I didn’t manage to get much done on the Rebel Grots last week so I thought I’d put up the next chapter of their background for today’s post.
After his defeat on Malichor III Grottrogg and Ro-Twang returned to Dakka to lick their wounds and fume. Grottrogg was furious at being beaten, but he was even more furious when he discovered that the rebellion was contagious. The gretchin who had come back to Dakka shared stories of the grot revolution and word spread like wildfire. The boldest of the grots on Dakka defected and slipped away into the underhives. They formed into small bands and vied with the underhive gangs for territory of their own. Many of them died but the ones who survived became stronger and more cunning. The most successful of these bands sent recruiters to coax more and more grots into abandoning their orkish masters for a chance at freedom. Some even struck out across the ash wastes in ramshackle caravans to spread the revolution from hive to hive.
Grottrogg raged at the audacity of the rebels but Ro-twang was amused and intrigued. Although they thrived in the underhives and were impossible to fully eradicate, they were easily suppressed and proved no real threat. Most of the grots were too timid to defect and beside that, Dakka has billions of human slaves who are even better at administration and maintenance than the grots. Although the revolution was no greater threat to their empire than any other scum crawling through the underhives there were two things about the rebels that had caught Ro-twang’s attention.
The first thing that intrigued him about the rebels was their dedication. Typically the more ferocious grots could be armed and herded into battle with the promise of victory and loot. Although they were a tremendous source of amusement they were not particularly effective and were very easily driven off the battlefield in the face of any real threat. But the rebels, having tasted actual freedom, fought viciously to maintain it. And through fighting for their freedom they had become more effective than any gretchin he’d seen.
The second thing that he’d noticed was how easily they adapted to human technology. Most ork weapons were too cumbersome for the gretchin to wield comfortably but the equipment they were able to steal or buy from the underhive gangers is light enough to allow the grots to utilize their natural dexterity. The rifles have the accuracy to allow them to be effective at distances more suited gretchin sensibilities. As a mek, it was this affinity for human technology that really got him excited. On Dakka they had warehouses full of guns that were too small for orks to wield, tanks too small and complicated to be effectively crewed by orks. He was highly impressed by the engines for war that his human assistants demonstrated for him but by the time he’d adapted them to the ork physique they just didn’t seem to work the same way.
“Boss, I know these uppity grots ‘ave got you in fits but I’ve had a idea dat I tink you’re gonna like.”
“Ave ya figgered out how ta wipe out all da little bastards on dat rock up dere? I fink if we wipe dat out da ones down ‘ere will git scared enough ta quit.”
“No, Boss. I say we let ’em keep it. Der’s nuffin up dere but umie food and the umies we got here seem to do fine on da fungus.”
“Are you goin’ soft on me?” Grottrogg bellowed, “I oughta crack yer skull fer that! We can’t let dem drop-crawlas get da best of us and get away wif it! I’d rather turn da big gunz on it and burn the whole thing den let dose little bastards tink “
“Hear me out, Boss. We’s not gonna let ’em off da hook. We’s gonna go back dere and show ’em we’s dead ‘ard. But den we’s gonna make a deal wif ’em. ..”
With Ro-twang’s plan laid out, a new Waaagh was sent to Malichor III. This time a contingent of Imperial pattern tanks were deployed with human crews assembled from the remains of the planetary defense force that had been defeated on Dakka. Using the Russes as a mobile defensive wall the Basilisks and Griffons were moved into range of Grot’s Landing, the military compound where the gretchin has set up their primary base. After days of shelling the compound was devastated and hundreds of gretchin were killed. At the same time the planetary defense batteries on one of Dakka’s moons unleashed a volley of shots on the planet, tearing massive holes through the countryside as a demonstration of Grottrogg’s firepower.
Having made his point, Grottrogg called a cease-fire and instructed the rebels to send forth their leaders for negotiation. In recognition of his superior firepower the gretchin complied, sending their five highest ranking survivors to meet with Grottrogg and Ro-twang. To their surprise and relief they discovered that the Orks had not come to wipe them out, they had come to hire them! In return for trained and motivated gretchin recruits, the rebels would be allowed to stay. The tanks used for the siege were left with the grots along with a large shipment of rifles and other equipment. These would guarantee the gretchin could maintain control on Malichor III and they would be used to train an army that would answer the call to Waaagh under Grottrogg’s banner. The planet was renamed “Gretchin Moon” (Gretchin Moon and Dakka are actually co-orbital planets, but the Orks don’t care for such distinctions.) Their reliance on Dakka manufactured equipment, and their understanding that they were always in range of Dakka’s wrath, would keep them from getting too big for their britches.
Back on Dakka the level of defections dropped but the bands of rebels were allowed to remain in the underhives. A new gretchin infantry core was created where those who prove themselves worthy are trained in the use of human equipment and pressed into service alongside the mercenaries from Gretchin Moon. In battle they can earn a golden moon token which will allow them to return to Gretchin Moon instead of Dakka, but few actually survive long enough to make that return trip.
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