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"They are wondrous strange are the Hydras. Their fearsome aspect and multiple heads are legendary though few indeed have ever met one or lived through the encounter if they did. I've heard rumours that certain tribes of Swamp Goblins worship the hydras and leave them offerings to divert their wrath. More likely to appease their hunger, I should think, but still it goes to show just how powerfully a Hydra can affect those who've encountered it. This is no surprise, as Hydras are nearly immortal beasts, living down through the long years untouched by time's ravages."
Hartwig Turns, Altdorf Merchant.[2a]

A feral Hydra stalking the mountains of Naggaroth.

The Hydra is a titanic beast of the mountains, whose ill-tempered and ravenous nature has proven the doom of many an unsuspecting morsel. Indeed, so ferocious is the Hydra that campaigning armies often make wide detours to avoid intruding on such a beast's bone-strewn lair. Those that march on regardless do so either out of confidence in their battle-prowess or ignorance of the Hydra's savagery.[1a]


Hydras are restless and aggressive beasts, seldom sleeping and almost always on the hunt for prey. The Hydra is a deathly silent hunter - an unusual trait in something so large and vicious - and can track quarry across all manner of terrain without once giving itself away. Unfortunately, this subtlety is abandoned the moment the Hydra comes within striking distance, so a quick-witted prey can often escape if it reacts the moment the roaring begins.[4a]

Hydras are rampaging and voracious monsters. No matter how much they consume, they seem to always be hungry for more. Their presence will swiftly level most natural surroundings, reducing them to barren waste within a month or so of their taking up residence, which forces them to move on or starve. While Hydras are mighty beasts, their continual destruction of their local environment inevitably leads to their death as more and more enemies oppose them.[3a]

A Hydra will attack any creature that dares confront it, the many heads striking out to deliver vicious bites while the beast moves forward, using its bulk to crush opponents. The multiple-headed monsters are also known to coil their serpentine necks around larger prey, constricting them, as do the giant snakes of the jungle lands. In addition to belching out a smoky flame, Hydras also have the ability to rapidly heal any wounds that manage to penetrate their thick scales, even regrowing a severed head - a new one pushing itself outwards from the stump to rejoin its fellows.[4a]

Nobody is sure of the origins of the Hydras - whether they were creatures of the world before the Old Ones came, or are some offspring of Chaos brought about by the warping effects of the Winds of Magic.[2a] All Hydras are ill-tempered and solitary creatures that lair underground, favouring dark caves or noisome pits. Hydras are widespread and can be found stalking the slopes of the Worlds Edge Mountains or hunting the ashen wastes of the Dark Lands. The multi-headed monstrosities are especially numerous beneath the Black Spine and Iron Mountains in Naggaroth.[4a]

There are but a scant few left in the Old World outside of the Chaos Wastes and of those, perhaps only one or two still live within the borders of the Empire. However, no Hydra has ever been reported to have died of old age, leading many to believe that if they aren't ageless, they are at the least incredibly long lived. A number of hunters that go seeking after Hydras do so in the hopes of discovering the key to their longevity.[3a]

War Hydras

Over the years, a disturbing new source of tales and information about Hydras has become evident to the scholars of the Empire. Rumour holds that one of the Elven tribes of the Land of Chill has taken to breeding Hydras as war beasts. This is a fairly staggering revelation in the Old World, as many learned men would've sworn that such a thing was impossible, a Hydra being too fierce a beast to tame in such a manner. The few that know anything of such matters often suspect that sorcery must be involved.[3a] The Dark Elf Beastmasters of that land have learned to capture and breed these enormous reptiles, calling them War Hydras and driving them into battle, controlling the beasts with sharp goads and cruel whips.[4a]

They first came into the armies of the Naggarothi from the magical Annulii Mountains on Ulthuan, and can be found throughout the Iron and Black Spine ranges in Naggaroth.[2a] Only creatures as twisted as the Dark Elves would look upon the Hydra's vicious glory and deem it insufficient for the task at hand. But ever since the Witch King's Beastmasters first tamed the creatures, the Naggarothi have continually experimented with breeding techniques and dark enchantments to raise the raw ferocity and power of successive generations.[1a]


  • War Hydra - A stronger and far more ferocious breed of Hydra created by a combination of genetic and magical alterations.[1a][2a]

Infamous Hydras

  • The Beast of Raema
  • Incalamir
  • The Chill of Sontar



  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 49
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (7th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 58
  • 3: Old World Beastiary (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
    • 3a: pg. 45
  • 4: Storm of Magic (8th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 91
  • 5: White Dwarf #261
    • 5a: pg. 45