the fires of battle, unto the anvil of war!
- Salamanders battlecry
My sword is at the Emperor’s command. I answer to no other man, living or dead.
- Tu’Shan, Chapter Master of the Salamanders
I can pulp your flesh and snap your bones in less than a second, and without so much as lifting a finger. What is the power of technology compared to that?
- Vel’cona, Chief Librarian of the Salamanders
The faith of the Salamanders is not forged in the chapel, but in the fires of the battlefield.
- Chaplain Xavier of the Salamanders
Listen well my brothers, for I have important words to say unto you this day. The enemy that stands before us is countless beyond numbering, and strong with the false energy of Chaos. Yet we will break this foe as easily as a flawed boulder, that though it is large and appears strong, splits asunder with but one tap of the craftsman's hammer.
- Chaplain Xavier, before the Battle of Kilgrom's Krag 147/M40
So, brother, you wish me to tell you about my lord Chaplain Xavier?
I will gladly. Xavier was both the most learned and intelligent teacher I ever had, and the most zealous and dogmatic preacher of the Promethean Cult I ever saw. He was a man whose words could inspire awe or revulsion, love or hate, introspection or berserk fury.
And he was the man that taught me the true meaning of the words honour, duty, and sacrifice. I miss him more than I can say. Aye, there is much I have forgotten since I became encased in this adamantium shell, but the centuries will never dim my memories of Xavier.
- Words of Brother Amadeus, Dreadnought of the Salamanders 3rd Company
Strength of will, courage of will!
- Relictors chapter motto
Do not ask, 'Why kill the alien?'
Rather ask, 'Why not?'
- Battle-brother Artemis of the Deathwatch
Knowledge is power. Guard it well!
- Chapter motto of the Blood Ravens
For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my battle brother eternal.
- Last line of the Invocation Initiate of the Flesh Tearers
…We made our peace with the Emperor in battle fashion. It was as I raised my eyes from prayer that I saw a strange host where moments before there had been nothing but darkness. I realised [the host] was of Space Marines, though not of any Chapter under the Emperor’s sun. Their armour was black, bearing chill images of bone and fire. They advanced without a sound, ghostly fire about their feet. Like the bones of men in the torment of purgatory were these were these spectral warriors, more like the skeletal damned than the living. Yet these revenants were no vision, for their fell upon the Orks with silent fury. Never before or since have I seen fighting such as I witnessed that night. Seizing the moment, I regrouped my Company and led them to war. As dawn lit the sky the great bastion was in our hands once again. Of the dark brotherhood there was no sign.
- Chief Librarian Tigurius of the Ultramrines on the Legion of the Damned
Dey’ze almost as good inna proper fight as uz!
- Warlord Lagga ‘Edbiter
Over the long and complex history of the Imperium the Space Marine chapters have sometimes drawn close to the Imperial rule of the Adeptus Terra and sometimes remained aloof, pursuing their own policies of empire building and retrenchment. Each Chapter rules over its own world, accepting the rule of the Adeptus Terra only as it suits them. For the most part, the Space Marines are wholly independent of mind and it is only their ancient loyalty to the Emperor that binds them to the Imperium.
As with all worlds the Space Marine planets may be cut off by warp storms, and at any one time there are always a number of Chapters which are estranged from the Imperium. This can lead to separate development and ambition, rivalries between the Chapters, even to wars. The most recent of these conflicts was between the loyal Space Marine Chapters of the Imperium and the followers of the Tyrant of Badab, Commander Lufgt Huron, Master of the Astral Claws Chapter of Space Marines. This war, the Fourth Quadrant War as it has become known, is chronicled in the extensive contemporary records of the Historicus Ostalan Vanus.
My first finding was the somewhat uncooperative, some would say purposefully obstructive, nature of the Space Marines. Although given formal commission by the Ecclesiarch himself to investigate the religious practices of the Adeptus Astartes, I have been forced to form most of my conclusions from speculations, hearsay and casual observances. Of the twelve Chapters approached*, only three responded directly, and of those the information passed on was cursory and brief in the extreme. However, despite these obstacles, I have formulated a number of preliminary conclusions, as follows.
Like all faithful citizens of the Imperium, the Space Marines give due reverence to the Beneficent Emperor of Mankind. However, here their orthodoxy ends, for it is rumoured that they perpetrate that most unholy of blasphemies and heresies. It is said that they do not worship the Benevolent Emperor as the God he is, but instead give their praise to him only as the founder of the Imperium and their creator. As if this was not heinous enough a crime against His Most Holy Emperor, blessed be He for all eternity, but they also raise their voices in prayer to their Primarchs with equal vigour. They offer up praise for the founding of their Chapter, and the gift of the gene-seed from their Primarch which sustains them.
The manner of praise takes a different form in every Chapter, although Chapters with a common genealogy will often adhere to similar beliefs and traditions. In many cases, these rites are barbaric in the extreme. Sacrifice is not uncommon in many Chapters, with the warriors proving their martial prowess against various bestial adversaries in bloody combat. The exchange of blood between Space Marines is also a frequent occurrence, particularly those Chapters which have descended from the original Blood Angels Legion. Captured banners are paraded, the heads of defeated foes exhibited and the manner of their capture or defeat recalled with grim detail and fascination. In all mattes religious, the Space Marines emphasize their own prowess and conquests, giving thanks to the Emperor and their Primarch for bestowing them with their martial gifts.
Some Chapters’ practices date back from their founding, and are laid upon the foundations of heathen beliefs practiced on their home planets. Ritual scarring, tattooing and the daubing of pain on the body are common themes amongst those Chapters which draw their recruits from the semi-civilized worlds of the Imperium. For instance, the Salamanders, raised from the volcanic, ash-laden world of Nocturne, follow the Promethean cult. Offerings are burnt in the sacred fires and intricate, harmonious chants recite the Chapter’s achievements, giving praise to the Emperor and Vulkan. Amidst the ruddy glow of the lava flows, they swear allegiance to the Emperor, branding themselves, using red-hot irons, with various symbols of their devotion and victories. The Rampagers, descended from the White Scars Legion who themselves drew upon the nomadic warriors of Mundus Planus, scar themselves in a long ceremony known as the Blooding. Facial scars are a matter of rank and prestige amongst the Rampagers, and the gathered blood from this ritual wounding forms part of the celebration feast that follows.
The beliefs of the Chapter are perpetuated by its Chaplains. These fierce devotees to the Chapter’s cult lead the prayers and rituals, and exhort their comrades to acts of valour on the battlefield. I was unable to converse with any Chaplains directly, but they are said to be ferocious individuals, of fiery heart and temperament, quick to anger but also watchful of the souls of their battle brothers. Though the Chaplains are given a miraculous Rosarius to show the bond between them and the Ministorum, it is my belief that any connection between that of their practices and our own noble establishments is faint, if not non-existent.
- Investigation of the Religious Beliefs, Rituals and Practices of the Legionnes Astartes, Balthazar van Heppel.
* Angels of Purgatory, Angels of Vigilance, Black Inculpators, Black Templars, Crimson Fists, Flesh Tearers, Imperial Fists, Novamarines, Rampagers, Salamanders, Silver Skulls, Venerators of Osiron
Honoured masters, my recent investigations on Kethra uncovered nothing less than a worldwide conspiracy to secede from the Emperor’s Light and the guiding rule of the Imperium. The situation was dire as the conspiracy originated from the Governor himself, and was supported by his most prominent ministers and officers. Under the circumstances my only option was to transmit a general appeal for assistance and wait for help to arrive. My petition was soon answered by Space Marines of the White Panthers Chapter. Upon their arrival in the Kethra system, I advised them of the situation and outlined my plan to eliminate the Governor and his advisory council, also targeting the high-ranking officers of the defence force. They thanked me for bringing this heresy to their attention and proceeded to implement their own plan.
The first attack destroyed Kethra’s two orbiting weapon stations, with a crew of nearly 15,000 men. Having established orbital supremacy, they despatched Thunderhawks and drop pods to various points on the planet’s surface, calculated to provoke an attack by the Kethran defence forces. Despite their vast advantage in numbers the attacking forces were annihilated piecemeal by the White Panthers over a period of a few days and nights of incessant conflict. I found it regrettable that the common soldiers bore the weight of the Space Marine’s fury, as they were merely men following orders and their chain of command as they had been so trained to do; it was their leaders who required justice. But to a Space Marine, one of the Emperor’s finest, there is never an excuse for such heresy, each man must owe loyalty to the Emperor before any other.
Having shattered the defence force, the White Panthers launched an all-out assault on the Governor’s Palace. Surrounded, the Governor’s men had little choice but to grimly fight to the death. A few managed to flee, but noone else survived. The Governor and his consulate were summarily executed as traitors, and demolition charges were used to destroy the planet’s armoury. Having deemed their missions achieved, with Kethra’s military power eliminated, the White Panthers returned to their battle barges and left without further word.
Whether Kethra will be sufficiently recovered to provide its tithe within the next year is a matter for the Administratum. The point I wish to raise is that the proper application of force could have resolved the entire affair without destroying the military strength of Kethra and leaving the world vulnerable to alien attack. I regret that the Officio Assassinorum did not respond to my request earlier when their Adepts could have easily ended the whole affair quickly and quietly.
While the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes, as ever, showed creditable skill, determination, and unswerving loyalty to the Emperor, unleashing them against any Imperial world is to use an ultimate force exceeded only by that of Exterminatus. It is not as if this incident is without precedent, indeed on many occasions Space Marines have pursued their own campaigns without reference or remit to the authority of the Adeptus Terra. To think that there are a thousand Chapters, each a thousand-strong, of these warriors poised to strike anywhere in the galaxy fills me with reassurance and dread in equal measure.
I remain, as ever, your most faithful and obedient servant,
- Inquisitor Bastalek Grim
The Codex Astartes
To die without purpose is not a service to the Emperor. It is a heresy to waste lives entrusted to you as an Imperial officer. There is nothing shameful or disloyal in righteous retreat. But in withdrawing from the enemy's presence, allow him no succor. That which cannot be saved must be destroyed. Leave no weapons, armor, transport, food or water in your passing. Scorch the earth at his feet, and leave him desert and desolation as his victory gifts.
A Space Marine does not wait for the enemy to attack. Make your foe react to your movements instead.
Only the eager martyr covets battle.
In war, one should seek to take and hold the high ground. From there, the enemy's movements are clearly visible, and he will struggle just to reach you, let alone fight you. High orbit is the highest ground there is.
Do not expect every foe to fall at the first blow. Be ready to keep attacking until he does.
War is not your recreation. It's the reason for your existence. Prepare for it well.
Walls, trenches, and towers are no obstacle. Lack of imagination and lack of will are obstacles.
Honour the craft of death.
Courage and Honour!
- Battlecry of the Ultramarines
To admit defeat is to blaspheme against the Emperor.
- Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines
The warrior who acts out of honour cannot fail. His duty is honour itself. Even his death – if it is honourable – is a reward and can be no failure, for it has come through duty. Seek honour as you act, therefore, and you will know no fear.
- Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines
The Codex Astartes is the holy tome of these loyal Battle Brothers. The wisdom of the ancients is both scripture and the unbending rod by which they are measured. In war they are as fierce and as steadfast as those of old who stood beside the Emperor and broke the Legions of Horus. In faith and valour they are unmatched. The torches of their chapels burn bright with flames whose holy fire has shown upon an unchanging brotherhood for a hundred centuries. In their lives and in war the Codex Astartes is their guide.
Know this, son of Guilliman. The father of our Chapter watches over you always. He knows your soul, your strengths, and, aye, even your doubts. The chain of command must not be broken or we are nothing. Discipline and order are everything on the battlefield and the army that lives by that credo will always triumph.
- Marneus Calgar, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines
We pray for our brethren who pilot the Dreadnoughts. Though they take new form, their souls, and their weapon mounts remain pure.
- Marneus Calgar
We are the Ultramarines, the Sons of Guilliman. Whilst we draw breath, we stand. Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath.
- Marneus Calgar, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines
Warriors of Ultramar! This is where we make our stand. If death is to be our fate then we shall meet it with the Emperor’s word on our lips and his light in our eyes. If we must die, we will die; but we shall never yield.
- Marneus Calgar, Lord Macragge
Salute the great Primarch,
Salute the Emperor,
Onward to victory!
- Marneus Calgar, Lord Macragge
Damnation starts with little steps, by arrogantly thinking that you are wiser than our great forebears, by tinkering with truth, by compromising, by departing from the straight and narrow path of the Emperor’s light.
- Marneus Calgar
Marneus Augustus Calgar is the renowned master of the Ultramarines, and his countless exploits while defeating the enemies of the Emperor (may his divine light always guide us!) have earned him fame throughout the Imperium. In particular his stubborn defence and ultimate crushing defeat of the Tyranids during the First Tyrannic War has become the stuff of legend amongst the more vulgar elements of the population on those planets that owe allegiance to the Ultramarines. But fame and glory ever begets jealousy and spite, and these heroic tales, fuelled by Marneus’ fierce (some might say intractable) pride, have earned him and his brethren many high-ranking enemies. While I can find no direct evidence, it seems probable that these enemies engineered the now infamous Court of Inquiry into Marneus’ actions during the suppression of the uprising on Colony Beta/54 where Marneus was quite rightly exonerated of all charges (if his excellency will allow me to put forward my own, very humble, opinion). Recent reports that Marneus was slain during the defence of Ichar IV appear to be based upon nothing but base rumour and tawdry gossip, and all the reliable evidence I have found indicates that he continues to lead the Ultramarines to this day.
- “Leaders of the Adeptus Astartes” – A Most Secret Report, Compiled for His Most Supreme Excellency the Paternoval Envoy by his Humble Servant Master Maximus Pliny
698.M41: The Corinthus Crusade – Calgar is elected leader of a combined Space Marine force including the Ultramarines, Lamenters, Marines Errant, Angels of Absolution and Silver Skulls on a seven year crusade. Under his determined leadership the Ork empire of Charadon suffered a series of heavy defeats, delaying the invasion of Waaagh Argluk by some thirty years.
704.M41: Siege of Tulwa – Calgar led the infiltration force that destroyed the Fortress of Pain, established by Chaos Space Marines of the Iron Warriors Legion.
745.M41: Battle of Macragge – Calgar led the fleet of Ultramar against the Tyranid Behemoth Hivefleet. After a long and bloody struggle the Tyranids were defeated but the entire Ultramarines First company was wiped out.
759.M41: Scouring of Quintarn – Calgar took command of forces driving out Ork scavengers who had captured the triple system of Quintarn, Tarentus and Masali in the aftermath of Hivefleet Behemoth.
807.M41: Purgation of Jhanna – Calgar led two Ultramarines companies in the recapture of the rebellious oceanic cities of Omon and Vorlencia. Despite the rebels’ Chaos Space Marine allies Calgar succeeded in recapturing both cities largely intact.
861.M41: Battle of Arconar – Calgar defeated a powerful coalition of Eldar Raiders on the feral world of Arconar, scattering their forces and capturing their bases both on and off world.
879.M41: Battle of Knarts Landing - Calgar eliminated a rebel army led by General Dornal in a thirty day battle on the industrial world of Knarts Landing. Ultramarines casualties in the engagement were less than 17%.
944.M41: Malur Crusade - Calgar was elected leader of a crusading Space Marine force operating against worlds along the Eastern Fringe. Operations began with the scouring of Ork-held Balur and ended with the devastation of Boros.
995.M41: Defence of Ichar IV – Calgar acted as supreme commander in the defence of Ichar IV, a vital industrial world on the Eastern Fringe. Tyranid invaders from Kraken Hivefleet were held in check by the combined efforts of Space Marines, Imperial Guard and alien Eldar forces.
- Being an account of the most celebrated martial achievements of Marneus Calgar, Lord Macragge, Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, each having been proclaimed as a Victorix Maxima within the sacred halls of the Imperial Palace on Ancient Terra
And so it came to pass that the noble Lord Calgar was approached by Tigurius – most esteemed of his warrior-oracles, who was skilld with shot, blade and farseeing all equally. “Lord Calgar,” quoth he, “I had a premonition last eve and dreamed a strange dream, might I share it with you?” The noble Lord Calgar readily agreed, for Tigurius saw much that was hidden to others and gave good advice in all matters. “I saw a beast rise from the depths, a foul abomination so vast in its hunger that it consumed whole worlds. I dreamed I saw the Emperor, crowned in light as he was in the days of the Crusade, bestriding the galaxy. His sword rested upon Macragge.” Calgar was greatly troubled by this and asked Tigurius what he thought it meant. Tigurius replied thus: “The Beast rises from the deeps of the void, the Eastern Fringe I believe. The Emperor has appeared directly, indicating that no other help can be expected. The battle shall be at Macragge, so ready all your warriors and your ships and wait.”
Each path must be chosen with care, lest disaster swallow us whole.
- Varro Tigurius, Ultramarines Chief Librarian
A foe without honour is a foe already beaten.
- Ancient Helveticus, Ultramarines Honour Guard
Only a madman knows no fear. A warrior knows what fear is, he feels it in his stomach, he understands fear better than any other mortal can. What makes us strong is that we have conquered fear, overcome it not once but many times, over and over again, until the process has become instinctive. But no matter how many battles you fight and how many victories you win, your fear will never completely leave you. Learn to live with that fear. Learn to master your fear. But never forget that there are things in this universe that even you cannot face and live, abominations so terrible that their very appearance will sear the flesh from your face and shrivel your eyes. Such things cannot be fought, and to confront them nothing but a futile waste of life. In these situations, remember your vows to serve the Emperor, and remember also that you serve him best alive and not sacrificed upon the altar of vain glory.
- Memorum Libris de Petronius Caligarus, Ultramarines Captain
Brothers! War calls you. Will you answer?
- Captain Cato Sicarius, Knight-Champion of Macragge
The roar of the engines, the recoil of cannons. That is where the true joy of battle lies.
- Brother-Sergeant Chronus, the Spear of Macragge
Let them hide in their fortress. My crew can use the target practice.
- Brother-Sergeant Chronus, the Spear of Macragge
Forget all your preconceptions of war, of battle-lines clashing in the churned ground. Your mission is to attack before the foe even realizes that the war has begun, to strike hard at those vital weaknesses that all armies possess, but that no commander will admit to.
Under my tutelage you will learn how to seek out such fragilities and smite them with every weapon at your disposal. Master these duties and I will have nothing more to teach, and you shall truly be a Space Marine.
- Sergeant Torias Telion, Ultramarines 10th Company
A battle for supremacy against many foes is a battle of the best kind. There are few considerations, only those concerning where to place your next shot. It is war in its purest form.
- Commander Karziel, Ultramarines 5th Company
If any can hope to stand against such an onslaught, it is the Space Marines. If any Space Marines can hope to stand, it is the Ultramarines.
- Inquisitor Alkar, Halting the Abomination
We are the inheritors of Roboute.
Let no rule be beyond us.
Let no man stand in our way.
By the blood of Sanguinius!
- Battlecry of the Blood Angels
For eleven hundred years I have fought and I have seen the darkness in our galaxy. I have seen the vileness of the alien, I have seen the heresy of the mutant, I have witnessed the sin of Possession. I have seen all the evil that the galaxy harbours and I have slain all whose presence defiles the Emperor. I have seen what you will see, I have fought what you must fight and I have slain what you must slay.
Our enemies number untold billions and they will fight you with tooth and claw, with starships and guns, with vile sorceries and corrupt illusions. They are armed with all the strength that evil can muster. But you, brothers, have something more.
You are armoured by the Emperor himself. Righteousness is your shield, Faith your armour and Hatred your weapon. So fear not and be proud, for we are the sons of Sanguinius, the Protectors of Mankind. Aye, we are indeed the Angels of Death.
- Commander Dante addressing the Blood Angels Chapter at the start of the Alchonis Campaign
The Inquisition and the Administratum say we are weak because some of us have given in to the Black Rage – they are wrong! The Black Rage makes us strong, because we must resist its temptations every day of our lives or be forever damned!
- Blood Angels Chaplain Argastes
You are the Emperor’s Chosen. Hear His great anger in the roar of the bolt pistol. See His almighty fury in the blades of the chainsword. Feel His undying strength in the protection of your armor.
Within dark and forgotten places hide the enemies of the Emperor. You have been chosen to enter such places and, protected by the best armour the Adeptus Mechanicus can provide, cleanse it. Take with you your weapons, a valiant heart, and the Emperor's blessing, and engage the enemy where it makes its lair. Acknowledge death as it approaches, but do not succumb to its touch, for your purpose is great. You have proved yourselves to be worthy of the status you now hold. Every one of you standing here has declared allegiance to the Emperor and vowed to use His will as your guide. You have shown your courage and been rewarded for it. Those who stand before me, I charge you now, go forth and vanquish the foe.
- Sermon made by Chaplain Hanius to Blood Angels Terminator squads before the attack on Thain II
Drink deeply of victory and remember the fallen.
- Inscription over the archway leading to the Sepulchre of Heroes on Baal Secondus
Most highly praised and mightiest amongst the Sanguinary priests is Brother Corbulo; it is he who shares the Great Primarch’s far-seeing eye and deep wisdom and leads his brethren in the ancient quest to halt the Flaw. Corbulo also bears the singular honour of carrying the Red Grail into battle: the most ancient of the Blood Angel’s artefacts, that blessed cup which is used in the Ritual of Creation for all Blood Angels. The Red Grail holds the blood of the Sanguinary High Priests, who in turn have had the blood of the Primarch himself injected into their veins upon their initiation into that highest of orders. The Red Grail is the oldest relic of the Blood Angels, a source of much honour and an inspirational symbol to the warriors of the Chapter. Some claim that in battle the blood of the Primarch calls out to the Blood Angels, resonating with their gene-seed to drive them into a frenzy of destruction.
- Lords of Baal, Chapter VI ‘The Grail Bearers’
And thus did Brother Calistarius come to Hades Hive to do war against the enemies of the Imperium that had fallen upon the planet Armageddon and there did he become a victim of the Black Rage. And he went before his chaplain and was inducted into the Death Company, as is our way, and on the morning did take part in a grand assault upon a fortress held by the enemies of the Imperium. But as he fought against the hosts, such was the fury of the battle that the very walls of the fortress did crumble and collapse and Brother Calistarius was buried deep beneath the rubble. For fully seven days and seven nights did he lie there trapped, caught between death and the madness of the Red Thirst. But he did not succumb to the Red Thirst, for a vision of Sanguinius came to him and told him that he must resist. And further did the vision say that he must resist not just for himself, but for us all, for should he resist then he would show us that the Red Thirst can be conquered. And so he fought the feelings of rage and the desire for blood and he defeated them and on the seventh night at the hour of midnight did he burst free from his rocky tomb, reborn as Mephiston, our Lord of Death.
- Book of Mephiston, verse 23
It was upon the field of battle at Clamorga that the mighty Captain Moriar fell, defending the ridge against the despicable Eldar. Many were his wounds and the Sanguinary Priests were at a loss to heal him. And so it was that Moriar was interned within the sarcophagus of the Furioso Dreadnought built by Brother Morleo, as were Belaphon, Dario and Amaretto before him. Upon gaining his strength, Moriar was struck by visions of Sanguinius, his own near-death state triggering the Black Rage. Immortal now in his adamantium shell, Moriar survived the Black Rage, hungering for battle and death. The Red Thirst grips him, and the revered Brothers of the Armourium have modified his armoured suit so that he may partake of the vital liquid and be restrained when not in battle.
- Heroes of Legend – A study of the Dreadnoughts of the Adeptus Astartes Blood Angels
The oldest legends tell of the noble Sanguinius, sire of the Blood Angels. They tell of his grace and beauty, his love for humanity, his pure soul and unswerving loyalty to the Emperor. Some claim that he had the power of prophecy, that his eye saw along the winding tracts of time into the future. It is even maintained that he foresaw the terrible things to come, and was aware of his own doom long before the Emperor’s realm was shaken to its foundations by the treacherous Warmaster. If this is true, then Sanguinius’ acts are even more selfless because of it.
Brave Sanguinius faced the Chaos Warmaster in his lair, when that foul beast was at the height of his powers. Even before he was imbued with the false energies of the Dark Gods, the traitorous Fiend was all but unstoppable. Yet, knowing this, noble Sanguinius still met it blade to blade, eye to eye. When the Treacherous Serpent whispered promises of glory and strength in his ear, Sanguinius did not listen. Even as the Great Traitor was poised on the brink of infernal victory, the Lord of the Blood Angels was not swayed, though he knew it would cost him his life. Like all true servants of the Emperor, the Noble Angel knew that his soul would be forever with the Emperor, a reward far greater than any in this mortal world.
And so it was that they fought – the Angel and the beast. Titanic must have been that struggle, between those two gods amongst men. Long must they have rained blows upon one another, until it seemed that the life of the universe itself hung in the balance. And yet, for all his glorious might of arms, and his noble and pure mind, Sanguinius was bested. The despicable trickeries of Chaos were his undoing. But at that last moment, even as the blade of death waited to strike him, Sanguinius would not turn from the path of Light. Thus it was that the noble Sanguinius, Lord of the Blood Angels, passed from this world. He who was everything a man should be was taken from us by the Darkness. A thousand times a thousand years of lamenting will never atone for our loss.
Therefore remember proud Sanguinius, young acolytes, when you are faced with hardship. When the armour of your faith is buckled and torn, see in your mind that magnificent hero. Think upon his deeds and be humble, for his like will never walk the galaxy again.
- Chaplain Lemartes’ sermon to the Adeptus of the Cult of Sanguinius
To face the Blood Angels in battle is to face the unbounded fury of the Primarch Sanguinius himself. To oppose them it to invite your own doom. They fight like madmen, possessed of a bloodthirst wholly unnatural and abhorrent. That something more than fervent faith drives them to their acts of bloodshed is certain.
- General Alexandro - XXV Imperial Army
Say what you like, I will not fight alongside these madmen. The past proves nothing, except that the Blood Angels are cursed and but a single step from damnation.
- Brother-Captain Yuron of the Adeptus Astartes Patriarchs of Ulixis
Only in the Space Marines of the Legiones Astartes are courage and expertise perfectly blended. In other troops they are present in varying degrees and proportions, and many scholars have debated their relative merits.
For my own part, I come down on the side of courage. For courage makes a virtue of inexperience. I myself have commanded Imperial Guard troops whose probitor units have achieved great things, because their courage was infinite and because they were too inexperienced to realise that their goal was impossible.
- Leman Russ, De Natura Belli Book XIV
Here I am and here I shall die.
- Attributed to Leman Russ at the Battle of Rising Fell
Beat your thoughts in the mould of your will.
- Attributed to Leman Russ
A fortress circumvented ceases to be an obstacle. A fortress destroyed ceases to be a threat. Do not forget the difference.
- Attributed to Leman Russ
Listen but closely Brothers, for my life's breath is all but spent. There shall come a time far from now when our Chapter itself is dying, even as I am now dying, and our foes shall gather to destroy us. Then, my children, I shall listen for your call in whatever realm of death holds me, and come I shall, no matter what the laws of life and death forbid. At the end I will be there. For the final battle. For the Wolftime.
- Last words of Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves
We are the wolf that stalks the stars in the sky
And swallows the star-fire
We hide amongst the night when light is gone
The light is within us
We run the ruin of fire in the darkness
Foes burn in our passing
- Battle litany of the Space Wolves
He piles the skulls of his enemies,
He builds a mound of the fallen,
His foes weep rivers of woe.
The strong wolf of the pack,
His sword hungers for red flesh,
His guns thirst for battle,
He laughs amidst the battle-din.
Father of wolves,
His sons hunt his enemies,
Slay them where they falter,
And bring their pelts to Fenris.
- taken from The Saga of Logan Grimnar
Follow me Sons of Russ, this night our enemies shall feel the fangs of the Wolf!
- Logan Grimnar, Assault on Fort Damnation
Of all the Chapter Masters, the most belligerent and headstrong is Logan Grimnar of the Space Wolves. Like his predecessors and his fellow Space Wolves, Logan is a fearsome warrior, with an immense martial pride. He tolerates no interference in the running of the Chapter by any outside authorities, and is more willing than any other Chapter Master to fight for the Space Wolves’ independence. Logan’s suspicion of other Imperial organizations, including other Space Marine Chapters, runs deep and, if I may offer my humble opinion, this is with good reason. Ever since the Age of Apostasy, the Space Wolves have been wary of the intentions of others and have had numerous clashes with the Ministorum of Terra. Logan’s leadership, whose saga runs for some seven hundred years, has endured for five centuries. During this time, the Old Wolf (as he is known amongst his battle-brethren) has willingly, some would even say joyfully, led his Great Company and the forces of his fellow Wolf Lords in open battle against the forces of other Imperial organizations whose actions he deemed to threaten the Space Wolves and their thinly scattered domains. This has led to many accusations of heresy and treason being leveled at Logan, along with the usual rumours of genetic deviancy within the Chapter.
However, more than any other Chapter, the Space Wolves stand ever ready to fight the foes of the Emperor. Under Logan’s guidance and fuelled by his own renowned thirst for battle (which many of his supporters claim equals that of the legendary Leman Russ himself) the Space Wolves have defeated many threats from without and within the Imperium, and the vast majority of Imperial commanders within the sectors surrounding Fenris are grateful to be under the Old Wolf’s watchful eye. Personally, if I should be so bold, I find the existence of a Chapter Master such as Logan heartily reassuring, for he is a cunning and resourceful leader of the Space Wolves, and yet has about him a charming demeanour and familiar manner which is at odds with the usual aloofness one associates with a commander of the Adeptus Astartes.
- “Leaders of the Adeptus Astartes” – A Most Secret Report, Compiled for His Most Supreme Excellency the Paternoval Envoy by his Humble Servant Master Maximus Pliny
So it was the Wolf Guard Ulrik fought
on Armageddon’s sulphurous shores
Against Angron’s bloody traitor horde
at Tartarus battle was joined.
Dark ranks of the damned, fallen sons
arrayed themselves in numbers uncounted
Murder-gleam shone in every eye
razor teeth glittered in every fist.
The World Eaters cast themselves
against the Wolves of Russ
Their line unbending, sure and true
against Kruger, Wolf Lord, they broke.
With the battle all but won
Kruger was beset by many
For each he slew two more sprang forth
sore wounded was he, his life’s end near.
Young Ulrik strode forward
eager to guard his lord
Blade flickering as lightning does
his righteous blows laid evil low.
Three Berserkers Ulrik smote in twain
his fury raged unstoppable, unquenched
But Kruger fell before the crimson tide
the battle won with his dying breath.
With Kruger gone forth
into the halls of Russ
Ulrik was voted new lord by all
for his faith and bravery well-shown.
But Ulrik quoth “Nay,
no master of strategy am I
Nought but a simple warrior
well raised in duty and honour.”
As he would not lead
the brethren chose another
But to honour Ulrik’s deeds and wisdom
made him their Wolf Priest thereafter.
To him fell the tending
of the children of Russ’ seed
To test and train, readying
young cubs for war.
- From the saga of Ulrik the Slayer
The unholy ones stand before us and do not fear us. Their bravery is born of ignorance, for they know us not. We are the warriors of FENRIS! Forged by ice and fire. Tempered by battle. We live for WAR! Follow me, my brothers, and let us teach these simple-minded fools what we are made of and let us teach them fear.
- Ulrik the Slayer, before the cleansing of the Temple of the Precious Gift
His word was the roar of thunder,
His glance was the look of the eagle,
His might was the strength of the kraken,
His guile was the cunning of the Wulfen,
His temper was the death of men.
- Saga of Wolf Priest Voltar the Bloody
It is the way of Fenris. We stay as long as we can. Fight as hard as we can. Kill as much as we can. Only when we can do no more do we move on.
- Skold Greypelt
On three occasions have I witnessed these beasts do battle, and each time, I have been sickened. Not by their methods, nor even by the terror they have wrought within our own ranks, but by the fact that to look upon a brother of the 13th Company is to witness the beast within us all given hideous form.
- Inquisitor Asmorales, on the Wulfen
Like frenzied beasts they was. But I tell you, there was never a sweeter sound than the howls of the Wulfen that dark night.
- Sgt. Pridman, veteran of the Tlax Slaughter
The Space Wolves are the most barbaric of all the Space Marine Chapters. Their home planet is the harsh ice world known as Fenris, where savage tribes from which the Space Wolves are recruited are locked in a continual struggle for existence. Perhaps because of this, Space Wolves have a proud, headstrong nature that makes them difficult to control or direct. But for all this, the Space Wolves are valiant and noble defenders of the Imperium, and are amongst the bravest and most ferocious warriors I have ever met. I can say without doubt that the Imperium would be a far more dangerous place without the Sons of Russ to protect it.
- Inquisitor Bastalek Grim
Repent! For tomorrow you die!
- Battlecry of the Dark Angels
A moment of Laxity spawns a lifetime of heresy. Never forgive, never forget.
What is it that gives us purpose?
What is it that gives war purpose?
To vanquish the foes of the Emperor.
Who are the foes of the Emperor?
The heretic, the alien, and the mutant.
What is it to be an enemy of the Emperor?
It is to be damned.
What is the instrument of the Emperor’s damnation?
We, the Space Marines, the angels of death.
What is it to be a Space Marine?
It is to be pure, to be strong, to show no pity, nor mercy, nor remorse.
What is it to be pure?
To never know fear, to never waiver in the fight.
What is it to be strong?
To fight on when others flee; to stand and die in the knowledge that death brings the ultimate reward.
What is the ultimate reward?
To serve the Emperor.
Whom do we serve?
We serve the Emperor and the Lion, and through them we serve mankind.
What is it to be Dark Angels?
It is to be the first, the honoured, the sons of the Lion.
What is our Quest?
To purge our shame through the death of those who turned from the Lion.
What is our victory?
To remake that which was broken, to earn the trust of the Emperor once more.
And what is the fate of the Fallen we hunt?
Retribution and Death!
Be pure in mind, body and spirit. As the water flows over you, let your hate flow through you. As the lost water is spilt, let us spill the blood of our foes. As the water dries, let us harden our hearts to fear. We are the Dark Angels, the chosen of the Emperor, the holy knights of Caliban. The blood of the Lion flows through our veins. His strength beats in our hearts. His spirit resides within us.
- Dark Angels' Litany
The young Primarch’s capsule crash-landed on a planet called Caliban. How Jonson survived those early years on Caliban is a complete mystery. By rights he should have died within the first few minutes of being exposed on the planet. But Jonson did not die. Somehow, as a young child on one of the most deadly death worlds in the Imperium, he not only survived, but grew strong and tall. What it was like for him in those grim and dark days none can say, for there was no-one there to record the events of his life, and Jonson never spoke of those times himself. All that can be said for certain is that for a decade Jonson was forced to trust to his own wit and skill in order to survive.
Ten times the time of snow and blizzards came to the forest home of the young Primarch. By this time he was full-grown, his genetically instilled powers accelerating his growth at a greatly enhanced rate. Cut-off from human contact, he could not speak, only roar in anger, rage, or frustration. His hair was long and unkempt, his brooding eyes glowering at the world from behind a fringe of yellow-russet hair. His nails were long and begrimed with dirt and blood. So it came to pass that one day this wild thing, more lion than man, heard a strange new sound. It was a sound he had never heard before. The sound of human laughter.
- The Life and Times of Lion El’Jonson
We are the Emperor’s wrath! Let the blood of the unclean act as an offering to the Lion’s shade!
Forget your past life. From this day on you are simply a Dark Angel - nothing else is of consequence. The Chapter is all that matters.
- Commander Azrael, Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels, addressing new recruits to the Scout Company
Our Will for Vengeance carries all before it.
- Supreme Grand Master Azrael, Dark Angels Chapter
And so we come to Commander Azrael, the current, some would say greatest, Supreme Grand Master of the Dark Angels. Of all the Space Marine Chapters, the Dark Angels are the most secretive, so there is much that is unknown about Azrael. It is rumoured that he was inducted into the Chapter from amongst the wild head-hunting tribesmen of Kimmeria, but if so, he shows none of his forebears’…anti-social tendencies. Whatever his background, he foreswore it all, as do all new inductees into the Dark Angels, and quickly proved himself a most noble and diligent member of the Chapter. He rose rapidly through the ranks, distinguishing himself especially during the scouring of Truan IX and the crushing of the techno-revivalist uprising on Faze V.
For several decades after this his activities become impossible to trace, but he must have provided great service to the Chapter, for when we next hear of him he is a respected member of the Deathwing Company of the Chapter, and Captain of the 3rd Company. Azrael continued to distinguish himself, becoming Master of the Deathwing in 917.M41. When the last Grand Master died in 939.M41 it was no real surprise that Azrael was his chosen successor. As the new Grand Master he was given the honorific title of Keeper of the Truth and was presented with the Lion Helm and the Sword of Secrets, each of which are potent icons for the Dark Angels.
Since then he has proven a most able leader of his Chapter and the reputation of the Dark Angels has been greatly enhanced by this intense, taciturn warrior. I only hope his continued presence will help mitigate the scurrilous rumours that persist of some stain on the honour of this proud Chapter.
- “Leaders of the Adeptus Astartes” – A Most Secret Report, Compiled for His Most Supreme Excellency the Paternoval Envoy by his Humble Servant Master Maximus Pliny
These are our shields of faith in the Lion. They do not yield to the will of Heretics.
I stand before you, the Holder of the Keys. A great many of the mysteries of our Order are known to me. Our secrets are laid bare before my eyes.
It is I and I alone who can grant passage to our most inner circle, who can judge the weak from the strong, the truth from the falsehood. I alone bear the Book of Salvation, the sacred record of out unforgiven past and of the tortuous road we have trodden to absolve our great sin. I alone know the names of all those who have Fallen from the Emperor's grace and been returned to him, through the repentance of the soul or absolution of the body.
I alone bear these most terrible burdens, for on my shoulders sit the sins of the Dark Angels Legion and I cannot rest while they still remain to stain our honour.
- Ezekiel, Grand Master of Librarians, Keeper of the Book of Salvation, Dark Angels
I reach into the depths of my soul and I draw forth your doom. By the power given unto me by the Emperor, I shall blast your body to ashes and sear your soul to nothing.
The enemy has been sighted. I am going to engage. In the name of the Emperor: Ravenwing – Attack! Attack!! ATTACK!!!
- Grand Master Gidian of the Ravenwing
It is my sacred duty to save your soul from the Dark Gods of Chaos…and I will save your soul, even if you die in the process.
No respite, no forgiveness, no mercy. For we are the Emperor’s wrath.
- Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai from the Third Litany of Malediction
Damnation is eternal.
All souls cry out for salvation.
There is no salvation without suffering.
Sergeant Namaan was instrumental in our great victory during the Piscina campaign. When our initial attempts to reconnoitre the Ork forces were thrust back by the weight of the Ork advance, Namaan alone managed to evade their onslaught and return to our position on Koth Ridge.
It was Namaan, with his excellent knowledge of the surrounding terrain, that enabled a second scouting force to penetrate the Ork defences and learn the true manner in which they were sending reinforcements to Piscina IV. Namaan transmitted vital details to our Techmarines about the teleportation device used by the Orks and then called in the forces of the Deathwing to attack the teleporter ground base.
Namaan himself valiantly fought against persistent Ork attacks to ensure the safe removal of an energy relay by the Deathwing, before he was finally seen engulfed in the fireball of an exploding Ork Dreadnought.
- Extract from the Liturgis Honorum of the Dark Angels Chapter
Wherever and whenever they appear they leave only destruction in their wake; they are the Lords of Death, Bringers of War, the Dark Angels
Much has been said of Cypher, but most of it is lies, or rumours, or heresy. Why, I met some that believed the Emperor dead and Cypher ascended the throne in his place! Ha, the gullibility of those that believe but do not question. [Subject screams as punishment is administered for his blasphemy] Th-th-thank you brother, I had forgotten that it was such questioning that led me here…As for Cypher, this much I know to be true, for I have followed him and fought at his side. He is a man haunted by our guilt, by the shame that we Fallen Ones bear. He is a man with a mission, a mission to redeem us for that…that act which was done all those long millennia ago and which brought our downfall. He rarely speaks, but when he does his words ring true and bring comfort to us…to us that have not known comfort for long, dark years. And we know he will be our saviour, for he carries at his side the broken sword of our Lord and Primarch, the Lion Blade, bless its name! [Subject screams as punishment is administered for his blasphemy] Y-y-you fool, what is pain to one such as I…all that matters, all you need to know, is that when the sword is reforged we Fallen will be saved, and our long purgatory will be at an end.
- Excerpt from transcript of interrogation of the Fallen One formerly known as Brother Galotha
You may say he doesn’t exist, but I know better. When I was crewing on an ore freighter back in ’73, we were laid up on Dagohma making repairs. That was the time the mining Guildiers sent in their hired guns to clear the colonists from the Shanton Hills. The colonists were all for packing up and leaving until Cypher arrived, but his prowess and his words gave them courage. Before long the Guilder compound was under siege. He didn’t stay ‘til the end, but by then there was no stopping the colonists. They stormed the compound and hanged he Guilders from their strip-mining rigs. No one else could have done what he did – so what if he didn’t tell anyone his name? When the Space Marines Angels of Death arrived weeks later, he was all they were interested in, but no one told them anything, even when they were declared rebels and the trials began. No one forgot what he had done for them. They died proud and free.
- Arsann Crowe, Recidivist and Heretic
I know not if he represents the greatest threat or greatest hope for the future of the Imperium. I only pray we stop him before we find out.
- Inquisitor Bastalek Grim, on Cypher the Fallen Angel
Primarch-Progenitor, to your glory and the glory of Him on Earth.
- Battlecry of the Imperial Fists
The man that at one time whose exploits were told in all the corners of the galaxy, the same man who saved my life countless times and I was proud to call my brother is now pounding at our gates and screaming about making the galaxy burn. Well, I tell you my brothers and sisters, we'll give him and my other traitorous brothers a battle they won't forget! We will not step back! We will suffer cowards and traitors of their ilk no more! We will make it so that that after we've obliterated their first waves, their reinforcements will have to land on mountains of their own dead troops!
- Rogal Dorn's speech to the amassed armies of Terra prior to the Siege of Terra during the Horus Heresy.
Do not ask me to approach the battle meekly, to creep through the shadows, or to quietly slip on my foes in the dark. I am Rogal Dorn, Imperial Fist, Space Marine, Emperor’s Champion. Let my enemies cower at my advance and tremble at the sight of me.
Pain is the wine of communion with heroes.
- Teachings of Rhetoricus
Rejoice! Let the glory of battle envelop us! Let our enemies fear us, for we are the Emperor's wrath!
- Chaplain Remataan, Imperial Fists
Raise the flag high. Let these degenerates know who comes to claim their lives this day!
- Sergeant Adar Geronan, Imperial Fists 4th Company
One more day on Miral! One more day for Rogal Dorn!
- Imperial Fist chaplains demanding a seventh day on Miral
During the righteous pacification of the heretical insurgence on Iduno, Lysander (at the time still a sergeant) bravely led his squad in the stubborn defense of the Colonial Bridge. For 14 hours, Lysander and his men held against wave after wave of attacks by the hateful rebels who had foresworn the glorious Emperor of Mankind for the False Glories of the Fallen Gods. Well-versed in the rites of battle, Lysander guided his men strongly and delivered the vengeance of the Emperor in volleys of controlled, effective bolter fire. When Lysander and the survivors of the squad were relieved, it took several hours to clear the corpses of the shadow-shrouded recreants so the bridge could be crossed.
- Excerpt from the Liber Honorus, Imperial Fists Chapter, Legions Astartes
I have teleported into action 37 times, and each time, I expect to find myself at the Emperor's side. It is a test of my faith to submit to such technology. It is one I shall not fail.
- Captain Lysander, Imperial Fists
I have traveled far and seen much. Yet nothing warms my heart so much as the sight of a gun so massive that its fury makes the very world tremble.
- Attributed to Captain Darnath Lysander, Imperial Fists 1st Company
Upon the eve of glorious battle, it is customary amongst the Imperial Fists and their successors, most notably the Black Templars Chapter, for one among their number to be granted the singular and majestic honour of becoming the Champion of the Emperor. The battle-brethren gather together in prayer to the Emperor and their Primarch, Rogal Dorn. Ecstatic vision will come over one of the assembled brethren and they will be led away by the Company Chaplain to receive the revered vestments of the Champion of the Emperor – the Black Sword, the Armour of Faith and the other numerous accoutrements of the position. The Champion of the Emperor will then spend the following hours until battle is begun in self-meditation and communion with the Emperor. From this he draws great strength, courage and self-assurance, enough to make the Champion seek out the most fell of the Emperor’s foes and deal them death in bloody mêlée.
- An extract from the Mythos Angelica Mortis (M36), Appendix CXVI “Honorifics of the Legions Astartes”
No Pity! No Remorse! No Fear!
- Chapter motto of the Black Templars
What is your life?
My honour is my life.
What is your fate?
My duty is my fate.
What is your fear?
My fear is to fail.
What is your reward?
My salvation is my reward.
What is your craft?
My craft is death.
What is your pledge?
My pledge is eternal service
Your honour is your life. Let none dispute it.
- Captain Navarre of the Black Templars 4th Crusade
SUFFER NOT THE UNCLEAN TO LIVE
Lead us from death to victory, from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope, from faith to slaughter.
Lead us to His strength and an eternity of war.
Let His wrath fill our hearts.
Death, war, and blood; in vengeance serve the Emperor in the name of Dorn!
Kill aliens and Warp-spawned filth wherever you find them and in whatever conditions you find them. There is no such thing as tolerance for such as them as far as the Emperor is concerned.
- Excerpted from High Marshal Gerwald’s Prayer of Repugnance
There is only the Emperor, and he is our shield and protector.
- Second Book of Chantings
UPHOLD THE HONOUR OF THE EMPEROR
Trust in the Emperor at the hour of battle.
Trust to Him to intercede and protect His warriors true as they deal death on alien soil.
Turn their seas to red with the blood of their slain.
Crush their hopes, their dreams and turn their songs into cries of lamentation.
To the darkness I bring fire. To the ignorant I bring faith. Those who welcome my gifts may live, but I will visit naught but death and eternal damnation on those that refuse them.
- Chaplain Grimaldus, Hero of Helsreach
Let a wave of repugnance for the enemy wash over you. Let hatred fill you. Hate is good, for our goal is a Human galaxy. We are called by the Emperor with a sacred duty to conquer it in His name.
- Chaplain Grimadlus at the Sermon of Harnoth
You carry the Emperor’s will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows.
- Verses of Sigismund, Book CIV, Verse I
Where there is uncertainty, I shall bring light.
Where there is doubt, I shall sow faith.
Where there is shame, I shall point atonement.
Where there is rage, I shall show its course.
My word in the soul shall be as my bolter in the field.
- Litany of Devotion
As our bodies are armoured with adamantium, our souls are protected with loyalty. As our bolters are charged with death for the Emperor's enemies, our thoughts are charged with wisdom. As our ranks advance, so does our devotion, for are we not Space Marines? Are we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?
- Chaplain Fergas Nils
ABHOR THE WITCH, DESTROY THE WITCH
Smite now the scions of the witch! Grant us the strength to pierce their unclean flesh!
To cover the fields with the pale forms of their blasphemous dead!
To drown the thunder of guns with the shrieks of their dying!
To lay waste to their citadels with hurricanes of fire!
To wring the hearts of their kin with unavailing grief!
To send them into the wastes of their desolated land in rags and in hunger, broken in spirit, worn with travail, and begging for the refuge of the grave.
We ask it, in the spirit of wrath, O Master of Mankind!
This day shall be our day of reckoning. Look not to the shame of the past, but to the glory of the future. We shall wash away the stain of our dishonour with the blood of our enemies.
- Sword Brethren Lorenzo’s address to the warriors of the Varl Crusade
The Emperor extends His will to us when we destroy the wicked and impure to reconquer the galaxy in His name. The Emperor leads the galaxy to righteousness, and thus we must petition for His judgment on the wicked…for it is judgment without mercy.
- High Marshall Helbrecht, addressing his warriors prior to the Cleansing of Gemicon Majoris
The galaxy is the Emperor’s, and anyone or anything who challenges that claim is an enemy who must be destroyed.
- High Marshall Helbrecht, at the Battle of Fire and Blood
ACCEPT ANY CHALLENGE, NO MATTER THE ODDS
O, Emperor, in wrath rejoicing at bloody wars; fierce and untamed,
whose mighty power doth make the strongest walls from their foundations shake.
All-conquering Master of Mankind. Be pleased with this war’s tumultuous roar.
Delight in swords and fists red with alien blood, and the dire ruin of savage battle.
Rejoice in furious challenge, and avenging strife, whose works with woe embitter human life!
There can be no meeting of minds and no understanding with such beings as exist in the dark places of the galaxy. There is simply a choice: defeat them or be defeated by them. And defeat them we will.
- Chaplin Emmerich’s Oration to the Proselytes of Gallemira prior to the Horeth Crusade (Verse: CCXXI)
The Emperor’s realm must be cleansed of the taint of the xenos and the heretic. We destroy the former by the sword, and we destroy the latter through faith and the sword.
- Dreadnought Gerlach to the warriors of the Donorian Crusade
I saw a scene of a massacre where the dead lay upon the ground in number like fallen leaves in a forest. The settlers had not died as soldiers in the heat of battle, filled with ardor and courage, with weapons in their hands and exchanging blow for blow. They had died as the helpless must, with their hearts filled with horror worse than death itself.
- Excerpted from Inquisitor Barzano’s investigation into the Garon Nebula Crusade
My lord, it is with most worrisome and vexing news that I submit this report before you. As you are no doubt aware, the office of your lordship is tasked with, amongst other worthy acts, the correct tithing of the most holy gene-seed of the various Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. I am sure I need not remind my lord of the importance of this task, but it falls to me to bring to your attention something that may have escaped your notice. Again, as you know, many Chapters are late and negligent in submitting their tithed gene-seed, but few are more reticent in its supply than the Black Templars. Despite this, it would seem to be the case that – should this extrapolator-logi be correct – there appears to be some anomaly with the amount of gene-seed submitted by the Black Templars. I enclose a hololith of suspected Black Templars dispositions over the centuries, with an estimate of the number of warriors who fought in each one, and if these numbers are correct, it would suggest that there is a great many more warriors in the Chapter than would be expected…
- “Crusades of the Black Templars,” a preamble to a most secret report to The Office of Tithes and Titles by Maximus Pliny
There is nothing in the arcane and blasphemous arsenal of the forces of Chaos that can compare to faith. With the power of faith, our weapons become shining instruments of deliverance that can cleave the mightiest daemon in twain. With the power of faith, our minds appear as slivers of pure agony to the daemon, driving into the wretched forms of those who would dare stand before us. With the power of faith, our words become commands that cause the daemon to cower and cringe in terror. I could meet my enemies unarmed without a shred of fear in my chest, for I know that the Emperor watches over me and guides my hand. So let them come. We shall show them what the power of faith can do.
- Brother-Captain Stern of the Grey Knights
We are the warriors of the Grey Knights, armoured in Faith, shielded by Devotion and armed with Purity of Purpose. But greater even than these, we carry the light of the divine Emperor of Man into the dark places to purge the daemonic wherever it may be found.
- Brother-Captain Stern of the Grey Knights, prior to the purging of Xoedic Binary 978.M41
I am the hammer, I am the right hand of my Emperor, the instrument of His will, the gauntlet about His fist, the tip of His spear, the edge of His sword...
- Grand Master Mandulis of the Grey Knights
Brothers! For vengeance! For purity! In hatred be strong, in valour be sure!, In vengeance be foremost!, In suffering! In glory!
- Tancred and his squad of the Grey Knight Terminators
Et Imperator Invocato Diabolus Daemonica Exorcism
-Last 6 words of the Grey Knight's Canticles of Absolution
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the daemon I shall fear nothing. For I am what the daemon fears.
- Grand Master Mandulis of the Grey Knights’’
Domine, libra nos,
From the lightning and the tempest,
Our Emperor deliver us.
From plague, deceit, temptation and war,
Our Emperor deliver us,
From the scourge of the Kraken,
Our Emperor deliver us.
From the blasphemy of the Fallen,
Our Emperor deliver us,
From the begetting of demons,
Our Emperor deliver us,
From the curse of the mutant,
Our Emperor deliver us,
A morte perpetua,
Domine, libra nos.
That thou wouldst bring them only death,
That thou shouldst spare none,
That thou shouldst pardon none,
We beseech thee, destroy them.
- The Fede Imperialis, battle-hymn of the Adepta Sororitas
You have committed the ultimate heresy. Not only have you turned your back on the Emperor and stepped from his light, you have profaned his name and almost destroyed everything he has striven to build. You have perverted and twisted the path he has laid for Mankind to tread. As your own decrees have stated, their can be no mercy for such a crime, no pity for such a criminal. I renounce your lordship, you walk in the darkness and cannot be allowed to live. Your sentence has been long overdue and it is now time for you to die.
- Alicia Dominica to High Lord Goge Vandire
The Emperor is our father and our guardian. But we must also guard the Emperor. For He is all Humankind, and Humankind is no more than its faith and diligence in the Emperor's name. An injury to that faith is an injury to the Emperor and to every citizen of the Imperium. It is through affirmation of that faith that our greatest duty lies, but sometimes mere affirmation does not suffice and we must act against those who would harm the faith of humanity through heresy. For we are engaged in an unending war for the soul of the Imperium. Though it may seem the fight will never end, there is victory even in the defeat we see threatening all around. There is no greater proclamation of faith than to offer up our very lives to guard the soul of humanity. In this we win a victory greater in magnitude than the harm that any heretic can inflict, and so every battle is a shining triumph that the traitor and the apostate can never take away from us.
- Dying words of Saint Mina, patron of the Order of the Bloody Rose
If I must die, I shall welcome Death as an old friend, and wrap mine arms about it.
Some place their trust in warships, and some in weapons of destruction. But we remember the divine Emperor. They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen and victorious.
- Ephrael Stern
The absence of faith is the mark of the weak.
The absence of faith is the mark of the heretic.
The absence of faith is the mark of damnation.
- Extract from The Stern Codex written by Ephrael Stern
Many claim they wish to destroy their enemies. If this were true, most would be compelled to destroy themselves.
- Abbess Helena the Virtuous, Discourses on the Faith
Should any Sister, in her deeds, words, or thoughts, in peace or at war, in any way commit a sin, she should willingly and immediately make her fault known to her Superior to make amends with a pure heart. If she does not usually fail in this manner, let her be given but a week's penance. But if her sin is great, let her go apart from the company of her Sisters, so that she may not sit at table with them, nor kneel in prayer, nor fight the Emperor's foes at their side. Let her go all but alone, submitting herself to the will of the almighty God-Emperor of Mankind. Let her don the penitent hood, take up the ceremonial eviscerator, and seek her redemption upon the field of battle.
- Rule CCCLII, the Rule of the Sororitas, Volume VI
So that she may at all times carry out her sacred duties to her Order and Our Lord the Emperor, it is fitting that each Sister obey her Superior strictly and in all things. As soon as an order is issued by a Superior, that order should be carried out as if the blessed Dominica herself had commanded it, for it is written - "Her will be done."
- Rule CCXXXIX, the Rule of the Sororitas, Volume XXV
Let it be known to all present and future Sisters of our Order that they must fast at the High Vigils of Saint Thor, Saint Aspira, Saint Jason, Saint Orlanda, Saint Dolan, and Saint Constantine of Alamar. Upon the Holy Days of Saint Gherick the Confessor, Saint Decessio, and Saint Lucius of Agatha, let the Sisters meditate. Let them fast for not less than five days preceding the Most Holy Days of Our Founding Sisters, Saints Dominica, Katherine, Silvana, Mina, Lucia, and Arabella. Let the Sisters observe silence for the vigils of Saint Capilene, Saint Josmane, and Saint Lacena. Upon the Low Days of Saints Yamella and Corvus the Sabine, Saint Tomasi, Saint Dufaux, and most especially Saint Josina, the Sisters should both fast and maintain silence, and upon the Days of Saint Praxedes, Saint Kozak, and Saint Verevya, the Sisters should meditate on martyrdom. Upon the Feast of Saint Jasone, the Sisters must fast but may consider themselves at liberty between matins and vespers.
- Rule DCCLXXXV, the Rule of the Sororitas, Volume XII
She was an angel, pure as righteous destruction. She laid low the twisted and lifted the hearts of the righteous. At her passing, a million voices cried out her name. Shall we ever again see her like? No, not now, nor ever again…
- Sister Patricia of the Orders Famulous, on the disappearance of Saint Celestine
We are beset by many foes in these dark times:
The Enemy Without
The Enemy Beyond
The Enemy Within
Most Revered Prioress Helena,
My commendations go to your Sisters of the Order of the Valorous Heart in their undertakings against the heretical infidels infesting Hive Tumulus on Farglum. The Holy Order’s response to my request was most prompt, making planetfall less than a week after my entreaty was directed to them.
The fury of their righteous anger was exemplary, and countless souls were returned to the Emperor through the purifying fire of their weapons and strength of their unyielding faith. Through their actions, the hive was purged of its blasphemous perversions, and the so-called Cult Epicurean was all but eradicated. The last few of its foul “prophets” and apostates have fled deep within the abyss of the underhive, where my companions and I pursue them still.
The holy fury displayed by the Canoness Brigitta and her Sisters was devastating to the unholy cultists. An inspiration to behold! The terror they induced amongst the corrupted hivers caused a wave of devotion to spread throughout the hive. Praise be to the Emperor! The sacred Order of the Valorous Heart are a credit to the Ecclesiarchy, and indeed to the Imperium as a whole.
- Inquisitor Scallen, Ordo Hereticus, 0425085.M41
Heretics crave the cleansing fire of absolution. They need not fear, for we shall deliver.
…But in the Warmaster’s heart there dwelt a hidden evil and he became seduced by this evil and came to nurture Daemons and other forces of darkness. And he did march upon Terra and with him marched a full third of the hosts of the Imperium which he had seduced for his purpose. And there was terror and bloodshed and for seven days and seven nights the hosts did battle, until the Emperor – bless His honoured name! – caught Horus by the heel and cast him to that place they call the Eye of Terror and with him the third part of the hosts of the Imperium.
When the traitor’s hand strikes, it strikes with the strength of a legion.
- Warmaster Horus (attributed)
War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is the sooner it's over.
- Warmaster Horus to Fulgrim on being asked if his tactics were too brutal.
Who pledged his loyalty?
Whom did we serve in faith?
From whom did we take our name?
Who was denied to us?
But whom shall we remake?
And who shall lead us to victory?
- Black Legion Catechism
For the Warmaster!
- Sons of Horus/Black Legion warcry before Horus' body was destroyed
We are returned!
- Black Legion warcry under Abaddon's command
…And lo, the beast issued forth to assail the righteous and cast down their works. Though the beast stood clothed in human form, no flesh could conceal the corruption of his damned soul, and the foul denizens of the outer dark flocked to his banner. The righteous cried out for retribution, but the beast would not be laid low. The name of the beast became a curse upon the lips of the righteous, and that curse was Abaddon.
- Orations of Saint Josephus, apocalypt of Saraven
Horus was weak. Horus was a fool. He had the whole galaxy within his grasp and he let it slip away.
- Abaddon the Despoiler
Like the great storm of the Horus Heresy, the forces of the True Gods will descend upon the Emperor's minions. The stars will tremble at their passage and the mighty armadas of the Warmaster Abaddon will bring annihilation to a hundred worlds. Know this, for these things will come to pass.
- Constanze the Prophetess, burned as a Heretic 687.M38
This is our galaxy. Ours to corrupt. Ours to enslave. The Gods will not be denied their prize.
- Xerxeth, Sorceror of the Black Legion
Our thirst for vengeance is a raging inferno. It is a pyre that burns so strongly it burns even in the darkest depths of the cold vacuum of the Void.
We have come for you!
- Battle-cry of the Night Lords
The Space Marines fear no evil, for we are fear incarnate.
- Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords
Kill a thousand men and they will hate you. Kill a million men and they will queue to face you. But kill a single man and they will see monsters and devils in every shadow. Kill a dozen men and they will scream and wail in the night, and they shall feel not hatred, but fear.
- Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords
Your presence does not surprise me, Assassin. I have known of you ever since your craft entered the Eastern Fringes. Why did I not have you killed? Because your mission and the act you are about to commit proves the truth of all I have ever said or done. I merely punished those who had wronged, just as your false Emperor now seeks to punish me. Death is nothing compared to vindication.
- Last words of Konrad Curze, Primarch of the Night Lords, to the Imperial agent sent to kill him
Adeo mori servus Imperator Fictus. Ave Dominus Nox!
- Zso Sahaal, Night Lords Marine
That which we cannot destroy, we will defile. Those who we do not defeat will only know despair.
We fight the long war, not through vain notions of duty or honour, but through a far purer purpose: hatred. At the height of our glory we were betrayed and cast out by our own kin. Guilliman, Dorn, Sanguinius - these are names I curse. Horus, Perturabo, Angron - these names I revere, names I would follow to the very end. It is that hatred that has sustained me through the long millennia. I tend it with bitterness. I nurture it with the deaths of my former brothers. For I know that when the end is upon us and Horus is returned, then the false Emperor shall be cast down from his sepulchral Golden Throne, and we shall take our rightful place at the side of Horus, the true Emperor of Mankind.
- Ferrous Ironclaw, Warsmith of the Iron Warriors Second Grand Company
Iron Within, Iron Without.
- Monotoned motto of the Iron Warriors
There is no peace among the stars, only an eternity of slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods
Cast down the idols! Destroy the temples! Slay the priests! Show these fools that they worship nothing more than a rotting corpse!
- Dark Apostle Harzhan of the Word Bearers
From the fires of betrayal
Unto the blood of revenge
We bring the word of Lorgar
The bearer of the Word
The Favored Son of Chaos
All praise be given unto him
For those that would not heed
We offer praise to those who do
That they might turn their gaze our way
And gift us with the boon of pain
To turn the galaxy red with blood
And feed the hunger of the gods.
- Excerpted from the three hundred and forty-first Book of the Epistles of Lorgar
Speak the words of Lorgar and you shall live forever in the glory of Chaos. Speak them not and every one of you shall die today.
- Ultimatum made at the gates of Moergh IV prior to its destruction by Kor Phaeron of the Word Bearers
For ten thousand years we have fought the Long War and our hatred still knows no succour. Those who have defied us shall feel the full wrath of Chaos…
DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR!
DEATH TO THE WEAKLING IMPERIUM OF MAN!
For the Emperor!
- Battle-cry of the Alpha Legion.
Despair, for they doom is upon you. Give up hope, for all the might of your Imperial overlords cannot save you. Kneel before us, and we will spare every hundredth man and woman. Such is the mercy of Tchkrii-krerarr the Unstoppable, Exalted Champion of Darkness.
- Ultimatum delivered to Erwin Borstar, Planetary Governor of Attica Prime, in 022.M41, shortly before Chaos Space Marines raided Attica II and IV. Both were poorly defended, as large forces had been sent to reinforce the first planet at the insistence of Governor Borstar. Attica Prime was never attacked.
Let its charred, smoking husk join that of the corrupt Imperium of the false Emperor as it falls beneath the tracks of our all-conquering legions.
No-one can stand before us as we rip the still-beating hearts from star systems and watch victoriously as they weep their last pain-ridden tears. Debase yourselves before us for we are the Legions of Chaos - rightful masters of the galaxy!
The strong are strongest alone.
- Lufgt Huron, the Tyrant of Badab
Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire
- Lufgt Huron, the Tyrant of Badab
The strong will always enslave the weak. Where the strong make their own fate, the weak bow their heads and succumb. There are few who are strong and many are their enemies, and the greatest of these enemies is the False Emperor of Mankind. Destroy the followers of the False Emperor and revel in their cries for mercy – their weakness can only be eradicated by their sacrifice to the gods of Chaos.
- First Book of Abominations
I can taste your fear, human. It is a tangible thing. I can run my fingers over it and drink deep of its sticky aroma. If this terror is the food of hatred, let me feast upon it and in the feasting destroy you utterly.
It is the fate of the weak to die unknown, and the destiny of the strong to rule for eternity. Give me glory, or give me death!
- Gauwe Psgas
Destroy, for the sake of Destruction.
Kill, for the sake of Killing.
Honour your blades! Consecrate your guns! Anoint them with the hot blood of the strongest foes!
- Darius Khanan, Lord of the Blood Brotherhood
Let no good deed go unpunished.
Let no evil deed go unrewarded.
I murdered thousands for the Emperor and he gave me nothing except his damning silence. Now his lapdogs yap for every life I take, while the gods promise me the galaxy.
- Svane Vulfbad
Their hatred is fueled by a bitterness that his festered for ten thousand years.
Curses! Just when you’ve finally managed to bring the whole world under your evil influence some pathetic little Inquisitor goes whining off to the Adeptus Terra about rogue psykers and daemonic possession. I mean, do I look possessed? Well do I? DO I???
- Personal log of Lord Varlak, 995.M41 (during the Purging of Korsk II)
Your deaths will not be purely in vain. They will at least provide me with some amusement.
- Kharak the Changeling
For seventeen long centuries have I remained in this blade, confined within these metal walls. During all my imprisonment you are the first I have seen who is worthy to bear me into battle. Come, take my hilt, and I will serve you in the manner of my kind, drawing the blood of your enemies, protecting you in the midst of the fight, bringing you safe home again. Now draw me from the scabbard and test the fitness of my balance. See how easily I swing, how my keen edge cleaves the air. A good choice, am I not?
Willingly you picked me up. Your first mistake. Willingly you drew me. Your second mistake. I do not allow my servants to make three mistakes, foolish mortal…
The Scarus sector is a tinderbox – one spark may soon become a great conflagration. I shall light the fires.
- His Holiness Lord Xaphan, Cardinal-Astral Scarus
Stand forth, Servant. The Sword you carry has been smelted in the heat of your anger, forged upon your desire, tempered in your hate, quenched in your soul, polished with your loyalty, furnished with your bones and skin, tested in your hand, and borne in my name. You, Slave, are mine, as much as the Blade...
Flesh and bone are weak and mutable, and yet the daemonic is ultimately insubstantial and impotent. To be master of both matter and energy, and blend this mastery with ultimate control of one's consciousness, is to achieve true immortality - neither confined by the material, nor divorced from it.
- Heretical teachings of Magos Elizah Kaudge
Impurity shall be our armour
Hate shall be our weapon
Immortality shall be our reward
The revelation of spirit when encountering the power of Chaos is as freeing for the machine as it is for the mortal mind. It is our duty to create this blessed state of union.
- Teachings of Gaiak Krustellan, Dark Magos
All of the souls you will reap.
All of your spoils of war.
To be a keeper of the Forge.
But a trifle price for the boon that is bestowed upon you.
- From the Iron Pact
Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne!
- Khornate battle cry
KILL! MAIM! BURN! KILL! MAIM! BURN! KILL! MAIM! BURN!
- Khârn the Betrayer
The Imperial dogs are turning to face! Can it be that they intend to give battle? Oh lord Khorne, surely we are blessed in your sight.
- Valkis the Defiler, at the Battle of Quinrox Sound
Let the butchery commence!
Decapitate and annihilate!
Let the red river flow!
- Arboroath the Ever-Bloodied
Hurl forth your holy shells upon the foe. Let them tear the enemy asunder and spill their blood. BLOOD for Lord Khorne! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!
- Doomblaster Incantation of Destruction
I salute you! For though our path has been long and bloody, you have served our Lord with unflinching courage and the honour of true warriors. We have seen many fall today and must remember, even as we die, that our blood too is welcome…
- Harkan Ironfist
Gut them! Slaughter them!
Slay them! Butcher them!
Kill! Kill! Kill!
Never stop, never tire!
Keep doing the Lord’s work!
- Khar-Har the Undefeatable
You have caused us great discomfort, little flea... And I feel inclined to scratch.
- Grimspyre, daemon of Khorne, to Inquisitor Hand
Slay without pity, triumph without remorse.
You are the legions of Khorne, His favourite warriors.
You shall bring defeat and death to His enemies.
You shall crush their worlds under your heel.
To battle! Let blood flow in His name!
- Rorath’rath the Skullwearer
Though the gates that stand between the mortal world and the immortal Realm of Chaos are now closed to me, still I would rather die having glimpsed eternity than never to have stirred from the cold furrow of mortal life. I embrace death without regret as I embraced life without fear.
- Kargos Bloodsplitter, Champion of Khorne
The minds of gods are not for mortals to know, or to judge. Accept that Tzeentch has a place for all of us in his grand scheme, and be happy in the part you have to play.
- Proclamation of Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons
Do not ask which creature screams in the night,
Do not question who waits for you in the shadow,
It is my cry that wakes you in the night,
And my body that crouches in the shadow.
I am Tzeentch and you are the puppet
That dances to my tune.
- Karazantor the Vile, The Traitor of Xian
Understand, mortals, that every one of you, each of your so-called champions, is just a piece in the Great Game of our Masters.
Knowledge is power, and with the key to the Black Library I shall claim it all.
- Ahriman of the Thousand Sons
And what are the achievements of your fragile Imperium? It is a corpse rotting slowly from within while maggots writhe in its belly. It was built with the toil of heroes and giants, and is now inhabited by frightened weaklings to whom the glories of those times are half-forgotten legends. I have forgotten nothing, and my wisdom has expanded far beyond mere mortal faculties.
- Ahriman of the Thousand Sons
All is dust...
- Battlecry of the Thousand Sons, said in a ghostly whisper
Curiosity begets knowledge.
Knowledge begets curiosity.
Only great Tzeentch sates both.
- The teachings of Tz’Kul’Anak
Don’t you see? My Master Tzeentch cares not which of the Great Powers of Chaos you serve.
In the end, aren’t the followers of the Blood God changing valiant warriors into headless corpses? Aren’t the worshippers of the Lord of Flies changing strong, healthy bodies into rotting, diseased carcasses? Aren’t the disciples of the Dark Prince changing stern, steadfast heroes into slaves to their own desires?
Chaos is a struggle to change, you must agree. Change rules all.
- Amon’Chakai to the Rathelian Congregation
Where once was one, now there is two.
Where once was pink, now there is blue.
- From the Canticles of Change
What are we? Your scholars claim we exist only to tempt you, yet in a very real way we are you. We are your own desires, your own fears, your own ambitions and rages, given form (if not flesh). How can you fight us? Only by fighting your own Humanity, and why would you want to do that? You would be fighting against life itself. For what is Chaos but life?
- Tzaal, momentarily lucid Horror of Tzeentch
Look upon me and know that I can slay you at will. You have no defense save one: to look into the darkness at the back of your own mind. There, you will find Father Nurgle waiting to offer you life in return for your submission. Deny him, and you are mine.
- Typhus, the Traveler, Herald of Nurgle
In the embrace of great Nurgle, I am no longer afraid, for with His pestilential favour I have become that which I most feared: Death.
- Kulvain Hestarius of the Death Guard
The bolts from our guns shall be as thick as flies on a corpse, our followers shall be as numerous as maggots on rotting flesh and news of our victory will spread through the armies of our enemies like a plague.
- Sarcidius, Death Guard Librarian
All things must wither and die. Let root rot and bower blight, to feed the pestilence of abandoned hope.
- Aghalhor the Bringer of Poxes
We only just made it to the bunker. Dozens of dead hands clawed and scrabbled at the viewports the whole night long. Then Olex began to cough…
- Private Cur, currently quarantined
Each of the Legions has now nominated aspirants seeking to throw themselves upon our mercy in the vain hope that we may deem them worthy to join our ranks. Those loyal to the shrunken corpse on Terra still cling to their own processes by which perhaps one in a hundred neophytes may survive to become a battle brother. The methods I have developed over the last milennia are more stringent, for we must be pure in our hatred and hard of heart, body and soul. Fewer than one in every thousand survive, and I strive each day to lengthen these odds still further.
- The Grimoire Mutatius Curatus, by Fabius Bile, Primogenitor of the Traitor Legions
The Dark Gods and their slaves have nothing to offer me now, but I have far more to offer them
- Fabius Bile
Follow me, my Children, and the glory of victory shall be yours. We shall cleanse ourselves in the crimson waters of our enemy. We shall bring the ecstasy of quick release to those who stand before us. We shall give bloody praise to the Lord of Pleasure and sing his name as we dance across the fallen. Follow me, my Children, and you shall taste the undreamt joys that lie beyond the bounds of mortal sense.
- Fabius Bile, Lieutenant Commander of the Emperor's Children
If a man dedicates his life to good deeds and the welfare of others, he will die unthanked and unremembered. If he exercises his genius bringing death and misery to billions, his name will echo down through the millennia for a hundred lifetimes. Infamy is always preferable to ignominy.
- Fabius Bile at the Desecration of Kanzuz IX
Hope, love, hate. All are but desire by other names. Thus it is that desire is always found foremost amongst the concerns of mortals, and through their desires we shall lead them to our benighted paradise.
- Proclamations of Elsand’daa’arai
Long shall be your suffering. Joyous be your pain.
- Asteroth, daemon prince of Slaanesh
Pools of blood glisten so brightly.
Death cries echo so harmoniously.
We drink deeply of fear and pain.
Only thus can we soothe our fiery hearts.
- Illaitenan, Handmaiden of Slaanesh
This way sisters! There’s the prey! I love it when they run.
- Sheee’la’sar, Seeker of Slaanesh, leader of the hunt
Oh great Lord Slaanesh, send forth your servant, the Daemon Prince Doomrider!
Let our enemies tremble in raptured awe before his fearsome visage!
Grant them an exquisite death crushed beneath the flaming wheels of his chromium steed!
Permit them the ecstasy of being slaughtered by Doomrider’s throbbing Daemon sword and his pulsing gun of gushing plasma!
Bestow on them one fleeting moment of pleasure as they stare in wonder and orgasmic delight at one of your most divine creations before dying at his hand!
Oh great Lord Slaanesh, for these reasons and many others that tease and titillate our imaginations, we beseech you, send forth your servant, the Daemon Prince Doomrider!
- Cultist invocation recorded at the Battle of the Plain of Sighs, during the Branson’s planet uprising
Come to me. Come to me! You know it is what you have always desired. All your life till now has been a desperate dream of me…awaken! Awaken, and come to me, for your reward awaits in my arms…
- Leshtrigell, Daemonette
Take care, lest your protests grow tiresome. I have asked for so little! Anyone would think that I have asked you to sacrifice yourselves and all your family! And yet, in Slaanesh's boundless and pleasing mercy, I have asked only for your daughters. Surely you would not deny me my small enjoyments?
- Tyrell, Renegade Lord of Arden IX
Well that was unexpected…
- Last words of the Chaos Warmaster Varan the Undefeatable
And the time came when a third part of the host of mankind rose up against him and waged war upon him and sought to destroy him. Then there was war in the heavens and the skies were lit with the fires of battle. There was war on Earth and the Earth trembled before the Warlord of Darkness.
And from that time there has been war between mankind and chaos – between the Imperium of Man and the Daemons of the Outerdark. It is war fought across the galaxy and upon a thousand battlefields. It is war fought in men's hearts and minds – for the corruption and subjugation of man. For the damnation of his soul and the pollution of his physical body.
And what of the damned themselves – they who forsook us centuries ago? The torment that their service has won them is unimaginable, eternal, and enduring. Vile they are, abhorrent of form, filled with foul ichors that ooze from lascivious orifices upon scaly mutant flesh, cursed with betentacled and many jointed limbs that writhe and thrash and fondle, and a thousand further such abominations of form that offend the pure and noble eye of man.
Such are the rewards of conceit and inquiry. Such is the curse that awaits ye that love not the Master of Mankind or, perhaps, love too much thine own life. Chaos waits for the faithless and the curious, those that doubt my words and those that sneer, those who know not pride nor fear not the shame of charity. Chaos waits for your soul
A warp/realspace interface of immeasurable magnitude, the Eye of Terror is a realm of madness and despair, where skies weep blood, ancient stars burn in multicoloured flares and the whims of the Dark Gods of Chaos hold sway. Synonymous with discord, terror, ancient secrets and insanity, no other place in the galaxy fills the mind with such dread and foreboding.
The Eye of Terror is the largest refuge of the followers of the Old Gods, the birthplace of hideous Daemons: an anarchic abode of monstrous entities who eternally crave for dominance of the material world. From within its shifting bounds, the Traitor Legions strike forth in their countless raids and forays into Imperial space. Emerging from its tumultuous reaches, armies spill forth to enslave and destroy, in an everlasting war that has been waged for ten thousand years without mercy or abatement. Constant vigil must be kept, for many times over the millennia have the Emperor’s enemies slipped out like assassins in the night, leaving millions dead and worlds ravaged before they slink back to their nightmarish fastness within the Eye of Terror.
The Eye of Terror distorts and shatters the light of the Astronomican. Surging waves of energy pulse up to a thousand light years from its heart, sweeping whole fleets thousands of light years off course or wiping them from existence in the blinking of an eye. Of all approaches to the Eye of Terror, the area around the world of Cadia is most navigable, although still treacherous and uncertain. Why this is so cannot be fathomed, but many attribute this effect to the numerous alien artifacts, some larder than worlds, that lie in wilderness space around the region; or perhaps it its is the ancient constructions on Cadia itself that somehow quiet the violent torrents of the Warp. Known as the Cadian Gate, this area is the most closely guarded of all regions in the Imperium. Orbital stations numbering in the hundreds hang in the depths of space and five thousand watch stations and listening posts can be found in planetary orbits and on otherwise deserted moons and asteroids, every eye and ear searching for some omen, some sigh of impending doom and disaster. Fully a thousand regiments of Imperial Guard stand at constant readiness to respond to an incursion and no less than ten Space Marine Chapters maintain their fortress monasteries close by to watch for any sign of invasion. Three Titan Legions wait for the call to arms and untold vessels of Battlefleet Obscuras constantly make patrols and sweeps of the thousands of nearby star systems.
And yet, for all this watchfulness, Chaos cannot be held at bay. Lone vessels strike at Imperial shipping, agents slip through to spread their treacherous wisdom and creeds to the unfaithful who will listen, warbands constantly harry the Emperor’s forces. Most terrifying of all are the Black Crusades, when a mighty leader rises from the ranks of the Chaos Space Marines, uniting them in their unholy purpose. Ancient covenants and pacts with dark beings are made in blood and Daemons are brought forth by archaic sorceries that would shrivel the mind of the uninitiated. These hosts break through the wards of the Imperium, killing and maiming all that lies in their path, reveling in unholy destruction, wanton savagery and bitter revenge. For every fleet and army turned back or destroyed, another ten lie in wait, waiting for the time when the guards grow weary and the guns lie at rest. May that time never come –for if it does, it will be the doom of Humanity.
- Extract from the Galaxia Daemonica Perpetua of Jerome (By order of Inquisitor Dalma, 453.M35)
From every culvert and gutter erupted the scum of a thousand generations in the breeding, a great swarm of evil and destruction, and darkness consumed the city of Galaspar.
The Chaos taint had only embraced Urthwart for a few months, but when we landed to retake it a nightmare awaited us. Flayed human skin flapped from every streetlight, everywhere you looked grinning skulls were piled in pyramids and always around every corner was an infernal giggling and cackling that seemed to come from the walls themselves. We lost just as many men to madness as we did to enemy action…
- Veteran Sergeant Hessel, 122nd Cadian Regiment
Henceforth no man shall set foot upon the world, and all around shall be set sentinels to ward away unwary spacecraft. We must accept that his place is lost to us forever, and is now the eternal habitation of abominations.
- from the Contagion of Ganymede
We killed thousands, yet still they came. A living tide of traitors, herded by armored giants in red armor like so much cattle into the teeth of our guns, chanting that damnable litany that infests my head still. They waded, knee deep in blood, yet still they came. All to the horrid cadence of pounding drums, a driving beat that stretched the nerves of my men to the breaking point, and a droning mindless chant. Yet for all the cruel disregard their masters showed, every traitor died with a beatific smile upon his face...
- After action report 3445/rtf/9, filed by Colonel Johann Adronia
I saw three of them, playing like children in the entrails of Myer and Rubril, at the end of the corridor, and I ran like hell back to the front line. If they had caught me, a violent death would have seemed a paradise.
- Trooper Viliad of the Minervan Tank Hunters, on Nurglings
These men were no mindless, brainwashed Daemon worshipers like those we'd fought before, herded forward as gun fodder by their Traitor Space Marine masters. This group was trained, had been well equipped, and knew exactly what it was doing. The enemy appeared out of nowhere on both sides of the column and went straight for the heavy armor. Four of the main battle tanks had tracks blown off before enough infantry could dismount to stop them. Then the enemy fell back into the ruins of the city. It took us more than an hour to get the column rolling again. By the time we reached our rendezvous, the battle had already started.
- After action report 9331/rts/4. Filed by Colonel Johann Adronia
They hide their faces in snarling iron, but the cruelty in their hearts is manifest in their brutal deeds. We are lost, and we are done. May the God-Emperor forgive our failure and protect our souls.
- last transmission of General DeLestt, Urdesh
First, I heard the howling in my sleep, when I could still afford to rest, but now I hear it in my wake, continuous, growing ever louder as they get nearer. I have been running for weeks, but now I’m tired, so tired, and the Hounds are almost upon me.
- Last log in the log of Librarian Agapemachus before his disappearance
Steel yourselves, battle-brothers. The enemy approaches, I can feel them. They are all around us, and inside our very hearts. Only the Emperor can protect us now.
- Librarian Azeroth at the fall of Stygia VI
A deluge not of rain, but of blood. Deserts turned to quagmires, forests to marshlands, streets to canals. That was just the beginning.
- Lone survivor of the Chaias Rift Anomaly
These creatures have no place in the Emperor’s galaxy. Their unholy forms are an insult to reason and truth. Their impure songs will lead you to eternal damnation. Hell exists, and it sprang from the nightmares of mortals.
- Inquisitor Thrax on the Fiends of Slaanesh
Of creatures most foul I beheld the Lord of All and knew that I was dead.
- Inquisitor Brand
Speak not to me of Abaddon, blackest of hearts, basest of fiends. Who else amongst the hosts of the traitors embraced Damnation with such a fierce glee?
- Attributed to Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines
And furthermore it is our conclusion that such a machine therefore does not exist and any personnel claiming to have seen it are deluded. It has been proven to a high degree of probability that the destruction of Kharlos II is wholly the result of coincidental seismic activity.
- From the conclusions of the preliminary report on the destruction of Kharlos II by the Imperial Commissioner for Moral Truth, following rumours of a “Planet Killer”
Twelve times has the Despoiler held the galaxy within his grasp, and each time he had but to claim what was his for the taking. I am now sure there exists some greater scheme, some unfathomable logic driving Abaddon in his endeavours. I ask myself, ‘Why has he not claimed the gifts the ruinous powers must certainly have offered him? Why does he still walk amongst mortals when surely the path of elevation to Daemonhood has been set before him twelve times and more?’ The one conclusion I can draw is that the Despoiler’s motives lie not with the abstract, spiritual power of the Empyrean; more, they lie with the mundane, with physical, earthly power. Abaddon is driven by hatred and bitterness, to such an extent that he will not rest until he sees righted the wrong he perceives committed against him and his kind ten millennia ago by our lord the Emperor. Perhaps after his thirteenth Black Crusade he will consider his mission complete, and only then will he assume the mantle of Daemonhood, over the very ashes of the Imperium.
- The Heretic Archivist of the Gethsemane Reclusium (executed 963.M41)
Since the time of the Fall, our race has been haunted by what we, in our reckless pursuit of hedonistic indulgence, gave birth to. Though our dreams once overturned worlds and quenched suns, we are now but fitful shadows clinging to the edge of existence. All the stars in the sky cannot blot out the hateful glare of the Red Moon’s Eye. The birthing place of The Great Enemy pulses with all the malice of a daemon that is dreaming, casting its shadow over all we have ever done and all we ever shall. Every twisted strand of Fate and the casting of the Runes leads me to this time, to this place, and it is clear that the final battle awaits me at the ancient Crone Worlds. A conflict the likes of which has not been seen since the Mon-Keigh warred amongst themselves, and their corpse of a seer fell to his traitorous son, is coming and all my steps lead towards it, no matter that I walk other paths. I see the stars stained red with the blood of the Mon-Keigh and, though their wars do not concern me and I would gladly let them destroy one another, I know that to avoid this fight is to condemn my race to inevitable doom. And though all I see is darkness, I know that I will not flinch from my destiny.
- Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer of Ulthwé Craftworld, on the eve of the Thirteenth Black Crusade
The filth of their visage is as nothing to the filth in their hearts.
- Inquisitor Vandis on the Traitor Legions
Damnatus. Expurgatio in Extremis.
- Ork battlecry
We don’t fight fer food, or fer teef, or guns, or cos we’s told to fight. We fight cos we woz born to fight. And win.
- Grukk, Ork Boy
'Oomans are pink and soft, not green and tough like da Boyz. They'z all the same size, too - No big'uns or little'uns, so they'z always arguing about who's in charge, 'cos there's no way of telling 'cept for badges an' ooniforms and fings. Anuvver fing - when they do sumfink, they try to make it look like somfink else to confuse everybody. When one of 'em wants to lord it over the uvvers, 'e says "I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me", or "I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good". Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it and da over 'arf don't, so 'e 'as to hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot of mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while they'z all arguin' wiv each other over who's da Boss, da Orks can sneak up an' clobber da lot.
- Snotgrub's view of humanity and its failings
Let’s stomp some ‘umies!
- Popular Ork saying
We is da Orks. We always win. Espeshully when we win.
Common Ork saying
Orkses is never beaten in battle. If we win we win, if we die we die so it don't count as defeat. If we runs for it we don't die neither, so we can always cum back for anuvver go, see!
- Commonly held Ork view of warfare
Get ‘em boyz! Dakka dakka dakka! WAAAGH! THE ORKS! WAAAGH!
- Rotgrub, Ork strategist
All Orks is equal, but some Orks are more equal dan others.
- Goff Warboss Bugrat Skumdreg, on accusations of taking more than his fair share of the booty from the latest battle
The best means of defense is attack, an' the best means of attack is a really really big one, right, with lots of boys an' dead big shooty things and what have ya.
- Drekzog, legendary Ork smartboy
Stomp ‘em. Stomp ‘til there is nuthin’ left.
- Battlecry of the Killcrushas before they leveled Tartus VII
Da only lost race I ever heard of woz when Hef crashed his trike in da final stretch of da cross-desert rally. Cost me a few teef, that.
- Nuzzgrond of the Black Skulls
Oi! Stop runnin’ away, yer snivellin’ humies, we got a race on here!
- Skabgutz, Ork Trukker
Da trubble with defendin shacks is dat dey know you’re in dere. So you get tons’a stuff dropped on you before any of ‘em’ll come in for a scrap. An’ when dey do, there’s thousands of ‘em.
- Warlord Mhagdhash Kur Kroksnik, Deth Traks, Armageddon
Da only good ‘ooman is a dead ‘ooman. An’ da only fing better than a dead ‘ooman’z a dyin’ ‘ooman who tells yer where ter find ‘is mates.
- Morglum Necksnapper
We’re da best. Think different do ya? Come and have a go then, ya runty little wimp!
- Gasgrakh, Goff Nob
Evil Sunz like two fings most: Going fast and krumpin’ stuff. Dat’s why we’z so good at it.
- Lugnut of the Bladed Wheels
Bought me a deffblasta off Rotskrag earlier. Nice little killa. Just ask Rotskrag, hur hur.
- Fat Druzka, Bad Moon Flash Git
Live off the land. Go to find war. Kill wot comes close. The old ways are best.
- Grodd, Snakebite Runtherd
Us Blood Axes have learnt a lot from da humies. How best ta kill ‘em, for example…
- Korporal Snagbrat of the Dreadblade Kommandos
Wot, this? Naw, I’ve had this fer ages. Of course the paint’s still wet, it’s me favorite. Sell it to ya if you like. One careful owner.
- ‘Fingaz’ Rutzeg, Deathskull Loota
Some sayz we’z Feral, nomadz they call uz. I just say we’z always marching, konkering we iz…
- Warlord Snagga Snagga
You're rich! You're flashy! You 'ave a proppa Orky stoutness about your belly! And you've got more big, shooty, and dead 'ard gear than any two uvver Orks put together. Da uvver clans orta make way for da Bad Moons!
- Bad Moons clan philosophy
We’ve got our Gargants an’ we’ve got our weapons. Wot ain’t we got? We ain’t got anyfing for target practice iz wot! So I’ll tell you wot we’re gonna do. We’re gonna give da Humies a taste of ‘ot metal death is wot. We’s gonna take Big Gork and Big Mork ‘ere an’ we’s gonna stomp Humie!
- Warlord Dragnatz prepares the Boyz for the Waaargh!
We’s stomped ‘umies, we’s blown up stuff and we’s driven our traks from one end of da world to da uvva. We’s gonna come back next year!
- Bugsplatta Defnik of the Red Wheelz Speed Freeks
- Inbound: Dis is Nugrob da Slayer callin’. I got me boyz wiv me. Fort you lot might want to make a deal. You give us a thousand shootas each time we visit, and yer ain’t got no more worries, see?
- Governor Kubris: We’re not giving into your outrageous ultimatum – never!
- Inbound: Shame about that, cos I got ‘arf a dozen Dreadmobs, and a couple a Gargants wiv me.
- Kubris: Let us have a few hours to reconsider.
- Inbound: Nah, I feel like lettin’ out the Gargants after all, har har har!
'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go, through the cosmos.
'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go, through infinity.
'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go, don't know where till we get there.
- Chant of Orks hitching rides through the warp
Travellin’ through space is boring. Well, boring unless da hulk yer on is full of dem gene-sneakers, or a base fer da Chaos lads wiv da spikes, or already has Boyz on it. Or if humie lootas come callin’, that’s always good fer a bit of sport. Or unless yer have a mutiny or two to pass da time, or unless strange fings start happenin’, which they usually do when yer out in da warp. One time we had some bloody great ugly fing come straight out of Weird Lugwort’s ‘ed! It butchered half da lads, that was pretty entertainin’. Come ter fink of it, space is a pretty good larf. And that’s before yer find yerself a nice new world ta crush!
- Bigmaw, Ork Runtherd
Shooty Deff from da Sky
- Motto of the Vulcha Sqwadron of Bommers
I dunno wot you been told,
Stormboy mobs is mighty bold,
We’re da hardest of da lot,
We make you lot look like Grots.
- Stormboy drill-chant
If ya wanna be big an' mean,
If ya wanna be best an' green,
If ya wanna get da job done fast,
Da Vulcha skwad iz where it's at!
- Lift-off chant of the Vulcha Skwad.
Wot’s faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin’ idea, but I’m gonna find out.
- Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Dethkopta
Hit 'em hard, hit 'em low, and give 'em plenty of Dakka
- Kommanda Uzgob (call-sign “Mavarork”) of the Deff Skwadron
Call yerselves Speed Freeks... Hur Hur Hur...
- Da Black Baron, en route to the front line
Right, first I'll take those teef out for yer, dat should help ease da pain in yer leg. Grokkit, hand me that wrench. Now then... Open wide, and say... AAARGH!
- Dok Gutslash
Operate! Operate! Still time to operate!
- Mad Dok Grotsnik
I'm da hand of Gork and Mork, dey sent me to rouse up da boyz to crush and kill 'cos da boyz forgot what dere 'ere for. I woz one of da boyz till da godz smashed me in da 'head an' I 'membered dat Orks is meant to conquer and make slaves of everyfing they don't kill.
I'm da profit of da Waaagh an' whole worlds burn in my boot prints. On Armour-Geddem I led da boyz through da fire deserts and smashed da humies' metal cities to scrap. I fought Yarik, old one-eye at Tartarus, an' he fought good but we smashed iz city too.
I'm death to anyfing that walks or crawls, where I go nothin' stands in my way. We crushed da stunties on Golgotha, an' we caught old one-eye when da speed freeks blew da humies' big tanks ta bits. I let 'im go 'cause good enemies iz 'ard to find, an' Orks need good enemies ta fight like they need meat to eat an' grog ta drink.
I iz more cunning than a Grot an' more killy dan a dread, da boyz dat follow me can't be beat. On Pissenah we jumped da marine-boyz an' our bosspoles was covered in da helmets we took from da dead 'uns. We burned dere port an' killed dere bosses an' left nothin' but ruins behind.
I'm Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka an' I speak wiv da word of da godz. We iz gonna stomp da 'ooniverse flat an' kill anyfing that fights back. We iz gonna do this coz' we're Orks an' we was made to fight an' win.
- Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka
I’ll be back…
- Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka after the Second War for Armageddon
Kill them – Kill them all!
- Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka
Da stoopid humies fink we come 'ere coz we wuz Ghazghkull's soljers. We came 'ere to stomp humies, trash dere shacks an' watch 'em burn. Not coz Ghazghkull sez but coz we LIKE doin' it. Now we're gonna do it again...
- Mhagdhash Kur Kroksnik addressing the Deth Traks from the ruins of Hive Hades
He was an avalanche from an unexpected quarter. He was a thunderbolt from a clear sky.
- Commissar Yarrick on Ghazghkull Thraka
I have followed you too far to fail now, Ghazghkull Thraka. I bear the gift of death. You cannot outrun me. There's no place in this universe where you can hide. I have waited a long time for vengeance. I'm tired, but not so tired I cannot kill you. Maybe then I won't see the faces of the dead. Maybe then I'll be able to sleep.
- Commissar Yarrick before the Battle for Golgotha
The green tide of Orkdom is upon us and we are alone. There can be no mercy. No surrender. If we survive this day it will be a miracle.
- Commissar Yarrick at Armageddon
Let the Orks come by the thousand, or by the tens of thousands; we shall be ready for them. This world is the Emperor’s, not theirs, and we shall wash it clean with their blood.
- Pedro Kantor, Master of the Crimson Fists
You know not the valour of the Orks; they believe that the more enemy there are the more glory they will win and the more plunder they will secure.
- Inquisitor Yuan of the Ordo Xenos, addressing the regimental commanders at Gundastol
And at this time
the brazen god of war
cast up a great lord
to lead the savages forth.
- The Book of War
- Provost Major: You claim that the Orks took you by surprise attack? A race, I might add, not noted for their subtlety of tactics.
- Lieutenant Gordo: I swear by the Emperor’s immortal benevolence! We had pickets at fifty-pace interals with regular half-hour contacts. There were no reports of enemy activity in our segment. The first we knew, the gate was blown and there were greenskins running all over the fort. Some of them must have sneaked in and killed the sentries before the others attacked.
- P-M: You are asking us to believe that an Ork unit infiltrated your position, eliminating the sentries, and then set charges to detonate the main gate?
- L.G: I did not believe myself, sirs. We saw them for a moment, in the darkness, when the gate was first blown. They were wiry and sinewy, for Orks, wearing hardly any clothing. The cunning savages had painted camouflage over their skins and their heads were painted with red warpaint, and all we could clearly see were their rd eyes glaring at us from the shadows. My platoon opened fire on them, but they must have slipped into the darkness before our salve, none of them fell.
- P-M: Half-glimpsed shadows? Orks wearing camouflage? Do you take us for imbeciles? Orks are barbaric and entirely single-minded. Army dogma, which has served us well for ten thousand years, teaches us this. Orks come on in a great horde, they do not slink and sneak in the shade. Are you saying that our ancestors, the illustrious commanders of the past, were fools?
- L.G: I’m not saying anything of the sort, sirs! All I’m saying is that they never fought these Orks. And I pray that I never have to fight them again…
- P-M: Your prayers are answered, Lieutenant. Guards! Take this prisoner to the holding cells to await execution for cowardice and incompetence.
- Extract from the transcript of Court Martial investigating the fall of Lathir Outpost
The Orks are the pinnacle of creation. For them, the great struggle is won. They have evolved a society which knows no stress or angst. Who are we to judge them? We Eldar who have failed, or the Humans, on the road to ruin in their turn. And why? Because we sought answers to questions that an Ork wouldn't even bother to ask! We see a culture that is strong and despise it as crude.
- Uthan the Perverse, Eldar Philosopher
A more ramshackle, inefficient and downright ugly fleet is hard to imagine.
- Admiral Sartus at Platea
Fifteen Orks on a dead man’s hulk,
Lookin’ down the barrel of a gun,
Gruntin’ to each other
through big, sharp teeth,
Sayin’ “This one’ll give us some fun”
Fourteen Orks on a humie’s ship,
Killin’ anything that isn’t green,
Gruntin’ to each other
through big, sharp teeth,
Sayin’ “Times be getting’ lean”
Thirteen Orks with the Captain’s chest,
Hopin’ to quench their greedy thirst,
Gruntin’ to each other
through big, sharp teeth
Sayin’ “I was da wun dat saw it first”
One lone Ork left to steal the loot,
Wishin’ it hadn’t turned out so,
Gruntin’ to itself
through big, sharp teeth
Sayin’ “I shoulda let the pilot go”
- Traditional shipmens’ song from the Cyclops Cluster
…a swarm of mechanized locusts sweeping over the land, stripping it bare of resources, bringing death and destruction to anything that stands in its path. Emperor preserve us against the predations of these so-called Orkish cults of speed!
- Cardinal Nomura at the Conclave of Hessen
We’ve been “claiming” this damned planet for the Imperium all of my life, and all of my father and my grandfather’s lives before that. I just wish someone would get around to telling those damned Orks to get off our damned land!
- Anonymous soldier on Baran
The Orks plague the galaxy from end to end with their ceaseless warring and strife. They are a race rooted so deeply in war that peace is utterly incomprehensible to them. They cannot be bargained with or bought save with weapons which they will inevitably turn against those who tried to bribe them. I pray with all my faith that some great catastrophe will annihilate them but I fear that ultimately it is they, not we, who will rule this galaxy.
- Imperial High Lord Xanthias
The stars themselves once lived and died at our command, and yet you still oppose our will.
- Farseer Mirehn Biellann
He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it.
- Farseer Eldrad Ulthran of Ulthwé
What do humans know of our pain? We have sung songs of lament since before your ancestors crawled on their bellies from the sea.
- Farseer Eldrad Ulthran
Eldrad is the greatest among us. He is the sun which eclipses the light of our stars. He is Ulthwé and the fate of our kind rests in his hands. His eyes are the keenest, no detail goes unnoticed. Four thousand runes can he cast, guiding our path through torment and war, death and salvation. He is the pathfinder, the seeker, the true guide. Even your race has trembled before his might, though you may not have known it. It was he who guided us to the Ork known as Ghazghkull, and commanded us to steer his path to your world of Armageddon. Ten thousand Eldar lives would have been lost if he had not done so. What sacrifice is a million humans for such a cause?
He knows your affairs better than you do yourself. He warned that weakling seer you call Emperor of the treachery of Horus and the strife which would engulf us, just as it engulfed the rest of the galaxy, but your arrogance deafened you to his words. Your stupidity almost destroyed the galaxy, yet you never knew how close the forces of light were to our ultimate defeat. He saw the Great Devourer and warned our kin on Iyanden, even before they had neared our galaxy.
To him all futures are laid out, just as your crude implements of torture are laid out on the cold metal of that shelf. You say we are random and capricious, we say you are vulgar and idiotic. Some of you call us your enemies. All races are our enemy in time. Some of you call us your allies. You are not allies, any more than a butcher’s knife is his ally. You are tools, nothing more. To be used and expended to protect our race, that is your fate.
Your kind think you are so magnificent, yet even now, at the nadir of our power, we can manipulate you, turn you to our ends, as easily as you might pull a trigger and fire a gun. Our time will come again, Eldrad has promised us. Once more you upstart mon-keigh [subject spits] shall kneel before our power! This time we will not be so lenient! We will exterminate you, every world, every vessel, every one of you! Eldrad has seen the stars stained red with your blood, and it pleases him!
You think us weak, but we will be your doom, children of Earth.
- Interrogation of captured Eldar Ranger prisoner no. 28264. Prisoner awaiting termination.
We warned you of the price of your actions, now you must pay it in full – in blood.
- Message received prior to the Assyri Devastation
There is no art more beautiful and diverse as the art of death.
- Laconfir of Biel-Tan
Your understanding is not required mon-keigh, merely your surrender…
- Message to Colonel Brand at the Third Battle of Belafon I
We should have exterminated you before you polluted the stars with your presence.
- ‘Shadow Lord’ Arain
We will destroy you now, not for what you have done but for what you are capable of.
- Lord Dael Starborn at the Battle of Gethsemane
You primitives think you own the stars but you have no conception of what you are saying. You can barely command your own lumpen bodies, so how do you believe that you can subjugate entire worlds?
- Attributed to ‘Prince’ Morvael of the White Flame Corsairs in response to an order to surrender to Imperial forces at the Battle of Lithore
Eradicate them all, we can no longer tolerate their filthy presence here.
- Warlock Lorith of Alaitoc
In the spring storms of youth, it is common amongst our people to question the validity, and indeed sanity, of our ways, most especially the pursuit of perfection in but one field of endeavour at a time: the Path, as it has been called since our ancestors created it. While the young are intellectually capable of studying the tragic lessons of the Fall and the Great Enemy unleashed by our ancestors, their view of the universe is too narrow to truly see the lessons intrinsic in the terrible events which destroyed our home worlds and drove forth the survivors to wander the stars. It is true of all that in youth there is great bravery and great foolishness in equal measure, an abiding belief that no obstacle is too great to overcome, no foe too mighty to defeat, no problem so complex that it cannot be solved. Conversely it may be said that those who survive the galaxy’s tumult for long enough come to believe that all obstacles, foes and problems may not be resolved, only allayed for a brief sliver of history, which in turn is but an instant in the slow dance of the universe.
Thus it is that young and old clash incessantly over the necessity of the Path. The young rail against the restrictions it imposes upon them. Much as our doomed forebears did, they wish to taste every sensation, every emotion within their new-found world as soon as possible. They do not fear the Great Enemy that was created by the desires of our ancestors, for the whole conception of her evil is gleaned from distant tales and legends, and that which brought fear in the nursery is spurned and ridiculed in adolescence. Only with time can they begin to feel the terrible thirst which we gave her and begin to understand that she is a mirror image, a reflection of our worst excesses given life by the debauchery and depravity which preceded the Fall.
Long ago our race realised that the only way to elude the Great Enemy was to shatter the reflection, to live a life of denial and focus upon but one aspect of life, pursuing it unto perfection. This is anathema to the young, just as it is to the Great Enemy. The young do not desire the discipline of the path, but rather their curiosity drives them to try every fruit from the tree. Thus it is that so many take the Path of Wandering or the Path of Damnation in their first years of adulthood, and so the great tragedy of our race is played out again and again as the number of our people shrink from generation to generation.
- Kysaduras the Anchorite, Introspections Upon Perfection
You think us the sad remnants of a bygone era. We shall see, human, we will pluck this world from your grasp with the ease that a child picks up a bauble.
- Aistra-khaille, Seer of Lugganath
I have seen far worse than the death that lies before me. I shall not surrender.
- Karlaen Shadowbound
There can be no peace while alien feet still tread upon Ath-Ethon.
- Response to the surrender of the Fourth Imperial Garrison, Rigal IV
You cannot defeat us, Human. We have eternity on our side.
- Lord-Falcon Marethe of the Siren Cry
The time for using the knife to remove this cancer is long gone. Bring forth the torch.
- Exarch Quaillindral
To become as one with the winds of space and strike with the speed of the sandsnake, that is the beauty of the Nightshade. Harmony in design and elegance of function must be the cardinal virtues of all wargear, and nowhere is the aesthetic so gloriously blended with the efficient, as in this most versatile warship.
- Karlaen Shadowbound
We bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.
- Reqhiel of the Sons of Fuegan
Come brothers, follow me, we hunt across the skies!
Come, chosen of Khaine, and see how our prey, the gangly humans flee! There is no place for them to hide under the pale face of Lileath the moon, nor under the sun, the face of Asuryan.
Feel the rush of the wind against your skin and hear her keening cry in your ears. Listen to her call well, for are we not the Wild Riders, the children of the storm?
Enjoy the hunt brothers, let sword swing and blood spill, feel the beat of your heart in your chest and know that you yet live.
Fear not death brothers, for she is old and slow, and will never catch the Windrider host. It is our enemies who are afraid, for each kiss of our weapons brings the sweet oblivion that they crave by opposing us.
Follow me, brothers, battle awaits!
- Nuadhu “Fireheart,” Wild Rider of Saim-Hann
The wind whipping across your face as your blades whip across the throats of the foe. It makes the blood sing.
- Hrythar Dreamweave, Wild Rider of Saim-Hann
We pass as the zephyr, but strike as the tornado. Despair upon seeing our host.
- Thrithlianne Yngirsbane of Saim-Hann
There is no corner of the galaxy that has not felt the eagle-keen gaze of Alaitoc.
- Elarique Swiftblade, Autarch of Alaitoc
Only when you have soared through the morning skies on wings of flame can you understand the Hawk. Only when you have fallen screaming upon those who know they are already dead can you understand the Banshee. Only when you have annihilated those who would oppose you can you truly understand the power of the Dragon. And only one who has traveled but ultimately turned away from each of these paths can understand the Autarch.
- Anthrillien Morningchild, Autarch of Yme-Loc
Gather the dead for war, let them join our ranks, lest we be forced to join theirs.
- Farseer Kelmon, on the Wraithguard
We may have won the battle, but our ancestors have lost their souls.
- Prince Yriel, after the Battle for Craftworld Iyanden
The universe is tripartite: the sunlight of the material plane, the darkness of the spirit world, and the twilight of the spaces betwixt the two.
- Spiritseer Iyanna Arienal of Iyanden
To deny death, and impart her cold kiss to others. That is the way left to us.
- Iyanna Arienal, the Angel of Iyanden
My only remaining pleasure is to bring death to the enemies of my craftworld.
- Lord-Phoenix Ironstorm, Wraithlord of Biel-Tan
War is my master; death my mistress.
- Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra
Let not the fear of death stay your hand nor defeat your courage. The warrior who will prevail is the one who conquers death, who becomes one with death as we have.
- Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra
- Battle chant to Khaine the Bloody-Handed God
We are the Eldar, amongst the oldest of the races and perhaps once counted amongst the wisest. But we are ever reminded of our great Folly and even greater Fall. Now we are but few in number and our time left in this galaxy is short. The Age of the Eldar is over, now it is the Time of Man, the upstart, the hairy savage.
Trust not in appearances, for the Eldar are as utterly alien to good, honest men as the vile Tyranids and savage Orks. The Eldar are capricious and fickle, attacking without cause or warning. There is no understanding them for there is nothing to understand - they are a random force in the universe.
- Imperial Commander Abriel Hume
You may as well try to catch starlight as bring the Eldar to battle.
- Naval saying
There can be no doubt in my mind that the Eldar of the craftworlds show a great diversity in culture, traditions and military structure. If we are to defeat these enemies we must learn everything we can about their ways, so that we may in time properly combat the threats posed to our endeavours by them. Make no mistake, the Eldar still wield sufficient power to seriously contest the right and proper expansion of the Emperor’s servants to the goal of utter dominance of the galaxy. It is only by concerted will and faith in the Immortal Emperor that we shall overcome them.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy
The first thing one must learn about the Eldar is that they are a race of fragments, broken and scattered across the galaxy. In culture, geography and technology, the disparate elements of the Eldar race vary wildly. Even within a single sub-race (the so-called kindreds of the Craftworld Eldar, Exodites, “Dark” Eldar and the mysterious Harlequins) there is a great diversity of tradition and attitude. This treatise concentrates on that faction of the Eldar race which traverses the galaxy in gigantic stellar vessels: the craftworlds. The accumulated wisdom of centuries is contained within this tome, shedding light on their beliefs, customs, military strength and, most importantly, their weaknesses.
What little information I have gleaned concerns only the five largest and most infamous craftworlds. In examining these separate cultures we shall witness the divisions that have sundered the Eldar from one another, even when ostentibily of common heritage. Remember though, there can be no pity for the plight of the Eldar. Indeed, the honoured servant of the Emperor should rejoice that an alien race is on the decline, that the Eldar’s extinction shall pave the way to ever greater ages of conquest and glory for the Emperor and mankind. Compassion is reserved for servants of the Emperor; aliens deserve only our scorn.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy
Investigation into the recent history of the Iyanden Craftworld can lead to but one conclusion – the Eldar of Iyanden are on the brink of total extinction. They have lost many of their number in the long millennia since the Fall and, as with all Eldar, new generations are few and far between. However, it was an attack by a swarm of Tyranids from Hive Fleet Kraken that may have run the death knell for Iyanden Craftworld. The space-borne city was all but destroyed and thousands upon thousands of its warriors fell in battle against the Great Devourer. They were on the verge of utter annihilation but despite these horrendous losses, the Craftworld was saved from extermination by the intervention of the Pirate Prince Yriel and his Eldritch Raiders. However, Iyanden is unlikely to ever recover its losses and it is only a matter of time before the craftworld becomes lifeless.
We can comfortably make this deduction on the basis of one fact: the massive preponderance of artificially constructed warriors in an Iyanden host. These “Wraith-guardians” and “Wraith-nobles” use the Eldar’s advanced knowledge of psychic and soul-grafting technology to create a new, artificial constructed body for the soul of an Eldar whose body has been destroyed. This reliance on such constructs confirms the belief in the Iyanden Craftworld’s imminent demise simply because the creation of these “Ghost Warriors” is an abhorrent necessity to the Eldar, who view the process as something akin to grave-robbing in our own culture. Not only are they disturbing the eternal rest of the dead, the Eldar are, in essence, creating zombies of their ancestors and forcing them to continue fighting. As one can imagine, this repulsive behaviour would never be undertaken except in the direst of circumstances.
This reliance upon the dead has given rise to an increase in the number of psykers specialized in raising the souls of the Eldar from where they are stored within the Infinity Circuit. These necromantic psykers, or Spiritseers as they are sometimes known to their kind, are adept at communing with the souls of the dead and utilizing the sophisticated psycho-crystalline technology of the Eldar’s spirit stones. The Spiritseers demonstrate all of the normal battle-magick of the formidable Warlock psykers, as well as acting as a node or focus for the spirits roused from their deathly slumber. The presense of a Spiritseer greatly increases the coordination and flexibility of these undead hosts and it should be noted that whenever facing such an adversary, a military commander should endeavour to eliminate these Spiritseers as a matter of importance and urgency.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy, Chapter V, “The Necromancers of Iyanden”
A craftworld is a sentient being, with a hundred thousand minds.
- Inquisitor Czevak, the Living Worlds
Saim-Hann was reputedly one of the first craftworlds to flee from the Eldar homeworlds as the Fall approached and it still retains many ties with the “primitive” Exodites who preceded them. We have found the attitude of other Craftworld Eldar interesting. They consider the Eldar of Saim-Hann feral and barbarous in many ways, further illustrating the rift within the supposedly single race. Reports from our military commanders show that this certainly holds true on the field of battle. The Eldar of Saim-Hann are fierce and proud warriors who seem to value honour much more highly than any of their more sophisticated kin. Their bravery is legendary but their recklessness has frequently led to them fighting wars against other races and even other craftworlds. It appears that this warrior pride has led them into battle even when they could ill afford conflict.
The most famous of the Saim-Hann are the Wild Riders who go into battle riding jetbikes and Vypers, and excel at swift raids. We have learnt that these warrior-kindreds have much influence on the craftworld and nearly all Saim-Hann Eldar, including the Seers, belong to one of the Wild Rider families. Apparently, it is only during an Eldar’s time as an Aspect Warrior that their ties with their family are forgotten, as their devotion to the shrine overrules all other considerations.
In terms of the social structure, the Wild Rider families bear many resemblances to the feudal hierarchies found on many of our own worlds. Each family has a single leader, the position of which is usually passed by hereditary tradition (though there is no emphasis on patrilinear or matrilinear descent). The closest family to this Chief forms the Kinsmen who comprise the ruling elite of the family. It is the Kinsmen who guide the Chief when the craftworld goes to war and it is left up to the individual Wild Rider families whether they will participate, unlike the general conscription and mustering of Guardians that is seen on most craftworlds.
This has sometimes led to Wild Rider families actually fighting amongst themselves, although these “battles” generally take a highly ritualistic form and consist mainly of single combats between champions. These duels can be compared to some of the practices seen in the more primitive Imperial states – jousting and grand melees to decide who has the superior position. These “honour duels” are not uncommon, although it is rare that they are ever fought to the death – first blood is usually sufficient to determine a winner. Such behaviour, that of frequent intercine fighting, seems incredible when one considers how few Eldar there are left in the galaxy.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy, Chapter VII, “The Seeming Barbarity of Saim-Hann”
Translator’s note: Saim-Hann is pronounced Sam-Hine (not Same-Han)
Inquisitor’s note: Translators should learn more respect for their masters
Listen not for the approach of the Eldar, nor look to the skies for their coming. Their craft are silent as midnight, swift as dawn, and bring naught but death to the enemies of that forlorn race.
- Inquisitor Czevak, Admonitions and Portents
On occasion, servants of the Almighty Emperor may be fortunate or skilled enough to capture an Eldar alive. The majority of those who fall into our hands are from the caste known by our military forces as the Rangers. These Rangers can provide us with much information about their people, under correct inducements. Over the last two millennia, a surprising proportion of these captured Rangers hailed from the craftworld of Alaitoc. Perplexed by this course of events, my predecessors began a detailed analysis of this craftworld which I have attempted to continue. This has been a very hard task, as Alaitoc is one of the most secretive craftworlds, drifting on the very edge of the galaxy. Ever since war broke out between them and the Emperor’s righteous armies, following the Beelze Conflict, they have shunned all direct contact with other races.
Intrigued by the propensity for the Alaitoc Eldar to follow the so-called “Path of the Outcast” I endeavoured to find the root of this from amongst their number. The information I managed to elicit was interesting but unfortunately the subject died before it could reveal anything of length or detail.
It appears that the Eldar of Alaitoc are the most puritanical adherents to the culture known as the Path of the Eldar – that lifestyle by which an Eldar will dedicate itself to the pursuit of knowledge in one sphere of life at a time. This zealous attitude has led to many of the Alaitoc Eldar to become Rangers – either made outcasts by their masters for some slight misdeed, or tiring of the harsh discipline of their craftworld. For some, the very isolation which the Alaitoc Eldar value ahs only served to heighten their curiosity and inquisitiveness regarding the greater galaxy.
Although disenchanted with their craftworld, those on the Path of the Outcast still remain loyal to Alaitoc and many of them return to it in due course. Due to its isolation, the craftworld makes much use of its many Rangers to gather news, keeping it informed of the actions of other craftworlds and alien races so that the Alaitoc Eldar might respond if necessary.
When the Alaitoc fight a war, they gather their many Rangers through the webway, sending them ahead of their main force to sow disruption and anarchy in the enemy’s army. The Rangers are highly skilled at destroying supply dumps and ammo caches, pinning down units trying to attack and generally breaking apart any coordination and cohesiveness the enemy army might have. When the Alaitoc make their major attack, the enemy will already be half-defeated – having spent days or even weeks chasing shadows, they will be desperately trying to gather together the fragments of their army into a fighting force.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy, Chapter XI, “The Tyranny of Alaitoc”
Against the Great Enemy the Eldar have no hope of victory. They hang onto existence, yet their grip on the universe is slipping, their hold becomes more precarious with every passing year.
- Inquisitor Czevak
Biel-Tan is located towards the southern rim of the galaxy, at the edge of what is believed to be the extent of the ancient Eldar empire. Amongst the Eldar, the Biel-Tan have a well-deserved reputation for being warlike. Their name means “Rebirth of Ancient Days” in the Eldar tongue and it is the Biel-Tan who have taken it upon themselves to strive to rebuild the glory of the Eldar. To this end, the Eldar of Biel-Tan place greater importance upon the Path of the Warrior than other craftworlds do, for they know that I a new Eldar empire is to be forged, it will be done in the heat of battle and with much bloodshed.
The assembled warhost of Biel-Tan is known as the Bahzhakhain, meaning the Swordwind, or Tempest of Blades. The Swordwind relies on a single attack which uses surprise and the immense fighting skills and firepower of its Aspect Warriors to annihilate the enemy in one swift blow. To this end, the Swordwind employs numerous Wave Serpents and Falcons to move its units into position, from which the Aspect Warriors then launch a devastating all-out attack, smashing into the enemy and giving them no chance to recover.
This kind of attack has proved particularly devastating against the Swordwind’s most favoured type of target – enemy colonies. The Biel-Tan apparently see any colonisation by other races as a threat to the future growth of the Eldar empire. It is their philosophy that it is better to eradicate any usurpers as soon as possible before the enemy becomes well established. To this end, there have been countless conflicts between our military forces and the Biel-Tan craftworld. Often the Explorators of the Adeptus Mechanicus discover and colonise worlds near to Biel-Tan’s course, only for the Eldar to launch an attack and wipe out the settlers. Thus we must provide heavy garrisons for newly-settled worlds on the southern rim to protect colonists from these sorties by the Eldar, draining valuable resources for battles elsewhere. If Biel-Tan were to be eradicated this would relieve an incredible pressure on our military forces. However, despite my numerous petitions to this effect, there has neither been the military might or the political will to do this.
The Swordwind has fallen upon other alien races as well. The Orks in particular are hated by the Biel-Tan, as they can rapidly spread across a newly colonised world (with a prolification which we ourselves find hard to forestall). The starships of Biel-Tan constantly hunt across the stars to destroy Ork spacecraft before they can find a world to engulf with a tide of green warriors. There have been many accounts through the millennia of the Biel-Tan Eldar arriving to help a beleaguered Imperial garrison fighting against the Orks, only for the Aspect Warriors to turn on their erstwhile allies once the Orks have been destroyed. The leaders of the Swordwind also see it as their duty to protect the Exodite worlds from alien invasion too. As the Eldar of Biel-Tan see it, when the time comes for the Eldar to emerge from the shadows and reclaim what is rightfully theirs, the Exodite worlds will be the first staging points for conquering the worlds of other races that have spread across the galaxy. Many an incautious expeditionary force has made planetfall on a world not knowing that the Exodites inhabit it, only to find themselves swept away by the ferocious attack of the Swordwind.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy, Chapter XXX, “The Belligerents of Biel-Tan”
Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers; all of which are true and horrifying to know.
- Inquisitor Czevak
Ulthwé is known amongst the craftworlds for the many Eldar there who follow the Path of the Seer and the Path of the Warlock. This is believed to be due to the craftworld’s proximity to the Chaos shrouded Eye of Terror. The Ulthwé make the claim that they need their numerous Farseers to keep watch for the many and varied guises of Chaos but those from other craftworlds often hint that it is the Eye of Terror itself which has tainted the inhabitants of Ulthwé and exaggerated their psychic potential. Whatever the reasons for this trend, when the warriors of Ulthwé go to battle they are always accompanied by many of their powerful psykers.
Of all the craftworlds, I believe that it is Ulthwé that interferes the most with the affairs of other races. The craftworld’s many psykers can foresee future events with a greater precision and for a longer duration than those of other craftworlds. Led by the infamous Eldrad Ulthran, the Seer Council seems to be constantly diverting the course of history to their own ends and, consequently, warriors from Ulthwé are frequently sent on missions to subtly alter the balance of fate in battles that will ultimately concern their home.
I would guess that we ourselves have suffered from this callous manipulation many times in the past. It is from these enigmatic and often seemingly contradictory conflicts that the Eldar have earned their reputation for random and capricious behaviour.
A certain number of my predecessors widely (some might say wildly) attributed some of our most cataclysmic conflicts to interferences from Ulthwé. Amongst these are named the second Battle for Armageddon, the Sanapan Scouring, the Mortis Annihilation and the Third Coming of Orian.
There is yet hope though, for this continuing reliance on psykers has left the craftworld lacking in the skilled Aspect Warriors – the Path of the Seer is the longest and most dangerous, leaving little time for an Eldar to tread the Path of the Warrior. To compensate for this, Ulthwé maintains a considerable standing army of Guardians (usually Guardian units are raised as and when they are required, much like our own planetary militia). The Black Guardians are known throughout the regions around the Eye of Terror, both as saviours and dreaded foes.
- Inquisitor Czeak – Teachings on the Unholy, Chapter XXXVI, “Cursed Ulthwé”
The mind of the Farseer is utterly inhuman in its depth and complexity. Without mercy or moral feeling his consciousness stands upon the edge of spiritual destruction. That he does not fall must be the result of constraints and balances which only an Eldar could understand. To a mere human it is yet another reminder that we are but children compared to that ancient and powerful race.
- Inquisitor Czevak
The Path of the Warlock wends across the past, present and future alike. His mind is free of the constraints of time, and his destiny and promise are merged into a single state of being.
- Historicus Ostalan Vanus
I have seen with mine own eyes many long and terrible wars. I have met brave men and good men whose deaths have weighed heavily upon my soul. On Anathasia I was witness to the Conquests of Zhar and the burning ruins of Ramnion haunt me still. On Badab I watched as the Tyrant’s own fortress fell in dark ruin after so man years of unholy war. Even then I was not glad, for too many had fallen that were needed elsewhere. Too many lives extinguished whilst our enemies grew more powerful.
Yet in all my many years I have never seen a sight as terrible as that great battle at the Gates of Athan. That horde of Chaos came as a sea of blood that stretched from horizon to horizon without end. Over it hung the stink of death, a black cloud of evil that tainted the sky with its obscenity. I cannot think of it still without terror, and must endure a moment’s panic to write even these few words. Even so, the Eldar did not flinch but stood their ground with a determination that exceeded human resolve as the strength of steel outmatches mortal flesh. And that is when I witnessed for the first and only time the strange secret of that race, seeing then what few humans have seen, the thing beyond human comprehension, the great daemon that is the Avatar of the Eldar.
- Historicus Ostalan Vanus
After the great cataclysm known as the Fall, the Eldar craftworlds were scattered across the galaxy. The Eldar path was begun as a means of controlling the raging emotions and desire for perfection that is the lure all Eldar must resist. The Path of the Warrior was founded on many craftworlds, and grew into the Aspects that survive to this day. These original Aspect temples were created by mighty Eldar fighters, the original Exarchs of the Bloody-handed God. The Eldar believe that these ancient fighters survive to this day, continuing their fight for the Eldar cause whenever and wherever they appear. Many Eldar also believe that these Phoenix Lords, of Asuryas as they are known to the Eldar, are no longer truly alive, that their armour is animated by the spirits of Exarchs who have been absorbed into the consciousness of the Phoenix Lord. If this is true, then the Phoenix Lords would indeed by mighty warriors, with many thousands of years of experience.
- Extracts from Inquisitor Czevak’s “Ancient Warriors – the Phoenix Lords of the Eldar examined”
Perfidious Eldar! These aliens had the stars in their grasp and now are left to sift the dust of their once fabulous realm. For all their intellect and mysticism they could not contain the beast within them, nor tame the wild monsters of the Shadow. Why should we pay them any heed?
- Inquisitor Gründwald, Ordo Xenos
It is all too easy for an Eldar to embrace the obscene virtues of Chaos, for Slaanesh is nothing more than a manifestation of the Eldar mind in its most wild and unconstrained form. Human morality is meaningless to the Eldar, and to the dark side of the Eldar mind all life is to be expended at a whim. Cruelty and generosity are but the impulse of a moment. Beauty and sensuality are virtues that can be expressed in bloodshed just as easily as in song. To an unfettered Eldar mind there is neither sanity nor madness, but merely a wave of perfect existence fulfilled by its own savage momentum.
- Inquisitor Ralamine Mung, Ordo Xenos
What can be said of the deviant Eldar that has not been writ before? They are sly and cunning beyond ration. Never settling in one place for long, they are as slippery as a slime-eel. They strike at their foes with speed and deception. They melt away like ghosts at the first sign of any trouble. Trust them not for they will betray you!
We used to think of them as wandering vagrants. Well, those vagrants held up my whole platoon for five days.
- Lieutenant Pharaik on Eldar Rangers
We have three orbital batteries, a pair of laser platforms and thirty five thousand square kilometers of minfield. I think we’re safe enough.
- Last words of Golam Perez, PDF commander, Escallio III, attacked by Eldar 145.M41
They came from nowhere. One minute the screens were clear, the next we had Eldar strike craft all over us. We scrambled all our available fighters but they were being destroyed as soon as they cleared the launch tubes. We never even saw the carrier ship. Until then we thought we’d ambushed a pirate patrol screen. They must have been laughing at us the whole time.
- Sub-Admiral Skalle, former commander of Battlegroup Ephesus
Some call the Eldar decadent. If that is true, the Imperial Army could do with that kind of decadence.
- Last words of Colonel Brin, executed Heretic 463.M38
Harden your soul against decadence. But do not despise it, for the soft appearance of the decadent may be deceptive. One need only consider the Harlequin dancers of the Eldar to see the truth of this proposition.
- Leman Russ, A Book of Admonitions for the Legiones Astartes
Of all the things I learnt during my sojourn upon the vast and aptly named “craftworld,” none was more horrifying than the secret of the infinity circuit (a poor translation of the Eldar term for the device, but one which must suffice). I had been amongst these strange alien creatures for some months, and was slowly learning something of their customs. The Eldar are an enigmatic race, who will rarely give a direct answer to a direct question. To learn anything of their ways I was forced to slowly piece together information from observation and careful consideration of the truth hidden in the largely allegorical answers my guide and host would deign to give me.
So it was that I had for some time been trying to fathom the Eldar’s attitude to that which must needs come to us all, namely the restful sleep of death. Of all my questions, it was those upon this subject which my host seemed the most reluctant to answer. All intelligent creatures must struggle to come to terms with their own mortality, and I know of no-one who has not had to conquer his fear of dying at some time. Even the bravest of warriors must overcome this fear; indeed, it is by such confrontation that they prove themselves truly brave. Yet, for such an aloof and seemingly wise race, the Eldar appear to have a fear of dying which exceeds that of any people I have ever met. Yet slowly I was able to piece together the truth, and came to understand why the Eldar view death with such horror, and how they avoid it through the medium of the infinity circuit.
It is common knowledge that each Eldar bears upon his breast a highly polished gemstone. Some consider these as affections or mere decorative bauble. Nothing could be further from the truth! These devices, whose name best translates as “spirit stones,” are actually psycho-receptive crystals attuned solely to the mind of their owner, and which are designed to capture the very souls of the Eldar at the moment of death. Why exactly the Eldar should go to such lengths to capture this psychic energy I was never able to find out; all I could ascertain was that the Eldar appear to have a belief that should their soul not be captured in this way then it would be lost to a strange shadow realm where it would, quite literally, suffer a fate worse than death. What fate could be worse than the half-death of imprisonment in the cold crystal of a spirit stone is hard to imagine, yet the fact remains that the Eldar prefer an infinity trapped in this way, and that the alternative is looked upon with a dread unmatched by any I have ever seen.
But enough pointless hypothesising – the fact is that at death the soul of an Eldar is captured by the spirit-stone he wears on his breast. The majority of such “inhabited” spirit-stones are taken to a place known as the Dome of the Crystal Seers, or at least, such was the case in the craftworld upon which I resided, and I have no reason to doubt that it is the same elsewhere. Here they rest and, one hopes, find some sort of peace. Sometimes, however, a spirit stone is grafted to the robotic body of a Wraithguard or Eldar Dreadnought, imbuing its artificial form with a living intellect. The horror of such a fate is difficult to imagine, dooming the recipient, as it does, to an eternal shadow-life trapped in a shell of cold unfeeling steel. These spirit-warriors defend their craftworld and are much revered by their mortal counter-parts…yet I cannot help but think that such honour is little reward for so great a sacrifice.
- Extract from “My Time Amongst the Eldar, or How I Visited Iyanden Craftworld and Lived!” by Ieldan Soecr
Vile, unnatural witchcraft pervades all elements of the Eldar – their minds, their culture and technology.
- Confessor Barbarius
Their arrogance is matched only by their firepower.
I am truly disappointed that cruel fate has placed us in this position, such that I really have no choice other than to unleash my warriors against your population centres. If only you would lay aside these foolish hopes of protecting your resources and return to your homes and families, much bloodshed and woe could be avoided. Yet...there is still time, any who leave now will be spared and I give you my word that they will be granted free passage through the wastes. This offer of amnesty will stand for two of your hours before the terror begins anew. I can only hope that you consider your position carefully. Send forth a representative to discuss further terms if you wish, or send several if you cannot trust one of your number to speak for the rest. I feel sure that they all can be...accommodated.
- Asdrubael Vect, Supreme Lord of the Kabal of the Black Heart, before the Delta 9 Massacre
We are not creatures of Shadow but it serves us well. As an ally in battle and a refuge for rest.
Death is my meat, terror my wine.
- Asdrubael Vect, Supreme Lord of the Kabal of the Black Heart
We are the carrion lords feeding on the terror of our victims.
Fetch me another plaything. This one seems to have broken.
- Urien Rakarth, Haemonculus
You have a simple choice human – die now on the blades of my Incubi cadre or be carried into the night where you will die a thousand deaths at the hands of my Haemonculi.
You are doomed, DOOMED I tell you! For tonight we will feast on your very souls!
- Lord Zuol, leader of the Despair Bringers of the Kabal of the Black Heart
We dance a bloody path on the precipice of annihilation.
Eyes without life,
mountains of skulls.
There are some of my favourite things.
- Drachon Borkor
They are not your worst nightmare; they are your every nightmare.
Never had so much alien blood drenched the arena. How could this be followed? The crowd cried out for more. There could be no end to the spectacle now. Then Lelith herself strode into the arena. The crowd hushed at the very sight of her beauty and elegance. Her flesh bared as if to taunt the blade to draw her blood. Her hair loose as if to tempt her adversary to grip it and strike the death blow. This was the way she liked to perform: so calm, so confident, so cold. The crowd gasped as she brandished her chosen weapons: as flashing of ice-cold silver, the kiss of death. Then the aliens were released into the ring. Not one, nor two, but ten assailants at once. Lelith danced with them, gifting each with a single choice wound. The crowed roared their approval, the entertainment would last long into the bloody evening!
- Lord Sussarkh’s recollections of Lelith Hesperax, Mistress of Death
And behold, there was one among them named Kheradrukh – He Who Hunts Heads – the Decapitator. A thousand skulls lined his lair, a thousand lives ended swiftly on his blades. None were safe from the Decapitator who moved through the shadows like the breeze through the air. No guard could mark his passing. No shield would ward his blows. None could stop him from seeking his prize. How could one name the price of certain death for any foe? I cannot say, but rumour tells of a hundred times a thousand given over in sacrifice, bartered for the death of a single enemy.
- Tales of Terror III, Geryon Publishing, Fourth reprint
How typical that the humans should rely on crude technology to protect them. How fitting that we, the Dark Eldar, should kill them where they feel safest.
- Kraegeth of the Slaughtered Heart
Fear the shadows; despise the night. There are horrors that no man can face and live.
Why do we ride atop these elegant craft? The better to hear the screams of our prey as we ride them down, to savour the fear etched on their faces, to taste the tantalising tang of their blood in the air as an appetiser before the feast. But most of all we ride them so that the slaughter may begin as soon as possible.
- Dhariaq Bladetongue, Kabal of the Pierced Eye
…therefore my studies lead me to believe that, with the exception of the Haemonculi, all Dark Eldar are members of a Kabal or Cult. The nature of Cults is dealt with in the companion volume to this work (‘Dark Eldar Cults of the Thirty-Ninth and Fortieth Millennia’), so I will confine myself solely to the Kabals of the Dark Eldar here. (Haemonculi will be dealt with in a future volume).
As already noted, Dark Eldar society is riven with strife, discord and murder, and any member of this society requires some form of protection in order to survive. The Kabals offer this protection to their members. Each Kabal is ruled by an overlord, and he has reached this position of supreme power through a combination of political intrigue, intimidation, battlefield prowess, skullduggery, assassination, and outright brutal murder. Such is the nature of the Dark Eldar psyche and character that the ruler of a Kabal has far more to worry about from his immediate subordinates than he does from any external forces.
This said, the different Kabals constantly vie with each other for territory and political power and it seems very likely that each Kabal controls a territory within Commorragh. There are certainly a substantial number of accounts dealing with street warfare between rival Kabals that would seem to back this up. For the ruling elite, however, conflict tends to be confined to the political and social arena rather than outright warfare, but even at those levels death and murder are often employed to settle disagreements between different Kabals.
- Excerpt from the introduction to ‘Enemies of the Imperium: Dark Eldar Kabals of the Thirty-Ninth and Fortieth Millennia’ by Scribe P. B. Oschprey
I will never forget what I saw at Obsidian Station. The bones of five thousand brave men lay scattered about the winding corridors. Their blood was slick upon the walls and floors of the dormitories. Their innards were hung from control panels like grotesque decorations of some insane celebration. But not a single skull was to be found; taken as sick trophies by these despicable attackers.
- Inquisitor Absolvus
The Dark Eldar are utterly and irrevocably evil, corrupt and twisted in every sense. Not only do they enjoy inflicting pain and committing murder, they take gratification from the manipulation of each other and the weaker beings they prey upon.
When the Dark Eldar emerge into the galaxy, it is only to inflict pain and suffering as piratical raiders, slaughtering the majority of those they encounter and taking the survivors back to their nightmarish realm. Truly it can be said that to be captured by the Dark Eldar is far, far worse than the simple oblivion of death.
- Gulius Bhaior, Xenolluminati 6th Echelon
They came out of nowhere. Emperor save me, it hurts…I’m dying, aren’t I? [Interrogator repeats question.] Yes, yes, I’ll tell you, damn your eyes. They came out of nowhere…she led them in, that she-bitch from hell. [Sounds of coughing and retching.] She was tall and, by the Primarchs, she was beautiful. Hard and lithe, and deadly swift…She cut a bloody path through us, and laughed as she did it…That laughter, it chills me still. She…she had this weapon that…sucked the life out of anyone she hit with it…they were left like dry husks, she sucked them dry and cast them aside…She reveled in their pain, it filled her…filled her with fury, made her faster, more dangerous…more evil…more evil than any living thing I’ve ever seen. Emperor save me. She was the death of me…[Unintelligible muttering as subject slips into delirium.]
- Extract from the interrogation of Cpl. Anton Mossman, Imperial Guard, 87th Blue Blood Regiment, concerning Kruellagh the Vile
For many Imperial Commanders, the form of warfare employed by the Dark Eldar is difficult to grasp and therefore counter. Whereas the duty of the Imperial Commander is either to seize or to defend territory, the Dark Eldar make war only to steal. If, as a by-product of this strategy, they are able to indulge in their vile passions for murder, torture, and other decadent acts, then they will joyfully do so. However, this outcome is not their primary goal. Dark Eldar tactics, therefore revolve around the desire to seize what they want and then to escape with it. They are the masters of the surprise attack and will rarely attack a target they know is well-defended or prepared. It almost goes without saying that the Dark Eldar will use stealth and guile to win what they desire rather than a simple head-on attack.
The vehicles and weapons the Dark Eldar use are well-suited to the tasks for which they are employed. Dark Eldar Jetbikes and Raiders allow for the rapid movement and redeployment of their troops, while the weapons they use are designed primarily to lay down a heavy, short-ranged curtain of fire that can subdue an enemy as much by its intensity as by its effect. Although lightly armed and armoured (at least by the standards of our own forces), the Dark Eldar are swift, and will generally attempt to use their mobility to avoid an opponent's main strength.
As can be seen, in all ways, the Dark Eldar are the masters of the tactics of the raider, the pirate, and the bandit, and in no way show any desire to follow the noble callings of the true warrior or soldier. Although they should rightly be despised for using such ignoble tactics, they should never be underestimated, for to do so will undoubtedly lead to defeat and death.
- Taken from The Dark Eldar: Their Methods and How to Defeat Them, by One Who Has Done So, Colonel Shifflen Van Dyson, 7th Vangrian Royal Guard. All printings suppressed by order of the Administratum, M0150935.M32. Sole remaining copy maintained as Inquisiton record INR 1345/H46.
The Dark Eldar are inured to terror and death, taking a positive delight in the infliction of pain and misery. Yet there is something that fills their race with an utter dread, driving them onto ever more despicable acts of wanton bloodshed and torture: the Great Enemy, the One Who Thirsts. What the relationship between the Great Enemy and the Dark Eldar is, it is impossible to say. Although the Dark Eldar revel in their own wickedness and evil, there is a desperation about them; an all-consuming horror that forces them to kill and main each other, to fall upon their prey without mercy, as if their very survival depended upon the extremity of the grievous deeds they perform.
Stranger, I bid you greetings in the name of the Tau.
If you are reading this, then you will have encountered one of our messenger drones and are therefore a spacefaring race. Soon you will see more evidence of us. This is no cause for alarm.
When you encounter one of our ships or outposts then welcome it. We have much to offer a faithful friend. We are five castes, one people. The Earth Caste build and manufacture, the Air Caste pilot and navigate. The Water Caste liaise and arbitrate, the Fire Caste guard our holdings and defeat our enemies. All are bound to the dream of bringing a new way to the universe.
I hope you will choose to share the culture, technology and protection of the Tau Empire.
The only constant in the universe is change. The wise adapt.
Believe in our destiny.
- Transcript from alien probe discovered in the Koath System 696.M41
It saddens me greatly that we must take arms against the peoples of the galaxy. Every being in the galaxy is precious, thus it is a great shame we must scorch the flesh from the bones of those who refuse to bow down and accept as truth the enlightenment we bring. By their deaths, they deny themselves the liberation that is only to be found in total surrender to the Greater Good.
- Aun'va, Master of the Undying Spirit
It burns so briefly, the light of my children, so briefly. But by the Greater Good, it burns so bright!
It is as we join with others, in a way that only the Tau can, in shared engagement to the Greater Good, that we find ourselves able to fully realize our true potential. And that is the final source of our hopes and intentions.
- Aun’el T’au Tam’ya, Ethereal Caste
I have taken great pains not to laugh at the actions of aliens, nor to weep at them or to hate them, but to understand them.
- Attributed to Aun’shi
I have received your messages, acquainting me that these worlds belong to your Emperor, your master. In return I am to inform you that the said worlds belong to his Ethereal Majesty, Aun’O Bork’an Vral, my master, by right of settlement. Should you wish to gain similar rights you must submit yourselves to his wisdom as members of the Tau empire.
- Por’el Tau’n Ukos, Water Caste negotiator
They are fierce indeed these Kroot, and savage. I look upon them and tremble at their ferocity. I can only hope that when the enemy sees them they tremble as I do.
- Por’vre Tau Cho, Water Caste envoy to Sy’l’kell prior to the ambush of the 17th Brimlock Dragoons
There are two kinds of conduct the Ethereals will not countenance. The first is a failure to reflect upon what is for the Greater Good of the Tau race. The second is the deliberate refusal to follow the path of the Greater Good when it is clear what it must be.
- Pour’ui Dal’yth Ukos, Water Caste envoy
We do not belong on the ground. Our home is the sky. As the enemies of the Tau Empire know to their cost.
- Tau Air Caste philosophy
Ours is to be an empire of worlds, not merely of castes or nations, or races or peoples. To simply control the worlds which we claim as our own will not be enough – we must control the paths between them also, or be divided, and so fail.
- The Air Caste Petition ahead of the Tau’n Campaign
It appears to me that, lacking the sense of unity that might inform them of their insignificance, these Gue’la have come to think that they might own the stars themselves, even the spaces in between them. Only by our presence, I think, might we now convince them otherwise.
- Kor’O Tau’n Viel
You misunderstand, this is Tau space, despite what the Gue’la may claim, and you are welcomed to it as friend. We too have suffered difficulty with the Or’es’la, since it seems they wish no unity. We would be honoured to have you fight alongside us against this common enemy. You will find it to the benefit of both our peoples. You will find it, I have no doubt, to be for the greater good.
- Por’O Dal’yth V’Rok greets the Thurm Brotherhood during first contact with the Demiurg
A thousand fibres connect each of us with our fellow Tau and along those fibres our deeds run as causes which come back to us as effects. Everything we do must be in furtherance of the Greater Good lest we return to Mont’au, the Terror.
- Shas’o Vior’la Kais, Fire Warrior commander
It is not our technology that will enable us to prevail in this galaxy. It is our shared sense of honour and commonality of cause that unites us and will give us the power to defeat our enemies.
- Shas’el Sa’cea Or’es, Fire Caste commander
A mightier shoal of predators I have never seen; all grace and measured fury.
- Shas’ui Kais, Fire Caste, on Tau tanks
The question of the timing of the commencement of hostilities is one upon which you must meditate most deeply. Once your decision is arrived at, it must be pursued with the utmost energy.
- Commander Puretide, The Thirty-Seventh Meditation on the Way of the Warrior
The strength of your force may be calculated by multiplying its weight and its velocity. Strive always to maximize both and victory shall be yours.
- Commander Puretide, The Forty-Second Meditation on the Way of the Warrior
There are certain things in war of which the Fire Caste Commander alone comprehends the importance. It is not his right, but rather his responsibility to send thousands to their deaths if millions will prevail. That is the heaviest burden of command, and it must be shouldered, alone.
- Commander Puretide, The Ninety-Ninth Meditation on the Way of the Commander
Learn to shorten your reach! If your foe can come close enough to negate your striking power, all stratagem is lost, and when all stratagem is lost, the battle is lost.
- Attributed to O’Shovah 757.M41
Each must find their own way. If those in our heartland had witnessed the savageries of the void as have we they would know this. The hand of each of the great starfarers is turned against the other; none will join their strength together just to see their ancient enemies prosper. Neither should we.
- Attributed to Commander Farsight, 765.M41
To follow any path other than the Tau’va is to doom us all. Only together and with courage and discipline shall we stand victorious. Fight with fire and courage and nothing can stand against us.
- Commander Shadowsun
The feeling of power a warrior gains from mastery of his battlesuit can be intoxicating. Remember your duty.
- Commander Shadowsun
No expansion without equilibrium
No conquest without control
Pursue success in serenity
And service to the tau'va.
- Sio't meditation supposedly composed by hero Shas'O T'au Shi'ur
The alien is not intrinsically evil.
Do not hate him. Pity him his ignorance.
Seek to understand his differences
And acquaint him with his inadequacies.
Only then will he accept his place
in the Greater Good.
- Sio't meditation supposedly composed by hero O'Mau'tel (has since been quietly dropped)
It is well that they are known as the Water caste. One might as well try to nail the sea to the wall as pin them down with a straight answer. They flow around your words until they wear you down, like the trickle of water that over time will split the rock.
- Rogue Trader Guarnerius
One of their light walkers carried a weapon of lethal effect. It fired a form of ultra-high velocity projectile. I saw one our tanks after having been hit by it. There was a small hole punched in either flank – one the projectile’s entry point, the other its exit. The tiny munition had passed through the vehicle with such speed that everything within the hull not welded down had been sucked out the exit hole, including the crew. We never identified their bodies, for all that remained of them was a red stain upon the ground, extending some twenty metres from the wreck.
- Major Kane, Mordant 607th Heavy Armoured Regiment
They got ded big shooty guns dat’ll kill tons of boyz, but if yer can get near em den you’ve got a chance. Just gotta make sure you bring loads of boyz, coz you ain’t gonna have a whole lot left when you get close enough ta crump em.
- Warlord Skarmork, the Great Despoiler
Our tanks were useless. As soon as we broke cover, their battlesuits’ heavy guns were locked on to us. I swear it was as though they had someone nearby aiming for them before they shot. And when they did shoot…Emperor’s mercy! Their guns punched through our armour like it was paper. All I could see were trails of fire where the projectiles had ignited the air.
- Guardsman Cauley, 25th Graian Rifles
I have followed the myriad potential futures of the Tau with great interest. Though barely even striplings compared to us, I feel a strange protectiveness towards them. In time I believe they will exceed even our greatest feats and master the darkness within their souls.
- Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer of Ulthwé Craftworld
There is a cancer eating at the Imperium. With each decade it advances deeper, leaving drained, dead worlds in its wake. This horror, this abomination, has thought and purpose, which functions on an unimaginable, galactic scale and all we can do is try to stop the swarms of bio-engineered monsters it unleashes upon us almost by instinct. We have given the horror a name to salve our fears: we call it the Tyranid race, but if it is aware of us at all it must know us only as Prey.
- Inquisitor Czevak at the Conclave of Har from the Har Transcriptorum
They have only one purpose and there is nothing they will not do to accomplish this, no matter how vile or loathsome it might be. These abominations mean to destroy everything proud and noble, everything we hold dear and have fought so long to achieve.
- Inquisitor Angmar on Tyranids
The more I learn about these aliens, the more I come to understand what drives them, the more I hate them. I hate them for what they are and for what they may one day become. I hate them not because they hate us but because they are incapable of good, honest human hatred.
- Inquisitor Angmar on Tyranids
The onrushing hordes of a Tyranid swarm are a terrible sight to behold. Scuttling Termagaunts rub shoulders with deadly Genestealers, huge Carnifexes lumber forward beside tall Tyranid Warriors in an avalanche of rattling armour plates, glittering fangs and gigantic claws. Discipline is hard to maintain against such a horrifying foe as many men are driven mad with despair or frozen with terror at their approach.
It is well known that destroying the more intelligent creatures in the swarm is essential to stop a Tyranid advance. Training in recognition and fire discipline is of some help in identifying the best targets, but the chaos and confusion of the battlefield make it difficult for troops to pick out their targets amidst the swarming mass of creatures. Ultimately is has proven best to direct fire at the largest Tyranids in sight and pray to the Emperor that some of them are the leaders.
- Inquisitor Angmar: Halting the Abomination
As I looked into its dead black eyes, I saw the terrible sentience it had in place of a soul. Behind that was the steel will of its leader. Further still I could feel its primogenitor coldly assessing me from the void. And looking back from the furthest reaches of the alien’s minds…I can only describe it as an immortal hunger. It is this we cannot kill.
- Chief Librarian Tigurius of the Ultramarines at the Conclave of Har
The blasphemy of the Tyranids is such that only one solution is acceptable: Extermination. There can only be two sides in such a fight – choose carefully, lest you and I find ourselves on different sides.
- Chaplain Cassius, Ultramarines Master of Sanctity
We must scour them from the stars before they do the same to us.
- Chaplain Cassius of the Ultramarines
How ironic it is that as fast as we spread progress and hope throughout the galaxy, the Tyranids spread death and despair. Only united can we hope to stand against them.
- Aun’shi of the Tau Empire
I don't know where they come from. It seems highly unlikely that they evolved naturally into what they are now - impossible, given what we know about evolution. Perhaps they are some kind of bioweapon, created millennia ago by madmen for some long-forgotten war. If so, I suspect that their creators soon came to regret their creation. Or perhaps they come straight from the warp. Possibly the Lords of Chaos themselves cast them out because they were too unpleasant.
- Jarv Advent, Senior Xenobiologist, Inquisitorial Institute of Proctos Minor
The Tyranids are without doubt the most rapidly evolving creatures in the galaxy. The Magos Biologos of Mars have observed developmental DNA leaps between broods that would take terrestrial beasts millions of years to achieve. It appears that the Tyranid ‘Norn Queens’ or primogenitor organisms aboard the Hiveships are capable of modifying their progeny in response to the environment and lifeforms they encounter. Newly harvested genetic codes are assimilated, the prey’s defensive measures are examined and improved creatures are bio-engineered to overcome resistance. Over time, the myriad improvements to the hive fleet’s gene pool are exchanged with others, strengthening the entire race.
A case in point is to observe the degree of integration of the Tyranid’s symbiote weapons. At first these were relatively crude and were carried and employed, however distastefully, by the creatures which used them like a gun or sword. In later hatchings Tyranids have exhibited weaponry meshed directly into the creatures carrying it more and more frequently. Now it has become difficult to tell where the Tyranid Warrior ends and its weaponry symbiotes begin. I think we can be assured that the Norn Queens will continue to work tirelessly towards forms more and more perfectly adapted for killing the inhabitants of this galaxy just as they have in others before ours. Simply put, over the coming centuries we may be out-evolved to the point of extinction.
- Magos Biologis Alder Garrick at the Conclave of Har
I know you may find the Tyranids physically repellent to look at but believe me, you don’t want to let them out of your sight.
- Hojan Storall, Technomagus of the Adeptus Mechanicus
To think of these creatures as beasts is a grave mistake. We have observed their vanguard organisms herd prey like cattle into the path of the main swarms. We have seen them expend tides of lesser beasts so that their enemies have no ammunition left when their leaders attack, and armoured columns channeled into narrow defiles where but one of their assault beasts can tear through an entire tank company. Only yesterday we received a pict-capture of several platoons falling back into the keep of Gnex Bastion, only to be ripped trapped and slaughtered by burrowing organisms that burst from the ground. These creatures have shown evidence of a tactical acumen that speaks of a far worse threat than posed by a mere beast.
- Lexmechanic Ursis, Belis Corona
The column was moving along a road through grassland dotted with groves of trees. We didn’t see them until we were right on top of them and then all the warning we had was a sudden rustling in the long grass before they broke over us like a wave of razor-edged death. I only escaped because I was on my bike at the head of the column and got out of there in time. The rest of the company was wiped out within minutes by a force no more than half their number.
- Testimony of Corporal Jarrac, late of the 81st Thessarus Regiment, now serving with the Penal Legion
To fight the Tyranids by traditional means is to foolishly move a beach one grain at a time.
- Inquisitor Kryptman
We came in through the western wall at the height of the ceremony, when the frenzied screams of pain and ecstasy reached their loudest. To the left were the cult members, about two hundred men and women in all, lying fully prostrate on the floor. To the right stood their – priests? gods? children? – I don’t know what to call them. There were perhaps a dozen of the creatures, dressed for battle and arrayed around a tall, handsome man in ceremonial robes, bearing a staff of some kind.
For a long moment, no one moved. The tall man looked at me. I could feel his eyes burning into my mind. I was frozen with terror, and…and something like anticipation. He smiled. I – I don’t know what would had happened next, if Goren, my Ogryn sergeant, hadn’t torn loose a piece of the wall and thrown it at the tall man. He missed – and one of the creatures ripped Goren’s head off for his pains – but the tall man flinched, and the spell was broken.
I ordered my men to attack. You know the rest.
- Final report of Rickhart Toll, late of the Imperial Guard
…locating the parasites was made difficult by the numerous abhumans and mutants among the population. The alien Hybrids were able to move about undetected, and the cult was only discovered when visiting officials noticed graven images with multiple arms in various locations, often hidden in dark recesses or locked away, safe from the eyes of strangers. These images were said to be antique but had obviously been crafted quite recently. Following close inspection they were identified by the Inquisition as cult totems and objects of worship, confirming the presence of an alien clan on Ungor.
Fortunately the aliens had just started to infiltrate the population and the cult was limited in its number of adherents. With a dozen Terminators seconded from the Grey Knights, Inquisitors were able to locate and eradicate the Hybrids before the population became contaminated beyond redemption.
- Codex Hereticus, Ungor Infestation, Inquisitor Erasmus, 955.M41.
We cannot live through this. Mankind cannot live through this. In a single day they have covered the surface of this planet with a flood of living blades and needle-fanged monsters. Kill one and ten take its place. If they are truly without number than our race is doomed to a violent death before every shred of our civilization is scoured away by a force more voracious that the fires of hell themselves! Death! By the Machine God, Death is here!
- The last words of Magos Varnak
There is nothing to fear except fear itself.
- The last address of Commander Rasbora, before the final Tyranid assault that destroyed the last human held fort on Brochis III. Judged beyond reprieve, the planet was virus bombed four months later.
I don’t care if they’re twelve feet high with eight arms and a baboon’s bottom. We’ll hold this ridge until we’re dead or they are. Why? Because we’re here lad, we’re here.
- Sgt. Artraxus of the 21 Kallistan Rifles
The thing that scares me most of all is that it burst out from the jungle directly in front of our ambush position. It had killed Jensen and Lucca before we knew what was happening. Nothing that large should be able to move like that.
- Sergeant Thresher, 11th Catachan Jungle Fighter, after encountering a lictor
The torchlight showed up a trail of blood leading to the back room, so like a fool I followed it. Lying in the darkness was one of the smaller ones, its jaws distended around the torso of what I assume used to be the father. He was still convulsing. In my horror, I shot the victim first. Big mistake.
- Enforcer Maifland, Epsilon Hive
My men stopped firing, dropped to their knees, and curled up into foetal balls. That weren’t natural fear. They’ve evolved again, and this time it’s something you can’t just shoot.
- Sergeant Keller, Cadian 122nd “Glorydogs”
We thought it was over. We really did. Then the big ones began to rain down.
- Private Yuris, Bedlam III
When you fight Tyranids, you face not only those before you on the field of battle, but the untold thousands which seek to surround you, which attack your supporting units and destroy your supply lines in perfect synchronicity.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Uskra, 13th/23rd Tiger Lizards
Another wave inbound! Man the walls!
- Castellan Tronktom’s Last Stand, Laveria Prime
Pray that if you ever see one, it is from the view-port of a departing ship.
- Adeptus Augrennel Blax, previously Senior Factorum of Rallar Prime, on Tyranid bio-titans
Emperor knows what hellish pit spawned the hideous apparition we came to know as the Red Terror. It first attacked the outer bastion and twenty four men died before we drove it away with flamers. We never even found the bodies of Lieutenant Borales and Captain Lowe, just a trail of acidic slime which led away from the command post and into the tunnels. It returned the following night and the slaughter began anew, but this time we were ready for it…Or so we thought.
- Excerpted from Twenty Days in Hell, the retreat from Devlan Primus
It must have been buried in the ice for centuries, perhaps since Hive Fleet Behemoth crashed on the shores of Macragge, perhaps longer. The thing was hideous to look upon, and obviously dead as Savlar. Some hero of the Imperium must have stuck a plasma pistol in its eye before being torn apart, leaving a scorched crater as big as my head. We burned it out of the ice and secured it to our trans-crawler, back at Cannis there was an amnesty on Tyranid specimens for the Adeptus Mechanicus and we reckoned we could get a mammoth bounty for it. Halfway back the crawler started rocking and horrible cracking, screaming noises came from the back. Now I’m no Space Marine, neither were Jax or Karde, and I’m not stupid either. We just jumped out and ran. The thing was quick though. I was the only one that made it back.
- Last testimony of Ariul Horst, Archaeo-pirate
We retreat, we fall back, we make strategic withdrawals, we consolidate, we evacuate. When in the name of all that’s holy are we going to fight back against the Tyranid threat? Events at Ichar IV and Macragge have proved that the hive fleets can be stopped, but where are the armies and the ships to stop them again? Why have the Adeptus Mechanicus ceased sending us munitions and weapons from their forge worlds? Do they believe they can stand alone and seek only to protect their own domains? These are important questions which demand answers at the highest level and, in my personal opinion, the punishment of those responsible – assignment to penal regiments in the path of the Tyranid advance would seem most appropriate.
Believe me, sirs, I can appreciate that outposts and monitor stations cannot be held against the infernal numbers of these aliens without and unconscionable expenditure of force, I have seen with my own eyes the results of such folly. I can also appreciate that the strategy of Holy Terra is not mine to question, but I fear the perspective gained from viewing reports from thousands of light years away belies the seriousness of the situation here on the eastern fringe.
- Excerpted from a missive sent by Commissar General Vortigus Hornth, Acting Warmaster: Diatan Sector, Ultima Segmentum. 285/988.M41
Beyond the human galaxy, beyond the range of spacecraft and astrotelepathy lies the unspeakable cold of the intergalactic gulf. Few men have ventured into this empty realm and none have ever retuned. It is the great barrier that divides galaxy from galaxy, a place where time and space conspire to hold the galaxies apart with inconceivable distances.
That void is no longer empty. An immeasurably ancient and implacable intelligence moves through it, its many eyes fixed on the glittering stars of our galaxy. The Great Devourer moves between the stars and hungers for all that lies before it. This great organism, this monstrous entity men know as the Tyranid race.
Even by naming the Great Devourer, men betray their ignorance. Every thought and action, every spark of life in the Tyranid race is bound and interlinked into a single great organism stretching over light years of space and controlled by the immortal hive mind. A billion times a billion Tyranids stand at the rim of the galaxy, each no more than a single cell in the living body of the hive mind, the devourer of worlds.
They are coming! I feel them scratching inside my mind, scratching, screaming, roaring, so many – so, so many voices. They’re coming for us – flesh and blood, body and soul!
Imperial Order 5.393/UE/73947U. Citizen Information Document.
In Case Of Alien Spore Attack Follow These Rules:
1. Do not panic. Upon hearing the warning siren proceed in a calm and orderly fashion to the nearest shelters and remain there until the all-clear is sounded.
2. Do not attempt to rescue friends, pets or loved ones; you will only endanger them and yourself.
3. Once within a shelter you are safe, do not leave the shelter until the all-clear is sounded.
4. If you see an alien spore and no warning siren is operating or the all-clear has already sounded contact your district supervisor immediately.
If you are too far from a shelter to reach one easily do not panic, spores are attracted primarily by movement and detonated by either physical contact or sonic, heat and pressure changes which indicate a living creature is nearby. As such they are easily avoided by the following means:
1. Remain indoors. Seal all doors and windows. If there is a cellar, basement or underground refuge of any kind proceed there and wait for the all-clear.
2. Do not attempt to use vehicular transport, transport tubes or grav risers to leave the area, this will only attract more spores.
3. If spores are in sight do not move, make no sound. If spores are going to make physical contact move slowly and calmly walk away.
4. The Ministorum recommend Hymnal XXIV “Imperator We Abjure Thee” as inspirational literature under these conditions.
Remember Contact With Aliens Is A Crime.
As An Imperial Citizen It Is Your Duty To Obey These Rules.
Failure to comply is punishable by summary execution (AD.Order 432./OW.5568)
Tyranids are creatures from our darkest nightmares. But remember this: they can bleed and they can die…
- Inquisitor Kryptman
That we, in our arrogance, believed that mankind was first among the races of the galaxy will be exposed as folly of the worst kind upon the awakening of these ancient beings. Any hopes, dreams, or promises of salvation are naught but dust in the wind.
- Excerpted from the Dogma Omniastra
Just when Mankind begins to think the galaxy is his to explore and exploit, we find a system like Seneschal and realize we are defenseless babes crawling too far from our cribs.
- Navigator Sollenn Durst
1107:34.27 - The chambers are huge. A Titan could walk here. Each wall contains thousands of recesses. In each, there is a Necron Warrior. The Necrons show no signs of stirring. Emperor pray they don't.
1325:12.01 - Magos Razzallon has disappeared. We think he went down a side passage, but his servitors have lined up across it and refuse to let us pass. We cannot risk a firefight here.
1540:56.08 - Still no sign of Razzallon. We keep watch for him, as he has the arming code for the Exterminatus torpedos.
1726:45.82 - We have found the missing adepts from Gakal. They were bound into a great machine and appear to have been shredded emotionally. I fear a vampiric influence.
1805:38.25 - Be ready for departure. We are on our way back. It's a Sepulcher! This is the tomb world of a star god. They have been reviving it with the energy of young stars. Be ready.
- Extracts from Astropath Ereggan's log transcript of the exploration of Seneschal II
Honoured lords, it is with some urgency that I bring to your attention a number of strange occurrences that have taken place within the sector jurisdiction of the Tethrock Quay Naval Outpost. As you are no doubt aware, the Explorator vessel, Lux Imperator vanished in this sector almost a year ago while on expedition to the (supposedly dead) Danubis system. What you may not currently be aware of is that the vessel has since been discovered abandoned in the Polonis Nebula with no trace of its crew on board.
The vessel was little more than a wreck and weapon impact damage on the hull is consistent with that found on a number of destroyed outposts and colonies in the sector. With the growing frequency and expanding radius of such incidences, I have grave concerns regarding the safety of our remaining sector outposts in this region. As to the identity of these raiders, I can offer no clue, save a highly distorted internal vid-log transmission from the Dauntless-class cruiser Solar’s Fury. In this fragment, it is possible to see metallic warriors, bipedal, like men, but possessed of an unnatural vigour and resilience storming the corridors of the ship. The transmission lasts barely six seconds, but he sight of these soulless machines in battle chilled my soul.
The growing frequency of these raids and the consistent absence of attackers leads me to believe that this enemy is more dangerous that we have yet realized. The high percentage of vessels and outposts lost in this sector compels me to request urgent reinforcements from sector command in order to maintain the security of this region.
Your obedient servant,
- Naval Strategos Armand Sevoir, Tethrock Quay
- Trooper Douro: Sir, I put a plasma gun shot dead center on the machine’s chest and saw it go down. It didn’t make any difference, they kept coming, no matter how much fire we poured into them. I lost count of how many shots I fired, but half the time these things just got back up again!
- Colonel Montague: You are sure the weapons were properly consecrated before the engagement? The war spirits were honoured?
- Trooper Douro: Yes, damn it, we – [Sergeant Bullen administers physical correction for use of inappropriate language before a senior officer] Yes…yes, the weapon spirits were honoured.
- Colonel Montague: Then continue. What happened next?
- Trooper Douro: I saw Lukiz and Hucks collapse, their skin and muscle stripped from their bodies by these metal daemons’ weapons, it was horrible. The Chimera was giving us some good fire support, but even that could barely keep them at bay. Our line was holding, just, but then I saw a swarm of gleaming, beetle-like things sweep over our heads and attach themselves to the tank. Before we knew what was happening they detonated and blasted the Chimera’s turret clean off. One of them must’ve hit the magazine…a second later it blew sky high, taking two of Red Company’s squads with it.
- Colonel Montague: Did you see anything other than the mechanical warriors and the swarming machines that destroyed the Chimera?
- Trooper Douro: Uh…yes. Like I said, no matter how hard we hit ‘em, we couldn’t stop their advance, but we were still putting a lot of ‘em down. Then as I went back to get more plasma cells for my gun, I saw this weird black light, like a miniature tornado suddenly appear behind Blue Company’s heavy weapons platoon. I shouted a warning, but it was too late. More of these mechanical devils emerged from that darkness and fired a volley of shots into them. [Subject sobs uncontrollably for several minutes until disciplinary correction administered by Sergeant Bullen] Sorry…then this creature in crumbling robes and carrying a staff that crackled with power was amongst them and carved them up. I saw the Captain cut in two and Commissar Vaughn was ripped apart by this monster’s bodyguard. The rest of the platoon broke and ran, but I was quicker. I managed to get to the bunker and, Emperor forgive me, I locked the door and hid. I didn’t come out for three days but, when I did, there was nothing left.
- Colonel Montague: You are a disgrace to the regiment, Douro. You are scum of the worst kind, a deserter and a coward and I shall take great pleasure in watching your execution. Take him away, sergeant.
- Excerpt from court-martial interrogation of Trooper Douro, XXIX Pyran Dragoons 999.M41
Death stands above me, whispering low
I know not what in my ear
Of his strange language all I know
There is only pain and fear.
- Inscription transcribed from the walls of Cthelmax
They will seek to harvest us at first, as they will be hungry after their long sleep. Then they will turn their efforts to enslaving the survivors. The galaxy will bleed the stench of death into the void, and it will attract others of their kind. We must choose unity or death.
- Maechu, Farseer of Ulthwé
My pilgrimage began on the fifth day of Bariel, in the year of the Emperor’s grace 903.M41, when I set forth upon the road from Holy Terra to Sanctuary.
Three hundred and seven days I journeyed upon the currents of the Empyrean, although to my Sisters on Terra almost six years had passed as I traveled the lengths of two-thirds of the Emperor’s realm.
Sanctuary 101 was, I recalled from my days as a Novice, a desolate, wind-swept place where I felt the vast distance from Terra deep within my soul. My task was to reconsecrate the hallowed ground of the convent, which still bore the scars of the Necrontyr attack that had slaughtered our sisters and destroyed their community six years before. Inquisitor Hoth had, of course, removed our Sisters’ bodies and, to our Order’s great chagrin, has yet to return them to us. In absence of a grave, I erected a memorial to each fallen Sister; for each a single statuette of Our Martyred Lady to stand eternal vigil over the site of their martyrdom.
- A Book of Retrospections by Canoness Sepherina of the Order of Our Martyred Lady
It was silent as the void, and to look upon it was to know terror. It drifted over us with slow, liquid grace, and its gaze caused madness and despair wherever it fell. Those it came near took their own lives rather than endure its hellish presence.
- Morillia, a Harelquin Shadowseer
We are less than cattle to these beings, chattel to be cast aside, consumed or made sport with for their pleasure. There is not one amongst them that would pay heed to a world of Man as I would to an ant on my boot.
- Inquisitor Kessel at the Conclave of Eidolon
We are born for a darker purpose than mere existence. There will come a time when the stygian night never ends, where dead stars will spread before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and when the beings that hid like shadows will feed on us forever.
- Adept Corteswain at the Omniastery of Selethoth, shortly before his disappearance
Upon the dead world of Cthelmax, our Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator team researched the ruins beneath the fractured crust of this barren rock. Several previous expeditions to the planet had already been lost, but an entire company of veteran soldiers and a squad of Space Marines guarded this expedition. Upon our arrival at the site of the previous expedition, we were astounded to find a battle underway between a group of dark-armored warriors and strange silver-skinned constructs of gleaming metal. They fought before a rippling gateway of jade-veined darkness as a being with a skin of shimmering gold killed the warriors with ease, each languorous blow from his hand cutting a warrior down.
But I saw that, alone among the dark warriors, a single figure darted through that combat, fired twin pistols, and evaded every blow. As the golden being turned to face him, he slashed its torso with a shining silver knife. No sooner had the blade struck when it was wrenched from his hand and swallowed whole within the being’s golden flesh. The sounds of battle continued, and a dark veil dropped over the combatants. When next I looked, there was no sign that anything had happened. The area was completely empty.
- Explorator Majoris Doreth (Suppressed) M41 Cthelmax - Primis Site
That man is beset by all quarters by traitors, mutants and fiends is self-evident. But in truth none of these evils will be our undoing. When the end comes it will not be at the hand of any mortal being of this or any other realm; death will come at the hands of the ancients, those who determined our fate aeons before we stood erect upon the holy ground of Terra and gazed up into the starry night.
- Inquisitor Hoth – Second Book of Abominations
Imperial Proverbs and Thoughts For The Day
- The question is not when, but how, will I die?
- It is better to die for the Emperor than to live for yourself.
- The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Imperium.
- Curse now the death in vain.
- Life is a prison, death a release.
- By the manner of our death are we judged.
- The wise man learns from the deaths of others.
- Death be thy compass.
- Not even the dead know the end of war.
- The dead watch over us and guide us.
- Death is the servant of the righteous.
- Glory in death is life Eternal.
- Official! The graves of warriors who have given their lives for the Emperor now outnumber the stars themselves.
- Even a man who has nothing can still offer his life.
- Warriors of the Emperor seek no reward but death.
- Fear not death, for the soul of the dutiful man never dies.
- By the manner of their death we shall know them.
- Life is the Emperor’s currency, spend it well.
- No man died in His service that died in vain.
- Dying for something is greater than living for nothing.
- The dead cannot cry out for revenge; it is the duty of the living to do so for them.
- What a pity it is that we can die but once to serve our Emperor!
- Do not seek Death. Death will find you.
- Obey your orders.
- True happiness stems only from duty.
- Better to self-destruct than acquiesce.
- Your freedom must be bought with the currency of blood, toil and tears, a price all men pay.
- Excuses are the refuge of the weak.
- Perseverance and silence are the highest virtues.
- Only the awkward question; only the foolish ask twice.
- Follow the Emperor, and the glory of victory shall be yours.
- In our resolve we only reflect His purpose of will.
- Obedience is the maker of armies.
- Work is Prayer.
- For those who seek perfection there can be no rest on this side of the grave.
- The burden of failure is the most terrible punishment of all.
- To err is to invite retribution.
- Life is not measured in years, but in the deeds of men.
- To question is to doubt.
- Seek reward in service alone.
- Hard work conquers everything.
- Thou shalt not.
- One man can start a landslide with the casting of a single pebble.
- He who keeps silent consents.
- Will is not enough. Act!
- Heresy grows from idleness.
- Submit to His will.
- Obedience is blind.
- Work earns Salvation.
- His will be done.
- There will be no victory without your sacrifice.
- If a job´s worth doing it´s worth dying for.
- Labour long in His sight.
- Serve the Emperor today, tomorrow you may be dead.
- To fail in the service of the Emperor is the greatest of sins.
- Obedience is not enough.
- Your purpose is greatness.
- To serve Him is to worship Him.
- Strive harder.
- In failure are the seeds of Heresy sown.
- The noblest works incur the heaviest risks.
- Take care, lest your protests grow tiresome.
- The loyal slave learns to love the lash.
- Only in death does duty end.
- Only the Emperor is all.
- The cosmos cries out for salvation.
- Cease and Repent.
- The man who has nothing can still have faith.
- A small mind is easily filled with faith.
- Power does not reside with the Oracle, but with the Priests.
- Zeal is its own excuse.
- Adamantium walls and plasteel bulkheads may seem formidable, but an unshakable faith in the Immortal Emperor of Man can overcome any barriers.
- There is only the Emperor, and He is our shield and protector.
- All souls cry out for salvation.
- Faith is stronger than adamantium.
- In Nostra Manus – Progenies Futuris.
- Praise be, Emperor, Lord.
- Be vigilant and strong. The Emperor knows what evil lurks in the vacillation of a weak fool.
- Only the lost understand true terror
- To strengthen the Sword you must first strengthen the Shield.
- Blessed is a closed mind filled with faith.
- Faith without deeds is worthless.
- Without Him there is nothing.
- Let faith protect your mind and metal your flesh.
- The same hammer that shatters the glass, forges the steel.
- Over the faithful, fear has no dominion.
- Damnation is eternal.
- Guns and warriors are useful, but it is our indomitable will that promises the ultimate victory.
- The foolish man puts his trust in luck, the wise man puts his trust in the Emperor.
- Doubt forms the path to damnation.
- Prayer cleanses the soul, but pain cleanses the body.
- He bears the weight of Mankind’s ills.
- Faith is your shield.
- The path of righteousness leads to the palace of wisdom.
- His word is our strength.
- If you believe you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary before any victory!
- Armour is no protection against the blessed tools of the righteous.
- Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.
- Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of it.
- Pain is an illusion of the senses, despair an illusion of the mind.
- Cowards die many times, the brave die but once.
- It is better for a man to be afraid than happy.
- Fear is the mind killer.
- The fear of death is more to be dreaded than death itself.
- Despair is a sign of weakness.
- A wise man does not fear, a man afraid does not think.
- What is left when courage is lost?
- Fear denies faith.
- Fear runs as deep as the mind allows.
- The brave man always chooses danger.
- Pain is an illusion caused by fear.
- There is nothing to fear but failure.
- Cowards die in shame.
- The Emperor knows, the Emperor is watching.
- Innocence proves nothing.
- An Eye for an Eye.
- Be just and fear naught.
- Ruthlessness is the kindness of the wise.
- That was then, this is now.
- Beginning reform is beginning revolution.
- All Untruth is Sedition.
- To be just, our law must be cruel.
- Praise the Emperor! The Emperor's word is the Law, and the Arbites are the voice by which that word is spoken!
- To stand upon the bedrock of the Law is our great duty. To presume to stand above it is our worst heresy.
- No servant of the Emperor dies unavenged. No enemy of the Emperor escapes unpunished!
- Conviction lends us strength. Justice gives us purpose.
- There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.
- Ignorance is a virtue.
- Foolish are those who fear nothing, yet claim to know everything.
- Truth is subjective.
- Be strong in your ignorance.
- Educate men without faith and you but make them clever devils.
- The difference between heresy and treachery is ignorance.
- Brave are they who know everything yet fear nothing.
- Facts are chains that bind perception and fetter truth. For a man can remake the world if he has a dream and no facts to cloud his mind.
- The known is but the shadow of the knowable.
- Ignorance is your best defense.
- The common man if like a worm in the gut of a corpse, trapped inside of a prison of cold flesh, helpless and uncaring, unaware even of the inevitability of its own doom.
- All our ignorances bring us closer to annihilation.
- The truly wise are always afraid.
- Truth begets hatred.
- Wisdom is the beginning of fear.
- Knowledge is power, guard it well.
- Burn the Unclean with the fires of Purity.
- The most deviant of mind is often concealed in an unblemished body.
- Humanity is an ocean: if a few drops of the ocean are polluted, than the ocean is tainted.
- A mind without purpose will wander in dark places.
- Know the mutant; kill the mutant.
- Carry the Emperor´s will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows.
- The Mutant bears his heresy on the outside, the Traitor hides it in his Soul.
- Let the alien bow down before our sword.
- Smite those that disbelieve, for they have turned from the light and are fallen.
- The heretic shall reap as he has sown – the bitter harvest of vengeance and death.
- My armour is contempt.
- Listen not to the alien, look not upon the alien, speak not unto the alien!
- Cleanse yourself in the blood of our enemies.
- Honour is what a pure mind knows about itself.
- Light your way in the darkness with the pyres of burning heretics.
- To withdraw in disgust is not cowardice.
- Even though you once called him friend, the Traitor has forsaken you. Show no mercy even if he begs for it, for his soul is tainted and given the chance he will betray your trust.
- The heretic and the blasphemer can offer no excuse for their crimes.
- Better crippled in body than corrupt in mind.
- Burn the heretic.
- Kill the mutant.
- Purge the unclean.
- The only true achievement is Purity.
- Thought begets Heresy; Heresy begets Retribution.
- A broad mind lacks focus.
- Our mercies destroy us.
- Tolerance is a sign of weakness.
- Only the insane have strength enough to prosper. Only those that prosper may truly judge what is sane.
- A narrow view sees better.
- Doubts rule the minds of the weak.
- Never forget, never forgive.
- A small mind is a tidy mind.
- Hatred is the Emperor´s greatest gift to humanity.
- Nothing inspires revenge quite like cold-hearted hatred.
- A suspicious mind is a healthy mind.
- Pity ye Not!
- Happiness is a delusion of the weak.
- An empty mind is a loyal mind.
- Hate enriches.
- It is not in my mind to ask questions that cannot be answered. That is the soul standing on the crossroad of vacillation. You search for wisdom, but achieve only a stasis of will.
- The rewards of tolerance are treachery and betrayal.
- Hatred is eternal.
- We cannot afford mercy.
- Examine your thoughts.
- An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.
- Success is measured in blood; yours or your enemy’s.
- For every battle honour, a thousand heroes die alone, unsung and unremembered.
- As our ranks advance, so does our devotion.
- The weapon slays where the hand wills. Serve the Emperor!
- Do not fear to use the biggest gun.
- Speed the bolt that brings the end of enemy and friend.
- Do not forsake your sidearm. It is the deliverer of wrath and a constant companion in a life of unending battle.
- Victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none.
- Blessed are the Gun Makers.
- One can never have too much firepower.
- The warrior who acts out of honour cannot fail. His death is honour itself.
- Our enemies cannot stop us. They can only test our faith, strength and courage.
- For a warrior the only crime is cowardice.
- Inspiration grows from the barrel of a gun.
- By thy colours will the foe know thee. By thy banners will the foe fear thee.
- Words do not win wars. Deeds do.
- Hatred is our surest weapon.
- Conquer the galaxy. Do it not for yourself, but for the Emperor.
- There is no arguing with the barrel of a gun.
- On the battlefield, valour is the lifeblood of victory.
- There are no walls strong enough to protect the enemies of Mankind.
- Victory through superior firepower.
- Defeat is never an option!
- Faith grows from the barrel of a gun.
- Take with your weapons a valiant heart and the Emperor’s blessing.
- Vengeance is your Sword. Hatred is your Shield. Loyalty is your Armour.
- A warrior is as skilled as the quality of his wargear permits.
- For the foes of mankind, the only mercy is the mercy of a swift death.
- Weight the fist that strikes men down and salute the battle won.
- Kill, kill, kill.
- Never permit thine enemy to find you unprepared for battle.
- Forward Brothers, with loyalty to victory and glory!
- He who takes up the sword against us shall perish by it.
- Place your trust in the Emperor’s steel.
- The mightiest man may be felled by a single shot. Seek always to improve the odds.
- To admit defeat is to blaspheme against the Emperor.
- Victory is simply greater Perseverance.
- We are all but a weapon in the right hand of the Emperor.
- Firepower, always firepower.
- Through the destruction of our enemies do we earn our salvation.
- Success is commemorated; Failure merely remembered.
- Taste the fear of your enemy as he dies.
- It is not the Horror of War that troubles me but the Unseen Horrors of Peace.
On the Future
- Consider not the future; the only thing that matters is the everlasting present.
- Hope is sin.
- Reach out to embrace the glories that will come.
- We will not simply endure – we will prevail!
- So it was, so it is, so it shall be.
- The future is trivia.
- We must endure the present so that those that follow may continue our endeavours.
- The greatest man is but a ripple on the surface of space.
- Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.
- Praise the sun that brings the dawn of our final doom.
- The worst is yet to come.