Finding HQ


The Fimir are probably the strangest characters found in HeroQuest. The main question that is asked when looking at the figure is "what is it?". There is no answer in the game. The purpose of this article is to explain the Fimir and to give some background to the character.

When creating fantasy settings for their games, game companies usually incorporate some standard monsters. Orcs, Goblins, Skeletons, Zombies, Mummies, Chaos Warriors (evil humans), Chaos Warlocks (evil wizards) and Gargoyles are common in most such settings. To set their products apart from others, the game companies usually try to come up with additional creature types that will be unique to their games. The Fimir was a "unique" creature of this kind, found in Games Workshop products in the 1980's. Soon after HeroQuest was released, though, Games Workshop dropped the Fimir and a few other "originals" in preference to the Skaven, a mutant ratman race. The best place to find out about the Fimir is from old copies of
Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing (WFRP) and WFRP articles from 1980s issues of White Dwarf.

The Fimir is a strange one-eyed lizard-like creature. While most games have some sort of lizard race, the Fimir were different because besides being lizard-like they were also a hive race like bees and ants. Fimir (in the WFRP article I was looking at from White Dwarf, the plural of Fimir was Fimir) build their strongholds in bogs, fens, and desolate marshlands. Their castles are rarely more than crude piles of rocks. Because of their lack of engineering and building skills they often prefer to occupy Human strongholds rather than build their own.

The Fimir are divided into four castes. The lowest are the Shearl, a caste of servants. One WFRP article that I read suggested that the Shearl were not a special type of Fimir, but captives forced into slavery. The Shearl could be of any race; Fimir from other strongholds, Orcs, Goblins, Humans, Dwarves, etc. Other articles, as well as the WFRP manual, list the Shearl as a type of Fimir. I have not seen a mini for this type of Fimir, though.

According to the WFRP manual, the Shearl have slightly smaller builds than any other caste. The description says they have "smooth tails." In the accompanying illustration, the Shearl tail is depicted as coming to a simple point, like that of a kangaroo.

The next caste is the Fimm, most of whose tails end in bony knobs. This is the warrior caste from which the Fimir nobility is taken. The elite Fimm warriors are the Fianna. They comprise the bodyguards for the Nobility. The Fimir figures from HeroQuest are Fianna. (Interestingly, the nobles themselves have spiked tails that end in a cleaver-like blade.)

The third caste is the Dirach, a caste of magicians. These Fimir are smooth-tailed and smaller than the Fimm. What they lack in size they make up for with powerful spell-casting. The WFRP description also says that they have two or more horns growing from the top or sides of their heads.

Finally there is the Meargh - the witchqueens that rule the Fimir strongholds. They have greasy hair and smooth tails. Many have horns, which are smaller than those of a Dirach.

The Meargh are the only female Fimir. Females are rarely born into a Fimir stronghold, about once per century. Most are killed, unless the current Meargh is old and in need of a successor. If the Fimir stronghold is getting too big, the Meargh may allow another female to live, raising the young Meargh to send out with some followers to found a new settlement.

If a Meargh dies without a successor, the stronghold will disband. The nobles will take their Fimm and Shearls, and accompanied by the Dirach, set out on a deathquest. The sole purpose of a deathquest is for the Fimir to be killed in battle, taking as many of their enemies with them as possible. The nobles in a stronghold deathquest often quarrel with each other, and the alliance is often rife with mistrust and suspicion. A noble, because of insubordination or incompetence, may be banished from its stronghold. This noble will then embark on its own deathquest, taking its own Fimm and Shearls with it. While Shearls quickly die on a deathquest, the Fimm and Dirach often survive for some time. They can be found in the service of other races, such as Orcs, Goblins, and Chaos.

Fimir have an inherent magical ability about them. Whenever five or more Fimir of any caste are together, they generate a fog that surrounds them, concealing them from their enemies. The Dirach and Meargh were the only Fimir able to cast magic. I could find no special 'Fimir' spells; instead the WFRP articles that I read listed them with general spells. I have written some spellcards to use with Fimir spellcasters. They can be downloaded at:
Fimir Spell Cards 1
Fimir Spell Cards 2

Because Games Workshop has ceased production of Fimir figures, they are fairly rare and hard to come by. Since the only Fimir figures readily available to the HeroQuest player are the Fianna Fimm characters that came with the game, playing some of the special characters may be difficult. I included them to make the article complete, though. Because I have no other Fimir characters besides those that came with HQ, I use these characters to represent Fimm warriors, Fianna Fimm, and Fimir Nobles. I have not played with Fimir Shearl, Meargh, or Dirach characters, so I have written no special characteristics for them.

The Fimm are divided into three classes - Warriors, Fianna (elite warriors), and Nobles. All are well trained in weapons and armor use. I use the standard HQ Fimir for Warriors. Fianna can be represented with a string or a ribbon tied around their waist like a sash. Nobles can be represented with a different color string or ribbon. Another way to differentiate the different types of Fimm is through painting. The picture in White Dwarf #102 shows the Fimm with this color pattern: Warriors are brown-green, Fianna are green, and Nobles are blue-green.

Fimm are different from other Fimir in that they grow a spiked tail. They may use this in combat to attack any enemy in the three spaces behind them (includes the two diagonal behind squares). Fimm may attack with both their weapon and tail in the same turn.

Warriors: No special characteristics.

Fianna: They may attack behind them for one attack die.

Nobles: They may attack behind for one attack die. They may, instead of attacking, cast spells.