The Imperial Palace is a vast edifice sprawling across a large part of the Asian continent on Terra, divided into the Inner and Outer Palaces. The Palace is built to truly monumental proportions; seen from orbit, it consists of connected kilometres-high monolithic and pyramidal structures, marked with landing pads and studded with defense weaponry. The palace itself is the seat of the Adeptus Terra, but is overseen by the Adeptus Custodes.
Not only is the area of the Imperial Palace is enormous, its macro-habs and space ports break through the atmosphere and rise into the void and its sub-levels dig deep into Terra's holy bedrock, in some places reaching a depth of hundreds of miles below the surface. Its vaults, corridors, fastnesses, plazas and chambers, are so multitudinous that no single record remains to list them all, and the techno-urbanic serf tribes, clan holdings and societal sub-nations that dwell within its walls could populate entire star systems.[19b]
Construction of the Imperial Palace began after the Unification Wars as a symbol of the Emperor's might and a monument dedicated to mankind's new unification. Based around the Himalayan mountains, the Palace was designed by the most expert artisans of the many Masonic Guilds of Terra, but the defenses were overseen by Primarch Rogal Dorn, much to the frustration of Perturabo. Some construction of the Palace was still taking place by the end of the Great Crusade, meaning construction took at least 200 years.
The Imperial Palace has only come under major attack twice, being the site of most of the fighting during the Siege of Terra at the climax of the Horus Heresy. As of the 41st Millennium, the Imperial Palace still bears the scars of that titanic battle. After the Heresy, the Imperial Palace also saw an Eldar raid and damage from falling debris during the War of the Beast. Ten thousand years after the Heresy Terra faced its second major assault following the Thirteenth Black Crusade. Thanks to the formation of the Great Rift the Palace was assailed by the vast legions of Khorne, which were turned back by the newly reborn Roboute Guilliman before they could reach the Eternity Gate.[17b]
Due to ancient laws prohibiting construction too close to the walls, the area around the Outer Palace walls are empty which is an extreme rarity on Terra. Those that live close to the walls exist in both splendor and squalor.[18a]
The walls surrounding the Outer Palace are of gargantuan proportions. The walls are 30 meters wide and taller than the greatest structures of the rest of Terra. Defense towers consisting of massive gun-citadels run every hundred meters along the walls lengths. Inside the walls are endless amounts of power generators, ammunition trains, aircraft hangars, barracks, and void shield generators. Stretching for thousands of kilometers and with relatively few Custodes, much of this area are defended by regular Imperial Guard Regiments such as the Lucifer Blacks and Palatine Sentinels. Hundreds of thousands of men live and die within the walls of Terra, which in truth is more of a contiguous fortress than a simple barrier.[18a]
In addition to its network of walls and gun batteries, the Imperial Palace is protected by a Void Shield array known as The Aegis. Designed by the Adeptus Mechanicus and perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind within the Imperium, the Aegis is a multi-layered self-repairing void web that encompasses the whole of the Palace and even slightly beyond. In its strongest areas the Aegis is capable of stopping the penetration of any object above a half-gram traveling faster than two meters per second. While The Aegis is invincible against orbital bombardment is theory, in its weakest outer reaches slow-moving aircraft can penetrate the shield and attack its open generators.[21b]
Notable Palace Perimeter Areas
- Eternity Wall: The main Wall line surrounding the Outer Palace.[21c]
- Helios Gate: Major gateway into the Palace overlooking the Katabatic Plain.[21c]
- Indicus Gate: Major Gateway into the Palace, facing the Katabatic Plain.[21c]
- Lion's Gate: Major Gateway into the Palace complex, overlooking the Indian Subcontinent. The Lion's Gate also leads to the Lion's Gate Spaceport. The Gate originally had two enormous lion statues overlooking it, but these were removed by Rogal Dorn to make way for defenses in preparation for the Siege of Terra.
- Annapurna Gate: Major Gateway known for its craftsmanship. Removed by Rogal Dorn in the early stages of the Horus Heresy in preparation for the Siege of Terra.
The Imperial Palace is as heavily urbanized and populated as any hive city. Adepts numbering in the billions work and reside within the Palace. The Outer Palace is also heavily urbanized by a population of destitute non-adepts. The Adeptus Custodes maintain a constant vigil over the Imperial Palace, and are among the few permitted to pass beyond the Eternity Gate into the Emperor's presence. The Adeptus Arbites are responsible for maintaining order and vigilance within the Outer Palace, especially outside official buildings which are often thronged with the queue lines of those seeking employment within the Administratum. Shock troops quickly put down the vicious queue riots that occasionally erupt.The Palace is the heart of the Administratum. Countless souls labour in the immeasurable archives and headquarters of the Imperium, ordering and maintaining an empire that spans the galaxy. Without them, the Imperium would lose all access to its history and databanks. Also, it is the seat of the High Lords of Terra, who are charged with interpreting the Emperor's will. These twelve Lords are accounted the most powerful of all living men. They guide the overall strategy of the inexhaustible armies of the Imperium, and uphold the Emperor's might across a million worlds.[Needs Citation]
Notable Areas of the Outer Palace
- Investiary: Home to the the massive Titanoliths of the Investiary, monuments to the Primarchs and Space Marines.[4a]
- Lion's Gate Spaceport: Attached to the Lion's Gate.
- Eternity Wall Spaceport: Attached to the Eternity Wall.[21c]
- The City of Sight — center of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica
- The Petitioner's City - City of the Administratum
- The Petitioner's Hall
- The Avenue of Sacrifice - Located outside the Ascensor's Gate. here the noble houses of Terra present their infants to Adeptus Custodes the best of which will be taken to be raised as a new Custodes.[19a]
- The Dome of the Architects[19d]
- The Enlightener's Star[19d]
- The Fortress of the Tribunate[19c]
- The Nexus Administrata[19c]
- The Sprawl Magnifican[19c]
- The Victoris Absolute[19c]
- The Vigilatum Orbital Battery[19c]
- The Crystal Observatory
- The Forge of Flesh and Steel
- The Preceptory
- The Long Room
- The Central Offices of the Departmento Munitorum.
- The Avenue of Eternal Remembrance: A 100 kilometer-long causeway built from the remains of Chaos Titans from the Siege of Terra. Built in honor of Sanguinius, it leads to the Eternity Gate itself.
Notable Areas of the Inner Palace
- Ultimate Wall: Wall that surrounds the Inner Palace complex.[21c] Known as the Indomitus Bastion in M41.[19c]
- Acensor's Gate: Gate into the Inner Palace overlooking the Sprawling Magnifican.
- Lion's Gate: Gate that separates the Inner and Out Palaces.[21c]
- The Great Chamber of the Senatorum Imperialis: The massive domed Imperial parliament building that acts as a frequently meeting place for the High Lords of Terra.
- The Hegemon, a colossal domed structure which also served as a parliament building during the Horus Heresy.
- The Tower of Heroes: Contains the Bell of Lost Souls
- The Tower of Hegemon: Command center of the Adeptus Custodes[19a]
- Eternity Gate: Standing before the Sanctum Imperialis is the massive Eternity Gate, forged of the strongest materials. Two Titans from the Legio Ignatum stand guard over the Gate in its damasked beauty and immeasurable strength. In the halls before the Eternity Gate lay the Hall of Heroes, where the banners of every loyal Imperial Guard Regiment and Space Marine Chapter are hung in honor. In an arena before the Emperor himself, psykers are soul-bound for Imperial service as Astropaths.[Needs Citation]
- Sanctum Imperialis: The heart of the Inner Palace.
- Imperial Dungeon: The heart of the Sanctum Imperialis, contains the Throneroom where the Emperor himself remains upon the Golden Throne.[16b] Also site of inactive Webway Gate.[16a]
- Inner Gardens: Former residential area used by the Emperor which contained a variety of Terran flora and fauna.
- Hall of Leng: Former residence of the Emperor known to be a place of chronological distortion where it is said he measured the angles of space and time.
- Hall of Victories: A private museum of some of mankinds greatest technological accomplishments. It includes shards of the first clay pot made in antiquity, the Mars Rover, a circuit board from the first Warp Drive, and a tube with the "Mendelian Eukaryotic Genesis Formula", which allowed for the first cloned human.[9b]
- The Dark Cells: Custodes-run prison
- The Sanctum of a Thousand Eyes[19c]
- The Tower Aquilane.[19c]
- The Sigilite's Retreat: Former open-air garden used as a place for meditation by Malcador the Sigillite.
- The Column of Glory[19c]
- The Shrouds - Used by the Officio Assassinorum in the past.
- The Bhab Bastion - Fortress in the inner Palace used by Rogal Dorn as his command center during the Siege of Terra.[21a]
- The Pillar of Bone
- The Library Sanctus: Repository of some of the darkest and most sinister secrets of the Imperium.
- The Hall of Weapons
- The Hall of Glories
- Eagle's Highway: Large open transportation causeway
- The Emperor's residence, known as the Hall of Leng, may be a reference to the infamous Leng Plateau from the H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, described as a place where realities merge.
- An abandoned area of the Imperial Palace where the Emperor may have developed the first Astartes is inscribed with the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley. After discovering the inscription Corax is perplexed by the poems meaning and thinks it may be a hidden conceit the Emperor wrote to himself.[9a]
- 1: Draco (Novel), by Ian Watson, [Needs Citation]
- 2: Harlequin (Novel) by Ian Watson, [Needs Citation]
- 3: Codex Imperialis, [Needs Citation]
- 4: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook,[Needs Citation]
- 5: A Thousand Sons (Novel) Chapter 5
- 6: Dark Heresy Rulebook, pg. 247
- 7: Shadows of Treachery — The Crimson Fist
- 8: The Lightning Tower
- 9: Deliverance Lost (Novel)
- 10: Blood Games (Short Story)
- 11: The Outcast Dead (Novel), Chapter 1
- 12: Angel Exterminatus (Novel) Chapter 12
- 14: The Emperor Expects (Novel) Chapter 4
- 15: Watchers in Death (Novel) Chapters 6-9
- 16: Master of Mankind (Novel)
- 17: Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition Rulebook
- 18: Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor's Legion (Novel)
- 19: Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition)
- 20: The Buried Dagger (Novel) - Chapter 1
- 21: The Lost and the Damned (Novel)
- 22: Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition Rulebook pg.276
- 23: Imperial Munitorum Manual (Background Book), pg. 8
- 24: Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne (Novel) - Chapter 3