Among the uproarious and violent society of the Orks, there is perhaps nothing so rare as a lasting institution. Greenskin culture does not hold much truck with continuity, and an organization is only as good as its last victory. In this way, the infamous mercenary marketplace known as Da Kamp stands apart, having established itself as a bastion of reliable stability within the chaotic bounds of Ork space.
Da Kamp is home to a variety of mercenaries, all available for hire to raiding parties, warbands and even Waaaghs! From across the galaxy, discerning Bosses of all sorts come to see a microcosm of all the specialized violence that exists throughout Orkdom, and to add a bit of temporary muscle to their own forces while they’re at it. All of this is somewhat extraordinary on its own, but even more so are Da Kamp’s origins, which lie in a tale of blood, betrayal and a dire wish on its founder’s behalf to avoid responsibility.
The Call of the Waaagh!
The story of Da Kamp truly begins with Waaagh! Grakkzard and a young Evil Sunz Warboss by the name of Zagdakka. Like most Ork leaders with a healthy sense of ambition, Zagdakka had long dreamed of someday joining his rag-tag Red Raiderz warband to a great and thunderous Waaagh!, sailing through the stars and setting whole worlds aflame. When Grakkzard and his armies came through the Raiderz’ home sector, every Ork in the tribe felt the undeniable psychic pull to war and readily joined the Grand Warlord’s cause. To Zagdakka, it seemed that destiny had finally arrived.
After a few months, however, it became clear that life in an Ork holy war was not particularly compatible with the Raiderz’ freewheeling lifestyle. Being bossed about during long journeys through space on the whims of unseen masters grated at the warband’s independent sensibilities, and the Raiderz’ often expressed that resentment by antagonizing the closest Ork gangs on their carrier ship. On more than one occasion, this boiled over into open violence, the screeching sounds of tires and howls of war cries echoed throughout the starcraft as the Raiderz clashed with their neighbors.
Zagdakka, determined to press on in search of glory and legend, eventually cracked enough skulls to keep his boyz in check. Despite this, the young Boss was as susceptible to listlessness as any other Ork, and before long, began butting heads with Grakkzard’s own command structure out of little more than pure boredom. Within the Waaagh!, Zagdakka was branded a troublemaker, and his gang was increasingly isolated from others in an attempt to keep order. The threat of internal strife loomed as the warband found itself without any external force to vent its frustration, and Zagdakka’s long hold on his own tribe was suddenly a fairly precarious concept.
Things might have turned out very differently if the Waaagh! had not soon found a target in the Imperial world of Balmar. Lying at a crossroads of the Kalador sector’s trade routes, Balmar was protected by significant defensive forces, and the Orks soon found themselves embroiled in open war. This was to be a turning point, both for the Waaagh!, and for Zagdakka himself, though not in the way that he had imagined.
Betrayal at Halmar’s Gulch
With a proper scrap before them, Zagdakka and his crew forgot their irritation and threw themselves headlong into battle. The Red Raiderz proved themselves to be an invaluable addition to Grakkzard’s Waaagh!, providing a highly competent mobile force capable of launching lightning assaults against superior enemy positions and coming out on top. In the Durath Plains, the warband cleverly navigated the ferocious desert sandstorms and launched a surprise attack that devastated an Imperial armored column. At Bork’s Point, it was the Red Raiderz’ Dakkajets that clashed with Commander Hellborne’s squadron of Lightnings, finally bringing down the renown pilot in a fireball that landed squarely within the Imperial ground forces. In a crowning moment, it was Zagdakka himself who led the charge into the Steelcap Brigade’s flank, and finally scattered the tenacious Guard regiment after weeks of unbreakable resistance. Within the Waaagh!, the Red Raiderz’ star was surely on the rise.
Still, the assault on Balmar dragged on, and the Orks’ initial advantage soon faded as local Imperial forces added their weight to the world’s defense. As a long and vicious war of attrition began, enthusiasm turned to grim determination in the greenskin ranks. With morale failing throughout his Waaagh, Grakkzard saw an opportunity for a much-needed victory in Halmar’s Gulch. Over the course of the war, a bastion holding the single pass through otherwise unscalable canyon walls had become a famed point of Imperial resistance, and guarded a valuable supply route. Grakkzard’s declaration went out - the Gulch would fall.
The Red Raiderz were paired with Krumpsnik’z Krusherz, led by the titular Krumpsnik, a Blood Axe warboss with a penchant for pairing sabotage with overwhelming firepower. The plan was a simple one - the Raiderz’ spearhead attack would divert the Imperial defenders from Krumpsnik’s forces, who would then reveal from hidden positions and pound the bastion with withering fire, clearing the way for heavy armor to sweep away whatever was left.
On the day of the assault, the Red Raiderz gathered at the edges of Ork territory, and made their preparations. Before they could begin, however, scouting parties returned with grave news: the bastion was in the process of receiving heavy reinforcements, perhaps in prediction of the Ork attack. What was to be an easy and overwhelming victory suddenly looked to be a real fight. Orders came down from Grakkzard to proceed regardless, and Zagdakka ordered the charge.
The support he was counting on never came. Even as the Raiderz began their war-cries and gunned their engines, Krumpsnik and his Krusherz were abandoning their positions and fleeing to safety. Too late, the Red Raiderz found themselves rushing headlong into the teeth of an Imperial gunline, and were massacred. Zagdakka himself lost an arm in the process, and was carried away, half-conscious, on the back of a bullet-ridden Trukk as his warband made a hasty, bloody retreat.
After recuperating from his injuries, Zagdakka confronted Krumpsnik, who nonchalantly explained that he and his boyz simply remembered that the assault had coincided with the day of The Emperor’s Divine Ascension, and that they needed to observe a day of rest in accordance with Blood Axe kultur. An unfortunate mishap, he claimed, with a crocodile grin. In response, Zagdakka nodded thoughtfully, and proceeded to nonchalantly beat the Blood Axe boss to within an inch of his life. Having thoroughly soured on the concept of Waaaghs!, Zagdakka and his boyz commandeered a lone Kroozer and made a hasty departure from Grakkzard’s confederation.
After abandoning the Waaagh!, the Red Raiderz returned to a life of looting and scavenging, this time among the far-flung outposts of the sector, far from the hardened defenses of Balmar. Cruising from world to world in Da Blizen, they became a minor terror to their small part of space, a situation that suited Zagdakka just fine. He had no intention of getting involved in the complex intrigues of a Waaagh! ever again, and was content to simply cause minor havoc on his own terms. This was a happy time for the Red Raiderz.
It did not last for long.
It was on Phage’s Post that the past finally caught up with Zagdakka and his crew. In the way of all Waaaghs!, Grakkzard’s leadership faltered in the face of lost momentum, his forces splintering in explosions of acrimony and internecine violence. As the Waaagh! fractured, Grakkzard’s underlings vied with each other to keep control of the largest factions. One of the most successful had been Krumpsnik himself, who had taken command of several elements within the dissipating Waaagh! through a combination of diplomacy, strong-arm tactics and outright skullduggery.
Still smarting from the beating he’d taken at Zagdakka’s hands, Krumpsnik had tracked the Red Raiderz to Phage’s Post seeking vengeance, hoping to humble the Evil Sunz warband and absorb them into his own burgeoning force. The Raiderz fought back, but they were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. It would only have been a matter of time before they succumbed to Krumpsnik’s will, if not for an unexpected intervention.
A distress call from Phage’s Post sent during the Red Raiderz’ initial invasion had reached the wider Imperium. Eager to head off any further greenskin activity in the sector after the devastation of Grakkzard’s attack, a detachment of the Imperial Navy and whole regiments of Guard were dispatched in sufficient numbers to decisively end the small raiding party that had invaded the Post. Breaking back into realspace, they found to their dismay a full fleet of Ork battleships and support vessels surrounding the planet, ready for war. The two battlegroups engaged, and ground forces were brought planetside as the Imperials sought to wipe out all greenskin presence on the world.
The three-way war that followed was short, strange and included several shifting alliances. In the end, Krumpsnik was dead, the Imperial armada was in retreat, and Zagdakka was left the sudden, unintentional conqueror of an enormous greenskin army. Reluctantly, he took command of what was left of Krumpsnik’s fleet, and set off to continue his pillaging.
No Ork with Zagdakka’s newfound resources, however, goes unnoticed. Before long, the armada of greenskins was harassed at every turn by Ork bosses with a mind for glory and conquest. This became a compounding problem as defeated rival forces inevitably found themselves joining the already unwieldy fleet out of a lack of anything better to do. With more Orks came ever larger supply requirements, ever greater demands for armament and ever louder calls for sacking whole worlds, all in the name of glory Like it or not, Zagdakka had a burgeoning Waaagh! on his hands.
Despairing at his circumstances, Zagdakka wracked his brain for solutions, torn between the desire to live free from the tangles of politics and strife that came with a Waaagh!, and the prideful need to keep what he had earned through blood and toil. He certainly had no wish to start another Waaagh! Leaving aside the boredom, isolation and betrayal he’d experienced, the simple logistical nightmare of corralling and directing ran directly counter to his own fairly small-scale ambitions. Zagdakka had to admit to himself that he was simply not the sort of Ork who felt the need to burn his own name into history at the head of an unconquerable horde. All he truly wanted was to lead his own band of Orks across space in a haze of violence. Given his druthers, he knew, he would rather leave all the headaches of organizing to someone else.
That’s when Zagdakka had an idea.
Returning his fleet to Ork-held space, Zagdakka made landing on the feral world of Kazzarak and unveiled his grand plan - Da Kamp. At Da Kamp, the hodge-podge collection of tribes, warbands, freebooters and other associated greenskins that had flocked to his banner would be free to sell their services to the highest bidder, contracting out their work and keeping the profits - aside from a small managerial consideration, of course.
Management of Da Kamp’s finances is overseen by a truly stunning army of Sumboyz, an overlapping, self-policing structure of accounts and payments that may, in fact, be the one example of a fully-functional bureaucracy in all of Ork history. While the threat of embezzlement by an unscrupulous Sumboy might normally be a worry, the byzantine system of double and triple-checking statements and frequent blind financial review processes ensure that such behavior is, if not eliminated, at least kept to a bare minimum.
Nominally, Zagdakka remains the owner and proprietor of Da Kamp, but is largely absent from day-to-day affairs. Between Da Kamp’s self-perpetuating nature and independent warbands providing profits, there is, in truth, very little in the way of administrative overhead. This is all very much by design, as it leaves Zagdakka free which is very much by design. Instead, Zagdakka spends most of his time leading the Red Raiderz on paid errands of mindless Orky violence. He’d have it no other way.
Edited by Lexington, 18 May 2020 - 04:20 AM.