Greatfray

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Hierarchy of the Vilehorns beastherd.

Greatfray are the major tribal groupings of the Beasts of Chaos. Each Greatfray may contain thousands to millions of bestial warriors divided into roving bands called Beastherds. The exact number of Greatfrays remain in a constant flux with smaller Greatfrays being absorbed by larger ones and new Greatfrays being created. A Greatfray rarely goes into battle as one, instead beastherds are scattered across the realms with their own territories but maintains a level of connection with corrupted realmgate hidden within the wilderness. Yet regardless of their separation all are bound by a mighty alphabeast. The energies of Herdstones that mark their territories shape them, changing their fur colour or the direction their horns curl making the varied creatures of a Greatfray similar in appearance or even have divergent effect making every beast to be uniquely twisted.[1d]

Alphabeasts

Greatfrays and beastherds are bound together under a single powerful alphabeast. The alphabeast rules with cruelty and violence, keep the herds in line by lashing out and continually reasserting its dominance by leading the beastherd to fresh lands to be despoiled.[1d] There is no one particular type of alphabeast leading the greatfrays. For example, the beasts of the Gavespawn greatfray are led by their Bray-Shamans, the Quakefray is led by a Cygor and the Allherd is led by Beastlords.[2a] However, individual beastherds within a greatfray are generally led by either Beastlords or Bray-Shamans in the case of Brayherds, Doombulls in the case of Warherds and Dragon Ogor Shaggoths in the case of Stormherds.[1g]

Beastherds

A greatfray is composed of hundreds of savage groups called Beastherds, each of which is a maurading army unto itself, made up of scores of individuals. There is no formal organisation amongst these racous as such a structure is anathema to the true children of Chaos, instead it is composed of groups led by the strongest of amongst them, known as alphabeasts.[1f] A beastherd may be made up of similar species with Brayherds being skilled at ambushes, Warherds excelling at brutal head-on offensives and Thunderscorn Stormherds conducting devastating lightning-warfare attacks. Some may be composed of myriad creatures, combining their abilities. A herd acts as a single hunting pack on the battlefield and multiple herds in a single territory would fight each other until they are wiped out. Each beastherd is left to raid and reave in isolation from their own domains of the Greatfray.[1d]

Kingdoms bordering them may find themselves attacked from multiple fronts by different beastherds, their borders slowly pushed back till the beastherds which appeared separate join forces to slaughter as one and even attracting beastherds from nearby lands till the kingdom has been reduced to a ruin. The standing of a beastherd is determined by their cunning and ferocity, size and territory and the number of Herdstone erected. When a beastherd is seen as weak another beastherd may come and taker over their domains but that are consistently ferocious will always be accepted. Most Greatfrays follow pure Chaos and thus beastherds in such a Greatfray that follows a Chaos God are often found at the peripheries their efficiency as desecrators cannot be denied.[1d]

Brayherds

A Brayherd is comprosied of various breeds of beastmen - gors, ungors, and centigors. These savage creatures are divided into a hierarchy based upon strength, size, and how bestial in form each is. Those with the biggest horns and thickest manes exert violent dominance over their more humanoid kin, charging ahread of them in battle or using them as expendable fodder to keep enemy blades busy. At the apex of almost all Brayherds is a Beastlord - scar-covered veterans of countless battles and challenges. A Beastlord's most powerful followers are his Bray-Shamans, who lack physical power by possess prophetic abilities. The Bray-Shamans are also responsible for tending to the Herdstones that mark their Brayherd's territory.[11g]

Warherds

Comprised of bellicose herds of bullgors and their monstrous kin, a Warherd is an avalanche of muscle and horns. Alongside the bullgors march their towering cousins, the Ghorgons and Cygors, who reach down the blade-ended limbs to rip through ranks of lesser enemies. A Warherd is led by a mighty Doombull, an armoured champion as tall as a mounted knight. The Doombull commands his forces through displays of strength and savagery.[1g] It is rare for a Doombull to become the alphabeast of an entire Greatfray as their warped minds are ill-suited to planning manifold ambushes and converging stampedes, and are instead focused solely on the bloodsheed of the next battle.[1h]

Stormherds

The Stormherds are Thunderscorn beastherds, and thus are comprised of Dragon Ogors. Possessed of draconic strength, along with the resilience and sheer brutality of ogors, they lay waste to their foes with malevolent fury. At the eye of this bestial storm stands a Dragon Ogor Shaggoth, the most ancient and powerful of the Thunderscorn creatures. Rearing up towards the firmament, this raging alphabeast hurls devastating bolts of lightning into enemy formations, reducing armoured warriors to char and bubbling fat before shattering those who remain with great sweeps of its axe and tail. Like other Beastherds, Stormherds mark their territory with herdstones. Those carved by Dragon Ogors often crackle with electricity or are surrounded by vortexes of swirling wind. The heart of each domain is marked by a far larger herdstone - a mountain or giant magnetic mesa soaked to its foundations with Chaos energy, around which the Stormherds gather in preparation for battle.[1g]

Monsters of Chaos

Though not part of any Greatfray, the Monsters of Chaos are drawn towards the other Beasts of Chaos. As the Brayherds, Warherds and Thunderscorn Stormherds come together around their Herdstones and begin their orgiastic rites in preparation for battle, echoes of the gathering anarchy ripple throughout the wilds. The scent of bestial frenzy permeates the lands for leagues in every direction, rousing the monsters of Chaos to emerge from their domains and join the beastherds on their rampages. The beastmen could by joined by Chaos Gargants, Cockatrices, Chimera and Jabberslythes fly forth from oozing swamps and cursed barrens. Upon arrival, the monstrosities sense kindred beings in the bestial herds, smelling the thick taint of devolving energies that runs in the blood of all children of Chaos. Even so, it is not uncommon that a monstrous creature will devour some of the lesser beasts when it first appears.[1g]

Godsworn Frays

Artistic representation of the Godsworn Frays.

A majority of beastmen refuse to bare their necks to the Dark Gods, but there are many herds that do so willingly and, in the process, are granted unnatural potency in return for submission. Often this occurs when a Beastlord falls under a deity's sway and, through ferocity and violence, forces his lesser gor-kin to walk the same path.[2c] Beastherds that have given themselves over to one of the Chaos Gods are found at the peripheries of many Greatfrays. Though their subservience to the Ruinous Powers is seen as a violation of pure Chaos, their effectiveness as desecrators cannot be denied.[1d]

Rotfrays

Rotfrays are Nurgle-worshipping, feculent herds that bring disease and woe to the Mortal Realms. They see themselves as martyrs, beseeching the plague god to erode and decompose civilized lands so that the wilderness might grow in their place. Because they know their deaths are part of a cycle of rot and reformation, they fight without fear, often using the fact that when they are wounded, it will spray out pus and foetid blood to infect their foes. One of the most notorious characteristic that help distinguish a Rotfray from the other types of herd is the nauseating smell that surrounds them. A more closer look reveals fangs riven with decay, muscled limb with dense clusters of boils and protuberant tumours, filth-encrusted mane filled with parasites and other pests, like Bloodmites, Scabspyders, Daemonic Slugs and pox-carrying Bileflies.[1e]

Skullfrays

Skullfrays are Khorne-worshipping beasts of chaos that have been granted by their god with a portion of their undying rage and unquenchable thirst for murder. Skullfrays main goal is to drown the land in gore so that crimson rain pours from the skies, using disciplined warfare and martial prowess. The shattering of civilisations, the destruction of idols and desire for rampant anarchy are considered indulgences and discarded, mere distractions to their true purpose of turning the Mortal Realms into a slaughterhouse. After every battle they collect the skulls of the fallen and are place in piles at the bases of Herdstones as a offering to the blood god.[1e]

Skullfrays march in tightly-grouped herds, equipped with vicious blades and armour daubed with profane runes. Their attacks precise, carving through flesh with well-measured sweeps that creates more gore, their bestial instincts and lust for killing sharpened and honed with every bloody battle. As warm gore and blood touches their skin, their rage starts to build up until they begin to froth at the mouth and eventually that pent-up ferocity explode into a flurry that butchers all enemies that remain.[1e]

Slakefrays

Slakefrays are savage bacchanals that worship Slaanesh as the Decadent Fiend, an aspect of the deity that embodies the feaster, breeder and apex defiler. The beasts of these greatfrays have a relationship of both love and loathing for civilisation, filled with jealousy to the civilised and lust for fine things. But their self-hatred eventually overtakes them and their idolatry of civilisation becomes apparent in their minds. Only the promise of looting bigger and grander empires can soothe their self-hatred.[1e]

They feast and fight, indulging in their desires and becoming more frenzied until their hunger can no longer be contained. At this point they will stampede to the nearest city, announce their coming with their shrill brayhorns and launch themselves at any enemies they see, brutalising them in a state of rapturous frenzy. After the inhabitant of these cities are slaughtered, they will remain long to loot and sack. They will search for fripperies, like ornate trinkets and pretty baubles, jewels and gold ingots to devour and other precious metals to melt down to gild their horns, hooves and herdstones.[1e]

Twistfrays

Twistfrays are worshippers of Tzeentch that focus on his aspect of the Beast with Many Forms, a reshaper of the realms who devours magic, fate and flesh and regurgitates forms more pleasing to Beastmen. They are know by many names like weirdhorns, warphooves or fleshchangers and are drawn by the scent of magic, seeking to defile the enchantments of other races just as much as they want to rend flesh and spill blood.[1e]

Their Herdstones are known as Flux-Cairns, growths of stagnant magic, whose constant stream of chaos energies attracts flocks of Tzaangors, winged monstrosities and half-mad scholars from nearby civilisations. The Tzeentchians are not hostile to the last, only watch as their gods shapes them into more savage creatures.[1e][2]

Herds

Just as a Greatfray is composed of multiple beastherds, so too is each beastherd made up of a number of herds. A herd can range in size from a small handful of beasts to a teeming throng, and on the battlefield acts as a single hunting pack, with its creatures revelling together in their shared butchery. The beasts in many herds are closely related, sharing a sire or grandsire, and have survived by fighting together since they were young.[1d] These herds may - for example, be composed entirely of ungors, centigors, bullgors, or dragon ogors. Despite their kinship, should they be left to their own devices the various herds in a territory often fight amongst each other until they are wiped out. It takes the presence of an alphabeast to bind the herds to beastherds and prevent them from tearing each other apart.{Fn|1d}}

Territory

The Greatfrays make their homes in the wild places of the [[Mortal Realms][]. A Greayfray does not typically gather in one place - its beastherds are often dotted across enormous areas, each with their own untamed territories, and with patches of civilised lands scattered between them. Many Greatfrays have beastherds that reside in disparate realms, their connections to each other maintained through corrupted Realmgates that lie hidden in the wilderness. Yet regardless of their separation, the beastherds of a Greatfray are bound to one another by the ferocity of their alphabeast, who guides the savagery of its beastherds towards a singular destructive purpose. The Greatfray's domain is marked by its Herdstones, and as more are erected, the corrupting influence of the Greatfray spreads.[1d]

Competition

Large Greatfrays regularly subsume smaller groups of beasts, cutting down the weakest in furious battle before allowing the strongest survivors to join their ranks. As individual Beasts of Chaos fall in battle, whilst stampeding through the civilised lands or in combat with their own kindred, more emerge from the wilds to take their place, sometimes forming entirely new Greatfrays. The standing of each beastherd within a Greatfray is determined by their cunning and ferocity in battle, the size of the territories they have claimed, and the number of Herdstones they have erected. If a beastherd is seen by its kindred as weak according to any of these standards, a stronger beastherd will come to take over its domain. Conversely, those who are consistently ferocious will always be accepted as part of the Greatfray, regardless of any other aberrations they may display.[1d]

Known Greatfrays

Sources

  • 1: Battletome: Beasts of Chaos (2018)
    • 1a: The True Children of Chaos, pg. 10-11
    • 1b: From The Wilderness They Come, pg. 4-5
    • 1c: Primaeval Origins, pg. 8-9
    • 1d: Gatherings of the Greatfrays, pg. 20-21
    • 1e: Legendary Desecrators, pg. 22-27
    • 1f: From the Wilderness They Come, pg. 4-7
    • 1g: Gor-Kin Beastherds, pg. 14-17
    • 1h: Bloodgreed Brutes, pg. 34-35
  • 2: Battletome: Beasts of Chaos (2023)
    • 2a: Legendary Greatfrays, pg. 22-23
    • 2b: The Greatfrays at War, pg. 24
    • 2c: The Godsworn Greatfrays, pg. 25


Beasts of Chaos
Associated Factions Brayherds - Monsters of Chaos - Thunderscorn - Warherds
Characters Sloughtooth
Greatfrays Allherd - Blindeye - Darkwalkers - Forebeasts - Gavespawn - Gnarlspine - Gruffpack - Helstok - Nighthowl - Scorchpelt - Slatehorns - Rotfrays (Manglegut) - Slakefrays (Gravenkin) - Skullfrays (Bloodscorch - Eighthorn) - Twistfrays (Ulk'gnar)
Background Gorfather - Morghur
Armoury - Artwork - Miniatures- Spells