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The Chromes were a race of metallic insectoid Xenos encountered by the Imperium in M32.[1a]

Biology and History

Their total numbers were estimated as near 88 billions[1b] and they have been encountered on sixty-seven worlds (including Ardamantua). According to Magos Biologis investigations Chromes were not harmless, but also not a naturally aggressive species. This Xenos species was called "Chromes" because of the silvery metallic finish of their chitin armour.[1c]

In appearance, they resembled human-sized insects with impressive speed and long forelimbs. They were armoured around their heads, necks and backs, and made noises compared to broken cogitators.[1c]

Like many insect species, the species developed "warrior" forms which were larger, more agile, better armoured, generally more lethal, and darker in coloration. These warrior forms the blisternests - central hive-buildings of their planets.[1b] Existing between realities, the Chromes attacked the Imperium while in desperate flight from the Ork Warboss known as The Beast.[1a] Magos Phaeton Laurentis, attached to the Imperial Fists strike force sent to combat the Chromes on Ardamantua, prophetically compared their behavior to that of Terran rats - invading Imperial territory not out of hostility, but rather fleeing before some greater threat.[Needs Citation]

Unaware of this greater threat, the Imperial Fists battled the Chromes on Ardamantua until both were destroyed by the arriving Greenskins' Battle Moon. Other priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus speculated that the Chromes might even have been attempting to warn the Imperials.[1a]


Though it was not noted by any of the Imperial forces at the time, there was a striking similarity between the encounter with the Chromes and the 63rd Expeditionary Force's war against the Megarachnids on Murder during the Great Crusade. Like the Chromes, the Megarachnids were dangerous, but inarticulate, and the Imperials' war on them turned out to have been a distraction which presaged contact with a much more powerful force.[2]

See Also