- "The thing I learnt was to trust nothing; not the air, not the water, not the ground beneath your feet. Make no assumptions, and you might live to tell someone else."
- — Advice to fresh troops on fighting the Tyranids, given by Sergeant Gorth of the Volg 3rd Regiment, "Mercy Bringers"
The Ravener (Tyranicus Ophidius Subterra) is a Tyranid bioform that is a variant of the standard Tyranid Warrior specialised for assault. It is capable of digging underground to launch surprise ambushes upon unsuspecting foes from beneath their own feet.
Imperial Magi Biologis researchers believe that the Ravener is a variant of the Tyranid Warrior genus. The same savants hold that other Tyranid creatures, such as the Trygon or Haruspex, may in turn descend from the Ravener genus.
Like most other Tyranids, Raveners have six limbs. One pair of these are large scythe-like claws which they use for tunneling, a second will be similar scythe claws or smaller claws useful for tearing apart armored foes. The last pair of limbs sometimes carry ranged weapons such as Devourers, though otherwise possess no special function. Rather than move on legs, as most other Tyranids do, the Raveners rely on their long, snakelike tail to move at high speed across the battlefield.
Some Raveners are seen wielding the typical bio-weaponry of the Tyranids. Rather than carry these weapons in their claws, as other Tyranids do, Raveners have evolved the ability to carry their weapons in their thorax, keeping their claws free for digging or killing. Utilising their ability to tunnel underground, the Ravener can burst from the ground beneath their foes, launching frightening surprise assaults. They can also use their great speed to quickly move across the battlefield, engaging their foes in close combat, at which they excel.
While they lack the adaptability and telepathic "synapse" link that allows them to control other Tyranid bioforms like their Tyranid Warrior forebears, Raveners are still formidable foes. Unlike the heavy assault troops available to Tyranids, such as the Carnifex, Raveners are less durable, and are unable to survive heavy weapons fire. However, this can be somewhat mitigated by the presence of Tyranids with the synapse link ability. The Ravener's incredible senses were once believed by the Imperium to be unable to comprehend motionless targets, a theory quickly disproved in a terrible battle where an Adeptus Mechanicus Magos Biologis ordered all his men to stay still in the face of Ravener attack.
They did not survive.
- Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition), pp. 119-121
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pg. 42
- Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition), pg. 14
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 41
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