It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries The Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.
Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defense forces, the ever vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse.
To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. 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 the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods…
Deep within the Holy Imperial Palace, past the outer walls, beyond the areas normally traveled, and within sections of the palace so ancient and unused that the layers of dust on the ground were thick enough to rival the finest carpets. Sebastian Oster had finally come to a realization that, at least for a lowly scribe such as himself, was both world shattering and freeing all at once... He had been forgotten!!
Roughly two weeks ago his direct supervisor, Curator Issacs, had ordered him to retrieve scroll VRT-5789071 from supplementary archives room number 347394. After what had felt like an entire day of searching the halls for the room and then searching the room for the scroll Sebastian had finally found what he had been sent to retrieve. But it was only as he exited the archives that he realized he had forgotten to leave some way of finding his way back to a familiar area of the palace and he was now lost.
The next few days had been a blur as Sebastian had wandered the halls of the palace trying to find his way back. All the while growing hungrier and hungrier, eventually the scribe had found his way to a room that he could not bring himself to leave. The room was a large library, but to call it such was to take away from its true beauty. Two of the room’s walls were lined with massive bookshelves that reached from the room’s floor to its ceiling, which was at least 10 meters high. Each of these bookshelves was packed with countless volumes of books containing unknown quantities of knowledge. The far wall was dominated by a large glass window oriented to allow the sunlight to enter the room during sunset. But perhaps even more stunning than this was the room’s center which boasted a large patch of living grass as well as two trees, all of which was centered around a small body of water. These things combined to create what was, in effect, a small park within the library. In addition to this an ornately crafted wooden table and chair sat on the grass in optimal position to allow anyone who used them to enjoy the view of the area to its fullest. The area was serviced by a single servitor which was equipped to care for the room’s flora. But all these things weren’t what kept Sebastian from being able to abandon the room. What inspired him to stay within the library was a small machine that upon activation provided Sebastian with a ration pack.
Now that he was no longer in danger of starving to death and with the belief that he would not be caught, or even looked for, firmly in his head. Sebastian was for the first time in his life able to indulge a part of him that until now he had been too fearful to even admit existed. His natural curiosity!
He’d found a large red boon on the room’s table the other day but had been far too afraid to open it. But now….now he was seated at the table with his hand resting on the book’s cover, he’d read the title ‘Collected Record of Events Involved in the History of Sub-Sector Lumaria
’ and it had sounded interesting. As he prepared to open the book a slight chill of excitement ran though him. After savoring it for a moment Sebastian slowly opened the book and began to read…
Hadrian IV was a peaceful Imperial hive world. As hive worlds go Hadrian IV has always been strategically unimportant. With its greatest export being it’s surplus of human beings for service in the Imperium’s many organizations. Since its founding Hadrian IV has gone unnoticed and ignored by the enemies of man. Because of this Hadrian IV has never known the horrors of war, that are so common throughout the worlds of the Imperium of Man. Until now…
Hadrian IV is suffering under an invasion by a large Ork Waagh! led by Warboss Grotrippa. Due to a logistical error, the amount of Imperial forces that had been marshaled to defend Hadrian IV are in fact many times smaller than they should have been. And now, as the Ork invasion begins the massive numbers of Ork forces attacking the planet are set to quickly overrun Hadrian IV’s defenses.
The situation is in fact so dire that Sector Command has authorized a full withdrawal of major Imperial forces from Hadrian IV in order to regroup and await re-enforcements. It is under these circumstances that a lone inquisitor has found himself within the hive world’s southern hemisphere, where the Ork forces are the most concentrated. Even as the invasion began, his attempts to complete the task which brought him to Hadrian IV led him to Hadrian Secundus, the planet’s southernmost and second largest hive city. But now, with most of his retinue killed by Orks, he is in grave danger of being unable to complete his objectives. Using what few resources he has the inquisitor must gather a new retinue, escape Hadrian Secundus, make his way across the planet, achieve his goal, and escape the doomed plane before it is too late.