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.For more quotes from within the WH40K universe, see The Lexicanum Quotes Index. And we mean more.
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 defence 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. note
— The standard intro to every Imperium-centered written work from the 40K universe
"An example is the best way to explain it. There's a god of hope, and the god of freaking hope is evil."
Gabe: Well, isn't the enemy of your enemy, like, your friend? Or whatever? Can't they team up?
Tycho: Not exactly. In this setting, the enemy of your enemy is still a floating, greasy, armored brain.
Gabe: Well, what about his enemy? Maybe you could be friends with him.
Tycho: No, because that guy is a mechanical horror in an undying battle shell. He sails from world to world in a flying tomb, serving gods who eat hope.
Ethan: So we both have a bunch of little plastic men, right? And we move them. Manually. Then, when we fight, we roll dice and then do math to figure out who hits who. But there are no actual battles or explosions. We use our imaginations, like a couple of savages. It sounds almost as fun as chewing used medical syringes.
Lucas: These guys here have chainsaw swords.
Ethan: This is the coolest game ever.
"Run like frak!"
—Ciaphas Cain provides the best advice for self-assurance in the 40K setting in history.
"Catholic Space Nazis sound like awesome villains, how can they be the heroes?"
"All I know is that it ends very badly. For one side."
"This is WH40K. It's very badly for all sides, and it never ends."
The IoM is kinda what you get when you cross the Dark Ages, Religious Fanaticism, Xenophobia, the ability to defy physics, a arsenal that makes the most advanced firearms of our reality look like pop-guns (The kind that use those little red plastic caps) and finally slather it all with heaping helpings of general badassness and the attitude that if the Universe is out to kill you, your going to goddamn kill it first.
Which in all its twisted Fu*ked-upness, it is awesome.
The Imperium of Man in a nutshell.
"God exists, and so does the Devil, only it's really more like twenty Devils, and they all want to see you suffer, and God is paralyzed for life and has to eat souls to keep breathing, but you still worship him because he eats less souls than any of the Devils, and Jesus decided to betray God and his clone still goes around killing people."
"Warhammer Fantasy is Lord Of The Rings on a cocktail of steroids and GBH. And Warhammer 40000 is the above on a cocktail of every drug known to man and genuine lunar dust, stuck in a blender with Alien, Mechwarrior, Starship Troopers and Star Wars, bathed in blood, turned up to eleventy billion, set on fire, and catapulted off into space screaming WAAAGH! and waving a chainsaw sword."
"In the grim darkness of the grimdark future, there is only grim darkness, dark grimness, and STALEMATE."
"The Imperium is like a man hanging from a cliff with one arm and without the strength to pull himself back up. He could use his other hand to hold on just a little longer, but he's busy using it to give the finger to all the bastards watching him dangle."
—/tg/. The website is in general NSFW.
"If ever was there a game that was made of 100% pure mansauce, Warhammer would be that game."
"Warhammer 40k can make women grow chest hair."
—Darth Lampshade in DOW2 Retribution General Chat
"Basically, life sucks, there is only war, and you're probably going to be eaten by Tyranids. Have fun."
—Totalbiscuit in Warhammer 40K Lore In A Minute.
I blow brains out for the Emperor
For the Chapter I burn Orks
I dismember for the Laughing God
Oi killz fer Gork and Mork
I drop planet killing bombs on the unclean from up above
Yes, 40k's the game that we all love!
40k - where the genocidal, xenocidal, fascist, ultraconservative zealots with a morbid fear of technology and an unhealthy fondness for burning things... are the good guys.
—A forum signature.
The noble ideal of meeting the xeno, observing it in it's native habitat, then murdering it with a chainsword and carrying out an Exterminatus on their world. Smells like Warhammer.
—Another forum signature.
Warhammer 40k; Where tactical nukes are used as anti-personnel landmines, personal weapons are fully automatic 20mm gyrojet grenade launchers, escort ships are capable of crippling planets by ramming them at full speed (I actually did the math one snowy day), billions die due to rounding errors in the Imperial Bureaucracy, where FTL involves jumping into hell, navigating by the beacon lit by souls, and jumping out before the daemons catch you...