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Look, guys, I understand that conflict within a race is good. It's interesting, it creates fluff points, and it can lead to great themes.

However, why does it have to be between the Arcane Engineers/Daemonsmiths and the Sorcerer-Priests of Hashut?

This is so tired. It happens with the Rune Priests and more radical Engineers in the Dwarfs, the Warrior Priests and Wizards in the Empire, and (in the most jarring parallel) the Grey Seers and Warlock Engineers in the Skaven.
There's probably also something going on with the Dark Elves, but I haven't really got the energy to delve to deeply into Elven fluff.

The point is that the whole "They're stealing our magic and potentially our powerbase! That kind of power should come from our god! Grr!" vs "We're progressive visionaries limited by your petty morality and corrupt traditions! Grr!" conflict is getting so. Very. Old.

Instead, why not have them working in harmony? Where else did they get presumably Hashut-sponsored daemonbinding runes? The first Daemonsmiths were Sorcerer-Priests, who became interested in its applications in, say, making cannons with teeth. This led to improved relations between the Engineering and Sorcererous castes, lending greater military power to the then-wavering powerbase of the Sorcerers, and lending direction to the previously disparate groups of fiercely competitive Engineers.

Instead, the conflict is between the Cult of Hashut and the military rulers of the Chaos Dwarfs, the Overlords/Tyranns/Despots/whatever, who were on the brink of fully wresting power away from the largely corrupt Sorcerer-Priests before they became reliant on their goodwill for Daemonic Artillery.

That's not to say that the Engineers don't have some degree of autonomy from the church - regular Arcane Engineers won't need to give two hoots about their opinions, whilst Daemonsmiths are sort-of-not-really ranking members of the Cult, with a blood-red scalemail coat to signify their position.

So, where once the Chaos Dwarfs looked to headed toward some form of civil war, which the Sorcerers would probably lose, leading to a puppet High Prophet of Hashut as a member of a ruling council largely consisting of Overlords and one Hobgoblin Khan-Lord (or perhaps even a monarchy, if Zhatan the Black turned out to be ambitious enough), there is now a delicate balance between that and the previous arrangement, where Sorcerers were the end-all and be-all.

That's not even getting into what the Bull Centaurs think about the corruption of the Cult...
Good stuff, I tend to agree with this view. Happy
I like the idea of a clash between the military and religious rulership of the Chaos Dwarves, kinda like an Ataturk thing - say the military seeing themselves as defending a new vision, new future of Chaos Dwarfdom out of their dependence on the cold graces of despotic Hashut, whilst the Sorcerers and High Priests seek to re-establish their society in what they see as the foundations of their power and identity: what allowed the Chaos Dwarves to thrive in the wilderness, Hashut.

That said, it's true that internecine conflict is a very common theme - I'm not sure however that what you are suggesting here is a distinct break from it.  Unless, that is, if the schism is indeed in the past and the balance of power in the present would be a symbiotic one.  Perhaps the disparate factions among the Chaos Dwarves have become united when faced with the opportunity for gain in the wake of the Storm of Chaos - slaves, loot, and so on.  Or perhaps they are united against a common foe: Chaos, Ogres, Nipponese Ninja monkeys, whatever.
re: Evil - just can't get along.

   I'm not going to say much that is different, unfortunately, but here you go:

  Evil societies are usually based on possession of power and holding it over someone else, either by martial prowess or strength, fiendish manipulation, etc. Unless a society is particularly lawful in its structure, conflict between factions is inevitable and also makes for good stories.

  I don't see why an evil-oriented race would instantly love every other member of its race and also work in for best interests of all. Evil usually looks after itself first, then to others, and only if helping would benefit. They are continually looking for the one-up on whoever.

I say draw your faction lines wherever and thrive on the conflict it creates!!  I think both Engineers and Sorcerers would withhold their help from lowly regular (warrior castes?) dwarves if given the chance because so much of CD society is based on their power. It gives them leverage.

Slave wrangling individuals might also leverage power. Do YYYY for me or XXXX won't get built, etc..

GRNDL Wrote:
re: Evil - just can't get along.


I quite agree! Hell, all the 'good' factions, even Lizardmen, have some kind of shifty factioning going on whereby they try to get more power - why shouldn't the 'evil' factions?

I'm just saying that this style of conflict is overused, and perhaps we should draw less inspiration from the Scientist/Priest conflict in our world and more from other sources. Some of the earliest scientists were priests - the man who discovered alleles, for example.

Instead, draw inspiration from the split between Senate and Military in ancient Rome, or (if you wish to go for the Zhatan-wants-to-rule-the-Darklands) Parliament and the King in the English Civil War.

The most likely reason for this movement from the "Sorcerer-Priests as Rulers" system to the "Vaguely-democratic-council-system" is the Great Rebellion. I can fully see Sorcerers copping the blame for that, for using magic to breed the Black Orcs in the first place, and for laxness and lazyness in ruling. How, the military heroes and political powers of the Zharr-Naggrund ask, can a Sorcerer devote proper attention to Hashut as well as more material matters? Perhaps, they suggest, they should be made to focus on more... spiritual matters.

This is aided if the military branch is the one who made the deal with the Hobgoblins, against the wishes of the Sorcerers.

Quote:
Instead, the conflict is between the Cult of Hashut and the military rulers of the Chaos Dwarfs


Except that all Chaos Dwarf military forces are bound to a particular Sorcerer by ties that "all Chaos Dwarfs deem unbreakable". The Sorcerers are established as the absolute rulers of Zharr-Naggrund and the military belongs to them - there's no room for a schism there (except possibly in the past, as is the case is some of the background I've written). Daemon Binders (or whatever) are a natural choice for the ones who don't get on with the Priest because they're a new addition to the fluff, so don't have to fit into the established hierarchy, and can even live somewhere besides Zharr-Naggrund.

Personally, I prefer the idea of "corrupt solidarity" anyway. Chaos Dwarfs live in a rigid caste system and while there may not be any direct conflict between, say, military and priesthood, there's no reason they have to like the arrangement. But what can they do? They live in a society where everyone 'belongs' to one of the powerful Sorcerers - all Chaos Dwarfs are slaves, even if they don't think of it that way. The culture is inherently corrupt and evil.

Alternatively, I could ignore the old fluff, the fluff bereft of Immortals, daemon machines, etc, the fluff that it is so far off canon these days it couldn't find it with GPS and a roadmap, and set up a new fluff that works a bit better for me.
I think your view of the conflict is perhaps over emphasising it.

I don't see it as a personal conflict, more as a political rivalry between Guilds.

Each Guild would wield a lot of power within the DZ society, but does this necessarily mean that the Engineers Guild would wish to overthrow a tradition dating back thousands of years and form a 'council' of their own?

Sure the idea of Daemonsmiths may have grown fluffwise in recent years (since the Hellcannon), but I don't see why they would be seen as any more important than the Sorcerers Guild.  They are all cogs in a much greater machine, and must do their part.

If anything I think the Sorcerers should feel sorry for the Daemonsmiths.  They can't have a long lifespan really can they? Wink

Interesting that this debate would also mirror that in our own society (very basically), of science over god?  So the concept of questionning which is more important isn't that unusual really.

Perhaps it makes them more realistic?
I actualy see it as more of a 3 way conflict

namley, the 3 groups (Warleaders, Cult of Hashut, Engineers) all want to be in charge, making the conflict all the sweeter, since theres now betrayal and aliances in there to help get the tension rolling

EG: if the sorcerwers look the strongest, then maybe the engineers and warleaders will team up to put them in there place, but, since the warleaders have more power than the engineers at that time, they overpower the engineers and put themselves as rulers for a limited time

then you have 3 positions of absolute power
Overtyrant
High priest
name for the chief engineer

Quote:
Alternatively, I could ignore the old fluff


Then why even have a discussion about it? You can throw whatever you want out of the window and be perfectly happy.

TBH I think the main thing making sure the Warrior Caste do as their told is Zhatan; he is hand's down the hardest and most successful Warlord and he is devoted to Ghorth and rules with an Iron Fist.  move him out they way and things might get more interesting.

Personally I think a better split would be the Warlords starting to get more independance and wanting more power with the Sorcerer's sponsering and developing the new Daemon-science (as their magic would be of great benefit to that) in order to broker the support of the Engineers to hold onto power.  This is to my mind much more interesting than Sorcerers vs Engineers

Tbh I think the main reason there is a feel for a Sorcerer-Engineer split is the Traditionalist/Daemonologist fuss amoungst the fan base a few years back; to my knowledge there's nothing in the fluff about it, and in Grudgebearer the priests were in fact helping with the Daemonbinding.

Thommy H Wrote:

Quote:
Alternatively, I could ignore the old fluff


Then why even have a discussion about it?


I wasn't. I was discussing the new fluff, that stuff that the gaming community is coming up with, and its intriguing sameness.

Lord Z has handily summarised my view on this in his last two paragraphs.

I'm not so keen on any idea of a schism really. After all Dwai'zhaar may be Chaos Dwarfs but they're still Dwarfs. There may be feuds. Personally, I see chaos dwarf societies as essentially Fascist in character: Led harismatic individuals (High Priests and Warlords) with absolute loyalty to the state (Zharr Naggrund) indoctrinated, they see any other race as little better than animals to be utilised in one way or another. This does not mean there aren't rivalries, but ultimately EVERY dawi'zhaar is loyal until death. It'd make a nice contrast to the other evil forces anyway

minty Wrote:
I actualy see it as more of a 3 way conflict

namley, the 3 groups (Warleaders, Cult of Hashut, Engineers) all want to be in charge, making the conflict all the sweeter, since theres now betrayal and aliances in there to help get the tension rolling

EG: if the sorcerwers look the strongest, then maybe the engineers and warleaders will team up to put them in there place, but, since the warleaders have more power than the engineers at that time, they overpower the engineers and put themselves as rulers for a limited time

then you have 3 positions of absolute power
Overtyrant
High priest
name for the chief engineer



This reminds me of the book "Inside the Soviet Army" where three groups, the Army, the KGB, and the Party all jostled for power, but because the other two would always unite to balance the power it never got out of hand.  

Same thing applies here and I think it fits very well, but it doesn't have so much to do with assasinations and the like, like in Dark Elf lore, just more about overall political-religious power.  Cheers!

Interesting thought, LZ reminded me about the Priests from Grudgebearer.  Not sorcerers.

That's not to say there weren't sorcerers present in the army (Gav covered the CD army very briefly), but assuming they were there that would (should?) be another hero choice?

I did some basic rules for Priests here somewhere.

Grimstonefire Wrote:
Interesting thought, LZ reminded me about the Priests from Grudgebearer.  Not sorcerers.

That's not to say there weren't sorcerers present in the army (Gav covered the CD army very briefly), but assuming they were there that would (should?) be another hero choice?

I did some basic rules for Priests here somewhere.


I was under the impression that Sorcerers and Priests were the same thing in Chaos Dwarf society? Sorcerer-Priests.

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