The most basic unit of Beastmen society is the Warherd. Led by a potent Chieftain, who's often a Champion of Chaos, they live in a series of temporary camps deep in the woods or in some hidden part of the wilderness. Caves serve Warherd well so long as they are near a good supply of running water and offer a good view of the surrounding woods. They follow their food, so once they exhaust an area of fauna and people, they move on to some other camp. Their constant movement puts them into contact with other Beastmen, and battles between them are quite common.[1a]

Succession in a Warherd

When the Warherd's leader dies, it is a time of great upheaval. Beastmen aren't concerned with the circumstances of the death—murder, combat, becoming a Chaos Spawn, or achieving Daemonhood, it doesn’t matter. Shortly after the leader’s death, there’s a conflict among the most powerful members, always involving a fight, to see who has the right to lead. In cases where there are several potential leaders, the Warherd may splinter into smaller Warherds and go their separate ways.[1a]


Most Warherds carry banners, proclaiming the name of their Champion and a list of his deeds. These are always borne into battle, serving as a rallying point and a symbol of the herd’s strength and might, all scribbled in the runes of the Dark Tongue. Most banners are made of skin flayed from Human captives, though some might be scavenged from other Human banners, old sheets, and so on. When a Champion falls, his replacement burns the entire banner except for a scrap that he incorporates into his new banner. As a result, many Beastmen banners flutter with dozens of patches, some of which date back to the time of Magnus or even earlier.[1a][1b]


Herdstones are integral to Beastman beliefs, serving as mustering points for Warherds. The stones are usually rock outcroppings or old monoliths. Often hidden in a cave or a remote vale, the secrecy of a Herdstone is integral to the spiritual beliefs of the Beastmen. Many Herdstones uncovered in the wilderness are surrounded by bones, charred wood, and dung. The smoke-stained rock normally has the symbol or rune of the Beastman who put it there.[1b]


Under normal circumstances, rival Warherds have little loyalty to one another, battling each other as much as they do Humans and other races. Conflicts spark over territory disputes, loot, or no reason at all. From time to time, the Warherds unite to oppose a common threat or when the powers of Chaos join for one of the dreaded Incursions and gather at a Herdstone to consult the wisdom of the Bray-Shamans. Such meetings are called Brayherds.[1b]

Any Champion can call for a Brayherd by lighting a bonfire at the base of a Herdstone. He piles on green wood, Brays, and captives, using the scent of charring meat to attract the roaming Warherds. Once assembled, the Champion lays out the purpose of the Brayherd. As almost all such gatherings are assembled to plan an attack, the Champion must convince the other herds of his plan and reasons. The other Champions weigh his words and must decide whether they will join his cause. While the Champions converse, the rest of the Beastmen enjoy a raucous celebration of feasting, fighting, and drinking. Bray-Shamans regale the herds with tales of famous battles and events significant to the Beastmen race.[1b]

Once all agree to take part in the attack, there is a grand battle between the Champions called a Gorfight. Each Champion has his hands tied behind his back and must defeat all of his rivals using only his horns. Hence, only Gors usually participate. When Ungors participate, the others gang up to crush him first. The contest takes place in a ring around the Herdstone, and all the other Beastmen press in to watch. Spectators can strike out with fists and clubs at anyone who comes too close to the edge—many Gors have been swallowed by the press of mutated flesh, trampled and beaten to death by an overenthusiastic audience. In the end, there is only one winner—the last one standing.[1b]


Despite being children of Chaos, Beastmen abide by a strict caste system. Bestigors are at the top, followed by Gors, then Ungors, followed by everyone else. But even within these power groups, there are distinctions of power and influence within the herd, which are reflected by titles. Granted only to Bestigors and Beastmen Champions, these titles are badges of honour, signifiers that grant them a closer spot to the fire and the choicest meats from their captives.[1b]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Tome of Corruption
    • 1a: pg. 106
    • 1b: pg. 107

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