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Chaos Dwarf Proverbs
Do you have a proverb or mantra for the Chaos Dwarfs or their Hobgoblin henchmen? If so, be welcome to post it here and it will be added to the list! The goal is to eventually flesh out the verbal world of the Chaos Dwarfs to better grasp their enigmatic, greedy, ravenous, and above all cruel nature.
The values and expectations of cultures can be glimpsed from their legends, their songs and their proverbs. Just like their songs do, the sayings of the mysterious Chaos Dwarfs reflects a worldview which to outsiders would appear twisted, fanatic and malevolent, if not downright evil to the very core.
Chaos Dwarf Sayings
"The weak's moan, the strong's throne."
Meaning: Slavery, cruelty and the oppression of others is moral and right. This is an ingrained part of the Dawi Zharr psyche. Chaos Dwarfs believe that nothing great can truly be achieved without much suffering from lesser beings.
"Like a volcanic eruption in an open-pit mine."
Meaning: Something beautiful. Chaos Dwarfs detest nature and seek to dominate and ravage the landscape just as they do living creatures. The scars of industry are seen as positive and pleasing, as is fire, lava and smoke, even when dangerous to the Chaos Dwarfs themselves.
"Thick like an Orc."
Meaning: Someone stupid. This is a grave insult in Dawi Zharr society.
"As tall as his hat."
Meaning: There are several different meanings for this common saying. Depending on circumstance and tone of voice, it could e.g. mean a capable or manly individual, or someone who is arrogant or ambitious. It could also be humiliating words accompanied by brutality to Hobgoblins or lesser slaves. Strict hierarchy means this proverb is virtually never meant negatively when speaking of Chaos Dwarfs of superior rank, at least not outside the leading caste of competing Sorcerer-Prophets.
"Deeds so rash will see your ash."
Meaning: Foolish, premature and rash decisions will often have devastating consequences. This is especially true in the unforgiving Dark Lands, and particularly so in the portion of Chaos Dwarf industry involving Daemonsmithing. Despite the hazardous use of Daemons in their materials, the Dawi Zharr empire was not founded on precipitant strategies, but rather on a methodical grind requiring centuries or even millenia to fruition.
"Better count the skulls than the heads of Goblins."
Meaning: Slaves are a worthless rabble. It is futile to attempt any exact census of slave populations, even local ones toiling in quarries and mines. Their numbers are so large, and the constant death toll so huge, that it is considered folly by Chaos Dwarfs to count every slave. Indeed, Dawi Zharr scribes often gather estimates of the influx of fresh slaves, and deduct from this the rather rough numbers of dead slaves. By intervals the slave census begins afresh with a sweeping estimate inspection to clean out the records. Slaves are less than dirt, why should you care to count their every head?
"A mask of mercy."
Meaning: A fearsome face. Many Chaos Dwarfs use metal masks in work and war. These are fashioned to frighten, and some masks are forged as snarling Daemon faces or twisted skulls to drive home the point. Daemonforged enchantments (e.g. for glowing eye slits) to further improve psychological impact are not uncommon. A Chaos Dwarf with a truly dreadful face would as such instead use a mask to dampen the fear he or she instils in others.
"Horns and tusks."
Meaning: Either someone or something blessed by (Hashut's) fortune, or a kind of curse, usually spoken before a longer and specific curse is declared. The curse variant is usually accompanied by damning signs and gestures. Tusk, horn and even hoof mutations are common amongst the Chaos Dwarf populace, a visible link to their Bull Centaur cousins. Like all gifts of Chaos, these have a dark side of agony or threat of degeneration, insanity and worse.
"Lasting like a Gnoblar."
Meaning: Something worthless; something to be used intensively and then discarded. Gnoblars invariably make up a large part of the Chaos Dwarfs' slave hordes, yet Gnoblars are even less useful labourers than Goblins. The standard practice is to whip Gnoblars hard whilst they last to achieve results, then kill them.
"Cracked like the ancestral anvils."
Meaning: Something broken beyond any hope of repair. Chaos Dwarfs view their tumultous struggle for survival during the great Daemonic invasion as an abandonment by the western Dwarfs of the World's Edge Mountains. During this time, when the Dwarf settlers in Zorn Uzkul faced certain annihilation, all bonds with their ancestral ways where lost, and the cult of Hashut became ascendant. A common symbol of this decisive historical event is the cracked anvil.
"Slave and oven fodder."
Meaning: Snotlings. These, the smallest of Greenskins, are nearly useless as slaves, though they do fit inside many pipes too thin for Goblins to traverse. As a result, Snotlings normally end up as slave food in one form or another, or are shovelled (dead or alive) into furnaces and other fires like coal, wood and dead rats are.
"Flay and slay."
Meaning: A common Chaos Dwarf practice on battlefields, or when making an example of troublesome slaves, is to flay the victim and kill it, in that particular order. The flayed skin is usually showcased to inspire fear in slaves and foes alike.
"A real treat for the Centaurs."
Meaning: A cocky or inexperienced authority bound to lose his face or make a mess. Common saying among axemen under the command of a young Deathmask.
"He is tenacious under hat."
"Such a father have honour under hat."
Meaning: Him. "Under hat" signifies a Chaos Dwarf male. Dawi Zharr often speak of each other in the roundabout way of "under hat", since they have worn large headgear for millennia, of which some are as tall (or taller) than the wearer himself.
"Went up like a lead zeppelin."
Meaning: An endeavour that meets with unprecedented success when it was thought it was doomed to failure.
"Cold enough to freeze the balls of a K'daai."
Meaning: A snarky (vulgar) commentary on how cold the weather is.
"May your hat be tall and your beard ever coiled."
Meaning: Common sign of curtesy; used as a parting.
"Hat high in Taurus pats."
Meaning: Circumstances are desperate with little sign of improving.
"Might as well smith iron from ash."
Meaning: The current (or proposed) task is impossible.
Meaning: Damn! An expression of misfortune.
"I doff my hat to you."
Meaning: A sign of submission.
"Tongue of fire; words of ash."
Meaning: You're boastful; you make grandiose claims that you cannot fulfil; liar/lies.
"Naught but slag and ash."
"If you only eat a Halfling, you'll want a second breakfast."
Meaning: Do not fribble with the food intake; a slaving expedition should endeavour to capture more slaves to satisfy demand. Also a joke about Halfling appetite.
"Beards on fire!"
"K'daai curling iron!"
Meaning: A curse; a catastrophe. To have their beards burnt away is a recurring nightmare to Chaos Dwarf men.
"Hashut wills it!"
"The Prophet wills it!"
Meaning: A command to submit to the will of authority.
"Get Snotlings for pebbles and Goblins for stones."
"Get Orcs for rocks and Ogres for boulders."
Meaning: Apply the right slave or tool to the work.
"Just because you've donned the hat of a Hobgoblin doesn't mean you should act like one!"
Meaning: An insult and snarky remark. Chaos Dwarfs place great pride in their hats. To have it compared to the lice-infested headgear of a Hobgoblin, as well as one's behaviour compared with that of such a treacherous and incompetent scum, is a double insult. From superiors to inferiors it's a ruthless humiliation; between equals they are often fighting words.
"May Daemons shrink his hat and beard."
Meaning: A curse.
"Wear out your whip and blunt your knife."
Meaning: Never treat your slaves and enemies with anything else than brutality; don't lapse in discipline; be quick to punish; don't be shy of having to repair your whip and sharpen your knife.
"Eaten by his hat."
Meaning: The traceless disappearance of somebody; a Daemonic possession of a Chaos Dwarf's hat, usually following a faulty Daemonsmithing ritual, resulting in the actual devouring of the Dawi Zharr by his own hat.
"They were Lammasu led by Grobi."
Meaning: A salute to comrades who fought valiantly but who fell due to incompetent leadership; also used as a simultaneous condemnation of said leadership.
"Keep calm and praise Hashut."
Meaning: We're screwed. Chaos Dwarfs are expected to never panic and always remain devout worshippers of Hashut.
"Mess with the bull and get the horns."
Meaning: Pay the dire consequences of your foolish actions.
"Some Dwarfs just want to watch the world burn."
Meaning: Either a remark on particularly destructive and bloodthirsty Chaos Dwarfs; or a comment on the Dawi Zharr people's own nature and origins as fallen and corrupted Dwarfs worshipping a bovine Dark God of fire and might.
"A warrior's blood boils before the fire is hot."
Meaning: The martial spirit is quick to anger.
"A coiled beard is a symbol of courage."
Meaning: Like their uncorrupted western cousins, the Chaos Dwarfs value their beards a great deal. They are signs of age, respect, wisdom, experience and manliness. Last but not least, they're also symbols of courage and steadfastness, highly valued qualities amongst Dawi and Dawi Zharr alike.
"One does not achieve honour while acting dishonourably."
Meaning: As in the societies of other races, and indeed their western cousins, the Chaos Dwarf culture is saturated by a code of honour determining what is proper behaviour. However, unlike foreign cultures, the Dawi Zharr's sense of honour revolves a great deal around cruelty and domination. Kindness is seen as weakness. Weakness is dishonour. Dishonour is immorality. Therefore, kindness is immoral.
"A warrior fights to the death."
Meaning: Flight is not an option on the battlefield. Indeed, since many if not most casaulties in battle are sustained by the losing side when fleeing from pursuing winners, the ability to stand fast and hold your ground is likely to aid your chances of survival. This is especially true for Dwarfs of any kind, who are not renowned for their speed.
"It is a good day to die."
Meaning: Death comes to everyone, eventually. Therefore, you might die any day and should thus not be afraid to face death today.
"I travel the river of blood."
"I travel the road of bones."
Meaning: We are at war, and I partake in it. Common saying when on campaign. Chaos Dwarfs' aims of domination often borders on the megalomaniac and grossly macabre. Their long history of warfare, cruelty towards captured enemies and military engineering have indeed seen actual rivers of blood and roads of bones.
"We fight to enrich the spirit."
"We fight in order to buy the spirit."
"We trample in order to buy the spirit."
"We do cruel deeds to enrich the spirit."
Meaning: A Chaos Dwarf's character is improved by combat and cruelty. It is not uncommon to find a sense of inner worthlessness towards the mighty Father of Darkness amongst the Dawi Zharr, and some cults view their souls as hostages of the bull god, ergo to "buy the spirit" from Hashut by favoured deeds.
"Keep the embers of the furnace glowing hot!"
"Never leave the furnace dead and cold!"
Meaning: Said to raise morale and fighting spirits when facing an overwhelming and stronger enemy force.
"I feel like I've whipped a thousand slaves."
Meaning: I'm in a good mood today.
"Pull my tusks and call me a Dawi"
Meaning: Exclamation of disbelief.
"Measure once, cut twice"
Meaning: A favourite saying of chaos dwarf executioners, basically a phrase to remind them to make sure they have beheaded their victims properly.
"They chose to remain free."
Meaning: Said for enemies who fought till death, rather than surrendering into slavery or torture.
"Only the brave may die."
"Only the strong may die."
Meaning: Weak opponents should be taken alive and enslaved. Stronger/braver opponents may be killed, either because their body will break before their spirit, so they will be useless slaves; or they may be killed as a show of respect for said enemy.
"The fire will burn them."
Meaning: They are not followers of Hashut.
"The fire will warm us."
Meaning: Only for followers of Hashut.
"The fire awaits (us) all."
Meaning: Everyone will die, but given the former two sayings, the fate after death differs between individuals.
"The fear of Prophet is the beginning of wisdom."
Meaning: Chaos Dwarf society is strictly hierarchical, with the almighty Sorcerer-Prophets as the ruling elite, each with an army of warriors and servants at his disposal. Their cruelty have become legendary and manifests itself in their everyday life. To stay alive and prosperous in such a world, one must fear one's own master more than any enemy or supernatural horror.
"The lazy still starves the besieged enemy, the industrious crushed him a year ago."
Meaning: Hard work produce dependable results, and may in the end take less time than half-measures and short-cuts.
"Great was the fall of Zhargon."
Meaning: Noone, not even the most succesful and powerful man ever to rule the Dark Lands (Zhargon the Great), is truly safe in this world. It may as such be an indirect comment about a leader's arrogance or recklessness, or a general reminder of the fragility of strength and greatness.
"The weak break when they can, the strong when they can't."
Meaning: The weak will often break much earlier than the strong, because the former are inclined to give in, whilst the latter are inclined to persevere, beyond their limits if need be.
"The clever behead the unruly slave, the wise flay him."
Meaning: Simply killing a slave or enemy to set an example will not have the same moral impact like putting the victim through agonies, and still live afterwards to wail in pain.
"Preparations are measured by the outcome."
Meaning: Chaos Dwarfs, like their western cousins, believe in thorough work and despise shoddiness. Their empire would never have been possible without this fundamentally Dwarfen character streak.
"The clever flatter his deity, the wise praise Him."
Meaning: Don't overdo things, especially not in matters of religion.
"The clever break backs, the wise break wills."
Meaning: A crippled or dead slave will not be of much use, unlike a tamed slave without hope or will.
"The mute wife is the safest in the harem."
Meaning: Be careful with what you say. The men of the Chaos Dwarf elite possess harems, unlike their monogamous cousins in the Worlds Edge Mountains and beyond.
"The foolish blacksmith destroy Daemons with weapons, the wise one forge them into weapons."
Meaning: Recognize a resource when you see it, don't destroy it if it can be harnessed to your tasks. The Chaos Dwarfs are the inventors and masters of Daemonsmithing, a mystic craft which is the height of exploiting everyone and anything as a raw material.
"Those foolish with the flames are scarred forever."
Meaning: Act with proper respect and carefulness around fire (an element sacred to Hashut), or else do not act like a fool. One moment of foolishness may leave lifelong scars.
"The poor man killed, the rich man enslaved."
Meaning: Don't waste potential resources, don't destroy wealth needlessly.
"The reckless man died by suicide."
Meaning: Though decidedly more short-sighted and prone to dabble in self-destructive technologies than uncorrupted Dwarfs, Chaos Dwarfs still regard recklessness as a Mannish and feeble thing.
"Gold does not rust, but steel does not yield."
Meaning: Strength and function is more important than beauty and form. It may also mean you should use the right material in the right place, or indeed the right manner of speaking in the company of others.
"A turning wheel does not always move forward."
Meaning: Activity does not equal progress. Wheels, especially cogwheels, are very common sights in the Chaos Dwarf realm.
"The safe hideout is a deathtrap."
Meaning: Nowhere is truly safe; any fortress walls will become a prison for their defenders; no castle will withstand a sufficiently powerful siege bombardments; don't put your trust in mere walls.
"The more cruel the deed, the more dread it bleeds."
Meaning: If you are to set an example, then do so with excessive cruelty.
"Destined for nought but chains and shackles."
Meaning: A strongly humiliating remark. If used by superiors to inferiors, it will cause shame to the Chaos Dwarf of inferior rank. If used between equals, they are fighting words. Also a general comment on the character of other races.
"The combined power of the wives of Hashut is not enough to challenge His left back hoof."
Meaning: No revered figure in Chaos Dwarf mythology come even close to Hashut's greatness and power.
"Touched by Matzhkra."
Meaning: A saying about hysterical or insane Chaos Dwarf women.
"The higher the hat, the greater it topples."
Meaning: Equivalent of 'pride comes before a fall'; also an actual warning, since Chaos Dwarf hats are infamously tall.
"Find a thousand and one idle slaves. Flay one slave alive, and you'll have a thousand industrious slaves."
Meaning: Fear of cruelty motivates the slave labour.
"When in doubt, blame it on the Hobgoblins."
Meaning: Blaming the middleman slaves might at least free you from suspicion; or a remark to Chaos Dwarfs who do not confess their own responsibility in causing a problem; or a rule of thumb, based on centuries of experience with Hobgoblin behaviour, for whenever some problem, disaster or drop in productivity befalls the slave workforce or the mines, industries and quarries it toils in.
"The bull have more than one hoof."
Meaning: There is more than one aspect of Hashut to worship, and there are many cults and sects worshiping the same Father of Darkness differently.
"Marked by the Great Thunderbull."
"A deaf slave is soon a death's slave."
"A slave too deaf is a slave to death."
Meaning: A deaf slave will soon outlive its usefulness. The Chaos Dwarfs believes that Hashut in His aspect of the Great Thunderbull marks slaves for doom by destroying their hearing.
"Better one slave down the mine than two on the plains."
Meaning: Resources are of no use unless exploited.
"The slaves always work harder in the other mines."
Meaning: One is prone to overestimate the resources and fortune of others.
"A Dawi Zharr is known by the slaves that he keeps."
Meaning: Your value as a person may be deducted from the condition of your possessions. A lazy or uncaring Chaos Dwarf will often lapse in the punishment and overseeing of his slaves.
"A burned slave dreads the fire."
Meaning: Wisdom comes from experience; a popular saying about the virtue of terror, pain and punishment to keep slaves in their places.
"Never play poker with Hobgoblins".
Meaning: Hobgoblins are entirely untrustworthy liars and cheats. To gamble with them is to give away your money.
"An untempered blade is as strong as the word of an Ancestor God."
Meaning: Without hardening, blades will break just as did the old Dwarf culture of the Chaos Dwarfs' ancestors. The Ancestor Gods are viewed as weak and unworthy deities of their doomed cousins by Dawi Zharr.
"If at first you don't succeed, kill a few slaves as an example."
Meaning: Everything, and anything, can be achieved through cruelty.
"The proof of the slave is in the beating."
Meaning: If a slave is beaten, it is guilty.
"Do not torture your slaves for pleasure, or you will go blind."
Meaning: Nothing in excess. This saying is used by several lesser Chaos Dwarf sects as a warning towards excessive indulgence in sadism free of ritual as deviant behaviour straying from the true path of the worshipper of Hashut. Several more cryptic and mystical interpretations of it exists, intelligible only to those schooled in the lore of Hashut. Note that this proverb should not be interpreted as merciful or humanitarian in any way.
"Trust is merely the condition necessary for betrayal."
"Never believe a Daemon, except when they speak the truth."
Meaning: Deamons are fickle, capricious and utterly untrustworthy beings, yet truth may occassionally be gleaned from their lips.
"Why do we knock the slave down, Dawi Zharr? So he can learn to get back to work again."
Meaning: Cruelty is good. Cruelty towards your slaves is perhaps the only chance given to them to improve their filthy morals by allowing them to rise to work again by force of fear and willpower.
"Better to place your hand in the furnace than to raise it against your superiors or hold it out to a slave."
Meaning: Hierarchy is sacred. Do not violate it.
"Raves are not for slaves."
Meaning: Silence, toil and utter subservience is the lot of the slave. Speak, and be split in two. Similar to 'beggars cannot be choosers'.
"No tusks, no party."
Meaning: Tusks are a symbol of pride amongst Dawi Zharr men and womenfolk alike. It is of vital importance that the chief enactors of religious festivities have tusks. This is a jocular proverb, common amongst lower caste Dawi Zharr.
"Ha-shut them down!"
Meaning: Shoot them down, may Hashut strike them down. A jocular proverb and pun, common amongst Chaos Dwarf gunners.
"Some years ago I used to have a slave: he was so good! Expecially with some pepper."
Meaning: Slaves are food as well as a source of labour for Chaos Dwarfs. A jocular proverb, sometimes used to scare slaves.
"Yeah, we're short: That's why we're gonna make short work of you!"
Meaning: We will crush you. A jocular proverb, displaying an ancient aspect of Chaos Dwarf humour that may be so old that it predates the coming of Hashut by millennia, effectively linking it to uncorrupted Dwarfen oral culture.
"'Misfire'? What does it mean?"
Meaning: Shoddy mishaps happens to lesser races and amateur fools. A cocksure statement by artillerymen and manufacturers of pieces of artillery and munitions.
"Ash will catch them all."
Meaning: They are doomed; ashes to ashes. Ash holds a central position in the Chaos Dwarf mindset, symbolizing destruction, desolace, death and doom.
"We have bullets, a Bull God, Bull Centaurs... you only have bullshit."
Meaning: You and your race are utterly inferior; you cannot succeed; your words are empty threats.
"Come forth plaything of Hashut."
Meaning: Your destiny are in the hands of Dark Gods; the Bull God will play with you, then crush you and discard your corpse.
"There is nothing that can't be completed with an inexhaustible supply of expendable labor."
Meaning: Self-evident. Chaos Dwarfs believe this firmly, as is evident by their actions and callous disregard for the lives of slaves.
"Forged in darkness and fire, our works endure from the Coming of Chaos to the Ending of Time."
Meaning: The creations of the Dawi Zharr will stand in this world under Chaos, unlike the false works of lesser races. Chaos Dwarfs are immensely proud of their sophisticated craftsmanship, engineering, monumental architecture and Daemonsmithing. However, not a few of these works are decidedly more unstable and volatile than their distant counterparts found amongst uncorrupted western Dwarfs.
"Toil, ox, toil!"
Meaning: Work till you drop, slave! A well-known quote from Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind's fable The Ox and the Cowherdess, which underlines the moral inferiority of the weak and enslaved, in the Dawi Zharr mindset.
"Daemons spreading their malice in the Barren Shrine are wasted there like a torch cast into lava."
Meaning: Do not overdo it; more investment of resources or effort will not result in a better result because of saturation. The lot of the Temple harlots of the Barren Shrine, outside the walls of the great Temple of Hashut, is one of wretchedness.
"Bleak like dawn to a Temple harlot."
Meaning: Bad, poor or otherwise grim prospects. The life of sacred prostitutes in Zharr-Naggrund is one of misery and stigmata. As such, to wake at dawn is to face yet another potentially dismal day.
"Watch yer back for sneaky gitz, be da first dat hitz."
Meaning: Be paranoid and murderous to survive.
Meaning: Feint words to make a soon-to-become victim of murder look in the other direction.
Meaning: A common saying among Hobgoblin wolf riders while on the hunt for escaped slaves, used in the same context as 'giddy up' by horsemen, used in order to spur their wolf mounts to go faster. Stems from the common Hobgoblin practice of rewarding their wolf mounts with the freshly cut off feet of (still living) captives who have been captured after pursuit.
"Gits dice is it'z own rewards"
Meaning: An advantage to be used for personal gain and/or exploitation. Stems from the dice game played by Hobgoblins of the Sneaky Gits tribe. A single dice is passed around, the first Hobbo to roll a '4' will immediately be stabbed with daggers by the other Hobbo dice players, the dead Hobbo's gold is then divided up among the remaining players... a game of last one standing. Naturally cheating is involved, with the most cunning and treacherous Sneaky Git being the winner.
Meaning: Untouchable, feared. Within Dawi Zharr society, Copper is associated with blessings of Hashut, a sign of rank and privilege. A Hobgoblin who is especially cruel and useful in the service of his Chaos Dwarf master may be rewarded with a hand weapon decorated with copper inlays. These weapons are usually only seen carried by Khans within Hobgoblin society, with lower status Hobgoblins referring to holders of these weapons as "Copper'z proofed", alluding not only to their 'proof' of their value in the eyes of a Dawi Zharr master, but also alludes to such Hobgoblins as being 'hands off' in matters of personal animosity/disagreements with other Hobgoblins.
"If ya cheat, ya kan't lose."
Meaning: Cheating is always a victory in and of itself.
"To turn your back on a friend is to dig your own grave."
Meaning: Trust no one. To expose your back is to invite backstabbing.
List of Contents by Contributor: Chaos Dwarf Sayings
Admiral: 1-12, 14, 25-31, 53-76, 101-103.
Border Reiver: 100.
Dînadan: 15-23, 32, 82.
Grimbold Blackhammer: 99.
Helblindi: 35, 44, 45, 47-51.
Kera Foehunter: 52.
Mivrash Faz: 98.
List of Contents by Contributor: Hobgoblin Sayings
Admiral: 1, 2, 6.
Fuggit Khan: 3-5.
News on CDO: Community Awards 2018 - 5th of March - Golden Hat XXXII - Voting Deadline 28th of March ... Etsy shop
And thus there was Chaos. And Squats. Hobby Group Auxillia Work. On Dark Tides. Miscellaneous Commercial Sculpts. Flayman Tutorial.
Chaos Dwarf Writings: Fables. Songs. Proverbs. Quotes. Monumental Inscriptions. Religious Texts.
There's fourteen ways to skin a dwarf. Path to Glory: Chaos Dwarf Warband Rules.
This post was last modified: 02-13-2019 10:02 AM by Admiral.