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A Genestealer Patriarch in its hidden subterranean lair.

A Genestealer Patriarch is the massive Tyranid Genestealer bioform who is the original vector that created a Genestealer Cult on an infested world and becomes its leader and the ultimate controller of its Broodmind.

Lurking at the centre of a Genestealer Cult's web of lies is the Patriarch, father of a hidden dynasty. Twice the height of a Space Marine and with strength enough to slice an Ogryn into bloody chunks, this creature is a leering nightmare of tooth and claw.

In a flurry of whipping limbs and diamond-hard talons the Patriarch can tear through platoons of heavily armoured warriors and even light vehicles.

Yet it is the hypnotic psychic spell with which it binds its chosen hosts that mark it out as perhaps the most dangerous Tyranid yet encountered by the Imperium.

The uncanny powers of the Patriarch make it a fearsome puppet master, a threat so pervasive it has an Imperial xenocode threat designation unto itself. By spreading the Genestealer Curse, this creature is capable of destroying not just warriors and war machines, but entire worlds.

It is unknown what relationship, if any, there exists between a Patriarch and the highly similar Genestealer organism known as a Broodlord.


A Genestealer Patriarch prepares to unleash itself on the battlefield.

Like the monarch of a dark underworld the Patriarch squats in its lair, glowering and licking its claws in anticipation of the day when it will rise up to make every sentient creature on the planet it now calls home its devoted gene-slave.

Once, the beast was but a standard Purestrain Genestealer, likely one of an identical brood and no more remarkable than any of the uncounted billions of such Tyranid organisms abroad in the galaxy.

Once cut off from the Hive Mind, a new genetic imperative takes over. Upon reaching its prey world, perhaps as a stowaway on some nameless freighter or piece of stellar debris, the nascent Patriarch creeps from its vector vessel into the darkness of its new domain.

There, it learns of the planet it has taken as its new home, and abducts the first of its victims. With the Genestealer's Kiss, the monster becomes the first of its brood to bestow its foul legacy upon a native host. In this rapacious action, it takes the first step to becoming a Patriarch.

As the strange alchemy of the alien's life cycle takes hold, that first creature to infect a host on a new planet grows ever larger and more potent. Much as an alpha simian of Terra becomes heavier and grows outward signs of dominance to mark its ascendance, the Patriarch's body bulks out, its claws lengthening until they are more like bony sabres than simple talons.

The creature's mind develops too, filling with strange telepathic energies until its engorged cranium bulges fit to burst. At first, its instincts are only to survive and to procreate, and its abilities develop accordingly. Eventually, however, the Genestealer's uncanny ability to enthrall its prey burgeons into a suite of telepathic abilities that can bind a person to its service with but a flicker of its cold, inhuman eyes -- the Broodmind has been born.

To gaze into the eyes of a Patriarch is to gaze into the void and feel a fraction of the Tyranid Hive Mind staring back. One who faces such terrible power realises that he is no more than a speck of cosmic dust adrift in an uncaring universe.

His shattered mind is then easily bound -- he will accept the Patriarch as the harbinger of an irresistible new order or be driven to insanity, his doomsayer rantings those of just another madman broken by the endless grind of life in the Imperium of Man.

Those few individuals strong-willed enough to resist the Patriarch's dominion might raise a hand or blade to strike it, but this will invariably be their last act before the beast rips them limb from limb.

Genestealer Patriarchs are potent psychic creatures, able to tear apart the minds of lesser entities with a sharp mental impulse. This Patriarch is accompanied by its Genestealer Familiar.

In powerful leaps and bursts of speed, the Patriarch hurtles towards its prey. More massive than a Space Marine Terminator, this gigantic Genestealer is possessed of whipfast reflexes, and it is horribly strong, but its most powerful and unsettling weapon is the ability to take over lesser minds. The Patriarch's hateful yellow eyes bore into those of its prey, hypnotising the victim and binding him to its will even in the heat of battle.

When the cult rises up for war with the approach of a local Tyranid hive fleet, the Patriarch's years of skulking unseen are over. Its instincts are no longer geared towards survival, and its urge to spread its curse far and wide is spent.

With its cult revealed, the creature's intent is now only to kill. In battle it is an unholy terror, ripping its prey apart with razored claws or stabbing its tail through armour and cloth to plunge into warm flesh beneath.

Worshipped as a living deity, the beast is the nexus of a blasphemous new order, the blood-soaked lord of a planet-wide uprising. The Patriarch's minions fight to the death in its name, reducing their host world to a nightmare of corpse-strewn ruins where the only survivors scream out devotion to an alien god.

Broodmind Psychic Powers

The Genestealer Patriarch and Magus are potent psykers, able to use their formidable powers to bend others to their will. This mental dominance not only ensures that the gestalt consciousness of the cult's masses serves as one, but can also be channelled to crush those who would oppose their plans before they reach fruition. The powers that a Patriarch or Magus can wield include the following abilities.

  • Mass Hypnosis - The psyker's eyes glow strangely as they cast their gaze across their chosen victims, using mental dominion to put them into a trance-like state so the cult can take them apart -- or present them to the Genestealer Patriarch for infection -- at leisure.
  • Mind Control - Palsied fingers twitch and facial muscles spasm as the psyker's chosen mark is taken over completely. Relegated to a mere passenger within their own body, they are forced to witness their own traitorous actions as they open fire upon or otherwise act against their trusted comrades.
  • Psionic Blast - The psyker focuses the alien hatred of their kind into a blaze of pallid energies. Where their gaze falls, the enemy are consumed -- the last thing they hear is a shrill screech of triumph.
  • Mental Onslaught - The psyker, well used to forcing their will upon those who would resist them, intensifies their hypnotic power to such a degree it can cause their victims' brains to swell to bursting point inside their skulls.
  • Psychic Stimulus - The unknowable power of the cult's gestalt Broodmind flows into the psyker's chosen mortal instruments, spurring these cultists into a religious frenzy that sees them attack with hyperactive speed.
  • Might from Beyond - An alien strength lurks in every being that carries the Genestealer's genetic curse. With a low whisper that rises to a scream, the psyker amplifies this hidden might, and their followers are swollen with empowering energy born of the void itself, enhancing their physical strength and combat potential.




  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (8th Edition), pp. 42, 80, 113
  • Codex: Genestealer Cults (7th Edition), pp. 24-25, 70
Genestealer Cults Forces
Command Genestealer PatriarchMagusPrimus
Specialists ClamavusNexosBiophagusSanctus
Elites AbominantJackal AlphusKelermorphLocus
Troops Acolyte HybridNeophyte HybridHybrid MetamorphBrood BrothersPurestrain GenestealerAberrantGenestealer FamiliarMindwyrm FamiliarAtalan Jackals
Vehicles DirtcycleWolfquadGoliath TruckGoliath RockgrinderAchilles RidgerunnerChimeraSentinelLeman Russ Tank (Leman Russ EradicatorLeman Russ ExterminatorLeman Russ Vanquisher)
Other Tectonic Fragdrill
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