40K Lore: Neither Man Nor Beast

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Bounty hunters remain more fascinating than corpse-starch–apparently–this week, a look at the lore of the abhumans known as beastmen.

Evidently one week wasn’t enough for the two-fisted justice dispensed by Hive Primus’ hardest hitting, action-packed Bounty Hunter team. And since we’ve all apparently decided to abandon our regularly scheduled lecture on the importance of nutrition and its effects on the body when it is processed into corpse-starch in favor of this…explosion-fueled shot of adrenaline right to the ocularum, we may as well learn something.

“When you’re in the Underhive, it’s learn…or be learned. With explosions.”

So without further ado, Loremasters, we present the Beastmen of the Galaxy.

Beastmen (Homo sapiens variatus) are the most bestial and inhuman type of Abhumans.

Their bodies combine the features of both human and animal. Beastmen are much more variable in form than other abhuman types. They are considered Abhumans rather than ordinary Mutants, as individual Beastmen conform to a general physical and genetic standard and are no more prone to further mutation than normal humans. Beastmen warriors which worship the Chaos God frequent the armies of the Lost and the Damned. Of these corrupted Beastmen, those that worship Khorne are known as Bloodgors, those that worship Tzeentch are known as Tzaangors, and those that worship Nurgle are known as Pestigors. There is also an unusually large and aggressive strain of giant Beastman known as a Minotaur. It is comparable in strength to an Ogryn.

Those Beastmen who have been introduced into the Imperial cult possess a simple but fierce devotion to the Emperor, regarding him as a vengeful god which demands tribute in the form of the blood of his enemies. They are driven by the need to atone for the sin of being mutants by fighting for the Emperor.

Within the Imperium however, Beastmen are subject to severe persecution and have been placed on the Register of Proscribed Citizens (Class A-G worlds) by the Adeptus Arbites. As such, they are effectively precluded from settlement on, or transportation to or from, more than three hundred thousand worlds of the Imperium and are forbidden from being conscripted as an Imperial Tithe obligation. These restrictions are a sure sign, that Beastmen will soon lose their Abhuman status completely and will be reclassified as true Mutants.

Possibly heretical mutants.

As you can see, these Beastmen are a threat–but!–still technically not heretical. Even if they are reclassified as mutants, they’ll still be merely some kind of xenos threat and talking about them won’t be heresy. And while, it’s true, the Inquisition is not run on technicalities, it’s important to cling to what victories you can. And since our previous record has been sealed, we’re making sure that going forward there’s not even a trace of heresy. Now that that important disclaimer is out of the way, let us focus on the Beastman you’re all here for: Gor Half-Horn.

Gor Half-Horn is a Necromunda Beastman bounty hunter, who offers his service in Hive Primus. No one knows where the mysterious Gor came from or how a Mutant was able to attain a bounty hunter license. Gor Half-Horn is a mutant of the strain Homo Sapiens Variatus – and as such is possessed of horribly animalistic features and an unpredictable and violent temperament. These characteristics serve to make Gor a figure of dread in the underhive, but equally, they make him a target for every raving zealot he encounters. As a sanctioned Bounty Hunter, Gor is entitled, in theory at least, to go wherever he will in pursuit of his targets; in reality, he has often found himself the quarry, though so far none have bested him.

Because it is so rare for a Beastman to be sanctioned as a Bounty Hunter, Gor has become the subject of numerous legends throughout the underhive. Some say he was once a member of an Abhuman Auxilia attached to an Astra Militarum regiment, and the sole survivor of a battle of apocalyptic proportions. Others whisper that he was once in the employ of an Inquisitor, whose service he fled for a life among the damned. Some have even claimed that he was not born an Abhuman at all, but a noble scion who developed hideous mutations in his adolescence and fled downhive lest he be put to death by his own kin.

Now, hopefully we can leave this bounty hunting nonsense, appealing to the 18-35 demographic though it may be, behind us and get back to what’s important. Corpse Starch.

Corpse starch is a proud sponsor of Lethal Hunt: Justice At Dawn ‘The Hunt in the Spire Never Ends’ seasons 1-3, 7, 9, and 26.

  • euansmith

    The worst beastmen are furry on the inside.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      do their eyebrows meet in the middle?

      • euansmith

        …and they enjoy the company of wolves.

    • HeadHunter

      No, the worst beastmen are furries in Pittsburgh during Anthrocon. 😀

      • euansmith

        A Furry convention held in the Summer? I guess it adds to the appropriate musk.

  • memitchell

    Ok, they are just sticking random stuff into Necro to jazz it up, keep us interested, and get-you-by as they SLOWLY roll out product. Beastmen and Squats in the Underhive make about as much sense as a rogue Hormagaunt gang, or a Lictor Bounty Hunter. Wait, those two aren’t extinct from 40K for well over 2 decades.

    • benn grimm

      As you’ve been told before, the last time you made this unfounded complaint, Beastmen haven’t been extinct from 40k for twenty years, they’re in the literature; bang up to date. They crew ships, they hang around on planets, get born randomly to unfortunate mothers, hell, some of them are in the Imperial Guard. You don’t like it, don’t buy it, but stop making false claims about how lore adherent (or not) you think they are.

      • polyquaternium7

        Even one of my best friends is a Beastman!

        • marxlives

          Okay that was great.

      • memitchell

        My “founded complaint” is in relation to Necromunda. With two figs that hardly have anything to do with Necromunda. I know for a fact you can’t find Squats and Beastmen in Necromunda literature. And, here, it is bent into a pretzel to “prove” Squats and Beastmen are soon to be a 40K thing, again. Makes Necromunda a bit player on the forum. And, an esoteric one, at that. 40K all the way! But, give Necro a little bit of (real) love.

        • HeadHunter
        • HeadHunter

          You obviously didn’t play the old Necromunda, so I’m not sure why you’re talking about how it “used to be”. I mean, there were Lizardmen. and that Beastman bounty hunter? He was from the old Necromunda.
          So crawl back into the sump and let people talk about bringing back what once was.

          • marxlives

            That is true, there was a time when 40k was all kinds of wonky and WHFB was your serious game. But I like that they are not going full tilt with it when it comes to the entire franchise and keep it contained to their specialists games. This way you get the correct ratio of serious to wonky.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          you are very wrong. Theres a Squat running a bar in one of the Kal Jerico novels for a start. Plus squats and beastmen have been in a fluff appendix in the 6th and 7th edition 40K rulebooks.

    • Legitimancer

      I’d be pretty annoyed if they didn’t have crazy weird stuff in necromunda. Like… it’s necromunda, the crazy is the point.

    • frank

      I don’t disagree that gw is rolling out this line kinda poorly but the things about beastmen and squats being in the same league as hormagants in necro I am less prone to agree with because I like beastmen and think having them in the fluff and games adds a bit of variety to them both. How better can you think to illustrate the hypocrisy of the imperium than talking about the amount of ab-humans that live there.

  • David Millard

    I know this is unrelated but here is some more information on the new space marine adventures and blitz bowl games if anyone is interested.


    • D. B.

      Much appreciated. These guys will make a welcome (and, more importantly, cheap) addition to my Deathwatch.