To all my readers, I come with the bad news we've feared. Imperium Ascendant will be going on an indefinite hiatus.
Over the last month and a half, I've tried to continue the story, to muster up the creative energy to continue this fanfiction I've spent four years of my life on. In doing so I found myself suffering, viewing this writing project as a chore and duty instead of a hobby. The excitement and passion I have had Is all but gone, and show little sign of returning. The last few weeks have been a time of weighing options and self-reflection. I'm no stranger to writer's block or creative slumps, but this feels different. It's hard to put this feeling into words but it's heartbreaking. I feel overly dramatic in saying this but I feel like I'm going through a breakup. The source of creative joy and a big part of my life is damaged and I don't know how to repair it. Ultimately I have decided it's not fair to leave you, the reader, hanging. Maybe the passion will come back, maybe this is just a dramatic overreaction of a dumb college kid. But leaving this story dead in the water, people wondering where things were going, and without answers. That does not feel right. I've been there, immersed in a story, and loving the world and creators the author has created. Just for it to be abandoned because of one reason or another. As I promised I will not let that be the end of IA. Over the next month or so I will be posting what could be best described as "Codex entries" on Story Arcs and plot points. With this post, I will be including six of them and I hope it makes this announcement bittersweet instead of just bitter.
I also feel an explanation and apology are warranted. For the past 5-6 years of my life, I have fallen in love with the world of Warhammer 40,000. It's a brilliant setting that combines much of my favorite concepts in both Sci-Fi and fantasy. The authors of the Black Library have breathed life into a universe I immersed myself in and found incredible. I've spent many nights pouring over the Lexicanum or WH40k wiki. Absorbing information and seeing connections that few others seemed to notice. My audible library is filled with Black Library books and I have put a truly embarrassing amount of hours into Total War: Warhammer. Hell, I had been considering starting a Custodes model collection but never got around to it. Ultimately I liked the product GW was selling and was happy to be a consumer. But I only learned of this universe and really delved into it thanks to Alfabusa and TTS. I'm part of the Warhammer Rennesisance that Alfa and his friends helped spark. Much of my early exposure to 40k was through fan works, some silly, some serious, some bad, others fantastic. To me, Warhammer seemed like a company taking lots of stuff they found "cool" from other sources and throwing it together. With the battle reports, and idea of "your dudes", this entire franchise is built around fans and their creations. Something I was happy to add to in my own small way. From writing the incredibly bad "Saga of the Devouring World" in a Warhammer FB group, to eventually finding Space Battles and trying out something larger. In being part of the Warhammer Rennesisance I thought GW had gotten with the program and realized the greatest asset they had was its devoted community. It seems that assumption was wrong and GW has revoked the implied consent of Fanworks.
It's embarrassing and feels stupid but the word that keeps going through my mind is "betrayal." All my time invested energy and passion cheapened by greed and shortsightedness. I know GW is a company and has a goal of being profitable, and this is their intellectual property. I'm not disputing that but what I am disputing is their choices. To me, it looks like a company with a brilliant bit of IP and a devoted fanbase is doing everything in its power to destroy both. To reuse the metaphor I've been a fan of. "I have no problem with GW keeping the Golden Goose for themselves. I have a problem with them turning it into shitty Goose Nuggets." I don't want to keep putting so much of myself into this, fearing the legal sword of Damocles, or just the companies own incompetent choices. I still in some way love 40k and the universe it shows. GW hasn't managed to kill my passion, but cripple it and negate it. So I'm left with the options of hoping that my passion heals, or directing in other directions. So far my original fiction has been fun to write and I hope people are enjoying "The Homunculus Knight." Ultimately I made this decision after this train of thought went through me.
"Well since I did a thousand words of HK, I guess I should try and do some more IA if I have to, I guess." which is not where you want your mind to be going on a creative front. This is not what I wanted and not what I planned. But I had promised myself I would keep writing IA as long as I enjoyed it and people enjoyed reading it. That time had ended, now it's time to stop, it's time to move on, and it's time to grieve.
I really cannot thank you all enough for reading this story and finding joy in it. The support I've received has helped me grow as a person and continuously shocked me. To my Patrons, I owe an incredible thank you and understand if you have no desire to support my independent fiction. Again to all of you, it's been incredible and I say this now with tears in my eyes.
Thank you all, and always remember in these dark times. The Emperor Protects.
The Ullanor Campaign
Under the command of Horus Lupercali (who is suffering from nightmares/memories of the Lupercal), the Imperium engages in a multi-prong offense into the Golgotha Wastes. Horus and Tengri pushing towards Ullanor and their five brothers each tearing into the Wastes to distract the "Biggest of da Beasts.'' The eight most powerful Orks in Golgotha., who are:
Urg Mag Uruk Thraka- Beast of Beasts. Ten Meters of unstoppable Orkish killing power.
Zahubu-Ura-Gog- Beast Prophet. Slain by Tengri.
Urlakk Grond- Fastist Beast, pioneered the use of Rokket Ships and the Mork Tunnels.
Maga da Zapboss. - Mek Beast, and chief Wattboss
Gharkul Blackfang- Ancient and unpleasant Beast that remembers the Golden Age of Humanity.
Snaggit Secretkeepa- An incredibly clever Grot that acts as the Spymaster Beast.
Bagorr Da Trash Heap Terror- Insane and disturbingly intelligent scavenger Ork Beast,
Da Warp Spewa- Pyromanical Wyrdboy Beast capable of psychic destruction
Horus uses the memories taken from Lupercal to easily outmaneuver and fight the Orks. While he is afraid of the potential dangers of them and has some very very dark recollections from Molech, Horus starts to recover from the trauma of dying with help from Uriah. Things dramatically turn for the worse when the Orks start using primitive pseudo-Webway gates called Mork Tunnels (As seen in WAAAGH! Beast) The sudden mobility advantage blindsides the Imperium and Orkish fleets start appearing in Imperial space. Alexio and Rogal put a stop to the raids but not ever much damage is done.
The sudden development of this tech raises questions and the Emperor sends a team to investigate while he and the Custodes join the push to Ullanor. Arik Taranis and some Order Metallic Agents learn that the Harlequin are aiding the Orks and guiding them towards becoming Krork on the direction of Cegorach. This prompts a desperate attack by the Imperium to crush the Orks before the Old One's influence becomes too much. The Emperor, Horus, Vulkan, and Tengri, accompanied by their Legions, made a daring strike against Ullanor. Punching through the Orkish defenses using the Bucephalus and Ayida the Stellar Dragon as a spear point. At Ullanor, Horus, Vulkan and Tengri face down Urg Mag Uruk Thraka, and his lieutenants. While the Emperor embarked on another more secret mission to collect a treasure of the Old Ones hidden in the Orkish capital world.
The battle is fierce and Tengri has both his eyes ripped out by Urg Mag Uruk Thraka. While Vulkan dies a dozen deaths holding back the other Beast Bosses while Horus and Tengri strike down Urg Mag Uruk Thraka. The Vth Primarch will eventually heal but spends much of the Ullanor battle a blind hurricane of whirling blades. The Imperium wins the battle and the Orks break. The other four Legions are ready to begin the slaughter. Billions of Orks die and the stars run red with Greenskin blood. But a not-insignificant chunk of the Golgothan Empire breaks through the Imperial cordon and flees towards the galactic South-East, called by some unknown power.
Meanwhile, the Emperor gains the final pieces he needs to assemble a Soul Engine, a Psychic tool invented by the Old One that lets a sufficiently powerful Psyker warp Space/time using the Warp/Souls to alter the fundamental fabric of reality. With this victory, the Emperor leaves for the far Galactic north to help fight the Rangda. The seven Legions assembled to fight the Orks disperse and continue to conquer the galaxy in the Emperor's name.
The Rangda Xenocide
Dante Uriael and the Dawn Angels are cornered and alone deep in Rangda Space. The Rangda accomplish this by using something called the Black Miasma. Which is a moon-sized gelatinous mass of Pariah tissue produced through industrial "farming" of Pariah beings. Turning them into massively balls of still living Cancer that grows constantly. The Black Miasma messes up Psychic Foresight and dampens psychic powers in a light-year-sized area.
Dante is badly wounded and has one of his wings ripped off, and the other burnt. The legions are suffering massive casualties and are only saved by the Wild Hunt's arrival. Tyric brings with him some prototypes from the Ordo Sinister and them working with Dante manage to punch through the Black Miasma and destroy it. Tyric and Dante face-off with Opus-Jorith. Highlights include Tyric conjuring up a blizzard in the void, and unleashing giant spirit wolves made of liquid hydrogen and other gases against Rangda Macrobeests. Dante almost gets killed but is saved by the Sanguinor, giving him a psychic peptalk. He regrows his wings and is briefly possessed by Sanguinius who manages to kill Opus-Jorith. Sanguinius leaves Dante with some cryptic hints about the first Doom Tide before fading into his soul.
The Dawn Angels and Wild Hunt meet up with Eddard and Imperial command. After about a decade of very very ugly warfare with the Imperium conducting literally hundreds of Genocides on Rangda infected worlds. Alpharius Omegon and his Legion work with Moric Thane and his Legion to steal data on Rangda Prime.
Rangda Prime, the system is deep in the Halo Stars and is a collection of H.R. Giger-style megastructures. Highlights include the Rangda heart-world which is a hybrid of O'Neil cylinder and Ring World. The system is defended by multiple War-Moons and other stranger weapons. Eddard starts working on building Ordinatus Rangda, (the redacted thing in the Night Lords profile) which is Four Blackstone fortresses jury-rigged by Mars into a system-killing distort weapon.
The Seven legions facing the Rangda fight a grueling war of attrition and suffer over a million Astartes casualties all told. Tyric makes a habit of hunting House-Lords and claims many new trophies. Captured Imperial data informs the Rangda of the location of Ordinatus Rangda. Lehyak-Prime one of the more powerful Rangda House-Lords leads an attack on Xana where it is being constructed. The data is a trick by the Ghost Legion and leads the Rangda into a trap where House Lehyak is almost entirely annihilated by the Imperium. Seizing the initiative the seven Legions start pushing deeper into Rangda territory and make it to Rangda Prime.
Multiple attacks against the system fail. Kalib Kraad is almost killed in one of these sieges and the Imperium is forced to blockade the system. The Xenocide against the Rangda continues. The arrival of the Emperor and Crusader Fleet Zero gives the Imperium the breathing room to make a full attack on Rangda Prime. The Ordinatus Rangda is used to destroy multiple War-Moons and breach the defenses of the Worm-World/Rangda Prime. (In canon a shackled Void Dragon was used for this.)
The Emperor faces the remaining House-Monarchs and the Life-Stream which is the insane bio-mechanical A.S.I. that is the spiritual leader of the Rangda. Here the Emperor reveals secrets pulled from the Hrud and Aeldari. The Rangda is a myth, they were once the K'nib and were the Old Ones secret police and enforcers. Who rivaled the Aeldari for succeeding the Old Ones. The K'nib were following the orders of some of the last Old Ones who were basically insane at that point and wanted to wipe out everything in the galaxy the Enslavers hadn't already killed. Planning to archive all the genetic and psychic material and wait for the Old One's return. The Aeldari stopped them and managed to breach the Life-Stream, and altered the species' collective memory.
Erasing the truth of them and putting the newborn Rangda to use as guards in the galactic north. The Tyranids make passes through galaxies every 50million years or so but can be fought off. The Old Ones and Aeldari did so in the past and the Rangda were left as an early warning system and the first line of defense. This information messes with the Life-Stream and lets Eddard kill it. Rangda Prime is scoured of all life and the Blackstone Fortresses are used to trigger a supernova, ensuring the system and anything hidden is destroyed. Eddard continues the war and spends the next two decades exterminating the fractured but still dangerous Rangda.
The 1st Legion encounters a Rangda monitoring post and the Imperium truly learns of the Tyranids, who are leaving an unknown galaxy that is lightyears below the galactic plane. The swarm is larger than the entire Milky Way and is looking for its next meal. It is not targeting the Galaxy yet, but will eventually. The Black Knights and Ghost Legion under their Primarchs' command start scavenging Rangda technology and preparing for the Great Devourer.
The Solar Triumph and Navigator Rebellion
After centuries of warfare the Great Crusade is finished. The Aquilia flag flies from the Halo Stars to the Eastern Fringe. Nearly every species that has not bent the knee to humanity has been destroyed. For the first time in millenia humans look up at the stars with pride and hope, instead of fear. Under the High Lords of Terra's leadership the quality of life for mankind has increased drastically. Marcus Augisto, Rogal Mauer, and Philip Lot hold positions among the High Lords as Lex Chancellor, Warden, and Speaker respectively. To mark these accomplishments and the new era, a great Triumph is announced.
All twenty Legions and every other branch of the Imperial military assemble at Terra. In a Triumph leading from the Damocles Space Port to the Lions Gate. Two million Astartes, thousands of Titans and all manner of Warmachine marched in a parade the likes of which humanity had never seen. Picts and videos from this event would be spread throughout the Galaxy and become some of the most famous images in human cultural memory.
At the Triumphs' height the twenty Primarchs offered tributes to the Emperor. Each matched the personality and skills of the offering Primarch. Some presented prisoners like Alpharius Omegon, who brought the stasis-locked leaders of the Cabal. Others war trophies like Baraca's mountain of Ork skulls. Kalib and Konrad brought strange ones like the True Names of Daemons or the bones of those who would doom the Imperium in another future.
With the tribute and honors bestowed on the Imperiums greatest heroes. The Emperor declared the next phase of the Imperium of Mankind. The threat of Xenos from the material universe had been crushed. Now the threat of warp-spawned predators must be dealt with. The new war would not be of bullets and blades but of hearts and minds. While the Legions continue to fight to defend the peace they won. Every human alive would fight to make the galaxy a better place.
In the ensuing Centuries much of the Imperium changed. After much debate and argument, Marcus Augustio passed the Marcus Reforms. Which limited the Legions size to a million members when not in an active war. While splitting the spare Astartes into hundreds of Chapters, more mobile defense forces to help police and guard the massive Imperium. With the million strong Legions still existing as the Imperiums standing army.
Throughout this era of progress, the Emperor delegated much of the Imperiums' running, as other projects consumed his time. Deep within the Imperial Palace the Webway Project had begun. The project consisted of the Golden Throne as the prime Soul Engine and the various Anchor thrones like Dark Glass and the Throne of Glass. The Golden Throne is powered by the Emperor or Magnus and "spins" a new section of the Webway into being. This new piece of artificial space/time needed to link to the Anchor thrones to become stable, until it did, it would be incredibly unstable.
Agents of the Navis Nobilite learn of this project and work to undermine the Webway Project. Agents of the Gold Order are aware of this scheme and monitor it. The Emperor engages in a risky gamble, to let the plot progress far enough to give him reason to fully subjugate the Navigators, but not far enough to threaten the project. The brewing Navigator rebellion starts with a series of coordinated "delays" of crucial ships that causes incredible confusion and strife across the Imperium. This plays right into the Emperor's scheme and is used as proof that the Navigators are not reliable enough and if they could be replaced, they should be.
A hidden schism within the Navis Nobilite starts between loyalists and rebels. The loyalists are outnumbered but feed crucial information to the Gold Order. Leading to the arrest of a number of powerful Navigators. This proves the spark to the full Navigator rebellion and the Navigator Quarter locks down overnight. The Paternova's ability to influence all Navigators is put to terrible use and the Sol system is blockaded. Navigators either unwilling or unable to reach the Imperiums heart. Within the massive fortress-state that is the Quarter, the Navigators prepared to starve out the Throneworld and force the Emperor to stop the Webway project.
Unknown to them, The VIII Primarch and a force of his Legion had been hiding on Terra for months awaiting this day. News of the Navigators' rebellion just has time to spread to the outer reaches of the Imperium before Konrad Cruze strikes. The precognitive abilities of the Night Lords and the Navigators nullify each other. Which suits the VIII perfectly. Under cover of darkness, the Night Lords slip into the Palace of the Navigators. Konrad Cruze himself sneaks into the Mutant citadel, and finds the Paternova himself. The mutant lord's psychic screams take months to fully fade. By the time the Paternova finally dies the rebellion is over and the Navigators fearful of their fate.
Many of the Navis Nobilite's elites are executed. Some publicly, the Imperium's citizens were appalled by the twisted mutations apparent in the old Navigators. The most powerful Navigators meet a worse fate aiding the Webway Project, powering some of the Anchor Thrones or being used as "spare batteries" when the Emperor and Magnus switch places on the Golden Throne. The surviving Navigators are left shaken and rudderless. When the Emperor offers them a duty of penance in exchange for their lives, they gladly accept. The humbled Navigators start aiding the Imperium, map the Webway and seed potential gates across the galaxy. Additionally, a tithe of young male Navigators are taken by the XV Legion as recruits, further weakening the Navis Nobilite.
The War in Heaven
The War in Heaven officially starts when the Necrontyr makes contact with the Deceiver and gives the C'tan bodies. The C'tan are naturally occurring parts of the universe that help regulate aspects of the materium. To combat the literal Gods the Old Ones can summon, the Necrontyr create artificial Gods. Taking these cosmic beings and using them to power/control idols of their Gods, creating the twisted and ravenous C'tan we know. Each of the C'tan is more than a match for all but the most powerful Old One and the War in Heaven starts.
The Old Ones ruled the Milky Way for millions of years of relative peace with the K'nib, Aeldari and Slann the only combat-ready species under their control. (The Slann are a species of reptilian bio-robots created from the Old One's original organic forms. Consisting of numerous caste-species designed for a specific role. The Lizardmen of WHFB are these, and the Slann as we know them were simply the most powerful leader/conduit caste) Till now these three species were enough to defend the galaxy from the Tyranids, rogue species and other threats. They prove lacking in face of the Silver Legions of the Necrons. The Old Ones assemble literal armies of Gods to fight the C'tan with some success. The discovery that the Old One's psi-material (analogous to wraithbone) Blackstone can be inverted, utterly dooms the Old Ones war effort. The power of the Old Ones and their Gods is severely neutered. Only the God-Callers can bypass this newly discovered "pariah effect" but they are few and their summoned deities cannot persist under the Blackstone's effects.
Trillions die, entire species are devoured and converted into Necrons. Entire sectors become dead zones inhabited only by cold necrodermis and hungry Star-Gods. The increasingly desperate Old Ones create entire species as cannon fodder, little slows the steady advance of the Yngir. Finally, long sacred rules on the creation of species are violated and a new weapon is deployed. Designed to exist solely for War and unified by a form of psychic circuit and God that feeds off every aspect of its species. The Krorks are given life and the tide turns. This green tide slams into the Silver Legions and the line is held.
For millions of years, the Galaxy exists in a terrible state of War. Entire species and worlds are born and killed in this period of gigadeath. This is the War in Heaven proper. The Krork and Aeldari form the main force against the Necrons and both species thrive in the nightmare that this is. Khaine grows in power and the Aeldari god-callers struggle to control him. (This is far before Eldenesh's time) Eventually, the stalemate is broken in a single calamitous event, Nyadra'zatha, the Burning One, C'tan of Energy breaches the Webway under orders of Mag'ladroth, the Void Dragon and First among the C'tan. The Old One's mobility advantage is destroyed and the C'tan gain the upper hand. More gigadeath follows and entire hosts of Old Ones are devoured.
The Old Ones have not been idle in the time they had, the Craftsman has worked to build weapons capable of killing a C'tan. The Black Stone Fortresses are completed and the Void Dragon is critically wounded. A few pieces of the Void Dragon are split off in the battle and become the first lesser C'tan shards. The Silent King secretly captures them and starts to study how to beat the C'tan, who in his mind have betrayed his people. With the Void Dragon MIA, the War in Heaven reaches new lows. For all his evil and power, the Void Dragon acted as a voice of order and control among the C'tan. With him gone, the C'tan's unity starts to fracture as "food" becomes scarce.
Soon only the most well-defended enclaves of the Old Ones remain and any attempt to breach them fails. In one such effort, Khaine duels the Nightbringer and wins, but some of the two beings' essence is exchanged. Increasingly desperate, the hungry C'tan start engaging in Cannibalism to fuel their addiction and gain power. The Deceiver orchestrates this and drives the Outsider insane. Previously devouring another C'tan was the gravest punishment and highest award among the C'tan. Something only the Void Dragon and a few others had done successfully. The feeding frenzy that starts among the C'tan winnows them down from thousands to a few dozen. All incredibly powerful and mostly insane. It's only a matter of time before the last Fortress-sectors of the Old Ones fall. Or worse, turned into mind-farms as some C'tan had done to combat the shortage.
Desperate and fearing not just extinction but the end of all organic life. The Old Ones unleash their final weapon. One they had long theorized but never dared create. The Gods the Old Ones create are based on a singular species and are powered by that species. Attempts to have Gods created from multiple species produced dangerous and insane beings, the product of innate incompatibilities between different sapient organisms. Similarly attempts to create monogods instead of pantheons produced schizoid beings stretched thin by varying beliefs. So for as long as the Old Ones ruled the Warp, they created precise Gods that formed a pantheon for a single species. In the madness born of looming extinction, they broke those rules.
Chaos was born, a singular/many-faced God that could be powered by all soul-bearing life. It is the ultimate Warp-weapon. Taking the self-perpetuating system of the Krorks, the power and passion of the Aeldari, the insidious infection of the K'nib and every other Old One creation and perfecting it. In an attempt to control this newborn god-complex, the Old Ones shattered it into pieces and bound those pieces to certain species to have more control over Chaos. The K'nib were bound to the 7th piece, the Aeldari to the 6th and the 8th. The Craftsman took the most controlling piece, the 5th for himself, to try and steer this creation. For a time these efforts worked and Chaos fought the C'tan. Armies of Daemons battling the Necrons.
Quickly, control was lost as Chaos grew, worming its way through the Warp and learning to feed on every possibility in the Deep Warp and Multiverse. Soon the Old Ones find themselves facing two apocalyptic threats, dueling for the right to devour the Cosmos. At this time the Silent King approaches the Old Ones and does the impossible. He offers a truce and alliance. The deal is simple, the Old Ones give the Necrons what they always wanted, perfect flesh. In exchange, the knowledge of both sides is put to use ending the War. The Old Ones accept and the work begins. Combining the secrets of the Materium and Immaterium leads to the creation of the Tesseract Vaults and weapons that can permanently destroy a Daemon or C'tan. The Flayer is assassinated and the Old One's theories on what would happen if a C'tan were to be destroyed are confirmed. So they enact Plan-B and the C'tan are sharded and locked away.
With that victory, the Old Ones and Necrons unite and battle the forces of Chaos. The chosen species of the Old Ones are locked away in pocket systems hidden in the Webway and superweapons are unleashed. The Necrons and their harrowing tools of destruction duel the Daemons in the physical plane, while the Old Ones unleash the Enslavers in the Materium. The devastation is extraordinary and it seems Chaos is destroyed, but the Galaxy is in ruins. The few remaining Old Ones pledge to honor their deal with the Silent King and create a new perfect breed of Necrontyr for his people to transfer into. But they need time to heal the galaxy and build the infrastructure needed for such a project. The Old Ones estimate it will take 60 million years, and so the Great Sleep begins and the Silent King departs the galaxy.
The Old Ones set to work but run into numerous complications. The Krork were left behind to fight and die alongside the Necrons, their warlike nature not suitable for rebuilding. However, a few spores survived the War in Heaven's climax and restart the Krorkish reproduction cycle. The psychic circuit that made up the Krorks god is badly damaged and split in two. Fractured, uncontrollable, and existing only for war, the Orks are born. They are, however, the secondary threat to the Galaxy's rebirth. Chaos persists, having thoroughly wormed its way into the Warp. Its corruption spreads and both the Old One and God fall under its sway. After a number of calamitous betrayals, the ever-dwindling Old One's hideaway in the Webways deepest parts. Working on solutions to Chaos and to honor the oaths to the Necrons. Over millions of years contact between Old Ones and the Galaxy becomes rarer and rarer. The Aeldari and K'nib war over rulership of the Galaxy, and the Empire of a Million Suns rises from that conflict.
The secrets of God Calling are lost with the Old Ones and only a few Callers persist through the cycles of reincarnation. Until only two remain, Eldanesh and his brother Ulthanesh. (God-Callers are by definition Anathema to Chaos, being a Mortal imposing a species will on the Materium.) Strife between the two brothers gives Khaine an opening. The War God is increasingly unstable, the infection of Chaos worming through him. Eldanesh refuses to help Khaine, realizing the God, who he calls friend, is becoming twisted. Without Ulthanesh's help, Eldanesh is killed by Khaine and Chaos plays its hand. The united Aeldari stand against the rising Chaos and Ulthanesh (with the Craftsman's help) rips the poison of Chaos from Khaine and frees the Bloody-Handed-One. That torn-off piece of Khaine is cast into the Warp and provides the seed for the 8th piece of Chaos to be reborn. Seeing the dangers of God-Calling and the other Gods becoming corrupted, Ulthanesh lets the secrets of God-Calling die with him. (But some fragment of this knowledge persists and was rediscovered by the Craftworld bearing his name. Setting Eldrad in canon on the path to creating Ynnead.
The story of the WHFB world starts in an unusual place, it starts on Fenris. A laboratory world of the Old Ones, where a certain hairless primate species was experimented on to create a weapon against Chaos. The Old Ones drew upon human legends and sought to create a culture resistant to Chaos and strong enough to fight them. Thus the Fenrisians and their harsh world were born. Eventually wider humanity discovered this and was outraged. The Old Ones apologized and gave ownership to humanity in exchange for something. Gene-data on humans and abhumans. A deal was struck and this sect of Old Ones disappeared into a system "bottled" in the Webway. In this system, they created a world modeled on Old Earth and set to work. Dropping two "control samples" on the world, baseline Humans and the legendarily hardy Zoats. (One of the eldest creations of the Old Ones, and among the few that spread to other galaxies.)
Using the Slann species as laborers, the Old Ones set to work experimenting with variants of humans. Splicing of humans and Aeldari became the Elves. A refined version of the Squats became the Dwarves. An upgraded but unfinished version of humanity became the Ogres. The bottled system came with another advantage. It cut off part of the Warp from Chaos touch and let these experimental species develop new gods unaffected by the Warps' corruption. However, two forms of contamination made it into the experiment. The ever-persistent Orks, and the whispers of Chaos touching the mind of a young brash Old One.
Arrogant and clever, this Old One had been denied the right to create a species he'd designed to fight Chaos. His seniors saw numerous flaws in the project, which relied on concepts that Inquisitors in the 41st millennium would call extremely Radical. Chaos saw an opportunity and took it. Corrupting this Old One, and guiding him to betray his colleagues. So when the time came, the Warp gates on the experimental world were breached with his aid, and the Old One's artificial moon-ship of Blackstone was corrupted into Warpstone. Nearly all the Old Ones of the sect were devoured or fled. Only the traitor and a spawnling hidden by the Slann, named Kroak, survived.
The traitor got his reward, ascending to Daemonhood. Becoming a Daemon King and God to his designed species. Which he unleashed in a rain of Warpstone. Now the traitor took a new form and name. The only reminder of his previous state as a reptilian Old One is his horns. As such the Great Horned Rat, and the Skaven were born. While the spawnling bided his time, his egg a twin-tailed comet orbiting the world. Only becoming visible when a new crack appeared in its shell. Eventually, the spawnling awoke, still growing in his egg, but powerful and furious at the betrayal. He reached out to a Skink and gave him a mission. Thus the Cult of Sotek was born and the Slann species declared war on their arch-traitor.
Eventually when the influence of Chaos became too great and the laboratory world buckled under the stress. The egg hatched and the last of the Old Ones took flight in a form modeled after the greatest of his people's creations, the Dragon. Finding a ruined world, with a battered God-born-mortal clinging to it. The two of them, the only successes in an experiment that ended tragically, escape into the abandoned world-forges of the Old Ones. Where they might combat the threat of Chaos in the bottled universes of the Webways depths.
Chaos by its very nature does not promote the traits needed to build a civilization. Much of the Lost and the Damned exist as little more than scavenging raiders. Surviving through brutality and theft, much like the Gods they serve. But like most things, this rule has an exception. In the galactic south-east exists an Empire in service to the Dark Gods. Forged by Korban the Eversacrifice, through his own cruel will and using secrets taken from the Selenar Gene-cults. The accursed realm of Ultramar Tenebrae arose as a rival to the Imperium of Mankind.
Protected by the great warp storm that covers the galactic far-east. Ultramar Tenebrae grew quickly in parallel to the Imperium. Only through the Dark God's blessing could ships safely traverse this section of the Galaxy and that fact allowed Korban to quickly claim hundreds of worlds for the Dark Gods. Ultramar Tenebrae like all domains of Chaos is marked by corrupting evil, but there, that evil takes a different form. Not the feral self-destructive mania so often seen, but a focused harsh form of malice. Industrial, practical, incredibly cruel, these are the watchwords of Macragge and its vassal worlds. Here the genetic lore of the Selenar was put to terrible use.
The ability to quickly and effectively mass-clone humans in the clutches of true evil produced many horrible things. Billions of humans lived and died as fodder for Chaos. Designed on a genetic level for heightened emotional response and fed into "factories" of worship shortly after birth. While this form of sacrifice and worship fed Chaos less than the usual offerings, the sheer quantity made up for the quality. Here Korban and his minions tapped into the unborn domain of Hashut, embracing the mind-numbing scale of suffering that he oversees. Where Slaanesh drives Chaos to new heights of excess, Hashuts influence does something worse. It makes it's evil efficient.
The stolen blood of two Primarchs, alongside the blood of Be'lakor, did not go unused. While the Primarchs and their sons might be beyond the Dark God's reach, they could still create armies. Bastard Astartes, lesser in every way except in malice. These Iskur Hordes or Chosen Warriors as they are commonly called, are created when a young child drinks from the ever-flowing chalice of corrupted blood. If they are strong enough they are twisted into mountains of cruel, violent muscle. Blessed by the Gods and empowered by flesh-sorcery stolen from the Emperors. These Warriors are mass-produced as the ultimate tool of Chaos's wrath. Forming great hordes of warriors
To live in Ultramar Tenebrae is to exist in a domain of fear, cruelty, depravity, and focused madness. Where millions of people are grown, harvested, and consumed like crops. Their suffering a fine draught for the Thirsting Gods, who reward the rulers of this domain with new blessings and foul boons. The twisted seed of the Cult of the Four Phases has found fertile soil in the five hundred worlds of Ultramar. Tended by Korban the Eversacrfice and unleashed on the wider galaxy. Raider fleets guided by dark rituals leave the Eastern Storm and raid the Ultramarches, leaving devastation and death in their wake. Engaging in an eternal battle of wits and weapons with the Steel Wardens and other Imperial Defenders.
The Storm that protects Ultramar is a product of the Firetide of the Anathema and the Wrath of the Chaos Gods clashing. Producing a great band of the immaterium that is virtually unnavigable by those not sworn to Chaos. This far from Terra, the Firetide is not as strong as found in the Eye of Terror and can be bypassed with correct timing and talent. The ability to pass into the Imperium and raid its worlds is a great boon that allows Ultramar Tenebrae to match or even surpass the other regions of the Galaxy that court the Gods' attention. Great rivalries exist between Korban's elite and their equivalents in the Eye of Terror and Maelstrom. Rivalries that are only put to relative rest when the Triumvirate of Chaos declare a Doomtide upon the Imperium. The Triumvirate of Chaos is the "leading" body of the mortal forces of the Dark Gods. Consisting of Korban the Eversacrfice, Master of Ultramar Tenebrae, Arguleon Veq, Chieftain of the Maelstrom worlds, and Vileth the Herald, Creator and King of the Eye of Terror.
P.S. A spot of light in the Dark:
My editor Klickator has agreed to try and continue IA, adding to the story and fleshing out some of the story I have presented. He has my approval and will be consulting me occasionally. Details on that I will leave to him.
1. The Ullanor Campaign.
2. The Rangda Xenocide
3. The Solar Triumph and Navigator Rebellion.
4. The Webway War.
6. The First Doomtide
7. The Dragon Awakens
8. Ascension, Revelation, and Epilogue
Misc Plot details.
1. Legions? (debating this)
2. The War in Heaven
3. Warhammer Fantasy Battles
4. Ultramar Tenebrae
5. The Necrons
6. The Chaos Tau
7. The Aeldari
8. The Tyranids
9. The Clown and the Reset Button.