We Have Not The Luxury To Count The Cost
The Enemy Beyond
“Why? You ask me why? Have all these millenia taught you nothing? Weak fool, your timidity prevented you from binding the forces of Chaos. You shied away from the ultimate power. I have bound it to my will and will lead humanity into a new age. I, Horus, Master of Chaos.” – Horus to the Emperor
Interstellar travel is only possible through the galaxy due to the existence of the Warp. A parallel dimension where the rules of physics and reason need not apply, the Warp is a perilous and necessary place. Only by crossing into the Warp and braving its dangers can the vast interstellar distances be traversed by starships. But while the Imperium could not exist without the use of the Warp for travel, the Warp itself is a sinister place.
Within the warp lie countless horrors, collectively called Daemons. These creatures are manifestations born of the excesses and urges of mortals. The greatest of these denizens of the Warp are four beings of such terrible power that speaking their names openly is a crime frequently punishable with instant death in the Imperium. They are Slaanesh, god of desire; Khorne, god of blood and death; Nurgle, the god of Decay; and Tzeentch, the god of pride and ambition. It was the machinations of these constantly warring gods that turned Horus against the Emperor and shattered the hopes of the Imperium of Man.
The Ruinous Powers of Chaos offer power to mortals in exchange for the souls of the deluded and the corrupt. Some daemons in service to these gods can take on corporeal bodies, though all are impossible shapes and baleful to the mind. They impart soul-wrenching fear upon those that witness them and frequently devour the souls of those who would seek to bind or summon them for their own purposes. Once unleashed, daemons are an affront to reality, and until banished back into the Warp are a danger few can comprehend, let alone withstand.
Here lies the greatest and most secret threat to mankind. The Inquisition safeguards knowledge of Chaos and the Warp from the masses, while fighting desperately to thwart the incursion of daemons into reality and destroy any who would worship these profane gods. To that end, the Ordo Malleus bestows the terrible truths of the universe on a select few, preparing them to stand as the bulwark against these powers beyond mortal comprehension.