Freebooterz are piratical Orks who exist on the fringe of Ork Kultur. They are bandits and sell-swords belonging to no specific tribe or clan but who will work with any tribe as well as stand against any other if the price is right. Freebooterz are Ork warbands that are composed of an amalgam of Ork mobs from several different warbands or Orks who have separated themselves from their former clan by choice or through exile. These roving bands are composed of renegades, bandits, pirates and other outcasts.
Some of these Orks are fugitives, eccentrics and the remnants of shattered Greenskin tribes and clans, so it is hardly surprising that many Freebooterz have very treacherous and unpleasant characters indeed -- even by Ork standards. Following the ravages of war or some other disastrous disruption of their lives, some Orks abandon what is left of their tribe and join one of these roving bands. Most Freebooter Mobz hire themselves out as mercenaries, or else they can be persuaded to join in a battle with promises of loot. Among the Freebooterz are a handful of unstable individuals who are particularly dangerous and aggressive (again, even by Ork standards). These Orks wander off and tend to form their own small, roving band of pirates and corsairs. Naturally, they are eager for adventure, combat and booty and are quite happy to tag along with other Ork tribes and WAAAGH!s as mercenaries.
Forsaking their former clans' distinctive apparel, Freebooterz wear styles of dress intended to emphasize their mercenary status, decorating themselves in flamboyant clothing and piercings such as ear and nose rings. Having long since abandoned any tribal or clan loyalties, they have adopted highly personalised insignia in place of their former clan symbol. Some of these Orks prefer to remain anonymous, some want to forget, some want to start a new life, but most have simply forgotten who they were. Often they will employ what the Imperium has named the "Jolly Ork" skull and crossbones icon, a universal symbol of all Freebooterz. These mercenary Orks are known to use this sigil to adorn their banners, clothes and vehicles. Freebooterz are also recognized by the rag-tag appearance of their Ork bioniks, due to their lack of access to Painboyz or Mekboyz. Their injuries are often superficially treated, thus many Freebooterz sport peg-legs, hooks for hands and eye-patches.
The pirate band serves as these outcast Orks' new home. As a result, they roam the universe in small, often dilapidated Ork spacecraft, and hide out on isolated planets and large asteroids. The band is usually led by a hardened Warboss who prefers the title "Kaptin." These individuals are the biggest, strongest and most cunning cutthroat Orks within these mercenary warbands. They dress even more flamboyantly than their fellow Ork Freebooterz, often sporting large tricorne hats and thick greatcoats that can conceal numerous weapons.
There are those who would claim that the Orks are not the greatest of spacefaring races, that their voidships and weapons are unreliable constructions of scrap and parts salvaged from the ships of the other star-faring races, crudely refitted by luck rather than judgement. 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 organise 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 voidship 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 brutalise a world or void station and just wait and see who or what turns up to try and stop them.
Freebooterz in the Koronus ExpanseEdit
Ork Freebooterz lurk throughout the Koronus Expanse in the region of the Halo Stars beyond the Calixis Sector. From crude space 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.
- Freebooterz - Freebooterz are the typical Ork pirates, akin in almost every way to a standard mob of Ork Boyz.
- Flash Gitz - Those Ork Flash Gitz who acquire too many teef even for their fellow Gitz to stomach are often exiled from their clans and forced to join Freebooter bands.
- Outcast Warboss and Retinue - Sometimes Ork Warbosses get pushed out of their tribes by a new Warboss who does not succeed in slaying them. These giant Orks and their retinues of Nobs often become the foundations for a new Freebooterz band.
- Renegade Mekboyz - Some Freebooter bands are made up of Mekboyz from different tribes who have gathered togteher in pursuit of their common interest in a certain technology. This is true, for instance, of the Ork bikers who make up the Freebooter band of Wazdakka Gutsmek.
- Bad Docs - Many of the Ork Painboyz who have performed the infamous but popular "Squig Brain Transplant" get exiled from their tribes after only a few "successful" operations and find new lives among the Freebooterz, though whether this is actually an advatange or a hindrance is very much an issue.
- Renegade Runtherds - Those Ork Runtherds who begin to feel for their Gretchin and can no longer stand to see their Grots used as cannon fodder often leave their tribes behind and become Freebooterz, such as Zodgrod Wortsnagga.
- Renegade Speed Freaks - Some Ork Speed Freeks get exiled from their tribes for particularly destructive feats of vehicular derring-do. They inevitably end up among the forces of the Freebooterz.
- Dreadmob - Dreadmobs are those Ork Painboyz and Mekboyz who have devoted themselves entire to the construction of Deff Dreads often end up in Freebooter bands.
- Weirdboy Warpheadz - Those Weirdboyz who become addicted to their psychic powers often eventually become deadly dangers to their tribe and are forced into exile. Some of these renegade Ork psykers have even become daemonhosts, which makes them even more dangerous. However, there are many Ork Freebooterz that will still take in these Orks simply for the powers they can command.
- Freebooter Minderz - Particularly large or tough Orks often used by Freebooter bands as bodyguards for the Kaptin and enforcers of his will among his crew.
- Wild Ork Outlawz - Outlawz are Feral Orks whose only contact with more advanced Ork Kultur has been with Freebooter bands, whom they often join "ta see da 'verse."
- Ork Mutants - Some Orks develop mutations when exposed to the power of Chaos or other environmental mutagens just like humans or the other intelligent races. These Greenskins are shunned by their own people just as other mutants are, though they are sometimes accepted by the Freebooterz.
- Chaos Renegade Ork Warband - Orks are very rarely corrupted by Chaos, but some of the more vicious and militant Ork Kaptins will seek to serve the cause of the Dark Gods in return for the power they grant him. But for both the Ruinous Powers and the Orks, such alliances rarely end well.
- Khornate Stormboyz - Some Ork Stormboyz discover that the doctrines of the Blood God Khorne are right up their alley. Of course, they are usually ejected from their tribes for betraying the worship of Gork and Mork. Like other exiles they often become Freebooterz.
- Gretchin Bandits - Some Gretchin find the Freebooter lifestyle very appealing and come to believe that they can be as effective at pirating as the bigger Greenskins. Sometimes they are actually even right.
- Ork-Genestealer Brood - Among the most dangerous Freebooterz are those groups of Orks who have been infected by the DNA of a Tyranid Genestealer and produced the immensely powerful Ork-Genestealer Hybrids from their reproductive spores. These groups form Orkoid Genestealer Cults that often act as Freebooter pirates preying on Imperial commerical and passenger shipping to spread the infection. These Freebooterz are some of the most dangerous xenos in the galaxy.
- Badrukk - Better known as Kaptin Badrukk, Badrukk is one of the most infamous Ork Freebooterz or space pirates of all time. He has plied the stars in his steel-jawed Kill Kroozer Da Blacktoof for several blood-splattered decades. He is the commanding officer of the Ork pirate band known as "Badrukk's Flash Gitz" who have fought with many of the Ork Warbosses active in Imperial space, including most of the more recent Warlords and their WAAAGH!s. He holds forth to any that will listen that without the devatstaing weapons of his Gitz, many of those selfsame Warlords would have been long dead -- a claim that any who have seen this pirate band in action may well believe.
- Zodgrod Wortsnagga - Zodgrod Wortsnagga is an infamous Ork Runtherd who was exiled from the Snakebites Clan and became an Ork Freebooter, selling the services of his mercenary band of enhanced Gretchin, known as the "Supa-Runtz", to desperate Ork Warbosses and Warlords in need of troops.
- Wazdakka Gutsmek - Wazdakka Gutsmek is an Ork Mekboy and more specifically an Ork Bikeboy, perhaps the greatest to have ever lived, who currently serves as the Warlord of a WAAAGH! comprised entirely of Speed Freeks. He rides a heavily modifed Ork Warbike known as the "Bike of the Aporkalypse" that is outfitted with a monstrously powerful Shoota called the Dakkakannon that possess the ability to destroy even a tank.
- Old Zogwort - One of the most powerful Warpheads in existence, he travels from battle to battle looking for the places where WAAAGH! psychic energy flows like a waterfall. These are great battles and he soaks it up, reveling in his power until a bolt of green lightning flies from his eyes and turns his foes into Squigs.
- Morgaash Kulgraz - Morgash Kulgraz is one of the most prominent Freebooterz in the Koronus Expanse who is making a bid for overall leadership of the Ork Worlds within that region known as Undred Undred Teef. 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. This brutal Ork leader first appeared in the Koronus Expanse aboard a heavily damaged Space Hulk, the Fist of Gork. Although barely spaceworthy, the Hulk was filled with loot from other parts of the galaxy. None could say how long the Space Hulk had drifted in the Warp before arriving at Undred-Undred Teef, but Morgaash’s impressive arrival was just the beginning of his rise to power. A cunning master of ship-to-ship combat, Morgaash wrested control of the largest and most powerful ship in the system, a massive Battlekroozer named Da Wurldbraka. Morgaash then got a crew of the strongest, most aggressive Boyz from the other Kaptins, including as many of the psychic Ork Weirdboyz as he could find. Da Wurldbraka quickly became a ship as legendary as its Kaptin, a nightmarish sight that caused panic amongst smugglers and Rogue Traders alike in the region. Morgaash has struck quickly and forcefully in every raid, allowing handfuls of survivors to spread his infamy across the Expanse. Armed with weapons of baleful and bizarre cast, Da Wurldbraka is constantly surprising its enemies with the breadth of its capabilities. Most vessels in the Expanse can only hope to get clear before the dark xenos warship ends the battle by crippling its opponent and planting its Kaptin firmly on the enemy’s bridge.
- Waaargh! Orks (1st Edition), p. 66
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition)
- Freebooterz: Space Ork Army Lists (1st Edition)
- Rogue Trader: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 352-354, 376-377