|This article, Ironbeards, was written by Algrim Whitefang. Please do not edit or 'acquire' this fiction without the writer's permission.|
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The Ironbeards are a clan of the hearty Abhuman race known as the Squats. They were one of the few vestiges that survived the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds by a splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Behemoth in the late 41st Millennium. With their race essentially destroyed, and the few remaining homeworlds annexed outright by the Imperium of Man over the next two centuries, the survivors of the event known as the 'Devouring' continue to live on, residing aboard their remaining mining ships that once made them an economic force. The Ironbeards Clan now serve as a part of Fleet Ing'Gren, known as the 'Sons of the Forge', one of the major mining fleets that boasts the only remaining Squat Forgeship in existence - the Gagh'Boldhor - whose factories can churn out countless weapons, vehicles, and automatons with the appropriate amount of resources. This ship has made the Ing'Gren the second most important squat fleet.
- 1 History
- 2 Homeworld
- 3 Organisation
- 4 Notable Clan Members
- 5 Relations
- 6 Notable Quotes
The Ironbeards are an ancient clan of the Squats that are counted amongst the first of their kind to found the distinguished Engineers Guild. As such, this clan boosts some of the most brilliant and famous inventors, many of which are credited with creating some of the first starfaring vessels ever built by their race. The Ironbeards Clan was also instrumental in the development of the most advanced form of propulsion for spacecraft - a neoplasma reactor powered by a warp-core held in thrall by a containment field of zero-energy - a drive mechanism that has never been replicated by any other race, including the technologically advanced Adeptus Mechanicus. In battle, it is not unusual to see clan regiments of Ironbeards warriors or war engines created by their members of the Engineers Guild in service to several different Leagues.
Regarded as unorthodox and suspicious by most other dwarfs, the Ironbeards are a well-travelled clan and also willingly take to the stars. Bold, fearless and progressive, the Ironbeards were one of the first clans to aggressively pursue trade agreements with non-Squats during the Age of Trade, and it was they who established the best trade routes through the Immaterium. Obstreperous and easily offended, the Squats of this clan are known to be gruff and disapproving, and even amongst their fellow dwarves they are infamous for holding grudges. Despite their dour demeanour, Ironbeards are also well known for their penchant for grog.
The Tyranids are an unyielding foe, implacable in their advance. This was discovered, too late, by the Squats when they attempted to defend their Homeworlds. Even with their stalwart warmachines and advanced technology, nothing could halt the Tyranid invasion. The situation became grim as the Squat Homeworlds were devoured one by one, some being of great historical significance. Those worlds that bravely stood and fought the numberless legions of horrifying bioforms were slaughtered, almost to a man. The various worlds' stronghold lords unanimously agreed that in order for their race to survive the unstoppable onslaught, was to abandon their Homeworlds and flee. Unfortunately, by the time the order for evacuation was given, it was already too late.
The Ironbeards Clan were more fortunate than most, for their Lord had emptied a good portion of his stronghold's vaults and loaded vast amounts of material, technology and riches aboard several of their merchant ships to undertake a trade mission with the burgeoning T'au Empire. They were well within the borders of the Ultima Segmentum when the dire news reached them of the extermination of their race by the Great Devourer. The Ironbeards fleet changed course and immediately set a path to blaze towards the Squat Homeworlds, but other surviving Squat fleet navigators warned them of the 'Shadow in the Warp', which would render communication and travel, all but impossible. Enraged that they could do nothing to halt the xenos menace or to save their people, many of the dwarves gnashed their teeth and pulled the hair from their beards in frustration. This lamentable event would forevermore be known in the Squat's annals as the 'Devouring'.
Distraught at the loss of their ancestral worlds, Lord Dain Ironbeard determined the best course of action would be to seek out their fellow survivors and decide where they stood as a race, and from there, to determine the best course of action. For several solar months, the Ironbeards fleet traveled to various points throughout the galaxy's core, picking up stragglers and ramshackle vessels that barely managed escape the ravaging Tyranid Hive Fleet. Eventually, they came in contact with Fleet Ing'Gren, the second largest squat fleet to escape the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds. Though heartened by the sight of such a mighty fleet, the circumstances of their reunion was dire in the extreme.
However, there was one glimmer of hope for stalwart survivors - Fleet Ing'Gren possessed the only remaining Squat Forgeship - a mighty vessel that could forge the Squat's various weapons, armour, vehicles and automatons. With the help of the technical superiority of the Ironbeards Clan's Engineers, Ing'Gren would be able to churn out even larger stockpiles of arms and equipment as well as other advanced technology that were normally closely guarded secrets of the notoriously paranoid Ironbeards. But desperate times called for desperate measures. Lord Ironbeard vowed that he would not rest until he was able to bring his unfettered wrath down upon the vile xenos menace of the Great Devourer.
Lost Amongst the Stars
Though most of the Squat survivors are bereft of a home, doomed to wander the stars, not all hope is lost. The last known vestiges of the squat race, for they truly view themselves as separate from humanity, are those laborers and soldiers who were part of mining enclaves when disaster struck. Converting their tools into weapons of war in order to defend themselves in an uncaring and hostile galaxy, they know that the last hope for the survival of their race lies with them. Fueled by rage at the Tyranids for the destruction of their ancestral Homeworlds, and filled with resentment toward the Imperium that was supposed to protect them, the Squats have vowed to never again put their trust in outsiders.
Now, as the 41st Millennium draws to a close, and the galaxy has erupted into strife and anarchy, the Squats are finally ready to once again venture forth and remind the other races of the galaxy that they are still a force to be reckoned with.
Since the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds, there are a few remaining Squat strongholds, the majority of the race residing aboard the mining and merchant ships that once made them a formidable and major economic force. Fortunately, there are a few holds that have been reclaimed or were never lost. As the Squats of the Ironbeards Clan are primarily fleet-based, they currently have no permanent home to call their own, except amongst their fellow Squats of Fleet Ing'Gren. The formerly small ragtag fleet of Squat survivors that was once but a temporary refuge was built up, becoming a significant armada of many formidable Squat spacecraft. Despite the loss of their Homeworlds, many within Fleet Ing'Gren saw opportunity and hope, where there was none before. They abandoned all plans to return to planetary-based living.
As the Ironbeards Clan has always been a starfaring folk, many of them have become inured to some extent to the reality-altering process of warp travel and to living in low or zero-gravity environments. These void born squats have come to learn to love the countless corridors and passageways of a starship - from neoplasma reactor to pointed prow. Many of the clan's young beardlings have never known the feel of solid ground beneath their feet. Some of their vessels never make berth, their crews instead raising generations of families in the cold depths of space where gravitational variance, radiation exposure and even warp anomalies slowly take their toll. Due to their 'otherworldliness', in many cases, when dealing with other Squat survivors, the Ironbeards seemingly carry a strange air about them - a perceptible aura that something is not quite right about them - that often makes others uneasy in their presence.
Although Squat society is normally based on the stronghold, since the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds, the survivors of the Squat fleets have had to adapt to their voidfaring existence. This wasn't too difficult for the Squats to do, as normally, there was no formal organisation between the various Leagues on any Homeworld, although they continue to maintain communication with other Squat survivors and act together in times of war. The majority of Squat survivors now base their organisation around a 'Fleet', which is comprised of surviving mining and stronghold communities that date back to the original colonisation, or a so-called 'newhold', founded when the race expanded during the latter part of the Age of Isolation and the early part of the Age of Trade. These surviving strongholds have joined together into a 'League' of sorts, for mutual survival, defence, trade and dealings with the other races of the galaxy.
These fleets are self-contained, autonomous communities, ruled by a Guild Master, a duly-elected Squat Lord and a High Council, comprised of several Clan Lords of various surviving strongholds and clans. Subservient to them are the surviving members of the various Homeworlds' aristocratic class known as the 'Hearthguard'. The High Council debates all matters which affect the League as a whole, and ratifies trade and other agreements on behalf of its member strongholds and also serves as a court of appeal for cases which involve the death sentence.
A 'Guildmaster' is a Squat Lord who is responsible for a shift (usually between 3 and 7 Terran days, depending on stress levels and circumstances) of a portion of the fleet under their direct command. Under a Guildmaster are countless 'Foremen', those who usually oversee mining/manufacturing/combat operations. Foremen are second only to the Guildmaster of their shift. A Foreman's duties are to ensure the safety and productivity of the miners/industrial workers/security forces placed in his care. Many Foremen are specially trained in the use of networked devices, allowing them to step in if needed to operate a piece of equipment.
Many Guildmasters were trained by the Adeptus Mechanicus before the 'Devouring', and those Squats that are younger have undergone a lengthy apprenticeship to a current Guildmaster. During a Guildmaster's shift they are responsible for all operations as well as fleet security. A Guildmaster also has access to the entire armoury of a fleet and will be provided with anything they require to ensure the safety of their shift.
Clan Lord & Hearthguard
Traditionally, each stronghold centres around a mind=ing and the undergrounds settlement associated with it, but as the Squat race expanded, different types of worlds were colonised by the Squats and some strongholds were not associated with mining activity. In this case, the Ironbeards Clan was primarily associated with multiple disciplines, including - engineering, mining and merchant trade. The Clan fleet, which is part of the larger Fleet Ing'Gren, is still ruled by their hereditary Lord, who is still supported by his powerful body of retainers of Hearthguard. It is the Hearthguard which provides the elite core of Squat military force as well as providing servants and advisors to the Lord himself. When Lord Ironbeard takes to the field of battle himself, the Hearthguard are charged with his protection at all times, fighting as an elite unit under his command.
In most strongholds, the Hearthguard became the aristocracy, composed of a limited number of families or clans, but since the destruction of their former homeworld, the Hearthguard are composed primarily of those surviving Squats from the Ironbeards Clan, although some members were inducted from the various surviving Squat Clan vessels the Ironbeards came upon during their sojourn from the Ultima Segmentum towards the former Squat Homeworlds. These survivors pledged their undying fealty to Lord Dain Ironbeard, in perpetuity, for rescuing them from the void.
A 'Warlord' is a traditional position of leadership designed to guard against the misuse of a Clan's troops by a potentially unscrupulous Clan Lord. Therefore, a Clan's forces are always led by a close relative of the Lord. Under their personal command is a unit of the Hearthguard, drawn from the Lord's loyal retainers, who form an aristocratic class in the Clan's fleet. The Hearthguard serve as the Warlord's warrior elite, arrayed in lavishly-ornamented armour, resplendent with priceless antique jewellery and trophies and even weapons decorated with traditional designs in gold or other precious metals.
Like the knights of ancient Terran lore, Warlords and their Hearthguard often have magnificent suits of Exo-Armour - all-enclosing, sealed and self-powered environmental suits build for them by the Clan's Engineering Guild members. Like other Hearthguard equipment, exo-armour is handed down from father to son, and is perhaps the proudest status symbol of the Squat military aristocracy.
Another important position within a Squat Clan's hierarchy are those few individuals who reach the age of 400 or older. This small proportion of the Squat population which lives to great old age is treated with enormous respect, and is known as a 'Living Ancestor' or 'Spirit Lord'. They are treated with great esteem by their younger kin as they are considered living members of the ancestor group which forms the basis of Squat religion. Their long lives having filled them with great wisdom. They are the Clan Lord's most respected and trusted advisors. Those few individuals who reach the age of 500, begin to undergo certain physiological changes, such as the degeneratie loss of their speed and strength. But to compensate for such physical frailties, they are imbued with certain psychic powers. These innate abilities are a result of a Living Ancestor's spiritual closeness to their dead ancestors, which they are able to tap as a source of psychic energy. Their abilities as a psyker directly correlate to the prestige and honour of their clan's ancestors - the higher the status of the ancestors, the more powerful a Living Ancestor becomes.
When a Squat reaches the venerable status of a Living Ancestor, he surrenders his name and worldly goods to his living descendants, just as if he had actually passed on. A funerary rite is held by his Clan, and the new Living Ancestor goes to live amongst others of his kind. These venerable elders act as advisors for the Lord of their Clan, and often accompany the Clan's military forces into battle, providing them defensive psychic support and advising the Warlord.
Minds in Metal
When a Living Ancestor is close to death, an engram is made of their mind - their memories and neural pathways are encoded onto slates. These slates are then inserted into a Squat Clan's Lodestone Spirit Core. Here, the elder Squat's mind can mingle with other squat elders. When a Lord is stymied by a particularly difficult conundrum they can turn to the countless generations of inputted elder engrams to draw upon before making a decision.
When needed, an Intelligence of one of these Living Ancestors can be removed from the core and placed in a squat warmachine. This is akin to an artificial intelligence operating a battle-automata. In this way, a squat ancestor could live again, even if only for a brief period of time before being returned back to the core. In battle, these reborn Living Ancestors are a sight to behold. Towering over other squat warmachines and possessed by the spirit of a long-dead squat Guildmaster or Warlord, the Living Ancestor is a living embodiment of a Clan's history. Armed with the most powerful weapons the squats can bring to bear, a Living Ancestor will always be found on the front lines of battle, exhorting his smaller brethren to new heights of fervor and morale.
While a significant number of the Lodestone Spirit Cores were lost, their slates with them, enough have been recovered to allow the continuation of this tradition. This has led to some complications, however. Unbeknownst to the squats, a slate will degrade over time, for an encoded mind becomes fragmented. While in the core this isn't a major issue since the Lodestone Spirit core calls upon all slates for a consensus. This does lead to issues when a corrupted slate is uploaded into a weapon of war. What may seem to be innocent glitches may turn into unprovoked rage, as the ravaged mind tries to make sense of its situation. Others may be possessed of a burning hatred for a particular individual or race; in such an instance, the machine is shut down and the slate retained for such an opportunity. As far as they are aware, the corruption of slates has no major effect on the Lodestone Spirit Core.
The Squats have a long tradition of developing considerable technical expertise in order to survive without support. Like much of Squat culture, the Engineers Guild traces its origins back to the Age of Isolation. During this time there was regular traffic between strongholds in mechanical supplies and techniques. From this traffic arose a distinct class of traveling engineer, moving constantly between strongholds, spreading knowledge and solving technical problems. The Engineers Guild arose to protect these individuals, who often found themselves caught up in inter-League wars a long way from their native strongholds.
These technical experts, known as 'Engineers' or 'Guildsmen', are responsible for maintaining a Clan's war machines, engines of destruction and oversees repairs of the Squats vehicles, arms and equipment. They are consummate master craftsmen, able to gauge the intricacies of a warp-core or giving advice on how best to aim a Goliath Mega-Cannon in order to achieve maximum destruction of an enemy position. Despite their impatient demeanour to get back to their forges and workshops in order to draft plans for fortifications or designing new armoured vehicles or weapons, they are more than capable of fighting in the front lines.
The Engineers of the Ironbeards Clan maintain the long-standing tradition of sending their most astute beardlings, that exhibit signs as skilled inventors and tinkerers, to train with the Master Engineers of the Guild. Here they are intensely trained in all aspects of technology, engineering and machine maintenance. Once they join the Guild, they must renounce all family ties and rights to inheritance. Within Fleet Ing'Gren, the Ironbeards maintain the largest enclave of Guildsmen, as the majority of their Engineers were off-world when the 'Devouring' took place. This is due to their wandering lifestyle, as Engineers are notoriously known amongst their kind as being more adventurous than the bulk of the Squats.
Often, they are found serving with various Brotherhoods on the battlefield, or even hire themselves and their machines out on a mercenary basis, working throughout Imperial space and beyond. When the Squat Homeworlds were destroyed, the Engineers were recalled by Lord Dain Ironbeard back to the Clan's fleet. Though typically Guildsmen are not beholden to a stronghold, they willingly answered the call, for they foresaw that their engineering skills would be desperately needed to ensure the survival of their race.
Traditionally, the principal military force of a Squat stronghold was its 'Brotherhood of War-Brethren'. Each Squat was obligated to perform military service to their stronghold and could be called upon to serve for a period of 30-70 years in the Brotherhood. However, with the destruction of their Homeworlds, many of these warrior elite were wiped out during the 'Devouring' by the Tyranids. In their place Squat 'Miners', who normally make up the main workforce of their race, now make up a large portion of the various surviving Clan's armed forces. A Squat Miner will go into battle with their personalised arc-cutter - a device used for shattering stone - modified as an excellent melee weapon against the majority of foes. As a point of pride, Miners typically do not bear power axes, but instead wield the same heavy two-handed mining picks and mattocks they use to laboriously carve out tunnels.
As it turns out, these well-balanced and sturdily made tools work equally well whether digging into bedrock or hacking apart an enemy. Arrayed in their sturdy armoured mining suits, which affords them excellent protection from both the void of space and even most small arms weapons, and armed with blasting charges, a Squat Miner makes for a formidable adversary indeed. Most Squat Miners are foulmouthed but honourable. While promises made by a Squat can be dismissed, an Oath is never broken, especially amongst Miners.
Squat military forces also consist of 'Trenchers' - Squats that started out as simple security forces for mining or trade expeditions - but due to their dire circumstances, have become the closest thing to a standing military force the Squats now possess. Carrying dedicated weaponry such as the formidable Thunder Rifle or pistol, various close combat weapons, blasting charges and arrayed in armoured mining suits, Trenchers make for stalwart warriors. They are also adept at building fortifications and can do so on the fly to defend a strategic position should the need arise, making them excellent anti-breeching specialists during a boarding assault by enemy forces. Some Trencher squads are also known to carry heavy weaponry into battle, including the dangerous Graviton Cannon or Scatter Cannon.
'Demolisher' teams are Squat demolition experts. All Demolishers are equipped with heavier thruster-enabled suits, known as Demolisher Suits, that better protects them from blasts and explosives and allows them to access hard-to-reach areas, such as subterranean tunnels, chambers or the tight corridors of a starship. A targeting matrix allows them to pinpoint precise locations in a cliff face that will bring it down. In combat, their twin-linked arc-cutters make short work of enemies, and the heavier equipment they sometimes carry is just as good at killing foes as it is at mining.
'Oathguard' are the elite warriors of the Squat fleets. They are equipped with bulky Squat Exo-Armour, which provides them extensive protection thanks to many combined features of both power armour and dreadnought armour. This additional protection makes ideal for use in environments where movement is restricted or it is difficult to avoid concentrated enemy fire, such as in subterranean tunnels or chambers or the cramped corridors of a spacefaring vessel during boarding assaults by an enemy force. Oathguards are the sworn defenders of a squat mining/merchant fleet. They can be found anywhere there is combat, wading into melee combat with re-purposed power drills swinging or killing from afar with their Blasting Charge Launchers. Each group of Oathguards swears an Oath when they begin their service any they would rather die than fail in their duties.
'Borers' are those Squats that specialise in heavy mining work. Equipped with Exo-Armour and bearing heavy mining equipment such as Heavy Stake Launchers and Power Drills, a unit of Borers can complete jobs that would normally take several mining team to accomplish. In combat, Borers make excellent heavy infantry, their armour protecting them from cave-ins and radiation as well as deflecting most weaponry.
Occasionally, when mistakes are made or Oaths are broken, the guilty party will usually request to join the solemn ranks of the 'Doomseekers' - a cult of like-minded Squats who seek redemption in death. They fight furiously to make up for their misdeeds and will always be the first into battle, fighting where combat is thickest, in order to slay as many of the foe in their quest for redemption, or die in the attempt. Doomseekers wear simply void-suits and bear whatever makeshift weapons they can procure.
Notable Clan Members
Lord Dain Ironbeard
Dain Ironbeard is an old and powerfully built Squat, mighty in battle and a merciless enemy. As Lord of the Ironbeards Clan he is an extremely influential leader amongst the Squats of Fleet Ing'Gren. His influence is such, that he is considered as a first amongst equals in the eyes of other Lords and Warlords. Even the ancient and wise Living Ancestors see him as someone who is worthy to follow, for Lord Ironbeard possesses great wisdom and is able to carry on the ancient traditions of their people as well as to accept needed change (when necessary). A forward thinking and progressive leader, Dain Ironbeard sees the wisdom of forming alliances and developing new technology to ensure the survival of the Squat race. Longing to reclaim the glory of the Squats of old, Lord Ironbeard also has a personal quest - he seeks lost relics of the ancient days. For this reason, he is extremely active and can be found aiding Squats from many different clans and fleets.
With the appearance of the Tyranids and the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds, Lord Ironbeards' own grandfather and father perished in battle when they answered the call to arms against the monstrous xenoforms of Behemoth's tendrils, but they did not go quietly into that dark night, as they managed to slay hundreds of the Tyranid monstrosities before their stronghold was overrun. With the appearance of other Hive Fleets, the old Squat Lord has grown more determined to unite his kin, as he sees the Great Devourer committing the ultimate grudge against their race. There exists no curse in any sentient races' language to describe how unforgivable the crime committed by the Tyranids against the Squat race.
Fiercely independent, the Ironbeards Clan is determined to forge the Squats as a more unified force to make them better at surviving a hostile galaxy that is ravaged by strife and upheaval. Lord Ironbeard is forever brooding upon how to return his people to their former glory, for it is his obsession to avenge himself upon the vile Tyranids and see their ilk wiped from the face of the galaxy, a near impossible task, for the legions of the Great Devourer are without end. As the 41st Millennium draws to a close and the darkness engulfs more and more of the galaxy, Lord Ironbeard endeavours to hunt down the Tyranids that are plaguing the areas near the remaining Squat worlds, for he intends to settle his grudge with the Great Devourer, once and for all.
Ancient Húrin Stoneheart
Squats are known to live for much longer than the average human lifespan, and amongst the Squats, there are those who tend to outlive others of their kind, becoming Living Ancestors that are centuries old. But even amongst these venerable living members of this ancestor group, there is one amongst them who is far older still. Ancient Húrin is one such Living Ancestor, a living piece of the Squat's history. Even amongst other Living Ancestors from the other surviving Leagues, none can remember a time when this elder Spirit Lord wasn't around. It is generally believed that this Living Ancestor is over a thousand years old, a near unheard achievement amongst the Squat race, yet nobody knows how it is possible for such a venerable Squat to have lived for a millennium or more.
Húrin's tale is shrouded in myth and allegory, for nobody alive except for this Living Ancestor, knows his past. All that is known with any certainty is that he once served as a Hearthguard of his stronghold during a turbulent period of history, back on his original homeworld. It is also known that Húrin once had a family that he lost in a terrible and tragic accident that he refuses to talk about. Amongst the clan's beardlings it is whispered that the Living Ancestor was a more optimistic fellow in his youth, but with the loss of everything near and dear to his heart, he turned into a dour and forlorn individual, forever brooding upon how to return his people to their former glory.
Dealing with the ancient Ancestor can often be quite taxing, for none can fail to hear his loud list of complaints at every audience. Though Ancient Húrin might be a walking mountain of grumbling and dwarven curses, upon his worn brow, there also sits a great wisdom, and he is still able to uphold the ancient traditions as well as accept (if not embrace) needed changes, such as alliances and new technology. Indeed, this Living Ancestor is someone whom many different clans and Leagues come to for advice in the most difficult of situations, for Húrin is a living trove of information, knowing a great many secrets about the Squat race. But the Ancient doesn't idly part with his wealth of knowledge to just anyone, for even Warlords and Thanes must prove themselves in the Living Ancestor's eyes by performing various tasks. Yet, every task the Ancient gives is both challenging and often frustrating.
Like his fellow Living Ancestor brethren, Ancient Húrin's advanced age has caused him to grow old and feeble. Although his physical attributes have faded over time, causing him to shuffle slowly as he leans heavily on a large oak cane, he is far from infirm or vulnerable. To compensate for his physical frailties, he has become imbued with certain innate psychic powers due to his highly advanced age. His abilities as a psyker are formidable, for his powers correlate with the high prestige and honour in which the Ironbeard Clan is held. In battle, Ancient Húrin is a veritable psychic storm, his wizened form crackling from head to toe with barely restrained warp energies. Once unleashed, the Ancient is able to crush his foes with a thought, detonating enemy psykers and daemons who often make the fatal mistake of underestimating the elderly Squat. Combined with his knowledge and centuries of hard won experience, when the powerful Living Ancestor fights alongside his clan brothers the Ironbeards Clan's enemies are either routed or utterly annihilated.
- Fleet Ing'Gren - With the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds, the Ironbeards were helpless to stop the massacre of their people, being too distant to do anything to halt the slaughter. But after reuniting with their fellow Squat survivors of Fleet Ing'Gren and the hope they brought in the form of the sole remaining Squat Forgeship Gagh'Boldhor, the grim Ironbeards were given a new purpose. They would help fashion large stockpiles of arms, equipment and vehicles as well as other more ancient and esoteric technology for their fellow brethren, in order to take the fight to the Great Devourer, and see these vile xenos eradicated from the galaxy. The Ironbeards are forever grateful to their fellow Squats of Fleet Ing'Gren and have agreed to part with some of their closely-guarded technology and the rites to keep them running, in order to ensure the survival of their race.
- Tyranids - With the destruction of the Squat Homeworlds, the vile xenos known as the Tyranids have earned the undying enmity of the entire Squat race. They consider the destruction of their homeworlds as the ultimate grudge, one in which they will never forget, for they will harbour it until the vile xenosforms are wiped from the face of the galaxy. There is no word for forgiveness in the Squat language. The Tyranids have made themselves an eternal enemy, one that will last the entire lifetime of those who survived the 'Devouring' and lives of their descendants as well, for grudge-bearing is deeply ingrained into the Squats psyche, for their race's legacy is one of unrequited vengeance inherited from their fathers and, in turn, from the Squat ancestors of old.
- Imperium of Man - Since the bygone era of the Great Crusade the Squats maintained a cordial relationship with the Imperium of Man. Ulike most worlds of the Imperium, that owe absolute fealty to the Terran Throneworld, the status of the Squad Homeworlds were almost unique in retrospect. They were allowed a certain amount of autonomy - allowed to a great degree of self-governance by their strongholds and Leagues just as they were before the Age of Rediscovery. Possessing a strong sense of cultural unity and a fiercely independent nature, instead of joining the Imperium as subject worlds, the Homeworlds negotiated a series of treaties which enabled them to keep their independence. In exchange for their comparative freedom, the Homeworlds provided troops for the Imperial forces, especially the Astra Militarum, and traded their mineral wealth exclusively with the Imperium, which made the Squats a wealthy race. In return, the Imperium would help provide protection over the Squat Homeworlds should they ever be threatened. This status quo was kept for several millennia, without fail, until the lamentable event that came to be known as the 'Devouring'.
When a tendril of Hive Fleet Behemoth descended upon the Squat Homeworlds, the Squats rallied as one, and attempted to halt the insatiable xenoform-hordes of the Tyranids, but the Great Devourer is a relentless foe, implacable in their advance. Too late, the Squats realised, they had no possible hope of driving off the invading Tyranid Hive Fleet. When they sent astropathic requests for aid from the Imperium, the Squats' desperate cries for help went unanswered. Soon, the Squat Homeworlds faced an igmanimous fate, as each homeworld was swallowed whole, one by one, by the ravaging maw of the Great Devourer. Following their desperate flight from their doomed homeworlds, those few vestiges of Squats that remained were all that was left of their race. They came to view themselves as separate from the humanity, for in their hour of need, they were left to fend for themselves. The Squats are now filled with resentment towards the Imperium that was supposed help protect them and have vowed never to put their trust in outsiders ever again.
Nearly two centuries passed, and as the 41st Millennium drew to a close, the keystone fortress world of Cadia was attacked during the 13th Black Crusade by the Forces of Chaos. The Squats refused to answer the Imperium's call-to-arms to help assist in fortifying the Cadian Gate, citing the Imperium's failure to aid them during their hour of need. This led to increased tensions between the Imperium and the remaining survivors of the Squat fleets. When the world of Cadia finally fell, the Squats pointed out that this was justification for their refusal to help. Since that time, relations between the Imperium and the Squats has remained somewhat civil, if highly strained. There have been multiple incidents of violence committed by both sides, when the Squat fleets have been encountered by the military forces of the Imperium. But thus far, all-out war between both factions has been avoided...for now.