“OI! Lissen ta me wen I’z talkin’ to ya! We’z gonna go on ‘dere ship, we’z gonna smash it up an’ kill anyfing dat gets in our way, an’ den we’z gonna get back on da boat an’ go home. Dat’ll show ‘em. Do you lot of ‘umie runts unnastand dat? Good. Now, wiv me: WAAAGH!”
There are those who would claim that the Orks are not the greatest of spacefaring races, that their ships and weapons are unreliable constructions of scrap and parts salvaged from the ships of other races, crudely refitted by luck rather than judgment. There are others, however, who point to the fact that the Orks can be encountered in every corner of the galaxy and the supposed limitations of their technology have not held them back from being some of the most feared and effective pirates in the galaxy. Their ships are massively armed and loaded with Orks eager for a fight, and an Ork’s natural love of violence and acquisition make him a terror to other space-faring races.
Ork Freebooterz want more of everything: more weapons to grow stronger, more salvage to build ships and war machines, and more wealth for prestige among their kind. While many items captured in raids are of little use to the Orks, such plunder is valued highly by other races that fight and die to protect it. Thus, the value lies in the opportunity for battle, and no Ork shirks from a good fight! Orks rarely organize above the level of a single ship. However, small fleets can form around a particularly charismatic or successful Ork leader, known as a Kaptin. To the mind of an Ork Freebooter, two things are uppermost: battle lust and greed. In the Expanse, Orks are usually encountered in small raiding ships, roughly the same size as an Imperial escort vessel. However, the size of an Ork ship is deceptive: invariably, the ship is crammed with a green tide of Orks, which ensures that any boarding action is likely to only go one way.
An attack by Ork Freebooterz tends to be brutal and direct, with the Ork ships rushing headlong toward the enemy firing every gun they have before ramming and boarding their victims. The directness of an Ork Freebooter attack does not mean, however, that an Ork Freebooter Kaptin lacks cunning. Orks often lurk in asteroid fields on the edges of systems where they cannot be seen by the sensors of ships passing to or from the void. Ambushes on convoys of supply ships from this kind of hidden position are common, and even small fleets or warships are not unheard of. Should an Ork Freebooter Kaptin feel the need for bigger prey, the crew may descend on an inhabited world or space station, loot and burn it, and withdraw to their ships and the protection of a debris field. If, however, the Orks of a Freebooterz fleet are really spoiling for a big fight, they are likely to brutalize a world or station and just wait and see who or what turns up to try and stop them.
The Orks are a matter of growing concern to explorers of the Koronus Expanse, and to the authorities of the nearby Calixis Sector. But some see the gathering hordes of Greenskins as an opportunity, for a great many of those Orks are Freebooterz, inclined to lend out their services as mercenaries to anyone and everyone for the right price. While Orks will often use teeth as currency, Freebooterz understand the actual value of objects and often demand their payment in equipment or other objects they might find useful.
In the service of humans, Freebooterz are often hired singly, the potential risk of gathering together a mob of Orks amongst humans being too great compared to the rewards, even for Rogue Traders not normally adverse to risk. Those who do employ Freebooterz are well advised to keep them busy, as a bored Ork aboard a starship can lead to dangerous complications. Line Freebooterz serve as brutal enforcers, combat specialists and terror weapons, the Orks themselves happy to do anything so long as they get their share of the profits and have ample opportunities for violence.
Freebooterz tend to be more open-minded than most Orks, willing to see non-greenskins as something other than enemies, and often inclined to learn other languages. Freebooterz often affect piratical or naval-style outfits---mixed haphazardly with the squighide leather and scavenged armor plates that Orks typically wear. Their melee weapons tend to skew towards “bigger is better” weapons, capable of disabling an enemy in one decisive crushing blow. Ranged weapons follow a similar trend, the louder the weapon the better. Orks often describe this phenomenon as “shootier” or “more dakka”.
The lifespan of Orks is unknown, and it has been speculated that they simply continue living until they die in battle, growing ever larger and more battle-scarred as years, decades or even centuries of warfare pass. Some of the Orks in the Expanse, carried there by the uncertain tides of the Warp, may be centuries-old veterans, bringing with them the experience of a lifetime of unrelenting violence. Such Orks are, where they can be found on their own, highly sought-after as mercenaries, their great size and strength unsurpassed by any unaugmented human being and their resilience sometimes even surpassing the mighty warriors of the Adeptus Astartes.
The Rising Green Tide of the ExpanseEdit
Ork Freebooterz lurk throughout the Koronus Expanse. From crude stations built in asteroid fields or debris clouds, numerous Ork Freebooter Kaptins lead their fleets to loot whatever they can find and fight whoever crosses their path. Even the relatively explored systems close to the Maw have all felt the iron fist of Ork piracy; in the past Footfall itself has come under attack from the ships of Ork Kaptins who had become powerful enough to command great swarms of gunships and kroozers. Luckily for those journeying into the Expanse, the presence and predations of the many Ork Freebooter fleets is haphazard and without unified purpose, and they are often inclined to war upon their own kind as much as anything else.
The Orks dominate a tract of worlds within the Expanse known as Undred-Undred Teef. They exist in untold numbers, spawning like a plague within the Koronus Expanse, and the rising tally of worlds and vessels that these pirates have sacked suggests that their numbers are growing. The Ork Freebooterz are becoming a dire threat to the Expanse.
The more Orks there are the bigger and meaner an Ork must be to become the leader. The more powerful the leader (called a “Warboss” in the Ork parlance), the more likely he is to gather together a huge force and batter his way across the stars. No such supreme leader has emerged from the mass of warring Orks in Undred-Undred Teef, but it can only be a matter of time.
One of the most prominent Freebooterz in the Expanse is making a bid for overall leadership of Undred-Undred Teef---Morgaash Kulgraz. Morgaash is a cunning and ambitious Freebooter Kaptin. He is taking ruthless advantage of the numerical superiority of the Flash Gitz and Freebooterz in Undred-Undred Teef, as well being bigger and harder than all the other warbosses, to support his rise to power.