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Spooky
09-07-2005, 06:41
As I read more and more of the material of Warhammer Fantasy, including the armybooks, sourcebooks, artbooks, novels and RPG materials I find myself with a few lingering questions regarding the various savage (and often chaos worshipping) groups of humanity. If some of you gents could enlighten me I would appreciate it.

Kurgan - According to the recently released art/background book Darkness Rising: A Complete History of the Storm of Chaos and the Abnett novel Riders of the Dead these guys comprise most of the chaos hordes marauders. What sort of people are they? What real-life racial group would they ascribe to? At first I thought they were scandinavian-esque until I learned there is a seperate group with that distinction already. Which leads me to....

Norse - Are all of these people devoted to Chaos, in Riders of the Dead they were certainly peachy with the Kurgan or at least a group of them were. Are there any subgroups that do not worship the chaos gods? I could really sea a strong Manaan (because of their seamanship) and Ulrik (for obvious reasons) following here. How do they differ from the Kurgan, physically? Are they a more or less technologically advanced society?

Huns - I know these guys are to the east, much like in real life. I assume from an appearence standpoint they appear much like their real-life counterparts. Do they actively worship chaos?

Are there any tribes I have missed if so please name them.

EvC
09-07-2005, 10:59
The Kul... the Tong... there are many. I think the Tong have passed into legend now, according to the Liber Chaotica.

Bubble Ghost
09-07-2005, 13:52
Kurgan - According to the recently released art/background book Darkness Rising: A Complete History of the Storm of Chaos and the Abnett novel Riders of the Dead these guys comprise most of the chaos hordes marauders. What sort of people are they? What real-life racial group would they ascribe to? At first I thought they were scandinavian-esque until I learned there is a seperate group with that distinction already.

The Kurgan are supposed to be the nastiest and most savage (in the literal sense) of the three groups. I'm honestly not too sure about a real-life analog, I tend to get Mongol imagery in my head when I think about them but that's the Hung really. I think the Kurgan are probably the closest thing Warhammer has to generic spiky movie barbarians. Be good if someone with more than my pathetic knowledge of history could add a little here though.


Norse - Are all of these people devoted to Chaos, in Riders of the Dead they were certainly peachy with the Kurgan or at least a group of them were. Are there any subgroups that do not worship the chaos gods? I could really sea a strong Manaan (because of their seamanship) and Ulrik (for obvious reasons) following here. How do they differ from the Kurgan, physically? Are they a more or less technologically advanced society?

The Norse are just a rugged people living in a rugged climate. They worship the Chaos gods because they respect their strength; to the Norse, those gods are 'the' gods, not paying homage to them isn't really an option if you want to wake up the same shape you went to bed, more so the further north you go. The more southern Norse tribes might well have adopted an Old World god or two (I'll smack anyone who mentions 'Olric' though). They're not Chaotic in the sense that you associate with daemons or subversive cults; the image we have of that stuff is the Imperial one, and in the Empire those activities are a rebellion, a conscious and malevolent lashing out against order and society. But in Norsca, respecting the most powerful gods is just what you do. It makes sense. Physically they're pretty much the Scandinavian archetypes you mentioned. Technology-wise, just think vikings and you're sorted.


Huns - I know these guys are to the east, much like in real life. I assume from an appearence standpoint they appear much like their real-life counterparts. Do they actively worship chaos?

I don't really know much about these guys, except that you probably can't go wrong with Mongol-type imagery. They're supposed to be great horsemen.


The Kul... the Tong... there are many. I think the Tong have passed into legend now, according to the Liber Chaotica.

Those are specific tribes within the three major groups Spooky mentioned.

Arnizipal
09-07-2005, 16:11
Check Liber Chaotica: Khorne (or Complete) for info on tha various tribes of marauders.
BTW: it's the Hung tribe, not the Huns. That would be a bit too obvious. ;)

RobC
09-07-2005, 16:11
My initial answer was going to point out that the Kurgan come from the film Highlander, but a quick google revealed the following:


Did the Kurgans, as a people, really exist?

Yes. According to the movie they were 'an ancient people from the steppes of Russia. For amusement, they'd toss children in pits with hungry dogs to fight for meat.' According to research, the Kurgans, a semi-nomadic pastoralist culture from Russin steppes to Danubian Europe c. 3500 BC. Around 2300 BC the Kurgans arrived in the Aegean and Adriatic regions. They buried their dead in deep shafts and were known as horse breeders. In addition, the term 'kurgan' is usually used to refer to ancient stone-age burial mounds found in Russia. Also 'Kurgan' is a city of over 200,000 in southwestern Siberia.

Rathgar
09-07-2005, 17:18
And “the Kurgan” is the bad guy in Highlander!!

*ahem* sorry.

You know, I’m not sure I like this “The Choas Gods are the gods, so we Norse worship them”. I always like the idea of it being:

[spooky voice] The Great Darkness in the North [/spooky voice]

You know? That many Norse fall to but a few fight against?

I like the idea of a very fractured Norsca, where all the tribes fighting each other and all have many diverse beliefs, some being Chaotic, others not. And I don’t buy the idea of respecting the Chaos Gods and other gods. I doubt the big four would tolerate that…

RobC
09-07-2005, 17:20
Yeah, that's always been my interpretation too. The Warp gate is expanding, and slowly but surely the Norse tribes are becoming assimilated by the Warp. To some extent they've always been influenced, but overt Chaos-worship only happens furthest north.

EvC
09-07-2005, 18:18
Yes, Bubble Ghost is right about the Kul, Tong, etc.

What about the Dolgans, are they Chaotic? I recall a short story in the back of a book given away with WD during the SoC about a bunch of Chaos tribesmen trying to gain the favour of one of the main men, and some Dolgans were among those competing for the favour...

lredman
09-07-2005, 19:14
UKWD290 has a nice article on 'the warrior tribes of the north-east'. It has a rather dandy map showing the positions of various tribes, and seems to suggest that the main groups are:

the Kurgan (of which the dolgans are a tribe) - who live to the north of the dark lands and cathay

the Norse - who live just above kislev (which you probably already know)

the Hung - who live to the north of naggaroth

and the Dorstan - who strangely don't seem to feature on the map

hope that helps

RobC
10-07-2005, 08:50
I think the Dolgan short in the Hordes of Chaos book was more a nod to the old background than anything else. Back in the day, Dolgans were one of the constituent people of Kislev, specifically the wild, untamed ones that lived in Farside and beyond.

EvC
10-07-2005, 12:15
For some reason I can imagine the war mammoths a la Forge World being ridden by Dolgans more than any other subset of Chaos- is there a reason why I think this?

Pravus
15-07-2005, 11:55
Pg 12 of the hordes of Chaos sets it out quite nicely

Norse are archetypical Chaos Warriors - pale skinned and fair haired loons a la Vikings history. I believe the model line currently in existance is based on them.

Kurgan - are "raven haired and dark-skinned, quite unlike Old Worlders in apperance". I take this to mean they look more like people of afro-caribbean and/or asian (indian sub continent) stock.

Hung are apparently of oriental appearance, much like the people of Cathy and Nippon.

Also, these are racial rather than tribal groupings. Within each racial group there are various tribes e.g. Vargs, Aeslings and Bjornlngs are all tribes of Norse stock. The map on page 7 of HoC shows this.

Having said all of this, the book tends not to be consistant (see the picture of the charge of the Khazags - it appears to depict individuals with "Norse" features and yet on the map the Khazags are a Kurgan tribe.

Other than the book references though, this is just my opinion -

I have painted my marauders as Kurgans with what you might consider to be afro-carribean skin tones and they look quite nice, even if I say so myself!

Plaguebeast
15-07-2005, 14:04
I don't think there is any real world reflection of the Kurgan. I guess you could say they lean towards the Turkic nomads in their appearance (although they are probably taller and more muscular in the Warhammer World) rather than the Mongols (who are represented by the Hung).

Plaguebeast

Shadowspite
15-07-2005, 18:12
I've always thought of the Hung as representing the later Turko-Mongol steppe tribes (from the Huns onwards), while the Kurgan represent the earlier Iranian-speaking steppe nomads (such as the Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans). Compared to the Germanic peoples represented by northern Old Worlders of the Empire and Bretonnia, these Iranian tribes were indeed dark-skinned and dark-haired, although their skin tone would be closer to 'Middle Eastern' than 'Afro-Carribean'. They also buried their dead in barrows called 'kurgans'.

Spooky
15-07-2005, 21:03
What of the Dolgans? Are they a sub-tribe of one of the aforementioned or there own seperate entity? What do they look like?

Which of these tribes provides most of the stock that become "Chaos Warriors"? I would imagine that they would need to possess a significant amount of metallurgy.

Shadowspite
16-07-2005, 08:39
What of the Dolgans?
The Dolgans are a Kurgan tribe who live east of the Frozen Sea, beyond the Kul (also Kurgans) and the Hastlings (a Norse people) and north of the Skull Road.


Which of these tribes provides most of the stock that become "Chaos Warriors"?
The Kurgan, partly because they are by far the most numerous of the three 'Peoples of Chaos', but also because they are the most eager to serve Chaos.

Pravus
16-07-2005, 22:12
Compared to the Germanic peoples represented by northern Old Worlders of the Empire and Bretonnia, these Iranian tribes were indeed dark-skinned and dark-haired, although their skin tone would be closer to 'Middle Eastern' than 'Afro-Carribean'.

I think that's incorrect. The other two descriptions of the three main racial groups makes clear comparisons - the Kurgans are portrayed as unique in the experience of old worlders and without comparison. Given that Araby traders travel throughout the old world a middle eastern appearance would have a direct comparison for them to make.

Shadowspite
17-07-2005, 07:22
the Kurgans are portrayed as unique in the experience of old worlders and without comparison
Wrong. They are described as 'quite unlike Old Worlders in appearance'. Araby is not considered part of the Old World. As long as the Kurgan do not resemble people from the Empire, Bretonnia, Estalia, Tilea or the Border Princes then they do not resemble Old Worlders, by definition. There's no mention of the Kurgan being 'unique and without comparison'.

Besides, an Afro-Caribbean skin tone among people who for millennia have lived in the Warhammer version of Siberia is, genetically speaking, utterly implausible. They'd be dropping like flies from vitamin D deficiency if nothing else. I'm just going to ignore that special edition Marauder Chieftain from a few years back (it wouldn't be the first time an 'Eavy Metal painter got the fluff wrong, after all). GW's artwork certainly has never portrayed any Marauders as being of Afro-Caribbean appearance.

EDIT: I may have slightly misunderstood your argument. You probably didn't mean to imply that any description of the Kurgan specifically said they were unique, just that the lack of a comparison with other peoples suggested as much. I still don't agree with you, though. Basing an argument purely on the lack of a specific comparison seems rather to be clutching at straws. Of course, my view of the Kurgan is based largely on speculation (and the fact that I find the historical Scythian and related peoples to be fascinating)... :p

EDIT2: This (http://www.fred-katrin.de/warhamm/volume1/adrian_smith_chaos_marauders.jpg) is what at least one GW artist thinks the Kurgan look like. At least, they're not Norse (they're all black-haired, not blond or redheaded) or Hung (they're too tall and the eyes are wrong). Dark-skinned, yes (although it's hard to tell whether that's just the effect of the lighting). Unlike Old Worlders, yes (although not very different). Afro-Caribbean, no.

Plaguebeast
17-07-2005, 10:12
I've always thought of the Hung as representing the later Turko-Mongol steppe tribes (from the Huns onwards), while the Kurgan represent the earlier Iranian-speaking steppe nomads (such as the Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans). Compared to the Germanic peoples represented by northern Old Worlders of the Empire and Bretonnia, these Iranian tribes were indeed dark-skinned and dark-haired, although their skin tone would be closer to 'Middle Eastern' than 'Afro-Carribean'. They also buried their dead in barrows called 'kurgans'.

Actually, your probably right there about them being more representative of the Iranian-speaking nomads.

On another note, would the Hung utilise bows, or would they stick to the general Chaos-worshiper attitude of eschewing missile weapons?

Plaguebeast

Zink
17-07-2005, 14:01
That's one thing I don't understand about chaos now. They're recruited from nomadic horseman tribes. But until recently never had light cavalry and still don't use bows! Wouldn't mind seeing more variety like used to be available for chaos warriors and champs. Now they all look too similar for my taste.

Shadowspite
17-07-2005, 17:59
Realistically, any group living on a large open plain would die very quickly if they didn't make use of missile weapons. This is true regardless of whether the Kurgan and Hung are meant to be Scythians/Huns/Mongols/etc. The Eastern Steppes and the Chaos Wastes are basically wide open plains.

Actually, if you read some of the BL novels, the steppe-dwelling Marauders do indeed make use of bows. It's only really within the game and purely for gameplay/balance reasons that Marauder cavalry don't have proper missile weapons.

Incidentally, the Yezegesh (from 'Iazyges', one of the main Sarmatian tribes) nomads in my Cult of Slaanesh army are an exception to this and do use bows, but that's because they are, in game terms, Dark Riders... ;)