A fanon History of the Dark Age of Technology
Hello everybody I had some spare time lately, so I decided i might as well write a History to 40k since the Dark Age of Technology always fascinated me, because so little is known about it, yet it still is very important for the 41st Millennium. Inspirations were: every bit of fluff I could find, project rho atomic rockets, the book "Why the west rules - for now" and a blog about how a realistic interstellar emire should look.
But now comes the real deal, so enjoy:
The Age of Technology
In the 15th Millennium the Federation of Mankind was founded. It for the first time in history united the Mankind in one spirit and one goal: the conquest of the stars. It was the undisputed peak of human civilization and anyone with a historical knowledge encompassing it will come to the same conclusion. But even this civilization as mighty as may have been was eventually brought to its knees ushering in the Era known as the Age of Strife when the old Federation´s order was toppled and chaos reigned. However to understand this civilization we must look at its beginnings and through that at the History of Humanity itself.
The Age of Progress (M2 to M15):
The Age of Terra (M2 to M5):
Concluding with the industrial revolution in early 800M2 the Humanity had conquered the entirety Terra. The World, dominated for a century by European powers, was divided into several nations, which waged three global wars against each other. The first two were during early to mid M2. In the year 969.M2 the USA empire is credited with the first moon landing. In early M3 Mankind begun to colonize the Sol system to exploit its near unlimited resources. Before 100.M2 the Third World War is said to have happened shattering Terra and necessitating centuries worth of rebuilding and redevelopment.
Many digital memories were lost during WW3 leading to the technological supremacy of Mars, which still had access to many old world technologies. To prevent such losses of knowledge
paper-based records were again implemented to supplement digital recording. The Age of Terra also saw the creation of the Vox Omnia a global language based around the ancient language of Latin and several modern languages.
Although Mankind had already established colonies in other star systems by late M3 those colonies were only connected to the sol system via sublight starvessels. These colonies had to be self sufficient and often were non profitable and abandoned. This mode of colonization was used by non state organizations more often than by the superpowers themselves. Because of these reasons only a few colonies existed with the farthest being in the Vega System around 20 lightyears from Sol. Most of such colonies, if they survived more than a decade developed independent cultures from Terra. The closest ones however were sometimes controlled by puppet states of the Nations of Sol.
The Discovery of Hyperspace  in M4 seemed to offer new opportunities for FTL travel, but experiments only led to disasters. As the Millenina went past Mankind lived and died under a vast number of Empires and Nations, like the United Nations of Terra, the League of Sol or the Solar Empire to name just a few. Two times mankind stood at the brink of the technological singularity only to be thrown back decades or centuries by wars untold ravaged the realm of Mankind. Terra and Mars both burned under nuclear fire more than once and there is evidence of a small ice age on Terra during M3, widely believed to be caused by relativistic bombardment. The planets and moons of the Sol system saw their populations grow and be shrunk by wars, plagues, famine or hundreds of other sources. By late M4 the human population had grown to about 30 Billion across the Sol system, with the vast majority living on Terra and Mars. The Blue and the Red Planet were the undisputed superpowers of the Sol system, Terra through the merit of its massive population, Mars through its technological edge.
The First and second Interstellar Ages (M5 to M12):
This system may have continued indefinitely if it would it not have been for two inventions in early M5. One was the the Gellar Field, which finaly allowed safe travel through the Warp. The other invention were semi-intelligent computers which could work independently of their programming to improve themselves and solve extremely difficult engineering problems, making technologies previously thought impossible become reality. The Superpowers quickly sized both inventions and moved on to expand into the interstellar neighborhood to exploit this new source of near unlimited resources and to discover new territories for colonization. In a few decades the sublight colonies, some having degressed into medieval states, were annexed into the first interstellar empires. Only a few of them were strong enough to stay independent from their brothers often thought to be just a remnant from ancient myth. Within a century the local bubble was claimed by Mankind with the first non terraformed biospheres being discovered. In the Millennia following M5 Mankind began colonizing the Orion Arm but the empires began to fracture under their own weight as they expanded and became over stretched.
By M11 Mankind had colonized nearly 100 million worlds fractured into thousands of Empires struggling with both each other and the first xenos discovered by Mankind around M7. Many of these were exterminated by colonizing efforts and only a handful could oppose Mankind, premier of which were the Orks, who could seemingly withstand even the most powerful Empires and worst of all, they were often declared exterminated only to reappear decades or centuries later on entirely new worlds. The core worlds begun to develop into industrial powerhouses leading to entire planets becoming devoted to mining or agriculture to support the core worlds.
Mankind itself begun to evolve. Post singularity technology led to mankind itself changing, and while Human appearance changed little, our cerebral and physical power was increased by many orders of magnitude by new technologies. Likewise Mankind´s genome was changed, with
genetic-afflictions being removed. Later traits not corresponding with the beau ideal were literally cut out of the Human genome, while advanced genetics allowed Humans to easily live for centuries.
This lead to some Humans secluding themselves from the rest of Mankind for trying to play god or just for fear of advanced technology robbing them of their Humanity. Some of them just shunned genetics, while others shunned all post industrial technologies.
Humanity had by M12 inhabited an “area” of around 10.000 Lightyears.
The Orion Empire (M13 to M15)
Advanced computers allowed longer and longer Hyperspace jumps ranging up to 50 Lightyears per jump. This led to the flourishing Empire centered around the world of Paragon to expand rapidly across the stars. By M12 it had already conquered 15 Million star systems making it the largest Empire in Human history. This led to the importance of the sectors around Sol falling, as the Orion Empire begun to expand. By M13 the Orion Empire utilizing a fleet guided through the warp by humans know as navigators, which made jumps of up to 1000 Lightyears possible had managed to destroy its rivals fleets in rapid succession. The Orion Empire was one of the first Empires to remain stable for over a Millennium. However even it could not last forever. Internal strife against the government was always there, but it became louder and louder during the reign of the last of the Orion´s emperors. Still it was manageable by the security forces and the new chancellor begun reforms to stop lessen strife. The true threat was a Empire from beyond Human space. It begun as small raids, which captured human populations for unknown purposes. These raids were lightning fast and destructive. But during 568.M14 a Orion fleet managed to follow one raiding fleet through one of their portals. They discovered a planet inhabited by a species that looked not unlike Humans, but were possessed by a hedonistic culture, that shocked the expedition leaders. Thinking it was just a minor species the colony was destroyed with any survivors were transported back to the Orion empire for studies of their advanced technology. But the Orion´s leaders did not recognize, that they had woken an slumbering giant – the Ethernal empire of the Eldar. Just two years later a massive Eldar invasion force smashed into Human space conquering and destroying many worlds. The Orion Empire and Humanity as a whole, as well as other xeno races likewise attacked begun full mobilization and counterattacked. The War had titanic battles unlike anything seen by Humanity before. Ancient Warp-based weapons clashed with mechanical horrors of humanities creation. Untold billions perished in mere years as the war begun to represent more and more of a stalemate.
The war only changed after a new kind of machine was developed by Mankind. These living machines were capable of controlling troops and fleets so superbly, that they could effectively fight an interstellar war. For two centuries humanity begun battering the Eldar war machine, retaking system after system from the xenos. However the war was ended entirely unexpectedly after the enemy withdrew just as sudden as they attacked. It was a Pyrrhic victory for mankind, since even though extinction had been averted the human realm was in ruin.
The Age of Technology (M15 to M23):
The Era of Rebirth (M15 to M17):
While Mankind was in shambles there was one thing that was different than all the other times this had happened. This time Mankind was united. It had looked into the eye of extinction and had not despaired. Where its allied xeno races had nearly all perished, it alone was victorious. A new ideology had developed, that claimed Mankind was superior to all other species and that the Eldar had to be punished for their aggression and their crimes against Mankind. This unity was seized upon and on 568.804.M14 the Federation of Mankind was proclaimed on the site of the Moon Landing Memorial on Terra´s moon itself. Under the banner of this Federation Mankind rallied and begun to rebuild and rearm. Its military and planetary administration were now controlled to maximum efficiency by Mankind´s new Artificial Intelligences. Soon Mankind was again at its height from before the war, and with its administrative tasks now occupied by its creations, the full scientific potential of Humanity was ready to be unleashed. However as Mankind´s technology level increased rapidly another development was even more important. In late M17 the navigator gene, which was a main source of the Orion Empires power was isolated and cultivated. Humanity was now capable of making far longer jumps, than ever thought possible. Likewise Beacons were placed making Hyperspace travel much easier.
Era of Conquest (M17 to M21 to 22 in Andromeda):
Armed with those new technologies Mankind begun a rapid expansion into the galaxy. As the declining Eldar Empire no longer had business with the extra imperial galaxy there was no stopping the Federation. In a mere four Millennia Mankind conquered billions of worlds and subjugated thousands of xeno races  with only the 60/120 degrees (galactic longitude) zone remaining unconquered. This zone mostly encompassed by the Eldar empire was thus called segmentum obscurus during the galactic division, as almost no information was available about it. Progress was so fast in fact, that Human reproduction was unable to keep track. As a solution to this problem humans were artificially created at an almost industrial scale.
During M19 Humanity even expanded beyond the boundaries of its own galaxy and begun its expansion into the Magellanic Clouds and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. Following that Mankind even embarked upon the journey to the Andromeda Galaxy and begun its conquest. The latter two also caused the region called Ultramar, settled relatively early due to a safe warp connection with the Solar segmentum, to rise to importance, as it was a premier Catapult point for intergalactic travel. In Andromeda the Federation finally met a rival, that was a match for it. This Empire was older than the Federation itself and was, as the third xeno species declared Xeno Capitalis, the other two Xeno Capitalis being the Orks and Eldar Races.
As the conquest of the Milky Way seemed inevitable the Federation government wanted honor its by now blindly trusted servants, existence without which seemingly inconceivable. After just a day of consideration they unilaterally decided, that the wanted to be considered as humans, becoming one step closer to their beloved creators. After that the Federation government proclaimed them as the third race of Mankind, the Homo Ferrum, known to later generations as the Men of Iron.
Era of Retribution (M21 to M22):
After the Federation had become the undisputed premier power of the Milky Way it now planned its greatest move - The Destruction of the Eldar Empire. It was a campaign planned for nearly a Millennium. The leadership was awarded to Lord Commander Constantin Cadia, a famous war hero of the conquest of Andromeda. The Campaign, also know as the Cadian Crusades begun in 700M22 and shattered the Eldar´s military. The Invasion only was stopped after the Temple of Asuryan created a Warp-God for the last time in Eldar History. With this new power the Eldar went on the offensive again and even pushed into Federation Space. The Warp Deity was however destroyed by the Federation Superweapon called DragonFire. After this loss the Federation pushed deep into Eldar space and begun the purge of untold trillions of Eldar. The Advance was only stopped close to the Eldar Crown Worlds (no spelling mistake) through the massive Hyperspace disturbancies close to these worlds. Because of these the crusades had to be stopped in 734.M22. The world closest to the alleged Eldar Homeworld was named Cadia after the crusades commander, who was killed in the last desperate Eldar offensive. The Cadian Crusades were widely seen as the peak of Mankind. In 846.M22 a scouting fleet disappeared during Hyperspace transit.
Era of Ending (M22 to M23):
During the later centuries of M22 Psykers suddenly begun appearing in large numbers on human worlds. As Humanity had seen, that the Eldar were also psychic, psykers were at first welcomed on many worlds and some people even spoke of a new step in human evolution, or of a new, psychic singularity. As memories of the first singularity were still present in the minds of human leaders, several safety measures were put into place to prevent a collapse like in early M3 as Mankind stood on the threshold of the technological singularity for the first time. Still Humanity seemed unstoppable, but Pride comes before a fall. In 933.M22 a scouting fleet, that has disappeared 87 years ago suddenly reemerged. A nearby Security Fleet moved to intercept, but was attacked with a power, that was far to high for the scout vessels. Worse still the Homo Ferrum controlled warships were attacked in cyberspace and quite literally taken over by the force controlling the scouts. Just one vessel managed to escape, the other vessels sacrificing themselves to make the escape possible. This vessel managed to deliver a warning to a nearby human colony just before self destructing. This warning was quickly delivered to high command, who in apparent unbelief, that a rebellion of the Homo Ferrum was even possible, sent several security fleets to investigate. Just in case the rebellion was true a scientific research team was assembled to find a solution. The new fleet fared little better than the first fleet and just as during the first engagement one vessel was sent to verify the rebellion before self destructing. The corrupted fleet now begun an all out attack against the Federation. With every engagement it seemed to become stronger, while the Federation had no viable defense.
At the same time another message was spreading rapidly through the Federation, Shon´tu Kaliba the last of the founder generation of the Federation and the woman, who read out he proclamation of the Federation had died at Age 7.253. This event was however quickly overshadowed by the “rebellion” of the Men of Iron, which had already made rapid progress in the Milky Way and also appeared in the other galaxies controlled by the Federation. The source of the “rebellion” was found, after Project Nightshade, a psychic Spacevessel of the Federation Psi-Corps, manged to capture a corrupted Vessel. The vessels technology itself was somehow corrupted. While normal technology was also corrupted the Vessels Computer systems were afflicted most. During tests it was shown, that organic components were harder to corrupt. With this knowledge, the transformation of computer components to artificial brains was begun. This ended the continuous retreat and sacrificing of populated worlds, which had already driven many of the Homo Ferrum insane, since paradoxically if they tried to follow their desire tho protect Humans they would end up strengthening Mankind´s enemies. The process of recreating computers organically was slow, costly and lead to losses of efficiency, but fighting back was finally possible. In the Battle of Prospero the Federation scored its first victory and ended the seemingly unstoppable drive towards Sol. But the corrupted Men of Iron quickly changed their tactics, engaging on a broad front, which prevented the Federation from defending all its world, which would overstretch their forces. Just as the situation seemed manageable a new threat appeared. The many psykers that appeared caused daemonic possessions and fully fledged incursions by chaotic powers longing to again influence the materium, no longer being prevented from doing so by Eldar technology. All the while Warp turbulences began to reach unprecedented levels making Hyperspace travel extremely difficult. Faced with a enemy from both within and without the Federation had to act quickly and decisively to prevent another collapse. Pskers were to be exterminated until a means to control them was found. As the wars continued and the Federation was weakened, new and old enemies begun to rise. From seemingly nowhere the Orks appeared in numbers unseen for Millennia and proclaimed the great WAAAGH!! under their Leader Gormorskragga da Sunsmasha. They were quick to strike against a unprepared Federation and even managed to cross the intergalactic void into the Andromeda galaxy linking up with Feral Orks native to Andromeda. Likewise xenos subjugated by the Federation rose up en mass to avenge their subjugation and to stop the increasingly reckless use of xenos as cannonfodder to stall the corrupted Men of Iron, which had already led to the extinction of several xeno races. The Federation response was merciless, as rebellious xeno worlds were simply saturation bombarded into slag. Against the Orks Hunter teams were used, which targeted the Oddboyz to cripple the Ork´s fighting capabilities, while bio weapons were used to destroy the genetic coding to create Oddboyz. This lead to a massive technological decline of the Ork civilization. The Federation was fighting on all fronts, but even as Orks and the corrupted forces increasingly clashed, it was becoming obvious, that the Federation would loose. However a glimmer of hope appeared, as scientists on the Research-world of RhoIota334-678-990 developed a virus, that could defeat the Men of Iron, but at a massive cost. The virus would attack and destroy both the Homo Argentum and the Homo Ferrum regardless of their allegiance. It was decided, that the use of the weapon was to be made, but since it was clear, that Mankind would not survive alone a contingency plan was enacted. The plan called Operation Seed Corn envisioned a complete renewal of Humanity. As the post singularity Humans required far to much energy to live the ancient human genome was again recreated and optimized. After that it was spread among the stars and new cultures were created on Human worlds supervised by the Homo Aurum. To replace the Homo Argentum some worlds created the Jokaero, to aid Mankind and copies of the STC cores were placed on every human world, supplemented by paper copies of the most important technologies. In mid M23 the Omega virus was set free destroying all of Mankind´s intelligent creations. For a short period the new system survived, but after just a few decades it fell apart. Xenos conquered worlds no longer protected, the old Humans slowly died out, some proclaiming themselves as tyrants oppressing their new subjects for personal gain, while some worlds managed to become autarkic and flourish, many others simply starved to death.
The Age of Technology had ended, the Age of Strife had begun.
: look at the shattered citadel universe to see what this WW3 was like
: Known as the Warp after the Age of Technology
: increasingly looking blue by M5
: They eventually build bodies for themselves modeled after the “best” form possible, humans.
After a few decades they were considered human and called Homo Argentum. Through a
translating error they were know as the Men of Stone in later Ages.
: this lead to the theory that they were remnants of a collapsed galactic empire
: the space Amish
: It deserves the title, as it has been around for millions of years
: For their own good of course
: The fact, that crusades were a christian invention is long forgotten by M22. They are instead
proclaimed for extermination campaigns or if Terra is under threat. If the latter is the case all of
Mankind is to come to its aid. Should any State fail to do so it will be exterminated afterwards
: The Eldar Super Psyker College (containing alpha plus grade psykers)
: High command also contained Men of Iron
: know as T`au in M41
: Servitors were not created by the Federation. They were a invention of the age of strife
I may expand upon it further if I have some more spare time.
Critique and suggestions are highly welcome.
Last edited by Tigershark; 12-10-16 at 07:25 PM.