Tomes of the Librarius – Bestiary: The Hrud

Hello 40k (and 30k) fans! Chris Morgan, Chief Librarian of the Forge the Narrative Podcast, is here again with the next weekly segment of Tomes of the Librarius. Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

This article series is here to add some depth and narrative dimension to our hobby and the games we play by calling upon the rich lore to highlight some of the cool stories, theories, and characters in the universe. These are meant to be easily-digestible snapshots for people new to the lore, and I hope they serve to kindle further interest and study.

Today’s journey into the darkness of Warhammer 40k lore brings us to somewhat of a mystery. The Hrud are a race of Xenos often mentioned, but scarcely described. Going back to the days of the great crusade, humanity has encountered this race and waged wars of extermination. Even so, the history of the Hrud may go back to days long before humanity was a twinkle in creation’s eye.


The Hrud are a mystery not easily solved by the scholars of the Imperium. Xenobiologists and inquisitors alike have attempted to pin down what exactly they are, and the findings are often contradictory. Some describe them as long, segment-limbed creatures with long fangs, ruddy skin, and covered in rags. Other descriptions are more akin to a giant rat with a long tail surrounded by dark-hooded robes. Subterranean by nature, Hrud are often considered parasitic, and if a planet falls to them, it is often considered ‘infested.’ Hrud tend to go through migrations perhaps similar to an Ork waagh! where they expand rapidly across a sector. Beyond that, they seem to have a kinship with entropy, somehow aging the world around them through some kind of aura. This aura’s nature is speculated to have its origins in the warp.

They often use scavenged weaponry (typically Imperial) when waging war, but some original weaponry uses some kind of plasmic warp blast to devastating effect. Forces fighting them often end up fighting their own entropy, as some Imperial Guard regiments have been reduced heavily in fighting strength after premature aging.

First Imperial Contact

The first Imperial contact was during the great crusade, where Perterabo’s Iron Warriors wage a war of extermination that purportedly nearly led to the race’s extinction. Ignoring a warning from the Eldar about the danger of the sector, the Iron Warriors led a systematic campaign of annihilation that was mutually costly. As the Hrud are still present in modern 40k, they obviously failed in their effort to wipe them out completely (probably should have sent a REAL primarch to go and do the job…).

Hrud Legends and Lore

What little is known of the Hrud and their belief structure tells a legend of an Old One who sent them underground during the War in Heaven. Back in ancient times, the Hrud were a surface-dwelling race, presumably one of many created by the Old Ones. The ancient Necrontyr wars sent them underground, and their guardian was eventually slain by the birth of Slaanesh.

You Dirty Rat, You Killed My Battle-Brother!

Couldn’t help it. How did you like today’s foray into 40k’s bestiary? Let me know your favorit Hrud facts in the comments below!


Captain Morgan

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About Chris Morgan

40K philosopher, LVO Judge, Chief Librarian of Forge the Narrative, Blood Angel enthusiast extraordinaire, and slayer of traitors, xenos, and heretics; I'd rather be playing 30k right now or neck-deep in a good book. Follow me on my FB page - Captain Morgan's Librarius

One Response to “Tomes of the Librarius – Bestiary: The Hrud”

  1. WestRider April 16, 2019 1:13 pm #

    “Later accounts of a Space Marine chapter called the Star Phantoms show”

    Show what? Or is the cut off bit there just another of those fragmentary references that add to the mystery of the Hrud? 😉

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