- "Caring little is me about your gun. Caring more should be you about my axe!"
- — Karl-Va, First Steel of the Red Clans
A Feral World is defined as a planet whose population is composed of nomadic hunter-gatherers or members of early agricultural societies and who possess technology equivalent to Old Earth's Stone Age, Bronze Age or early Iron Age cultures. Feral Worlds are populated by tribal peoples largely living without the assistance of maintained technology or even agriculture in some cases and the population is usually quite low as a result, ranging from 100,000 to 5,000,000 people. This may be due to an ancient failed human colonisation project from the Dark Age of Technology, ingrained religious preferences, cultural choice, harshness of the environment or some other reason.
Feral Worlds, like their Feudal counterparts, will have little direct political or economic interference from the Imperium and will pay only the lowest grades of planetary tithes, their tithe grade given as Solutio Tertius. Feral World populations may be aware of the Imperium's existence in some fashion but are unlikely to know much more than something about a large group of distant people living among the stars. These planets are frequently unsuitable for later Imperial colonisation, either due to the circumstances which drove the natives feral or because the natives themselves actively resist new people settling on their lands. The people of Feral Worlds can range widely in culture, from Grox-hunting Stone Age tribes of ancestor worshippers who only recognize the Emperor of Mankind in the most rudimentary of ways, to wild-eyed, post-apocalyptic road warriors, fighting endlessly amongst the toxic, sand-strewn ruins of their civilisation.
The harsh conditions which Feral World populations have adapted to make them ideal recruitment sources for the Regiments of the Astra Militarum and the Chapters of the Space Marines since they produce more men with experience in war. Occasionally the inhabitants of Feral Worlds have been pressed into the service of the Imperial Guard when their world lay inside a war zone, and the chosen warriors have been given rudimentary training in the operation of laser or stub-weaponry. It is more common, however, for Feral World natives to be selected for the various Adeptus Astartes recruitment programs.
Like all Imperial worlds, Feral Worlds are ruled over by a Planetary Governor, although the nature of Feral Worlds makes this position somewhat different from that of the Governorship of more advanced planets. The Imperial Governor of a Feral World almost always live apart from the natives, often living in a single city inhabited by outsiders or taking residence in orbit on an Imperial space station, only interfering in the world's affairs to keep psyker and mutant "head counts" down. Religious heresy is also a regular concern on Feral Worlds, especially amongst warrior-cults prone to infiltration by agents of Khorne, the Blood God; constant vigilance and regular belief-modification enacted by agents of the Ecclesiarchy are a necessity.
Governors and permanent staff on such worlds are themselves kept under close scrutiny, in an effort to avoid the phenomenon of "going native", especially in situations where the inhabitants' belief systems have been manipulated into casting the Governor as a " Star God". The culture shock associated with interaction with more technologically advanced outsiders is an issue on Feral Worlds. Removing a Feral Worlder from his planet and exposing him to such things as Warp travel can be disconcerting and even result in madness and other permanent pychological disorders. A Feral Worlder within the wider Imperium often retains their superstitious and tribal idiosyncrasies, which may prove to be social hindrances, such as an obsession with the bones of dead comrades or the mixing and regular application of noxious-smelling warpaint. Other habits, such as manic distrust and aversion to psychic "witchcraft" may been seen as useful and sensible in the Imperium.
Life on a Feral World
At first glance, Feral Worlds would appear backward when compared to more technologically advanced worlds in the Imperium. They are indeed trapped in superstition and ignorance, but no less so than the denizens on any Imperial world, and the concept of progress is as unknown here as anywhere else in the Imperium. The barbaric nature on feral worlds is as pronounced as on any other planet, but here it displays a harsh, personal brutality and dispenses with the veneer of higher civilisation found elsewhere. Feral world natives can view weather as signs from the sky-gods, and the remains of ancient devastated civilisations as relics from ancestors who touched godhood before hubris brought them low. This is no different, however, than a hive labourer who tills powerful machinery through rote actions and dogmatic chants, or reflexively makes the sign of the aquila before entering a hab-room for the first time. Both see the world around them through a thick fog of superstition, not even knowing that there is more to know. To live in the Imperium is to live in ignorance, an awful but blissful experience compared to the horrible truths that Inquisitors know.
Feral Worlds are as important to the Imperium as any of its planets, and each tithes men and materials just like any other world. This means that even if the majority of the population are ignorant of other planets, there is often a ruling elite connected to the Imperium and governing the world for them. Populations on Feral Worlds are often kept in check by their faith in the Imperial Creed, and the Ecclesiarchy ensures that this is the first step when incorporating such a world into the Imperium. On many Feral Worlds, the local regions and beliefs has thus been supplanted by the faith in the Emperor, and it could be that He is known by different names, such as the Sky-Father, Master of Light, or Star Lord by the primitive people of the world. Even if a feral worlder knows little of the Imperium, it is doubtless that he has heard tell of the Emperor and be raised to revere Him as a god.
There is a near-limitless variety of Feral Worlds within the Imperium, each different from the next, often mixing ancient cultures and technological levels in a myriad of combinations. For example, a Feral World could be little more than a alien wilderness of volcanic tundra, where ignorant tribesmen bow down to effigies of the Emperor whom they call the father-of-lightning. Here they hunt flying-lizards across deserts of ash and dust using weapons of black volcanic glass, until the sky-men call them to serve beyond the world’s edge, never to return. Another world could be covered with complex territories of nomadic tribes scattered across an endless swamp, who wear the bones and skins of great amphibians, and constantly war with each other for survival. Some show the signs of previously advanced civilisations, long since blasted to ruins from war or natural catastrophe. Man might live in crude caves nested in crashed orbital towers that could predate the Imperium or even be of xenos origin, using spears tipped with fractal metal shavings to fend off beasts mutated from lesser pets. Feral Worlds are defined only by their limited level of technology, where populations have little choice but to live in a primitive state. Feral worlders may well learn to accept the appearance of void ships in their skies and mighty armoured warriors in their cities, their people accepting their place in the universe, perhaps even scorning the skymen for their feeble reliance on metal trickery when the test of a true man can only be measured in muscle and bone. Feral Worlders might leave their planet, either taken as part of manpower tithes or as part of an Inquisitor’s warband, but still retain the primal essence their upbringing provided.
Notable Feral Worlds
|Baal||Segmentum Ultima||Unknown||Unknown||Baal System||122,000|
|Banish||Segmentum Obscurus||Narasima Sector||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Cuyavale||Segmentum Obscurus||Calixis Sector||Periphery Sub-sector||Cuyavale System||Unknown|
|Fenris||Segmentum Obscurus||Unknown||Unknown||Fenris System||Unknown|
|Fedrid||Segmentum Obscurus||Calixis Sector||Markayn Marches||Fedrid System||Unknown|
|Gargathea III||Ultima Segmentum||Maelstrom Zone||Khymaran Drift||Gargathea System||Unknown|
|Gregorn||Segmentum Obscurus||Askellon Sector||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Iocanthos||Segmentum Obscurus||Calixis Sector||Golgenna Reach||Scintilla System||5,000,000,000|
|Ithaka||Segmentum Obscurus||Reef Stars||Unknown||Ithaka System||Unknown|
|Lilia Mundi||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||4,500,000 (approx.)|
|Mundus Planus (Chogoris)||Ultima Segmentum||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||10,000,000|
|Orbiana||Segmentum Obscurus||Calixis Sector||Unknown||Periphery Sub-sector||Unknown|
|Patara||Segmentum Tempestus||Orpheus Sector||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Sacris||Segmentum Obscurus||Calixis Sector||Drusus Marches||Unknown||Unknown|
|Scelus||Segmentum Obscurus||Cadian Sector||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Shaprias||Segmentum Ultima||Badab Sector||Unknown||Lamptan System (Lamptan V)||20-50 Million|
|Typhon Primaris||Segmentum Ultima||Korianis Sector||Sub-sector Aurelia||Unknown||0 (Currently)/300,000 (Formerly)|
|Valos Kin||Segmentum Obscurus||Calixis Sector||Hazeroth Abyss||Unknown||Unknown|
- Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition)
- Codex: Blood Angels (5th Edition)
- Codex: Blood Angels (4th Edition)
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 21
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 31-32, 37
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 30
- Dark Heresy: Beta Core Rulebook (2nd Edition) (RPG), pp. 20-21
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (2nd Edition) (RPG), pg. 33
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 250
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pp. 55-56
- Index Astartes II, "Angels of Death"
- Inferno! 29, "Crimson Storm" by Dan Abnett
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 346-348
- Only War: Enemies of the Imperium (RPG), pp. 8-31
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War, Part One, pp. 6, 101, 116-123
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War, Part Two, pg. 125
- Index Astartes I, "White Scars"
- Warhammer Monthly (Comic), "Ophidium"
- Warhammer Monthly (Comic), "Regicide"
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition)
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (3rd Edition), pg. 114
- White Dwarf 329 (US), "Warhammer 40,000: Blood Angels Official Codex," pg. 70
- Dead in the Water (Audio Drama) by Sandy Mitchell
- Death of Integrity (Novel) by Guy Haley
- Brothers of the Snake (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology), "The Labyrinth," by Richard Ford
- Salvation's Reach (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- The Blood Angels - An Angels Sanguine Story (Short Story) by C.S. Goto
- The Chapter's Due (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- Dawn of War II (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)
- Fantasy Flight Games - The Calixis Sector (Link Defunct)
|General||Dead World • Death World • Desert World • Ice World • Jungle World • Ocean World|
|Imperium||Adeptus Astartes Homeworld • Agri-World • Armoury World • Cardinal World • Cemetery World • Civilised World • Feral World • Feudal World • Forbidden World • Forge World • Fortress World • Frontier World • Hive World • Industrial World • Knight World • Mining World • Pleasure World • Penal World • Quarry World • Research Station • Sentinel World • Shrine World|
|Xenos||Craftworld • Crone World • Exodite World • Maiden World • Ork World • Tau Sept • Tomb World • Xenos World|