LIZTEN UP YA GITZ! IT IS TIME TO KRUMP DA IMPERIUM, DA CHAOS GITZ, DA ELDAR PANZIES, DA TAU SKINNIEZ AND DA ZOGGIN BUGZ CAUSE I AM THE WARLORD! BLESSED BY GORK AND MORK'EMSELVS! WAAAAAGGHHH!
Warlordz are the biggest of the big, the head honcho of an entire Ork empire, the bigwigs of the Greenskins, the alpha alpha wolf, that one big motherfucker of all Ork-kind. These are the guyz you see bossing even Warbosses around. Warlordz are thus fucking huge, as in "the size of a fucking METAL BOX" huge. Whereas a Warboss may lead a single Ork Warband on a single planet, a Warlord rules over multiple star systems with underling Warbosses acting as advisors.
The Warlord consolidates power through cunning, ruthlessness and sheer force of will, bringing together disparate Ork tribes, mobs, and warbands under his banner to serve some greater purpose. Usually, this greater purpose is simply to sweep through star systems to fight as many fights as they can and to collect as much treasure as they can carry. Occasionally, however, such an army turns into a full-blown WAAAGH!, numbering in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of Orks, and can pose a grave threat to even the most strongly fortified Sector or Segmentum (Just look at The Beast for example). Army upon army will flock to the banner of a prominent Warlord until he commands a horde of terrifying size. Ork Warlordz often command forces so large that they can wipe out entire armies and conquer whole star systems with the greenskinned fury of a WAAAGH!
An Ork Warlord is always intimidating in his war panoply, as a fierce appearance is essential when ruling with an iron fist. He will claim the lion's share of the spoils of war, even if it means strangling a few Deathskulls Lootas that have got to them first. Warlords often ride at the head of their armies in clanking great Battlewagons or Battlefortresses covered in personal glyphs and banners. Or sometimes their very own Gargant if they manage to have one built. (This entirely depends on whether the Warlord thinks getting stuck in personally to show the example or yelling orders from atop an awesome moving shrine to Gork and Mork is the most effective way to lead.)
Like a Warboss, whenever a Warlord is killed, the largest Ork Nob (Although in this case it will be other Warbosses) in his retinue will take his place, after brutally restoring order among the klan or WAAAGH! and establishing himself as the new Warlord. At times a Warlord's authority may be challenged by his rivals. The outcome of such struggles for power can be resolved in a number of ways. Some Orks prefer low kunnin' (such as assassination or ambush), whilst others will engage in some ritual duel, whether simple brawls, or more elaborate ritual contests such as the famous "Eadbuttin' Kontest" where two Orks keep headbutting one another until one of the contestants passes out from cranial trauma. Among the Orks present in the Jericho Reach, the second option is much preferred, and every Ork settlement in the Reach possesses a fighting pit where the outcome of such challenges can be determined. In fact, many of these pit fights are used as a crude form of Greenskin judicial system, with the outcome of the fight resolving any kind of dispute over loot or position.
Boss Poles and Trophies
Orks judge the worth of a Warlord by the quantity and quality of the enemies he has overcome. The Warlords of ages past adorned their thrones and trophy racks with the skulls of their rivals. The modern spacefaring Ork has a far wider range of foes to conquer, and takes great pleasure in twisting off the heads of his hardiest foes and displaying them for all to see. Space Marine helmets usually occupy a place of pride on a Warlord's trophy rack (this is because of the rarity of Space Marine helmets found on 'umies in leadership positions). To display the remains of the finest warriors of Humanity upon a trophy rack is a great testament to a Warlord's prowess and right of leadership. Furthermore, Space Marine helmets come in a variety of bright colours; a real plus for the more ostentatious Warlord. To commemorate past victories over vanquished foes, Warlords will often display a boss pole, a tall pole with a cross arm about a quarter of the way from the top, worn on the Boss' back when he rides into battle. Hung from the boss pole above the Boss' head are a number of banners, pennants, trinkets, gubbins, and skulls of various vanquished enemies.
There have been so many Warlordz since the 10,000 years after old Empy was given the boot to the Golden Toilet. Here are the most notable examples of Warlordz that plagued or is plaguing the Imperium.
- The Beast - There was, in truth, no single Beast but, rather, an alliance of six Warbosses. The exact specifics of their arrangement, if one was considered above the others or even if they were somehow the same being with six bodies, was never made clear as they all died rather shortly after being revealed. They were the most famous of Orks, The Beasts were FUCK HUEG Orks even by Warlord standards. They were the size of a damned Titan and were so powerful and intelligent that they even formed Ork diplomats of all things. Heck they was so powerful they all but destroyed the Imperial Fists and then went on a joyride straight to Holy Terra, the most heavily defended region in the Galaxy, although at the time the Imperium did not respond effectively to their intrusion, holding back important military assets due to internal bickering. They were so bad that it even made the Iron Warriors, of all people, feel disgusted. Their legacy literally created the Ordo Xenos, the Deathwatch and the Ork Klanz. Was able to match a Primarch blow for blow, which is about as powerful as one gets in this setting without being a straight up God.
- Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka - The other famous Warlord, and now Prophet of the WAAAGH! by the decree of Gork and Mork themselves. Ghazghkull gained a promotion from Warboss to Warlord after his fun little defeat on Armageddon. Has a weird Tsundere relationship with Yarrick which creates plenty of disturbing images for /tg/. Is on his way to Octarius to join the great clusterfuck and krump some Nids.
- Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter - While his status might be a bit skubby, Gorgutz's strength of getting out of situations has made him a sort of quasi-Warlord-in-the-making as he has certain influences over other Nobz and Warbosses from other planets such as Kaurava. Has a habit of collecting heads on his pointy stikk and escaping impossible situations.
- Tuska Daemon-Killa - One of the lulziest Warlordz. Tuska was widely known for going inside a Khornate Daemon World with his band of merry Boyz before raising hell (quite literally in this sense) on said Daemon World. They all died fighting but Khorne was so impressed that he resurrected Tuska and his gang over and over again in an endless bloodbath. Both sides literally loving the heck out of it and is closest thing 40k has to a happy ending.