BEASTSPAWN

Threatening to engulf the world through sheer weight of numbers are the Beastspawn whose heinous hybrid forms are a mockery of both man and beast. Tails, cloven hooves and furred hides mark them as animals, so too their horns, antlers and tusks, but their torsos, arms and hands are disturbingly humanoid. Their distressing appearance is outstripped by their nauseating smell, for Beastspawn smear themselves in urine and sleep and root in their own dung. They are vileness personified; what they cannot pillage they will destroy, what they cannot rape they will eat, and what they cannot corrupt they will desecrate. Beastspawn take female prisoners for they can mate with both humans as well as animals, quite in addition to their own slovenly brood-harlots. Their worship of the Urghast is played out in orgiastic rites of blood-drinking, brawling, torture, sacrifice and rutting beneath the sickly Amber Moon.

Although many Beastbrood are too warped to be definitively classified, three rough types of abomination can be discerned from their sheer size. Smallest and most spiteful are the hordes of man-sized Broodlings, whose agility and speed render their infected fangs a mortal threat; a man who is bitten and yet survives the battle will likely die in writhing agony or degenerate into a squirming, fleshy bag of noxious mutations. Far more formidable and intimidating are the Fomorians whose 8 ft (3 meters) height and brutish muscles are complemented by uncompromising ferocity. Fomorians form the backbone of the herd, rampaging through enemy ranks, rending guts, cleaving skulls and hacking off limbs with roaring growls. Towering over the Fomorians are the largest of the Beastspawn, named Minotaurs. Their massive bulk suggests that these mighty thewed killers are the perverse corruption of Ogres.

These three sub-species of nightmare are made up of bestial breeds distinguished by the dominant animal form defining their physical and mental characteristics such as: bulls for Oxataurs, goats for Ramscourge, deer for Stagogores, boars for Swinebrood, bison for Bisotaurs and canines for Kobalds. Breeds form packs of their own kind within a Beastspawn camp, and the larger the tribe, the greater the variety of breeds present. Impure progeny are spawned from interbreeding or formed by the continuous process of mutation. Men call these hybrids Mongrels; bizarre mixtures of multiple creatures – a sacrilege against nature.

Beastspawn may not be the most skilled of fighters, but what they lack in dexterity they make up for with strength, speed and ferocity! Besides an abundance of willing warriors, Beastspawn possess shamans, channelling the power of the Urghast to enhance comrades with beneficial mutations and to cripple enemies with deformities.

The psychic link with the Urghast robs the Banebrood of much self-control, and is most readily seen during the passage of the moons, for the Amber Moon Gironth is cloaked in dense concentrations of the Urghast force. All Beastspawn are irritable, vicious brutes but as the Amber Moon waxes to its full size every 48 days, the Beastspawn become increasingly more restless and violent. When full, Thera’s bloated, putrescent form hangs in the night sky like a sickly hag; then the Beastspawn go wild, and the tribal leaders lead the warriors out to find a target for their rage, lest the tribe rip itself apart.