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Warhammer Grom the Pauch

Warlord Grom the Pauch in all his bloated glory

Warlord Grom, known more famously as Grom the Paunch or Grom the Fat of the Misty Mountains,[1a] was not only the largest and most powerful Goblin to have ever lived, but also among the greatest of Greenskin Warbosses, being the only Greenskin Warlord to have ever made a successful invasion of the distant lands of Ulthuan. Gobbos are cowardly and disloyal, but nothing stirs their wicked hearts like Grom, mightiest of Goblin Warbosses. Stories of Grom's greatness still command attention around any Goblin camp and if a Shaman should conjure his superlative-sized image, even the most boisterous gobbo will behave with reverence.[1b]

In Grom's looming presence Goblins will stand up straight, refrain from grumbling backtalk and even limit their rampant nose-picking. These ultimate displays of respect are because, to lowly Goblins, Grom is a living god, the embodiment of everything that they will never be -- large, ferocious and idolised.[1b]

All Warbosses are full of themselves and boastful but once again Grom displayed his epic proportions. Here was a Goblin from a backwards tribe grown large and powerful, suddenly able to bully Orcs and command as he saw fit. It is no wonder it went to his head. Soon after, he crushed an opposing leader beneath his bulk and added the Night Goblins of Thunder Mountain to his growing forces. Grom began to refer to himself in the third person. If they wanted to stay in his favour, Grom's followers had to use phrases such as `yer immensity' when addressing him. Both Grom and his horde grew larger still.[1a]

History Edit

Grom's meteoric rise began when, as a young Boss of the Broken Axe tribe, he consumed a portion of raw Troll. As Troll flesh regenerates and Grom, always a big eater, had not stopped to cook the meal, the foul meat writhed in his belly. The race to regrow, against the race to digest, was on. A lesser Goblin would have burst asunder, but Grom was made of sterner stuff. The Battle of the Belly, as the deed came to be known, changed Grom. He grew to prodigious size. It is said that on that day Grom last saw his own legs. Yet so huge and powerful had Grom grown that he no longer needed to see them, and could, instead, order others to see his legs for him.[1b]

So Grom's legend began. He quickly rose to be Warlord of the Broken Axe tribe and they spent many happy years plundering the Wolf Lands, the Badlands and the southern Worlds Edge Mountains. By this time, Grom had taken to fighting atop a chariot, as it suited his grandiose proportions. Many Goblins travelled far to see 'da Great 'Un' and join his exploits and, at its peak, Grom's Waaagh! contained hundreds of different tribes. Grom carved his name large in the psyches of Men, Dwarfs and Elves, in whose realms he is still feared and cursed. Even now, rumours sweep the Badlands that his corpulent majesty has returned and his once again amassing an army to launch a new invasion.[1b]

The Challenge of Thunder Mountain Edit

Within a year of the Troll-eating incident. Grom was already 'large and in charge' of the Broken Axe tribe. The tribe had grown considerably but had yet to test their strength against the most formidable power of the region -- Zhok Gutsabba, Orc Warboss of the Gutsabba tribe. Zhok and his Orcs had recently conquered the Night Goblins that lived in and under Thunder Mountain. Many of the Broken Axe Goblins felt they should run from the larger Orcs or submit to their rule. Grom, however, had other ideas.[1b]

Grom set out alone, his axe slung over his mighty shoulder. When word reached Zhok, the Orc demanded the Goblin King be allowed to journey without ambush -- he would teach the lumpy gobbo a lesson himself. When Grom made it to Gutstabba's camp, he found Zhok waiting for him, already encircled by a ring of bloodthirsty onlookers. Grom's size was impressive; he was less muscled than Zhok, but far larger in girth. The battle was short and brutal. Zhok landed a blow with his cleaver, but before everyone's eyes, the gaping wound healed itself. Zhok's dismemberment, however, did not. Grom's takeover bid for the Gutstabbas was only resolved after he slew every Orc Big Boss in the tribe. Grom was so exhausted, he sat his bulk down -- directly on top of a diminutive Night Goblin. All expected to find just a black cowl and an oozy stain beneath Grom's mass, but the Night Goblin not only survived, he sprang forth with a maniacal grin on his face. Taking this great fortune as a sign from Mork, Grom instantly promoted the lucky Night Goblin to carry his standard.[1b]


The Rise of Waaagh! Grom Edit

In the year 2410 IC, Grom, now a hulking mass of a Goblin with a pendulous and unnatural belly, led his horde through Black Fire Pass and northwards along the Dwarf-held highlands. He brought several Dwarf holds to ruin, desecrated the tombs of Dwarf ancestors and ordered a colossal statue of the Dwarf God Grungi to be hacked into his own, not insubstantial, image. Furious at this new outrage (and the poor level of craftsmanship), the Dwarfs gathered en masse to hew down the offending Goblin Warboss and his followers.[1a]

The Dwarfs, led by King Bragarik, met Grom's Waaagh! at the Battle of Iron Gate. After three days of non-stop fighting, the two sides retreated for some breathing space, leaving many dead, but no clear victor. For the Dwarfs, this result was nothing less than a disaster. Grom's rusty axe had reaped a grim tally of the King's best warriors and with so many of their brethren dead there could be no hope of driving the greenskins away. In desperation, the Dwarfs retreated to their various holds and, despite their pride, sent emissaries to the Empire seeking help. Grom the Fat had already replaced his losses as new tribes, particularly Goblins, flocked to join the corpulent leader.[1a]

Trail of DestructionEdit

Warhammer Waaagh! Grom 2

The armies of Grom the Paunch descends upon the Empire

Unfortunately for the Dwarfs (and the Empire) the reigning Emperor was Dieter IV, the Elector Count of Stirland and perhaps the most feckless and callow individual to ever sit upon the Imperial throne. When the Dwarf King's messenger reached Dieter's Golden Palace in the then-capital of Nuln, the Emperor reacted immediately, not by sending help, but by removing his entire court further westwards to Altdorf in order to be as far as possible from the threat. Disgusted, the Dwarf messenger returned to Karaz-a-Karak where the King received the news of the Emperor's decision with stoicism and a fresh entry into the Book of Grudges. Unable to contain Grom's ambitions without aid, the Dwarfs resolved once again to shut their stout doors and defend their holds from within.[1a]

Grom's Waaagh! rampaged through the mountains, but they were unable to take any major Dwarf holds or bring the stunties out for battle. All the while, Night Goblins from as far away as Red Eye Mountain, as well as many Goblins travelling from the Dark Lands, joined Grom's legions. Through Peak Pass came long lines of mobile shanty towns — the caravans of the swindle-happy trader tribes. Many of the lean Wolf Rider tribes came too. Hardened by their life in the Wolf Lands, they sought to put their banners beneath that of the larger-than-life and now-legendary Grom. As befitted both his massive status as well as his ponderous frame, Grom began to travel everywhere aboard an especially sturdy chariot. From that point in history, Grom had essentially formed the largest and most powerful Goblin Horde to have ever terrorized the lands of Men since the time of Sigmar Heldenhammer, a horde whose numbers can literally flood the Old World in a rushing green tide of violence and anarchy.[1a]

Leading his host westwards, Grom devastated the Empire provinces of Stirland and Talabecland, and penetrated as far as Hochland, in the shadow of the Middle Mountains. Empire armies were met and defeated and soon the humans retreated to walled towns and cities. The countryside was abandoned. The Great Forest became, for a time, a Goblin realm. Grom chose to bypass heavily fortified areas. Instead the Waaagh! lived off the land, leaving behind only burnt and well-picked over ruins. There was one notable exception. Since Imperial hero Magnus the Pious had become Emperor years before, the capital city of the Empire had been Nuln. Recently, however, the city defenses had been badly neglected in favour of Dieter's preference for marbled magnificence. Such a rich target could not be ignored and Dieter's marvellous Palace of Gold and his great buildings and fountains were destroyed in the ensuing attack. For weeks the cobblestone streets of Nuln rang to the sound of reckless chariot racing. To the frustration of the battle-minded Black Orc mobs that had joined the throng, Grom was content to rest upon his spoil-heaps. While popular with most troops, this lack of direction ensured that the ragtag army was widely dispersed, looting across wide tracts of the Empire.[1a]

The Empire BesiegedEdit

Warhammer Waaagh! Grom 3

The Empire being overwhelmed by impossible numbers

The mightiest of human nations was now little more than a collection of isolated communities huddling behind heavily defended walls, while Grom's hordes roamed and plundered at will. Forest Goblins emerged to join the rampage, and spiders of vast proportions crept over palisades and soon even walled towns were being plundered. The end of the Empire seemed inevitable, for during such times no land was tilled nor crops sown. The Emperor was too paralysed with fear to raise an army and spent his days secure in Altdorf, dreaming of lissome maids sprawling amid heaped piles of gold coins.[1a]

Only the desperate valour of Prince Wilhelm, cousin to Dieter, raised any hopes. While his army of hastily raised militia could not hope to stand before Grom's assembled minions, the greenskins were so divided across many provinces that it was possible to confront and beat many of these smaller elements. Thus, Wilhelm preserved the fertile fields of Reikland, a breadbasket that would scour the starving nation, if only the greenskins could be driven off. Despite the urgings of his Black Orc Warbosses, Grom remained content to loll about atop mounds of looted goods. It was a trance-prophecy from his Shaman, ol' Blacktoof, that rekindled Grom's fighting spirit. "Take to da sea", Blacktoof had said, "Gork and Mork want new lands to crush". In that hour Grom turned from lethargic despot to his old frenetic self. Without waiting to regroup his scattered legions, Grom ordered all troops within bellowing distance to head westwards.[1a]

Even with only a portion of his dispersed force, it was child's play for Grom to defeat an army of Middenland that marched out to meet him. As his chariot was destroyed by a cannonball in the battle with the blue-clad humans, Grom made a brief stop at the city of Middenheim. His new chariot was magnificent, made from the roof timbers of the Temple of the White Wolf in Middenheim. Grom, to the surprise of no one, named his chariot the same as the last one — the Chariot of Grom. Such was Grom's haste to reach the coast that the city of Middenheim was left intact, save for the roofless temple, a ruined gate and a lingering smell.[1a]

After devastating large tracts of Nordland, Grom reached the coast and immediately ordered the tribes gathering in his wake to build a fleet. Acres of timber were cut down while other tribes were sent to scavenge for supplies. The fleet was unlike anything seen before, enormous hulks of crudely fashioned wood, propelled by treadwheels or patchwork sails. In typical greenskin fashion, whatever materials were available were used, resulting in entire Imperial watchtowers dismantled and rebuilt (in a rather more slipshod style) upon the decks of larger ships. Many Warbosses, particularly the Orc and Black Orc ones, protested that the Boyz should be deployed in battle, not sweating it out shipbuilding. Grom slew enough protesters to quell the rest.[1a]

Within several months Grom set sail and made his way down the coast. Brave ships from the Imperial Navy shadowed the greenskin fleet. Admiral von Kronitze did not want to risk engaging the greenskin armada, reckoning that time, tide and naval ineptitude would do much of his work for him. As Grom's fleet sailed for the delta of the mighty Reik, heading into Marienburg, Kronitze realised he had no choice but to attack. It was a massive and bloody sea battle that sunk half the Imperial fleet before the rest were driven off into the rising winds. Marienburg lay open to invasion but, as fortune would have it, the weather took a turn for the worse. Strong gales whipped up a rough sea and at last the poor seamanship of the Orcs and Goblins caught up with them. Unable to reach safety, many vessels, each crammed with greenskins, sank unceremoniously, killing hundreds with each vessel sunk. The rest of the fleet was blown out to sea and over the horizon.[1a]

The Fleet Passes WestEdit

Warhammer Waaagh! Grom

The Destruction of Waaagh! Grom

Although many of these shanty-craft were wrecked near the Bretonnian shore, the rest of the fleet rode out the storm. After forty nights at sea, Grom's much-reduced fleet made landfall upon a mist-covered coast. Keen-eyed shore patrols spotted the intruders and marvelled at the greenskin horde that was disembarking onto the shingle beach — this was the east coast of Ulthuan, along the bleak coast of Yvresse. The High Elves of that land have many magical protections to ward off strangers. Between the shifting sandbanks, mystical fogs and the innumerable sea monsters that prowled those waters, it was rare for a single ship to pass unimpeded.[1a]

How hundreds of ramshackle vessels could do so showed evidence of powerful magic, or luck beyond imagining. Grom's army was but a fraction of its previous titanic size, yet as they spread out upon the shores it was still a mighty host. Many of the wolves had torn each other to bits during the voyage, yet the ones that emerged were well-fed and were soon sent out to scout the new land. A single Wyvern survived being chained in the ship's damp and stinking hold, and it roared its anger as it was released, snapping and consuming Goblins by the dozen. Only the Shaman, ol' Blacktoof, could tame the beast — and he claimed it as his personal mount. Grom ordered the ships destroyed and their beams made into war machines and yet another chariot, for his old one was now on the ocean bed. Grom knew that there was no going back — if this strange new land was what Gork and Mork wanted conquering, then he was the Goblin to do it.[1a]

The horrendously outnumbered High Elves could do little to stop Grom's rampage. Small Elven armies contested river crossings or defended the towns, watchtowers and Elven mansions along the sparsely populated coast, yet all were ransacked in turn. The greenskins cheered to see the delicate spires topple into ruin. Ol' Blacktoof felt strongly that all the gleaming white watchstones that ringed the island should be uprooted and destroyed. Grom ordered it so. Each of these magical menhirs had been carefully set in the ground and surrounded with spells of protection. Their job was to capture and drain the fell magics of the world that, like a whirlpool, were drawn swirling into Ulthuan.[1a]

Over time even the loss of a single such stone could have dire consequences, and Grom's army had already wrecked many. The more standing stones the greenskins knocked down, the more menacing the swirling mists and multi-coloured lights that shone in the night skies became. Unbeknownst to the greenskins, each fallen stone further empowered Blacktoof, until the old Shaman was full to bursting with strange new magical energies. Such raw arcane power was driving him into madness. Still, the cackling Shaman divined the direction of a large Elf city and pointed the way. Grom ordered the army in that direction and within days Wolf Rider Scouts reported a towering city on the horizon.[1a]

The Battle for Tor YvresseEdit

Warhammer Grom the Pauch Art

Grom descending upon the "pointy-ears"

Grom was eager for a battle worthy of his reputation, and he got his wish. The city in question was Tor Yvresse, an ancient Elf metropolis whose glory, beauty and aesthetics rivalled any ever created. Nestled at the mouth of a natural harbour, Tor Yvresse rested on nine hills that grew out of the fertile green plain, while behind the high-walled city rose the steep Annulii Mountains. Confident of victory over the numerous, yet small and simple-minded barbarians, a formidable Elf army marched out of Tor Yvresse to ensure no filthy goblinoid befouled their beloved homes. Ten leagues out from the elegant spires the armies clashed. Grom ordered his infantry hordes forward to pin the pointy-ears in place, while his dwindling Wolf Riders and wolf-drawn chariots circled to strike the glittering host from the rear.[1a]

At first many greenskins died on the swift-moving blades and spearpoints of the Elven army, but Grom, surrounded by a sea of Goblins, stood tall in his chariot and bellowed for his troops to hold. While his troops weren't doing much, Grom himself was a powerhouse. The scythed wheels of his chariot mowed down pointy-ears like so much wheat, and his mighty axe lopped off Elf heads with every swing. When the howling greenskin flanking forces crashed home, the slaughter began. Three days after mopping up the Elf army on the fields, the greenskin siege machines were set in place to lob great boulders against the city walls. Meanwhile, the skies grew darker from the baleful effects of the destroyed Elven waystones. The ground trembled and at last the Elves realised their doom.[1a]

If they could not soon repair the fallen stones, or worse, another single waystone fell, the very island of Ulthuan could tear itself apart. The Goblin war machines spent a day battering Tor Yvresse. The city was proud no more. Many spires were pulverised and those that still stood were isolated, the elegant bridges that once connected them were smashed or ablaze. Into this ruin Grom ordered his final assault. Although his army's losses were no longer being replaced, the Goblin hordes were more than enough to breach the poorly defended walls and begin levelling Tor Yvresse to the ground. Never before had the greenskins seen such graceful architecture of slender columns curving artfully to support buildings that had stood for thousands of years. The greatest artisans of the Elves had produced peerless sculptures, fountains and open plazas of much wonderment.[1a]

Yet all the greenskins cared for was the anarchy their assault was causing. Cackling as the flames went higher, mobs of Goblins paused to rip arms off statues, torment injured Elves or barbarically smash any signs of civilisation. Even as they defended their ruined city, Elves wept at the unrecoverable and senseless loss of so much that was beautiful and fair. The island itself shuddered, burying many Elves and Goblins in the ruins. Ulthuan was convulsing, no longer protected by the standing stones against the swirling vortex of raw Chaos power. Blacktoof directed his Wyvern to fly towards the battlements of the Warden's Tower. Although he was mad with power, the old Shaman knew that with another fallen keystone, the entire island would sink. He would soon bathe in an aura of power and unleash an era of slaughter upon the world.[1a]

Yet before Blacktoof could reach his destination atop the menhir or unleash his vast reserve of power, a new force swept into the raging battle. Down from the skies hurtled Eltharion, an Elven captain of much renown. He rode upon a Griffon, and vengeance was in his eyes. As a magical storm broke and multi-coloured lightning strikes split the strangely hued skies, Eltharion beheaded Blacktoof with a single swordstroke. Far below, Eltharion's battle-hardened Elf reinforcements swept into the ruined city to face Grom and drive back his hordes. While Eltharion and a handful of mages attempted to calm the seething storm and prevent its catastrophic consequences, the battle in the ruins reached a crescendo. Desperately outnumbered, the Elves had been slowly pressed backwards through the ruined streets. The timely arrival of Eltharion's veteran warriors stemmed the green tide and soon the attackers were being driven back. Losing all confidence, the Goblins suddenly routed en masse. With the death of their chief sorcerer, the arrival of fresh Elven troops and the unnatural storm raging above, it was no wonder many Goblins lost heart and broke. For a time Grom attempted to rally his fleeing troops, but finally he too fled the city amidst the final collapse of its last towers.[1a]

DisappearanceEdit

No one is sure what happened to Grom in the wake of that conflict. The Elves never caught him and some say he resides there still, high up in the magic-tainted mountains of that strange land. Others say he flew off, mounted atop his mad Shaman's Wyvern, and is still seeking a new land worthy of conquest. None know for sure, but back in the Badlands rumours persist that one day Grom's corpulent majesty will return and once more lead them to victory.[1a]

MiniaturesEdit

  • Grom the Paunch & Niblit on Wolf Chariot (4th Edition.)
  • Grom the Paunch on Foot (4th Edition.)
  • Niblit on Foot (4th Edition.)

 

GalleryEdit

  • Grom the Paunch & Niblit on Wolf Chariot (4th Edition.)
  • Grom the Paunch on Wolf Chariot (4th Edition.)
  • Grom the Paunch & Niblit on Foot (4th Edition.)
  • Grom the Paunch & Niblit on Wolf Chariot (Trading Card Games)


Wargear Edit

  • Axe of Grom - The fabled Axe of Grom is also known as Elf-biter. It is said that it is particularly effective against that pointy-eared race.[1b]
  • Luck Banner - Niblet triumphantly waves Grom's tattered Lucky Banner during battle.[1b]

Source Edit

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 21 - 23
    • 1b: pg. 67

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