The Grim-Dark is a brutal place. But some places are worse than others…
Catachan is the most infamous death world in the galaxy. It is located in the Ultima Segmentum and is covered in dense jungle. The planet’s entire ecosystem seems consciously hostile to all foreign life. Each and every element of the native flora and fauna of the planet represents a real danger to any human. Catachan’s only valuable resource is its people, who by virtue of being born on the harshest world in the Imperium, are invariably tough and cunning. It is home to the renowned Catachan Jungle Fighters regiments of the Imperial Guard.
It’s not call a Death World because it’s a popular vacation spot. You’ve got your Barking Toads, Catachan Face-Eaters, the Catachan Devil… No wonder Straken was so awesome. You may have visited the jungle, but he was born there!
Fenris is the homeworld of the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter and their Fortress-Monastery of The Fang. A planet of fire and ice, Fenris orbits its sun once every two Terran years. During the summer months volcanoes erupt, burning great areas with lava flows and churning the seas, spreading great floods and tidal waves. As the planet enters its long winter, the temperature drops so far that most of it actually ices over, giving the planet the appearance of a snowball from orbit.
Recent invasions aside, Fenris was never really a great place to live. If the crazy temperature doesn’t kill you, then surely the native wildlife will. Even if you manage to survive, you’d have to live with one of the nomadic barbarian tribes which are constantly feuding over resources. And if you think summer time is better – it’s not, that’s just when the lava and magma flows cover the land. Oh joy.
The only inhabited world of the Vraks system, Vraks Prime was an armoury world of the Imperium, used as a vast storage facility for supplies and equipment. Vraks Prime was a cool, dry, tectonically stable world with no multicellular life. Sulphur-rich oceans cover 55% of the planet’s surface and waterways cut deep trenches into the planet’s surface. Violent electrical storms form on short notice, bringing torrential downpours that turn the sulphurous soil into sticky mud as it drains away. The Van Meersland Wastes comprise five thousand barren square kilometres, outcrops of volcanic rock the only noticeable terrain feature.
Are you a fan of WWI, but feel like something was missing? Perhaps that missing thing was Daemonic Invasions? Well guess what – Vraks has you covered! The Siege of Vraks was the key conflict that brought this relatively minor planet into the spotlight. I mean with combatants like the Death Korps of Krieg vs Chaos fighting on a sulfurous mud-hole, you knew it was going to be a hellish nightmare, right?
Sicarus is a Daemon World within the Eye of Terror and the current homeworld of the Word BearersLegion and the domain of their Daemon PrimarchLorgar. Beneath a roiling sky of fire and blood, Sicarus is a world completely covered by vast sprawling cathedrals, temples and monuments dedicated to the worship of the Ruinous Powers. Spider-legged cranes and slaves numbering in the millions constantly toil in a never-ending task to raise more structures of devotion and worship, level upon level atop the existing older crumbling edifices and cathedrals, producing obelisks and spires many kilometres high. As a result the majority of buildings are subterranean; a labyrinthine warren of interconnected structures devoted to the worship of chaos.
I know when I’m looking for a place to visit with the potential to move there as a home, I like to check out the views and the neighbors. Well, the views on Sicarus have a wonderful backdrop of a “rolling sky of fire and blood” and the neighbors are those hard-working Dark Apostles of the Chaos Gods. I’m sure you’d get used to the “sermons and spikes” theme that Sicarus offers…
Terra is the homeworld of Mankind. it is the resting place of the Emperor, and the most holy and revered place in the Imperium. Pilgrims throughout the Imperium flock to Terra – even the barren soil that pilgrims tread upon is considered holy. It is effectively a temple the size of a planet.
As the capital world of the Imperium, Terra is also home to the main headquarters of many important Imperial organisations, including the Adeptus Terra, the Administratum, and the Departmento Munitorum
So, this one is kind of cheating because – hey, we already live here! But imagine a life where every day is like standing in line at the DMV or the Post Office. Why? Well:
Terra is a hive world; stripped long ago of all forms of resources; its soil is utterly barren and its atmosphere is a fog of pollution. Massive, labyrinthine edifices of state sprawl across the vast majority of the surface. Its oceans have long ago boiled away, though newer artificial ones were created by the Emperor after the Unification Wars. Many mountain ranges have been leveled, perhaps all of them except the Himalayas, which seemingly remain all but untouched due to the laboratories said to be underneath and the chambers of the Astronomican that course throughout the whole mountain range.
It’s a Hive World with atmosphere of pollution and barren soil stripped of resources…and the population is well past the 7 Billion mark of today. Yeah, welcome to our future.
Commorragh, also known as the Dark City is the capital of the Dark Eldar society. It’s located deep within the labyrinth of the Webway, the space between realspace and the Warp. There are many rumours about Commorragh, the terrifying home of the Dark Eldar, making it difficult to know just what is truth, and what has been fabricated by the shattered psyches of those unfortunate enough to find themselves in Commorragh.
Did you ever watch Hellrasier and think “Yeah, I want to live where those Cenobites come from!” Good News: In the Grim-Dark, that place is called Commorragh and they “have such sights to show you.”
Armageddon is a Hive World in the Imperium, and has been the site of some of the largest wars in the Imperium‘s history. Armageddon-Pattern Vehicles tend to be environmentally sealed, a necessity for fighting on Armageddon in order to protect both the pilot and machine from the corrosive effects of the planet’s ash waste sands.
I don’t really need to explain why living on a planet where an invasion by Daemon Primarch Angron is considered the least know war, do I? Because that was only the First War for Armageddon. The other two involved a minor Ork Warlord. You may have heard of him: Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.
The Palace of Slaanesh
I’m just going to say one thing about The Palace of Slaanesh: “Don’t Touch Anything.”
Nostramo was the homeworld of the Night LordsSpace Marine Legion until Night Haunter destroyed it. Nostramo, on the inside edge of the Ghoul Stars, was a planet of perpetual darkness, covered in clouds of pollution and a perpetual solar eclipse. Only the planetary elite could afford artificial illumination. Murder, extortion, and theft were rampant, while the elite oppressed the vast underclass of foundry workers with hired thugs, the closest approximation the planet had to law enforcement. Violence, both interpersonal and suicide, kept the population in check.
Let’s paint a picture: There is no light from the sun. There is no hope for anyone who isn’t a “noble” elite. Criminals pretty much run everything. And then Evil Batman show up to make you live in fear for the rest of your terrible life. And just when you think it can’t get any worse:
“The Night Haunter’s entire fleet arrived in orbit and aimed their weapons at their home world. Countless lance barrages and orbital torpedoes pummeled the surface. The bombardment reached the planet’s core, possibly through a weakness left in the crust by Curze’s landing or the extensive adamantium mining, and the planet burst apart.”
The Eye of Terror (Ocularis Terribus) is a massive Warp rift, where the Warp co-exists with real space, the largest and most well-known in the galaxy. It is located at the edge of the galaxy, to the north and west of Terra, in the Segmentum Obscurus.
The region of the Eye constitutes its own reality, existing within both the material universe and the Warp. Although planets and star systems exist within the Eye, the laws of reality no longer apply. Time is a meaningless concept, and matter, thought, and energy are indistinct.
The worlds within the Eye are known as Daemon Worlds, and each constitutes its own bizarre sub-reality. At the very center of the Eye lies the “byssos”, a hole in the fabric of reality through which raw Chaos energy pours out.
I feel like we’re cheating a bit with this one, but it’s the last one on the list so oh well. There used to be nice place called Cadia that was the “Gateway” to the Eye. But after some recent events that nice vacation spot has been ruined. The Eye of Terror is where all your bad dreams go to have nightmares. It’s where reality doesn’t apply any more and time is meaningless.
Warp entities hunt freely and devour each other – and anyone else caught in their path. It’s home to the Chaos Gods and all manner of Daemonkin. So yes, the Eye of Terror is like all the previous places we just mentioned – only worse.
Is there a “lovely” place in the Grim-Dark you think should be on our list? Let us know in the comments below!