"Too much noise! Too much! I fink I'z gunna...I'z gunna...WAAAGH!"
- — Weirdboy Gazrog
A Weirdboy (pl. Weirdboyz), also known as a Wyrdboy among Feral Orks, is one of the Orks' psykers, unique in that he acts as a psychic sponge, absorbing and channeling the natural psychic energies constantly emanated by other Orks.
Weirdboyz are the most psychically attuned of all Orks. They are capable of vomiting blasts of Warp energy that can reduce foes to molten goop in seconds. Weirdboyz unconsciously channel the background mental emissions of nearby Greenskins.
Even a close-run Squig-eating contest between two rowdy Boyz will cause waves of energy to pulse through any Weirdboy that strays near. Unless the Weirdboy finds some way to release this pent-up psychic energy his head will explode, detonating the heads of nearby Orks into the bargain.
This can prove highly inconvenient. Any Weirdboy lucky enough to reach maturity will have learned how to release his powers in a searing energy blast or destructive wave. Though this makes the Weirdboy feel fantastic, it can result in a messy death for anyone in his vicinity.
Some Weirdboyz, known as "Warpheads," become addicted to the thrill of spewing WAAAGH! energy, actively seeking out the deadly rush of battle. For whatever reason, unlike normal Weirdboyz, Warpheads have survived enough battles for their minds to become saturated with the power of the Warp, and actually revel in and enjoy the use of their powers.
However, for most Weirdboyz the battlefield remains a miserable and dangerous place. They must normally be dragged there by burly minders, pointed unceremoniously at the foe, and forced to spew mighty bolts of ectoplasmic energy in their general direction. This affords the Weirdboy a few moments of blissful relief before the whole process begins again.
"Orkz is made fer fightin’! An’ dis is da fastest way to get to da fight! Now get in da Warp rift, ya grot! Two of da last three made it throo! Gork, I’ll showz ya—it’z safe!"
- — Final Words of Weirdboy Gazgrug
Anyone who has seen the living tide of greenskins that is an Ork horde in battle knows, without question, that there is a power to such a force. Any large force of fighting warriors or xenos has power, but not in the same way that Orks do. While Humans have strength of arms and ordnance, Orks possess a strength of purpose.
Each and every Ork on a battlefield is unified into one singular purpose: war. As Humans gather in war, there is dissension, personal interest, and honour, which tug at each warrior individually. When Orks gather into a WAAAGH!, the very air thrums with the power of their excitement, their enthusiasm, and their sheer lust for battle. The more Orks, the greater the psychic power they generate.
The Orks themselves seem almost unaware of the existence of this phenomenon, all the while swept along by the tide of it. However, a few rare Orks are keenly aware of this energy.
The Orks are an innately psychic species and they unconsciously generate a considerable amount of psychic "background noise," an energy field known simply as "Da WAAAGH!"
This field of gestalt psychic energy grows more potent and more intense when the Orks themselves are excited, particularly during battle, creating an almost palpable tension that accompanies Ork hordes.
Those Orks who can sense this energy, known as "Weirdboyz," seem to act as lightning rods for the power of the WAAAGH!, drawing it to themselves unconsciously, and unleashing it with devastating effect. Hurling bolts of crackling green energy, impelling their allies along with the force of the WAAAGH!, or crushing their foes bodily with their telekinetic might, a Weirdboy is a terrifying display of Orkish power.
These rare Orks do not relish their power, rather they fear it. It is an uncontrollable and dangerous thing, and most are driven mad by it long before they learn to channel it with any measure of safety. Yet, still, not even the most capable Weirdboy can ever truly hope to control the power of a WAAAGH! in full force.
In such instances, the Weirdboyz are simply incapable of containing the overwhelming mass of coruscating energy produced by their fellows. Most are able to hurl a bolt or two of green lightning towards their enemies before they are overcome, their heads bursting in a ball of green flame, or vanishing altogether with a clap of otherworldly thunder.
When such a great WAAAGH! gathers, most Weirdboyz either flee altogether or get caught up in the mob enthusiasm of it all and are driven into a suicidal frenzy, becoming terrifying figures with the destructive power of a battle tank. The more cunnin' Ork Warbosses have been known to enslave Weirdboyz and to force them onto the battlefield against their will, knowing full well the danger they represent.
Weirdboyz have little control over their abilities, and as the potency of this energy increases with the number and enthusiasm of the Ork Boyz around them, so does the power that a Weirdboy must endeavour to control. Even when they manage to contain this violent and erratic force, bizarre phenomena commonly accompany Weirdboyz, ranging from flashing lights and strange noises to psychokinetic tremors and random fires.
Should they fail to dispense, direct or emit this energy in some controlled manner, a Weirdboy may cause even more dramatic phenomena, such as the explosion of nearby Ork heads. This is known as a 'Eadbang if this power cannot be discharged safely.
For this reason, and the fact that Weirdboyz dislike the company of other Orks, these psykers remain apart from the rest of their greenskinned kind, dwelling in tall towers at the edge of Ork encampments. These large structures are built on copper stilts to help channel their latent psychic power into the ground.
These "Weirdhouses" are guarded at all times and Weirdboyz are not allowed to wander the camp without an escort of a couple of guards, or "Minderz." Indeed, those Weirdboyz who have gone truly mad are often garbed in luridly-coloured clothing and wear large, belled hats that signal their presence and nature to other Orks. They commonly carry tall copper rods to ground the psychic power they naturally gather -- this can hardly disperse the energy produced by an Ork warband in the midst of battle, but it is usually sufficient to keep them safe day-to-day.
His erratic nature makes an Ork Weirdboy a particularly difficult foe to handle. Strategies that apply to dealing with psykers of other intelligent races do not necessarily work when confronting an Ork.
The inherently unpredictable nature of their powers, combined with the potent physical capabilities of a greenskin, means that an enemy would need to react to events as they unfolded, countering assaults that work on both psychic and physical levels at the same time.
During combat, a Weirdboy can build up immense amounts of psychic power, causing him a lot of pain. His psychic outburst, however, is highly effective at frying handfuls of the enemy at once. Weirdboyz often find themselves dragged onto the battlefield by their Minderz and used as living weapons, usually involuntarily.
The Minderz drag the poor Weirdboy towards the enemy's lines and when they see sparks in his eyes they snatch away his copper stick and try to bodily aim him in the direction of the enemy. The results can be devastating, both for and against the Orks.
If given the chance, Weirdboyz will flee the battlefield in order to escape the pain produced by such a large gathering of Orks.
Weirdboyz are regarded with uncertainty by most Orks, both for their unusual powers and for their decidedly un-Orky dislike of noise and clamour.
Minderz are Ork-bodyguards, chaperones, and jailers in equal measure, ensuring that their Weirdboy does not mingle with other Orks until needed, and marching him to the frontlines when necessary.
"Remember, da first rule of bein' an Ork is dat' 'more is betta.' Err, maybe dat's da second rule. Don't matter. But, if you'z got more of da WAAAGH!, dat's betta, right? See, you'z lernin'!"
- — Warphead Grogni to the headless corpse of his pupil Torok
Orks are reckless creatures by nature, and Weirdboyz are "gifted" with the capacity to detonate themselves in many new and interesting ways unavailable to their more mundane brethren. As such, few Weirdboyz would survive long enough to gain any real control over their powers, even if this was something that they desired.
However, Orks are not constrained by any perverse wish to "control" their power. "Restraint" is a form of subtlety reserved for "sneaky gitz, like grotz, 'umies, and 'dem prancin' gitz wif' da' big fancy hatz."
As such, if a Weirdboy does happen to survive the development of his powers, he is unlikely to gain any wisdom or sense of responsibility to accompany them. Instead, it is much more likely that he will go on to push himself to impressive (and undeniably insane) heights of psychic prowess, becoming more and more puissant and unhinged over time.
Weirdboyz often learn and invent increasingly bizarre and terrifying powers, mastering techniques that allow them to rend holes in the Warp through which they can travel or pulp enemies through cover with waves of psychic energy.
Those rare Ork Weirdboyz that manage to avoid a messy death and reach the height of their psychic potential are called "Warpheads". Though Warpheads are obviously rare among most Ork mobs given their "profession" and proclivities, a single Warphead can make for a terrifying and unpredictable foe.
"Must da Boss be on 'is own in bein' da biggest an' da baddest? Nah, 'cause, da Boss' WAAAGH! is da WAAAGH! of all da Boyz 'oo follow 'im. So ya' see, da Boss is neva' alone!"
- — Skandork "Da Great," Warboss
Neither Orks nor psykers are known for their predictability, and Ork Weirdboyz combine the most volatile traits of both Greenskins and those gifted with the power of the Warp.
The psychic WAAAGH! energy that flows through all Orks makes itself manifest through Weirdboyz, granting them psychic powers that stand in stark contrast to the rigid discipline of the techniques employed by Astropaths and other Imperial Sanctioned Psykers.
Instead of focusing on total mastery over certain aspects of their power, Weirdboyz often simply allow their abilities to manifest, guided only by the strength of their will and the fortune they are granted by their gods Gork and Mork.
Of course, Weirdboyz are not exempt from the consequence of using psychic powers unrestrained; though their abilities do not attract Warp predators like Daemons in the same manner as those of Human or Aeldari psykers, Ork Weirdboyz have been known to combust spontaneously, explode, or even become disconnected from space and time itself while using their powers.
These risks do little to discourage them from channelling the WAAAGH! recklessly, however, and some Weirdboyz have even been seen using their abilities in the hopes of triggering bizarre new effects. These abilities include many of the following.
- Deff Wave - The Ork philosophy of warfare typically ascribes to a simple maxim: more is better and you can never have enough. A roiling shockwave of manifest emotion, the Deff Wave churns through the Materium as a testament to this belief, scourging all organic matter in its path. The Deff Wave that is unleashed is like a cone of fire, ignoring cover and even solid objects such as walls between the Weirdboy and his targeted enemies.
- Dis is Takin' Too Long! - The Weirdboy calls upon the WAAAGH!, channelling his impatience to accelerate whatever mode of transportation he happens to be using (be that his feet or a mighty voidship) in a swell of brilliant, crackling energy.
- 'Ead to 'Ead - Orks resolve almost all problems and quandaries through violence, especially questions of leadership and succession. As such, a display of brute savagery against a notable foe can help to rally the entire mob, inspiring each Ork in the mob. The Weirdboy pits the raw might of the WAAAGH! against a single foe, attempting to psychically bludgeon him into submission and thus instill new fervour in other, nearby Orks, amking them even more lethal in combat.
- 'Ere We Go - The Weirdboy opens a temporary rift through the Warp, helping his allies get to battle more quickly in a flash of green luminescence and an instant of screaming terror.
- Frazzle - With a thunderous roar, the Weirdboy unleashes a blast of psychic energy that courses through his target and leaps to those unfortunate enough to be standing near it.
- I'z Gunna Squig Ya! - Of all the many powers available to a Weirdboy, this is undoubtedly one of the strangest. Called the "Zogwurt Speshul" by some Orks, the Weirdboy summons up the bizarre and incomprehensible energies of the WAAAGH! and attempts to transform one of his enemies into a Squig.
- Krump 'Em All - The Weirdboy unleashes the fury of the WAAAGH! upon his enemies (along with anyone else with the poor luck to be standing nearby) calling upon the primordial gods of the Orks to "Krump all' dese gitz good!"
- Powa' Burst - Torrents of unstable energy periodically erupt from a Weirdboy's mind, surging forth to smash nearby obstacles, reinvigorate the psyker, or allow him to achieve feats that would otherwise be impossible for him. While veteran Weirdboyz who have survived their own abilities for a time can choose the power they use (sometimes), new Ork psykers simply unleash the WAAAGH! and hope for the best.
- Smash da Gitz - The Weirdboy energises his weapon (or just his fist) with a voracious green charge that shreds through metal and flesh alike when he strikes.
- Up an' at 'Em! - The Weirdboy leads by insane example, psychically (and psychotically) inspiring his comrades to charge along with him even as he rushes towards a certain, grisly end.
- Warpath - Crackling green energy surges out from the Weirdboy, striking the nearby Orks and stoking the fire of their battle frenzy to devastating new heights.
- We'z Gotta be Lucky - The Weirdboy appeals to the primal force of the WAAAGH! for good fortune, an unearthly glow filling his eyes and those of his allies as they rush forward, heedless of risk.
- Zzap - The Weirdboy unleashes a burst of ravening green Warp electricity that surges forward, turning organic tissue to ash and the hardest alloys to molten slag.
Notable Ork Weirdboyz
- Big Redd Da Warphead - The mysterious Warphead known only as Big Redd is held in awe amongst the Madboyz of WAAAGH! Grukk (also known as the Red WAAAGH!). Taller than a full-grown Goffs Nob, and forever muttering to himself, Big Redd vomits green lightning at any who challenge him, burning them to a crisp. Though none of the other Orks liked them, the Weirdboyz, like Big Redd, did their bit for the WAAAGH!, blowing up heads with their raw psychic power. In battle, the Weirdboyz would vomit forth raw Warp-energies, overcome with the might of the WAAAGH!. This could have all manner of unforeseen consequences as their psychic powers ran amok; heads would burst like over-ripe fruit, limbs would snap like twigs and organs rupture as pulsing shockwaves of power rolled out from the Weirdboyz. Big Redd was the worst of them, and other Orks didn't like to hang around the odd-looking Weirdboy, even when he was not thrashing about and babbling like a brain-damaged Grot. Strange things followed Big Redd around like a lingering stench, mumbling and gnashing. Big Redd himself did not seem to mind, as he was always muttering under his breath and talking to things only he could see anyway.
- Greeneyes - For many Terran years, Greeneyes was the personal Weirdboy to Warlord Gratzdakka of WAAAGH! Gratzdakka. More cunning than most of his counterparts, Greeneyes had something most Weirdboyz lacked: ambition. As a member of the Blood Axes klan that had extensive dealings with the Imperium of Man, Greeneyes convinced his Warlord to attack the Industrial World of Kalidar, unleashing the Kalidar War. Unique amongst the Imperium's dominion, Kalidar produces Lorelei, a psycho-reactive crystal that is used to enhance the powers of Imperial psykers. Greeneyes reasoned that what worked for humans should also work for Orks and began enhancing his own powers with the Lorelei. This allowed Greeneyes to reach a level of power and psychic mastery greater than that of the most powerful Warphead ever encountered before by the Imperium. With his new-found powers, Greeneyes was not only able to read his opponents' minds and gather important military intelligence without the Imperials ever suspecting it, but he was also able to overwhelm another psyker's mind from a distance and kill him, a feat never before realized by an Ork mind. Furthermore, at the command of his own Psy-Gargant, Greeneyes generated enough psychic power to generate both a powerful psychic shield and unleash the might of a powerful Warp Cannon. With the destruction of his Gargant during the Battle of Hive Meradon, Greeneyes faked his death and used his powers to hide from Imperial Sanctioned Psykers and Primaris Psykers alike. He still lives on Kalidar, waiting to take control of the Feral Orks gestating in Kalidar's sands in the wake of WAAAGH! Gratzdakka's demise. He dreams of one day leading his own WAAAGH! amongst the stars and unifying the Ork race beneath his rule.
- Gur'kall the Wanderer - Gur'Kall, like all of his kind, was once regarded as nothing more than another bizarre Ork Weirdboy. His Warboss tolerated his presence because he brought something to the battlefield that dakka alone could not, but as time and battles went by, Gur’Kall’s powers shifted further and further away from wanton destruction. He seemed distracted, always looking to space, seeking something ineffable and just beyond his reach. When his Warboss led his Waaagh! to the stars, it was Gur’Kall who was charged with finding the path to the best fights and shiniest loot. The journey could have taken decades, or could have been stopped altogether by supplies running out or bored Ork crew tearing themselves apart, but remarkably, Gur’Kall managed to guide it to the Koronus Expanse. They located remote Ork settlements eager to join the trek and replace lost warriors. Time after time, Gur’Kall called out to the Warp and received perfect answers. The Warboss pushed harder and harder for Gur’Kall to seek new challenges. Gur’Kall, for his part, was eager to comply. It was as if he had a destiny, a purpose beyond that of other Warpheads. He felt touched by Gork, or maybe Mork. He was certain he was being guided by an unseen hand. Then it all came crashing down. When Gur’Kall’s ship drew close to the Rifts of Hecaton for the first time, he knew immediately that he was drawing closer to his unseen destination. His excitement was more than he could contain. With a shout that was so powerful that it blew up the heads of all his remaining Minderz and even a few Orks outside of his copper corridors, Gur’Kall spewed raw, destructive Waaagh! energy from every part of his being. The resultant explosion blew a hole through his chamber and straight through the decks of the ship. Navigation and propulsion systems failed. Thousands of Orks were sucked into space; thousands more burned up as the ship was pulled to the surface of a nearby planet. The Warboss was crushed under a falling fighta-bommer. By some twist of fate, Gur’Kall lived through the impact. When he woke, he was alone. His ship was shattered. His clan was destroyed. Not knowing what else to do, he raised his face to the sky and shouted. There was no response. He shouted again, louder. Still nothing. He was alone on a planet with no other Orks. For months, Gur’Kall wandered the planet, shouting at the sky and hoping that he would hear an answer. Then it struck him that perhaps his purpose was not gone after all. There had to have been a reason he was drawn so directly to this system. His ability to shout had to be useful still. He decided to spend his days searching the planet for his purpose, doing the only thing he knew. He returned to the wreckage of his ship, gathered up a few instruments from his navigation chamber, and headed out in search of something he could not express, shouting to the sky and listening for an answer. Gur’Kall has since escaped this lonely rock, but he continues his search nonetheless, ever seeking something just out of his grasp. Though most who know of him seek to avoid Gur’Kall and the wake of destruction he leaves, there are those who say that he is being drawn to something awesome and terrible, and a few choose to trail him across the stars, hoping to get a piece of the prize at the end of his winding destiny.
- Zagdakka, the Prophet of Mork - Unique amongst what passes as history amongst the Orks, Zagdakka was the first Warphead to lead his own WAAAGH!, gaining control over an existing WAAAGH! by slaying its previous Warlord. One of the most intelligent individuals of his race, Zagdakka understood notions of patience and discipline and used his growing influence to gather more Weirdboyz to his banner. Proclaimed as the Prophet of Mork, Zagdakka's horde soon numbered so many Warp-gifted Orks that it became known as the WeirdWAAAGH!. Zagdakka's mastery of his psychic powers was such that he could form actual constructs such as fists and foots of green WAAAGH!-energy and powerful lightning bolts capable of vaporising entire stretches of heavily armoured curtain wall. Most importantly, Zagdakka was able to suppress the Ork's innate urge to wage war amongst themselves, ensuring a cohesion and discipline among his forces never encountered before within the Ork race. In 249.M41, Zagdakka lead his WAAAGH! in conquest of the mighty Forge World of Columnus in the Segmentum Solar and totally overwhelmed its defences by outmatching every prediction of the Imperial strategists, using his psychically-shielded Roks as improvised battering rams to destroy Columnus' many orbital battle stations and star forts. On the ground, too, Zagdakka and his horde wreaked havoc but were eventually defeated by the ruthless calculation and precise application of force deployed by the Iron Hands Space Marines of Clan Raukaan under the command of Iron Father Kristos.
- Old Zogwort - Born during a total eclipse amid a nest of bloodvipers, the young Zogwort fought his way to safety, suffering dozens of venomous bites yet biting back in return. He survived, and from that day on was revered by his tribe. Vipers infested Zogwort's clothes, and his bite was soon as venomous as theirs. Yet Zogwort's most potent power was his infamous curse that would engulf foes in a blinding green light before transforming them into puzzled-looking Squigs. Eventually, Zogwort became so powerful that a vast retinue gathered around him, a WAAAGH! that the maddened Warphead still leads on a wild rampage through the stars.
Ork Weirdboyz Wargear
- Copper Channeling Rod - Ork Weirdboyz often carry long copper rods. The shiny charms and jangling bells that bedeck a Weirdboy staff belie the horrific damage they can wreak in battle. The copper pole at their core allows their wielder to earth the rampant WAAAGH! energy that riddles them, and these weapons discharge crackling green blasts with every blow the Weirdboy lands.
- Tusk Squigknife - These odd double-sided blades, made from the teeth of wayward Squigs from the Ork-held world of Tusk in the 'Undred-'Undred Teef, are said by Weirdboyz to possess mystical properties that enhance their powers and jinx their foes. Whether or not this is actually true might be up to debate if any Imperial scholars cared to discuss such matters, but regardless, these daggers are valuable and unpleasantly sharp. These blades can also be used as a psy focus for a Weirdboy to channel his powers.
- Codex: Orks (7th Edition), pp. 24, 26, 60, 70, 88, 120-121, 204, 221-222
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pp. 36-37
- Chapter Approved 2003: Feral Orks, pp. 4-10
- 'Ere We Go: Orks in Warhammer 40,000 (1st Edition), pp. 50-55
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 368-369
- Rogue Trader: The Navis Primer (RPG), pp. 3, 48-63, 104-107, 130, 132, 143
- The Red WAAAGH! Campaign Supplement (7th Edition), pp. 64, 167
- WAAAGH! Ghazghkull: A Codex Orks Supplement (7th Edition), pp. 22, 75-76
- Clan Raukaan - A Codex: Space Marines Supplement (Digital Edition) (6th Edition) pp. 41-51
- Waaargh! Da Orkz (1st Edition), pp. 30-31
- White Dwarf 134 (US), "Ork Warbands in Advanced Space Crusade - Weirdboyz," pp. 66-75
- White Dwarf 124 (US), "`Ere We Go! Preview - Weirdboyz," pp. 46-58
- White Dwarf 123 (US), "Ork Army List: `Ere We Go! Preview," pp. 26-69
- Baneblade (Novel) by Guy Haley
- Heroes of the Space Marines (Anthology) edited by Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley, "Headhunted" by Steve Parker