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See Warhammer 40,000 for detailed information. This page lists events in the timeline according to the game's manual, and while some are still considered canon, many more are not.

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Background


From manual

The galaxy contains some four hundred thousand million stars. Only a fraction are presumed to have habitable planetary systems, and only a fraction of these have been investigated. Most are situated within the spiral arms between ten and forty thousand light years from the galactic centre. Even the human controlled Imperium, by far the largest and most widely distributed of all stellar empires, contains only a tiny fraction of the galaxy's stars. 

Humanity is one of many races in the galaxy, but none are so widely distributed or so numerous as humans. Most occupy only a single world or a small group of worlds. Only a few alien races posses technology which rivals that of the Imperium - Orks, Eldar and Tyranids.

This is a time of superstition, in which unfathomable technology has been enslaved to the forces of mysticism and madness. To ordinary humans, scientific thought represents an abhorrent perversity, a corruption of honour and religious virtue. Even to those who deal with technology, science and magic have become inseparable. Warp engines must have runes engraved upon their sides, and lasers requires the blessing of the Gods of Battle. 

This is a universe in which the gods, mysticism and magic are real. 

Timeline


From manual

9,000 BC: Building of the Sphinx, Great Pyramids.

750-314AD: Roman Empire.

2,011 (011/M02): Beginning of Second Epoch.

100/M02: Mars Terraformed.

200/M02: Mars is settled.

M03: Warp discovered.

M16: Mankind first starts to expand from Earth, nearby solar systems are colonised using primitive sub-light drives. The period of the next ten thousand years is known as the Dark Age of Technology.

M21: Discovery of warp drives allows more rapid dispersion, first alien races encountered.

M21: Navigator gene isolated, warp travel becomes even faster, Navigator families and cartels become powerful political entities. The Expansion of Humanity covers most of the galaxy, STC system is perfected to aid new colonies.

M26: Psychic humans begin to appear, simultaneously civilisation starts to collapse as widespread insanity and insurrection tear many colonies apart. Terrible wars sunder human space, demonic creatures possess unprotected psykers and subjugate worlds. This period is know as the Age of Strife. Warp storms isolate many parts of the galaxy including Earth.

M28: Earth devolves into petty fiefdoms ruled by warlords.

M28: Grunhag the Flayer, Ork Warlord, attacks the Squat Homeworlds with a huge fleet. This marks the beginning of Squat hostility towards Orks and distrust towards Eldar who stayed neutral in the conflict.

M29: Earth is reunited under a new leader; this warlord begins a slow push to the stars.

M30: Primarchs created as a new super race by the Emperor, the Chaos powers recognise their potential and scatter them across the galaxy. First founding of the Space Marine legions.

M30: Astronomican founded to make space travel easier.

M30: Age of the Imperium begins with the Great Crusade, for the next two hundred years, the Emperor and the Space Marine Legions gradually carve out the scattered Imperium of Man. During this time the Emperor is reunited with the Primarchs of whom the greatest is Horus.

007/M31: Horus Heresy begins. After several months, the Emperor orders seven Legions of Marines to assault Istvaan V; four defect to Horus, the other three are destroyed. Space Wolves attack Thousand Sons homeworld of Prospero forcing the Thousand Sons to declare for Horus and flee to the Eye of terror, during the pursuit the Thirteenth Company of the Space Wolves is destroyed in the warp.

014/M31: Horus assaults Earth.

014/M31: The Emperor, Rogal Dorn and Sanguinius teleport aboard Horus' war barge, Sanguinius is killed by Horus, Horus is killed by the Emperor. End of the Horus Heresy, Emperor incarcerated within the Golden Throne.

015/M31: High Lords of Terra convened to provide guidance in the absence of the Emperor.

021/M31: Roboute Guilliman writes the Codex Astartes. The Space Marine Legions are divided into autonomous Chapters. The Grey Knights are created, a second founding chapter with no antecedents.

350/M32: Temple of the Saviour Emperor recognised as the official religion of the Imperium.

400/M32: Last of the Space Marine Primarchs dies.

550/M32: Ecclesiarch Veneris II becomes a High Lord of Terra (First member of the Ministorum to be so honoured).

200/M35: Holy Synod moves to Ophelia VII, power of the Ministorum grows as Frateris Templar (the military offshoot of the Ministorum) is formed.

500/M35: Greigor XI elected Ecclesiarch.

979/M35: Volistad is first colonised by the Imperium, but isolated by warp storms for the next 3,500 years.

Early M36: Incidence of warp storms increases. Imperium reels as Orks and other races rampage throughout a divided galaxy. Period know as the Age of Apostasy begins.

288/M36: Decree Passive issued by High Lords of Terra forbidding the Ecclesiarchy from maintaining an “armed force of men.” The Frateris Templar are duly disbanded but the Daughters of the Emperor remain.

437/M39: Volistad is re-discovered discovered by the Imperium in a state of planetary civil war between the four main families (Ochinka, Petchenka, Silenko, and Volga). House Petcherka is elevated to the position of Imperial Family.

738/M41: 26th Founding of Space Marines.

907/M41: Incidence of Ork invasions increases in the Ultima Segmentum.

928/M41: Archaeological team discovers ancient Titans is stasis on Volistad. The Titans were part of the original terraforming mission and had been untouched for almost 7,000 years.

941/M41: Battle for Armageddon, Ghazghkull Thraka leads his Orks against an Imperial Guard army led by Commissar Yarrick.

981/M41: Navigator Durlan Ocellati discovers a route into the Wheel of Fire, a sector of the Ultima Segmentum that had previously been inaccessible.

984/M41: 7th Mordian Regiment raised and sent to pacify the Feral world of Flotis III which was populated with Orks using native feral humans as slaves.

986/M41: An Imperial patrol notes unexplained scenes of devastation in the Ork sector of Jakor-Tal. Adeptus Prefectus Primus Wilhelm Franz sends report on the Planetary Background of Volistad following Waaagh! Skroll.

987/M41: Orks commanded by Gordal Luggub attack Crimson Fist Marines on Rynns World.

992/M41: Hive fleet Kraken is first detected. Vicious battles are fought across the whole of the Ultima Segmentum.

997/M41: Imperial world of Piscina IV is attacked by Orks under the joint leadership of Ghazghkull Thraka and Nazdreg, Master Belial of the Dark Angels beats them off after a short but bloody campaign.

998/M41: Present year. Volistol system is isolated by unexplained warp storm. Imperial world of Volistad IV is ravaged by Ork forces under the control of Warboss Khorga Skroll.

Imperial Mordian and Cadian armies mobilise to take back Volistad under the command of a Lord Commander Militant and Commissar Holt, with the aid of the Ultramarines Second Company.

Trivia

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