As may be seen throughout their scattered holdings in the turbulent Dark Lands, the Chaos Dwarfs are great monument builders. Their ziggurat city of Zharr-Naggrund itself is a vast monument to hierarchy and Hashut, whilst the titanic Gates of Zharr stand testament to megalomaniac power in the most desolate parts of the volcanic landscape.
Similarly, the great strongholds of the Chaos Dwarfs have all been shaped with vast symbolism in mind. The Black Fortress, topped by a giant bull's head and home to the Legion of Azgorh, is built not only as a fortress, but as an unforgiving monument to the damnation of the outcast Infernal Guard which mans its ramparts.
Aside from these gargauntan structures, inside which the bulk of population and military might of the Dawi Zharr empire is housed, the Chaos Dwarfs also builds lesser monuments. The most infamous kind of these are the statues of petrified Sorcerers which line the road to Zharr-Naggrund, yet not all their monuments are crafted out of living creatures.
Most Chaos Dwarf monuments are built out of stone and metal, often decorated with grissly trophies and braziers when their armoured columns pass by in their eternal treks of empire. Many are built to cow and dominate the large Greenskin tribes roaming the Dark Lands, for which purpose they have to be of immense size and sturdy construction, lest an ambitious Warboss would attempt to topple or deface those oppressive monuments in a public act to rally further more tribes to his banner.
Other monuments are smaller, especially those erected by clans or individuals grateful to Hashut for a particularly rich slave catch or great ore veins in that area. Many of the monumental constructions have been erected by victorious armies in a mystically potent place or the spot where they vanquished their enemies.
The shape of these monuments varies immensely, from simple obsidian obelisks to miniature ziggurats with mythological fresques carved along their sides, their innards filled with the skulls of slaves and foes alike. Other monuments are instead pieces of landscape architecture, filled with sculptures, sacrificial pits and altars.
Statues and images of bulls and the holy spawns of Hashut feature prominently on a majority of monuments, as do lightning bolts, cloven skulls and scenes of cruelty and barbarity towards defeated enemies. The whole, vast range of Chaos Dwarf symbols are carved unto their numerous monuments. Many of these symbols are clearly grounded in a will to appear fearsome and strong, others are more esoteric, often originating in the Chaos Wastes in the far north or from the priesthood of Hashut's everlasting quest of mystical insights, or indeed from that most vile and intricate craft of them all: Daemonsmithing.
Whatever their size and shape, the monuments of the Chaos Dwarfs are all carved with inscriptions in their own fell Khaozalid language, and sometimes with secondary texts in the script of the Chaos tounge or decidedly more cryptic alphabets. Even to the illiterate, the very look of these carvings seems to repulse the eye with their stylistic promises of oppression, violence and doom, even when not set amidst fresques of the same inclination.
These are generally boastful inscriptions, filled with words seemingly mad with power, contempt for others and a cruelty without limits. They breathe the mystical religion and world view of their carvers and are yet another window through which one may gain a glimpse of the Dawi Zharr mind.
A great many of these lines are curses against enemies, particularly the ones daring to defile the monument. Many of these curses are very real and founded in Daemonology, as may be seen in the weird glow or trails of smoke occassionally emanating from the script.
Whatever their geographical location or the year they were erected, these monuments, all taken together, tell the story of the Chaos Dwarfs as they themselves wrote it.
They wrote it in stone and metal, in fire and sorcery, in idols and altars. They wrote it in the flayed skin and the crushed skulls of vanquished enemies, and in the broken bones and torment of horror visited upon their slaves and sacrificial victims. They wrote it with deeds, and they also wrote it with words.
Those words all contribute to the great claims of empire which ruthless Zharr-Naggrund and all its vile holdings have in the Dark Lands and beyond. Their aims stand noone behind in this regard. The Dawi Zharr will not rest until they have reshaped the whole world into a hell of slavery and flames, and come the End Times, they believe this will happen.
These are the carvings of the Blacksmiths of Chaos.
- - -
"The ancestral spirits abandoned us, yet the Bull delivered us out of hell. Praise Him! Death to the vandal and Daemon."
- Ancient inscription two paces away from unnaturally deep claw marks in the roof of the Red Socket Cave, deep in Zorn Uzkul
"Here Warlord Ulkhranibal the Strong vanquished fifty thousand Orcs and three hundred thousand of their lesser kin. Bull Centaurs led the charge. The foe was crushed, then captured, then flayed, maimed and gouged. We left them out in the open to the mercy of the elements. May the Greenskin heed this warning, and should he or anyone else seek to defile these runes, then a flood of biting spirits will shred the intruder. Carved by Marthuk the Blind seven hundred and seventythree years after the Coming of Hashut."
- Ancient inscription under the chin of the defaced Bull King statue in the eastern Blasted Wastes, around which the old mass graves of Chaos Dwarf warriors were recently exposed by a storm
"Great was the fall of Zhargon, great is the end of all. Come doom, come damnation. There will be fire at the end, then nothing. Anyone who tampers with this inscription are to be torn by the Daemons Yzhxrak, Kriok and Malahatyss and fed to the Great Unclean Ones in the abyssal depths of the Realm of Chaos. The weather itself will be tormented by Azyr should erosion occur. Hashut wills it."
- Ancient inscription high upon the Bare Rock, southwest of Daemon's Stump, where the Doomseer sect once stabbed their flesh following the end of the Second Kingdom
"Revered Clan Khurnakizul contributed generously from its deep coffers to the ascension of the ten sisters. Its folk were the most devout of the faithful, the most bloodied of those offering slaves to mass sacrifical ceremonies. All of our castes carried mountain and sky for the sake of High Hashut's divine satisfaction. May the Father of Darkness be content with His best servants. The fortunate defilers will be shot. The unfortunate will wake inside their own nightmares, turned inside out and never to return. By His will, and by our magnificient lord Sorcerer-Prophet Azharmuk's gratitude. Signed, Despot Turnakipal Azhargoth in the [Lacuna] after the Coming of Hashut."
- Inscription on the backside of a shrine altar between the fourth Fire Quarry and the statue of Sorcerer-Prophet Azharmuk the Foolhardy, off the road to Zharr-Naggrund
"Like the giant tramples the mite, like the master tramples the slave rebellion. Such was my triumph today over the feeble traitor Warbosses of the Yellow Tooth and Eyespitter tribes. Their hosts are in chains, their remains are displayed for all to see. Touch this and die by disease and black fire, weakling intruder. Script carved by the strongest, Hulgarth himself. All for Hashut!"
- Inscription on bronze plaque set into one of the golden idols surrounding the bottomless Last Death Chasm monument, close to Gnashrak's Lair (double language inscriptions, both in Khaozalid script and the Dark Tounge)
"I, Zharrtur, stamped my mark here in the four thousand and six hundred and first year since the Coming of Hashut. The Kurgan tribes of the Kun, the Varnaki and the Grelon were massacred. I left not a single newborn alive, and the cattle was burned with their camps. The final goal is close at hand, the conclusion of this long campaign will be the conquest of Zharr-Naggrund. That will be the beginning of the end of all things. Now, not even the Dark Gods themselves can stop me, for I hold the seven artefacts of Harkhal and the cloak of Rynoth the Daemon Lord in my stony hands. The False Moon has been recovered from the bowels of the earth, the Three Lost Holds have been captured and sealed. Woe to the vanquished, woe to the fool that touch this accursed stele. Carved by sorcery by Zharrtur the Great himself."
- Inscription on a tilting obsidian stele eighty miles from the northern Polar Gate of Chaos, currently in territory possessed by the Scalemurderers Dragon Ogre kinsgroup
"Drazhoath was here, he left not a single bug alive in Black Valley."
- Giant inscription in the naked rock of Black Valley, west of the Black Fortress
"If you find this, then know that the power of Sorcerer-Prophet Nir-Kezhar extends even to these abysmal depths. We will ravage and tear apart this location, too, in due time, and we will strip it of its mineral wealth and life. Lay your hand upon this and drown in molten rock, akin to the fate of Urlak Steelskin."
- Red-glowing inscription on a granite statue of a masked Chaos Dwarf warrior with trophies from three beheaded enemies at his back, found by Indic pearl divers inside the rotting carcass of a Megalodon at the bottom of the Teal Bloom Lagoon, outside the City of Spires
"A thousand curses upon King Bazrak of Karak Azul! Our false cousins will be haunted for generations by our restless spirits and the Deamons I hereby conjure to avenge our bitter defeat. I am covered in ashes, o Father of Darkness. Hashut, crush us not!
- Hastily carved inscription inside an abandoned Dwarf outpost filled with burnt Dawi Zharr bones in the eastern reaches of Death Pass, Worlds' Edge Mountains
"Here lies Zharnukibul the Wise, he who built the three Great Soulrefineries and constructed the mighty Sea Bull, he who left behind four widows and thirty children, he who amassed a fortune and served his Prophets Neragoth, Kharbur and Azhurgoroth diligently for four centuries. He was buried three thousand and ninetyseven years after the Founding of Zharr-Naggrund. The looter of his grave will not live to tell the tale, that is assured by the imprisoned Daemons Hzulbjorn, Kzarx and Barabiron. Carved by his eldest son, Zharribal Redbeard, in our script and the northern runes."
- Somewhat damaged inscription in an obsidian block inside the cracked-open mausoleum of Zharnukibul, in the Plain of Zharr, where the bones of the dead Norscan grave robbers and defilers may still be seen under the piles of ash (double language inscription, both in Khaozalid script and the Dark Tounge)
"Slave, you toil for Hashut, yet you are unworthy to speak His name."
- Inscription written in steel inlays, above the monumental stone arch doorway to the Dawi Zharr mine of Grimazul-Ghali, infamously known for the fact that all slaves who enter have their tongues cut out
"I do not fear your weak Gods."
- Inscription found on one of the skulls among the Road of Skulls leading to Zorn Uzkul; unlike the rest of the wording, the term 'weak' is written in the crude dialect of Rinkul, and can be translated as 'mortal'
"I shall drink from your skull."
- Inscription found on another skull among the Road of Skulls
"Came fer da gold, but found da steel of Harghazhakh."
- Crude Hobgoblin inscription, more akin to graffiti, found on numerous skulls along the Road of Skulls
"I am Ozymandias, Prophet of Prophets; look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
- Inscription on the base of a huge plinth, which is all that remains of a giant statue that once stood in the Dark Lands, surrounded by the bones of the Dawi Zharr who followed Ozymandias in rebellion against the Iron Ziggurat
"That is not dead which can eternal lie. Yet with strange aeons even death may die."
- Obsidian inscription in the crypt of Sorcerer-Prophet Hazzkar the Blind (located half a mile behind his crumbling petrified corpse statue), interpreted as a prophecy of the End Times regarding either the fate of petrified Sorcerer-Prophets, or the ascension and final destruction of Undeath at the hands of Chaos (triple language inscription, both in Khaozalid, the Dark Tounge and, perplexingly enough, a bastardized version of ancient Nehekharan hieroglyphs)
"... and the heavens shall be swathed in darkness and lit by lightning and balefire; and the ground shall crack and quake and roar to let forth the flaming bowels of the earth; and those mighty turned to stone shall wake to walk again; and the slave shall turn upon the master, and the dead shall turn upon the living; and everywhere order shall turn into Chaos; and crops shall fail and plague shall reign; and works shall be shattered and lands shall die; and the lords of the world shall clash, and gods and mortals alike shall slay each other, and horrible wars shall rage and even titans shall fall. These shall be the signs of final doom, and by them, all shall know that the End Times are come..."
- Excerpt from a forbidden stele locked away in secret chambers beneath Mingol Zharr-Naggrund
"These wise commands of ancestors are here carved,
utterances of pious men, upon gouged Gorgoth.
Azherakul copied them with care to words here carve,
Glowing upon high, above the Shrine Cage of Drozh.
As a beardling, be obedient.
As a lowbeard, be industrious.
As a fullbeard, be fierce.
As a greybeard, be dominant.
When dying, be vengeful."
- Gorgothian Maxims
List of Contents by Contributors: Chaos Dwarf Monumental Inscriptions
KNC: 1-10, 17-18.
Fuggit Khan: 11-14.