I've been collecting 40k-style artwork off the net recently. Nothing that actually comes from any Games Workshop publication though, just other Space Opera and general Sci-Fi stuff that seemed to chime in with my own mental image of parts of the 40k universe look like - which isn't always in tune with GW's as I started back in the Rogue Trader days when things were less "gothic nastiness" and somewhat more chaotic and open to adding just about anything you wanted.
I thought it might be an interesting exercise in "World Creation" to take a bunch of these pics and construct some form of world/universe outline captioning them. Partly this is to create a backdrop for my games of Future War Commander which seem currently to be fought out in a vacuum somewhere on a nameless planet embroiled in a nameless war for reasons unknown.
Amblecotius Prime is the third planet orbiting the Amblecotius star somewhere at the tip of a far-flung arm of the Imperium of Man. Amblecotius is the system capitol, the only permanently-settled satellite of it's parent star and is designated by the Administratum of Holy Terra as an Agri-World - dedicated to the production of foodstuffs and bio-mass products (bio-fuels, bio-plastics etc.) in order to supply nearby Hive worlds.
Situated out on the fringes of Imperium space the system has been ravaged by xeno invaders and rebels on several occasions. Following the nuclear bombardment suffered during the Grey Flensing War of M37 against invading Dark Eldar slave-raiders, the continent of Pertshe was devastated causing the total loss of the planet's second city Parimber Hive leaving Amblecotius with only one major centre of urbanization, the capitol of Termitius Hive located on Madhedra, the first continent to be settled. As a result of this loss, the ruling clan House Huriatat moved the administrative capital to the orbital palace known as The Daughter which had previously served as a monsoon-season residence for the Imperial Governor's court.
Having expanded mightily in the three thousand years since the move The Daughter is now more of a vast mega-structure and home to almost all the mechanism of government and noble households. Pertshe remains unsettled and is still heavily radioactive.
The Daughter pictured from low orbit as it passes over the shattered and blasted remains of the third continent. Larger space vessels are forbidden from docking at The Daughter and are serviced by system boat shuttles operating from the lower surface of The Daughter. The Daughter has no facilities for large-scale cargo handling, cargo vessels must land at the space port attached to Termitius Hive Spire.
The social standing of the Amblecotian great and good is determined by the vertical position of their households - The court of Imperial Governor Count Orlando Deletru Huriatat occupies the highest towers and spires.
The Governor's children, Prince Oriflamme Deletru Huriatat and Princess Lloligor Aratz Huriatat taking their morning perambulation amidst the cloisters of Government Palace high up upon The Daughter. Seen in the background is an automated mail shuttle and a tame GELF - a Genetically Engineered Life Form vat-born to fulfill a dual purpose of pet and, via concealed surveillance equipment, security camera and watchdog.
Planetary Defense Force Trooper Surrenjo Subbili on guard duty, Termititus space-port.
"The Sourbridge", habitation zone sited over "The Sump", the lowest point of Termitius Hive, where the flooding and liquid pollution known as "The Sour" reaches it's highest level. Not visible in this shot are the hundreds of feet of abandoned habitation zones currently lost under the waves of sewage, industrial waste and waste water.
The crew of the skiff on the right are presumably Sour Scavengers, salvage experts recovering scrap metal, plastic, ceramic and archo-tech from The Sour for resale. Some form of salvage is visible to the left, no doubt the target of the scavengers.
A state of near-war exists between rival gangs of scavengers, deaths are common and many of the profits are creamed off by competing organized crime families. The pictured scavengers will be as armed to the teeth as their poverty allows for and prepared for any violent eventuality that might occur whilst claiming their prize.
Another xeno-form of Chaotic origin is located upon Pertsche and logged by Exo-walker #2 of the Planetary Defense Force's scout division. Once located, the walker pilot will attempt to keep in close proximity to the Chaotic aberration, guiding in an Imperial Navy air-strike in an attempt to cleanse the planet of the stain. The work of the scout division is highly dangerous and successful pilots are at risk of being "disappeared" by Imperial authorities should their knowledge of beasts Chaotic be deemed to be too in-depth and therefore a danger to the Pax Imperium.
Pilot Scala Cadmanti, civilian shuttle pilot.
Captain Ingstani Jurlsam, Imperial Navy ground-attack pilot. Based at Termitius space-port, Captain Jurlsam has been credited with the destruction of no less than 18 Chaotic aberrations on Pertsche working in tandem with the walker pilots of the PDF's scout division.
PDF Sergeant Prudin Raugapha on a chilly sentry duty in Madhera's polar regions. In these southern climes, away from the light pollution of Termitius and The Daughter, both the ringed Amblecotius IV and further satellite Amblecotius V are clearly visible.
Condotierre-Colonel "Skeletal" Calcyt poses for the camera in typically belligerent manner. Warlord leader of the "Blue Scourge" mercenary outfit, Calcyt and his company are currently employed by House Huriatat as a private army following a purge of PDF high command two years back which occurred as a result of a failed assassination bid by two politically radicalized officers. Calcyt is not trusted at all by anyone outside of House Huriatat and it can only be a matter of time before he attempts a coup d'etat or accepts a better paid offer elsewhere or even a better paid offer to war against his current employer.
Illustrations by Jim Burns and Oscar Chiconi.
For the record I game at Stourbridge Wargames Club which meets at Amblecote church hall. And yes, I suspect that GW's addition of the Agri-World to the 40K background is a blatant rationale for all those "green", rural wargames tables we see!