- For other Bestiary entries see the index.
Chaos Dwarfs are Dwarfs who long ago forsook their Ancestor Gods to worship the Chaos God known as Hashut. Chaos Dwarfs occupy a region of the Warhammer World to the east of the Old World, known as the Dark Lands. The Tower of Zharr Naggrund is at the centre of the Chaos Dwarf Empire and it is the object of their labours and enterprise. Even though there are many mines, foundries, workshops and fortresses throughout the Plain of Zharrduk and beyond, there is only one city in the whole of the empire.
Thousands of years ago, the Dwarfs moved northwards from their ancestral homes in the World Edge Mountains. They moved along the high ridge of the mountains following the trail of mineral ores and precious gems, eventually reaching the region at the far north of the World's Edge Mountains which they called Zorn Uzkul or the Great Skull Land. Here on a vast, cold, and inhospitable plateau where the air was thin and the rocks bare. From this point, some of the Dwarfs turned east and then south along the barren Mountains of Mourn.
There they dug deep into the mountains raised great cities to house their great mounds of treasures. The dwarfs harvested the plains and tar pits to gain material to fuel their countless industries. Their lands expanded and they prospered. These dwarfs build holds to rival any city in the Worlds Edge Mountains.
Then came the Time of Chaos. Mutational magic flooded the world and polluted the dark lands with their touch. The dwarfs of the east sealed their doors against the howling darkness descending on them, but their was no defence and they could not flee. In time they delved deep under the mountains to protect themselves. During the invasion of chaos no communication was able to pass between the east and the western dwarfs who believed that those who had traveled east had been destroyed by the tides of Chaos that swelled in from the north, but this was not true. The Chaos Dwarfs found Hashut chained in the darkest depths of a mountain, and in exchange for their obedience, he protected them during the horrors of the age. For their service he gave them many gifts. He taught them magic other then runes. Dark sorcers with powerful magic arose among the newly christened chaos dwarves. They helped raise great temples to Hashut. Zharnaggarund was built as the greatest temple to Hahsut. Around the temple they built a great city in descending steps . To construct the city bands of Chaos dwarves roamed across the Dark Lands enslaving hundreds of thousands of goblins and orcs. Brought back to their night black forges to work until their death. Since then countless more have been enslaved to the will of the dark dawi. The plains around the terrible city of the Dawi Zhar have become polluted wasteland roamed by escaped slave and poor chaos dwarves.
Chaos Dwarfs, much like their western counterparts, are extremely resilient to magic. Because of this they have not been tainted by Chaos to the extent that many Humans have been. However, over the centuries, many have begun to exhibit traits associated with Hashut, chief among these are a pair of tusks that almost all Chaos Dwarfs grow. Sometimes, though, a Chaos Dwarf can truly be blessed by their dark god with bull-like features such as cloven hooves and large bull horns. These mutations are a rarity, mostly appearing on Chaos Dwarf sorcerers who directly work with magic.
As Sorcerers use magic the more it changes them. Although slow, the process once started is inexorable. From the feet up they slowly turn to stone. Over time, the entire body turns to stone and the Sorcerer becomes a statue. He will then be placed along with others, lining the roadways around the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund.
Chaos Dwarf SocietyEdit
The Chaos Dwarfs hate their brethren for abandoning them to the wave of chaos, while The Dwarfs, in turn, have completely disowned their evil kin, even going so far as to rewrite their family histories to make it seem as if they never existed. Chaos Dwarfs are unlike other dwarfs in many ways, being enthusiastic slavers (putting Orc and Goblin as well as Humans to forced work under hobgoblin overseers). Many of them are potent sorcerers, using conventional magic rather than the purely runic magic of other Dwarfs.
Hashut, also known as the "Father of Darkness", is their chief deity, rather than the Dwarf ancestor gods. Imprisoned by Khorne, the Dwarfs released him during the first Chaos Incursion. After this a great schism split them, some staying true to the Ancestor Gods, and many choosing to worship Hashut. Hashut granted the most powerful of his new worshippers magical powers to use against their kin, some would eventually become so mutated that they became a Lammassu or a Taurus - battle beasts still used by the Chaos Dwarfs to this day. After the two sides had battled, many of the traditionalists were sacrificed to Hashut.
Unlike most of the races in the world, Chaos Dwarfs see little need for further campaigns into distant lands; they have all the slaves they need in the Mountains of Mourn and the Dark Lands, along with more material wealth than they actually need (although being Dwarfs, this is never quite enough). Whenever new slaves are needed, the Chaos Dwarfs will strike out to the Ivory Road, the only travel route connecting the Old World and the East. To this end, bands of Chaos Dwarfs raiders roam the Dark Lands searching for unlucky travellers to work in the mines and forges, or to sacrifice at the Temple of Hashut.
There are relatively few Chaos Dwarfs, and the vast numbers of slaves they own outnumber them many times over. All the Chaos Dwarfs are pledged to one of the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers in what outsiders might consider clans. Those pledged to a Sorcerer are his subjects and also his kinsmen, bonded by ties of blood-loyalty which all Chaos Dwarfs deem unbreakable.
Chaos Dwarf SorcerersEdit
The Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers rule over the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund as the masters of their race and high priests of Hashut. They specialise in the study of machines and magic combined to produce arcane engines of power and destruction. There are only a few of these Sorcerers, though, no more than a few hundred amongst the whole race. There is no leader nor formal hierarchy governing the Chaos Dwarfs; the strongest voices are the oldest and most powerful. Each Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer controls part of the city, with its own workshops and forges, slaves and warriors, as part of his personal dominion. As Dark Magic corrupts their body, sorcerers gradually turn into stone, starting with their feet. The lanes around Zhar Naggrund are lined by the statues of once living sorcerers
Slaves and subject racesEdit
The acquisition of slaves is extremely important, as Chaos Dwarfs are totally dependent upon captives to keep their city and industries going. Bands of Chaos Dwarfs will travel many hundreds of miles to raid Orc or Goblin strongholds in the Mountains of Mourn, and when they conquer a tribe they take as many prisoners back to their city as they can. The more captives they take the more successful the expedition is judged to have been. All wars of conquest are fought with the aim of taking slaves, as the Chaos Dwarfs are not interested in expanding their territories further. It is not uncommon for whole armies of Chaos Dwarfs to march against the Greenskin tribes, subduing one after another before returning laden with slaves. The Chaos Dwarfs will often trade slaves with the Goblin tribes to the west, choosing to use the Goblins as intermediaries rather than advance further into the Old World.
Many years ago in the history of the game, the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers tried to breed their own Orc race, a race of slaves that could work in the most hostile parts of their realm. They already had thousands of Orc and Goblin slaves, but the Chaos Dwarfs found them unruly and inefficient because they would as is their habit often fight amongst themselves. Using evil magic and careful selection, the Chaos Dwarfs created a new type of Orc: stronger than an ordinary Orc but more loyal and not given to squabbling. The experiment worked at first, but the Black Orcs were still far too independent-minded to make good slaves. They were well organized, often starting rebellions and leading the other Orcs and Goblins into armed revolt. After several near disasters, the Chaos Dwarfs decided to drive them from the city forever and many Black Orcs escaped into the Mountains of Mourn where their descendants remain to this day, while others undertook the long journey to the west and eventually reached the Old World.
See the main article, Hobgoblin.
The Hobgoblins are native to the Eastern Steppes, they rebelled with the Black Orcs, but at the last stage, switched sides against their fellow Greenskins and turned to the tide against the Orcs, earning the eternal hatred of all other Greenskins. However the Hobgoblins enjoy the favour of the Chaos Dwarfs and care little what other Greenskins think of them. Unlike the Chaos Dwarfs’ other slaves, they are not made to work in the pits and workshops, but are used as servants and warriors. They are sneaky, evil-minded race; other Greenskins despise them and would certainly kill them were it not for the power they enjoy amongst the Chaos Dwarfs.
The Great Taurus is a huge winged bull with a tough hide and capable of breathing fire like a dragon. The Lammasu has large bat-like wings but is more intelligent and more Dwarven in appearance in many ways. Its face is like that of a grotesque Dwarf, while its front legs have claws; the back ones are hooved. The Lammasu is believed to be a mutation of a Great Taurus. The Games Workshop description is a little different to the Lammasu of middle-eastern mythology but has many similarities.
Chaos Dwarf War MachinesEdit
In the background of the army, Chaos Dwarfs are reported to be great engineers. This isn't reflected in the army list; they have just two ordinary war machines, the Death Rocket and Earthshaker, and one daemonic war machine, the Hellcannon. In the book Grudgebearer, all of these machines are made daemonic by the priests of Hashut.
The only other war machines are from the Games Workshop game Man O' War which is set in the same universe. These are huge weapons set on the decks of warships called the Hellfire Battlebarge and Great Leveller Battlebarge. The other two ships, the Thunder Roller and Hull Destroyer, rely on their engine power to ram enemy vessels.