40K Lore: Tyranid Terrors

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Let us celebrate this festive season, Loremasters, by reflecting on the many terrors that lurk in the void.

Ah, the season of horrors is upon us. A time when the skulls that adorn the myriad vehicles, armor, weapons, household objects, and beside tables throughout the Imperium are decorated with flickering candlelight. When the iconography of Sanguinius, whose affiliation with bats is well-documented, can be seen across the Segmentum, with glibly carved gourds set out to ward off the festering spawn of Chaos, or the routing stench of the Xenos. When our children dress in the garb of their betters to affirm their dedication to the opposition of the traitor and the mutant–I speak of course, of All-Heresy’s Eve, the evening before the day of that most important event in the history of Humanity.

And so, as the shadows draw in, let us gather around the glowlight in the empty shell of our future offices, and tell tales that shall terrify to the core. Tales of horrors which lurk in the shadows of the Warp, which gnaw at the heart of our Imperium. Monsters are real, Loremasters, and these are well known.

First, we have a lonely Imperial Fortress World out in the Ultima Segmentum. Assailed by the devouring tendrils of a Hive Fleet, he brave sons and daughters of the Imperium defenses held back the Tyranid invasion for days. Indeed, they might well be winning… until the tenth day.

Then,  they spotted a bat-winged Tyranid creature the size of a Tyranid Warrior that has a barbed tail tipped with a hollow tube, like a snake’s fang, capable of implanting its still-living victims with Ripper parasites. Within hours, or even as short as a few heartbeats, the Ripper parasites mature and devour their hosts from the inside out.

Dubbed the Parasite of Mortrex it was that world’s doom. Each victim it claimed added to a swelling horde of Rippers and soon only armoured units dared to leave the fortress walls. However, even tanks couldn’t withstand the massive numbers of Rippers. Two weeks later the planet was completely overrun by vast swarms of Rippers. A single transmission was sent out as the planet fell, warning of the Parasite of Mortrex. Fortunately for the Imperium, it has not been sighted since Mortrex.

Terrifying. A heavily defended world brought low from within. Literally devoured from the core outward, leaving no trace but a ghostly, ominous transmission of warning. Who knows when it shall be seen again.

Now let us travel across the Imperium, to Devlan, a mining world on the Eastern Fringe. There, as once again, Imperial forces fought back an invasion, there began to be reports of a creature stalking the defenders of the planet: a Tyranid Ravener, covered in a carapace the colour of blood, armed with sets of great scythe blades and a maw so wide it could swallow a man whole. Some survivors claimed the creature is the size of a Ravener, while others swore it was closer to the monstrous size of a Trygon or Mawloc.

It was only recorded as being encountered on Devlan. There it tore into a star port compound to get to its defenders, killing twenty-four men before being driven away. Each time it returned it slaughtered more humans before retreating back into a tunnel, devouring the rendered human remains. Eventually a search and destroy team was sent into the tunnels, only to meet their doom at the scythes of the Red Terror.

What became of the Red Terror after Devlan is unknown, though one ship fleeing from Devlan made an automated landing at Adri’s Hope and stayed ominously dark and silent after landing. The ship was investigated and found to be a blood-drenched abattoir. A Tyranid creature was suspected to have gotten aboard, though nothing was found within the ship. Three weeks later, Adri’s Hope itself had also become a blood-soaked ruin. It is unclear if this b is the Red Terror.

So be warned, Loremasters, that shadow you see moving on the darkness is not some harmless prank. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an Eldar weapon, ready to detonate, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian Magos–but rather something worse. Some nameless terror, taking wing on the night’s Plutonian shore. It’s All-Heresy’s Eve, beware. BEWARE.

We are happy to report our Loremaster has been subsequently sentenced to a prison world for suggesting that the Tyranid insects could ever be a threat to the citizens of the Imperium, despite protests that it was all in keeping with the spirit of the season.

  • NikosanPrime

    That was well done: chilling and made the Tyranids into the terrors / threat they should be. Now if only the rules would properly represent this. Although I think I can definitely see wats to make it work.

  • Gunther Clone C

    I honestly feel I’m the only one that’s sad these specialized monsters didn’t make it past one edition. I loved the parasite and tried to use it as often as possible; it never earned his points back, but chest-bursters abound!

  • Luca Lacchini

    I read the title “Tyranid Errors” and was expecting an article about evolutionary mistakes by the Hive Fleets.