Fear Permeates The Very Walls

I'm half disgusted at myself for doing a Halloween post, but I'm half disgusted with myself most of the time.

Rather than go down the scary models route I thought I'd go bigger than that. How you ask?

By looking at the background of Fantasy and 40K.

I know that 40K being grimdark is a given, but it needs a step back to really appreciate it. Ignore the Space Marines, as they're a different form of horror entirely (with humanity essentially creating their own monsters), and focus on the civilian in the Imperium. They might be born on a death world, and destined for the Guard, or the stomach of some ravenous predator. They might be in the bureaucracy, and doomed to turn the slowly grinding wheels of Imperial admin for their whole lives. They might find themselves fighting the myriad threats that face the Imperium. Eldar, that look almost human, but are disgustingly and certainly other. Tyranids, a tide of hunger given hideous form. Orks, huge warlike and difficult to kill. And that's just scratching the surface. Worse than all of these is perhaps the Imperium itself, fuelled by devotion to the Emperor, trapped on the edge of death and daily fed souls to keep the galaxies GPS from switching off. The Inquisition, willing to do and justify anything to keep humanity safe. The Guard, sending people into meat grinder wars. The Mechanicum, slowly turning themselves from man to machine at every opportunity.

Fantasy by comparison has a far more understated horror. The Empire is essentially a few outposts of human settlement amid woods swarming with Orcs and Chaos twisted Beastmen, while below half insane Ratmen plan their downfall. That's without the inherently magic nature of the world causing reality to flip out occasionally, and resulting in the sky raining blood, or stones to come alive. There are ghouls in the graveyard, and fey elves in the woods, ready to pincushion you with arrows, or further a field, Ogres that will eat you, your horse, and your saddle. Every settlement is fortified, and you don't leave the house without a weapon of some kind.

So next time you place your models on the table, ready to fight over the shattered cityscape, or over the abandoned manor, give a though for the fear of those trapped between the two forces.

Of course if you want real horror, you'll head for Malifaux.