An Abhuman is a descendant of human settlers whose ancestors evolved and physically adapted to the extreme environmental conditions of their colony world over thousands of years of isolation.
This deviation from the ‘standard’ human form is looked upon with suspicion by many in the Imperium of Man, including the Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy. However, several various strains of Abhuman are tolerated due to their service to the Imperium.
- Stability of Mutation: Abhumans are considered to be different to mutants, and therefore avoid being condemned for heresy, through the fact that each species conforms to the relative stability of their form through reproduction.
- Service to the Imperium: Abhumans can become full Imperial Citizens through service and having proved their worth to humanity. They are still distrusted by many authorities throughout the Imperium. As such their loyalty is maintained via indoctrination in the Imperial Creed that teaches them self-loathing and observation by Priests and Commisars.
- Ogryns: Ogryn’s are a strain of abhuman well-known for their immense strength and size, as well as their limited intellect. These qualities, alongside their extreme loyalty to the Imperial Creed, make them excellent shock troops for the Imperial Guard. Their physical capabilities also mean they are prized as slave labour by many industries, including in the Hive Cities of Necromunda.
- Ratlings: Ratlings are a diminutive form of abhuman species. They often see service in the Imperial Guard as snipers and sharp shooters due to their natural proficiency in marksmanship and stealth. Many ratlings also serve as cooks, but they are generally distrusted due to their kleptomaniac tendencies.
- Navigators: Navigators are a specific variant of abhuman that are tolerated due to an edict from the Emperor himself set out during the Unification Wars on Terra. They are aboslutely vital to the the Imperium due to their genetic mutation. They possess a third eye – known as the Warp Eye – that allows them to guide ships through the Warp. This mutation is hereditary and has led to the Navigator Houses possessing huge influence with Imperial Politics.
- Beastmen: Beastmen are abhumans that combine the forms of animal and human. During the Great Crusade, many beastmen saw service in the Imperial Army, however Beastmen are no longer allowed to see Imperial service as many elements of the Inquisition are convinced that their radically altered forms are due to Chaos taint. As such, they are heavily persecuted throughout the Imperium.