Welcome to the 41st Millennium: Warhammer 40000: Gateway to Chaos

HIt looks bad for the Gray Knights. Gostikar Bor fell to his knees. The blade of the heretic’s death guard is crammed between the plates of his shattered armor. Purgatory wounded Thule, his back to the enemy, he reloaded the blessed soul with the seals of purity. The armored machines screech to Apothecary Garron as he stomps toward Bor as Brother Voldar leads the way with a Nemesis Force pursuer. Detective Fikr stands motionless alone, tied in another company with an avatar of the war god Eldar Khain, who will tell her more about the plans of the god of chaos Nurgl – the father of the plague, Lord of the Flies, the great spoiler, the lord of pestilence, Lord of Decay – a kind of sandwich full of malice which You must have slipped under the couch at HP Lovecraft eons ago. He wants to bring his “ultimate gift” to the universe with “Venus”. There is talk of “a rotten grove”, “seeds of demons” and “five hidden doors”. Even Karl Lauterbach would run away. There is a lot going on in Warhammer 40000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters.

But what is “Warhammer 40k”, the material that somewhat belatedly coined the genre term “Grimdark” – “because in a dark, bleak future there is only war. […] There is no peace among the stars but an eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsty gods” – and now he’s pushing screens with all his might in the form of memes, serials and video games even though he’s 35 years old?

Stressed madness, where everything is often too big, too heavy, too electric, too metallic, medieval, too dark, too sick and too desperate, goes back to Rick Priestley, who in 1982 created the miniature “Toy Workshop” to invent Free board game characters to increase sales of the originally produced Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader was released in 1987. It became a rapidly growing hit. Soon a scene appeared where one would buy plastic models of different units in a 1:60 scale for exorbitant prices, glue them together and send them into battle. Those who have had the patience and time draw the figures with their own hands.

They fill lunch breaks with dinosaurs

But the interesting thing, because it is incomparably outrageous, is the universe in which different factions meet, which has been constantly expanded, revised and expanded since 1997 in the books and audiobooks of the “Black Library” and most recently in the brand’s broadcast platform “Warhammer+”. Fixed again – of course also to keep sales of the miniatures going. YouTube channels like expert Warhammer Lore “Lutin” try to tame the chaos in explainer videos that last several hours. The reference work on the Internet “Lexicanum” helps others.

So we are in the 41st millennium, 40,000 years in the future. The time period reflects the level of exaggeration that the Warhammer 40k sci-fi universe supports, devour imagination and spit. It is debatable whether humanity has this time. On the plus side, a tattered Hungarian Empire burned to death by an ecclesiastical-fascist power structure and attendant bureaucracy, a mortally wounded God-Emperor (formerly a heavy metal savior of some sort) reigns over alien-based golden throne technology and thousands of sacrifices. Mankind every day, machine priests from Mars – “The body is weak!” Who can’t operate a toaster oven without a cult of the great wish first, last but not least, arguably the most famous character in the Warhammer 40k universe, the space marines, is called “Adeptus Astartes” in semi-Latin called “High Gothic”. These are genetically-enhanced, cyber-enhanced, two-hearted, three-hearted superhero warriors who wear Ceramite Power armor, brush their teeth Brambo and spread their lunches with tyrannosaurs.

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