"From the deepest, darkest tunnels they came, burrowing and banging, shouting and smashing. We soon learnt not to try to negotiate, save with axes and cannon. For thousands upon thousands of years have we fought them, and many think we will soon be defeated. Yet we have our plans, and some day we will take back our ancestral holds—or else destroy both those homes and the foul Orcs who now pollute them."
- —Gialar Kunst, Dwarf Loremaster.[2c]
The Greenskins are a highly primitive and warlike race of bestial humanoid barbarians and raiders that occupy much of the Eastern Hemisphere of the World. The term "Greenskins" is a common collective description used by many civilised nations to refer to the forces of the Orcs, Goblins and other biologically related races. The broadest division is between the Orcs, who are strong, brutish, and savage warriors, and the Goblins, who are smaller and weaker, but cunning and conniving creatures.[1a]
The Greenskins are considered by many to be the scourge of all civilisation. These tribal warriors are extremely violent, raiding ceaselessly, carrying war and barbarism to all corners of the known world. Time and again, hordes of Greenskins would arise without warning and lay a great swath of destruction that has no direction or purpose other than simple violence.[1b] Indeed, the Greenskin race's single motive is violence, an ever increasing mass of warfare that has the potential to dominate and cover the entire world in a seething green tide.
However, the Greenskins' tendency for warfare has created a division within their society that has ensured their race shall never reach such heights. Since the dawn of their history, the Greenskins have been plagued by a never-ending series of civil wars that has consumed millions of their own kind, for such is their desire for battle that Greenskin tribes have been known to fight each other just as much as they fight the other civilised races of the Old World.[1d]
Though such strife should spell doom for their race, such are the Greenskins' ability to both survive and thrive in the harshest of environments that they can never truly be exterminated from the face of the world. Without the proper knowledge or unity to progress past even the most basic foundations for a civilisation, the Greenskins never seem to amount to anything more than primitive savages living within scattered tribal societies.
- 1 History
- 2 Anatomy and Physiology
- 3 Hierarchy
- 4 Religion
- 5 Society
- 6 Military
- 7 Notable Greenskins
- 8 Older Canon
- 9 Theatre
- 10 Sources
The Greenskin race arrived in the world at some unknown point in the World's pre-history. The most likely explanations are that their insidious spores were either mistakenly introduced to the world by the Old Ones or that they drifted through space and arrived in the world by some other means.[5a] Ever since then, the Greenskins have spread to become an ever-present and belligerent enemy of the other races. So primitive and backwards were the Greenskins during the earlier years of their existence that the only sensible record of their history will always be kept by the very nations that they have attacked and conquered. The first records of their existence was written and kept by the Dwarfs during the Golden Age of their people, around the time of the horrific catastrophe known by their race as the Time of Woes.
The Great Migration: The Cataclysm of the Time of Woes
At around an unspecific point of time, the Greenskin race has grown considerably in numbers and have since occupied a large stretch of territory within the Eastern Hemisphere of the World, with little to no records detailing its exact location. What was certain was that upon the year -1500 IC, a great cataclysm rippled through the very foundations of the World. Great tremors rocked the mountains like the banging of thunder, massive tidal waves rose from the sea and crashed against the coast, and finally, long-dormant volcanoes erupted within the East and the lands was scarred for all eternity by geysers, lava, and earthquakes. Dislodged from their original homelands by the volcanic activity, the Greenskin race was forced to migrate towards the West.[6a]
As this mighty migration moved out of the East, the petty tribal kingdoms of Mankind rose up to face their savage assault. However, the Humans couldn't match their bronze swords with the Orc's iron cleavers, and were thusly beaten down time and again. Battered and broken, the tribes of Mankind were also forced into a mass exodus to the west, hoping to enter into the safety of the Old World that lies beyond the stalwart mountain-walls of the Worlds Edge Mountains.[6a]
Like a green tide, the Greenskin hordes swept unopposed in their rampage until finally, they as well reached the foothills of the Worlds Edge Mountains. Upon those distant peaks, the Greenskins fell upon the ancient and once-powerful civilisation of the Dwarf race. Attacking from above and below, the Greenskins surged through the broken battlements of their once-mighty Holds and killed all in their path. Thus began a time of warfare that the Humans and Dwarf have appropriately named the Goblin Wars -- for the Goblins were the most numerous of the Greenskin invaders at that point in time.[6a]
The Goblin Wars (-1449 to -250 IC)
The first attack came just after the last aftershock had finished. Unidentified enemies infiltrated the Dwarfs underground networks in impeccable numbers, and soon outpost and small strongholds came under attack. With the walls and gates of their once formidable fortress now cracked open by the earthquakes, the scattered Dwarfs quickly became outnumbered and overrun.[6a]
The first to fall from this massive onslaught was the Dwarf stronghold of Karak Ungor. Taking advantage of the chaos, a wave of Night Goblin tribes emerged within the very centre of the city, taking the Dwarfs of Karak Ungor completely by surprise. Using their speed and overwhelming numbers, the Night Goblins took level after level from the Dwarfs. Defiant to the last, knots of warriors and militia rose up to meet the invaders back to back, attempting to hold the Night Goblins off in key locations until the population could evacuate.[6a]
The King of Karak Ungor, King Kargsson of the Stonehelm Clan lead a counter-attack that gave enough time for the women and children to evacuate. With all of the population accounted for, the King ordered his people to finally abandon the city and make their journey towards the strongholds of Karak Kadrin and Zhufbar. King Kargsson never made it, for he valiantly closed the tunnels behind him as the enemy began their final decisive assault.[6a]
With the enemies controlling both the surface and the underground tunnels, communication between the holds were lost. The next attack upon the Dwarfs came upon the mineral-rich stronghold of Karak Varn. Known famously for having the largest deposits of Gromril in the entire world, when the great earthquakes struck, the lower workings of the stronghold became flooded by the nearby lake of Black Water.[6a]
Without any warning, Skaven expeditionary armies coming from the city of Skavenblight attacked the lower workings while an army of Orcs besieged the city from above. Caught between two massive armies, the Dwarfs stood little chance. Despite the stout defences erected by the Dwarfs, after nearly a single year of constant fighting, the city of Karak Varn was inevitably taken. Most of the stubborn population fought to the bitter end, with only a handful of clans managing to evacuate and reach the safety of its sister-hold, Zhufbar.[6a]
After the fall of Karak Varn, a series of defeats were further inflicted upon the Dwarfs at many different locations within the Worlds Edge Mountains. Columns of smoke rose high above the peaks as surface settlements and mines were put to the torch. Refugees that survived the attacks attempted to cross the mountain passes to reach the other holds, but these places were clogged with enemy armies streaming into Dwarf territory like a flood. As the war escalated, the Underway became a warzone between armies of Night Goblins and Skaven seeking to control the underground tunnel-highway as their own.[6a]
To the south, the mines of Ekrund was sacked by an army of Orcs, driving the Dwarfs out of the resource-rich region known as the Dragonback Mountains. The Gold and Brimstone mines of Gunbad were also taken by a host of Night Goblins of the Red Eye Tribe. After being besieged for several decades, the strongholds of Mount Silverspear was lost to the Orcs as well. In time, the entire eastern edge of the Worlds Edge Mountains was lost to the Greenskins.[6a]
In a short amount of time, the Dwarfs eventually lost three more major strongholds in the span of fifty years. Karak Eight Peaks, the second strongest mountain Kingdom of the Dwarfs fell to the Greenskins in -513 IC. Karak Azgal was stormed and sacked by an Orc army in -493 IC, only to be forced out as a Dragon delved into the tunnels and claimed the hold as his own. Karak Drazh was attacked and captured by the Orcs the very same year, eventually becoming the new Greenskin fortress of Black Crag. After nearly a thousand years, the Goblin Wars was nearing its end, and should the Dwarfs not stop the Greenskins soon, nothing would stop them from conquering the whole of the Old World.[6a]
War against Humanity (-250 to -1 IC)
In the past, the Worlds Edge Mountains were considered by many to be a large barrier that kept the horrors of the East at bay. With the Kingdom of the Dwarfs now under siege and buckling under an unrelenting assault, cracks have begun to appear and like a great flood the Greenskins poured out of the mountain passes and spilled towards the lowlands of the Old World. It was upon those lands that the Greenskins once more met the tribes of Mankind, and over the next two and a half hundred years, the Greenskins with their impeccable numbers and superior iron weapons and armour were slowly but surely beginning to win.[7a]
In their most dire of time, the Dwarfs saw within Humanity a common ally from which they could together stop the Greenskin threat. Within time, trade flourished between Man and Dwarf, and soon the Human tribesmen were given access to the secrets of crafting iron weaponry. However, even with the aid of the Dwarfs, the Human tribes were far too fractious to put up a valiant effort.[7a]
Just when all hope seemed lost, around this point in time, a mighty warrior-prince had arisen to become the new Chieftain of the Unberogen tribe, and had since begun a campaign of unification, diplomacy, and warfare that threatened to dislodge the Greenskins from the Old World. This uniter was Sigmar Heldenhammer, a Warrior-King of unparalleled strength and bravery who had a grand dream of uniting the warring tribes of Men together to form a powerful and unified nation that would be a bastion of hope for all Humanity. This all began on one historic day that would bound the race of Man and Dwarf into oaths of everlasting friendship.[7a]
A trading convoy that included the High King, Kurgan Ironbeard was ambushed on its way from Karaz-a-Karak to the Grey Mountains. The Orc army that attacked them was enormous, and although the battle-hardened Dwarfs slew the Orcs until their bodies lay in heaps, they inevitable failed and their High King was taken captive. Luckily for the beleaguered Dwarfs, this territory was the domains of the Unberogen tribe, a fierce and warlike tribe of Men who fought relentlessly to clear their lands of Greenskins. Led by their mighty warrior-prince Sigmar Heldenhammer, the Unberogen army fell upon the Orc army with cold impunity.[7a]
This meeting would be a turning point in Mankind's history. In the battle that transpired, Kurgan Ironbeard bore witness to this young, human prince facing down a massive Orc known in their tongue as Vagraz Headstomper. Despite young Sigmar's mighty strength, every killing blow his bronze sword had made was turned aside by the armour of the Orc, and every blow from the Orc's flaming axe came all too close to ending his young life. Ironbeard broke free of his bonds and fought his way to Vagraz's tent, where the Orc kept his pick of the Dwarf King's possessions. Inside he found the mighty warhammer Ghal-Maraz, the Splitter of Skulls.[7a]
Kurgan threw the hammer towards Sigmar, cursing the Orc with every curse known to Dwarfkind. Sigmar caught the ancient weapon and the tide turned for the Unberogen. Sigmar assaulted the Orc with mighty strikes of his hammer, the fury of his blows bringing the hulking beast down to a single knee. With the final strike, Sigmar smashed the Orc's skull to bloody shards, a mighty feat, even for a warrior wielding a weapon forged with Dwarfen skill.[7a]
With the close of the battle, their holdings avenged, Sigmar attempted to return the hammer to the High King. In that moment, a historical act came about, one unheard of in all the annals of both Men and Dwarfs and forever forged an unbreakable bond of friendship between the men of the lands west of the mountains and the Dwarfen kingdom of Karaz Ankor. On that day, Kurgan Ironbeard gifted the ancient hammer Ghal-Maraz to Sigmar.[7a]
It was a unique happening for such a unique weapon; for the power of Ghal-Maraz is old, ancient even to the Dwarfs, and it is said that the weapon possesses a will of its own, and it actively chooses those who are to bear it into battle. Indeed, as fate would have it, the hammer was always Sigmar's, and had been waiting for the day the warrior would claim it. The Dwarfen King looked upon Sigmar and saw within him power, honour, courage and nobility without parallel, and knew that Ghal-Maraz was rightfully his, and he also reasoned that an ancient runic weapon was fitting payment for saving the life of a Dwarfen High King. From then on, the Dwarf Mountain Kingdoms and the Unberogen clans were the most steadfast of allies.[7a]
With the mighty warhammer in his possession, Sigmar began his campaign to unite the warring tribes of Men against the interminable onslaught of the Greenskin hordes. As Kurgan Ironbeard returned to his seat of power within Karaz-a-Karak, it soon became clear that the Greenskins were growing near unstoppable. In the years that followed Sigmars campaign of unification, the Dwarfs within their mountain kingdoms had felt an invasion unlike anything they have endured before. Holding the Greenskin hordes off as much as they could, after nearly a decade, Sigmar had finally united the Tribes into a single unified force, and it did not come at a better time.[7a]
Envoys of King Kurgan Ironbeard arrived with news of an Orc horde of such monumental scale as to eclipse all those before it, marching towards the now-legendary region known famously as Black Fire Pass, intent on destroying the races of both Man and Dwarf forever. This, Sigmar would not allow. He summoned all of his brother-kings to the golden halls of King Siggurd for a grand meeting now known in the annals of history as the Council of Eleven. There, the kings conferred of how they would face this apocalyptic threat.[7a]
Some of the assembled kings realised that the only path was to unite into one great host, placing the overall command of the army under Sigmar. Others, however, would not bring themselves to relinquish command over their own warriors to another king, and remained obstinate. Soon, dissension and argument arose between the assembled warlords. Sigmar saw this and was filled with contempt, silencing the dissent with a word. He denounced the shamefulness of their squabbles while a lesser race stood united and poised to destroy humanity.[7a]
Sigmar implored the gathered tribes not to meet the Orcs and Goblins as they had in the past, standing apart from each other, refusing to lend aid and combine their forces when needed--that would only lead to their defeat and deaths. His voice rising with a terrible rage that was felt throughout the gathering, Sigmar called on all the tribes of Man to unite and make their common stand with the Dwarfs, calling it the crucible of a new nation. As recorded in the Book of Origins, Sigmar's final shout of "To war!" was answered with a cheer so loud that the Dwarfs heard it as far away as Black Fire Pass.[7a]
History records that Sigmar's army arrived just in time, as the Orcs finally breached the wall King Kurgan had built across Black Fire Pass. Leading the charge from the chariot of Siggurd, Chieftain of the Brigundians, Sigmar fell upon the Greenskins as if he were the God Ulric himself. The force of the Human assault stopped the Orc and Goblin advance, then began pushing it back. The Dwarfs saw this as their opportunity and charged from their forts and towers and fell upon the Greenskins' flanks.[7a]
At this point, fear overcame the Greenskins and they began to break ranks and flee. Their leader, Warlord Urgluk Bloodfang, rallied his forces and made a counter-attack. Charging, he and his warband came face to face with Sigmar. Sigmar and the Orc warlord entered into single combat, whilst Siggurd and his elite Brigundian warriors battled Bloodfang's Black Orc bodyguards. Hammer clashed with cleaver as the two struggled for advantage. After nearly an hour of fighting, Sigmar killed the Orc warlord with a mighty double blow, first breaking the hand that held the cleaver, then smashing Bloodfang's skull on the return stroke. The death of their leader was also the death of the Orc army, which broke and ran in utter panic.[7a]
The slaughter that followed was terrible to behold as the armies of Man and Dwarf fell upon their most hated of enemies. It is said that there has never been a greater concentration of crows in all the world that which gathered to feast on the stinking and unburied corpses of the Greenskins at Black Fire Pass. So many died that day that it would be over a thousand years before the Orcs and Goblins could again raise such an army, even with their prodigious if unknown reproduction rates.[7a]
With the defeat of the Orcs at the Battle of Black Fire Pass, the security of the lands of the Twelve Tribes was finally assured. King Marbad was afforded the funeral rites of the greatest heroes, for such he deserved, and was carried onto his pyre by his fellow kings and his heir. Not only was the race of Men saved, but so was the Dwarfen domain. In heartfelt gratitude, King Kurgan Ironbeard pledged that he would charge Alaric with the creation of twelve, magnificent blades in thanks to the Empire for their shared brotherhood. These blades would later be known as the original twelve Runefangs, which continue to be wielded by the Counts of the Empire to this day.[7a]
After the Battle, Sigmar's fame spread wide and far, renowned as a hero of all Mankind. Upon the anvil of war and the fires of battle, at last his dream of a united empire had been realised. For men of all tribes had stood together in the battle-line as brothers, and with the truth of their common enemy now made obvious, the old tribal hatreds had evaporated away, replaced only by iron-hard ties of brotherhood. With the victory, it is said that the kings, and then their tribesmen, all dropped to a knee within the pass before Sigmar, accepting him as their new lord.[7a]
Thus, at Reikdorf one year after the Battle of Blackfire Pass, the Ar-Ulric, high priest of the Cult of Ulric, placed a crown of gold and ivory, a gift from the Dwarfs, upon Sigmar's head and proclaimed him the Emperor of Mankind before the assembled representatives of the Human tribes. Before him knelt the tribal chiefs, who swore brotherhood to each other and fealty to Emperor Sigmar and the newborn Empire.[7a]
Warlords of Infamy: The Waaagh! of the Greenskins
After the defeat at Black Fire Pass, the Greenskins population was culled to a manageable level, allowing the kingdoms of Man and Dwarf to reclaim many of their lost territories. Greatly reduced in numbers, the Greenskins were pushed out of many Holds within the Worlds Edge Mountains, however, the major Holds such as Karak Ungor, Karak Varn, Karak Eight Peaks and many more were far too heavily infested to properly dislodge, thus allowing the Greenskins to keep a firm foothold within the Old World for many centuries to come.
Over time, the Greenskins would eventually regain their once formidable strength and once again attack the Kingdoms of Man and Dwarf relentlessly. However, these raids are often small, easily dispatched and often insignificant. It is only when a massive Waaagh! is formed that the Greenskins become once more a major threat. As such, the remaining history of the Greenskins are often divided up between several major Waaagh!, each lead by an equally notorious Warlord.
The Invasion of Tilea (475 to 1239)
The Tilean merchants were not used to fighting foreign invaders - most of their battles were against each other! The sudden appearance of brutal greenskinned savages burning crops, torching farms, and making off with merchant caravans was quite a shock. It is known several of the most powerful merchants got together and hired the biggest army ever seen in Tilea up until that time. The mercenary army marched out to meet the Orc tribes. The Tilean general pitched his tents on one side of a mighty river from where he could observe the Orcs' crude encampment. Obviously he was pretty appalled at the mess and ruin that the Orcs had caused on the other side of the river. The thought of such crude and uncultured creatures running loose in Tilea was too awful to contemplate.[9a]
However, the Tileans did notice a very strange thing as they observed the greenskins' camp. The various Orc contingents would occasionally stop whatever task they were about and begin to fight each other. Indeed, the whole Orc army was plainly riven with dissent, and only the personal attention of the big Orc warlord was keeping it together. This gave the cunning Tilean general an idea.[9a]
The Tileans decided that rather than fight the Orcs they would simply hire half the Orc army to fight the other half. That way, no matter which side won, the Tileans couldn't possibly lose. What's more, the spoils won by the victorious half would pay for the cost of hiring them![9a]
How exactly this was accomplished is not recorded, but that the plan worked is beyond doubt. The Orcs were promptly defeated. The Orcs who had been hired for the battle were promptly re-employed and sent off to the frontier under the command of a Tilean general, to beat up the Orc tribes that were still there.[9a]
Since that day the Tileans have cheerfully employed mercenaries of many races. Encouraged by the willingness of Tileans to pay for good soldiers regardless of race, mercenary bands have flocked to Tilea to find work. As a result, Tilea has become a melting pot where soldiers from many lands can be found.[9a]
The Battle of Monte Castello (2400 to 2401)
A second attempt to conquer Tilea was made in 2400 IC, during the siege of Monte Castello. The garrison, reduced to only five hundred Tileans, suddenly found itself surrounded by over one hundred thousand Greenskins led by a certain Unguth the Vile, who was determined to capture it as a prelude to invading Tilea itself. The garrison of the Castello, beating off countless assaults and enduring endless weeks of bitter siege warfare, dwindled by a few men every day, while the Orc horde was constantly reinforced by numerous fresh contingents eager to join the mighty Orc army.[9a]
Cut off by land, the Castello was supplied by sea until this route was maliciously cut by the warships of an unknown enemy desiring to see the fortress fall once and for all. To this day, no one knows for sure who attacked the supply galleys. Tileans often accuse the Corsairs of Araby or the pirates, but the most ominous rumour holds that the ships were overrun by an infestation of rats as part of the evil schemes of the Skaven.[9a]
Starving and desparate, the garrison held out for more than a year, until the mercenary commander, the old and resolute Galeazzo, was mortally wounded whilst repelling another Orc assault. He was hurried from the ramparts into the commandantery. Residing in the Castello at this time was the general's formidable and spirited daughter, Monna Lissa. Despite her efforts to staunch the blood, Old Galeazzo succumbed to his wounds. Monna Lissa, fearing that the garrison would lose heart, donned her father's armour and pretending to be Galeazzo himself, led the garrison in repelling three more attacks in the following days. After the third attack, Monna Lissa lost her helmet and her long flowing tresses were seen by the troops. They demanded to know what had happened to their leader. When it was revealed that he was dead, the mercenaries were disheartened. They resolved to stake all on one last sally, abandoning the Castello in a desperate attempt to escape back to Tilea.[9a]
Monna Lissa implored them not to sally out to certain death and thereby let the Castello fall into enemy hands, but no persuasion, not even promises of enormous rewards in gold, could make them change their minds. Then Monna Lissa pointed out that if the Orcs took the Castello they would certainly deface Tintoverdi's masterpiece The Five Seasons by Tintoverdi which adorned the commandantery banqueting room. This was thought to be the finest fresco in all Tilea if not the world. She begged all those who were willing to stay and defend this treasure to the death to step forward, the rest could go if they wished.[9a]
One by one soldiers stepped forward, tears in their eyes, saying: "I will die before Orcs scrawl upon Tintoverdi!" and "No Orc shall ever gaze upon the image of Spring!" and similar such things. Eventually the entire company resolved to remain to the bitter end. The siege continued for a further three months and the Castello did not fall. Monna Lissa herself was mortally wounded by a Goblin arrow on the day the Castello was relieved by an enormous army marching from Luccini. The relieving force broke and scattered the Orc horde. They found only twenty-five pikeman still alive in the Castello. Around the walls the Greenskin corpses lay so thick that the moat had been filled up and was firm enough to bear the weight of Orc siege towers![9a]
Ever since the great siege of Monte Castello, Monna Lissa has become a symbol of good fortune and victory. So much so that it is a tradition for mercenary battle standards to depict the Tilean war goddess Myrmidia with the features of Monna Lissa, as portrayed by the famous portrait of her by Cellibotti.[9a]
Anatomy and Physiology
"All Orcs, even the cleverest, resemble nothing so much as squabbling Human toddlers that have been magically granted enormous size, horrendous strength, and a variety of barbaric weapons."
- —Heinrich Malz, High Priest of Verena.[2b]
The Greenskins are often divided up into three main species, the Orcs,[1b] the Goblins[1b] and the Squigs.[2e] These Greenskins are unique in comparison to other races as their genetic makeup is entirely different than any other creature living within the known world. Theories abound that the Greenskin race harbour genetic traits of both animal and fungal life forms, and that it is this unusual biology that gives a Greenskin his remarkable constitution. The species' green colouration could also be explained, Imperial scholars suggest, due to some form of algae or green fungus that permeates their cellular makeup. Such a substance could break down and repair damaged tissue at an incredible rate, accounting in part for the Orc's extremely durable metabolism.[4a]
Although the two races are biologically related to each other, they are noticeably different in their appearance and characteristics. For instance, Orcs are naturally large creatures with long arms and short legs, huge slabs of muscle moving underneath tough green skin, and their jaws are lined with vicious fangs that jut out from their underbite. They have beady red eyes, a generally foul demeanour, and are naturally bald. Normally six feet tall, they can be up to seven feet tall when stretched out of their characteristic stoop. They respect power and strength, and naturally tend towards becoming bigger and stronger as they rise through their society. While they lack even the most basic intelligence like more advanced races, Orcs possess immense cunning and survival instinct, but rarely adopt new tactics to replace their fondness for close quarters brutality.[1b]
In comparison, Goblins are diminutive and frail in every sense compared to an Orc. They make up for this by having vast numbers and a cunning demeanour. They are cowards by nature, but are highly adaptive in almost every environment.[1b] Often used as slaves or involuntary servants, Goblins nonetheless fulfil an important role in Greenskin society. They are intelligent enough to craft crude weapons, gather food and establish the huts and homes of their larger and more dull-witted cousins.[1c] Orcs are too thick and lazy to be counted on anything other than fighting, so the relationship between the Orcs and Goblins are essential but not equal. This pairing allows the Orcs to have a stable and reliable workforce whilst the Goblins gain their brutal protection against outside threats.
Squigs, on the other hand, are a uniquely separate but biologically related species of the Greenskin race. A number of bizarre offshoots of Squig have been seen in various places within the Old World though they inevitably favour lightless areas. They generally seem adapted to whatever environment they grew up in. Humans unfortunate enough to encounter a Squig generally meet one of the variations of cave-dwelling Squigs kept by the Night Goblins. The Cave Squigs move by launching themselves into great leaps with their powerful legs, then bouncing upwards again as soon as they hit the ground. They seem to be quite shortsighted, presumably on account of their upbringing in the darkness of underground cavern systems. Their movement has no discernible pattern; they will bounce in a random direction in the hope of landing near food.[2e]
The physiology of the Greenskin race is also quite remarkable. As the Greenskins grows older and win battles against larger opponents, they are pumped with extreme doses of adrenaline and hormones that helps to increase their natural size and strength.[2b] These characteristics are the most common amongst the Orcs rather then the Goblins, as the Goblins are often bullied upon relentlessly, which would naturally stunt their growth process considerably.
The Greenskins are hybrids of animal and fungal lifeforms and reproduce by means of spores being continuously released from the Greenskin's body.
When these spores take root, the infant greenskin is formed underground and once fully matured, it would dig its way to the surface under the dome of a shrivelled mushroom cap.[3a]
This is the entire basis of the Greenskin ecosystem, producing first Squigs, then Snotlings who cultivate the Squigs and the fungus they feed on, then Goblins to build the Greenskin settlements, and finally the Orcs themselves. This means the Greenskins, wherever they go, will have an abundance of food, slaves and other resources, a moving ecosystem that supports them as they unleash their WAAAGH! across the known world.
- Common Orc - The Common Orc is the broadest sub-grouping of the Orcish species. Though the average Orc stands around the height of a man, they would tower over humans if they only stood upright rather than in their stooped posture. They are immensely broad and solid, thick bones, dense muscle, and are almost completely unintelligent beyond their baser instincts. To an Orc, there is no joy greater than that of battle, and violence is a daily part of Orcish life. Led by tyrannical leaders called "Warlords" or "Warboss", these Orcs are towering brutes that make their Goblin brethren look like runts by comparison. They are usually armed with a simple Choppa (a catch-all term for any close combat weapon)[1j] and some type of crude armour to protect themselves.
- Savage Orc - The Savage Orcs are a feral off-shoot of the Orcish species, these tribes of primitives have been known to inhabit the Badlands just south of the Old World. Savage Orcs are the result of prolonged exposure to extreme heat, which degenerates the already small Orc brain into a stone age intellect, even by Orc standards.[1f]
- Black Orc - Black Orcs are a more powerful breed of Orcs originally created by the Chaos Dwarfs to be used as slaves, but have since rebelled and found a place in normal Greenskin society. They are naturally bigger, stronger and meaner than regular Orcs. Their name derives from the darker shade of green or black in their skin; another reason for the title might also be their black-coloured armour and their horrendously foul odor. Though other Orcs tend to look down on Black Orc intelligence, Black Orcs are, if not smarter, at the very least far more organised. They are above the petty infighting that happens in most tribes and settle their differences with other Greenskins with orderly head-butting contests.[1e]
- Common Goblin - The Common Goblin is the broadest sub-grouping of the Goblin species. Though they are much shorter then their larger cousins, they are however particularly clever and cunning compared to the Orcs, making them the principle, if not mediocre, craftsmen and builders of a Greenskin tribe.[1f]
- Forest Goblin - Forest Goblins are a primitive feral off-shoot of the Goblin species known to inhabit large swaths of Forest within the Old World. They possess the same appearance and characteristics as their Savage Orcs cousins, often living in an even more primitive lifestyle than other Greenskins, wearing nothing but loincloth and war paint, with some even wearing tribal mask heavily adorned with feathers.
- Night Goblin - Night Goblins are a sub-species of subterranean Goblins who dwell within the many caves and tunnels of the Worlds Edge Mountains. Unlike their other cousins, Night Goblins hate light of any source and would only leave their subterranean homes during the darkest of nights. In order to hide as much of their skin from any light source as possible, they have been known to wear very dark or black clothing's to better shield their light-sensitive skin.[1f]
- Hill Goblin - Hill Goblins, also known as Greater Goblins, are larger than their lesser cousins, more aggressive and can even be as strong as a common Orc. The skin tone of a Hill Goblin is much darker than that of a common Goblin, with some shades even resembling that of a Black Orc's hide.
- Gnoblar - Gnoblars are an offshoot of the Goblin species and share that race's diminutive size, as well as their cruel and vindictive nature. The most notable difference between them and other Goblin sub-species is their wider and fatter nose and their bluish-green skin colour.
- Snotlings - Snotlings are the smallest of the Goblin sub-species, and can be found as commonly in every Greenskin society as their Orc and Goblin cousins. They have the temperament of extremely enthusiastic and uncontrollable puppies, and their larger Orc and Goblin cousins usually try to capture them and train them to do simple tricks or very basic jobs, such as fetching and carrying equipment.
- Hobgoblin - Hobgoblins are among the evilest creatures within the Warhammer World. They are naturally taller and slimmer than their Goblin cousins, with some reaching the height of a full-grown Orc. They are, however, extremely evil, cunning, and many times more treacherous in their nature. They have become so treacherous in the eyes of their race that there are no Hobgoblins living within Greenskin society as of today. They can only be found as servants with the domains of the Chaos Dwarfs or as members of a tribe living within the Hobgoblin Khanate of the Eastern Steppes.
- Cave Squig - the most common variant of the Squigs.
- Great Cave Squig - a larger variant of the common Cave Squig.
- Colossal Squig - the largest Squig breeds to ever live.
- Squig Gobba - an odd variant of the cave Squig that shoots noxious liquids at its enemy.
"Most of you lads have heard me tell of General Kreigmester and his tactics for getting Beastmen to fight amongst themselves. Well, Orcs are even more prone to that than Beastmen are. There is conflict not just between leaders, but at every level of Orc and Goblin society."
- —Captain Schultz, Mercenary Commander.[2b]
Greenskin hierarchy is dominated by the concept of strength.[1c] There is no law, and therefore no crime. If a Greenskin feels wronged, he can challenge the source of his grievance to a pit fight. Once the fight is over, the matter is considered settled. Greenskins have no concept of pity; to any Greenskin, the weak are simply weak, and are beneath them in society. A Greenskins can thus attain a higher social rank by simply fighting and defeating members of a higher rank.[2b]
Because of their bizarre physiology, Orcs would receive a steady supply of adrenaline when preparing to challenge a superior, causing him to physically increase in size and muscle-mass.[2b] An alert superior will spot this occurring and promptly beat the challenger down before he becomes a threat. If the superior fails to notice this development, then a battle inevitably results. Should the Orc beat his superiors, he would continue to grow considerably until he would finally challenge the leader of the tribe himself.[4a] In this instance, the leader of a Tribe known as a Warboss is usually always on the alert for potential threats against his tyrannical rule.[1k]
In most cases, a Warboss would usually assert physical dominance over his underlings on an almost regular basis, which helps to stunt the growth hormones of many potential candidates as well as a way to discourage their rebellious nature. Most of the time, these duties are often handled by the Warboss retinue of Big'Uns, which are Orcs of incredibly massive size and strength whose duty is to keep the rest of the tribe in line.[1m]
Should an Orc or Goblin manage to have both the size and courage to challenge his Warboss, a duel would then occur. These duels are often extremely one-sided. However, upon the instant that the challenger manages to win the duel, he would instantly become the new leader of a tribe. In the aftermath, the new Warboss would be noticeably larger and stronger than when he first entered, and will continue to grow until he would find an opponent that is even larger and stronger than he is.
Goblins on the other hand rarely fight in duels, and would only kill their opponent by more subtle or unconventional means. As such, back-stabbing and subterfuge is the most common form of obtaining a higher social status amongst Goblin dominated tribes, where the value of strength and brutality is usually outweighed by a Goblins sheer cunning and guile.[1n]
On several occasions, if a Warboss manages to subdue and lead several tribes in a Waaagh!, he is called a Warlord. Warlords are amongst the strongest and most brutal of the Greenskin races, a behemoth that towers over behemoths. Due to the way Greenskin hierarchies are formed, it is important for a Warlord to have absolute control over his tribes, or else they would come into infighting.[1k]
As such, Warlords are often the targets of many assassination attempts by many opponents. Killing a Warlord does not necessarily stop a Waaagh!, but it does cause the Warlord's lieutenants to fight amongst themselves to decide who would be the next Warlord. Should a powerful Warboss step up to take the position as the new Warlord, the Waaagh! would continue, but these situations are often rare and mostly end in internal fighting. Without a strong Warlord to lead them, the Greenskin tribes would then splinter off and the Waaagh! is promptly abandoned.[1k]
"I seen him, you know? I seen him. The second time he talked to me, I was out dere on the plains. I was all drunk one night, and da stars swam and went all green. And this big orc made of stars, he said, “You!” – ’e shouts lots. “You! Little greeny! Go home! Go home and be da biggest and bestest gobbo since Grom da Paunch flattened da pansies! Go on! Go on home now!” You might fink dat’s nonsense, but it ain’t, oh it ain’t!"
- —Skarsnik, Warlord of the Eight Peaks.[3b]
The Gods of the Greenskin are a pairing of powerful War Gods that often embody the baser instincts and emotions that so defines their entire savage race. From the tiniest Goblin to the mightiest Orcish Warlord, all Greenskins would instantly recognize their twin deities simply as Gork and Mork.[1f]
The Greenskin race venerates these twin Gods, Gork and Mork, for they are the idealised versions of everything they aspire to be: strong, unstoppable, fierce, cunning and lucky. Only the Savage Orcs pays more than lip services to their Gods, as most Orcs are aware that praying to either Gork and Mork is futile, seeing as they don't answer the prayers of cowards, and only those that beg to their Gods are considered cowards by the Greenskins.[2b]
These two Gods of the Greenskin race embodies that species cunning and brutality. In the Greenskins use of words, Gork is cunningly brutal, while Mork is brutally cunning.[1f] To put it simply, Gork is the embodiment of brutality and close-quarters combat, whilst his twin Mork embodies cunning and the use of unconventional tactics of warfare.[2b]
As these distinctions can readily be seen between the Orcs and Goblins, it is very common for Orcs to worships Gork's brutality over Mork's cunning, just as much as Goblins prefer Mork's cunning over Gork's brutality. Usually, however, most Greenskins can never understand the difference, and at times consider the twin Gods as one of the same. Nevertheless, these twin Gods of War are always readily worshipped by all Greenskins in almost equal measure.[1f]
The Twin Gods
- Gork - is the primary deity of clobbering, smashing, breaking, killing and pummelling the rest of the world into submission. This is a notion that resonates strongly with the more warlike and highly volatile Orc sub-species, where their single-mindedness for violence and brutality often out-shadows their otherwise low cunning.
- Mork - is the patron deity of cunning and shamans. Whereas Gork is most likely to clobber an enemy god in the face, Mork will happily wait until his enemy's back is turned before raising his club and belting him around the back of the head. It is Mork who is revered by the stranger and arguably more intelligent strains of Greenskins, the most prominent of which are the Goblins and Night Goblins.
Many Greenskin shamans have the ability to interpret the wishes and demands of their twin gods. Often these messages are ones of war, with many Tribes following the Shamans instructions of going to a particular location where other tribes shall gather and form into another Waaagh! Once a Greenskin tribe has joined a Waaagh! into battle, they become energised by a supernatural force that the Greenskin Shamans called Waaagh! Magic.[1f]
This supernatural force is the result of the psychic emotions of the Greenskins, which is often divided up between the magics of 'Da Big Waaagh!' and 'Da Little Waaagh!'. The magical powers of Da Big Waaagh! are boosted by the positive energies of Orcs or Goblins fighting nearby. Only an Orc Shaman can harness this particular Waaagh! Magic into destructive spells that can devastate regiments of enemy soldiers or buff existing Greenskins with powerful augmentations. The magical powers of Da Little Waaagh! is normally used extensively by the Goblin Shamans, and focuses more on hexes and augmentations rather than direct damage spells.[1f]
"They don't farm, they don't craft 'owt but clubs 'an cleavers, an' they don't trade. They just murder an' rob an' burn. What use are they? The Emperor should send out t' army to kill 'em all!"
- —Old Hob, Peasant Farmer.[2b]
Orcs and Goblins live in countless barbaric tribes spread across vast regions within the known world.[1c] There are some tribes which include only Goblins or only Orcs, but the majority include both. In these mixed tribes the Orcs will always dominate the smaller and weaker Goblins. Goblin tribes don't have any Orcs at all, as any self-respecting Orc will quickly become the tribe's Boss. The leadership of the tribe almost always belongs to the largest and strongest individual who will impose his rule by any mean necessary. Rivals are defeated in savage fights and most fights are not meant to be fair at all.
There is a natural order within Greenskin life that is consistent in almost every tribal society that they occupy. For instance, tribes are often built upon a semi-caste system divided amongst the Orcs and Goblins. The Orc's form the warrior caste of a tribe, providing it with protection, leadership, and warriors, whilst the Goblins form the overall working caste, providing them with something close to craftsmen, builders, herders, and labourers.[1c] Contrary to popular beliefs, the Greenskins do possess some forms of agriculture and animal husbandry. These jobs are usually devoted to the Goblins, more particularly the Night Goblins, who have been known to cultivate fungus as food and medicine as well as being the caretakers of the tribes Boars, Wolves, Spiders or most predominately the Squigs.
Beyond the natural dominance of the strong over the weak, there is little to no semblance of order within most if not all Greenskin society. Fights and brawls are extremely common, and assassination and death is just a simple part of tribal life. As such, Greenskin societies are extremely unstable, and are prone to strife and constant infighting, even if it is just amongst a small group of individuals.[1c]
Main Article: Greenskin Tribes.
Greenskin Tribes form the very basis of their society, and are the closest stage of civilisation that their race can achieve. There are innumerable tribes of Greenskins living within different parts of the Warhammer World, and this number often fluctuates in an almost daily basis. Tribal population can sometimes range from a mere several dozen individuals to as large as a vast horde. These tribes are often made up of several different mobs of Greenskins, each mob usually containing the same species. Greenskins often take great pride in both their tribe and mob, feeling themselves superior or 'da best', whilst all the others are considered weak and worthless by comparison.[1c]
Though most tribes are often the same in their appearance and society, certain tribes possess a unique culture that makes them distinguishable towards other Greenskins. Usually these distinctions can also contribute to the naming of the tribe. Amongst the Orcs and Goblins, legends or tribal traditions that capture their limited imagination tend to make for the most popular mob and tribal names. Not surprisingly, these are menacing names that promote violence, such as the Bonebreakaz, Skull Smashaz or the Face-stompas. Orcs in particular have been known to go to war over who gets the naming rights for a tribe.[1c]
As well as different tribal culture, there are also different tribes that consist entirely of different Greenskin sub-species. Night Goblins, Forest Goblins, and Savage Orcs are known widely for their tendency to form into their own tribes rather then to join tribes that include a multitude of other Greenskin species. This usually stems from their outlandish culture that can be seen as "odd" by some Greenskins, but usually they simply just can't stand the presence of other Greenskins.[1c]
Greenskins are unsophisticated, caring less about records and more about fighting. Like their society, the Greenskin language is uncouth and simple.
- git - fool, enemy
- Gitsnik - enemy slayer
- Gor - slaughter
- Grim - ruthless
- Skar - wound
- Snik - to kill
- Waaagh! - war, a battlecry
The Greenskins devise several terms when speaking in their debased form of Reikspiel.
- arrer - arrow
- big 'un - leader, elite
- Bludd-drinka - Vampire
- bony - skeleton, Tomb Kings, Nehekharan, Undead
- boss - leader
- boyz - warriors
- choppa - melee weapons, like swords and axes
- chukka - catapult, thrower
- dead - very
- dead killy - very deadly
- dead-un - zombie, Undead
- Gobbo - Goblin
- humie - Man, Human
- killy - deadly
- krump - to defeat
- muckin' about - wasting time
- pointy-ear - Elf
- ratty - Skaven
- scaly - Lizardmen
- spiky - Warriors of Chaos
- stunty - Dwarf
- -z - plural
- zog - a curse word
"Let 'em tell da King. Da east belongs to da Orcs. Da east belongs to Morglum. Da east is green."
- —Morglum Necksnapper, after the Battle of Death Pass.[8a]
From the mightiest Orc to the feeblest Snotlings, the Greenskin races lives only for war. All other activities are but a prelude to the next battle.[2a] Violence and warfare is deeply rooted within the Greenskin race, and no amount of science or magic can ever change that single mindset. Upon the day a mighty Greenskin Warlord of sufficient strength and cunning arises amongst the tribes, he gathers alongside him as many Greenskins as he possibly can and launches an earth-shattering campaign of violence and destruction that has the potential to destroy the Old World in a sea of green. This violent invasion is known in the tongues of the Greenskins as the Waaagh!.[1c]
The word "Waaagh!" is a guttural slang for the word "War!", a powerful word that always has the potential to unite the warring tribes of Greenskin into the destructive force it has been famously known for. In a much more logical sense, a Waaagh is akin to a massive migration invasion.[4b] Small Waaagh! occurs when a few Greenskin tribes unite to launch an attack against a common foe, while a larger and more destructive Waaagh! is an earth-shattering invasion that draws Orc and Goblin tribes from many thousands of miles around. A Waaagh! generates untold fervour amongst the Greenskin tribes, a fervour that would give an entire tribe the incentive to travel many hundreds of miles just for the prospect of joining in on the violence and plunder.[1c]
Most smaller Waaagh! travel a short distance before dispersing, while others have been known to have crossed nearly half the known world, charting a zigzag course that is as utterly unpredictable as the Greenskins themselves. The largest and most destructive Waaagh! are the stuff of legends amongst the tribes of Greenskins. The devastation wrought by such invasions blots the sun behind palls of smoke, covering great portions of the world in a shroud of darkness and destruction that can topple whole Empires into ruins.[1c]
Luckily for the civilisations of the World, these Waaagh! can come and go just as fast as they are formed. Often times these Waaagh! will barely last a few weeks before the tribes begin to squabble amongst themselves if not given a common enemy to fight. As such, the Warlords of a Waaagh! have to be the toughest and most cunning Greenskin around, for should his tyrannical rule prove too weak, the tribes would challenge his right to rule and splinter off into different factions. However, should a Waaagh! find a destination and a common enemy from which they could fight, their advance upon the battlefield are ground-shaking to behold.[1d]
Greenskin warfare are often just as unpredictable and unconventional as the Greenskins themselves. Tactics employed by the Greenskins are diverse, but probably the most common strategy is a simple frontal assault. Especially in Orc dominated armies, the Greenskins lack the strategic intellect to devise and execute complicated battle strategies on the field of battle.[2c] This usually stems from the Greenskins animosity against one-another, where different mobs of Orcs would fight amongst themselves over the most trivial of issues, even when the whole tribe is engaged in battle.[1i] As such, it is particularly important for a Warboss and his retinue of enforcers to always assert his harsh rule upon his subjects at an almost daily basis, lest the battle would turn into an all-out brawl that can spiral out of control.
- Orc Boyz - These hard-fighting warriors form the backbone of all Greenskin armies, and often does the bulk of the fighting upon the battlefield. Orc Boyz are generally just simple Orcs who have taken up arms to fight the enemy of his tribe with nothing but ramshackle armour and crude weaponry.
- Arrer Boyz - Though most Orcs prefer the use of close-combat weapons, some Orcs and Savage Orcs have been known to bring bows into combat. Though they are notoriously inaccurate in their shots, the ferocity of their volleys prove adequate enough that they are conceived as a threat.
- Big 'Uns - When an Orc grows to become considerably large, wealthy, and high in status, they often become what the Greenskins called the Big 'Uns. These monstrous Orcs form the elite of the Greenskin armies, and are equipped with some of the finest weapons and armour within a tribe and fight in their own dedicated warband of heavy infantry.
- Savage Orc - Like all their kin, primitive tribes of Savage Orcs have been known to congregate alongside their peers and join in the carnage and plunder that is often rewarded upon joining a Waaagh! into battle. Equipped with nothing but tribal tattoos and crude weapons made of stone, bone or wood, these Orcs are nonetheless ferocious, if not unpredictable fighters.
- Black Orc - These Orcs are amongst the biggest, meanest and most heavily-armoured of all Orcish warriors. Equipped with impossibly large and thick plates of black armour, and armed with weapons that can cleave a Knight in two, these warriors form the crack elite infantry of many Greenskin armies.
- Goblins - These scrawny cowards forms the overall bulk of many Greenskin armies but often do the least amount of fighting. Weak and cowardice by nature, these mediocre warriors bring with them primitive hunting spears, broken swords, crude bows, and wooden shields into combat. What they lack in quality, they make up for with quantity.
- Nasty Skulkers - Even the most heinous green-skinned scumbags look upon these Goblins' swift skullduggery with reverent horror. These goblins are masters of assassination they skulk in the dark corners of the battlefield and wait for an opportunity to stab their enemies.
- Night Goblin - Living within the fungus infested tunnels of the Old World, the Night Goblins are renown for their consumption of madness-inducing fungus that gives them both the courage to fight against foes that the average Goblin would be too afraid of facing. Equipped with a variety of weapons such as nets, crude spears, and composite bows, these Night Goblins are ferocious tunnel-fighters.
- Night Goblin Fanatic - A Fanatic is a Night Goblin that wields an iron-ball so heavy it should be impossible for such a scrawny creature to lift. However, once a Night Goblin has consumed large quantities of the deadly Mad Cap Mushroom, a Night Goblin would begin the urge to spin madly, and once equipped with an iron-ball, these Night Goblins become excellent shock troops that can plough through the enemy lines.
- Snotlings - These small and dull-witted creatures are amongst the most mediocre of the Goblin race. Equipped with pathetic weapons such as tree branches, mushrooms or bits of bone, a horde of these little monsters are nothing more than a nuisance or a distraction to even the weakest enemies they face.
- Orc Boar Boyz - Only the most daring of Orcs have the capability to mount the savage War Boar into battle, for the animals hot-temper often results in the deaths of many Orcs who tries to ride them. In battle, mobs of Boar Boys fulfil the role of heavy cavalry.
- Orc Boar Chariots - By lashing together roughly hewn logs, the otherwise dull-witted Orcs have managed to create through sheer luck and determination, crude yet formidable war chariots. With the weight of both the two Boars and the chariot itself, this shock cavalry has the potential to break apart even the thickest of enemy formations so long as the chariot still holds together.
- Savage Orc Boar Boyz - Unlike Boar Boyz who subdue their mounts before riding them, the Savage Orcs have been known to ride these Boars whenever they are needed. In this instance, a Savage Orc would stalk a wild Boar, subdue it, and ride the beast into battle. This tactic often enrages the Boar into a berserk fury, making the charge of a Savage Orc Boar that more terrifying.
- Goblin Wolf Rider - These Wolf Riders are the scourge of the open plains, where their swiftness and speed can outpace even the most determined Boar Boy within a matter of seconds. Equipped with either spears or composite bows, Wolf Rider serves as a dedicated force of scouts and skirmishers for many marauding Greenskin armies.
- Goblin Wolf Chariots - Of the same ramshackle design as the Boar Chariot, these less-durable yet faster moving chariots are instead drawn by two of the largest wolves within a tribe, and are directed into battle where they can be used as a firing platform or to smash open enemy formations.
- Night Goblin Squig Hopper - These riders are simply just crazed Night Goblins who thought it interesting to leap upon the back of his Squig and ride it like a mount. Although the majority of Night Goblins that try these stunts end up being eaten, the ability for the Night Goblin Rider to direct these Squigs unto the enemy have proven so effective that the Night Goblin tribes have begun to field them against their enemies as their own form of light cavalry.
- Forest Goblin Spider Rider - Forest Goblins are notorious for their worship of the Spiders of the forest, and it is this connection with them that has allowed the Goblins to ride them into battle. With the ability to crawl up steep slopes and spew their enemies with sticky webs, these war mounts are horrifying to all those that face them in a siege.
- Snotling Pump Wagon - An odd contraption on wheels, this ramshackle chariot serves as a fighting platform for a whole warband of Snotling armed with a variety of weaponry. Equipped with spikes on the front and iron-shod wheels at the back, this massive chariot can be used extensively as a rumbling battering ram as well as a shooting platform.
- Trolls - Trolls are huge humanoid monsters, as witlessly stupid as they are bone-crushingly powerful. They commonly join marauding Greenskin armies in the hopes of finding a meal to feed their ravenous appetite. On the field of battle, these Trolls are extremely tough to kill, and have been known to break apart enemy formations like a living battering ram.
- Giants - On several occasions, a Greenskin tribe would often employ the service of a Giant by rewarding him with an abundant supply of food regularly. In combat, Giants would often charge mindlessly into the enemy front-lines, usually having a massive club or tree to be used as a weapon. Wearing little to no armour, Giants are highly susceptible to a concentrated volley of crossbows and archers, or a well-placed shot from a Great Cannon. Should the enemy lack missile capability, it is extremely hard to take down a Giant in close-quarters combat.
- Arachnarok Spider - Arachnarok Spiders is a truly gigantic creature, able to overpower even formidable foes such as Giants and corrupted Cygors in single combat. These creatures live within the deepest forests, where Forest Goblins worship each one as a living god. In battle, these creatures act as a mobile platform from which Goblins can shoot at their enemy from a safe and elevated position.
- Night Goblin Squig Herd - In times of need, Night Goblins have been known to drive their Squig herds into battle with devastating effect. An unpredictable asset on the battlefield, the ferocity of the Squigs attacks usually outweighs the catastrophic outcome that would happen should these creatures be let loose without the guidance of a Squig Herder.
- Great Cave Squig - A larger variant of the Cave Squig, these monstrous creatures are often used by the Night Goblin tribes as mounts or warbeast. Due to its ravenous appetite, when a Great Cave Squig grows too hungry, he would eat almost anything he sees, most preferable the enemies of the Night Goblins.
- Mangler Squig - A Mangler Squig is essentially two Giant Squigs changed together and probed towards the enemy lines. Pushed into a berserk fury by his caretakers, these two Squigs would begin to swirl themselves into a tumbling motion that can produce an impact of such spectacular proportions, that it can shatter enemy formations in a whirlwind of carnage.
- Wyvern - A degenerate off-shoot of the Dragon race, Wyverns are solitary carnivores that live within the highest peaks of the Worlds Edge Mountains. When captured or subdued by a powerful Orc, Wyverns are often used as flying mounts for many powerful Orc Warlords.
- Rock Lobber - A primitive version of the Trebuchet, the Orcs and Goblins were first introduced to catapults shortly after they encountered the Dwarfs. These siegecrafts are deployed singularly or in batteries to help soften up enemy formations, smash defensive positions, or to toss Orc warriors over the battlements and into the city. Due to the technicality of the siegecraft, they are often handled by a crew of Goblins rather then Orcs.
- Spear Chukkas - A primitive version of the ballista or spear thrower, this artillery piece has been used extensively by the Orcs and Goblins as a way to impale large monsters from a safe distance. Made from gathered material such as wood, metal and bone, these Ballistas are easily built, easily transported and easily maintained, making them a popular choice for many types of Warbosses.
- Doom Diver Catapult - First developed as a means for nomadic Goblin tribes to scout the surrounding areas of their territory, the Doom Diver Catapult have since been used extensively as long-range artillery. A Goblin known as Doom Diver would be used live ammunition for this artillery piece, where the Goblin's leathery wings allow it to glide to a specific target where he may impale his victim with the top of his pointy helmet.
- Orc Warboss - Are the biggest, meanest, and most strongest Orc within a tribe, being both the supreme tyrant and a hulking behemoth that is considered by himself to be the greatest Greenskin warrior around. These powerful individuals are relatively cunning and exceedingly powerful warriors, having fought and pummelled his way through his tribe's hierarchy by winning battles and killing every challenger that would dare to defy his tyranny. Equipped with powerful weapons and armour, these brutish warriors are near unstoppable upon the battlefield.
- Goblin Warboss - Are the biggest, cleverest, and most cunning Goblin within a tribe, whom are known to be an exceedingly crafty leader as well as a fairly adept strategist in both conventional and unconventional warfare. Instead of fighting their way into the top, most Goblins use a more subtle method to gain power, usually employing tactics such as assassination, backstabbing or poison to get the job done. As with any Warboss, these Goblins are often equipped with some of the finest weapons and armour within a tribe.
- Orc Great Shaman - These psychotic individuals are those few Orc Shamans within a tribe whom have managed to control and harness the spells of Da Big Waaagh! to a much greater effect. Great Shamans of the Orc tribes are amongst some of the most powerful spell-casters known to the greenskins, capable of everything from melting brains to summoning the great foot of the mighty Gork himself, in order to stamp out your foes.
- Goblin Great Shaman - Like their larger Orc cousins, these Goblin Shamans have also mastered the use of spell-casting to a much greater effect then those amateur Goblin whom often die by the droves due to their inability to channel the spells of Da Little Waaagh! without exploding. Night Goblin Great Shamans are especially powerful individuals, for they are also expert potion brewers as well as powerful spell-caster.
- Orc Big Boss - These Orcs are often the leaders of a warband of Greenskin warriors, acting in a sense as a position of a sergeant or lieutenant to a Greenskin Warlord. Often times, these Big Bosses are also called Big Un's, Orcs whom have grown to an unnaturally large size, and are equipped with a horrific array of thick armour or powerful weapons.
- Goblin Big Boss - Orcs determine their hierarchy in a simple manner - the biggest and best fighter takes control. Goblins follow a less straightforward path to the top ranks, as they are both more devious and more cowardly than their brutish Orc cousins. Underhanded ploys and strategy are the preferred tactics for Goblins; although straight-up fighting is still an option, it is one that is typically left to the especially desperate. All Goblins use dirty tricks, with the best schemers being the most dangerous of their diminutive kind and the most likely to rise through the ranks. Those Goblins that make it to the very top are known as Big Bosses.
- Gorbad Ironclaw - Gorbad Ironclaw is one of the most infamous of all Orc Warbosses. In his day, Gorbad led a massive invasion that almost crushed the Empire. His armies succeeded in slaying Emperor Sigismund and wiping the Imperial province of Solland off the map. Gorbad was a hulking Orc who rose to fame as the leader of the Ironclaw Tribe. It was he who first built the Iron Rock, the most redoubtable Orc fastness in the Old World. Yet conquering greenskin tribes was no real challenge for Gorbad and so he inevitably crossed into the human land of the Empire.
- Azhag the Slaughterer - Azhag the Slaughterer is one of the most infamous Orcish Warlord in recent history. He has brought a trail of ruin and destruction to the northern lands of the Old World, laying waste to cities, fortresses and mountain strongholds wherever he goes. Atop his head lies the key to his power and uncommon intelligence in tactics and warfare -- an ominous iron crown which emanates an ancient evil long thought forgotten from history. It is from this crown, a relic of olden days, which granted Azhag sorcerous powers and gave him the vision he needed to command a Waaagh! of epic proportions.
- Grimgor Ironhide - is currently the single most violent Black Orc Warboss ever to exist. He leads tribes of vicious Orcs to lay waste all across the Old World.
- Grom the Paunch - Warlord Grom, known more famously as Grom the Pauch or Grom the Fat of the Misty Mountains is not only the largest and most powerful Goblin ever known, but also among the greatest of Greenskin Warbosses, having even invaded the distant lands of Ulthuan in a rampage of violence and destruction. Gobbos are cowardly and disloyal, but nothing stirs their wicked hearts like Grom, mightiest of Goblin Warbosses. Stories of Grom's greatness still command attention around any Goblin camp and if a Shaman should conjure his superlative-sized image, even the most boisterous gobbo will behave with reverence. Grom is said to not have been killed, nor found after the battle. Taking up his infamous' Leutenant's Wyvern, fleeing the battlefield. Grom the Paunch is a reminder to all Goblins, a personification of something they will never be, yet always worship. In question to Games Workshop it is said that Grom's Waaagh was such size, that the very Empire shook for days and nights until they held at bay near Stirland, building hundreds of thousands of vassalized 'Ships', to move the force of millions of Greenskins, towards Ulthuan, making this Waaagh! The most infamous to records ever before and after.
- Skarsnik - is the chieftain of the Crooked Moon tribe and the most powerful Night Goblin Warlord in the whole of the World's Edge Mountain. Skarsnik is infamous amongst the greenskin race for his astonishing sneakiness and cunning in strategy and subterfuge.
- Wurrzag - Wurrzag is a Savage Orc Shaman of mighty mystical powers. Known as "Da Great Green Prophet", he is guided along his path by the Greenskin gods.
Attention, Empire Citizens!
This article may contain older content that is now considered non-canon
In early editions of Warhammer, there existed Chaos-worshipping Greenskins. Some old sources even outright state that the first races to worship Chaos were the Greenskins. Those older versions also portrayed Greenskins - especially Orcs - as more serious and menacing, and not as the quasi-comic relief faction they are known as today. Indeed, they were more akin to the Orcs from J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, both in appearance, size, religion and temperament. Half-Orcs also existed at the time, but are also no longer canon.
In this older canon, the Greenskins didn't refer to humans as "humies", instead calling them "man-things".
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (8th Edition)
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Old World Bestiary
- 3: Skarsnik (Novel) by Guy Haley
- 4: Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (7th Edition)
- 5: Warhammer Rulebook (7th Edition)
- 5a: pg. 124
- 6: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (8th Edition)
- 6a: pp. 12-14
- 7: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Sigmar's Heirs
- 7a: pg. 11-14
- 8: Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (5th Edition)
- 8a: pp. 98
- 9: Warhammer Armies: Dogs of War (5th Edition)
- 9a: pg. 76-84 (City States)