Ladies and gentlemen, the historically based fantasy world of Warhammer, beyond naval expeditions, found one way of pitting Dwarfs against Lizardmen. This was by the means of the lost hold of Karak Zorn in the Southlands, having Lizardmen in their southern vicinity. (Karak Zorn always had a vibe of Prester John about it, but it was ultimately not meant as a realm of Ethiopian fantasy Dwarves.) However, a brief glance at history will make it instantly clear that Warhammer (for all its brilliance) missed an open goal for pitting Dwarfs against Lizardmen, and thus missed a chance of making Lustria itself into something more than an almost purely Lizardmen continent.
We're of course speaking about the Andean civlizations, of which the Inca Empire with its well-organized army is the most famous, but which also include such cultures as the Moche, Caral and Nazca, to name a few. Lord-Triceratops on Deviantart has already dabbled some with the concept of Incan fantasy Dwarves, including their use of domesticated Glyptodons. Let the Ninth Age be the first major fantasy setting to sport Andean fantasy Dwarves: Mountain dwellers, miners and skilled metal workers who build terraces, roads and towns in stone on altitudes few other peoples would even consider to climb.
Sounds Dwarven enough? Then let's head for the Wrathful Mountains in faraway Virentia, and follow the rumours of gold!
Just to get the ball rolling, here are some proposals: The Virentian Dwarves of the Wrathful Mountains have been isolated from all others of their kin since the most ancient ages. Originally imported as mining slaves for the Saurian Ancients during the distant First Age, these Dwarrows endured a longer slavery than others of their kind, for they lived close to the Saurian power centers of tropical Virentia, and were among the few peoples who still endured the Saurian yoke for many centuries after the Heavenly Mace set others free. Nevertheless, the great comet still set in motion a long and arduous struggle for freedom, for the bands of escaped rebel slaves waged a long guerilla campaign in the mountains and in the mining tunnels.
After a long and bloody struggle, the Dwarves of the Wrathful Mountains drove out their former Saurian overlords. Freed at long last, these Dwarves peopled the long mountain chain and heavily fortified their nigh-inaccessible dwellings, building kingdoms and city-states that battled Goblins, Saurian Ancients and each other alike. Slowly, and through many blood-soaked setbacks, the Dwarves spread throughout the great Virentian mountains, and emerged from the highlands to colonize some of the coastal lowlands to the west. And to this day they will make any Saurian intruders come to regret their quest for regaining lost glory, for the Wrathful Mountains were thus named for a reason.
The Dwarves of the Wrathful Mountains are little known outside their towering homeland, yet legends speak of great realms of strong armies and finely carved stones laid upon stones, of giant mines, of master smiths toiling with copper and gold, and of great builders of roads, farming terraces and rope bridges that defy the soaring landscape. And most of all, the rumours speak of treasures beyond the dreams of mortals...
There are lots of questions, if you buy into the idea of Andean Dwarves in the first place:
Are these Dwarven Holds, or Infernal Dwarves?
Should T9A go for an all-encompassing empire like the Inca, or go for a smattering of independent Dwarven Holds?
The former conform to the Renaissance reality, the latter to the older historical reality of the Andes, and may open up for more local variation and opportunities for rowdy infighting.
How advanced are these Virentian Dwarves?
Given the Inca's comparatively sophisticated grasp of technology, torsion war machines could possibly suit their fantasy counterparts, since Dwarves are more mechanically minded than humans, and live longer thus not wasting all that accumulating knowledge and skills on an early grave, resulting in higher levels of technology. What do you think?
What about slings, spear-throwers and bows instead of crossbows as infantry ranged weapons to underline the lower level of technology compared to Dwarves of all kinds found in Vetia, Augea and Taphria?
There are many fields of opportunity to the ardent thinker here, so please contribute your ideas and criticisms to this brainstorming!
I have neither the time nor intent to turn this into a Homebrew army book, but anyone who wish to, is more than welcome to do so.
This is a natural extension of Northern Dwarves, Kegiz Gavem and Dwarves of the Copper Mountains. There can be no such thing as too many Dwarfs.
Roll out your thoughts on these potato-eating Dwarves and let's make the world of the Ninth Age distinct also in this quarter!
Also, Uther the Unhinged over on CDO have shared some great design thoughts for Virentian Dwarves:
Cool concept. I think you could have standard and infernal dwarves in the continent. It is a big place and mines would have been well separated leading to multiple revolutionary movement. Infernal dwarves obviously utilizing fire sorcery/daemons (sorry not T9A literate) and playing up the sacrifice aspect of Incan/Aztec culture. Possibly binding daemons into animals. The standard dwarves animating statues. Again to differ from other pld world dwarves the statues could be animal/totem based snake like caymen panther jaguar etc. Longer association with saurians might have led to more magic/rune binding. You could go down the lack of iron route with rune encrusted war clubs. Obsidian daggers, obsidian encrusted clubs (for both types). As for artillery again standard torsion engines with animal totemic themes fir standard dwarves but enslaved/mutated/daemon bound animals for infernal dwarves. Like tortured bloated snakes spitting incendiary venom as counts as firearms. Sort of twisted Lizardmen technology, which would fit fluff wize.
I hope you all agree that these are ideas well worth picking up on.
So now we need a name for the Virentian Dwarven Holds, and Infernal Dwarves, respectively. Proposals are most welcome!
One could of course base the Dwarven Holds more on e.g. Inca, and the Infernal Dwarves more on Moche or some other Andean culture. By the way, I warmly recommend everyone to check out coricancha's astounding Pre-Columbian tropical American gallery, filled to the brim with colourful illustrations and marvellous designs based on meticulous studies of archaeological finds in particular.
Dwarven Holds of the Copper Mountains (T9A Nabateans)
Polar Dwarves of Remotest Silexia (T9A Inuits)
Lost Islander Dwarves (T9A Rapa Nui)
Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys (T9A Moche)
Frost Elves (T9A Finno-Ugrians)
The post was edited 12 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().