A Treatise on Waaagh Norgrund
19/10/2009 in Warhammer 40K
Transmitted: Optima Listening Post, Charadon space, co-ordinates 3349274-5t6q182-464656a.
Received: Salora Optimus, Gateway station
Astropath: Cahrl Orbane, Ordo Xenos
Ref: Threat Assessment/Orkoid/231293
Collated by: Adept Godrick, Ordo Xenos
Thought: To slay righteously is to pray
Subject: A Treatise on Waaagh Norgrund
I present here our preliminary findings regarding the nature of Ork Warlord Norgrund and his campaign against our most holy Imperium. The account contains some interesting information regarding Imperial forces and other activities within the Charadon Empire.
Some of the information we have received was transmitted by an Astartes Librarian of the Minotaurs Chapter. I can only presume that he used his abilities as a last resort to transmit such vital information across enemy space. The Librarian himself did not survive.
Please be advised that much of the Librarian’s psychic transmission was fragmented during the sending, presumably as his sanity fractured under the strain. The sensitive nature of this information forces me to commit this record to data-cube rather than rely on a human relay system.
As is common with transmissions that are made under duress, background noise is evident in places. The doomed Minotaur was not only recording his own monologue, he sent everything that was happening around him as well.
MINOTAUR LIBRARIAN: “…this information must be passed on to someone who can do something about it. Segmentum Command must be informed. Everything depends upon the speed of Imperial response. Let not the wheels of war be slow in turning. The greenskinned devils are drowning human space in this Segmentum beneath a tidal wave of death. Armageddon is happening again, and we do not possess the strength to do more than slow them down. Even now orks clamour at the firebase walls. My brothers are fallen. Only a few Guardsmen survive, and I am too injured to fight further. We have set the self-destruct mechanism… oh the sea of green… the skies are darkened by alien aircraft… not only is this world lost, it may never be reclaimed… there are millions of Orks upon the surface. Where, by the Primarch, do they all come from?”
UNIDENTIFIED HUMAN MALE VOICE 1: “For the Emperor, stand and fight, you whelps! Who are you, Eldar or Imperial Guard? Show some backbone –“
MINOTAUR LIBRARIAN: “Ork forces gather strength in the Galthor region. Our surgical strikes were not effective at breaking enemy morale. I repeat, psychological warfare is ineffective. The orks respond only to brute force.
“Whole companies of my brothers are lost. The Imperium still controls this sector, but at a terrible cost in terms of men and resources.
“Imperial Guard armoured divisions have made some headway. I fear they will become stranded within enemy territory. My… wounds are too great. I am overcome.”
UNIDENTIFIED HUMAN MALE VOICE 2: “Reinforcements are required in sub-sectors K1 through K7. Repeat, sub-sectors Kappa 1 through Kappa 7. These sub-sectors are in alien hands. Military support is urgently required. I repeat…”
Notes: The transmission does not actually finish there, but we have been unable to translate the rest. The astropathic relay from whom we received this information died from the mind-shock of receipt. Data from the Ordo Xenos continues to spill through and we are attempting to use this information, along with collated Imperial Guard battle data, to build a clear picture of the developing situation within the Charadon Empire.
Data pieced together from other message fragments indicate Astartes forces within this region include the Ultramarines, Raptors, Hellhawks Head Hunters and evidently at least one company of Minotaurs. All reports indicate Imperial forces are close to being overwhelmed.
WAAAGH NORGRUND – FIRST CONTACT
In 988.M41, the Ultramarine Astartes reported a significant increase in orkoid activities within the Charadon Empire. This region of space has been volatile for millennia, a well-known breeding ground for the green-skinned vermin. As my lord is undoubtedly aware, alien empires have swelled and waned throughout this region and perhaps a hundred orks have assumed the mantle of Warlord within that region over the past Millennium. As such, the Ultramarines’ reports were not regarded as especially significant.
Then in 992.M42, the rogue trader vessel Exkalibre, pursuing its chartered trade with the xenos species known as the Tertia (ref. xenos/species/neutral/98), arrived at its destination to find the entire Tertian colony devastated by an orbital assault. Surveyor sweeps indicated that much of the remaining populace had been enslaved by their attackers. The entirety of this slave force was producing munitions or building war machines under duress.
The oppressors were identified as orks, a particularly ferocious group according to reports.
The Exkalibre delivered the Emperor’s mercy to a continent of Tertian slaves before being forced to retreat by a “surprising number” or ork vessels which “came out of nowhere”.
A single ork vessel managed to deliver a boarding party numbering some fifty heavily-armoured greenskins, inflicting more than sixty per cent casualties on the Exkalibre crew before Captain Browne decompressed three decks, flushing the surviving orks into the void. By all accounts the shotcannon and auto-weapons used by the vessel’s armsmen barely slowed the armoured aliens.
By all accounts it was a miracle Browne’s vessel held together long enough to reach the Oblique system.
A joint Mechanicus/Navy investigation of the damaged ship revealed nothing new about the ork weapons or tactics involved. It is not uncommon for leadership caste orks to display their abominable status by wearing barbaric plate armour. The Magos Biologis investigation of alien corpses, however, was more interesting; so much so that many of the details were quickly classified as the Ordo Xenos exerted its authority.
What we do know is that the orks were indeed leadership caste, with no evidence of lesser caste involvement. This would not be the first time a boarding force comprised solely of these “Nobz” (the orkoid term for “noble” rather than an Imperial Guard insult) had attacked a human vessel, but such instances are rare.
Captain Browne has sworn that surveyor readings of the Tertian colony showed the majority of orks within detection range were of the leadership caste. If this is true, the Exkalibre survivors were lucky indeed to have escaped. In all previously reported encounters, the majority of orks undertaking military actions were of the warrior caste. The Magos Biologis are unable to verify Browne’s observations due to extensive systems and data-core damage.
By 995.M41 the Ultramarines were requesting additional Astartes forces be deployed to several now classified regions throughout Charadon. By my humble estimate there were seven full-strength chapters of Astartes already present. My sources inform me that companies of Raptors, Maledictors, Black Lions, Storm Ravens and the entire Hellhawk Chapter have since arrived in the area.
At some point in 998.M41, the Hellhawks in particular had distinguished themselves to such an extent that the Master of the Ultramarines ceded control of one entire Charadonian quadrant to them. The Hellhawks’ successes are blighted by a series of run-ins with another Chapter who have since been identified as the Sons of Light.
The Hellhawks reported a series of running space battles with a greenskin fleet which was personally commanded by the ork warlord responsible for the attack on the Tertian colony and the Starship Exkalibre. This warlord identified itself as Norgrund, the first known contact with this particular warlord.
Norgrund directly challenged the Hellhawk Chapter Master Averius Bale via ship vox-link, announcing plans to “roll into human space” and “flatten da pinkies an’ brownies”. While skin colour is of little importance between human cultures within the Imperium, Norgrund seemed interested in the human race as a whole, although no-one currently understands why.
The Hellhawks simply state that Norgrund displays an “ego the size of a space hulk” and a belief in his “natural superiority to humans”. Bale himself went on record to state that “Norgrund wishes to become involved in a larger campaign than any other ork warlord in history. He may believe that he can repel or even topple the human Imperium. Certainly, his activities throughout this region are immodest in scale.”
This first contact resulted in an inconclusive fleet action during which both sides were mauled. Fighting was halted when a Star-Beast of Charadon emerged from its asteroid lair, forcing both fleets to disengage rapidly.
While no single ork Warlord has ever possessed the military strength to threaten our entire Imperium, Norgrund seems determined to amass it. While this is unlikely to succeed given the vast human forces which would oppose any full-scale incursion, the Imperium is already torn between battling Tyranids and the recent, so-called “Black Crusade”; we must therefore err on the side of caution in our dealings with Norgrund, and eliminate the threat he represents before it reaches its peak.
THE NATURE OF WAAAGH NORGRUND
Little is known of warlord Norgrund himself. Scholars have theorised that as all orks live for battle, Norgrund is merely attempting to outdo its rivals by starting a conflict with humans to rival the Wars for Armageddon. Even the Charadonian orks seem aware of events within the Armageddon system, though in reality there can be few major races in our Emperor’s galaxy who have not turned eyes towards that epic conflict.
Those who have come into contact with Norgrund’s armies insist that Norgrund is not like other greenskins. Some claim that he is, in fact, driven by a deep-rooted hatred of all human life, despite repeated insistence by senior Biologis personnel that orks do not experience such emotions; orks actually tend to favour conflict with humans and will seek out Imperial worlds to attack in preference to almost any other foe, not due to genocidal hatred, but simply due to the fact that humanity is the only species that has always proven able to oppose them in violent, large-scale actions.
Humans also control large portions of the galaxy, rendering entire swathes of the stars uninhabitable for alien life. Conflict with the equally far-flung orkoid species has always been an accepted fact of life for both races.
What is known for certain is that Norgrund has ignored the Hive Fleet Perseus incursion in favour of confronting the Adeptus Astartes. Various minor Waaagh campaigns have apparently been consumed by Perseus without Norgrund’s intervention, which further indicates his strength relative to rival greenskins in the Charadon region.
Survivors of Norgrund’s incursions into Imperial space agree with the unlikely assessment that the greenskins are attempting to take the galaxy by force, to finally break the back of our blessed Imperium so orks might rule the stars. A small amount of evidence exists to support such a belief among the greenskins who follow Norgrund’s banner.
Fragments of data suggest Waaagh Norgrund strikes suddenly, without warning. A preponderance of vehicles are deployed, effectively nullifying infantry as a viable counterforce. Even Imperial armoured divisions suffer in such battles due to the massive number of enemy vehicles. Swarms of ork fliers barrage our defences, literally hammering the defenders into submission through weight of numbers. This method of airborne attack has already destroyed several Astartes spearheads.
Preliminary strikes by the orks are directed against airfields and communications posts with no clear order of priority attached to either type of target. After establishing aerial supremacy, the orks begin to land swarms of foot soldiers, most of whom are transported from continent to continent in those vehicles which survive initial contact with the defenders.
Foot troops and vehicles work together with uncanny precision (for orks), covered all the while by their damnable air support.
The 33rd Horst Rifles, an Imperial Guard regiment about whom I have been unable to learn anything substantial, were the first humans to make substantial progress against Waagh Norgrund in open battle. Bolstered by forty-four Hydra flak tanks and a number of shoulder-mounted anti-air launchers, the Horsts were able to deal such crippling damage to an airborne ork assault that the aliens were forced to fall on extreme measures such as kamikaze attacks to inflict damage on the Guard, further reducing their own numbers in the process. The surviving senior officer of the Horst 33rd is quoted to have said, “These potbellied scum are nothing without their planes.”
The Horst regiment lead a spearhead of heavy Guard infantry backed up by mercenary platoons forced into recruitment by the Ordo Hereticus. Prepared for anti-armour combat, they made considerable headway against the ramshackle ork tanks, and engaged a sizeable horde of greenskin foot soldiers. Fragmentary reports indicate that the ork footsloggers were much bigger and stronger than the average greenskin soldier, their fists “big enough to crush a man’s neck”. It appears that the majority of these orks were leadership-caste.
This force of aliens attacked with astonishing ferocity, almost completely annihilating the humans in an engagement which lasted six hours. Only two men survived their wounds long enough to make a report to the reinforcing Mordian regiments whose superior firepower finally drove the orks back. The first survivor, a mercenary, infamously renounced the Emperor, indicating his belief that the might of the Imperium could not stand against Waagh Norgrund.
Mordian officers ordered him stripped naked and crucified on a heavily-travelled ork supply route where the aliens would be sure to find him; the reason being, if the heretic didn’t appreciate the efforts of his own species he could join the ork war effort instead.
It is whispered that Norgrund captured this heretic alive and fired him towards the Imperial field HQ from a captured Basilisk, a message of unknown content forced into the corpse’s mouth.
The second human survivor was an ordinary soldier who had fought the orks hand-to-hand, sustaining terrible injuries yet somehow fighting on. This man advised the Mordians never to allow one of “those bastard aliens” within five miles of their position, claiming that his force had only lasted for six hours in combat due to the huge number of men for the orks to hack through, and the preponderance of hiding-places among the battle wreckage. It was a shameful admission for a man who might otherwise have been regarded as a hero. The soldier was executed for his cowardice, removing his stain from the roll of Imperial honour.
For some reason the Horst military command has filed a “feud” against the Mordian Iron Guard. This has yet to be resolved.
The evidence presented to us makes it hard to understand the nature of Waagh Norgrund. On the one hand we have coordinated attacks from hordes of mechanised infantry supported by hundreds of fliers. On the other we have horrifying stories of large numbers of extremely brutal command caste orks enslaving worlds.
It appears that Norgrund has not simply gathered together every ork within reach and hurled them into battle. He has some form of consistent battle-plan, possibly multi-layered. This alone would make him a master strategist by ork standards.
The slave raids against human and xenos worlds – xenos species who have had little or nothing to do with orks at any point in history! – suggest that Norgrund has calculated at least some of the requirements for a full-scale war against the Imperium. Huge numbers of slaves are put to work building ammunition and, particularly, tanks and aircraft.
Of course, Norgrund cannot hope to bring the blessed Emperor’s immortal realm crashing down, but I must admit that on the basis of reports I have received, the orks could certainly deal a crippling blow to Imperial forces throughout Ultima Segmentum and Segmentum Obscurus.
Counter-strategies are already being formulated. The Ordos Malleus and Xenos are active throughout Charadon, as are an ever increasing number of human military forces. Battlefleet Ultima has reported that they have so far been able to prevent widespread ork expansion, limiting the aliens to a crawl through space one system at a time. So far no ships from Norgrund’s armada are known to have escaped Imperial picket lines.
Unfortunately further resources are limited at this time. The Imperium is still heavily engaged in cleaning up the mess at the Cadian Gate, and as Armageddon is a higher-profile combat zone than Charadon it is the primary destination for ork-hunters. Further, the Tyranids are encroaching upon our space, and the Biel-Tan eldar are foxing our every attempt to resupply regiments facing the expanding Tau Star Empire.
Until such time as a proper defence can be formulated I wholeheartedly recommend standard containment procedures continue to be enforced. Xenos cultures who may prove susceptible to ork domination should be destroyed and their worlds burned.
I await your reply my lord,
Your humble savant
* * * *
ADDENDUM: THE SITUATION ON TRANQ
“Urgent medical support is required on Tranq, a hive world with a population in excess of fifty-five
billion, where an unknown epidemic has broken out among the civilian population. With Tranq now under quarantine, it is unable to supply the war effort at all, and this situation is unacceptable.”
- Planetary Governor Reichsmuss
Tranq is a high-technology hive world on the fringe of Ultima Segmentum. Hellhounds and Sentinels assembled in its forges were exported into the Charadon Empire for use by anti-ork Guard regiments. Very large numbers of laser and plasma weaponry were also manufactured there. Unfortunately I was able to intercept the following Magos Biologis report on what they are caklling the “Tranq Situation”:
“It appears that an outbreak of neural plague has broken out among the hive-dwellers of Tranq. The source of this outbreak is undetermined. Casualties currently stand at eleven million, with whole sections of the tertiary hive under military quarantine. There are no known Chaos cults within the hive which does not tally with the pattern of neural plague outbreaks across the wider Imperium. We estimate the tertiary hive will be completely overrun within two weeks. We lack the military resources to cleanse the hive and radical measures are being considered. Tranq itself is to be quarantined by a combined expedition of Biologis and the Inquisition.
“A quarter of military exports from this world were fabricated within the tertiary hive. Should any further manufacturing capability be lost, Tranq will have no effective military value. This situation must not be allowed to occur given the reliance local worlds have on munitions exports.”
As we can see, my Lord, events within the region continue to threaten Imperial stability. This outbreak of neural plague could not have come at a worse time. Tranq was also vital resource for Imperial Guard recruitment given its huge and rather violent population.
* * * *
Transmitted: Salora Optimus
Received: Caleda Space Station
Collated by: [Classified]
Thought: The dawn of our glory follows the darkest night
Subject: Re: A treatise on Waagh Norgrund
Well done. A most interesting read. I intend to return within the next two standard years. I am caught up in the business of exterminating the Lyaad, who have shown signs of warp mutation (approximately one in three hundred thousand of their newborns are deformed – such blasphemy!).
Tranq is to be subjected to total viral bombardment if it is beyond medium-term salvation. The weak must be removed from the gene-pool; imagine what would happen if it became known that a mystical plague was reducing Imperial citizens to the state of ravening, mindless monsters who cannibalise the uninfected.
You may disseminate the following information to the civilian authorities. Make it look like an unintentional leak. Ensure that no fewer than fifteen of your least capable staff are implicated and have them shot or preferably hung; our departmental budget has been reduced.
“The hive-world Tranq requires Biologis support in the interest of protecting human civilisation from what has been positively identified as a viral contagion unleashed by orkoid sabotage.
Waagh Norgrund has been effectively contained by the heroic efforts of our glorious armies; Norgrund itself is thought to be dead, killed during a magnificent holding action by the Horst 33rd.
“Ork warbands throughout the region are known to be vulnerable when they are unable to achieve air superiority. The xenos attack lightly defended targets at random but are not a threat and can be defeated by sustained fire from the Emperor’s soldiers who dare to stand up and fight!
“We estimate it will be a matter of one or two decades before the orks are defeated. There is no threat to the stability of the Charadon region and the greater Imperium will endure.”
See that this information is leaked immediately. Report back on its effects on morale one year after it has been disseminated. Ensure that you keep me informed of the developing situation in the region, for I am gravely concerned by your findings to date.