Once Upon A Time In The Empire
Greenskins are a constant threat and never-ending bane on peaceful society. Their massive armies can and have wrought more destruction in a single week than natural disasters have throughout all history, while their smaller tribes and warbands harry trade routs and wipe out rural settlements. Impossible to defeat forever, the Dwarfs seem to be in a constant state of war with the ferocious monsters.
Greenskins are so named for the colour of their skin. They are not a single race as such, but a group of distinct green-skinned sub-species (typically Goblins, Orcs and Snotlings) who share a few common cultural and physiological traits. Greenskins can be found all over the Warhammer World, but the greatest concentration of them is found in the Dark Lands to the east of the Worlds Edge Mountains and in the area around the Badlands. Greenskin society is tribal, with progress through their social hierarchy by fighting and beating other Greenskins of higher rank. As they rise through the ranks, they grow bigger in strength, size and cunning. Greenskins are universally happiest when they are fighting or in conflict and in fact warfare seems to be their sole means of growth and development. Often, if there is no one else around to fight they’ll squabble or even have large wars between themselves. Gork and Mork are the Greenskin gods and sometimes a source of dispute since they both represent the prized greenskin traits of brutality and cunning. The Orcs raise great Effigies to Gork and Mork, often made with scraps and Orcish dung.
Due in no small part to their natural aggression and their lack of a governmental system beyond the most basic tribal functions, the Greenskins do not organize themselves into civilised nations but rather into semi-formal groups known as tribes. Each tribe is given a name, though this can often change with the leadership or even if the tribe’s leader has a sudden thought. At any given time, and in any given area, the largest, strongest and most cunning Greenskin is followed by the rest, as long as there is fighting to be had. When the mood strikes or a particularly powerful leader wants, many tribes get together and form what is known as a “Waaagh!”; a nearly unstoppable horde of marauding Greenskins that lays waste to anything in their path. Trolls, Giants and herds of ravenous Squigs are commonly found accompanying the largest Greenskin armies as well as bands of Black Orcs or Night Goblins: often otherwise independent tribes will band together to follow the largest and most fierce of warband them all.
The Waaagh! is also the name of some sort of very basic racially-linked mind all Greenskins seem be able to tap into, from which some Shamans can draw power. The greater the number of greenskins, the more power orc and goblin mages can draw, and the more destructive their spells. Still, the magic is raw, primal and dangerously unpredicatable. It is a common sight for the heads of greeskin shamans to spontaneously explode. Off the battlefield, these shamans provide healing, fortune-telling and other such services to the tribe. For more warrior-like greenskins, the Waaaagh! acts more as a communal group mind, inspiring them to battle.