I've heard some people call Horus Heresy warhammer 30k since it really happense before 40k. I was wondering if there are any books that talk about the story even before Horus Heresy. Basically, is Horus Heresy the oldest series in chronological terms or are there series before that?

  • there are some books and source material written before there was Black Library ( the GW publishing house ). Mainly rouge trader stuff and short stories of the unification wars. but it is very hard to find or source. Many early White Dwarf magazines had stories like this. So did early Codexes.
    – Cherubel
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 9:49
  • Rogue Trader is post Heresy, just FYI Cherubel
    – Hesperus
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 12:03
  • 1
    @Hesperus I think he's saying a lot of the original Rouge Trader stuff had short stories and references to the Unification Wars, not that Rogue Trader itself was based in them
    – TommyBs
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 9:07
  • I'll have to dig the book out to confirm, but i think that the only pre-heresy mention in the rogue trader BRB is a short story about the origins of the emperor ( shamanism ) which has been retconned out, then re-added non-canonically in a later book by ( i think ) ben counter?
    – Hesperus
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 9:48

4 Answers 4


The "Horus Heresy: Primarchs" series covers the origins of several Space Marine chapter primarchs (e.g. Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar and these cover events prior to the Horus Heresy, such as the Great Crusade, and are therefore set chronologically earlier than the Horus Heresy series itself. However I can't confirm if there are any novels set even earlier than this period.


The Horus Heresey series is the earliest 'dedicated' series of novels - however snippets relating to the age of strife, unifications wars, birth of the emperor etc can all be found in various Heresy era novels - I'd recommend the Lexicanum (Pre-Imperial Times) for better information and a list of cited sources.

Most articles you'll find online are based on inference or speculation with no real hard canonical line from games workshop yet.

  • Thank you for editing that Daft - I'm still quite new and wasn't sure i could do a text link in that manner.
    – Hesperus
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 12:02


The Horus Heresy is basically a massive prequel to the entirey of of the lore which takes place in 40k. There is no substantial series of novels which covers anything that takes place prior to the Heresy.

There are some really interesting articles and wiki entires on the web which explain some events that take place before the Heresy:

But not much else.


Graham McNeil's short story "The last church" takes place towards the end of the Unification War, so it would be even before the Great Crusade. It is not a typical Wh40k story, because it depicts the conversation of the last priest on Earth with a mysterious character called "Revelation".

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