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  1. #1

    Default The Existence of Chaos

    So, one thing the 40K fluff seems to drift back and forth on...

    How much does the average citizen of the Imperium know about the Heresy, the Traitor Legions, Chaos, Demons, and the like? Sometimes it's made out to be a dark secret the Lords of Terra hide at all costs. Other times it seems most people have a vague awareness of it. Other times it almost seems to be common knowledge.

    Supposedly Logan Grimnar was angry that whole armies were "relocated" after the first war for Armageddon (against Angron and the Worldeaters). But then how does the Imperium explain Cadia? Do the Cadians know what they're all standing at arms to defend against? Are they kept fiercely isolated so no one else ever knows?

    Does the kid flipping grox-burgers know who the Black Legion was? Has he ever heard of Horus? Does he know what happened to the Warmaster...?

    Just curious what everyone's thoughts/ opinions are.
    Last edited by Lord Anubis; 10-17-2009 at 01:41 PM.
    Exitus Acta Probat

  2. #2


    I think it is something like this...
    "There are evil gribbily things from another plane of existance that want to kill you and rend your souls. Once, a very long time ago, there was a mean nasty man who joined them and tried to take over the world(s). He was stopped by the Emperor, who now fights the evil gribbilys with his mind. Fear the darkness! Praise the Emperor! Death to the xeno! Ect."

  3. #3


    I think it depends where about in the imperium you are. Places like cadia that are close to the eye of terror are bound to know about it, same with places that have seen wars against the forces of chaos.

    Other places though probaly dont have a clue, and are more scared of xenos that threaten their area of space.

  4. #4


    I guess it's somewhere in the middle. If you are actually exposed to serious daemonic infestation then the GKs and the Inquisition will be making servitors from you, if you're fighting cultists then commisars will make sure you don't go bad. CSMs are the inconsistent bit, the fluff sometime implies that the fact that there are traitors who were once astartes is highly secretive but 13 black crusades and countless other warband based shennanigans has got to make that a pretty badly kept secret.

    Perhaps its one of those things where everyone pretends not to know so the local inquisitor doesn't mind scrub them and their family, friends and pets!
    Cats and Dogs are better than kids because they eat less, don't ask for money and if they get pregnant you can sell their children.

  5. #5


    There are more than a million worlds in the imperium, the ones affected by the black crusades are just a fraction remember, I doubt they send out news letters every black crusade saying "Abbadon strikes again!" :P

  6. #6
    Occuli Imperator
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Feast of Blades


    My feeling is that the citizens of the Imperium are on a "Need to Know," basis. I agree that they most likely don't send out an email to the galaxy letting them know Huron is a traitor. There are some where it might be common knowledge, but if you talk about it you die (A la the Inquisition). Where they can hide the truth I think they will..

    Eg. Hello Mr. Smith, I am Inquisitor James... Im here for your Daughter, she is gifted and the Emperor has felt her presence (Psyker). 'Wow, how wonderful!" he replies... "Yes, we will take her Terra where she will live in Paradise for the rest of her life, enjoying all that the Emperor provides... (She will live in paradise for about 2 minutes before being sacraficed.)

    The Imperium is a scary place... In short answer, your 'common knowledge,' depends on where you are. But as a rule I think that those topics would be more like fairy tales/ folk lore taught to peopleso that they don't disobey. "Go to bed Son, Horus is at the gates."


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Post Chaos

    When you read the short stories or even the Novels, it seems the average Imperial citizen doesn't have a clue of what's really happening in the universe. It seems like the dark ages where you live in an area and that's all you're concerned about if you want to stay alive and unhindered by th Imperium. There is no guarantee that still won't come in the dead of night and take your children away as psyker's or "voluntarily enlisted" into the Imperial guard. Even the awesome Space Marine seems to be a bedtime story for the young to behave and believe in the guidance and protection of the Emperor.This is not a universe where info is dessiminated freely. As already has been said," it's strictly a need to know." Probably even then the average citizen wouldn't know until Chaos force are invading and Imperial forces might show up and help. Kind of sad, but seems to be the way it is!!

  8. #8


    The Imperium exists by keeping knowledge from its people. You are penalised for curiousity. The average Imperial citizen

    1) gets up
    2) brushes teeth
    3) showers
    4) eats
    5) goes to work
    6) comes home
    7) prays to emperor
    8) eats
    9) copulates with wife (race must continue!)
    20) sleeps

    He is encourages to believe that is his lot in lie and nothing else matters. There is almost no Imperial news service to speak of for the common citizen.

    Like it has been mentioned, most people dont even know that the Space Marines are any more than just a legend, much less Horus.

    On the other hand, in places like Cadia, yea, Chaos is known to everyone.... but that isnt even a drop in the ocean to the number of worlds without a clue.
    "The Emperor is with us, His sacred light shields us, and he has sent his wolves to watch over us."

  9. #9


    The "average" 40K human citizen of the Imperium would equate chaos with the boogieman.

    Except, unlike in today's world, they know the boogieman is real, and much like in the dark ages, the church certainly agrees, and if you don't worship the Emperor, you're gonna become the boogieman (so it's better that you worship or burn).
    The mouth of the Emperor shall meditate wisdom; from His tongue shall speak judgment

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Melissia View Post
    Except, unlike in today's world, they know the boogieman is real, and much like in the dark ages, the church certainly agrees, and if you don't worship the Emperor, you're gonna become the boogieman (so it's better that you worship or burn).
    I think this is right - I doubt that the average Imperial citizen has very accurate ideas about the boogieman, but he certainly thinks that there is a boogieman.

    It's "just a story" in that the details are almost certainly wrong, and I'm sure there are things about Chaos that your average Imperial citizen hasn't even thought of. In fact, I'm not sure your average Imperial citizen even makes much of a distinction among Chaos, xenos, normal mutation, and plain old human heretics or apostates.

    But it's not "just a story" in the sense that your average Imperial citizen thinks that the church's teachings about turning from the light of the Emperor are just complicated ways of getting people to behave correctly - as though he thinks, "When the Ministorum talks about mutation being a threat to immortal soul, it's really just trying to enforce a uniform code of social mores for the efficient governing of Mankind, and possibly to prop up its own decrepit power structure as well."

    He thinks, "When the Ministorum talks about mutation being a threat to my immortal soul, it's telling me that mutation is a threat to my immortal soul."


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