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The Hanging Fire Fields of Hashkunezharr
The Hanging Fire Fields of Hashkunezharr
The vast crater in the northern Dark Lands known as the Plain of Zharr is both rich in minerals and poor in mountains. On the one hand, it would be expected to find some kind of Dwarf settlement here due to the wealth on offer. On the other hand, the flat terrain is not dear to Dwarfs, not least because it is too easily assailable when compared to their preferred mountain habitats.
As such, some scholars and Chaos Sorcerers, whether mad or sane, have theorized that the Chaos Dwarf construction of ziggurats and towering fortress complexes is, to some degree, a compensation for the lack of mountains to inhabit in much of the Dark Lands. Indeed, even beside the titanic Mountains of Mourn does the size and mass of Zharr-Naggrund seem to be more akin to an obsidian mountain than an entirely artificial construct of mere mortals. Deep down, beyond all the corruption, nightmarish cruelty and demented fanaticism, the minds of the Dawi Zharr still shares many characteristics with those of their uncorrupted cousins.
And so it was, that the yearning for mountains and highlands long ago triggered the construction of the Hanging Fire Fields, one of the many monuments of bizarre size and nature to be found in the Chaos Dwarf empire.
Oral folk culture and old records alike tell the tale of the mighty Sorcerer-Prophet Hashuknezharr the Proud, who once bought a fine consort at the Temple Marriage Market in the Tower of Gorgoth. The woman's name was Dhaoziakzhy, and her sensuous ways and outstanding cruelty to slaves enthralled Hashuknezharr like no other wife in the harem could ever have done. As a rare honour, he took her with him on all his travels.
However, Dhaoziakzhy soon tired of all the vast lowlands which makes up most of the Dark Lands, and raised as she was in the Tower of Gorgoth atop the dead volcano Azgorh, she confessed a longing for mountains. At short notice, Dhaoziakzhy's husband mustered his resources to build her a small mountain in the western Plain of Zharr. Caravans of Iron Daemons, slave porters and draft animals pulled wagons loaded with building materials, tools and supplies to the designated build site. Tens of thousands of slaves would die in the construction work ahead.
Everyone could see that it was to be a high and broad, terraced tower of obsidian, stone, steel and ashen bricks. A big ziggurat amongst many in the Plain of Zharr, people said. Hashuknezharr the Proud became the laughing stock of all Dawi Zharr whilst his slaves, clansfolk and machines laboured day and night to construct the abode of his favourite wife. Who would build a monumental structure for the sake of love? Such folly! The word on the street was that surely the Sorcerer's Curse had petrified Hashuknezharr's mind first before it was to claim his body. Perhaps he would even plant a watery garden atop it in the manner of feeble Elves, and be struck down by lightning and earthquakes as the wrath of the Bull God was kindled by such impious impurity?
Some cunning Hobgoblin Khans even became bookmakers for their Chaos Dwarf overlords, running unofficial betting business enterprises, where thousands upon thousands of Dawi Zharr offered prayers and sacrifice to Hashut before wagering silver and slaves upon the exact date when the Father of Darkness would claim either Hashuknezharr or his monument in some cataclysm or the other. Others betted on the nature of the looming disaster, investing some wealth in the firm belief of a certain catastrophe foretold by omens and outcasts. Meanwhile, a number of Sneaky Gits made small fortunes of their own as they slinked into the ziggurat build site and hid tablets, bricks, lead plates, skulls and other amulets, all inscribed with curses, into the thick walls of the rising monument. Their clients were Chaos Dwarfs hoping to ensure that their specific bet would win them great wealth, by invoking divine and unholy assistance alike. Like one man, Mingol Zharr-Naggrund the great and all her holdings guffawed at the foolish Sorcerer-Prophet, yet still Hashuknezharr the Proud would not give up, and the building rose ever higher above the lowland as decades passed by.
The laughter of the Dawi Zharr stuck in their throats when the monumental home of Dhaoziakzhy was finally completed, and its secrets revealed, during one portentuous night of a full Morrslieb and ongoing religious festivities and mass sacrifices.
Hidden to the eyes of his rivals, the Daemonsmith subordinates of Hashkunezharr had directed the hard labour of drilling magma channels deep into the rocky ground. A vast, arcane system of reservoirs, gates, canals and pumps ensured the circulation and replenishment of lava, which snaked across the terraces and cascaded down in hot falls to the levels below. Likewise, separate and smaller channelling systems for various molten metals adorned the whole edifice, being fed by enigmatically Daemonforged furnaces and pumps at the building's dark heart. In addition, white-hot embers painted the glowing walls with hallowed runes of Hashut and the wider Chaos pantheon, converting the whole structure into a vast dedication to both Chaos in general and the Father of Darkness in particular. Grim-faced idols and statues of figures of legend adorned the terrace roofs,their eyes glowing with baleful fire. Last, but not least, fell runes and vicious sorceries bound into the stone, bricks and metal of the great ziggurat ensured an almost everlasting dance of flames and bound fire Daemons across the walls, on the flat roofs and inside braziers and great, hollow bull heads of bronze. Only relatively small sacrifices of slaves were required to maintain the arcane mysteries of the wonder, for the magical winds of Chamon and Aqshy were drawn to it like moths to flames.
These were the Hanging Fire Fields of Hashkunezharr, a monstrous construction of fire and molten rock and metal alike, a sorcerous edifice of volatile magic and shackled Daemons, an altar to Hashut, who when on high, was to bless the proud Sorcerer-Prophet and his favourite wife Dhaoziakzhy with lasting wealth, success, might and conquest. Such were the hopes of the monument's dark master as he ascended the broad obsidian staircase, illuminated in the flaming light of the Hanging Fire Fields. The man's triumph was short-lived, however, for he soon discovered that Dhaoziakzhy had gone barren long before her time. In black rage, Sorcerer-Prophet Hashkunezharr the Proud entombed his disappointing wife alive, deep beneath the bowels of the fiery complex, before cursing all the world and its creatures and gods, whereupon he hurled himself into the ever-burning altar flames atop the ziggurat's uppermost level. Thus ended the folly of Hashkunezharr.
Still, it is said that His mighty idol woke to life in front of the altar, and a black, fiery bull emerged from the Realm of Chaos to trample the Sorcerer-Prophet violently in the altar flames. It is likewise said that Hashut carried them both away into His dark realm, where the blasphemer endures an eternal punishment under the hooves of the black bull. Some Daemonsmiths claims to have heard the breaking of bones, the screams of a Chaos Dwarf, a snorting bull and the crackling of flames when sacrificing to appease the Father of Darkness before undertaking a Soulforge summoning ritual to capture a Daemon of fire or metal.
As for the legacy of Hashkunezharr the Proud, his Hanging Fire Fields still stands, for they were much more pleasing to the Bull God than was the conduct of their master. The story of the foolish Sorcerer-Prophet quickly became a popular tale to warn children of the perils of romantic love. The Hanging Fire Fields have ever since been synonymous with the names of ill-fated Hashkunezharr and Dhaoziakzhy, yet they are also a vaunted possession amongst the Chaos Dwarf elite. Whichever Sorcerer-Prophet controls the Hanging Fire Fields commands some prime sorceries in the Lores of Fire and Metal, enabling them to hold spectacular sacrificial rituals, as well as giving them access to advanced forges for the smithing of fire and metal Daemons, as well as tools for the creation of lava beasts.
As a result, the armies of the owner of the Hanging Fire Fields are able to deploy superior Magma Cannons and K'daai Daemons, and it is rumoured that the innards of the mysterious edifice contains caches of volatile fire amulets, weapons and artefacts forged upon its terraces throughout the years. The monument remains a strategic asset in the Dawi Zharr power struggle, and to this day the large structure resounds to the ringing of hammers, the shrieking of sacrificial victims and the sorcerous intonations of Daemonsmiths hard at work, crafting ever more lethal weapons of war amidst the fire and streams of lava and molten metal that makes the dark walls glow like hell itself.
Such are the Hanging Fire Fields of Hashkunezharr.
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This post was last modified: 02-09-2015 12:17 PM by Admiral.
The Eye of Hashut
Posts: 1,801 - Apr 2013
Market Rep: 8
RE: The Hanging Fire Fields of Hashkunezharr
I love it <3
I've been slowly (very slowly) for a few months building a 'Hanging Gardens of Fire' in Minecraft. It started as a Dawi Zharr themed way to keep Creepers away, and it has since become a massive multi-tiered Ziggurat of lava and stone.
"Where there's a whip, there's a way!"