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A Savage Orc wearing the distinctive fur and bone armaments.

Savage Orcs are a notorious sub-species of the Greenskin race who have devolved back into a stone-age society that revolves around the ideals of the "Old Way".[1a]


Savage Orcs are the result of an over-exposure to extreme heat, which would gradually damage the already small brain of an Orc until its intellect becomes primitive even by the standards of other Greenskins.[2a] As a result, the arid landscapes of the Badlands are infamous for having the largest population of Savage Orcs within the whole World.[1a]

The origins of the Savage Orcs can be traced back to a time when all Greenskins were nothing more than Savage Orcs in both appearance and culture. These primitive brutes lived a nomadic existence, using rudimentary weapons made of simple stone, bone or wood to stalk their prey. It is no easy task to bash to death a great land leviathan using only simple clubs, yet such contest proved immensely satisfying none the less, as a day full of fighting mammoth creatures followed by eating them was a proper life for any Orc. Indeed this "Old Way" of life is still kept by the vast majority of the Savage Orc tribes of today.[1b]

However, as the Greenskin race fought against the more advanced civilisations of the Old World, the Orcs began to salvage and steal bits and pieces of their enemies armour and weapons. Soon, competition for these weapons and armour became largely commonplace, with only the largest and most brutish of their kind having the rights to use them. Yet the Greenskins themselves have yet to gain the knowledge of crafting basic Iron-weaponry of their own, and as such were forced to hold on to their primitive stone axes. In time however, Orc slaves that have escaped the large slave markets and industrial factories of the Chaos Dwarfs began to teach their fellow brothers the art of making simple Iron weapons and armour. This technological advancement made the Greenskins an even greater threat to all the civilised nations of the Old World. This all became evident once the tribes of Mankind began to migrate westward in their thousands, as their still primitive bronze swords were no match for the Orcs iron cleavers.[1b]

As of today, those Orcs that have become Savage Orcs have many manner of rituals and odd traditions that are particularly unique to their stone-age culture. For instance, a Savage Orc despise the use of armour and iron weapons, as it would go against their cultural code. Instead, the Savage Orcs make use of warpaint as a form of protection against their enemies. These tattoos are always conducted by the tribes Shaman, who would splatter and draw crude glyph's and shapes unto their skin that would spiritually protect the Savage Orc from fatal blows. These tattoo's can differ from each tribe, where some are simple pictographs of certain objects or symbols, while others take on tribal glyphs such as Thunderbolts or Axes. Though based mostly on superstition, these warpaint have been noted to work on several occasions, where blow's seem to magically bounce or shear off, leaving the skin completely unharmed.[1b]

Another custom that is consistent within Savage Orc tribes is their preference of primitive weapons made of bone, stone and wood. This is to keep with the "Old Way" that their race once followed, but perhaps it is most believable that the Savage Orcs are simply incapable in crafting Iron weapons due to their extremely low intellect. Other then warpaint, Savage Orcs have been known to wear the fur and hides of hunted animals, such as the Boneklubbers Tribe who favour the use of tiger pelts, while those of the Snakeskinz wear the brightly patterned hides of enormous serpents.[1b]

In battle, Savage Orcs have been known to congregate into their own warbands of wild infantry. As the Greenskin horde begins to play their drums and chant wildly, it pumps up the Savage Orcs into an almost berserk frenzy just before battle. Due to their low intellect, a Savage Orc is an unpredictable yet ferocious fighter. Once engaged in combat, Savage Orcs fight furiously with their clubs and stone axes, often wailing their weapons uncontrollably in the thick of the fighting.[1a]



  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pp. 11-12
    • 1b: pg. 40
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins (7th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 11
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