The Black Waaagh! is the name of the massive orkish horde that has invaded the Pegasus Gulf in 001.M42.
It is lead by the gigantic warboss Gargrim the Black, named so because he has grown to the size of a small house and his skin has turned a shade of green so dark it appears black. The Black Waaagh! has fragmented into hundreds, maybe even thousands of sub-waaaghs! lead by countless minor warlords owing fealty to Gargrim, and have spread through the north-west of the Gulf like locusts. Only the schism caused by Big Mek Boltbrainz' rebellion has prevented the Black Waaagh! from sweeping further south in the Gulf towards Heavensreach, and the ork horde has begun to stagnate and turn on itself while its leadership struggles to sort itself out.
As of 005.M42, the Black Waaagh! has fractured into thousands of independent warlords operating under their own terms in the northern half of the Pegasus Gulf, with the majority owing fealty to Gargrim should he ask, but there are dissenters among them.
The Rise of the Beast Edit
Around 930.M41, the feral ork warboss Gargrim the Red rose to prominence on the Imperial feudal world Thaursbad. Thaursbad had been raided by a small freeboota fleet several years earlier. The freebootas were utterly destroyed by the techno-knights, but their spores seeded the wilds irreversibly. The ork clans constant infighting prevented them from ever being a real threat to the towns and castles, which were well protected by horseback knights armed with power-weapons and lasguns by the Adeptus Munitorum in exchange for crop exports.
Gargrim the Red, named so for his habit of daubing himself with the blood of his enemies as macabre warpaint, broke the cycle. Through might, cunning, and charisma, he united the warring ork clans in the mountains, between the forests, and on the steppes, and brought their combined might crushing down on Thaursbad's citizens. For almost thirty years, Gargrim ruled over Thaursbad as a ruthless warlord. The human population was enslaved and the orks came to rule the planet.
When Administratum ships arrived, they were not greeted by the nobles that lorded over Thaursbad. They were greeted with axes and primitive shootas. Upon the Imperial ships, Gargrim lead his horde in a great exodus to the stars. Over the next three decades, Gargrim's fleet would continue to grow with each backwater colony he ransacked in the Eastern Fringe. Freebootas and roaming warbosses began to follow in his wake, and occasionally an ambitious warlord trying to kickstart his own Waaagh would challenge Gargrim for leadership. He has yet to lose such a challenge, and has absorbed dozens of ork hordes into his own. It was during this period that Gargrim physically grew and darkened as the gestalt power of the Waaagh emboldened him and steeled his flesh. He was no longer Gargrim the Red. He was now Gargrim the Black.
Warlords of the Northern Gulf Edit
Supreme Warlord Gargrim the Black Edit
Undisputed ruler of the Black Waaaagh, Gargrim rules with an iron fist and a tactical mind. He is the 1% of orks the Imperium has learned to fear. He has lead his hordes to victory on Persephone, Ravenforge, and to great discoveries on Tempest. Although he has accomplished many things and fought in many wars, many of his underlings worry that he grows soft and fat perched on his throne in the Kauldron instead of leading from the frontlines of battle in the Iron Cluster and Homestead Marches.
Bolgog Skullkrusher Edit
Gargrim's loyal left hand, he was responsible for the decade of raiding in the wake of Ulyssia's destruction, and of scouting out the entirety of the Pegasus Gulf in the piratical vanguard of the Black Waaagh. He fought in the One Day War on Persephone, and was also the leader of the forces on Ravenforge until command was turned over to Gargrim himself. After the Battle for Ravenforge, Bolgog remained behind to hunt for Boltbrainz for nearly a year before finding him and finishing the two year conflict.
Badskagg Steelfist Edit
Badskagg is a rising warboss, who, although not as large as Gargrim, has accrued and impressive tactical acumen and soared in both competency and ruthlessness over the course of the Third War for Tempest. There are whispers of a coup, though Badskagg tends to silence those who spread such rumours. He promotes intelligence and responsible action amongst his Nobz, rather than reckless decision making. Though this initially cost him much face, and forced the executions of some of his strongest underlings, it has resulted in a new generation of strategic and physically mighty Nobz. He is currently leading his warbands and a sizeable portion of the Black Waaagh's fleet in the Iron Cluster.
Tankboss Wuzgob One-Eye Edit
Tankboss Wuzgob is an ork gearhead and tank commander. He was responsible for the mass looting and commissioning of tanks during and after the One Day War. He and his Armoured Krumpany were instrumental during the fighting in the claustrophobic streets of Persephone, and has since taken command of much larger vehicles and formations. He arrived on Ravenforge during the air drop in the Battle for Ravenforge, and also stayed behind with a contingent of trucks, wagons, and war rigs during the hunt for Boltbrainz.
Bossmek Draggosh Ironhide Edit
Draggosh is Boltbrainz' replacement as Gargrim's armoured right fist. He was responsible for the rigging of the super capital ship Gork's Fist, as well as the fortification of Castle Gallant on Tempest. His machinery and inventions made it possible to haul the grav-city off world. Additionally, it was Draggosh's genius that unfurled the puzzle of the Hellmouth's location, and lead to the orkish garrison at the subterranean superstructure before it was taken over by the Eldar, but not before Draggosh had recovered important information from its data banks.
Kograth and Ur Edit
Kograth and Ur are the two most prominent warbosses in the Homestead Marches. They jointly lead their waaagh, loyal to Gargrim, to the centre-most systems in the Marches, not content with simply raiding the colonies any more. Only time and blood will tell if these two create a name for themselves fighting in the manufacturing wastes on Prask, in the promethium wastes on Thanhelios IV, or on the inlaid marble steps of Royalta.
The Vanguard Edit
After the Burning of Ulyssia, the vanguard of the Black Waaagh made landfall on the surface of the scoured world. Lead by the Goff warlord Bolgog Skullkrusher, Gargrim's outriders stole what precious treasures they could find on the desolate planet and established warrens and bases in all the secret places they could find in the lonely ruins.
For over a decade Bolgog and his piratical fleet harassed the Pegasus Gulf, raiding unprotected colonies and boarding merchant vessels travelling between Persephone and Heavensreach, constantly outmanoeuvring the Imperial battlefleet. Operating out of every hiding hole they could find in the Gulf, whether it be the ruins of Ulyssia, hollowed asteroid bases, or forts built in the wilderness of barely-colonized worlds, the orks were beginning to truly become a problem for the Gulf, in spite of the nobles on Heavensreach not taking them seriously as a threat. His raiding both hampered the Gulf's development and stretched its resources thin, all the while sowing the seeds of feral ork civilizations on every planet his vile boots touched, preparing them for the day his boss would arrive and rally them to his banner.
When the bulk of the Gargrim's horde arrived in the Pegasus Gulf, now a full scale Waaagh, Bolgog was able to point them to the key locations to invade. The most important target on Bolgog's list was the breadbasket of the Gulf, Persephone.
The One Day War Edit
After burning through a handful of barely populated colonies on the outskirts of the Gulf, the Black Waaagh made its first primary invasion on the agri-world Persephone. While ransacking the countryside and rural townships, a Tau battlefleet arrived in orbit, and its commanders made contact with Gargrim promising arms and supplies in exchange for their aid in besieging the planet's only hive city. This deal suited the orks just fine, as they fully intended to sack the city anyway. The ork hordes closed in around the city from the surrounding bayous and prairies like an armoured fist crushing down around its victim's throat. The Imperial defenders, aided by a contingent of Eldar, launched a pre-emptive strike on the forces surrounding the city as the sun rose on the horizon, but were butchered in droves as they played directly into a cunning ork trap. The Vulture Hill Massacre was a particularly brutal arena of conflict. A series of hills in the centre of a craggy valley was made the camp site of the Big Mek Boltbrainz and also served as the tau forward base.
Seemingly poorly protected, a strike force of Angels of Solace lead by Captain Alesio Romenus alongside an armoured battalion of the Cadian 117th Whiteshields moved in to exploit the opportunity. Supported by Eldar grav-tanks, they moved in to destroy the Mek camp before it could get to full running capacity and mass produce Stompas and other war machines. Unfortunately, the camp was protected. Orks were lurking under the thick swamp scum coating the ground of the bayou, and still more waited impatiently just over the ridges lining the valley in the beds of trukks and wagons. As the sun rose behind them, a wall of trukks swept down the canyon walls and broadsided the Imperial and Eldar armoured columns, impaling APCs and battle tanks on their horned prows. The orks turned the armoured company into a graveyard of metal and blood, using their own ruined vehicles to turn the open fields into a claustrophobic labyrinth of shattered steel- the perfect theatre of war for countless savage orks armed with simple choppas and cleavers. Many of those that survived the battle were enslaved by the orks and forced into cruel pit fights against one another for the xenos' foul entertainment. Those few that escaped did not do so unscathed. They limped away in crippled LRBTs or half-ruined Chimeras, and with their minds scarred, their souls harrowed.
But the worst was yet to come.
The Sack of Hive Persephone Edit
As the sun rose over Persephone, the ork horde breached the city's bastion walls. Flooding into the lower habs, millions of orks poured into the city. Engagements with the Cadian 117th, the Angels of Solace, and a company of Dark Angels redirected from Mu'galath Bay were short and brutal. The PDF manning the walls and outer city were all but annihilated within the first hours of daylight. All ships attempting to evacuate within the city's airspace were gunned down by the clouds of ork fighters that swarmed the skies like angry hornets. The tau forces advanced tentatively behind the tide of orks, but the majority of their forces consolidated the outskirts of the city. During the pillaging and destruction in the lower habs, teams of ork kommandos and tau stealth troopers infiltrated the upper hive to sabotage the city's power supply and chain of command.
Despite the Imperium's valiant efforts, and a full scale attack on Craftworld El'Doryyn's part, by sundown it was evident the city would be lost. During the night, efforts were redirected from defending the city to speeding the evacuation of as many citizens and soldiers as possible. As the sun rose, in a favourable twist of events some would call miraculous, the ork horde collectively turned its attention from the fleeing Imperials to the tau occupational forces that were beginning to permeate the city. Encircled, the tau had nowhere to flee. Unknown to the cadres within the city borders, the occupational cadres in the outskirts of the city and the surrounding wilderness had been butchered by the orks during the night. As the midday sun rose, the tau forces throughout the city were being dragged into the streets and murdered by mobs of greenskins. A half dozen Manta carriers swooped low over the city to collect as many survivors as possible, but those without jetpacks or transport skimmers readily available were left behind to be lynched and brutalized by the animal masses.
In combination with a final Eldar lightning raid, this distraction bought the humans still planetside the time they needed to escape. But for every person that escaped, a hundred did not. The screams of the unlucky that did not escape were barely audible over the howling of the ork horde.
The city, and the hundred million souls that inhabited it, were lost in a single day, and a single night.
Rapid Expansion Edit
After the sack of the city and Battlefleet Pegasus' retreat to Heavensreach, the ever-growing ork horde was given free reign over the north-west Gulf. Consolidating his victory from his new fortress, The Kauldron, built in the burned out ruins of the city, Gargrim wasted no time jump-starting the industrialization of Persephone. Shipyards were built atop the highest spires, and sprawling squig pits were dug out in the underhives. The orkish war machine's engine had started, and there was no turning back.
All over Persephone, wild orks spawned from the swamps and joined the teeming masses. Under Gargrim's orders, hundreds of warbands lead by minor warbosses and nobz took to space to pillage and establish footholds throughout the expanse of unprotected colony worlds surrounding Persephone. An empire was in the making.
Da Big Schism Edit
Not a month after the fall of Persephone, Gargrim's right hand, Big Mek Boltbrainz, had grown discontent with the state of affairs in the Black Waaagh, and departed unannounced from the Kauldron, taking a hundred of Gargrim's ships with him. Whether he intended offence or not is questionable, but the theft of his ships and the loss of face that the act entailed certainly drew the warlord's furious and irrevocable ire.
Boltbrainz made for the abandoned forge world Ravenforge, and established an orbital base on its largest moon, as well as several scrap-forts on its desolate, ashen surface. Boltbrainz constructed a massive tractor beam on the moon, and used it to pull the wayward ships spat from the Hades Gate into Ravenforge's orbit (or surface) to be dismantled, looted, or "kustomized" in other devious and unsavoury ways.
In pursuit of Boltbrainz, Gargrim entrusted Bolgog with brining the renegade mek to justice. After a long journey through the cold void of space, Bolgog and his fleet arrived at dead Ravenforge. Unfortunately, the Eldar and Tau had arrived before him, and were playing a game of cat and mouse with the ork mekmobs on the surface and in orbit.
It wasn't until Bolgog made landfall himself that he realized the direness of the situation. Tyranid lifeforms had somehow been introduced to Ravenforge's sparse ecology, and the presence of half a dozen small armies only fed the problem (literally). After a failed coup on the moon base and a harrowing encounter with the fearsome Harbinger of Titan, Bolgog elected to return to Persephone with the bad news.
After months of travel, Bolgog eventually reached the ork fortress world. Though he was infuriated, Gargrim wasn't keen on losing both his right hand men, and spared Bolgog in spite of his cowardice and failure. Revealing his newly constructed capital krooza, Gargrim and the majority of his fleet made a short-warp jump straight for Ravenforge to finish the job himself.
Upon arrival, the fleet immediately engaged the rebel orks' flotilla, and disgorged thousands of landing craft and fighta jets. Flying low over the ashen wastelands, the fleet of gunships searched the surface for any sign of Boltbrainz and his mob. All the ork forts were either abandoned or swarming with Tyranids. After hours of searching the surface, the warhost located a mekmob holding out in the ruins of an old Mechanicus hab along the bottom of a long canyon. At the end of the canyon, it seemed the planet's crust had shattered like an eggshell where a Dark Eldar slave ship had been slammed through the surface. The ship's impact had actually penetrated into a Necron Tomb.
Flying low over an Eldar warhost intent on sabotaging the tomb, Gargrim's horde made landfall and cleaved through the living sea of Tyranid lifeforms to make their way to the mekmob. Gargrim and his retinue entered the Necron Tomb, slipping between the many arachnid legs of a bio-titan roused from where it had made its den. In the tomb, searching the wreckage of the slave ship for Boltbrainz, Gargrim encountered and fought the Harbinger. Though it butchered dozens of orks, the Harbinger was laid low and decapitated by the warlord. But it was not the Harbinger's head Gargrim sought. Unbeknownst to him, Boltbrainz' successor had evacuated the planet hours ago, leaving his former master in a barely cognizant vegetative state in one of their most fortified compounds in the Ashsand Expanse.
Failing to find Boltbrainz in the tunnels, Gargrim called off the attack as more and more Tyranids swarmed down the sides of the canyon, crawling on their insect limbs down the sheer cliffs like spiders. A contingent of his meks repaired the slave ship to semi operable condition and lifted the orks that had survived the tombs back to the surface, where gunships and landers were swooping down to make their rescues. Though it was peppered and slashed mercilessly by the Eldar warhost, in the end it was an ork that laid low the bio-titan. He did not survive.
And so Gargrim's fleet disengaged from the orbit of a forsaken world, and began the long journey back to the Kauldron, with a wrecked Dark Eldar ship in tow. Tankboss Wuzgob and Bolgog were left behind with several warbands to hunt down Boltbrainz and bring him to justice, amidst the breeding Tyranids and the rising threat of the Merenrakha Dynasty.
After Gargrim's departure from Persephone in pursuit of Boltbrainz, any semblance of order on the planet vanished as every single ambitious nob and warboss decided it was he himself that should fill the power vacuum. Full scale civil war broke out on the surface, and within a matter of days, the orks had turned on each other resorting to global thermonuclear war. Though most survived the blasts thanks to their orkish hardiness, Persephone has been plunged into an atomic winter, and it's clans were scattered and warring. The ships that managed to leave the planet brought news of the events to other ork worlds in the Gulf and civil war has spread like wildfire.
Gargrim's arrival back on Persephone was a bloodbath as he and his loyalists reigned in hundreds of discontent warbands. Disinterested in the petty politics of reassembling his horde to it's full potential strength, he decided to let his actions speak for themselves and prove to the orks of the Gulf once again why it is he and only he who was fit to rule. He and his fleet fought their way to the most fortified world in the Pegasus Gulf between Persephone and Heavensreach: Tempest.
As they arrived at the Knight world, blighted by human civil war and Eldar meddling, they made landfall with full force, deploying nearly one hundred ork warbands to the surface. Despite a rough landing, they took over one of the world's leviathan floating cities: Castle Gallant.
A Conspiracy Unveiled Edit
During the events of the war on Tempest, Bolgog Skullkrusher and Tankboss Wuzgob spent nearly six more months on the war-ravaged surface of Ravenforge, fighting every day for the right to survive. After replacing most of their vehicles with scrap several times over, and integrating heavy use of cybernetics to counteract the heavy casualties they sustained, the two warbosses at last found the brain-dead Boltbrainz and utterly annihilated him and his remaining loyal guard. Much of the archeotech data researched by the Boss Mek was then relayed to Draggosh on Tempest, who was at the time studying the archeotech in the deeps of Castle Gallant. Cross referencing revealed an ancient device buried under Tempests' waterlogged surface, that would change the way war was waged in the Pegasus Gulf forever: the Hellmouth.
It became immediately apparent, after forces lead by the rising warboss Badskagg Steelfist, that the Hellmouth was vied for by several of the other factions on Tempest, to the point of them neglecting their other goals. In particular, the Angels of Solace and the Eldar were interested in the Hellmouth, but for several months, neither were able to claim the subterranean warrens-turned-fortress. Using a high powered generator, Badskagg was able to activate the Hellmouth, but the orks remained unaware of its actual effects, and only continued to guard it to prevent it from falling into the hands of their bitter rivals.
During the Third Battle for Tempest, the Orks, lead by Gargrim and Badskagg, retreated from the Hellmouth and fled the planet. Grot survivors hiding in Castle Gallant after it was recaptured by the Novus Nantucket ambushed any remaining stragglers after the regiment left, and rigged the slum-fortress up with cables and pulleys, which were used to haul the city into the vacuum of space. Castle Gallant has been forcibly relocated to Persephone, and is now a missing piece of the Eldar's Hellmouth puzzle.
The War Raging in the Marches Edit
Ever since before landfall was made on Persephone, ork warlords have been raiding the Homestead Marches, who have, after the schism on Tempest and the sweeping influence of the Secessionists, declared sovereignty.