Harbingers of Destruction
With the rise of the brutish god Kragnos, the numberless throngs of Destruction have indulged in a wave of mindless mayhem. Possessed by a feral madness, they rampage across the Mortal Realms, breaking, brutalising and pulverising anything unfortunate enough to stray into their path.
Always has the looming menace of the greenskin tribes been a cause of dread for the civilised nations of the Mortal Realms. When the children of Gorkamorka gather into their vast hordes under the banner of a Great Waaagh! – a powerful gestalt – there is almost nothing that can stand in their way. Their numbers are endless, a great, green avalanche that pours down upon the foe with overwhelming force. They delight in violence for its own sake and take particular pleasure in tearing down the frontier settlements assembled at such a high cost in blood and toil by the God-King Sigmar’s folk.
In the Era of the Beast, with Ghur’s wild spirit at the apogee of its power, the threat from the wilds has never been graver. The emergence of Kragnos, the Earthquake God, has acted as a lightning rod, drawing forth troglodytic cave-dwelling beasts, spiderworshipping grots and hulking orruk Ironjawz alike, filling them all with the same urgent need for violence.
Those that do not join the furious stomp of a Waaagh! as it rampages across the realms set off on their own to find a battle worth their time.
The Gnarlwood – like many of the fiercest places in the Realm of Beasts – has long been the territory of greenskin tribes, from prowling mobs of Kruleboyz to the deranged and shroom-addled clans of the Gloomspite Gitz. The ever-hungry ogors of the region have a particular respect for the place, for it offers them an endless supply of beast-flesh to consume in their gluttonous rituals. As for the Ravening Ruin itself – well, if the tales told by squealing prisoners are true, then there must be all manner of fancy treasures to pilfer, deface or simply smash into a thousand pieces.
The Gloomspite Gitz creep about in the dankest, darkest places of the Mortal Realms, revelling in all things slimy and foul. Devious and spiteful, they find the greatest pleasure through consuming mindbending fungal concoctions and then surging forth en masse to loot and destroy. The term ‘Gloomspite Gitz’ in fact refers to a very loose coalition of grots, troggoths and even enormous gargants. These species mingle together in all sorts of configurations, forming ad hoc bands held together by extortion, brute force or mutual benefit. The Gloomspite that dwell within the Gnarlwood tend to gather beneath the shadow of the Great Stinkhorn – an immense, rotting mushroom the size of a mountain. Their numbers seem to grow every day, and the grimy foulness of their presence is already turning the soil into a foul-smelling mulch.
The orruk warclans are perhaps the dominant force in the Realm of Beasts – and a menace feared by all who dwell within Thondia. The Kruleboyz are particularly active of late, following their destructive assaults along the Coast of Tusks and into Carcass Donse. Great swathes of land have been swallowed up by an oozing tide of brackish swamp water, and the lanky orruks plan to reshape more of Thondia in the same manner. If the land-shaping engines of Talaxis could be turned to such a purpose, it would surely spell disaster for Thondia’s beleaguered denizens.
The brutish Ironjawz possess no such vision, but the Gnarlwood offers them all of the mindless violence they crave. Mobs of these metal-clad brutes plunge into the forest, eagerly seeking out monsters to batter into submission or hapless foes to clobber.
The Bonesplitter tribes of Thondia also make pilgrimage to the Gnarlwood, believing that the forest of carnivorous trees is somehow connected to the raging beast-spirit of Ghur. They intend to release this pent-up energy by seeking out the largest and deadliest monsters in the region, cracking open their bones to let loose the magic within.
The ogors of Ghur have always held the Gnarlwood in great reverence, for it is a bountiful source of food – the only thing they really care about. The ogor Butchers envision the entire forest as a manifestation of the hunger of the Gulping God. Large and burly enough to withstand the constant attacks from predators and rival warbands, these massive specimens lumber through the undergrowth in search of their next meal. Most ogors have no real interest in the cosmic treasures said to lie within the so-called Ravening Ruin, save for those that might be traded with humans or other creatures in exchange for barrels of edible goods. The Butchers and their acolytes, however, wish to open the gullet of the Gnarlwood and let it feed. They have already begun this process by using their grotesque gastronomic powers to tear open grinding mouths in the forest floor, into which they hurl fistfuls of raw flesh and animal gizzards.