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Beastmen

Little is known about the bestial human forms who occasionally raid the small outlying farms, and
villages of the kingdoms of men. They are Chaos itself given flesh. They are the Children of Chaos,
born when the polar gateways of the Old Slann collapsed (-4500 IC), thus heralding the first dominion
of Chaos. The fabric of the Realm of Chaos burst into the material universe, warping many of the
natural creatures who lived, until now, peacefully on the Warhammer world. From this terrible
catastrophic event many mutated creatures were born: the rat-men known now as skaven, the half-men
and half-horse centaurs, and the Beastmen who were the most common of this new bestial race. They
are called the Children of Chaos because they alone of all Chaos' worshippers understand Chaos and
its many perplexing ways and they were brought into existence by its dark energies.

Since the fall of the Old Slann, Beastmen have remained on the verges of humanity. They have grown
strong through many millennia of battle and have multiplied to become a very real threat. Even now
their numbers can be found in most forests and mountains ranges of the Old World. They are most
numerous in the north, the Empire (notably the Drak Wald Forest) and Kislev (notably the Taiga), but
even in Tilea and Estalia their presence is felt. Humans there fear that one day they will be
overwhelmed by the hordes of Chaos, when in fact the Beastmen have little concern for them and for
the most part they pay little attention to humanity. However, should a human wander foolishly into the
depths of a forest he would more than likely attract the unwelcome attention of the creatures who live
there and should they be Beastmen, the human would never leave the forest alive.

TYPES OF BEASTMEN
Unknown to humans, Beastman society is very precise and ordered. They are far from being a
discernable mass of fur, horns and teeth. There are several layers of class and rank within Beastman
society covering several distinct kindred. As always the GM is free to add any Chaos mutations he
feels is necessary.

GORS
Many Beastmen are of the Gor variety and these are distinguished from the lower breeds by their
horns. Some Gors polish, paint and decorate their horns in order to enhance their shape and their own
personal stature. The majority of the best warriors and leaders come from the Gors. But even among
the Gors there are three main types: Caprigors, Bovigors, and Ungors. The first two varieties are the
greatest Beastmen where the last, the Ungors (broadly means "not quite right Gors" or "other Gors"),
are a slightly lesser breed. All lesser Beastmen look to the Gors for leadership and endlessly praise
them in victory and grumble behind them when things are not going so well. Beastman Chiefs may
have Minor Hero profile bonuses (WFRP page 214) and Beastman Champions of Chaos may have
Major Hero profile bonuses (WFRP page 214.)

CAPRIGOR
Caprigors are more numerous than other Gors. They are what adventurers would know as 'typical
Beastmen' for they have curling or straight horns on their head like a goat or sheep. Caprigors often
have goat's legs and typically the head of a sheep as well. A Beastman like this, and with no other
mutations, is known as a Truegor. Truegors are said to be bigger, braver, and more intelligent than
other Caprigors (Truegors have +1 Strength, and +5 Intelligence and Cool to the profile given below.)

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel


4 41 25 3 4 11 30 1 30 29 24 29 24 10

BOVIGOR
Bovigors are not as numerous as Caprigors. They are distinguished from other Beastmen because of
their bull or ox-like heads. Their legs can either be goat-like or even human. Bovigors are big and
powerful and highly competitive and because of this they believe themselves to be the superior
Beastmen. Unfortunately they tend to be lacking in intelligence, even for Beastmen.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel


4 41 25 4 4 11 30 1 30 29 20 29 24 10

UNGOR
Ungors are the lesser Gor breed. They usually bear several mutations and tend to have small, scabby
little horns; and these are not always on their head. Some Ungors may have a single fine horn and a
Beastman with this protrusion is often a source of considerable envy. In short, Ungors are very varied
in appearance.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel


4 41 25 3 4 11 30 1 30 29 24 29 24 10

BRAYS
The word bray comes from the braying and whinnying cacophony that Beastmen often make when
they come together to fight or feast. Brays are lesser Beastmen and if it weren't for the fact they are
hornless they could be mistaken for the greater Gor variety. If a Bray develops horns, as a result of
mutation, then they will be sawn off in order that the Beastman can never be taken for a Gor.
Sometimes an especially cunning Bray may rise to become the leader of a band of Beastmen, but this
is not very common because Gors do not like Brays giving them orders. This is compounded by the
fact that if Brays do not give Gors sufficient respect they are usually roundly beaten, or much worse.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel


4 41 25 3 4 7 30 1 30 24 24 24 24 10

TURNSKINS
A Turnskin is the lowest of the low in Beastman society because this individual was born as human as
Emperor Karl-Franz and subsequently warped and morphed into a Beastman. The influence of the
Realm of Chaos still reaches out from the fallen warpgates of the Old Slann and mutates anything it
touches. Mutation is not tolerated in the Old World and any individuals who exhibit signs of mutation
are either killed or hounded out of their villages, towns, or cities; many die lonely deaths. Not
surprisingly only the toughest, or luckiest, of these people survive when they are in the wilderness and
some of them join Beastman warbands. Regardless of whether a Turnskin looks like a Beastman, he is
still the lowest of the low and if he grows horns they are immediately sawn off so as to ensure his
place in Beastman society is confirmed. A Turnskin may even look human with only a furry, matted
area of his body to belie the awful truth.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel


4 41 25 3 3 7 30 1 30 29 29 29 29 18

GAVES
Gaves or Gave Children are considered gifts of Chaos by Beastmen. Mutant births are on the increase
in the Old World, especially in the Empire and Kislev. Some parents, no matter how healthy they are,
will give birth to a severely deformed baby and, out of the need to hide their shame, they put the infant
on a bed of leaves in the depths of a forest or set it adrift on the calm waters of a river. Seldom do these
mutant babies die of hunger or exposure, for the ears of Beastmen are very keen and they can hear the
cries of their own kind. When a mutant infant is found by Beastmen it is adopted and cared for by the
warband. It will then be reared as a Beastman and will almost always become a Beastman as it grows
and matures. Usually Gaves mature into Gors but some may become lowly Brays too. Whatever the
case Beastmen do not attach any stigma to Gaves. Indeed, Gave Beastmen sometimes add 'gave' to
their name. Horngave, Gorgave, Shadowgave and Nightgave are typical Gave names.

A Gave has the profile of any of the Gor varieties of Beastmen or a Bray. A Gave may even grow to
become a powerful Beastman Shaman (see below). A warband with a young Gave Shaman is said to
be blessed indeed by the Powers of Chaos.

SHAMANS
Shamans are very rare Beastmen with magical powers and very seldom do communities have more
than one. Beastmen Shamans are more in tune with Chaos than any Human sorcerers for they can
spirit-walk (see below) in the Realm of Chaos itself and converse with Chaos Daemons and even the
Chaos Powers themselves. Shamans are held with awe in Beastman society. Leaders go to them for
advice and to learn what lies in the future for them and the warband. Seldom do even Beastman
Champions anger a Shaman for fear of being cursed or being consumed by Daemons of Chaos the
Shamans are known to be in-league with. In fact it is rumoured that Shamans are protected by the very
Daemons they converse with in the Realm of Chaos.

Physically, Beastman Shamans are identical to Gor Beastmen but, peculiarly, they have two different
coloured eyes; this is the sole indisputable mark of the Shaman. Often one eye is red and one blue, or
one is yellow and the other green. The actual colours are supposed to signify the favour in which the
Shaman is held by a particular Chaos Power; blue or yellow for Tzeentch, green or brown for Nurgle,
pink or purple for Slaanesh, and bright red for Khorne (Khornate Shamans cannot cast spells but
instead they attempt to dispel them). They tend to wear elaborate loose gowns or decorated hoods and
may also carry staffs or banners decorated with scalps and bones.
Spirit-walking in the Realm of Chaos
The sole purpose of spirit-walking is for more power or to get a glimpse of the future. Before a
Beastman Shaman can spirit-walk he drinks himself into a comatose state, which may also be
influenced by powerful drugs, and then he enters a trance. At this point the Shaman is as one with his
spirit, floating in the Realm of Chaos conversing with Chaos Daemons to ask them for more magick or
for portents of the future. This isn't always successful but typically a Shaman gains something from
this experience. Particularly powerful Shamans may even talk to the Chaos Powers themselves and
gain a blessing, usually in the form of a Chaos Reward, but this is exceptionally rare (base 2% chance,
+1% per level of Shaman, +1% if in Brayherd); close as Beastmen are to Chaos, the Chaos Gods have
better things to do than to talk to mortals, whatever their race. In order for a spirit-walk to be
successful the Shaman must roll equal to or under his Will Power. What a Shaman gains from spirit-
walking is largely left up to the GM. He may decide that the Shaman gains a +10 bonus to any test for
a short period of time, or just for 1 minute if he so wishes. These bonuses may be given to other
Beastmen for a short time. It must be born in mind, however, that it is glimpses of future events that
Shamans gain so they can predict when and where their warband is likely to be attacked, how many
they will be attacked by, if anyone is likely to be killed etc.

M WS BS S T W I A Dex Ld Int Cl WP Fel


4 41 25 4 5 14 50 1 40 49 45 49 50 18
Special Rules: A Beastman Shaman can have a randomly determined level of mastery using a D4,
with a base 20 magic points plus D10 per level of mastery above 1 (so a level 4 Shaman will have
20+3D10 magic points.) A Shaman typically has a mix of Battle and Daemonic Magick spells (D4+1
per level) and D6 Petty Magick spells per level of mastery. However, a Shaman may also possess some
Illusionist spells too if the GM wishes it.

BEASTMAN SOCIETY
Beastmen are for the most part nomadic and their lives are dominated by violence and battle. They live
in roaming warbands typically led by Beastmen Champions of Chaos. Occasionally they will ally
themselves to human Champions of Chaos and their warbands. Even though they despise humans they
will willingly serve all manner of Chaos Champions regardless of their race; their natural empathy to
Chaos overcomes any antipathy they would otherwise have had. However, any alliance will not last
long, as both humans and Beastmen do not mix.

Beastmen warbands are usually larger than human ones and they consist largely of Beastmen. They
spend their time raiding isolated settlements, small villages and homesteads, and groups of travellers.
After these raids they seldom return to their original camp and instead hunt for a new one, as far away
as possible from the first. They tend to look for sites which are deep in the wilderness or caves with a
good view of the surrounding area; sites near to running water are always preferred. Sometimes
clashes with other warbands over these sites are unavoidable.

If a warband loses its leader, either through battle, becoming a Chaos Spawn (as a result of extreme
mutation that the Beastman is nothing but a mindless beast) or as a result of attaining daemonhood and
entry into the Realm of Chaos itself, usually another Beastman will assume the mantle of Champion
and become the warband's leader. However, sometimes the warband will fragment into smaller
warbands each with a new Champion of its own. It isn't unknown for leaderless warbands to join up
with other warbands.

After the death of a warband's leader, the followers mourn him with raucous feasting and dancing. If
the warband's leader is particular famous then several warbands may be invited to the feast. At the
feast the leader's own body is consumed by his followers. The most tender and choice bits are eaten by
his oldest and most favoured followers. The leader's successor consumes the old leader's heart, much
to the delight of the rest of the warband. It is believed that by eating the heart of the leader the
successor will grow to be like him. The Beastmen even believe that by eating their old leader they will
inherit some of his character and power as well as his most distinctive physical mutations. It is
certainly true that amongst some of the oldest warbands are displayed common traits.

The Warband's Standard


Every warband carries its own unique banner which proclaims the name of its Champion and lists the
deeds of the warband. The banner is very dear to a warband and is always carried into battle, and at
other times it holds pride of place in the centre of Beastman camp either in its own special tent or
standing proudly in the earth, like a holy totem. If a banner is stolen or captured in battle, it is a great
disgrace to the entire warband and as a result the Beastmen will go to great lengths to find it again.

The warband banner is made from the flayed hide of fallen enemies. The Champion marks or writes
his name at the top of the banner in Dark Tongue, and attaches the trophies of the warband's fallen
enemies to it; typically these are severed heads and other gruesome fleshy talismans, but valuable
artefacts will do just as well too, such as pieces of armour - the helmet and shield of an enemy the
Champion has slain in personal combat is the preferred choice. Pictures are sometimes drawn on the
banner if the Champion feels that a particular moment in the warband's history needs explaining more
fully. In this way a banner records the story of the Champion's and warband's life.

When a Champion is slain his banner is burned or buried with him, but not before his successor tears a
piece of it where it is sewn into a new banner. Patches from previous Champions are also taken off the
old banner and fixed to the new. The banners of most warbands have several of these tiny patches,
some of which may be hundreds of years old.

THE BRAYHERD
Any meeting of different warbands is called a Brayherd. A Brayherd can be called for a number of
reasons: to fight a common foe, to defend themselves against attack, or to feast. Not any old place is
suitable for such a meeting of so many warbands. It has to be a place far away from the eyes of men,
places such as valleys or caves are ideal. The Brayherd spot is marked by a large stone slab called a
Herdstone; these stones are either natural outcrops or rough slabs erected by the Beastmen. Herdstones
are seldom found by non-Beastmen and many are very ancient stones going back even to the time of
Sigmar. They are almost always blackened by fire and marked by the Beastman leaders, as they
proclaim their presence in the Brayherd. To anyone else a Herdstone just looks like a weather-worn
stone slab with no obvious use.

When it is time to call a Brayherd a Beastman Champion or Chieftain lights a signal fire and marks his
name on the Herdstone using the Dark Tongue runes of Chaos. Then his warband camps somewhere
nearby, waiting for the other warbands to emerge as the days and nights pass by, alerted by the plumes
of smoke rising from the signal fire. As the Brayherd location is very well hidden there is little danger
of unwanted guests attracted by the smoke. Should any arrive on the scene they will have hundreds of
fully armed Beastmen to deal with. Once enough warbands have arrived the Brayherd begins.

A Brayherd can almost be seen as a council of war. The Beastman who called the Brayherd explains
why he has done so and then it is discussed by the other Beastman leaders. Usually the plan is to fight
an enemy, but not always. During this time the other members of the warbands engage in friendly
brawls and eat, drink, and sleep - it is forbidden in a Brayherd to spill blood and even the most bitter of
rivals respect this tradition. Should rivals fail to respect the tradition then they are ejected from the
Brayherd and told to settle their scores. Once they have done so only then are they allowed back to the
Brayherd.

If the Beastman who called the Brayherd is successful in persuading the other leaders to join the
expedition, a Gorfight is called. This is necessary to select the overall leader of the expedition, as
Beastmen respect only personal strength and battle prowess and these must be evident in any
perspective expeditionary leader. Normally only Gors fight in Gorfights, but any other Champion can
take part so long as all the other Champions agree to it beforehand. The fight is conducted around the
Herdstone and each participant has his hands tied so that the only way that the proceedings are decided
is through head-butting. It isn't unknown for some Gors to smash their heads on the Herdstone after an
ill timed charge!

The winner of the Gorfight is given the honorary title of Gorlord and he leads all the Champions and
warbands on the expedition. Once the expedition is over, the battle fought or raid complete, the
warbands break up and the normal feuding is resumed. However, the Gorlord is allowed to keep his
title as a mark of respect for the Beastman's leadership and battle prowess. If a spectacular victory is
gained then the name of the battle is added to the Gorlord's title, for example Champion Bullhoof
Gorlord of Praag.

BEASTMEN AND HUMANS


Beastmen are akin to bandits in that they are an ever-present threat and as soon as one party is slain or
driven away another comes in to take their place. It is a never-ending cycle of conflict, especially in
the forests of the Empire and wastelands of Kislev. Beastmen raid and destroy human farms and
settlements, attack convoys and travellers, and even on some occasions fighting openly against human
armies, though this rarely ever happens these days.

Some human cities and towns mount hunts to 'cull' the Beastman population in the nearby forests.
Middenheim has such a hunt where proud knights and nobles ride into the forest, not to hunt foxes or
pheasants, but Beastmen. Some Beastmen, usually the weakest or those too badly wounded to fight,
are taken back to the city where they are used for the native population's enjoyment in the Bernabau
stadium for the pit fights. However, on rare occasions, the hunters become the hunted, which is why
hunting parties tend to be quite large.

CHAOS CULTISTS
Beastmen have much to gain by being allied to the human cultists who worship the same Dark Powers
as they do. For they can provide a warband with information on merchant/military convoys and they
can distract or bribe guards allowing the Beastmen to enter human settlements relatively unmolested.
Contact is made with the Beastmen by any human brave enough to follow the signal fires of a
Brayherd. If the Mark of Chaos is on him then he will be recognised as a servant of Chaos. Once initial
contact has been made the Beastmen and cultists will arrange to meet and conduct their business in
forest clearings and other wild places.

Author: A Fawcett