The golden age of man has ended.
The dream of a united realm, led by man, but extending its benefits to all beings and worlds, is shattered. Terra, the birth world of humankind, is reclaimed, but at a terrible price, for now the realm of the Emperor of Man is torn asunder.
The Solomoni confederation held the world of man in the name of the emperor for nearly 2000 years. The emperor, having rebuilt a new, 3rd imperium from the shattered remnants of the 2nd, had sought to integrate the Solomoni sphere, and especially Terra, peacefully. But instead, the Solomoni struck a treacherous blow, declaring for a false emperor and launching a war against the Emperor’s worlds. The humans of the old sphere, locked in superstition and racial arrogance, felt that they should be the ones to guide man, and that all other races should be servile, at best.
But the Emperor foresaw this possibility, and although he was loath to strike his children, had prepared for this event. Combat fleets moved from pre-planned marshaling areas, and mighty space marine legions descended from their fortress like battle barges to hammer the misguided solomoni. As always, the emperors foresight and ability to see the plans and patterns of man’s enemies seemed unstoppable, and would have been if not for the ultimate betrayal. A betrayal of oath, treaty, and of the very laws of our universe.
For long years, the imperium had sought to contain and turn the Zhodoni away from their embrace of Psionics. It is known that Psionics represent the channeling of trans-demonsional energy, and while this energy can accomplish astounding feats, it also exposes humans to great peril. When contained by energy fields, this source is the power of the jump drive, allowing travel between the stars, but when the vessel is not a ship, but a human, it is deadly. For this energy is itself sentient, chaotic and inherently hostile to the life of the universe. The Zohdoni corruption was deeper than any had suspected.
The power of chaos is a natural counter to the Emperors foresight, for how can one plan against an enemy that is the personification of randomness. The Zhodoni had concocted a bizarrely and inhumanly complex scheme. First, through secret messengers, they turned the rulership of the Solomoni ever more extreme and paranoid. Beings not of this universe masqueraded as divine messengers, and set the old worlds of man on a path of war against all that would not obey. Then, for long years they secretly infected fully half of the space marine legions. This infection took many forms. In some, it as an embrace of old religions, in others, a return of mysticism and belief in magic. In some, it was simply a base lust for blood and carnage, while some came to see themselves as the rightfully rulers of the galaxy. These betrayals and more all collided in an epic battle over the skies of man’s ancient home world, Terra. When over, the Emperor was victories, but the wounds of battle on his Imperium may yet prove fatal.
The Third Imperium stands at the forefront still, but is greatly weakened by its war against the Solomoni confederation. Earth, the birth world of humans, has been reclaimed, but even the emperors mighty space marines are a near exhaustion from the cataclysmic battles that took place in the war and traitorous acts within.
Now, new threats emerge from the borders. Humans of the Solomoni build ever more complex theology to support their supernatural world view, and launch pogroms against those who believe differently. The Zhodani have rejected the emperors demand to turn away from the perilous corruption of psychic power. Their embrace of dark powers means that the frontier will be locked in permanent conflict. The borders with the K’kree are ominously quiet. Surely the warlike vegetarians will soon launch another of their so called purifying crusades against not belief, but biology on the other races. The hive federation continues its manipulation of human society, introducing their alien ideas and destroying basic concepts of family and community in the pursuit of their secret goals. The vargar spread mayhem and pillage, fortified by their belief that they are the successors of man and that the emperors laws have no hold on their destiny. The Aslan look hungrily at fertile imperial worlds. The Droyne are harmless.
It is a dark time to travel between the stars . . .