- —Common toast in Fenrisian Low Gothic dialect
Fenrisian Ale, called Mjød in the unique Fenrisian Low Gothic dialect, is an extremely potent concoction distilled from the fermentation of the native plants of Fenris. Highly alcoholic and toxic, it is one of the very few beverages that can actually intoxicate an Astartes, managing to bypass their impressive bioengineered resistance to such toxic substances as alcohol.
The Space Wolves are deeply fond of the drink, and consume large amounts of Mjød during their boisterous feasts, often competing against one another to determine who can drink the most Mjød before passing out.
Enjoying a hearty feast after a hard day's work is a time-honoured tradition on dangerous Fenris, and the Vlka Fenryka (Space Wolves) have kept this tradition alive, despite being transformed into superhuman Space Marines. The Space Wolves' Primarch Leman Russ was as famous for his fighting prowess as he was for the quantities of meat and alcohol he could ingest, to the point that he actually offered the Emperor of Mankind an eating and drinking contest before calling for a duel when challenged at their first meeting. The Space Wolves as a whole enjoy drinking contests and hold extraordinary feats of feasting in nearly as high a regard as feats of valour on the battlefield.
Due to their bioengineered physiques, it is normally impossible for an Astartes to get drunk after ingesting ethyl alcohol. The combined effect of the Preomnor, Oolitic Kidney and Haemastamen gene-seed organ implants is so efficient at breaking down and evacuating toxic substances like ethanol that an average Space Marine can fill both his stomachs with a strong alcohol like Sacra or Amasec and not become inebriated. Those Astartes outside the Space Wolves Chapter who do drink alcohol occasionally do so because they enjoy the taste, or because a diplomatic situation warrants it.
The Space Wolves' Mjød gets around this barrier by incorporating a natural toxin found in some Fenrisian plant life that temporarily neutralises the Oolitic Kidney implant. This, combined with the very high alcohol grade of the Mjød allow the Space Wolves to get drunk. Even then, it requires large amounts of the drink to affect them, and they will recover quickly as soon as they stop drinking and their Oolitic Kidney begins to function properly once more. When sharing the drink with non-Astartes, the Space Wolves must make sure to add an anti-toxin to the mix, for it will otherwise prove fatal to baseline human physiology.
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pp. 12-15
- Prospero Burns (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Space Wolves Omnibus (Novel) by William King