Nemed Dhuraz - the Ethiopian Dwarves of Light

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    • Founding of Gavemite Religion

      @infamousme : One should better check the Elf's coin thrice before accepting a trade. Flying machines are more than handy at sieges, of course. Perhaps he was trying to dampen challenges to Elven air supremacy? Still, useful point on special place of Dwarven ancestry.

      Ancestral memory in Kegiz Gavem could be primeval and thus revered even in other Dwarven Holds. Their orthodox self-abnegation and atonement could be a spiritually loaded imitation, commemoration and re-experiencing of the miserable drudgery and humiliating hardships of Dwarven slaves under the claws of their Saurian overlords during the 1st Age.

      Chastisement of self would be reliving their virtuous and humble forefathers' suffering; a perceived punishment for primitive sins during which some of the mine, quarry and stonework-toiling troglodyte slave Dwarves in the midst of darkest despair found hope and salvation in the light. And the light delivered: A light that grew in the sky and shattered the slavers' dominion and the shackles of their slaves. The Gavemite cult could have been founded during this time in bonds, a belief in salvation, sin and higher holiness intertwined with the universally Dwarven ancestor worship.

      The well-remembered founders, the martyrs and the humble endurers during this formative age of slavery and salvation are all part and parcel of the Gavemite mindset. The names, acts and travails of these righteous ancestors colour their everyday thoughts, spice their language, give shape and meaning to their innermost beliefs and echo in the dour lifeworks of each generation of devout Gavemites. Their way is a faith apart from other Dwarven Holds, although sharing many basic tenets of Dwarfkind for all their uniqueness: The ancestor cult, the rigorous engineering, the unending work, the care and precision of their crafts, the rejoicing in working matter with their hands.

      Gavemites try to follow the examples set by their cult founders. There could have been especially hellish silver mines worked by slave Dwarves in Taphria, digging deep beyond the reach of the sun. Many died, yet many more were bred for the mines. The dangers were legion: Lead poisoning, earthquakes, rock falls, monstrous tunnel denizens, magma flooding and freak deluges of onrushing water from surface rainstorms escaping into mining networks. Dwarves died, Dwarves suffered, Dwarves survived by hardihood, and some survived by sheer faith. Tales tell of Dhuraz, who standing on his knees, praying to the light while a Saurian taskdriver flayed him whiplash by whiplash, found the mine he worked in collapsing when the heavenlight struck. Above Dhuraz, the ground caved in and fell hundreds of fathoms in upon itself, crushing sinful slaves and slavedrivers alike. Yet when the dust settled, faithful Dhuraz found himself still praying on the same rock, now exposed to brilliant daylight. The tonnes of crushing rocks had miraculously all cracked, tumbled and fallen to the sides of Dhuraz, swallowed by collapsing mine shafts below.

      Icon of Dhuraz the Preserved. Note hand of sinful slave and Saurian tail sticking out from the rock masses.

      One way in which Gavemites understand the Preservation of Dhuraz is to point to sufferers of hardship and remind them that Dhuraz was pelted and scourged with gravel and small stone shards, yet endured and saw the light on high shield him from any large rocks. The faithful must endure his woes unfailingly, no matter how harsh they seem, for by accepting the lesser evil, he will be saved from the greater evils by the light. Shoulder your burdens and suffer your pain.

      For Dwarven reasons, there ought to be no single portal figure to Gavemite religion, the way Mannish faiths often sport one. The founder ancestors are revered as a group, an enlightened collection of saintly sufferers, legendary hard labourers, self-sacrificing fertile mothers, keepers of trust in the face of torture, seers, secret rune scribblers, revealers of higher truths, humble miracle-workers and scarred breakers of chains. A common figure is the Victim, who endures his hardships and face his cruel fate with humility. Another is the Downcast Risen, a battered survivor of woes who often wish to die, yet sees the light, hears the call and endures to wreak the vengeance of the oppressed and weak upon the mighty; a strong hero rising from the dust to save his kin and go out in a blaze of tortuous glory.

      Gavemite religion is replete with the names, deeds and miracles of its cult founders. That of Dhuraz the Preserved is but one of many.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Oooooh I'm loving all that ! :D

      Please feel free to create illustrations for our other Taphrian ABs, at least one drawing for the cover of each army book would be really really helpful !
      So we're getting closer to a real compendium !

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      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Viewing the descriptions above, Kegiz Gavem would be the Mecca of the Dwarves, the equivalent of Avras to Humans.
      Difference being that Dwarves are much less religious in average than Humans in average.

      Compared to RL Mecca and pilgrimages granted to Shia and Sunnitea alike, the pilgrimage would be granted in KG to regular and infernal Dwarves alike, with occasional restrictions in time of wars. A strong difference is that there woud be few pilgrims from abroad, in any case.

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    • @Calisson : Yes! In Warhammer, this would see Infernal Dwarves banned and angry like hell over being shunned from their ancestral home. Perhaps ID would also shun it all together, or even more exaggerated wish to destroy it with brimstone and hellfire. But having some peacetime contacts between Dwarves and Infernal Dwarves do open up some more subtler ways of meeting each other... Not to be underestimated, given how bound one is by sheer enmity and hateful strife in Warhammer. Charming in its own way, but also limiting.

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      Oooooh I'm loving all that ! :D

      Please feel free to create illustrations for our other Taphrian ABs, at least one drawing for the cover of each army book would be really really helpful !
      So we're getting closer to a real compendium !
      Thanks! Might do something in due time, though chances are it will take a good while, particularly something as central and demanding as an army book cover. Lots to do. I shouldn't even be doing this with Kegiz Gavem at the moment, but you baited me with Dwarves! :)

      Here's a wildcard idea: Fire up earlier proposals of having contests hosted by T9A, well announced on the frontpage. Particularly artwork contests, which generate pivotal creative material for the project (e.g. this & this one). Just include some line that by entering the contest, you agree to let T9A and anyone and their stepmother use your artwork as they see fit, and if you want to always be visibly credited then better put your signature on the artwork. Throw in some miniature prizes (I can donate something, just PM if this becomes a reality) and use the artwork contests to explore the world of the Ninth Age, with various themes. Depending on how frequent they could be hosted, you could have separate artwork contests for each of the various Taphrian factions, or just hold a scattershot all-Taphrian contest with "battle" theme or whatever, and hope something useful comes out of it. Note, having the theme as open as possible is often conducive to creativity ("Draw or paint anything Taphrian"), though having a narrow theme can generate material more useful for such things as army book covers. Open themes will tend to give you lots of AB illustrations beyond the cover, however, and more entrants. And obviously credit all artists whose illos end up in the compendium.

      Artwork contests will obviously not all be about a single faction or continent, so better make the most of however many can be earmarked for Taphria (an inordinate amount in the close future, no doubt; less fantasy art material exist for Africa than elsewhere, so generating more for sketchy areas by art contests is a given to flesh out the whole setting).

      Contests may look like competition, but they're actually done for the fun of it, and to harness creative energies and get them productive by exploiting the inherent competitiveness of human beings. The winner is just an afterthought, the real gain is the mass of material produced by entrants.

      I'll be of little use for anything for a long while forward, except perhaps a few more Dwarf ideas (mainly Kegiz Gavem, and maybe something Northern Dwarfs or uncorrupted Copper Mountains Infernal Dwarf branch). But a whole crowd of people hungry for prizes and glory will give you lots of artwork while clamouring for gold. Many of the entrants are bound to be established T9A artists themselves.

      On Chaos Dwarfs Online and Lustria Online there are lots of contests, and activity seems to be enhanced because of it. Liveliness and creativity, and a common cause to work around in competitive spirit. Contests contribute toward making CDO a creative hobby hub.

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

    • Oh, yes, I think we'll get there once we've got a Compendium.

      But at the moment I was really more in getting a small, not necessary highly qualitative picture as illustration for our temporary PDFs.
      Despite Calisson's best efforts, I really don't like the ones we've got for Koghi and Vanhu at the moment for example :D They look too colonial and not fantasy at all.

      I've found plenty of examples of pics that I wish would illustrate our books, but they don't belong to us so we can't use them officially.
      I just need someone to copy them :D

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      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Haha, roger that! Maybe something small sometime later. Started this background thread of Copper Dwarves with some trade caravan connection to Kegiz Gavem the great hold of fabled ancestry. Anyone who wants to: Feel free to have it moved to Homebrew army book section and work further on it if you like.
    • Time to move forwards.

      According to the discussions above, the AB could be based on DH, with the following changes:
      Seekers and Runemasters replaced with Paladins and Clerics (Lore of Thaumaturgy).
      Shooting inspired from ID (except daemonic).
      Less technology, grudges and ID daemons, more faith instead.

      Army rules

      Army-wide Rules
      - Hewn out of Mountains (no need as they have access to magic-users)
      - Ancient Grudge (not in fluff)
      - Free obstacle (in stone, added not far from deployment zone)

      Universal Rules
      - Holdstone: as DH: Kegiz loves stones!
      - Rune of Resonance: no need
      - Ancestral Memory: not in spirit
      - The bigger they are… : Seekers not in spirit.
      - Prester John special deployment: ambushers coming exclusively from opponent's deployment zone.
      - Chosen of Dhuraz: bonus to dispel magic, reroll failed Res tests, Ægis aura, anti-supernal powers...

      Personal Protections
      - Shield Wall: as DH.

      Attack Attributes

      Yer comin’ with me!
      Divine attacks.

      - GuildCrafted Handgun
      replaced with:
      - Blunderbuss from ID (plenty of models recovered after many battles and retro-engineered)

      - WyrmSlayer Rocket
      - Forge Repeater
      (too techonolgical)
      Runes - Hereditary Spell - Special Equipment

      Hereditary Spell: inspired from the legend of Dhuraz the Preserved.

      Kegiz having access to a magic lore, they will have little access to the dwarven runes; instead, they will get special equipment, including simple runes which cannot be combined. This special equipment will target especially Daemon, Supernal, Ethereal, Undead, Orcs, and flying creatures (because of the Greek legend about Pygmies and cranes).

      Fluffwise, they could get some special equipment from ID:
      Weapon Enchantments:
      - Onyx Core
      Armour Enchantments:
      - Steel Skin
      - Secrets of Mithril.

      Equipment specific to Kegiz:
      Weapon Enchantments
      Hammer of Light
      Undead’s awe

      Banner Enchantments:
      Banner of the Lion

      Dreadlocks of the Ras Taphrian
      Potion of Coffee
      Frankincense Thurible
      Leaves of Khat

      - King: as DH, without runes and ancestral memory
      - Thane: as DH, without runes and ancestral memory
      - Dragon Seeker
      - Runic Smith
      - Engineer: as DH, without runes and ancestral memory
      - Anvil of Power
      - Paladin: fighter/cleric, Apprentice Lore of Thaumaturgy,
      - Cleric: Adept or Master, with increasing radius of general-like influence. Lore of Thaumaturgy.
      Do we go for a limited access to Divination as well?

      - Shield Bearers
      - War Throne
      Core & Special

      - Clan Warriors: as in DH
      - Clan Warriors : as in DH
      - Clan Marksmen: as in DH
      - Deep Watch: as in DH
      - King's Guard: as in DH
      - Miners: as in DH
      - Rangers: as in DH
      - Seekers (not in fluff)
      - Vengeance Seekers (not in fluff)
      - Hold Guardians: as in DH (fits the fluff)
      - Grudge Buster (not that much in fluff)
      - Pilgrims = replaces Seekers, but mentality of Paladin
      Clan's Thunder & Engines of War

      - Forge Wardens
      - Steam Copters
      Balloon: slow flyer, with bolt thrower and small guns.
      Unit of Gliders: must start their flight from a cliff, a hill, a forest, a building... or a construct they take one turn to build anywhere.

      - Bolt Thrower (Dwarf Ballista / Hobgoblin Bolt Thrower)
      - Flamethrower (Flame Cannon / Volcano Cannon / Flamethrower)
      - Catapult (Catapult / Titan Mortar)
      - Cannon (Cannon)
      - Volley Gun (Rocket Battery / Organ Gun / Gunnery Volley Gun / Grenade Launcher
      Compensate the lesser use of black powder with increased use of blessings which improve their warmachines.


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    • I know that Thaumaturgy is meant to be « divine » magic, but i find it totally unadapted to this army.
      To me, Thaumaturgy is divine only as far as the Orc gods and the Chaos gods are concerned.

      We want their magic to be much more protective. I'd go straight for Divination.

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      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Thaumaturgy:
      1 Hand of Heaven: Hex Missile Damage
      2 Smite the Unbeliever: Hex (-1 Resilience or Str&AP)
      3 Speaking in Tongues: Hex (loses commanding presence)
      4 Cleansing Fire: Augment (Breath Attack)
      5 Wrath of God: Ground counters.
      6 Trial of Faith: Hex Missile Damage

      Overall: very offensive.

      A Guiding Light: Augment Discipline
      1 Know Thy Enemy: Augment OS, DS, Agi
      2 Fate’s Judgement: Hex Missile Damage
      3 Scrying: Augment Distracting and Hard Target
      4 The Stars Align: Augment Divine Attacks
      5 Unerring Strike: Hex Missile Damage
      6 Portent of Doom: Hex
      Overall: some defenses indeed.

      Yeah. Let's get both Lores, then, and drop most of runic magic.

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    • I was thinking that the actual Ethiopian flag looks really cool for our Gavemites !
      Not sure which version to use, though ^^

      Also this guy looks kinda dwarvish :largegrin:

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      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • It took forever... but here it is.
      The first draft of Kegiz Gavem AB! :largegrin:


      Enjoy... and let me know what to change, due to mistakes, wrong pts cost evaluation, inconsistencies and the like... and of course, your own ideas.

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    • Great to see the draft! Thanks for your work. I'm too lousy with rules to be of any help there, but I really like the flavour build of the army list overall, what with barefoot devotees, mountain sailors, shield-negating shotelai, luxury magic items and so on. Love the free wall bit (2 walls if having 5 or more characters).
    • Ethiopian Dwarf by Artigas

      Master Artigas over on Deviantart has kindly illustrated an Ethiopian Dwarf for the Ninth Age: Be welcome to leave a comment for him under the artwork on Deviantart. As always he sports a great way of incorporating local cultures into an an overarching Dwarven aesthetic. Do check out his quality gallery! It's a tour de force for any Dwarf fantast.

      Artigas wrote:

      I was invited by [Karak Norn Clansman] to collaborate with the wargame The 9th Age with an illustration depicting a dwarf culture that would come from an area equivalent to Ethiopia.
      The region was always a very interesting area, with so many ancient cultures interacting and influencing each other. There is so much to work with, but at the same time, no specific strong identity per se. I didn't want to go the somewhat popular way of simply "dressing up" a dwarf in the local attire of the native peoples, maybe even giving him black racial traits. I do not subscribe to that kind of approach, preferring instead to always mix and combine certain aspects of many cultures in order to have something recognisable yet unique. I wanted this design to be primarily dwarven looking, as I imagine the dwarven culture to be a very uniform looking one, given their rigid traditions and slow pace towards innovation and change. I also wanted it to look more advanced than the local cultures, showcasing the traditional excellence and wealth of their race. As for the racial diversity in fantasy races, even though I subscribe to a range of variation within the dwarven or elven races, I definitely do not fancy having it to be an exact mirror of human phenotypes, specially if corresponding to the exact geographical areas that you expect them to be found in. In other words, not every being that sets foot in Africa should be black, the contrast between human locals and the dwarven tribes in the area serving as a tool to further enhance the effect of having two completely different sapient beings coexisting and interacting.
      My design choices that hint to the African cultures is evident on my use of colours, patterns and tattoos. The axe is also reminiscent of some of the throwing axes found all over Africa. The short sword's scabbard is decorated in a pattern that resembles a viper and the shield is fashioned in such a way that it resembles a cut gem.
      I situated my design between the christian and muslim cultures that were present in that area for so long as much as the more tribal cultures of the Ethiopian men.
      Fascinating and thoughtful interpretation in image and text, as ever, from a learned artist. And as always with styles and interpretations, the more the merrier (see e.g. the rich range of shifting Chaos Dwarf interpretations throughout the editions of Warhammer). I like it a lot, to say the least, and am happy Artigas wished to help us out, even though his life is most busy at the moment. Thanks a lot for the valuable help and for all your efforts!


      The post was edited 2 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • I like many of the ideas in this tread. I am just going to add a few ideas of my own.

      Given the age of the hold one must not forget about a potential historical link to the UD. As master stoneworkers it stands to reason that the dwarves of Kegiz Gavem was helpful in the building of the great pyramids. They might have been allies with the old dynasties before the humans made some societal mistakes. This might have caused the dwarves to have a great mistrust for humans hut also a great knowledge and fear of what transpired and what will happen if it spreads beyond the region of river Napaat. The dwarven settlement on Augea might have a sister settlement on the Taphrian side in an effort to block and control the "sea of the dead". The Augean colony is therefore more of a holy mission than an economical asset. This would explain why they would risk a great war with the ID and fight for a rather irrelevant land area.

      About their technology. I think they would have the ability to build gyrocopter and steam engines but lack the full resources to do so on the same scale as other holds. They might be rich in gold, silver and gems but need to import most of their iron. Having a much greater technological advantage over their enemies, ID excepted, gives them few reasons for putting in the resources to build gyrocopters. They might have the ability to build a fleet of airships that is wind driven by sails which gives them the strategic edge during sieges and when resupplying their colonies. They do not have the ability to build them small enough for tactical use but as they are mostly focused on defense of their holds around Kegiz Gavem it is not a priority. Maintaining copters in the colonies would also be to logistically cumbersome and costly. Fast sailing ships that could out race an ID steam paddler would be more relevant than though warships as they do not have the resources to match the ID´s numbers at sea.
      Being master goldsmiths and jewelers might mean that the most prestigious human royals wears Kegiz Gavem crafted crowns.
      As they live above ground they might also be expert carpenters and trade excellent wood craft made of exotic wood all over the world.

      Fighting ID they would have limited use for flame based weapons and flame cannons och Forge wardens would have low priorities. They would however need something to counter deamons or undead, like runecrafted field artillery that has either flaming or divine attacks.

      If Kegiz Gavem is a holy place for the dwarves then perhaps there should be seekers in the army. An accepted way to atone for ones failure or sin that did not specifically requires might be to travel to Kegiz Garem as a seeker and confess your sin for the priesthood and if they find your soul still true then you are allowed to color your hair white as snow, to remind you of the holy light, and then enter the sacred deep. There you toil like Dhuraz in the dark and whip your back to remember yourself of the ancestral struggle and as labor and sacrifice clears your mind you will find your way back to the righteous path. When the priest have seen that your heart and mind is once again in the right place they send you back to your clan. These seekers forms the guards of the sacred keep and there is no need for a deep watch. Only those seeking redemptions, the priest, runesmiths, and a selected few nobles are allowed into the deep of the keep. The rest lives overground.

      The deep watch could be exchanged for an elite unit with the same stats but no bodyguard rule and instead fearless, aegis (2+ against flaming attacks), and divine attacks. May take great weapon.

      I think that changing the battle runes for the army is a better way to make this army different than giving them access to a path of magic. The path of magic should be for the ID. Perhaps a war platform for a priest that buff close by troops and can use a magic missile as a bound spell should be an option instead of the anvil.

      I also think that a griffon option for a than or king would be fitting. Dropping the flying machines and get a flying character. I also think that the war throne should be off limits. There is but one king in Kegiz Garem and he alone rides to war on the True Throne.
    • Some other thoughts:

      Blunderbuss is a fairly aggressive and short ranged weapon fitting for the Infernal Dwarves. Is it fitting for Kegiz Gavem though?
      Their enemies seems to be light armored and numerous troops in Taphria and Infernal Dwarves on sea and Augea. For defensive warfare the blunderbuss seems like a poor choice and against a numerous opponent with light armor some thing else might be of better use.

      How about they have a shortage of blackpowder due to lack of some of the ingredients. They prioritize to supply the field artillery on the east coast to deterrent coastal bombardments from the ID fleet. This means that they usually have limited supplies of blackpowder for their field armies. On the mainland they use crossbows for range and killing power and bows for maneuverability and rapid fire. They could also have access to curved composite horn bows (Treat as longbow) for clan warriors and rangers. As their enemies are lightly armored, daemons, feral orcs, vermin, undead, and beasts, bolts and arrows if sufficient for the jobb. The fighting against the Saurians have been limited and therefore the need for high armor penetration in Taphria is still limited.
      On Augea and in siege they have special units with handguns for range and armor penetrations. Clan warriors with guild crafted handguns but comes from the special section instead of core to represent their exclusive status. This would give the Kegiz gave an range advantage over their Infernal cousins and a weapon that can penetrate their dark armor.

      As Kegiz Gavem lives in the open and have tamed animals for use in caravans and are surrounded by orcs, beasts, and UD, perhaps they too have taken to use war chariots? No Grudgebusters but dwarven chariot. It is as slow as an advancing dwarf, no extra mobility except for charge range, and trades impact hits for grinding attacks.