Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Chaos Deth Spiky Name Generator of Chaos

Having quite enjoyed building the Orc Name Generator, and being prompted for more by some of the responses to the original, I've constructed a Chaos Warrior name generator out of the original Oldhammer (pre Realms of Chaos) Chaos Warrior ranges.

As an exercise in geekness, trawling through the names themselves was very entertaining. But before we get into that, here is the result, Zhu's Patented Oldhammer Chaos Deth Spiky Name Generator of Chaos.

Warhammer Chaos Warrior Name Generator



Or if the dimensional portal iframe above isn't working visit : Ye Olde Oldhammer Chaos Warrior Name Generator

However, random Chaos Warrior name generators don't just grow on trees, not even chaotic twisted skull infested ones that jibber and clank in the night, full of ravens and other black feathery things that skwark and gibber endlessly. So here follows some of the arcane lore dredged up from mouldering tomes of evil regarding the early Citadel Chaos Warriors. As with the orcs, my sources are just the miniatures ranges produced by Citadel up to the end of Second Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle, not scenarios or rulebooks.

Solid Base Era Citadel Chaos Warriors 

Set One: Champion of Chaos Box Back (1982)
via

Set One version 2: Warriors of Chaos (1983)
From the First Citadel Compendium
via

Some copies of SS2 Warriors of Chaos also came with a scenario, mine didn't. However, I did get Airbornegrove to paint some up. Must get around to blogposting those, as soon as the sibilant demonic voices in my head let me stop engineering random name generators.

Quest for Chaos Scenario 1(via)
Quest for Chaos Scenario 2 (via)
It is well worth reading for the Swords & Sorcery background and atmosphere. The illustrations showing the warriors (and a Manfish!) in action by Tony Ackland are supurb, like spot illustrations for some unknown Moorcockian tome.

Set Three version Two: Knights of Chaos (1984)
Second Citadel Compendium

Knights of Chaos side 1 (via)

Quest for Chaos side 2 (via)
Again, these are essential reading if you want to get an idea of the dawn of the Incursion of Chaos, how it worked, who wreaked it, what it devastated, and why.

The blasphemous names of the Chaos Warriors from these sources, are as follows:

RangeFirstnameSecondnameHonorific
SS1ArkonStormrider
SS1BloodaxeGutripper
SS1BelialDoomsword
SS1UrlikBloodletter
SS1ChronosFoulblade
SS1BraxusDwarfbane
SS1ElrikDarkhelm
SS1GoronWidowmaker
SS1CharonUnspeakable
SS1 v2UlvarVileblood
SS1 v2SkathorSkullcrusher
SS1 v2KardosBloodhelm
SS1 v2BelmothBlacksword
SS1 v2Athgul Evilhand
SS1 v2DrakarDeathbringer
SS1 v2OgrothDarksoul
SS1 v2MorthogDoomaxe
SS1 v2UthmogElvenblade
SS1 v2NekrisDemonblade
SS3 v2TomarSpoghWarrior of the Divine Tuluk
SS3 v2Red DulmoonDark Saint of Insane Gotd
SS3 v2AgradChampion of Laughing Jokkle
SS3 v2Gindar MilkDisciple of Dark Zoombar
SS3 v2DoomedRatchraggedPriest of Wenwoch the Waylayer
SS3 v2RechgrundlePriest of Wenwoch the Waylayer
SS3 v2Cursed DoomhandleApostate of Heinus Suth
SS3 v2BuoophutBane-ArrowDevotee of Alaman
SS3 v2ThelKnight of Gorth the Great Obecisty

Don't read them out loud, Nyarlathotep is a busy fellow and doesn't like to be invoked on a whim.  The forenames are a mix of the Tolkienesque - several seem based on Morgoth, and generic fantasy sounding names, in fact they seem like they've already been randomly generated.

The structure of the secondnames in SS1 and SS2 is ver similar to that of the Orcs, a two-part name that describes some characteristic, although here it tends to be more narrative based rather than descriptive of arms and armour - as an example Uthmog Elvenblade is wielding a hammer, not an elven blade. 

Uthmog Elvenblade, John Blanche (1982?)
Not "Harry the Hammer"
There is a clear and dramatic shift in naming strategies from Speciality Set One versions 1 & 2 to SS3, where each Chaos Knight gets his own honorific title as Champion of one of Khornes divine retinue, and an ability bestowed upon him by his chosen deity - not really a mutation as later conceptions of Chaos would have it, but more a kind of super power. It was the end of a conceptual chain, where originally Citadel sold its creations as generic "Chaos Fighters", the Boxed Sets individually named each model, giving it a unique identity, through to fleshing out each identity as a unique character. Outside of the Regiments of Renown series and Scenario Packs the idea of models representing specific characters was largely abandoned - simply expecting the individual gamesmaster or players to pick models to suit their narrative or character concept or represent the character archetype or troop type.

Several of the names of these, the oldest of Oldhammer Chaos Warriors, stand out notably Arkon Stormrider.

Hello. My name is Arkon.
I wear furry pants, jaggy boot tops and a shoulder strap
circa 1982 (via)



Hello. My name is Arkon.
I wear furry pants, jaggy boot tops and a shoulder strap
circa 1970 (via)

The best thing about Heroquest is
I look like Arkon in a dress
Chaos Sorcerer circa 1989

Besides Arkon the Magnificent, with his indebtedness to Marvel comics in both name and design,  Bloodaxe Gutripper is clearly derived from 10thC Norwegian leader Eric Bloodaxe (who, unsurprisingly for Oldhammer, appears in Riverworld).  Another familiar name is Elrik Darkhelm, probably named after everyones favourite albinoid doomladen ex-emperor of Melniboné, but doesn't have any of Elrics trademark design queues. Drakar is Swedish for Dragon (which, I have to admit, only know because of Paul Bonners work on Swedish RPG Drakar och Demoner / Trudvang). Another one that struck me, but must just be an odd coincidence is that Tomar Spogh sounds a lot like Thomas Pugh, of Bolt-thrower miniatures fame.

After much bloodletting, belching and sacrificing skulls to the mighty overlords of chaos, I decided to drop the -letter suffix from SS1 Ulrik Bloodletter, as it often doesn't work well with any other prefix. It's nice to see the litany of blood, skull, death, demon  was well established even then.

One of the fun things was generating the name for the SS3: Knights of Chaos style honorific, so the deities name in Haxdar Widowrider Disciple of Bandar (for example) is generated using the same components as the other chaotic forenames, creating an infinitely branching family tree of ascended demi-god warriors of Khorne and their doomed followers. Not that this has anything to do with Realms of Chaos guff, ascending to godhood is pure BCEMI D&D isn't it!  An alternative approach could have been to just randomise the aspect of Khorne listed in the SS3: Knights of Chaos flyer, but that seems too dogmatic, in keeping with a strictly codified version of Chaos rather than the more freewheeling attitude evidenced by the other ranges of the period. Although what unearthly powers the Insane Chaos God Bandar may bestow upon his chosen Knight will have to be devised some other way! They're also not very frequent, so if you really want a follower of named deity, the generator will need refreshing a few times.

Mid 1980s Slottabase Citadel Chaos Warriors

Chaos Warrior miniatures released during the publication era of Second Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  Sculpted by Aly Morrisson, Bob Naismith and Michael and Alan Perry - an eclectic bunch of spiky deth chaos warriors if ever there was one.
Citadel C35 Chaos Warriors (1985) Compendium 3

RangeFirstnameSecondnameHonorificTitle
C35 Chaos WarriorsUlrikGiblit
C35 Chaos WarriorsUdkar
C35 Chaos WarriorsNudSpinespittle
C35 Chaos WarriorsFenris
C35 Chaos Warriors
Boneracker
C35 Chaos WarriorsPenedal
C35 Chaos WarriorsDaethskar
C35 Chaos WarriorsHarrowhound
C35 Chaos WarriorsThe Iron DukeDuke
C35 Chaos WarriorsBandog
C35 Chaos WarriorsCountMetalmaneCount
C35 Chaos WarriorsJagglespur
C35 Chaos WarriorsBezzlebound

By this point the Tolkienisms seem to have dropped all together, so no more anagrams of Morgoth. There are several canine references -  Fenris, the apocalyptic norse wolf demon, and Udkar and Ulrik also follow a vaguely norse bent.  Bandog may well be another canine reference to a class of English guard dog, a kind of Pitbull Mastiff. Harrowhound, maybe a small but vicious dog hailing from Harrow? I've no idea what Jaggle or Bezzle might refer to, 1985 seems a bit soon for bedazzle my vajazzle!

Then there is The Iron Duke, a nickname of the Duke of Wellington, a much celebrated English military commander and English Prime Minister. Odd choice for a Warrior of Chaos, surely a Goodly Knight of Law if ever there was one. Perhaps it's ironic.

Duke of Wellington "The Iron Duke"

Of course, this lead me to think that perhaps the nicknames of prime ministers, perhaps Dodgy Dave the Pigsticker, or  Teflon Tony B'liar (the list goes on, and on) could join the ranks of the Initiates of Khorne. It's even possible the canine references were a coded reference to Sir Winston Churchill - the Bulldog (and car insurance sales gimmick), but rather than add in external sources, I just mixed the name-parts in. As with the earlier Speciality Set Chaos Warriors, the two-part second names dominate, which lend themselves very easily to randomising.

And finally we have the consciousness devouring 1987 range of Chaos Warriors, sculpted by Jez Goodwin that would go on to form the definitive look of the Chaos Warrior throughout the bleak and dismal ages that would follow the end of Second Edition.

CH2 Chaos Warriors advert, White Dwarf 81 (1986) 

RangeFirstnameSecondnameHonorific
CH2ArnieSlicernecker
CH2CedricHammerhand
CH2BorisHeartcleaver
CH2Slambo
CH2Eric UmbrandEarthshaker
CH2Garog
the Unstoppable
CH2HaxrotGreenpiece
CH2KrayosDleth
CH2IvanEdaik
CH2LudmillaLoinripper
CH2Suiyakai
The Inscrutable
CH2Gladstone
The Large
CH2PapworthOrgangrinder
CH2DreadIndy Babylon
CH2PestilensOne Eye
CH2ChengisCrump
CH2ZogArkwrightMighty
CH2GigalDe ApplianceSir
CH2PifcoThe Deliverer

Again certain names jump out - Arnie Slicernecker - perhaps a loose play on Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gladstone - four times heavyweight Liberal prime minister William Gladstone - and like The Iron Duke before him, a peculiar choice for an agent of Chaos. We also see Dread Indy Babylon, a reference to rastafarianism grafted on to a somewhat sumerianesque figure, and the oriental Suiyakai which could be based on a kind of japanese noodle dish. Of particular interest to me is Erc Umbrand, who seems to be distorted echo of Umberto Eco - whose work is great, but also contains multiple layers of intertextuality and deliberate references through naming of characters.

And then there is Slambo.

Salammbo, by the mighty Druillet (1980)
Slambo. Ever wondered why the entire CH1 range is regaled in green armour? Of course we know Druillet had provided the inspiration for The Red Redemption, which were also sculpted by Jes Goodwin and released in May 1985. The design of Slambo provides the template for the Chaos Warrior in Heroquest (who nontheless fails to #twoweapon). I imagined the name was a combination of Slam and Rambo, still a valid joke, and considering  the reference to Arnie, not beyond reason,  but the weight of evidence that Druilet was something of the power behind the throne becomes as overwhelming as a great neon green chaos warhammer crushing down on a many tentacled beast from beyond the stars.

Then there are the honorifics - 'The Appliance", "The Unstoppable" which echo back to the Marvel Comics "The Mighty Thor" or "The Spectacular Spiderman" as well as Wrestling and American Football (William "The Refrigerator" Perry). Again, rather than adding to the list by invoking similar names, from sport and comics The Oldhammer Chaos Deth Spiky Name Generator of Chaos hews close to the sources.

And there endeth the beleaguered and mind shattering history of Oldhammer Chaos Warrior names. But of course, all this is but a history of a time to come!

What arcane anti-heroes of darkness has the generator summoned? What insanity hath the nominative Khaos engine wrought? What dark disciples of the infinite void are belched forth from the eternal cosmic darkness of Old Night?  If the Chaos Name Generator produces something funny, or entertaining or simply soul-destroying let me know in the comments!

18 comments:

  1. Oh man now this is more my style. ;)
    Redlik Harrowsword Champion of Ivik very nice!!!

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    1. Yeah! Uron Hammershaker Knight of Arnik is down with that.

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  2. Tom Crumpbane - Halfling champion of Khorne? More great geekery. Fantastic.

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    1. Yeah! There aren't enough Chaos Hobbits are there. I think Lobelia Sackville-Baggins took up the name Mortmilla Ratripper after she converted to the Cult of the Skull Lords.

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  3. Wonderful and eye opening once again.

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    1. I think Bor Bonesword is well known for his stabby 'eye opening' technique. Cheers!

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  4. Great stuff and a wonderful, in depth post. Very interesting indeed.

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    1. Glad you liked it Jeg - there's quite a lot of material there, and I'm sure I've missed some of the references. Ulron Stormbane likes wading through the depths, depths of the blood of his enemies!

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  5. Fantastic article and a great tool for any budding Chaos Lord!

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    1. Cheers Nergling, hope you find the tool useful. Perhaps Nekon Dlethblood will make it to the dizzy heights of Lord-dom.

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  6. I am reminded of 80's time-travelling computer game viking Brian Bloodaxe, perhaps a cousin of Eric and Gutripper.

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    1. I missed Brian Bloodaxe back in the day. Blimey, what a great mix of Python, Viking, Chaos and Manic Miner that is.

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  7. Hello! My name is Boris Greenpiece! I was sculpted by Jez Goodwin for the CH2 range of miniatures, and someday I WILL RULE ALBION!

    Sorry. Did I say that aloud?

    In any case, top notch work, once again. Your generator reminded me of the name generators included in the recent computer iterations of Blood Bowl developed by Cyanide. Of course Cyanide lacks your historical chops, but there is a similar sense of fun and of, um, chaos.

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    1. Boris Greenpeice eh? Almost falls into the British Prime Minister pun category - but thank the Dark Gods not! Just noticed the leader of the opposition Jeramiah Corumbin, is possibly an aspect of the Eternal Champion. Terroriser the Mayqueen of Londra, usurper of Dodgy Dai've The Pigsticker.

      Random generators are fun to do and I think the lists have a similar humour to the originals. There will be some more to come.

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  8. A lot of fun names to choose from, but my favourite has to be:

    "Penewright Earthgrinder, Dark Saint of Ivaik"

    The "Penewright" part especially makes me laugh, particularly in contrast with the rest of it. It sounds like the surname of a 1950s school-boy from Eton.

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    1. Evil, power mad old Etonians? It is surely a sign of the times!

      Also reminds me that Talisman began life as a school-boy satire of Private School life. Lord of the Flies as science-fantasy Britpoc. Kill the Pig!

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    2. I also see there is a "Papworth" in the list, who sounds like he's in the same class at Eton as Penewright. "Papworth and Penewright" -- if their careers as Chaos Warriors don't work out for them, they could always join forces and become solicitors!

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    3. Just googled "Papworth", and it turns out there is a hospital in Cambridge that has that name, very suitable for an 'Organgrinder' no? Also the Cambridge connection might point to one of the ex TSR UK mob doing the name generating at this time - 1987 would be about right.

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