Chaos Dwarf History and Fluff
From Chaos Dwarfs
The Chaos Dwarf Empire is sited amidst the Mountains of Mourn and the adjoining eastern part of the Dark Lands. It is a stark and cheerless place where nature has rent the ground and burst the mountains apart. Amongst the peaks volcanoes spew black smoke into the filthy sky. In the plains the stench of tar pits and oil pools hangs heavily in the air. Steaming lava from beneath the earth's crust covers the ash wastes with a blanket of bubbling magma.
The official Chaos Dwarfs fluff and history currently comes from Thamurkhan: Throne of Chaos, yet further bits and pieces of information about the Chaos Dwarfs can be found in various places. Below are documented references to Chaos Dwarfs in various published works.
Most sources hold that starting about -5,000 I.C., the Dwarfs began colonizing the World's Edge Mountains, moving steadily northward following veins of precious minerals, until they reached the northernmost end of the mountain chain in about -4,500 I.C. From there, some Dwarfs turned to the west to colonize Norsca (founding the hold of Kraka Drak and other settlements) and other lands, but in -4,300 I.C. some Dwarfs ventured east across the foreboding Zorn Uzkul to establish mines in the Mountains of Mourn. For many years, these disparate Dwarfs kept in touch with their distant kin, but no Ancestor Gods are known to have been born or arrived in these distant holds.
The Coming of Chaos
The collapse of the polar gateways of the Old Ones unleashes Chaos on the world, and many lands are inundated as the Winds of Magic blow from the north, mutating many creatures. The Dwarfs of the World's Edge Mountains, led by the Ancestor Gods, hunker in their holds, protected by the vast amount of stone around them. Even so, the Dwarfs Holds are besieged by armies of Chaos Daemons, and many holds are destroyed; the northernmost hold of Karak Dum is swallowed by the expanding Chaos Wastes. Quarantined and besieged, the Dwarfs lose all contact with their most distant eastern kindred.
The Dwarfs of the Zorn Uzkul are less fortunate; they abandon their mines in the Mountains of Mourn, but their settlements in the Plain of Zharr are exposed as the warping power of Chaos descends upon them. Without Ancestor Gods to guide them, the Chaos Dwarfs turned to the worship of Hashut c. -4,000 I.C. While resistant to mutation, Dwarfs are not immune to the influence of Chaos, and during this period the ancestors of the Chaos Dwarfs begin to mutate; some bearing only minor mutations and others changing greatly into Bull Centaurs, Great Tauruses, and Lammasu. These mutations are said to have occurred (or at least stabilized) under the influence of Hashut.
The War Against Chaos ended when the Vortex was established in Ulthuan by the High Elves and when the Ancestor God Grimnir fought his way to the northern gateway in -4,419 I.C. The Dwarfs are suggested as having made contact with the Chaos Dwarfs, but were shamed and abhorred by what they had become; those Dwarfs related to the eastern colonists had their genealogies amended, and entire clans were stricken from record, and there is some evidence of conflict between the two.
The Unwritten Record
Zharr-Naggrund was built around -2,700 I.C., though this may only be the date the ziggurat-city was finally complete. The Chaos Dwarfs are known to have had dealings with the Greenskin tribes of the Dark Lands for a considerable time (such as the Sneaky Gits of Gash Kadrak, trading with them for captive slaves; some sources even suggest it was the Chaos Dwarfs that taught Greenskins how to work iron to forge weapons and create catapults and other weapons of war. In -2,600 I.C. the Chaos Dwarfs began enslaving Greenskins throughout the Dark Lands and the Mountains of Mourn.
It is thought that sometime during this period the Ogre Kingdoms were established in the Mountains of Mourn, and the Chaos Dwarfs began trading with them as well. Likewise, trade with the human tribes and warbands of Chaos presumably occurred, where slaves and the remains of daemons were traded for weapons, chaos armour, Hellcannons, and other treasures.
In -1,362 I.C., the Dwarfs abandon their settlements on the eastern side of the World's Edge Mountains.
The Black Orc Rebellion
In -150 I.C. the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers experimented with dark magic and selective breeding to give rise to the Black Orcs, as a more ideal slave race. Black Orcs proved unruly and led armed rebellions against their masters, finally resulting in the Black Orc Rebellion of -100 I.C., which ravaged the lower levels of Zharr-Naggrund and was only put down by the treachery of the Hobgoblins, which lives forever in Greenskin lore. The survivors of the Black Orc Rebellion fled west to the World's Edge Mountains and east to the Mountains of Mourn.
Never since has the Dawi Zharr race tried to repeat that experiment.
Expansion and Enslavement
In the year 500 I.C. rich volcanic deposits were first mined at Gorgoth, which became a major Chaos Dwarf settlement.
Presumably this period, which lasts several thousand years, saw the expansion of the Chaos Dwarf empire and the creation of its great feats of engineering, such as the tunnel between Uzkulak and the Falls of Doom which was crafted in 1,000 I.C. to link the Sea of Chaos with the Scalded Delta via the River Ruin, giving the Chaos Dwarf fleet access to the oceans of the north and south for trading and enslavement.
In 1,720 I.C. the daemon-smiths of Zharr-Naggrund craft the Banner of the Gods for the forces of Chaos.
In 2,253 I.C. the vampire Mangari the Old discovered a gemstone crown hidden in the depths of the Mountains of Mourn. This magic item allowed the Vampire to communicate directly with Tzeentch whom he then made a pact with. For the next 100 years, allied armies of the Undead and Daemons assault both Ogre and Chaos Dwarf strongholds.
In 2521-2522 I.C. Archaon, the Everchosen of Chaos, dealt with the Chaos Dwarfs for Hellcannons to use in his campaign. These daemon engines, crewed by Chaos Dwarfs, participated greatly in the Storm of Chaos. An alliance of Chaos Dwarf and Warriors of Chaos armies faced a joint army from Karak Kadrin and Zhuffbar, who prevented them from traveling through Peak Pass.
Current Chaos Dwarf References
- Main article: Chaos Dwarf References
The Chaos Dwarfs are referenced in many current Games Workshop publications. Below is a collection of references made about the Chaos Dwarfs in current publications.
Warhammer Rulebook: 7th Edition
Page 202, Paragraph 1:
- This paragraph details the industrious nature of the Chaos Dwarfs. It mentions ziggurat temples that exist throughout Zharr Naggrund which are dedicated to the bull-headed god, Hashut. It also makes mention of "daemonic forges," and "diabolical furnances." And that the Chaos Dwarfs labour to make great machines of destruction by binding iron and flesh with daemonic spirits. Chaos Dwarf artisans also make armour and weapons which are traded with Ogres of the east and Marauders of the north in exchange for slaves.
- An image of what appears to be a Chaos Dwarf slaver is also pictured here. He bears an axe and a whip, and a tall hat of skulls and spikes.
Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms
Page 15, Paragraph 3:
- It briefly states, that Gnoblars are enslaved by "Chaos Dwarf raiders" and that Gnoblars are "deathly afraid" of them with good reason.
Page 32, Paragraph 1:
- The Leadbelcher cannons are either made from the scraps of artillery on the battlefield, or made in "the great forges of the Chaos Dwarfs" and "earnt as a reward."
Page 52, Paragraph 1:
- This describes the Plains of the Dark Lands as being "ash-choked" and containing "oily quagmires" and "crackling rivers of lava." Hobgoblins and Goblin wolf riders are said to roam these parts. It goes on to say that beyond the Howling Wastes lies the Chaos Dwarf citadel of Daemon Stump.
Page 54, Paragraph 1:
- There exists a trade route called the "Ivory Road" that is considered to be the only viable passage to the East and to Cathay. Great caravans of nomads seek the protection of Ogres while traveling upon it. Caravans are attacked by a list of threats including wolf riders, Chaos Dwarfs, Skaven, Giants, Goblins, Ogres, Black Orcs, cave-beasts, Hobgoblins, giant scorpions and "dark things that stalk the shadows in the moonlight."
Page 54, Paragraph 2:
- Here it states that in order to reach the landmark known as "the Sentinals", one must pass through the "industrial wasteland that are the Chaos Dwarf realms."
Page 56, Ironskin Tribe:
- Description of the Ironskin Tribe, which is noted as having ties to Zharr Naggrund.
Page 62, Magic Armour:
- Mastodon Armour, a suit of plate mail traded for human and Gnoblar slaves.
Page 75, Paragraph 1 - Braugh Slavelord:
- The Chaos Dwarfs refer to one Ogre, Braugh Slavelord, as "Ghrask Dragh" which means "corpse-slaver." An encounter with a Necromancer caused his slaves to continue serving him even in death.
Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins
Page 20, Paragraph 2 - Black Orcs:
- This explains the origins of the Black Orcs may lie in the hands of the Chaos Dwarfs as they tried to breed a hardier race of Orcs to serve as slaves and warriors.
Page 21, Paragraph 1 - Metal Working:
- This briefly states that when the Orcs came north in their earliest waaaghs, the Chaos Dwarfs taught to them metal work.
Page 44 - Magic Item "Ironback Boar":
- This mechanical boar is engineered by the Chaos Dwarfs.
Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs
Page 6, Paragraph 5 - A Dwarf History:
- Here it mentions that before the coming of Chaos, some Dwarfs had headed east across the Great Skull Land and entered the Mountains of Mourn.
Page 7, Paragraph 3 - The Orphans:
- This chapter explains the separation of the Eastern Dwarfs from their cousins. It says that during the coming of Chaos they had no great leaders like Grimnir, Grungni, or Valaya to teach them how to protect themselves. These easterly Dwarfs were then transformed into what we now know as the Chaos Dwarfs. It goes on to say that all Dwarfen records pertaining to this events are omitted from their histories, and that mentioning the Chaos Dwarfs in the presence of a Dwarf is a grave insult.
Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos
Page 27, Timeline Year -2130 - Daemon Stump:
- This mention explains the origins of the Daemon's Stump. It explains that an ogre Tyrant named Argut Skullcrusher engaged a Bloodthrister, Baaltor, in single combat. The Ogre eventually entombed the Greater Daemon underneath a pillar of rock, which would then be known as the Daemon's Stump.
Page 29, Timeline Year 2253 - Daemon and Undead Alliance:
- Here it is stated that a Vampire named Mangari the Old discovered a gemstone crown hidden in the depths of the Mountains of Mourn. This magic item allowed the Vampire to communicate directly with Tzeentch whom he then made a pact with. For the next 100 years, allied armies of the Undead and Daemons assault both Ogre and Chaos Dwarf strongholds.
Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts
Page 55, The Plain of Bones is a ancient Dragons burial grounds; The Desolation of Azgorh contains Chaos Dwarf factories and furnaces.
Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos
Page 9, Shadow of Chaos
- The Trails of Hashut is a battle marked on the map of the north of the Old World (plus other possible Chaos Dwarf battlesites)
Page 38-40, The Rise of Chaos:
- Year -c4300: Dwarfs create settlements in Zorn Uzkull
- Year -c4000: The eastern Dwarfs are cut off from their western cousins and turn to worshipping Hashut, becoming Chaos Dwarfs
- Year 1720: The magic item, The Banner of the Gods, is forged from daemon-bone in Zharr Naggrund
- Year 2099: Aekold Helbrass searchs for the Volcano's Heart: a legendary forge, in the Dark Lands
Page 46, Chaos Armour:
- Chaos Dwarfs, who are described as master Daemonsmiths, make Chaos Armour and weapons by adding a tiny portion of Chaos to it. Details of Chaos Dwarfs trading with Chaos armies, such as a pickled Bloodletter's head.
Page 61, Paragraph 5 - Ogres:
- Chaos Dwarfs make giant suits of Chaos armour for them
Page 66, Hellcannon:
- Part daemon and part war machine, the Hellcannon is made from iron and brass by Chaos Dwarfs. Powered by living creatures, whose flesh is consumed and their souls used to fire bolts of energy. Full rules.
Page 76, Paragraph 3 - Scyla Anfingrimm:
- He was rewarded by Khorne for slaughtering Chaos Dwarf traders who met his tribe.
Pages 112-115, Magic Items
- The Chaos Runesword was made by a Chaos-worshipping Dwarf, Grungni Ironheart.
- The Chaos Runeshield was made by Chaos Dwarfs for defence against Dwarfs.
- The Banner of the Gods was forged in Zharr Naggrund.
Warhammer Armies: Skaven
- Map shows Skaven settlements in the Dark Lands.
Page 15, Nest-Lairs of the Dark Lands sidebar:
- Description of Skaven settlements in the Dark Lands, including the importance of Crookback Mountain.
Page 69, Paragraph 2:
- Ikit Claw of Clan Skyre toiled under the cruel Forgemasters of Zharr Naggrund.
- Chaos Dwarf References
- Chaos Dwarf Timeline
- Chaos Dwarfs
- Ogre Kingdoms
- Orcs and Goblins
- Daemons of Chaos
- Warriors of Chaos
- 1 Priestley, Rick. White Dwarf Presents: Chaos Dwarfs. (Games Workshop Ltd., 1994). ISBN 1-872372-80-5
- 2 Haines, Pete. Dwarfs 8. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2006). ISBN 1-84154-690-9
- 3 Haines, Pete. Dwarfs 9.
- 4 Gallard, Richard Wolfrik. The World of Warhammer 117. London: Carlton Books, 1998. ISBN 1-85868-488-9.
- 5 Kelly, Phil. Warhammer Armies: Ogre Kingdoms 52-56. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2005) ISBN 1-841545-31-7
- 6 Ward, Mat. Daemons of Chaos 27. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2008). ISBN 978-1841548838
- 7 Haines, Pete. Dwarfs 20.
- 8 Kelly, Phil. Warriors of Chaos 115. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2008).
- 9 Ward, Mat. Daemons of Chaos 40.
- 10 Thorpe, Gav. Warhammer: Storm of Chaos. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2004) ISBN 1-841544-60-4
- 11 Bligh, Allan. Thamurkhan: Throne of Chaos. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2011) ISBN 978-1-907964-65-7