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The Great Firebull
The Great Firebull
In between two massive mountain ranges lies the vast, nightmare landscapes known as the Dark Lands. It is a lethal realm, occupied by brutal Greenskins, roaming monsters, ever-vigilant Undead and a malevolent empire of fire and ash ruled by the ruthless Chaos Dwarfs, in which untold thousands of souls toil, suffer and perish. They die to feed the rapacious and growing needs of Dawi Zharr industry and warfare. They die for the sake of capricious cruelty. And they die to fuel the pyres and cauldrons of molten metal in which a race of vicious slavers and demented artisans sacrifice to their ever-hungry Bull God in front of His mighty idols.
Such are the damned and merciless inhabitants of the infamous Dark Lands, yet the scenery itself conspires to make this realm into nothing short of hell on earth. For the tectonic plate between the Worlds Edge Mountains and Mountains of Mourn is treacherously thin, like a strained blanket, and it constantly ruptures all across the scarred landscape.
This volcanic turmoil has created a part of the world where frozen lava, earthquakes, fire and brimstone are everywhere. These are not dead lands, however, for rugged, thorny vegetation thrive enough in some of the soil to support the cavalcade of creatures who eke out their living here. Likewise, there exists many areas rich in ores carried from the guts of the world, waiting for greedy strip mining to goug out the thin crust of the earth. To the Blacksmiths of Chaos, all the blessings and curses of the Dark Lands are nothing short of gifts from Hashut Himself, for they believe that He is ever-present in this infernal realm.
They call Him the Great Firebull in His diabolic aspect of flamebringer and volcanic behemoth. In His guise in flames does the various sects and cults of the Dawi Zharr have many names for their Father of Darkness. These include the Lord of Infernal Depths, the Hot Destructor, the Hunger Ablaze, and He Who Quakes the Earth, as well as the Worldtrembler, Flaming Devourer, Hashut in Flames, and Tremor Father. By these names, and more besides, does the Chaos Dwarfs recognize their Dark God in heat, fire, volcanism and earthquakes all around them in that hell which they call home.
The Dawi Zharr envision the Great Firebull monstrously charging across both Empyrean and reality's molten underground depths, akin to how the Great Thunderbull rumble across both heavens and Realm of Chaos. To the Chaos Dwarfs, it is this earthshaking goring of the world that births earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Some sects in their malignant empire even believe molten rock, lava, to be the shed lifeblood of slain fire Daemons lurking underground. Akin to fire, both tremors and volcanic eruptions are events heavily laden with omens and hidden messages from Hashut to the Dawi Zharr, and some of their mystics spend decades tracking, predicting, observing and interpreting these violent portents.
Besides augury, Chaos Dwarf religion is based upon sacrifice, and those sacrifices are in the end always dependent on fire, no matter what horrific tortures the victims must first endure before the conclusion of the rituals. Whether burnt on a pyre or killed in a cauldron of molten metal heated by flames, the Dawi Zharr know that their live offerings can only reach the recepient through flames, especially if performed in view of an image of the deity. No wonder they view fire and purity as one and the same.
The waste of fire is also important to this religion, for rising smoke is ever a sure sign of favour and may harbour omens. Similarly, ash and slag are loaded with mysterious meaning, though theirs is often one of slavery, failure and doom. Ash is in fact a very common ingredient in Chaos Dwarf cuisine, not least due to commandments of Sorcerer-Prophets throughout the ages. To consume ash is symbolical both of overcoming weakness, and of the domination and devouring of slaves and nature itself.
It is paramount in Dawi Zharr worship that the holy fire in the Temple of Hashut and its major vassal shrines are kept burning at all times. Flames inspire raw dread in creatures. Flames destroys flesh beyod healing. The mastery of fire is one of the things which separate sapient beings from most beasts. Without fire, metallurgy and industry would be impossible. As Hashut and his servants are ravenous, so are flames. They would burn the whole world to cinders if they could, with an appetite far outstretching that of weaker elements.
These are some of the reasons for why fire holds such an immense symbolical value in the Chaos Dwarf mindset. Another is the might of high Hashut made manifest in His sacred spawns, the Taurus race with its fiery breath. Truly, they are proof of the Great Firebull's power. The Dawi Zharr seeks to mimic such fiery splendour everywhere, not least in war. Their bound fire Daemons known as K'daai ravage battlefields in a self-destructive blaze, whilst Magma Cannons burn foes and slave rabble alike to death with molten metal. Likewise, Chaos Dwarf sorcery builds heavily upon heat, flames and ash.
For how could it be otherwise to a people obsessed with infernal crafts, to whom a furnace and machinery powered by steam and flame are the pinnacles of civilization? The very hunt for fuel to feed the fires of industry is more than just a step in this ravenous cycle, for the coal that is mined by wretched slaves is believed by the Dawi Zharr to be the congealed blood of the Great Firebull, which is shed by His wounds as He gores the underground world and tears His own hide on rock and flame.
Such is the fiery nature of the Father of Darkness according to the Blacksmiths of Chaos.
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This post was last modified: 10-26-2014 03:52 AM by Admiral.