Friday, October 14, 2022

REVIEW: Sons of Behemat - The Lore

There's more to the Sons of Behemat than just some fancy new rules though, they have fancy new lore too! Being a rather new addition to the setting, there's still tons of room to flesh out this gigantic army, and this new book definitely takes advantage of it. As much of a Death fan as I am, I always love Destruction lore because it's all just so much fun!

First off, thank you to Games Workshop for sending me an early review copy of this book. To start with, the cover on this is amazing! The sense of scale is immediate, and Brodd is front and center as he should be. Also, just look at all of those heroic skeleton warriors. What brave little lads. A+ and a great improvement on the last cover, which was already pretty cool. This one just has a ton more atmosphere to it for me.

Once we delve into the lore proper we get a brief overview of who the Sons of Behemat are and how they fit into the Mortal Realms. This is all the same as the last book, which you can read about here. Of course the foundations are the same, but they've found a lot of cool ways to works new aspects into the lore as well. We then move onto their creation myth, which, in the mortal realms, is more truth than myth. As their name implies, they can trace their heritage to the godbeast Behemat, but it actually starts before that, as Behemat himself came from Ymnog, the grandfather of gargants. Behemat grew from a stone inside of Ymnog's intestines, who was a truly massive being. At one point Ymnog laid down to sleep, and it's then that Behemat brewed moonshine in his father's guts to get him to retch and throw him up. It turns out that Behemat actually had two siblings as well, but they unfortunately got too drunk on the moonshine, and didn't make it out of Ymnog's mouth in time. I may just be forgetting, but I don't recall any siblings being mentioned in the last book, so maybe they're setting something up for the future.

After this Behemat roamed the lands and met Gorkamorka. This is all the same as the last time, where we learn about the different feats Gorkamorke challenged him too, ultimately ending in his battle with Sigmar, which saw him knocked out for centuries in Ghyran. There are a few new feats added in here to cover some developments to the lore since the first book. One of which involves a Mork worshipping tribe of orruks trying to poke him with their spears, so he vomited upon them and washed them away into stinking mires where they still live today as the Kruleboyz. He also batted away meteors, some of which landed in the mortal realms and became either the Seraphon or the Draconith, depending on where they landed. It's interesting to try and figure out how much is fact and how much is fiction with this. Normally you would just say it's all myth, but since godbeasts are literally real in AoS, some of it must be real. At the same time, we know the Seraphon travelled to the mortal realms from the world-that-was, so that part must clearly be made up.

The next part details the death of Behemat, which if you read the old Realmgate Wars books, then you're already familiar with. Basically Archaon found out where he was sleeping and tried to wake him and enslave him for his own purposes. Unwilling to let this happen, Sigamr ultimately had the Celestant-Prime kill the godbeast with a great lightning bolt. Brodd's part in this is played up a bit more, since if you recall, he was actually around back when this first story was written, except he was just a regular sized gargant since Megas didn't exist yet. He even had a model converted up for him, which the new model pulls a lot of design cues from. After Behemat's demise some of the gargants began to grow in stature over the decades, eventually becoming the Mega-Gargants. Some claim that some day one of them will grow big enough to take Behemat's place as the godbeast of the gargants.

As the Era of the Beast came into being, the powers of Ghur surged and was felt by all of the Sons of Behemat. They were drawn to Kragnos and many of them followed him to the siege of Excelsis. One interesting bit talks about how the gargants actually started splitting into two ideological camps. One sees Kragnos as someone worthy to follow, while the others see him as a pretender and want to bring him down. King Brodd falls firmly in the latter camp. They're also outraged by the Dawnbringer crusades for settling in their lands, but appreciate the near constant stream of tasty snacks they provide.

Next we get a map of Ghur and a bit of talk about their lands. It also mentions who while gargants favor Ghur, they're actually everywhere, including some in Azyr who have sided with the sigmarites.

The timeline, oh this timeline. There are so many good bits here. Again, Destruction lore is just so fun. There's one bit that talks about a trio of gargants who strike a deal with a vampire. The vampire is actually tricking them though, making their blood more enticing, and eventually he goes to their cave to feast on them. After finishing off two of the gargants, the third awakes and eats the vampire. Once done he burps up a cloud of necromantic energy that raises up all the skeletons in his cave. There's also some stuff detailing the rise of Brodd, but my overall, all-time favorite bit from any Destruction book is Ready to Rumble. This talks about how some Lumineth had a vision about some gargants meeting up with some ogors and thought it must mean trouble, so they venture into Ghur to stop it. They arrive via a realmgate right in the middle of the meeting and discover a curious thing. They're not meeting up for some nefarious purpose, the ogors and garagants are actually playing soccer/football against each other using volcanic rocks! One of these rocks destroys the Lumineth's realmgate and the aelves get stuck there. They then have to fight their way out, which riles up the ogors and gargants more, and a bunch of the aelves end up dying. In the end the two forces of Destruction had a great time and the surviving aleves just don't want to talk about it anymore. Glorious!

This is followed by a breakdown of how the gargant tribes typically organize themselves and then an overview of the mercenary elements of their race. I love how they discovered the idea of being mercenaries by watching the ogors do it first and seeing all the loot they got paid in.

Next we have the lore on each individual unit, of which we get three new additions. Kragnos is in here, but his lore is pretty much the same. It does mention how various Mega-gargants keep challenging him to a fight, and so far he's won every one of them. King Brodd is the big new addition though. He started out as king of the Scabrous Sprawl, the area where Behemat rested after being bested by Sigmar. It was during this time that he cleared Tor Crania, an ancient temple built by the gargants upon Behemat's forehead, of the Cygors who had taken it over during the Age of Chaos. During the battle during the Realmgate Wars he saw the death of Behemat and now has a burning hatred of Sigmar and all who serve him. He's also no fan of Nurgle for that god's part in the corruption of the Sprawl. He's said to have a sliver of the spirit of Behemat that hangs upon him and is somewhat of a priest. We also get the Beast-smasher, which is a Mega-gargant infused with the spirit of Gorkamorka. As such they always want to test themselves against the largest beasts of the realms.

After the lore section we move onto the gallery, which has all the 'Eavy Metal painted models and a bunch of cool scenic shots. I really like what they've done with a bunch of these, especially the one with the Megas stomping through the Lumineth. You really get a sense of scale with them. Just touching on the art really quick, there are a couple of new pieces in here, mostly with Brodd and the Beast-smasher. I also really like the new art along the sides of the pages.

If you want to read my take on the rules, you can check out my article on those from earlier in the week. I wholly intended to get the lore side of this out sooner, but life has been a bit crazy lately. I really like what they've done with the lore. It's a ton of fun and Brodd is a great character. He adds a nice central focus to the army, and although I'm not a fan of an overabundance of special characters, I think each army should have at least one. It's a fantastic model too. I mean, what more can you ask for than a bunch of gargants and ogors playing football. Peak Destruction right there.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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