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Greatfrays are tribal groupings of Beasts of Chaos.
Each Greatfray may contain thousands to millions of bestial warriors divided into roving bands called Beastherds. The exact number of Greatfrays remain in a constant flux with smaller Greatfrays being absorbed by larger ones and new Greatfrays being created. A Greatfray rarely goes into battle as one, instead beastherds are scattered across the realms with their own territories but maintains a level of connection with corrupted realmgate hidden within the wilderness. Yet regardless of their separation all are bound by a mighty alphabeast. The energies of Herdstones that mark their territories shape them, changing their fur colour or the direction their horns curl making the varied creatures of a Greatfray similar in appearance or even have divergent effect making every beast to be uniquely twisted.[1a]
A beastherd may be made up of similar species with Brayherds being skilled at ambushes, Warherds excelling at brutal head-on offensives and Thunderscorn conducting devastating lightning-warfare attacks. Some may be composed of myriad creatures, combining their abilities. A beastherd is made up of multiple herds which can range from a handful of beasts to a teeming throng related to each other. A herd acts as a single hunting pack on the battlefield and multiple herds in a single territory would fight each other until they are wiped out. Each beastherd is left to raid and reave in isolation from their own domains of the Greatfray.[1a]
Kingdoms bordering them may find themselves attacked from multiple fronts by different beastherds, their borders slowly pushed back till the beastherds which appeared separate join forces to slaughter as one and even attracting beastherds from nearby lands till the kingdom has been reduced to a ruin. The standing of a beastherd is determined by their cunning and ferocity, size and territory and the number of Herdstone erected. When a beastherd is seen as weak another beastherd may come and taker over their domains but that are consistently ferocious will always be accepted. Most Greatfrays follow pure Chaos and thus beastherds in such a Greatfray that follows a Chaos God are often found at the peripheries their efficiency as desecrators cannot be denied.[1a]
It is a powerful alphabeast that binds these herds into a powerful beastherd. The alphabeast rules with cruelty and violence, keep the herds in line by lashing out and continually reasserting its dominance by leading the beastherd to fresh lands to be despoiled. [1a]
Rotfrays are Nurgle-worshipping, feculent herds that bring disease and woe to the Mortal Realms. They see themselves as martyrs, beseeching the plague god to erode and decompose civilized lands so that the wilderness might grow in their place. Because they know their deaths are part of a cycle of rot and reformation, they fight without fear, often using the fact that when they are wounded, it will spray out pus and foetid blood to infect their foes. One of the most notorious characteristic that help distinguish a Rotfray from the other types of herd is the nauseating smell that surrounds them. A more closer look reveals fangs riven with decay, muscled limb with dense clusters of boils and protuberant tumours, filth-encrusted mane filled with parasites and other pests, like Bloodmites, Scabspyders, Daemonic Slugs and pox-carrying Bileflies.[1b]
Skullfrays are Khorne-worshipping beasts of chaos that have been granted by their god with a portion of their undying rage and unquenchable thirst for murder. Skullfrays main goal is to drown the land in gore so that crimson rain pours from the skies, using disciplined warfare and martial prowess. The shattering of civilisations, the destruction of idols and desire for rampant anarchy are considered indulgences and discarded, mere distractions to their true purpose of turning the Mortal Realms into a slaughterhouse. After every battle they collect the skulls of the fallen and are place in piles at the bases of Herdstones as a offering to the blood god.[1b]
Skullfrays march in tightly-grouped herds, equipped with vicious blades and armour daubed with profane runes. Their attacks precise, carving through flesh with well-measured sweeps that creates more gore, their bestial instincts and lust for killing sharpened and honed with every bloody battle. As warm gore and blood touches their skin, their rage starts to build up until they begin to froth at the mouth and eventually that pent-up ferocity explode into a flurry that butchers all enemies that remain.[1b]
Slakefrays are savage bacchanals that worship Slaanesh as the Decadent Fiend, an aspect of the deity that embodies the feaster, breeder and apex defiler. The beasts of these greatfray have a relationship of both love and loathing for civilisation, filled with jealousy to the civilised and lust for fine things. But their self-hatred eventually overtakes them and their idolatry of civilisation becomes apparent in their minds. Only the promise of looting bigger and grander empires can soothe their self-hatred.[1b]
They feast and fight, indulging in their desires and becoming more frenzied until their hunger can no longer be contained. At this point they will stampede to the nearest city, announce their coming with their shrill brayhorns and launch themselves at any enemies they see, brutalising them in a state of rapturous frenzy. After the inhabitant of these cities are slaughtered, they will remain long to loot and sack. They will search for fripperies, like ornate trinkets and pretty baubles, jewels and gold ingots to devour and other precious metals to melt down to gild their horns, hooves and herdstones.[1b]
Twistfrays are worshippers of Tzeentch that focus on his aspect of the Beast with Many Forms, a reshaper of the realms who devours magic, fate and flesh and regurgitates forms more pleasing to Beastmen. They are know by many names like weirdhorns, warphooves or fleshchangers and are drawn by the scent of magic, seeking to defile the enchantments of other races just as much as they want to rend flesh and spill blood.[1b]
Their Herdstones are known as Flux-Cairns, growths of stagnant magic, whose constant stream of chaos energies attracts flocks of Tzaangors, winged monstrosities and half-mad scholars from nearby civilisations. The Tzeentchians are not hostile to the last, only watch as their gods shapes them into more savage creatures.[1b]
- 1: Battletome: Beasts of Chaos
- 2: Hammerhal & Other Stories, Dark God's Laughter