40K 8th Edition: What Is The Great Rift?

Games Workshop talks about the Lore of the Great Rift and the impact that it’s having on the 40k Universe.

In the latest teaser from the Warhammer Community, Games Workshop opens up about some of the impact the Great Rift is having on the universe of 40k. This is going to be a major launching point for the future of the backstory around the game of 40k – and I want to learn more!

via Warhammer Community

The New Galaxy Map

“The Great Rift is a tear in reality that essentially divides the Imperium in half. Its emergence was a literal galaxy-shattering event, which threw the Imperium into chaos and ushered in new wars across nearly every world in the Imperium. So powerful and far was this storm that the very laws of physics fray at the edges as the inconsistencies of time fluctuations, once largely localised to larger storms such as the Eye of Terror, spread across the galaxy. Some worlds felt centuries go by in an instant while others were all but frozen in time, and still others have suffered constant temporal shifts. “

“None fully understand the origins of the rift – though there are many theories: the breach of the Cadian Gate, the sorcery of a Daemon Primarch, catastrophe in the Webway, mass bloodshed and fire in the Damocles Gulf – all may have caused or contributed to it. The rift is variously known by the cultures of the galaxy as the Crimson Path, the Mouth of Ruin, the Warpscar, the Dathedian, Gork’s Grin and a thousand other names besides. To the Imperium it is the Cicatrix Maledictum, or just the Great Rift. To those on the Terran side, it is a tainted scar across the sky. To those unfortunates on the far side, it is far worse…”

Read the full article HERE

First off, I love the nicknames that have popped-up for the Great Rift: “Crimson Path, the Mouth of Ruin, the Warpscar, the Dathedian, Gork’s Grin” and more. Gork’s Grin is probably my favorite of the bunch. Besides that, this also shows that it’s not just the Imperium that is going to have to deal with the impacts of this rift.

Another important facet of the Great Rift is the impacts it’s having on time. Weird things happen in the warp and one of those effects is the time distortions/dilation or perhaps manipulations is a better word. All those lost ships in the warp showing up at different points in time. Chaos Traitors dying at one battle only to re-appear again other day. Heck, the whole Tuchucha Engine Arc for the Dark Angels just shows how jacked-up the time lines can get in 40k.

The last thing that this teaser hints at is the state of the other, non-Terra side of the Warp Rift. One planet of note on that side of the rift is Baal, the home planet of the Blood Angels. And the last time we saw an major story updates about Baal they were dealing with both the Tyranids (Shield of Baal) and Kharn (Traitor’s Hate/Angel’s Blade). So now I’m really curious as to how they are fairing after being cut-off from the rest of the Imperium.

All is not lost however, the Indomitus Crusade is going to ramp-up as well. So there may be some relief on the way…if the other half of the Imperium can hang on…

The stage is set. The players are gathered. The show is about to start for 8th Edition. Are you ready for war?

 

What aspects of the story of 40k moving forward excite you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

  • Nyyppä

    This is how GW tells us that despote crappy rules the traitors got something done and now it’s time for the imperials to fix that.

    • Farseerer

      If I were to hazard a guess at the size and location of your beard, I’d say It’s large, not on your face and that scarfs are redundant for you.

      The bitter aura from it would also be nauseating from across a large and well ventilated room.

      • ILikeToColourRed

        keep your personal attacks to yourself

        • AEZ

          You should REALLY have read his (Nypple) other posts today before you posted that.

          • ILikeToColourRed

            you should do better than to assume

        • Farseerer

          You’re right. That was pointless. People like him are why BoLS has such a bad rep in general and it got to me

      • AEZ

        He’s just not very smart.. I have fun making him look stupid even if he probaby doesn’t realize that since his IQ is about the same as that of the average potatoe.

        • bfmusashi

          Hello Mr. Quayle! Welcome back.

          • orionburn

            lol….that joke is probably only going to be understood by a select few of us.

        • Shawn Pero

          Pot, meet kettle

    • Nilok

      And what are the rules for a Blackstone Fortress crashing into a planet?

      • Nyyppä

        I’m sure they will tell us when that’s appropriate.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Roll 1D6:
        1: nothing happens
        2-3: the fortress is destroyed
        4-5: the planet is destroyed
        6: the active player decides what happens

      • Heinz Fiction

        Roll 1D6:
        1: nothing happens
        2-3: the fortress is destroyed
        4-5: the planet is destroyed
        6: the active player decides what happens

      • Loki Nahat

        nowadays just yell loudly and stupidly enough making a “big boom”, if all the room look at you like a fecktard, then you can decide how it plays, AoS rulez

    • Randy Randalman

      The crappy rules that kept seeing Chaos and Demons win tournament after tournament after tournament in a field of Space Marines and Eldar.

      • Nyyppä

        Renegades and Tzeetch daemons. This is an important distinction. CSM had nothing to do with this. Just checked and Blood of Kittens for some reason tells us that CSM have done something even though both times the lists have had no CSM in them.

        Daemons have done a better job though. Some of the lists had Magnus with min cultists. No CSM there either and the cultists are there only because they are forced to be there.

  • twincast

    Something that’s been bothering me since the initial release of the second image of the new state of the galaxy (i.e. that angular one with red glowy warp bits): They can’t even keep their cosmography consistent at this point of lore shake-up hype. In the inverted map the galactic center is engulfed by this “Great Rift”, but in the fancy pic the large triangular blob is off to the side and the Maelstrom has been moved into the center of the galaxy. Obviously chances are 99% the former of the two is (more) correct, but either way: Sloppy.

    • Nyyppä

      Or a different angle?

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Yeah, no, you’re comparing a flat, top-down map to a painting of a three dimensional hololithic projection, painted in perspective. Of course there is going to some distortion, but to me they show the same thing.

      • twincast

        Unless the rift is actually at a safe distance above the galaxy, no. And even then it wouldn’t quite match up.

        • bfmusashi

          Rift does what it wants. Rift don’t care. Rift made of make believe and has no concept of time or space. Rift tastes like Diet Mountain Dew Code Red.

        • kingcobra668

          Didn’t they themselves admit they messed up a little on that and will redo it?

      • Muninwing

        it goes across the part where the galaxy is at its thickest, but seems to not be big enough to cross the whole distance through even in its outer reaches.

        sure, it’s an inconvenience, but can’t you just fly around it?

        • Stealthbadger

          Abadons going to build a warp rift. AND GUILLIMANS GOING TO PAY FOR IT!

          • bfmusashi

            This made me mostly laugh, but kind of sob.

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          The Ruinstorm was about half the size, and apart from using the Webway, or some plot shenanigans, you couldn’t fly through that either. And then there’s the whole ‘Warp being a galaxy-spanning gestalt intelligence that doesn’t like mortals’ thing, the ‘Astronomicon being functionally identical to a lighthouse on the horizon’ thing, and how extragalactic travel is next to impossible, due to the extreme distance and lack of useable astropathic links.

          • Muninwing

            there is the interaction between the warp and the materium to consider, yes.

            but those purple lines are supposed to indicate where in the materium the warprift or warpstorms are affecting. if there’s a place that travel will be compromised from, those areas are supposedly indicators…?

            it’s such an abstraction that it’s hard to discuss. but again, they made the map. and if it’s an indicator of a physical space that is compromised, they did a bad job of actually showing the area affected.

            tl;dr:
            they forgot that there’s a bulge
            they probably copied a fantasy setting’s idea
            it is sloppy to underdefine this

            done.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured
    • pskontz

      change its constantly changing bwahaha

    • Muninwing

      it’s also super-sloppy in that it’s presented as a huge deal two-dimensionally, but in a 3-dimensional context it’s more of an inconvenience at that size… unless it’s built like a wall?

      it’s just a poorly thought through idea for this kind of setting. it would possibly have fit better in a fantasy realm.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        You travel through the immaterium, there are massive warp storms that around these breaches between the warp and real space. There are probably only a handful of pathways through the rift and its storms.

        • Muninwing

          not through. over. or under.

          some of that line goes through the widest that our galaxy is. that rift conveniently being that high (or higher) is a bit of a stretch.

          sure, i’m assuming that the rifts are as tall as they are wide, but this is obviously a 2d map idea trying to apply to a 3d space.

          i think it’s safe to say that either
          a. the rift is not taller than the width of the galaxy
          b. the rift is possibly not a straight line toward galactic up and down, given that it isn’t a straight line across

          i get what they are going for. it just feels like a poorly considered execution.

  • Raven Jax

    I think it’s partly designed to split the Imperium. Old, dogmatic Imperium on Terra on one side, Guilliman and the Blood Angels’ new Imperium on the other side.

    I think it’s also worth noting that as best as I can tell from the picture, the Rift is in the middle of the galaxy. I’m a small bit worried about that because it’s an amateur story-telling mistake that doesn’t really reflect the real world: the center location of something physically doesn’t always signify importance. There was nothing wrong with the Eye of Terror being where it was.

    I’m mostly concerned from a storytelling perspective about what makes ‘The Rift’ different than the Eye of Terror? Maybe it’s not caused by Chaos but will instead be one of GW’s “new” armies they’re releasing with 8th?

    • Nyyppä

      Actually there could be a great opportunity here for some sort of s cond heresy like civil war thing. That would be potentially awesome.

      • Muninwing

        or potentially too heavy-handed to be anything but disappointing, like many of their recent campaign books…

        • Nyyppä

          There’s that.

      • Slaanesh Devotee

        Well if (as they’ve told us) there’s going to be a big war with Chaos traitors trying to take over the galaxy, and the Imperium trying to stop them, then that will essentially be de facto another human civil war.

        • Nyyppä

          It was during HH. Now traitors are pretty clearly their own thing.

      • Ghosy01 .

        there is , there will be an imperial mini civil war between guilliman and the inquisition

        • Nyyppä

          Loving it.

    • orionburn

      The bit about time distortions could be either be really cool story telling wise, or allow for some serious eye rolling when it comes to plot advances. Maybe this is how they finally figure out a way to bring Sanguinius and/or other dead primarchs back.

      • SilentPony

        Oh they better not pull that to bring Ferrus or angel face back.

        • orionburn

          I don’t want to see shenanigans like that either. That’s just pushing things too far. It’s understandable how primarchs like Robbie and the Lion can come back, or even those that simply vanished, but I really don’t want some sad reasons to bring every last Primarch back. Let them have their fun in 30k.

          • Muninwing

            the heavy-handedness implies a lack of real consideration of real world-building, meaning that i could totally see them bringing back dead characters for sillies.

            it’d be antithetical to most of the tone and content of the game, but it would in fact make the setting trite and shallow in a couple ways. but it’s doable.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Ferrus could be Cawl and the Sanguinor could be Sanguinius

          • Muninwing

            hahaha… what if Cawl was a robot body keeping Ferrus’ head alive all this time? or even just his brain?

            i laugh at what sounds like a pretty silly idea. but i’d be sad if they decided to do that.

            undoing heroic character deaths means that death is no longer a threat, therefore there are no heroics not worth doing and no sacrifices that are particularly that noble. it’s another amateurish writing mistake.

          • euansmith

            “I keep the brain of Ferrus Manus in this vessel where my heart would be.”

            “What, Primarch Manus still lives, Archmagos?!”

            “Of course not, you doltard! I just said I’ve got his freakin’ brain in jar!”

      • ZeeLobby

        Prepare for number two. LoL. It’s going to be a huge slog of random crap happening via magic.

        • Loki Nahat

          well said, we said it would be end times, they told it wouldn’t be end times, it’s end times ,and now people refuse to believe it, man I can see why arguing with the average voter is… a waste of time

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. The parallels are pretty intense.

          • Loki Nahat

            and people will continue to lap it up while denying the marines 2.0 are stormcasts and that we’re not getting war-warp–world-bubbles, even though thats exactly what the rift thing is supposed to allow

            I mean time-y-whimy stuff? what is this? Gundam? Power rangers? Come on, the guys at GW now must be younger than my coffee

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, it’s just lazy loopholes to string crappy plots through. Such a shame, as the galaxy used to have some weight and purpose.

      • Iron Star

        No one wants those two back. Thats the whole point of those two chapters. So hopefully that wont happen…. hopefully

      • mac40k

        Gives you a fluff reason/excuse to play 30K vs. 40k and/or include units from both in your army.

    • Nilok

      I think Abbadon’s plan was to have it smack into Terra itself, but due to the Black Hole at the center of the galaxy (also warp related) and the massive Warp/fire storm caused by the Mecanicus against the Tau in the Damocles Gulf when they Exterminatused a planet, it connected the dots instead.

    • euansmith

      I like the idea of it being a ruptured Webway.

    • ragelion

      Well Guiliman is on the terra side I do think they are setting up the blood angels for something. It’s revealed in dante’s novel that he does not actually hate xeno’s save tyranids.

  • Hendrik Booraem VI

    They’re just adding the Warp rift so that in five years they can release Warhammer United, where all the Age of Sigmar units are available (cause they’re in the warp!) to combat any of the WH40K armies. Unify everything under one ruleset, allow everyone to play whatever they want in any battle. The only difference being the fluff.

    • SilentPony

      Hey, if they want to kill their entire company in one fell swoop, its their call

      • bfmusashi

        It’s been a long time, but this used to be a thing we could do pretty handily. It was even supported.

      • Admiral Raptor

        There would be a lot of whining, a bit of rage quitting, then everyone would get used to it.

        • Loki Nahat

          its what they’re doing now to be fair

    • Admiral Raptor

      Sounds great! I’ve always wanted to play my Lizardmen against Necrons.

      • Raven Jax

        Which might be the only scenario that would make sense, fluff-wise, in that game.

        • Admiral Raptor

          The fluff will continue to change and evolve, but I don’t see any need to play within it’s constraints. Give me Skaven VS Tau, Sylvaneth VS Tyranids, or Orks VS Orruks any day of the week.

          • Muninwing

            skaven vs tau:
            – round 1 shooting wipes out entire units of ratmen, killing all their big monsters
            – round 2 charge by skaven sees most of their weapons bouncing off the futuristic hitech composite armor worn by the worst-in-the-future-but-still-better-equipped tau infantry.
            – by round three, the rats flee and run away to search for a remotely intelligent justification for their overlap with Nurgle within chaos…

            tau rifles being S5 in 40k probably puts them over S10 in AoS… and the light armor they wear is far more advanced, meaning that it’s probably better than the best armor available in AoS.

      • bfmusashi

        I swear I’ve read official stuff promoting that idea. It was about using lizardmen to be the Slann and the only concern was getting the points to balance out. I wish I could remember the source >.<

        • Admiral Raptor

          I think the first Necron Codex had that in it. I thought it was a neat idea at the time, and still think it would be lots of fun.

          I really want my Teradons to drop rocks on a necron monolith until it explodes! 😛

          • Muninwing

            4th ed Necrons had the whole Old One backstory. back then, the idea was to unite the two games in theme and timeline. by 5th, though, they did a weird handwave to “no they were never connected, you imagined it all”

            pity. it was more interesting as a thematically complex set of aspects of the same ideas.

          • bfmusashi

            I feel like that’s why we play the game. No one remembers winners, everyone remembers when a Furioso Dreadnought breaks down a wall to suplex a Monolith. 🙂

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          The Old Ones were posited to be the Slann.

          • AircoolUK

            Yeah, the Slann were from another world in Fantasy whilst also being (at least they claimed to be) the oldest race in the 40K galaxy.

          • Muninwing

            the slann were the first-generation creations of the Old Ones, who traveled off-planet using webway gates at the poles. they in turn created the rest of the lizardmen. the Old Ones later created the Elves.

            fast forward a few thousand years… during which the Old Ones never returned…

            the webway gates were compromised. Chaos started leaking out of them, creating the Chaos Wastes. the world was cut off from the rest of the galaxy (i’ve heard questions of it being in the Halo/Ghoul Stars, or a planet within a relatively stable pocket of one of the big warp storms, or even that it was all a creation inverted within the webway. but most of those are conjecture

    • ZeeLobby

      It’s coming, might as well at this point.

  • SilentPony

    Wait, how is it worse than the ruinstorm? Didn’t the ruinstorm completely shut down the entire Imperium, not just a few sectors, for like decades?

  • AircoolUK

    So, 40K AoG (Age of Guilliman) has begun. Some lovely, retcon-convenient time warps have appeared and the Imperium is on the attack.

    Ok, yeah… I’m happy with that. I wonder what’s going to happen on the north side of the rift now that it’s almost cut off from Terra.

    • bfmusashi

      Superboy Prime punches are fixing the 40k continuity!

      • Admiral Raptor

        Oh god, that brings back memories :s Comic book continuity makes 40k’s story telling seem stellar 😛

        • bfmusashi

          I apply Hypertime to 40k since I think it works well with the Warp. I still haven’t gotten a Morrison or Kirby style ride to crazytown from GW yet, and I’m waiting, because this setting is almost made for it.

        • Muninwing

          sadly, some of the recent GW stuff has fallen to that level…

    • Muninwing

      yeah, “cut off”

      because you can’t go over it on a 2d map, and the galaxy isn’t three-dimensional… or thickest right down the middle…

      • AircoolUK

        Well… presumably as ‘the warp’ is extra dimensional, it’s quite easy for it to block more than three dimensions.

        As for ‘almost’ cut off, there are two passes at each end of the storm, which will no doubt be a source of massive conflict, and I guess there’s the webway as well, although it will be a rare sight to see a fleet of Imperial ships stopping off in Commorragh.

        Just warn the crew if they decide to take any ‘shore leave’, I shudder to think what would be on offer in a Commorragh brothel.

        • Muninwing

          i think you’re missing what i’m saying.

          the disc of the MWG is about 2000ly thick. but the center, where that rift passes right through, is far thicker.

          the rift looks about half the width (in most places) of the Spiral Arms. meaning that it might zigzag up or down, and have a halo of effect, but should still have some space to fly over or under it.

          and when it hits the center bulge, it’ll be one line that crosses a wide expanse. it might be inconvenient to have to fly a few light years out of the way, but it’s not uncrossable. so it’s not a “we’re cut off” kind of situation, unless they specify that it’s more of a 2d shape (like a fence or wall that extends all the way up and down past the galactic plane) in a 3d world.

          sure, it might be of a different shape, but they use a 2-d model to show a 3-d concept and do not elaborate on the actual 3-d-ness of the problem.

      • Darth Bumbles

        Well, it’s a Warp rift. Just because in the Materium it’s a spatial phenomenon you could avid by going up or down, in The Warp it’s entirely another matter. There is no “up” or “down” in the Warp

        • Muninwing

          but there is in the galaxy. and when you look at it sideways, unless the warp rifts are more like warp fences, they would be a proverbial straw in a wind tunnel…

          think of a tripline. it only works because it assumes that you are walking. in a world where people can fly, you need a net.

  • Hahboo

    “which threw the Imperium into chaos and ushered in new wars across nearly every world in the Imperium.”

    “Sir, the entire Galaxy is already only war.” “MORE WAR!”

    • Nyyppä

      Yo dawg, I heard that….

  • spla5hmummy

    I’d love to know where medusa is in all this.

    • Robert Quinn

      me too man. They even foreshadowed them helping Cadia in clan raukaan, but they didn’t show up.

  • GnomesForge

    Technically we said we’d never blow up the universe. We never promised we wouldnt blow up half. Yeah, this new fluff is so much better than the classic stuff. Biggy Marines, eye of Terror everywhere.

  • AircoolUK

    I’ve just realised what the Rift is for…. On the Terran side, the 8th rules are being used, whilst on the other side, due to, erm, time dilation or something due to the warp storms, 7th rules are still being used to decide the fate of that side of the galaxy.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      the followers of the ruinous powers are using 2nd edition, becuase!! REASONS 😀

  • KingAceNumber1

    ITT: People who complained about 40k’s storyline not advancing in 20 years complain about 40k’s storyline advancing.

    I tease because I love, no malice intended.

    • Matthew Pomeroy

      thats where I think some complaints are from, they wanted an advance, just not THIS advance.

    • Loki Nahat

      many people did not ask for advancement, only internet warriors wished for it, oh, and americans

  • Korban

    #bringbacksanguinius

  • Spiritual Liege

    its a rift and its bad

    bravo GW

  • Rafał Pytlak

    Don’t they dare kill mah boi Luis Dante

  • memitchell

    To think, I thought the Tyranid Hive Fleets were unstoppable.

  • Drpx

    Things are so bad that the galaxy has a giant bum crack now.

    • knightsanguis

      I guess that explains where the new forces of Nurgle are coming from.

    • knightsanguis

      I guess that explains where the new forces of Nurgle are coming from.

  • MechBattler

    And Nurgle’s warp shart ripped the galaxy a new a$shole through which it is draining away.

  • David Leimbach

    Maybe now someone can go back and kill Guilliman in the past? No, not the plan? Darn.

  • Robert Quinn

    Poor Raven Guard, White Scars, and Iron Hands. All other first founding chapters represented. Hell, Medusa is really close to Cadia, but they didn’t even make an appearance. Gw shafts all three, with only 1 character each for WS and RG, none for IH, while UM get a f’n primarch on top of multiple characters. Oh well, let’s just see if GW will remove them by omission or suddenly starts caring.

  • am1t

    I once wore pants that were too tight for me, bent down and then RRRRIIIIIIIPPPP!!!! …. Great Rift.