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"Where then do they come from, these iron savages who frighten other Orcs into awestruck obedience, these ‘Black Orcs’? That is a grim tale best suited for long winter nights, but I will impart the substance of it. Long ago, the fell Chaos kindred of the Dwarfs needed a steady source of reliable troops. The Greenskin races that they had to deal with at the time they deemed less than adequate, so using their sorcery and a carefully applied breeding program, they set about creating a new strain of Orc. They sought to make them stronger, hardier and more intelligent that they could better carry out the will of the Chaos Dwarfs. They succeeded far beyond their expectations and desires."

—Waldemarr, Scholar of Nuln.[2a]

A massive Black Orc in combat against a Dwarf Longbeard.

The Black Orcs are amongst the biggest, meanest, strongest, and most brutal of all the Greenskin races.[1a]

Named after their darker shade of green, their thick black-coloured armour and their horrendously foul odour, the Black Orcs consider themselves the ultimate Greenskin warrior. Due to this air of superiority, most Black Orcs usually band together in their own mobs or warbands that are usually totally independent from the rest of the army. These beasts are grim and singularly focused on war, an occupation that they take far more seriously than even others of their own kind.[1c]

Being militaristic and spartan in nature, Black Orcs would find any way to either improve on their combat skills or to appear bigger or meaner as they possibly can. Equipped with some of the best weapons and armour in the tribe, these fierce fighters provide their race with a much more reliable source of elite, powerful fighters. Since they are the best fighters, the Black Orcs receive the lion's share of the loot after battle.[1c]


"Black Orcs are more disciplined, armoured and deadly than other Orcs, ripping through enemies with their heavy weapons for fun."

—The brutal Black Orcs.[3]

A typical Black Orc in immense black armour.

The origins of the Black Orc is still highly debated, but the most widely-known story is that of the Chaos Dwarfs and their ill-attempt to create a new breed of Orcs the likes of which this World had never seen before. During that forgotten age, the Chaos Dwarfs grew wary of the constant animosity and infighting of their Greenskin slaves, and so sought a solution that would make them much more obedient towards their tyrannical masters. With the aid of dark magic and the selection of the largest and strongest of their Greenskin slaves, they magically bred the first Black Orc into existence.[1c]

If this story were true, then their experiment turned into a complete catastrophe, for their ill-fated attempt to create a more disciplined and highly coordinated Greenskin slave-force only made them the perfect leaders for their brethren to rise up and topple their sadistic rule. The magical abilities of the Dwarf Sorcerers could never erase the strong sense of independence that all Orcs possess, and when the Greenskins rose up in rebellion, the great uprising that followed almost lead to the complete destruction of their entire empire, making it as far as the doors to the Temple of Hashut, the very dark heart of the Chaos Dwarf Empire. However, in their hour of triumph, only the timely betrayal of their Hobgoblin allies spared the Dwarfs from their complete and total annihilation. Although many of the slaves were put to the sword or dragged back into the slave-pits, the Black Orcs were able to escape and have since been accepted into normal Greenskin society.[1c]

Ever since then, the Black Orcs pride themselves on being the best fighters in their tribe, and in their case the whole Greenskin race. Only the strongest of the Greenskins, such as the Big 'Uns or an Orc Warboss can ever hope to match the skill and strength of a typical Black Orc in combat. The pride these brutes have is due in part to the nature of Greenskin animosity. The Black Orcs are highly disciplined and martial in their behaviour, and as such they would often look down upon their brethren's ceaseless squabbling, believing that they should use all that energy in fighting the enemies of the Greenskin race rather then be used to fight each other. The Black Orcs opinion of the Goblins is considerably far worse, thinking them as nothing more than a nuisance that is unfit to even carry their spare equipment, much less fight in open battle.[1c]


"These were no Goblins, but the ultimate Orcs, bred by magic in the slave pits of Zharr-naggrund..."

—The mightiest Greenskins.[4]

In battle, the Black Orcs act as the ultimate elite infantry whose duty is to fight and endure the thickest of enemy fighting. In addition to wearing immensely huge armour, Black Orcs usually have the best weapons around, often hefting multiple choppas of various sizes. They have even been known to clean and repair their gear after battle or begin their occasional military drills that would help them prepare for the next conflict.[1c]

Such unnatural activities often leads to constant discrimination by their Greenskin brethren. Most Greenskins can never comprehend the Black Orcs killjoy behaviour, preferring instead to whoop and revel in jubilant victory celebrations, such as Skull-Stacking contests or seeking out every opportunity to engage in a brawl or pit-fight. Such misunderstandings have only led the Black Orcs to further distance themselves from their dull-witted cousins, but when battle looms over the horizon, you can always be sure that the Black Orcs would always be the ones in the thickest of the fighting.[1c]

Black Orc Barracks

"The meanest and strongest of their kind, the Black Orcs rarely mix with others, preferring their own barracks."

—The Black Orc Barracks.[3]

Black Orcs are not interested in the frivolous behaviour of lesser Greenskins, they only care about food, fighting and gear. Orc Warbosses that have regiments of Black Orcs soon learn to give them their own barracks where they can store their vast array of choppas and hang about with their own kind, because if they don't they quickly find their mobs of greener boyz dying![3]

Infamous Black Orcs




  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 10
    • 1b: pg. 26
    • 1c: pg. 39
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Old World Bestiary
    • 2a: pg. 19
  • 3: Total War: Warhammer
  • 4: Warhammer: The End Times Collection