The Imperium of Man is a galaxy-spanning interstellar empire in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and is the ultimate authority for the majority of the human race in the Milky Way Galaxy. It was founded and ruled by the Emperor of Mankind during the Unification Wars, although after his interrement onto the Golden Throne, it has since been governed by the High Lords of Terra. Although primarily a human empire, full of xenophobia and an adverse hatred towards mutants, there are other humanoid species classified as Imperial citizens, namely mutant offshoots of genetic base-line humans (Abhumans), such as the Ogryns, Ratlings and Squats. The founder and ruler of the Imperium is the god-like Emperor of Mankind, the most powerful human Psyker ever born. The Imperium currently consists of over 1 million inhabited worlds throughout the Milky Way Galaxy, including Terra (Earth), Mars, Catachan, Armageddon and Fenris, to name a few.
Species Within the Imperium
- Humans - The main species within the Imperium, humanity is split between a myriad of different planets, each with their own ways of governing, ranging from ancient tribal conclaves and old feudal systems to modern day democracies and dictatorships. The only unifying features between any of these worlds is their adherence to the Imperial Creed, the religion of the Imperium, and their loyalty to the Emperor, and even that can be cast at a moment's notice.
- Space Marines - Bio-engineered super-soldiers that make up the elite forces of the Imperium's armies
- Ogryns - Heavily muscled humanoid warriors with very few brains. Used by the Imperial Guard as shock troops.
- Ratlings - Small, loud, hungry and lecherous abhumans who often serve as snipers or cooks in the Imperial Guard. They are known for their kleptomaniac tendencies, seemingly bottomless stomachs and dead-eye accuracy.
- Squats - Short, tough and muscular abhumans with a thirst for technological knowledge rivalling that of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Although said to have been driven extinct by the expansion into the Milky Way of Tyranid hive-fleets, there have been recent rumours of a few surviving colonies in outlying star systems and asteroids.
- Navigators - Psykers with three eyes. This third eye allows them to see into the Warp, but can also drive a man insane or even kill him if looked at directly.
- Afriels - Genetically-engineered warriors that suffer from the worst luck imaginable. It is believed that their poor luck stems from the Warp.
- Gland War Veterans - Genetically-engineered warriors created to fight the Tyranids on the planet Dantis III. Only three survive.
- Nightsiders - A variety of abhuman that lives in worlds of extreme darkness, Nightsiders commonly exist in two kinds. The first variant possess bulbous eyes, allowing them to see in the darkness they call home, whilst the second possesses heightened senses to compensate for their near-blindness.
- Troths - Natives to the planet Verdant, their particular mutation prohibits them from leaving the world.
- Longshanks - Tall, lanky abhumans who cannot survive on planets with stronger gravity than their homeworlds.
- Pelagers - Humans that have mutated to survive on Ocean Worlds - habitable planets that are almost entirely water. It is unknown if their mutations came about because they were forced to adapt to the worlds or if they were genetically alterred.
- Felinids - Natives to the planet Carlos McConell. As their name suggests, they are cat-like humanoids. However, not much is known of this species.
- Neandors - Humans that adapted to the world of Hyannoth IV. Like Troths, it is difficult for them to leave their homeworld, although unlike the Troths, they can survive off-world.
- Ambulls, Crawlers and Sunworms - Non-sentient creatures originally native to the death world Luther Macintyre IX, now found on a plethora of Imperial planets as a result of importation and attempted domestication by Imperial biologists.