Fenrisian Wolves are unlike any other wolf. They are at the top of the food chain on the harsh world of Fenris, and are among the most cunning and dangerous predators in the galaxy. The sheer diversity of Fenrisian Wolves is enormous. Adult Wolves can reach the size of horses, the greatest approaching the size of a Snow Lion or Rhino armoured carrier.
The Space Wolves state that Fenrisian Wolves did not exist until the arrival of Human colonizers. Confusingly, they also state that they are in fact no wolves of Fenris. Thus what exactly Fenrisian Wolves are remains unclear.
Types of Fenrisian Wolves
- Common Fenrisian Wolf: The most common species found on Fenris, but nonetheless deadly.[3a]
- Blackmaned Wolf: The hulking Blackmaned Wolf is as tall and muscular as a warhorse. Their jaws can exert as much pressure as those of an ice shark, and they are capable of hunting the largest prey through the thickest blizzard. Their anatomy is similar to that of the common Fenrisian Wolf, but their heads are proportionally larger and their teeth more pronounced. They are usually only seen in the dead of winter when their packs descend from the mountains into the land of the Fenrisians to feed. Fenrisians refer to attempting impossible acts as "taming a Blackmane", a saying that stemmed from the wolf's famously intractable nature (although they have been known to accompany the most celebrated Wolf Lords of the Space Wolves into battle). In Fenrisian myth, the Blackmanes serve in the afterlife as minions of Morkai, the two-headed guardian of the Gates of Death. According to legend, one who crosses into the afterlife with a Blackmane at his side will never truly die.[3a]
- Thunderwolf: The monstrous, infamous Thunderwolf prowls the northernmost ice caps of Fenris, where they are considered the apex predator, and make their lairs in the fabled Mountain of the Maelstrom. Their anatomy has more in common with the Terran rhinoceroid than a normal canine. They are capable of reaching as much as eight feet in height at the shoulder. Their shaggy coat of rough fur is as tough as matted steel wire, and their jutting jaws so strong that they are able to chew through steel. Recovered Thunderwolf skulls show evidence of several rows of teeth in perpetual growth, allowing those that are lost in violent kills to be quickly replaced. They are solitary creatures, and usually attack each other on sight. Their primary food animals are the giant bear, the ice troll, and the Fenrisian mastodon, although they will devour any creatures that trespass upon their realm without hesitation. Rather than tracking their prey down over time like their smaller cousins, Thunderwolves bear down upon their victims in a terrifying charge, snatching up their prey in their maw and tearing its head off. Many Fenrisians venerate the Thunderwolf as a spiritual totem, but only the Space Wolves have the constitution to hunt these creatures down. The practice of hunting down and breaking in Thunderwolves is a sort of initiation ritual into the upper echelons of the Wolf Guard. These are used in the near-mythical Thunderwolf Cavalry, and are often augmented with adamantium jaws, bionics, and back-jointed metal limbs that end in razor-sharp blades. The havoc that these creatures are capable of wreaking is said to be startling to even a hardened veteran.[3b]
- Cyberwolves are cybernetically augmented Fenrisian wolves, which often lead wolf packs or accompany Iron Priests.
Fenrisian Wolf Packs
If a Space Wolf slays the alpha male of a Fenrisian Wolf Pack while undertaking the ritual of the Lone Hunt, the surviving wolves will treat him as their new pack leader. Many will form a lasting attachment, and fight at their master's side until death.[3a]
Fenrisian Wolf Loyalty
As a symbol of the Space Wolves frozen homeworld they often befriend and are trained by Space Wolves Battle Brothers.
The wolves are loyal to their masters, whining if they are forced to stay behind on the frontline, or attacking with a gesture or a word. If a battle-brother falls the wolf will try to protect the body at all costs or drag him to safety.
The wolves are a point of conflict between many chapters and the Space Wolves, especially when they have to squeeze into a Rhino with one or suffer it's panting during a tactical briefing.
Notable Fenrisian Wolves
- The most legendary of the Fenrisian Wolves were the Blackmanes Freki and Geri, the wolf-brothers of the Space Wolves Primarch Leman Russ. These two wolves grew up with Leman Russ when the Primarch was found by their mother. When Leman Russ and his wolf pack was found by the hunting party of King Thengir, most of the pack was killed along with the she-wolf that had adopted Leman Russ. Freki and Geri had escaped the King's hunters. Later, during the Great Crusade the two wolves fought at Russ's side.
- Cogfang — Cyberwolf. Companion of Iron Priest Anvarr Rustmane.
- Fangir - Thunderwolf. Serves as mount to Canis Wolfborn, the champion of Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf. Fangir is said to be as strong as a mastodon and as tall at the shoulder as an Ice Troll.[3c]
- Icetooth — Thunderwolf. Personal riding beast of Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf.
Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Compilation, Leman Russ, 1991
- 2: Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 36
- 3: Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition)
- 4: Deathwatch: First Founding, pg. 108
- 5: http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/productDetail.jsp?catId=cat440160a&prodId=prod1460187a
- 6: Stormseeker (Short Story)
- 7: War Zone Fenris: Curse of the Wulfen, Chapter 1 - The Deathwolves
- 8: Leman Russ: The Great Wolf (Novel) Chapter 1
- 9: Prospero Burns (Novel) Chapter 4
- 10: Codex: Space Wolves (8th Edition), pg. 51
- 11: White Dwarf 246 (US), pg. 82
- 12: Codex: Space Wolves (3rd Edition), pg. 8
- 13: Deathwatch: First Founding, pg. 108
|HQ||Wolf Lord • Rune Priest • Wolf Priest|
|Elites||Wulfen Pack • Storm Claws Pack|
|Troops||Grey Slayers Pack|
|Fast Attack||Fenrisian Wolf Pack • Storm Claws Biker Pack|
|Heavy Support||13th Company Long Fangs Pack|