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Q'Orl Swarmhood
Imperial Q'Orl Flag.png


Official Languages

Q'Orl Lexicon


Great Power


Eye of Terror-Sized

Head of State

Q'Orl Queen

Head of Government

Q'Orl Queen

Governmental Structure

Totalitarian Kypselocratic (aka hive-ruled) Absolute Monarchy

State Religion/Ideology

Superiority of the Swarmhood



Military Force

Q'Orl Forces

The only picture we have of the Q'Orl. All dissected and examined. If they continue to expand as usual than the future will be a massive bug war between the Q'Orl and the Nids.

The Q'Orl are a insectoid hive race that is noticeable for having a substantially big empire. With the emphasis on BIG. Out of all the xenos out there, the Q'Orl has the largest self-sustaining government; where others such as Orks are extremely disorganized with tons of infighting, and the majority of the Necron Dynasties are still having their eons-long rest, the Q'Orl are the only ones with the ambition of becoming the next galactic superpower. You may ask, "But what about the Tau?", but with the Weeaboos sandwiched by the Imperium and Tyranids, fighting their own splinter faction, and struggling to keep hold of their measly two dozen planets all the while (thanks a lot, 'Nids), in all honesty the Tau have little hope in actually becoming a major polity through directly military means. By that token, starting size is only a moderate inconvenience to empire building if you've got advanced enough tech behind you (e.g. the British Empire), so they can't be counted out.

The Q'Orl, on the other hand, not only have their incredibly large territory (as in "big enough to take up a visible chunk of the galactic map") located in the Segmentum Pacificus just a block or two away from Holy Terra, but they also have highly advanced technology, heavy fire power, extremely fast reproduction rates surpassing humanity by a long shot, and even future plans for a galactic conquest. As you can imagine, the Imperium is shitting themselves over an actual rising great power that is right next door to the heart of the Imperium. They would have started a new Crusade on the Q'Orl, but with Abbadon commencing his 13th temper tantrum, the financial and resource cost/waste on the Damocles Crusade (which was against the Tau, a polity several hundred times smaller and weaker than the Q'Orl), the re-awakening of the Necron Dynasties, the rise of Ghazghkull's Ork empire, and the Tyranids joining in the merry clusterfuck... they have their hands a little too busy. The Imperium just have to clench their butt cheeks and pray that the Q'Orl do not get their hand on Warp technology, since that is the Q'Orl's only military weakness. Unfortunately with the recent kidnappings of Imperium Navigators and reports of Q'Orl ships having salvaged/reverse-engineered Imperium Plasma Fusion engines, humanity can kiss their asses goodbye.

Their high technology and large empire has made the Q'Orl one of the best candidates for a future 40k army, other than the Rak'gol. But alas, Games Workshop has yet to implement them despite having a bigger galactic role than the Tau, which is somewhat fair since the Tau Empire's purpose on the board is to take the place of the old Minor Xenos factions through the use of the Tau themselves and their Empire's "members." The Q'Orl are just sort of there waiting to find out the hard way that the Imperium rules the galaxy for a reason. Oh, and that everything wants to kill them and is more than capable of it. On the bright side, the Imperium could ultimately just pray to Emprah that the Q'Orl are one of the few non-asshole races in the entire galaxy.

Still, bit of a shame. Mantic's Z'zor would make a nice proxy.


What is known about the Q'Orl, based on the few Imperial records, is that they evolved from primitive invertebrates native to their homeworld of Loqiit - which the Q'Orl view in the same way humans view Holy Terra, both with regards to religious significance and defense. Whilst all are born equal, there are several distinct strains that develop within the larval nurseries. This is done through the use of hormonal soups exuded by the queen, which lays several thousand eggs every day. Queens are the only "female" strain, and all other strains are "male", but no further details are known about their reproductive cycle. At an unknown point, they developed space travel capabilities and created what are only known as "elegant chainships".

As they expanded into space, they began placing planetary marker-stones, deep-space monoliths, and archaeological sites containing a rich amount of Q'Orl text. These texts all proclaim the announcement of the "Superiority of the Swarmhood" (the Q'Orl seem to have taken a few pages out of the Imperial Truth), their ownership of select regions of space, and their ultimate aim: conquering the galactic hub. Their empire was known as the Q'Orl Swarmhood and they were centered around their single holy world.

According to one text, four thousand years ago at the end of the 37th Millenium, they became afflicted with some form of disease that may be Chaotic in origin. It is speculated that the disease was transmitted originally from Human settlers and may be attributed to Nurgle. During this time, they were assisted against this possibly-Chaotic-disease by another race, which is believed to be the Eldar. After the war was won, the allies demanded payment in the form of a Q'Orl queen to make an "uncorroded swarm", possibly a race resistant to disease or Chaos. This saw the Q'Orl dissolve their alliance and defend their queen, though the erstwhile allies conducted a treacherous act that stole away the queen (hardly treasonous since the Q'Ori betrayed them first). Despite the loss of the queen, a newly formed queen-egg was laid, bringing the reign of the next matriarch. The Q'Orl have remained forever butthurt about the loss of their queen ever since.

So, the Q'Ori are "corroded" and therefore likely insane, thanks to Chaos or something of alien origin. Well, shit. What else is new?

At some point, an Administratum colony-ark along with a fleet of ships as part of a seeding project was dispatched into the space held by the Q'Orl Swarmhood. Upon learning of this, the Q'Orl became less than pleased at seeing parts of their territory being held by human trespassers. In retribution, they massacred an estimated thirty thousand pilgrims before a single colony-ark managed to escape, becoming the only survivor of its fleet. During the fifth year of Explorator Mari Alitz's travels of Segmentum Pacificus, on St Thor's Eve, the colony-ark was encountered in a desolate region of space, where they stayed for twenty days, though they never encountered a Q'Orl specimen. The massacre of Imperium pilgrims and the aforementioned Navigator kidnappings had shaken the Imperium: the Q'Orl weren't to be fucked with and would get their appendages on Warp technology no matter the cost, and had showcased their incredibly strong ambition. Whether they know what they will find when they do start to cross over into the warp is at this moment unknown. They probably have no idea what they're doing, think they're superior due to their hivemind, and totally fail to understand how fucked they are.

To be fair, it is also unknown whether they seek purely conquest or extermination or if they would even be good rulers. This also all assumes they don't end up getting nommed by daemons for playing around with Warp technology without understanding it, or else wiped out simply because the Chaos Gods don't want these freaks to spoil their fun game with the Imperium. But, this is 40k so...

The Imperium is probably not as worried as some fans think, though. They know how different strains of Q'Orl are created, meaning Imperial agents have managed to infiltrate Q'Orl space, study the queen and witness the process, and relay the information to the Imperium. Given experience in how best to slaughter huge numbers of Tyranids, the Q'Ori rise will likely be annihilated by a "tragic illness" of inquisitive origin through their own queens. Or purposely unleash Chaos in Q'Orl space. At least the Imperium knows how to fight that effectively. Better the devil you know and all that.


Yeah. We aren't joking when we said that their empire is fucking big. Big enough to be the size of the Eye of Terror. Now you know why the High Lords are running around screaming in terror.

Q'Orl are, first and foremost, insectoid. The Q'Orl's primary sensory node contains six ocular orbs, each of which are horizontally paired and contain photoreceptor rods of specific primary wavelengths. There is also a trio of scent-organs with greasy cilia-layers within that connect directly to the neutral cerebral column. The primary form of communication is through a form of chemical and olfactory signalling, making direct human interaction impossible. However, they do possess a simple runic language, which is based entirely upon a mathematical principle that relates each element of a Q'Orl's life based on a prime number.

Their thorax contains a chitinous endostructure with ultra dense muscular mass that possesses eight limb structures, four of which serve as triple-jointed perambulatory legs. The other four limbs contain manipulator extremities. The abdominal sac allows for thoracic joints, which in turn provide 180 degree movement. Infused technology at the abdomen suggests a bio-mechanical port, possibly for weapons, vehicular interface or device operation.

The species possesses multiple dexterous limbs with the presence of complex bionic technology, suggesting a highly intelligent and advanced species. It was also believed that they are short-lived, but highly industrious; they live in vast honeycomb structures that orbit their secret homeworld, in which the bodies of the dead are lovingly deposited. Like modern Earth insect colonies like ants, bees and termites, each Q'Orl male adult drone can live for roughly ten years, making their lives brief but fast, which is reflected in their ideology. The exception to this rule was the queen, who lived for hundreds or possibly thousands of years.

The species is divided into numerous breeds which include warriors, drones and a queen; the queen herself produces hundreds of eggs everyday, and newer strains are customizable through the use of a hormonal soup that was fed to the developing larva. As an example, a newer breed was later discovered by the Imperial Navy - small maggot-like creatures called Q'Orl Mind Grubs, which can infest humans or navigators. This allows them to control other races with vocal commands or pheromones, which is one possible method of bypassing their inability to navigate through the Warp.

They have a sense of ancestor-worship where progress was made by continuing the half-finished projects of their forebears. The Q'Orl believe in a form of racial glory where expansion and glory were the only justifiable outcome for the deaths of billions of their kind. This makes them a dangerous threat to the Imperium of Mankind in the future.


As previously mentioned, the Swarmhood is known to have created space vessels that are both highly advanced and heavily armed. Other than lacking Warp drives (although they are working on it), Q'Orl technology often relies on heavy firepower. One of their most notable forms of technology are their previously mentioned "chainships". These chainships are typically constructed with a series of interconnected segments that allow them to separate on command into component parts. A typical tactic used by the Q'Orl is to uncouple their Chainships into separate segments in order to avoid capture by fleeing in different directions. These elegantly designed Chainships, as mentioned several times already, lack the means to travel through the Warp, which has restricted the expansion of the Swarmhood. This deficiency has allowed their enemies to escape their vessels by departing through the Warp. However, recent encounters have seen them modify their ships with technology that appears to be of Imperial origin. This has led to the growing fear that the Q'Orl have begun to use captured or even salvaged Imperial warp-engines that are being incorporated into their space craft.

Firepower isn't much of a concern. In the worst-case scenario, the Imperium would just stick multiple more-massive-than-ever spinal cannons on cheap-to-build ships and spam them like lasguns. A shame they haven't done that yet, but then we wouldn't have a game since everything would be dead. Yeesh.

Eldar, Q'Orl, and Tau relationship[edit]

As previously explained, the Eldar had a thing or two with the Q'Orl. We know that they worked with the Q'Orl initially before stealing their queen for an unknown purpose. However, there are some theories explaining why the Eldar would do a thing like this that would piss off a future galactic great power with superpower ambitions. The most popular one is that the Eldar experimented on the Q'Orl queen to create the floating space pope we all know as the Tau Ethereals.

This theory is somewhat supported in that the Q'Orl has a special organ meant to control each other through pheromones and scent. What do the Tau Ethereals have that no other Tau has? That's right, a special organ that was speculated to mind-control the lesser Tau castes through subliminal pheromones; thus when the Farsight lost his Ethereal, he suddenly got a strong sense on independence and suspicion of his former leaders. And you know when the Eldar kidnapped the Q'Orl queen? The 37th millennium, or roughly the same time the Imperium discovered the Tau when they were still screwing each other in caves before the Warp Storm arrived on T'au. The Q'Orl was also reported to be quite numb to the Warp, which is the same characteristics of the Tau. While the theory is largely unproven, this has led some to conclude that the Eldar kidnapped the Q'Orl queen in order to use her organs to experiment on the Tau as a weapon against Chaos. The Eldar really are so egotistical they'd rather make something that could easily become their enemy (which it did) instead of asking the Imperium for help (which would be given simply because fuck Chaos). Sad if true.

Governments, Empires, Nations and Astropolitical Powers of the Galaxy
Imperial Powers: Imperium of Man (Adeptus Mechanicus - Ultramar)
Chaos Powers: Blood Pact - Scourge Stars - Sortiarian Occupation (Prospero/Sortiarius)
Eldar Powers: Commorragh - Craftworlds (Alaitoc - Biel-tan - Iyanden
Saim-Hann - Ulthwé
Necron Powers: Charnovokh Dynasty - Maynarkh Dynasty - Mephrit Dynasty
Nekthyst Dynasty - Nephrekh Dynasty - Nihilakh Dynasty
Novokh Dynasty - Ogdobekh Dynasty - Sautekh Dynasty
Thokt Dynasty
Ork Powers: Ork Empire of Charadon - Ork Empire of Octarius - Ork Empire of Bork
Ork Empire of Dregruk - Ork Empire of Calverna - Ork Empire of Jagga
Tau Powers: Tau Empire - Farsight Enclaves
Other Powers: Q'Orl Swarmhood - Fra'al
Notable Species of Warhammer 40,000
Major: Eldar, including Dark Eldar Humans, including Abhumans Necrons Orks Tau Tyranids
Minor: Ambull Araklionid Barghesi Banelings Bale Childers Drahendra Caradochians Cimmeriac
Cryptos Cythor Fiends Demiurg Donarathi Drugh Dracoliths Drax Enoulian
Enslavers Fra'al Galg Gykon Hrud Jokaero Jorgall K'nib
Kathaps Khrave Kinebrach Kroot L'Huraxi Lacrymole Laer Lelith
Loxatl Medusae Megarachnids Nekulli Nicassar Old Ones Q'Orl Rak'gol
Reek Reptos Saharduin Saruthi Scythian Simulacra Slann Slaugth
Sslyth Stryxis Tarellian Thexian Thraxian Thyrrus Tushepta Umbra
Ur-Ghul Vespid Watchers in the Dark Whishperers Xenarch Yu'Vath Zoats