Within the industrial underhives of a hive city, the poor people are forming gangs to fight for the scraps of the scarce resources. Sometimes the rich people, the upper nobility, send "gangs" for a different purpose. Spyrer groups are hardly more than the kids of the noble houses, sent to the Underhive to undertake a vow that has been impressed upon them by a sponsor Patriarch or Matriarch, either to survive on their own or to get a designated number of kills. They are sent down and will come back with their task done or not at all. Or they just felt like working off some stress.
In other words, they're either the Grimdark version of the bored rich kid who's out to callously cause mischief no matter who it hurts; or they're on a Grimdark rite of passage by surviving or killing people in the dangerous, rundown Underhive, which is infested by gangs, mutants, monsters, and sometimes other weird shit.
In the Imperium, where everything is fucked up, and especially in Necromunda, where things are really fucked up, this makes a certain amount of sense. If they come back having survived, and even killed a few people, this proves that the youth in question is resourceful and ruthless enough to do well in Hive politics. On most other Imperial worlds, most of these kids would end up debauchees and wannabe socialites, maybe inheriting a part of their family's interests or saddled into a political marriage, or they might buy a commissioned rank in the Imperial Guard or Navy. Some of them might even be good at what they do. But in Necromunda, you're going to be good or you won't live to see adulthood. Hardcore.
As a last note, sometimes Spyrers actually like going on a hunting trip in the wilderness of the Underhive, so they'll end up coming back as a hobby, or sponsor other gangs as a Matriarch or Patriarch. Also, we know about the logical gap of the survival rate of weeding out the weak in your kids. Necromunda nobles must either have lots of kids, or toughen them up with a steady diet of diesel fuel and broken glass.
Even though becoming a Spyrer is supposed to be a genuine test of ability and the will to survive, rich kids still get all the nice stuff. Each Spyrer is given a unique Hunting Rig which is a serious piece of hardware that outstrips most of the stuff in most Imperial institutions, unless you're a mid-to-high ranking robot, a biologically enhanced killing machine, a state sanctioned asshole, or a state sanctioned asshole with a hit list. Hunting Rigs act as a suit of armour with built-in weaponry and cybernetic enhancements.
It is self-sustaining, providing sustenance to the wearer so that they are not burdened by the requirement of food. It is also self-repairing, so that they do not require regular maintenance. (Meaning that survival challenge can by done by finding a nice little hidey hole and holing up for a few days. Way to go, guys.) However the most important feature of the hunting rig is their power boosting system. As the wearer fights and gains experience in combat, the hunting rig will adapt and evolve to suit the wearer by increasing power to certain systems, (essentially Leveling up) unlocking previously unavailable abilities and new potential as the hunt continues.
These suits are locked onto implants connected to the wearers central nervous system ensuring a seamlessly perfect fit, though make it practically impossible for someone else to wear the suit and even then they would have to have exactly the same body size and shape, so they are essentially useless as loot items or salvage.
Dark Heresy presents pieces of wargear built by the Jokaero for nobles in the Calixis sector, which are essentially the same as the ones found on Necromunda, these suits are scary as hell. Boosting the wearer's WS, Strength, Agility and Perception as well as granting a butt-ton of additional talents, turning the wearer into a 40k Ninja. However, the actual armour protection of the suit itself amounts to very little, so the user must rely on their enhanced reflexes to avoid injury or on some suits alternative defensive capabilities such as force fields or shields.
An alternate theory is that the hunting rigs are the creation of Tau battlesuit engineering. This is strongly supported in the Tau 3rd edition codex, which defines several words that phonetically identical to the rig designations while being thematically accurate to the suit's functions:
- Orrus = Or'es (powerful)
- Jakara = J'karra (mirror)
- Malcadon = Mal'caor (spider)
- Yeld = Y'eldi (winged one)
Hunting Rig Classifications
Although each Hunting Rig is unique, they are designed to incorporate ritualised combinations of weaponry, so that groupings of hunting styles can be identified. But as the suits adapt to suit the wearer, even two suits that were similarly designed may be completely different by the end of the hunt.
The Orrus is the most brutal of the Spyre aspects. Specialising in brute force, they are characterised by oversized, piston-powered arms containing Bolt Launchers built into the fists. They are also protected from shooting attacks by a force field. Orrus rigs typically evolve by increasing the caliber and firing rate of the Bolt Launchers or by increasing the effectiveness of their force field.
At its most basic, this suit increases the wearers WS, S & A by +1, provides a 4+ armour save and a 6+ invulnerable save.
The Bolt Launchers are functionally identical to Twin Linked boltguns, albeit with an 18" range.
Jakara are the lightest but most agile of the Spyre hunters, specialising in speed and mobility. They are equipped with a Sword with a Monomolecular edge and a unique Mirror Shield which can absorb energy-based attacks and fire it back at their enemies. Jakara rigs evolve by increasing the mobility and speed of the wearer, as well as increasing the sharpness of their sword. They also adapt by expanding the types of energy absorbed by their shield.
The most subtle and cunning of the Spyre groups. They are armed like spiders, with Web Spinnerets designed to immobilise the enemy so they can be torn apart by their vicious claws. They are also equipped with climbing hooks and hydraulic pistons to allow the wearer to reach perfect ambush points. The Spinneret weapons can also be used to generate strands of web to aid in climbing. These suits evolve by synthesising neurotoxins for application to their claws, or by increasing the range and area of their Spinnaret weapons.
Are the most peculiar Spyrers, being equipped with Chameleonic armour and razor-edged wings. They are armed with multiple laser tubes built into their gauntlets. Though their wings do allow them to fly, they make for better gliders. Their wings also incorporate the chameleonic technology which makes them difficult to track. Yeld can evolve by increasing the chameleonic response and the sharpness of their wing-blades, as well as by increasing the focus and fire-rate of their laser gauntlets.
A starting Yeld gains +1 to BS (and movement, but this has no bearing in "modern" rulesets) as well as a 5+ armour save.
Their laser gauntlets start out identical to a pair of laspistols, but with a 20" range. (the original rules have them as identical to short ranged lasguns, but held as pistols; laspistols had considerably different accuracies).
Their wings give them the "Jet Infantry" type as well as inflicting a -1 on to-hit rolls when weapons fire at them from over half range.
This armour offers the best protection of all the Spyrer armours, and it is only worn by those who have already proven themselves and cannot evolve further. It is equipped with four Mechadendrite arms; two wielding power claws and two with pulse lasers that can track and target multiple opponents simultaneously due to the advanced sensor arrays built into the rig.
Designed for quietly stalking opponents from the shadows and slaying them up close, equipped with a camo-cloak to hide their position and mask their movements so that they cannot be tracked either at range or in melee. They expertly dual-wield a large chainscythe and a monomolecular blade. Their armour offers the highest levels of speed and mobility and cannot evolve any further.