Akin to their uncorrupted western kin, Chaos Dwarfs have been writing for as long as their collective memory can remember. The cataclysmic events, leading to the coming of Hashut and their salvation from certain doom, cleaned their culture to a blank slate whose contents was to be determined by the Father of Darkness and His chosen Sorcerer-Prophets.
Great was the change wrought upon the harried survivors of the settlers in Zorn Uzkul, for the new decrees of the fiery Bull God demanded nothing less than complete dedication. This the Dawi Zharr gave to Hashut, and as the oral teachings of the first Prophets and cult founders grew in mass and sophistication, they began to be carved into stone and bone, or written on parchment made from beast or Orc skin.
The very first writings of the Chaos Dwarfs were frantically carved inscriptions left behind in their shallow tunnel networks beneath the Great Skull Land. These are generally short pieces of writing, often hidden and with clear signs of the Chaos at hand during that turbulent time of the Great Incursion. Some are obvious works of Dawi with challenged but largely intact values from their World's Edge Mountains origins, yet even these seem to contain hints of Hashut.
Many of the subterranean inscriptions speak of the painful transformation phase, when the world fell apart for the beleaguered Dwarfs, and when Daemons and lesser gods of Chaos started to whisper to them. Those carvings often contain runic letters or even logographic symbols of strange shapes and unknown origin, sometimes reminiscent of the Dark Tounge script which later arose amongst the Marauder tribes in the far north. Some of these new characters are entirely unintelligible, whilst other symbols clearly are the beginnings of the future Chaos Dwarf writing system.
Such transition period script do more often than not contain seemingly mad or nonsensical talk of supernatural beings, the praise of the Ascendant Bull and the final doom close at hand. Simple picture carvings occassionally accompany the letters, proving a new adoration of fetishes, beliefs in magical charms and horrifying events of insanity and carnage unfolding in the dark underground. Out from this torment grew the Dawi Zharr religion and world view, one obsessed with the domination of everything from creatures and landscapes to the Daemons of the Empyrean.
The final phase of the Zorn Uzkul carvings bear all the hallmarks of the Cult of Hashut, where the old ways are clearly being forgotten and where Chaos is to be served. They might have damned their souls forever by doing so, but the Chaos Dwarfs possessed a ruthless drive to survive at any cost. This they did, thanks to Hashut.
As Chaos Dwarf society grew and developed in the coming centuries, so did their religion and its body of sacred texts. These early versions of Khaozalid script soon began to show signs of the great wars against Orcs and Goblins being waged on the Plain of Zharr and beyond. Contempt for such lesser creatures was declared to be Hashut's will. The religious formalization of creating new technologies for the sake of the Father of Darkness also stems from this time, as does the earliest allusions to Daemonsmithing. Fire, cruelty and craftsmanship was at the core of Dawi Zharr religion from the very start. Visions of doom, and prophecies towards that end, was likewise present in the beginning.
Sorcerer-Prophets and holy men have, throughout the centuries, constantly added to this increasingly massive body of religious scripture. Chaos Dwarf religion have never changed fundamentally, yet it is also a living religion in the sense that new texts of varying holiness are constantly added to it, especially by those wishing to leave their mark upon the world beneath Chaos before petrification overcomes them.
Hordes of scribes working in different languages toil endlessly with this corpus of scripture, which have acquired a level of mysticism undreamt of in the lands of short-lived humans. Many of the texts would be scarcely intelligible if translated to outsiders, especially those based upon numerology or other esoteric methods of interpretation. Texts which would have been seen as philosopical, historical or even scientific in other cultures are here very much religious (if not written for the Dawi Zharr public's popular belief system), since Chaos Dwarf thinking is utterly permeated by their god, their mythology and their service to, and exploitation of, Chaos.
As such the religious texts of the Chaos Dwarfs are immensely varied, written as they are over several millennia by thousands upon thousands of different authors, most of which have claimed to be divinely inspired, all of which added their particular twist to the sacred lore. Some teachings in some texts led to the creation of sects and schisms, of which there have been a great number in Zharr-Naggrund's long history. The number of writing styles in the Dawi Zharr scripture is almost as numerous as the number of Sorcerer-Prophets that ever lived. Many of the texts were clearly written in bouts of madness, or otherwise intentionally made into cryptic works which have kept the mystics busy through the centuries.
They are texts about the Father of Darkness and his role in the wider Chaos pantheon, they are texts about mythological figures, Daemons and accursed villains. They are texts about the moral and right in strength, cruelty and oppression, and they are texts about insanity and approaching doom. Above all they are the scripture of the downright malevolent worshippers of an evil god, and they are not for those weak of heart and mind.
These are the holy writings of the Blacksmiths of Chaos.
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Written by: Grimstonefire
The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().