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40k Fluff Discuss GW background material here. All those bits in the Codex that aren't stat blocks or special rules. Post your custom character/chapter/army background in our Homebrew Fluff subforum!

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-08-14, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default WANTED: Beginners Guides to Fluff

Hello. As the title implies, what I want is to create a series of beginner articles to the lore of 40k. We are by no means creating anything as detailed as a full encyclopaedia, just a small series of short summaries outlining the gist of who each race is, a brief recount of their theme and history, and their role in the 40k universe.

These will all eventually be posted in their own closed threads with a master thread linking them all stickied at the top of the 40k fluff section.

What we want is one article for each of the following:

Space Marines (Including a basic outline of the differing themes of all playable codex chapters)

Imperial Guard

The Inquisition (Including Sisters and Grey Knights)


Eldar (Including a brief outline on craftworld themes and expansions)

Dark Eldar


Necrons (Including information on the c'tan)


Chaos Daemons

Chaos Space Marines

The Horus Heresy

The War in Heaven

The Warp/Materium (An outline of which realm is which and how they interact)

I would like most of these articles to remain in the realm of 1000 - 2000 words. There are two reasons for this, one is to avoid overwhelming beginners to the hobby and fluff, and two is to keep them easier to review and update as time goes on.

Post your submissions in this thread for consideration. All serious submissions will receive rep, the ones we use will be repped again.

Thank you!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-18-14, 12:23 PM
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The Adeptus Astartes (also known as Space Marines) are genetically enhanced supermen created by the God-Emperor of Mankind to spearhead his conquest of the galaxy. He used the genetics of 20 “primarchs”, who were essentially his sons, as the template for each chapter. This caused the Space Marines to have some of the same predispositions and tendencies as their gene-fathers. For Example, battle brothers of the Space Wolves, when implanted with their gene-seed (The set of surgically implanted organs and glands which turn them into Space Marines) become akin to wolves, growing fangs and fur. They also acquire his flaws. For example, there’s a chance that when a Space Wolf gets his gene seed, his will is overpowered by the spirit of the wolf and he turns into a wulfen (a killing machine with no mind). Space Marines are practically immortal, they don’t get diseases, they can take wounds that would kill a mortal several times over, and they spit acid, just to name a few things that set Astartes apart from mortal men. Once they have received all 19 implants, they are ready to don power armor. Power armor is a layer of ceramite (imagine steel and concrete had a baby) supported by fibre bundles that enhance his strength exponentially.
Space Marines have access to most of the weapons at the Imperium’s disposal, with bolters (.75 caliber repeating rocket propelled grenade launchers), Flamers (massive flamethrowers), and chainswords (exactly what it sounds like) being the primary infantry weapons. Also available to them are missile launchers, plasma guns and cannons, heavy bolters, melta guns, Assault cannons, sniper rifles and power weapons.
After the unification of Earth but before the conquest of the galaxy had started, the Emperor toiled away to create his armies and generals in his gene-laboratories under the Himalayan mountains. While they were being created, the Chaos Gods spread the primarchs to the far corners of the Galaxy, depriving the Emperor of his sons and his generals. The Emperor created 20 legions, with 100,000 legionnaires each; one for each primarch. (The second and eleventh primarch and their legions were expunged from all records for unknown reasons) The Great Crusade began 2 goals: One being the unification of the galaxy under the banner of the Imperium of Mankind, the other being the reclamation of the primarchs. World by world, the Emperor conquered, pacified, made treaties, subjugated cultures, and exterminated xenos. One by one, the Emperor was reunited with his sons. Then came the Horus Heresy, wherein half the primarchs broke their oaths to the Emperor and tried to overthrow him. After a long civil war, events came to a head on Terra, where the Emperor killed Horus the Arch-traitor after being mortally wounded. He was then interred on the Golden Throne as a form of life support.
After the civil war, the primarch and tactical genius Roboutte Guilliman wrote the “Codex Astartes”, a set of teachings and rules for all of the Space Marines. One of the most important parts of the Codex Astartes was the idea that a Space Marine legion was too powerful a weapon for anyone to control, so he decreed that all of the legions break apart into chapters, each 1000 strong. This was known as the “Second Founding”.
There have been several more foundings in the 10,000 years since the Horus Heresy. Since then, 13 Black Crusades have been perpetrated by the forces of Chaos into Imperial space and countless Imperial crusades have been declared to reclaim human territory across the galaxy.

Notable chapters:
Dark Angels: (NOTE: The Dark Angels were at one time a full legion, but in the Second Founding they were split into multiple chapters. The same is true with all of the other Space Marine legions) The Dark Angels, formerly led by Lion ‘El Jonson, get their warrior culture from the knightly orders of Caliban, the planet the Lion was raised on. They were betrayed by Luther, the Lion’s best friend, at the start of the Horus Heresy because he had become jealous of the Lion. They are fanatical about redeeming themselves and exterminating Luther’s followers, the Fallen. The elite of the Dark Angels are known as the Ravenwing, a company of Terminators, bikers, land speeders, and gunships.
The Ultramarines: The template of what a chapter should be. They WROTE the book on how to be a Space Marine (literally). They adhere to the Codex Astartes more strictly than anyone else, believing the words of their primarch, Roboutte Guilliman, to be holy. Their homeworld is on Ultramar, and they have their own “fiefdom”, considered by many to be the bread-basket of the Imperium
Space Wolves: Formerly led by the gung-ho Leman Russ, the Space Wolves put a heavy emphasis on fighting traitors. They were originally created to be the Emperor’s executors, punishing wayward Astartes. For example, when Magnus the Red broke the Decree of Nikea, the Emperor sent the Space Wolves to censure the Thousand Sons. For this reason, the Space Wolves excel at combat against other Astartes and have a hatred for psykers. They derive their culture from the tribes that inhabit their homeworld, Fenris.
Blood Angels: Formerly led by Sangunious, the Blood Angels specialize as close combat shock troops, similar to the World Eaters traitors. It’s a wonder they didn’t fall to Chaos, because they have a flaw in their gene seed that causes them to become beholden to the black rage, an uncontrollable bloodlust exacerbated by Sangunious’s encounter with Kabanda, a bloodthirster of Khorne.. They get their warrior culture from Baal, Sangunious’s homeworld. Blood really influences their warrior culture.

Bout 950 words.

Addendum: I wrote this along with what's above but I'm not sure it's what we want
Tactical Squad: This is the bread and butter of most chapters. It is usually comprised of 10 marines with bolters and some heavy weapons (including the sergeant). The Codex Astartes allows for the squad to be further broken down in to 2 smaller combat squads
Scouts: These are (in most chapters) the newest battle-brothers, and they are being taught the art of war. They provide reconnaissance and sniper fire, suppressing the enemy and allowing their more heavily armored brethren to smash their foes. The scouts don’t have full armor plate, for mobility.
Devastators: Heavy weapons squad usually comprised of 4 marines with heavy weapons plus a sergeant. They destroy masses of enemies as well as their vehicles.
Assault Squad: These marines wield chainswords and bolt pistols, their primary goal is to get in amongst the enemy and wipe them out in hand-to-hand combat. They usually use jump packs, which allow them to move twice as fast as they could running.
Bikes: Sometimes, for scouting and rapid attack purposes, the Space Marines mount armored motorcycles, making them more resilient and much more mobile They are equipped with twin-linked bolters and whatever the Brother on the bike is carrying.
Dreadnaughts: 8 meter tall behemoths of ceramite and plasteel, these are the oldest and most powerful individuals able to be deployed by your standard Space Marine chapter. When a great warrior is grievously wounded but not quite dead, his body is interred inside the armored sarcophagus of a dreadnaught, where he still serves the God-Emperor of mankind. He can be armed with up to two power claws, siege drills, power flails, Lascannons, assault cannons, multi meltas, or missile launchers (or any combination of the two)
Terminators: Usually the most skilled living warriors of the chapter, they are encased in tactical dreadnaught armor, becoming almost unkillable. They are bar-none the most powerful infantry unit available to the Space Marines. There are two kinds, assault and tactical. Assault terminators are exclusively close-combat, using a pair of lightning claws or thunder hammers combined with storm shields. Tactical terminators are armed with storm bolters and power fists, though the sergeant might prefer a power sword. They can also be equipped with missile launchers and assault cannons.
They use 2 main land vehicle chassis
You have the Rhino, a standard, lightly armed ground transport capable of holding a squad. It’s only form of weaponry is a pintle mounted storm bolter, but it’s possible to mount a hunter-killer anti tank missile to the chassis. There are several different vehicles based on the Rhino chassis. First and closest to the original is the Razorback, which is a Rhino with a main gun, either a twin linked heavy bolter or a twin linked lascannon. It sacrifices half of the troop space for ammo and an extra crewmember. The next is a Predator, which is an up-armored rhino with a main gun (either an autocannon or a twin linked lascannon) on a turret and two sponsons which can be either a lascannon or a heavy bolter. It cannot carry any troops. Next is the Vindicator heavy tank. It has massively reinforced frontal armor as well as a demolisher cannon. It’s used for targeting blocs of resistance, vehicles, and/or buildings. It can carry no troops. The final vehicle on the Rhino chassis is the whirlwind artillery piece. It’s a multiple rocket launcher system used to barrage enemy positions. It doesn’t carry troops. All rhino chassis vehicles can take smoke launchers and hunter killer missiles, as well as storm bolters. The other chassis is that of the Land Raider. The Land Raider is pretty much the peak of tracked vehicle engineering, with the heaviest armor and the most dangerous payload. The Land Raider is designed to carry terminators, which are the best armored and most skilled warriors in the chapter. It can carry a full squad of the hulking warriors, no small feat.
Other Vehicles

Thunderhawk: Heavy troop transports, capable of orbital and intra-atmospheric operations. It is heavily armed with myriad weapons and heavily armored. (note: you won’t see these on the table except at large events)
Land Speeders: Antigravity light weapons platforms capable of incredible speeds. They can either be reconnaissance or search and destroyers. They can be equipped with Assault Cannons, Missile Launchers, Multi Meltas, and more. One variant, the storm, has a limited transport capacity, deploying scouts wherever they need to be.
Storm Ravens: Storm Ravens are smaller thunderhawks, they are more agile and are more useful in crowded environments like hive cities. It’s heavily armed with a large variety of weapons.
Drop Pods: When a rapid orbital assault is necessary, Astartes deploy directly from their orbiting battle barges via drop pods. They slow their descent just enough to keep the inhabitants alive and are semi-disposable, so they can be sent into “hot” LZs.

Pop a cold one and join us in the TalkWargaming flaschat!

Last edited by khorneflake; 01-18-14 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Spelling and addendum
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-14, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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The addendum is something we can probably do without, but the rest looks good.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-28-15, 01:51 AM
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Icon Necrons

The C'tan
The necrotyr are an ancient race, older than the eldar and have been asleep for about as long as the time between now and the death of the dinosaurs. They started out as the necrontyr and were on aplanet with intensely radioactive sun, and soon there entire culture centred around death. Most of there science was put increasing the lifespans and they did , for about two more decades, then the clan rolled around . The c'tan, or star gods, yngir or star vampires are a race of God like beings that started out feeding of Suns but after meetin the necrontyr gained bodies and learned that planets taste better. The necrontyr worshipped the ctan that ate their sun,the night bringer, and leaned of the other ctan and built bodies for them.
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