Split-Grin Bad Moons
For years the Split-Grin Bad Moons scraped out an existence on Eyrok skirmishing with their rivals the Skullcrackers. Their Warboss, Skagfing, was content to lead his Boyz in the brawl with the Goffs and make some teef in the process, trading with Freebooterz for shiny stuff. The big guns of the clan kept the Skullcrackers in check, and Skagfing liked to make jokes about poor old Krugg the ‘Tyrant’ who couldn’t afford a good shoota. The Split-Grin tribe might not have been huge, but they had the best loot, and the biggest guns to keep other Orks from getting their hands on it.
This all changed when Grukk met Mogrok and decided to take control of all Eyrok’s Orks. Skagfing had only recently heard about his rival’s death when Grukk and his lads smashed their way into the Bad Moons camp, the Goff Warlord sacrificing loads of Boyz as he charged to in pin Skagfing down, stand on his chest, and messily rip his face from his skull. In a single bloody blow, the Split-Grins were absorbed into the Skullcrackers and Grukk took control of the tribe. In Skagfing’s place a bunch of Nobs tried to bully their way to the top, but none of them could match the raw aggression and prodigious size of Grukk.
Fragmented and leaderless, the Split-Grin tribe became inferior to the Skullcrackers. Grukk used the tribe for its massive guns and kustom weapons, draining their stockpiles to build up his warband. The Split-Grin tribe also gave Grukk access to the Sanctus Sub-sector’s Freebooterz, giving the Ork Warboss a way off Eyrok and out into the void. Of course, Freebooterz’ tastes are just as extravagant as Bad Moons, and so as soon as Grukk’s warband took to the stars, the fortunes of the Split-Grins changed again.
Gashrakk da Flash was once first mate to none other than Kaptin Badrukk, the famous Ork pirate. According to rumour, even Badrukk had gotten sick of Gashrakk’s swaggering pretension and so had forced him off his ship. Heading off on his own, Gashrakk had massed a small fleet of kroozers and was haunting the Sanctus Sub-sector when Grukk left Eyrok. Seeing an opportunity to increase his wealth, and to have a good fight too, Gashrakk ‘happened’ to cross paths with the Goff Warboss and offered his services. It was completely by chance that the Freebooter fell in with the Split-Grin Bad Moons, but as soon as he did the Orks knew they had met a leader they could profit under.
Gashrakk was something of an anomaly among Orks; he was always clean, his kit polished to a high shine and his colourful armour and clothes bright and unstained. In fact, Gashrakk’s obsession with his wargear extended beyond his personal appearance and to his ships and weapons, each one buffed to a dull shine. Gashrakk would use mobs of grots to keep his gear in pristine condition, and as soon as his armour took a scratch or his boots lost their lustre a grot would be there to polish them up or, failing that, to hurry along with a replacement. The Freebooter boasted that he had never used the same gun more than once – such was his wealth that he would throw his shoota away after each fusillade, a grot gun-caddy rushing forward to offer up a fresh one.
This mixture of arrogance and vanity were just what the Split-Grins wanted, and its Nobz and Boyz fell into line behind Gashrakk, dubbing him ‘da Flash’. He, in turn, made sure that no one could mistake the Split-Grin Bad Moons for any other mob of Orks, and that when they turned up there could be no doubt they were the richest warband around. The Freebooter surrounded his tribe with Meks, keeping them plied with teef and scrap so he always had the best kustom wargear. Gashrakk spread these choice items amongst his favoured Boyz, ensuring the Split-Grins always had the best weapons, wagons and armour, and the other tribes were only able to look on in envy.
At this point, the Freebooter had the first sparks of an idea about how he might become the richest Warboss ever. By following Grukk’s Waaagh! into the biggest battles and relying on the Split-Grins’ fearsome firepower, he could keep his tribe’s losses low, ensuring that any loot ended up finding its way into the holds of his ships.
Not long after Grukk started raiding the edges of the Sanctus Sub-sector, Gashrakk figured out that as long as he avoided the big Warboss’ temper (no small feat) he could talk the single-minded Goff into giving his Split-Grin tribe the choicest enemies to fight and the best bits of a world to attack. On the moons of Palos, while Grukk’s mobs cracked their way into the domed cities, Gashrakk plundered the world’s diamond mines, allowing the tribe’s Meks to use the gems as lenses and ammo in kustom blastaz or big gunz, and the Painboyz to give the richest Nobz new sets of ‘shiny teef’. On the prison planet of Night’s End, the Split-Grin tribe made piles of teef running the pit fights, Gashrakk personally blasting one particularly tough prisoner to bits when it looked like he might upset the odds.
More than once Gashrakk put Grukk’s loot in his own ships ‘for safe-keeping’ and waited for the Warboss’ attention to be drawn to another fight instead. Mogrok would have challenged Gashrakk for trying to use the Red Waaagh! for his own ends, if the Big Mek wasn’t doing precisely the same thing himself. In fact, the effectiveness of the Split-Grin tribe’s kustom weaponry allowed Gashrakk to get Mogrok and his Mek followers to make several Gorkanauts and Morkanauts for the Split-Grins. The Freebooter even managed to lay claim to one of Mogrok’s Stompas, and the Split-Grins were soon accompanied in battle by an everexpanding horde of smoke-belching walkers.