+ The Unification Wars +
Hesitantly, the rubricist coughed. His overseer looked over, lenses coiling as his vis-spectacles adjusted. His expression was irritable – more so than usual, the rubricist thought to himself, glumly.
'I have told you more than once not to disturb me,' began the overseer. He raised a finger to stop the rubricist interrupting, and continued. 'There is little in these archives as-is; and even less that requires me to hold your hand. Make the decision, rubricist.' With that, the overseer turned back to his own datascroll. The rubricist, clearly agitated, remained for a moment, until the overseer dismissed him more angrily.
As the rubricist travelled slowly back to his station deep in the under-cellars, his mind was turbulent. He wished he'd never thought to check the deleted remnants. Old files shunted here were – in principle, at least – unreadable, unusable; at least without skills unknown to the Adeptus Mechanicus in these benighted days. He drew his stool up to his writing desk and took a deep breath before striking the rune of ignition on the recovered dataengine.
Lambent runeglow from the dusty slate gave his face an unhealthy and sinister under-lighting. These files were different. The encryption had prevented them being accessed; even by the machine spirits intended to destroy them. Like an airtight travel chest taken down in a shipwreck, the contents had lurked unmarked and unnoted for centuries. Perhaps longer.
The rubricist raised a finger, then hesitated. He bit his lip, then depressed the rune of resurrection. The files spooled. They were incomplete, patchy, but as he began to read, his mouth hung open as wide as his disbelieving eyes...
+ [transcript unclear] [spooling] +
It is the 30th Millennium. For more than twenty-five centuries, mankind has been bound in unceasing genocide, struggle and atrocity. Contact has long been lost with worlds beyond the solar system, and the so-called Dark Age of Technology is an irrelevant myth to the barbaric wretches that grub a living amongst the ruins of Terra. Humanity stands at the brink of creeping extinction.
Since time immemorial, cruel masters, inspirational madmen and monstrous warlords have arisen and burned the world and boiled away the oceans with forbidden arsenals of dirty atomic, biological and alchaemical agents. Each sends their ignorant armies marching across the haunted dustbowls that make up the hostile planet to victory and eventual defeat. Humanity battles for Terra's meaningless territory, meagre resources and thin glory, their lifeblood wetting the dead soil over and over again in forgotten battles.
Mars and Luna have looked away, wracked with their own civil wars, and the cradle world has slipped into irrelevance, a dusty and ruined jewel. Against this, a New Man arose. Long-hidden, he names himself the Master of Mankind. Leading his bio-engineered super-warriors – the dread Thunder Warriors – the warlord conquered one techno-barbarian tribe after another, until the cry was taken up that an Emperor had arisen; an Emperor of blood and steel – and hope.
Building and refining his nascent empire tirelessly, the Emperor's foes gather their strength against this new threat. The Thunder Warriors have been superceded by his new creation, the twenty Legiones Astartes. With this advanced army of elevated post-humans, clad in the finest armour and bearing the best weaponry the Emperor's scientists can craft, the Emperor intends to stare down the jealous eyes of Mars and Luna – and look beyond to the sea of stars itself.
His ambition is boundless, his conviction complete. His vision is as inspiring as it is terrifying – nothing less than casting back the shroud of Old Night and unifying humanity in a mighty galaxy-spanning Imperium.
Before he can strike for the stars, however, Terra must be pacified. Humanity will kneel before the Emperor – or it will be crushed. To be a man in such times is to dwell in terror and ignorance. It is to live in a time of great change; of terror, brotherhood, fear and one last hope. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war. There is no peace amongst mankind, only a future of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
+ [terminax: file ends] [spooling] [Continue?]+
+ First steps ++ A happy new year to you all; hope you've had a great time and are looking forward to 2016. +
+ This is a new project sparked by GW's Betrayal at Calth (BaC) box. I've been building bigger marines for years now, and thought it'd be nice to use the cool models from BaC essentially 'as-is'. As is traditional, I toyed with lots of different Legions, but couldn't decide on one that stood out from the others. +
+ After a while, some ideas percolated. I'd always liked looking at the 'history' hinted at by the background, and I decided I'd look at the development of a Legion from the very beginning – right through from the first battles on Terra, through the Wars of Unification and onto the Great Crusade, where they would meet their Primarch. +
+ Still, that doesn't solve the problem of which Legion. I mulled this over, and then thought – hold on, there's two that have never been looked at. The histories of Legions II and XI are a mystery by the times of the Horus Heresy, but there are lots of little hints hidden away. I really like digging into these, and any history I make up won't be contradicted in the future. +
+ Anyway, enjoy your year. I hope you'll join me on the journey! +