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Why did Games Workshop decided on Hrud for a name? Personally, I feel a better name can be made for them. For one, it is awkward to pronounce and doesn't seem to fit the flavour of the race. Anyway, this is my take on how a Codex on the Hrud would be like. Please feel free to comment as you wish. On a side note, it is my preference to substitute WS(Weapon Skill) with MS(Melee Skill). To use weapon skill to denote one's prowess within a melee is too vague as weapon could also be used to refer to firearms. Basically, the word weapon is too broad a category and the range of what is a weapon is not secluded to just those used in close combat. I apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Troops MS BS S T A W I LASCS
Greyfur 3 1 2 2 1 1 4 5 6+ 5+
Blackfang 4 1 3 3 1/2 1 3 6 5+ 6+
I decided that the Hruds are differentiated by colour variations of their furs. The colour variation would be a progressive one with Black and White at the extreme end of the spectrum, and with Grey in the middle. The fur colour determines certain characteristics of the Hrud. For instance, Blackfurs are more aggressive and their natural savagery is expressed with an above average Melee(Weapon) Skill of 4. They are naturally bigger and tougher than their Grey counterparts so they benefit from a higher S and T. About why they have 2 Attacks, I decided that calling them Blackrats wasn't pleasant sounding and drew inspiration from the Skaven terms, i.e. the leaders of Stormvermins are called Fangleaders. But also I wanted the name to mean something rather than just simply be a title, so I decided that Blackfurs are also distinguished by their more pronounced incisors, again which fits very well as a show of their more carnivorous tendencies over the Greyfurs. In close combat, these fangs become deadly weapons. However, the close proximity required in order to be in a position for the fangs to be used means that only if the Blackfangs are in the front row would they be able to use their second Attack. The Blackfangs also would poorly fulfill their role to add close combat punch in a unit of Greyfurs, if they have only a MS of 3, considering they have only Strength 3. However, I decided to compensate for these advantages by having a low I of 3, a compensation for their larger size and the slight loss of agility as a result.
Regarding the Greyfurs, I decided Clanrats wouldn't be suitable as a name because although it is suggested that Hruds are analogous to rats, it is not explicitly stated. Greyfurs form the bulk of Hrud society, compared to the rare Blackfurs and even rarer Whitefurs. Since there has never been a unit in all the WH40k armies that have S and T lower than 3, I thought it would be a most fitting way to distinguish the Hruds. Also, they have been described in the fluff as being diminutive in size and the fact that they are rat-like should say something about their natural physical build. Now, in regards to their low BS, during the night or in any scenario with little light, it is boosted by 2 to become an average score of 3, a Racial Trait I call Nocturnal. I chose 1 because this value in regards to Ballistic Skill has never been used in any other unit within the game. Incidentally, this Racial Trait applies to all levels in Hrud society, so with the more powerful units in the army that have a higher basic BS, it is likewise increased by 2 at night. The interesting thing is that within the Armoury of the Hruds, I have developed some prototype weaponry(prototype as in the rules might require some fine-tuning), that allows for the creation of artificial night around the bearer of the Nightfield. The artificial night created around the bearer would also obscure them from Range Attacks. Also, Nightshades which block out the rays of the Sun and allow the bearer to look at the world as if it was nighttime. However, the idea that if every single Hrud unit has access to Nightshades the relevance of the basic BS being 1 would be lost, so I believe that Nightshades should only increase the BS by 1, blocking out the rays of light, but crudely. The Racial Trait Nocturnal also allows all Hrud to bypass the rules of targetting in Night Fighting.
Given everything considered, with their utterly worthless BS and with a Strength and Toughness that renders them next to useless in close combat, I have basically made the Hruds almost unfeasible to play. Fear not, because this is compensated with the fact that their standard firearm is able to overcome these innate weaknesses. For one, the Warplock Rifle has a range of 30", a Strength of 5 and AP of 3, basically containing amazing firepower for just a standard firearm. What really compensates for the abysmal BS of 1 however is that the Warplock Rifle is a Blast weapon. This means that when they DO hit, they hit HARD and the fact that multiple opponents are hit by the Blast template would make up for the many misses otherwise. The downside is that the Warplock Rifle is of Type Heavy 1.
How do I explain all this? Warplock is actually a play on the words flintlock, and the natural progression from there is to have them work with a similar mechanism to the flintlock rifle. The flintlock requires a lot of preparation, needing you to ram the ammunition down the barrel, among other things, and the concentration required makes it a move OR shoot weapon. Also the flintlock is pretty much a one-shot one-cock weapon, requiring a reload after every shot. This primitivity of technology again fits the fluff of the Hruds very well. They impress me as a race that are too nomadic and too disorganised a society to have the civilisation required for advanced weaponry. So how do we explain the immense firepower of their standard firearm? I explain this with the fact that the Hruds do not possess power from their technology but from the incredibly powerful substance they so had the fortune of acquiring, that which is the Warpstone. Again, a highly distinguishing factor for them as a race, comparatively, while the Orks prowess in combat makes up for their crude technology and while the Eldar rely on sophisticated weaponry to maintain their supremacy, the Hruds gain their edge from an external source, compensating their relative primitivity with an extremely potent power source. Sort of how the entire universe in Dune revolves around Arrakis despite its primitivity due to it being the source of melange.
My version of the Warplock Rifle works like this: the ammunition of the Rifle is a shell of crystallised Warpstone of which encapsulates Warpstone in its volatile form as Warplasma. Through some alchemical means the Hrud is able to convert Warpstone into a volatile plasmic state. When the Warplock Rifle fires a shot, the force of impact of the shell of Warpstone upon contact with the armour or flesh of the target causes the shell to shatter. The volatile Warplasma is released from the casing of the Warpstone, reacting cataclysmically with the surrounding air, causing an intense explosion. The superdense heat of the Warplasma allows it to easily penetrate armour, yet it is not true plasma so it only has an AP of 3.
Another point to consider is how utterly vulnerable the Greyfurs are to even the weakest of firearms, given their nearly nonexistent Toughness and AS. Their survivability is somewhat increased with a respectably long ranged firearm, but given their low BS, they wouldn't be able to whittle down the enemies sufficiently before they approach into firing range. All Hruds therefore benefit from a natural Cover Save even in the open. This is explained by the fact that they are small in size and their own natural instincts of self-preservation allows them to find cover even in the barest of settings. As a Racial Trait, Instinctual Preservation, the basic Hrud benefits from a 5+ CS unless stated otherwise. Blackfangs have a worse Cover Save because they are larger for one, and being of a more aggressive make, their instincts of preservation are not as strong as the Greyfurs. Also, when in terrain like woods for instance, the CS provided by the wooded terrain is combined with the CS provided by Instinctual Preservation to represent the greater number of places to take cover.
As described in the fluff, the form of the Hruds is almost entirely obscured with a hooded cloak, giving them a visage very similar to the Jawas in the Star Wars franchise. The form of the Hrud is visibly distorted by these Mirage Cloaks, as they are called, garbling their outlines and the lack of distinctness of their profiles makes them difficult targets to distinguish. As a result, all units firing at a Hrud equipped with a Mirage Cloak suffer a -1 to Hit penalty. This is on top of the 6+ AS conferred by the Mirage Cloak. All these tallies very well in the real world, where soldiers use face paint exactly to break apart the profiles of their faces, a technique essential in jungle warfare, essentially allowing them to blend in seamlessly into the surrounding foliage.
During peacetimes, the Hrud do not have any distinctive hierarchy that separates the Greyfurs from the Blackfurs. However, in times of war, the Greyfurs recognise the Blackfurs for their superiority in combat and so rely on them to lead packs of Greyfurs into combat. In this role, the Blackfurs are known as Blackfangs. While the Greyfurs are all equipped with Warplock Rifles, the Blackfangs may instead opt to exchange their Warplock Rifles for an additional hand weapon, effectively bringing their maximum number of Attacks to 3 as long as they are in the front row of any combat engagement. I have noted that the low Leadership of the Greyfurs even with their Blackfang leaders would post a severe problem. As such I have borrowed from Warhammer Fantasy's own Ratmen equivalent, the Skaven Special Rules, specifically "Strength In Numbers", which states that Skaven units add their rank bonus to their Leadership. How can this be reflected in WH40k where ranks are nonexistent? I believe this can be easily sorted if we would take the number of models directly behind the leading model in a unit or at least a model in the front row. The models that count must be directly behind the leading model that is being used for reference, or in simpler terms, count each layer behind the first row and add that number to the Leadership value of the unit. However, if the unit has any Blackfangs, then a particular Blackfang must be used as the reference point for determining the number of rows in a unit. This Racial Trait is called Pack Mentality.
In fluff terms, the Hruds in the back rows gain courage from the Hruds in front of them, in their minds, they act as a living barrier between them and the enemy. The Hruds in the front however are unable to back off even if they wish to due to the pressure of their mates pushing from behind them. In other words the cohesion within a unit of Greyfurs is not one of discipline but of fear and self-preservation. A band of Greyfurs is a mass of bodies pressing forward in reckless regard to their fellow mates, as such, within the rule of Pack Mentality, each model within a Greyfur unit must remain within 1" of each other. The Greyfurs gain courage from the close proximity of their neighbours, and their nearness to each other instills in them surety of their existing numbers.
Also, rare as Blackfurs may be, they are common enough that there may be up to 6 Blackfangs in a single Greyfur unit. For each 5 Greyfurs, one of them may be exchanged for a Blackfang(I have not decided the point costs yet, so I am unable to say the points necessary to upgrade to a Blackfang). This means that the total size of a Greyfur unit may not be more than 30. This rule is called Pack Leaders, and as the name suggest, the Blackfangs must always be in the leading row of the Greyfur unit.
HQ MS BS S T A W I L AS CS
Black Guard 4 2 4 3 1/2 1 4 7 4+ 6+
Warlord 5 3 4 4 2/3 2 5 8 3+ 6+
Chieftain 4 4 3 3 2 2 6 9 4+ 4+
Prophet 2 5 1 2 1 3 4 10 4+ 5+
Verminlord 8 0 6 6 6 6 10 9 4+ -
The Black Guards are Blackfangs that are noted especially for their prowess in combat and has been specifically selected to form the bodyguard retinue of either a Warlord or Chieftain. The Black Guard can be seen as the cream of the crop of various forces of the Hrud, for indeed they are. Amongst the various coloured subspecies of Hrud, the Blackfurs are the fiercest and imbued with the greatest physical strength. Then, even among this strongest of subspecies, there are those born with the raw Strength that set them apart from their peers. There are those too, individuals of lion-heart and iron determination, that by their personal strength have risen against the odds and established their names on the field of battle. Whatever the means, these first among equals have garnered the attention of the ruling Warlords and have been handpicked to form his elite retinue. As the Warlord lives, these chosen warriors fight with dedication and pride, knowing that they are the elite of the elites. If any of these prideful soldiers have any designs on the seat of the Warlord, no emotion is shown, for indeed the Warlord has risen to his position not by luck or chance. Even if the Black Guard has confidence in his ability to challenge the Warlord, his intentions will not go unnoticed by his fellow Black Guards. He must contend himself with his current position, lying patiently in wait till such an opportunity presents itself to take that one step closer to reach the height. So it comes to be that within the midst of battle, great as he may be, the Warlord will fall, and then the Hands of Fate beckons, enticing these mightiest of warriors. The tension mounts, as the mistrust and hate built up between them all this while threaten to spill out. Ambition fill their hearts; if not now, when? The vacuum created by the fall of the One has to be filled and who better than me? At last, one amongst these proudest of warriors succumbs to his inner desires, to the beast within. He is the trigger that catalyses a whole chain of reactions, the go button they were all waiting for. Now the dam has burst, the torrent of emotion rushes forth; nothing is left but for that one prize. All pretentions are abandoned, as brethren turn against brethren in this battle for one's worth. As the dust settles, one is left standing. The Fates has chosen, and as it is and always has been, there can only be One...
Elitist Pride: As long as the Warlord or Chieftain is alive, the entire unit is Stubborn. However, if the Warlord is to fall in battle, and the Black Guards are not currently within 6" of any enemy unit at the start of the Turn, the Black Guards have to take a Leadership Test. If the dice rolled is lower than the unmodified Leadership value of the unit, the entire unit erupts into infighting. Treat the Black Guards as Frenzied and resolve all Attacks against itself. At the end of the combat, count the total number of Wounds incurred, Saved and Unsaved. If the total number is 6 or more, replace one model in the unit with the Warlord. The new Warlord is counted as salvaging all the weaponry and armour of the previous Warlord. Remove any casualties incurred from Unsaved Wounds and the unit may act as normal in each Phase except the Movement Phase. If the total number is less than 6, continue resolving Attacks against the units until the total number of Saved and Unsaved Wounds is 6.
Warlords are Blackfurs who have risen in power through strength of arms. Among the offspring produced by Hruds in their mating dens, about 20% of them are Blackfurs, while the rest are Greyfurs. Within each batch of newborns, it is rare to find even a single Whitefur. Within the litter, the Blackfurs natural aggression causes them to fight amongst themselves in a bid for dominance. The weaker Greyfurs, being less aggressive, would avoid the Blackfurs, taking safety in their numbers as a deterrent from the predations of the Blackfurs. Thus, it is imprinted into the mentality of the Greyfurs from infancy of the supremacy of the Blackfurs, and this stigma is carried on even onto maturity. Due to the instilling of the dominance of the Blackfurs onto the Greyfurs right from infancy, the societal structure within the Hrud Clans is very much determined by the nature of the Blackfurs, thus, due to their innate aggression, the dominant philosophy pervading Hrud society is based on the survival of the fittest. Even right from infancy, among the Blackfur litters, there is a struggle for dominance. In display of strengths and outright conflicts, the chief Blackfur is determined. Undoubtedly, this Blackfur would be naturally imbued with the physical strength that marks him above his peers. This, coupled with the fact that his is born into a harsh environment in which he is tested in the extreme in order to ensure his own survival, toughens him up, preparing him for the struggles up the hierarchical order within the clan. The mindset developed from exposure to the harsh reality during his time as a pup hones his natural instincts such that the driving forces of aggression and self-preservation override all other emotions, eventually leading to outright war, as he come into conflict with other such individuals who are similarly motivated. The Greyfurs are helplessly pulled along by the whims of these powerful individuals, as they struggle for supremacy. As such Hrud society is splintered with civil wars intermingled with periods of fragile peace when the balance of powers reaches a stalemate. These Blackfurs which come to determine the fate of Hrud society at large are called Warlords. As a Blackfur ages and survives through countless battles, the natural bulk of their body increases due to the metabolic processes incurred within their bodies through facing near-death situations. As a natural consequence of this, the pronounced incisors that are native to Blackfurs become larger and sharper.
Ferocious Fighter: Each Unsaved Wound caused by the Warlord, grants the Warlord another Attack. The Warlord is the epitome of the spirit that characterises the Blackfurs, of unbridled ferocity. The stronger and more successful the Blackfur, the fiercer his disposition would be. In combat, the Warlord is an unstoppable whirlwind of whirling blades, giving in to his primal ferocity to channel his blows. Each blow that cuts deeper only empowers him to fight with renewed fervour, flowing with the momentum of his attacks, slashing indiscriminately at the fools that dare challenge him.
Great Fang: The Warlord gains Rending for one Attack only. This only applies if the Warlord is in the proximity to use his special Fang Attack.
Tenacity: When the Warlord is reduced to 1 Wound, all close combat Attacks made against the Warlord suffer a -1 to-Hit penalty. The CS bonus provided by Instinctual Preservation increases to 5+. When Hit by Template and Blast weapons, as long as the Warlord is not entirely covered by the template, the Attack misses the Warlord completely on the successful passing of an Initiative Test. On his rise up the ranks of Hrud society, the Warlord has experienced countless brushes with death. The only thing preventing him from suffering the same fate of the many before him is his tenacious will to succeed and not succumb to the weakness that is death.
Overlord's Ambition: When a Warlord goes to war, he rides forth to establish his supremacy and through merit of victory of arms, extend his authority over a greater part of the Clan. As such the Warlord will always be the Army General and there may only be one Warlord in the entire army no matter the point size of the army. There may be as many Chieftains as allowable within the army though.
Alpha Pack: If any unit is to break and flee on the battlefield, immediately take a Leadership Test using the Leadership of the current Army General. If the Test is passed, the unit flees towards the position of the Army General instead of fleeing towards the edge of the battlefield.
Although Blackfurs dominate Hrud society, there are Greyfurs which rise to positions of power, some even having Warlords serving beneath them. More often than not however, the opposite is true. In a society ruled by physical strength and power, it is impossible for a Greyfur to rise up the ranks through the norm. Ultimately it is a mixture of deceit and cunning, with the right amount of tact and the careful manipulation of circumstances that a Greyfur achieves an equal footing among their Black-furred counterparts. As such a Greyfur of such a standing would be in possession of tremendous willpower and force of personality. Other traits that characterise these remarkable individuals are highly developed senses of perception by virtue of birth. More probably though, it is an instinctive sense cultivated through a constant need to watch their back given the precarious nature of their positions. The Greyfur in all possibilities, has made countless enemies in the extent of his career, by his own unscrupulous actions of backstabbing and manipulation, not to mention ambitious younglings waiting patiently in the shadows to deliver the very same fate the upstart has so ruthlessly gifted to many before him. He is constantly on the watch and within the scheme of the survival of the fittest, he has been transformed into one of iron will and unshakable determination, fueled by ambition and self-preservation. These notable individuals are delegated as Chieftains by the Warlords above them, leading entire sections of the army during times of war. During times of peace, the Chieftains hold judicial authority over parts of the clan. Due to the circumstances of their rise to power, these Chieftains are often highly paranoid amongst their fellow Greyfurs, and are thus accompanied at all times by two Black Guards who act as his personal bodyguards. It should be noted however that Greyfurs are by their nature passive and not inclined to the power struggles of their darker brethren. This further distinguishes the Chieftains as individuals of tremendous personal strength, forced by circumstances to resort to Machiavellian means. Their true motives are not always clear; it may be that they are entirely self-motivated for position and power in a world dominated by their darker brethren, or it may be that they are acting with altruistic intentions, as a bastion of pride and strength for the Greyfurs against the supreme authority of the Blackfurs. Whatever the case, they are highly complex individuals, both loathed and admired in equal measure.
Delegate: The Chieftain and his bodyguard retinue must always be leading a unit and may never leave that unit.
Force of Personality: All units within 12" may use the Leadership of the Chieftain for all Leadership Tests. If the Warlord and his retinue is within 12", and the Warlord is the general of the army, then the Warlord has to rely on his Leadership for his own Tests.
Paranoid: Accompanied by two Black Guards that must stay within 1" of the Chieftain at all times. If the two Black Guards are to fall in battle and the Chieftain is leading a group that contains Greyfurs, at the start of every turn, the Chieftain has to pass an Initiative Test. If the Test was to fail, the Greyfur unit he is with will Attack him as long as the unit is not currently engaged in combat. The Greyfurs are considered as charging Chieftain and thus must manoeuvre themselves to surround him. If the Chieftain was to fall in combat this way, you may choose to distribute the weaponry and armour of the Chieftain as you wish among the Greyfurs of that unit, as the Greyfurs salvage his equipment for their purposes.
Ruthless Cunning: If the Warlord is to break in combat and flee, the Chieftain will instantly seize this opportunity by declaring himself the new Army General. If there are more than one Chieftain, then they all consider themselves the Army General. If the Chieftain and his retinue are ever to be in charging distance of a rival Chieftain, then that unit must charge if at all possible. Once the Chieftain declares himself the Army General, he may freely join and leave any unit just like an Independent Character.
Stigma of Dominance: The Greyfurs are programmed from young to fear the Blackfurs, for their superior strength. This stigma carries on into maturity and although it is not openly admitted to, a social hierarchy of sorts is formed within the Clan, with Blackfurs at the top. Even in the fields of battle, the Blackfurs deign it beneath them to take orders from their "lesser" brethren and as a result, the Greyfur Chieftains defer to them in their presence on the battlefield. If a Chieftain is within 12" of a Warlord, you may not use the Force of Personality Special Rule.
One out of every hundred pups within a litter, a Hrud with fur of the purest white is born. Normally, it is within the instincts of the Hrud Queen to kill off any defective offspring who reveal any abnormalities in physique, a preprogramming stemming from the need to maintain the survival of the fittest. Its eyes are red, an almost certain indication that it is an albino, a mutation, an anomaly. Even more ominous, whereas Blackfurs are predominantly male, the Whitefur is without sexual organs, an outright abomination of nature. Even amongst Greyfurs, its constitution is weak, vulnerable even to the weakest of the Greyfurs. Yet, it is left alive, even nurtured, with the utmost care and concern. This is most unusual, given as how the incessant infighting of the Blackfur pups as they turn on each other, even unto the extent of cannibalism, would be disregarded by the Hrud Queen despite being aware of it, as if silently encouraging these acts. The Hrud Queen would seclude the Whitefur from its coloured brethren, although there is little need to, for despite the frail constitution of the Whitefur and the indiscriminate aggression of the Blackfurs, the Whitefur is left untouched, almost as if revered as an object of sanctity. Or perhaps it is fear that drives them away, a creature not to be associated with and to be cast aside? It has been conjectured that the Whitefurs produce a natural pheromone that affects and allows them to control to some degree their coloured counterparts, staving them off away when it would easily succumb otherwise to their superior physical strength.
The true reason for the Whitefur's seclusion however, is not for its protection but for its nurturing. It appears the true threat to the Whitefur is not the predations of its brethren but its own fragile constitution that would almost certainly deteriorate without the proper care. The Hrud Queen places the entirety of her attention upon the Whitefur and it is only upon the maturation of the Whitefur that the Hrud Queen's breeding cycle begins anew. Should the Whitefur dies under the nurturing of the Hrud Queen, the Hrud Queen would enter into a state of depression and be unable to reproduce for many cycles. As such indirectly, the progress of the Whitefur's growth forms the cornerstone of the survival of the Hrud species as a whole. As a further complication of matters, the Whitefur's maturity is not determined by its physical growth. Indeed, the Whitefur retains its infant form throughout its life. In its premature stages the Whitefur utters not a word and is incapable of much movement, subsisting by suckling from the Queen. At regular intervals, the Whitefur is made to ingest raw Warpstone that has been regurgitated by the Hrud Queen. The regurgitated Warpstone appear as a viscous liquid, having been digested by the stomach acids of the Hrud Queen. In this form as viscous liquid, the infant Whitefur is able to swallow it whereas it would be unable to if it was raw solid Warpstone. These are the most perilous moments in the nurturing of the Whitefur, for ingesting raw Warpstone in any amount is lethal by itself. The Whitefur is able to consume them in certain amounts, yet indeed the Warpstone is anathema to the digestive systems of the Whitefur too. What happens is that the Whitefur is able to transmute the toxicity within the Warpstone and thus bypass its otherwise harmful effects.
The reason why Warpstone possesses such malevolent effects on organic lifeforms is because Warpstones are condensations of pure Chaos energy. By ingesting Warpstones, the tremendous mutating powers of Chaos is able to directly affect the inner workings of the body. Chaos is utterly defineless, as such the structural integrity of the molecules of the organs is undermined at the fundamental level, as they lose form due to the potency of the influencing power of Chaos. However, the Whitefur is able to transmute the mutational energy of Chaos, controlling the direction and flow of the volatile Chaos energy through sheer willpower, subverting its volatile nature entirely, the resultant product being a high energy substrate that enriches the entire being of the Whitefur. Yet if the Whitefur were to receive too potent a dosage, it would most certainly die. This is why it is so crucial that the Hrud Queen exercises the most precise of judgements, giving what is sufficient and no more. As the Whitefur progresses towards maturity, its tolerance towards the Warpstone increases and it is better able to cope with larger dosages of Warpstone. At the penultimate point of reaching full maturity, as that last dosage of Warpstone is consumed, a sudden change overcomes the entire being of the Whitefur, as if taken by some otherworldly force. The red eyes emanate with a strange luminosity that burns with a steady gleam. To peer into them is to see two glowing disks that shine with an intense light that appear to radiate from some inner source. The burning intensity of that light pierces right into the soul, as if all is laid bare, yet one is unable to turn away, entranced by its inexplicable intensity. Even the form of the Whitefur, once crumpled and diminutive, lacking in definition and shape, becomes slender and upright. It is then declared that the Prophet has arisen, the One to channel the powers of the Warp has been made manifest.
In truth, the Whitefur is indeed a mutation, an anomaly amongst Hrudkind, and the Hrud Queen recognises it for what it is. The closeness the Hrud shares with the Warpstone is due to the fact that the genesis of sentience within their species was a direct result of their gradual exposure to the warping influence of the Chaos within the Warpstones. Amongst the Hrud in their presentient state, white albinos were indeed rare yet not unheard of. Upon influence of the Warpstones that led to their genesis as a sentient race, white albinos that were born were more susceptible to the mutating influence of Chaos that is the source of their sentience. When they are born thus, they exist in a semi-vegetative state, unable to fully access their consciousness. As the Warpstone is fed to the Whitefurs, they are forced to undergo an excruciating process. The pain awakens them temporarily from their vegetative state, and the immediate reflexive response of self-survival causes them to instinctively transmute the Warpstone within them. This act requires tremendous willpower and self-control as the Whitefurs extend their will even over the inner workings of their bodily functions. Thus the process of nurturing of the Whitefurs can be said to be a manipulation of circumstances in order to create a situation where the Whitefur is forced to attain absolute dominion over the entire workings of its body. When the Whitefur reaches such a stage, it becomes "awakened", attaining instant recognisition of the self. To the Hrud, they interpret it as the descending of the One, possessing the vehicle that is the Prophet. The entire act of nurturing is seen as a process to prepare the Whitefur for the Descent of the One. In actuality, the Whitefur has simply unlocked the potential within it through force of will and freed itself from its vegetative state. Whitefurs, due to their own lack of pigmentation and other associated defects of albinism, have an exceptionally low resistance to the influence of Chaos. This makes them exceptional Psykers, able to easily tap into the flow of Chaos within the Warp.
The process of the Whitefurs in attaining full mastery over their body does not stop upon the Awakening. Upon achieving consciousness, the Whitefurs focus their attention into manifesting their inner psyche, their true essence, into the physical world. Such is their psychical control over the sensitivities of their body that they can cause actual physical transformations over parts of their body, influencing their shape and figure in a similar fashion to the changes wrought when Chaos affects the physical plane. This manifestation, more often than not, happens in stages, resulting in partial manifestations, due to the extreme difficulties involved in the manifestation process. The Whitefurs, having attained full awareness over the functions of their body, attempt to go beyond even that, for even complete self-control is a limitation in of itself, and all barriers and limits are broken when consciousness is utterly surrendered and control is utterly given over to one's inner instincts. That is the true manifestation. Unfortunately for the side of the Hrud, it is highly possible that a fully manifested Prophet would lash out even against their own kind, for It is given entirely to Its own instincts and in Its absolute state sees only Itself and no other. It has been conjectured that there is an even greater form than the Manifest Form, of which they call the Verminlord, after the singular deity of the Hrud, the Great Horned Rat. In this Form of the True Avatar, the Verminlord maintains Its essential form yet retains Its awareness. In this state the paradox of giving over to one's instincts while maintaining one's logical processes is eliminated as the Verminlord's instincts becomes indistinguishable from Its willful intentions. It should be noted however, that contrary to the belief of the Hrud, the Whitefurs are not Prophets that are able to make manifest their God, the manifestation of the Verminlord is a reflection of the true inner psyche of that particular Whitefur, and thus It differs from each individual to the next.
The Prophet has many Special Rules in addition to the fact that they possess Psychic Powers, but I have yet to determine what they should be. Needless to say, one of them would be its inspirational presence to other Hrud, probably called The Manifest. It would probably work like a double-edged sword, very much like that Special Rule for the Ethereals of the Tau Empire. One probable Psychic Power I can think of for it is Call of the Shadows, which covers the entire battlefield with darkness, mimicking the time of night. It would remain in play as long as the Prophet continues to channel it every turn. I understand that the way its statistics stand now, it is so fragile as to be completely unplayable. Keep in mind that in the fluff I have written, they possess an unfathomable presence that is extremely charismatic and entrancing. It should be called Luminous Presence and it would affect enemies attempting to charge at the Prophet or simply attack it. Possibly all units within a 12" Range suffers from certain difficulties when attempting to target it. Also one of its abilities, the True Form as I call it, is its ability to become the Verminlord. I believe it would work best by having the Prophet fail a Psychic Test in order to become the Verminlord. This is akin to the Prophet attempting to go beyond the limitations of its mind. This special Psychic Test is made right at the start of your turn before the movements of any other units on your side. Given the Prophet's high Leadership of 10 it would be hard to fail. If you were to pass the Psychic Test, that is, you fail to transform, the Prophet may not make any other move for the rest of the turn as it is recovering from the exhaustion of the effort. Also, if the Prophet is to suffer from Perils of the Warp, the usual rules do not apply and instead the Prophet makes a partial transformation. Choose one type of statistic, be it Strength or Attacks and it will now be replaced with that particular statistical value for the Verminlord. If the Verminlord is successfully made manifest, It must immediately pass a Leadership Test to see if It maintains Its sanity or fully gives in to Its instincts. If it fails the Test, the Verminlord goes berserk and is subject to Frenzy. On top of that, during your opponent's turn, he/she may control the Verminlord exactly as if It was his/her own unit. Whenever the Verminlord is broken in combat and loses Its Frenzy, take another Leadership Test. If the Leadership Test is passed, the Verminlord regains Its self-awareness and thus is returned to your control. Should you fail however, the cycle is repeated, the Verminlord gains Frenzy, is controlled by both sides during their respective turns until beaten in combat again, in which another Leadership Test is taken and finally the Test is passed and you break out of the cycle. Note: I am not completely sure how Perils of the Warp works. From what I understand it happens whenever you roll a double 1 or 6. It would be greatly appreciated if you would clarify for me.
Troops MS BS S T A W I L AS CS
Vermin Tide 3 0 1 1 10 10 4 5 - 4+
Storm Runner 4 1 4 3 2/3 1 4 7 5+ 6+
It has been speculated that Vermin Tides are Hruds in their infant forms gathered into swarms. The question is why would the Hruds sent their young in their diminutive forms into battle when they would have a near survival rate of 0%. It has been suggested that Hrud Queen produces too many offspring at times, going beyond the ability of the clan to provide for the increase in mouths to feed. This would be highly agreeable for indeed the Hrud Queens are capable of producing many offspring in a single given brood. Yet the rare Black-furred pups have been spotted in Vermin Tides. If the Hruds within a Vermin Tide are meant to be expendable, it would almost certainly be composed entirely of Greyfurs. The truth of the matter is that the pups that compose a Vermin Tide do not have the necessary means to achieve sentience, retaining in a primitive state. The Hrud Queen is able to sense which among the brood are born without sentience. These defects are gathered into a single swarm and thrown at the enemy to act as fodder and a distraction for the more integral parts of a Hrud force. The fact that there is the presence of Hruds that lack sentience within the broods gives relevance to the fact that the Hruds achieved sentience as a species from an external source rather through the rigours of evolution. Although it is uncertain as to how the Hrud first came into contact with Warpstone, it is undoubtedly that the mutational effects by being in the presence of Warpstone allowed for the arising of sentience within the Hrud. The Hrud Queens knowingly repeat this process by ingesting raw Warpstone particles and allowing the Warpstone to influence the developing foetuses within Her womb. When the damaging effects of the Warpstone becomes too much for the Hrud Queen, She regurgitates the Warpstone, now in a liquefied state, which is either fed to a developing Whitefur or left to be crystallised once again into solid Warpstone. This explains the close relationship the Hruds share with Warpstone. To them it is more precious than gold for it is their lifeblood.
I chose a value of 1 for the Strength(S) and Toughness(T) of the Vermin Tide simply because these are values that have not been used for any unit in the game. Furthermore, it would be unfeasible to present their S and T as 2 since the Greyfurs, the matured forms of the Vermin Tides, already are S and T 2. To compensate for their abysmal S and T, I have given them 10 Attacks(A) and Wounds(W). Also, to represent the presence of Blackfurs within the Tide, for every 6 rolled when rolling to-Hit, the Attack is made at Strength 2. That means on average 2 Attacks will be at Strength 2 for every 10 Attacks, which is quite an accurate representation of the percentage of Blackfurs within every new brood, which is 20%. This Special Rule is called Blackfurs. The Vermin Tide benefits from a 4+ CS at all times that can be combined with the CS provided by terrain features. This is a representation of their small size and, in their primitive state, their instincts of self-preservation that are innate to their species as a whole are that much stronger. Also the Swarm rule means that they cannot be insta-killed by all manner of weapons except Blast and Template weapons. The Swarm rule also means that the number of standing Attacks they haveis equal to the amount of Wounds they currently have. Included in the Swarm rule is that the Vermin Tide never gains the +1A bonus for charging into combat. The Herd Mentality rule states that you may choose any of your units that you own to Attack the Vermin Tide. For every Hit incurred, the Leadership of the Vermin Tide increases by one. Decrease the unit by the appropriate number of Unsaved Wounds as usual. The Vermin Tide becomes subject to Frenzy and has to charge towards the nearest enemy unit. If the Vermin Tide is broken in combat, the unit loses Frenzy and its Leadership reverts to normal. In addition, whenever the Vermin Tide has to take a Leadership Test for losing in combat, the Test is taken with an unmodified Leadership, i.e. it will always be taken with the current, unmodified Leadership value of the Vermin Tide. Fleet of Paw allows the Vermin Tide to make an additional move during the Shooting Phase. Instead of making any Shooting Attacks, you may opt to roll a D6 and then move that many inches forward, ignoring Difficult Terrain and losing the CS bonus provided by Instinctual Preservation. However, you may instead choose to move forward at your Initiative value in inches, while retaining the CS bonus.
Storm Runners are the elite fast attack close combat specialist of the Hrud Clans. Like their name suggest, they are meant to storm the front of the enemy, closing in at breakneck speeds before tearing the enemy in the melee. They are composed entirely of Blackfurs and only the fiercest and strongest of the Blackfangs are allowed to join. The early origins of the Storm Runners began when the strongest of the Blackfangs started banding together as a single fighting group during times of war. This was unheard of in the past because the natural disposition of Blackfurs when gathered in groups was to turn against each other. The Warlords of those times found a solution by splitting up the Blackfangs amongst units of Greyfurs, eliminating any chance of infighting. When the ruling Warlords first learnt of the gathering of this large group of Blackfangs, it was largely disregarded as the possibility that any sort of determined organisation arising from such a group, especially one as large as this, was met with derision by them. Great as a threat such a large number of Blackfangs would pose, the huge size of the group meant that the Blackfangs would be all the more uncontrollable, and it was their faith in the latter that the Warlords so trusted in. Surprisingly, the group did not succumb and the rumours abound of their sightings at critical moments on the battlefield, striking with alarming speed then quickly withdrawing. All this revealed an alarmingly high level of discipline. What was even more puzzling was their unpredictable behaviour, withdrawing from the scene as quickly as they came, reaping none of the spoils they had so surely earned. Not surprisingly, this renegade group adapted to a fighting style that most suited their nature. Being amongst the fiercest and strongest of the Blackfangs, they revelled in the melee, abandoning the use of weapons so that their claws and fangs can perform unhindered. This became their hallmark; indeed such was their prowess in combat that mention of their name caused ripples of fear among the Warlords. The Warlords, once rivals and enemies upon the battlefield, convened together for the first time in response to this threat. To the Warlords, the renegades represented a threat that would destabilise the natural order of Hrud society. They presented a direct challenge to the supremacy of the Warlords, for only a Warlord had the right to wage war as per the traditions. This roaming renegade warband was against the traditions established during the Age of Warlords. If the traditions were to fall, so too would the primacy of the Warlords be questioned by their subordinates, and in the worse scenario the entire Clan would be torn apart by civil strife. The Warlords decided to parley with the leader of the renegades, offering him and his band the position of Black Guard of the ruling Overlord.
From their conference, the Warlords learnt that Blackstorm, leader of the renegades, had rallied the other Blackfangs with the promise of power. Through sheer feat of arms, he quelled the inevitable bickering and infighting of the Blackfangs. Upon gaining their utmost attention he revealed to them his plans in forming a specialised fighting troop that relied on the very essence of the natural instincts of the Blackfur and manifest them in combat. The random sightings of Blackstorm and his band were simply the first few forays to test of the effectiveness of this new fighting formation. Blackstorm, however refused their offer, insisting that he be recognised with the title of Warlord. Discussions fell apart after that, the Warlords being unable to accept this young upstart as their equal. Against the combined might of the Warlords, Blackstorm and his band was forced to resort to living a guerrilla existence, relying on their superior speed to ambush and then withdraw, slowly depleting their forces through attrition. During these grueling months, Blackstorm and his warband lived an existence of constant warfare, and through trial and error, perfected their fighting style. Such was the height of their combat ability that the persistence of the Warlords wore off, and Blackstorm was eventually recognised as a Warlord by the Clan. Blackstorm's first act as Warlord was to formalise the Storm Runner elite fighting regiment, which recruited Blackfurs on the basis of speed and strength.
Storm Runners have Fleet of Paw, Hit and Run and Furious Assault Special Rules. In addition, they use both their claws in combat, thus having a total of 3 Attacks altogether. Storm Runners travel on all fours to maximise their speed as they close in on the enemy. Upon nearing the enemy, the Storm Runners makes a Feral Leap. Gauge using your judgement if the target is reachable with Feral Leap. To determine the charge distance of the Storm Runners for that turn, take the total distance travelled during the Movement Phase and Shooting Phase(through Fleet of Paw) and add them together. If the distance is misjudged and you fall short of your target, then simply move the Storm Runners that amount of distance. If the total leaping distance would cause you to land within the ranks of the enemy, simply place the Storm Runners in between them, creating space by moving the enemy models ever so slightly apart. This means that more Storm Runners are in a position to Attack the enemy. Also, if the leaping distance would cause some Storm Runners to land behind the ranks of the enemy, it would never happen, simply place the Storm Runners within the ranks of the enemy as you would in the previous scenario.
More to come: Gutter Runner, Night Runner, Warp Runner, Fusilier, Warpflamethrower
Please comment on what I have written. Criticisms are accepted too.
Last edited by Calixtus; March 20th, 2010 at 00:57.
This is Fantastic (including the other codexs').
The detail of the backround is superb - a lot of time and effort has gone into this - awsome!
However, as I now play Lethal 40K I will be taking some time in converting the stats you have given and a few of the rules but try to keep everything in keeping with your ideas - and will post them on the Lethal 40K message - will be keeping the superb backround you have created though.
Well done again and sorry it took so long to post this.;Y
This is actually really impressive. I would like to know more about Hrud fluff and technology, especially their means of space travel. But the rules are well balanced, and original.