An image from Xenography used to demonstrate what a Q'Orl emblem might look like, if they indeed use such things.
Eye of Terror-Sized
|Head of State||
|Head of Government||
Q'Orl Queen and possibly subordinate lesser Queens
Totalitarian Kypselocratic (aka hive-ruled) Absolute Monarchy
Superiority of the Swarmhood
The Q'Orl are an 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?", well, the fact is that the Weeaboos are sandwiched between the Imperium and Tyranids, fighting their own splinter faction, and struggling to keep hold of their measly two dozen planets all the while contending with the reality that they are next door neighbors to the largest and most powerful Necron Dynasty, in all honesty the Tau have little hope in actually becoming a major polity through direct military means. However it has been proven that starting size is only a moderate inconvenience to empire building if you've got advanced enough technology behind you (e.g. the British Empire), so while a long shot they can not fully 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." Also the entire reason the Squats' army was cut was because Geedubs couldn't think of an empty niche to give them.
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 very treasonous since the Q'Ori betrayed them first demand came after the war was ended). 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.
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.
With the Great Rift, it is likely the Q'Orl are getting introduced to the business end of Daemonic weapons as Heretic or not no human in the 42nd Millenium would want to see Xenos prosper. But seeing how heavily armed and insulated the Q'Orl is from the Warp combine with how fractious both Chaos and the Imperium is in their current state, its safe to say that the Space Bugs are having the perfect political opportunity to slowly expand their territories. I mean, if the Imperium is Space Byzantine and Chaos are the Southern Slavs at the gates, than it is safe to say that the Q'Orl are the Space Seljuks/Ottomans. Whatever some may think, the Great Rift is a terrible thing for the Imperium astrostrategically speaking, losing half your territory overnight whilst contending to the fact that spacial choke points such as Vigilus now exist ain't a good thing even with Grandpa Smurf at the helm. Right now the saving grace for the Imperium is that R&D on FTL Warp Drives takes a long ass time and Terra is betting on the fact that Loqiit's trouble in getting a functioning Warp Drive would allow the Imperium to master a strategy of containment. Invading Loqiit directly through a Crusade is a big no-no due to the Imperium's previous experience with the Q'Orl as well as the fact that the Swarmhood has their forces and logistics more concentrated compared to the Imperium's overstretched territories. Unless the Imperium wants to get their backs broken when their forces and territories are already stretched thin, split in two and waging wars everywhere, than containment is the best course of action for Terra rather than a Crusade that would end in disaster. Or they probably all got wiped out off screen by Chaos or Imperial Forces because Games Workshop legitimately hates the idea of Xenos being capable or a major player on the galactic stage.
As aforesaid, it is shown that the Q'Orl can in fact make their race more resistant to Chaos, if the Eldar are anything to go by with their 'uncorrupted swarm'. Although it does not make them immune to Chaos, it sure as hell makes corruption a pain in the ass, especially taking into account of the Q'Orl's hive minded collectivism. Contrast this with the Tau who would happily stumble into the lion's den, the Q'Orl at least know what the fuck they are dealing with. Of course, with politics being in play, it is not surprising that the Q'Orl rejected the deal made by the Eldar lest they become pawns in their games. The Eldar ignored it anyway and kidnapped their Queen (More can be read below).
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, in proportion to their real life example. Q'Orl worker males live a longer life of 15 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 thousands 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. As the Q'Orl are much like ants in our modern times, there are also worker, guard, forager, and flying ants. Modern ants, when food is plentiful, will create more queens that go off to form other colonies.
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.
Eldar, Q'Orl, and Tau relationship
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 a very clear purpose. It is unknown why the alliance dissolved and ended up with the Eldar doing a 40k kidnapping, although political foulplay may be involved ranging from the Q'Orl suspecting that the Eldar was trying to make the Q'Orl political puppets through their queen or the Q'Orl trying to prevent the Eldar in gaining such important weapons so they can monopolize it themselves. 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 and what appears to be sheer coincidence saved them. 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.
Q'Orl Lexicon and breeds. Looking uncannily like the Terreocti from Deltora eh?
Q'Orl Fan Art
|Governments, Empires, Nations and Astropolitical Powers of the Galaxy|
|Imperial Human Powers:||Imperium of Man (Adeptus Mechanicus - Ultramar) - Squat Homeworlds|
|Renegade Human Powers:||Severan Dominate|
|Chaos Powers:||New Kingdom (Sortiarian Occupation - Prospero/Sortiarius) |
Blood Pact - Scourge Stars
|Eldar Powers:||Commorragh - Craftworlds (Alaitoc - Biel-tan - Iyanden |
Saim-Hann - Ulthwé)
|Necron Powers:||Atun Dynasty - Charnovokh Dynasty - Maynarkh Dynasty - Mephrit Dynasty |
Nekthyst Dynasty - Nephrekh Dynasty - Nihilakh Dynasty - Novokh Dynasty
Ogdobekh Dynasty - Oruscar Dynasty - Sautekh Dynasty - Szarekhan 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 Xenos Powers:||Q'Orl Swarmhood - Fra'al Satrapies|