Lore Explainer : The Sons of Behemat

The Sons of Behemat, towering titans, stompers supreme – where do they come from? What do they want? Who is Behemat, anyway? Come, my children, gather around the fire and I, friendly lore-skald keewa, shall tell you a story of heroes, villains, and the Age of Myth.

In the World-That-Was, giants were occasional threats, attached to Greenskin armies as living siege weaponry. But these giants were stupid – drunken, lumbering oafs, scarcely capable of thought beyond stomping and smashing anything they were pointed towards. Monsters of the fairytale kind, formidable but quite beatable should the right hero come along. We all know what happened next, End Times, world destroyed, world remade.

In the new world, Sigmar and the twin-god Gorkamorka had an uneasy kind of arrangement, wherein Gorkamorka would kill the monsters threatening Sigmar’s cities in exchange for being released from being trapped by a living avalanche (yeah, it’s a whole thing, don’t make it weird). One of the monsters (Godbeasts) wandering around was a fellow by the name of Behemat, a truly titanic figure content to spend his days stomping around, eating, and sleeping. Sounds pretty good to me. Gorkamorka thought so too, and was pretty pissed off at being made to do monster cleanup work while Behemat skipped through the flowers without a care in the world, and so the brutally cunning one came up with a sort of Labours of Hercules-style set of challenges for Behemat. You know the kind, drink an ocean, pick up a mountain, an eating contest, the kind of macho stuff that would appeal to a lunk like Behemat. The last of these challenges involved the dubious task of fighting Sigmar himself to a standstill, so the big stomper and the God-King had a big old scrap, which ended with Sigmar, wielding the legendary hammer Ghal Maraz, clocking Behemat on the jaw with an earth-shaker of a blow.
Behemat didn’t die though, he stumbled off with a nasty concussion, and puked up an uncountable number of his children, the gargants (which is the new Sigmar-y name for giants). Disgusting. After this incredible feat of making-the-author-uncomfortable, the God-Lunk passed out, eating dirt in such a mighty fashion that his body became embedded in the ground of Ghyran. Although he probably should have gone to a hospital (Always go to A&E if you think you might be concussed, kids!), Behemat lay unconscious in the ground of Ghyran for millennia and like a Dinosaur, geological forces buried his snoozing form. Whom among us hasn’t fallen asleep and had a mountain form on top of them?

But where did Behemat come from? Well, his papa was called Ymnog, long before the coming of Sigmar the hugest guy that ever was. Legend says that Ymnog swallowed three stones, which transformed in his vast stomach into Behemat and his two siblings, Gorg and Amagorag. These three hatched a surprisingly cunning plan to escape from their gastric gaol, in a move that would make any hillbilly weep for joy, they brewed a big lake of Moonshine in their pa’s belly, a mixture so potent that he couldn’t help but.. well, you know. In much the same way as Behemat would later birth his sons, he escaped from his father’s tummy. His siblings were not so lucky, however, being swallowed back down by Ymnog, in a move that experts call “fucking gross, man. Jeez.”

Big Smash
Big Gargants Swing Hard. Credit: Games Workshop

Big Boy Season

Unfortunately, once the Age of Chaos kicked off and Archaon’s arseholes started tearing up the realms, the fiendish champion of Chaos came up with a plan to crack open Azyr and feast on the goo inside. He would wake up Behemat, and then using some kind of chaos jiggerypokery, enslave him and make him smash the gates to the celestial realm. To this end, the forces of Nurgle and the Skaven of Clan Skryre went forth to Ghyran to try and ring the alarm clock. The pestilential ones would infect Behemat with their sickness through the corruption of the earth, while the ratmen would attempt to drill into Behemat’s noggin with their warp drills, an extremely rude awakening.

Until this point, the Everqueen-turned-goddess Alarielle had actually been keeping an eye on Behemat’s body, but decided to let him keep snoozing. The gods of the realms didn’t really have any problem with Behemat; he was an oaf, sure, but he wasn’t evil. Unfortunately, the warp drills did the trick, and Behemat woke up with the worst headache in history, the ground buckling and being rent asunder as his colossal body began to move and stretch after millennia of sleep. Ever fallen asleep on your arm? Now imagine you’ve been sleeping on it for thousands of years. Doctor Everqueen used her Goddess of Life hoodoo to run a quick diagnosis and sadly concluded that as a result of the corruption, Behemat was already infected far beyond any recovery. She therefore recommended that he be put down like Old Yeller. Only one individual was up to the task of euthanising the World Titan, and so the Celestant Prime arrived on the scene, wielding the hammer that had knocked Behemat unconscious all those thousands of years ago. Ol’ Golden Boy teed up a big hitter and smacked Behemat right between the eyes, killing him stone dead, for real this time.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Turning Behemat into a permanent geological feature may have put an end to Archaon’s scheme, but it inadvertently sowed the seeds for another destructive force to pop up. You see, after Behemat snuffed it, his sons (and daughters, although we’ve not seen them in-game, there are Daughters of Behemat too, hint hint GW, bring out a female Mega-Gargant, you’re leaving money on the table here.) underwent a sort of metamorphosis, as though a kind of built-in limiter had been switched off. The gargants started to grow, not quickly, but each generation became more imposing than the last, with some of the youngest generation topping out at over one hundred feet tall. These “Mega-Gargants” (Another resounding hit for the imaginative naming department) soon began to dominate gargant-kind all over the realms, what had previously been a species of independently itinerant individuals began to coalesce into tribes centred around particularly special Mega-Gargants. It wasn’t just the bodies of these exemplars that had grown, their burgeoning brains ballooned in size as well, gifting these Megas with an intelligence far in excess of that of their less-developed underlings. They’re not about to field a team for University Challenge anytime soon, but they’re capable of at least employing basic reasoning and even… gasp! Talking in sentences! 

It’s not clear whether the smaller Gargants can themselves become Mega-Gargants, or if their size is fixed at maturity. The emergency of King Brodd does somewhat suggest that “Mancrusher” Gargants can become Mega-Gargants, but perhaps Brodd is just special?

Who Are the Sons of Behemat? - Warhammer Community

Between the time when the Sigmar knocked out Behemat and the final smiting of the World Titan, there was an age undreamed of. Some of the last regular non-mega gargants to be produced by Behemat’s disgusting propagation mechanism came to inhabit a flying island above Ghyran known as The Great Green Torc. These gargants were pretty intelligent, and even had some basic sense of ethics. They ruled over their Sky Kingdom and came to learn how to use a forge and produce actual things, things like cannons the size of houses and massive pistols. You might notice that most of these belong to the Ogres now, like the giant gun of the Ironblaster or the handguns wielded by Tyrants and Mournfang riders. The Sky Titan kingdom fell into ruin as they fled the encroaching plagues brought by the Nurgle-worshippers striving to infect the buried Behemat.

Keeping it in the Family

Gargant tribal society is organised around the leadership of a “Big Heel”, the biggest, smartest, and strongest of the tribe, followed by his immediate underlings, typically other Mega-Gargants that the Big Heel has beaten in leadership contests. Following these are the basic, regular gargants, referred to as “Footsloggas”, they typically model themselves after the Big Heel in order to curry favour with their lord. With the exception of the “runty” Footsloggas, this society is quite fluid, should the Big Heel get badly hurt, one of his Underlings might seize upon the opportunity to mount a leadership challenge and become the new Big Heel. This constant internal tension can make Gargant tribes rather fractious and prone to schisming, so they rarely number above 30 individuals. That said, 30 individuals can do rather a lot of damage if they each happen to be the size of a building.

Despite their seeming simplicity, Gargant culture has a strong tradition of storytelling, with Matriarchs often retelling the myths and legends of Gargantkind when clans meet. These colossal brutes are also actually quite playful, in the same way that the dumbest, most drunken teenagers are playful. They exemplify the feeling of reckless invulnerability of the adolescent, passing the time by engaging in such contests as:

  • Horse-punting: The Gargants compete to see who can kick a horse the furthest.
  • Boar-scoffing: Competitors stuff as many pigs into their mouths as they can.
  • Wakebelching: Gargant mercenaries burp in camp or into towns and see how many angry people they can wake up
  • Manskittles: Competitors throw rocks at formations of troops to see how many he can knock over.
  • Mournfang-tipping: You can probably tell what this involves, but just in case, it’s pushing over Mournfangs.

File:King Brodd.jpg

Long live the King

A descendant of those Sky Titans that fled the encroaching Nurgle threat, King Brodd is an unusual Mega-Gargant, packing both enormous strength and decent intelligence into one massive frame. He claims dominion over all the gargants of Verdia through the simple doctrine of Might Makes Right, and to cement his claim, he wears on his head the skull of a great Mouldragon, killed with his bare hands. As his weapon he bears a enormous hammer, made from a massive stone pillar (that was part of a Behematian temple, yes really, the Sky-Titans built temples to Behemat) attached to the trunk of an enormous tree. Under his rule, Brodd’s stomp leaves its seclusion behind, crashing forth from the Scabrous Sprawl to take the fight to Chaos directly. Brodd and his stomp were convinced into fighting alongside the Stormcast Eternals in their desperate struggle to protect the slumbering body of Behemat from the ill intentions of Chaos, indeed Brodd himself is said to have witnessed the moment that Sigmar’s Celestant-Prime sniped his father with a lightning bolt. This perceived betrayal has made Brodd particularly angry with the Stormcast and their hammer-god, funnily enough.
Although he respects his strength and power, Brodd also doesn’t really like Kragnos or believe that he ought to be in charge of the forces of destruction, after all, he’s definitely not a gargant – he doesn’t even have proper feet!

Soldiers of Foot-une

Somewhere along the line, A trio of gargants known as the Grugg brothers saw some Ogre Maneaters selling their mercenary services to all and sundry and had something of an epiphany. “I get to fight, and they’ll give me food, drinks, and shiny trinkets for doing it?” All they had to do was do as they were told and not attack the people telling them what it was that they had to do. As you can imagine, getting their heads around this concept did not come easily, but eventually the Grugg Brothers cracked it and, leaving the Ogors behind for pastures new, they took the concept with them and it spread to other gargants, eventually becoming a key part of Gargant society. These lunk-heads were so overawed by the brilliance of “getting fed over and over again by little-‘uns rather than killing them straight away” that they called it The Great Secret. A whole cow and a barrel of wine is a fine meal for a Gargant, after all.


Final Thoughts

The Sons of Behemat are a relatively new faction to the Age of Sigmar, but they’ve got some of the faction’s most fun lore. There are also a ton of ways to incorporate that into your army, and hopefully this Lore Explainer will help you do just that.

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