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 14 Sep 2020, 00:18
Karak Norn Clansman wrote: ↑13 Sep 2020, 17:39 Image
Carry this small light safely to Your Golden Throne on mythical Earth
Great line! 😁
Drawing makes me think of deer hunter crossed with kamikaze pilots!!
Element Games - Wargaming Webstore
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 14 Sep 2020, 17:14
Are you posting these as you draw/write them? If so, the speed and quality of your output is fantastic!
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 14 Sep 2020, 20:03
Thanks a lot, @James ! Haha, spot on!

Thank you kindly, @pawl! Yes, I do post them as I finish them.

The first and second posts in this thread was all catching up with what I had done prior to joining the Warp Storm, but everything since then is posted as soon as I've finished drawing and writing it. I managed to draw two human bomb images yesterday, but do note that the second, kamikaze one is really small and quick work.

I've been slowly regaining energy and health after working myself to a burnout last year, and the overall lack of work due to resting priorities mean I have more time than I would usually have. And, as a good health indicator, I've recently got energy back to draw a lot again, so with any luck I'll be able to work again later in the year. This happens in the sweet spot before.

Cheers!

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Juve Soldier

In a desperate time of suffering and insanity, age is no excuse to shirk from your duty.

The harsh rule of the Imperium of Man strive to leave none free of its grasping talons. Even though real control over society is limited on most human worlds, Imperial ambitions are nonetheless total and all-encompassing in scope. Ideally, no subject of the God-Emperor should be left outside the power of their rightful masters. In reality, vast swathes of planetary and voidborne populations alike live their entire lives while barely registering the existence of the Imperium of Man.

Many such people outside direct Imperial control are too poor, or too rich, or too many, or live in too remote locations for the reach of the Emperor-appointed powers that be. For instance, the innumerable billions, or even trillions of humans dwelling in hellish Underhives across a million worlds, will rarely (if ever) see Imperial officials or soldiers in their short, brutish and nasty lives. Oftentimes, the failure of the Imperium to impose its cruel control over the entire population of planets and voidholms comes down to its screeching inefficiency, rotten bureaucracy, rampant corruption and sheer incompetence. Another age-old limit to the effective power of Imperial organizations are their corpse-like rigidity of order, where individual initiatives, innovations and the bypassing of hierarchies for swifter or better results may result in draconic punishments ranging from death, torture, burning at the stake or lobotimization and transformation into a cyborg thrall known as a Servitor.

Crude colossus with feet of clay though it may be, the Imperium will nevertheless try to impose total control over those sectors of society that its powers may reach. To live under the heavy hand of Imperial rule is to lead an utterly regimented life of endless indoctrination into a rabidly loyal subject of the Imperium, ever eager to report on deviants and malcontents, ever willing to lynch heretics and mutants, and ever ready to sacrifice yourself for the higher cause. To come to age under Imperial purview is to grow up into a blind fanatic and ritually obsessed practicer of the Cult Imperialis, your mind filled with litanies of hate, psalms of vindiction, mantras of purging, hymns of martyrdom and prayers of penitence. Such is the saturation of Imperial dogma in these juvenile Imperial subjects' lives, that many of them end up monomaniacally incapable of doubting the Imperium for even a second, no matter what atrocities their eyes and ears may bear witness to. Thus are fine subjects to the Emperor moulded at a tender age, and thus is the future of the Imperium secured. Blessed be the children.

The Imperium of Man harbour no softness in its heart of stone, for weakness is the bane of the whole species. Only the ruthless may attain dominion, and only the cruel may uphold supremacy. The law of power is written into the stars: A hard life breeds hardy people, and all is well when the weak are culled. Thus Imperial authorities approve of the abominable hardships that plague the lives of most humanity, for misery makes people grow up fast, as it were, and desperation is the mother of ability. Many children in the Imperium of Man will learn to survive, fight and kill in their everyday lives, or else succumb to a harsh reality that brooks no pacific timidity.

Orphans in the Schola Progenium learn to handle weapons long before the age of ten, and the situation is not much different on the streets of hive cities or in the wildlands of tribes. Many Imperial subjects will have slayed someone before they reach adulthood, and almost all will have been regularly beaten bloody by grown-ups and participated in nasty kid fights, some losing eyes, fingers and other body parts in the process. A great many will also join gangs at an early age, for it is better to be in the pack of ravenous predators, than to be ravaged by it.

When rampant violence is such an inseparable part of the human condition, how could there ever be anything wrong with recruiting adolescents and children into the ranks of militias and more organized militaries? Most cultures on the worlds and voidholms of the Imperium will count its members as adults by the age of fifteen, yet few indeed will have any scruples about arming those they consider children. Many times, Imperials will choose to fill gaps in the ranks of armed forces with properly indoctrinated children, rather than turning to adults from population sections with unreliable schooling in Imperial loyalty. The phenomenon of child soldiers has been a fact of life since time immemorial, and few humans indeed will ever stop and think about it.

Thus it is that juve soldiers can be found all across the galaxy, serving alongside their elders in a myriad of Astra Militarum regiments, Planetary Defence Forces (PDF), noble House Guards, tribal warbands, authorized street gangs and local militias. Here, the children will reach adulthood and face their rites of passage among the rough warriors, or die trying. Many juves will be fired up with tales of martial exploits and dreams of glory, and will volunteer for service, often lying about their age and pass themselves off as older than they really are. Others will be forcefully inducted into military units, a custom that is particularly common in times of crisis and massive casualties. After all, even a child can fire a lasgun.

Picking up large weapons and donning boots and uniforms that leave a lot of space for growing in, these often malnourished boys and girls at arms will not seldom march into slaughterfests of dark trauma and gain scars both physical and mental in nature. A glorious death is theirs, and the chance to fulfill their dreams has been given them by the Divine Majesty. Many juve soldiers will be picked out of various Imperial, planetary and voidholms' youth organizations, who all prepare the children and adolescents for arms, combat and the rigours of a soldier's life.

An endless flora of legends about juve soldiers thrive across the Imperium of Man, telling of gallantry, self-sacrifice, duty and piety in the face of horrors and monstrous foes. Who cannot remember stories of plucky little boys and girls who destroyed great tanks and killed rampaging behemoths against all odds? Who cannot recount tales of brave children in arms throwing themselves bodily before the blasting mouths of enemy guns in order to allow their comrades to cleanse bunkers? Who have not heard of captive juves who died with the Emperor's name on their lips while being torn to shreds under sadistic torture? Rejoice, for the Imperium's youth under arms will uphold these proud traditions and fight for their species and lord! Rejoice, for glory is theirs to win in battle! Rejoice, for a childhood well spent!

Such are the lives of uncounted billions of juve soldiers serving across the vast expanse of the God-Emperor's sacred domains. Such are the deaths of those who fall fighting for the cause of Holy Terra. Such is the will of the Emperor.

Truly, mankind is blessed with a fighting spirit that burn brightly from cradle to grave. For parents will not only give up their sons and daughters, but juves will offer themselves willingly to the armies of the Imperium. Is this not a sign of the chosen status of humanity? Is this not proof of the righteousness of our cause? Is this not a banner to rally around? And so the word goes out: The Emperor of mankind want you in arms! For what force in the universe could ever stop the might of man truly united, subservient to the Emperor and flocking to sacrifice himself, no matter his age?

Thus a grand tragedy of suffering, death and stolen innocence replays itself over and over again as centuries grind on, and the decaying Age of Imperium grows older with yet another millennium, yet another year of mass graves and unheard grief, yet another day of carnage and blood. For the Imperium of Man will baulk at nothing to preserve its overlordship of power and hate, and it will not hesitate to feed the meatgrinder with an ever larger number of soldiers for increased input in a broken calculation. Aye, the survival of the human species itself is at stake, but more pressing matter for its masters is the need to preserve Imperial rule and Imperial strength for their very own sake.

Forget the shining Knights and proudly painted power armour for a moment. If you want to imagine the reality of war in the Imperium of Man, then imagine children in uniform beside adult soldiers, weapons in hand as they charge into no man's land, letting out a fervent battlecry as a firestorm engulf them: "For the Emperor!"

Such is the demented state of man, in the darkest of futures. Such is the depravity that awaits our species.

It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is only war.
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 16 Sep 2020, 00:27
Great read mate. The picture is great too, has a very nice derpy look to him πŸ˜€ kinda reminds me of one of saps from the heavy metal movie with John candy.
Also facepalm moment for me.... only realised now thanks to this that juve referred to juvenile... just assumed juve was a necromunda term for a ganger lol
Thanks for that @Karak Norn Clansman, its very cool to think about the real mass behind the imperium and as you say not the shiny power armour. Im glad you've got your passion for writing back! Happy to reap the literature boon πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
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 19 Sep 2020, 16:08
Thank you most kindly @James , haha! Here is another little gritty street scene:

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Scorched Juice Thief

Legends tell of the Terran gods of old who cast lightning unto Earth to hunt humankind for punishment, yet a traitor demigod captured some bolts and gifted ancient man with the knowledge of how to harness that sparkling power to pull his burdens and light the darkness, and ever since that fabled day have electricity coursed through cables crafted by human hands. Most legends also tell of the renegade demigod's horrendous penalty, usually involving an eternity of being shocked through sensitive body parts, nigh unto death in everlasting fits of cramp and agony, for the gods of old are said to have been jealous of their power, and knew boundless hate for anyone wishing to steal their lightning from on high.

Thus it was that the folklore of disparate human savages during the Unification Wars and the Great Crusade made many tribes recognize the lightning bolts of the variant Imperial Aquila as indicator of the Emperor's god-ordained status as humanity's chosen subjugator, arbitrator and saviour. For truly did the Imperium carry awe-inspiring forces at its disposal, and indeed did its star-sailing arks cast lightning unto anyone who crossed the nascent Imperium of Man. Such raw power and exalted, lethal might could not be denied by anyone but the most foolhardy.

To this day, many scattered human colonies who have survived in regressed isolation and squalor since the Age of Strife, react to the arrival of Imperial missionaries, explorators and invasion forces with the same awe-struck reverence. The Imperium may not be a good force of philantropic morals to adore, but to most men and women it nevertheless stands as a fearsome edifice of bristling strength and power to which they must submit for the good of all. Indeed the Imperial symbols of the soaring but cruel predatory eagle and the the treasured but deadly lightning bolt represent the essential character of the Emperor's domains since the Imperium's very inception.

Innumerable human cultures across the Milky Way Galaxy retain some sense of the God-Emperor's connection to lightning in the heavens and electrical power alike, usually held to be a material grant from the benevolent Imperator in His guise as the Omnissiah to unworthy humanity. Thus accidental deaths from electrocution will often be taken as proof of His Divine Majesty's disapproving judgement on wayward sinners.

Human civilizations have been dependant on the forces of harnessed lightning since the early Age of Terra. Indeed electricity is as essential for higher technological cultures to persist as air to breathe is. On a million worlds and uncounted spacebound habitats, the works of superstitious man run on captive power, and without it he would be nothing but a dirt-bound barbarian left to the mercy of the night.

Many known STC systems involving the most advanced levels of electronics and electricity are too complex and refined to manufacture and maintain for the populations of most planets and voidholms to experience in everyday life. Instead, utilitarian Imperial society is often stuck with more primitive and robust means of power, preserved among the simpler systems left over from the scattered heritage of the Dark Age of Technology. More advanced electrical hardware of new production is usually only seen in the hands of higher Imperial Adepta, rich noble Houses and a low number of tech-clans with an exceptionally well-preserved grasp of some tech (e.g. Van Saar in Hive Primus on Necromunda), as well as in the hoarding Adeptus Mechanicus.

Safety is usually a minor concern among electricians and Guilds in the Imperium. By far more important is the safeguarding of one's powerlines from competitors and parasitical scum who would wish to feed off your juice. Electricity theft is a rampant problem all across the more civilized worlds of the Imperium, with an ever-renewing horde of crims and scummers willing to risk their lowly lives by hooking into your grid and harvest your bitterly begotten electricity. Such juice thieves will climb and crawl and cut to get to the sweet voltage inside cables and conduits and power stations, and they live only a knife's edge away from a scorched death at the hands of the lethal current they so lust after. Sin is indeed often its own reward, as innumerable scorched corpses attest to.

Juice thieves usually only leach off minor power lines, along which Guild personnel, hired gangers and armed techmen regularly patrol to unhook thief lines, pick down burnt power poachers and shoot any leachers on sight. Yet a few daring souls will attempt to tap their illegal lines into the massive juice trunks which feed major hive industries and Guilds directly from the geothermal heat sink at the heart of the hive. This is an exceedingly dangerous endeavour, since mere proximity to a loaded power trunk is enough to kill in an instant, yet even so a few daredevils manage to pull the stunt off. Such treasured leach lines will often feed power into entire settlements and sections in the Underhive, warming and lighting uncounted filthy inbreds down in the nightmarish city depths at the expense of honest Emperor-fearing people uphive.

One such juice thief was Sinden Kass from the Underhive quake hole settlement of Junktion in Hive Primus of Necromunda. Junktion once led a prosperous existence as a dirty boomtown, taking hefty fees to winch travellers and their wares high up into the lower hive, cutting down travelling times for Underhive expeditions by a great deal for anyone willing to pay up. The magpie known as Sinden Kass was a lamplighter of Junktion, a thief who dared to plug into a massive power trunk which fed the Mercantile Guild counting-houses in the Orlock quarter.

As a result, all the lights in these Guild chambers started to flicker, which irritated Master Vlitz Thaki, Mercantile Guild Senior Deputy Comptroller of Satrapies for the 81st Subdivision of the Hive City of our all-providing Hive Primus. The workhouses around Master Thaki's counting-houses shone bright enough without such flicker, since they took its electricity from separate lines. Master Thaki gave a brief order to his artificers and techmen to "do something about that, see to it." These techmen first cross-fed some electrical power to stop the lamps flickering, then they backtracked their lines found some Underhiver's bodged cable-tap.

In response, the adjutant of Master Thaki told one of his captains to retaliate against the filthy scum down there. The captain sent out one of his own subordinates, who took some well-equipped Guild armsmen and rappelled down the Well into Junktion. Their quick and furious raid saw dozens killed indiscriminately. Punitive explosives were planted to sabotage the local water supply (leading to bloody thirst riots and gang war), and then the boomtown fathers were publicly executed in the square of the little settlement. The only small report that made it up the chain of command through the adjutant to Vlitz Thaki, was one of the power line having been fixed without even bothering to mention the raid, and Master Thaki was happy to see his lights working as they should again.

Thus one lamplighter's juice theft fuelled an inbred boomtown in the Underhive, until the righteous armoured fist of uphive forces crushed the bastards, and restored good lights to the Mercantile Guild. Such events are numerous beyond counting in the hive cities and voidholms of the Imperium, and simply part of the violent routine of drudgery which constitutes life for a majority of Imperial subjects across the galaxy.

Thus the ancient legends of lightning theft and vicious punishment play out again and again in the everyday life of our species in the grim darkness of the far future.

Cower in fear of the lightning, and soothe the machine-spirit's wrath. Far has humanity fallen. And far into hell has it gone.


- - -

Tribute to Matthew Farrer's excellently immersive grimdark Underhive novel Junktion, whose main protagonist is an electricity thief and lamplighter.
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 20 Sep 2020, 11:56
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Saw

In the souls' battle of attrition between good and evil, good may gain the initative and outflank baser morals by shining examples and shaming harangues, yet evil ultimately possesses greater reserves and superior logistics. For the nature of life itself is one of consuming other life; of survival at all costs; of biting into your prey and savouring the taste of your victim while you can, for you too shall perish in this grim world.

Questions follow of their own accord: What evils are we capable of? What fell deeds may our hands perform? What ruthless plans of action may our minds concoct? And the answers lie close at hand. They are to be found here and now in everyday life, in the endless petty malice children heap upon choice victims, in the lies and deceit of adults, in the dark impulses boiling beneath the surface of humans everywhere. They are to be found in ages past, in a grand parade of cruelties and an orgy of bloodletting, plunder and inflicted misery. But most of all they are to be found in ages yet to come, for man is set to plunge the bottomless depths of his soul, and there he shall descend into hell on earth and remake the world in his diabolical image.

Behold the grim darkness. Behold the future that awaits our species. Behold the Imperium of Man, the decaying domains of the God-Emperor of Holy Terra, an empire of a million worlds maintained by ceaseless sacrifice, an endless lack of mercy and everlasting hatred. Gaze into the Imperium, and you will bear witness to the baleful excesses festering in the heart of man.

For in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable, human lives have become a currency to squander in the billions. Here, sweat and blood are shed on a titanic scale in order to uphold the rigid order of the Imperium, in a neverending treadmill of human suffering and drudgery. Here, violence, hardships and starvation are ever-present companions to life. Here, draconic punishments will be arbitrarily visited upon anyone who fails in their duty or steps out of line. Sometimes such retaliation will be carried out with passionless monotony, at other times the penalties will be dealt out with righteous furor. And sometimes the punishment will be executed upon the offender with a poorly concealed sadistic glee.

To be branded a heretic, malcontent, deviant or infidel in the Imperium, is to face a host of imaginative possibilities. There are the possibilities of instant death at gunpoint, of beheading, lynching, hanging, blinding, maiming, burning,stoning, quartering, flaying and drawn-out torture, or lobomization and slavery as a cyborg thrall or guilt-ridden Arco-Flagellant. Among a myriad of possible punishments are to be found that archaic one of sawing, wherein the wrongdoer is shackled and extended helplessly from a frame, usually hanging upside-down. The executioners will then slowly work through the sinner with a crosscut saw or two-man eviscerator, the sawyers usually chanting, damning the criminal or shouting admonishments to the crowd of onlookers while the teeth of their tool tear through flesh and bone.

Oftentimes, such executions by sawing will be recorded by vox-units and captured by pict-casters, to be cabled out to public loudspeakers and pict-screens distributed throughout the more decent parts of cities and voidholms. This is done in order to benefit the betterment of the people's wetched souls, as the shrill shrieking in pain and agonized yelling of the sawed one will warn sinful humanity to take heed, resist temptation such as hunger pangs, and blindly obey their superiors without question or tardiness.

This public butchering of deviants, criminals and heretics will usually be followed by their flawed flesh being burnt upon the pyre, or carted away to be recycled into the foodstuff known as corpse starch. Wild rumours claim that if you saw an Ork in half without burning the remains, two whole Orks will regrow out of the halves. This abominable phenomenon has only been observed in mankind a rare few times with grossly mutated humans tainted by the touch of Chaos, wherefore the mutliated husks of mutants will as a rule be burnt to ashes in order to not contaminate the dull ration bars of the populace. Trust in flames to cleanse corruption and filth.

And so every day, somewhere in the Imperium of Man, thousands of bystanders view the spectacle of executioners sawing a man, woman or child to death. The crowds view it with their own eyes, listening with their own ears to the noise of suffering and slaughter, as saw teeth rip through fibres and cartilage. They see the suffering and the righteous punishment visited upon the wicked, and they ken the warning. Thus all is well in the sacred star-realm of the Emperor on Earth, for what is happiness but the feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome? Just as the saw of justice overcomes the sinner's flesh and bone.

Such is the malevolent fate of unknown numbers of deviants and heretics. Such is their fell demise.

It is the fortyfirst millenium. Humanity has banished remorse from its heart of stone. Truly, the Age of Imperium is an epoch of lives crushed under heel and naked evil at full display. And so the future of our species grinds on, its rusted prison a doomed empire, its bloodstained tormentor man himself.

Such is the fate of our species. In the darkest of futures. In cruelty unending.
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 22 Sep 2020, 14:02
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Subversion

In an age of darkness, fools will grasp for any seeming hope that is offered them, like fishes will with bait.

During the Age of Terra, the bestial ancestors of man lived in packs, without which they were doomed to die alone. The forefathers of man dwelt in tribes and clans, each Human being an organic part of the communal organism to which they conformed. One of the worst fates to befall ancient man was to be exiled and cast out of the community, for what was man without his kin group? The rise of cities and technology would eventually diminish such natural ties, yet the organic bonds never disappeared even at the height of the Dark Age of Technology, when man in his error thought himself the master and remaker of all creation, including that of himself.

There have always been those who feel themselves alienated from society, those inclined to disagree with their congregation, those unwilling or unable to follow the herd. These souls, doomed to deviate, will often find themselves under intense mental pressure from the petrified order, rigour and terror experienced by leading a bleak life in the tyrannical Imperium of Man, for Imperial rule have long since developed into crushing individuality and free thought for the betterment of public order. Such misfits are as varied as they are malcontent: They may be groups barely tolerated to live for the sake of slave labour, such as mutants or the descendants of some ancient rebels. They may be people driven nigh-insane by exacting labours which they were unable to stand anymore, seeking an escape from their living hell, no matter what it may be. They may be people who have had their worldview shaken by some traumatic experience, or by thinking too deeply. They may be rich nobles bored out of their senses by rigid protocol and ennui. They may be failed students or members of aspiring classes lusting for power, influence, privileges and salaried state employment. They may be those who dream of a better tomorrow. Some may simply be weak-willed minds, easily led astray by the next person they meet. Others still may be of a more spiteful bent, unsavoury characters who feel unwelcomed by society and in turn reject society themselves.

Yet even such outcasts and deviants possess an innate need for a sense of belonging, and as such like will attract like in the seedy underbelly of cities and voidholms. Those lost to the flock by alienation will often seek radical experiences, pushing boundaries and abandoning mores and even sanity in a whirlwind of hedonistic partying and edgy experimentation among subcultures. In such a drug-poisoned morass of moral perversion, dangerous ideologies, harebrained sects and heinous thought of self thrive in that twilight zone where law and order seldom apply.

Thus it is that such deviants and malcontents tend to break with Imperial dogma and desert the Ecclesiarchal flock to which they once belonged, drifting ever more down pathways to damnation. Many may eventually find a new community in the myriad of obscure and illegal groups infesting mankind's urban centers like so many rashes and boils. Here, dropouts of society and those who refuse to fit in will be scooped up and processed by a veritable jungle of sects, dodgy clubs, forbidden movements, secret societies, orgy circles, mystery cults and weird gangs. There, they will be exposed to a whole new world of banished belief systems, exotic talk, underground presses, suppressed lore and heady ideas. Thus twisted grills will be put in the heads of new members, usually denying the Imperial Creed and spitting upon the Emperor's sacrifice.

Such are the paths that lead waywards into the clutches of such heretical cells as murderous Death Cults, crazed Chaos sects and hybridizing Genestealer Cults. A recent development out on the Eastern Fringe have also seen growing numbers of Humans won over by the insidious persuasion of stunningly eloquent Water Caste agents and their propaganda material advertising the grand benevolence of the Greater Good. Such foul apostasy have seen subjects of the God-Emperor transform into xenophile Tauists, those fifth columnist sympathizers of a hostile alien empire.

Once fully indoctrinated into the movement, the deviants and malcontents will themselves go out and attempt to recruit others for their cause. Careful conversations in the street and workplace will serve as feelers to probe potential targets, to see if they are a good fit for the underground group. Once fine prey have been identified, an invitation will be extended, and so these illegal dens of discontent and subversion perpetuate themselves.

Bolder still will be those sect members who act the part of the rabblerouser, braving gruesome retaliation by approaching passers-by openly, holding speeches, handing out heretical leaflets in the street and practicing the art of demagougery at constant risk of spontaneous lynching or arrest. Such underground propaganda will be accompanied by treacherous graffiti and posters sufficient to land the vandals in dungeons of unspeakable torture and torment. By all manner of manipulation will these salesmen of fevered ideas try to spread the disease of their minds, and oftentimes will they clash violently with rival sects in the streets of cities and corridors of voidholms. Indeed, it is common practice for hostile subverts to inform on each other to the authorities, using their much-bewailed planetary oppressors and Imperial bloodsuckers as a means to wreck the competition.

Controlling what people read, hear and see is a powerful tool, and this is why independent mass media is such a limited and often nonexistent phenomenon in the million worlds and uncounted void habitats of the Imperium of Man. Most printsheets, vox-shows and pict-firms that do exist, do so in meticulously circumscribed form, working under the heavy hand of censorship, never far from summary execution or far, far worse should they ever publish anything contrary to the wish of Holy Terra. After all, the existence of influential propaganda organs outside state control could pose a challenge to Imperial rule, through a daily grind of slanted reports, choosing to highlight particular happenings over others, lies, or outright omission of events and information which runs counter to the image which the chattering lot would wish to project. There would also be endless needling and gnawing critique of the powers that be, as well as the crying foul about supposed injustices and the subtle spreading of ideas counter to Imperial interests. Indeed such propaganda methods are usually reserved for the Adeptus Terra and loyal elites only. The Imperium know well the power of propaganda and obscurantism, for it utilize it as a tool of control all the time, and it will tolerate no rival centers of brainwashing.

Yet such a war of words nevertheless rage under the surface on most Imperial worlds and voidholms, for in shady corridors and grimy streets will be found men and women brave, foolhardy, fanatical, desperate or insane enough to speak up for their cause. A cause altogether independent from the concerns of the greater Imperium, and which often runs counter to the Holy Terran cause. Maverick sects befoul Imperial settlements everywhere, but the same is also true for the all too common separatist groupings that want to cast off the heavy burden of Imperial yoke from their homeworld or voidholm. Imperial territories are likewise rife with innumerable angry movements which spring up because of particular grievances (such as an outrageously greedy and ruthless tax farmer, or certain dictates hampering the livelihood of people), and these particularists are concerned with addressing and righting those issues alone, often loudly professing loyalty and devotion to the Emperor for the uncaring ears of Imperial Adepta and warriors. Obviously, any and all challenges to rightful Imperial rule must be crushed without mercy.

For the most part, the constant efforts of subverts and perverts to sway public opinion away from supporting the fearsome monolith that is Imperial governance, are doomed to fail. Stray recruits can always be gained among deviants, but true mass following is always difficult to obtain in a theocratic police state, even in one as marred by inefficiency, corruption and incompetence as the Imperium is. Repression and propaganda remain great strengths of the draconic Imperium of Man, even after ten millennia of bloated decay and rotten bureaucracy. For all the petty sloganeering and streetcorner rabblerousing which roach-like heretics and malcontents can muster, Imperial authorities, preachers and propagandists can answer with a colossal barrage of twisted messages, desinformation and rallying of support of their own, firmly rooted in the masses' upbringing having occurred under the all-pervasive Cult Imperialis with its zealotry and fiery oratory.

Nevertheless, heretics and enemies of the Emperor everywhere know that they can count on one thing above all others in order to gain converts like a ravaging pandemic: Imperial failings. Grand mistakes and shocking mismanagement by the Imperium of Man remain the surest source of new cult members, for nothing readies man to switch saddles and loyalties so readily as when he bears the full brunt of fresh hardships and misery. When a new great famine reduces millions or even billions of Humans to skin and bone, and puts their children into mass graves or cannibal pots, some embittered survivors turn. When the tithe grows crushing like never before, and sees thousands upon thousands of innocent, hardworking people dragged off into debt slavery and lobotomization for cyborg-transformation into Servitors, some will turn. When faults and negligence higher up result in dozens of districts finding themselves in the dark without electricity or drinking water for months on end, leading to a nightmare of desperate looting, panic, predation and harsh suppression by arms, people turn. When the Arbites torture and kill entire families, the lone survivors turn. When lives are shattered, those who have nothing left to lose will take the plunge and give their valediction to mainstream society, or at least its rulers.

Imperial cruelties and dysfunctionality is far more often the result of corruption, bureaucratic inertia and incompetence than it is the child of necessary evil and the overruling demands of defending the Human species in a hostile galaxy of total war and cosmic horrors. The evil that men do is eternal and inescapable, yet this abominable malevolence is unnecessarily multiplied and amplified a thousandfold under the harsh overlordship of the Imperium. And so it is that perverted manipulators will grasp any fertile opportunities to spread dissent by questioning Imperial legitimacy and haranguing the leadership of planetary elites or voidholm oligarchs. When the time is right, these hidden heretics will step forth and disrupt the cohesion of their culture and break down social control by venomous tongues and frantic action. They will infiltrate organizations and spread defeatism and doubt, and they will gnaw at the foundations of Imperial might.

Rarely are there as prime opportunities for subverts as arise in the worst times of crisis. Especially so in the midst of the most draining wars of attrition that are also accompanied by rampant and visible incompetence, military disasters, massive shortages and baleful starvation on the home front. Moulding minds are usually best done during childhood and youth, yet the views of people may be reshaped like clay when they are at their most desperate and thirsting for some kind of solution to their woes. When they are begging for someone willing to promise your desires, someone able to inspire and make you dream big, yes, someone able to electrify the masses. Someone able to step forth and take the lead.

And so the subvertive movements will manifest their will to power by passive resistance, boycotts, terrorism, assassinations and sabotage. Despite the lethal reply of Imperial authorities, there will be riots and the defacing of Imperial monuments, mob attacks on Imperial personnel in the street and the burning of Imperial scrolls and tomes such as debt registers and books of faith. Coups may be attempted, if infiltration and backroom deals have gone far enough. The surging tide of malcontents will rise into full insurrection, and the rebels will raise the banners of the their heinous revolution, simultaneously waging a gruesome civil war in the streets with loyalist neighbours and pious family members who refused to shirk from the righteous Imperium. Strife will play out, as it always has. Brother will slay brother, and sister will strangle sister in a madness of carnage and hatred.

Such insurgencies are usually put down with overmighty force of arms, followed by bloodthirsty eradication campaigns and massive purges. Yet some revolts do succeed, at least for a while, and manage to topple Imperial rule. Then it will usualy be shown that the alternative to Imperial oppression is just another nuance of violent tyranny and rampant corruption under different flags, as one set of rulers is exchanged for another one during the exhilaration of a brand new revolution. The new men and women at the helm will pursue selfish interests, or worse yet pursue utopian pipedreams with fanatical zeal and lakes of blood staining the hands of the idealists in power.

And so the worst flaws of mankind play out again and again, set to a choir of broken promises and stillborn hopes. Enemies are to be crushed, after all. And to gain support, it is advantageous to sell a false option. Hand the firebrands some grand words and an empty idea that they can believe in, and use those revolutionary zealots to suppress dissent and cement your power. Of course, to have power is when you are able to do something, and no one is able to stop you. Furthermore, power is intoxicating and addictive, and yesterday's dogged rebel that became today's leading liberator will often be tomorrow's toppled tyrant. As a learned man in the distant Age of Terra once opined: It is safer to be feared than loved, for the bonds of love are fragile and dependent on obligation which is broken at every opportunity for someone's advantage due to the baseness of man. Thus the arts of power are ones of cunning and cruelty.

And all this is to say nothing of the otherworldly hell-orgy or certain doom at the hands of the Great Devourer that await those planets and voidholms who fall victim to revolts of Chaos or Genestealer Cults...

Treachery, heresy and rebellion remain an everlasting scourge of His Divine Majesty's sacred domains across the stars, as the Horus Heresy and Age of Apostasy well attest to. Disunity and strife may yet prove the undoing of humanity, and so the Holy Inquisition will never rest in its mission to root out this disease in the body politic. It will find the taint and purge any suspected deviants with extreme prejudice. Inquisitors will scour entire star systems and leave billions dead in their wake in order to hunt down sects and eradicate the inner circles of heretical cults and movements. It is better that a hundred thousand innocents burn at the stake than one guilty man escapes the claws of Imperial justice.

Retribution against rebels may not always be swift or efficient, but it will eventually occur with overwhelming force and a titanic input of resources. For the Imperium of Man will eradicate any threat to its security and power, and it will seek to enforce absolute obedience and blind devotion to the Emperor on Earth in its galaxy-spanning dominions.

Thus decrepit human civilization in the grim darkness of the far future is ever plagued by those deviants and malcontents who would become subverts and heretics, and ultimately betray their species and lord. While all such traitors to the Golden Throne shall be exterminated in due time, the fact remains that ordinary subjects of the Imperator risk being entangled in lies and deceit of subversive manipulators. Honeyed words and harrowing revelations may be whispered in alleys, hooked bait waiting to snatch the unwary away from the God-Emperor's light. Who can you trust?

Hope is the first step to disappointment.

And so the Imperium undergoes an endless cycle of subversion, oppression, rebellion and retribution, for the enemy within must be obliterated without pity. Without remorse. Without mercy.

As despairing souls look for alternatives to the grinding nightmare of drudgery and callous violence that constitute life in the Imperium of Man, they see the paths presented by the cults. All dead ends.

It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is no escape from the hellish horror that await our species.
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Site Admin
 22 Sep 2020, 23:11
I promise I'm not ignoring these, I just haven't had the chance to get caught up! πŸ™ˆ
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Full Member
 22 Sep 2020, 23:43
Junktion setting is very cool. Ive not really read any 40k stuff outside of horus heresy and gaunts ghosts. How do you find necromunda literature compares?
Going to update this as i read the stories!!
Haha brutal drawing for the saw. What's the little robot in the bottom right? Is it filming the spectacle?? Looks quite giger esque too, id say the subversion art makes me think of giger too.
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