PC Warhammer 40,000: Soulstorm


An Old Friend
The Dark Eldar

The Dark Eldar are the forsaken and corrupt kindred of the Eldar, an ancient and advanced race of elf-like humanoids. Their armies, like their Eldar counterparts, usually have the advantages of mobility and advanced technology, though they are often lacking in resilience and numbers. The Dark Eldar revel in piracy, enslavement and torture, and are sadistic in the extreme. Dark Eldar armies make use of various anti-gravity skimmers such as Raiders and Ravagers to launch high speed attacks. They strike with little or no warning, using an interdimensional labyrinth known as the Webway to traverse the galaxy safely and far more quickly than most advanced races are able to with their Warp jumps. The Dark Eldar are unique amongst the intelligent races of the Milky Way Galaxy because they do not live on a settled world or worlds, but rather in one foul city-state - the Dark City of Commorragh - that lies within the "ordered" Immaterium of the Eldar Webway. The Dark Eldar are mainly pirates and slavers who prey on targets across the galaxy to feed their unholy appetites for other sentient beings' souls, a terrible desire called the Thirst, though they are sometimes used as mercenaries by other species. The Dark Eldar are the living embodiments of all that is wanton and cruel in the Eldar character. Highly intelligent and devious to the point of obsession, this piratical people revel in the physical and emotional pain of others, for feeding upon the psychic residue of suffering is the only way they can stave off the slow consumption by the Chaos God Slaanesh of their own souls. The Dark Eldar, particularly their warrior castes, are tall, lithe, white-skinned humanoids. Their alabaster skin is death-like in its pallor, for there is no sun within their dark realm to provide colour. Their athletic bodies are defined by whipcord muscle, shaped and enhanced until they are superior to those of their Craftworld Eldar counterparts, as the Dark Eldar prize physical and martial prowess highly. Yet for all their physical beauty, the Dark Eldar are still repugnant monsters. When viewed with the witch-sight of a psyker, the Dark Eldar's black souls are revealed, for they eternally thirst only for the anguish and torment of other thinking beings in order to fill their own infinite emptiness.
The Sisters of Battle

The Adepta Sororitas, also known as the Sisters of Battle are an all-female division of the Imperial Cult's ecclesiastical organization known as the Ecclesiarchy or, more formally, as the Adeptus Ministorum. The Sisterhood's Orders Militant serve as the Ecclesiarchy's fighting arm, mercilessly rooting out corruption and heresy within humanity and every organisation of the Adeptus Terra. There is naturally some overlap between the duties of the Sisterhood and the Imperial Inquisition; for this reason, although the Inquisition and the Sisterhood remain entirely separate organisations, the Orders Militant of the Sisterhood also act as the unofficial Chamber Militant of the Inquisition's Ordo Hereticus. The Adepta Sororitas and the Sisters of Battle are commonly regarded as the same organization, but the latter title technically refers only to the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas, the best-known part of the organization. The Sisterhood serves as the Ministorum's only official military force because the Decree Passive laid down by the reformist Ecclesiarch Sebastian Thor held that in the wake of the Age of Apostasy of the 36th Millennium, the Ecclesiarchy cannot maintain any men under arms. This was supposed to limit the power of the Ecclesiarchy. However, the Ministorum was able to circumvent this decree by using the all-female force of the Sisterhood.

The Tau (Imperial binomial classification: Tau tau), known in their own language as the T'au, are a young, humanoid and technologically-advanced intelligent race native to the Eastern Fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy who are fighting to expand their interstellar empire and extend a philosophical concept they call the "Greater Good" (Tau'va in the Tau Lexicon) to all the intelligent species of the galaxy. The Tau claim to be a peaceful race when possible, asking if others will join their cause voluntarily instead of fighting against them. However, if their peaceful overtures are refused, the Tau may well decide to conquer a planet and add it to their growing interstellar empire for the Greater Good, searing the flesh from the bones of anyone who stands against their benign intentions. Tau society is divided into a number of castes, each responsible for managing a specific aspect of their society. The Tau's central motivating ideal is that everyone in their empire regardless of their species will work for the collective betterment of everyone else, an almost mystical philosophy they call the Greater Good.

The Tau are the central figures of the Tau Empire, an interstellar polity which is composed of several different intelligent species, primarily the Kroot of Pech, the Vespid of the world of Vespid and the nomadic Nicassar, though there are now several human Tau Septs derived from conquered Imperial humans or humans who voluntarily joined the Tau Empire because they were impressed by the concept of the Greater Good. These people are known as Gue'vesa in the Tau Lexicon and they are considered amongst the most vile of Traitors and Heretics within the Imperium of Man. The Tau are a relatively young race (it has been only 6,000 Terran years since Imperial Inquisitors first noted that the Tau had only just mastered fire and the wheel), and they have evolved rapidly over the past few millennia. Unlike other young intelligent races of the galaxy, the Tau have made remarkable leaps in technology and now represent a real threat to Imperial domination in their region of the galaxy.

The Necrons are a mysterious race of robotic skeletal warriors that have lain dormant in their stasis-tombs for more than 60 million Terran years and who are the soulless creations and former servants of the ancient C'tan, the terrible Star Gods of Eldar myth. The Necrons are ancient beyond reckoning, predating even the birth of the Eldar. At long last, however, they are beginning to awaken from their Tomb Worlds, for the galaxy is ripe for conquest and the restoration of the Necron Empire since the disappearance of the Old Ones more than 60 million standard years ago. The Necrons are a completely robotic humanoid species whose technological prowess is probably unmatched by any of the other intelligent species of the galaxy. Yet out of a desire for vengeance against the more fortunate long-lived ancient xenos race called the Old Ones, and the trickery of the godlike intelligences known as the C'tan, the Necrons shed their original organic forms and lost all forms of compassion and empathy, becoming ruthless, undying killing machines who are determined to exert their mastery over the galaxy once more.

Across the galaxy, an ancient and terrible race is stirring back to life. Entombed in stasis-crypts for millions of Terran years, they have slumbered through the aeons, waiting for the galaxy to heal from the wounds of a long and bloody war. Now, after sixty million years of dormancy, a great purpose begins. On desolate worlds thought long-bereft of all life, ancient machineries wake into grim purpose, commencing the slow process of revivification that will see those entombed within freed to stride across the stars once again. The unstoppable, undying Necron legions are rising. Let the galaxy beware.

All Necrons, from the lowliest of warriors to the most regal of lords, are driven by one ultimate goal, to restore their ancient ruling dynasties to glory and to bring the galaxy under their rule once more, as it was in ancient days. Such was the edict long ago encoded into the Necrons' minds, and it is a command so fundamental to their being that it cannot be denied. Yet it is no small task, for the Necrons are awakening from their Tomb Worlds to find the galaxy of the late 41st Millennium as recorded by the Imperial Calendar much changed. Many Tomb Worlds are no more, destroyed by cosmic disaster or alien invasion. Others are damaged, their entombed legions afflicted by slow madness or worn to dust by entropy's irresistible onset. Degenerate alien races squat amongst the ruins of those Necron Tomb Worlds that remain, little aware of the greatness they defile with their upstart presence. Yet there is no salvation to be found in such ignorance. The undying have come to reclaim their lands, and the living shall be swept aside.

Yet if billions of Necrons have been destroyed by the passage of eternity, countless billions more remain to see their dominion reborn. They are not creatures of flesh and blood, these Necrons, but android warriors whose immortal forms are forged from living metal. As such, they are almost impervious to destruction, and their mechanical bodies are swift to heal even the gravest wounds. Given time, severed limbs reattach, armour plating reknits and shattered mechanical organs are rebuilt. The only way, then, to assure a Necron's destruction is to overwhelm its ability to self-repair, to inflict such massive damage that its ancient regenerative systems cannot keep pace. Even then, should irreparable damage occur, the Necron will often simply "phase out" -- an automated viridian teleportation beam returning it to the safety of the stasis-crypts, where it remains in storage until such time as repairs can be carried out.

The sciences by which such feats are achieved remain a mystery to outsiders, for the Necrons do not share their secrets with lesser races and have set contingencies to prevent their supreme technologies from falling into the wrong hands. Should a fallen Necron warrior fail to phase out, it self-destructs and is consumed in a blaze of emerald light. Outwardly, this appears little different to the glow of teleportation, leaving the foe to wonder whether the Necron has finally been destroyed or has merely retreated to its tomb. Victory over the Necrons is therefore always a tenuous thing, and a hard-won battle grants little surety of ultimate victory. For the Necrons, defeats are minor inconveniences -- the preludes to future triumphs, nothing more. Immortality has brought patience; the perils that the Necrons survived in ancient times carry the lesson their race can overcome any opposition, if they have but the will to try. And if the Necrons possess only a single trait, it is a will as unbending as adamantium.

Only one hope can now preserve the other intelligent races of the galaxy from the Necrons' advance, from the endless legions of silent and deathless warriors rising from long-forgotten tombs. If the Necrons can be prevented from waking to their full glory, if the scattered Tomb Worlds can be prevented from unifying, then there is a chance of survival. If not, then the great powers of the galaxy will surely fall, and the Necrons shall rule supreme for all eternity -- undying, cruel and utterly implacable.
Blood Ravens

The Blood Ravens are a Loyalist Space Marine Chapter of unknown origins and Founding. The origins of the Blood Ravens are shrouded in mystery and are believed to be tied to a dark truth related to the Horus Heresy. This elusive Chapter has always been drawn to the pursuit of knowledge and the acquisition of ancient lore and produces an unusually high number of Librarians among its ranks as a high proportion of Neophytes develop psychic abilities soon after their implantation with the Blood Ravens' gene-seed organs. The powerful Blood Ravens Librarians guide the Chapter, enabling them to fight with a precision and calculated fury made possible by their ability to predict and thwart their enemy's strategies and tactics before they come to pass. These arcane powers have led to great speculation and some worry about the true nature and origins of this Chapter in the rest of the Imperium of Man.

As much as they are known for their bravery and combat efficiency, the Blood Ravens Chapter is also renowned for its obsession with recovering lost information and technology. These Battle-Brothers have repeatedly shown a willingness to accept non-traditional techniques and extreme approaches so that some lost relic or tome could be recovered and secured within their vaults. Their tendency to rely heavily upon a higher than normal number of psychically-talented Space Marines only serves to further differentiate the Blood Ravens from most other Chapters. Some members of the Adeptus Administratum believe that this reliance upon their psykers is a potential disaster, while others respect and fear the advantages these talented Battle-Brothers have repeatedly provided to their Chapter.
Imperial Army

The Imperial Army, known formally as the Excertus Imperialis and the Imperialis Auxilia, respectively, (the hosts of the Imperial Army and its auxiliaries) was the Imperial military force comprised of normal men and women that served as the ancestor of the modern Astra Militarum of the late 41st Millennium. Unlike the Imperial Guard, the Imperial Army contained ground, air and space assets all within the same table of organisation and there was no differentiation between space-based and ground-based branches of the service. The origins of the Imperial Guard date back to the time of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium when the Emperor of Mankind conquered a large swathe of the galaxy and forged the Imperium of Man. As the Great Crusade progressed and more worlds needed to be liberated, the Imperium's need for more troops increased dramatically. Even the mighty superhuman armies of the Legiones Astartes could not alone complete the task at hand.

It was therefore decreed that each of the liberated worlds would supply men-at-arms to bolster the war effort. Although not as powerful as the Space Marine Legions under the various Primarchs' command, the Imperial Army regiments were nevertheless useful additions to the Astartes' fighting strength. Unlike in the present-day Imperium, where the Imperial Guard serves as Mankind's front-line armed force in the defence of the Emperor's realm, the Imperial Army was never anything more than a reserve force for the Imperium during the Great Crusade, and its troops were usually tasked with garrison duty or mopping-up operations. Only in the last decades of that great campaign did Imperial Army troops finally fight directly alongside the forces of one of the ancient Space Marine Legions on campaign.

In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium, a great reform of the Imperium's bureaucratic and military structure was undertaken at the behest of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman. To prevent the possibility of a large-scale interstellar rebellion from consuming the human-settled galaxy again, the titanic armies of the Imperium were divided into three basic parts: the Space Marine Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, a ground-based force of mortal soldiers that would replace the fractured Space Marine Legions as the Imperium's front-line troops and a space-based service containing all of the Imperium's naval assets that was responsible for all space-related transport and combat duties. This reform led to the formation of the modern Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy.
Space Marines

The Space Marines or Adeptus Astartes are foremost amongst the defenders of humanity, the greatest of the Emperor of Mankind's warriors. They are barely human at all, but superhuman; having been made superior in all respects to a normal man by a harsh regime of genetic modification, psycho-conditioning and rigorous training. Space Marines are untouched by plague or any natural disease and can suffer wounds that would kill a lesser being several times over, and live to fight again. Clad in ancient Power Armour and wielding the most potent weapons known to Man, the Space Marines are terrifying foes and their devotion to the Emperor and the Imperium of Man is unyielding. They are the God-Emperor's Angels of Death, and they know no fear.

The Astartes are physically stronger, far more resilient and often mentally far removed from the lot of most normal human beings. In the presence of the Astartes, most people feel a combination of awe and fear, and many cultures on the more primitive worlds simply worship them outright as demigods or angels of the God-Emperor made flesh. They should feel so, for many Space Marines feel little compassion for those they have sometimes termed "mortals" in comparison to themselves, seeing the very people they were created to protect as little more than obstacles to a more efficient eradication of the Imperium's enemies. This is an attitude sometimes taken by whole Chapters. They see normal humans as frail, weak creatures given to the follies of temptation, avarice, greed, lust and cowardice -- all emotions they rarely feel, if ever. Yet there are some Astartes who remember why they were created by the Emperor, who avoid the trap of hubris which the Space Marines are so prone to and which has seduced so many of their number to serve the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. They are the final guardians of Mankind, the saviours of last resort.

They were intended not to lead humanity, but to defend it, sometimes even from itself. At the heart of that mission lies the limitless compassion the Emperor extended to every man and woman in the galaxy when He willingly chose to condemn Himself to more than 10,000 years of imprisonment within a dying prison of flesh for their sake. Some Astartes sneer at compassion, seeing it as one more human weakness that has been purged from their superior bodies and minds. But the wisest of the Space Marines know that in the end, compassion is their only salvation.

Potential Space Marines are usually, but not always, recruited from the worlds where a Chapter has established its fortress-monastery, although some Chapters are known to recruit from a collection of different worlds in an area of space that they protect or frequent. Recruiting methods vary from Chapter to Chapter. Some select their Neophytes from feral tribes roaming the surface of inhospitable worlds, while others draw upon eager volunteers who have been groomed from birth to become an Astartes. Still others watch and kidnap potential warriors, turning them into Astartes whether they will it or not. Whatever the method, all Space Marine Chapters will only accept those who successfully pass the grueling initiation trials and prove themselves worthy of becoming a Space Marine.

However a man becomes a Space Marine does not matter: once his body has been forged into that of a transhuman Astartes, he must forever stand apart from the people to whom he was once kin and who he is now sworn to protect. Once a man becomes a Space Marine, he is no longer mortal; his genetic heritage is now that of the Emperor Himself, and a spark of the same divine majesty flows in his veins.

There are approximately 1,000 Space Marine Chapters active in the Imperium of Man at any one time. A list to most of them can be found here. This number has stayed relatively constant since the Second Founding in the 31st Millennium following the Horus Heresy when the First Founding Space Marine Legions were broken up. However, the exact population of Astartes in the galaxy remains far from exact and may fluctuate widely depending on the time period and the circumstances confronting the Imperium.
Dark Eldar

The Dark Eldar, referred to as the Eladrith Ynneas, or, in more recent days, as the Drukhari in the Eldar Lexicon, are the forsaken and corrupt kindred of the Eldar, an ancient and highly advanced alien race of fey humanoids. Their armies, like their Eldar counterparts, usually have the advantages of mobility and advanced technology, though they are often lacking in resilience and numbers. The Dark Eldar revel in piracy, enslavement and torture, and are sadistic in the extreme. Dark Eldar armies make use of various anti-gravity skimmers such as Raiders and Ravagers to launch high speed attacks. They strike with little or no warning, using an interdimensional labyrinth known as the Webway to traverse the galaxy safely and far more quickly than most advanced races are able to with their Warp jumps. The Dark Eldar are unique amongst the intelligent races of the Milky Way Galaxy because they do not live on a settled world or worlds, but rather the bulk of their population is concentrated in one foul city-state -- the Dark City of Commorragh -- that lies within the "ordered" Immaterium of the Eldar Webway. The Dark Eldar are mainly pirates and slavers who prey on targets across the galaxy to feed their unholy appetites for other sentient beings' souls, a terrible desire called the Thirst, though they are sometimes used as mercenaries by other species.

The Dark Eldar are the living embodiments of all that is wanton and cruel in the Eldar character. Highly intelligent and devious to the point of obsession, these piratical people revel in the physical and emotional pain of others, for feeding upon the psychic residue of suffering is the only way they can stave off the slow consumption by the Chaos God Slaanesh of their own souls. The Dark Eldar, particularly their warrior castes, are tall, lithe, white-skinned humanoids. Their alabaster skin is death-like in its pallor, for there is no true life-giving sun within their dark realm to provide colour. Their athletic bodies are defined by whipcord muscle, shaped and enhanced until they are physically stronger on average than their Craftworld Eldar counterparts, as the Dark Eldar prize physical and martial prowess highly. Yet for all their physical beauty, the Dark Eldar are still repugnant monsters. When viewed with the witch-sight of a psyker, the Dark Eldar's black souls are revealed, for they eternally thirst only for the anguish and torment of other thinking beings in order to fill their own infinite emptiness. Unlike their Craftworld Eldar cousins, the Dark Eldar do not integrate their still powerful latent psychic abilities into their culture, and indeed have a great disdain for psykers of any kind. This is because for the Dark Eldar, the use of psychic abilities would only further draw the attention of She Who Thirsts (Slaanesh) upon them, and their souls are already at risk enough of being devoured by the Prince of Chaos.

The Orks, also called Greenskins, are a savage, warlike, green-skinned race of humanoids who are spread all across the Milky Way Galaxy. They share many features with Warhammer Fantasy Orcs (and were initially called "Space Orcs" to distinguish them). They are seen by their enemies (pretty much everyone else in the universe) as savage, warlike, and crude, but they are the most successful species in the whole galaxy, outnumbering possibly every other intelligent race, even Mankind (with the very plausible exception of the Tyranids).

Greenskins are one of the most dangerous alien races to plague the galaxy. Numerous beyond belief and driven always to fight and conquer, the Orks threaten every single intelligent species of the galaxy. Orks are possibly the most warlike aliens in the 41st Millennium, and their number is beyond counting. Amid constant, seething tides of war and bloodshed, burgeoning Ork stellar empires rise and fall. Mercifully most are short-lived, soon destroying themselves in a maelstrom of violence and internecine conflict, but should the Orks ever truly unify, they would crush all opposition.

The Orks' unquenchable thirst for battle has always proved their downfall: historically, the Ork tribes have spent much of their time fighting amongst themselves, waging brutal wars with only the strongest surviving. On occasion, an Ork leader will emerge who is mighty enough to defeat his rivals and unite the warring tribes. His success draws other tribes to him, and soon a great WAAAGH! is underway -- partly a migration, partly a holy war that can exterminate the populations of entire star systems. When the Orks are on the rampage, the galaxy trembles, and in these dark days of the End Time, there are more WAAAGH!s rising than ever before recorded.

The Tyranids are an extragalactic composite species of hideous xenos that is actually a space-faring ecosystem comprised of innumerable different bioforms which are all variations on the same genetic theme. The Tyranid race is ultimately dedicated solely to its own survival, propagation and evolutionary advancement. The Tyranids collectively form a monstrous superorganism that travels across the universe in their great Hive Fleets of biomechanical Hive Ships, systematically consuming all other biomatter to enable its own rapid evolution and reproduction. All Tyranid organisms are synaptic (psychically-reactive), and each Tyranid creature within a Hive Fleet shares and contributes to a communal Hive Mind, which allows the trillions of beings comprising the Tyranid Hive Fleets to communicate and organise instantaneously on a staggering scale.

The mentality of the Tyranid approach to warfare can be described with the phrase "quantity has a quality all its own". From the "lowly" Ripper, to the deadly Hive Tyrant and beyond, the signature of the Tyranid species is that they overwhelm their foes with sheer numbers, reproducing massive numbers of highly virulent organisms in record time from the biochemical soup that they derive from the biospheres of the worlds that they consume. The components of a Tyranid Hive Fleet travel almost exclusively in large groups known as swarms that possess specialized biomechanical creatures for destroying and consuming a wide variety of prey life forms. Tyranids have evolved sophisticated methods for facilitating genetic transfer across species boundaries. As a result, a significant goal of any Tyranid invasion is acquisition of useful new biological traits from other lifeforms. These are used by the Hive Mind to enhance the Tyranids' effectiveness in consuming new worlds to gain more of the necessary organic raw materials for further reproduction. All Tyranids are reproduced by a single, highly intelligent female bioform known as a Norn-Queen. A Hive Fleet's Norn-Queens are the most important Tyranids within the fleet, for if they are injured or killed the Tyranids cannot reproduce their numbers from the captured bio-mass. As a result, Norn-Queens can be found only at the heart of the largest and most-well defended Tyranid Hive Ships.

The Tyranids were initially described in the 1st Edition of Warhammer 40,000 (Rogue Trader), with their basic form not too different from that used today. Their only additional troop type was an enslaved alien race, the Zoat. At that time they were not an important race in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. In later editions they became a playable faction in their own right, and it was revealed that the Genestealers (first popularized in Space Hulk) were in fact part of the advance reconnaissance element of the main Tyranid Hive Fleets.
The Manifold Dangers of the Alien

Although the potential threats posed to humanity and the Imperium by alien influences are many and varied, the doctrine of the Ordo Xenos defines five broad avenues by which the xeno can afflict mankind:

  • The Threat of Discord - Perhaps the most insidious threat the alien can pose to the Imperium is through the deviancy of its ways and ideas, exposure to which might inspire envy, apostasy, or even adoration, leading humanity away from the Imperial fold and into heresy and rebellion. The Imperial Creed is the greatest weapon against such wrong-thinking. But the further from the centres of civilization one goes, the more the risk of mental and moral contamination increases.
  • The Threat of Temptation - The alien is a thing of lies and false promises, offering gifts and trinkets, powerful technology, or alliances -- all of which are ready lures for the weak-minded, avaricious, or infirm of faith. There is a shameful roll call of traitors and deviants who have succumbed to such temptations in the past. The dubious treasures and lost secrets of xeno-civilizations long extinct can hold equal threat for those who disturb their resting places.
  • The Threat of Corruption - The alien can pose a threat of bodily taint and corruption just as easily as the powers of the warp. This taint may take the form of parasitism for the purpose of vile promulgation of its own species or to appease its hunger, such as with the Lacrymole. Alternately there is the crime of transgenic blasphemy; the deliberate combination of human and nonhuman DNA or tissue falls into this category.
  • The Threat of Dominion - Some xeno-forms have dark powers to dominate and control humanity by psychic or other means, perhaps even forcing others to worship them as false gods. Abhorred creatures such as the Nostrafex, the Simulacra, and the Cryptos pose insidious and subtle dangers, turning humans against their own and treating them as little more than cattle or playthings.
  • The Threat of Destruction - Some aliens seek to invade, conquer, and destroy by overt means, from the murderous swathes cut by great Ork Waaaghs to the invasions of the enigmatic Thyrrus. Likewise, some non-sentient species, be they dangerous predators like the feared Void-Cacaradon or ecology-destroying vermin such as the Xothic Blood Locust, are simply too hazardous to be allowed to live whenever encountered.
Minor Xenos Races
Not all sentient species are posed to seize the galaxy for themselves. Hundreds have failed to even prevent their own extinction. Despite this, the galaxy continues to offer a great diversity of alien life in a myriad of forms, all struggling to survive and leave their mark in an increasingly hostile and cruel universe. Below is listed a sample of some of the extinct and still-existing minor xenos species that inhabit the Milky Way Galaxy:

  • Demiurg - An intelligent alien race of short, stocky humanoid traders and asteroid miners, they are almost purely space-borne in their massive and majestic commerce vessels. Their history is unconfirmed, as are their origins, intentions and current threat to others. All that is known about them is based at best on speculation. The Demiurg are known to have allied with the Tau, serving as trading partners of the Tau Empire. They were initially introduced to the Tau via their mutual relations with the Kroot. From the Demiurg, the Tau acquired their knowledge of Ion Cannon technology, which is now heavily used by the Tau in their armies and fleets. Two Brotherhoods of Demiurg, the Srry'Tok and Thurm, are known to have joined the Tau Empire outright.
Minor Xenos Races...

  • Diasporex - The Diasporex was a nomadic civilisation of humans and aliens who lived aboard a vast collection of starships, maintaining a network of hydrogen collector space stations around various stars to fuel their vessels' power generators. They had been prowling the depths of space since the Age of Strife and their lifestyle may have evolved as a reaction to the horrors of that time on many human-settled worlds. During the last days of the Great Crusade in the early 31st Millennium, the Iron Hands Legion encountered the fleets of the Diasporex. The Iron Hands offered the human members of the Diasporex the opportunity to separate from their alien allies and to join the Imperium of Man. They declined, and so under standing Imperial orders had to be destroyed as a potential threat to the nascent Imperium. In the months that followed, the Iron Hands Legion fleet tried to destroy the Diasporex, but their fleets proved to be highly skilled and experienced in naval warfare: they easily evaded multiple fleet engagements initiated by the Astartes and even managed to damage an Iron Hands Cruiser. At this point, the Emperor's Children Legion was called in as reinforcements for the Iron Hands. The combined Astartes force eventually made the discovery that the Diasporex used hidden space stations to collect hydrogen fuel from various local stars, which was the reason they had remained in that sector of space rather than just fleeing from the Imperial forces. The Space Marines assaulted these stations and thus forced the Diasporex fleet into open battle to protect them, where they were defeated. A brief shipboarding action occurred, in which the Emperor's Children Captain Solomon Demeter stole the glory of seizing the Diasporex flagship from the increasingly corrupted Primarch Fulgrim. The final words of the alien Diasporex flagship captain were, "We only wished to be left alone."
  • Galg - The Galg are a frog-like amphibious alien species who often serve as mercenaries for the Tau Empire. Members of the Galg race are covered in green scales and appear to most humans as large, humanoid frogs. The Tau Empire normally maintains a small number of Galg mercenaries within their ranks but Galgs can be found in the employ of many different factions across the galaxy as long as the price is right. As with most alien species, the Galgs hate Mankind, even when humans serve as their employers, because of the Imperium's intolerance for all intelligent alien races.
Minor Xenos Races...

  • Khrave - The Khrave are a dangerous species of psychically-gifted xenos that act like slavers and have been plaguing the human race since the earliest days of the Great Crusade. Believed to have risen during the Age of Strife, little is known of the physical appearance of these aliens as all accounts of their human encounters with them emphasise the Khrave’s psychic abilities and their dreadful technology. The Khrave are psychic leeches, feeding on the minds and souls of subjugated human worlds they infiltrate and subdue. The Khrave also seem to possess some kind of natural affinity with the Warp as their preferred weapons are so-called warp-glamours, blades forged from solidified matter of the Immaterium, easily able to cleave through Power Armour. The oldest and strongest Khrave encountered by the Imperium are said to have been able to rival a Primarch in bulk, although these exemplars are thankfully rare.
  • Kinebrach - The Kinebrach were a species of simian-like humanoid aliens who co-existed with the humans of the Interex culture before the Great Crusade. Long before humanity had spread across the stars from their homeworld of Terra, the Kinebrach ruled a large and mighty interstellar empire. However, by the time the humans of the Interex made first contact with them, the Kinebrach empire was old and decaying. The Kinebrach, rather than go to war against a more vibrant and powerful species, decided to ally themselves with humanity instead. Thus, the Kinebrach were taken under the wing of the Interex, with certain limitations placed upon them. The foremost of these was that no Kinebrach was allowed to carry arms, except in times of war. Those Kinebrach in the Interex military served as shock troops due to their strong, stocky build, which was similar to that of a bipedal gorilla. Kinebrach technology, at the time of the Interex's first contact with the Imperium of Man, was very advanced, in some ways more so than than that of the Imperium at its height - though their military technology lagged somewhat behind - and this was one of the reasons the Interex was able to progress so quickly as a culture.
  • Kroot - The Kroot are a species of savage humanoids who are a member species of the Tau Empire and who evolved from avian precursors. A unique feature of the Kroot is that they evolve by selecting traits of their defeated foes to absorb by eating them, unleashing the only known form of Lamarckian selection ever discovered by the Imperium among a xenos species. Kroot who prey extensively on a particular species will begin to take on the anatomical and mental characteristics of that creature. When absorbing the DNA in this manner of sentient species such as Orks and humans, they may also take on cultural aspects of that race as well. In order to gather genetic material from all over the galaxy, the Kroot offer themselves as mercenaries, and sell their services to anyone willing to pay them. They travel the galaxy taking limited contracts from both major and minor races and are regularly employed by the Tau.
Minor Xenos Races...

  • Laer - The Laer were a non-humanoid reptilian species dedicated to the worship of the Chaos God Slaanesh who in appearance were wildly diverse, engineered for each particular theatre of war or cultural function. There were winged, aquatic and all manner of other variations on the basic serpentine Laer form. They were often tall and sinuous, with a snake-like lower body common to their species, and muscular thoraxes sheathed in silver armour, from which sprouted two pairs of limbs. The upper arms bore long, lightning-wreathed power blades, while the lower arms wielded crackling gauntlets that fired lethal green energy bolts. Their heads were insect-like and bulbous, with glossy, multi-faceted eyes and jutting mandibles that produced a grating screech when they attacked. The Laer were first encountered by the Emperor's Children Legion's 28th Expeditionary Fleet during the Great Crusade, concentrated in a single star system on a single homeworld completely covered by a global ocean called Laeran (officially codified in Imperial records as Twenty-Eight-Three). Like the Emperor's Children themselves, the Laer prized perfection in all aspects of life. By the use of chemical and genetic manipulation from birth, individual Laer were best adapted to their cultural roles, whether they be workers, soldiers, diplomats, or even artists. The Primarch Fulgrim refused any notion of co-operation with the aliens, for as Imperial doctrine proclaimed, only humanity was perfect. For an alien race to hold its own ideals to be comparable to those of humanity was blasphemy in its most blatant form, and deserved nothing less than annihilation. In a brutal and bloody campaign the Emperor's Children wiped out the Laeren race. However, the members of the 28th Expedition who investigated the Laer's primary place of worship, a great temple dedicated to the Laer aspect of Slaanesh, were corrupted by the touch of Chaos. Over the next several months and years, Fulgrim and his III Legion -- indeed all those humans who had been exposed to the touch of the Prince of Pleasure on Laeran -- were transformed unknowingly into the sadistic and hedonistic servants of Chaos who joined with Horus in his rebellion against the Emperor.
  • Megarachnids - The Megarachnids were a sentient race of non-humanoid xenos resembling giant spiders that resided in the early 31st Millennium on the planet Murder, more formally known as Urisarach and One-Forty-Twenty. An extremely hostile alien species, they were an old enemy of the non-Imperial human Interex civilisation who, instead of committing xenocide, had exiled the surviving members of the species to the world they called Urisarach as an act of mercy. The Megarachnids were stripped of their interstellar travel capabilities, and weather control devices that created powerful atmospheric disturbances and interfered with Vox communications were constructed by the Interex in the shape of large "trees" across the planet to deter vessels from landing on Murder. A campaign of extermination was waged against them by the forces of the Imperium of Man many years later during the Great Crusade after several companies of Space Marines were lost to the Megarachnids' latent hostilities during the initial Imperial investigations of the planet. The war proved costly in Astartes lives, but seemed to be making steady progress by the sixth month. The campaign came to an abrupt end when the Interex arrived to see who was disturbing the Megarachnids' reservation world and first contact occurred between the Interex and the Imperium, as represented by the Warmaster Horus. Whether or not the campaign was continued after the destruction of the Interex by the Imperium in the final days of the Great Crusade is unknown, and the ultimate fate of this species is unrecorded in any existing Imperial records.
  • Nicassar - The Nicassar are a non-humanoid, ursine-like xenos species of powerful psykers who are allied with the Tau. The Nicassar are driven by an insatiable curiosity to explore and travel across the galaxy. It was this drive which led a flotilla of Nicassar Dhows to make contact with the Tau, resulting in the Nicassar becoming the first non-Tau race to become an addition to the fledgling Tau Empire. Their contribution to the Greater Good is the provision of starships for the Tau Navy, particularly vessels involved with reconnaissance and exploration duties, which are often crewed by the Nicassar themselves rather than the Tau Air Caste. The propulsion and navigation of all Nicassar vessels stems from the potent psychic powers that define the Nicassar species. For this reason, the Tau have been careful to prevent the Imperium of Man, which is known for its extreme persecution of psykers, from discovering the existence of the Nicassar within their empire. The Nicassar are utilised by the Tau only for spacefaring; their own limited mobility makes them highly ill-suited for ground combat.
Minor Xenos Races...

  • Rak'Gol - The Rak'Gol are vicious xenos marauders and a relatively new threat within the Koronus Expanse of the Halo Stars adjacent to the Calixis Sector. The species was encountered by the Imperium first in the dim stars past the Alenic Depths in the 8th century of the 41st Millennium. A xenos breed of which little is known for fact, they take the appearance of rough-hewn and irregular stone reptilids, eight-limbed and over three metres long. Chalky white in colour and mantis-like in bodily arrangement, Rak'Gol warriors favour cybernetic augmentation to increase their abilities and replace lost limbs. Their point of origin remains unknown, as does the motivation for their sporadic attacks on human-held worlds and vessels, other than to slaughter indiscriminately and steal minerals and weapons. Their rasping, screeching language remains incomprehensible, and no successful communication between the Rak'Gol and humanity has been recorded; no Rak'Gol has ever been captured alive. Indeed, even their name is taken from children's stories of mythical monsters from the settlement of Footfall's slums, legends which they superficially resemble.
  • Tarellians - The Tarrelians are a minor reptiloid species. Anatomically they are narrow-waisted and possess broad shoulders, while they stand slightly shorter on average than humans. Because of their long snouts and their predilection for working as mercenaries, they are often referred to as Tarellian "Dog-soldiers" by humans. During the Great Crusade, Imperial Expeditionary Fleets virus-bombed most of the Tarellian homeworlds, almost wiping out the entire species. This has resulted in the Tarellians bearing a grudge and eternal enmity towards the Imperium that has lasted for ten millennia. In 998.M41, a Tarellian civilisation was devoured by the Tyranid Hive Fleet Moloch during its advance from the galactic north and the Kiltor Sector.
  • Tushepta - The Tushepta are an alien race spoken of during the Great Crusade by the Warmaster Horus during his debriefing of Loken, the Captain of the Luna Wolves' 10th Company, after one of his Space Marines became a Daemonhost during a battle with the last of the insurgents on planet 63-19.
  • Vespid - The Vespid are a vaguely insectoid species, though this narrow term is an imperfect one that fails to account for many aspects of their unusual physiology. Their bodies are encased in a chitinous exoskeleton and sport many lethally sharp barbs. They see by way of three pairs of eyes, one pair perceiving the ultraviolet range, one the normal visible spectrum, and the last the infrared. It is assumed that the Vespids see in all three ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum simultaneously, and therefore have a perception of their surroundings unique to their race. Vespids can fly by way of a pair of hard chitin wings, which also emit a continuous ultrasonic tone with which the species appears able to modulate and control the workings of their crystal-based technology. The Vespids are a member species of the Tau Empire.
Abhuman Species

In the long millennia since Mankind first began to settle amongst the stars, some human colonists have deviated to a great degree from the base-line human genome due to exposure to the alien environments of their homeworlds and long centuries of isolation from the rest of humanity during the Age of Strife. These sub-species of humanity often differ in physical and cultural terms from the human baseline to such an extent that they are almost as inhuman as true xenos. These variant human sub-species are generally referred to by the Administratum as Abhumans.

  • Interex - The Interex was a highly advanced interstellar human civilisation that existed across some thirty star systems at the time of the Great Crusade in the early 31st Millennium. The Interex, unlike the Imperium of Man, had decided that the best way to deal with intelligent alien species was not to exterminate them or make war upon them, but to try and coexist with them. In fact, the Interex had become the close allies and nominal overlords of a simian alien species called the Kinebrach who they had integrated into their own society. The Interex ultimately became enemies of the Imperium after hostilities between the two human civilisations began when the Interex accused a diplomatic party of Luna Wolves led by the Warmaster Horus of breaking into their Hall of Devices, a museum on the Interex world of Xenobia dedicated to weaponry, and stealing a prized Kinebrach blade called an Anathame that was known to have links to Chaos. The Interex believed that the Imperium was allied to Chaos (which they called "Kaos") and never knew that the weapon had in fact been stolen by First Chaplain Erebus of the Word Bearers Legion, who had been with Horus' diplomatic party. Unknown to Horus, Erebus and the Word Bearers Legion had already turned to the worship of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. The powers of the Warp had informed Erebus and his Primarch Lorgar that if they wished to bring Horus over to the side of Chaos, then they would need the Kinebrach Anathame. The Interex civilisation was ultimately wiped out by the Luna Wolves, following the commencement of hostilities between the two human factions on the night Erebus stole the Anathame.
Abhuman Species...

  • Ogryn (Homo sapiens gigantus) are a huge and physically powerful Abhuman mutant subspecies of humans, often employed as shock troopers in the Imperial Guard by the Imperium of Man. Ogryns possess many traits prized by the Imperium; they are brutally strong and completely loyal, although extremely limited intellectually, which limits their battlefield role to simple and direct assaults. They come from cold and barren planets in the galaxy with high gravity, such as Anark Zeta, which is why they appear larger, heavier and bulkier compared to baseline humans. An Ogryn's speech is much the same as an Ork's. The most famous Ogryn in Imperial service is Nork Deddog.
  • Olamic Quietude - The Olamic Quietude was a technologically advanced cybernetic human civilisation that had been founded during the Dark Age of Technology and over the course of 15,000 standard years merged themselves so completely with their advanced technology -- as a possible result of the influence of unknown xenos -- that there was little left of them that could be considered truly human. The Quietude lived in vast and deep techno-hive cities protected by an artificially-extended icecap on their unnamed homeworld, an otherwise lifeless but heavily defended planet. They were encountered by the Imperium of Man's 40th Expeditionary Fleet near the end of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium, and utterly annihilated by the 3rd Great Company of the Space Wolves Space Marine Legion, another of the Abhuman pretenders to the human future wiped out by the forces of the Emperor of Mankind.
  • Ratlings (Homo sapiens minimus) are small, loud, hungry and lecherous Abhumans. Ratlings are granted full Imperial citizenship despite their mutant status and in the past have often served in the Regiments of the Imperial Guard. However, they are still distrusted by the more Puritanical members of the Inquisition.
  • Squats (Homo sapiens rotundus) - The Squats are a short, stocky and physically hardy Abhuman sub-species of Mankind who were adapted to the heavy gravity conditions that predominated on the worlds they had settled near the core of the Milky Way Galaxy. Of all the Abhuman types encountered by the Imperium, they most closely resembled baseline humans. Squats were the descendants of baseline humans who had colonised the worlds around the galactic core in the far distant past of the Dark Age of Technology. These worlds are some of the oldest in the galaxy, formed when the galaxy's structure had not yet been fully stabilised. The Squat species was ultimately destroyed by the invasion of a Tyranid splinter Hive Fleet that consumed their homeworlds in the late 41st Millennium, though some survivors still see service with the Imperial Guard, hoping for revenge and to find a new beginning for the remnants of their race.

PC Game List:
Space Crusade 1992
Space Hulk 1993
Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels 1995
Final Liberation 1997
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate 1998
Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War 1999
Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior 2003
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2004 (My first experience with the game)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Winter Assault 2005
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Dark Crusade 2006
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Soulstorm 2008 (Still playing)
Warhammer 40,000: Glory in Death 2006
Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command 2007
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising
2010 (still playing)
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution 2011 (still playing)
Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team 2011
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2011
Space Hulk 2013
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon 2014
Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf 2014
Warhammer 40,000: Carnage 2014
Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance 2014
Warhammer 40,000: Regicide 2015
The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault 2015
Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch Tyranids Invasion 2015
Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion 2015
Eisenhorn: Xenos 2016
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2016 (considering buying but can't find a demo)
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade 2016
Space Hulk: Deathwing 2017
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr 2017
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III 2017
Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach 2017