- The Skadiir -
Hailing from the infamous ironwoods of the Garmian cluster the skadiir are a race of fierce and proud hunter-witches. Trackers beyond compare, with the ability to psychically home in on their quarry´s warpshadow, they are sometimes found in the employ of less than orthodox imperial agents.
The ironwoods are giant spherelike aggregates of thorns the size of small moons, orbiting the upper atmosphere of gas giants common in the cluster. These floating forests can all be considered as deathworlds, each teeming with various ferocious ecoystems of their own.
Only female skadii are ever encountered by outsiders - the males are hulking semi-sentient beasts who roam the cores of the ironwood orbs. When reaching maturity a skadii must earn the right to become a full member of the ruling matriarchy. She goes on a quest to hunt down and kill a particular prey. The more powerful the quarry the greater the honor, but she cannot rejoin her coven-pride until the quest is complete. Most choose among the various feral beasts roamning the forests of the thornworlds, but some particularly adventurous skadii choose exotic targets such as zoats, ork warlords or chaos champions (or in some cases even senior space marines ). It is these hunters that normally come into contact with the imperium. Should their goals coincide a skadii might be persuaded to join an Inquisitors warband.
If their hunt is successful they return to their home and are given the right to mate - otherwise they will stalk the stars until they die. The female goes into the deepwoods in search of one of the feral males, capture him and bring him back to the pride. There they mate and when the mating process is over the coven-pride kills and consumes the male. After bearing a huge litter the young hunter-witch is taken up as a full member of the matriarchy and her full psychic powers develop.