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Life in the mines is a precarious job at the best of times. Whether it is being poisoned by gas, suffocated or crushed in a fallen tunnel or slipping on a ladder an falling to almost certain death – a tough job breeds tough people to do it. But there is on denizen of the underground caverns that will make even the most hardened miner scream like a child in raw, primal terror.

The Nightstakers..

Gaunt and tall with incredibly long arms, this unholy humanoid monstrosity haunts on the most remote and most desolated mines, caverns and tunnels deep beneath the earth and was created by one of the Fallen to seek out and destroy those dwarves and humans who sought refuse under the ground to escape the blackened, blighted lands during the war in heaven..

Yet even to this day, on rare occasions miners have broken through into extensive networks of vast natural caverns and tunnels and encountered pockets of the survivors from that ancient war – running in packs in the pitch darkness still in search of a victim to rend and bite until they turn as cold as stone..

For while they possess only the most rudimentary eyes that can only tell light from dark and gross movement, and have no nose or visible ears (and by the awful caterwauling screams they emit – are almost certainly deaf as well as blind) – in the darkness they move with unerring precision by means unknown on an eternal hunt for something, anything, to kill. For it is not food they seek. Indeed, they have never actually been observed eating – nor do they have any clearly defined internal organs. It is seemingly for the thrill of the kill alone that they exist – driven by a blind and murderous desire to slaughter everything that comes before them..

Extremely fast and strong, they use all four limbs as they scramble endlessly through the tunnel systems in packs of 4-12 creatures – and seem to take no rest nor pause in what almost feels like desperation fulfill their murderous urges. While they are possessed of a low cunning, it is arguable if they can truly be classes as sentient or with even a modicum of sanity – for when they sense a victim for the first time, they emit a piercing and wild scream of excitement that extends far below and above the range of human hearing and is so terrifying that few who hear it can do anything but drop whatever it is they are holding and run madly in the opposite direction..

And when they launch their attack, it is with surprising speed and agility, first attacking anything with a light source until they detect it is pitch black, and then doubling their attack in earnest when their opponents cannot hope to see the horror that is befalling them – rending, grabbing, pulling, biting and scratching until their mouth and their claws are slick with warm blood – for when in total darkness they are truly in their element.

One of the few saving graces is that despite their size, they have bird like bones and are surprisingly light for their size. While this works to their advantage to generate tremendous running speeds, it is relatively easy to cut through their bones and sever arms and legs. However, if so injured by a non magical weapon, they regenerate in a matter of seconds, screaming in fury and still attacking with whatever they still have that is intact. The only exception is their bony head, which is quite thick and turns most blows with ease – and the only way to put them down is by literally dismembering them with a magical blade – for even if beheaded, the body will still attack and the head still bite anything that comes close enough.

If all this was not bad enough, a tiny percentage of people who have been bitten become carriers for an accelerated form of the Black Death – incubating for weeks with only mild symptoms before suddenly developing a the disease full blown – and there are at least two documented cases of entire villages being wiped off the map after a survivor of a Nightstalker attack returns and sickens.

Neither male nor female, in addition to requiring no food or water to sustain them, they neither seem to age nor are able to reproduce. So with each one that falls, none shall come to replace it – yet even when they have not been encountered for hundreds of years – still isolated pockets of ancient evil survivors from the War in Heaven continue to be found.

In the darkness they have few enemies – Troggs flee from them and will abandon their homes if they encounter them. Shadow Elves attack them on sight, for their savage and crazed minds cannot be controlled, and they are regarded as a pest. Curiously, it is said that they seem unable to perceive or show no interest at all in the Eldar, who seem to tolerate them in return as unintentional guardians of their secret underground abode.

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