Legion "VIII" the "Night Lords"

"You ask for Mercy when you have none to give?"- Konrad Curze

Primarch: Konrad Curze
Symbol: Bat-winged Skull
Colors: Midnight Blue, with various symbols of Terror painted on.
Capital World- Nostromo
Specialty: Psychological Warfare, Enforcement, Shock Tactics
Battlecry: "You have been watched, weighed, and found wanting" or Psychotic Laughter

The "VIII" Primarch

The Midnight Judge, the Eater of Sins, Hidden Claw of the Emperor, the true Night Lord, Prince of Nightmares. A hefty list of ominous titles earned by Konrad Curze, the VIII Primarch. Whose appearance and personality fit these grim accolades. Pale skinned with thick black hair and dark eyes. Konrad is either the most hideous demigod or most beautiful corpse in appearance. Tall and lanky in comparison to his brothers, Curze can mildly alter his appearance. Exaggerating his features and appearance to appear more or less human. A vicious smile that can easily transform into a snarling rictus paints the Primarchs face. Being in Curze's presence can be incredibly distressing for the unprepared. He radiates a cold aura of psychic judgment that dredges up guilt, fear and long-buried secrets. To be near him is to have your own worst nature bare for both you and the Primarch to see.

Few of his brothers can match Konrad Curze in single combat. His psychic powers, precognition and limited scruples make him an erratic and dangerous foe. Conjuring up shadows and slipping between dark places. Only Kota Ravenwing can match the Prince of Nightmares in the game of shadows. In battle the Primarch wields lightning claws dyed red by the blood of countless beings crueler than even him. Additionally, Konrad makes use of daggers and throwing blades combined with his knack for telekinesis and umbramancy. Creating bladed shadows that can cut apart foes and strike when least expected. Unlike most of his brothers Konrad does not name his weapons and armor. Finding such displays distasteful, a glorification of dark deeds.

An ironic, and some would claim hypocritical stance, for the Emperor's Murderer. Cruze does not see it as that, while he enjoys the sinister pleasure of delivering justice. Hunting down and breaking a fellow monster using every dark tool available. The Primarch sees these sadistic acts as balancing the books and why he exists. For so long good people alone have suffered the terror of the night, it's time that fear is put to righteous use. The Emperor crafted his sons to embody core traits of humankind. Konrad understands that better than most and embraces his aspect in all its forms. It is not always pleasant and Cruze struggles against his own darkness. A trait he shares with his almost-twin brother Dante. VIII and IX embody righteous things with necessary darkness. Justice cannot always be kind, sometimes the only answer to cruelty and evil is an equal response.

One of the VIII Primarchs titles is not truly his, but borrowed from his familiar. The Sin Eater was gifted to Konrad Curze shortly before the Great Crusade. It is an ancient surviving specimen of a once common type of Warp-creature. A relic from a more peaceful era when the Sea of Souls held uncorrupted life. The Sin Eater's species once cleaned souls preparing for reincarnation. Feeding on the spiritual maladies of the dead and dying. Helping them move towards rebirth unburdened by previous lives. Revived from a fossilized egg-thought by the Emperor and nurtured by Konrad Curze and his victims' pain, the Sin Eater has grown powerful. Augmenting the Primarch's psychic abilities and granting him rare insight into the nature of souls. With time and effort Konrad hopes to remake the Sin Eaters species and marry it to the Astronomicon. Allowing all but the most tainted human souls entrance into the Soul Pyre.

Tactically Konrad lacks some of the talent for strategy and logistics his brothers hold. Something he compensates for with his intense precognitive abilities and a close cadre of mortal and Astartes officers. The foresight gifted by the Emperor is powerful but dangerous. It follows the laws of the material universe and the inevitability of entropy. Showing the worst possible futures. A lesser demigod, like the Night Haunter, might see these visions as inevitable. While the VIII Primarch sees them for what they are. Warning and lessons he can put to use. The transhuman biology of a Primarch is better suited to the precognition's stress than an Astartes, but even Curze can be shaken by intense visions. He has yet to fully master his gift like the Emperor, who had time to come to such transcendental awareness naturally. Where Konrad Curze is violently pulled towards this terrible form of enlightenment.

Whispered rumors and a cultivated reputation paint the Midnight Judge as a sadistic monster. The truth of his personality is more complex. In his world view Konrad believes power is to be used to balance the scales. Which he does in his own twisted way, which his sons follow. Providing support and protection to the weak and righteous. While inflicting unspeakable pain on the cruel and corrupt. The VIII Primarch is Justice in all its dark glory. A vengeful figure who mets out just rewards to the deserving. Trying to push humanity onto the path his father has set forth. Either as a guiding hand in the dark or a blood-splattered claw reaching for the throat.

History of the Legion

The history of the Night Lords starts where everything else involving them starts. In the dark reaches of an Underhive. During the late unification war, the early Night Lords recruited from the worst examples of urban rot the homeworld has to offer. Claiming the children of the hive-gangs and subterranean civilizations, they were tasked with subjugating. Even after Unity was officially declared, the lower reaches of Terra's hives were barely any safer than during the height of Old Night. Something the VIII was tasked with rectifying. They did it with the brutal effectiveness the legion would become known for. Leaving mutilated bodies and Imperial law in their wake. Acting as shock troops and enforcers for the newborn Adeptus Administratum. Ensuring nothing interfered with the infrastructure programs and humanitarian efforts of the Imperium.

Records on the Night Lords' activities during the Unification of Sol and Lunar Crusade are deliberately sparse. Evidence indicates the VIII were tasked with a final round of punitive actions against possible threats within the infant Imperium. Working alongside the Court of Destiny and Officio Assassinorum in a secret purge that continued in the wake of the Lunar Rebellion. Cracks exposed by the first anti-imperial insurrection were quickly and quietly smoothed over by the Night Lords in the months after the reclamation of Luna. A process that delayed the Legion's deployment into the Great Crusade proper by close to six months.

Once Crusader Fleet VIII left Sol, the Legion took up its duties with monstrous efficiency. Konrad Curze used his own precognitive gifts to aim his Legion at worlds where humanity walked a knife's edge. Places a single calamity or mistake away from descending into anarchy, warp-taint, and general system collapse. These were perfect hunting grounds for the Night Lords. Who descended on these worlds with malicious glee. Leaving compliant, if traumatized, worlds on the path to stable rebuilding. Strangely, the Legion would occasionally divert from their normal course and engage in more traditional Astartes warfare. Liberating worlds from Xenos and human tyrants. Showing a level of stoic humanitarianism more commonly found in the XIII and XVIII Legions. Almost as if the Prince of Nightmares wanted to prove to himself and the Imperium that his legion could be more than sadistic butchers.

Alongside the IX Legion, the Night Lords were tasked with a "shadow crusade" against the Rangda Kindred. A massive delaying action taking full advantage of those two Legions' skills. To tie down the Xeno threat, while the Imperium gathered resources and built up its military. The records of this time are heavily redacted and are still harrowing reading. Entire chapters of Night Lords died in individual battles. The Solomonari order suffered obscene casualty rates aiding their genefather in mapping out the future. Despite this, the Night Lords succeeded, leaving a trail of terror, confusion, and destruction in their wake. Much of what the Imperium learned about the Rangda and their social structure was gathered by the VIII Legion. Whose seemingly insane tactics and vicious attacks pried secrets from the enigmatic Xenos.

Towards the end of the Xenocides, the Night Lords took a more secondary role. Dividing up to join their cousin legions. Acting as advisors, relief forces, and, predictably, terror troops. Putting the experience gained in the shadow war with the Rangda to good use. Night Lord strike forces were crucial in breaking through the third sphere of Rangda Prime. Letting the Black Knights deploy [REDACTED] during the Final Siege of that accursed world-thing. Konrad Curze curiously did not stray far from his brothers during the Xenocide's worse days. Acting as a shadowy advisor and guard to his siblings. Fearing a repeat of the events that [REDACTED].

When the Great Crusade finished with the Solar Triumph, each of the Primarchs made an offering to the Emperor as a token of loyalty and pride. Perhaps none was more ominous or disturbing than Konrad's. The bones of 10,000 unknown humans, each marked with an Old Earth symbol of judgment. When asked about the bones and their significance the Emperor is quoted as saying "Not all of us are strong enough to break with fate." Curze and his sons stayed after the Triumph for several months. Aiding the Solar Wardens and Hydra Legion in dealing with numerous plots hatched in the shadow of the great celebration.

In the centuries after the Great Crusade the Night Lords operated predominantly as an enforcement and garrison Legion. Leaving conquest and exploration to their cousins. Instead maintaining the Pax Imperialis with typical brutality. Notably, the Night Lords were key actors in suppressing the Navigator Rebellion. The psychic abilities common to the VIII and its Primarchs own powers proving a terrible bane to the recalcitrant abhumans. The later Doom Tides rocked the Imperium to its core and the Night Lords found themselves dealing with countless insurrections and Daemonic threats. The Legion performed admirably but did not distinguish itself in those early Wars against Chaos like some of its cousins.

Astartes Biology

Appearance and Apotheosis- The Geneseed of the Night Lords is surprisingly easy to implant. Requiring relatively little from potential candidates to accept the new organs. That being said, the Geneseed is extremely potent and is noted for its effects on implanted Neophytes. Altering their skin, hair, and eye pigmentation to match the pale and dark complexion of the VIII Primarch. While also inducing rather extreme psychological changes. Elevating sadistic tendencies and interestingly the Astartes sense of justice. Additionally, traces of Konrad Curzes psychic gifts can be passed down through the geneseed. Resulting in powerful Astartes with high rates of psychological issues. As a result, the weeding out of recruits does not occur before implantation like most legions but after. Sifting the mad and malicious out from the viciously competent.

Unique Organ- Kronos Lobe. Surgically attached to the Corpus Callosum and allowed to grow into the neural bridge is the Night Lord's unique organ. Notoriously tricky to grow and implant, the majority of the VIII Legion actually have damaged copies of this organ. The few with fully functioning Kronos Lobes make up the Solomonari order of the Legion. Even when damaged, the Lobe grants flickers of incredible awareness to the Astartes. Allowing the Space Marine to perceive time in a way human minds did not evolve to interpret. Asking a Night Lord to describe the flashes of insight and mind-wounding seizures of foresight is like a blind man asking what the world looks like. This extra-temporal insight is extremely hard on even the enhanced minds of an Astartes and can be debilitating when overused. But it grants the Space Marine highly accurate bit of precognition, allowing the Night Lords to react and act with speed, and luck that is positively supernatural.

Organization

Deployment- The Night Lords rarely deploy in large numbers. Instead preferring to deploy in Squad formations. Allowing each squad to act as a tight-knit kill-team. Going about their assigned duties with pragmatic focus. The VIII Legion is also slightly above average in Legion size and enters battles with appropriate forces. These two factors surprisingly synergize well. Large numbers of small squads allow for mobility, flexibility, and reaction speed few other legions could hope to match. Fighting the Night Lords is like fighting the shadows themselves. Appearing and disappearing constantly and in unknowable numbers. This can convince the enemy they are dealing with a force much larger or smaller than the Night Lord deployment. Something the VIII Legion capitalizes on.

Homeworld: - Nostromo- Visions of Nostromo plagued Konrad Curze from an early age. The Night Haunter's influence at work on the young Primarch. As an act of defiance of fate and his false copy, the VIII Primarch claimed the Midnight world as his own. Cleaning the world of its corruption proved to be a challenge for the Legion, but one they gladly undertook. It took centuries of work and the resources only a Primarch could bring to bare. But Nostromo was transformed. Turned into a nocturnal world of glistening spires, artistry, justice, commerce, and industry. Its Adamantium veins are mined and refined using more advanced and palatable techniques. Providing the Tech-Marines of the Legion a huge supply of the precious material. Which is put to use creating deadly ships and strong blades for the Night Lords. Still distant from its Sun and clad in a thick atmosphere. Nostromo is dark. But not the oppressive shadows of the past. It is now the safe darkness of restful sleep and quiet contemplation. Nostromo now holds the sobriquet of "The Black Diamond of the Imperium." Where the Midnight Judge and his sons hold court.

Recruitment- Unlike most other Legions, the Night Lords do not recruit from their homeworld. Instead, the VIII recruits from the various prison planets across the Imperium. Taking the children of humanity's worst members and turning them into weapons of war. The Geneseed of Konrad Curze is fairly easy to implant and the Night Lords find recruits wherever they go. Every human world has an underbelly, and when the Night Lords are unleashed on it, they take a tithe of youths to join their ranks. It is not unheard of for families and individuals seeking redemption for some crime to offer their children up to the Night Lords, they themselves joining as serfs for the Legion.

Unique Ranks and Roles-

The Solomonari-

Only a rare few of the Legion can claim a fully functional Kronos Lobe. A natural psychic aptitude is required for the Lobe to be implanted without issue and strength of will beyond the Astartes norm is needed to keep sane. If the Astartes survive this harrowing process they gain precognitive powers and extra-sensory awareness even the most powerful seers would be pressed to match. This vision is unique from most other forms of precognition and sees the current path of the time. How things will progress unless something else interferes. More akin to Necron Astromancy or Silica Probability-Drives than Psychic foresight. Seeing the universe through the eyes of a being lesser minds would declare divine. This takes an incredible toll on the Solomonari and the orders members are noted for being peculiar even by the Night Lords' standards.

The Misjudged- The Night Lord recruitment process involves the largest amount of hypno induction of any Legion. Overriding the original candidate's personality and traits with the harsh but Just character of the Legion. This mental and spiritual scouring is intensely traumatic and has a failure rate of nearly ten percent. The failures are not euthanized but put into service. These are the Misjudged. Astartes, whose mind is overwhelmed by mankind's failings and the legions' requirements. Becoming a core of insane suicide-troops deployed in punitive actions and the most brutal conflicts. When they are unleashed, they form companies of mad killing machines seeking out anything that defies the Imperium and butchering it.

Left Claws- An unusually large number of Night Lords are seconded to other Imperial organizations. The natural abilities of the Legion lend themselves to law enforcement, grisly work, and scaring the citizenry into line. Being part of the Left Claws refers to any Night Lord serving the Officio Assassinorum or Officio Oculus. Acting as transhuman muscle to back up these organizations on matters that require a crueler touch. Astartes assigned to these positions tend to run the gamut of personality and skills, given these positions to remove them from the Legion's usual command for a period of time. Which could be a reward, punishment, or simply a product of organizational issues. Resulting in a rather eclectic section of the Legion serving alongside the darker Officos. Further adding to the Legion's dark reputation.

Right Claws- The Adeptus Arbites attempt to enforce Imperial law across the diverse expanses of the Imperium. Fighting an endless quiet war against civil strife, injustice and lawlessness. Some of the Night Lords look kindly upon these mortals striving for justice and find themselves assigned as Astartes' allies to the Arbites. The Right Claws are made up of some of the more "palatable" Night Lords, whose sense of justice and ability to interact with Mortals is well proven.

Legion Culture

Personality- Sense of humor and Astartes are not two ideas that usually go together. The Night Lords are an exception to this. For a legion of self-professed sadists and murderers, they do not take themselves too seriously. This bent of nihilistic humor and morbid joking paint a very different picture of the Night Lords than most expect. Contrasting with the constrained and practiced cruelty that colors the Legion as well. To be a Night Lord is to walk a knife's edge, figuratively and sometimes literally. They are tasked with being monsters in the service of good. Doing horrible things to horrible people and enjoying it immensely. The humor and self-awareness it cultivates help cushion the minds of the VIII Legion. Its Astartes learn not to fall into needless cruelty or wallow in guilt. Recognizing the twisted nature of the galaxy and how they fit into it. The tight-knit squad tactics of the Legion and its strange duties push its battle-brothers into tightly bound fellowships. Each squad becoming a true band of brothers and a self-policing unit of warriors. This cultivation of empathy has the interesting side-effect of making Night Lords oddly kind and protective of those they consider "one of them" or worthy of their protection. The Midnight-clad sons of Konrad are a terrible foe but perhaps some of the best friends one can have.

Customs- The habits, slang, and internal mechanics of countless underhive cultures make up the strange bedrock of the VIII Legion. An ever-shifting creole of slang, dialects, and references form the unique battle-cant of the Night Lords. Virtually unintelligible to outsiders, it provides a level of subtlety and privacy that suits the Legion just fine. To the surprise of many, the Lex Imperialis heavily contributes to this internal cipher. The Imperial Law Code is studied with remarkable intensity by the Night Lords. While they are given permission to mete out cruel punishment to transgressors, there are requirements before they can act. Most obviously damning proof is required, something the subtle eyes of the VIII can gather in spades. Permission from an appropriate civilian leader if they are not in active combat. And crucially following the doctrine of "Balancing the Scales" a philosophy penned by the Primarch himself. Evil must be paid unto evil in exact equivalence. A crime will be punished with accuracy and cold justice. Similarly good must be paid unto good. The disquieting patronage and support of the Night Lords has aided many of the most righteous humans to be born into the Imperium.

Unique Features- The wars mankind fights are eternal but not always constant. Each of the Legions find ways to serve in those times of relative calm. Perhaps none quite as infamous as the Cullings of the Night Lords. Any world can be targeted for these periodic events but Hive Worlds and other places of consistent social strife and recidivist activities attract the VIII's attention. Usually the only warning a world gets is the Night Lords' grim battle cry transmitted across all frequencies and this message. "Leniency will be shown to those who come forward" Shortly after the Night Lords descend. Judging the world's population with the methodical cruelty of the Legion. Nobody is safe from the highest noble to the lowest gang-lord. The lucky ones are executed on the spot. After several weeks of this reign of terror the Astartes leave as quickly as they arrived. Leaving a planet terrified and free of its worst elements. An act a Grand Provost Marshal once compared to a forest fire. Utterly horrifying but necessary to keep a world safe and stable.

Battle Strategy and Equipment

Tactical Doctrine- Most of the Astartes Legions are skilled at decapitation strikes and playing the role of shock troopers. Few rival the Night Lords though in these methods of war. The Night Lords fight by hitting the enemy command with an absolutely devastating and frankly traumatic attack. Doing more than disrupting the chain of command, by sowing panic and terror that seeps through the enemy force. Few other Legions can match the Night Lords when fighting human foes. The Legion's grasp of terror warfare cowing all but the most insane humans. This weaponization of psychology leads some to assume the Night Lords are ineffective against non-human or fearless foes. While they are deprived of their chief blade, the VIII always has a few spares to fall back on. Guerrilla warfare, hit and run tactics, and surprisingly mobile armored attacks are put to good use by the Night Lords. In battle, the Night Lords keep the enemy off-balance and second-guessing every choice. Attacking in myriad ways as an ever-shifting army of shadows.

Weapons and Armor- Unsurprisingly the Night Lords prefer stealth-capable power-armor. Rarely using the Armor-Skeletons afforded to the Emperor's Angels. Instead relying on mobility, speed, and the element of surprise to protect them. Alongside the XIX Legion, the VIII was one of the first Legions to use the experimental Cameleoline plating for their armor. Granting their armor active camouflage properties that could be controlled by the Astartes. Other advanced stealth tech is practically ubiquitous in the Legion's arsenal, lending itself to their style of war. For weaponry, the Night Lords prefer the explosive destructive power provided by power weapons and bolters. The intimidating boom of shells and crackle of lightning claws are often the only warning a foe has that the Night Lords are attacking. Equipment to create traps, diversions, and disrupt enemy communications find heavy use in the VIII Legions. All used to sow fear and confusion among their enemies.

Fleet and Transport- The Night Lords ply the void in ships darker than space itself. Outfitted with inverted void shields and every manner of concealment technology. The VIII's Fleet fights in small but highly organized wolf packs, favoring strike cruisers and lighter craft. At the head of this sinister fleet is the Primarch's flagship, The Absence. A haunting beauty of a Gloriana Class Battleship virtually undetectable to all. Often a world's only warning of Konrad Curze's arrival is the sudden shadow cast upon their world by the decloaking Absence. Skimmer craft and jump-packs make up much of the Legion's terrestrial transport. With a small but elite Armored Division nicknamed the "Screamers" supplementing the Legion's style of warfare.

Trivia

The Night Lords have a long and strange friendship with the Tech-Priests of Mars' moons. Gaining access to some of the strange experimental weapons developed on Phobos and Deimos.

The VIII, XIX, and XX Legion share mutual respect and rivalry for each other. Konrad Curze and Alpharius Omegon in particular share a strange friendship. While Kota Ravenwing has a tense relationship with his brother.

A large and somewhat secretive garrison of Night Lords operates on Terra. Acting as powerful agents of the High Lords, working to keep the Throneworld stable. Rogal Mauer holds a special disdain for these "Blood-Soaked Bats" who stalk through the shadows of his world-keep.

The Auramite Order, a sub-order of the Gold Order founded to police the Astartes Legions. Has a bizarre relationship with the Night Lords. Working closely with them on punitive actions against straying Space Marines, while at the same time plotting ways to destroy the Legion if it ever gave into its darkness.

Jago Sevatarion of the VIII is considered one of the finest duelists in Imperial history. Rivaling the legendary Sigismund and the preternaturally strong Ezekyle Abaddon.

Sevatarion is also regarded with a measure of suspicion in such dueling circles due to his psychic powers and disregard for anything as trite as "honor" or "rules of decorum"

The Night Lords have an unusually close relationship with their serfs. With entire families of servants devoting themselves over multiple generations to a singular Astartes. They are treated with respect and given privileges beyond similarly ranked servants.

The Liber Umbra is a great tome of Prophecy penned by Konrad Curze. The few copies are kept in the most secure vaults the Imperium has. Because the book is a collection of worst-case scenarios, perfectly mapped out ways everything humanity holds dear can fall apart.

Blade Launchers reverse-engineered from Aeldari shuriken weapons are favored as secondaries by the Night Lords. The silent and vicious nature of the weapons suiting them.

Night Lord Garrisons are common on Hiveworlds. The Astartes act as violent protectors of the citizenry and even forming curiously close bonds with their mortal allies and aids.

The Night Lords and Dawn Angels are similar and incredibly different Legions. With overlap in many regards, but present near opposite faces to the Imperium at large. Each hiding part of themselves and fighting an internal struggle. This breeds a strange but close friendship between the Legions and Primarchs.


Xeno Horrificus: Rangda Wormships (Genus Vermideus)

Threat Level: Purgio- 1-5. Heavily reliant on escorts and support to function. Still a crucial and dangerous part of the Rangda Warmachine

Description: The Rangda Wormships is the penultimate expression of the Xeno-breed's use of biomechanical technology. A type of megastructure that defies physics and sanity. More akin to warp-born horrors than traditional void ships. Each Wormship possesses the ability to enter into the Warp and reenter the materium with surprising ease. Burrowing through space/time and exiting the Warp in a different star system. These machine-creatures can exist in two systems at once, forming a bridge between them. Its innards opening up to become an organic passage through the Warp. Displaying properties similar to the Webway and Orkish sub-space tunnels. Hinting to a possible shared origin in Old One technology. Even the smallest class of Worm has a carrying capacity comparable to an Imperial large scale mass-hauler. Letting entire armies and continents' worth of material be stored inside it. Wormships do not need to become bridges between systems and can simply move between them transporting their cargo safely. These specialized creature/ships allow some Rangda vessels to go without Warp Drive or similar systems, making for lighter and less detectable craft. Recovered remains of destroyed Wormships fall apart rapidly, implying warp-born influence in construction and maintenance. Limited examinations reveal the outer hide of the Wormship secretes a form of artificial ectoplasm that lubricates the ship's passage through the warp and even allows the creature/ship to passively feed on the Immaterium during its travels. The creature's digestive system/cargo hold is interestingly lined with a type of warp-interfering material. Possibly the metabolic byproducts and remains of Pariah-type beings. Individual Wormships differ vastly in appearance if not function. Displaying biomechanical decoration and modifications unique to it. This is believed to be a makers mark of some kind. Product of the Basemekanic (theorized Rangda technical caste) responsible for the Worms creation. After a worm's destruction little remains aside from a bioplastic skeleton and its traction hooks. Great spires of treated Blackstone that adorn the outer orifices of the Wormship. Which show the disturbing ability to lodge themselves in both the Warp and Realspace. Acting as a kind of anchor, preventing a Wormship from being pulled into the Warp while docked in two different systems. Attempts to salvage and repurpose this contaminated Blackstone are ongoing but showing little success. Ultimately a Wormship provides the Rangda with a stable and secure corridor through the Warp. Bypassing much of the Warps dangers in exchange for decreased speed and maneuverability. Creating a profoundly alien method of faster than light travel perfect for empire-building and territory consolidation.

Tactical Assessment: Wormships lack armament, usually equipped with little more than PD turrets and Rock-breaker weapons. Relying on its escort fleet for protection. Each Worm travels with a tender fleet of warp-capable War-barques that typically lack the more exotic weapons and equipment of their warp-incapable cousins. While its offensive power is negligible, its tactical importance is paramount. An active Wormship can move huge amounts of reinforcements between systems and prove remarkably difficult to damage. Heavily armored and capable of obscene regeneration while connected to the Warp, the Wormship shows durability few Imperial megastructures can match. A rare but not unheard of Rangda tactic is to use the Wormship as a kind of shield, letting the enemy focus its fire on it while the Xeno fleets strike back. The Wormship should not be ignored or focused on at the cost of everything else. Destruction of it is crucial to ultimate victory and the Rangda are aware of that fact. Aside from overwhelming firepower the best method of dealing with a Wormship is to attack its innards. Powerful ordinance detonated inside its digestive hold can rupture Xeno creature/ship. Dragging it and any passengers into the Warp. Overlapping shield systems covering the Wormships orifices attempt to prevent this but they can be punched through with enough firepower or inventive tactics. Lastly, the amount of time a Wormship can link two systems is inversely proportionate to its size. The smaller breeds can link systems for years before needing to relocate, the larger ones maybe a few Terran Days. Warpstorms and similar hazards don't seem to effect if a Wormship can connect two systems but they do appear to cut down on the time it can link them.

Reproduction and Lifecycle: Data is limited but it appears the construction of a Wormship is resource intense on the Rangda Empire and cannot be done quickly. Making them a limited but powerful asset. The creation of these creature/vessels takes place in the core worlds of the Rangda and combines elements of ship-building, mass cloning, and sorcery. Weaving together machines, flesh, and the Warps influence in a complicated mixture of ritual and manufacturing. Thankfully the Wormships lack the ability to reproduce individually and are one of the few examples of Rangda tech we can firmly classify as technology. Not a subspecies or servitor race like the vast majority of Rangda creations.

Variants:

Conquering Worm- The smallest and most stable breed of Wormship. Roughly the size of a small hive spire and capable of planetary insertion. Common throughout infested Rangda space acting as civilian ships. Transporting materials and populations through the Warp with disturbing ease. Some sub-variants like Gestators and Harvesters exist. Who are built to fuel the Xeno civilization with newly infected low-Rangda and raw resources respectively. Typically used to connect individual planets and act as transport hubs for the Rangda and their slaves.

Linker Worm- Slightly larger than an Imperial Battleship in diameter, these are the fleet-movers of the Rangda Kindred. Used to connect systems, acting as stable Warp-gates. The most common type of Wormship and lifeblood of Rangda transportation. Hardy enough to serve in military use but not designed for it. Heavier armored sub-variants more meant for combat do exist, but the majority of this breed is meant for civilian use.

Writhing One- Only encountered once during the attacks on the Rangda Coreworlds. A multi-headed Worm that can connect nearly a dozen systems at once. Acting as a transport hub for the Xeno Empire's heart. Theorized to be a unique creation or relic. Its individual heads were slightly larger than Linker Worms and its nexus was located entirely in the Warp. Much is still unknown about this variant and possibly might never be learned due to its destruction. Possible connection to the Webway theorized but insufficient data to prove or disprove.

Moon Swallower- Rarest and most dangerous type of Wormship. Large enough to move entire planets through its innards. Its arrival is thankfully predictable due to the Warp turbulence it stirs up. Signals the Rangda are committing fully to a battle. At the very least unleashing a massive Fleet and usually a War-Moon. Believed to only number a dozen or more, with each of the Seven Houses owning at least one, with the possible exception of House Kyugth. (more commonly known to Imperial records as the Slaugth.) First encountered by the Doomed Expedition Fleet-89.