Sons of Behemat
Grand Alliance Destruction
Sons of Behemat
"We had common cause once, little man. No more. Now the Sons of Behemat march. Kraken-eater. Warstomper. Gatebreaker. Mancrusher. Bonegrinder. All as one. Behemat calls."
- – The Kraken-eater Baran to a Freeguild Captain and former ally.
"Disasters are called natural, as if nature were the executioner and not the victim."
- – Eduardo Galeano
"There is only power. Power is of the individual mind but the mind's power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end and only might is right."
- – T.H. White, "The Once and Future King"
The Sons of Behemat are the offspring of the titular Godbeast Behemat; forces of nature that terrify foes and (their few) friends alike. They are driven by their wanton need for inflicting mass carnage and proving themselves as the true champions of Gorkamorka. Despite this, other factions will often hire the services of the Sons of Behemat as living siege weapons.
In the beginning, there was a titanic godbeast known as Ymnog, Grandfather of Gargants. According to the Gargant Matriarchs (no model exists cause no one wants to see what saggy Gargant tits look like in plastic), Ymnog created the Mortal Realms when he threw a punch so hard that he shattered reality into earth, sea, and sky. After drinking and eating entire sections of the cosmos, Ymnog laid down to take a nap, where his drool would flow down into the Realms and become the first rivers. Inside his stomach was born Behemat, who brewed a lake of moonshine in his father's guts, causing him to retch him into his mouth, where Behemat then broke his father’s teeth to escape, the shards of his teeth supposedly becoming the first mountains. Behemat landed in the Mortal Realms and became the progenitor of the Gargant race and personal right hand to the god of destruction Gorkamorka (mostly because the Greenskin god was the only thing bigger than him), while Ymnog would end up being killed by Sigmar cuz he was a titanic monster and the Hammer god wasn’t gonna let him roam around his new home.
It is said the gargants were created from Behemat's vomit after he went on a binge-eating spree that caused the extinction of several species of cattle. Countless deeds are attributed to Behemat by his Sons, most of which double as their explanation for the different races (known collectively as “pipsqueaks”, “little men”, or any other short demeaning term), like the Idoneth Deepkin being an Aelven civilization that Behemat drowned after causing a massive flood, the Fyreslayers being born when the World Titan stomped out some volcanos and saw these angry short guys come out to yell at him, and the denizens of Shyish being mostly skeletons because Behemat ate all the meat in the Realm of Death. Naturally this is all just mythical nonsense passed down by the Gargants, but they serve as a good example of how they view the world around them, a product of Behemat’s achievements.
Trouble started to brew for the Gargants during the tail end of the Age of Myth. Trying to find a way into the Mortal Realms, Tzeentch whispered lies to Gorkamorka, making him envious of his champion, as Behemat enjoyed so much freedom under the green god’s rule, while Gorkamorka himself was stuck under Sigmar’s thumb. So Big G ordered Behemat to recreate some of the god of destruction’s greatest feats...and he did, though some were by accident. Then came the big one; Behemat had to recreate the duel between Sigmar and Gorkamorka. So after armoring himself with an entire mountain, Behemat bellowed a challenge to the Hammer God...and nothing happened. So he started stomping on the local sigmarites which caused the Lord of Azyr to come rocketing down from the heavens and knocked Behemat out cold, putting him in a millenia-long coma in the region known as the Harmonis Veldt in Ghyran. While he was asleep, his body would become covered by earth; his skull becoming the mountain of Tor Crania, his mouth becoming the Titansmawr (from which more gargants would occasionally crawl out), the Sweatswamp forming around the location of his left armpit, and so on. This pretty much makes him the Ymir of the Mortal Realms.
Despite their forefather taking a big snooze, the Gargants were mostly unfazed, continuing their own isolationist lives or rampaging in the hordes of Gorkamorka. This would not last, as with every single Age of Sigmar backstory you eventually reach the point where the Age of Chaos happens and everything gets ruined. The Ruinous Powers and their servants were quick to fall upon the Gargants, seeing them both as prestigious monsters to slay for glory and destructive weapons of mass mayhem. The ones that weren’t slain in droves or hid themselves away become Chaos Gargants (willingly or otherwise) who tromped alongside the Slaves to Darkness in agony.
The Age of Sigmar proved to be one of the most important parts of the race’s history. During the Realmgate Wars, as part of Archaon's plan to corrupt the godbeasts to Chaos, he sent the Maggotkin of Nurgle and the Skaven to corrupt Behemat, whose sleeping place was already corrupted by Nurgle into what is now known as the Scabrous Sprawl. The plan was for the Skaven to drill into his bones to awaken him, the Maggotkin to corrupt him with Nurgle's taint, and for him to be persuaded to join Archaon's side by being told half-truths about Sigmar killing his father Ymnog (which he technically did). Although the Stormcast Eternals attempted to stop this, they were too late and were forced to invoke the power of the Great Bolts (the same weapon Sigmar used to kill Ymnog) to put down Behemat before he could be fully corrupted. Many of the gargants native to the Sprawl felt lost after witnessing the death of their god-progenitor, and were taken in by the Oakenbrow Sylvaneth and became eventual allies of them. Meanwhile countless more became solitary drunkards called Aleguzzlers, and found “employment” with the Gloomspite Gitz, on account of the Grots’ copious amounts of fungus booze and cold dank caves to sleep off their roaring hangovers.
Since the death of Behemat, his Sons have been noted to have been getting bigger, more violent and more intelligent, leading to the evolution of so-called "Mega-Gargants", colossal both in size and aggression. Just the thunderous sound of a Mega-Gargant’s footfalls will draw even the most reclusive of Gargants from miles around to join together. Tribes will form around these massive warriors who then proceed to mold the Gargants under his command into terrifying natural disasters.
And with the Mega-Gargants seemingly becoming bigger and bigger with each day, it seems likely that there will come a time when a new World-Titan will emerge...
Religion and Culture
The Sons of Behemat don’t really worship Gorkamorka, whom they call the Godstompa, as they do “highly revere” him. In fact, they only seem to acknowledge the green god because Behemat did, who seems to be the real center of Gargant society. The Godstompa himself is said to be a massive yellow-nailed bare foot that flattens entire cities where ever he treads (watching the orruk shamans cast the Foot of Gork spell only strengthens this notion for them). When the Godstompa is split into “Gorkfoot and Morkfoot”, the Gargants state that one is “stompy but kicky” and the other is “kicky but stompy”. This fixation on feet forms the cornerstone of Gargant culture and how they view other races (Example: they’re not fond of the Slaves to Darkness not cuz they’re Chaos worshippers, but because their spiked armor makes them unpleasant to squash).
This foot fetishism also bleeds into their tribal organization. A tribe of Gargants is called a Stomp (most civillized races call them Catastrophes, but the average gargant can't pronounce that word), with the leader being known as the "Big Heel". Subordinate Mega-Gargants are thus "under the heel", while the tribe's Mancrushers are referred to as “footsloggas” (larger Mancrushers who lead their fellows are said to be "toeing the line"). Wherever a Stomp roams, the Gargants will leave their mark in the trails of ruin and destruction they leave behind. Frontier towns and outposts are reduced to rubble. Holy forests are uprooted and turned to splinters. All of which they do out of boredom and complete disregard for anything made/honored by the pipsqueaks. Such devastation is most commonly found in Ghur, where Gargants are so common that all the natives have learned to recognize and fear the tell-tale thumping of their footprints that can be heard for miles around. Gargants won’t give anyone smaller than them (meaning everyone) the time of day unless they are at eye level with the beasts, usually standing on a cliff or some tower/war machine. Though this can prove a successful means of diplomacy, it’s just as common for the Gargant to mindlessly grab the diplomat and devour them.
Since Behemat was the Champion of Gorkamorka, his Sons now strive to fill the gap left by their forefather’s death. This is best exemplified by their correlation of size equaling strength, or “Mightier makes Rightier” as they say. The biggest have the authority to boss around those smaller than them and (most of) the giants just accept it as fact. Though when two Gargants of similar size meet, they are bound to begin wrestling with each other to assert dominance. Sometimes they will instead do a series of “strength challenges” to determine who’s in charge, though this often still leads to the participants grappling on the ground. The aforementioned challenges are usually done in large open area or the ruins of a nearby city that was stomped flat by the Gargants to serve as their playing field.
Gargants have a vague sort of connection to the various greenskin factions, likely due to Gorkamorka’s role in their origin. Whenever a Waaagh! is called or the Bad Moon looms in the sky, it’s quite common to find the lumbering giants following the greenskin hordes. The maniac energies that swell during such times is contagious to the Gargants, though not to the same extent as Orruks and Grots. It’s described as the Gargants wanting to show the yelling hordes at their feet who’s really the biggest and baddest. At the height of their fervor, tribes of Gargants will break out into a full on sprint and crush entire battlelines with their feet alone before crashing into battlements with club and girth.
Most other realm-shaking events that defined entire factions weren’t acknowledged by the Sons of Behemat, deeming them as quite literally beneath them. Only three events have shaken their race as a whole, the Age of Chaos, Behemat's death, and after that the arrival of the Nighthaunt processions. The Mortarch of Grief Lady Olynder effortlessly slew a Mega-Gargant and his Stomp, and allowed the survivors to tromp away to spread fear of her legions. Sure enough, rumors spread across the Gargant tribes of ghostly beings that could be stomped on but not to death. Confusion led to terror, and terror became a reality when similar battles occurred where the Sons of Behemat, now dreading the Nighthaunt, found that their foot falls and club swings held little purchase against the ghosts. Things have gotten better though as new tales spread amongst the tribes of how the Bjarl Stomp worked with the ghost-hunting Drakkfoot Warclan to put down an army of Nighthaunt at the Asp River.
Gargants as Mercenaries
Starting in the Age of Chaos, Gargants began to sell their bulk to various warring factions for the promise of food, loot, and a good scrap. This can be traced back to the very first Gargant Mercenaries, a trio of hairy bruisers called the Grugg Brothers. They were in an alliance with the Ogors of the Meatfist Mawtribe at the time, and started to take note of how the Ogors worked for other races and were getting paid for it. The Grugg Brothers were further tutored by the Maneaters of the Gutstuffers company, teaching them rudimentary tactics such as attacking early in the morning when enemy forces are tired and making battle plans before hand. When the Gargants inevitably parted ways with the Mawtribes, they spread their knowledge to the other Stomps and word quickly spread of a new lucrative way of life. This knowledge has since been known to the more cunning Gargants as the “Great Secret”.
Favored Pastimes/Gargant Games
- Horse-punting: Players kick a horse and see which one goes the farthest. Bonus points are awarded to the horse that lands on an unsuspecting pipsqueek.
- Boar-scoffing: Pig eating contest...with full sized hogs.
- Wakebelching: A game played by more “civilized” Gargants (meaning the ones who work for Order factions). Each player takes turns burping loudly in the dead of night in the middle of a settlement. The Gargant who woke the most people/gets the most angry shouts of protest wins.
- Manskittles: Bowling on the battlefield. Gargants will take a boulder, dead animal, or whatever else is on hand and hurl it at a shield wall to see how many bodies are sent flailing about.
- Tank-tipping: Like cow tipping, but with Steam Tanks. It was first played by the Warstomper Nagbog and his Stomp who fought against Commodore Bonn Jensen’s Iron Squadron of Greywater Fastness. Onlookers of the massacre could’ve sworn they saw flying Steam Tanks that day.
- Rumble: Football/soccer but with explosive volcanic boulders. Unusual for including willing participants from other races. The Ogors of the Boulderhead Mawtribe regularly migrate through a set of plateaus in Aqshy, where they encounter the native Gargant Stomp. Both sides agree to place this game of Rumble (throwing and/or kicking boulders towards the opposing team’s side) to determine if the Ogors can pass through for free, or if they have to kill half of their beasts and mounts as payment to the Gargants.
Types of Gargants
Each “species” of Gargant has a very fairy tale like name, likely given to them by the terrified victims of their rampages.
- Mancrusher: The OG Giant is now the most commonly seen species of the giant race, as well as the shortest (keep in mind that a ‘short’ Gargant can still punt a Sigmarine like a football). Mancrushers were originally wayward Aleguzzler/Chaos Gargants who happened to find a Mega-Gargant to follow around. When in the presence of a Mega-Gargant, they become eager (if a little clumsy) followers, ready to take orders and do whatever their bigger bosses want. This tiny level of “discipline” arguably makes them more dangerous as they can now make unified charges with their fellow Gargants and throw boulders at enemies in a crude firing line. They’re also oddly sober when compared to other Gargants, though this is because their bosses hog most of the booze they come across. In a strangely wholesome twist on the normal method of Destruction aligned recruitment (the weak being subjugated by the strong), Mancrushers will often willingly join the Mega-Gargants cause they admire them as big brothers in a sense. They will wait for the big lugs to fall asleep and then camp out around him. So when the Mega-Gargant wakes up, he’s got a full tribe of loyal bruisers ready to please him...get your mind out of the gutter Slaanesh.
- Kraken-eater: A sea faring variety known for their greed and territorial natures. Granted, what they deem as “their territory” is everything in seeing distance. They like lugging around ship cannons to use as blunt instruments as well as colossal fishing nets stuffed full of hapless victims and fish. Lots of fish. Kraken-eaters are also noted for being older than most gargants, being basically grouchy senior citizens who yell at everyone to get off their lawn. Though the more “tame” ones are capable of holding a “pleasant” conversation with other factions that hire them, making them the prime choice for Order factions when they want a Gargant mercenary. This still won’t prevent them from working with another faction to stomp on their former allies though. They lead pseudo crime-syndicates called Taker Tribes, where they boss around Mancrushers to steal all the loot they can find and fight against anyone who comes onto their turf.
- Warstomper: The epitome of the Gargant race and warmonger by any other name. Above all other sub-species, Warstompers love collecting trophies and trinkets from their flattened foes, using them to decorate their grotesque forms. The most intelligent of their kind display a malevolent level of cunning, actively trying to stop wars from ending so they can keep on fighting. To do so, they will join the losing side to drag out the war, kill surrendering troops, and hunt down and consume peaceful ambassadors. This makes them very popular among Chaos hordes who see the Warstomper as a gift from the gods. Expectedly, as they accumulate chaos runes and other mutations, Warstomper can slowly be warped into fully Chaos aligned creatures. Gargants led by a Warstomper are referred to as a Stomper Tribe and act as walking natural disasters who live only for the thrill of active combat.
- Gatebreaker: These bitter big boys have an obsession with tearing down strongholds, and then using the wreckage as armor and weapons (some even appreciating the irony in these makeshift armaments). This obsession originates from a loathing of all civilized life, seeing them as the reason why Behemat is dead. Gatebreakers often wear crudely made cowls out of looted flags and banners in the style of an executioner’s mask, as they see themselves as the executioner of the cities they destroy. Gatebreakers are commonly found among the processions of Death armies, as they often leave the best spoils to the Mega-Gargants, though staying around a bunch of smelly necromancers and vampires will occasionally twist the Gatebreaker into a thoughtless thrall who can survive on little to no sustenance. They lead the aptly named Breaker Tribes, cults of personality where the Mancrushers seek to emulate their boss’ loathing of civilization and specialize in tearing down fortifications and other symbols of order.
- Bonegrinder: The largest and rarest of all Sons of Behemat, twice as tall as the common Mancrusher and still head and shoulders bigger than the other Mega-Gargants. These absolute behemoths see themselves as the reincarnations of Behemat and try to bully everyone into serving on them hand and foot. So why don’t they lead the Gargant Stomps? It’s unclear (aside from a lack of official tabletop rules), though a likely explanation is a combination of their supreme levels of clumsiness and being incredibly dull, even for a Gargant. The few times they do show up though, it’s a sure fire sign that this Stomp means business.
- King Brodd: The self-professed “Last True Son of Behemat”, King Brodd is the absurdly strong and intelligent master of the Gargant Stomps native to the Scabrous Sprawl. He claims to have crawled out of the Titansmawr fully grown and declared himself leader. After pulverizing all belligerent challengers, he has cemented his rule and stated his ambition to reclaim his ancestral home of Tor Crania from the vile Cygors and other Beasts of Chaos that toppled it. Brodd never goes anywhere without two things; a crown made from the skull of a mouldragon he killed bare-handed, and a massive granite pillar that serves as his personal weapon and symbol of his right to lead the Sons of Behemat. During the Realmgate Wars, Brodd was caught up in a massive explosion which slew Stormcast, Gargants, and Beastmen, for miles. Though it is heavily implied that he survived and is continuing to lead his tribe in a quest to avenge Behemat's death, which will undoubtedly bring him to blows with the Stormcast Eternals.
- Bundo Whalebiter: Mercenary Kraken-eater who can ally with the forces of Order. The Idoneth artifact that hangs from his ear is filled with Aetherquartz and increases his intellect to where he can use ancient strategies like “patience” and may even be able to read. He’s even smart enough to know when he’s being cheated in a deal by the Kharadron Overlords. Bundo’s now signature ear piece has since been mimicked by other Gargants...to varying levels of success. He has his own tribe called the Rondhol Stomp that has terrorized its way across the continent of Rondhol in Ghur.
- One-Eyed Grunnock: Mercenary Warstomper who can ally with the hordes of Chaos, who in turn highly seek after him to aid them in battle. Originally known as Grunnock Battle-krasha, he decided to try and topple the Ivory Citadel of the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Not too long after his initial (and failed) attack, he witnessed the Bonereapers trying to make peace with the Kharadron Overlords. Outraged by the prospect of no more fighting, he bullrushed the two parties and squashed the Arkanaut Admiral and Liege Kavalos in charge of the two armies. He took a full fusillade of aethershot to the face that destroyed his eye, and from then on he became One-Eyed Grunnock, seeking endless war to subdue his roaring headache. Grunnock has a crude understanding of how important regiments and formations are in combat, so he specializes in disrupting said ranks with earth shaking stomps and jumps.
- Big Drogg Fort-Kicka: Mercenary Gatebreaker who can ally with the processions of Death. A native of Hallost in the Ossiarch Empire, his main reason for allying with Death armies is that he hopes to gain the attention and trust of Nagash...so he can club him in the back when the god of death isn’t looking. Despite this, Big Drogg is still seen as a traitor and outcast by other Destruction factions, especially after he turned on an Orruk horde when Mannfred von Carstein bribed him with three barrels of royal blood. His oral hygiene is so atrocious that his rotten breath has become its own form of attack, wiping out hordes of enemies that dare to stray too close to him.
- Brawlsmasha: Mercenary Bonegrinder who can only ally with fellow Destruction factions. It’s rumored that this Titan was found as a baby by an Ironjawz Warclan and decided to raise him as a living weapon. Now fully grown, he wields the gargantuan Mega-Club of Gork to flatten entire regiments and inspires all Orruks around him to greater acts of violence.
- Argol Brightfist: A mysteriously benevolent Mega-Gargant native to the fallen continent of Donse in Ghur. Those who have seen him will take note of the mish-mash of colorful rags that adorns his body. He leads a motley Stomp of Gargants against the forces of Chaos that decimated their home millennia ago and slew their ten elder Gargants. On occasion, he will lend a stomping foot or two to anyone who is assailed by the Slaves to Darkness. Because of his unique disposition, the Grand Conclave of Excelsis has petitioned many adventures to go in search of Argol in hopes of securing his services in the fight against Chaos.
- Baran: A Kraken-eater who once helped the Freeguilders and Kharadron hunt down a lake monster that was scoffing down ships. Pretty cool and bro-tier for a Gargant, explaining a bit about his people to a Freeguild captain and even giving the guy a sword for "helping" kill the kraken (the dude leaped off a Kharadron Ironclad and stabbed the Kraken in the eye, losing his sword. So no surprise the Kraken-eater thought he was a cool dude). Baran later met the same Captain on the other side of the battlefield, and ignored a heartfelt plea for friendship to prevail in favour of picking up said Cpt and squashing him like an overipe grapefruit. The power of friendship at work people.
- The Murgg Brothers: Broguph, Slorgo, and Mangor are a trio of Warstompers hired by Skragrott the Loonking to aide in his siege of the Tuskvault, a Stormvault rumored to contain a shard from Gorkamorka’s own club, a weapon intended for the eldest of the brothers Broguph. Skragrott had amassed a massive contingent of different Destruction factions, so much so that he convinced the Fist of Gork Gordrakk himself to lead it. The siege was thwarted by a combined effort of Sylvaneth, Fyreslayers, and Stormcast, with an enraged Mangor unintentionally bringing down a whole mountain that buried the Tuskvault once more. Shortly thereafter, Gordrakk (forcefully) recruited the Brothers for his own campaign; marching on the free city of Excelsis.
- Old Ropey: A horrifying and enigmatic Mega-Gargant that stalks the blighted isle of Decrepita in Ghyran. He’s named so for the ropes of mouldering flesh that hang from his belly and drag along the ground where ever he roams. The unfortunates who are caught by Old Ropey are wrapped up in these rotting muscles where they are slowly absorbed into the Mega-Gargant like an undead fungus. Alarielle has sent numerous Glades to put down this living(?) ghost story, but no one can ever seem to find Old Ropey...unless he wants to be found.
Music to Listen to While Playing these Big Lads
- Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest - The Kraken: Hans Zimmer doling out a healthy serving of goosebumps once again.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion “Decisive Battle”: For the madman who will undoubtably paint some Evangelion Gargants.
- Anything from the Godzilla films, the Heisei era and GMK specifically stand out.
|Playable Factions in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar|