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- This article describes the background and the forces that make up the Greenskins. For information about the army and the playable careers, see the main article The Bloody Sun Boyz.
Greenskins are a barbaric and primitive group of races which often band together to invade the lands of more civilised cultures. Particularly strong bastions of Greenskins exist in The Badlands, Dark Lands and The World's Edge Mountains, they are typically seen as an unpredictable menace by the more advanced races of the Warhammer World.
Greenskins are so named for the color of their skin. They are not a single race as such, but a group of distinct green-skinned sub-species who share a few common cultural and physiological traits. Greenskins can be found all over the Warhammer World, but the greatest concentration of them is found in the Dark Lands to the east of the Worlds Edge Mountains and in the area around the Badlands. Greenskin society is tribal, with progress through their social hierarchy by fighting and beating other Greenskins of higher rank. As they rise through the ranks, they grow bigger in strength, size and cunning. Greenskins are universally happiest when they are fighting or in conflict, and if there is no one else around to fight they often squabble (or even have large wars) between themselves. Gork and Mork are the Greenskin gods and sometimes a source of dispute as greenskins have trouble distinguishing one from the other, since they both represent the prized greenskin traits of brutality and cunning. Gork is generally regarded as cunningly brutal and Mork as brutally cunning. The Orcs also like to raise great Effigies to Gork and Mork, wich are often made with scraps, wasted materials, and basically anything else the orcs can find.
Due in no small part to their natural aggression and their lack of a governmental system beyond the most basic tribal functions, the Greenskins do not organize themselves into civilised nations but rather into semi-formal groups known as tribes. Each tribe is given a name, though this can often change with the leadership or even if the tribe's leader has a sudden thought, there are a few that stand out, however these tribes can range in size from no more than a dozen to upwards of hundreds of thousands to in a few times a million. At any given time, and in any given area, the largest, strongest and most cunning Greenskin is followed by the rest, as long as there is fighting to be had. When the mood strikes or a particularly powerful leader wants, many tribes get together and form what is known as a "Waaagh!"; a nearly unstoppable horde of marauding Greenskins that lays waste to anything in their path and is more akin to an ocean than army. Trolls, Giants and herds of ravenous Squigs are commonly found accompanying the largest Greenskin armies, along with mounted Boarboyz and Goblin wolf riders. When this occurs, otherwise independent tribes will band together to follow the largest and most fierce of them all.
As well as the Bloody Sun Boyz, other Greenskin tribes will be present in WAR, representing both the tribes which have joined the Waaagh! and are allied to the forces of Destruction, and tribes which are acting independently and will be fighting everyone. Though most tribes do not have a back story, what follows is a list of notable tribes which have been mentioned in the Warhammer setting.
- Bloody Sun Boyz*
- Iron Claw Tribe*
- One Tusk Tribe*
- Moonfang Goblin Tribe*
- Broketoof Boyz*
- Broken Axe Goblins
- Broken Nose Goblins
- Black Spider Forest Goblins
- Bloody Spear Night Goblins
- Yellow Eye Goblins
- Blue Face Orcs*
- Broken Tooth Orcs
- Red Fang Orcs
*Appears in WAR
Though they appear universally masculine, Greenkins are genderless creatures. It has never been confirmed by Games Workshop how greenskins reproduce, however early in the history of Warhammer, Citadel Miniatures, the modelling arm of Games Workshop, produced a line of female Orcs. This has since been discontinued and Games Workshop have not mentioned the female Orcs since. However in Warhammer's sister (science fiction) universe Warhammer 40,000, the "Orks" (a futuristic version of the Greenskins), reproduce in the following way:
Orks reproduce through the release of Spores which the Ork's body continually produces, when an Ork dies the spores are released en-mass. In a few hours after the spores hit the ground, they grow into a protective sac underground and a fungi like growth sprouts from the ground that provides the nourishement required. The spores are dispersed by the wind and are very resistant, the only way to ensure a new army is not created is to incinerate the ground for miles around. This is the entire basis of the Orkish ecosystem producing first Squigz, Snotz, Gretchin and finally the Orks themselves. This means the Orks, wherever they go, will have an abundance of food, slaves and other resources, a moving ecosystem that supports them as they go on their Waaaghs! So named because of the color of their waxy skin, the greenskins are savagery personified. They are ill-tempered, primitive, and live only to fight. In the absence of another foe, greenskins will eventually turn on one another for want of violence. In their culture, might makes right and the weakest members of society are one false step away from being dinner.
The greenskins have no homeland to speak of. They capture other race's settlements and then make those places their own, decorating them with tribal graffiti, wood and scrap materials fashioned into crude symbols, and oftentimes, the bones of those they have slain. This leads to a very unique form of architecture that is distinctively ramshackle.
Periodically, a powerful Orc Warboss will unite the greenskin tribes into a single swarming mass called a "Waaagh!", named for the common greenskin battle-cry. In a Waaagh!, the greenskins unite into a stampede of frenzied Orcs, Goblins and Snotlings bent on destroying everything they encounter. Save for pure Chaos itself, there is no force in the Warhammer world as devastating as a Waaagh! set in motion.
At the onset of the Age of Reckoning, the greenskins have been united by the Black Orc Warlord Grumlok and his diminutive counterpart, the Goblin Shaman Gazbag. Together, they have led their tribe, the Bloody Sun Boyz, to dominance. Now, they wage war upon the Dwarfs, guided by an unseen hand.
Greenskin have many subspecies,. In Warhammer Online you will be able to play as Goblins and black Orcs, while the only career of the most common sub-species, the Orc Choppa, was cut from release. As of patch 1.2.1, the orc choppa is in the game. Other species heavily associated with the Greenskins, such as Trolls and Squigs, are NPCs encountered mainly as PvE mobs. Though neither group of creatures are technically Greenskins, Squigs are similarly produced from fungus, and of course are seen under the control of Goblin Squig Herders.
Orcs are one of the biggest, meanest and most numerous races in the Warhammer world. Strong and tough by nature, they are extremely belligerent and are always looking for a battle or fight. Orcs tend to become even stronger by fighting in combat against other creatures or by topping their socials ranks, though it could be said that a bigger Orc automatically assumes a higher social rank also, confusing the issue somewhat. Their lust for combat and carnage is such that if there are no other enemies present for any real amount of time, Orcs will gladly fall upon each other for sport and practice, and this is often how the strongest among them rises through the ranks to attain the position of warboss.
Savage Orcs are even more wild and unintelligent than their more advanced cousins. These crazed Orcs speak a language consisting entirely of different intonations of the word "Waaagh!" and wear almost nothing, preferring to paint their bodies and mounts in a variety of different coloured war-paints to invoke the protection of Gork and Mork. So strong their belief in the power of this paint that often it amazingly works. Savage Orcs dwell mostly in the Southlands, though some appear in Khuresh and Lustria.
Black Orcs are larger, tougher, even more dangerous cousins of regular Orcs which makes it easy for them to top the social ranks. Their race was originally created thousands of years ago by Chaos Dwarfs to use as forced labour in their mines, but they eventually revolted and formed their own tribes, travelling west from the Dark Lands until they reached the Badlands and the Old World. Bringing with them a concept, alien to the already destructive orcish race, "metallurgy." With their knowledge in the industries of war and taking war a lot more seriously then their lesser cousins, it is said during the times of Sigmar, many of his toughest, most grueling, and costly fights, were fights against the Black Orcs and the armies they lead.
Counterpart to their bigger cousins, Goblins are smaller, slightly smarter, and a lot more cowardly than Orcs. They prefer to use their cunning intelligence to hide until the moment to strike or stab someone in the back. In a Greenskin army Goblins tend to be bossed around by Orcs and can commonly be found doing the dirty, unpleasant and dangerous jobs like cleaning the boar sties and constructing and crewing the unpredictable Greenskin war machines. A huge variety of Goblin tribes can be found throughout the world.
Night Goblins are Goblins who long ago retreated to living in caves and the deep places of the world. Night Goblins cannot stand sunlight and when above ground they wear dark hooded robes. Night Goblins herd underground squigs and make poisons and the famous fungus beer from underground fungus and plants. Fungus brew allows Night Goblin Fanatics great bursts of strength to carry huge morning stars with which they plow through their enemies (or their allies as their drug-crazed state can blur such distinctions).
Forest Goblin tribes are found in the depths of many wooded areas, mostly in the forests south of the Empire. Forest Goblins have adapted to life in the woods and can often be found riding Giant Spiders. These forests stretch the length of the Border Princes from Black Fire Pass in the east, to Tilea in the west.
Snotlings are smaller and weaker than goblins; about half their height. They are far less intelligent than goblins and can do little except in imitation of others. They congregate on the edges of Greenskin villages, hunting (and being hunted by) squigs. In battle, they usually gather in large swarms that are too stupid to know when they're beaten. Sometimes they manage to cobble together examples of the infamous snotling pump wagon; a gigantic, uncontrollable wrecking machine. It is difficult to tell where a large snotling is different from a small goblin, but to orcs, this doesn't matter; they're all just weedy little "grotz" to be bossed around.
Hobgoblins are a race of large goblins living out on the Eastern Steppes where they are ruled by Khans who all serve the great Hobgobla-khan and fight in huge wolf-mounted hordes. They celebrate sneakiness and treachery above all other traits, are so underhanded that normal Greenskins refuse to have dealings with them. They have formed an uneasy bond with the Chaos Dwarfs, who use them to manage their slaves and as light cavalry in their armies.
Gnoblars are about halfway in size between goblins and snotlings. They have thin, droopy ears and large noses, and their skin is generally darker than other greenkins, sometimes even blue. They are found around the Mountains of Mourn, and they live as subservient vassals (or 'pets') to the Ogres of the Ogre Kingdoms.
- Grimgor Ironhide, a Black Orc Warboss and probably the most powerful Greenskin to have ever lived. He is a lord in a dwarf public quest.
- Grom The Paunch of Misty Mountain, The most powerful Goblin to ever live, he was a big fat goblin that was famed for eating a dish of uncooked Troll meat which constantly regenerated inside him, and taking his WAAAGH!! to Ulthuan after ravaging the Empire. Was slain centuries before WAR.
- Grumlok and Gazbag, the joint leaders of The Bloody Sun Boyz. Faction Leaders of the Greenskins in WAR.
- Borgut Facebeater, Grimgor's Lieutenant. He is a hero in a dwarf public quest.
- Badruk 'Eadsplitter A Black Orc big boss who lives near Karak Norn. He does not appear in WAR.
- Wurrzag ud ura Zahubu, is on a search for the once and future git - a sort of messiah of the Greenskins. He does not appear in WAR.
- Skarsnik, powerful Night Goblin warlord with a pet Giant Squig, Gobbla, who controls the greenskin parts of Karak Eight Peaks and the surrounding area. He is in alliance with Gorfang Rotgut. He does not appear in WAR.
- Gorfang Rotgut He does not appear in WAR.
- Gorbad Ironclaw, one of the most powerful Orc warbosses ever to live, he ravaged the Empire in a giant Waaagh! Responsible for the destruction of the former province of Solland, and the loss of the Solland Runefang. Was slain centuries before WAR.
- Azhag the Slaughterer, the one and only Warboss to ever use tactics. He found the Crown of Sorcery and before every battle would go through the plan with an old, dry voice. Was slain centuries before WAR.
- Morglum Necksnapper He does not appear in WAR.
- Oglok the 'Orrible He does not appear in WAR.