Chaos Dwarf Fables [WHFB]

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    • Chaos Dwarf Fables [WHFB]

      A fable is a short and straightforward tale with simple characters and a strong moral point. In many cultures, fables are generally thought of as tales for children, even when they are aimed as much to an adult audience as to a juvenile one. Fable authors are rare among Chaos Dwarfs, not least because the highly developed cognitive abilities in uncorrupted and corrupted Dwarf children alike place high expectations on young offspring to take part of adult folk culture. Yet still the Dawi Zharr has produced a few fable authors, most of whom were excentrics and alone in their generation. This has not stopped their fables from gaining popularity and spreading to become part of the oral folk culture of the worshippers of Hashut.

      Akin to other cultural expressions, Dawi Zharr fables mirrors the convoluted and cruel mindset of the children of the Bull God. They are both stories and testaments of a world view steeped in mysticism, sacrifice, heinous cruelty and slavery, as well as domination, warfare, rigid hierarchy and eternal toil to mine, quarry, forge and build in the name of the Father of Darkness. These are not narratives of good and just deeds rightfully rewarded while wicked deeds are punished, and only rarely do they have happy endings. These are tales of a world where might makes right, where strength and cruelty are signs of greatness, and where the capricious will of the Dark Gods can bring about doom upon you at any moment. They are spoken witnesses of a world where the wicked may triumph so long as the Dark Gods wills it, and are appeased through adulation and sacrifice. The underlying world view is fundamentally different to that of most Human societies. For these stories are not bereft of moral. Instead, they are permeated by a morality utterly abominable to lesser races devoted to gods of order.

      They are dark tales of a harsh and mysterious world, where blood runs and fire rages as mortals doom themselves by their shortcomings.

      These are the fables of the Blacksmiths of Chaos.

      - - -

      Once upon a time, our tribe had freshly mastered gunpowder and had begun to fashion tools of destruction around this new technology, yet everywhere else in the whole world, mortals were ignorant of this discovery. And so it was, that a war caravan rolled out from Uzkulak and set course into the vast expanses of the Chaos Wastes to trade trinkets, bronze axes, shields and vambraces for slaves, secrets and artefacts of great power with the scattered Human tribes up north.

      Northward they rolled, and then eastward, for months on end. Months stretched into years, yet on and on the war caravan trundled, hunting, fighting and bartering as it went, until finally, it happened upon a vast encampment of eastern men. This was virgin territory for the merchants, and they halted outside the camp to display their wares and awe the locals with the ingenuity of their craft and the deadliness of their blades.

      All the encamped tribesmen and even their bound thralls rushed out to watch the foreign traders, some with trepidation or fear, others with curiosity, jealousy, greed or hungering ambition. Fell shamans rattled their bone shambles, old Humans mumbled and chanted protective mantras. Womenfolk tittered and tattered, and children jeered and cheered at the tricks and otherworldly appearance of the Chaos Dwarf war caravan. The young menfolk put up a brave show, for they were armed with but the crudest of weapons and would have fared poorly indeed against armoured opponents, yet they held their stony masks and observed the newcomers' every move and strange equipment.

      The negotiations started, and the households produced their belongings, their catch and their produce. As usual, the traders haggled for long with the natives, yet suddenly, one man had enough of this strange custom of tongue-waggling, and he strode up to the leading pair of Chaos Dwarfs without even a bone knife about his person.

      "Why should we give up our property for the likes of these?" asked the cocky Marauder loudly.

      The first foreign trader stood his ground at the man's approach, staring at him silently. Yet the second trader picked up a flared pistol from his belt.

      "Just look at them! They're Dwarfs! Practically toddlers! We could twist their heads from their tiny necks without breaking a sweat!" laughed the cocky Marauder, and paced closer to the foreign traders.

      "Halt!" called out the second foreign trader and pointed his pistol right at the man.

      "Your trumpet does not scare me, midget," said the cocky Marauder with a sneer and approached the Chaos Dwarfs with a swagger.

      Thereupon the Marauder grinned and pulled out his manhood and let water right into the face of the first foreign trader. Seeing this, the second foreign trader enraged and pulled the trigger, shredding the cocky Marauder to fleshy bits and bloody pieces, as a warning unto his kinsfolk. For such is the fate of those foolish enough to approach the unknown with arrogance.

      - The Cocky Marauder and the Foreign Traders, by Despot Zhargonidus Doombeard, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories, of our present time*

      * This story is traditionally told to all Temple Acolytes, Daemonsmith apprentices and others who will deal with abysmal unknowns in their craft at an early age.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Written by: KNC
      Illustrated by: @forgefire

      The Goblins, by Uhr-Kulmbizharr

      Once upon a time, there was a Goblin tribe who roamed the wastelands, scabby and scarred, filthy and sinewy, spiteful and mischievous to the smallest mite. They eked out a harsh living in hostile lands, yet earned success enough to survive as a group against the predations of monsters, beasts and other Greenskins. One day, the chieftain was edgy and spoiling for a fight.

      "Ya lookin' at me?" snarled the chieftain at his head shaman.

      "Wouldna've looked at yer warty face fer big mushroomz," piped the head shaman.

      "Cor' ya'd alreadaeh poizoned 'im wiv 'em!" smirked the spear mob boss.

      "By stikkin' 'em out of yer arze," laughed the archer mob boss.

      "Ya couldna've hit yer own arze if it jumped up and zoiled yer 'ead down!" snapped the wolf mob boss.

      "An' ya couldna've found yer own 'ead," said the club mob boss.

      "Kuz it's damn stuck in dat louzy wolf arze ya funk waz dinnah," remarked the nasty skulker.

      "Yer gutz fer dinnah!" whooped the nastier skulker.

      "I'll zerve yer dinnah for ya!" yelled the nastiest skulker, lunged with a blade and spilled out the intestines of the previous speaker.

      And so it was that the Goblins fell to infighting and decimated themselves, and divided they were weak and few, and now they could no longer survive as a tribe in the wastelands, for monsters ate them, beasts stalked them and other Greenskins stomped them into the ground, killing every last one of the bickering Goblins and scattering their gnawed bones on the rocks. For such is the fate of the disunited.

      - The Goblins, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Written by: KNC
      Illustrated by: @forgefire

      Once upon a time, there was a hatter who was absent of mind and scattered his tools around him and did not keep his hatmaking workshop orderly and tidy as he should have done. Indeed, he sometimes even forgot to offer up due adulation, prayer and sacrifice to His mighty idols during work at the appropriate times ordained by his craft.

      One day, the hatter busied himself at the anvil by hammering out a tall hat for a customer of considerable wealth and standing, who was from another clan. The hatter was assisted in his labour by apprentice and slaves, yet he had carelessly forgotten to chain the slaves. Thus it was that one tiny Goblin thrall took the opportunity to attempt escape, for the mite stole a knife for a weapon and climbed into the finished hat and hid himself within its depths. The absentminded hatter missed to count his slaves that day, and never realized the Goblin had disappeared.

      When the important customer arrived to procure his order, he was showered with flatter and assurances of the fine quality of the headgear. Yet when the customer took the hat from the workdesk, he found it weighed a great deal and remarked as such.

      "Gold is heavy, but the high stature of this shining hat will hardly burden a good man of your dignity," said the absentminded hatter.

      Yet when the customer raised the hat to put it upon his head, he found it top-heavy and remarked as such.

      "As befits your might and ambitions, for would we not all tower as high if we could? This sturdy chin strap will keep your crowning glory secured," said the absentminded hatter.

      Yet when the customer lowered the hat onto his head and strapped it fast, the sly Goblin inside panicked and stabbed him dead in a frenzy. Soon enough, the wronged clansmen of the killed customer exacted cruel revenge upon the absentminded hatter and threw him off the high ziggurat walls. For such is fate of the careless.

      - The Absentminded Hatter, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * The moral of the story may also be read as "always look into your hat before wearing it."

    • Once upon a time, there was a reckless Daemonsmith, rash and risk-taking like a Goblin. He threw himself into experiments, and shackled Daemons and forged with fell spirits as though peril did not exist since creation. He lacked sense, but not luck, and so he gained success through fortune and ingenuity, yet such could not last. Eventually, his senselessness caught up with him.

      One day, the Daemonsmith garbled out the binding incantations and trapped with obsidian in a hurry without meticulousness, and so it was, that his careless work cursed him, for the whispering shadow of an otherwise imprisoned Daemon escaped, and hid where it found a safe hole, namely in the Daemonsmith's senseless mind. There it lurked, and slowly embedded itself into his thoughts, until the Daemonsmith thought it part of his self, his soul.

      And thus it was, that he believed it was his own spirit speaking, when fear gripped him like a rain of needles, and angst wracked him from within. And in the midst of inner agony a whisper reached him, slithering, sweet, poisonous, repeating the same message over and over in a thousand contradictory ways.

      ”They will have your hide,” it whispered, over and over again.

      At first the Daemonsmith hid his woes, yet for all appearances he could not ignore the voice in his own head. He began to fear for his life, and dreamt terrible nightmares which drove him to insanity. He feared for his own skin, and suddenly the terror was too great in his soul. He wandered into the wilderness, wailing and rolling in the dust. And then, a spark of ingenuity arose within the blackest terror, and he knew then and there how he could save his skin from being taken.

      The Daemonsmith drew his knife, and put it to his own flesh, and he flayed himself on the spot. He lifted his own hide with a mad grin, and resolved to lock the skin within a strong safebox guarded by cunning mechanisms and fell runes of cursing and sorcerous snares. They would never have his hide now!

      Yet as the self-flayed man marched back to the city, his kinsfolk stared in rawest schock. He had no beard! He had flayed off his own beard! And the affront that the sight of a beardless man presented so enraged the populace that they descended upon the beardless Daemonsmith in a rabid mob, and did him to death with brutal violence, leaving but gory smears, ripped tendons and scattered fingers in the gutter. For such is the fate of those who would annihilate their own pride and prized honour.

      - The Beardless Daemonsmith, by Despot Zhargonidus Doombeard, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories, of our present time

    • Once upon a time, there was a wheel and a cut stone resting close to each other at a build site. One day, the cut stone spoke:

      "How odd. We would both be similar, if if I was to be paved in a road trundled over by wheels, and if you were to be mounted on a wagon carrying stone. Also, both of us may crush mortal bodies, wheel," pondered the cut stone.

      "I would not like to be you in return for any treasure in the world, cut stone," said the wheel.

      "How come, wheel?" asked the cut stone.

      "You are but carved and put into your place, never to move again and always facing the same direction. Whereas I will be attached to an axle and roll. Thus I will witness new lands and tribes and marvels on my travels, while you would have to hope for an invasion, or for hands to remould the landscape around you during centuries of toil, cut stone," said the wheel.

      "Yet have you heard of an inscribed wheel, or of a wheel relief? Set me into a wall, and upon my face may inscriptions and friezes be carved with great care, to commemorate the sights you see. And when you have long since rusted and rotted away, I will have stood the test of time, for to build in stone is to build for eternity, wheel," replied the cut stone.

      At this, the bickering died out. For only a fool or barbarian would choose a settled life without the capability to move at will, or a nomad life without a lasting base. Thus there is value in both mobility and permanence.

      - The Wheel and the Cut Stone, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * Though seemingly trivial, the lesson of this fable resounds with Dawi Zharr stratagems throughout the ages. Their dominant mode of operation have been long slaving expeditions of war into the wastes of the Dark Lands, with the scattered Chaos Dwarf fortresses as strongpoints to fall back to at need. Nowadays, these expeditions are centered around armoured trains, namely caravans of warmachines and supply wagons pulled by Iron Daemons and Skullcrackers.

    • Once upon a time, there was a slapdash carpenter. Everyone knew him to always work in a haste and rush through his labour. He completed in speed what others perfected in accuracy. He guessed and he fumbled and he supposed, and never knew he something for sure before embarking upon a task. One day, the slapdash carpenter worked on a common brick dwelling. He clambered up among the roof beams of the building to fasten wickerwork and planks in preparation for the fireproof stamped earth layer, when suddenly his apprentice called out:

      "Master, the house shall have an open courtyard!" shouted the apprentice.

      "I knew that," lied the slapdash carpenter and produced a piece of chalk. He quickly drew a line at will on a sturdy beam, and grabbed his saw, when suddenly his apprentice called out:

      "Master, that's wrong! To measure is to know, everything else is a wild guess. Just look at the place you've marked out!" shouted the apprentice.

      "Shut up! There's nothing wrong with my experienced estimation!" snapped the slapdash carpenter and sawed off his own leg. For such is the fate of the hasty.

      - The Slapdash Carpenter and the Apprentice, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * A common variant of this story ends instead with the carpenter sawing off the beam he is sitting on, dropping him to the ground and breaking his neck.

    • Once upon a time, there was a proud ram of strong stature, with curved horns and a harem of female goats. So many rivals contesting his power did he beat, that he started to believe himself invincible. The proud ram began to challenge the alpha males of other herds, and clashed with them to conquer their grazing grounds and minions. The ram knew nothing but success.

      One day, the ram came across a bull at a river ford.

      "Make way, or I'll trample your herd," snorted the bull.

      "Back off, for I and my ilk will be first to cross," replied the ram.

      The bull refused, so the ram challenged him to combat at the ford. Headlong they charged at each other, and the ram was crushed to a gory pulp by the greater creature. This is the fate of those who cannot recognize when they face too strong an adversary to overcome, and stubbornly seeks their own doom.

      - The Ram and the Bull, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * The moral of the story would sit sourly with uncorrupted western Dwarfs, yet Dawi Zharr, stubborn though they might be, have bitterly learned to survive and thrive in the volatile and hostile Dark Lands. This would not have been the case without a cultural emphasis on choosing to fight on terms to their advantage whenever possible, lest the work of generations may be squandered by a single leader's foolhardy pride. This is one amongst many reasons why Chaos Dwarfs manage to dominate, crush and enslave the Greenskin hordes, while the holds of uncorrupted Dwarfs one by one falls to the very same menace.

    • Once upon a time, there was a proud bull lording it over a large herd of cattle. Large was his harem and splendid was his greatness, until one day, a drought struck, and all the land dried up. The plants withered and died, the water holes became desiccated dust bowls, and the creatures of the land started to drop dead out of hunger and thirst.

      The bull led his herd for leagues upon leagues, wandering the land and searching for water and green pastures. Yet they could not find any, and their numbers dwindled from starvation. Then, the cattle herd came upon a cowherdess.

      "Help us, give us water to drink and grass to eat," pleaded the bull.

      "I will do so, but only if you I may pierce your nose and fasten this iron ring through it," replied the cowherdess.

      "Our plight is dire, so do what you want. But water and feed our young and old, lest they will all die," said the bull.

      "I will," she promised.

      The cowherdess and her daughters pierced the nose ring inside the bull's mule, fastened a chain to it and pulled taut. The pain made the bull weak as a newborn calf and he could not defend himself or his kin. Thus the cowherdess gelded him and butchered all the other cattle in the herd for a great sacrificial feast, and his line ended there and then. From then on, the ox would pull heavy loads until he dropped dead from it.

      "Why did you cut my phallus and kill my people? This was not what you promised to do," complained the ox.

      The cowherdess replied: "You let yourself be shackled and captured. Why would I honour the wishes of one too weak to escape slavery? You are mine now, and I will do as I please with you and your ilk. Toil, ox, toil!"

      - The Ox and the Cowherdess, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * The moral of the story resounds with every fibre of the Dawi Zharr mindset. To the Blacksmiths of Chaos, strength and cruelty is moral and just. What mercy can there be for the weak, the vanquished, the slave?

    • Once upon a time, there was a crafty Goblin so cunning he could deceive any creature, fool anyone and trick everyone in the whole world. One day, the Goblin came upon a Lammasu who claimed himself to be craftier than any god or mortal being, yes he could outsmart all of creation and cheat death itself should he wish to do so.

      The Goblin was intrigued and decided to challenge the wits of the Lammasu. Against all the odds, the tiny Greenskin managed to do so. The Lammasu was mightily angered and set out to find the trickster.

      The cunning Goblin rolled in Troll dung to cover his smell and hid himself inside a den of hibernating Stone Trolls, behind a mother and her sleeping Stone Troll cubs. When the Lammasu tracked the Goblin to the cave, the Stone Trolls awoke from their slumber.

      "Stand aside, I have been insulted by that Goblin over there. He will not elude my wrath any longer," growled the Lammasu, and pointed to the filthy Goblin.

      The Stone Troll mother sniffed on the Goblin, but he smelled only of Stone Troll. Thus she raised herself high and roared to the Lammasu: "Begone intruder! I will rip your throat if you touch my cubs!"

      "You have been tricked by his smell!" said the Lammasu.

      "My nose cannot be tricked," replied the Stone Troll mother.

      "No matter, then I will simply kill you all!" roared the Lammasu and charged into the cave. The Lammasu tore the Stone Troll family limb from limb before slaying the cornered Goblin. This is the fate of those who would trick those stronger than themselves without a safe enough retreat from the vengeance of the deceived.

      - The Goblin and the Lammasu, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * Interestingly, this is one of the few stories which Chaos Dwarfs regularly share with their Hobgoblin underlings.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Once upon a time, there was a strong Bale Taurus with a harem of cows and rich hunting grounds to roam. His rivals did he beat in battle, his enemies did he slay. One day, the fiery bull met a giant War Boar who towered over the rest of his kin.

      "We are much alike, you and I," said the War Boar.

      "Alike? There is nothing alike between you and me, hog!" snorted the Bale Taurus.

      "Oh yes, there is. Our lives are both filled with success, food and females. We lord it over our kinsfolk, and our rivals tremble before our might," replied the War Boar.

      "Filthy swine! You are as a maggot unto me, for my strength is greater and my body is larger," said the Bale Taurus.

      "Yet we are both first and best amongst our own kind," remarked the War Boar.

      "No! I exhale fire and rule the skies whereas you exhale farts and grouts the mud," said the Bale Taurus.

      "Yet my strength and hardiness is prized by the strongest of Orcs, who vie to ride upon me into battle," replied the War Boar.

      "Insolent piglet! The lords of the earth ride upon my back whilst the masses holds me sacred for my divine strength and virility," growled the Bale Taurus.

      "You brag about virility, yet your offspring are born one or two at a time. My litters could drown the lands by their number," said the War Boar.

      At this, the Bale Taurus could not retort well, for it was true. He had been bested by words.

      "Then they will drown in your blood!" roared the Bale Taurus, and impaled the War Boar with a thunderous charge, for such is the fate of the weaker creature who would seek to best the stronger with his tounge.

      - The War Boar and the Bale Taurus, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * The moral of the story is "guard your tounge, or lose your head." This is very much a fact of everyday life in Mingol Zharr-Naggrund the Great and all her holdings.

    • Once upon a time, there was a blacksmith who laboured every day in his smithy. He would heat the metal in the forge fire, strike it with his hammer and harden it in a barrel of tempering water before reheating the metal. All the time, his slave pumped the bellows. One day, the blacksmith worked for long hours to turn steel into a blade, yet his slave tired of his work at the bellows.

      In secret, the slave cut into the water barrel with a knife. After a while, it had leaked dry. The next time the blacksmith reached out to quench the steel in the water, it was gone.

      "This was the last barrel. The steel will spoil without liquid to harden it in," said the blacksmith.

      "Is that the end of your work today?" asked the slave.

      "No, but yours," replied the blacksmith and quenched the blade in blood by running it through the slave, for such is the fate of those who would shy from work and destroy their master's possessions.

      - The Slave and the Blacksmith, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund

    • Once upon a time, there was an industrious Hellsmith who trekked the northern lands and traded armour and artefacts for slaves and secrets from the Fimir. One day, he and his retinue were overcome in a nightly raid by barbarian Manlings. The Hellsmith and his followers were bound, and atop a rock, the Humans began to sacrifice them with flint and bone weapons. One by one the captives were slaughtered to summon a dark demigod, until only the Hellsmith and a Hobgoblin remained.

      "You will be his earthly feast. For he will come forth soon. My tribe will conclude the ritual from a safe distance and watch the divinity devour you alive," declared the Human Sorceror.

      The Manlings departed, and left the Hellsmith and the Hobgoblin amidst a field of corpses.

      "Can I trust you with my life if it will save yours?" asked the Hellsmith.

      "Yes, you can," promised the Hobgoblin.

      "Good. I can cut short the summoning, but for that I need my hands free. Quick! There is a hidden knife under my beard. Cut my ropes!" said the Hellsmith.

      Awkwardly, the Hobgoblin reached the hidden knife and drew it. But the Hobgoblin stabbed the Hellsmith instead of freeing him.

      "Why did you do that? Now we'll both die!" gasped the dying Hellsmith.

      "Because it lies in my nature to stab," said the Hobgoblin, before they were both devoured alive by the dark demigod. For such is the fate of those who would fool themselves by trusting others, and who cannot see things for what they are.

      - The Hobgoblin and the Hellsmith, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * Note the wealth of ancient Fimir and the primitive ancestors of the Human Marauder tribes of the current age. Chaos Dwarf cultural memory stretches back decidedly further than that of any living Human nation. Also, note that the promotion of Hobgoblins to an elite slave caste within the Chaos Dwarf empire dates back only to the Black Orc Rebellion, many centuries after Uhr-Kulmbizharr's time. Before that, Hobgoblins were enslaved just as any Dark Lands Greenskins were, yet their extreme treacherousness was infamous already.

    • Once upon a time, there was an ingenious Arcane Engineer who was famed for his inventions. Amongst his many slaves there was a Manling from Nehekhara of the pyramids, who dared neither slack nor complain. One day, the Arcane Engineer had built a new kind of furnace, and he needed an untiring labourer. He chose the Nehekharan.

      "This furnace must be fed with fuel all the time until I command to halt. You must sate its raging hunger, slave," commanded the Arcane Engineer.

      The Nehekharan worked hard and toiled fast for long hours to shovel coal into the furnace, yet he could not keep apace with the fire. Eventually, all the coal in the furnace had burnt up, yet still the signal to stop fuel had not been given. The Arcane Engineer was furious and grabbed ahold of the tired slave.

      "Why is the furnace cooling when it should be heating?" asked the Arcane Engineer.

      "I must eat and sleep sometime," replied the Nehekharan.

      "No, you must not! You have failed because you have been lazy! You must work day and night until your heart breaks from exhaustion," barked the Arcane Engineer.

      "But I cannot feed it enough coal!" protested the Nehekharan.

      "Then we'll feed you to the furnace," growled the Arcane Engineer, and threw the slave into the flames. For such is the fate of those who would not give their all when their master demands it.

      - The Nehekharan and the Arcane Engineer, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * This ruthless work ethic, for slaves in particular, is a fundamental part of the Dawi Zharr empire. In addition, note how memories of ancient empires may survive within Chaos Dwarf oral culture, long after their might have turned into dust and death have claimed them. In ancient times, Nehekharans fetched one of the highest prices of any Human tribes on Chaos Dwarf slave markets, since their people's labour on titanic monuments in the homeland made them industrious like few other Manlings.
    • Written by: KNC
      Illustrated by: Raul Gomes @knightinflames

      Once upon a time, there was a tightwad who was so cheap he would eat the carcasses of @sses left out for the dogs in the street. One day, high Hashut or some Daemon disapproved of these meals of rotten flesh, and struck the tightwad with a sickness that threatened to end his life. His clan paid a Temple Acolyte to oversee the sick man.

      "Your life might yet be spared if you would get elixirs and sacrifice to appease the wrathful deity," said the Temple Acolyte.

      "And pay for medicine, prayers and offerings?" gasped the tightwad.

      "But you're dying," replied the Temple Acolyte.

      "I will let my body heal itself," said the tightwad.

      "Then we should consult your clan for funeral rites that reflects your status. Would you like a catacomb burial or cremation before the idols? That would be seven or three gold bulls," snarked the Temple Acolyte.

      "You swindlers are always out for my money! Cut that to a silver hoof and chuck me in the River Ruin!" yelled the tightwad.

      And they did, without waiting for the sickness to kill the tightwad. For such is the fate of those so mean as to offend the Temple, the Bull God and Daemons alike.

      - The Tightwad and the Temple Acolyte, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * This illustrates the underlying friction between Dawi Zharr sacrificial religion, which basically is about burning wealth to ashes, and the extreme avarice of Chaos Dwarfs. However, it is rare for a worshipper of Hashut to forsake his sacrificial obligations, for to do so is to invite holy and unholy wrath alike.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Once upon a time, there was a careless sculptor working on a collection of statues for a triumphal monument. He worked at high speed, just as his Sorcerer-Prophet client demanded, but unbeknownst to the sculptor, his master had cursed the stone of the statues to punish any faulty work. One day, the sculptor had finished with a statue and inspected it.

      "I call it a decent piece of work for an honest craftsman," the sculptor declared to himself.

      "There are cracks and chinks. The symmetry is off, and the details are coarse. You have failed with its face and its beard is flat," said a voice from somewhere.

      "No matter, the statue is high up and won't be seen too closely. Wait, who talked?" asked the sculptor.

      "I, the statue. And I will bury you alive for the disrespect you have shown towards your own work. Towards me!" replied the stone golem, and grasped the sculptor with one giant stone fist.

      "No, not me! I had poor chisels and hammers, I couldn't do better with them," protested the sculptor.

      "Then I will bury your tools," said the stone golem, and shoved them down the sculptor's throat until he burst. For such is the fate of those who would dishonour their craft and be careless in their work.

      - The Sculptor and the Stone Golem, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * Bizarelly enough, this story describes an actual standard of quality control used by some members of the priesthood of Hashut. The procedure is usually to curse, or make Daemons possess, one or a few of the large number of statues ordered from sculptors. Whatever the workings of the sorceries, the statues will come alive and slay their creators should the work be unacceptable. Depending on the arcane spells involved, these stone golems may then lose their life, or return to slumber as guardians, or even be used as weapons of war by the Dawi Zharr.

    • Once upon a time, there was a man who had lost most of his wealth and faced further disaster. One day, to escape his plight, he made sacrifices before the mighty idols at an oracle fire altar, cousin of K'daai, where the wise fire is given crackling voice and may offer advice and prophecy.

      "I have sacrificed nigh to all my remaining wealth. O, by Hashut, grant me a road out of this misery and show me how to turn misfortune into fortune," intoned the sacrificer.

      "The offerings are too small for that. You must sacrifice all worldly possessions you have left," commanded the oracle fire.

      "But that would ruin me," complained the sacrificer.

      "Then bow closer and let me whisper but one word of instruction into your ear. That is all the help I can offer," said the oracle fire.

      "I listen," said the sacrificer and bowed in closer.

      "Burn," whispered the oracle fire, and the flames leapt into the sacrificer's beard and scorched him alive. For such is the fate of those who would sacrifice too little, and thus blaspheme against the Father of Darkness and his dread court of shackled concubines and Daemons.

      - The Sacrificer and the Oracle Fire, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund

    • Once upon a time, there was a lonely island in the middle of the sea where shipwrecked sailors used to wash up. One day, a Chaos Dwarf and a Dark Elf were washed up on its beach. Both were unconscious and bloodied, yet the Chaos Dwarf was the first to wake up. He grabbed a sharp stone and bowed over the Dark Elf, stone raised to crush his enemy's head. At that moment the Dark Elf awoke.

      "Please, spare my life! The flesh of my feeble frame won't sate your hunger. This island is large enough for the two of us. Here we can both forget our strife," pleaded the Dark Elf.

      "Very well, you may live," said the Chaos Dwarf, and let the Dark Elf escape.

      They both toiled to survive on the hostile island, yet one night the Chaos Dwarf awoke and stared at the fire-hardened sharp end of a wooden spear. It was held by the Dark Elf, and it was but an inch away from the Chaos Dwarf's eye.

      "May Daemons eat your soul!" cursed the Chaos Dwarf, for he knew he was about to die.

      "Do not curse me. The blame is not mine. It was not I who spared the life of your bane. Curse yourself for your weakness," said the Dark Elf, and speared the Chaos Dwarf to death during the dark of night. For such is the fate of the merciful.

      - The Shipwrecked Sailors, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * The moral of the story is not only 'mercy is for the weak'; it is also 'never trust an Elf' and 'always enslave'.

    • Once upon a time, there was a headstrong chief Bull Charioteer, mighty and glorious to behold in his cruelty. He reigned akin to a god on the battlefield, and the foe was crushed before his thunderous charge. One day, the chief Bull Charioteer led an attack against a Goblin tribe. Headlong he crashed into their ranks, and scattered their broken corpses around him. His blade hewed and hewed, and the Goblins fled before the wrath of him and his host.

      The chief Bull Charioteer rushed ahead of his own army, in wild pursuit of the routed enemy. Not even the Bull Centaurs could keep apace with his Bull Chariot. Soon, the Goblins fled shrieking into a narrow gorge.

      "We must halt here, lest the rocks in the gorge may tear our carriage asunder," shouted the chariot driver at the reins.

      "Hashut favours the bold. We must trample them here and now," replied the chief Bull Charioteer.

      "Yet the gorge is very narrow," protested the chariot driver.

      "All the better, that will channel the enemy in a line ahead of us. They cannot escape us in that bottleneck. Steer true and mow them down!" roared the chief Bull Charioteer.

      The Bull Chariot trundled into the gorge, and crushed dozens of Goblins before it. The petty Greenskins were scared into wild panic and trampled each other in order to escape, yet the Bull Chariot was faster. Suddenly, the whole Bull Chariot winced as it got stuck between the walls of the gorge, and could not move an inch further.

      When the Goblins saw this, they took heart and climbed the walls of the gorge. The whole tribe surrounded the stuck Bull Chariot on all sides, and slowly stoned the Bull Charioteers to death. For such is the fate of those who would not heed their surroundings, and who would ignore the conditions of the landscape.

      - The Bull Chariot and the Goblins in the Gorge, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * The moral of the story is the fundamental, military maxim of always using the landscape to your advantage, and to avoid disadvantageous positions as if they were weapons of the enemy. Chariots are particularly exposed to difficult terrain. Note the Bull Chariot, an ancient vehicle of war of the Chaos Dwarfs, seldom seen in battle nowadays. The Bull Chariot is drawn by the wingless, bastard sons of male Tauruses and female cattle, although sometimes constructs of possessed Daemons are used. Modern variants of this fable sometimes involves an Iron Daemon instead of a Bull Chariot.

    • Once upon a time, there was a weaveress working at home in her household, together with neighbour women. She had a natural talent for her craft, yet would chatter and gossip from dawn till dusk if she could, hampering her workpace. One day, the first wife in the harem of a Sorcerer-Prophet paid the weaveress in advance for a splendid fabric intended for a dress to wear at Bullfeast.

      "I expect the very best cloth seven days in advance of the festivities. You will weave fire and lightning patterns into the hem. Waste not your time, but work diligently," ordered the first wife.

      "Yes, my lady," replied the weaveress.

      Yet the weaveress gossipped and talked day and night whilst she weaved, and the fabric was not finished at the appointed day.

      "You gabby swine!" snapped the first wife in the harem.

      "I will repay you in full, my lady" said the weaveress.

      "No. I paid for a tissue for my dress, and you will provide one," said the first wife, and flayed the weaveress alive to sew her skin into a dress. For such is the fate of those who would while away their time with idle talk, and neglect their talents by working too little.

      - The Weaveress and the First Wife in the Harem, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * Clothes made from the flayed hides of beasts or sapient beings such as Greenskins and Ogres, and even misbehaving Chaos Dwarfs, are not uncommon amongst the Dawi Zharr. The sight of your kinsman's flayed skin is a terrifying one, yet not without beauty and meaning in the Chaos Dwarf mindset. After all, it is a visible marker of your fulfilled ability to dominate others.

    • Once upon a time, there was a succesful quarry owner. His toil and cleverness had elevated him above his peers. One day, his clan honoured him with a marriage proposal. The spouse-to-be was a harsh and virtuous woman, and the negotiations between the clans had already been concluded. All that was needed was the quarry owner's consent.

      "No, I will not marry her. My eyes are set upon another woman, the beautiful daughter of a slavedriver. Her I will wed," declared the romantic quarry owner.

      "Then you will marry beneath your station," protested the clansfolk.

      "So be it. But I will marry the love of my life. May Hashut bless our marriage," said the romantic.

      "High Hashut will rather curse such folly," replied the clansfolk.

      And indeed He did, as did the father of the rejected woman. The married life of the romantic turned bitter and sour, and his quarries were filled with lava poor of minerals. His wife bore him horned Daemons for offspring and withered into an old hag before her time, and the romantic was tortured to death by his own slaves in the couple's bedchamber. For such is the fate of those who would fool themselves and insult the Father of Darkness by letting romantic love stand before the sound interests of their clan.

      - The Romantic and the Love of His Life, by Daemonsmith Uhr-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

      * This fable reflects the pragmatic, status-sensitive and not least financial mode of the Dawi Zharr marriage market. Note that males are more common than females in Dwarf populations, which is also true for Chaos Dwarfs. As such, only succesful male Chaos Dwarf individuals will ever get to marry, with the highest-ranking of all having harems of their own. Where uncorrupted Dwarf society is dominated by Valaya and women in the civil sphere, Dawi Zharr society is structured very differently. It is thoroughly hierarchical and bereft of freedom, and it is not the women, but the eldest men in the clan, who have the final say in matters of marriage. Then again, imperial Chaos Dwarf society is entirely geared for survival and expansion in the hostile Dark Lands. As such, it is no wonder that the dictates of Sorcerer-Prophets throughout the ages have all aimed at increasing the numbers of their subjects and armies by a maximized reproductive rate. The ideal male, in the Dawi Zharr mindset, is the strong bull lording it over a harem of a herd, although this does not mean that strong or warlike women have been lacking in the long history of Zharr-Naggrund and all her holdings.