THE GUILLIMAN HERESY
Greetings to one and all, to the second Guilliman Heresy thread. ShasVa, Cormac Airt and myself would like to present to you what we have so far, and continue our project hopefully unto fruition. What with the first thread developing into somewhat of a lumbering behemoth, we believe a new thread was in order to avoid the usual confusion to newcomers had when they began reading thread number one.
First of all, here is the timeline as of it's last update in the previous thread:
Early M31 - The Great Crusade - A two hundred year long effort to reunite humanity across the stars in the name of Terra and the Emperor in which his armies brings much of the galaxy to heel, led by his powerful Primarch sons and their Legions of post-human Space Marines. Amongst other noteworthy events are the tragic circumstances that led to the loss of two Primarchs, forever lost to the Imperium in body and memory. Their fates and sagas, like the empty plinths among the statues of their brother Primarchs in the Imperial Palace, are unknown. This grand venture, the greatest and most hopeful venture humanity has ever engaged upon, is put to end after a series of disasters among the Emperor's gene-bred sons, culminating in a horrific war of betrayal and secession.
- Submission at Monarchia - In an attempt to stamp out the deification of the Emperor by the citizens of the Imperium, an example is made of those most vocal and influential: Lorgar and his Word Bearers Legion. With dramatic flair, the Ultramarines Legion was tasked with destroying the capitol cities of the world of Monarchia, site of the Word Bearers' greatest success in their early days. With the Ultramarines and their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, watching, Lorgar and his Word Bearers were brought to their knees by the sheer force of the Emperor's will in the dust and ash and pledged to forswear their religious devotion to him as a God. The Word Bearers have taken their pledge to heart by all accounts. Following a Legion-wide Pilgrimage to re-discover themselves and their place in the Imperium, Lorgar takes a personal journey that leads him back to Terra and the Emperor. What is said in those hallowed halls none know, but once Lorgar emerged he declared his Legion would once more be the Heralds of the Imperial Truth, never again the Bearers of the ill-conceived Word. Though there were minor problems in getting his Legion sons to follow this new path, including the death of the first chaplain and the disappearance of Kor Phaeron, in a decades' time the Custodes tasked with watching over them following Monarchia report to the Emperor that the Imperial Heralds are as pure and loyal to the Imperial Truth as they ever were to their former Word.
- The Nikaean Council - Despite the utter necessity of human mutations to the Imperium, such as the Navigator Houses and Astropaths, many powerful figures of the Imperium resented their place and status. None were hated or feared more than the cyclopean Magnus, Primarch of the sorcerous Thousand Sons. With pressure coming from all sides to censure them for their extreme approach to warpcraft, the Emperor decided to end the matter once and for all in a council that would take place on an unstable, volcanic world known as Nikaea. There, an untold number of complaints were levelled at the One-Eyed Witch-King. However, the Imperium was still in a state of war during the Great Crusade, and the opinions of its commanding generals were paramount. Those who opposed Magnus counted dearly on the support of Leman Russ and Mortarion, Primarchs of the Space Wolves and Death Guard, but no aid came from that quarter. Mortarion, though hateful of psykers, had a respect for the powers of the Emperor and had come to recognize its presence in himself and his brothers. It should have came to no surprise to anyone who knew the Reaper Lord that his decision was to be silent and watch. Russ, however, was as bombastic as ever. Though originally supportive of those who opposed Magnus, the arguments set forth by Lorgar of dark, all-powerful entities that resided in the Warp that would twist and corrupt Magnus and his Legion hit the wrong chord with them. Putting such faith in pointless, ancient superstitions as the only true cause to oppose a brother Primarch's efforts to improve humanity enraged Russ. Instead of opposing Magnus, he used his time criticize those who opposed him. By the end of the council, following the personal pleas by those of the Librarian order, the Emperor came to his decision, to silence them all. To be censured, simply for being a psyker, would limit the Imperium and cripple it. After all, the Emperor himself was a psyker, the most powerful human psyker to have ever lived. If Magnus should be censured, then would it not mean that the Emperor must also be censured? Over the centuries that follow, this will be referred to as the Vindication of Magnus.
- Tragedy at Davin - Horus, most beloved of all the Primarchs and Warmaster of the Emperor's vast military, falls in battle from the poisoned blade of a traitor upon the moon that orbits the world of Davin. After exhausting every avenue that science and medicine could provide them in the extensive laboratories on their flagships, the desperate Sons of Horus transported their comatose Primarch to the feral lodges of Davin. There, promises were made, deals were struck, and rituals enacted. If the Imperial Truth could not save Horus Lupercal, then perhaps the occult can. As expected, however, their efforts are ultimately in vain. In rage borne of grief, the Sons of Horus take their pain out on the Davinites. Though a planet of the Imperium, the Sons of Horus set it aflame. With the Warmaster fallen, the title will be assumed by the Guilliman to keep the Crusade united in effort.
- The Re-Compliance of Isstvan - The First Legion, directly led by Lion El'Jonson, puts down the secessionist rebellion of Isstvan III. The Lion uses this victory to express his displeasure over Guilliman's claim to the former mantle of Horus, reasoning that Horus could not keep Isstvan under control and that Roboute Guilliman, having never even tried, is unworthy of it.
- The Warmaster Proclamation - Following his sons' designs on the title of Warmaster, the Emperor declares there shall be no Warmaster. Both the Lion and Warrior King react badly to this, temporarily ceasing joined military operations and isolating themselves.
Mid M31 - The Guilliman Heresy - After their botched attempt to turn the Warmaster, the Ruinous Powers turn their attentions to the two Primarchs who struggled to obtain such a powerful, commanding role. In the time since Guilliman's last appearance on the galactic stage and his resurfacing on Miral, the Ultramarines expand to an unrivalled size. With the might of over half a million Astartes behind him, the Warrior King sets his plans in motion.
- First Blood at Miral - Either concerned or enraged over Guilliman's continued use of the title of Warmaster in spite of the Emperor's decision, several of his Primarch brothers convene on Miral to assess his loyalties. To their dismay, the combined forces of the Iron Hands, Emperor's Children, Salamanders, Alpha Legion and War Hounds find that the descending Ultramarines, more numerous than their hosts combined, had no intention of talking. The Ultramarines, now traitors of the Imperium, assault the planetside Imperial forces and cause great confusion and havoc amongst the fleet in orbit. In the ensuing chaos, Ferrus Manus is mistakenly slain by Fulgrim, Vulkan disappears and the loyalties of Angron become doubted.
- The Apothecarion Edict - In light of the casualties on both sides of Miral, Guilliman calls on all apothecary specialists under his command to harvest gene-seed from whatever source they find on the battlefield so that he may further bolster his forces. This is grimly lampooned later in the war as the Imperium discovers it and is colloquially dubbed the 'Carrion Edict.'
- Shadow War - The Alpha Legion, following Miral and Alpharius' public announcement of loyalty to the Emperor, embarks on behind-the-scenes operations against various covert traitors on an unprecedented scale. These wars were fought in the shadows and only a fraction can ever be known though they continued unabated throughout the Heresy, disrupting and misdirecting the rebel forces on multiple occasions.
- The Namn Massacre - The Raven Guard are ambushed by the treacherous Salamanders following Corax's refusal of Vulkan's attempts to entice him over to Guilliman's cause. Vulkan and his Legion of Slaanesh worshippers, their first action since the disappearance of Vulkan on Miral, massacre the Raven Guard in the heavy jungles of the Imperial world of Namn after forcing them planetside. At the time, the fate of Corax was unknown though later reports state his use of the Primarch Project data in rebuilding his Legion to above full-strength. The Legion and their Primarch vowed "Nevermore" to the atrocities committed by the Salamanders and their treasonous allies, swearing to halt their nefarious ways.
- Khan Rebels - With the chaos of recent events coming to light, the disillusionment the Khan has experienced in recent years over the increase in Imperial bureaucracy and spats of violence with both Imperial and rebel forces, the White Scars secede from the Imperium. Loyal only to themselves and their Khan, they choose no sides and seek only to defend themselves and their pocket Empire. The time afforded to him by the turmoil of outside events allowed the Khan to make his position so unassailable that, by the wars' end, he had created a domain from a fifth of the Imperium, encompassing most of the Galactic Core and much of the Galactic North-East. Included within this great Khanate was the Maelstrom, utilized by the Legion as a stronghold to replace their lost homeworld Chogoris.
- Schaffenhold Besieged - Reserved for later exposition
- Crisis at Inwit - With the fortifications of the Imperial Palace and other key locations on Terra finally complete, half a century after their recall to the cradle-world of Mankind, the Imperial Fists leave its defences to the Iron Warriors in order to investigate the loss of contact with Inwit, where Rogal Dorn grew to adulthood. What actually occurred there is known only to the Imperial Fists. It is rumoured that Inwit had fallen to the same dark masters as the rebels and had laid a trap for the Praetorian. What is known for sure is that the Imperial Fists fell from grace in Inwit's frozen hives, becoming gaunt, wasted creatures bearing the mark of pestilence and corruption. When they returned to Terra, it was as besiegers, rather than defenders, taking horrendous losses attempting to tear down that which they created.
- The Lion and the Warrior King - Following the Ork invasion at Calth, taking the Ultramarines by surprise and destroying an entire fleet nearing completion at its shipyards, El'Jonson sways many of Guilliman's followers into attempting to end the war in one decisive thrust. With the favour of the Dark Gods upon him, the Lion instigates a series of internecine skirmishes among the rebels. The fighting eventually dissipates and the Lion proceeds to lead an assault on Terra, with the intention of slaying the Emperor and breaking the Loyalists.
- Decimation of Armageddon (Maze of Blood Incident) - The Blood Angels and War Hounds square off on a desolated world familiar to both Legions from earlier in the Great Crusade. In the blasted craters and ruins of this planet, the Khornate Blood Angels, led by the dark Sanguinius, assaulted Angron and his War Hounds. Aided by the daemonic, the Blood Angels proved very effective at fighting in the twisted ash wastes, killing Angron in what will be called the Maze of Blood Incident, spurring an eternal hatred against Sanguinius and his black-hearted sons.
- The Siege of Terra - The Iron Warriors, bolstered by the Emperor's Children, War Hounds and Imperial Heralds face off against the Lion's terrible assault, supported by the Salamanders, Blood Angels and Imperial Fists. In a combined effort by the Loyalists, through a series of strikes along the Lion's route and within the Sol System itself, the Imperial Fists are successfully separated from the rest of the Traitors, stopped just barely at Luna. With his greatest weapon deprived of him, the Lion finds his assault stymied from the start. The Blood Angels rampage across Terra, the War Hounds struggling to stagnate them, as Vulkan and the Lion assault the Palace itself. Fulgrim meets the Lion in a duel upon the Palace's crenellations. Fulgrim dies at the Lion's sword, valiant though his efforts were. Bloodied by the brutal duel, the Lion was quickly caught into a much greater fight. Seeing Fulgrim fall, his name on his son's lips, the Emperor charged the Lion. In a brief, climactic series of strikes, the Lion was cast from the Palace's walls. With the Imperial Fists in orbit finally being turned back, Vulkan convinces the battered Lion to declare retreat. Covered by the Blood Angels, whose ferocity remained undimmed, the Lion's forces extract themselves from Terra and flee back to the distant borders of the traitors' growing realms. With heavy Loyalist reinforcements en route, it was the Lion's only choice. The Blood Angels were the last to leave, though in truth many among their number never made the attempt and chose instead to die fighting. Sanguinius, however, left with the retreating Lion and Vulkan.
- Ultramar Invasion - Following the Siege of Terra, the Emperor once more assumes personal command of the Imperium's vast armies. Magnus sits upon the Golden Throne to await his return, Russ and the Space Wolves remaining behind to fight against the constant daemonic incursions and relieve the beleaguered Custodes. The Loyalists, bolstered by their victory at Terra, finally cease being on the defensive and go on the offensive, invading the growing Ultramar Realm en masse and in force.
- Betrayal at Caliban - Following his defeat, the Lion returns to Caliban to find that his second in command, Luther, had remained resolute in his loyalties to the Emperor. In the ensuing battle, Luther makes the fateful decision to destroy Caliban from orbit, the Lion and his elite chosen still planetside. His remaining followers forced to retreat once more, they fled to those remaining worlds declared loyal to their cause. In concert, perhaps by the sorceries of their Librarians or by the whims of the Dark Gods, these worlds were enveloped by great warpstorms that remained impenetrable in some cases for ten thousand years. Though Caliban was destroyed, a large chunk had an intact Fortress-Monastery. Within, it is said, the Lion was found, alive but unconscious.
- Final Voyage of the Reaper's Blade - The Death Guard, led by Mortarion, are the first to enter Ultramar, ahead of other Imperial forces. Though they initially met with success, Mortarion insisted that the Legion take untested Warp routes to push ever deeper, trying to make amends for his perceived failures over his absence during the death of the Warmaster Horus. This sadly ends in disaster, as a strange warpborne plague tore through their fleets on one such route. Despite their heightened resistances, the Death Guard are unable to defend against this mysterious pathogen. Worse still, those killed are animated by its dark powers, aiding it to kill yet more Death Guard. In a tragic twist of fate, the Death Guard are in mere moments doomed to destruction. Only a similar twist of fate saves them, as the detonation of the Reaper's Blade's warp engines creates hole back into reality, causing the Death Guard fleet to tumble through as if caught in a whirlpool. In an instant, the terrible disease disappears, and the dead slump still once more. However, the horror does not stop there, as the Death Guard soon find that there are two ships in particular missing: the Reaper's Blade, flagship of Mortarion himself, and the Terminus Est, ferryship of their most elite and veteran. Later, they will be commemorated, Mortarion and Typhon, Captain of Terminus Est and its veteran cohort, on their homeworld of Barbarus. Many years later, in their name, they will reforge their homeworld into a safer haven.
- The Three-Worlds Campaign - Site of the greatest tank clash Mankind has ever seen, the triple-planet system known as the Three-Worlds on the border of Ultramar was host to uncountable tank battles over many weeks of constant fighting. With the unusual nature of the planets orbiting a common centre of gravity, the war throughout was equally unusual. On both sides, super-heavy vehicles capable of engaging units in orbit used their weaponry to bombard enemies on the other worlds. This made things much more difficult for the invading Imperial forces, whose commanders found themselves engaged on more fronts than they could imagine. In an attempt to circumvent these problems, they struck all three planets at once in an effort to silence the opposition before such artillery could become a severe issue. However, resistance was so strong that they became mired down on all three worlds for months.
- The Invasion of Baal - Systematic purge of the homeworld of the Blood Angels and their moons, fought solely by the Imperial Army and without any Legionary back-up. A great victory for the Loyalists, the fall of a highly defended homeworld of a Traitor Legion to a purely mortal Loyalist force. The cost in lives, however, was atrociously high. The War Hounds were especially impressed, and publicly praised the Imperial Army for their victory.
- Paradise Lost - Iax, once a verdant world and the jewel of Ultramar, was reduced to a barren wasteland by the Imperium. Viral attacks form orbit reduce the planet-wide foliage to withered stalks and bare stumps. With no living population, Iax is spared the full force of the Ultramar Scouring and, in time, is host to a colony that grows to encompass the world. In later centuries and millennia, Iax is home to Army regiments specialised in desert and wasteland warfare.
- The Siege of Macragge - One of the longest battles of the Guilliman Heresy, far longer than the Siege of Terra. The Alpha Legion and Raven Guard are the first to assault the surface of the Ultramarines' homeworld of Macragge. In intense battles across the globe, the masters of the conventional war faced off against the masters of the unconventional. Focused around the military academies scattered across the planet, the two Loyalists slowly forced the Traitors to take up defensive positions behind their great fortresses. Months later, when Imperial reinforcements finally arrive, the Raven Guard and Alpha Legion infiltrated the Fortress of Hera and fought just outside its inner keep. This allowed Imperial reinforcements to land mostly unmolested. Though the outer walls were still intact and defended, the combined might of the Night Lords and Custodes, led by Konrad Curze and the Emperor himself, easily crest their heights. Though Curze falls to an assassin's bullet during the turmoil, the reinforcements succeed in meeting with the Alpha Legion and Raven Guard and together storm the inner keep. As this wages on, elsewhere the War Hounds stand off once more against the Blood Angels to prevent them from reaching the Emperor's forces in the rocky mountains surrounding the Fortress of Hera, while the Sons of Horus remain in orbit above to aid the Imperial Fleet in keeping the traitors at bay. Within the inner keep, however, the Loyalists find not just Guilliman and his Legion but Dorn and Vulkan, both with their Legions at the ready to defend their Warmaster. Centre stage to the most ferocious battle ever staged in this lengthy rebellion, the Emperor and his damned son Guilliman traded blows in their efforts to end the war once and for all. The battle lasted many hours, with both sides tearing relentlessly into each other, none gaining the upper hand over the other. It was one of Alpharius' later attacks that finally broke the stalemate. Facing off against a Champion of Chaos of terrible strength, his no-holds-barred fight against this unknown traitor provided a fatal distraction for the Emperor. Guilliman took advantage of his and clove through his father's heart with his sword. However, his sword arm pinned, he left himself wide open for the Emperor's return strike, smiting the arch-heretic down with a lethal blow that was as much psychic as it was physical. Seeing the fall of their leaders, the fighting withered and the full-on war was replaced with consolidatory skirmishes. In unspoken agreement both sides retired from Macragge, taking their dying leaders with them. The Ultramarines placed their Primarch in stasis, hoping against hope that one day they would be able to revive him. The Emperor is returned to Terra.
- The Rubric of Magnus the Red - Fatally wounded, the Emperor is brought back to his Golden Throne, its powerful life support engines the only thing capable of keeping him alive. Freed from its hold once more, Magnus is horrified by what has become of the Emperor, and delves ever deeper into the arcane in hopes of healing him. After much fasting and searching, Magnus finds his answer and enacts a ritual that required the assistance of his entire Legion. The ritual, however, required more energy and power than they had to give. Many of the Thousand Sons, especially those of weaker minds, were burned out. By the ritual's close, only a fraction of the Legion's most powerful remained and it was still not enough. Magnus made a fateful decision that day, choosing to allow himself to be burned out for the boost in power it would give. In one great act, Magnus took upon himself the injuries of the Emperor and used his own life essence, taken as it was from the Emperor himself, to revive him once more. In so doing, the Emperor stood from the Throne under his own power and Magnus was interred upon it in his place. It is said that his Chief Librarian, Ahriman, had somehow failed his Primarch during the ritual, explaining his disappearance following this as an execution or perhaps banishment.
Mid-Late M31 - The Ultramar Scouring - After Guilliman's bid to take command of the Imperium fails, his vaunted Ultramar Empire is put to the sword and fire. The Ultramarines, newly renamed the Omega Legion, flees to the Warp in search of sanctuary under the leadership of its remaining high officers.
- Lorgar's Hunt - Lorgar, the Heresy finally dealt with, turns his attention back to his disowned step-father, Kor Phaeron. Although he pursues the renegade far across the galaxy, he unfortunately loses his trail time and time again. The Imperial Heralds follow him in this task, attempting to finally eradicate the last remaining evidence of how close they came to betrayal.
- Creation of the Iteratus Agnostica - Following the drawn out Scouring of Ultramar, Lorgar's reflection on faith and belief and the merits of the Imperial Truth, the Primarch petitioned the reworking of the Iterator Order. Its tasks would not simply be to spread the Imperial Truth to the conquered worlds of man, but to root out cults. Also envisioned to be within their purview is the evaluation of current Imperial culture on established worlds and the right to declare re-compliance. Chief among these worlds were those conquered by Lorgar and his Legion during their days as the Word Bearers. Many of these worlds were forced to burn once more to root out the beliefs erroneously instilled within them. The dedication of Lorgar and the Imperial Heralds to this end was so absolute that there was no world that could escape their wrath should it fall from their standards - not even Colchis, Lorgar's very homeworld. When Colchis refused to denounce their faiths and called Lorgar a false prophet, it burned like all the others. Since then, the Imperial Heralds have become a fleet-based Legion much like the War Hounds.
- The Necropolis Incident - Facing the corrupted Imperial Fists in the frozen hives of Inwit, the Fortress of the Dead (otherwise known as the Necropolis) proved a formidable obstacle to the Iron Warriors tasked with bringing the Fists to justice. As the final buttresses were taken and the deepest dungeons purged, Perturabo confronted Daemon that was once Dorn in his throne room. The fight, though monumental, was too much for the Iron Warrior Primarch. He died valiantly, fighting the plague-animated Rogal Dorn to his last gasping breath. His Legion, on the cusp of victory, forced the remainder of the Imperial Fists and their Primarch to escape Inwit, and melted the ice-bound bastion with their furious fire.
Late M31- Creation of the Adeptus Arbites and the Investigatus - Considering the disparate forces of justice throughout the Imperium, Konrad Curze posthumously became the metaphorical father to a standardised, Imperial judiciary system. These men and women follow the letter of the law, as codified by Curze, with utmost determination. Often a Night Lord on hand will oversee and advise operations, perhaps even conducting his own brand of law enforcement. As other institutions were established within the Imperium at this time, the Arbites were soon merged with the newly created Investigatus. The higher-ranking Investigators were highly independent and very powerful agents tasked with investigating all signs of anti-Imperial behaviour across the Imperium's worlds and hierarchies. The Arbites retained their original functions but were additionally made the strong-arm forces of the Investigators. Though anyone of appropriate skill could become an Investigator, in its earliest days they were dominantly of the Custodes. Though the rise in talented mortal Investigators increases over the millennia, the Custodes can still often be found as an Investigator.
- The Mars-Terra Conflict - With the re-organizing of the Imperium following the Ultramar Scouring, the Mechanicum of Mars itself was tasked with changing its structure and organization according to the Emperor's will. Often the red planet took a neutral side during the Heresy, and for this reason the Emperor had decided to yoke the Mechanicum to his command instead of allowing Mars its independence as an allied state within the Imperium. However, the Martian brotherhood took terribly to this change of alliance. Many forgeworlds remained loyal to Mars over Terra, and the Imperium was once more wracked by wars across the galaxy. The former worlds of the Auretian Technocracy petition the rights to regain their pre-Imperial unity in return for accepting the reforms demanded upon the Mechanicum in their place. So granted, they proved a valuable ally in the ensuing turmoil. Though the war raged across the galaxy, it waged hottest at its very core. For months, Mars was embroiled in intense battles across its red globe. In a terrible twist of fate, the Iron Hands, bereft and lost following the Heresy, chose to defend their Martian brothers and were damned with them. After intense conflicts, the Imperium succeeded in rooting the Mechanicum out of Mars. The Mechanicum fractured greatly. Many fled to the Eye of Terror like the defeated Traitors of before, or to the strong Khanate of the White Scars. Those who fled to the remaining forgeworlds loyal to Mars suffered the worst fates and were slain one by one. The remainder followed the Iron Hands to their homeworld of Medusa.
- The Medusa Cull - In an apocalyptic battle of titanic war engines, the mechanical forces of the renewed Auretian Technocracy and the great crawler behemoths of the Iron Hands trade fire across blasted wastelands as the Space Wolves boarded the enemy's Clan-fortresses. With his usual daring, Russ and his retinue teleported directly into their headquarters. It took a full week for the Space Wolves to fight their way to join with him, but they arrived only to find that Russ had fallen in battle against the returned Iron Hand First Captain, Gabriel Santar. It is believed that the death of Leman Russ was the catalyst in a great ritual that allowed Santar to ascend into daemonhood, and for the great warpstorms that came immediately following. The Imperials were forced offworld by the sudden warp activity and many Titan legions left were stranded. Once cleared, the world was not only barren of all life but of all evidence that life had ever been there. The Iron Hands had declared themselves for Tzeentch, who had transplanted them one and all onto a daemonworld deep in the Eye.
- Lorgar's Disappearance - After following hot on the trail of Kor Phaeron once again, Lorgar enters Khanate space. Not much is known to Imperial scholars after this except that Lorgar disappears and many of his cohort do not return. He was last seen entering a web portal before the entrance was sealed with explosives, presumably by the traitor Kor Phaeron.
Early M32 - The Great Expedition - Following the rise of power of the Auretian Technocracy, an undertaking not seen since the ending days of the Great Crusade was gathered and executed, which would later be referred to as the "Great Expedition." The objective was not to reunite humanity, as the Great Crusade had, but to seek out and locate archeotech relics of the Dark Age of Technology. The greatest finds of all were the STC's, standard template constructs that provided the blueprints for the greatest inventions of humanity. Vast armadas were built and dispatched from the great forges and foundries of Auretia, the equal of any in the Imperium, and backed by the combined might of the Imperial Army and those Legions who remained loyal to the Imperium. From this century long endeavour came advancements in Imperial technology such as the unmanned, intelligent drones and the Crozius Network. Many other findings were made beyond the technological. A major discovery of the biological sciences upon the dead world of Chaladriax IV led to the later Elohim Project.
Mid M32 - Via Itineris - The secret project begun by the Emperor during the close of the Great Crusade meets its first substantial success: A fully enclosed, self-sufficient Webway system separate from its Eldar predecessor and protected from the Warp that extends throughout the Sol System. Called the Imperial Route System, this was followed by public announcements and aggressive expansions of the Routes. The Legions of the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves have dedicated themselves to the patrol and safeguard of these ever expansive labyrinths. As such, the greatest nodes from which the Routes grow from outside of Terra are the worlds of Fenris and Prospero.
Early M34 - Martian Resurgence/Elohim Project - Mars by then had become an enshrouded prison world. All those who opposed the Auretian Technocracy were collected and left to rot upon the red world. Though given free reign to manage its own affairs, such influence was restricted only to Mars. However, Mars' former status as the Mechanicum meant that despite its current status it remained the greatest forgeworld across the Imperium. It was especially noted for its successes at bringing theoretical work to alpha and beta stages, far surpassing other worlds in this regard. As such, when the Emperor gave his patronage to the Elohim Project, which would enhance the physiology of the Space Marines, only Mars was trusted with its earliest work. After many failed false starts, they did succeed in getting it to the testing stages. However, they refused to release their findings until they could be given autonomy from the Auretian Technocracy and were placed back to their former status. After a brief, minor struggle in which many of Mars were killed by enraged Auretians seeking to take it by force, the Emperor finally stepped in. The Technocracy, he felt, had overstepped its bounds and the Martians were well within their rights to make such a demand. As the Auretian Technocracy was by default subservient completely to the Emperor's will, they could do nothing but stand idly by as they were once more disbanded. The structure of Technocracy would remain in place, however Mars would stand as an equal to Auretia in its governance. As such, the institution was renamed the Scientifica. True to their word, Mars released their findings and the Elohim Project was brought to full fruition.
M35 - The Necrons Arise - Following the mass awakening of a significant proportion of the Necrontyr, a series of destructive wars and apocalyptic encounters lay waste to several regions of the galaxy, not least of which revolve around several World Engines and their destruction. During this period, lasting several bloody centuries, the Dusk Raiders, the Iron Warriors and the Lutherian Dark Angels experience losses the like of which had not been seen since the Heresy. In fact, the attrition is so acute that, at one point or another, each of the three Legions teeter on the abyss of destruction. The Necrons themselves eventually bring their attention away from humanity and focus instead upon themselves, becoming embroiled in a power struggle between the Silent King and the Stormlord.
- Wars of Secession - The rise of the Necrons caused a significant period of turmoil in the Imperium. Not only did they threaten their great domain but the desperate redistribution of resources to combat them left many of the Imperium far from the front bereft of supplies and defenceless before their long-standing enemies. Chaos incursions, Ork Waaaghs! and pirate raids increased during this time. Many Imperial Commanders, separately at first but eventually unified, chose to withheld their much-needed resources from the Imperium. When the Imperium chose to take these resources by force, whole Sectors declared secession and obliterated these forceful attempts. The Imperium was forced to ignore these traitors while they dealt with the Necrons but once that was over they turned their tired armies and unleashed them upon the secessionists. The Secessionist Wars lasted nearly a century, no thanks to the aid given to the secessionists by the White Scars Legion. Though the Imperium had been successful at restricting the Khanate down to a more manageable size centred around the Maelstrom, the Legion itself was as great a threat now as it ever was. Their true purpose in aiding the secessionists was soon revealed when the White Scars unleashed an unparalleled strike on the Imperial Routes surrounding their small Empire. In a concerted, decisive series of strikes an entire swathe of the Routes were cut off from the rest of the Imperium and sealed off. This was a terrible setback for the Imperium. Not only did they lose in one fell swoop a large percentage of their network to the White Scars but untold damage was done by the Daemonic invasions that found these wounds and wreaked havoc on the network and its personnel. Following the success of their plan, the White Scars ceased their support of the secessionists, allowing the Imperium to finally end their betrayals and replace them with more loyal retainers.
Late M37 - Age of Heirarchs - Following the discovery of ancient documents pre-dating the Great Crusade, the Elohim Project is reinstated in light of its advanced sciences. Thousands of Marines from the varied Loyalists are tested and augmented. However, before any findings could be recorded, the Emperor, returned from a recent period of isolation within the Imperial Routes deep in Segmentum Tempestus, brought the Project to a screeching halt. All research and documents were destroyed and the test subject Marines sent back to their Legions. Soon the Emperor's response was to prove prophetic as a period of uncontrollable mutations and mental breakdowns wiped out more than 99% of their number. Almost none survived the following decades, either by rampant changes, death or capture by the Traitor Legions who sought to unlock their secrets. Of the thousands tested, only nine ever lived and stabilized. These nine showed the true potential of the reinstated Project, as they were without peer. To the Imperium, it was as if the Primarchs once more walked among them. These nine quickly rose through the ranks of their respective Legion claiming the titles of Heirarchs, the heirs of their Primarch. They were legends and heroes of the past made flesh once more, and their deeds are recorded in great detail. Three of the Heirarchs were of the Sons of Horus Legion, who led their Legion as the triumvirate Mournival through a series of victories unmatched by any since the days of their lost Warmaster. The ever-expanding Raven Guard had in their Legion two Heirarchs. One who governed and directed the Legion from Deliverance and one who led the largest incursion to ever venture into the Eye of Terror. No other Legion had as many Heirarchs as the Sons of Horus or Raven Guard. Like their long-gone Primarchs, none were immortal and the last Heirarch fell in battle against the Dark Eldar mid M39.
To make the loyalties clear, here is a summarised list of the Legions:
I - Dark Angels - Split into two factions, similar as in canon except that the Lion turns, Luther stays loyal and it is by no means a well-hidden secret. The Lion aspires to be the new Warmaster, in direct contention with Roboute Guilliman, and stages the Siege of Terra against the Warrior King's wishes. The plan fails and the Lion is forced to flee to Caliban where he is confronted by Luther. Though those who remained true to the Emperor with Luther are small in number, they are ever valiant in tracking down and slaying those brethren who chose to side with the Lion. These traitorous brethren are themselves busy with attempting to find and revive their lost Primarch.
II - REDACTED
III - Emperor's Children - Remains loyal, with Fulgrim dying during the Siege of Terra at the hands of the Lion. The Emperor's Children and Fulgrim are largely responsible for the positive relations between some Eldar Craftworlds and the Imperium. Though the Legion continues to strive for perfection, it has come to terms with the knowledge that it is unobtainable.
IV - Iron Warriors - Remain loyal. The Iron Warriors remain the siege specialists they have always been, however the introduction of a guerrilla warfare specialist Primarch has instead veered their war preferences towards urban fighting, making heavy use of technology and their dual masteries of siege and guerrilla warfare. The Legion replaces the Imperial Fists at the walls of the Imperial Palace and successfully man the Fists' fortifications against the Lion's assault. Perturabo is responsible for Angron's altered Butcher's Nails, changing him to a more lucid, calmer individual. Perturabo is later slain on Inwit attempting to annihilate the fallen Imperial Fists.
V - White Scars - Betrayed by Guilliman and later by his own loyalist brothers, the Great Khan and his Legion secedes during the Heresy and forms a splinter empire radiating out to the galactic north-east, originally encompassing a fifth of the galaxy. The Khanate Empire exists as variously sized fiefs and exhibits very similar attitudes and outlooks as the canon 40k Imperium does. The Khanate shrinks over time due to attrition against traitors and Imperials alike and is by the 41st Millennium a very truncated version of what it originally was, centred around the Maelstrom. Though the Great Khan disappeared long ago under mysterious circumstances, rumours abound that he may have returned...
VI - Space Wolves - Remains loyal to the Emperor, eventually becoming close comrades in arms with the Thousand Sons. Fenris shines as a beacon of humanity's indomitable will, a would-be death world tamed and shackled to Mankind's destiny. Among the great hives of its sole continent of Asaheim is the Fang, the tallest hive spire in the Imperium and fortress-monastery to the Space Wolves. Though often seen warring throughout the galaxy, the Space Wolves mostly confine their efforts to the aid in expanding the Imperial Routes.
VII - Imperial Fists - Turn to Nurgle following a failed attempt to put down a rebellion on Inwit. The defences on Terra serve the remaining defenders well, as the Imperial Fists themselves return to Terra to commit to the Siege. However, they are specifically targeted by the loyalists during their arrival and find themselves too few to overcome the defences they themselves erected. Without the Imperial Fists as a viable force, the Lion fails to take Terra.
VIII - Night Lords - Remains loyal and are the primary garrison Legion used during the Great Crusade because of their fractious nature and dedication to law and order. Curze pens the blueprint of what was to become the Arbites before he is slain during the Siege of Macragge. The Legion is filled with vigilantes, ex-enforcers and ex-criminals, leading to its highly divided nature. Though the normally ever-present brotherly bond of Legionnaires is mostly absent among the Night Lords, their dedication to their Primarch and his ideals, or their interpretations of it, is the highest among all other Legions.
IX - Blood Angels - Turn to Khorne following the collapse of their Primarch and the Blood God's heavy handed attempts to take the Legion. Though Sanguinius rebels against the change that overcomes his Legion, he is powerless to stop it in his comatose state. Upon awakening, he himself had become a mirror image of his Legion. Though thoroughly fallen, his resentment lingered for some time, during which he exhibited suicidal traits.
X - Iron Hands - Decimated during the opening phases of the Heresy, their Primarch is tragically slain by Fulgrim amid confusion over loyalties. Although the Legion essentially sat out the primary warfare and guarded the Mechanicum's assets during the Heresy, they eventually turn against the Imperium during the Mars-Terra Conflict, falling under the aegis of Tzeentch.
XI - REDACTED
World Eaters War Hounds - Despite initial temptations, the War Hounds remain loyal. Angron later dies at the hands of Sanguinius on the world that would come to be known as Armageddon. Since then, the War Hounds have dedicated themselves to erasing the Blood Angels so completely that none would ever remember them.
Ultramarines Omega Legion - The arch betrayers of the Imperium. Comprising the majority of the traitors on the side of Guilliman, they sway fewer primarchs to their cause than they had wished and ultimately lose the war before being driven back to the Eye of Terror. Guilliman is believed dead by the Imperium at large, slain during the final climactic fight on Macragge. Prior to the Heresy, the Legion had boosted its numbers unbeknownst to the rest of the Imperium, fielding in excess of half a million Astartes in the opening years of the Heresy. Following the Heresy the Legion reverses their Legion symbol and embarks on the Long War against the Imperium, led by various surviving or newly risen Legion Commanders. Due to the inverted symbol, the Imperium has taken to referring to this Traitor Legion as the Omega Legion.
Death Guard Dusk Raiders - Remains loyal. Due to a terrible accident during an unstable warp transit to assault Ultramar, the Legion loses both Primarch and First Captain. The exact circumstances are known only to those lost. They are commemorated on Barbarus and the Death Guard revert back to their old name of Dusk Raiders, believing that they have failed Mortarion and do not deserve the name he gave to them.
XV - Thousand Sons - Remain loyal, though the initial actions of Russ and his Legion could have driven them out much as the White Scars were. Luckily for the Imperium, the two Legions form an uneasy alliance during the Heresy, culminating in a bond of brotherhood that has lasted ten thousand years. Magnus, saviour of the Imperium, sits upon the Golden Throne in lieu of the Emperor.
XVI - Sons of Horus - Despite a fractured period following the death of Horus, the Legion remains loyal. Abaddon and his Justaerin revoke their oaths to their fallen lord and the Emperor to join with Guilliman. Though ambitious and powerful, his outsider status keeps him low among the Traitor Legion hierarchies. The Sons of Horus, though perhaps a shade of their former capabilities, strive to remain the best Legion in memory of the true Warmaster.
Word Bearers Imperial Heralds - The Legion to come the closest to betrayal but remain true, the Word Bearers suffer a crisis of faith following Monarchia, when the Emperor himself rebukes them for their ways. Following a Legionary Pilgrimage, and a personal Pilgrimage of Lorgar that leads to the heart of the Imperium of Terra, the Word Bearers come through their penitence crusade newly forged. Renaming themselves back to their former Imperial Heralds name, they have ever been dedicated to the Imperial Truth.
XVIII - Salamanders - Vulkan is captured early on in the Heresy and corrupted by Guilliman through obscene torture. Upon his return to the Legion, he spreads the corruption of Slaanesh to his sons. Vulkan goes on to fight in both Sieges, but only to return to his world of Nocturne to find it seconds from death at the guns of the Iron Hands.
XIX - Raven Guard - Remain loyal, but are decimated after a surprise attack by the Salamanders at the world of Namn. The Raven Guard rebuild their Legion using genetic data gifted to them by the Emperor and go on to become a driving force after the Heresy.
XX - Alpha Legion - Many records of the Alpha Legion are ultimately contradictory. It is known that they publicly declared themselves loyal to the Emperor and embarked upon a secret war against those loyal to Guilliman of similar doctrines. As there are no signs of these organizations existing following the Heresy, it is believed that the Alpha Legion met with success.
The Imperium is a different beast to that of Canon. It does not display the ignorance that the Canon Imperium does, nor does it suffer from the same backwards view on technology either. What with the Mechanicum cast out for their lack of support during the Heresy and the Emperor surviving, certain ideals continue apace, such as the Imperial Truth.<br />
A similar counterpart to the Canon version of itself, Chaos has it's own 'pet' Legions in the form of the Blood Angels, the Imperial Fists, the Iron Hands, the Salamanders and, of course, the Ultramarines. Also under their control are numerous Mechanicum sects, exiled and persecuted by the Imperium. These sects each have their own goals and beliefs in the 41st millennium, ranging from building an impossibly vast vessel, to physically constructing daemons, to gearing up for war against their persecutors.
The Khanate Empire
The wildcard of the three human factions, the Khanate Empire is fiercely proud of who and what they are. Each of the many fiefs is controlled by a Khan and looks to itself for it's own defence. The Khanate Empire has clashed with the Imperium on many occasions and has lost much ground in the ten thousand years it has existed. The relationship between the Khanate Empire and the neighbouring Tau Empire is, at least to the Imperium, relatively unknown and can only be guessed at but it seems that an uneasy truce currently exists. This is the last refuge of untainted Mechanicum descendants, many of whom were warmly welcomed by the Khan into his Empire. Many of the old Mechanicum's traditions and beliefs from before the Heresy still exist here.
Orks - Remain unchanged. They're Orks, what did you expect?
Eldar - Are grouped into two broad factions, one is pro-Imperial whilst the other doesn't want anything to do with humanity.
Dark Eldar - Mostly unchanged.
Tau - Split into two factions, one xenophobic group exists under Commander Farsight while the other operates mostly as the Tau do in Canon, except they hold a much more vast territory this time around considering Ultramar is pretty much toast by the time they pop up.
Tyranids - Will exhibit stronger and more dangerous traits and biomorphs in this universe when they arrive, mostly to provide a better challenge to our version of the Imperium.
Necrons - The Necrons awaken much earlier than in Canon, appearing in the 35th millennium and herald a period of great upheaval before getting distracted by a power struggle.
I'll point out now that the Emperor survives the Heresy and lives well into the 42nd millennium - his survival is integral to the narrative and will not change, so don't ask. Oh, and loyalties are locked. Please don't ask if we can change Legion such-and-such to a certain god. It won't happen.
Now, all of this is subject to refinement and change but, hopefully, we will remain on top of things and keep this post updated. This is, after all, the first post (and there's bound to be details I've missed).
Btw, just in case the nicknames confuse you (but I doubt it), here's what we mean;
Pyromanders = Salamanders
Jazz Hands = Iron Hands
Blood for the Blood Angels = Blood Angels
Plague Fists = Imperial Fists
Edited by Olisredan, 14 April 2014 - 02:58 PM.