Red with wolf pelts
Shock Assault, Squig-breeding, Use of Poison
- "Live off the land. Go to find war. Kill wot comes close. The old ways are best."
- — Grodd, Snakebite Runtherd
The Snakebites are a well-known tribe or "klan" of Orks. The Snakebites are considered to be a backward tribe by many of the more technologically-advanced tribes of Orks, for they still follow the old ways of the Ork race and often remain Feral Orks even after they gain access to more advanced technology. As a result of their rugged lifestyle, the Snakebites are usually weather-beaten and as tough as an old boot. They are experts in the field of breeding Orkoid creatures and their Grots and Squigs are the fiercest among all the Greenskin tribes. The Snakebites klan's name and emblem comes from a tribal rite of passage that requires the young aspirant to full membership in the tribe to goad an extremely poisonous serpent into biting him, then sucking out the venom to prove his resilience. Orks of the Snakebites Klan thus build up a powerful immunity to natural poisons and keep various species of snakes and toxarachnids as pets. They always carry a selection of venomous beasts with them when they migrate to a new world in case the local varieties of snake prove disappointingly benign.
Snakebite Runtherds breed large numbers of Gretchin, who come in very handy when feeding the larger creatures in the infamously toxic Snakebites menageries. In times of war, the Grots are given crude weapons and herded into battle, often manning the batteries of Big Gunz and accompanying the tribe's Weirdboyz. When the Snakebites launch an assault, it is with shocking ferocity as the enemy is buried under an avalanche of battle-crazed Orks, vicious Squigs and stabbing Gretchin.
- Hurk Teefsplitnta - In 855.M41 Hruk Teefsplinta enslaved the entire population of the Corva System. Hruk forced his slaves to build huge Space Hulks to accomodate his mega-menagerie. Once built, Hruk set off to conquer the core worlds of the Imperium of Man. He took over the 9 Shrine Worlds of Marlisanct, using its Basilica Imperator Majoris to house his Squiggoths.
- Zodgrod Wortsnagga - Zodgrod was perhaps the greatest Runtherd in history before being expelled from the Warboss Ugulhard Duffgruntas' Chargerz, an extremely fundamentalist band of Snakebites who rabidly rejected the use of advanced technology. After the expulsion, Zodgrod travelled the galaxy and learned several ancient Orkoid techniques to create Gretchin who were possessed of more aggression, intelligence and sheer ferocity than any of their counterparts, which he named "Supa-Runtz." Zodgrod is now hired by Ork Warbosses who are particularly desperate to make use of his Supa-Runtz in battle.
The Snakebites are toughened by the strange initiation rites of their klan. By being bitten by poisonous snakes and sucking out the venom straight away, they become tougher over time. Of all the Ork klanz, Snakebites remain closest to the wild, uncivilised state of their Feral Ork ancestors. Although they use and understand technology as well as any other Orks, their natural inclination leads them to shun much that is technologically sophisticated in favour of familiar ways. The Snakebites are also known to be a wandering klan that rarely settles in one place for long. They only stay on a planet long enough to get into a fight and then they're off again. Imperial scholars have speculated that this klan may be the last remnants of the original ancient Ork "kultur" before they made contact with the rest of the galaxy.
Orks of this klan are covered in swirling red tattoos, like coiled snakes. They are also known to cultivate Hair Squigs so they can decorate themselves with extravagant crests and topknots. Other common features are wolfskin headgear and wolf pelts, which add to their wild and primitive appearance. One of their most distinctive elements of dress are their snake belts, which are fastened with metal buckles in the form of a snake. Some even going so far as to wear live poisonous snakes around their waist to show how tough they are.
The totem of this klan is the venomous serpent. The Snakebites' whelps are toughened by allowing venomous snakes to bite them, a practice which ultimately provided the name of their klan.
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pp. 14, 29
- Codex: Orks (3rd Edition), pg. 23
- White Dwarf 349 (UK), "Clan Loyalties," by Phil Kelly, pg. 28
- White Dwarf 290 (UK) "Chapter Approved: Ork Clanz," by Andy Chambers & Andy Hoare
- Waargh! Da Orks (1st Edition)
|Major Ork Clans|
|Bad Moons • Blood Axes • Death Skulls • Evil Sunz • Goffs • Snakebites|