Beastmen in the World-That-Was
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Beastmen are partly human and partly animal creatures. Their minds too are a hybrid of man and beast; although they have the intelligence of humans, they employ it with the savage cunning of a wild animal.
Beastman are known as the Children of Chaos, and this is true quite literally, for they are unnatural creatures, born from men and beasts when Chaos first brought its scourges upon the world in the cataclysmic Time of Chaos.
Throughout the world, Beastmen thrive upon the edges of civilization, raiding isolated farmsteads, villages, and other settlements. They are most numerous towards the north, such as the dark forests that cover The Empire and the harsh wildernesses of Kislev. They are found in the greatest numbers throughout the Chaos Wastes of the northern and southern polar regions.
Several distinct breeds make up the seemingly unordered hordes of Beastmen:
- Gors are the most common type, distinguished by the fact they possess horns. Gors are a broad class comprising more specific types. Below the Gors are the lowly breeds which look to them for leadership.
- Wargors are the mightiest of the common Beastman, leading entire armies into battle.
- Bestigors are the leaders of Beastman herds, being the strongest and deadliest warriors.
- Caprigors are the most common breed of Gor, recognisable by their goat- or sheep-like heads and legs, along with, more importantly, their curling or straight goat horns. A Caprigor with these mutations and no others is called a Truegor, and are stronger, braver and more intelligent than other Caprigors.
- Bovigors are bull- or ox-headed beasts with cattle horns. Bovigors are also bullheaded in their nature, being very competitive and prizing brute power over any form of subtlety. Bovigors which are free of any mutation besides a bull's head and legs are considered Truegors.
- Ungors are much more variable in appearance. They possess some form of horns, but the Ungors themselves are not recognisable as either Caprigors or Bovigors. The most favoured Ungors might possess a spectacular array of horns, or a single, fine horn, but most have only small or misshapen versions, which other Beastmen find contemptible.
- Brays are a lowly breed of Beastmen. Their name refers to the braying cacophony they make when they feast or fight together. Brays can appear in any form, and are mainly distinguished by the fact they lack any kind of horns.
- Turnskins are humans who at a later stage of life began to develop mutations. Ostracised and despised by their former peers they have no escape other than to flee human society. Many of them become renegades and some manage to join a beastmen tribe who will accept them as slaves.
- Gaves are Beastmen born to normal human parents. Some parents attempt to hide their child's deformities while others will kill it, but many mutant babies are abandoned near a forest, or set afloat in a river on a raft of reeds, to die of hunger and exposure. These creatures rarely die however, as the ears of Beastmen are always alert to the cries of their own kind. These foundlings are adopted and raised by Beastmen, who consider such a child a gift of their own fell gods.
- Bray-Shamans are the intermediaries between the tribe and the Gods. The majority are not powerful enough to challenge the tribal leader, but some ambitious ones are more than willing and able to fulfil both positions. Shamans can spirit-walk in the Realm of Chaos and commune with the very daemons of the Chaos Gods. From these daemons he can seek advice or receive information of future events, which he can then relay to the chieftain. Spirit-walking is achieved through dreams or by the Shaman drinking themselves into a comatose trance. Shamans are marked apart from other Beastmen by their heterochromic eyes (e.g., one eye might be red, the other blue). The specific colours are believed to signify the favour in which the Shaman is held by a particular Power. A Shaman might repeat the colours of his eyes in his robes, so that he might display the favoured colours of the Chaos Gods.
- Beastwomen are female and, compared to the beastmen, are shy and gentle.
- Minotaurs, are massive beastmen with the head of a bull.
- Bengals are a race of Tiger-Headed Beastmen, native to the strange lands of Ind.
- Centigors are drunken and particularly violent, with humanoid upper bodies and the lower body of a four-legged beast.
- Harpies, have the upper body of a voluptous female, but the wings and talons of a ferocious bird.
Beastmen live in nomadic bands lead by Beastmen Champions of Chaos. Beastmen have a natural empathy toward Chaos which overcomes any hatred they may have towards other races, so that Beastmen bands often ally themselves to other forces of Chaos, small bands even joining the ragtag warbands of mutants and renegades lead by non-Beastmen Champions such as humans and fighting their battles.
As befits such a primal and warlike race, the only social unit is the warband, called the warherd.
Each warherd is led by the most powerful and intimidating Gor, the Wargor. The most powerful Wargors dominate several warbands and are known as Beastlords. The spiritual leaders of the warherds are the Bray-Shamans, who speak the will of the Chaos Gods.
The rivalry between different warherds runs deep. On occasion some or even many warherds are united by a ruthless and powerful warlord into a large savage horde. Although a rather undisciplined force, when led by a proper leader they can be very dangerous indeed.
Warherds are nomadic, living in temporary camps hidden within wildernesses such as forests. Caves near running water and with a good view of the surrounding terrain are considered the ideal camps. Eventually, after raiding nearby settlements, the warherd moves on, establishing a new camp some distance away. Clashes often result between two warherds over a particular territory.
A warherd comprises the many breeds of Beastmen as well as the other allied Creatures of Chaos such as Dragon Ogres, the monstrous Minotaurs, Centigors, and Chaos Warhounds. Beastmen generally disregard the use of anything but close combat weapons, as their instincts in battle are almost purely on closing with the enemy and fighting in direct combat.
Bestigors, the largest and most ferocious Gors, are supplied with the best armaments of the warherd, and usually wield halberds in battle.
Most Beastmen seem to worship Chaos as a whole. However some of them worship one of the four major gods.
Beastmen warherds who devote themselves to a single God acquire mutations which eventually shape them into the favoured images of their patrons.
- Khorngors, the Beastmen of Khorne, bearing the favoured colours of the Blood God, have skin and fur which is brazen in colour, in some cases almost metallic, and their eyes are milky white with red pupils. Many are hound headed with fierce jaws and fangs which drip with saliva. The most favoured bear horns which take the shape of Khorne's skull rune.
- Slaangors of Slaanesh have pastel coloured skin and fur and often bear luxurious fur capes and looted jewellery which contrasts strangely with their bestial natures.
- Pestigors of Nurgle are racked with disease and malformations yet retain the morbid vigour of their patron god. They often bear a single horn.
- Tzaangors of Tzeentch often bear exotic markings and patterns and fantastic colours such as tiger stripes or leopard spots.
All such devoted Beastmen will mark themselves with the rune of their patron deities, carving or daubing the symbols into their armor, and painting, branding or tattooing them onto their skin and fur.
The Bray-Shamans are able to wield Dark Magic and use the lore of the wild.
Beastmen speak Beast Tongue, a dialect of the Dark Tongue. It is a mix of bestial sounds, the Dark Tongue, and local human languages.
- Gorthor The Beastlord
- Malagor The Dark Omen, Crowfather, Despoiler of the Sacred, Harbinger of Disaster
- Ghorros Warhoof Sire of a Thousand Young
- Morghur the Shadowgave, Master of Skulls
- Taurox, the Brass Bull, Slaughterhorn, Bloodbeast, The Brazen One
- Moonclaw, Son of Morrslieb The Lunatic Prince, Child of the Gravid Orb
- Ungrol Four-Horn, Blackheart, Hornsthief, the Spurned One
- Slugtongue, the Famine-Fiend, the Barren One, Lord of the Black Harvest
- Khazrak the One-Eye
- 1: Blood and Darkness (Short Story) by William King
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Beasts of Chaos (6th Edition) (2003), pg. 17
- White Dwarf 124, Chaos Beastmen (extract from Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned)
- Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned (1990) by Bryan Ansell and Rick Priestley.
- Warhammer Armies: Beastmen (7th Edition)