Waagh Azun: The Warband of Brakka Azun Da Arch Bomba of Kago

There was a time when the Eastern Fringe shook to the fury of the greenskins of Kago, a time brought about by the insane dreams of an Ork Warlord known as the Arch Bomba who unleashed a crusade of anarchy and violence that entire star systems gored and bleeding in its wake.

Kagus Leonis, an industrial world known only as Kago to the greenskin tribes that infested its dark side, was once one of the unremarkable frontier worlds that fringed the Eastern Fringe. Towards the latter half of 978.M41 it became synonymous with death and destruction on a galactic scale.

History will remember the greenskin known as the Arch Bomba of Kago for two reasons. An Ork who scarred the stars themselves with the ferocity of his Waaagh!, Warlord Braka Azun og Snaga, named the Arch Bomba by his followers, was notable for a peculiar genius in the field of warfare, particularly his love of minefields and war wagons. However, Warlord Braka Azun's true infamy stemmed not from his ferocity or even his ingenuity, but from the fact he extremely cunning and treacherous - even for an Ork.

RISE OF DA BOMBA

The Runtherds of his home planet tell of a time when the Arch Bomba was simply known as Bari; a Blood Axe thug living upon the ork-held side of the once prosperous planet known as Kago. As a whelp Bari had such a voracious appetite that he gobbled down anything that moved and more besides. Though slow of wit, Bari grew to a formidable size on a diet of fighting and eating and eating and fighting, and many believed he would one day rule his tribe. They were right, but Bari's meteoric rise through the ranks was not at all what they expected.

One typically stinking and humid day on the planet Kago, Bari was idly hunting Grots in the disused industrial complexes that gripped the planet's equator like a girdle of twisted metal. Down in the dark and waterlogged bowels of a rusting manufactorum, Bari found a fat, meaty Squig that was too bloated to escape. The critter glowed balefully in the dark, a sickly greenish-yellow that reflected from the pools of toxic waste scattered all around it. Naturally, Bari gobbled it down in short order, though it tasted even more disgusting than your average dung-eating fangbeast. Bari's guts felt strange and his head even stranger. He lay down in the lambent subterranean pools for a good long snooze, and days later, when he woke up, he was a very different Ork.

When Bari eventually stormed back to his tribe, he was virtually unrecognizable. Clad from head to toe in rusted metal and with fluorescent drool dribbling from his ravaged lips, Bari towered over even the oldest and gnarliest Orks of the tribe. His jaws had been reinforced with great jagged shards of iron bashed together into the rough shape of a power klaw, and he had a look in his eye that would make even a rampaging Squiggoth shuffle back into its pen. The first Ork to ask if the ghastly apparition was Bari got his head smashed in and his arms bitten off for his trouble. This bizarre newcomer called himself Braka Azun, and no greenskin in his right mind was about to argue. In fact, even those who were not in their right mind instinctively knew that the newcomer meant business - a fortuitous turn of events, for if Braka Azun fitted in anywhere, it was with the local Madboyz on the periphery of the Ork tribes.

An ambitious Imperial functionary named Blairs thought he saw an exploitable resource in Braka. Blairs was the head of a cabal of Chaos Cultists determined to overthrown the Imperial governor of Kagus Prime - the largest Hive on the planet. If Blairs could get Braka to distract the PDF, then the Cabal could strike with a reasonable chance of success.

Though many of the Orks in Braka Azun's tribe saw a natural leader in their midst, the Runtherds whispered that the newcomer was dangerously unstable even for an Ork. Anyone who disagreed with his wild claims or objected to the deranged antics of his Madboy retinue was not killed but instead permanently maimed. For Braka Azun knew that although Orks did not fear death, they certainly did not relish the thought of a lifetime spent as a mangled lump of torn flesh. It was only a brave or exceptionally stupid Ork who would meet Braka Azun's baleful gaze for long.

Before long, Braka Azun had united the neighboring tribes. Thousands of greenskins were bound together in awe of his legendary brutality and promises of change in the fortunes of the Orks. Those who disagreed with Braka Azun's plans got their arms or legs blown off to teach them a lesson, resulting in a roaring trade in cybernetics for the local Painboyz. Warboss Hunka of the Snakebite clan fared even worse, while sitting down to eat one day his chair blew up and he lost all his limbs and his jaw ground into dust to prevent him buying new ones. Word spread far and wide of this new Warboss, and more Orks flocked to join the one they called the Arch Bomba with every passing day.

A Waaagh! was slowly building, with a madman at its heart.

THE MADNESS OF THE BOMBA

As the legend of the Arch Bomba grew, so did the insanity bubbling away in his fevered brain. He regularly patrolled the shanty towns around the foothills of Gork's Toof, the mountain which he had made his lair, picking out the strangest and most eccentric of Orks for his personal retinue. Soon his warband became an uncontrollable and violent carnival that left mayhem in its wake. On nights illuminated by a full moon, the Arch Bomba could be found at the highest peak of Gork's Toof, screaming at the crater-pocked planetoid above and threatening to give it a good kicking it if it didn't stop staring at him.

The Orks in the sprawling conurbations below cared little that their leader was so patently insane, for in his madness lay the seeds of genius. Braka Azun's army of Meks, the Korps Heads, were spurred on by a mixture of fear and giddy enthusiasm to ever greater feats of engineering as they attempted to obey the alternately bawled and growled demands of their berserk master. From Braka Azun's crazed visions were born such technological bastardizations as the Killawagon and the Doom Dread. The Arch Bomba also insisted upon the building of a fleet of submersibles so that he could conquer the great bladed fish that lived in the oceans of Kago. Most of all, Braka Azun wanted to master flight so that he could fly up to the moon and smash it apart with his bare hands.

THE WAR FOR THE PROTOFORGE

Braka Azun made significant progress in his bizarre quest when he led his ramshackle armies against the neighboring continent of Meriga. Meriga was host to an alpha-grade Adeptus Mechanicus Protoforge Complex whose inhabitants were content, for the time being, to leave the primitive Ork cultures on the dark side of the planet to their own devices. After all, the savage greenskins had no way of detecting the ancient tech-city's presence, let alone crossing the great watery gulfs between them. Or so they thought.

One moonlit night the Arch Bomba started to convulse and shake. When he recovered what passed for his wits he flew into a rage, saying that the Ork gods Gork and Mork had told him the humies on the other side of the world were laughing at him. Within a matter of days the Orks were ready for all-out war. They spilled and lurched across the ocean in Braka Azun's crudely-made submersibles, fighting their way through sea crocodile packs and blasting apart the bladed whales that haunted the deeps. At the helm of each of the vessels was a Madboy lieutenant infected with Braka Azun's crazed vision, but despite this (or perhaps because of it) the majority of the fleet made it to Meriga intact.

THE QUEST FOR THE STARS

It was not long before the Arch Bomba declared a state of war against his old enemy, the Kagoian moon, who was staring at Braka Azun particularly fiercely that week. Knowing that he would need some serious Orky know-wots to take the fight into orbit, Braka Azun rebuilt the Protoforge to his own needs and took the continent of Meriga as his new kingdom. Armies of Loota boyz combed the humid equatorial deserts for more and more raw material, and mountains of scrap piled up around the new fortress with which the Meks built ever larger and more ambitious engines of war. Hundreds of engines of flight were built that ranged from one-man koptas and rokkit packs (too short-ranged) to Ork launchers (too messy) to Fighta-Bommas with enormous engine stacks that could not possibly carry enough fuel to breach the atmosphere. Still the moon remained out of reach.

Braka Azun's orders became ever more ambitious and peculiar and soon his obsession with flight had spread to his Korps Head Mekaniak elite. The iron-hulled submersibles used by Braka Azun to reach the continent of Meriga were rebuilt with great rokkit engines and steel wings, turning them into cumbersome but theoretically flight-capable spacecraft. Anti-gravity dirigibles were built that belched and farted upwards from the scrapyards of Kago in an attempt to reach ever-greater altitudes. Giant rokkits were constructed on towering gantries that pointed straight at the moon. A series of messy trials allowed the Korps Heads to reach low orbit but no further. As his Madboy lieutenants slowly mastered the vox-networks of the Mechanicus city, word of the Bomba's quest spread far and wide. Orks of all clans and affiliations put aside their differences and came to witness the strange and violent machines built to Braka Azun's vision. Infected by his mad dreams, tribe after tribe and warband after warband joined the new Waaagh! that was spreading like wildfire across the land, and soon the Bomba's followers numbered in the millions, every single Ork consumed with the notion of leaving Kago and smashing apart every planet they could reach.

In desperation, Braka Azun ordered his men to send out a call for assistance, a last resort the Arch Bomba had never stooped to since his youth. He sent word far and wide, offering a king's ransom in teef to any Ork with the power of flight who could deliver his lunar nemesis unto him. Some of the greatest legends of Ork kind answered the call, perhaps amused by the insanity of the request, perhaps merely lured by the promise of wealth. Amongst their number were Boss Zagstruk and his Vulcha Boys, screaming down from the skies on kustom-built rokkit packs and butchering an entire warband of Braka Azun's Lootas to show they meant business. Braka Azun was impressed, but as fierce as Zagstrukk was, even the grizzled old bully's antique Fighta-Bomma could only carry a few mobs of lads. It was not enough.

KAPTIN BADRUKK'S KUNNIN' PLAN

It was the legendary cunning of the Freebooter Kaptin Badrukk that finally gave Braka Azun the solution to his problem. Badrukk, self-styled King of the Flash Gitz and veteran mercenary extraordinaire, had an uncanny knack of turning up whenever countless chests of Ork teef were on offer and an even uncannier knack of disappearing off with them. However, upon meeting the glowering, towering Arch Bomba in the flesh and hearing the note of raw insanity in his roaring, bombastic speeches, Badrukk was so taken by the sheer madness of the Bomba's plan that he agreed to help him.

The Kaptin, having been embroiled in dozens of Waaaghs across the galaxy and knowing all there was to know about Ork invasions, could see the time was ripe for the Orks of Kago to make their mark upon the universe. He looked with disdain upon the Korps Heads' dubious attempts to get the Bomba into space and shook his ostentatiously hatted head - there was simply no way these backwater yokels could construct a starflight-capable fleet before the budding Waaagh! lost momentum. Badrukk stalked back to his infamous attack kroozer Da Killjaw and thought long and hard until his head hurt and his gold-plated teef began to itch. So it was that Kaptin Badrukk's Kunnin' Plan was formed.

Badrukk knew that for the Waaagh! to leave Kago and become a true interstellar crusade they would need ships - lots and lots of ships. The mercenary had known ever since he got his first skull-and-shoota tattoo that the simplest way of getting hold of something was to nick it off someone else. Waiting for a suitable fleet or space hulk to drift into orbit could take decades. What was needed was a large and undeniable threat to the remaining Imperial settlements left upon Kago, a full-scale invasion of the hive cities in the freezing ash wastes to the north. With his dreams of extinguishing the stars themselves, the Arch Bomba was just crazy enough to be a Warlord on a galactic scale - if only he could lead the united tribes of Kago off-world and conquer a world or two first. Badrukk, always on the lookout for shootier ways to solve a problem, had come up with a very Orky resolution.

THE DOOMSDAY GUN

he Arch Bomba, still obsessed with killing Kago's pallid moon, would only see Badrukk when the pirate lord announced that he had a plan to take out the planetoid once and for all. The Kaptin persuaded Braka Azun to build the biggest, shootiest kannon that the planet had ever seen, a gun so large it dwarfed even the weapons of the god-machines that defended the Meriga Protoforge. This super-weapon would be so powerful it could blast the moon itself into tiny pieces. Braka Azun nodded his head vigorously, luminescent slobber dribbling from the corner of his mouth in heady anticipation. Pressing his advantage, Kaptin Badrukk persuaded Braka Azun to 'test' the gun by firing it at the Imperial capital of Furnacehive first. The pirate lord knew that such a blatant show of force, coupled with the rumours of a burgeoning Waaagh!, would bring Imperial reinforcements to Kago - and with them, a fleet of ships sufficient to kick-start Kago's galactic crusade.

The Arch Bomba liked Badrukk's plan in principle, but had a refinement of his own to add. The 'Megakannon' would be mounted on great tractor units and, once it was complete, it would be driven at full speed into the hive before being fired in a series of almighty blasts that let the moon know what was coming to it.

THE GAZE OF THE IMPERIUM

In far-off Furnacehive, the Adeptus Mechanicus Techpriests who had abandoned their beloved Protoforge to the invading Orks saw an opportunity to rid themselves of the greenskin menace once and for all, reclaiming their forges in the process. Using their vox-majoris subsystems the Senior Magi, led by a canny old Techpriest called Prime Magos Sevastus Atari, intercepted the Arch Bomba's declarations of war upon Kago's moon. The old Techpriest knew that a conventional call for aid might take years to reach the right ears, but a deafeningly loud declaration of total war from a new and ambitious Ork Warlord would be taken very seriously by any who had seen the destructive potential of a Waaagh! in full flow. After a touch of judicious editing to exclude any mention of 'heddbutting the moon to deff', Atari amplified the Arch Bomba's ranting speeches of conquest and broadcast them from an abandoned Vox Stellaria compound in the planet's deserts.

Atari's plan worked. An astropathic choir upon the Dark Angels flagship Lionclaw intercepted the broadcast just as the Astartes fleet was returning from the destruction of a Threxian enclave. Assuming the signal to be from an Ork Warlord with the world of Bhorc in his grasp, the head Astropath transferred the communique to Grand Master Azrael. Azrael had sworn a vow that no more of the worlds of the Eastern Fringe would fall to the alien whilst his men were in sector, and he did not intend to renege on that oath, be the alien Threxian biomorph or Ork Warlord. He diverted the course of his fleet toward Bhorc and, alerting the rest of the Imperial battle group returning from the Threxian prosecution, prepared for a full-scale invasion. The Waaagh! would be stopped before it had even begun.

Azrael commanded his fleet's Astropaths to contact the Imperial castellans of Furnacehive, only to hear that an armoured column of extreme size was churning across the deserts straight for the hive walls. The column, which was mainly comprised of several hundred Battlewagons, was allegedly escorting some kind of extreme Ork super-weapon. Worse still, the scrapyards all across the neighboring zone of Rustia played host to several Gargant construction sites. The Waaagh! had almost reached critical mass. There was no time to lose.

This greenskin Warlord must be contained and exterminated. His lust for conquest must not be allowed to spread.
Commend thyselves, for we attack at dawn!" 
- Grand Master Azrael of the Dark Angels

THE WAR FOR KAGUS PRIME

Azrael knew that the Ork Warlord known as the Arch Bomba must not be allowed to leave the planet lest his fervor infect the other Ork worlds in that area of space and spark a full-scale Waaagh! After gathering the finest tactical minds of the Imperial fleet a four-point invasion plan was hatched. The Dark Angels tasked themselves with the interception and destruction of the Warlord's spaceworthy craft, no matter how outlandish and improbable they may seem. The Howling Griffons, led by the unsmiling Captain Gawain Ravelle, were to make planetfall in Rustia and destroy the Gargant construction sites. Ravelle knew full well that nothing could spark the lust for conquest in an Ork's heart as much as an effigy of the greenskins' barbaric god. The Cadian armored battlegroup seconded to Azrael's invasion fleet was tasked with the neutralization of the Ork air superiority upon Kagus Prime. They were to destroy any aircraft they could find to minimize the chances of the Warlord's escape. Finally, due to their skill in the destruction of heavily fortified vehicles and emplacements, the Ultramarines and Blood Angels were given the weighty task of stopping the Ork super-weapon before it was fired. The plans were drawn, the invasion launched and, as Drop Pods glowed vengeful red in the low atmosphere above the Arch Bomba's forces, the net began to close.

Far below, atop his ridiculously ostentatious Battlewagon, Kaptin Badrukk squinted up at the descending landing craft and smiled his unfeasibly expensive smile. The ships had come in. Now all the Orks had to do was win the war.

The Dark Angels made landfall without resistance and the Cadians took up position inside the remaining hives. The Orks seemed doomed but Braka had more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He had rigged the landing site the Dark Angels chose with massive explosives (up to and including nuclear weapons) - and just as the Dark Angels prepared to move out Braka Azun set off his trap. With the Dark Angels landing force all but obliterated, Braka turned his MegaKannon on the remaining hives of Kago. His Kommandos infiltrated the hives with his signature explosives and blew open the doors of the remaining hive.

The massed Ork anti-aircraft blunted the Imperial air campaign allowing the Ork air forces to retain control of Kago's skies while strategically placed mines cut off Imperial routes of advance out of their landing zones. The Imperial offensive was stalled before it had even begun. The Dark Angels were forced back, step by bloody step as the Orks seized more and more of the planet. Imperial Landers were seized and soon the Imperial transports in orbit had also become warzones. It was clear that the War for Kago was lost. The Dark Angels could ill-afford any more losses as their fighting strength was desperately needed near the Cadian Gate, it was with great reluctance that they left Kago to it's fate.

The Imperial Navy also had to cut it's losses, and after recovering as much of the Cadian regiments and the surviving Tech-Priests they could, they also left the system - leaving behind dozens of transports that fell to the Orks and thousands of now-enslaved technoseers including the treacherous Blairs.

Having trapped and annihilated the Imperials - Braka had his ships and his first target was the Imperial agriworlds of Decia and Turonne...


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