The Shape of Things to Come
The Dark Age of Technology
For those Imperial citizens who are educated this is a time of myth, speculation and legend. Falling around 20,000AD (as reckoned by the dominant Human calender) it was long before even the Great Crusade when the Emperor reclaimed the Galaxy for Humanity. As such, must of the facts are lost from this era. It was an age when virtually all the great technologies were first made, from the first Warp drives to field and stasis technologies and much more. It is an age which invokes wonder and fear among the Imperium’s educated folk today (41st Millennium).
Records from the time show that they considered it a Golden Age of Technology. An apex in scientific advancement. They felt their civilisation might last forever – but nothing is forever, and after such a mighty fall many have come to see this Age in a very different light.
After it’s collapse humanity as a whole endured thousands of years of hardship, often without significant technology. It was as if they emulated the first humans who migrated out from the African continent on Holy Terra with little more than spears to brave an unknown and cruel world. This age became known as the “Age of Strife”. Much of humanity became very bitter and blamed the reliance on machines, especially thinking machines for the fall. They felt betrayed by science and it’s promises, they distrusted advanced machines and truly despised AI. This meme would be taken up by the Imperial Cult thousands of years later…
To this day, the Imperial Cult teaches that civilisation of the Dark Age of Technology was immoral, falsely worshipping science as a God. Naturally the people of the Imperium see all pre-Imperial history as the ‘dark ages’ but the term is used specifically to refer to the era of technological domination. The Age of Strife is also seen as a dark time but also as an age of great penance, with the reward being the revelation of the God-Emperor!