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Life Is Toil

Location  Imperium of Man

"Ancient Man created earthly paradise by his labours, and Man of Gold created Man of Stone who created Man of Iron. And Man tasked ever more of his work to Machine, and Man's hands grew idle. And Man tasked ever more of his thought to Abominable Intelligence, and Man's spirit rotted. Thus Ancient Man sank into a morass of sloth and indolence, and a dark age of unbelief and grave error descended upon Man. For wretched Man had thoughts of self and sought joy and comfort in life, and for these heinous sins he was cast down from his throne to scavenge among the burnt-out ruins of his former wonders. Such was the hubris and downfall of Ancient Man.

Yet we are much wiser now. For we task ever more of Machine's work upon Man, for his shoulders were created to carry burdens. And we task ever more of Machine's work upon Man, for his hands were created to labour. And we task ever more of Machine's Work upon Man, for his back was created to break.

Ancient Man gloried in his cunning artifice and rejoiced when Machine took up duties from Man. Such was the path to damnation.

Instead, we rejoice when some member of Machine break down beyond repair, and its duties have to be shouldered by Man. For work was never truly the domain of metal and measurements, but of flesh and will.

Thus life is toil.

Toil, ever-lasting and ever-grinding.

Thus life is toil.

Toil, ever-burdensome and ever-shackling.

Thus life is toil.

Toil and penitence, and not the false bliss of wicked forefathers.

Toil! Toil! Toil!

Rejoice in your labours! Rejoice in your duties! Rejoice in your assigned tasks and give praise to the biting lash of your masters!

Praise be unto Him on Terra, enthroned in golden splendour and guardianship eternal. We bow to You.

Ave Imperator."

Inheritors of Sin, pamphlet penned in M.38 by Cardinal Ignatius Paulinus Hieronymus of Salem Proctor

- - -

One of the fascinating sides of the dark future is mankind's spiralling descent into ever more primitive technologies. As knowledge and hardware slowly withers away, increasing amounts of processes which were once the domain of machinery and automation have to be salvaged in patchwork manner by throwing bodies at the problem. Humanity in the dark future has grown a heart of stone, indifferent to the suffering of others, and fanatical to a fault. What crude calculations its intellect can grasp are ones of massive input of flesh and resources.

Effectivization, improvement and innovation barely ever happens. That was the folly of the Dark Age of Technology, whose glories have long since rusted and faded away.

Instead of better, mankind does it bigger and with a bitter resolve to carry out the tasks at hand, no matter the costs. Loss of life is the least of the Imperium's concerns. And thus this galaxy-spanning colossus with feet of clay soldiers on, strong in its decay, and determined in its insanity.

Wonderful arcologies may have deteriorated into hellish hive cities. Scientific understanding may have given way to blinding superstition. And lives of dignity, prosperity and progress may have given way to slavery and brutal misery. Yet the teeming masses of mankind carries on, with the most primal stubbornness and will to survive burning valiantly in its heart, clinging to what little hope remains among the overwhelming darkness.

This artwork concludes the Descendant Degeneration triad, a tribute to both the enduring immense creativity of Warhammer 40'000 in general, and in particular to Luetin's fantastic way of telling the tales of Mankind in the darkest of futures.
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© 2020 - 2021 KarakNornClansman
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Touch-Not-This-Cat's avatar
For a moment, I thought you were quoting from a Dune prequel by Brian Herbert I haven’t read, maybe one detailing the Rise of the Titans. I read all his dad’s Dune books, but only about 2/3rds of his as of ten years ago. He has since made a few more.
Anyway, That this quotation expressed here would need only a light tweak to fit in as something the rebel A.I. pseudo-god, Omnious, would have said of humans.
KarakNornClansman's avatar

Funny coincidence, because I've never read Dune. Then again, 40k draws heavily upon Dune for inspiration. :)

SkyPotatoFire's avatar

What leg day is everyday

as always,love when the imperium is portrayed as evil and fucked up on its own rigth without need of ''but chaos'' or ''but xenos''

KarakNornClansman's avatar

Haha, indeed! The Imperium of Man is itself the main course. Chaos and Xenos are nice spice to the setting.