Ten People Who Run the Imperium You Never Knew


The Warhammer 40K universe is full of all powerful masters you never knew who run pretty much everything.

Some of these you may know – while others lurk in the shadows…

The Paternova – The Chief of the Navigators, makes sure every ship in the Imperium gets where it’s headed safely. Also can survive in hard vacuum – HANDY!


Master of the Administratum – Piss this dude off and you’ll be waiting in line, filling out paperwork for eternity.


Grand Provost Marshal – Master of the Adeptus Arbites.  His word IS LITERALLY Law.


Speaker for the Chartist Captains – This individual wields the influence of all the merchant guilds in the Imperium.  Like they say – money talks…


Grand Master of the Assassins – Definitely #1 on the list of “get his daughter home before curfew”…

Inquisitor Horz 1

Inquisitorial Representative – Everyone has secrets.  He already knows all of yours…

Master of the Astronomican – Imagine every phone and cable company rolled into one – ruled by one guy.  You want to talk to someone across the galaxy in a hurry – you know who to call.
Chancellor of the Estate Imperium – The person who counts all the Imperium’s money is not to be trifled with.  It’s funny what moving a comma can do to the fortunes of men…
The Ecclesiarch – It’s not often you meet someone who orders Crusades as part of their official job duties.


Commander Dante – The oldest living Space Marine Chapter Master.  When he talks, every other Chapter Master listens (except maybe Grimnar)…

~How many of these did you know? Show off in the comments.
  • euansmith

    Mrs Spivey, the Char Lady Impiritus. Without her blessing there will only be Rich Tea biscuits at the meetings of the Grand Council. No one in the upper echelons of the Imperium would willingly cross Mrs Spivey.


    • Shawn

      There has to be an office of Dunkin’ Donuticus. The Imperium Runs onf Dunkin’.

  • SilentPony

    I miss Ludoldus…

  • Korvalus

    Lore Attack!!

    Technically, Dante only has authority over the Blood Angels and, maybe, their successor chapters. Astartes doesn’t have a centralized command who issues orders to individual chapters (they had one long ago by the title of Warmaster, and look how it turned out). So when the time comes, it falls to the highest commander of a space marine strikeforce who, or if, they would accept orders. They can refuse to accept orders of anybody, but it’s frowned upon and a sure ticket of inquisitorial “interest”.

    Commander Dante os usually chosen if present due to being the Chapter Master of a first founding chapter, a man of honor and for his experience; but in practice he has the same stading as other first founding chapter masters like Azrael, Grimnar, Calgar or Shrike (well, Shrike not that much due to being new in the post and all).

    • pokemastercube .

      and well who is going to pass up the experence of a 1400+ year old marine to lead in joint operations?

    • Thomas Gardiner

      And even then, if circumstances called for a specific method of warfare, Dante might bow to another Chapter Master’s experience.

      Like if they had to engage in void combat, they’d probably appoint High Marshall Helbrecht before Dante. Or Vladimir Pugh (RIP) in siege warfare.

    • To be fair though, OP never said that Dante commands other chapters, I think he’s just portraying the respect he’s earned due to his merits.

  • benn grimm

    Surely the unknown rulers of the imperium are just that; unknown?

  • Bredkooler

    I think at least 9 of them are on my Twitter feed.

  • Andreas Noche

    Ah, I can see that: Dante sitting in a chair, muttering something like “Back in MY days, we had no *formations* and we didn´t need them”

  • Syra

    I mean, it says lord commander militant right there on one of your pictures and you decided to put up dante instead??

    What about the Lord Solar or any number of other high lords…

    • PrimoFederalist

      Every position on the list *is* a high lord, with the exception of Dante and possibly the Speaker of the Chartist Captains (a position I’d never heard of before but is probably also a high lord). But yeah… Dante was a weird choice. Must be a BA fan.

      And yes, Lord Commander Militant of the IG should have been on there as well (also a high lord).

  • The_Illusionist

    Arguably, one should also include Azrael of the Dark Angels.

    There are small, obscure, but distinct pieces of evidence which suggest that the sundering of the Legions into the Second Founding Chapters was not as clear within the Dark Angels and the other Unforgiven as with their cousins, as all the sons of the Lion regularly work together on secret missions, with their respective Inner Counsels all sharing knowledge of the fate of Caliban and the other restricted incidents from the time of the Heresy and beyond.

    One really has to wonder; if Azrael called, what would answer- a handful of Chapters, or a Legion? If he got the latter, then few forces in the Imperium would be able to do anything about it…..

    • Shawn

      Which only lends credence to how far the Dark Angels of fallen trying to hide their Heresy. 😉

      • The_Illusionist

        “Hide” is a strong word, when you’re describing a Chapter that openly and brazenly attacked the Black Templars and blew up one of their starships to stop them talking about the Traitor they had captured. =P

    • Drew_Da_Destroya

      It seems pretty implied these days that the Blood Angels successor chapters are all banded together and act more like a Legion these days as well.

      • The_Illusionist

        The Blood Angels are, at least, fairly recent in that – certainly the cooperation between the Angels and the Flesh Tearers was reforged only in the 41st millenia, as described in the novel “Red Fury”.

        The Dark Angels, on the other hand, are rumoured to have never been properly split – some Chapter Masters of the successor Chapters have been members of the Dark Angels’ Inner Circle, for example.

        You’re right in saying that it’s a similar premise but there’s some difference. Blood Angels are a close family looking out for each other; Dark Angels successors are and always have been, for most intents and purposes, the Unforgiven, and include everything that means.

        • Inquisitor Fulbright

          To be fair most of the chapters act like that, there is fluff to reference ultramarine successors coming at the beck and call of ultramar to defend it and deferring to marneus calgar as their leader, the space wolves never formally broke down in to astartes chapters and as such maintain a higher than average number of astartes (although that number seems further diminished now with warzone fenris), the black template don’t even seem to know how many make up their numbers and the imperial fists successor chapters at least the ones I have read up on seem to have relatively close ties. I believe the iron hands are the same also, it really seems like the only ones who didn’t find a way to maintain their legions in some form where the greatly diminished raven guard, salamanders and maybe white scars.

  • AnomanderRake

    Dante seems like an odd inclusion. ‘…every other Space Marine Chapter Master listens…’ is too close to telling us we all revere Gulliman as our ‘spiritual liege’ for my liking.

    You could alternately have brought up the Lord High Admiral of the Imperial Navy, the Fabricator-General of Mars, the Lord-Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard, or the Ecclesiarch. I’ve seen conflicting reports on whether the Adepta Sororitas has a unified command structure but if it did the Abbess would also be worth inclusion.

  • Shawn

    I suspect the Iron Hands Kardan Stronos doesn’t pay attention to Dante, either.

  • TDog

    Left out the Fabricator General of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

  • Gregory Heyes

    13 Positions in the Council, 10 if which are always
    – The Emperor (duh…)
    – The Master of the Administratum
    – The Inquisitorial Representative (missed the comment about *who * becomes the representative when a plenary meeting of the Lords rolls around…and you thought the US presidential elections were broken and full of backstabbing…)
    – The Ecclesiarch
    – Fabricator-General of the Adeptus Mechanicus (need that new regiment of Lemanm Russ Tanks? Don’t annoy him or he’s likely to send you a fleet of Trojans instead).
    – Grand Provost Marshal of the Adeptus Arbites
    – Paternoval Envoy (Its not the Paternova themselves, but one of their lackeys – by this point the Paternova is so mutated, they’d make Tzeentch cry).
    – Master of the Astromican (probably the Head Instructor, since all the Chosen wouldn’t get the chance…)
    – Grand Master of the Assassins
    – Master of tha Adeptus Astra Telepathica (This guy is T&T writ large…)

    The other three positions seem to vary (how exactly they are chosen is unknown, but probably got somthing to do with availability and politics), but can be:
    – Lord Command of Segmentum Solar (want a meeting to get underway, this guy has got to let you through the door first!)
    – Lord Commander Millitant of the Astra Millitarum (I’m sorry, was that a Crusade I sent your way…?)
    – Cardinal of the Holy Synod of Terra (Space Cardinal? The Ecclesiarch would be the Space Pope, I think)
    – Abbess of the Adepta Soroitas (is this position still filled by someone? I thought it became permanently vacant when Sabrina disappeared).
    – Captain-General of the Adeptus Custodes (A Goth Uber-Marine – do not mess with).
    – Chancellor of the Estate Imperium
    – Speaker for the Chartist Captains
    – Lord High Admiral of the Imperial Navy (I need this entire Battlefleet supplied with fuel, ammunition and recruits. No? See these macrocannon trained on your major cities? That’s what I thought…)