Squiggly Beasts, more commonly known as Squigs, are the simplest form of Orkoid life, ever-present amongst the tribes of the greenskins. For the most part, these creatures are lacking in intelligence, though their ferocity is impressive. There are many types of squig, each generally filling some functionary role in the Ork ecosystem, developing a strange symbiotic relationship with Orkoid race: some squigs are used for skin or food, others kept as fearsome pets, and the largest of them can even be ridden into battle. Some Ork clans specialise in breeding ever-larger and more belligerent strains. The squigs feed on the refuse of the larger Orkoids (as well as local plants, animals, and each other). In their turn they serve as the Orks' primary food source along with Orkoid Fungus. It has been theorised by the Genetors of the Adeptus Mechanicus that squigs were created by the Orks’ forebears as part of a simple, mobile ecosystem that sustains the greenskin race as it travels from world to world, contributing to the success of this race in conquering large parts of the galaxy.[32a]
|Part of a series on the:|
- 1 Description and uses
- 2 Squig Breeds
- 2.1 Attack Squig
- 2.2 Bag Squig
- 2.3 Bile Squig
- 2.4 Bitey Squig
- 2.5 Boom Squig
- 2.6 Buzzer Squig
- 2.7 Buzzing Squig
- 2.8 Buzzsquig
- 2.9 Eating Squig
- 2.10 'Sploding Squig
- 2.11 Face-Eater Squig
- 2.12 Flesheater Squig
- 2.13 Gob Squig
- 2.14 Growler Squig
- 2.15 Hairy Squig
- 2.16 Herd Squig
- 2.17 Oily Squig
- 2.18 Paint Squig
- 2.19 Parasite-Hunting Squig
- 2.20 Spiky Squig
- 2.21 Squigeon
- 2.22 Squighawk
- 2.23 Squigpipe
- 2.24 Squigshark
- 2.25 Swab Squig
- 2.26 Syringe Squig
- 2.27 Targeting Squig
- 2.28 Vampire Squig
- 2.29 Wyrdsquig
- 2.30 Other
- 3 Squiggoths
- 4 Sources
Description and uses
There are many types of squigs, but most can be generalized into a single variety, such as edible, musical, hair, parasite-hunting, etc. Squigs naturally grow and breed within the cesspits of Ork settlements known as the Drops and subsisting on Ork refuse. Gretchin and Snotlings are usually tasked with plucking them out for any use necessary. The task of tending the squigs usually also falls to Snotlings under supervision from Runtherds. Most Squigs are edible, although some are specifically bred for this purpose.[5a]
Many kins of these creatures also have medicinal uses and some are used exclusively by Painboys. Squigs that have natural properties Doks find useful are referred to as Medical Squigs. Some, such as Swab Squig and Syringe Squig are used while alive and others are killed, preserved and used to make medicines. Painboyz sometimes rear Squigs in cages and bottles, but more often they dig special latrines and cultivate the various creatures inside. These latrines are usually guarded by Grot Orderlies. Some smaller varieties are often kept inside jars or tanks. Many Painboys go as far as raising their own strains of Squigs, often trying to create new types or adapt old ones for medical uses, taking great pride in their potency.[6a]
There are countless different species of squig and all known ones are listed below.
This strain of squig is a vicious predator, and is little more than a snapping, fanged mouth on muscular legs. All squigs have a certain purpose, and this type is akin to attack dog. Many Warbosses and Oddboyz keep Attack Squigs as pets, using these beasts in battle. They are also known to be assembled in big herds and hurled at the enemies by Runtherds or used to guard an important location, although it is nearly as likely to tear apart the nearest Gretchin as they are the enemy.
This breed features a large, gaping mouth, a bag-like body and a stomach that takes most of it. It functions secondary as a pouch that allows the Squig to survive by slowly digesting even the most unappetizing food inside. These creatures are used by Orks as bags or belt pouches when tanned out like leather or as flask for drinks when dried out.[5c]
This breed is squig is frequently fired from Squig Launchas and Heavy Squig Launchas. These Squigs come in a variety of breeds and are capable of spraying, squirting, or vomiting harmful fluids. Typically launched by the handful, these creatures squeal and thrash while jetting acid, lubricants, poisons, and flammable fluids in every direction. The effects can sometimes be harmless, but other times can cause their victims to burst into flames, explode, or dissolve.
This breed is squig is frequently fired from Squig Launchas and Heavy Squig Launchas. These Squigs have sufficient jaws, claws, and stingers to savage the target and anything close by. Launched gnashing and snarling into the enemy, they latch onto the first thing they hit and do not stop chewing until they are killed.
This breed is squig is frequently fired from Squig Launchas and Heavy Squig Launchas. Boom Squig's are infamous for its defense mechanism of violently exploding at the slightest provocation, typically due to direct physical contact or a loud noise (though sometimes even its own bouts of indigestion). They detonate with such force that they kill or maim anything unlucky enough to be in the vicinity. These creatures thus make the perfect living ammunition for Orks and are also sometimes used as landmines. They are also favored by Orks as the tools of practical jokes, as nothing will amuse a Speed Freek more than hiding a Boom Squig under the seat of a Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy driver.
Found among the fungus groves around the Drops by Gretchin, Buzzer Squigs are mainly used by Orks as ammo for Squig Katapult. They are trapped by Gretchin in pots made from sun-baked mud at the bottom of the drops and drilled with tiny holes to allow the creatures inside to breath. Once enough Squigh have been put inside the top is corked shut and squigs begin to get angry. After a few weeks the creatures get savage and once the pots crack on impact will attack anyone nearby with horrific results.In the wild Buzzer Squigs are known to feed by burrowing into larger Squigs or small animals such as rats.[6g][32b]
This squig is very small and eats everything except Orkoid flesh which it supposedly cannot absorb. All other creatures, however, are soon devoured by them. It features tiny wings that allow it to fly like a buzzing insect. Once it locates the flesh, the creature eats its way inside it until it makes it way out again and then the process begins again. Orks use these deadly insect-like creatures as weapons, trapping them in swarms to use against their enemies or even throwing pots of them from catapults.[5g]
These are small snack-sized creatures that, when eaten, give the greenskins a surge of energy that exceeds even their usual maniacal levels.
Most Squigs breeds are edible, but some are more tasty than others. Eating squigs are only good for food. Orks usually prefer them cooked, but they can be eaten raw as well. Gretchin are quite adept in cooking them and have a number of methods including kebabing, marinating in fungus wine, stuffed with fungus and herbs, roasted on a spit, deep fried with fungus chips, or griddled over a campfire.[5b]
The best Eating Squigs found at the bottom of the Drops are known as Juicy Squigs. They are rare and hard to get from the depths. Since rarely found they often grow to large an more tasty as they get older. These are only cooked by best Gretchin servants and are usually offered to Nobs that can appreciate the finer aspects of Ork Kultur.[5b]
'Sploding Squigs are an unusual subspecies of Squig, possessing multiple stomachs, each containing a thick broth of unstable digestive chemicals. When agitated, most often simply by active shaking, its digestive juices combine into a combusting liquid, causing the Squig to explode in a shower of meat, teeth and bone. Orks are known to force-feed these Squigs metal bits to enhance their lethality. They are usually thrown in combat, but can be used as mines.
Also known as Gnasher Squig, this breed is perhaps the most voracious and dangerous of all the varieties of Squig. These creatures have a massive, gaping mouth as wide as its body is long, and filled with needle-like teeth, capable of swallowing a Snotling whole. The rest of its body is just a muscular tail which it uses to hang from the drops that make up its primary habitat. The only reason any Ork would risk death by venturing out to capture one of these creatures is for their use in the Orkish tradition of squig eating contests. The Orks tremendously enjoy both spectating and participating in this sport where the aim is not to eat as many of the creatures as possible. Rather, the player attempts to eat the Gasher Squig before it can take a chunk out of their face. These games are also the cause for much gambling, with many teef changing hands as the greenskins bet on who the winner will be, and anyone who manages to swallow the Gnasher with minimal injury to themselves can emerge a very wealthy Ork. Some Painboys made attempts to use Gnashers to amputate a patients limbs, but these attempts weren't very successful as they tend to bite off orderlies' arms or even Dok's fingers.[5e] Face-Eater is often used as an attack squig.[32b] This organism is known to Imperium biologists as Orkus ravenati.
Some Runtherds breed these large, ferocious beasts to increase their wealth. This variety has a great crocodile-like mouth full of sharp fangs that are very similar to Ork Teef. They shed and replace those in the same manner Orks do and as such are a source of huge wealth for the owner. Flesheaters' teeth deteriorate in the same manner Ork ones do, but the creatures are extremely long-lived, although rarely breed in captivity, making them even more valuable. Most owners of these tend to be Nobs and Orks are known to start a great fights in order to capture or loot a Flesheater Squig.[5l]
This breed is very small so it can be put into an Orks's mouth and left there for up to several days. It cleans the Orks' mouth by rooting round the teeth and eating the food stuck in between them.
One particular variety of Gob Squig is known as Chewin' Squig. Orks chew on them while they sit and think (or just sit and don't think).[5h]
This variety is lively enough to be kept as pets or mascots. They are usually the size of a small dog, although far more vicious. They usually scurry behind their masters giving them a lot of amusement, especially when they snap at the ankles of other Orks. They are a mark of status and as such are usually owned by Nobs or Oddboyz.
One especially popular variety is known as the Mimic. This Squig has a beak-like mouth and is parrot-like in appearance. Mimics can be seen on a shoulders of many an old and haggard Ork, casting expletives and insults at passersby and are especially popular amongst Freebooters.[5f]
This breed features a small body and head that consist mainly of tiny claws and mouth full of small sharp teeth. The most prominent feature is the creature's long tuft of hair, often of bright colour. These Squigs are bred in great numbers to provide Orks (who are naturally hairless) with mops, mohawks and other hair imitations. Gretchin servants put Squigs on his bald head, where they latch on, digging in with their teeth and claws. Feeding on Ork's skin the Hairy Squig can live there indefinitely. Some Orks only put one huge Squig to make a huge tail, while hundreds are needed to make a whole head of hair. Their natural brightness may be further increased by coloring, so Orks can choose from a variety of colours and styles which they often use to differentiate between Clans and Tribes. Other uses include using their hair for sewing. Orks were known to banter these Squigs with humans, not understanding why their Hair Squigs are so small and pale. Inability to understand the value of the creatures serves as another proof of human stupidity to Orks.[5m][32c]
Another important use for these creatures was invented by Painboyz. They simply apply them to the open wound, which it holds closed with its tiny, needle-like teeth. After twisting the tail off he repeats the process until the wound is completely closed. Feeding on blood from the wound Squigs live like this for years, keeping it clean and free from infection. By the time he dies and drops off the wound has already healed, leaving only a row of tiny holes around the scar. These wounds are prized among Orks as a sigh of toughness and strength.[5d]
One particular variety of Hairy Squig is known as Chin Squig. These creatures feature a long thin body with claws and hair all over it and, once put of Ork chin serve as an equivalent of beard. They are also known to be a sign on age and status among Orks.
Also known as Squighounds or sniffer squigs, Herd Squigs are a special breed of Squig developed by Runtherds as herding animals for Gretchin. They are related to many other varieties, but are bred for their speed, intelligence, ferocity and endurance. They have a very good sense of smell and hearing allowing them to track Grots and Snotlings wherever they may hide. They make very good tracking beasts in general and runtherds who own these creatures are often hired by other Orks to track down a lost items of equipment. Their powerful legs give them a great speed and endurance and they can be often found running in circles around the runts and keeping them in one place. Herd Squigs are controlled by Runtherds by a combination of calls and whistles. They start out knowing only a few commands but the list grow as the beast matures. They get very attached to their master and are very good at understanding his commands. Those usually vary a lot from one Runtherd to the next and it's impossible for one to command a Herd Squig trained by another.[32b] The Squighounds can make barking sounds.
The body of the Oily Squig exudes a thick oily black secretion from its slug-like body that is used by the Orks for machine oil. For spot-oiling jobs an Ork Mek grabs hold of the Oily Squig and squeezes it to spurt the oily excretion there lubrication is required. As large quantities of oil are needed, these squigs are often bred in large quantities to extract the oily substance from them. The most efficient way of extracting the oil from the creatures is to use a large pressing machine, although more primitive methods, such as having gretchin to jump up and down on them are also widely used. Orks prepare the barrels of the squig oil in advance and take those with them when they go on campaigns.[6d][32c]
This small and bright variety excretes powerful dye that are used by other Orkoids. Gretchin use them to paint banners and clothes whereas Orks use it as warpaint. Many varieties of Paint Squigs have tufts of hair on their tails that may be used as brush as well. Gretchin artists often use the shells of Edible Squigs as paint pots and palettes for painting.[5k]
These tiny, but voracious feeders are used by Orks to clean up their bodies and clothes of parasites. Orks simply drop them on themselves and let them crawl around. Parasite-Hunting Squigs feed on any lice, ticks ar leeches the Orks may have and are often themselves eaten by the owner if they drop off or if he simply feels hungry.[5c]
This type of Squig is is covered with spines and is usually quite safe. However, when agitated, as an instinctive reaction, it shoots out the spines at any threatening creature rather like a porcupine. These spines inflict a poisonous sting on anyone struck by them, though the effect of the poison on Orkish flesh is not as drastic as it is on other races. Squigs of this kind are sometimes used as a form of weapon by Orks.[6e]
Squigeons are squig counterparts of Terran columbidae. They are sometimes used for transferring messages in Ork tribes and warbands that lack more advanced methods of communication[8b]. However, they are frequently preyed upon by the ferocious predatory Squighawks and bored Ork Flyboy pilots.
Several tube-like probosces emanate from this squig bag-like body. This curious breed is used by the Orks as a musical instrument akin to human bagpipes. Also thus known as Musical Squig it can be tucked under one arm and inflated by blowing down a proboscis. They, when squeezed, Squig will make weird and disturbing sounds through it's other pipes. It is a thousand times more cacophonous than any human musical instrument, but Orks like its sound when going into battle.[5i][32c]
Squigsharks are squig counterparts of Terran sharks that inhabit ocean depths on Ork-infested planets. They are known to be very dangerous beast and many Ork sailors ended their lives as a food for Squigsharks.[8a]
Swab Squigs are related to Hairy Squigs, but unlike the long, trailing hair of its cousins its round body is covered with fur. Painboys use Swab Squigs to mop up during operations, or simply as handkerchiefs. Despite seeming harmless, these Squigs can inflict a nasty bite on smaller creatures, such as Snotlings.[6a]
Syringe Squigs kill their prey by injecting venom with a long needle-sharp proboscis - the biggest of the creatures feature up to 18 inch needles on them. Painboyz use these Squigs by sticking the proboscis into the patient's flesh and squeezing the squig to release the venom. It is not deadly to Orks, but can knock them out for up to three Terran days at a time and so is used as an anaesthetic. Syringe Squigs are divided by their sizes to 'small', 'big' and 'urty' which are used depending on the strength of the dose required. The venom is sometimes extracted from the creature and used separately for mixing up some kind of special 'medicine', or if a really large dose is needed.[7a]
The Vampire is a flying variety of Squig featuring leathery wings, long sharp fangs and an appetite for blood. They are used by Painboyz to bleed their patients and suck bad blood from septic wounds. The creatures don't seem to care where the blood comes from as long as they get some regularly and at times when there are few wounded Orks around the Painboy can always feed the Vampire by extolling the benefits of regular bleedings to completely healthy Orks.[7b]
Wyrdsquig are an orkoid mutant breed of the Gnasher Squig found rarely in the wild. It has massive densely packed neural lobes and its used by orks as a psionic bomb, triggered on the Wyrdsquig death.
The breeds of squigs are innumerable and there are a lot of other, unknown types of these creatures in existence. From tiny micro-organisms on Ork bodies to the gigantic beasts put in the Ork spaceships to create breathing atmosphere as a form of a life-sustaining device, each of them has an use in Ork society. Notorious breeds such as the yellow-spotted facegnasha, the greater fang-gob, or the infamous leapin’ deff are especially popular for ther use as Bomb Squigs.
Ork Runtherds may occasionally breed Squigs to create a giant monstrous versions of them. Known as Squiggoths, they are one of the more extreme off shoots of the Orkoid race and are highly valued by the Warbosses for their destructive potential on the battlefield.[32c] Squggoths are divided by their size into:
- 1: Codex: Orks (4th Edition)
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, pg. 203
- 3: White Dwarf 145 (UK)
- 4: Codex Imperialis, pg. 58
- 5: Waaargh: Orks
- 6: 'Ere We Go: Orks in Warhammer 40,000
- 7: Freebooterz: Space Ork Army Lists
- 8: Deff Skwadron (Graphic Novel)
- 9: Warhammer 40,000 Collectible Card Game (game system)
- 10: The Art of Warhammer 40,000, pg. 189
- 11: GW Website Ork Warboss with Attack Squig (site accessed 2012.08.09)
- 12: GW Website Ork Gretchin
- 13: GW Website Ork Boyz
- 14: GW Website Grot Oiler
- 15: Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 75
- 16: Orks Collectors' Guide, pg. 42
- 17: Xenology, Artefact Studies
- 18: Orks Collectors' Guide, pg. 4
- 19: GW Website Feral Ork Squig Katapult
- 20: Dark Heresy: Creatures Anathema, pg. 101
- 21: Rogue Trader: Into the Storm, pg. 143
- 22: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine collectors edition artbook
- 23: Codex Imperialis, pg. 58
- 24: Munitorum: Bomb Squigs, pg. 3
- 25: GW website - Big Mek in Mega Armour
- 26: GW website - Flash Gitz
- 27: GW Website Ork Flash Git with Targeting Squig (site accessed 2012.09.11)
- 28: Sanctus Reach - Stormclaw
- 29: Munitorum - Bomb Squigs
- 30: Sanctus Reach: Hour of the Wolf
- 31: The Last Wall (Novel)
- 32: White Dwarf 53 (2015)
- 33: Sanctus Reach: Evil Sun Rising (Novella), Chapter 4
- 34: White Dwarf 118 (2016) - Apocrypha Extra
- 35: Codex: Orks (8th Edition), pg. 53
- 36: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team Core Manual (2nd Edition), pg. 159