Greetings Loremasters, today we shall discuss the Orkish phenomena known collectively as the Waaagh, which I’ve noted many of you insist on appending with an exclamation point. It is foolishness of the highest order–this combination cultural and psychic event is a dire threat, unworthy of frivolous punctuation.
Not to mention that it cheapens the noble exclamation mark, which is suitable for use when included with an action by the Emperor–such as the Emperor Protects! Or when calling the forces of Humanity to action in the name of the Emperor, as seen in the phrase, “Fix bayonets and charge the filthy Xenos you maggots!” made popular by noncomissioned officers throughout the ranks of the Astra Militarum. But to apply such exclamatory tones to a Xenos phenomenon is heresy itself, and I have appraised the Inquisition of such in my latest handwritten missive, so be wary Loremasters and Loremaster-initiates, it is doubtless a matter of time before this caution is taken into advisement and such frivolity exposed and judged as the Heresy it rightfully is.
With that in mind, let us discuss the Waaagh. I have, in anticipation of the Inquisition’s newly appointed policies (policies which may see some of you younger Loremaster-initiates outed as the heretics I know you to be), appended our archives from the Lexicanum to reflect this new trend of punctuatorial obeisance.
Now to set things straight, the Waaagh as it is known, is not a single event, but refers to four different Orkish phenomena.
First and foremost: A gathering of Orks generates a psychic field known as the Waaagh
!, which allows Orks to instinctively recognize who is “bigga” and therefore in charge. The Waaagh ! also seems to warp reality to fit Orkish beliefs, allowing their ramshackle technology to function properly. If Orks are convinced that their designs are sound and functional, the Waaagh ! makes them so. Other races have found that many Orkish devices simply do not work unless wielded by an Orkoid. Similarly, it is an article of faith among Orks that explosives become more powerful when they’re painted, and that their vehicles go faster when given a Red Paint Job. This may sound nonsensical, but because the Orks believe this to be true, the Waaagh ! makes it true. This same energy can also be manipulated by the Weirdboyz in an array of deadly psychic powers.
If you needed proof of this phenomena’s heretical nature, here you have it–it not only brings Xenos into contact with the Empyrean, but it defies the laws of even the Omnissiah, making for double-, if not treble-heresy!
! also describes the rare occasions when Orks stop fighting amongst themselves and band together against other races. This undertaking combines the aspects of a mass migration, a holy war, a looting party and a pub brawl, with a bit of genocide thrown in for good measure. In a typical Waaagh !, millions of battle-hungry Orks invade their target and stomp everything in their way flat. Just who is invaded is a matter of supreme indifference to the Waaagh !; battle is battle.
The third use of Waaagh
! is the name for the massive horde of Orks gathered under a single Warboss – an individual Ork who is invariably the largest, most dominating and physically intimidating, and therefore able to unite different warbands of Orks into a horde, almost always for the purpose and duration of undertaking a Waaagh ! in the second sense of the word. Very often the Waaagh ! is named after this warboss. The Waaagh ! of The Beast was so powerful that its effect influenced all of his Orks to grow far larger and more aggressive than normal. Even a standard “Beast Ork” Boy towered above a normal Greenskin.
! is typically dispersed at its defeat, the death of its Warboss or simply when it runs out of enemies. The combined warbands and tribes will then break up through infighting and inter-clan rivalry. Exceptions do occur: a particularly dominant Warboss occasionally manages to hold his boyz together, forging a small empire for himself. The best example of this is the Ork empire of Charadon, which has survived for thousands of years under the rule of successive Warlords.
!“ is the near-universal war cry roared by Orks in battle.
As you can see, none of these phenomena warrant the exuberance with which many of our younger Loremaster-initiates repeat the term. Many of them insist on attributing to the Xenos great feats and strengths, well let that sit no more–why back when I was but a Loremaster-initiate, we didn’t have data-slates or augmetic cogitators, we barely had two punctuation marks, and that were good enough for us! I am reminded of another missive I sent the Inquisition…
Editor’s note: the Loremaster continued on apace and hadn’t yet finished ranting at press time–the full transcript will be available upon request once the Loremaster has finished his, er, thoughts.