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They have marched south, to the fabled lands beyond the Mountains of the World-Spine. The journey was sure to be deadliest and hardest trials our race have ever endured They went through the mountain passes, fighting ice-giants, bears, wolf-packs, goblin tribes and other evils.
High King Arhandur perished, killed by a pack of wild orks during night ambush. Hearts of Dwarfs were torn asunder and we were never the same. Great anger was sparked in the deep of our souls. A grudge. Something to be remember till the ebd of the world. His son have inscribed the name of the ork tribe into bloodstained, wrapped in black leather book. Thusly, the first Book of Grudges was born.
The tribe of Mountain Jawz was completely destroyed the next day and new inscriptions were added to the book for centurues to come. After Arhandur's death, the remaining Dwarfs divided their support into each sibling.
They kept together, but each part was to follow lead of Karandin, Laggur and Sigrun. To the very end. As the journey continued, Laggur have decided it was impossible to breach the mountains during winter. He fought long fights with his siblings over what do to and wanted to go under the Gorgon - mountain that legends have called 'Firepeak'.
Old tales warned to never venture into it's dark and deep caves, for within lies horror itself. Stories warned of fiery deamons, gargantuan bulls and stranger mythical creatures dwelling inside the guts of Gorgon.
But Laggur considered them to be no more than tales and tales alone. Karandon and Sigrun didn't want to put the fate of all remaining Dwarfs on risk, even if tales were likely to be no more than stories. They wanted to soldier on through the passes. And so Laggur left them to their fate, bitter and with a feeling of abandonement. The dwarfs of his tribe went into the bowels of the legendary mountain Karandon and Sigrun's tribes went on, fighting for every inch, every day looking death straight into the eye.
Each day brought new nightmares and sorrow, but each drew them nearer the edge of the mountain range. Closer to the south. To new life. After some hard days they have encountered a mighty river. It was covered with ice, but in most places it was not thick and safe enough for all to go at once. Karandon and Sigrun agreed for the fate do decide who should go first. They rolled a silver dice and the fate of the remaining Dwarfs was decided then and there, by such a small and insignifficant event.
From this day on, whenever a Dwarf decides to do a risky action, he mutters under his nose 'dice is rolled'. Karandon's tribe was to cross the river first. It took a whole day to let all Dwarfs, their carts, livestock and other belonging on the other side.
In Chaos Dwarf society, each clan functions as a separate entity unto itself. In addition to the ruling Sorcerer-Prophet, their subordinate Sorcerer-Prophets and the subservient Council, there are a number of other layers in the hierarchy of Chaos Dwarf society.
The next tier of the cult hierarchy includes artisans, weaponsmiths, and military leaders. Lesser status clan members are the warriors, slave masters, and various apprentices. At the bottom are the slaves. The importance of Chaos Dwarf women centres on their ability to produce offspring and they may be used by the SorcererProphet as a reward to a particularly loyal clansman, or as a means of cementing an alliance with another clan's Sorcerer-Prophet.
The Chaos Dwarfs are few in number and thus uninterested in expanding their diabolical empire; they only wish to secure their own realm and prosperity by enslaving the lesser races. Hundreds of thousands of Goblinoid slaves labour in the hateful workshops and cities of the Chaos Dwarfs, erecting monoliths and temples to their chaotic masters, as well as extracting fuel and resources needed for the wrought of weapons, armour and potent machines of destruction.
Thousands of these thralls perish on a daily basis due to over exhaustion and horrific working conditions. As a result, the Chaos Dwarfs conduct several expeditions throughout the Dark Lands and the Old World seeking fresh slaves to carry out the dark wishes of Hashut.
Although Chaos Dwarfs lust for material objects, it is the number of slaves that measures their wealth. Slaves are used as commodities in a similar manner that other races use coins. From a Chaos Dwarf point of view, the well-being of a slave is only as important as its use.
This view is consistent with the little regard that Chaos Dwarfs have towards other, inferior races. After all, these races are only fit for enslavement. In a sense, the typical Chaos Dwarf is treated marginally better than a slave by their clan elders, especially those considered weak or unsuited for higher service to the clan. To survive in his own society, an individual Chaos Dwarf must quickly learn to be as ruthless as his superiors.
He also must learn how to manoeuvre through the whims of the clan leaders. It is not uncommon for a Chaos Dwarf to become a sacrifice to Hashut if he fails to carry out the commands of the ruling Sorcerer- Prophet.
Many Chaos Dwarfs carry the name of their clan's ruling Sorcerer-Prophet as part of their surname. The surname changes when a new Sorcerer-Prophet takes over the clan. Dwarf males remain members of the clan into which they are born; only Chaos Dwarf women can leave their clan, and then only when this suits the.
Chaos Dwarfs have a special contempt for the Old World Dwarfs. It is these western traitors and their Ancestor Gods who abandoned the Chaos Dwarfs to their fate. The savagery of the two races when they meet in combat matches that of any Old World DwarfOrc conflict.
Still, the Old World Dwarfs have value to their corrupted kin as high quality and hardworking slaves. A grim and malignant being, often represented as a great blazing bull wreathed in smoke and shadow, Hashut is a Chaos god although some scholars of the arcane would label him as an archdaemon rather than a dark god, while others insist it is some other form of entity let loose upon the world during the Time of Chaos.
Hashut is closely associated with tyranny, greed, fire, and hatred, and it is a being whose gift of power comes at a terrible price. As with much of their origins, just how the Dwarfs of the East came to seal their pact with Hashut remains shrouded in the dark times of the great sundering of the world by Chaos, and in truth the Chaos Dwarfs themselves may have only a dim and warped understanding of how they became bound up with their nightmarish god. The twisted runic cartouches that adorn their fire temples do however speak of the abandonment of the Dwarfs of Zorn Uzkul by their Ancestor Gods during the Great Cataclysm, their finding of salvation and succour with their new god and the thirst of Hashut for sacrifice and subjugation in return for his patronage.
Over the centuries, in return for flesh and blood, homage and. It is a place of unimaginable suffering for the countless slaves of other races they use to feed the turning of their ceaseless industry and to appease the appetites of their nightmarish god, Hashut the Father of Darkness.
Their empire has come to encompass the vast fire-scorched volcanic plain of Zharrduk at the heart of which Zharr Naggrund sits, and delves deep below the surface taking in countless miles of cavernous, magma-lit delvings, ornate chambers and hellish mine-works. For many miles around it the Plain Zharr has succumbed to the hand of the Chaos Dwarfs and it is littered with the scars of vast open mines, fiery rivers of lava, ash dunes and stagnant pools of foaming yellow and blood red alchemical spoil worse than the foulest natural poison.
Far from dying away, the Chaos Dwarf empire is slowly and steadily expanding its influence and maintains several major outposts and fortified citadels in the southern Dark Lands, most notably the Tower of Gorgoth and the Black Fortress, although none could truly claim dominion over the shifting, desolate landscape of the Dark Lands, nor its monstrous inhabitants. Chaos Dwarfs are irredeemably evil, bitter and selfcentred creatures, caring nothing for the life of others and directing all their labours to the construction of their great city, and the slow expansion of their power and influence in the world.
To this end Chaos Dwarf armies scour the Dark Lands and the deadly realms beyond for slaves to fill their city and labour deep beneath the earth in the pits that surround it, and to provide sacrifices for the furnace fires dedicated to their dark god Hashut. Their empire has come to encompass the fire-scorched volcanic plain of Zharrduk at the heart of which ZharrNaggrund sits, and like a black iceberg, its true extent lies not above with its armoured ziggurats and firelanced temples, but below the surface in countless miles of magma-lit delvings, cavernous chambers and vaulted mines which resound to the cries of tortured slaves and the ringing of hammers in an untold number of diabolic forges.
For many miles around it, the Plain of Zharr succumbed to-the hand of the Chaos Dwarfs. It is littered with the scars of vast open mines, fiery rivers of magma, ash dunes and stagnant pools of. Beyond their heartland in the plain of Zharr, they have raised great fortress-citadels and towers to establish their dominion throughout the far flung and perilous Dark Lands, although no force, even one as brutal as the Chaos Dwarfs 'can lay claim to true sovereignty over this vast realm of accursed, monster-infested shifting ash-deserts.
At the edges of the Dark Lands, the outposts and black iron watchtowers of the Chaos Dwarfs extend as far the great Desolation of Azgorh and the coastline of the Sea of Dread to the south and High Pass to the north, while Uzkulak - the Place of the Skull, seat of the ancient Dwarf hold before the Time of Chaos, is still populated but is a strange, secretive place, and the bustling workings of its slaveport and anchorage hide an ancient inner-city that is little more than a heavily garrisoned tomb.
The forbidden, lower levels of Uzkulak are shunned, even by its masters and to be consigned to its depths, is a punishment reserved for oath-breakers and blasphemers as the. A fact which, given the malevolent inventiveness of the Daemonsmiths in such matters, speaks much of the horrors which must abide there.
The plans of the Chaos Dwarfs are the results of the intricate workings of their malign intelligence, deep paranoia and cold cruelty. They see no need to ravage the world in fury in a desperate bid to crush all before them, only to fall overextended and spent, as so many throngs of human marauders and hosts of greenskin savage have done in the past.
Instead they horde their might slowly and rip from the Dark Lands the mineral wealth it contains in abundance. They venture forth foremost to harvest slaves but also to punish those that would oppose them directly, and sunder any creature or force that might wax powerful in the Dark Lands before it can become a threat. More rarely do they travel further afield, mounting expeditions into distant lands in search of strange plunder whose worth they have seen in the fires of Hashut's altars, avenge some slight or merely to callously test their weapons against the powers of the world.
As a result of this policy, to many the Chaos Dwarfs are at best a dark legend, until that is they have the misfortune to encounter the dreadful truth for themselves. In the same way, the Chaos Dwarfs construct their fortresses and weapons, but with the aid of the twisted arcane sciences and the sorcery of Hashut. The rich mines and forges of the Dark Lands provide the Chaos Dwarfs with all the wealth and resources they need to sustain their empire and produce great arsenals of destruction for their armies.
The Chaos Dwarfs are uninterested in conquering more territory; the Dark Lands provide them with all that is necessary to maintain the glory of their empire. Even though their numbers have shown a slow but steady increase down the long centuries in which they have carved their empire from the Dark Lands, the Chaos Dwarfs are still few, and are far outnumbered in their realm by those over who they claim dominion by virtue of might and cruelty - their slaves.
The Chaos Dwarfs consider all life other than that of their own kind to have value only as raw resource and fitting sacrifice, and to them the muscle and sinew, and even the souls of those that bow and scrape at gesture of their iron-shod hands and cringe before the stroke of their steel-barbed whips are no more than a commodity to be amassed, exploited and spent.
Without slaves Zharr-Naggrund would not have been built and its vast industries could not be maintained, and even now the need for fresh blood and labour only increases with each passing year and the desolate empire always hungers for more. Hundreds of thousands of labour workers are needed to upkeep the massive armouries and weapon foundries of the Chaos Dwarf and hundreds of thousands more are needed for the excavations of mines.
As a result, where other nations look to conquer simply to expand their territory, the Chaos Dwarfs wage wars of conquests solely for the acquisition of slaves, for without the expendable thralls to labour their industries the Chaos Dwarf Empire would indeed expire. The dominion of the Chaos Dwarfs is a slowly expanding power, which has with grinding, calculated savagery carved itself a realm from one of the most deadly lands conceivable and its masters' dreams of conquest are things of brooding hatred and bitter perseverance.
They are content to see their plans unfold over the course of centuries, perhaps even millennia until one day all of the world lies a blasted plain in which the Chaos Dwarfs stand unopposed and alone, save for their cowering slaves and the ashen bones of the dead. The Chaos Dwarfs seek to subjugate all living things. The Dark Lands are filled with untold masses of repugnant greenskins and these foul creatures form the bulk of thralls that labour in the horrendous working conditions of the Chaos Dwarf workshops.
Huge underground chasms that delve deep into the ground have been excavated and rebuilt into enormous subterranean factories known as Hell Pits. Dominated by a labyrinth of crudely forged, wooded gantries, ladders, levers and pullies from where the Goblinoid thralls go about their arduous labour. If the Chaos Dwarfs' grand and sepulchral plans bow to any pressure for speed in their execution, it is this increasing need for fresh slaves that is the cause. By far the most common slaves in the Chaos Dwarf realm are Orcs and Goblins, and this is not simply because they are native to the Dark Lands and its, bordering mountains, but also because they are hardy creatures who will often last the longest in the noxious fumes and murderous conditions under which they are made to work.
Of these, the Hobgoblins have a unique and favoured place — as much as a slave might be favoured by such cruel and callous masters. Perhaps the most distrusted, vicious and above all treacherous of Goblin kind, the Chaos Dwarfs seldom reduce the Hobgoblins to base toil but rather employ them as slave overseers, lackeys and even as troops, providing utterly disposable reinforcements for their own forces, enabling a larger enemy army to be weakened without cost in Chaos Dwarf lives before they themselves move in for the kill.
Hated by the other greenskins who would happily murder them if they could, the Hobgoblins of the Dark Lands have come to rely on the Chaos Dwarfs for patronage and protection. While they are so treacherously eager to betray each other for advancement; they are quite incapable of fomenting any cohesive rebellion against their brutal masters as they cannot even trust each other, making them in some ways the perfect slaves.
Humans too have their place among the slaves of the Chaos Dwarfs, as they are adaptable and quick-witted if though less durable than greenskins and considerably more unpredictable. As do Ogres, who are valued for their raw power but always present a danger as their primitive, violent spirits can never be fully broken.
Skaven are never taken alive unless to be worked almost immediately to death or used as paltry mass sacrifices, as they are simply too devious and the Chaos Dwarfs have learned from bitter experience that any group taken might well conceal untold spies, saboteurs and even deliberately infected plague carriers placed in their midst.
But of all the races to fall into the hands of the masters of Zharr-Naggrund, the darkest fate awaits their kin, the Dwarfs of the West. The fruits of the bitter malice of long, brooding millennia are reserved for the Dwarfs, and of all sacrifices to Hashut, none are more favoured than, those loyal to the treacherous Ancestor Gods. Much of this wargear, the lesser products of their craft — blades and steel whose quality still outmatches any mere human craftsmanship is traded northwards to the warring Chaos-touched tribes and east to the Ogre Kingdoms in return for slaves for which the Chaos Dwarfs have an unending demand, rare metals and gems, and to slake 'whatever strange desires the Sorcerer-prophets experiments might require.
By this trade, blood is spilled across the world by their weapons, and in doing so the Chaos Dwarfs both enrich themselves and sow destruction in Hashut's name, and moreover they spread their insidious. Chaos Dwarf warriors are themselves equipped to the highest standard and every Sorcerer Lord arms and outfits their soldiers to their own design and in their own distinctive livery. The majority of their troops are armed with masterfully crafted axes vicious stabbing blades and barbed war-picks, and protected by heavy scale corselets of rune-hardened iron or bronze, tall helmets and heavy, metal-clad shields.
The most potent wear so-called blackshard armour, forged with hellfire and blood, stronger than mere steel and phenomenally resistant to the effects of fire and heat. A significant number of troops are armed with firearms, from intricate Wheelock pistols to the heavy, bladed fireglaive repeating guns.
But the hailshot blunderbuss - a powerful, short-ranged weapon whose murderous fire is amplified when used in ranked fusillade - is the most common and iconic. It is though for their war machines that the Chaos Dwarfs have become most infamous and dreaded on the battlefield. Unfettered the usual Dwarf reliance on tradition and resistance to change, they have combined their intellect and sophisticated understanding of steam power and mechanism with the hellish lore of Hashut to produce a nightmarish array of weapons.
These range from cannons that fire burning gouts of magma, to steam-driven reapers, to fortress-shattering mortars and colossal siege engines of glittering brass. The most terrible of these war machines are bound with hungering daemons in their fabric granting them both an unholy semblance of life and unmatched killing power.
The might and bloodlust of these hellforged artefacts cannot be denied and they are perilous even to their masters should their occult bindings shake loose. As a result of their unpredictability and the difficulty of their construction, hell-bound war engines are used and fashioned more sparingly than more conventional although no less deadly designs in the Chaos Dwarf arsenal. Such weapons are often 'tested' in battle by a pact of alliance with the Chaos Warriors of the north so long as it serves the Dhrath-Zharr's purpose, and it is not uncommon to see small contingents of dreaded Chaos Dwarf war machines amid ranks of war bands and hordes of the Chaos Wastes, lending them their immense destructive power.
This has produced a bewildering variety of strange and infernal war-engines, daemon-bound weapons and deadly tools of war, many of which they have long traded for resources and captives to the Chaos-worshipping tribes of the northern wastes, but the greatest of their creations they have jealously guarded for themselves, and so decade after decade their power has grown.
Deep within the Dark Lands, shielded by deadly mountain ranges and set amid desolation and the haunts of monstrous beasts, the empire of the Chaos Dwarfs has faded into legend to many in the Old World, but those famed to confront their implacable black-iron clad armies and savage engines know the truth.
The day may yet come when the armies of dread Zharr-Naggrund march forth in force to crush the world beneath their beds. In the creation of arms and diabolical engines of destruction, the Chaos Dwarfs of Zharr-Naggrund have no equal in the world save perhaps for the Skaven of Clan Skryre. Aside however from the superficial similarity of their desire to create ever more powerful devices, the approach and means to an end for the Chaos Dwarfs and the Skaven could not be further apart.
Where the Chaos Dwarfs favour craftsmanship and reliability over mere speed of creation, the Skaven care not for such considerations in favour of raw power and getting the device in operation as quickly as. To this end the Skaven favour the use of the treacherous and potent Warpstone in their works, which while not unknown to the Chaos Dwarfs, they favour the arcane binding of Daemons through the sorcerous lore of Hashut in their most powerful devices instead.
The end result can sometimes be no less dangerous to the Hell-smith or crewman called upon to direct such a weapon, but to the minds of Chaos Dwarfs, such calamity that may result will be caused by the result of weakness or illdiscipline by the operator, or the will of Hashut, rather than chance volatility or shoddy workmanship.
This is not to say that one side has not kept a weather eye on the inventions of the other, or indeed sought to steal their secrets from the wreckage strewn on the battlefield, but such is the idiosyncrasies and inherent dangers in the two entirely alien approaches, that seldom has more than disaster and madness resulted from the attempts on either side. More cataclysmic still is when the war machines and infernal devices of the Chaos Dwarfs and the Skaven meet each other in open battle, as happened during the infamous Nightmare of Drakenmoor in the year by Imperial reckoning.
Such were the terrible arcane forces unleashed between the actinic flashes of the Skaven Lightning Cannon, the howling destruction of the Chaos Dwarfs' hell-furnaced colossus, and the reckless devastating spell-craft unleashed by sorcerers and warlocks of either side, that a tear in the fabric of reality opened up over the battlefield and a howling storm of magic laid waste to both armies.
Daemon-abominations were loosed and nightmare phenomena ravaged the lands a hundred leagues in all directions for almost a year before the arcane tempest at last died away. Both sides claimed victory. Fire burned throughout the lower levels of the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund as screaming Goblinoids plundered the weapon vaults and defiled the halls of the Chaos Dwarf capital.
The Black Orc Warboss Morgor strode into the lower Temple of Hashut assessing the devastation wrought by his warrior-turned greenskin thralls. The place reeked of Goblin stool and burnt Dwarf flesh; all gone unnoticed by Morgor, for the potent Black Orc chieftain had only one thing on his mind. Morgor had heard when the lower temple fell that one of the High Priests had been inside.
All the other Chaos Dwarfs had been gutted, their beards scalped, and slain, but the vicious Black Orc Warboss wanted the priest for himself. Morgor looked up at the dais of the altar to find the once exalted High Priest of Hashut, Gharzak, shackled to the unyielding leg of a bronze statue in the shape of winged bull, and squirming like a worm. Morgor smiled. He had waited a long time for such an opportunity, for one of the mighty High Priest to grovel before him.
The massive Black Orc slowly strode up the steps of the dais with a nasty Orcish grin. Decades of labour and abuse from the Chaos Dwarf slavers had built up an uncontainable rage within the Black Orcs who already possessed a menacing disposition to begin with. The Black Orc seized Gharzak by his throat, lifting him high into the air, while snapping the shackles attached to the bronze bull.
The High Priest flailed his stout limbs, those that had not yet been turned to stone, in a wild manner. Da forces of Gork and Mork willed us into being, not youz! The High Priest grimaced with great agony. The High Priest looked on with surprise and glee as the Black Orc slid from the sword tip and fell to the ground, nothing more then a husk of dead Orc. The Hobgoblin snickered and grinned while licking the dark Orc blood from his blade. It is a saga of a great and hardy people whose nobility would become warped into utter malice, and whose stubborn refusal to die would lead them down a dark and bitter path to damnation.
There are a great many stories about the creation of this race. Most conflict and others are outright lies. There is one thread that seems to stand out from the rest. According to this particular legend, shortly after the Great Catastrophe, the Old World was suffused with magic, and born from this loosed energy were Daemons and other vile creations from the Realm of Chaos.
The High Elves of Ulthuan would valiantly contain this energy, but the damage was done, and the world was forever changed. In the aftermath, Dwarfs experimented with sorcery despite their innate inability to harness the Winds of Magic.
Instead of trying to cast spells in the ways of the Elf Wizards, they sought to bind them into images and symbols called runes. Two positions immediately resulted. One group felt this road would lead to their doom, and the other craved the power it promised. Resentment bloomed and tempers rose, but despite their differences, they were one people, bound by their common heritage. To alleviate the tensions, those Dwarfs who pushed the limits of the newly developing Rune magic travelled north, seeking out new lodes of gold, gemstones, and other precious metals, whilst the rest remained behind to proceed more carefully.
These explorers included some of the most talented blacksmiths of all the Dwarf Realms, and they travelled north until, one day, they broke through the other side of the mountains and spied a land scarred and littered with chunks of obsidian, iron ore, and more. It was apparent to all that this place harboured some great and ancient evil, and so many turned away, continuing their journey north.
However, some remained, seduced by the wealth they stood to gain from this blighted place. They named this new land Zorn Uzkul, the Great Skull Land, and claimed it for their own, building a great mountain hold called Karak Vlag, the Isolated Hold, to guard the place. As the years passed, the Dwarfs sent scouts across the Greenskin-infested badlands, heading for the Mountains of Mourn to explore their fiery peaks. Along the way, they found broken weapons, old war machines, and massive chunks of obsidian, to say nothing of the boulders that shone with the streaks of gold they contained.
When they arrived at the distant mountains, they found them rich with precious metals and gemstones. They built a fort in the open badlands they had dubbed the Plain of Zharr, and sent forth expeditions to mine the lodes from the stone. Despite the forlorn landscape, and poisonous fumes spewing from the sinister peaks, it seemed the Dwarfs were right to come here, as their hauls were incredibly rich.
Soon, Karak Vlag was famed throughout the Dwarf Realms for its wealth and mighty feats of engineering. The Great Eye of Chaos opened and spread its inky darkness south. At its vanguard rode the Tong, the vilest of all Chaos Marauders. The Dwarfs fled to their forts and holds, and sent pleas for aid to their kin in the southern holds, but no help came.
Soon, the darkness swept over them, cutting them off entirely. Alone, and facing extinction, the Dwarf Runesmiths had a possible answer.
Using magical techniques they claimed to have mastered through studying the magical-resistant obsidian, they called out to the void for help.
This time their pleas for aid were answered, but help would come at a heavy cost. The Dwarfs had. For hundreds of years the Dwarf colony of Zorn Uzkul prospered, trading new minerals and resources with their kin in the mountains. Such was the success of the Dwarfs of Zorn Uzkul and the greedy nature of the Dwarfs to obtain greater wealth and resources that other clans of Dwarfs began to set out on their own expeditions into the unknown.
Some of these Dwarfs travelled further north into the great polar region, while others journeyed further east deep into the volcanic Dark Lands and beyond. All of these new Dwarf. However, the Chaos Dwarfs, which is what they now were, realised they were too few to build all that Hashut demanded. The Chaos Dwarfs therefore enslaved a multitude of Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Human steppe nomads to work the mines, sacrificing the weak and injured to Hashut.
The basis of Chaos Dwarf society was now established. Eventually, the depredations of the Chaos Dwarfs forced two massive migrations. The nomadic Human tribes of the Steppes were the first to move westward through the high passes of the Worlds Edge Mountains, and into the forested lands of the northern Old World. Then, so Chaos Dwarfs claim, Hashut, the Father of Darkness, rescued his new children, and whisked them away from danger.
When the other Dwarfs finally fought their way north through the Hordes of Chaos, they could find no trace of Karak Vlag. The entire stronghold had disappeared, as if it had never existed. Diminished, the Dwarfs survived, but they were changed, altered in mind and spirit. As they had promised, the Runesmiths became their people's new Priesthood, their Sorcerer-Prophets, and soon wrested control over their new society, dominating the other Dwarfs through their might with magic.
Their first edict was to construct the great city of Zharr-Naggrund, the City of Fire and Desolation. At the centre, they planned a massive obsidian tower shaped like a ziggurat, and at its top they would erect a great altar to Hashut.
Not even they themselves know the full saga of the dark times of their Origins, save for that they were almost utterly destroyed, and it was only by their stubborn refusal to surrender in the face of unspeakable horror and death that they endured endured and came to know a new patron god, Hashut, Father of Darkness. Slowly they began to increase again in number and restore themselves in power and dark majesty, now barely recognisable from what they had been before.
The greenskin tribes of the Dark Lands had suffered dramatically from a combination of disasters. In addition to Chaos Dwarf slavery, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions tore the Dark Lands apart. The greenskins were equipped with armour and weapons manufactured by the Chaos Dwarf smiths, or crude copies made by greenskin artisans.
However, these sturdy instruments of war bore no resemblance to the items that the Chaos Dwarfs forged for themselves. So the Imperial Dwarfs of Karaz Ankor remained ignorant of the Chaos Dwarfs' existence; the Chaos Dwarfs, on the other hand, were already plotting the downfall of their western kin.
The Orc and Goblin migration caused considerable damage to the realm of Karaz Ankor, but it was the second wave, influenced in part by the Chaos Dwarfs from afar, that overran the Imperial Dwarf settlements in the eastern Worlds Edge Mountains. The Imperial Dwarfs no longer presented the remotest threat to their corrupt brethren.
In addition, the wars in the Worlds Edge Mountains brought a new source of slaves to the mines of the Chaos Dwarfs: The Ratmen had emerged from the depths of the mountains to plague the Orcs and Goblins as they did the Imperial Dwarfs.
The greenskins were eager to capitalize on this new source of trade with the Chaos Dwarfs, and many Skaven found themselves led to their doom in the mines of Zharr-Naggrund. Large expeditions were sent into the Dark Lands, a vast expanse of barren wastelands, dominated by massive, smoking volcanoes.
Pools of bubbling magma, pits of black tar, choking clouds of filth and piles of Goblin stool pollute these insufferable lands. Filled with tribes of barbarous Goblinoids and other things more foul, the Dark Lands is a realm devoid of tranquillity and any form of beauty or harmony of nature. While the land lacks in vegetation, it is a realm of vast minerals, sulphur, tar and oil, as well as sapphires, silver and gold.
As a result the Dark Lands appealed to the Chaos Dwarfs being rich in resources, a quality in particular cherished by all Dwarfs. As the Chaos Dwarfs pushed further into the Dark Lands, marauding tribes of Orcs and Goblins constantly assaulted their armies and caravans. The High Priests used their new knowledge of sorcery to manipulate the fiery energies of the volcanic realm, blasting the Goblinoids with hails of fire and huge conflagrations of magical flame. With their holdings in the Mountains of Mourn and the Plain of Zharrduk secured, the Chaos Dwarfs set about defiling the earth of its bounty.
Huge pits were dug to store the black, sticky tar that percolated up from the ground. Great slag-heaps and huge mounds of coal dotted the landscape, fouling the earth and water with the poisons that seeped from them. Smoke and ash from furnaces and active volcanoes filled the air with clouds of choking, toxic vapours. Within a few generations, the Chaos Dwarfs so polluted their land that nothing could grow in the dim light and the choking air, apart from a few straggly black thorns.
The native Greenskins proved unreliable and treacherous. Fights among the squabbling greenskin slaves — and the occasional full-scale slave revolt — caused inexcusable delays to production. In their frustration, the SorcererProphets instituted a breeding programme to develop a race of stronger and less quarrelsome Orcs. So, the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers, experimented with their Greenskin slaves and bred a new race of reliable Orc, which they called Black Orcs — larger, stronger, and more disciplined.
The Black Orcs were also more cunning and dangerous than their wilder forebears — a fact that was to lead to near disaster. As time went on, the Council began to see the error of their scheme. Being much more independently minded and not prone to petty squabbling, the Black Orcs made for perfect leaders amongst their greenskins cousins.
Where trivial rivalry and animosity had always kept the Goblinoid thralls in check, the Black Orcs began to organize rebellion, leading the other Orcs and Goblins in huge revolts. Many of these insurrections had left entire Chaos Dwarf fortresses in ruin and soon their Black Orcs creations were simply too dangerous to be allowed to exist.
Within mere hours the lower levels of the ziggurat had been completely overrun by greenskins. Even the Hobgoblins, who had enjoyed a comparatively privileged position as overseers, joined in the slaughter of their Chaos Dwarf masters. Battle raged throughout the mines, and boiled up into the lower tier of ZharrNaggrund itself. The Immortals fought viciously for every step on every level of the tower, but the Orc and.
Goblin hordes were simply too vast. While thousands of greenskins were slaughtered by the SorcererProphets and their followers, their numbers were too many — and the Chaos Dwarfs too few — for the tide of the revolt to be stemmed. Just as all seemed lost the Hobgoblins switched sides, hoping to regain the favour of their masters. The traitorous Hobgoblins struck their fellow greenskins in their rear, felling Orcs with daggers in their backs and mowing down Orcs of Goblins with large volleys of arrows.
The backstabbing Goblinoids provided much needed reinforcements for the Chaos Dwarf Warriors who fought vigorously for the survival of their empire. The Chaos Dwarfs struck with renewed vigour and their dark powers broke the rebellion, the altars of Hashut smoking with countless sacrifices. In the end the greenskin rebellion was squashed and the Black Orcs nearly completely annihilated by their cruel creators.
It was only through the aid of the Hobgoblins that the Chaos Dwarfs were not wiped out entirely. So, the Chaos Dwarfs reluctantly allied with local tribes of Hobgoblins to further their cause.
The Hobgoblins were rewarded for their loyalty and promoted to taskmasters and overseers of the other Goblinoid thralls, who hold bitter resentment towards the distant kin to this day.
But, even with this expanded labour Force, the Chaos Dwarfs were unable to complete their construction without the aid of slaves. They sent Hobgoblins to raid the Silver Road and bring supplies and victims back to. Zharr Naggrund. But, even this was not enough.
Thus, the Chaos Dwarfs began trading with the savage Humans of the north, a relationship that has lasted to this day. In exchange for slaves, the Chaos Dwarfs still toil in their forges to spawn new and horrible creations for their Human allies.
In time, the Chaos Dwarfs started expanding their borders southward. Gorgoth became the Chaos Dwarfs' furthest outpost, proving to be particularly rich in minerals and ore but the Sorcerer-Prophets realised that their race was spread too thin to protect their borderlands. For centuries, fiercely independent nomadic Hobgoblin tribes lived in the Steppes just north and east of the Mountains of Mourn.
Still, the Chaos Dwarfs needed allies after the rebellion so they entered into an alliance.
This arrangement essentially created what would become the Hobgoblin Hegemony, a buffer state from the Chaos Dwarf perspective. Moreover, the Chaos Dwarfs reached treaty agreement with the neighbouring Ogre Kingdoms. An annual tribute of weapons and spent and deceased slaves are passed to the large humanoids in order to satisfy their varied diets in return for non-aggression and newly-captured slaves.
With this new era of stability established, the Chaos Dwarfs continued to expand. But two fateful events prevented them from achieving their dream of further conquests. A little over a thousand years after Sigmar's reign the Black Plague that had devastated the Empire found its way into the Dark Lands, spreading to the Chaos Dwarfs.
It took several centuries for the Chaos Dwarf population to recover — though low birth-rates prevented the population from reaching its former level — when another calamity struck. Large numbers of slaves had died in the mines beneath Zharr-Naggrund in the millennia of its existence, and the Chaos Dwarfs let the corpses rot where they fell.
Their indifference was nearly their undoing. On the.
The Chaos Dwarfs and their allies were nearly overwhelmed. As in the earlier Black Orc rebellion, the Chaos Dwarfs were driven back to the upper tiers of Zharr-Naggrund, with the loss of many lives.
Only the intervention of the Sorcerer-Prophets and the coming of dawn saved the Chaos Dwarfs from obliteration. From this experience, the bodies of slaves are now either tossed into lava pits or pools of highly toxic wastes. Some are even dismembered and sent to the Ogre Kingdoms as foodstuff rancid meat being considered a delicacy among the monstrosities. The waters of the River Ruin began to run low, and it was no longer able to cool the huge Chaos Dwarf forges to power the steam-driven engines.
Troops sent to scout the headwaters did not return, and the Sorcerer-Prophets read disturbing portents in the entrails of sacrificed slaves. As Praag fell in the west, a vast Khornate army besieged Zharr-Naggrund.
Battles raged across the Plain of Zharrduk as Chaos Dwarfs from other mines and factories came to the aid of the obsidian ziggurat. The Chaos Dwarfs unleashed their fearsome war machines upon the Blood God's ravening horde. The slaughter continued for two years, with neither weather nor weariness lessening its desperate intensity. This one is pretty great, especially with how many magic items are going to be showing up in an opponents army. If you have the points to spare, it's well worth taking.
Master Rune of Dragon Slaying: This one really isn't worth it, any dragon out there can easily avoid your Dwarf Lord with this rune making it pointless, and it's effects can be duplicated almost just as well with Runes of Might.
Awesome, there's almost never a reason for not being able to fit this in your armour somewhere. This is amazing. Also gives you rerolls to hit against any army with Initiative 3 and lower aka most armies and can be stacked with the Rune of Speed for re-rolls against almost everyone. Rune of Demon Slaying: Only works on Daemons but if you're tailoring a list and don't mind your Lord choice being pretty squishy, go ahead and get it 3 times.
The first two ranks are good facing Daemons, but the third is not so great as it leaves you without any additional magic defences.
Rune of Fire: One rune isn't anything to write home about, but with how great Breath Weapons are in 8th edition, two runes are awesome. The third is not worth it as it leaves you without any additional armour. This also isn't a Master Rune, so if you're up against somebody who loves spamming hordes you can attach it to several Thanes for horde killing BBQ lists. Rune of Fury: All around really good, Frenzy is much more easily reigned in than it was before and Dwarfs have great leadership across the board anyway , and the third rune is fantastic if you plan on getting stuck in combat against horde armies.
Rune of Dismay: Fear is useful especially if you have the hatred result on everything , but the next two runes aren't. Terror is nowhere near as good as it once was and you're almost never going to make use of the full effects of the second two runes.
Rune of Cleaving: All three of these runes are pretty decent choices, and they have great synergy with nearly every other weapon rune, if you have any points to spare you can't go wrong with one or two of these runes.
Rune of Might: Good for a monster hunter character or a character killer.
Rune of Striking: This can be useful, if you're after Hordes and don't want to rely on chance to get hatred then go up to the second level, the first and last levels aren't really worth it as Dwarfs already have a high enough Weapon Skill.
Grudge Rune: Perfect for character killers, this and 2 Runes of Cleaving is pretty formidable in challenges. Rune of Parrying: Another great rune if you're making a Lord who murders in challenges or want to protect a character against low WS opponents making them hit the dwarf on 6's.
Great way to get magic attacks for only 5 points. If combined with the Rune of Parrying the character becomes nearly invincible against anything that doesn't auto-wound him, making a fantastic tarpit that deals good damage if you give your Dwarf a great weapon. In every army other than dwarfs, it would be epic.
Sadly this is easily achieved by Shieldbearers and a rune of stone which you were going to take anyway, if you want to take it though put it on a thane and send him off to bother lower tier heroes.
Rune of Fortitude: The first rank is fantastic, who doesn't want a T6 character? The next two ranks are not as worth it, you can get a better Ward Save elsewhere and ignoring Multiple Wounds is a little too situational to be that useful.
See discussion page Rune of Iron: The first two runes are fantastic, combine those with the Rune of Fortitude and shieldbearers and you have a T7 6W character that still has a decent amount of points to spend on magic items.
The third rank isn't that worth it as Regen Saves can no longer be taken after Ward Saves and you can get a better Ward Save elsewhere. This one is a bit situational, and is only really great if you're list tailoring. Rune of Impact: If you have 10 points to spare then one impact hit isn't that bad, consider it another attack that auto hits for 10 points.
Epic rune that ignores the rule of pride e. Banner Runes: Master Rune of Groth One-Eye: Dwarfs have great leadership across the board, and giving everyone within 12" stubborn means you'll almost never fail a break test, especially if the general is nearby, a great choice to put on a unit of Hammerers. If you want to take it anyway it stacks fairly well if you have another unit with the Runes of Battle. A fantastic rune and for general lists and the one rune you never want to go without.
With how powerful current magic is this is the best protection you have against Init test or die spells like the purple sun as well as making the opponents army much weaker because you can almost reliably dispel spells like Throne of Vines every turn without wasting power dice.
Rune of Slowness: The first two runes are good for ensuring your enemies fail their charge, and then get countercharged by you or shot at again, which can do more damage , and it has good synergy with the Silver Horn to get you those extra attacks when you charge. The last rune isn't as good because it can only go on the BSB, though giving opponents ASL is still really helpful with your Initiative 2.
Rune of Stoicism: Another easy way Dwarfs can get stubborn. Put it on and have fun never running away. Strollaz' Rune: Vanguard for 35pts. Really nice on dwarfs, you can build an army around this rune since you can put it on more than half an army , consider it an extra turn without getting shot at. But don't bother taking this on Rangers since they still have to remain 12" away from the foe and still can't charge first turn, if you go first.
Works really well with Irondrakes. Rune of Courage: All of the Dwarf units that can carry this will not get much use out of it anyway, it doesn't work well with other banner runes, and Dwarfs already have great leadership. If you're up against a lot of Undead or Daemons it might be somewhat handy, but there's generally better banner runes. Ancestor Rune: This is another rune you can build an army around, With the Master Rune of Groth One-Eyer giving you Stubborn, you can essentially make a unit Unbreakable in combat for one round or even without Stubborn if you didn't lose by much.
If this rune had a downside it's that it doesn't stack well with the other runes for normal units. Not as good as it once was, but if you have the points to spare there's no harm in adding it to a Runesmith. Master Rune of Spite: Generally your points are better spent on armour so that it's effects don't have to come into play, though if you're making a Slayer themed list this one can prove useful.
Master Rune of Passage: 10 pts to auto-pass Dangerous Terrain tests. Good on a Runesmith or thane for helping a Horde pass through terrain pieces. Rune of Warding: The easy Ward Save runes. That said going up to the third level still does help a lot if you want a Rune weapon to go along with your Lord. Highly debatable! See discussion page for continuation Rune of Spellbreaking: Dispel Scroll that can be taken on more than one Runefolk.
Same price as a dispel scroll. Rune of Luck: This rune can be worth it if you have a point sink Lord that you don't want to lose to a characteristic test, otherwise it's more of a way to bypass the Rule of Pride concerning Talismans.
A great way to bypass the Rule of Pride, and with how common flaming attacks are becoming it can be handy to have on a character. Also very important when facing Lore of Metal. For 30 points you can detonate your warmachine at will, after combat, to cause 2D6 S4 flaming hits to enemies. Not bad and it can really help you screw over war machine hunters and prevent them from running through the rest of your gunline.
Rune of Penetrating: The first rune is excellent on every warmachine besides cannons, the second one isn't nearly as good, you can almost always spend those 10 points elsewhere. Stalwart Rune: Does a good job at speed bumping Warmachine Hunters, but it also costs the same as the Master Rune of Immolation which can kill those hunters outright.
Take it if you already have the Master Rune of Immolation on something else, but otherwise it's not that good. Almost mandatory on Organ Guns and Grudge Throwers. Rune of Forging: For 25 points you can reroll an artillery dice whenever a missfire occurs Almost mandatory on Cannons and arguably Organ guns.
This won't help too much against flying units, but it can cause lone fliers a lot of grief. Rune of Burning: For 5 points you get flaming attacks. This is arguably the best rune in the book because it allows you to set up different warmachines with very similar runes and bypass the rule of pride and it makes anything with regeneration, flammable or ethereal war machines with runes have magical attacks wet themselves.
Never slam it on all your war machines! Dwarfs have runes which can be cast from the Anvil of Doom in the form of innate bound spells. Anvil of Doom[ edit ] This has been completely redone as it is in every edition.
Overall the Anvil is not usually worth it unless you're going up against an army without much magic ironically what it's supposed to help stop , against more than half the armies you'll put it down, and then take it away a first or second turn along with the Runelord because a characteristic test spell was cast upon it.
See discussion page for more on this. Dispelling Magic[ edit ] Arguably, Dwarfs are one of the best armies at countermagic, even without a single wizard on the table. Because of the rune system, Dwarfs are also the only army which can have more than one dispel scroll i. Rune of Spellbreaking and even ones which can destroy a spell after dispelling it.
Because Dwarfs don't have magic outside the Anvil of Doom, you can freely use the power dice in your own phase to dispel anything which may have remained in play, meaning you rarely suffer spells for longer than one turn. Watch your Vampire Counts opponent cry his eyes out. Battle Scrolls[ edit ] A practice rarely seen, due to most Battle-Scrolls being crappy, those that can give Dwarfs wizards appearing pretty late and many players and TOs having never heard of them although technically they are perfectly legal.
Quick reminder - a Battle Scroll is like a formation from 40k, but in Fantasy. However, Empire is a long-standing ally of the Dwarfs, and Imperial wizards kinda fit in. There are two fitting Empire Battlescrolls Dwarfs can use.
Defenders of Middenheim is a worse one, as it is large, expensive, makes your army feel less Dwarfy, can be seen as powergaming dickery, because in addition to Wizard you get Ghal'Maraz and cavalry, and the Wizard in question has Lore of Beasts, which isn't the best thing for Dwarfs. White Wizards of Templehof is much better.
It is a small nice Battlescroll, containing a level 4 Light Wizard on foot, a Luminark as if you didn't have enough warmachines and man unit of Free Company, which is crap, but hey, you can just send them to die somewhere.
Lore of Light is pretty nice for Dwarfs, fixing their Initiative and Movement issues and being a quite nice lore all round. General considerations[ edit ] As the rulebook has set your army up to nearly never make the first move in anything from army placement to attack rolls, it is a good idea to theme your army around getting the enemy to come to you. As they're coming towards you, start fucking them up with your war machines, thunderers and quarrelers. Once you've weakened them a bit, charge in for the kill with your combat units.
Hill Defence: Stick a cannon and a grudge thrower on a hill. Array your units so that they are protecting the hill. Behind, and out of sight of the enemy, place your secret vengeance weapons- gyrocopter and anvil of doom. The plan is to use the artillery to whittle down the enemy with your war machines, then break the enemy in CC. At that point, the gyrocopter comes swooping over the hill and smashes into the fleeing units before they get a chance to rally.
Beware of shooty armies and spells and template effects. This strategy requires ranks and outnumbering when you reach combat. If you can't break the enemy, the last ditch option is to use the gyrocopter to shred them into little tiny pieces using the bombs and gun. Surprising Charge Offensive: Almost all the time you will have a defensive army. Large infantry blocks, lots of war machines, move-or-fire weapons. And your enemy will expect it. It's what Dwarfs excell at. But you can mix that up, if you want to: Strollaz Rune gives vanguard to any infantry unit you want, and with clever pairing you can give that to 4 units easily.
Combine with Miners, Rangers and Gyrocopters with vanguard and you can be in your opponents face in turn two. To be honest, most of the times the traditional approach works best for Dwarfs, but it can be a welcome change. How to play vs Side note: Consider flaming Organ Guns, dwarfed by master engineers.
Against skaven, be extra careful with the dispel game, and if they bring a Bell, focus it down, as from turn 2 onwards it can wipe your artillery. The dreaded 13th is also a must-dispel, bonus points if you can take it off the board completely through a rune. You have hatred against every Skaven unit, that should give you a nice edge in close combat.
Use Cannons, Catapults, Gyrobombs, everything. You cannot win in a war of attrition, if you are going combat, so go in for the challenge with the knowledge you will have hatred and they won't. The new Wood Elves are fast and shoot well, but still have lousy armour and the trees are not as devastating as they were.