Welcome, Lone Wanderer*
* If you’re reading this with a passel of people jostling in front of the screen, good for you! But I don’t think this will be the norm
So you’ve stumbled upon this part of the internet and find yourself wondering what you have discovered. Let me explain.
TLDR: This is a story. You can read it.
Strictly speaking, you don’t need a detailed introduction and can dive straight in.
Yet, a general insight into the Warhammer 40.000 universe might enhance your reading experience. For those of you who have never had contact with WH40k before, let me give you a very brief introduction: Warhammer 40k has started out as a tabletop war game, played with miniatures. It is a dystopian, far future sci-fi setting in which several factions are locked in an everlasting war. Each faction has their very own special capabilities and unique miniatures. Painting the models is as much a part of this hobby as playing the game.
If you want to dig even deeper, I suggest the Wikipedia article for a good overview. For more fluff and details, I highly recommend the WH40k Fandom Wiki. They distinguish themselves with devotion to detail and correctly spelled sentences as well as mostly correct grammar*.
* Which pleases my personal fable for the elegances of any language I am proficient with
The game Warhammer 40k has made quite some miles since it was first published in 1987. A huge community has accumulated and over the years tons of fluff and background stories have been added to the Canon. The resulting universe is widely considered a pioneer of the grim dark genre.
Naturally grown universes that survive this long necessarily develop a strong allure because, let’s face it: Humans are absolutely amazing. We know things we don’t really know and we go around telling stories about them. In our stories the great questions of life, which we could not express otherwise, lend texture and interest to what we are participating in.
I have come in contact with the WH40k universe via the roleplaying game Deathwatch and the computer game Space Marine. The impressions I took away from this started to breed in my head and soon I was writing, researching, writing, rewriting, writing.
The story you will find hereafter is the result of my fervour and my joy about the questions that developed under my hands. The faction I chose is the Imperium of Mankind, more specifically Space Marines.
Technically, Guide me Through the Darkness ranks as a Fan Fiction. However bitterly this label may taste, it has been a work of passion from the beginning and in all the humble pride I am capable of, I deem it worthy to be read by more than myself. So this it.
An unofficial Warhammer 40k Novel by me, Julia M. V. Warren.
To be fair, it has outgrown novelhood quite a while ago and since then evolved into a full fledged epic. This story is more than a thousand pages strong. About 200 chapters. Over half a million words.
I suppose you will be wondering how in the world you could find this just lying around on the internet. Where is the catch, you will be asking yourself. Why is this free to read?
Well, it’s very easy: The snag are the owners of the WH40k brand.
I shall not name them because the krakens™ might find out and these owners are a little paranoid* about keeping control of their trademark with a nasty habit of suing anyone who might try to profit by any of their registered brands.
* I’m always in favour of mild language
So yes, I’m shrinking back from putting up a fight for the sake of keeping the peace. I’m not interested in trouble. I just want to share my story with the community and the Intellectual Property Guidelines of the owners explicitly allow me to do so under certain conditions. These conditions I am meeting by keeping this work free, digital and clearly marked as unofficial.
Even though the WH40k trademark is not my intellectual property, the overwhelming majority of characters and the story are. Therefore I’ve decided to put a Creative Commons Licence on my work to keep it free to read, even in the unlikely event that this work comes to the benevolent attention of the unnamed.
However: Should said unnamed hereafter decide that they would like to tap into my parallel universe because I’ve expanded their target audience, introduced two new factions and promoted their product: Contact me, dearies! I have ideas for a sequel.
In the hope that the law may be satisfied with this prelude, let me quickly lead you into the story: Since I’ve brazenly stolen Titus, the main character from the game Space Marine. It might help you to quickly watch the last six minutes of said game to avoid confusion at the beginning.
Titus has since appeared in Space Marine 2. As I am writing this, I have not played the game yet but I will hence consider Guide me Through the Darkness as a parallel universe*.
*Every good franchise needs a parallel universe, am I right?
Since my initial hopes of becoming canon have been slim already, this is less a loss and more a release from restraint. I’m committing heresy against the ideas of the owners in any case. ‘Why?’ you ask?
Well. Let me tell you the story…