- "In victory, the winner feasts well."
- —Amphra Proverb (Rough Translation)
A species of sentient crustacean xenos, the Amphra Matriarchy has rapidly expanded into Imperial Space in recent years, attacking outlying worlds of the Cancridrean Periphery and harvesting their citizens as either slave labor or sustenance. Predatory and covetous, the Amphra view most other sentient races as little more than walking food, and are all too eager to feast.
Reign of the Tidemother (???.M??)
According to their somewhat apocryphal histories, in days long past the Amphra species lived united under the rule of the mythical Tidemother, dwelling throughout the bountiful oceans of Amphr in great undersea cities of metal, coral, and bedrock. Under the Tidemother's benevolent rule prey was always plentiful and their technological progression skyrocketed, leaving the Amphra content to live under the waves and remain blissfully ignorant of the larger galaxy.
The galaxy, it seemed, had other plans. The Tidemother's reign was brutally cut short by a planet-wide cataclysm known in the Amphran annals as the the Lsskrrllror, or Days of Fire and Sky. Some unknown force caused their homeworld's moon to shatter, sending gargantuan chunks of rock spiraling down into Amphr. In the resulting carnage caused by the meteoric bombardment thousands of Amphra were killed, including the Tidemother, and Amphr itself was forever changed. The planet's crust split open and disgorged thousands upon thousands of tons of molten rock into the oceans, forming long chains of islands. What had once been a world covered by one vast stretch of water was now one of shallow seas and volcanic archipelagos. The tides were drastically altered by the moon's destruction, and what debris remained in orbit formed into a permanent asteroid belt.
Millions of Amphra died in the initial stages of the catastrophe, and thousands more died from exposure as the water levels decreased. Those who did survive eventually adapted to terrestrial life over the millennia, forming primitive clan-communities known as Clutches, led by dominant Matrons who fought over food and territory. For the nearly a millennia they struggled against one another, forever robbed of their former glory.
First Contact with the Imperium (086.M31)
As humanity spread throughout the galaxy, Imperial Exploratory Fleet 228 chanced upon Amphr. Thinking the planet to be uninhabited, they claimed the ocean world as their own and began the process of settling upon its lush tropical islands. Meanwhile, the Amphra observed their progress from the safety of their subterranean sea-caverns, fearful of the strange "sky-creatures" and their beasts of metal. More superstitious Amphra Clutches saw humanity's colonization as the harbinger of another Lsskrrllror and hid themselves beneath the water, but others saw things differently...
The ambitious Matron of the Clutch Bloodwake, Hkkglrra, saw the Imperium's arrival as a much needed opportunity to finally re-unite the fractious Amphra race. Abducting a small group of humans from one of their outlying settlements, Hkkglrra discovered to her delight that the would-be colonists were not only physically inferior to the Amphra, but also delectable. The very next night, the scarlet-shelled warriors of Clutch Bloodwake attacked the community and slaughtered its inhabitants down to the last man, seizing Imperial technology, most importantly weapons.
Using the stolen tech the Bloodwake Amphra staged an attack against the rival Clutch Bluemaw. Fanning the flames of conflict, Hkkglrra called to order an emergency Krrllaa, or meeting of Matrons, and requested an immediate truce between the Clutches in light of the recent "assaults". Unanimously agreeing to an alliance for fear of being annihilated by these apparent invaders, the Amphra rushed out of the oceans and into the burgeoning Imperial colonies, determined to defend their homeward. To mandible and claw and coral-tipped spear humanity fell in droves, and those who survived corralled into feeding pens and feasted upon in grand banquets in celebration of the Amphra's genocide. Within the span of a few years, the last Imperial bastion on Amphr had fallen.
The Tides Surge Forth (993.M39)
Nearly nine millenia after the first human colonists had dissapeared into the far-flung Cancridrae Sub-Sector, reports began to reach Segmentum command of "unknown xenos raiders" attacking vessels in the neighboring Mazul System. In response to this apparent threat a detachment of the Imperial Battlefleet Medici was deployed: a small vanguard fleet led by the yet-untested Vice-Admiral Salian Amarante. Travelling to the fringes of the Mazul System, the Medician fleet emerged from warp-transit near the star cluster Riga Binary, the area in which the alien marauders had last been sighted. Formation was kept tight; Vice-Admiral Amarante was a cautious man, and with the star cluster's erratic coronal ejections playing havoc with both vox-communications and auspex-scans, there was no telling where the enemy might strike.
Suddenly, the fleet's flanks where ripped open by pinpoint lance-fire, crippling several escorts within the first openning salvo. From the cloud of stellar matter flew xenos warships of unsettlingly organic design, bedecked with strange iconography of oceanic monstrosities and alien hieroglyphics. Amarante's mustered his fleet into a defensive position a second too late, as these ships were soon joined by larger, bulkier variants that bludgeoned their way through the Imperial vessels ill-coordinated formations. Swarms of tadpole-shaped boarding pods were released into the void to burrow their way into the hulls of the unfortunate Destroyers Scia Rosa and Risoluto. Their garbled vox-hails for assistance warned of ferocious crustacean horrors overrunning their upper decks before abruptly falling silent.
The Medician fleet was wounded, but not yet dead in the void. Amarante quickly changed tactics and ordered a full retreat, covering their escape by pressing forward with his flagship, the Renault, and bombarding the enemy vessels with the battlecruiser's Nova Cannon. As he fell back, the Vice-Admiral quickly discovered his foe's critical weakness: the xenos ships were durable and heavily armed, but they were markedly slower than the Imperial ships.
New orders were given: all ships were to remain at maximum firing distance and forbade from close-quarters manuvers. Slowly but surely, the combined might of the Battlefleet Medici wore down the xenos forces in a desperate game of cat and mouse. Amarante utilized every underhanded naval tactic in the book in order to perserve his remaining vessels, sacrificing entire squadrons of long-ranged Attack Craft to stave off the enemy's myriad attempts and boarding actions, but from this distance he could only do so much damage. With the xenos starships having cleverly corralled his forces into the midst of Riga Binary's stellar field, the Vice-Admiral was in no postion to order an emergency warp-transition, as in this position his vessels were more likely to crash into a star than sucessfully escape.
Steadily running out of options, Vice-Admiral Salian Amarante, third of his name, heir to the Medician Duchy of Montagnoso, did something entirely out of character. He took a massive risk. Targeting the largest enemy vessel in range, he ordered the Renault forward at full thrust, redirecting every availible iota of power to the battleship's engines. Its velocity increased tenfold by the gravitational pull of the nearby half-formed stars, the venerable vessel was slingshotted forward and impacted its target with the force of a cyclonic bombardment. The resulting carnage was immense, the xenos warship sheered clean in half by the Renault's armored prow, and the Renault suffering widespread structural damage from concentrated g-force, its frame perforated with imbedded wreckage from the alien hull. The damage was extreme, almost crippling, but the sudden maneuver surprised the enemy long enough for the remainder of the Medician ships to follow through the newly-created breach and warp to safety.
Both fleets limped back to their respective territories, fresh from a battle that would later come to be known as the Riga Binary Engagement, heavily wounded but mostly intact. The Imperium of Man had just been given a small taste of of how far the Amphra had advanced over the generations, and the worst was yet to come...
Korinthos Falls (998.M39)
In the aftermath of the Riga Binary Engagement, the Amphra's incursions into Imperial space escalated from spacefaring raids to fully-fledged military invasions. Still reveling in their recent victory, Matriarch Llssaa, leader of the Matriarchy and current Matron of Clutch Bloodwake, invoked ancient pacts between the Clutches, tempting the other Matrons into an alliance with promises of new worlds to plunder and a new prey-species on which to feast. Within the span of Terran year, the old Krrllaa reunited and granted the Matriarch the forces she needed to prosecute this new war. Amphra of all Clutches, not just Bloodwake, began falling upon the unprepared worlds of the Mazul System until it too was absorbed into the Matriarchy's territory.
Meanwhile, the Imperium was reeling, its attempts at steming the tide of Amphra now now pouring from the Cancridrae Sub-Sector hindered by both logistics and lack of solid intelligence. The Sub-Sector lay at the very edge of colonized territory, where the Astronomican's light was dim and sporiadic, and little information had been gathered on this new threat, the only concrete facts being that they were monstrous, well-organized, and apparently had a taste for human flesh.
But the Hammer of the Emperor was not to be deterred, and before long the Astra Millitarum took action. An entire Homestead of Einherjars, led by the fearsome Jarl Brynjar, journeyed into the fray. Fresh from a score of victories against the foul Dark Eldar, Brynjar's Homestead, the Ragged Hounds, had swelled in number. Now he led a mighty host of over 12,000 brave Housecarls, ready and eager to spill more xenos blood. Reinforcing their number were the venerable Tirone Thunderers, eager to see action so long after their last great conquest. The Thunderers commited six whole Batteries to this new battle; three standard artillery and three heavy artillery, all led by the aspiring Colonel Brankovich. Last to arrive were the rust-armored enforcers of the Lenaphant Guard, stoic and uncompromising, no less than eight of their Heavy Infantry Regiments having been diverted from their "peacekeeping" operations on the Hive World of M'Kresh.
This mixed-outfit force of Imperial Guardsmen was transported to Korinthos, an arid Agri-World of grassy steppes, rocky mountains, and shallow seas, known for its bustling hydroponic farms that fed the populations of nearly a dozen neighboring worlds. If it fell to the Amphra, not only would the entire star system it occupied starve, but the enemy would gain an integral staging ground from which they could launch further attacks.
[MORE TO COME]
Fractured Yet Whole (999.M41)
The Amphra are bipedal arthropods, having evolved within the shallow seas of their homeward of Amphr before migrating on to land, though they still remain largely amphibious. They are roughly humanoid in appearance, but their overall physiology is sharply divided along gender lines.
Female Amphra are the largest and most aggressive of the two genders, standing at over 7 feet on average, their hulking bodies covered in ridged chitinous exoskeletons comparable to ceramite plating in overall density, if not overall weight. Like most humanoids they possess two legs ending in webbed, two-toed feet, and two arms ending in massive pincers. A pair of smaller, thinner appendages adorn the female's lower abdomen, these ending in four-fingered hands that the Amphra uses for more precise manipulation of objects. Their heads are little more than extruding wedges of chitin situated between their massive shoulders, with a pair of semi-flexible eyestalks protruding from each side and in the center a cluster of talon-tipped mandibles protecting their gaping tooth-lined throats. Female Amphra also posses large crustacean tails, which drag behind them on land and serve as their primary means of propulsion in water. This appendage is so powerful that it can even be used as a improvised weapon in melee.
Male Amphra, by contrast, are far smaller and weaker than their female counterparts. Standing at roughly 4 feet in height, their bodies are also plated with exoskeleton, though theirs is somewhat membranous and semi-transparent. They posses four gangly "manipulator" arms and posses no pincers, plodding along on stumpy two-toed legs. Males do posses tails, though theirs are far less muscular, and their heads are far more elongated. These heads are equipped with a single pair of eyestalks alongside arthropod mouths located on the underside of their protruding craniums, along with a pair of bristly antennae that allow male Amphra to sense ultrasonic vibrations in their air around them. This gives the males a sort of "danger sense", an essential tool when in the company the hot-tempered females.
Amphra reproduce via laying eggs, which incubate in clutches of 20 to 30 within the distended stomach sacs of Amphra Matrons. Once laid, the eggs are submerged in pools of mineral-rich saltwater until finally hatching over the course of the next Terran week. Amphra larvae are only semi-sentient and extremely ravenous, often devouring their siblings within minutes of their own birth. Once the initial feeding frenzy has ceased, the survivors are segregated via gender to separate birthing pools, where they are routinely fed scraps of humanoid meat until they are sufficiently developed enough to step on to dry land.
Amphra psykers are extremely rare, with perhaps 1 out of every 1000 Amphra born possessing psychic potential. Males who exhibit psychic powers are slaughtered without mercy by the Female Amphra, for fear of them rising above their station. However, Female psykers are feared and respected by their peers, with many rising to become Matrons.
Culture and Society
- "...in light of the recent discoveries made on Tanib Zeta, and in accordance with the will of Cancridrean High Conclave, I, Lord Inquisitor Wolfram Beyale of the Ordo Xenos, declare the Amphra Matriarchy and all it's inhabitants Xenos Horrificus. May all Emperor-fearing Imperials all take heed..."
- —Excerpt from Carmine-Level Inquisitorial Dispatch, circa 002.M40
Despite being an fairly advanced spacefaring species, Amphra see the galaxy through a fairly primitive viewpoint, that being that all creatures are either predators or prey. The physically gifted and imposing are considered predators by the Amphra, fit to challenge and vie against for power and territory. Meanwhile, those who are physically inferior to the Amphra are considered prey, little more than mindless animals to be slaughtered and devoured at their leisure. Most of humanity falls into the latter category, though the Amphra consider human flesh a delicacy and have even gone as far as to imprison and "farm" small populations in order to maintain a decent supply of fresh meat. Even the Amphra word for "human", Hggsh, literally translates as "soft prey".
Another principle element of Amphra culture is the almost psychological need for status, particularly that endowed by material wealth. Amphra Females typically judge once another's merit based on the amount of battle trophies, Male servants, precious minerals, and other valuable items they have accrued over their lifetimes, and all dream of one day ascending to the vaunted rank of Matron. Even the ostracized and deprecated Males gather scraps of food and pieces of random detritus into private hoards, though the Females tend to punish them severely for their paltry attempts at establishing their own status.
Amphran society is fractured into separate insular clans known as Clutches. Each individual clutch is lorded over by a Female ruler known as a Matron. Massive creatures bloated with meat and pregnancy, Matrons are rarely seen outside of a Clutch's main stronghold or flagship, were their swollen bulk reclines within cavernous saltwater bathhouses, attended to by harems of prized Breeding Males. In addition to serving as the ultimate authority within a Clutch, Matrons also perpetuate its existence by quite literally giving birth to its future generations.
Below the Matron are her daughters, the Female Amphra that serve as the Clutch's upper class of warriors, artisans, and engineers. Amphra Warriors, known as Drays, are particularly numerous within this upper caste. When the Matron dies, typically her eldest daughter takes her place as the new Matron, though more ambitious Females have been known to commit matricide.
At the very bottom tier are the Amphra Males, serving as menials, laborers, and occasionally even cannon fodder. In times of famine the Male caste serves as the rest of the Clutch's main source of sustenance, as the Females are not above cannibalism even in times of plenty, especially if a Male has displeased them in some way.
Inevitably, all Clutches answer to the Amphra Matriarch, the Matron of the largest and most prestigious Clutch and therefore de facto ruler of the Matriarchy. But while the Matriarch and her children are considered dominant in terms of status, she is ruler only in the loosest sense, as the other Clutches tend to serve their own agendas unless deliberately forced into obedience. In addition, their have been numerous occasions in which rival clutches have made war upon the Matriarch's chosen in the hopes of claiming the vaunted ruling status for themselves.
Their are hundreds, possibly even thousands, of individual Clutches, but all tend to differentiate in terms physical characteristics. This is mainly due to the fact that all Amphra within a specific Clutch are the spawn of one specific Matron, all so all tend to share the same general appearance. Notable Clutches include:
- Clutch Bluemaw - Currently the largest and most powerful Clutch within the Matriarchy, having succeeded Clutch Bloodwake during the War of Broken Shells. Their Matron and the current Matriarch, Rrklliir, is known for her usually reserved demeanor, focusing mainly on shoring up the Matriarchy's defenses and rather than striking back at the hated Imperium of Man. Amphra of Clutch Bluemaw have ochre-colored shells, along with pale underbellies and distinct, cyan mandibles.
- Clutch Bloodwake - Once Clutch Bloodwake held the position of dominant Clutch for nearly two centuries, until the assassination of Matriarch Llssaa and the subsequent turmoil reduced them to a shadow of their former glory. Bitter and vengeful, they maintain their reputation as the most aggressive of the Clutches by participating in the majority of the raids undertaken against Imperial forces in the Cancridrae Sub-Sector. Amphra of Clutch Bloodwake have bright crimson-colored shells, hence the name.
- Clutch Gloomdepth - Enigmatic and unknowable, Clutch Gloomdepth has stayed largely aloof in the byzantine power struggles of the Matriarchy, focusing instead on expanding their already considerable holdings to outlying worlds. Uncharacteristically for Amphra, they are known to be considerable less xenophobic have reportedly colluded with other xeno races, a rumor that worries Imperial High Command to this day. Amphra of Clutch Gloomdepth have grayish-black shells, and often sport bioluminescent stripes that glow when agitated.
- Clutch Greyspine - Masters of subterfuge, Clutch Greyspine sports some of the most deadly ambuscade forces within the Matriarchy. This is mainly due to their unique biologies that allow them to naturally camouflage themselves within their surroundings. Amphra of Clutch Greyspine have usually asymmetrical shells festooned with spikes and ridges, capable of changing coloration depending on local temperature and pressure.
- Clutch Paletide - A breakaway from the now-extinct Clutch Brassclaw, Clutch Paletide was formed by the infamous "Exile Matron" Isshkriil, who was born sickly and weak with a shell of pure white. Somehow managing to survive the predations of her stronger siblings, Isshkriil fled into uncharted territory only to return with a vengeance in the midst of the War of Broken Shells, her children annihilating Clutch Brassclaw and seizing their holdings. According to rumor, Clutch Paletide sports an usual number of Amphra Psykers, which would certainly explain their meteoric rise to prominence. Like their progenitor, Amphra of Clutch Paletide have white shells and blood-red eyes.
Though religion is not a particularly pervasive or influential aspect of Amphra culture, they do practice a form of ancestor worship centered around the veneration of Amphra whose deeds still live on in infamy. This pantheon of the revered is known as the Aamrr, which translates to Unforgotten in Gothic. Notable members of the Aamrr include the Tidemother, the legendary progenitor of the Amphra species and Hkkglrra, the First Matriarch. Individual Clutches may have specific ancestors they revere above others, making the Aamrr a vast pantheon indeed.
Their is no theocracy or church-like institution devoted to worship within the Matriarchy, as most Amphra regard the ancestral spirits of the Aamrr as a source of inspiration and little else.
The native language of the Amphra is known as Krrlsk, which to non-Amphra sounds like little more than a frenzied collection of clicks, hisses, and screeches when spoken aloud. Due to the bizarre anatomy of Amphra mouthparts and vocal systems, it's verbal form is virtually impossible for non-Amphra to replicate.
Krrlsk in written format is hieroglyphic, meaning that is consists of thousands upon thousands of abstract symbols that can be interpreted as a variety of different phrases and words depending on overall shape and positioning.
Though monstrous in appearance and savage in nature, Amphra are surprisingly gifted artists who put great stock in aesthetic value. Everything from their buildings to their spacefaring vessels to their bionic enhancements often have a sculpted, almost organic look to them, often mimicking the ridges and curves of chitin or coral. Statuary is a favored form of artwork amongst Amphra artisans, often incorporating great likenesses of Amphra Warriors or undersea beasts into their architecture.
Amphra also take great pride in body art, Females layering their shells with patterns of precious metals, lacquered bone, and brightly-colored coral to transform their carapaces into mobile mosaics. Oftentimes they integrate Krrlsk hieroglyphics into these masterful designs, artfully displaying signifiers of title and rank for all to see. Therefore, the more decorated an Amphra's shell, the higher the individual's rank.
The Amphra Matriarchy possesses a somewhat unbalanced level of technological advancement. On one hand, the Matriarchy's advances in bionic enhancement are impressive in both form and function, with nearly all of their warriors possessing some form of augmentation. On the other hand, their understanding of the Warp and its functions is fairly limited, and they rely on relatively primitive ion engines and sub-light drives to propel their spacecraft through the void. The rest of the Amphra's machineries tend to be amphibious in nature, and they often utilize breeds of megafauna taken from their homeworld to bridge specific technological gaps, especially in warfare.
- Barb Weapons - A simplistic mainstay of Amphra weaponry, Barb Weapons fire kinetically-propelled metallic spikes fitted with bladed "barbs" that stabilize their trajectory through both air and water. Versatile and extremely effective against lightly-armored targets, Barb Weapons come in thousands of different varieties, from rotary Barbcannons to explosive-tipped Impaler Carbines.
- Electrolas Weapons - These relatively commonplace weapons project a stream of ions a split second before firing, guiding the blast towards its intended target. This feature increases overall accuracy and prevents harmful energy-dispersal in aquatic environments, but otherwise their effect is no different than other forms of Las-Weaponry.
- Oscillation Weapons - Another common form of Amphra weaponry, Oscillation Weapons fire concentrated ultrasonic blasts capable of disrupting a target's natural vibrational frequency and causing it to literally shake apart with devastating effect. Equally effective on land or underwater, Oscillation Weapons are typically used by the Amphra for anti-armor purposes.
- Ignition Weapons - Referred to as "Igniters" or "Heat Rays", Amphra Ignition Weapons are fairly uncommon, highly complex weapons. They function via agitating the particles surrounding their targets, culminating in a short lived conflagration that burns (or boils depending on the environment) the target alive in a spectacular burst of energy. Due to their advanced nature, Ignition Weapons are only utilized by elite Amphra units.
Amphra melee weaponry works along the same principles as Imperial Power weapons, as both inflict damage by disrupting molecular bonds upon striking. However, Amphra melee weapons possess blades that sever molecular bonds through vibrational force, making them similar in effect to their long-ranged Oscillation Weapons. Common variants include:
- Vibroclaw - Replacing an Amphra Dray's natural crustacean claw with a bionic replica, Vibroclaws are massive bladed pincers capable of scything opponents into shrieking meat.
- Vibroglaive - Wide-bladed implanted polearms, Vibroglaives provide much greater reach in close-quaters combat.
- Vibrolash - A scourge-like weapon consisting of more than a dozen metallic, spiked tendrils that tremble and convulse with pent-up sonic energy when activated. Extremely effective against multiple opponents.
Most Amphra Drays are heavily augmented, as most forms of Amphra Weaponry are implanted rather than wielded. Other combat oriented-implantations include:
- Endoplating - A lengthy process in which every segment of an Amphra's carapace is surgically removed, implanted with metallic plating, and then reattached. Though a notoriously painful procedure, Endoplating is a standard augmentation for most Drays, as it drastically increases the durability of their shells.
- Exoplating - Those Drays who prefer extra endurance on the battlefield go a step further by reinforcing their shells with Exoplating, in which their carapaces are plated with metallic compounds and further enhanced via a powered exoskeleton that assists their movements. Though it transforms the Dray into a near-unstoppable juggernaut, Exoplating also severely impairs overall mobility.
- Shimmerfields - Amphra Shimmerfields take the form of bulbous carapace-mounted sensor pods that agitate the molecular particles surrounding the implanted Dray, creating a protective shield that disperses energy blasts and disintegrates solid ammunition upon contact. When active, the wielder appears to be surrounded in a shimmering haze, hence the name.
- Preyfinder Array - This combat augment compensates for the Amphra species' limited field of view by replacing the eyestalks with multi-spectral ocular probes. These probes also interface with similar sensors implanted throughout their carapace, giving the wielder a near 360-degree field of awareness.
- Autosystem Weapons - High-ranking Drays often have secondary or even tertiary ranged weapons mounted on their massive shoulder plates, interfacing their controls with their own nervous systems as to operate them via mental impulse.
- Synaptic Goad - An augmentation typically installed with the cortex of non-Amphra slave races and warbeasts, a Synaptic Goad is somewhat primitive device that channels electrical impulses directly into the victim's cortex, forcing them into actions predetermined by the controller of the Goad (usually an Amphra Dray). If overused, they have been known to cause permanent brain damage or even death via synaptic overload.
The Amphra typically refer to their fleets as Klorri. The Imperium of Man has only encountered the Amphra Matriarchy's naval opperations on a few seperate occasions. Though they have ecountered and designated those spacecraft they encountered, it is possible that further variations may exist.
- Proteus-Class Arkship - Refered to as Grrmash Arrkii (literally "flying palace") by the Amphra, the Proteus-Class Arkship is the largest known Martriarchy vessel ever encountered by the Imperium. Rivaling the size of an Emperor-Class Battleship, Arkships are not so much weapons of war as they are mobile strongholds, often a Clutches' true seat of power. Opulent both inside and out, Arkships are the preferred transports of Amphra Matrons, though their sheer upkeep costs make them rare indeed.
- Scylla-Class Battleship - When a Clutch musters a great Klorri, a Scylla-Class Battleship always rides at its head. These the hulls of these fearsome command craft bristle with Particle Cannons, Torpedo Batteries, and Electrolances, all shielded by layered Shimmerfields capable of repulsing a small fleet's worth of firepower.
- Cetus-Class Corvette - Small and highly manuverable, Cetus-Class Corvettes are typically deployed as the vanguard of an Amphra fleet action, strafing enemy ships with pinpoint lance strikes and forcused particle bombardments before darting back into the midst of their allies.
- Tursas-Class Dreadnought - The solid backbone of an Amphra Klorri is made up of these durable vessels, capable of absorbing the brunt of an enemy assault with their thick hulls and Shimmerfields while dealing out plenty of damage on their own as they slowly but surely close ranks.
- Lusca-Class Scoutship - Seldom encountered in fully-fledged void battles, Lusca-Class Scoutships are an experimental variant of Amphra vessel, lightly armed and armored but equiped with supercharged sub-light engines that grant it the greatest speed of any Amphra spacecraft. As the designation implies, they are utilized by the Matriarchy to preform reconissance on outlying star systems, and their appearance in Imperial space often heralds the arrival of a larger Amphra force.
- Russalka-Class Corvette - A variant of the Cetus-Class Corvette, the Russalka-Class specializes in the rapid deployment of boarding and fighter actions against enemy vessels. In battle they dash forward with near-suicidal determination, closing in and releasing swarms of Boarding Pods and Riptides directly into the enemy lines to wreak havoc.
- Makara-Class Dropship - A void-to-atmosphere lander used to deploy entire squadrons of Amphra vehicles directly on to a planet's surface. Also capable of submersing in the event of an aquatic deployment.
- Riptide Multicraft - An incredibly versatile horseshoe-shaped Fighters capable of void, atmospheric, and aquatic traversal, depending on the needs of the situation. Riptides also boast highly customizable armaments, ranging anywhere from Oscillator Cannons for in-atmosphere combat to heat-seeking torpedoes for underwater engagements. Typically crewed by an Amphra Dray and a score of Male lackeys.
- "Tadpole" Boarding Pod - Nicknamed after its distinctive shape, "Tadpoles" consist of a rudimentary ion-engine, a bulbous troop compartment, and a tapering needle-like protrusion that makes more than half its length. This protrusion is in fact a massive Oscillation weapon that vibrates at such a frequency that at high-velocity it can punch through solid adimantium with little trouble. Once imbedded in the targeted ship, the "needle" splits open like the petals of a flower and delivers it's murderous passengers.
- Devilwhale Dropship - The mainstay troop dropship of any Amphra force. Bulbous and heavily armored, a Devilwhale is capable of transporting two full squads of fully-armed Drays at maximum capacity.
- "So dies all soft prey."
- —Ghash-Dray Iksllrr, prior to the Siege of Korinthos
Typically individual Clutches field and their own armies, comprised mainly of Female Drays along with any and all attached attached vehicles, ships, and warbeasts. However, it is not uncommon for Clutches to form military alliances in times of need, and thus opposing armies may find themselves facing Amphra of all manner of allegiances and colorations on the battlefield. Military rank among Drays is as follows, in order of highest to lowest-ranking:
- Ghash-Dray - Supreme commander of all Amphra Drays within a given Clutch. Oftentimes serves as the right hand of the Clutch Matron.
- Krr-Dray - Second only to the Clutch Ghash-Dray herself. Typically serve as the commanding officers of elite Amphra formations.
- Lssk-Dray - Commanders of individual Amphra formations.
- Aak-Dray - Designation given to unproven rank-and-file Drays.
- Matron - On rare occasions, a particuarly adventurous Amphra Matron may venture on to the battlefield, her bloated bulk supported by a mobile, heavily-armed War Palanquin, and surrounded on all sides by zealous Ghash-Guard. In terms of tactical support, most Matrons tend to be armchair generals at best, but their mere presence can often serve as a massive morale boost to the Amphra under her command.
- Ghash-Dray - Whether it be commanding a massive Klorri fleet or on the ground, leading her clutchmates into battle, when the Amphra muster a mighty army to war, a Ghash-Dray is always at its head. They alone are a majestic if terrifying sight to behold, their armored carapaces inlaid with precious gems and alloys torn from a dozen conquered worlds, a retinue of Bearer-Males meekly following in their wake, holding aloft banners depicting the Ghash-Drays' many great accomplishments and conquests. Having access to the most advanced weapons in the Amphra's arsenal, Ghash-Drays are just as formidable warriors as they are commanders.
- Paletide Warp Hag - Clutch Paletide is well-known for the multitudes of psykers that suffuse their ranks, the most powerful of which are known as Warp Hags. Sparsely augmented and clad in ceremonial robes of woven seaweed, Warp Hags are powerful if unstable opponents, their limited understanding of the Warp making their powers erratic at best. This instability is most noticeable in battle, as they unleash spasming waves of kinetic force and coruscating beams of unstable witchlight, often posing just as much danger to their fellow Amphra as they do to the enemy.
- Dray War-Artisans - Those Drays who show particular propensity towards technological disciplines often become War-Artisans, serving as a combination of both warrior and engineer both on and off the battlefield. War-Artisans also are known for being extensively augmented, even by Amphra standards, their shells uncharacteristically unadorned and often sporting multiple augmetic limbs bearing specialized tools.
- Ghash-Guard - The ranks of the Ghash-Guard are made up entirely of the Clutch Matron's firstborn daughters, each one a consummate warrior armed to the teeth with the most advanced wargear the Clutch can provide. Their sole duty is to protect their Matron at all times and in all places, and only for matters of the utmost importance to they leave her side.
- Tidal Claws - Amongst ancient Amphra, there arose a phenotype of Dray from those few clans and tribes that subsisted on the dangerous fauna of the shallow seas and warm waters close to the coasts of the few acheplegos of their homeworld. These Dray became valued mercenaries, as their lives amongst the quick predators and crashing tides led to the development of extremely thick and durable carapaces and highly territorial natures. As of the modern era, the breed known as "Tidal Claw" Drays have developed into hulking killing machines feared by all but the most mighty Matron and her Ghash-Guard. Massive claws, chitinous plates as thick as light vehicle armor, the Tidal Claws are the most elite shock troops of the Clutches. However, due to both the centuries of inbreeding amongst the Tidal Claws and the now constant warfare amongst the stars, the ranks of these fearsome warriors has been severely depleted, making their presence on modern battlefields of the 41st Millennium severely limited.
- Male Fodder-Brood - Though feeble and cowardly when compared to the ferocity of the female superiors, the so-called Fodder-Broods of the Clutches make up for their failings with sheer numbers and cruel cunning borne of a will to survive. Male Amphra are often pressed into battle when the Clutches go to war, often as a screening and scouting force due to their enhanced ability to sense danger. When engaged, most Fodder-Broods will immediately scatter and skirmish with their enemy, utilizing their four manipulator arms and superior numbers to lay down an impressive volley of fire before scuttling to the relative safety of the Drays. A single Male warrior can be armed with either two rifle-like long arms, four pistol-like small arms, or a combination of the two. An Amphra male may also opt for a single heavy weapon. In spite of their numbers and relative viciousness, Fodder-Broods instinctively avoid melee combat, as their frail exoskeletons and feeble stature brooks few advantages against even human combatants. Driven by desperation and given the numbers, Males can drag down even dedicated melee attackers, but are more likely to crumble and flee if the option presents itself.
- Dray War-Brood - The backbone of a Clutch war-machine and a formidable force to even Space Marines, the average Dray War-Brood
- Barnica - One of a few slave races native to the Amphra homeworld, the diminutive Barnica were once a primitive species that survived in the very blackest depths of the planet's oceans. Bottom feeders in the most literal sense, the Barnica were a race of scavengers and nomads, roaming the eternal black void of the deepest seas, only settling within the carcasses of great leviathan monsters that had drifted down from the surface waters. Once stripped of all flesh and bone marrow, the Barnica tribes would move on from the corpses they inhabited, once again drifting the open abyss. But then the Amphra came from above, and subjugated these creatures as laborers, finding their meager flesh most distasteful. Armored within a thick shell, Barnica stand at shoulder height to the feeble Male Amphra, but can withstand absurd amounts of punishment due to the pressure hardened and all encompassing nature of their shelled bodies. Scuttling upon eight spindly legs and possessed of several manipulator tentacles, the Barnica are ideally battlefield technicians and grenadiers, armed with bandoleers of explosives and various other anti-vehicle weapons. Thanks to their sturdy shells, Barnica "Blast-Broods" can charge forth amidst the chaos of their own hastily lobbed explosives relatively unscathed.
- Ironshell Drays - As their infamous nickname implies, "Ironshell" Drays are hulking brutes outfitted in durable Exoplating and armed with an assortment of anti-armor weaponry, from devastating Oscillation Cannons to pinpoint Electrolas Bombards.
- Brutalizer-Leviathan - Leviathans, known to the Amphra as the Rrkkorr, are the apex predators of Amphr. They are massive amphibious behemoths, armored in jagged adimantium-hard chitin, marching forth on four crushing talons supporting their disturbingly humanoid torsos. Their heads are subterranean nightmares, consisting of eight beady eyes and a maw of bone-throned tentacles that drip with corrosive digestive fluids. Most Leviathans stand as tall as Imperial Knights in stature, used by the Amphra as living siege engines. Techno-organic command pulpits are installed into the flesh of their hunched backs, crewed by a single Krr-Dray. The Brutalizer variants' arms end in implanted oscillating Vibromauls capable of reducing stone to powder and flesh to bloody mist upon contact. Goaded into a berserk rage by their Amphra masters, Brutalizer-Leviathans rush forward into enemy lines, pulverizing anything within sight.
- Ravager-Levithan - This variant of Leviathan warbeast in a mobile artillery platform, the meat of it's arms and shoulders having been amputated and replaced with massive weapon batteries such as wide-bore Ignition Blasters, devastating Oscillation Arrays, and explosive Impaler Launchers. Even its acidic saliva has been weaponized, the Ravager-Leviathan's maw having been augmented to spew corrosive liquids in a short-ranged burst.
- Tyrant-Levithan -
- Polypoids -
- Squidbats -
- Greyspine Skulkers -
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- "You are not Amphra, so you will not understand. We take your worlds, your treasures, your lives, not because we hate you. You are soft prey, and soft prey cannot keep their things, not from predators. You are too weak to keep them, and so we take them. That is how it is."
- —Llssaa, Matron of Clutch Bloodwake (Deceased)
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- "Targets engaged, assessment of xenos exoskeletal structure... Brittle in composition. Inferior."
- —Sergeant Hanusz Cho'Rhe of the Children of the Anvil, Clan Topór, as he engages Drays of Clutch Bloodwake in close combat during the Purge of M'kresh
- "The aliens waver brothers! We drink thine blood tonight, Brine Beasts!"
- —Knight-Brother Cedric Bludkin of the Vile Blood
- "Does that second shell of yours peel off as easy as the first?"
- —Jarl Brynjar addressing the Amphra
- "You can take the crab out of the water, but you can't take the water out of the crab. That's why fire is so effective. That or just shooting them until they die."
- —Inquisitor Jacob Flux on combating the Amphra