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1 Votes - 5 Average   The Sacred and Unholy Dark Lands
Author MessageThe Sacred and Unholy Dark Lands
Admiral
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Post: #1
The Sacred and Unholy Dark LandsAdmiral 02-26-2015

The Sacred and Unholy Dark Lands


The Dark Lands stretches between the titanic Mountains of Mourn in the east and the World's Edge Mountains in the west as a series of sweeping plains, rocks and craters, cut through by the River Ruin to the east, and dotted by murky oases and boiling lava pits amongst the crags and crevices of its ashen landscapes. Amidst these Dark Lands of fire and desolation stands the numerous outposts and fortress strongholds of the mighty Chaos Dwarf empire, a monstrous realm of slavery, infernal industry and strip mining, an empire wholly devoted to a Dark God of Chaos, who demands bloody sacrifice and cruel domination beneath the watchful gaze of His mighty idols.

Such are the Dark Lands, and it is no accident that such a hellish race as the Dawi Zharr are to be found here. For the land shapes its inhabitants more than they can ever shape their land. It is no coincidence that these landscapes are home to brutal Greenskin tribes, savage Ghouls and restless Undead, as well as evil-hearted Dwarfs of Fire, roaming monsters and migrating Ogres. Few other creatures would be able to survive for long in this desolate realm, much less thrive in it.

As such, it is no wonder that the Dark Lands and its beings have thoroughly tinged Chaos Dwarf culture since its earliest days. Though the Dawi Zharr mindset is never far from the Realm of Chaos and the enigmatic will of its fiery Bull God, the Chaos Dwarfs are very well aware of the material realm around them, and akin to many other religions to be found across the world, theirs is one with an innate link to the very land they live in.

Dawi Zharr mythology and history is full of deities, Daemons, cult founders, monsters and other figures acting and fighting in this very world, in the Dark Lands and its surroundings. In this very world did high Hashut defeat Enkumarzhil, the Mother of all Merwyrms, and in these very lands did Bhaal and Karul-Hizzar compete to win the favour of the Father of Darkness. Chaos Dwarfs can still point out the exact location where Bhaal and Rulek Strongscale fought in furious contest to prove themselves before the Eye of the Gods, and similarly they have erected a sacrificial shrine at the very spot where Durkhar Flametounge impaled himself rather than forsake Hashut for the lustful promises of Slaaneshi Daemons that could not be driven away by neither exorcism nor blood-soaked prayer. Those initiated into the higher secrets of the Temple Priesthood even knows of where Hashut Himself first appeared before the desperate ancestors of the Chaos Dwarfs, although the approximate location has actually been preserved remarkably well in the memory of folk religion.

As a consequence of this mythology largely set amidst the geography of the world, there are many locations attracting caravans of well-armed Dawi Zharr pilgrims within their vast yet scattered empire. Most of these sacred or unholy sites are to be found on the Plain of Zharr, though not a few are to be found in the Great Skull Land, or at sites close to Uzkulak. Likewise, several destinations of pilgrimage exists as far south as the dead volcano Azgorh and the unnatural monument of flesh and metal known as the Flayed Rock, while a few rarely visited sacred and unholy sites alike lies in the northern lands under the shadow of Chaos. Some cult places in the Chaos Wastes are even shared with the local marauding Human tribes, though not always peacefully so.

On the other hand, some places such as Gash Kadrak - the haunted Vale of Woe and site of a disastrous defeat - are generally avoided like the plague unless special omens or prophecies dictates for the devout to seek them out. Nevertheless, some Chaos Dwarf cult mystics and hermits are drawn to these shunned locations like moths to flames, hoping to exploit their occult and forbidden potential in Daemonforging rites and other forms of heinous sorcery.

To the Dawi Zharr, the sacred and unholy nature of the Dark Lands are to be found everywhere, even in the stormy heavens where the Father of Darkness charges across the skies as the Great Thunderbull, and in the molten underground where He rumbles and stampedes in His guise of the Great Firebull, creating earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as He gores the world and makes it tremble and bleed. Even the mundane ores in the ground are believed to originate from the flaming udders of the Shackled Consorts of the Bull God, each of which pours out a stream of her own molten metal. This union of myth and reality may be illustrated by the Chaos Dwarf belief on naturally occurring lava, rock and obsidian golems. Though many such beings are artificial constructs of sorcerous power, some golems are created as if out of nothing, usually when a Warpstone meteorite crashes into an open lava pit, or impacts upon rock veined by ensorcelled ore.

Some Chaos Dwarf sects believe this is how the world itself came into being in the shape of a cosmic figure of molten and cooling rock in the most ancient of days, before the Dark Gods of Chaos shattered it by throwing the Warpstone moon Morrslieb upon the world golem, laughing as they left it for the lesser deities of order to craft the planetary world out of the wreckage (in some variant myths, a Chaos titan and the molten rock golem slew each other, with Morrslieb being the lopped-off head of the Chaos titan drifting around the heavens).

The violent creation of natural lava, rock and obsidian golems are very portentous to the Dawi Zharr, and they may cause sudden sacrificial festivities, devout fasting or campaigns of war or slave raides to occur depending on the religious interpretations and political ambitions of Sorcerer-Prophets. Most such golems are aggressive and short-lived, and most of them wreak havoc upon landscape and living alike, as they emerge from the wilderness to smash rocks, Greenskins and any other unfortunate creatures which happen to live nearby. In Chaos Dwarf lands, such rampaging golems are often captured and bound by vile sorceries to become war slaves, experimental subjects, statuary guardians or even long-lasting and very hot furnace fuel in the case of lava golems.

Most untamed lava golems slowly cool off in the wilds and gain an outer shell of hot rock, and only a rare few remain animate as lava rock golems after cooling off completely. Whether created from Warpstone meteorite impacts, accidents of arcane geology or more mysterious factors, all natural golems of lava, rock or obsidian are viewed by Dawi Zharr as the offspring of a rapacious union between the fiery Bull God and the very world itself. For they believe that Hashut, when on high in His cruel might, rapes and dominates the Dark Lands and thereby infuses them with both many seams of precious, arcane ores and a portion of His sacred and unholy nature alike.

Such is the divine mark upon the Dark Lands according to the Blacksmiths of Chaos.


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This post was last modified: 05-29-2018 06:48 AM by Admiral.

02-26-2015 06:00 AM
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Admiral
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Post: #2
RE: The Sacred and Unholy Dark LandsAdmiral 02-26-2015

Inspired by this Wikipedia article on Asag, and the innate connection between land and folk in ancient polytheistic religion. Does it work for Chaos Dwarfs? Anything to add?


News on CDO: Golden Hat XXXI - Deadline 16th of November ...  Admiralty Miniatures Blogshop

And thus there was Chaos. And Squats. Hobby Group Auxillia Work. On Dark Tides. Miscellaneous Commercial Sculpts. Flayman Tutorial.
Chaos Dwarf Writings: Fables. Songs. Sayings. Quotes. Monumental Inscriptions. Religious Texts.
There's fourteen ways to skin a dwarf. Path to Glory: Chaos Dwarf Warband Rules.
02-26-2015 06:04 AM
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Dînadan
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Post: #3
RE: The Sacred and Unholy Dark LandsDînadan 02-26-2015

Looks good to me, can't think of anything to add off hand.


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02-26-2015 11:46 AM
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