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by NoPoet

[20K] Revised 20K Timeline (updated April 2013)

17/03/2013 in 20K, Imp Lit News

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20K is the unofficial Warhammer 40,000 prequel series which I have been working on for a number of years. There are two “phases” to 20K and three “series” of stories.

The early stages of 20K, where humanity is emerging from its safe bases in Solar Segment and beginning to explore the galaxy, hoping to make contact with the fabled One Hundred Worlds. Human technology is limited and humanity begins to learn that alien races are generally hostile and untrustworthy.

A more confident and technically proficient

The following is a rough timeline including every 20K story that I am writing or plan to write. I have tried to remove as many spoilers as possible. Note that the timeline is subject to change and is undergoing constant revision.
This is “phase one” of 20K, a desperate time of derring-do. Phase 2, if I ever get that far, has a more mature and more adventurous tone with less of the grimness and grittiness of some of the earlier stories. Look for the crossovers and in-jokes as they appear. Fans of 40K as well as fans of general science fiction should find lots to be happy about.
Please ignore any repetitions or minor mistakes, this is the beta version and I already have the events right in my mind.
40K’s mysterious and exciting history finally comes to life in tales of terror and adventure. Join the brave human pioneers of the Terran Empire as they begin their expansion into a galaxy where anything is possible.
FRL = Fearless series
EW = Earthwatch series
SOL = Solstice series
Stories which do not have a series designation are independent stories (in TV parlance they would be “bottle shows”)
NOTE: Significant information is (deliberately) missing from the following timeline! Dates and events are subject to change.
20K Date Timeline
Date Unknown – The Eldar race has become factionalised by hedonism and decadence. Illegal fighting contests and worship of the proscribed god Khaine slowly overtake the fabled city-state of Commoranth, the City of Souls.
Date Unknown – A Chinasian colony receives human visitors who claim to be from the future. These visitors, mighty warriors who say their home planet was destroyed in a cataclysmic war, lend their efforts to the colony’s Human Genhancement Project – with horrific results. (“Faithless”)-[NOTE: This story is currently in progress as of August 2013]
975.M21 – Starships of the Alneran Republic, a hostile alien species whose territory lies within Solar Segment, encounter a mysterious alien being and take him prisoner. The strange hostage escapes when a Terran Navy ship attacks the Alnerans; the being will later turn up in Terran space, where his strange behaviour confounds his human rescuers. (“The Man Without A Past”)-[NOTE: This story is currently in progress as of March 2013]
978.M21 – XMS Southern Cross encounters R’Shan, a member of an unidentified alien species who has been conducting unknown warp experiments within Terran space. (“The Man From Nowhere”)
978.M21 – The Fireblade prototype fighter begins its initial tests, intended to replace the Saxon class fighter. While on combat manoeuvres, a squadron of Fireblades falls foul of a renegade Eldar space fighter. (“Flight of the Fireblade”)
985.M21 – The Centaur class light cruiser is commissioned, intended as a gradual replacement for the legendary Canyon class.
985.M21 – The Terran Empire discovers the first known Warp Gate within Solar Segment.
986.M21 – XMS Ontario and XMS Lexington are sent to investigate the Warp Gate. During the mission, a previously unknown problem with the Ontario’s Gellar Shield hurls the ship into a time-travelling, galaxy-spanning adventure, during which humanity makes first contact with followers of the daemon god Nurgle. (“Ghostwalkers”) [NOTE: This story is currently being revised as of March 2013]
986.M21 – An expedition team of the Pan-Pacific Treaty, a coalition of coporations and nation-states who wish to remain independent of the Terran Empire, discovers a world belonging to the long-vanished Chinasian Bloc. The world has long been abandoned, but the expedition discovers disturbing evidence that the colonists had been conducting genetic experiments influenced by men who claimed to have travelled from the distant future – a time of terrible civil war. (“Legacy of the Future”)
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The Seer of Corrinto

07/02/2010 in Warhammer 40K

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The lander thundered through the skies of the Groden Moon, sweeping over the swampland below with the sound of screaming ram-jets. Its escorts, two similar painted grey-blue Lightenings peeled off and arced back into the sky. The Aquila class lander kept on going, powering barely three metres above the forest canopy. Strange reptilian birds and furry winged mammals fluttered angrily into the sky, squawking at the new predator invading their territory.

“This is nothing short of heresy!” Interrogator Rufus Thracken growled from inside the cockpit, peering with disgust at the green-grey swamps below. The swamp-forest covered the moon as far as the eye could see, a vast snot-green ocean of overgrow fungus spewed under a sickly ochre sky. “We should simply kill this witch and have done with it! Not consort with the fiend!”

“Hold your tongue Rufus, or I will have Orgustos cut it out. That’s strike one. Your words are beginning to sound a lot like insubordination.” Exander purred with a half-smile, giving his subordinate a sidelong stare with cold eyes as he tightened his gloves. His yellow irises almost made the Interrogator shudder. Almost.

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Mask of the Harlequin

30/07/2009 in Warhammer 40K

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It is the mask that I wear that makes me who I am. You take the mask from me, and I just become another face in the crowd, another face that looks no different than from the person I am standing right beside. Of course, every mask that I have, that I wear, is different. Only I am able to see the subtleties of them for they are as unique to me as one star is from another in this galaxy. If you were to view them all you would say is ‘Oh, what pretty masks’ and that would be all. Silly mon-keigh, that is why I have no interest in trying to educate you in the ways of why I chose my masks, the ways of the dances that I dance on the battlefield, the ways of the Harlequins.

Yes, I am a Harlequin. Or if you wish to be more specific, I am a Solitaire. I wander the Webways as you mon-keigh have come to call them, seeking out Eldar that I believe would make fitting Harlequins and pass them along to receive training. I was once like that to, I suppose, but that time has long since passed me by and I remember very little of it.

What was that, you say?

That I am one of the ‘Soulless’ as you Inquisitors have come to call us? I do not know what you mean, silly mon-keigh and even if I did I would not speak of such things to you. Where do you get such information? From an Ork passing by? Because it surely seems like that. I am an Eldar from the Webways, one who simply wanders freely to and fro when the whim takes me; I care not where I end up and not where I go. A rootless existence to many Eldar as you know from your own extensive study of my race, but then you have humans who do the same thing, am I right?

Why am I so emotionless, you ask?

Does it really matter? I will tell you why I am devoid of emotion if you wish to hear, Inquisitor. Because what I do, what I have seen requires no emotion. I only need to think and remember, not feel. Feelings are wasted in my profession, just as they are wasted in yours. Do not think me cold, for you are exactly the same way; judge not lest ye be judged is a favored saying for you mon-keigh, am I right or am I right?

No, I am not stepping around the subject. I am simply offering you my answer. It is you who are trying to read between the lines when there are none; another thing that you have been taught in your line of work. I suggest you stop before you give yourself a needless headache.

But then we both know the real reason why you have come before me, risking both life and limb. Not to chatter on inanely as we are doing, but for a darker purpose if one will. Because you seek answers to questions that have plagued your mind; answers which you believe I have. About the supposed Black Library, the one that you mon-keigh believe is myth. What is myth but something that was once legend and what was once legend was something that was an actual fact?

No, I am not stepping around your question; this time I have given you an answer. Yes, very good Inquisitor, I see you are not as stupid as you look and you have done your research well. The Black Library does indeed exist, but few know of it for certain and even fewer have entered and come back out alive.

Do I have access to the Library?

Silly mon-keigh, do you really think I will answer that question for you? I am a Harlequin; it is my duty to put on a mask, any mask, and attempt to play a part given to me to the best of my ability. How do you know I am not wearing a mask now? Not literally but figuratively speaking, of course. Please do not swear in front of me or this meeting will be over with abrupt swiftness, I assure you that.

Inquisitor, everyone wears a mask. Your own profession dictates that to you; you have most likely changed your appearance so many times in your life that I am sure you forget what you originally looked like, just as I have worn so many masks I forget the day I placed the first one on to hide my features. Even planets wear masks and the repulsive Orks as well; even Tau be they aware of it or not.

Well, judging from your body language and the way your face has taken on that unhealthy red tinge to it, I have decided to call this meeting to an end. You draw your sword at me, dear Inquisitor, and you will find that you will not be able to use it when your hands are on the floor. One thing that you should always remember: Do not anger a Harlequin. Despite all your research, all of your questions and supposedly highly classified answers, everything you know is rather… how should one put it… misleading. That is another thing among us Harlequins: We mislead people. We even mislead our own race; we have good reason to just as I am sure you have good reason to hold back some secrets from your own organizations.

Now, I will try and educate you in this one mask that I have here. Pretty, is it not? Look how the image changes in the light, the colours dancing across the surface, how it almost seems to come alive in my hands when held at the proper angle. Well Inquisitor, that is because it is alive; this mask has a trapped life within in it. It is the Mask of the Great Enemy, one of such potency that were I to place it on right now, you would die with horrifying swiftness, your screams echoing down this portion of the Webway for a millennia or three I would imagine. This mask I hold is dangerous even to my own kind, but because of my seniority within the ranks of the Harlequins, I have been given the honour of holding onto it, protecting it.

Now leave, Inquisitor. Down the hall until you come to the portal and do not deviate from the path I have set out before you. If you do, then you will become lost here and never find your way out. I will watch you to make sure that you do leave; you try to turn and come back then I will kill you on my word as a Solitaire. What you know now is of little use to anyone but you, so I am assured of your silence, until the next time we meet and I know that we will.

What? Why do you wish to know my name, because you have told me yours?

Very well. I am called Tetsu-ko, Inquisitor. A name of no significance for your kind but one of great meaning among Eldar. No, I will not tell you why. Next time we meet, I will impart that knowledge to you.

But in the great scheme of the Webway, I am still a Harlequin, one who wears many masks as my kind is prone to do.

(by Anne Marie)

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The Inquisitor’s Resolve

26/03/2009 in Warhammer 40K

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To serve without question.
To be loyal, honest, and true.
To stand by your master’s side.
Always, no matter how perilous his quest.
Or how dangerous and long his wanderings.
That, is the greatest thing a familiar can aspire to.

Inquisitor Montrath sat at his desk, writing. His pen scratched along the page, the sound was comforting to him. Montrath finished the page, only a few more pages left to go. His life’s experience was poured into this tome, all his years of fighting the Dark Powers. They needed to be chronicled.

The Inquisitor dunked his pen in its ink-pot, but when the pen re-emerged there was no ink on it. Frowning, the Inquisitor handed the empty pot to his diminutive familiar, a hooded individual who stood faithfully by Montrath’s chair.

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I Stand a Heretic

05/03/2009 in Warhammer 40K

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”Will you aid us?”

It was a direct question, but at that moment, it was the only one I could muster. My mind could not work, all chains of thought dull and numb. To stand next to something so utterly alien turned my stomach. There was no grasp of it. No hint, nothing to hold on to. To watch it was a marvel in itself, to stand next to it was the stuff of nightmares. Enigma personified, in the flesh, a mystery incarnate. And our only hope of survival.

I am Scribe Overlord of the Adeptus Administratum, Adept Marckush van der Falsch. I was a humble servant under Imperial Governor Osric Hammel of Mespys for many a decade. I shall tell you of the time when we, humans, were in dire need of aid; A shadow had emerged out of the darkness and was threatening to consume us all. Two months before, surveillance-satellites at the edge of our system had detected a large splinter fleet of Tyranids heading our way. It was slowly emerging out of deep space and was perhaps less than a year away from reaching the systems outer reaches. Defenses were being prepared, but Imperial aid is not to be relied upon; Out here, in the Eastern Fringe, the dominion of man is fragile at best. Instead, the system of Mespys had reached out for support at an unexpected quarter.

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Ten Minutes

26/02/2009 in Warhammer 40K

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To Sergeant Sade Verus,

Two days ago we lost contact with Lotus, a squad of scout marines
operating out of Fifth Company. We had sent them on a reconnaissance
run to Sepperus IV, where, as you know, an Eldar strike force has set
up camp. I know you just got back from that clash with the Tau over
on Archan, but you’re the best I have right now. Gav isn’t much of a
replacement for Arjeth and I’m sorry you lost him, but I can’t trust
anyone else with this. Lotus had full knowledge of resources and
assets to help them assess the situation. Their job was to
reconnoiter the Eldar defenses and root out the locations of their
anti-air batteries.

A single member of Lotus did escape, but the only thing we could learn
from him before he succumbed to his wounds was that the rest of his
squad had been taken. It’s imperative we get Lotus back, assuming
they’re still alive. Not only is the information they have vital to
any sort of attack, but if the Eldar were to get any of them to

I am leaving it up to Aether Squad to get Lotus out of there, alive.
And Verus, please, be discrete about it. I know you and Arjeth were
close, but I need you at the top of your game. I’m counting on you,

Die laughing.

– Captain Argent Ravus

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A Pet Banshee

23/02/2009 in Warhammer 40K

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This planet reminded her of where she came from, if not for her helmet she would have spat on the ground. In the background the thunder of bolter fire drowned out battle cries; their exarch slowly turned her head, surveying the battlefield, waiting for the right moment.

The wail of anti-grav engines grew louder and closer. The farseer must have ordered their Striking Scorpion kin into the fray against those who served the Great Enemy. The exarch clearly thought so, given her decision to ignore it.

She looked over the battlefield, and noticed something wasn’t right.  The Scorpions had already joined the fray, but as she noticed this… it was too late.

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by Nemesys


17/10/2008 in Warhammer 40K

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Darius looked about him in wonder as he was escorted down the corridor. All his life up to this point had been spent in the darkness of the world of Mira, but now the Emperor had chosen him. Chosen him for a place amongst the Black Templars.

Darius knew that thirty generations ago the Templars had saved his world and built the Chapter Keep there, but never in his life had he set foot inside. Great, high walls, decorated with banners and trophies from a hundred Crusades. Stained-glass windows depicting Sigismund, the spiritual father of all Templars, or Rogal Dorn, the Primarch whose genes had created them, or even of the Emperor himself.

Always the images were of victory, of battle-scarred warriors in black and white winning through against impossible odds.

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