A Hybrid is what happens when a Genestealer has done its 'business' with an impregnated victim before said victim starts to copulate and birth abominable spawns. Said spawns are called Hybrids and make up the majority of a Genestealer Cult.
As touched briefly on the Genestealer page, Purestrain Genestealers can only reproduce by infecting a victim with their genetic material. The gene-host survives as a healthy human being, but, upon becoming a parent, the gene-host's firstborn child is indelibly marked by the gene-infection and compels its parents to protect it with their lives with a powerful psychic bond. Once the child matures into a Human-Genestealer Hybrid, it can pass the infection on to other Humans, whose firstborn will also be born as Hybrids. It is only the firstborn child of infected parents that is a Human-Genestealer Hybrid; later offspring will always be normal humans, though they will be similarly slaved to their hybrid siblings (see also Brood Brothers).
The first generation Hybrids closely resemble Purestrain Genestealers. But, with each new generation of Hybrids, Genestealer traits give way to Human traits, until fourth generation Hybrids are all but indistinguishable from untainted Humans. However, a Hybrid will always display the Genestealer's primal instincts; these always remain in their genetic structure, and - no matter how Human in appearance - a Hybrid belongs to the Genestealer brood.
Purestrain Genestealers are totally incapable of passing as Human. Their multiple arms, bulbous heads, glaring eyes, and animal crouch give them away; no amount of clothing and make-up can disguise such characteristics. However, later generations, particularly the third and fourth, become more humanoid in appearance. Indeed, many Genestealers of advanced generations can appear as Humans at first glance, especially if wearing concealing clothing. However, as their sharp teeth and hypnotic eyes are somewhat of a giveaway, they tend to avoid speaking to strangers or looking at people straight in the face.
It follows that, in many ways, the later generation Hybrids are the most dangerous - they can move freely among Humans, passing on their terrible disease unnoticed. Somehow. Miraculously. Seriously, lore says various augmetics are common throughout the Imperium and most people have them, so anyone cutting you up to stick cybernetics or whatever in you either will notice you're seriously not human or will get blood test results saying you're not human. Woops!
Each hybrid generation possesses a somewhat specific anatomy. By infecting a victim with its genetic material, a Genestealer passes on some of its physical characteristics to the victim's first offspring. In the first generation, this gives rise to a Hybrid with a number of Genestealer traits. Through successive generations of Hybrids these traits become less extreme, until in the fourth generation the Hybrids can pass as normal Humans. Genestealer Aberrants can appear in any of the generations without warning as well.
- First generation: The first generation Hybrids are born to human (or otherwise) parents, one of which has been infected. Of all the generations they resemble Genestealers most closely. They have either three or four arms.
- Second generation: Second generation hybrids always possess three arms, one of which ends in the Genestealer claw. However, their skin starts to become smoother and more human-like.
- Third Generation: These hybrids possess bodies somewhere between the crouched bodies of Genestealers and the humanoid shapes of humans. They appear perpetually crouched, possess two or three arms, one of which might end in a Genestealer claw. Some lack the ovipositor of preceding generations; these are called drones or neuters, although they can still infect other races through their blood. The Primus and Nexos may appear in either this generation or the fourth, depending on the needs of the Genestealer cult. Kelermorphs also begin appearing here.
- Fourth Generation: This generation is virtually indistinguishable from members of the host species save for their hairless bodies and the slightly purplish tinge in their skin tone. They retain the hypnotic gaze of Genestealers, making them rather charismatic. A "mutant" which can appear among this generation is the Magus, which takes the highest position in a Genestealer Cult, besides the Genestealer Patriarch. If needed, other types of specialists such as the Clamavus, Biophagus, Sanctus, and Locus may also appear here. The first offspring of fourth generation hybrids are invariably purestrain genestealers, allowing the cycle to continue.
Purestrain genestealers and first and second generation Hybrids have no psychic powers except for their innate abilities, Hypnotic Gaze and Brood Telepathy (and the potential to mutate into a patriarch). Third and fourth generation hybrids, however, will often have additional psychic powers. Inherited psychic traits passed on from infected psykers in the hybrid's ancestry may become apparent in the near-human third and fourth generation hybrids.
Purestrains and hybrids can recognise human psykers when they find them. Genestealers are attracted to psykers, and share none of the normal human's prejudices against them, simply regarding them as exceptionally advanced specimens of the race. Consequently, the psykers in a community are often among the first to be infected by the stealer gene. This means that human psychic traits will pass into the gene pool of the hybrid brood, to be inherited by later generations. Thus, by the third and fourth generations, the hybrids can develop full psychic powers in addition to possessing the two innate abilities of genestealers. Note that without access to psychic genes in the host, a cult will have no psychics other than its patriarch - the stealer genes alone are unable to lend psychic talent to anything else.
Psychic hybrids ordinarily tap into the psychic energy and will of their patriarch, and by extension the Hive Mind. While they are genetically hardwired to be loyal, in theory they could be forced to fall to Chaos against their will, in which case they would tap that for power.
Acolyte Hybrids are Genestealer Hybrids spawned from the first to second generation, thus they looked more like the Genestealers than the host-parents. During a Genestealer uprising, Acolytes specializes in close quarters combat, mixing their already dangerous physique with that of added Imperial weaponry and industrial equipment. When the time comes to throw off the torn robes they use to disguise their foulness, the Acolyte Hybrids crawl up to the surface and into the sunlight, their grotesque faces twisted in subhuman glee. They display a bizarre blend of the species from which they hail – the speed of a Purestrain Genestealer twinned with human cunning is a potent combination. These hybrids fire off volleys of pistol fire, before descending on the enemy in a riot of claws, close combat weapons and screamed praise to their masters.
Those Acolytes closest to the Patriarch form his inner coven - forming a cold intelligence which helps temper their less-than-human behaviors and makes them powerful agents of the cult in the process. Having assimilated an echo of their parent’s brain during gestation, they are able to use complex machinery and weaponry; some even carry industrial tools to battle, wreaking devastation upon the flesh of those who stand before them.
The most intelligent and capable of the Acolyte Hybrids will be entrusted with a sacred duty: the bearing of the cult’s colors into battle. These creatures are known as Acolyte Iconwards.
Acolyte Hybrids are armed with close range weapons, thus they are equipped with autopistols, close combat weapons, blasting charges and rending claws as well as hand flamers, a heavy rock saw, a heavy rock drill (with backpack) and a heavy rock cutter to rip apart tanks and armoured vehicles of the defenders. Acolyte Leaders can be armed with a bonesword and a lashwhip.
Unlike the more grotesque Acolytes, Neophytes clearly come from third and fourth generation Genestealer Hybrids due to their more human looking qualities.
Of course, this is not often the case and is considered a broad generalization. In actuality, though they have a classic bipedal anatomy, their distended craniums, beetling foreheads and waxy pallor mean they are often seen as mutants, and are hence shunned and persecuted by the greater masses of the Imperium. Those of the fourth generation find it far easier to pass for human. Inveigling themselves into worker gangs, Administratum facilities, manufactorum shifts and hive networks.
While they lack in the extremely lethal claws of the Acolytes and more purestrains, Neophytes compensate for this with their specialization in ranged combat as their more human hands and dexterity allows ease in holding a gun. Because of how human they look, Neophytes exploit this by joining the Imperial Guard or Planetary Defense Force in order to 'loot or borrow' powerful Imperial weaponry, equipment and even vehicles into the Cult's arsenal. You'd think their odd appearance might turn a few heads, but most officers of the Guard are reluctant to look too closely into the background of soldiers that seem so obedient.
As they are more suited and trained in the Imperial Guard/PDF, Neophytes thus, work best in long range combat and are equipped with autoguns, autopistols and blasting charges as well as pump-action shotguns, sawn-off shotguns, seismic cannons, heavy stubbers or mining lasers to annihilate mass waves of infantry. A Neophyte Leader can be armed with a web pistol, autopistol or bolt pistol and a chainsword, power pick or close combat weapon.
On a more trivial note, due to their enhanced Tyranid musculature, Neophytes also serve as fine laborers, capable of toiling endlessly without complaint. This could partially explain why Genestealer Cults manage to somehow get a unlimited supply of mining and industrial equipment. They sure like flexing those heretical xenos muscles.
Hybrid Metamorphs are special types of Genestealer Hybrids that use weapons more commonly found on other Tyranid organisms. These Metamorphs scuttle forward with preternatural speed, weapon limbs thrashing and biomorphs pulsing with toxins. Spontaneously spawned in a cult’s later cycles, they are thought to be created when a Tyranid hive fleet nears a prey planet that is host to a Genestealer Cult.
When the day of the uprising arrives, it is the Hybrid Metamorphs that take pride of place upon the front line. In a storm of iron-hard claws, sinewy tentacles and slashing talons they crush and hack their way through everything in their path, an inspiration to the broodkin that worship them as sainted heroes of the cult. Essentially speaking, the closer a Hive Fleet is to the targeted planet, the more likely that first and second generation Hybrids would sprout nifty biomorphs. As such, to the greater cult, the Metamorphs mutations are seen as blessings of a higher power. Hybrid Metamorphs are worshiped as living saints by the infected hosts that sire them. In truth, they are created not by the Patriarch’s will, but by the immortal sentience of the Hive Mind.
Due to their flexibility, Hybrid Metamorphs gain weapons not commonly found on regular Hybrids such as Metamorph talons (read: Lictor talons), Carnifex crushing claws, and Warrior lashwhips. Other more common equipment for the Metamorphs includes autopistols, blasting charges, rending claws, feeder tendrils, hand flamers, a heavy rock saw, a heavy rock drill (with backpack) and a heavy rock cutter. Metamorph Leaders can be armed with a bonesword.
Though it is common for two of a Hybrid Metamorph’s weapon-limbs to become solely adapted for war, the third remains truly prehensile, able to manipulate complex machinery and utilize Human weaponry and technology.
A new and cool Genestealer Hybrid, also known as McSkree. This gun-slinging Hybrid looks like he just got dropped in a Western and told to 'blend in', or if you're into the classics, they would look like the lovechild between a Genestealer and Clint Eastwood. Seriously, with that poncho and pose, all it is missing is a cowboy hat.
Kelermorphs are a type of third-generation Genestealer Hybrid that specialize in killing the Cult's enemies in a blaze of high-caliber revolver fire from their Liberator Autostubs. The Kelermorph is a late refinement of the third generation cycle of Genestealer Hybrids, produced from the finest genetic strains of the local populace. They are gifted with hyper-sensory powers that allow them to perceive the world around them in acute detail and rapid-firing neurons allow them to react with supernatural speed. They also possess enhanced olfactory senses and infrared vision that allows for pinpoint marksmanship even in pitch darkness, and an enhanced inner ear for improved balance and coordination. If you are wondering how carrying three stub revolvers is going to matter in the 41st Millennium, it's a combination of a very competent wielder, inexplicably good guns, and explicably good bullets. Abused indentured workers who heard the legend of Billy Joe Kelermorph the Triple Gunslinger often risk their lives to smuggle traces of lethal chemical elements out of arms factories in order to fashion these into rare depleted volonium bullets for the Kelermorph's use. These bullets can pierce Power Armour and even the hulls of light tanks. While it's not fully explained how a stub revolver has the same range as a bolt pistol, not a standard stub revolver, that could easily be some combination of higher-end guns and the wielder's enhanced acumen. Not actually explained are how the damned things shoot at the same rate of fire as a lasgun or bolter, or how they do twice the damage of them. This begs the question of why the AdMech never bother to make these bullets for the autoweapons of the Imperial Guard if god-damned sweatshop workers could get the job done. It's not even the AdMech hoarding all the good shit for themselves like they always do; the only pistol the AdMech can make on par with this thing is a macrostubber, a gun so exotic only a dominus can carry one. The only other comparable pistol in the Imperium is an Eversor assassin's executioner pistol (which is admittedly better than it)! If sweatshop workers can build this shit from mere trace elements of their work and apparently somehow have the knowledge for it, then just what the fuck are they building at their factories?
Like an Acolyte Hybrid, the Kelermorph is less distinctly human and still possess three arms each ending in a humanoid hand. However, like the Neophyte Hybrid, it does not seem to suffer from being born with some Tyranid biomorphs and retains all three humanoid hands that, while bestial, are at least somewhat articulate in function. So basically, the Kelermorph likes to abuse the hell out of it. As they say, the more hands the merrier.
Because of their nature of being vintage cowboy knockoffs, these chaps like to go in alone with very little form of visible backup. Thus, these lone wolves either get shit done or have their own band of genestealer followers to get even more shit done. Many of them gain a reputation as folk heroes whose feats are whispered among anyone who's starting to distrust Imperial authority.
The most famous of these Kelermorphs goes by the name of Ghyrson Starn, who is such a famous Genestealer cultist that he has his own band of fanboys following him around. He leads the kill team known as Starn's Disciples, which is composed of Acolytes and Metamorphs. Yeah, it is both ridiculous and hilarious that we have canonical Genestealer idols. Next thing you know, the Hive Mind will be formulating some devious plan to create a legion of kawaii xenos insect girls to tempt the more weak-willed Imperial followers.
|Members of the Genestealer Cult|
|Cult Leaders:||Broodlord - Genestealer Patriarch|
|Specialists:||Biophagus - Clamavus - Jackal Alphus |
Locus - Magus - Primus - Nexos
|Cultists:||Abominants - Atalan Jackal - Brood Brothers |
Genestealers - Genestealer Aberrants - Sanctus
|Hybrids:||Acolyte Hybrids - Hybrid Metamorphs |
Neophyte Hybrids - Kelermorph Hybrids
|Familiars:||Alchemicus - Mindwyrm - Soulsight|
|Vehicles:||Achilles Ridgerunner - Chimera - Dirtcycle - Goliath Truck |
Leman Russ - Sentinel - Tectonic Fragdrill - Wolfquad