A Genestealer is a Tyranid species used as the ultimate shocktrooper. Their purpose is to get ahead of a hive fleet and locate potential planets for the Tyranids to devour. Among the deadliest creatures in the galaxy, they combine high cunning, lightning-fast reactions and movements with large, extremely sharp claws that can tear through the toughest armor in seconds.
Genestealers were the first type of Tyranid encountered by the Empire. But before the Empire had knowledge of the Tyranids as a species, they believed Genestealers were a separate species, native to the moons of Ymgarl (with the leech-like creature known as the Csith serving as the primary reproductive host), but then spread to other planets spread by infiltrating passing cargo ships and derelict space hulks. Genestealers in M35 are believed to have been introduced to the moons of Ymgarl by the Hive Fleet Tiamet in the Tiamet system, which were transported into the Imperial ships sent to destroy the system. 680.M41 the Empire met the first Genestealer Cult on Ghosar Quintus.
Stronger and more resilient than humans, genestealers can withstand unprotected even the most hostile environments, including hard vacuums, and are capable of living for centuries. They are a highly intelligent species with a disproportionately large and adaptable brain housed in a bulbous head. They combine exceptional intelligence and subtlety of mind with remarkable strength and speed of body.
Genestealers are bipedal, stand in a constant crouch, and have two pairs of arms, one with human-like hands, the other with powerful ripping claws. Their dense musculature and expanding joint in their jaws allow them to generate incredible bite pressure.
Genestealers have a binding telepathy similar to the larger Hive Mind generated by the entire Tyranid race. Smaller and more localized than the Hive Mind, this Brood Mind is used to exercise complete control over its host victims and also for communication. Their telepathic connection to each other can function up to a kilometer clearly and without restriction (e.g. by intervening objects or other forms of shielding). It also acts as a psychic beacon to direct a Hive Fleet towards the infestation to devour the planet.
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