”Da stars feared da Beast. Da stars will bleed for ME!” - Brakgcrel Nag Krot Tortoof
Deep in the Ultima Segmentum lies an Orkoid dominated realm, a dozen systems in the Imperium sub-sector of Pnoabsterix that were lost in M32 during the War of the Beast. All of these worlds saw unending war as their Ork masters fought, raced, scavenged and pilfered their conquered domains for millennia. Occasionally, a warboss would knock enough heads together on one world to unite the warring tribes, which would start the chain reaction ultimately leading to a massive xenos invasion on the worlds of humanity. These various warbosses would have varying degrees of success, but would always end in their defeat, either to the defenses of the Imperium or to the in-fighting that often dooms such ambitions. Eventually, the Imperium launched an assault of their own to wreck and eliminate the scrap fleets of the Ork realm, successfully reducing the Orks’ ability to launch invasions across the void. For nearly three millennia, the greenskins weren’t able to threaten humanity.
One of these worlds is known to its inhabitants as Krot, which was much less a mouthful than the Imperium’s former name for it, Kurotus III. It was on Krot in late M41 that Brak, a boy in the warboss Grelgcrel’s tribe, overheard a rant that would change the course of the entire sub-sector. Brak was an unassuming boy with a strong gob of teef and a penchant for clubbing Grelgcrel’s foes with extreme prejudice, but ambition had never been one of his qualities. He was returning from an afternoon of buggie racing and brawling when he overheard a runtherd throttling throttling a snotling for some inconsequential but unforgivable mistake. Brak watched on as the runtherd’s grip tightened around the scrawny thing’s neck and as spittle flew from his mouth. The runtherd was laying into the snotling about how the Orks of Krot were descendants of the “Great Beast” that shook the galaxy with his battle roar. As the diminutive greenskin’s eyes popped out of its skull, Brak was enthralled by the runtherd’s story. From the great war moons they had rode on to Krot, to the stars themselves trembling in fear, to the indignation the snotling had shown to a proppa ork of the Beast, the story awakened something in Brak.
Brak didn’t know that it had been hundreds of generations since that era of Ork dominance, nor did he know or ask how the Beast had been defeated, if the Runtherd had even known. It mattered not, as Brak suddenly realized that Krot wasn’t the entire universe, and that there were other enemies to fight among the stars. In that moment, Brak chose to become a Beast and wash those stars in blood and flame. With this sudden inspiration motivating the Ork, Brak stormed into the shanty hall of Grelgcrel, and punched the surprised and royally angry boss in the face. Bewildered but excited for a scrap, Grelgcrel immediately pulled his trusty slugga and fired a round into the belly of Brak, who didn’t notice the hunk of metal now lodged in his abdomen.
The battle that ensued was short but brutal. Grelgcrel continued to fire rounds at Brak, but couldn’t land another one. Orks who claimed they were present say it was the girth of Mork himself that shielded Brak, though some brave or perhaps stupid grots will snicker it was just another example of an ork’s poor aim. Whatever the reason, Brak was able to lodge his choppa into the boss’s shoulder, before a boot to the chest pushed them apart. Left without a weapon, Brak dived at his former leader, and with that big gob, bit Grelgcrel’s face. This is a bit of an understatement, as an ork mouth can open wide and the teeth are long and strong. With a quick snap back of his head, Brak ripped the lower jaw of the shocked boss clear off, leaving blood pouring and a lonely tongue hanging. Grelgcrel couldn’t believe what had just befallen him, and watched in stunned amazement as Brak finished the fight by beating his skull in.
Bellowing triumphantly, Brak asked if “any other git wanted a go”. Wisely, none stepped forward. Brak then proclaimed to the assembled throng that they had been warlords of the stars, and that they would be again. Brak would be their new warboss, and he called himself Brakgcrel, as though he stole some kind of reverent title from the previous boss. But Brakgcrel was not just going to be a boss, he was going to be the Big Boss of Krot. As the story of his duel with Grelgcrel spread like wildfire amongst the surrounding tribes, the boyz who fell in line behind Brakgcrel took to calling him “Tortoof”, a name that would eventually cause fear and panic across the void.
Brakgcrel’s War for Krot led the warboss from one end of the planet to the other as he sought to conquer the other tribes. Sometimes he was able to absorb the orks by defeating their warboss in a duel. Most often, open warfare was necessary to bring the orks into his fold. One by one, the other tribes fell in line. In the mountain ranges, Tortoof strapped a large rocket to a glider to descend on the fortress of one warboss who refused to leave his defensive position, crashing through the roof to personally stomp the defiant Ork’s head in. When he came across tribes that refused to give him a head-on-head fight by racing around his hordes with their quick buggies and bikes, Tortoof took his biggest nobs and hid in a canyon to jump on the speed ladz as they attempted to navigate the uneven terrain. And when the sea kaptains of the great oceans refused to land and fight, Brakgcrel ordered his fleet of battlewagons and trukks scrapped to create kill kruisers, not knowing the inherent similarities the crafts had with their space-going namesakes. Eventually, all greenskins on Krot served Brakgcrel, “da Big Boss of Krot”.
Near the end of his conquests, word had reached the warboss of something unusual happening in the deserts of the northern continent. With all of orkdom bent to his will, Tortoof settled to find out what was unsettling his warbosses in the area. To his surprise and delightment, Tortoof was fired upon as his kustom battlewagon approached the area. Rather that the solid slugs of Ork weaponry, Tortoof saw crackling arcs of lightning and unexplainable green energy rip his vanguard apart. Metallic creatures stood in perfect alignment, without a single bosspole or bellowing nob to direct them. Tortoof didn’t know what they were, but he was excited to find a new foe to krump.
“Da Tin-ladz War”, as it became known among the Orks, saw the greenskins of Krot adapt to a new and frighteningly deadly opponent. Whatever reason had brought the Necrons to his world, Tortoof didn’t know, but they seemed determined to dig something out of the sands. Wave after wave of Orks were thrown back upon the dunes, and Tortoof resolved to make a breakthrough himself. A kustom warbike was ordered, and astride it, the warboss lead a charge that finally managed to crack the tin-ladz’s line. Without slowing down, Tortoof and his nobs drove deep the depression the Necron’s had excavated, only to find themselves in a vast, underground labyrinth. In sheer amazement, the Orks raced through unending corridors of metal, flanked on both sides by row upon row of unmoving tin-ladz. More metallic constructs attempted to road-block the Orks, but Tortoof would crush anything that would stand in his way. As hundreds of boys exploited the gap created and joined their warboss in the subterranean structure, the war shifted from the open dunes to the close confines of the labyrinth.
<<continue tin-ladz war here>>
Even with his limitless ambition, Tortoof may have been constrained to Krot for his natural life if it wasn’t for the timely arrival of a space hulk. Due to the crusades the Imperium knows as the “Cleansing of Pnoabsterix”, the space around the Ork systems was largely free of the scrap and wreckage necessary for Orks to create invasion fleets large enough to threaten human worlds. Even after the “Tin-Ladz War”, there wasn’t nearly enough material for the construction of a void-faring fleet to carry the warlord’s hordes across the stars. Unfortunately for those stars, just when Tortoof began to despair that Krot would be his only conquest, the galaxy provided a solution.
Appearing in the sky from seemingly nowhere, a massive conglomeration of ships, scrap, rock, ice, and refuse answered the needs of the Orks. One of the largest space hulks the Imperium has ever recorded, the arrival of the vessel caused tectonic events on Krot that topled scrap spires and tsunamis that drowned hundreds of thousands of grots and orks. Tortoof immediately mobilized his mekboyz to building crafts that would carry him and his boyz into the sky. Once onboard, the warboss was delighted to find the vessel brimming with all manner of hostile life, and started cleansing the space hulk with exuberant glee.
Overtime, the Orks of Krot began to fill up the space hulk. Deep within its cavernous interiors they found the scrap they needed to construct a myriad of other vessels, which in turn lead them to nearby asteroids to be gutted and outfitted into roks. The hulk provided not just a flagship for the warlord, but the means to construct an entire fleet. Once his mekboyz had figured out how to control the hulk, Tortoof claimed it as the vessel for his ambition, naming it “da Star Bleeda”.
<<continue War of Pnoabsterix here>>
Tortoof began his life on the soiled and long-overrun world of Krot. Krot had been a feudal planet before the Imperium re-settled it, and by the time the Orks had arrived, it had become a productive Agri- and Hiveworld. Great numbers of produce were grown in the fertile regions on the equator and in massive sea complexes. The populations had inhabited planned cities on the coasts further north and south, mostly working in factories that worked the raw foodstuff into nutrient-rich products to feed the sub-sector. By the 41st millennia, nothing was recognizable of Kurotus III as having once been a prosperous, effective planet of the Imperium. Long gone were the hives, turned into scrap walkers and junk tanks for wars ages past. The great sea-farms had been sunk, the oceans dead and dirty from hundreds of generations of orks polluting them. The equatorial super-farms were now a sick xenos mockery of their past glory, as the same fertile soil that had borne crops for humanity now nurtured the fungus farms of the greenskins.
Before the Mega-Tyrant’s rise, the Orks of Krot were content to war amongst themselves, the tribes battling, breaking up and reforming under a new boss as fluid and regular as the tides washing garbage upon the polluted sands of the coasts. Wherever wide, open spaces could be found, city-sized race tracks would rise, leading to massive demolition derbies and battle-races. Squigs and Squiggoths roamed the once-fruitful plains of the world, crushing and devouring any soul that didn’t give the massive herds a wide berth. Out in the oceans, scrap armadas would crash into one another as the winds blew them, with lively and joyous boyz swinging from one vessel to another without a care in the world.
Tortoof’s ascendance bent the world to his star-conquering ambition. The tribes were united under one boss. All available scrap was gathered and assembled for Tortoof’s warmachines. The herds of squiggly beasts were bent and broken, “domesticated” for the warboss’s designs. And while the sea kaptains of Krot were the last to fall under his bosspole, even the oceans and their currents were eventually swept over by Tortoof’s lads.
In the aftermath of “Da Tin-ladz War” and Tortoof’s WAAAGH!, Krot is a quieter place. The vast majority of Orks, gretchin, snotlings, squigs and Orkoids of all kinds were piled into the Star Bleeda and roks, leaving the polluted and despoiled world behind. The orks that now inhabit the world rose after the Mega-Tyrant’s departure, and while they immediately returned Krot to a world of incessant wars and infighting, they all know deep in their souls that some great Ork once walked that world.
A truely massive vessel that dwarfs any Imperial craft in the sub-sector, the Star Bleeda was both the flagship of Tortoof’s fleets and the nexus at the center of his WAAAGH! Besides allowing the warlord a way off of Krot and providing the material that jump-started his invasion, the Star Bleeda was also a formidable vessel in void-battles. The Imperium was forced to avoid direct confrontation with the hulk as they were seemingly incapable of causing debilitating damage to it. Large amounts of wreckage could be shaved off, entire vessels liberated from its bulk, but nothing would seem to cripple the Star Bleeda.
In contrast, the Ork hulk possessed a weapon capable of causing catastrophic damage to its foes. Running along the hulk’s bottom was a massive gravity weapon that made a mockery of conventional defenses. The Mechanicus of Alcrondre could not explain how it functions, or even where it came from. Administratum records from M32 have led the Imperium to believing it’s one of the gravity weapons used by the Beast, only instead of being on an attack moon, it is the main weapon of the Star Bleeda. Whatever it was, it forced the Imperium to dance around the hulk to avoid being in the weapon’s line of fire. Tortoof realized this, and took great enjoyment in ordering the space hulk to spin like a mad top, indiscriminately firing the weapon as it twisted in the void. Some battles ended with more crushed Ork ships than Imperium, but Tortoof cared not. The enjoyment of seeing the “humies scatter like rats” is worth whatever losses his forces took.
Deep within the bowels of the hulk was an ancient vessel that predates the Imperium by unknown millennia. Once a ship intended to carry the best and brightest of humanity into the stars, it has been long lost to the scions of Terra for ages. However it was lost is unknown, but it made its presence felt everytime the Star Bleeda arrived in an Imperial system. This was not thanks to any weaponry or arcane technology being bent to the Mega-Tyrant’s ends. Instead, this former star voyager was still broadcasting its name to the stars, which led to the Imperium adopting that name for Tortoof’s flagship: the “Peaceful Serenity”.
Edited by toaae, 11 May 2020 - 12:50 AM.