While the civilised races of man lay claim to the vast tracts of land that make up the Old World they do so under the arrogant and ignorant assumption that they are the uncontested masters of all they survey. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over half of the Old World is shrouded in dark, forbidding forests, crowded with tall, moss-covered trees. So vast are the forests of the Old World it's possible to walk hundreds of leagues and never see the sky. But you would never undertake such a journey alone. In fact even with a sizeable retinue, travelling through the foreboding woods is incredibly dangerous. This is because while the forests may be within the boundaries of the Empire and Bretonnia, to think of them as well-patrolled, cosseted places would be a mistake. The forests are untamed, wild places, home to many fell creatures the most numerous of which are the Beastmen.
The Beastmen carve out their lairs under the thick canopies of the forests, but they are not creatures of nature. In fact, they have very little in common with anything wholesome or natural. They are twisted parodies of man and beast alike, but far more vigorous and powerful than either. The Cloven Ones, as they like to call themselves, belong to Chaos in both body and soul. Unlike humans who need to be tempted and brokered into serving the Dark Gods, or even the hardy men-folk residing in the North who are indoctrinated from the moment they are born, the Beastmen are creatures of Chaos with every fibre of their being. They have no more choice in this than a fish has a choice whether to live under the water.
To look upon a Beastman is to see a true child of Chaos - a grotesque hybrid of fierce animal and primitive human with great curving horns sprouting from their heads. They are wild and crude creatures with animalistic lusts and a vitriolic temperament. All Beastmen are surly and mean, they are quick to anger with a brutal temper that simmers just under the surface and can be roused at the merest perceived slight. It is this pent-up animalistic rage that gives the Beastmen much of their unholy strength on the battlefield.
Above all, though it is the trappings of progress and civilisation that Beastmen abhor more than anything else. The sight of a proud flag or coat of arms, a pristine uniform or a magnificent statue elicits a powerful reaction – a rabid bloodlust – for the things of order are anathema to the true Children of Chaos. The Beastmen make no historical records but all hold a collective memory of an age when man was nothing more than quarry and the Beastmen ruled the world. With the coming of empires, kingdoms and tribal unification, then advances in culture and technology, man thought it had beaten back the wild. They are wrong and while they sit behind walled cities, deep down they know that the Beastmen will burst forth from the woods in uncountable hordes, sunder civilisation and bring it back to a more primal, chaotic age when the Cloven Ones ruled supreme.
- Andy Hall