- From iron cometh strength! From strength cometh will! From will cometh faith! From faith cometh honour! From honour cometh iron! This is the Unbreakable Litany and may it be forever so.—The Unbreakable Litany of the Iron Warriors, Warhammer 40,000
The Imperium of Mankind
- By or about the Imperium of Man generally
My will be done.-The Immortal God-Emperor of MankindNo world shall be beyond my rule. No enemy beyond my wrath.-The EmperorThe universe has many horrors yet to throw at us. This is not the end of our struggle. This is just the beginning of our crusade to save Humanity. Be faithful! Be strong! Be vigilant!-The EmperorOne cannot consider the fate of a single man, nor ten, nor a thousand. Billions will live or die by our actions here, and we have not the luxury to count the cost.-Inquisitor Kryptmann-The Imperium! How mighty its aspect! How far-reaching its boundaries! As one world dies ten more are brought into the fold. Fear us, for we count the lives of planets, not men!-Cardinal Mortius Blate, Ecclesiarch PrimusDo not presume to judge me or the methods I choose to employ, petty-minded fool. You cannot comprehend the magnitude of the tasks I have undertaken, nor the consequences of my failure.-Inquisitor Lichtenstein, declared Excommunicate Traitoris 998.M41Some may be able to avoid the judiciaries of the Adeptus Arbites, fewer may be able to face off against the Imperial Guard and the Adeptus Astartes, but let it be known that none can stand against the Officio Assassinorum.-unattributedI have fought as a God fights. I am Imperius Dictatio. Kneel before me and beg for you lives!-Princeps Ervin Hekate, commander of the Warlord-class titan Imperius DictatioI don't have time to die! I'm TOO BUSY!-High Lord Goge Van DireThe tracks on the Land Raider crush the heretics,Crush the heretics, crush the heretics.The tracks on the Land Raider crush the heretics,All day long.-Imperial Nursery-RhymeThe Emperor protects.-Practically every character in the Imperium
- By or about the Space Marine Legions:
Tell them ruin has come to their world, death, despair and red war. Tell them their hopes and pride have come to nothing. Tell them their empty whispers fall upon deaf ears - their gods are dead, human logic has killed them. Tell them the Angels of Death have come. Tell them that nothing can save them now.-Perturabo, Primarch of the IV LegionFear our name, for it is vengeance.-Rhetoricus of the Imperial FistsAre we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?-Fergas Nils, Chaplain"They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them and in the furnace of war I shall forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest gun shall they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies and machines such that no foe will best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the terror. They are the defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines... ... and they shall know no fear.We are the Ultramarines, the Sons of Guilliman. Whilst we draw breath, we stand. Whilst we stand, we fight. Whilst we fight, we prevail. Nothing shall stay our wrath.-Marneus Calgar, Chapter Master of the UltramarinesDo not ask me to approach the battle meekly, to creep through the shadows, or to quietly slip on my foes in the dark. I am Rogal Dorn, Imperial Fist, Space Marine, Emperor's Champion. Let my enemies cower at my advance and tremble at the sight of me.-Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the VII LegionLorgar of Colchis. You may consider the following. One: I entirely withdraw my previous offer of solemn ceasefire. It is cancelled, and will not be made again, to you or to any other of your motherless bastards. Two: you are no longer any brother of mine. I will find you, I will kill you, and I will hurl your toxic corpse into hell's mouth.-Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the XII Legion, channeling Liam NeesonSpace Marines excel at warfare because they were designed to excel at everything.-Guilliman again.Let them hide in their fortress. My crew could use the target practice.-Antaro Chronus, the Spear of MacraggeNo brother falls forgotten.-Erikon GaiusA foe without honour is a foe already beaten.-Anciet HelveticusA battle for supremacy against many foes is a battle of the best kind. There are few considerations, only those concerning where to place your next shot. It is war in its purest form.-Cmdr KarzielNo, NO! You would have me leave the side of my sworn battle-brothers in their darkest hour? I refuse!...On my honour as a son of Macragge, I choose to defy it. Even if it means I will perish here, even if you colour me a rebel like Lorgar's turncoats, I defy it!-Tylos Rubio (*after receiving an order to retreat from the second-in-command of the entire Imperium)We are the slayers of kings, the destroyers of worlds, bringers of ruination and death in all its forms. These things we do in the name of the Emperor and in the defense of Mankind. Let none stay our wrath.-Cato SicariusOur presence remakes the past.-Inscribed on the Ultramarines' Chapter BannerThe Space Marines fear no evil, for we are fear incarnate.- Konrad Curze, Primarch of the VIII LegionI am Nathaniel Garro, and I am a Legion of One.-Battle-Captain Garro of the Dusk RaidersI am the hammer! I am the hate! I am the woes of daemonkind!-Warcry of the Grey Knights Chapter.The Chapter might lose us and the Imperium might never know we existed, but the Enemy - the Enemy will know. The Enemy will remember. We will hurt it so badly that it will never forget us until the stars burn out and the Emperor vanquishes it at the end of time. When Chaos is dying, its last thought will be of us. That is our memorial - carved into the heart of Chaos. We cannot lose, Grey Knights. We have already won.-Justicar Alaric of the Grey Knights.The uniforms of the Imperial Guard are camouflaged in order to protect their wearers by hiding them from sight. The principle is that what the enemy cannot see he cannot kill. This is not the way of the Adeptus Astartes. A Space Marine’s armour is bright with heraldry that proclaims his devotion to his Chapter and the beloved Emperor of Mankind. Our principle is that what the enemy can see, he will soon learn to fear…-Aston of the Firehawks ChapterI was on Prospero, brothers. I was there when we burned their heresy from the galaxy. I saw Leman Russ lay waste to their cherished places. I saw Traitors weep from corrupted eyes as we turned their pyramids of glass into barren wasteland. That will not happen here. They were made weak by the knowledge of their treachery. We are made strong by the knowledge of our fidelity. Where Tizca fell, the Aett will stand. Though it may cost the lives of us all, the Aett will stand.-Bjorn the Fell-Handed, Dreadnought of the Space Wolves, Eldest, Honored One, Trueclaw, Last of the Company of RussWe may be few, and our enemies many. Yet so long as there remains one of us still fighting, one who still rages in the name of justice and truth, then by the Allfather, the galaxy shall yet know hope.-Wolf Lord Ragnar of the Space WolvesListen closely Brothers, for my life's breath is all but spent. There shall come a time far from now when our chapter itself is dying, even as I am now dying. Then my children, I shall list'n for your call from whatever realms of death hold me, and come I shall no-matter what laws of life and death forbid. At the end I will be there. For the final battle. For the Wolftime.-Leman Russ, Primarch of the VI LegionWherever you are, tread lightly. We are closer than you think, and our blades are sharp.-Third Captain Shrike of the Raven GuardTo take a town, send a legionary. To take a city, send a squad. To take a world, send a company. To take a culture, send a Chapter.-Ultramarines proverbCamouflage is the colour of fear... I have no need to hide from my foes... I have no fear of death. My colours I wear openly, they proclaim louder than any words, "I am proud to live - I am proud to die."-Commander CullnFor eleven hundred years, I have fought and I have seen the darkness in our galaxy. I have seen the vileness of the alien and the heresy of the mutant. I have witnessed the sin of possession. I have seen all the evil that the galaxy harbours, and I have slain all whose presence defiles the Emperor. I have seen what you will see. I have fought what you must fight, and I have slain what you must slay... so fear not and be proud, for we are the sons of Sanguinius, the protectors of Mankind. Aye, we are indeed the Angels of Death.-Cervan Dante, Master of the Blood AngelsSurround yourself with the greatest warriors at your command, or cower in the deepest and darkest hole you can find. It matters not. I shall take your head for the Great Khan and for the Emperor.-Kor'sarro Khan of the White ScarsThis galaxy is the Emperor's, and anyone or anything that challenges that claim is an enemy that shall be destroyed.-High Marshal Helbrecht of the Black TemplarsWhat is the terror of death?
That we die, our work incomplete.
What is the joy of life?
To die, knowing our task is done.-Litany of the Black TemplarsNo fear, no remorse, no pity!-Black Templars war-cryMy sword shall not waver, nor my heart weaken. I shall drown the xeno in his own blood. I shall smite glorious ruin upon the heretic. This I swear!-Black Templar oath.My name is Gerhart! I am of the sword brethren of Marshall Korneliusz's fighting company. Now tell me- who wants to be the first?-Sword-Brother Gerhart of the Black Templars++TANKRED ENDURES++-Ancient TankredRepent! For tomorrow you die!-Battle cry of the Dark Angels
- By or about the Imperial Guard
To each of us falls a task. And all the Emperor requires of us Guardsmen is that we stand in line, and we die fighting. It is what we do best: we die standing.-General Sturnn, Cadian 412thI have followed you too far to fail now Ghazghkull Thraka. I bear the gift of death. You cannot outrun me. There's no place in this universe where you can hide. I have waited a long time for vengeance. I'm tired but not so tired I cannot kill you. Maybe then I won't see the faces of the dead. Maybe then I'll be able to sleep.Commissar Sebastian YarrickHeroes of Armageddon! You have withstood the evil savagery of the Orks, and they have nothing left for you to fear. So raise high the black banners of vengeance - for now is our time.-more YarrickWhat is the strongest weapon of mankind? The god-machines of the Adeptus Mechanicus? No! The Astartes Legions? No! The tank? The lasgun? The fist? Not at all! Courage and courage alone stands above them all!-Lord Solar Macharius, Second Warmaster of the ImperiumThe meaning of victory is not to merely defeat your enemy but to destroy him, to completely eradicate him from living memory, to leave no remnant of his endeavours, to crush his achievement and remove all record of his very existence. From that defeat there is no recovery. That is the meaning of victory.-Macharius again.Doing the Emperor's work is its own reward. But this is quite satisfying.-Sgt. Alem Mahat, Tallarn Desert Raiders, overseeing a mass executing of heretics.I am a Commissar. I am empowered to deliver justice wherever I see it lacking. I am empowered to punish cowardice. I am granted the gift of total authority to judge, in the name of the Emperor, on the field of combat.-Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, 81st/1st Tanith-BelladonI am known to be a fair man, until I am pushed. You have just pushed me.-Gaunt again.I hate last stands. There's never time to practice 'em.Maj. Elim Rawne, 81st/1st Tanith-BelladonWe hold them here or we fight them on the hallowed ground of Terra itself. I for one would rather see a million human lives lost here than allow a single Ork to set foot on Earth.-General Pavlov, Armageddon Steel LegionWe're the Death Korps of Krieg, son. Did you think that was just a pretty name? We never retreat. We fight and we die, that's the Krieg way.-Lt. Konarski, 933rd Death KorpYour foe is well equipped, well-trained, battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have tanks on ours.-Col. Pfieff, Krieg 14th ArmoredI have seen war in all its forms. I have seen feral world savages braining each other with stones, and I have monitored the death of a whole planet at the hands of a virus bomb. I have seen Space Marines drop to certain death, and win. I have seen Titans crush whole platoons underfoot. But there is no more stirring sight in war than the charge of massed cavalry.-Tpr Ajjir, 9th Tallarn HussarsEnemies of the Imperium, hear me. You have come here to die. The Immortal Emperor is with us and we are invincible. His soldiers will strike you down. His war machines will crush you under their treads. His mighty guns will bring the very sky crashing down upon you. You cannot win. The Emperor has given us his greatest weapon to wield. So make yourselves ready. We are the First Kronus Regiment, and today is our Victory Day.-Governor-Militant Lukas AlexanderThough our tanks and artillery are mighty, it is the vast ranks of Imperial Guardsmen that shall trample the enemy to dust - let them come.-Ursakar Creed, Tactical GeniusI left my homeworld the night it died, and I've been fighting for its memory ever since. We Tanith are a dying breed. There are only about twenty hundred of us left. Gaunt only got away with enough for one regiment. The Tanith First. The First-and-Only. That's what makes us 'Ghosts', you see. The last few unquiet souls of a dead world. And I suppose we'll keep going until we're all done.-Tpr Dermon Caffran, Tanith 1stI could choke the Great Eye itself if I had enough bodies to march into it.-Lord Militant Hector DravereI have at my command an entire battle group of the Imperial Guard. Fifty regiments, including specialized drop troops, stealthers, mechanized formations, armored companies, combat engineers and mobile artillery. Over half a million fighting men and thirty thousand tanks and artillery pieces are mine to command. Emperor show mercy to the fool that stands against me, for I shall not.-Warmaster DemetriusLet's see how those degenerate sophisticates handle a healthy dose of pure unreasoning violence.-Veteran-Sergeant Jarran Kell, on the EldarWhatever happens, we have got
The Emperor's blessing,
They have not.-Imperial Guard MaximWhere I fall ten more shall take my place! And one-hundred each of them! So strike me down! I am the harbinger!-Ollanius Pius before being struck down by Horus
The Xenos Threat
- By or about the Craftworld Eldar
The stars themselves once lived and died at our command, and yet you still oppose our will.-Farseer Mirehn BiellannFeel the rush of the wind against your skin and hear her keening cry in your ears. Listen to her call well, for are we not the Wild Riders, the children of the storm?-Nuadhu FireheartWe bring only death, and leave only carrion. It is a message even a Human can understand.-Requiel, Fire Dragon
- By or about the Tau Empire
I do not fear death. Death fears ME!-Shas'O Sa'cea Dre'koran Ta'arA Broken Sword May Still Cut-Generic Tau Commander in Dawn of War: Retribution
- By or about the Dark Eldar
We own this night, just as we own the fear that runs in your veins. You may think your numbers protect you, but we shall feast upon your souls before the dawn!-Kilarq Tongueblade, Kabal of the Lacerated EyeYou think to challenge me, pitiful human? I, the bane of empires, the father of pain? Let me educate you; I need a new pet...-Archon K'shaic, Kabal of the Black Lotus
- By or about the Orks:
I'm da hand of Gork and Mork, dey sent me to rouse up da boyz to crush and kill 'cos da boyz forgot what dere 'ere for. I woz one of da boyz till da godz smashed me in da 'ead an' I 'membered dat Orks is meant to conquer and make slaves of everyfing they don't kill. I'm da profit of da Waaagh an' whole worlds burn in my boot prints. On Armour-Geddem, I led da boyz through da fire deserts and smashed da humies' metal cities to scrap. I fought Yarik, old one-eye at Tarturus, an' he fought good but we smashed iz city too. I'm death to anyfing dat walks or crawls, where I go nothin' stands in my way. We crushed da stunties on Golgotha, an' we caught old one-eye when da speed freeks blew da humies' big tanks ta bits. I let 'im go 'cause good enemies iz 'ard to find, an' Orks need enemies ta fight like they need meat ta eat an' grog ta drink. I iz more cunnin' than a grot an' more killy than a dread, da boyz dat follow me can't be beat. On Pissenah we jumped da marine-boyz an' our bosspoles was covered in da helmets we took from da dead 'uns. We burned dere port an' killed dere bosses an' left nothin' but ruins behind. I'm Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka an' I speak wiv da word of da gods. We iz gonna stomp da 'ooniverse flat an' kill anyfing that fights back. We iz gonna do this coz' we're Orks an' we was made ta fight an' win!- Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, Graffiti on Warlord Battle Titan wreckage
Chaos, the Archenemy
- Death to the False Emperor-Jago "Sevatar" Sevatarion, Prince of CrowsSo I am often told.-SevatarI'd rather not have to kill you. My spear is all the way over there.SevatarI am the Arch-fiend, the Despoiler of Worlds, and by my hands shall the false Emperor fall.-Abaddon the DespoilerWith the thirty-seven keys of Tzeentch, we open the way for our brothers. With the thousand whispers of Slaanesh, we call to them. With the twelve plagues of Nurgle, we fell their enemies. And with the mighty axe of Khorne, we cut open the world for them.-Amphion & Zethus, sorcerers of the Word BearersThe day will not save them. And we own the night.-Horus, Warmaster of ChaosLet the galaxy burn.-Horus again.Understand, mortals, that every one of you, each of your so-called champions, is just a piece in the Great Game of our Masters.-Daemon of ChaosSlay without pity, triumph without remorse. You are the legions of Khorne, His fauvorite warriors. You shall bring defeat and death to His enemies. You shall crush their worlds under your heels. To battle! Let blood flow in His name!-Rorath'rath the Skullweaver, daemon of KhorneDo not ask which creature screams in the night. Do not question who waits for you in the shadow. It is my cry that wakes you in the night, and my body that crouches in the shadow. I am Tzeentch and you are the puppet that dances to my tune.Karantzor the Vile of the Thousand SonsThough my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire.-Lugft Huron, Tyrant of Badab, Pirate-King of the MaelstromIron Within! Iron Without!'-Iron Warriors battle-cry.From Iron, cometh Strength. From Strength, cometh Will. From Will, cometh Faith. From Faith, cometh Honour. From Honour, cometh Iron. This is the Unbreakable Litany, and may it forever be so.-Unbreakable Litany of the Iron WarriorsThough the gates that stand between the mortal world and the immortal Realm of Chaos are now closed to me, still I would rather die having glimpsed eternity than never to have stirred from the cold furrow of mortal life. I embrace death without regret as I have embraced life without fear.-Kargos Bloodspitter of the World EatersI murdered thousands for the Emperor and he gave me nothing except his damning silence. Now his lapdogs yap for every life I take, while the gods promise me the galaxy.-Svane Wulfbad, renegade lord of the Space WolvesIn the embrace of the great Nurgle, I am no longer afraid, for with His pestilential favour I have become that which I once most feared: Death.-Kulvain Hestarius of the Death GuardDeath is nothing compared to vindication.-Night HaunterDeath stalks the darkness, and he knows your name.-Night Haunter again.The Dark Gods and their slaves have nothing to offer me now, but I have far more to offer them.-Fabius BileToday, we kill a God!-Chaos Space Marine, facing an Avatar of KhaineBrothers! Welcome to the feast! Tell me, which among you will be the first course?-Lucius the Eternal, Chosen of Slaanesht is the fate of the weak to die unknown, and the destiny of the strong to rule for eternity. Give me glory, or give me death!-Gauwe PsgasI am Talos of the Night Lords. And you are coming with me...-Talos ValcoranWe have come for you!-Night Lords battle-cryWe fight the long war, not through vain notions of duty and honour, but through a far purer purpose: hatred. At the height of our glory we were betrayed and cast out by our kin. Guilliman, Dorn, Sanguinius - these are names I curse. Horus, Perturabo, Angron - these are names I revere, names I would follow to the very end. It is this hatred that has sustained me through the long millennia. I tend it with bitterness. I nurture it with the deaths of my former brothers. For I know that when the end is upon us and Horus is returned, then the false emperor shall be cast down from his sepulchral Golden Throne, and we shall take our rightful place at the side of Horus, the true Emperor of Mankind.-Ferrous Ironclaw, Warsmith of the Iron Warriors 2nd Grand Company
- It is, of course, present in Warhammer as well.
- "I'm gonna stomp 'em to dust. I'm gonna grind their bones. I'm gonna burn down dere towns and cities. I'm gonna pile 'em up inna big fire and roast 'em. I'm gonna bash 'eads, break faces, and stomp on da bits dat are left. An' den I'm gonna get really mean." —Grimgor Ironhide, Black Orc Warboss
- "There are no problems that cannot be solved with cannons." — Chief Engineer Boris Krauss of Nuln
- "There are countless worlds beyond the void of chaos, endless kingdoms to conquer, cities to sack, forests to burn, warriors to slay in their millions. But by Khorne, I have chosen this world to conquer, and conquer it I shall, even if it takes a thousand millennia." — Khastarax, Daemon Prince of Khorne
- "Fear me mortals, for I am the Anointed, the Favoured Son of Chaos and Scourge of this world. The armies of the Gods rally behind me, and it is by my will and by my sword that your weakling nations shall fall." — Archaon the Everchosen.
- "One hundred years ago, a man like me killed a monster like you. It can be done again." — Volkmar the Grim, Grand Theogonist. This one is noteworthy. It was given by a man who was Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth, who was chained by daemonic chains to an enemy standard, who escaped, slaughtered the men who had done it to him, and killed the man who had taken his old job. He said this to Mannfred von Carstein, a vampire lord and Magnificent Bastard whose had been planning his campaign for decades. He said this to him, before battle started. And it made one of the most evil, cunning and powerful beings in the Warhammer world back down.
- In Werewolf: The Forsaken, when a werewolf increases in Renown, they use a ritual to summon a Lune (moon spirits which serve the patron spirit of the werewolves) to brand the werewolf with a record of the deed which got them their new Renown level in glowing letters. Renown is gained by monumental achievements in Cunning (stealth, manipulation, cleverness, diplomacy), Glory (bravery, tradition, valour, daring), Honour (justice, truth, fairness), Purity (self-restraint, zeal, morality), and Wisdom (logic, intelligence, memory, intuition). This means that almost every werewolf has their Badass Boast burned into their skin for all spiritual enemies to see.
- The average character in Mage: The Awakening can significantly reshape local reality on a whim, so they tend to be good at making these. In fact, making a Badass Boast is actually a ritualised part of the Duel Arcane, one of the most common ways of settling disputes between mages.
- "For I walk in the Mists now and see the time that is yet to be. I will see the shadow of your coming before you have even decided your intent, and I will thwart you before you even put your pawns into motion. I will be watching from the Mists, and you will not sense it. If you move against me again, not even the Abyss and the Hidden Lords you worship will keep my hands from your neck." — Morvan, Walker in Mists
- "You resist me? I, who have walked through fire without being burned? I see through your wards and unravel them with a word. Do not dare defy me." — Glorianna, Free Council Obrimos
- Another Dungeons & Dragons example, according to one of the creation myths regarding the orcish god Gruumsh, it is said that after the gods finished creating the world, the patron gods of The Five Races gathered together to draw lots for where their peoples would live. The drawing was rigged, however, as they didn't have enough lots for them all and Gruumsh was excluded from the drawing. The other gods mocked that the orcs would have no place in the world, Gruumsh lifted his spear and struck it down upon the landscape, turning portions of the world harsh and barren, and declared;
"There! There is where the orcs shall dwell! There they will survive, and multiply, and grow stronger, and a day will come when they shall cover the world, and they will slay all of your collective peoples! Orcs shall inherit the world you sought to cheat me of!"
- In the Dungeons & Dragons 2e supplement I, Tyrant, beholders are said to enjoy telling each other stories, usually about the creatures they have killed. Such stories usually begin with a lengthy recitation of the many victories and kills attributed to the creature, ending with, "And then it met me."
- Magic: The Gathering:
- Many Legendary Creatures have flavor text with either the creature's badass boast, or another person making the boast for them.
- In Alara Unbroken, Nicol Bolas boasts, "I've survived more apocalypses than you've had chest colds."
- When planeswalkers were godlike beings he had an even better one, it goes a good page an a half but the highlights are "I have devoured stars, and shattered worlds, I have bathed in the blood of gods, and used their bones to build my nest. I am the Mind Ripper, the deathbringer, the winged dark that terrifies your dreams. I am Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker, Elder Dragon, The oldest and most powerful being that has ever, or shall ever exist!."
- Iron Kingdoms:
Countless victories are behind us, yet we are not half done. We fight to restore a legacy once denied to us. Our enemies tremble before our invincible armies, and all will kneel or perish. The Khadric Empire is gone but the Khadoran Empire is born! - Empress Ayn Vanar.
- The quotes on the top of every unit's entry in his/her/it's relevant book are usually this or a comment made to similar effect but a few in particular stand out.
- Anyone who's been roleplaying for long enough is bound to have one or two of these.
- Sentinels Of The Multiverse has a few in the flavor text:
Grand Warlord Voss: "What I cannot have, I will destroy".Onnitron-X: "End-Times? I have seen many times. These are merely your end-times."