Mankind is not the only race to walk among the stars. Since they first travelled beyond their own star system, in the early days of the Age of Technology, Mankind has encountered alien races, most of which have proven hostile. While some xenos exist only on a single planet, other civilisations might occupy a star system and there are a few that are widely spread across the great void of the galaxy. It has never been in Man’s nature to share his worlds with aliens, and bloodshed has ever formed the foundation of empire.
The Aeldari are an alien race that once ruled the galaxy. Technologically, militarily and intellectually the Aeldari are as far superior to Humanity as Humanity are to primitive simians.
One of the strangest of all the splinter groups of the Aeldari are the Harlequins. These lightning-fast warrior acrobats make no distinction between war and theatrical art.
On the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy, far from the centralised control of Terra, a new empire is growing. Ambitious and united in purpose, the xenos race known as the T’au seeks to spread its ‘enlightenment’ across the stars.
The Tyranids are the most alien of the races to infest Imperial space, for they come from beyond. Their hive fleets stretch out like tendrils, great chitinous bio-ships drifting in brooding silence. Once the remorseless shoals of the bioships detect the presence of a prey world, they close upon their target, grasping it like some many-tentacled beast seizing its food.
Crawling out from the cold, dank corners of the Imperial underworld come the Genestealer Cults. Secretive, stealthy, and utterly malignant, they are the cankers growing unseen in the hidden spaces of Humanity’s realm.
The belligerent and warlike Orks have been a blight on the galaxy since time immemorial. The entire culture of these brutish xenos is centred around warfare. They live for the exhilaration of a good fight, the deafening thunder of gunfire, and the rush of hurtling into battle in speeding, ramshackle fighting vehicles.
The Necrons are a race of sentient androids who long ago traded away their souls for the gift of immortality. For millennia beyond counting they have slumbered within their tomb worlds, sprawling crypt-fortresses that house billions-strong armies and ranks of deadly war machines.