- "The beast bashes upon the gate, louder and fouler than the wolves at his back. We muster at the walls, we let loose the arrows of the Emperor Himself... and yet the pounding, and the thunderous roar that will never cease. We may beat back the wolves. But we may never slay the beast."
- —Excerpt from the infamous War Poem written by the late Brother Sergeant Tsumo Yi of the Maverick Lords Space Marine Chapter during the failed Uxlag Campaign
The Empire of Gruurg Iron'Ed is a massive Ork infestation upon the region known as the Lost Shore, the border of war worlds that exists between the fortress worlds of the Golden Cordon and the infamous River of Exiles within the greater Exile Sector. Led by the infamous Greenskin Warlord of the same name, the Empire is a savage collection of bloodthirsty xenos barbarians, made all the stronger by the constant warfare of the Lost Shore.
Born of several hundred conquered tribes brought to heel by Gruurg's and his Goff kinsmen, the Orks of the so called "Iron'Ed Empire" are of a unique composition, being primarily made up of tribes of the Deathskull and Blood Axe Clans in addition to the central Goff horde. This has led to the Iron'Ed Orks adopting a blend of military philosophies (if such a term can be used in reference to the brutish martial practices of the Orks) leading to an Orkish force whose center relies on mechanized mobs of heavily armored Boyz. Traditionally the Iron'Ed Orks boast hordes of so-called 'Ardboyz, either armed with Shootaz or the standard Choppa and Slugga. These forces are supported closely by roving packs of Killa Kanz, looted Tanks and Artillery, and an elite core of so-called "Deff Kommandoz" who act as both forward scouts and saboteurs.
The Birth of a Warlord
- "First dere waz Groogz Badboyz. I busted 'iz 'ed ta bitz with me choppa. Den it waz doze dirty Evil Sunz wot called demselvez da Morky Fistz. I krumped dere Boss wif me ol' Trukk. After dat, it woz easy taken out ol' Gobslab and taken da tribe ova. "
- —Gruurg regales the Yoofz with tales of his rise to power
The Ork that would one day be feared throughout the Exile Sector as the "Beast Beyond the Gates" and "Terror-Baron of Uxlag" was once known only as Gruurg, a lowly Slugga Boy of the Goff Tribe known as the Nek Krakaz upon the War World of Gog. Gruurg climbed the ranks of the tribe, establishing his dominance in the traditional Orkish way as his kin waged war across the ash plains of Gog against rival tribes and the occasional band of Scavengers or Chaos Raiders. However, Gruurg would take his first true step to becoming the dreaded Warlord and bane of both the forces of Chaos and Imperium of Man when he took the life of the rival Warboss Groog. Groog had long been an enemy of Gruurg's leige, an aged but ferocious Warboss by the name of Gobslab, and as one of Gobslab's chief lieutenants Gruurg was singularly ordered to bring down "Da Boss uv a 'Undred Tribez".
Gruurg would earn his title of Iron'Ed on the day he completed his mission, taking his loyal band of Boyz and leading a mighty counter-strike against Groogz Badboyz territory. Mounted upon ample Trukkz and Warkoptaz, Gruurg's mobile Mobz ran riot across the Badlands, ransacking Badboy settlements with near impunity. However, Groog's mighty horde showed itself, and the mighty Warboss called out Gruurg, challenging him to a "Propa fight." Gruurg obliged, and the two Orkish armies would meet at an ancient battlefield known as Da Ash Kasem. Here, in the lava filled canyon walls, the whole of Groogz horde amassed itself.
Thousands of greenskins, most of the Snakebite Clan, amassed against an elite warband of only a few hundred veteran Goffs. In spite of their foes drastic advantage in numbers, the mechanized horde of Gruurg's rushed onwards, Trukks smashing into one another as they barrled down the narrowing corridor of brimstone. Gruurg himself stood atop the hood of his personal Trukk, feet planted on the rusty metal as his pigiron steed smashed headlong into massed ranks of Badboyz.
Wheels became so slick with gore that traction could not be achieved, and so the Goffs jumped from their monstrous machines and into the spears of the waiting Snakebites below. Spears and arrows came howling in from above, as Groog was kunning enough to situate some of his ranged force along the crest and walls of the canyon. But it mattered not to the Goffs, who shrugged off crude javelins and stone choppa strikes, returning such attacks in kind with their shootaz and whirring chain-choppaz.
Better armored and better armed, Gruurgz warband hacked and blasted their way through the innumerable horde, with Grurrg himself making a beeline straight to the fat Warboss that sat cozy in his Squiggoth howdah, flinging spears at any who dared close in. But the momentum began to shift, skirmish fire and raw numbers began to bring down the isolated pockets of Goffs. All of Gruurg's Mob had been butchered by Savage Orkz, and he stood alone amongst a pile of corpses, just a few yards from his mark. But Gruurg proved that Groog was not the only kunnin git on the field that day, and called in his reserves. A Goff holding Boyz back from the fight was almost unheard of, and so when Fighta Bommberz and Warkoptaz darkened the skies above, even Da Boss uv a 'Undred Tribez was shocked.
The Fighta Bommberz ripped into the Snakebite horde, scything down scores of them with crude missiles and dakkagun fire. Some even flew right into the ranks of the enemy, their bodies providing suitable landing platforms as the Goff pilots crawled from the wreckage with choppaz and bits of their vehicles in hand.
- "I lovez da krunch doze umiez make when ya run 'em down wif da trukkz!"
- —Kogma Wheelgit
The Orkz of the Iron'Ed Empire are dangerous proponents of heavy mechanized combat, their ranks overflowing with all manner of trukkz and buggies, not to mention scores of Orkish walkers and looted tanks. In true Ork fashion, these armored squadrons ferry hordes of heavily armored Boyz directly into the heart of the enemy, heedlessly crashing through debris and minefields with reckless abandon. Ork Warbikes and Deffkoptas usually act as the forward vanguard and flanking force while these battalions of solid steel and green muscle slam into the enemy, picking off the foes who managed to withstand the shock of the initial wave. They are also uniquely fond of the mighty Warkopta, utilizing fleets of these airborne behemoths as transports for both Mobs of Boyz and the elite Meganobz.
The Iron'Ed Orkz also prize massive, powerful artillery pieces with which to pound the enemy from afar and saturate the battlefield with glorious explosions. Unfortunately for their front line comrades, Orkish artillery rarely ceases fire once their allied ranks have closed with the enemy. There is also a proclivity to utilize hunter-killer teams consisting of Killer Kanz constantly roving the battlefield in disorganized packs, destroying enemy targets at random.
However, a foremost element of the usual Iron'Ed assault entails the deadly use of forward Kommandoz to sabotage the enemies defenses or eliminate forward scouts who would give the enemy any forewarning of the onrushing horde. These Kommando units are particularly troublesome, for should they complete their objectives the chaos sewed within the enemies ranks will often leave them easy prey for the elite Stormboyz and other such shock troops.
- "Derez lotza boyz wot like ta call demselvz 'ard. Dem boyz get krumped right 'an propa talkin wize like dat around us."
- —Kracktoof Da Blaq, infamous 'Evy Nob
Though at first glance the infamous, black and blue armored Meganobz of the Iron'Ed Empire would seem little more than your run of the mill elite Greenskin heavy infantry, that is to mistake the nature of Orkish veterans within the region of the Lost Shore. Known only as Da 'Eavyz by their kin, these Meganobz are the dreaded elite of the elite within the Iron'Ed Empire, having fought for nigh on centuries in their Mega Armor, krumping gits left and right in some of the most horrific and anarchic fighting the Lost Shore can provide.
Da 'Evyz have most of their origins within the infamous Bandasnatch Tribe of the so-called "Skrap Wurld" of Mordug, a toxic wasteland utilized as a dump by various empires throughout the Dark Age of Technology. Unsurprisingly, the Bandasnatch Tribe hail from the Deathskulls Clan, though they are a more "fighty" breed than their cousins. The Bandasnatches prefer overwhelming firepower and kustom sets of Mega Armor, their Lootaz and considerable motor pool supporting their ranks of heavy infantry and swarms of kitted out Boyz. When Gruurg Iron'Ed and his Nek Krakaz came to Mordug looking for parts with which to construct more Trukks for their growing WAAAGH!, they fought a long and bloody war with the Bandasnatch Tribe. Though eventually conquered, Gruurg was so impressed with the Bandasnatch Orkz natural toughness and arsenal that he incorporated a unit of them as his personal Mega Nob bodyguard. Thus, the very first 'Evyz were born, and in the years that followed, elements of the Bandasnatch Tribe would become the premier heavy infantry of the Iron'Ed Empire.
What makes a member of Da 'Evyz so dangerous is not so much their wargear, sheer physical strength, or fell temper, (though these things are more or less the main aspect of their entire arsenal) as they are dangerous for their surprising amount of low cunning and battlefield experience. These Orkz are often far more savvy then their more meatheaded brethren within the Meganobz, often picking and choosing their engagements in order to maximize the sheer carnage wreaked upon the field of war. They are also prone to utilizing more advanced forms of transport, particularly preferring insertion aboard a Rok or a Warkopta as opposed to the usual Battlewagon.
A unit of 'Eavyz may also be found acting as a particular Iron'Ed Warboss' bodyguard, especially under the command of more cunning individuals who prefer the swift and savage application of ample amounts of choppa and dakka as opposed to an endless tidal wave of green and treads.
- "We'z not just some kut trotz wot be muckin about in da dark. We'z da Deff Kommandoz, if ya don't get wot dat meanz... we'll lern ya soon enouf."
- —Boss Stabenat, Kommanda of the Deff Kommandoz
The Deff Kommandoz are several elite mobs of infamous Iron'Ed Empire Kommandoz, formed in the early days of Warlord Gruurg Iron'Ed's conquest of the southern reaches of the Lost Shore from the decimated remains of the Blood Axes tribe known only as "Da Red Unz", the Deff Kommandoz are an elite unit of almost mythical saboteurs and terror troops.
It is said that when Gruurg's hordes came for the burnt out world of Uxlag, they expected minimal resistance. A world of scorched mountain fortresses and ruined cities, a place whose only benefit was ample amounts of scrap with which to build more war machines and weaponry. Gruurg Iron'Ed was reportedly told that the few tribes of Orks that inhabited that world were either savage Feral Orks or decidedly weak and "Unorky" Orks, both decidedly easy fodder for krumping. Instead, the first drop ships were blown out of the skies by hidden anti-air batteries. Mildly annoyed, Gruurg ordered the full scale deployment of his entire force, his elite 'Evyz leading the vanguard.
What would ensue would be a five month long guerrilla war, as the native Feral Ork tribes, under the command of a Blood Axe tribe known as Da Red Unz, slaughtered over a million of Gruurg's Boyz in savage mountain ambushes and cleverly lain booby traps all across the ruins. The grinding war finally came to a halt when Iron'Eds hordes managed to systematically surround and slaughter their enemies, forcing them into open engagements. By heedlessly taking ground, the stubborn invaders managed to finally pin Da Red Unz and their remaining Savage Ork minions within a great mountain hold, hidden deep within a ravine.
The resulting siege was bloody in the extreme, but in the end, Gruurg Iron'Ed kicked down the great steel doors to what would become his throne room. Within was the "Kommanda" of Da Red Unz Tribe, a stunty, but nonetheless heavily armed Warboss by the name of Stabenat. The two Warbosses faced off in the traditional Orkish way, though Stabenat utilized every dirty trick he was capable off. In spite of his opponents trickery and exotic baubles, the much larger and stronger Gruurg was more than capable of brutally subduing his opponent.
However, once Stabenat was on his knees, battered and bloody, his wargear smashed upon the floor, Iron'Ed chose to spare him. Stabenat was thoroughly befuddled, and so Gruurg explained his reasoning to the Blood Axe. Remarking that while Stabenat and his lot were filthy, unorky, Grot loving cowards, they also killed a lot of Gruurg's very Orky Boyz in various embarrassing ways. Orky or not, Gruurg liked things that were ded killy, and so Stabenat and his remaining Boyz would be reformed into the modern Deff Kommandoz, now apart of the Terror Barron's inexorable horde.
- "We'z like da flash of lightin berfer da boom. We'z da choppa wot komz fer ya 'ed when youz ain't looken. We'z da rokkit dat krump ya buggy roight befer ya can even start da sukka."
- —Big Getskum, Thunda Nob
The premier Stormboyz of the Terror Barron's WAAAGH!, the Thundaboyz represent the pinnacle of Iron'Ed "soldiery". Disciplined to the extent that Imperial commanders refuse to believe their eyes when they see these shock troops crush their lines and then fall back with speed and fluidity that bespeaks of years of conditioning, the Thundaboyz are intended to be the outright killing blow, the first and deciding shot of any engagement. Heavily armed and armored, Thundaboyz are generally equipped with some of the finest close combat equipment the Mekboyz have available, decked out with Power Klaws, Chainaxe-style Choppaz, and compact Twin-Linked Shootaz. That is not to also mention the vast arsenal of Stikkbombz and even more specialized weaponry. It is not uncommon to see Thundaboyz lugging around custom Rokkit Launchaz designed for Jump Infantry use or the infamous "Repeating Tank Hammer".
The very first Thundaboyz were the elite Nek Krakaz Tribe Stormboyz, and noted for being better equipped and more disciplined than any other ranks of Goff Stormboyz on Gruurg Iron'Ed's homeworld of Gog. Thus the Thunda Boy Mobs continue to be made up solely of Gog born Goffs, the hardest Boyz in all of Iron'Ed's vast empire and those most loyal to him.
Thundaboyz are each hardened veterans of the Stormboy ranks, a cut many times above the rest. The tactical acumen of their Nobz is often considered uncanny, especially for an Ork. However, Thundaboyz are still very much Orkz, prone to savagery and anarchic behavior. It is simply the veneer of discipline, combined with exceptional low cunning and their trademark brutality, that makes the Thundaboyz such a terror.
While not particularly unorthodox from the average Orkish horde, the Orkz of the Iron'Ed Empire are noted to share some unique practices brought about from the disparate Kulturs of the various tribes and Clan demographics that make up the Terror Baron of Uxlag's mighty green empire. These traditions are usually martial in nature, though some are more utilitarian.
The core of Gruurg's forces hail from his own homeworld of Gog, a world of ashen plains and irradiated skies. Following the Nek Krakaz tribe's domination of the world, it became firmly a Goff settlement, breeding only the most hardy and brutish Orkz possible. In addition to many traditional Goff practices, such as ritual headbutting duels and the veneration of the Terran Bull as a totem animal, the Gog Orkz practice a tradition of naming that dates back as far as the oldest Boyz can remember. Every Ork that hails from Gog has a name that either starts with an "M" or "G", likely to venerate the twin Orkish gods Gork and Mork.
Meanwhile, the Orkz that hail from Gruurg's throneworld of Uxlag are noted for a peculiar oral tradition, being some of the few examples of the Ork race that actively cultivate and practice sarcasm. Being descended from Da Red Unz Tribe of Blood Axes, it is likely the Orkz of Uxlag, both Feral and "civilized", are some of the few Orkz capable of comprehending that words can have double meanings. Such an understanding must have come from the various dealings the Clan as a whole has had with humans in the past, picking up on their client's verbal cues. This often leads to excess frustration and difficulties with the Goff core of the Iron'Ed Orkz when working alongside their Blood Axe allies, as the Uxlag Orkz tend to answer in the affirmative, while meaning the opposite, something their short tempered fellows find murderously frustrating.
Orkz of the Bandasnatch Tribe linage native to the junkyards of Mordug are noted as particularly stoic and kunnin, their Deathskulls linage making them prone to making loaded bets, but their unique Tribal culture also making them "ded serius". Where this well of reservation comes from none are certain, but it is the reason the Orkz of the infamous 'Evyz are also known as "Da Quiet Gitz", for while most Orkz would bellow aloud in a charge, the Lootaz of the Bandasnatch Orkz let their dakka speak for them.
- "Ya fink yer sumthin? Wif yer spikey bitz and dat bleeden big choppa? Ya ain't nuffin! I've krumped loadz of gitz wot flopped their gobz just like ya! I'll krump ya so ded, yer gawdz gunna cry loik runty lil grotz! WAAAAAAAGH!"
- —Gruurg Iron'Ed faces off Chaos Lord Malak Blackspawn in the Siege of Thul
The Terror Barron of Uxlag, the Beast Beyond the Gates, the Pigiron King, the monstrous Ork Warlord Gruurg Iron'Ed is known by these many black titles and more, for he is nothing less than one of the greatest Ork Warlords to ever blight the Exile Sector.
Magog Da Walkrumpa
- "Da WAAAGH! is in me blud. Itz in me choppa. Itz in me shoota. Dontcha get it umie? I AM DA WAAAGH!"
- —Magog educates Lord General Fisk of the 445th Ventrez Volunteer Guard to the "nature" of the WAAAGH! before placing his head on his Boss Poll
Carguk Da Kunnin
- "Listen 'ere ya flat 'eded gitz! I wantz ya ta move AROUND da umiez and hit em in da side, an don't get stuck in till da Deffkoptaz kom in wif da dakka! An if so much as one of ya gitz movez befer dat, I'll krump ya so ded yer gutz won't know wot way to splat!"
- —Carguk directs his Boyz with the utmost finesse
Feel free to add your own!
- "The foul cesspool that spawns the crudest and most destructive of beings. Uxlag is the worst of these. We must burn it down to the bedrock- let the stink of burning greenskin reach from here to Holy Terra."
- —from the journal of a Ventrezi Colonel