This was recorded for posterity in the Tome of Lectures by Adept ninth-class Gehenor Niles. It was first iterated by the Philosophist Malxis Begerius, to the 11th class of Imperial Scholam, Hera, Macragge. These students, at age 9, were starting their terms in the PDF.
When was the last time you gazed at the night sky? I don't mean for astronomy or piloting. I mean really just gazed at all the stars? I know you can't tell me. You all, as we have before you, stopped that when you were a child. But there is more up there than you can ever know. THAT is what I'm here to speak of.
Each of the stars you gaze upon is a world. A world much like the one we stand on now. All of you have the honor to serve the armed forces, and may step foot on those worlds as you have this one today. Just know that we are one in a million worlds on which mankind lives. The unenhanced human eye can see a few hundred thousand stars on a clear moonless night. And every one is most likely home to humanity.
You see, mankind has a destiny. That destiny started in history. In ancient times, humans only knew of Terra. They made war upon one another. Then, the Emperor arrived and taught them different. He taught them of all the stars, and how there were humans out there. And that if humans realized their destiny, they could all be united as one. As mankind. In all his glory, the Emperor banished the idea of civil war completely, and began the quest to conquer the stars. Just as I tell you that every star you see is a human world, so too did the Emperor find that to be true and made war upon them.
At first, the humans fought Him and his armies. They, just as the Terrans before them, were ignorant. Once he abolished that with reason and force, the world was brought into compliance and the next world was chosen. For decades, these worlds fought, and fell one by one. For decades, the darkness of ignorance stained that destiny. But as the Emperor enlightened people, his armies swelled. Loyalty to him and the destiny of a united Mankind grew with each victory. Soon, the new worlds stopped fighting Him. It became only the alien that fought Him and his armies. Soon, with the help of the angelic Primarchs, He conquered the galaxy. All mankind was united, as one, in dominance of all you see and what you don't in the night sky!
But peace was not to last. There are stars up there that aren't populated by humans. The worlds are too toxic, the Biologis has quarantined it, the Ecclesiarchy has made it holy domain, whatever. Sometimes, and much more than we can imagine, those worlds are inhabitted by the alien. The xenos are insidious, and work to weaken the Empire of Mankind. Worse is the fragile spirit of the ignorant man. The darkness of ignorance creeps into the people on the furthest fringes of the empire. Soon, worship of dark powers followed, and that ultimately led to the darkest times humans have ever known. But all of this is for a different lecture. Just know that it took the blood of millions of heroes and the unshakeable loyalty to the Emperor to keep the Imperium together.
You are blessed to live in these times. For ten thousand years, the empire has persevered. For ten millenia, humans have all shared that same destiny that the Emperor originally taught. And it is because of the mighty defenders of mankind as well as the vigilance of our holy Emperor that we own the night sky. It is a rich history of war that has led us through all these millennia of struggles.
During the times of the Great Crusade, countless generations ago, the Emperor was a general and a king. He ruled his kingdom with his armies, and all owed loyalty to him. But his kingdom grew to an empire, and became too large to rule alone. He, as a god does, created his angels and made them his governors and generals. But even then, the empire was too large and the Primarchs could not rule. And so was born the society we know today.
Lord Calgar raises mighty armies and leads his chapter in defense of you all and for the destiny of all man, as the masters of mankind have done for millenia.
Look up at that night sky again. See the stars above, remember that Mankind probably holds dominance of all of them. But right at this moment, as you stare at the stars, realize that half of them are at war. Half of the worlds of humanity, at any given time, suffer the ravages of war. In some sectors, deep in the center of the galaxy, war has not been known for millennia. Ultramar is nearly as blessed. But not most worlds, especially where your eyes can see.
Why is there so much war? I know you're asking, but that again is for another lecture. Today, I speak of Mankind, and it's history and destiny. Ours is a history of war. Remember when we warred against each other? Remember when we conquered the galaxy one war at a time? The Bell of Heroes on Terra tolls once for every soul lost in service to the Emperor, through his masters. That bell has not stopped tolling in ten thousand years. It will not stop tolling for ten thousand more.