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The Hrud!

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Wade Hampton III

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The Hrud!

PostMon Nov 05, 2018 12:21 am

Donovan Walls, UMass Engineer, Aspergian Catholic, Honest, Uber Nerd, explains...

Let me tell you of a race so monstrous they destroyed a whole world just by marching
across it. A race so unstoppable they could outlast the stars themselves. Let me tell
you of the Hrud.
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A Hrud
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Aside from being one of the ugliest creatures to crawl out of the Warhammer 40k
universe the Hrud are also one of the deadliest. They are known for their infamous
“migrations” where millions of the creatures group together and travel from world
to world to establish a new home usually destroying anything in their path. But
what makes this so devastating isn’t the migration itself or even how the Hrud fight.
It’s more of what they are and how they affect the world around them.

The Hrud are in essence, creatures out time. They possess a strange connection to
reality, making them sometimes appear as shadowy or unidentifiable beings as though
they are in many places at once. This also has a catastrophic effect on their
surroundings. The Hrud innately possess an “entropic” field that causes rapid decay
to set in on everything surrounding them. Boulders erode to sand. Water boils away
into base hydrogen and oxygen. Livings things collapse into carbon dust. It’s as
though everything the Hrud approach ages a million years and then some. Infuriatingly
this makes in depth study of the Hrud and their culture (if they even have one) near
impossible. Their goals, origins and anything remotely resembling factual information
is bare and scarce.

The best information on them comes from a series of battles, most notably the
Cleansing of the Sak’trada Deeps during the final years of the Great Crusade. For
some quick background, the Iron Warriors Space Marine Legion had been dispatched to
the region of space as a massive congregation of billions of the Xenos had been
discovered there. It was the duty of the Iron Warriors to cleanse planets the Hrud
held, no matter the cost.
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Space Marine
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What happened next was an atrocious war. I’ll provide the highlights.

Conventional weapons proved almost useless. Often the missiles, artillery, bullets
and even blades and fists of the Iron Warriors disintegrated, exploded beforehand
or simply vanished before hitting their targets; aged millions of years into harmless
ash (Please note that hand to hand combat with Hrud is medically inadvisable). Hrud
weapons on the other hand, were more than capable of piercing Space Marine power
armor. The only guns that did serious damage against the Hrud were rare and highly
dangerous laser and plasma weaponry. The toll on the Legion was severe. Space Marines
could endure some of the Hrud’s aging effects due to genetic enhancements. The vast
majority of the legion’s unaugmented serfs though were turned into piles of dust in
mere weeks. One Iron Warrior was even aged almost 3000 years by his experience in the
war, making him the Space Marine equivalent of a crippled old man (something that was
thought impossible as gene treatments granted Marines a kind of pseudo immortality
like lobsters).

When the Iron Warriors finally DID manage a break through, the Hrud went crazy. The
Space Marines deployed an experimental stasis device that neutralized the Hrud’s
entropic field on the ground. Realizing they know faced potential defeat, the Hrud
scattered, thousands of their ships manifesting from nowhere, overwhelming the already
crippled Iron Warrior’s fleet. As part of the icing on the cake, the Hrud set off a
“temporal shock-wave” that blitzed the human fleet with random time effects. Some were
aged into dust, others de aged into children while many simply gained decades of life
from the experience. A lot of star-ships were destroyed as well, being aged ahead or
backwards millions of years. Even the solar system wasn’t spared the temporal shock-wave.
Planets collapsed in on themselves from billions of Hrud congregating on their surfaces.
The nearby star was even aged into a red dwarf, something that should take millions
of years occurred in the span of minutes.

It all ended when Iron Warriors actually “retreated” (though they would never admit
it) and abandoned the Sak’trada deeps and all surrounding systems to the Hrud. For
those unfamiliar, let me explain. In Warhammer 40k the Iron Warriors are the equivalent
of the half insane WW1 troops who stayed in trenches and charged the enemy lines again
and again for little to no gain. They were an army renowned for static and attrition
warfare, fighting to the last man and giving no quarter or thought to retreat. And
for them to do the Space Marine equivalent of fleeing with their tail between their
legs speaks volume as to how desperate they were to simply get away from the Hrud.

So that’s what I think is the scariest alien race. A race that can’t be stopped, that
ages everything around it into atoms and based particles of matter. A race that may
yet out live the decay of the universe because they represent entropy itself. The Hrud
are the absolute last creatures I ever want to meet in the depths of space.

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