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Unification Wars

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Unification Wars
Imperial Eagle by DarkWristband (1)
Attacker Imperium of Man
Defender Terran Techno-Barbarian nation-states
Attacking Commander Emperor of Mankind
Defending Commander Individual rulers of Techno-Barbarian nation-states
Date ca. Late 30th Millennium
Scale Global
Theatre Terra
Strength (attackers) Thunder Warriors, Imperial Army forces
Strength (defenders) Techno-Barbarian Armies
Status Imperial Victory
Outcome Terra is unified under the rule of the Emperor of Mankind

The Unification Wars, also known as the Wars of Unification, the Unity Wars, The Unification or just The Unity, were a series of conflicts fought on Terra during the 30th Millennium at the end of the Age of Strife. It was during these campaigns that the Emperor of Mankind first publicly revealed himself to a desperate humanity and began his conquest of Terra to unify the techno-barbarian nations that dominated the sacred homeworld of Mankind and forge the foundation of the Imperium of Man.

History

During the turbulent era known as the Age of Strife, the Sol System and the nearby star systems that had been colonised by humanity during the Dark Age of Technology were effectively cut off from interstellar travel or communication with each other due to the massive Warp Storms that swept the galaxy as the Immaterium was roiled by the millennia-long gestation of the Chaos God Slaanesh and the turbulence that marked the decay of the Eldar empire before the Fall. During this dark time, Terra sometimes held sway over the Sol System, while at other times the rulers of Mars or Luna were dominant. The different worlds found themselves constantly at war. During this long, 5,000-year-period of anarchy, fear and violence, Old Earth's once unified planetary government had completely broken down and been divided into dozens of warring states of so-called techno-barbarians. Continuous warfare raged across the surface of Terra for 2500 years, beginning in the late 27th Millennium. Little remained of the once sophisticated civilisation of Old Earth's glorious past as the center of a growing human interstellar civilisation marked by advanced science, high culture and wondrous technologies. Techno-barbarian warlords and their warrior hordes continuously fought over the planet, which had become little more than a massive battleground for their wars of attrition. They made use of chemical, biological and even thermonuclear weapons of mass destruction, and slowly transformed the cradle of Mankind into a battered, post-apocalyptic wasteland across most of its scarred surface.

Mark 1 Helm

A Thunder Warrior of the Emperor of Mankind who fought in the Unification Wars of the 30th Millennium

This was a dark period for the people of Old Earth when they were dominated by brutal rulers and despotic tyrants. It was against this backdrop of oppression, violence and casual brutality that the Emperor of Mankind first revealed himself to the people of Terra. In secret, he had been planning for this moment in history for millennia, ever since the Age of Strife had fractured what remained of the ancient human federation. With his massive army of genetically-enhanced warriors who comprised the first units of the Imperial Army and would serve as the prototypes for the later development of the Space Marines, the Emperor began his conquest of Terra with the intent to reunite the warring nations into a unified planetary government and then use Terra as the springboard from which to begin his reconquest of the galaxy under the aegis of an Imperium of Man dedicated to the Imperial Truth of progress and reason. Brutal rulers such as the warlord Kalagann of Ursh, Cardinal Tang of the Yndonesic Bloc, and the most infamous of all, the half-mad, half-genius Nathaniel Dume, the Tyrant of the Pan-Pacific Empire, would all fall by the wayside. Once unleashed, the armies of the Emperor swept all before them like wheat before the harvester's scythe until all the techno-barbarian warlords had either been conquered outright or had agreed through diplomacy to become subservient to the Emperor's will.

During this time the Emperor created a number of military organisations, such as the Imperial Army, which would become the nucleus of the armed forces that would support his Legiones Astartes and his reconquest of the human-settled galaxy. Amongst the early Imperial Army units that saw action during the Unification Wars were such venerable regiments as the Geno Five-Two Chiliad, which would become one of the oldest and most respected regiments within the Imperial Army. Like many of these early regiments, the geno-soldiers were created through the use of some of the Emperor's sophisticated genetic engineering techniques, developed in his laboratories beneath the Himalayan Mountains and on Luna. The most elite of this first generation of genetically-engineered supersoldiers were known as the Thunder Warriors, men who were physically stronger and more formidable in combat than even the later Space Marines, though they were engineered to be vicious killers and lacked many of the more noble aspects of the Astartes as well as their tremendously long lifespans. The Thunder Warriors were engineered to be the means to an end and were never intended to be integrated into the Emperor's new realm after Unity had been achieved. Through genetic engineering and selection the standard geno-soldiers displayed many of the characteristics of the perfect human warrior -- they were physically more resilient, stronger and capable of taking more damage than any of their unaltered techno-barbarian foes. These early genetically-engineered Imperial Army regiments would go on to continue serving the Emperor after the conclusion of the Unification Wars. These regiments would eventually be referred to as the Old Hundred, and would form the core of the initial military force that embarked upon the Emperor's galaxy-spanning Great Crusade in the early 31st Millennium beside his newly created Space Marine Legions.

Unification Wars Techno Barbarian

A Techno-Barbarian of Terra during the Unification Wars

The Emperor accepted the deaths of the many innocents that resulted from the conquest of Terra with great remorse in order to achieve the greater good of unifying humanity and protecting it from the manifest predations of the Warp and predatory xenos of the galaxy. Unimaginably large, full-scale battles during the Unity campaign would last for weeks on end, with body counts in the millions that sundered mountains and split entire continents. Future Imperial scholars would later dismiss these victories as lurid hyperbole, refusing to believe that such clashes of arms could possibly have been fought, but indeed they were. The Imperial historical chronicles tell of the last battle of the Unification Wars, known as the Battle of Mount Ararat, which was fought in the Kingdom of Urartu. During this final battle the remaining Thunder Warriors were slain to a man. The chronicles recorded that the famed Thunder Warrior Arik Taranis, known as the "Lightning Bearer," raised the Banner of Lightning at the final declaration of Unity which established the rule of the Emperor of Mankind over the entirety of Terra before dying of his wounds. It was a measure of the Thunder Warriors' heroic sacrifice that they had all died to win the last and greatest victory for the Emperor. Unfortunately, this heroic version of events was completely false. The Thunder Warriors had not died to a man during the final battle of the Unification Wars. They had been brutally culled from existence by the Emperor's own servants on his orders. The Thunder Warriors had been betrayed by their own creator, a terrible secret skillfully concealed from the people of the Imperium for more than 10,000 Terran years.

When the Unification Wars were complete at the end of the 30th Millennium, the Emperor forged a new unified planetary government under his leadership. He next journeyed to Mars and met with the Adepts of the Cult Mechanicus. In return for the use of the Mechanicus' vast manufactorums, the use of its Titan Legions and the orbital shipyards to construct the weaponry and starships he would need for the Great Crusade to reunite Mankind under the banner of the Imperial Truth, the Emperor agreed to grant the newborn Adeptus Mechanicus complete autonomy on Mars and its other Forge Worlds as well as an exemption to the atheism required by the Imperial Truth. This agreement, known as the Treaty of Mars (the Treaty of Olympus to the Mechanicus), marks the true foundation of the Imperium of Man in the alliance between Terra and Mars.

Techno-Barbarian States

Techno barbarian john blanche

A Techno-Barbarian warlord of Terra during the Unification Wars

The following is a list of the known pre-Unification states that existed on Terra during the Unification Wars and their locations in regard to Old Earth's geography:

  • Achaemenid Empire (Southwest Asia) - The Achaemenid Empire was a techno-barbarian state situated in the Middle East in the area of the pre-1st Millennium Persian Empire, centred roughly in the ancient nation-state of Iran. The Achaemenid Empire is noted as being made up of "wealthy tribes" who were quick to ally with the Emperor's nascent Imperium of Man during the Unification, and therefore avoided the horrors of atomic war and invasion by the Emperor's superior armies of genetically-engineered soldiers. In addition, their genomes were uncontaminated by the inherited flaws and viral defects of other tribes caused by centuries of exposure to lingering radiation and biological warfare vectors, making them good candidates for recruitment into the newborn Space Marine Legions after the Unification was completed. Many early candidates were recruited from this state to become the first Astartes of the Thousand Sons Legion. The Achaemenids possessed a superstitious belief in the mystical power of their ancestors; emblems of Dhul-Qarnayn, the greatest of the Achaemenid kings, were often used as charms against harm by the population.
  • Albia (Albania) - Albia, sometimes called Old Albia, was a techno-barbarian state of Old Earth during the Unification Wars located in what had once been southeastern Europe. Bordering Northern Atlan and known for its ancient warlike clans, the regions of Albia consisted of towering soot-blackened Castram-cities. Albia is known to have clashed frequently with the Panpacific Empire under the rule of the Unspeakable King and were aided by the forces of the Emperor in this conflict. However, the Albians eventually refused to kneel before the Emperor and met His Thunder Warriors with their own proto-Dreadnoughts and armored Ironside Clan soldiers. In battle after battle, the Albians managed to hold back the Emperor's forces but only at staggering cost for the defenders. As a result, this state presented a considerable challenge for the forces of the Emperor during the Unification, so much so that the Emperor, impressed by the determined brutal resistance of the state's defenders, decided to end the fighting and take Albia through negotiations. Admitting the martial temper and indomitable spirit of his foe, the Emperor called for a ceasefire and sought a diplomatic solution. The Emperor appeared before the Albian Clan Lords unarmed and clothed in white and crimson, speaking of His vision for a unified Mankind. He offered them glory among the stars and redemption. To the shock of many, the warlords of Albia, seeing the Emperor as different from past tyrants, accepted His terms and soon became one of the most zealous supporters of unification. Once Albia was under His sovereignty the Emperor saw the Albians as suitable gene-recruits for the nascent XIV Legion (Dusk Raiders). Indeed, such was the suitability of the warriors of these ancient warlike clans for induction into the ranks of the Space Marines that recruits drawn from their Castram-cities and Ironside Clans were also incorporated into the ranks of the First Founding VIII and X Legions, the Night Lords and the Iron Hands, respectively. However, these Legions made use of Albian recruits to a lesser degree than the XIV Legion, who were by blood and culture shaped by the traditions of the warlords of Albia as well as the hand of the Emperor.
  • Albyon (British Isles) - Albyon was a polity on Old Earth during the Age of Strife and the Unification Wars, presumably located in what had once been the British Isles. Its ruler, the tyrannical Uilleam the Red, was defeated by the Emperor's forces and imprisoned in the dungeon of Khangba Marwu in the Himalazian (Himalayan) Mountains. 
  • Boeotia - Boeotia was an area of Terra mentioned in ancient Imperial records as having held out against full Unification for a considerable time. While the government of Boeotia tacitly recognised the Emperor's dominance over the rest of Terra, the ruling monarchy of Boeotia used all manner of diplomacy in order to avoid losing power. In a show of great patience and benevolence, the Emperor allowed the ruling dynasty of Boeotia -- the Yeselti -- to carry on in a semi-autonomous state for over 150 standard years, with the intention that they would integrate themselves into the government of Imperial Terra at their own speed and with as much dignity as possible. Instead, House Yeselti clung to their independence until the Imperial Army was forced to invade the province and the Thousand Sons Space Marine Legion was ordered to crush the rebellious state. Boeotia was known both for the presence of a relatively heavy concentration of industry within its borders and the existence of an ancient buried shrine to the gods of an earlier age.
  • Britonnica (British Isles) - Britonnica was a small island state located in what was once known as the British Isles.
  • Caucasus Wastes (Caucasus Peninsula) - The Caucasus Wastes was a techno-barbarian state located in the Caucasus Peninsula of Europe. Its ruler, known as the Ethnarch of the Caucasus Wastes, was defeated by the forces of the Emperor and imprisoned in the Imperial prison in the Himalazian (Himalayan) Mountains known as Khangba Marwu, The Vault. The primary Imperial force responsible for this outcome was the early XVIII Legion of Space Marines, later known to history as the Salamanders. Although it is entirely likely that the transhuman warriors of the XVIII Legion saw action before their assault on the Caucasus Wastes, the records of these engagements being either deliberately lost, deleted or sealed at the highest level, the first open battle honour recorded for the then-as yet unmatched XVIII Legion was the Assault of the Tempest Galleries during the overthrow of the Ethnarch of the Caucasus Wastes on Terra. It would also prove to be one of the most famous early campaigns for the Legion. Even though it occurred long before the XVIII Legion's reunification with their Primarch Vulkan on Nocturne, this conflict set its seal upon the nature of the Legion and had a profound influence that remains to this day. The conquest of the Caucasus Wastes was one of the last great battles of the Unification Wars that would see at last the Emperor as the undisputed master of Terra, but victory did not prove easy. The mutated eugenicist-oligarchs who ruled the Caucasus Wastes presented the Emperor's forces with one of the most difficult challenges they faced in open warfare. While few in number compared to the zealots of the Yndonesic Bloc or the savage warbands of Ursh, the Caucasus Ethnarchy's power was based on scores of relic-technologies and the terrible weapons in their possession which dated back to before the Age of Strife, while its military forces ranged from the armoured, gene-augmented "Ur-Khasis" troops, roughly analogous to the Emperor's Thunder Warriors, to narcotically-enslaved covens of psykers. The Ethnarchy's strongholds were concealed kilometres deep beneath the hollowed-out mountains of the Wastes and shielded from attack from above by near-impregnable power-filed webs. An attempt by the Imperial forces to take the Ethnarchy's mountain-strongholds by storm earlier in the Unification Wars had met with bloody defeat, with the loss of almost 10,000 Thunder Warriors and more than a million other casualties, but had seen the Caucasus Wastes contained and isolated thereafter. So it was that when the hour of the Emperor's vengeance came around, nothing was to be left to chance. The forces of six entire proto-Legions of the Legiones Astartes were mustered for the final assault on the Caucasus Wastes, along with the massed forces of the Legio Custodes, with the Emperor Himself to lead them, and countless other tributary armies, mechanised battalions and warrior bands beneath the raptor-and-lightning banner of Unification. But, of all of these, the first thrust upon which all else would depend the Emperor entrusted to the nascent XVIII Legion. Although the decision to utilise what they considered to be a largely unknown and untested unit in so vital a role was questioned by many within the Imperial command, the Emperor's will was obeyed. The XVIII would carry the assault, utilising scores of freshly created gigantic "Termite" subterranean boring machines fitted with recently acquired technology from Mars. The full force of the proto-Legion, some 20,000 Astartes strong at this juncture, was committed to what was widely believed to be a suicide mission to destroy the vast geo-thermal furnaces which provided power for the Ethnarchy's impregnable defences. These were housed far below even the subterranean strongholds, and known of only through ancient legend, in a hundred-kilometre-long string of vast, artificially-created caverns known as the Tempest Galleries for the incessant storms of flame and electromagnetic force which bled from the ancient and little-understood relic machineries. The XVIII Legion's Power Armour had been specially-modified for the extreme conditions they were to face, and had been camouflaged in striated patterns of sulphur yellow and sable black. Once they were ready, the XVIII saluted their Emperor and calmly mounted the untested Martian war engines of the Mechanicum and pierced the dark earth and rock at the edge of the Wastes, disappearing into a deadly and unknown world. Soon all signals were lost, and not even the power of the Imperial psykers could penetrate the turbulent depths to maintain contact with the Space Marine assault forces. Hours stretched into days and days became weeks, and nothing was heard from the assault force while the vast army of the Emperor waited in immediate readiness for the grand attack, and no sign or signal came. Pressed by His commanders, it is said the Emperor silenced them and replied; "They shall not fail me, they will return from the fire, thus it shall ever be." Reports claim that moments after the Emperor spoke, great tremors shook the region, their turbulence felt as far away as Gorodak and the Jade Citadel of Hangol. In their wake, the power-webs that had for so long shielded the Caucasus Wastes failed and the full force of the Emperor's wrath fell upon them to their utter destruction. The last Ethnarch of the Caucasus was dragged in chains to the Imperial prison of Khangba Marwu and the buried secrets that had been his strength were taken by the new, now uncontested master of Terra. Of the fate of the XVIII Legion nothing was known until the closing days of the campaign when, far from the Wastes, a long-dormant volcano near Klostzatz shattered and one of the Termite machines hauled itself from the rubble carrying just over a thousand survivors from the XVIII Legion. The taskforce's after-action reports were immediately analysed by the Imperial command structure, and had they not been accompanied by supporting evidence and hololithic records, it is likely that they would have been greeted with disbelief. Almost four-fifths of the XVIII Legion's taskforce had survived the journey to their objective, the rest being destroyed by the plethora of environmental hazards, crushed like eggshells between the grinding tectonic plates or incinerated by seas of magma when their shielding failed. Those who breached the carborundum-lined caverns of the Caucasus Tempest Galleries found a strange, imprisoned world as alien as anything the expeditions of the Great Crusade would find among the stars. Vast kilometre-high spindle-machines turned over caged seas of molten metal drawn from the planet's core, spewing forth coronas of blinding lightning while suspended on silicate webs across which unfathomable and inhuman machines scuttled like spiders. In this airless furnace beyond mortal endurance, the Legionaries of the XVIII found no warrior of the Ethnarch to contest them, for nothing human had set foot in this hell for millennia, but rather the defenders of these sleepless engines, that had turned since before the start of the Age of Strife, were fire-blackened service-automata reacting to the outsiders' threat as antibodies would against an invading infection in a living body. Incredibly strong and built to withstand the ravages of the firestorm that surrounded them, each would have overmatched even the battle-automata of the Mechanicum's Legio Cybernetica in size and power, being products as they were of Mankind's ancient and technologically advanced past. There were thousands of these tempest-automata, and all turned on the Astartes of the XVIII Legion in an implacable and unceasing attack. Neither Plasma nor Melta Weapons could breach their armour, while Bolter shells rippled across them like rain. Only massive kinetic force applied at close range against their articulated joints was able to disable them; a lesson that cost the XVIII hundreds of lives to learn as they were forced into a running battle of attrition with the relentless machines, and cut off when many of their Termite carriers were targeted and crushed by the colossal articulated toothed metal spheres used by the ancient workings to tunnel and expand the galleries. The XVIII Legion held out with a mixture of stoic resilience and suicidal fury, maintaining discipline and order despite the onslaught, while individual Legionaries hurled themselves willingly to their deaths to grapple with the killing machines so that they might be destroyed and their brothers' lives saved. Fighting now for survival from gallery to gallery, they collapsed tunnels and severed the silicate webs behind them to impede their pursuers and buy themselves time, but their casualties were huge, with thousands having perished within the first dozen hours of the conflict, but the precious time they had purchased with blood, however, would be spent well by the survivors, for it would be neither the Legion's immense resilience nor its willing sacrifice that would see them victorious, but their intelligence. Showing the aptitude for technology and craft for which they would become justly famed in later centuries, they began to first use the wreckage of the attacking machinery that surrounded them as salvage to repair and augment their own expended wargear, and soon escalated to tearing from the automatons their central control systems and repairing them sufficiently to be sent crashing back into their own ranks as mindless berserkers. This proved only the start; power conduits were re-directed and machine death-traps created, cyclopean lightning-rods conducting the power of the howling electromagnetic corona above were fashioned into improvised harpoon weapons to burn out the hearts of the largest machine-beasts, rivers of molten metal redirected into service tunnels, atomantic chambers compromised to detonate like miniature suns, shattering engines that had endured for tens of thousands of Terran years. Soon something like a stalemate had been achieved, but at a terrible cost; for less than a third of the XVIII Legion's original number remained, and yet the body of the vast system had been badly wounded, but a mortal blow was not yet struck. In the inaccessible deeps, the ancient implacable Machine Spirit (Artificial Intelligence) that bound the Tempest Galleries together was manufacturing fresh robotic soldiers for its cause, and that was something the Astartes of the XVIII Legion could not match. Realising this strategic reality, the Legion hatched a plan to commit its forces to a single, coherent attack and destroy the Tempest Galleries or die trying. The plan was to attack and cripple the central power transmission node in the largest of the gallery chambers yet discovered, the reasoning being that, even if the vast generator-spindles were not put out of action, it would successfully interrupt the flow of energy to the Ethnarch's defences far above. A two-pronged assault strategy was devised. The first division would mount a series of diversionary attacks at other locations to confuse the enemy. Once this was under way, the second, larger division would assault the power node. It was assumed that while survival was in any way unlikely for the Space Marines of the XVIII Legion, death for the central assault force would be certain. For this reason, the XVIII Legion's surviving commanders acquiesced to the wishes of the Legion's rank-and-file and assigned Legionaries to it by lottery -- not because they had no volunteers for the main assault force, quite the contrary, but because it was the fervent wish of all to take part. When the assault came, the Legionaries thundered from their holdouts and defensive redoubts, many armed with improvised Power Fists and Thunder Hammers, Shock Cannons and cutting saws fashioned from the shattered remains of fallen tempest-automata. With them came their full reserves of munitions and manpower, for nothing was or could be held back. Attacked suddenly from many fronts, the inhuman intelligence which oversaw the Tempest Galleries responded with cold machine logic, efficiently dividing and dispatching its forces to deal with the threats. The fighting was savage but the plan was working, and the concentrated force of the main assault group managed to smash its way into the Great Gallery, its few remaining Dreadnoughts and rapier batteries leading the way. Like a hive of ants crudely kicked open, the tempest-automata responded in a tide of scorched-black metal and snapping servo-claws, slamming into the XVIII Legion head-on across the silicate bridges suspended between the sea of fire below and the hurricane of corposant lightning far above. Bodies by the hundred, machine and Legionary alike, fell broken into the burning abyss, severed power cables sparked furiously, mechanical bodies exploded in sheets of fire and shrapnel, while spilled blood vaporised to steam in the superheated air. Slowly, tortuously, the Legion fought its way to the towering power node at the centre of the gallery, buying each metre of ground taken with dozens of lives. It was then the kraken rose from the depths. A vast articulated beast-machine appeared, the greatest of the robotic engines that maintained the Tempest Galleries, sheathed in armoured scales of synthetic black diamond, molten metal running off it like water. Its coils could have crushed a Battle Titan and were more than sufficient to enwrap and shatter the silicate bridge on which the Legion fought. Their weapons utterly useless against the new foe, the survivors were forced to attempt a fighting retreat they knew was futile as, one by one, the silicate strands were severed and hundreds more fell to their doom. What occurred next can only be guessed at, but the last garbled transmission from the Great Gallery was of one of the huge grav-propelled tunnelling-spheres used by the tempest-automata crashing through the gallery wall and plunging past the kraken-engine and directly at the node-nexus. It is believed that the only possible explanation for this is that one part of the diversionary attack groups had used the confusion of the battle to gain control of one of the colossal serrated tunnelling-spheres and set upon using it as a last ditch weapon. Regardless of the cause, whether Legion-action or the calamity of one of their own automata gone haywire, the node structure exploded, collapsing the gallery around it and blowing out numerous surrounding caverns and tunnels, and creating the earthquakes and tremors felt across the region. The explosion also appears to have murdered the governing Machine Spirit of the galleries, for in the aftermath, the automata simply shut off, the machinery stilled, the vast spindle generators sinking slowly and silently into the fires below, never to turn again. Little more than 1,000 Astartes of the 20,000-strong XVIII Legion survived, and those who did were scattered across the Tempest Galleries, many conducting diversionary attacks at its fringes and once again displaying formidable fortitude and perseverance in regrouping and intelligence in rebuilding one of the damaged Termite transporters for the arduous journey back to the surface. Upon their return, the Emperor Himself gathered the survivors together and awarded them the Laurel of Victory for the campaign against the Ethnarch (to the dissatisfaction of some commanders) to be forever theirs, and their first battle honour, inscribed with the motto: In Fire and Darkness Tested. This was to prove prophetic, and the action at the Tempest Galleries a high bar indeed for the Legion's prowess, and a standard of sacrifice and victory against the odds that would prove a punitive taskmaster for the Legion in the early years of the Great Crusade. It is an interesting addendum to the record of this battle that the XVIII Legion's survivors brought with them from the Tempest Galleries metallurgy and machine craft predating the Age of Strife, the secrets of which, in addition to being given over to the Imperial Command, were retrained by the XVIII Legion itself.
  • Sedna Campaign (Unknown Date.M30) - The Sedna Campaign was another early campaign of the XVIII Legion. Serving alongside seven other Legions, the XVIII fought in utter darkness on the surface of a world constructed by alien hands at the outermost edge of the Sol Sytem, finally leaving the entire Sol System in human hands for the first time since the start of the Age of Strife.
  • Europa (South Central Europe) - Europa was a powerful techno-barbarian state composed of the territory of much of south central Continental Europe, including the Mediterranean Sea lands.
  • Franc (France) - The lands of the Franc were based in the territory of Western Europe, largely in the territory of the ancient nation-state once called France. The people of Franc were known as the Frank, a fractious people before the Unification that did not take kindly to invaders. Havuleq D'agross was the last independent ruler of the Franc, leading a rebellion against Imperial rule and killing the Emperor's appointed territorial governor. His rebellion began in the city of Avelroi, but rapidly spread until he could muster a force of 50,000 rebels, which was largely composed of unskilled militia. They eventually fought the Emperor's forces at the Battle of Gaduare, a line of high hills by the ruins of Guaduare Bastion. There, they were wiped out by a force of less than 5,000 Imperial troops, including an early generation of Space Marines from the Dusk Raiders Legion (the name for the Death Guard Legion before the rediscovery of the Primarch Mortarion).
  • Gyptus (Egypt) - Gyptus was a small techno-barbarian state located in the northeastern portion of the continent of Afrik (North Africa) in the territory of the ancient nation of Egypt.
  • Himalazia (Himalayan Mountains) - The great mountains of Himalazia served as the Emperor of Mankind's original base on Terra. Deep beneath these mountains, the Emperor established the gene-laboratories where he would create the Primarchs and then the gene-seed of the Space Marine Legions. Eventually, the entire chain of great peaks was transformed into the massive complex known as the Imperial Palace.
  • Hy Brasil (Brazil) - Hy Brazil was a powerful techno-barbarian state centered in the former territory of ancient Brazil on the continent of Sud Merica (South America). Hy Brasil was considered the most powerful of all the Sud Merican cantons. During the Unification Wars it was ruled by the despot Dalmoth Kyn, "one of the last tyrants to hold out against the Emperor’s forces." Once he was defeated by the Imperial Army, rule of Hy Brazil passed to Lord Pherom Sichar, a direct descendant of Kyn. Through the direct intervention of Malcador the Sigillite, it was determined that Sichar would never have a seat on the Council of Terra that preceded the establishment of the Senatorum Imperialis as the rulers of a united Terra and the Imperium. Hy Brasil is ruled from the Planalto, a massive hive city cluster or conurbation. Its government is based in the hive city of Sao Paol. The hives of the Planalto draw their power from a series of massive plasma reactors buried in the heart of the main conurbation, whose heat exchange processes mean that the reactor district is caked in thick sheet-ice all year round, forming a gigantic frost park 30 kilometres square. This area was known as the "Winter Fields" and was used for recreation by local inhabitants. Although controlled by the Lord of Hy Brasil, the area (at least following the Unification) also possessed a bicameral parliament. The parliament was divided into upper and lower chambers and was located at the Parliament House on the edge of the Winter Fields in Sao Paol. The building was described as "a splendid structure built from filaments of silvered steel and pylons of a pale stone." The military forces of Hy Brasil were known as "the Dracos" and were allowed to maintain their existence even after the establishment of the Imperial government. The Dracos were known to wear green scaled armour. Elements drawn from the Dracos may well have made up the regiment called the "Ouranti Draks," an Imperial Army Regiment that campaigned with the Word Bearers Legion during the Great Crusade. They are described as "swarthy-skinned fighters exclusively recruited from the desiccated jungle regions of Sud Merica" and wear scaled cloaks and reptilian helmets.
  • Jermani (Germany) - Jermani was a small techno-barbarian state composed of the territory of the ancient central European nation of Germany.
  • Merica (North America) - Merica was a massive and powerful techno-barbarian state composed of the hive cities located on the Nord Merican continent (North America).
  • Nordafrik Conclaves (North Africa) - The Nordafrik Conclaves were comprised of the territory of much of the northern portion of the continent of Afrik (Africa) and thrived during the Age of Strife. The Chronicles of Ursh, an ancient volume dating back to the millennia before the Unification Wars, describes the long and brutal conflict fought between the Nordafrik Conclave and the state of Ursh (Central Asia). The Conclave was eventually defeated by their erstwhile rivals. The Chronicles also describe the use of the dark powers of the Warp being used by both opposing sides.
  • Nordyc (Scandinavia) - Nordyc was a techno-barbarian state located in the lands of what had once been Scandinavia.
  • Orioc (Antarctica) - Orioc was a city-state of Old Earth. Buried in a hollowed-out mountain in Ancient Terra's ice-bound south, it stood throughout the darkness of Old Night, weathering the storms of strife for thousands of standard years. The people of Orioc believed they were the chosen of Ancient Terra's blighted children, and that they alone would outlast the anarchy that had broken so much else. This certainty came from their faith in protection from the spirits of death and life, an ancient pantheon of gods worshiped by the people of Orioc. During the Unification Wars, when the Emperor's eye finally turned to the mountain city, He seemed to have known that soft words and diplomatic overtures would be of little use. The XVII Space Marine Legion, the Imperial Heralds, came to the city and gave it a choice -- kneel and accept the Imperial Truth, or be destroyed. The Priest Kings of Orioc did not even hear the message before they gave their answer. Fire met the Imperial Heralds' transport and as it fell to the ice plains, the XVII Legion began their attack. Macro bombers came out of the snow-filled sky and the mountain cracked under a rain of seismic charges. On the mountain's flanks, siege tanks coughed shell after shell into fractures in the rock, breaking them wide open. Behind the wind came the grey armoured warriors advancing in a relentless drum roll of gun fire and the hiss of flame. After three solar hours of battle, the remaining populace was a huddled flock, crammed intro the central cavern. With every other tunnel and cavern district wiped clean of life, the XVII Legion halted, sealing the ways in and out of the central cavern. As the survivors waited in fretful silence, they wondered what fate awaited them. Their answer came in a rain of shattered stone and red fire, as the elite Iconoclasts of the Imperial Heralds, the Astartes of the merciless special formation known as the Ashen Circle, descended on the last idolators like comets flung from a destroyed heaven. All burned, none were spared, and when it was done, the XVII Legion overloaded the geothermal power plants beneath the mountain, causing lava to fill the caverns, swallowing the stone idols, and exploding the city-state from the wounds in the mountain's flanks. So fell Orioc, and the message of its death carried across Ancient Terra and beyond: faith in false gods would bring only ruin and ashes.
  • Pan-Pacific Empire (East Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands) - The Pan-Pacific Empire was a techno-barbarian state composed of the Pacific Islands and what had once been the territories of parts of East Asia, Australia and the Japanese Islands that flourished during the Age of Strife. Narthan Dume, the Tyrant of the Pan-Pacific Empire, is described in ancient sources as being "half-mad/half-genius" and is considered the most infamous of all the tyrannical rulers who dominated Terra during this dark period. He was eventually defeated by the forces of the Emperor during the Unification Wars, removed from power and imprisoned within the great Imperial prison of Khangba Marwu, releasing his people from their oppression.
    • Vhnori  - During the early years of the Great Crusade after ca. 800.M30, alliances and oaths were still fresh, untested or half-formed. Even as the Imperium of Man extended beyond the Sol System for the first time, the domains left in its wake were often of questionable stability and loyalty. Attempted rebellions and conspiracies were common. The Imperium usually put most of these insurrections down swiftly and without fanfare. However, occasionally a few rebellions required a different response; not simply subjugation but retribution. Vhnori was a Terran city enclave, a natural fortification built into the walls of a series of chasms for easy defence that had once been a part of the Pan-Pacific Empire. Vhnori had been one of the last of the tyrant Narthan Dume's domains to fall during the Unification Wars. The people of Vhnori did not take easily to the Imperial yoke, as they submitted to the Emperor's rule in sullen silence. This changed, however, with the coming of the Crimson Walkers, a cabal of psykers, gene-splicers and warlords who had once served the last great Terran tyrants of the Age of Strife. Bit by bit they had gathered followers and resources, spreading a secret web across Terra. The centre of their resurgence was Vhnori. It seemed the Crimson Walkers were determined to pull a part of Terra back into the nightmare of the recent past. When the Emperor heard of the rise of this reborn threat, He is said to have spoken three words: "Send in the Eighth!" The VIII Legion did not respond right away, as its force within the Sol System at that time only numbered a little over 500 warriors: a large force of Astartes but not one that could overwhelm a city of millions. When the VIII Legion began their campaign of fear, it started with an orbital bombardment falling from the night sky which lasted for six solar hours. Following the bombardment, the artificial darkness remained. Soon a heavy downpour thick with chemicals rained upon the millions of fearful inhabitants from the seeded clouds above. The VIII Legion arose from the abyss on jets of flame, butchering any who crossed their paths. The screams of terror and battle echoed through their drug-weakened minds. The Crimson Walkers responded by unleashing an army of mutant monstrosities, but still the VIII Legion came on, slicing abominations apart with lightning-sheathed claws. They screamed with the voices of the dead as they fought, their speaker grills shouting out the recorded sounds of suffering, pain and loss. When the chasms were blazing like the mouth of a mythical hell, the Drop Pods fell. The reinforcements converged on the chasms, cutting their way through the city sprawl, killing any they found. Soon, the remaining Crimson Walkers faced their doom fragmented, harrowed and cut-off from one another, until they were cornered by the figures in midnight-clad blue Power Armour. Those who reached the blasted border surrounding the city found themselves hunted by the VIII Legion's Seeker Squads. It is said that the VIII Legion allowed many to run, before hunting them down through the long hours of the artificial night, maiming but never killing, until dragging their broken quarry back to the chasm. With Vhnori screaming and burning, the VIII Legion performed their last duty. Alive, and healed so that they were conscious, they threw the Crimson Walkers into the chasm. Then they detonated charges along the cliff edge, severing the hanging city from the cliff face, the screams of the ten millions who had sheltered from the fighting in the cliff-bound buildings reaching up to the sky as they followed the Crimson Walkers into the black depths of the Earth. The VIII Legion left the decimated city before dawn came again, cementing their reputation for the use of fear and terror as effective weapons of Imperia retribution and control.
  • Urals/Terrawatt Clan (Ural Mountains) - The Urals/Terrawatt Clan territory was a small techno-barbarian state located in the territories surrounding the Ural Mountains that flourished during the Age of Strife. Beneath Mount Narodnya was the greatest forge of the Urals, where the toiling forge-masters once served the Terrawatt Clan during the Unification Wars. It was here that the Primarchs Fulgrim of the Emperor's Children and Ferrus Manus first met.
  • Urartu (Asia Minor) - The Kingdom of Urartu was the last of the techno-barbarian states to be conquered militarily by the Emperor's forces and its conquest marked the end of the Unification Wars and the birth of the Imperium of Man. The Imperial historical chronicles tell that the last battle of the Unification Wars, known as the Battle of Mount Ararat, was fought within the territory of Urartu atop a mountain that had once been flooded and lay underwater. During this final battle the chronicles say that the remaining Imperial Thunder Warriors were slain to a man. The chronicles recorded that the famed Thunder Warrior Arik Taranis, known as the "Lightning Bearer," raised the Banner of Lightning at the final declaration of Unity which established the rule of the Emperor of Mankind over the entirety of Terra before dying of his wounds. In truth, the Thunder Warriors were all secretly culled from existence on the Emperor's own orders after the Battle of Mount Ararat by his other servants because they were no longer necessary to his grand design and he wished to replace them with a more advanced genetic template for his genetically-engineered supersoldiers who would become the Space Marines.
  • Ursh (Central Asia/Russia) - Ursh was a techno-barbarian state that was located in the steppes of what had once been Russia and Central Asia. Ursh was the mightiest of the techno-barbarian empires on Terra before the Unification Wars and was therefore the largest and strongest enemy the Emperor's forces had to face during that long conflict. Though Ursh was a strong empire, it was not as technologically advanced as several of the other techno-barbarian states. For example, the acquisition of superior military machines from the Nordafrik Conclaves was the main reason cited in the Chronicles of Ursh for Ursh's decision to launch that infamous ancient war against its southern neighbour. Ursh was ruled by the despot and warlord named Kalagann at the time of the Unification Wars. Kalagann was described as being of cruel character, and commanding vast armies of techno-barbarians. Kalagann was known for wearing a distinctive Artificer suit of Power Armour known as the Armour of Pearl, which by the time of the Horus Heresy was kept as a trophy in the atrium of the Eternity Gate of the Imperial Palace. Other high positions within the government of Ursh were all filled by military warlords including Lurtois, Sheng Khal (also known as Shang Khal) and Quallodon. Kalagann's infamous exploits were documented in the ancient manuscript called the Chronicles of Ursh, which would later be considered by Imperial scholars as a classic work of human literature that provided valuable insight into this pre-Unification state's rise and the wars of the Ursh against the Nordafrik Conclaves. The Chronicles of Ursh mentions the influence of "primordial gods" upon Kalagann and the Ursh. Also, the sorcerous powers of Kalagann mentioned in the Chronicles of Ursh formed the main part of Ursh's military power. As such, it is highly likely that the Chaos Gods were the true lords of Ursh, and Kalagann was merely one of their puppets, manipulated to do their bidding. Despite their influence and favour, the Dark Gods failed to save Kalagann when he faced the forces of the Emperor of Mankind, which eventually resulted in the defeat of Ursh and Kalagann's death. The armies of Ursh consisted mostly of unaltered human soldiers. Kalagann also employed powerful psykers within his armies, using their arcane abilities to unleash the foul powers of the Warp upon his enemies, including the Imperial Army. Some of Ursh's troops are known by name including:
    • The Roma - The Roma were organised mercenary fliers who fought for the forces of Ursh. Highly-skilled pilots, they were said to never touch the earth beneath them. They were trained to carry out pinpoint aerial attacks, and were therefore of great value to the generals of Ursh.
    • The Red Engines - Both the Red Engines and the Tupelov Lancers followed the command of the warlord Sheng Khal. The Red Engines were masters of the siege, and possessed siege engines able to raze whole fortresses or hive cities to the ground.
    • The Tupelov Lancers - The Lancers are described as screaming berserkers. These warriors were trained for close-combat action, and proved ruthless and deadly. In many ways they were a model for the later tactics of the World Eaters Legion of Space Marines.
    • Oneirocriticks - The Oneirocriticks were the personal counsellors of the Ursh warlord Sheng Khal. Their name means "interpreters of dreams," in the ancient Urshian dialect of Low Gothic, but it is likely that they used some kind of Warp sorcery to guide Shang Khal in his actions.
    • Wrathsingers - This specialised unit was likely comprised of practitioners of sorcery that bent the powers of the Warp to their will. They were able to use their psychic abilities or "magic" as the Chronicles of Ursh names their abilities, to change the environment to their advantage or to kill men from afar with their "spells."
  • Yndonesic Bloc (Indonesia) - The Yndonesic Bloc was a techno-barbarian state located in what was once Southeast Asia. As late as the time of the Horus Heresy in the 31st Millennium, the Yndonesic Bloc, though an integral part of the Imperium of Man, still retained a distinct regional identity on Terra. The Yndonesic Bloc was ruled by a man named Cardinal Tang, the tyrannical "Ethnarch," during the closing years of the Age of Strife before the Unification. He wished to "return the world to a pre-technological age", burning "scientists, mathematicians and philosophers" who opposed his church's views. Tang imposed a genocidal policy that consisted of forced breeding between only "genetically compatible" citizens of the Bloc, combined with a eugenics program that aimed for the pursuit of racial hygiene through the use of compulsory sterilizations and the genocidal extermination of "undesirables." Those that defied these enforced edicts were punished brutally. Imperial history would later characterise Tang's rule as one of "bloody pogroms, death camps and genocides." Tang was eventually overthrown by his own people during the rise of the nascent Imperium and was imprisoned in the notorious penal colony of Nusa Kambagan (which would later become a productive Imperial Hive City). Tang tried to conceal his true identity and hide amongst the general population. But only a few days after his arrival, Tang's fellow inmates learned of his true identity and murdered the former despot. The military unit known as the Stormbird was developed by the Yndonesic Bloc and used against the Pan-Pacific Tribes during the Unification Wars. No information is available in Imperial records to identify what the Stormbird was, though it was likely a weapon used against those techno-barbarian states that allied with the Emperor's growing forces.

Oceans of Terra

By the time of the Unification Wars there was only one remaining ocean on Terra -- the so-called Great Ocean -- which was the ancient Pacific Ocean. The size of the Pacific was vastly smaller than it once was, due to the vaporisation of a massive stretch of the ocean during the nuclear wars that had consumed much of Old Earth in the lost years of the Age of Strife. This missing portion of the Pacific stretched from the Marianas Trench down past Australia and all the way to the frozen continent of Antarctica. The Atlantic Ocean had also been largely vaporised as the great body of water that had once been near Europe was now mostly gone, particularly to the south of what had been the Iberian Peninsula. Other, smaller, bodies of water may still have remained during this time, as a great body of water is recorded to have been present in the region of Eurasia where the Caspian Sea had lain in ages past. These bodies of water still existed at the start of the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium, but by the time of the 41st Millennium, Terra had no free-standing bodies of water, having become a true ecumenopolis, a world completely covered by the dense urban areas of massive hive cities. Within these human hives toiled the tens of billions of Adeptus Terra bureaucrats and serfs required to keep the decaying heart of the Imperium of Man pumping.

Gallery

Sources

  • Warhammer 40,000: Compendium, "History of Space Marine Armour"
  • Warhammer 40,000: Compilation (1st Edition), pp. 19-20
  • Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th Edition)
  • Horus Rising (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 69, 118, 194, 261-264
  • False Gods (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 7, 9, 39, 59, 68, 127, 320
  • Galaxy In Flames (Novel) by Ben Counter, pp. 20, 39-40, 68, 77
  • Flight of the Eisenstein (Novel) by James Swallow, pp. 20, 92, 283
  • Fulgrim (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 8-9, 48, 101, 147, 164, 183-184, 193, 216, 307
  • Legion (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 10, 89
  • Mechanicum (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 35, 43, 58, 75, 110, 119, 182-183
  • A Thousand Sons (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 11, 30, 34, 40, 66, 101, 111, 117, 180, 198, 216
  • Prospero Burns (Novel) by Dan Abnett, pp. 12, 23-28, 31-41, 57-58, 85, 193-194, 293
  • Tales of Heresy (Anthology), "Blood Games", by Dan Abnett and "The Last Church" by Graham McNeill, pp. 21-28, 30, 33-35, 39, 237, 248-249, 253-255, 261, 263-264
  • The Outcast Dead (Novel) by Graham McNeill, pp. 17, 56-57, 67, 94, 183-184, 208, 387, 391, 420
  • The Death of a Silversmith (Short Story) by Graham McNeill, pp. 5, 8

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