Grotesques are large hulking constructs of muscle and bone made by everyone's favorite flesh sculptors, the Haemonculi. The origin of a Grotesque are typically prisoners from a Dark Eldar raid often involuntarily chosen as the Haemonculus next art project or other Dark Eldar who have been unwise enough to anger a Haemonculus. The process of becoming a grotesque is extremely long and painful. The victim is injected with growth elixirs, macrosteroids, and muscle stimulants. The victim's bonegrowth is driven into hyperactivity by the injection of osseovirals, resulting in external spines sprouting from the victim. Near the end of the process, perhaps many years later, the hands of the poor victim are replaced with metal claws or dripping tubes that can eject sprays of blood-ichor. At this stage of the transformation, grotesques are mostly lobotomised and so will mindlessly obey their Haemonculus master. Last of all, the victim's horrifying face is covered with a mask of black iron.
Grotesques are essentially the Dark Eldar analogues of Imperial Servitors. The fact that they are often lobotomized than face the horrors of becoming Batman's Bane means that the Dark Eldar are surprisingly reasonable in this regard, although only in terms of absolute loyalty rather then genuine pity. This isn't a hard and fast rule, and some Dark Eldar Homunculi are known to keep their Grotesques dimly aware so as to be aware of their own suffering, though gods help the unfortunate Kabalite who sticks around if such a Grotesque shakes its bonds for even a few moments.
Perhaps most chilling of all: Almost any humanoid species in the 41st millennium could, in theory, be mutated and surgically altered into a Grotesque. While the bulk of the Grotesques seen are either other Dark Eldar or captured humans, Tau, Eldar, and even theoretically Orks could be given sufficient alterations to turn them into a Grotesque. Although, considering how Ork biology works, trying to make one into a Grotesque might only turn it into a super Ork or something.
Some grotesques, perhaps the most ferocious of them, known as Aberrations, are granted by the Haemonculi some far more deadly weapons than their claws. These weapons are usually gauntlets or other integrated weaponry such as Flesh Gauntlets, Mindphase Gauntlets and/or a Monstrous Cleaver, as grotesques are likely too stupid to truly wield weapons.
In war grotesques are generally used as linebreakers. Grotesques are usually sent to front line of an attack force, as they will kill relentlessly until commanded otherwise. Grotesques are also reported to sometimes fight amongst themselves. Likely, the various steroids and stimulants flowing through their bodies are what send them into these berserk testosterone fueled rampages. A grotesque that has killed its fellows usually dies, though whether at the hand of its Kabalite or Wych allies, or some other reason altogether is unknown.
|Forces of the Dark Eldar|
|Command:||Archons - Haemonculi - Kabalite Trueborn |
Lhamaeans - Medusae - Sslyth - Succubi
|Troops:||Beastmasters - Commorragh Slaves - Grotesques |
Hellions - Incubi - Kabalite Warriors - Mandrakes
Scourges - Wracks - Wyches
|Beasts:||Clawed Fiend - Khymerae - Razorwing Flock - Ur-Ghul|
|Pain Engines:||Cronos Parasite Engines - Talos Pain Engines|
|Vehicles:||Raider - Ravager - Reaper - Reaver Jetbike - Venom|
|Flyers:||Raven Fighter - Razorwing Jetfighter |
Raptor Fighter - Voidraven Bomber
|Spacecraft:||Impaler Assault Module - Slavebringer Assault Boat|