The Imperium of Man (Latin: Imperium Hominis) is a fictional galactic empire located in the Milky Way, consisting of the vast majority of human controlled worlds in the 41st millennium, set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop. In the fiction, the Imperium is depicted as a loose empire, nominally consisting of the tens to the billions power of human-inhabited worlds in explored space and united through imposed religious conviction, extreme xenophobia, militarism, fascism, despotic hierarchical rule, and threats of brutal disciplinary force. The founder of the Imperium, an enigmatic and mysterious persona known only as the 'Emperor of Mankind' is in theory the supreme ruler of this galaxy-spanning empire, although in practice the highest tier of command is the supreme council known as the High Lords, based on Terra (Earth in the 41st millennium AD), who have ruled for ten millennia under the Emperor's name, as the Emperor lays dormant on the Golden Throne in a nearly unresponsive state of hyper-focused attention to maintaining, among other things, the Astronomicon, a psychic navigational beacon dependent upon his powers alone.
History of the ImperiumEdit
The Imperium was founded by the Emperor, also called "The Immortal Emperor", "God-Emperor", and the "Master of Mankind", at the end of the Age of Strife - a very long period of anarchy, war, and destructive regression which almost completely reversed thousands of years of mankind's progression made during the Dark Age of Technology.
As the warp storms of the Age of Strife subsided, after having secured the scientific posts and spacedocks of Luna, along with the factories and scientists on Mars the Emperor began to unite mankind under his rule. A vast navy was built with which his armies undertook the Great Crusade, which lasted for about two centuries.
During this massive military campaign, the Emperor employed his most potent military units, the Space Marine Legions, lead by their born leaders, the Primarchs. These, coupled with the combined might of the Imperial military (which was later separated into the Imperial Guard and the Imperial Navy as fully separate organizations), reclaimed all reachable human colonies for the Imperium. The Great Crusade only ended with the tragic Horus Heresy.
At the climax of this tragic civil war the Emperor managed to slay Horus, the leader of the rebel forces. However the Master of Mankind was sorely crippled and per his instructions placed upon the Golden Throne. For nearly a ten thousand years he has remained there suffering indescribable agony, worshipped as a god by the the untold masses. He is sustained by the daily sacrifice of hundreds of psykers, whose souls he consumes to maintain his frail body.
The Imperium in the 41st Millennium Edit
In the 41st millennium, the Imperium is nominally ruled by the "most beneficent Emperor of Mankind". However, since his near death and 'ascension' to the Golden Throne following the confrontation with his traitorous son Horus, the duties of actually ruling the Imperium are carried out by the Senatorum Imperialis, the twelve High Lords of Terra. These include the Fabricator General of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Master of the Administratum, the Eccleisiarch of the Ministorum, an Inquistorial Representative, the Grand Provost Marshall of the Arbites, the Paternoval Envoy of the Navigator Houses (Navis Nobilitae), the Master of the Astronomicon, the Grand Master of the Officio Assassinorum and the Master of the Astra Telepathicus. A further three seats are varyingly filled by the leaders of seven other Imperial organizations.
The challenges for any human government controlling an empire 100 million light years across (due to the DaoT that increased the size of the Milky Way) has led to the development of an extremely brutal totalitarian theocracy. The sheer size of the Imperium means no meaningful existence can be applied to the majority of humans, the prime Imperial concern being the survival of the species' tenuous hold on the majority of habitable planets in the galaxy. Individual freedom and liberty are of no concern, as the Imperium constantly wages war against the numerous alien, genetic, rebellious (and worse) threats humanity has encountered during its colonization of the stars. Life is seen as cheap and plentiful, so the existence of the Imperium is largely concerned with the vast numbers of troops and material they have at their disposal. As the Imperium's Vindicare Temple motto puts it, "Exitus acta probat" - the outcome justifies the deed: the Imperium's self-preservation, as a collective entity, is its only concern.
The immense number of worlds under imperial control display a huge variety of conditions and ecosystems. Many worlds are huge, polluted, urban Ecumenopoleis, housing the vast bulk of humanity, that are completely reliant on external support to sustain their huge populations. Forge worlds housing continent-spanning factories sating the inexhaustible demand for arms and war machinery exist in every system of the galaxy. Fortress worlds, like those of the Cadian System act as bases and staging areas for the Imperium's military forces. Many worlds’ surfaces have been completely given over to the production of crops and agriculture in order to feed humanity's teeming infinite trillions, while other planets have been completely strip mined for raw materials.
Other worlds cut off from normal interstellar traffic through war, warp storms or other means have been isolated from most of humanity for centuries or even millennia, the general populace ignorant of the Imperium's existence, their technology base slowly deteriorating until their society resembles that of pre-technological Earth. Feudal civilizations develop, with visiting Imperial Administration officials or cartographers being considered gods by the primitive locals, due to the decades-long, even centuries-long gap between their visits.
Due to the limited nature of interstellar communication (telepathy and messenger ships) and the numerically and spatially vast size of the Imperium, the High Lords cannot maintain any sort of detailed control of individual planets, or even star systems. Instead, such control is maintained by a series of planetary overlords known as "Imperial Commanders" or "Planetary Governors", who oversee the intricacies of each planet and report up to the higher powers in charge of the Imperial systems, sub-sectors, sectors and Segmentums they belong to. This system extends all throughout the Imperium with the exception of the Space Marine homeworlds, Inquisition empires, Munitorium sectors, and Adeptus Mechanicus forge segmentums.
The nature of government on each planet differs wildly throughout the Imperium - some planets are known to elect their governors bound to a constitution, parliament or other democratic instrument; others have their governors chosen through the feudal system of inheritance through bloodline or familial ties. However, most Imperial governors are depicted as being the sole military dictators of their populace.
The Emperor of Mankind was born in c10,000 BC in Anatolia. A gestalt reincarnation of dead human shamans, he is the most powerful psyker the galaxy has ever seen, easily rivaling the power of the Chaos Gods. Throughout history, the Emperor discreetly guided humanity from the shadows, until the 29th millennium AD, when an intractable galaxy-wide dark age prompted him to reveal his nature. Leading an army of genetically-enhanced warriors, the Space Marines, he reunified the worlds of humanity and declared himself Emperor of Mankind.
Not long after the founding of the Imperium, the Chaos Gods corrupted a number of the Emperor's Space Marine followers, who revolted against their sire. Though the revolt was crushed, the Emperor was critically wounded in the conflict and was placed on permanent life support on the Golden Throne.
In the 41st millennium, the Emperor is a half-dead thing, barely responsive and no longer partaking in day-to-day politics. He is worshiped as a god by most of humanity, and the Imperium government is a brutal theocracy. From the Golden Throne, the Emperor feeds on the souls of sacrificed human psykers and projects a constant psychic beacon, the Astronomican, across the galaxy which enables human ships to navigate through the confusing alternate dimension of the Warp for faster-than-light travel. He also is slowly growing in strength both psychically and healing physically, gaining the ability to bless saints like those in the Sisters of Battle or the orders of Sensei and Illuminati which share an ancient link to the Emperor himself. He can also call down warp storms of almost holy light on enemies of Mankind and wipe out whole battlefleets. The Emperor could be considered a God of Order like those of the Eldar and strange sightings of vengeful angels and warriors of light appearing in the tide of war as his divine counter to the Chaos Gods.
Demonstrating the Emperor's will, the Imperium provides an unbound technology base from both the Golden and Dark ages of Technology, an unlimited, brutalized, and battle-ready society of manpower and warmachines, fleets of trecentillions of millinillion strong fleets of thousand-kilometer sized warships, millinillion of centillion strong armadas of moon-to-sector sized star forts, planet killers, devastation barges, and drednoughts, the exponentially growing numbers of the centillions of millinillions strong chapters of the Angels of Death of both genders, and a xenophobic stubbornness that has allowed mankind to stand for over 10,000 years.
The Adeptus Terra, the great heart of Earth, is the central governing organization of the Imperium. It is an enormous and bureaucratic organization whose scriptoria, continent-sized archives and pilgrimage sites occupy nearly all of the hiveworld of Terra that is not taken up by the Sanctum Imperialis, the Emperor's vast throne room, which itself takes up the better part of the northern hemisphere. The Adeptus Terra seems to be largely synonymous with its largest component organization, the Administratum. The Adeptus Terra is so immense, and operates so inefficiently, that whole departments of it still service agencies which no longer exist and worlds dead for thousands of years.
The Adeptus Terra's main bureaucratic body and largest division is the Adeptus Administratum. This organization's purpose is the administration of the Imperium at all levels, its tasks including the assessment of planetary tithes: the goods, war materials and Guard regiments each Imperial world is regularly required to provide for the Imperium. It is a vast organization involving the efforts of countless billions of adepts, who for the most part are hereditary slave workers, bureaucratic officials and petty scribes. The estimate that ten billion adepts are involved in the mere administration of the Imperial Palace gives some idea of the Administratum's massive size. Of all the organizations of the Imperium, the Administratum is considered the least prestigious, but its highest ranking members are among the most powerful men in the Imperium. The Administratum is based in the Imperial Palace on Terra but its adepts are found throughout the Imperium.
The Administratum's control only extends to the Milky Way as all of the other hundreds of trillions of other galaxies alongside the infinite clusters of quadrillions of alternate dimensions linked to the Materium colonized by Humanity under the Emperor’s reign in the Age of Mankind during the Golden Age have been secretly allied with the Imperium under the banner of the Emperor's true miltary for 20 thousand years. All of the centillions of human empires in each of the galaxies have Golden-Men era armies of super soldiers and advanced vehicles, androids, enslaved or allied alien armies, and galactic scale-war machines and superweapon devices, near infinite terraforming and doomsday weapons, fleets quadrillions of times larger and stronger than even the combined navies of the Imperium, space marines, inquisition, and adeptus mechanicus combined, trillions of varieties of elite super space marine legions (different and stronger from the thousands (including the orginal 20 first legions that guard the Imperium), from the secret-techno legions responsible for maintaining the Emperor's multiversal scale-shattering weapons and war machines capable of up to devastating or remaking entire universes at once in a single moment. To the 'wardens' legions that have successfully conquered and earned the allegieance of many alien races, such as many AI and mechanical races like the totality of necron dynasties and their trillions of tombsystems worth of technological wonder and multi-dimensional might and enslaved star-beings, or entire empires worth of energy based alien civilizations enticed to serve the Golden Throne and its divine energy, to the pan-galactic sized horde that makes up the entire Tyranid hive and the New Devouer legions. Even those mortals and trillioins Elder Gods of the reformed Eldar Empire and the Tau confederacy have joined with humanity, under the leadership of the Old Ones, First Perpetuals, Progenitors, and the billions of other God-Races who support the Emperor in his cause. Other temporal and extradimensional task-legions for time-travel distortion crusades or extra-dimensional exploration and pacification) to name only a few which indicates that the Imperium as a whole is only one infinitesimal portion of humanity's power.
The Adeptus Ministorum, or Ecclesiarchy, is ruled by the Ecclesiarch, and is the official church of the Imperium, preaching the Divine Teachings of the Emperor which maintains that the Emperor is Humanity's saviour and god. Responsible for maintaining morale, securing allegiance, encouraging devotion, and ensuring spiritual purity among the populace of the Imperium, it sends missionaries and warrior priestesses throughout the galaxy to enforce their fanatical devotion to their beliefs.They are supported by the Sisters of Battle, along with Frateris Militia and divine war-relics in the role of protecting the trillions of sacred or shrine worlds, counted separately from the regular Imperial empire due to their forbidden status and the limitless number of saints and divine angels of past warriors and mammoth cathedral-castellum vehicles ready to be unleashed via the activation of holy relics. The shrine and sacred worlds also provide much of the blessed vehicles and weaponry used by the Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy in planet wide temple-depots responsible for production, consecration, and storage.
The Adeptus Sororitas comprise the centillion strong Chamber Militant of the Ordo Hereticus, "Witch Hunters", which is tasked with hunting down and destroying heretics and unsanctioned psychics (commonly known as "rogue psykers" or "witches"). They rely on faith/biological/technological upgrades which superfically is similar to those that turn an ordinary human adult into a superhuman Space Marine. However, they are not just the same "supersoldier" in terms of combat ability and endurance. They also get armor and weapons which are well beyond those issued to the average human, such as the Imperial Guard, and gain powerful faith-based abilities tuned to them genetically to help them combat their foes.
The Departmento Munitorum is the central command of the Imperial war machine, organizing the logistics of planetary 'tithes', troop movements and troop deployment. The Departmento is one of the many departments of the Administratum, but is far more decentralized than the other divisions of the Adeptus Terra, establishing a presence on any world with a significant tithe-grade. Distress calls from an invaded world are processed by the Munitorum, and will be passed up the ladder of system-subsector-sector-Segmentum-Imperium HQ until a division with enough reach can raise the armies needed from neighboring systems and respond. Thus, the harder a foe strikes at the Imperium the greater the retribution will be.
They also possess huge logistical divisions and billions of worlds themselves, such as the galactic-web of billions of armory, foundry, fortress, and depot worlds each in million of sectors that supply all of the Imperium's forces with unlimited supplies and armored vehicles. In addition, they build the massive fortresses which most Imperial forces rely on via their engineer divisions and if necessary their ancient walking bastion-hives or flying fortresses which provide a supply/fire-base of operations on otherwise inhospitable planets like death worlds.
Due to the vast distances of space, combined with the internal bureaucracy of the Departmento Munitorum, decision making tends to be very slow, and calls for help may not be acted on for years or even centuries. It is not uncommon for war fleets to arrive at warzones to discover that the war they were dispatched to fight is long since over.
Known as the Tech-Priests of Mars, the Adeptus Mechanicus is based on the ancient factory world of Mars, and are a quasi-independent organisation and empire unto themselves (controlling trillions of segmentums worth of forge-worlds, shipyards, and manufacturing bases alongside the Imperium's worlds), with their own armed forces and institutional culture. These 'enginseers' and 'techpriests' of the Imperium create and maintain most of the Imperium's more advanced machinery and weaponry like instantaneous time-phase arrays or nano-fabricator constructors to build vehicles, ships, and weapons almost instantaneously, despite the fact that their understanding of technology is limited at best - most procedure is based on ritual and religious dogma rather than genuine engineering or mechanical skill. Their extremely conservative beliefs regarding the advancement of human technology such as locking up entire STC libraries on Mars or isolating "protectorates" of thousands of Golden-age human tech-societies within their borders. These fanatical actions, coupled with their stranglehold on the Imperium's manufacturing capabilities, has ensured that humanity's technological advancement has mostly stagnated for 10,000 years.
The Collegia Titanica (sometimes simply known as the Titan Legions) is an organisation within the Adeptus Mechanicus specifically mentioned as being charged with building, maintaining and controlling the greatest war machines of the Imperium - the Titans. These miles-high mechanical walkers, most millennia old, are used in the vast apocalyptic conflicts that are commonplace in the fiction's lore. They are organized within the trillions to the power of zentillions of legions stationed in each of the warzones and forgeworlds of the Galaxy, each legion numbering to the billions of power of leviathan walking engines. Titans are usually supported by the Adeptus Mechanicus' own Skitarii (or Tech-Guard), who are the mainline military arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus (roughly equivalent to cyborg Imperial Guard Legions). Other forces of the Mechanicus even larger than the Titan legions themselves and number millinillions of solums each include the Centurio Ordinatus, caretakers of the large purpose built war machines, and Legio Cataphracti, vast phalanxes of humongous armoured fortress-vehicles, followed by the Ordo Reductor, masters of siege warfare and macro-cannon size land artillery. .
The Adeptus Mechanicus are mentioned quite heavily in "The Soul Drinkers: Book One." In this book, Archmagos Khobotov is a leader in the Mechanicum who, like many other high-ranking members of the Adeptus Mechanicus, lost more and more of his humanity as he advanced in rank, eventually becoming more machine than man.
Independent of the rest of the Adeptus Terra are the Orders of the Emperor's Inquisition. Its jurisdiction is all-encompassing, its secret empire almost rivaling the Imperium itself as a whole, and its agents are responsible for uncovering and dealing with any potential threat to the Imperium. This responsibilities often include using the most extreme measures imaginable from sentencing entire sectors to slavery, to calling down Exterminatus (often a virus that combusts a planets entire ecosystem) via highly ancient and forbidden weapons and planetary siege machines from the Dark age of Technology. The more radical components of the Inquisition and Mechanicus operate secret projects such as mustering trillions of massive hidden armies from even their companions from the Inquisition, such as tech-heresy robotics like Iron-Men or star-capable, continental sized, sentient tanks and Dark Age of Technology forces from outside human controlled galaxies or hidden protectorates to harnessed entire alien species like the secret hive fleets lobotomized but loyal to the Imperium. Each Inquisitor bears a seal that grants him the right to command any citizen or resource within the Imperium to the end of carrying out his duties, from individuals or single vessels, all the way up to entire Imperial Guard regiments or Imperial Navy fleets in times of dire danger.
An inconspicuous, highly secretive, but vital part of the Imperial machinery of war, the Officio Assassinorum trains and deploys centrillions of assassins all over the galaxy, to seek out and exterminate dangerous individuals. Each assassin is the product of lifelong training at one of the Assassinorum Temples, each Temple specializing in a particular state of the art of death-dealing, each incredibly effective at their vocation. So highly skilled are these individuals that it is taken that the dispatch of a single assassin by the Officio will mean certain death to whomever (or whatever) the target may be.
As of the current canon there are six specified clades of assassins. They are as follows:
Vindicare: Latin for "justify, vindicate, avenge". Specializing in targeted elimination from a distance; not unlike the snipers utilized by modern military forces. The hallmark of their craft is the Exitus rifle—a rifle of such craftsmanship that its value is greater than the worth produced by many quiet Imperial worlds. The motto of the temple is: "Exitus Acta Probat": The Outcome Justifies the Deed.
Callidus: Latin for "cunning". Specializing in trickery, deception, deceit, infiltration and impersonation. Their greatest asset is their ability to use the shape-changing drug Polymorphine. This drug, coupled with special training, allows Callidus agents to change their very shape and appearance allowing them to impersonate other persons, members of the opposite sex, and even humanoid aliens like Orks and Eldar.
Eversor: Latin for "destroyer". Eversor Assassins are the most gruesome products of the Officio Assassinorum. They are drug crazed killing monsters, enhanced by bio-engineering and experimental surgical procedures. Their state of mind is amplified to turn a mere dislike for the enemy into raging hatred, or the wish to serve the Imperium into suicidal determination. Their main objective on the battlefield is to rip out the heart of an enemy operation in the most unsubtle way. By slaughtering all enemies in the vicinity they ensure the command structure is entirely destroyed.
Culexus: no clear translation, though it might come from the Latin Word "culex" meaning mosquito, a reference to their ability of draining the very life from their targets Motto of the temple is: "That which is unknown and unseen always commands the greatest fear". The Culexus Assassins are the most sinister, feared, and hated of all Imperial Assassins. They are humans without souls, which inspires unease and dread in humans, especially psykers. They specialize in killing psykers, as their nature makes them immune to psychic and Daemonic powers and extremely deadly to those using them.
Venenum: Latin for "poison". As of current canon it is unclear whether or not the Venenum Temple still exists. Its only appearance thus far is in the "Horus Heresy" entry Nemesis. Venenum assassins specialize in the use of poisons and toxins to eliminate targets. Assassins trained in this method are the very best in the galaxy: being able to administer toxins of the greatest efficacy without anyone—their target or otherwise—being aware of what has happened.
Vanus: Latin for "empty". As of current canon it is unclear whether or not the Vanus Temple still exists. Its only appearance thus far is in the "Horus Heresy" entry Nemesis. The Vanus Assassins are primarily used as intelligence-gatherers and in matters of grand strategy and intelligence tactics they are without peer, their political insight unparalleled by the savants of the Imperium. A Vanus Assassin might be likened to a supreme manipulator crossed with a master computer hacker. Quite possibly the most accurate summation of the Vanus Temple's methods was stated by the operative Fon Tariel: "the cleanest kill is one that another performs in your stead with no knowledge of your incitement."
There also exists a "Temple Secretum," an Assassinorum temple named for its dedication to keeping the Imperium's darkest secrets rather than for a preferred method of killing. There is no real, substantive information regarding this temple.
The sheer vastness of the Imperium means that it would be completely ineffective to have a strongly centralized government. Therefore the Imperium is divided into five Segmentae Majoris:
- Segmentum Solar, inner core and heart of the Imperium
- Segmentum Pacificus
- Segmentum Obscurus, a heavily fortified area, within it lies the forbidden Eye of Terror.
- Segmentum Tempestus
- Ultima Segmentum, the largest province of all.
Each Segmentum Commander oversees his Sector commanders, who in turn oversees Subsector Commanders, who oversee the individual Planetary Governors. The higher ranks in this system are usually combined with a basic planetary governorship as well as interplanetary duties. This system is the means by which the Imperium, which is largely a confederacy, maintains control of the separate planets that make it up.
Because of the distances involved and the unstable nature of warp communication, imperial Commanders generally operate very autonomously. This allows quite a lot of variation in the regional governments. Many governorships are hereditary (examples of this include Segmentum Commanders of Segmentum Tempestus and the royals of Volpone), but it is also possible for a planet to have an elected Commander (such as the Electors of Tanith), a tyrant Commander who rules by force of arms, or anything in between. So long as the Commander fulfils his duties to the Imperium, his rule will generally be accepted by the higher authorities.
A rare few Commanders preside over feral or medieval worlds where the Imperium has not been able or seen fit to introduce modern technology. These Commanders sometimes live on orbital installations, only occasionally visiting the planet to control mutation and heresy, as well as collect the modest tithes these planets pay.
The Imperial duties of an Planetary governor include paying the planetary tithe to the Administratum, controlling mutation and heresy, and putting down insurrections and rebellions.
A serious responsibility is the maintenance of a adequate planetary defence force capable of defending the planet in the event of invasion. The Planetary Defence Forces (abbreviated to PDF) are expected to defeat attacks from minor foes, and in the case of major invasions to hold out until reinforcements arrive, which could take a period of months or even years.
A relatively small number of Imperial worlds are not ruled by a Commander, but are overseen by an alternate organisation such as the Adeptus Terra, Imperial Guard or Space Marines. These include the Forge Worlds of the Adeptus Mechanicus, whose inhabitants toil without pause to manufacture the weapons of the Emperor's armies (including Mars, Gryphonne IV and Fortis Binary), the Cardinal worlds of the Ecclesiarchy, which are given entirely over to education and worship of the God-Emperor (Ignatius Cardinal, Ophelia VII), and the Space Marine Chapter planets (Fenris, Macragge, Baal, Medusa).
Seccessions and rebellions Edit
Attempts of secession of individual, or even several, worlds and star systems are simply inevitable in a large empire. With a lack of quick and stable communications the local military officers will usually promoted by, and therefore largely suport, the local ruler. An ambitious and rebellious ruler will usually also gain the support of the local nobility and many times the local population. However in the Imperium some important facts work against this:
- Fear - Inquisitors are more than capable and all too willing of eliminating rogue governors.
- Garrisons - the more important worlds and star systems are also garrisoned by sizable detachments of the Adeptus Arbites and/or of the Adepta Sororitas. These garrisons reside in heavily fortified fortresses. Their officers are not promoted by the local ruler and the rank-and-file is largely separated from the wider population. The loyalty towards the Imperium of such garrisons is extremely hard to subvert.
- Loyalists - the masses are taught by the Ecclesiarchy to always remain loyal towards Terra above everything else. To follow and obey rebel leaders is to commit heresy and treason. Traitors are vilified and to kill one is considered to commit a righteous action.
- Assassination - as an rebellion unfolds operatives of the Officio Assassinorum are sent by the High Lords of Terra to eliminate its leaders. The death of a charismatic leader and his faithful supporters can weaken or even outright end a rebellion.
- Lack of support - a local ruler will most of the time have no influence over other regional rulers. Most of the time he will also have no vessels of the Imperial Navy. Therefore most rebellions will not spread further.
- Retribution - the Imperium is totally uncompromising towards rebels or secessionists. Loyal imperial forces will inevitably be sent to crush any rebellion. In most cases regiments of the Imperial Guard; sometimes detachments of the Space Marines.
- Wider Universe - to rebel against the Imperium also means that one will not be protected or aided against the Orks, Chaos Space Marines, Tyranids, etc.
All these reasons don't mean that rebellions don't happen. In fact numerous rebellions plague the Imperium all the time, many of them instigated and manipulated by the forces of Chaos.
The archaic High Gothic is used only by the most powerful Imperial elite, and seldom used. Low Gothic is the language of the common people and also used by the local nobility. Many regional dialects exist, some of which are mutually incomprehensible. For most Imperial worlds, Low Gothic is the inhabitants' only language.
Imperial Dating systemEdit
- Main article: Imperial Dating System
The Imperial dating system is based upon 'Anno Domini', although expressed in rather different terms. A full dating code consists of a check number, year fraction number, year number, and the millennium.
The millennium is a suffix, represented by an 'M' and the millennium number.
The three digits preceding the millennium is the year within the millennium, running from 001-000 (one thousand). For example 0150930/M32 is the year 930 of the thirty second millennium (31930 AD).
- Imperial Guard
- The Holy Fleet (Imperial Navy)
- Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines, genetically engineered super-soldier monks, organized into Chapters)
- Adeptus Custodes (The Emperor's several trillion strong personal bodyguard legion, each primarch-like in might and possessing the Emperor's greatest weapons technology, stationed at the continent-spanning Imperial Palace on Terra)
- Adeptus Arbites (the police force of the Imperium)
- Adepta Sororitas (exceptional female warriors belonging to the Ecclesiarchy)
- The Inquisition (organized into the Ordo Hereticus, Ordo Malleus, and Ordo Xenos. Inquisitors are entrusted with supreme authority to prosecute the Imperium's enemies.)
- Adeptus Titanicus (the Titan Legions; massive, anthropomorphic weapons platforms governed by a primitive artificial intelligence created by the Adeptus Mechanicus; the single most devastating non-Naval weapon available to the Imperium)
- Adeptus Mechanicus (the engineering obsessed lords of Mars that oversee the Imperium's technology and act as one of the thousands of allied political empires that make up the Imperium)
- Officio Assassinorium (the Imperial Assassins)
- Various other specialized organizations
Apart from the internal enemies within (the heretics, traitors and mutants), the forces of the Imperium constantly battle against the following enemies: