The Lore Librarium – History Of The Necrons

The 40k universe is full of interesting stories, legendary characters and expansive, exotic locations. These stories are one of the reasons I enjoy games set in the 40k universe and one of reasons the Conquest LCG drew my eye. It has been just over a week since Legions of Death hit the store shelves and the new deluxe expansion  introduces the Necrons as the last race to join the battle in the Traxis sector. I have always wanted to shed some light on the lore of Warhammer 40k and I think this new race is the perfect focus for the 1st edition of our Lore Librarium. So let’s look into how the Necrons became the cold, relentless force of enslavement that we all know and love … errr … I mean fear.

The story of the Necron race begins countless ages ago, before even the birth of the Eldar race. This humanoid species lived harsh lives, full of death. As their race grew they spread out among the stars. Sometime during these travels the Necrotyr, as they were known as then, came across an even more ancient advanced race referred to as the Old Ones. These beings had the one thing that had eluded the Necrotyr, near immortality. The Old Ones were unwilling to share their secrets and over time the Necrotyr grew jealous. During this time the once united race began to fragment, with individuals pursuing their own goals, which lead to internal conflict. These two facts lead the ruling council of the Necrotyr to declare war against the Old Ones, as a way to reunite and focus the fracturing race. They succeeded at that goal, but the war was unwinnable and over time the entire race was nothing but a minor irritant to the Old Ones and in-fighting broke out once again.


It was around this point that the C’Tan appear to the Necrotyr and, unlike the Old Ones, the C’Tan shared their advanced knowledge and were worshipped as gods by the younger race. Among these secrets was the ultimate gift; every Necrotyr would be granted immortality.  This gift of metal bodies was a curse. The Necrotyr would live forever, not as individual bodies of flesh, but as mechanical creatures devoid of a soul, the majority of the race were stripped of their individuality and will. All except for Szarekh and a few leaders, who now controlled the entire race. With their new gods by their sides and their hardened bodies the new Necrons attacked the Old Ones once again. To fight back the Old Ones created new races like the Eldar and Humans. However, in the end, even as these new races grew, the Old Ones were defeated. Szarekh, however, had come to realize that their “saviors” the C’Tan had fed off the souls of his entire race.  Even though the Necrons had won, they had been used. When the C’Tan were weak after defeating the Old Ones, Szarekh turned on them, imprisoning them and returning the destiny of the Necron race back into their own hands. But while the Necrons had taken heavy losses in the war, the other newer races had flourished.

Necron_Cover_ArtSzarekh knew his race couldn’t control the galaxy right now, but his race had all the time in the universe, a luxury the newer races did not enjoy.  So, practicing patience, he ordered the Necron race into a deep slumber, shutting down entire planets and systems to be woken up at a later date. For 60 million years the Necrons slept while the rest of the universe grew in strength and spread over vast areas.  But there was a problem when the Necrons were called to awake from their long dormancy. Many of the Necron tomb worlds have been destroyed over the eons.  Some worlds awoke early.  Some not at all. The long slumber has also negatively affected those few who were allowed to keep their individuality. Once ambitious and proud leaders, the passing of time have driven many of them to madness or obsession. Instead of a vast army awakening all at once as a unified force, the Necrons have awoken piece meal and splintered with different leaders vying for power. However, as more and more tomb worlds break their slumber, the newer races have come to realize that what they once thought were random occurrences represented a far greater threat. To the proper eyes, the pattern is visible. The Necron invasion is just starting. Right now they are fractured and can be kept at bay, however, its only a matter of time before they start to unify and than the rest of universe might just be crushed under the weight of countless metal feet.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief history of the Necron race. There is certainly more to be told about the Necrons.  If all the above is new to you, I hope I have peaked your interest enough to find out more about them.  If you are already a fan of Necron lore, please share your favourite aspects of their history in the comments section. Also please let us know what you thought of the article and whether you would like see more visits to the Lore Librarium.

Til’ next time, this is Jon Yeo closing the book and signing off.

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