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Thread: 40k: Descendant Degeneration

  1. #81
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration



    Lay of the Ivari Bailif

    "Ack! Let me record the horror that's occured,
    all due to a foreign master's accent,
    't was during Dorntide and the ash dunes lay still,
    when a bailif from Hive Ivar rode into our ville.

    And the knees trembled like rattles on us all,
    for woe unto them who bothers when the bailif commands,
    and our backsides turned wet from fear when he said:
    (Garbled Ivaric): Skolli ejg kunne got vann år de ungfors myn fren?
    For no one understood,
    what he wanted to have.

    One dares not to ask what the bailif just said,
    when bailif wears chainsword and rules our clime,
    but however it was, the barrel o' foiz was carried forth,
    as well as grox-sausage and gill-fat and new-roasted maggot,
    we gathered our rings and coins in a box,
    and gave all of what treasures here was to summon,
    yet the bailif but shook his head and said:
    (Garbled Ivaric): Skölli ejg kunne got ain klunp vann år de ungfors istallen?
    And Emperor alone knew,
    what he wanted to have.

    So Trash-Pyko's daughter with her behind bared,
    was carried to the bailif, and then a fellow,
    we flogged Shorty-Jim in the hope that it was,
    a black and blue squat that he came here to see.

    But the bailif looked sour, and now spread the panic,
    what demanded his mercy to not be disappointed?
    We ran and we razed, while he shouted as before:
    (Garbled Ivaric): Er du alle stopik in de skalli? Ejg vell ånlee hef ain klunp vann!
    And no one understood,
    a word of his howl.

    We painted the groxen, and hanged our priest,
    we raised up an eagle and nailed on a horse,
    we forced grandma down into the ambull's den,
    and Korm gave to the bailif his cut-off foot.

    And the bairns were turned into starch in the grinder,
    and the village burned, and soon it was only me left,
    but I could not care any more about the bailif who shouted:
    (Garbled Ivaric): Våd in alli djefvule? Er dyr nången in de byn ho håger te bjudi ain humänske på vann?
    Amid corpse piles, horse-pole and flames a-roaring.

    I said: To hell with Ivaric power and taxes,
    and sat down feebly by the well and drank water,
    then I stretched out the ladle to the bailif who said:
    (Ivaric thanks): Denck du!
    For it was a gulp water,
    that he had wanted to have."

    - Deviant sinspeech song found in vassal rural districts to Hive Ivar on Lillandia IX, based on a real event that occurred in 836.M41 (subsequently suppressed by censors); a more strictly outlawed version also exists, with flaying, blinding, eardrum-piercing, teeth-removal, nail-pulling, saw-gelding and phosphex bathing being the regulation punishment for anyone singing the words 'to hell with Imperial power and taxes'


    - - -

    Closely based on the Swedish song Balladen om den danske fogden (Lay of the Danish Bailif), by Ola Aurell.

  2. #82
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration



    Xenocide

    "O, believers in the Enthroned Almighty!
    We shall hiss at the mention of the alien,
    as we shall gnash our teeth at its sighting.
    On countless worlds the human heart boils,
    sizzling and fierce with heated hate,
    so pure and just,
    divinely guided,
    holy vengeance will come,
    by the God-Emperor we swear!
    It will come.

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    Long have we suffered the blows of the xeno!
    O, many of us have been carried off to fates unknown,
    our dear sisters strewn lifeless in the ashes,
    our fine brothers skewered and pained,
    our beloved children eaten while still alive.
    So many corpses,
    so many innocents,
    a-sprinkled like refuse,
    their souls cry out with one voice,
    aye, they cry out, and we hear it!
    Hear their call.

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    Lo and behold the filth of the alien!
    Sisters, shudder you at its unholy abomination,
    brothers, be you all revolted by its foul form.
    For its essence is void, its soul naught,
    truly a mercy to end its life,
    truly a good deed to burn its den,
    reach out and slay their younglings.
    Cleanse every voidholm,
    torch every world,
    death to the enemies of man,
    now is the time of sacred vengeance!
    To kill is to pray.

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    O, bless these righteous wars of expansion!
    And forgive us our feeble mortal failings, o Lord,
    for we will purge guilt from our hearts,
    and cleanse remorse as we cleanse the xeno.
    No pity can be allowed to stir us,
    no sparing of helpless spawn,
    fear the alien,
    hate the alien,
    kill the alien,
    with pride and satisfaction!
    Kill all xenos.

    Kill!
    Kill!
    Kill!

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    Rise up, and bring tremendous terror!
    And utterly reject their snaring cries for mercy,
    but false gestures and empty pleas,
    the alien deserve not to live.
    Knee deep in slaughter,
    we wade through the sea,
    its waves lapping blood,
    a manmade tide of death,
    and the Emperor saw that it was good!
    In glory we wade.

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    O, embrace the just calling to make stars pure!
    For the very breath and blood of the alien is hostile to man,
    so shoulder our sacred duty to become its bane.
    We shall bash in the little heads,
    bash their spawn upon the rocks,
    and let our hate flow,
    as their blood flow,
    and strike true, free of doubt and hesitation!
    For we will:

    Kill!
    Maim!
    Burn!

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    This bloody offering we place before His feet!
    A sacrifice of slain foes, to gladden Him on Terra,
    to uphold His vision for chosen mankind.
    The Lord of our species wills its,
    as we pile the alien husks high,
    He judges it just,
    our faith aflame,
    as we light the pyres of mass destruction!
    Of divine extinction.

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    O, pious flock, harken!
    His enemies are many,
    His equals none.
    Exterminate them we must!
    Kill all xenos.

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!

    Ave Imperatore Dei!
    Ave Humanae Imperium!"

    - Hymn of Holy Xenocide, penned during religious ecstacy in 633.M37 by Aqabe Sa'at Liqawint, reverend Ichege of the Monastic Order of Re'ese Papasat, in the crusading service of the Missionaria Galaxia, Segmentum Obscurus


    - - -

    A tribute to the following two songs by Space Cadets.

    Kill All Xenos
    Wars of Expansion

  3. #83
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration



    Labour Camp

    In the grim darkness of the far future, man buckles under the yoke.

    Come and see!

    Come, fellow human, and see the circus of depravity and destitution which our species has been reduced to, at the brink of doomsday. Shy not away, and close not your eyes, but gaze upon the bizarre spectacle unfolding across the Milky Way galaxy!

    Do you see how the proud seed of Terra has been cast across the cosmos, only to sprout in a sick harvest? They were once the bold explorers of the universe.

    Do you see those jaded hordes of men, women and children whose brutal survival and sacrifice allows humanity to thrive bitterly across the stars? They once lived like demigods in mortal paradise.

    Do you see those teeming multitudes of downtrodden cattle in human form? They were once on the cusp of unlocking the secrets to creation itself.

    Now that is a tragedy so colossal and total in scope that it goes all the way around to become comedy! And do you know what the punchline is? The joke of fate is that the last strong defender of mankind is also its insane gravedigger. Its last remaining shield is in fact also its hostage-taker. Its last hope is utterly false, being nought but a dead end of human development across the entire galaxy, having wasted ten thousand precious years in ever-worsening decay as human power across the Milky Way erodes away.

    Aye, power is all it has left.

    Diminishing power.

    The muscular power of guns, ships, vehicles and warriors, deployed in great mass. Yet the cerebral power of man has been sapped, locked behind convoluted mysticism safeguarded by fanatical cults of jealous machine-worshippers and bloodthirsty zealots. In fact, this last bastion of humanity do not truly know how to produce its strong armaments, and for every century, more and more advanced technology disappears forever from human grasp of production, the remaining pieces of hardware being treasured as irreplacable relics. All these marvellous designs are the genius fruits of the ancients, and indeed the olden templates and antiquated machines still know how to make anew the tools and weapons of man, for those machines that have lasted the millennia have done so precisely because they were designed to endure time and disaster, and be able to produce robust and crude hardware for the degenerate survivors of a potential apocalypse. That apocalypse happened, and still the machines know. Otherwise mankind would long since have fallen, for man himself no longer understands, or cares to understand what wonders his nimble hands and mind can fashion.

    And is not that the greatest joke of them all? That the guardians of man's craft and lore are also the destroyers and gaolers of man's innate drive to learn and discover, to creatively innovate, tweak and improve? Is it not the ultimate irony that the best and the brightest, those who should have been the great scientists and inventors of our species, has instead become its blinkered hoarders and deniers of knowledge, like so many chanting witch doctors swinging incense in front of cogitators?

    With friends like these, who needs enemies?

    Yet enemies there are aplenty, in a long line of foes, jostling for the chance to tear man asunder. And with brilliant mankind gelded of its limitless potential by cruel overlords and aggressively myopic fanatics, all that remains is a senile wreck of an empire, as sclerotic and counterproductive in its workings as it is downright detrimental for the long term interests of the human species. And yet the farce has gone on too long. Too many possible forks in the road have been missed. Too many alternative sources of human regrowth have been quashed. Too many millennia have been wasted in a futile struggle of mediocrity merely to tread water in order not to drown. That is also part of the gods' joke.

    It did not have to come to this horrendous end. It did not have to be like this. And yet here we are, the dumb slaves of self-serving tyrants and demented incompetents. Here we are, we whose ancestors once bestrode the cosmos like titans. Trapped aboard a sinking ship.

    Enter, the Imperium of Man.

    An astral realm of a million worlds and voidholms beyond counting, the Imperium stretches across the galaxy. Besieged by aliens and monsters. Attacked from within by heretics and rebels. For fivehundred generations it has endured. Protected by fleets of warships and legions of genetically engineered warriors, the Imperium is a stumbling colossus on feet of clay. A rotting dominion ruled by corrupt oligarchs from Holy terra, the cradle of mankind, the Imperium is locked in a grinding death spiral of demechanization and loss of technology. Where once machines performed tasks efficiently, now bodies will be thrown on the problem, in ever more primitive fashion.

    The Imperium of Man does not care how many billions of its own malnourished and parasite-infested subjects it must sacrifice, so long as its basal needs of empire are met. It does not care how many souls it must crush under ceramite boots to achieve its monstrous plans. And make no mistake about it; the Imperium itself is a monster on the prowl, a slavering predator stalking the stars, guarding its catch in dark dens of misery scattered across the starspangled void. It is no shining saviour.

    Thus we see that there is nothing between heaven and earth that would make the High Lords of Terra balk at the thought of enslaving untold millions of our species in sweeping waves of arrests, torture and condemnation to penal labour. The mass purging of internal enemies is just an endemic feature of Imperial power dynamics, and what loss has been suffered if innocents disappear along with the guilty? At the end of the day, they are just living tools to be discarded at will. Their short-lived existence constitute nothing but vast, faceless numbers in a broken equation of increased input to meet the demands of total war.

    Let us take the civilized world of Gradovich Gamma during the last century of M41 as an example, and see how the extremely common phenomenon of penal labour within the Imperium often looks like. Gradovich Gamma is situated in the southern Segmentum Pacificus, ruled over by the cutthroat Navinilats dynasty. As per upper caste tradition, its Caesarch bore a Terran reigning name, styling himself Caracalla XIX Severus, though he was more commonly known as Lop Top behind his back by the more irreverent of his subjects and rivals. Like so many of his predecessors, Caracalla XIX faced a severe issue decreed on him from on high, when his Astropaths received an encrypted message from the Administratum on Holy Terra in 967.M41. Gradovich Gamma had long been an extraction economy for export of primarily raw material to forge worlds, yet lately the fortunes of the Imperium had turned acrimoniously sour, and so the Adeptus Administratum had increased the Tithe demanded of Gradovich Gamma.

    All across the planet, machines were already working around the clock without due maintenance rites being undertaken by the lowly lay techmen that tended to them. And like so many Emperor-fearing overlords, Caracalla XIX found it incredibly hard to order new industries being built in order to supply the sagging economy with its dearly needed machinery. The machines were just lacking, and so to meet the heightened Tithe demands, Gradovich Gamma turned to devour her own people in order to supply the Imperium with the needed materials.

    No tyrant ever had trouble finding willing henchmen and tormentors. And as humanity has grown small in the mind during the creaking Age of Imperium, the number of brutes eager to take out their frustrations and dark desires on others has only increased. Trauma breeds trauma. Thus willing manpower is never a hindrance to carry out diabolical designs. Caracalla XIX Severus ordered his Securitate Proedros, Xilef Jiksnijzrezd, to enlarge the labour camp system and scoop up threehundredtwenty million fresh convicts from the streets. Governor Caracalla's festering paranoia converged perfectly with the new quotas.

    Likewise, Securitate findings about suspicious cults across the world caused the local Adeptus Ministorum head clergy to lash out in fevered panic, demanding harsh means to quell the budding threat to faith and purity. Whipping up a propaganda campaign to instil fear and fervour into the populace, Proedros Xilef sparked a wave of official terror, commenting in private as he unleashed the informants: "Now we are going to have a terror campaign and kill lots of people who probably did nothing wrong, and we will consolidate power by fear."

    And so yet another wave of purges rolled out across Gradovich Gamma. Across the Imperium, random people will usually be rounded up to meet the high numbers of district quotas ordained from above, lest the local authorities themselves risk being arrested on suspicion of sympathizing with the deviants and malcontents. In the middle of the night, families and clans were suddenly awakened in their holesteads and hab blocks, as Securitate forces rammed down doors and entered their lousy dwellings with drawn weapons and loud screaming. Many startled subjects were thrown into armoured prison wagons disguised by Guilder slogans such as the classic: "Drink Imperial champagne!"

    And so hundreds of millions of dutiful Imperial subjects were thrown into cells and tortured during interrogations, every name beaten out of them leading to further arrests and more baleful suffering in dark chambers of blood and pain. Of course, most humans will say any nonsense they believe might stop the torture, and thus lying confessions obtained on the rack will often be worthless and misleading. Yet the hidden heretics must be rooted out! Better that a hundred innocents perish, than one apostate walks free. Suffer not the heretic to live! Of course, the proceedings were meticulously documented on parchment by the Securitate agents, many of which papers were filed in the archives, splattered with dried blood from severe beatings and worse. Some exceptional torturers were even commended and awarded medals and petty privileges for being such outstanding hard toilers in their righteous trade. One such bloodsoaked shock worker was Jitnerval Ajireb, who would rapidly climb the ranks of the Securitate, even as he in private committed occasional murder and violation of maidens in his few hours of spare time.

    Securitate Proedros Xilef Jiksnijzrezd died from sickness early on in the first new Imperial terror wave, being replaced by Kirneg Adogaj. Proedros Kirneg went out of his way to please the Imperial Governor Caracalla XIX, both with flattery and results born out of immense human death and misery. Kirneg saw to it that the main crop of convicts from the recent Imperial terror wave were distributed to infrastructure projects which sought to break new land in inhospitable backwaters, and extract resources from wastelands. Thus tens of millions of already starving prisoners found themselves shipped or marched out into the wilderness. In many cases, bureaucratic sclerosis, incompetence or corruption had caused many planned camps to not having been built when the prisoners arrived to their allocated spots, and so their first task was to sleep under the sky in harsh climates and build a lethal labour camp for themselves, ever under the watchful glare of armed camp guards from the Securitate. Needlessly to say, people died in droves, their demise nothing but faceless numbers on a page.

    An archipelago of hellish labour camps will dot almost any Imperial world, and most larger voidholms. The recent influx of convicts saw this system swell on Gradovich Gamma, labour camps springing up like mushrooms after rain in the harshest parts of the world's landmass. Proedros Kirneg Adogaj personally travelled to many locations to oversee the progress of works. Canal digs were carried out by cheap slave labour, and millions perished as they excavated and built with the most primitive and cheap means possible. For instance, a lack of basic tools such as chainsaws or axes cause large gangs of prisoners to tear down trees by nothing but rope and muscle power. Several of these canals proved to have been poorly planned, for their shallow depth allowed only barges and small bluewater craft passage, yet still the abysmal death toll was as nothing compared to how cheaply the faulty canals were dug. Just look on the record-low budget numbers!

    Soon, the rich new ore veins found in the gargantuan Amylok gold mines made Proedros Kirneg become the Imperial Governor's favourite sycophant and hatchet man. Tens of millions were fed into the meatgrinder that was this infernal mining complex, and soon the camp system screamed for more bodies. Under the pretense of rooting out unholy cults, a second terror wave went out across Gradovich Gamma, shovelling another twohundredseventythree million Imperial subjects into certain death by harsh labour and starvation. The informants had a field day. The new slaves were fed into logging operations, quarries and the ghastly hazards of chemical processing. Now, the bloodstained hands of Proedros Kirneg Adogaj had begun to stink among higher castes, and the ruthless ruler of Gradovich Gamma prudently decided to replace him with an underling, trumping up false charges and throwing Kirneg literally to the dogs while ignoring the man's protestations of loyalty. Reportedly, the butcher and building-lord Kirneg Adogaj's last words were yelled amidst tears and barking hounds: "Spare me, o please great lord! I swear I would do anything for you! Aaaah! By the Imperator, I built these great canals for you! I built them for you!"

    Kirneg was replaced by Securitate Proedros Jalokin Vojzej, who would become infamous for the greatest round of purges during that century, making the entire decade of the 980s eponymously named after him in Gradovichian chronicles. Five more terror waves of fully two and a half billion arrested Gradovichians saw the Planetary Defence Force (PDF) gutted of its professional core, for Caesarch Caracalla XIX Severus wanted to preempt a possible armed coup as he sat brooding in his palaces, embracing his rising paranoia and ordering ever more personal servants and bodyguards shot on empty suspicions. For decades after Proedros Jalokin's reign of purges, the Departmento Munitorum filed complaints of a slump in quality among Gradovichian regiments, since the great Imperial terror waves tore the heart out of the planet's military, and the Astra Militarum regiments were recruited directly from the PDF. Nonetheless, all these fresh thrall cohorts were put to all previously mentioned tasks, as well as an ambitious bout of magrail construction, plasteelworks and starshipbuilding, though in truth every wave of purges and arrests produced slave workers for more disparate projects than can be mentioned here.

    The crescendo of arrests, torture, accusations and fearmongering on Gradovich Gamma during the 980s was reached when Caracalla XIX 'Lop Top' Severus became sated with the grand purging, and finished it by finishing off its architect, Jalokin Vojzej. The Imperial Governor chose a brilliant Securitate officer, Jitnerval Ajireb, to replace Jalokin, and wished to have it expedited in a personal manner. Thus, Jalokin Vojzej was put through a show trial, like so many of the people he himself had purged, and he was convicted of betraying the God-Emperor of Holy Terra and blaspheming against His true creed. And as Caracalla XIX sat watching from atop his aquila-topped throne, Jalokin's replacement, Jitnerval, tortured Jalokin Vojzej to death in the most brutal fashion imaginable. Rumour has it that the Imperial Governor ate pickled oilsquid eyes during the entire event. And so the bloodstained Jitnerval Ajireb entered the office of Securitate Proedros, chief of the security police on Gradovich Gamma.

    In his personal life, the hard-working Jitnerval was a monster. Murdering and violating people in private, he went further than any of his predecessors did in depravity, yet his time as head of the Securitate saw a decrease in waves of Imperial terror and purges. Imperial Governor Caracalla XIX had already murdered most potential rivals and sent an astounding number of ordinary Gradovichians to work themselves asunder in the labour camp archipelago, and thus the paranoid ruler of Gradovich Gamma could roll back the terror for the time being. With such a bumper crop of camp convicts harvested during the dreadful 980s, the next decade saw many lesser waves of purges continue to roll out in order to replenish the slave workforce, but nothing on the scale of Jalokin's terror. The mountains of dead subjects to be processed into corpse starch was a cheap price to pay for the tyrannical Governor, considering that his Securitate-run camp labour projects had borne fruit. Gradovich Gamma had indeed managed to meet the Tithe quotas set by the Throneworld, and so all was well.


    ...

  4. #84
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration

    As noted, penal labour colonies dot almost every single planet, moon and huge voidholm across the Imperium of Man, yet how do they operate?

    Given His Divine Majesty's overcrowded holdings across the galaxy, replenishing numbers of the penal workforce is no problem. As such, most Administratum planners will reach the usual conclusion that these cheap units of labour is better off replaced by fresh blood after an intense period of backbreaking toil, than being tended to and fed well. They also note that harsh labour unto starvation and death is of more economic benefit to the Imperium than shovelling masses of people into purification camps for rapid eradication. Therefore labour camps far outnumber pure death camps across the Imperium, even if the labour camps only amount to a slower death by drudgery as contrasted with the swifter mass slaughter seen in dedicated purification camps. In Imperial labour camps, convicts will usually be fed starvation rations, sometimes calculated to keep prisoners alive no longer than three Terran months for the hardest labour tasks, while the taskmasters wring out as much toil as they can get from the lost and the damned. A great many labour camps will see cauldrons of horrid broth cooked on corpse starch and flymeat bars or other synthetic foods, seeing inmates hauling heavy rocks being fed a thin soup indeed, as if to mock their shrieking stomachs.

    One aspect that adds further suffering to an already abominable situation for camp labourers, is the discovery that some of their fellow prisoners are not to be trusted. Throughout the entire Imperium, there exist billions upon billions of rockrete buildings built by slave labour, inside which are trapped the corpses of unfortunates dumped into the wet rockrete during construction. Many of these were the victims of sadists and madmen among prisoners and camp guards alike, while a great many others were the victims of gangers and other actual criminals who invariably rule the roost inside penal labour camps. For in Imperial labour camps, the lowest rung of prisoners will always consist of ordinary Imperial subjects convicted for false crimes, their conscience innocent, their bodies and rations easy pickings for the scum of the earth who are used to take advantage of decent people.

    Imperial labour camps truly are pits of suffering, where prisoners are exposed to the elements, poisoned by chym or worked to death amid typhoid fever and cannibalism. Even so, life and death behind the razorwire will sometimes elevate the human spirit, in the most unexpected of places.

    In labour camps, humanity is stripped to its very essence. Here, you may witness not only desperate wretches scheming and backstabbing each other for every scrap of food and every little bit of advantage, but you may also bear witness to a great many more decent people willing to offer support and helpful words to others in dire straits. In the midst of starvation ravaging Imperial labour camps, some decent humans will always give away their last piece of nutrient ration to help others in need. This is a freedom of choice dwelling at the core of the human soul, which few tyrannical regimes have ever managed to crush. When humans are put into the worst possible circumstances, their reactions will span the spectrum, yet surprisingly many of them will behave decently, lovingly and helpfully to their fellow sufferers. Know that the misanthropes were wrong.

    Thus, in the midst of depravity and screeching want, altruism stands tall, a truly saintly vision glimpsed in the little actions of common men, women and children who refuse to believe the worst of their fellow humans. Behold the living hell that is the Imperial labour camp, but know also that the helping hand will be stretched out from one starving prisoner to comfort another. The Imperium may seek to reduce humans to caged beasts and numbers on a page, yet its titanic cruelty and disregard of human life cannot truly permeate those caught crushed under its adamantium heel. For good people, even in our darkest moments, will nonetheless manage to hold back the apocalypse through sheer will and decency. They will defeat cynicism through kindness and care, for when caring for themselves in disaster they will care greatly for others as well. They will mitigate human fears through empathy and solidarity amid the most baleful hardship. This is the paradise built in hell, where humans at the brink of oblivion find meaning and belonging in caring for their fellow man. Ultimately, we are our brother's and sister's keeper.

    In the oral legends of camp gossip, names of outstanding helpful people stand out. On Gradovich Gamma during the worst of the purges, penal labourers whispered with reverence about the selflessness of Ajinisorfve Ajaksovnsrek, the unbelievable generosity of Malrav Vomalajs and the stoic example of Iskandar Nystinejzlos, who inspired many others to endure and put their heart into the work, despite their terrible lot in life. Such human potential for greater things is of course mostly wasted on the Imperium's watch, but the unconquerable human spirit still lurks there, deep in the hearts of men, women and children who has seen so much suffering and yet still refuse to give up.

    Even in the bitter camps, laughter can be found amid mindnumbing drudgery that ought to have extinguished all joy in the human soul. Some of the best sinspeech whisper jokes found across the wide Imperium are believed to have originated in penal labour camps. Here is but one example:

    "Tyrant Matteus, is it true that you collect jokes about yourself?"
    "Yes."
    "And how many have you collected so far?"
    "Three and a half labour camps."

    The faceless numbers do have a face. And so the vital spirit in man refuse to die, among people condemned to a slow and agonizing death through slave labour. As backbreaking work inflicts irreparable wounds on convicts, those who have lost everything still find value in common decency. The Imperial camp administration might seek the total oblivion of any worth in life for the thralls, but the victims of terror must ultimately be servitorized if that goal is to be obtained. They lived.

    Repent, sinner! Repent of your thoughts of self! Repent of your deviancy! Repent!

    The whip may lash out, the tongue may scream, and flesh may burn, yet the callous overlords and theocrats of the Terran Imperium can never seem to create a new Imperial man bred for unfailing obedience and submission. Not even in the darket pits of horror and drudgery can they truly break the human spirit, hidden though it often be inside gnarled and scarred bodies and jaded eyes. Hardship may dull us, but it cannot wholly quench us.

    And so we see, among so many corpses and broken dreams, that humanity is fundamentally unchanged in this distant epoch of baleful woe.

    Ultimately, the Imperium is a bloody farce.

    In an era of darkest suffering and waste, the Emperor's brutopian dream has degenerated into a bizarre nightmare of primitivization and decay, where the devilishly hard measures to combat unnatural forces only serve to strengthen the Dark Gods.

    In a time beyond hope, man has become harnessed to the plow, to toil like a beast, all efforts wasted as our species finds itself trapped in a death spiral of its own making.

    At the end of all things, our kind has sunk to the level of scrabbling vermin, infesting a rotting cosmic empire. For in truth the Imperium of Man amounts to nothing short of a fortified madhouse straddling the stars.

    Or perhaps even a suicide pact.

    Gone wrong.

    It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is only drudgery.

  5. #85
    Chapter Master Ragsta's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration

    You deserve more comments in general, mate. I could easily be reading a Codex or Black Library preamble when I read your posts - the art is is well done too. Clansman putting the grim into Grimdark!

  6. #86
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Re: 40k: Descendant Degeneration

    @Ragsta: Thank you most kindly, sir! That is heartily appreciated.

    I often find that the meaty preamble is the part I like the most of all, so I run with it to the hilt, haha.



    Discovery

    "Well I'll be damned! Did ya know this can opener fits on the end of a lasgun?"

    - Anecdote of an ignorant conscript discovering his bayonet, from Colonel Juanito Diaz' equally censored and celebrated memoirs
    Between Battle Drills, Bedsheets and Bribes: The True Story of My Military and Amorous Career Within His Imperial Majesty's Revered Porfirixian Planetary Defence Force

    - - -

    Tribute to Bill Mauldin's Willie & Joe, with a Porfirian touch. In space.

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