Today Loremasters we delve deep into the loathsome Hrud, a time-eating cancer lurking in the shadows of humankind for millennia.
The Hrud, also known as the Nocturnal Warriors of Hrud and by the scientific name Troglydium hrudii, is a xenos species that inhabit the galaxy.
History with the Imperium
According to the record-keeping of the Hrud, they were an ancient race that predated the time when Mankind became the masters of space, and their tribes have been living a parasitic existence for longer than what was known to humans. The Imperium of Man first encountered the Hrud as far back as the era of the Great Crusade, and during the early era, the noisome warrens of these aliens were cleansed by the Emperor according to the Liber Historica Vangelia. During this time, the Iron Warriors Adeptus Astartes were amid a cleansing of Hrud warrens on Gugann. After the formation of the Inquisition, it became an institution that became the first to become aware of emergent menaces to the Imperium which they have proven with Necron awakenings, the arrival of the Tyranid hive fleets and the advent of Hrud Migrations along with other similar events. Numerous Hrud infestations are known to have plagued the region of the Maelstrom alongside more than twenty Ork empires and countless human pirate strongholds. At some point, the Hrud are known to have infested Mortenken’s World until they were driven from the holy city by the hands of Daenyathos who was a legendary philosopher soldier of the Soul Drinkers. Around seven hundred and thirty years ago, the Ultramarines battled the Hrud in the Battle of Ortecha IX which saw Battle Brother Olfric perish though he would be avenged by his comrades that ate the heart of his killer.
During M41, the Cinchare Hrud Infestation led to engagements with the 39th Cadian “Xenobane” regiment of the Imperial Guard on Cinchare. This conflict saw the Hrud engage the 1st Company of the Dark Hands Chapter. A notable engagement with the Hrud came in 783.M41 during the Infestation of Ursula Spinal where an agri-world became subject to a migration. It quickly became infested with its plantations of hydro-crops turning to dust and its defenders aging fifty years over a few months due to the Hrud’s innate entropic fields. To combat the threat, six regiments of Valhallan Ice Warriors make planetfall to purge the colony from the infestation. However, a full half of the regiments suffer from premature aging due to contact with the Hrud and are declared unfit for further duty. Between 938-5.M41, Commander Ursarkar E. Creed is known to have fought throughout a Hrud migration. At some point, Hrud infested the Delphic mines of Mordant Prime leading to the conflict known as The Plague of Delphic where the 303rd Mordant Acid Dogs engaged the aliens and managed to eliminate them, but they suffered heavy losses in the process.
In 0.257.790.M41, a Hrud managed to infest the Emperor Class Battleship Paternus Gloriem where indentured crewman Selebor Mathias managed to knock it unconscious after that he was interrogated by the Inquisition with the specimen taken for study. Farseer Eldrad Ulthran is known to have participated in the prevention of a Hrud infestation of Craftworld Saim-Hann which would have reduced the proud vessel to rotten mulch. The Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Helynna Valeria is known to have treated with Eldar, Ulumeathi, Draxians, Hrud, and scores of other xenos species to expand humanity’s stores of knowledge.
Physically, Hrud tend to be impossible to study as they wear ragged cloaks, which they wear habitually and helps conceal their true form. This is namely a misshapen morass of decomposing filth though it is known that they have a female gender. They have been depicted as being a crouched, diminutive creature swathed in rags, its face obscured by a hood, and possessing a rat-like tail. It seems that the Hrud prefer darkness and are scavengers and tunnel-dwellers. They are found all over the galaxy, though never in large numbers. They are considered to be parasites, and when they are referred to, it is usually as “infesting” a place. Also the limbs of a Hrud have a bone structure similar to the human spine allowing the limbs to bend in any direction (hence the nickname “bendies”). They also exude various poisons from their skin. Their bodies liquefy rapidly upon death – conveniently making detailing the creature impossible.
The bodies of this species are known to be perfectly adapted to the life of opportunistic predators, and they can synthesize a staggering array of different poisons. Any humans that were adopted by a tribe tended to adapt and live on these poisonous emanations. Thus, their departure can leave a human that had lived amongst them to die in a state of toxic shock as their bodies became deprived of these poisons. Also, they can slip past even the narrowest of tunnels. Furthermore, they generated what they called a “ssaak” or “see mist” which is a distortion field that is biologically generated from their bodies which allows them to confound the eyes of any enemies. Many outsiders did not know whether this ability was a physical ability, a property of the chemicals they produced or simply a trick of the light. What is known is that the Hrud tend to be shrouded in darkness, even when in a cell with full light, they can conceal themselves. This is why their species became known as “shadow creepers” and that legends spoke of them being nearly invisible.
Another notable quality amongst the race is that they produce innate entropic fields from their bodies. This has the side effect of aging their surroundings leading to objects such as crops turning to dust due to prolonged exposure and Humans suffering from premature aging. These time distorting fields are capable of wreaking havoc on entire worlds during mass migrations which are caused by the simple presence of the Hrud.
Hrud religion tends to be unusual in the sense that the clarity of their mass-memory means that their legends, if not real, are based on real events. These beliefs hold the view that their race was created by a benevolent pantheon of gods known as the “Slah-haii” or “most ancient” who intended for them to bask in the sun and be fruitful. It is said that this changed when their gods entered into a war against the “Yaam-kheh” or “Mirror Devils” which saw them either slain, crippled or forced to flee. Their legends say that only a single member of their pantheon still exists known as Qah, a god also known as “He Who Lingers.” This solitary member of the Hrud pantheon is said to have recognized the dangers that would fall upon his beloved children and thus changed them into a race of nocturnal scavengers. Around 500,000 years ago, Qah was said to have told the Hrud that he had other great works to attend to and disappeared. However, he said that he would return to reunite with them at the time of the “Raheed-skeh” which was the appointed time when the tribes would come together for a final battle against the Yaam-kheh. Inquisitor Maturin Ralei noted the similarity in the Hrud pantheon with other xenos species which included a horned hunter, a red-handed figure, a laughing jester and a hammer-wielding artisan.
Though little was known about this reclusive and dangerous species, it was known that they dwelled only in darkness and possessed strange, warp-based technology that allowed them to walk between worlds. This even allowed them to corrupt the flow of time with their simple presence. This mysterious nocturnal species were also the creators of Hrud fusils that were a warp-plasma based weapon. Fusils remain one of the few scant artifacts of the Hrud that occasionally come up for sale in the Imperium and were also in high demand. In functionality, they worked as a form of “plasma musket” that uses an unfathomable mechanism to phase a plasma bolt between realspace and the warp. Thus, any shot from a Hrud fussil bypassed the defenses of the target though they were unpredictable. Despite this being the case, they are favored by assassins and even Inquisitorial agents. Those weapons that find themselves on the black market are modified to accept Imperial plasma cells though if the mechanism itself is badly damaged, then it cannot be repaired by human hands. According to Inquisitor Kryptman, Hrud fusils are a simple symbiosis between melta and plasma technology that is able to fire columns of fire hotter than a star when the mechanism was activated.
~ Anyone want to brainstorm rules for these guys? Here let me get you started: “SKAVEN IN SPACE”