- "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 showing 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]
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 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 creatures of the land, both natural and unnatural oppose them.[2a]
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. 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.[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. The resulting experiments led to the creation of a new breed of Hydra, known simply as the War Hydra.[1a]
- War Hydra - A stronger and far more ferocious breed of Hydra created by a combination of genetic and magical alterations.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Dark Elves (8th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 49
- 2: Old World Beastiary (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 2a: pg. 45