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Characters / Total War Warhammer The Dwarfen Kingdoms

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"Pay back every grudge!"

"We sons of Grungni may have drunk deep from the bitter waters of misfortune, but we yet survive. Whilst a single Dwarf draws breath, we will fight the evils that assail us, and we will never, ever give up."

The Dwarfs are an ancient race, once masters of a mighty empire, vast swathes of which are now lost to them. Yet they are driven by the need for vengeance, and remain defiant and unbowed. Dwarfs are shorter and stouter than Men, and are known for their broad shoulders, magnificent beards and dauntless hardiness. The most defining characteristic of Dwarfs, however, is a gruff and stubborn nature. Their innate obstinacy is the stuff of legends and countless tales speak of both the great fortunes and the tragedies of this immovable resolve. This tenacity is reflected in the makeup and strength of their armies, which are expert proponents of the defensive style of fighting, with heavily-armoured and unshakeable infantry sheltering deadly ranged units and a fearsome array of finely-engineered artillery. They do however lack any cavalry and so, with one or two exceptions, are resolutely slow-moving.


Dwarfs do not forget grudges, indeed they harbour them, and there is no word for forgiveness in their language. Once someone has made an enemy of a Dwarf, they have made a foe that will last their lifetime and the lives of their descendants as well. Dwarfs record any slight or transgression against them and each stronghold has its own Book of Grudges. Positive accounts of the Dwarfs tenacity speak of perseverance against all odds, a refusal to ever willingly accept defeat. Other sagas tell of dogged loyalty — of Dwarfs holding true to their word, honouring oaths despite vast dangers or the passage of centuries.

Rising high above the world in an endless series of jagged peaks stand the World's Edge Mountains. Beneath these snow-covered pinnacles, the Dwarfs have dug into the bedrock of the world, carving out mines and halls into a kingdom which they call the Karaz Ankor, meaning ‘the Everlasting Realm’. Although many of the Dwarfen strongholds now lie in ruin and have become the lairs of evil creatures, the glories of their past are not forgotten by the Dwarf race. Within the stony heart of every Dwarf there resides a deep-set and burning desire to avenge the grudges of old and reclaim what was once their own.


The Dwarfs have access to an expensive but elite force of heavy infantry and overwhelming firepower, favouring static gunlines, attrition warfare and steady advances over deft flanking and manoeuvring. This comes with strong trade and technology options, access to the Underway for easy transport of armies through otherwise impassable territory, and units possessing excellent morale and magic resistance. However, this must also be weighed against small unit sizes, a complete lack of both cavalry and magic, and a general lack of mobility across the board. Planned flanking and baiting can see individual Dwarf units being isolated, overwhelmed and destroyed.

Introduced in Total War: Warhammer, the Dwarfen Kingdom is playable in custom games, the Grand Campaign, and Mortal Empires.

NOTE ON SPELLING: In Warhammer, it's spelt Dwarfs and Dwarfen, not Dwarves and Dwarven

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    General Tropes
  • Achilles' Heel: The Dwarfs, due to their slow nature and low numbers, are rather vulnerable against both cavalry and chariots. Though their heavy weight makes the charges less painful to take compared to many other races' infantry, it doesn't bode well for them when they don't have any proper answer to mounted enemies outside of their Slayers, who have no armour. In other words, their only halfway decent anti-cavalry unit will drop like flies if they are counter-charged.
    • Dwarfs are also, somewhat ironically, deathly vulnerable to artillery. As their armies consist of tightly-packed formations of heavy and slow infantry, enemy artillery can deal tons of damage to them, and the dwarfs have no fast or flying units who can shut down artillery cost-effectivelynote . Their usual go-to option is counter-battery fire, which is much more inaccurate than on the tabletop and enemy artillery can usually kill its value in Dwarf infantry before the Dwarfs can shut them down.
    • And while their universal access to heavy armour means that lighter hitting enemies pose little threat, enemies that have armour-piercing attacks like Empire Handgunners will shred them. The Dwarfs are considered a bottom tier army in multiplayer because they're so easy to counter just by loading up on armour-piercing units.
  • Anti-Armor: The Peak Gate Guards, an elite variant of the normal Hammerers who wreck armored units, as they have the special trait "Sunder Armor". Besides being terribly expensive, they also get magical weapons, making them a terror on any battlefield.
  • Anti-Magic: Dwarfs are naturally resistant to magic (as in all of their units have an inherent twenty five percent resistance to it), and one skill that Runesmiths can gain allows them to outright reduce the total amount of Winds of Magic an enemy army has access to. This is to balance the fact they don't have access to traditional spells.
  • Army Scout: Dwarf Rangers are special units responsible for watching the mountain ranges and other isolated tunnel, and warn the holds of any incoming danger. As a bunch of Mountain Men (unlike every other underground Dwarf) and Combat Pragmatists (they do perform ambushes and sabotage), they are regarded with a level of distrust. In game they have a wide variety of traits that help them with this role, including Vanguard Deployment, Stalk, and Fast for a Dwarf.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Double Subverted. The Dwarfs elect a High King from a few royal candidates, where they are judged based on the might of their deeds within a year. Thorgrim Grudgebearer became High King after all of the candidates but him returned after having slain powerful beasts or claiming victory over a fearsome army. Thorgrim was chosen as High King because he made contact with a Hold in Norsca that was thought to be lost. Thorgrim does kick a lot of ass, but it's not the reason he has his authority.
  • An Axe to Grind: The trademark weapon of most Dwarfs.
  • Badass Army: Between their heavily-armoured and highly disciplined infantry, fearsome gunpowder weapons, and sophisticated steam-powered technology, the Dwarfs are truly a force to be reckoned with despite their modest numbers. It should be noted unlike the the Empire, who has a professional army, Dwarfs lack that, instead relying on local militia to form up the ranks of its military. These "militia" consist of hardened warriors, equipped with the finest weapons and armors, and an unbreakable will to defend, or reclaim their holds. Some of these warriors, such as the famed Longbeards, are centuries old, and bring unmatched experience. The Dwarfs have been fighting a war against the Orcs, and Skaven for untold millenniums and stand strong.
  • Badass Beard: Magnificently so. One of their units, the Iron Drakes, actually have beard armor because, since they are units that carry flamethrower weapons, they risk burning off their beards if they are not careful. Losing one's beard is considered one of the greatest tragedies a Dwarf could endure, removing one by force the ultimate insult — they actually once started a huge war with the elves because the pointy-ears shaved a dwarfen ambassador's beard.
  • Battlecry: Several, though the most frequently heard is "Khazukan kazukit-ha!" which, in Khazalid, means "Look out! The Dwarfs are on the warpath!"
  • Beneath the Earth: The Underway, a massive system of underground trade highways created by the dwarfs during the golden age of their civilization. As the dwarf empire has fallen into decay, huge swaths of the Underway have been abandoned and populated by greenskins and other monsters. In-game, Dwarf and Greenskin armies can use the Underway to effectively teleport short distances across the campaign map, allowing them to bypass enemy armies and terrain obstacles, albeit at the risk of being intercepted by an enemy army and being forced into an Underway battle which can end in a Total Party Kill for the loser.
  • Best Served Cold: It matters not for how long, Dwarfs will forever remember their grudges and will attempt to fulfill them for eternity.
  • Berserk Button: Several.
    • Just mentioning Greenskins, or Skaven will probably cause them to spit in disgust, let alone actually seeing one. To Dwarfs, Skaven and Greenskins should be exterminated like vermin.
    • Never mention the Chaos Dwarfs. Talking about the above will get angry grumbling or screaming, but this will get a cold, hard stare, and threats of immediate death unless you never bring it up again.
  • BFG: The Irondrakes' optional weapon, the "Trollhammer Torpedo", is a kind of crude dwarf-portable rocket launcher. Rather than being designed for a light anti-tank role like real-world infantry-fired rockets, these are instead built to quickly take down large creatures like trolls and giants.
  • Boring, but Practical: Most Dwarf high-tier units are simply upgraded low-tier units with better stats, filling the same combat roles but doing it better. Longbeards are a straight upgrade of Dwarf Warriors and are in turn replaced by Ironbreakers or Hammerers, Quarrelers are replaced by Rangers who are in turn replaced by Bugman's Rangers, Giant Slayers are a straight Slayer upgrade, Cannons are better Bolt Throwers and replaced by Organ Guns in turn, and so forth. The exceptions to this are Irondrakes and Gyrocopters, whose unit variants specialize in different targets, and Thunderers who are the only dwarf handgun infantry (though one could make the argument that Trollhammer Irondrakes fill much the same role but better).
  • The Blacksmith: Dwarfs are noted to be the finest craftsmen in the entire Old World, and as a result have universally high armor ratings, even in their ranged units, to the point that the Dawi can often just completely ignore most races' lower-tier missile units. It has been said that they are physically incapable of cutting corners or doing a shoddy job, so proud are they of their work. Their Runesmiths infuse arcane magic into their blacksmithing, making them magical blacksmiths.
    • As of Mortal Empires they've gotten their own mechanic based on the Tomb Kings' Mortuary Cult: Dwarf Forging, which lets them smith some of the most powerful and high-quality sets of armour, weapons, talismans, banners, and Enchanted Items in the entire world to represent that they're the finest smiths in the Warhammer universe. It's relatively unchanged, save that instead of canopic jars they require Oathgold (very rare ingots they get from Runesmith Skills, Special Buildings, and completing grudges), and because of their immense skill they can break down items the player no longer needs for extra resources.
  • Bling of War: Dwarf armours, especially those of Thanes, Lords, or their elite unit such as Hammerers, are marvels of blacksmithing, often adorned with gold engraving, glowing runes, and many jewels. The most impressive thing about all this is that it's all still practical, and Dwarfs have the highest universal armor ratings in the entire game.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Not nearly as bad as, say, the Lizardmen, but most Humans and Elves can't comprehend or believe the ridiculous lengths the Dwarfs will go to avenge even the smallest of grudges. To Dwarfs, oaths must be fulfilled, and grudges must be paid back. Humans would have long forgotten that their grandfather twenty generations back in their family tree didn't pay his workers in full during a business deal once. The Dwarfs have a detailed account of that incident, have been stewing on it for a couple centuries now, they've been working their way down a long list of similarly detailed grudges... and now they're coming to collect that one gold piece your ancestor cheated out of them, and they don't care that you have no clue what they're talking about. You don't pay up, they're taking it back by force and damn the cost of doing so, even if it costs more than what they're owed.
  • But Thou Must!: One random event tells you that your people have suffered a grievous insult, but wonders if perhaps this time the grudge should be allowed to slide so you can focus on more important matters. However, both options involve settling the grudge anyway, have the exact same campaign effects, and their descriptions both mock the narration for being so cowardly and un-Dwarfish.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Dwarfs refer to Warhammer races (including themselves) by their names in the Dwarfen language. They call themselves "Dawi", Humans "Umgi", Elves "Elgi", Vampires "Zangunaz", Orcs "Urks" and Goblins "Grobi".
  • A Commander Is You: An Elitist/Technical/Loyalist faction. Dwarfs are slow-moving and small in number, but a combination of heavily-armored and disciplined infantry, with devastating ranged weaponry and artillery, can turn them into well-coordinated Mighty Glaciers. Their racial trait includes Undying Loyalty, to the point that they will not have civil wars, though their stubbornness can complicate their internal diplomacy.
  • Cool Old Guy: The Longbeards, the elite infantry of Dwarfish armies, are five centuries old (give or take) and have fought in more battles and against more things than any other Dwarf. You can spot them by their beards which stretch down to brush on the floor and their constant grumbling about how goblins were larger and meaner and everything was just generally made better "back in their day". No young Dwarf would ever dare argue with the word of a Longbeard, as they have the experience and the beard to prove it.
  • Cool Gun: Dwarf firearms are the greatest ones in the world, with a guarantee in quality that makes the musket of the humblest Dwarf smith better than a Empire's engineers. There is no real functional difference between the two in-game however.
  • Cold Sniper: More like cold spotter. Ulthuar’s Rangers, a Ranger regiment of Renown, is an odd variant of this. For one, they use throwing axes but fit the bill otherwise, as they have a special sniping ability that debuffs the targeted enemy unit, and makes it weak to concentrated ranged fire.
  • Conlang: The Dwarfen language of Khazalid is the most thoroughly constructed of Warhammer's fictional languages. It is written with Norse-looking runes that represent Semitic-sounding triconsonantal pronunciation. Notably, unlike many fictional languages, Khazalid actually has it's own slang as well. "Umgi" is the Dwarf word for "human", and the literal meaning of "Umgak" is "Like a human". But in common use, "Umgak" means "Poorly made", as in "Who made this Umgak weapon anyway?".
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Slayers are amazing units to use against massive foes like Giants, Arachnaroks, dragon ogres and so forth. Against everything else? Not that much.
    • Same thing goes for the Bolt Throwers. Though they can easily take down giant creatures where other forms of artillery would struggle, they are rather ineffective against everything else.
  • Crutch Character: The Dwarfs arguably have the easiest time in the campaign, thanks to having a large selection of well-armored units that are simple to use, as well as consistently good relations with the minor Dwarfholds, which makes forming alliances and confederacies a breeze. Their economy also ramps up quite quickly once the right buildings have been constructed, allowing them to turn out higher quality armies in greater numbers.
    • Also, almost all of the possible dwarf territory exists either in the mountains with at most two ways to approach the settlement (with most mountain passes causing attrition to armies), or in an open plain that's surrounded by mountainous terrain. Once the Greenskins and Skaven are taken care of, as they are the only other races capable of bypassing the mountains, the Dwarfs are incredibly difficult to attack and besiege.
  • The Determinator: A race-wide trait shared by all Dwarfs. Dwarfs are naturally stubborn and will not ever give up, no matter how bad the odds are stacked against them. Despite countless losses to the Skaven and Greenskins, the Dwarf's will is to fight on against them forever, until they lose every mountain hold. This, being the setting it is, is usually Played for Drama, as their unbreakable will often leads to them doing stupid things in the name of avenging their many grudges, usually creating more grudges to be avenged after failing. In-game, their units tends to have extreme mass, meaning nothing is getting through them soon.
  • Death from Above:
    • Unusually for how their race is usually portrayed, the Dwarfs have access to two separate flying bomber units; the Gyrocopters and the larger Gyrobombers. They represent some of the very few rapidly-moving units the Dwarfs have access to.
    • Dwarfs are known for their artillery, and they have some of the most effective long-range siege weaponry in the game, and with a diversity of different pieces to prove hard-counters to different varieties of threats. For example, grudge throwers and cannons for pounding down static fortifications at long range, organ guns and flame cannons for devastating infantry, and bolt throwers and trollhammer torpedoes for slaying monstrous beasts.
  • Death Seeker: Slayers; Dwarfs who have dishonored themselves to a sufficient degree that their only hope for absolution is a glorious death in battle against some vicious monster — and they can't throw the fight. In gameplay terms, this means they get a bonus against monster units, are immune to Terror, and fight harder the closer they get to death. However, Slayers are, uniquely among the Dwarfen roster, entirely unarmoured and very vulnerable. Mortal Empires adds Giant Slayers to the mix, veteran Slayers that wield massive Greataxes, who are even more skilled against beasts and armored units due having killed so many things that they now have to test their luck at finding an honorable death against giants.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the game, grudges are a unique gameplay mechanic to the Dwarfs, as basically timed missions that the player has to complete or they begin to suffer increasing public order penalties. One Grudge requires you to send a saboteur to punish a rival Dwarf clan, an act that given what we know about the Dwarfs already can easily lead to a war, all because this clan stole away a halfling cook who made a good nut and fig pudding that the High King enjoyed.
  • Drunken Master: Bugman's Rangers can drink some of their fabled brew, and become empowered temporarily. Not to mention their fondness to use alcohol-powered weapons...
  • Drop the Hammer: A favored weapon of the Dwarfs alongside the axe. This is especially notable with the Hammerers, who wield sledgehammers taller than themselves that grant them armour-piercing and make them terrors in melee.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Anvil of Doom, Doomseekers... you have to admit it reflects their fatalistic nature.
  • Dying Race: Almost as bad as the High Elves. The infamous War of the Beard, constant conflicts with the Skaven, Greenskins, and others for their mountain holds, has brought the Dwarf Empire to its knees, and the total population of Dwarfs is shrinking. They won't go out without a fight, however, and the High King seeks to change this.
  • Elective Monarchy: Dwarfs have an option for this if a king dies without an heir, known as a Grand Council. Clans from all over the Karaz Ankor will travel to Karaz-a-Karak and prospective candidates will hold a recounting of deeds, with the candidate whose deeds are the most impressive being crowned victor. Thorgrim was elected in this manner by being the first dwarf since the Age of Woe to confirm the existence of Kraka Drak and re-establish diplomatic contact with the northern mountain hold, previously thought to have been lost.
  • Elite Mooks: Ironbreakers are heavily-armored Dwarf warriors able to hold for long periods of time, and are the single best defensive unit in the game, wielding secondary blasting charges that they can chuck at the enemy for explosive splash damage. And then you have the even tougher Norgrimling’s Ironbreakers who have even better stats and Vanguard Deployment. In an army of Stone Wall units, they truly exemplify the Mighty Glacier nature of the army.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: The infamous War of Vengeance. Part of the reason why the Dwarfs and Elves both now have Vestigial Empires; they were manipulated by the Dark Elves into going to war against the elves, but it was the arrogance of the High Elven king — and the blunt stubbornness of the dwarfen ambassador — that led to the war taking place. While they're willing to work together to defeat the forces of Disorder, and some members of their species can gain the other's respect (Eltharion's sheer hatred of the greenskins actually impressed the dwarfs), they still hate each other over it. In-game, the War of Vengeance can be recanted in Mortal Empires, and there's even a special building you can build in Lothern if you capture it as the Dwarfs, the sacked Palace of the Phoneix King (Which gives massive sums of gold every turn representing how the Dwarfs are talking all the High Elves wealth for themselves).
  • The Engineer: Dwarf engineers are the foremost experts in engineering in the Old World, and their race is just behind the Skaven as the most technologically advanced in the entire setting. They have created innovations such as firearms, war machines, hot air balloons and helicopters. When on the battlefield, they oversee their engines of war and with a glance at the machines and the battlefield, they can expertly tweak and manipulate their creations to optimize the shot. In game, there's an Engineer Hero Unit, armed with a sniper rifle and a Warhammer. They excel at buffing ranged units and artillery around them, making them invaluable for shooting armies.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: Technically the Dwarfen pantheon includes every single Dwarf who ever died, as the Dwarfs believe that the spirits of their ancestors live among them and guide them. Even so, the ancestors common to all Dwarfs are given the most respect, and are roughly similar to a pantheon. These are simply referred to as the Ancestor Gods. Valaya is the literal mother of the entire Dwarfen people, and Grungni and Grimnir are the fathers of roughly half. Their direct descendants make up the other Ancestor Gods. All in all, there are seven:
    • Grungni, God of Mining and Stoneworking. Considered to be the patriarch of all Dwarf kind. Dwarf lore states that he is the reason Dwarfs live underground, as he foresaw the coming of Chaos and thought his people would be safer that way.
    • Grimnir: God of War. When the Dwarfs migrated to the mountains they would eventually call home, Grimnir protected them from the monsters roaming the land. He is the patron of the Slayers, and given that he's depicted with a mohawk, might actually be the founder of the Slayer Cult.
    • Valaya: Goddess of Home and Healing. Valaya is the one Dwarf that all Dwarfs are related to, as she was married to both Grungni and Grimnir. She is creditted with founding Karaz-a-Karak and Karak Eight Peaks. She is also the patron of brewers.
    • Gazul: God of Death. In a pleasant aversion of Everybody Hates Hades, Gazul is revered as a protector of the Dwarfen dead and established the Dwarfen tradition of venerating ones ancestors. He is also the reason they despise the Undead. Interestingly, he is the only Dwarf in the setting portrayed with a sword.
    • Smednir: God of Metalworking and Ore Refinement. Unsurprisingly, he is considered to be very important to daily life. He is said to have taught his younger brother Thungni craftsmanship. Together, they created the first runic weapons, including Ghal Maraz.
    • Thungni: God of Runesmithing. Is said to have delved deep and discovered the secrets to runic magic, and also discovered that only he, his father Grungni, and certain of his own descendants had the ability to inscribe magic runes into items they forged. Every Runesmith can therefore trace their lineage back to Thungni and Grungni.
    • Morgrim: God of Engineers. The oldest son of Grimnir and Valaya, he invented the bolt-thrower and stone-thrower during the first incursion of Chaos.
  • Fantastic Racism: It varies from race to race, but generally the Dawi view the other mortal races as beneath them in some manner:
    • Humans are soft. They also seem to be unable to do anything right, whether it's building a castle, a gun, or just brewing a keg of ale. That being said, umgi are still not as bad as the elves, their markets are always hungry for dwarfen expertise, most of them properly respect the Dawi's superior skills, and their first Emperor did help old King Kurgan Ironbeard many, many centuries ago, so we should step in and help his young Empire if they are being invaded.
    • Elves are even softer than humans, and arrogant magic-using bastards besides. The Khazalid word for "untrustworthy" literally means "like an elf". Also, Caledor II shaved our envoys' beards; we will never forgive that.
    • Greenskins and Skaven are utterly evil vermin who should be wiped clean from the Old World without mercy.
  • Fatal Flaw: If the fatal flaw of the Elves is arrogance, then for the Dwarfs, it's stubbornness. Their uncompromising and supremely vindictive outlooks on the world and its inhabitants have lead to them throw themselves into an unending Cycle of Revenge that has stretched both their population and resources perilously thin.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Type 3. Due to Deliberate Values Dissonance with other cultures, a lot of people end up with entries in the Dwarfs' Book of Grudges with excessive requirements for restitution over seemingly minor incidents, like an Imperial town paying the Dwarfs short a single penny. It doesn't matter what the severity of the slight was, the principle of it is always Serious Business.
    • Dwarfs will even hold grudges against each other for the most petty and frivolous of reasons like losing a favorite Chef to another hold.
    Under Morgrim's disappointed glare, did the Dwarfs of Karak Ziflin steal away a cook bound for the kitchens of Karaz-A-Karak! The secret of his Nutty Fig Pudding was the reason - a spiteful move to deprive the High King of one of his favorites in petty retribution for a difficult Reckoner's inspection. A grudge has been recorded and there will be no negotiations with Ziflin until they give up the halfling!
  • Fiery Redhead: Enforced trope. A Dwarf Slayer covers his hair in orange dye, and recklessly throws himself into the thick of battle, being a Death Seeker and all.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: The Irondrakes are a relatively recent addition to the Dwarfs’ armies, armed with a drakegun spitting short-ranged but powerful bolt of searing flames for tunnel warfare against Night Goblin and Skaven Sappers. Likewise, Flame Cannons, the BFG version of the trope, shoot a burning ball of tar to set entire units on fire.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Inverted. Dwarf language lacks a word for 'forgiveness'. Grudges can be settled and subsequently forgotten with correct form of recompence (usually involving the blood of the offender, the offender's family, closest friends, distant friends, hometown And Your Little Dog, Too!), but the keeping of unsettled grudges is a near-sacrament to the otherwise secular dwarfs.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Master Engineers, whose mere presence can improve the firing power of ranged weapons and artillery.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Dwarfs are said to be a declining civilization in the fluff, which cannot be further away from their depiction in-game. All Dwarf factions have diplomatic bonus with each other, allowing them to easily confederate. This makes it impossible for the Dwarfs not to control nearly half of the map by the end game as they confederate with each other and expand from there into a giant blob.
    • This trope has been repeatedly Zig-Zagged during the game's development time. The main Dwarf faction (Thorgrim in Karaz Karak) has always had the problem that the main Greenskins faction (Grimgor in Black Crag) starts out directly next to them and the two factions are effectively at perma-war. Once one has wiped out the other, the surviving faction now has practically no checks to prevent it from spreading through the World's Edge Mountains. During the initial release of Warhammer 1 this battle was heavily weighed in Grimgor's favour and ensured a greenskins-controlled mountain range unless you played as Karaz-a-Karak, and it has since jumped back and forth every time the auto-resolve mechanic got re-adjusted. In particular, following the patches for Rise of the Vampire Coast and Shadow and the Blade in Mortal Empires, the auto-resolve mechanic heavily favoured Thorgrim, leading to the infamous "Dwarfentide" or "Beardtide" where Dwarfs begin to dominate the eastern half of the world map.
  • Gender Rarity Value: In the lore. Dwarf male births exceed female births at about a six-to-one ratio. As a result, dwarf brides are literally worth their weight in gold as the price of their dowry. This tends to lend male Dwarfs a preference towards larger brides. This has also had the side effect of further depleting the Dwarfen race.
  • Geometric Magic: Dwarf Rune Magic takes this form. They cannot channel it the way Men and Elves can, but they recognize the power of the Winds of Magic all the same, and their Runesmiths are experts in shaping and binding that magic into objects with special symbols and materials. So while Dwarfs may not have any wizards nor can they use more abstract functions like divining the future, they have comparatively many magical weapons and tools that have set and definitive supernatural properties such as being really sharp, all of which are of great power.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Dwarf artillery pieces are very destructive if left unchecked, and very quickly destroyed if they are checked.
    • Slayers are only marginally faster than the rest of the dwarfs, but they'll tear monsters a new one if allowed to attack them in melee. Getting them to that melee mostly intact, though? Good luck with that.
    • Hammerers are remarkably fragile for their high tier and armor, not helped by by their very low melee defense, and will crumble quickly under sustained fire or if left unsupported in a melee.
  • Gold Fever: One of Dwarfs’ fault is that they crave material wealth somewhat, never to the point of breaking their laws, but it turns into an gold obsession for miners and Dwarfs are notoriously hard to negotiate with when it comes to contracts involving money. It makes them Not So Different to one of their most hated enemies, the Dragons.
  • Grumpy Old Man: As a whole they are seen as this by almost everyone, but even by Dwarfen standards, Longbeards are this. They will spend practically all day complaining about various things — if you have few or even no Grudges to settle, they'll complain there's nothing to complain about. This grumpy cynicism manifests most impressively in having an Encourage aura that improves nearby units' Leadership — or in the case of the Old Grumblers, a Regiment of Renown for Longbeards with Great Weapons, an area of effect buff that relieves the fatigue of friendly units — which is a mix of their Seen It All attitude with some unheard Inspirational Insults.
  • Hermetic Magic: Dwarf Rune magic takes this form. They cannot channel it the way Men and Elves can, but they recognize the power of the Winds of Magic all the same, and their Runesmiths are experts in shaping and binding that magic into objects with special symbols and materials. So while Dwarfs may not have any wizards, they have comparatively many magical weapons and tools.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The holds of Kraka Drak and Karak Zorn. Both are totally isolated from the rest of Dwarf-kind, having been cut off from the rest of Dwarf civilization during the fall of the old empire, which has led to their culture diverging from the dwarfen norm.
  • Hobbits: Despite the Dwarfs usually being regarded as insular and mildly xenophobic, Halfling cooks are apparently welcome in the Karaz Ankor. They must be pretty popular, too; the infamous "Fig Pudding Grudge" tasks you with performing a hero action against another Dwarf faction, all because they poached the chef that made your King's favorite dessert.
  • Honor Before Reason: As detailed under the Serious Business entry, the Dwarfs do not relent on their honour system for any reason. More to the point, this trope is why Thorgrim Grudgebearer and Ungrim Ironfist do not start out with their legendary gear; they didn't lose it or have to make it like the other Legendary characters, they swear an oath in the pre-battle speeches to not to use them until they've finished their quests. Thorgrim even swears that the Great Book of Grudges would not be opened again unless a particular battle is won, which would cause an incredibly important cultural relic to be forbidden forever if Thorgrim lost the fight.
  • Hold the Line: The Dwarfs, thanks to their high morale, endurance, and better armors, naturally adopt this tactic. However, the champions of this move among the Dwarfs are the Ironbreakers, Dwarfs entirely clad in heavy gromril armor and tasked with guarding the lowest tunnels of the Karaks. And in these confines, the Ironbreakers let waves upon waves of enemies crash into their ranks, all the while letting loose volleys of satchel charges to tear apart lines before they even reach their axes!
  • Improvised Weapon: All dwarf melee weapons are essentially this. The lorewise reason why dwarfs don't use swords or polearms at all is because they don't make tools that have no purpose in civilian life, whereas axes are usable for chopping wood and hammers and picks can be used in rock-breaking. Explicitly magical weapons and warmachines are the exceptions to this rule.
  • I Owe You My Life: The flip side to a grudge is a debt, and a dwarf will not forget if he owes someone. The special relationship between the Dwarfs and the Empire started centuries ago when a young Sigmar (who at that point still hadn't united mankind) rescued the then-high king Kurgan Blackbeard from orc captivity.
  • Item Crafting: Introduced in the Resurgence Update for Total War: Warhammer II, the Dwarfs have access to a crafting mechanic called The Forge. A new resource called Oathgold can be spent to make anything from axes that grant armor-piercing damage to horns that can summon Ancestor Spirits. Unlike the very similar Mortuary Cult system that the Tomb Kings have, the Dawi can also recycle any magical items they have to gain more Oathgold.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • The Iron Drakes and Flame Cannons (which are powered by alcohol). Unlike most video game flamethrowers, these actually project burning gouts of liquid over a respectable (if still shorter than a good crossbow) range, doing horrifying damage to lightly armored infantry. One downside is that the flamethrowers need a direct line of fire onto an enemy to hit them, meaning they cannot fire over slopes.
    • The Warriors of Dragonfire Pass, an elite variant of the Warrior, also wield flaming axes.
  • Language Equals Thought:
    • There are no words in khazalid for 'forgiveness'. There are numerous words to describe types of recompense or revenge, as well as the severity of a wrong. The language also has no direct words for abstract concepts: All words for abstractions describe things as akin to something concrete. Something enduring is said to be 'like a mountain', or someone untrustworthy 'like a thief' (or 'like an elf').
    • khazalid also has a specific word meaning "respect owed to someone because of the length and magnificence of their beard" ("Gnollengrom" for the curious).
  • Lawful Stupid: Almost as bad as the Lizardmen; their adherence to avenging grudges tends to drive them this direction. Any slight on their honor, no matter how minor or unintentional, must be repaid in blood. It is implied that the Dwarfs actually are prone to suffering divine retribution if they fail to pursue their grudges in full, and the cost of such rigidity is part of why their empire is slowly shrinking. In any case, their ceaseless pursuit of their grudges has quickened the decline of their already depleted numbers.
  • Long-Range Fighter: While Dwarfs have some excellent melee units, they are nigh-universally slower than most races, and are better known for producing gunline armies camped on a defensible piece of land with lots of ranged infantry and artillery, with just enough melee units to protect them. It helps their ranged units are also sturdy in melee.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: It's not just Dwarf melee troops who get shields. Most of their ranged infantry units get them as well. This allows Dwarf Quarrelers, Rangers and Thunderers to trade fire with other skirmisher units quite well.
  • Magic Knight: Runelords, generals that combine the defensive and support skill tracks of a Dwarf Lord with the offensive skill track of a Runesmith. They excel in the role of support leaders, with the normal benefits of a Frontline General supplemented by runic magic Status Buffs they can cast on nearby friendly units.
  • Magitek: Dwarf Runic Magic falls under the "technomancy" variety that focuses on enhancing the functionality of otherwise mundane devices. Dwarfs cannot use magic themselves like Elves or Men can and so they lack wizards, but they can "forge" with magic. Special geometric runes carved into weapons or tools can channel the Winds of Magic into enchantments. This really comes into its own by making some of the steampunk devices practical, such as adding Runes of Lifting to gyrocopters to make them light enough that their comparatively small engines can lift that much armor.
  • Mighty Glacier: The dwarfs have no cavalry and very few quickly repositioning units; in fact their infantry is slower on average than that of most other races. However, their infantry are (with the exceptions of Slayers and Rangers) universally well-armoured, and all Dwarfs are tough, well-disciplined and surprisingly strong. This means that while Dwarfs lack the maneuverability of many races, they are hard to wear down once committed to battle.
    • In the early days of the game, this was actually downplayed quite a bit. Despite being universally very well armored (as well as slow), Dwarf's unfortunately had issues staying in place when cavalry charged. Due to the way mass worked, something as light as Goblin Wolf Riders could trample them over, sending them all over the place. As of Mortal Empires, their mass has been significantly increased, meaning they ain't moving anytime soon.
  • Money Fetish: Dwarfs consider their stockpiled material wealth to be their legacy, and provide for the future security of their families, often measuring that security by how high off the floor they can sit in their family vault using just their gold as a seat. Unfortunately, this stockpiling of riches proves frequently tempting to foes, especially Greenskins, who will risk the stout defenses of the Dwarfs to plunder it.
  • Moral Myopia: The Dwarfs will readily raze entire cities and kill thousands if they feel slighted in even the tiniest way, but will never abide a single Dwarf being killed by another race.
  • More Dakka:
    • The Dwarfs can achieve the fantasy equivalent with a properly experienced Engineer. The skill "Ballistics Calibration" will improve the reload speed and firing rate of friendly units near the Engineer for a short time. Planting him next to the Dwarfs' already great missile infantry and artillery will create a solid wall of projectiles flying towards the foe.
    • The Organ Guns fire multiple volleys per fire.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Even if a Grudge is declared settled, that doesn't mean the Dwarfs will get over what happened. Since their war with the elves, the elves have attempted a few outreaches (particularly during the reign of Phoenix King Aethis), but those have always been rebuffed by the dwarfs, who refuse to even engage with elves in any way unless the latter prostrate themselves before them.
  • New Technology Is Evil: Downplayed. While the Dwarfs are expert craftsmen, they are also extremely traditionalist, unlike the Empire, who uses anything it can get its hands on. Any significant leap of innovation is therefore automatically suspect and it will generally require decades of planning before even a prototype is developed, and then literally centuries of tinkering and testing before it is considered proven enough that others will adopt it. That said, refining an existing technology or process to perfection is completely acceptable, as that is considered part of the pride that they take in their craftsmanship. In-game, Thorgrim getting the Engineering guild to tinker around with their Gyrocopter design in one of his quest chains causes a massive uproar.
  • Oop North: As a contrast to the RP of the Empire and the Orcs' cockney, the Dwarfs' accents are northern.
    "Do ye take me fer a wazzock!?"
  • Our Dwarfs Are All The Same: Although the fact they take Revenge Before Reason Up to Eleven and heavily utilise muskets and cannons makes them stand out.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Dwarfs are so strong willed that, occasionally, their spirits refuse to leave the world. This is definitely not necromancy, and don't you dare imply otherwise if any Dawi are in earshot. Ancestral Wraiths of Dwarfen Kings of Old can be summoned and used in battle as well as the campaign by Clan Angrund.
    • As of the Resurgent Update for Total War: Warhammer II, all Dwarf factions can craft an item that lets them summon Ancestor Spirits into battle.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Khazalid has many swear words and other insults, varying from the obvious to the strange. Whilst Dwarf's speak mostly accented English in-game they frequently mix in these Khazalid swear words in their speech. Highlights include...
    • Krut: A disease involving painful rashes that originated with goat farmers. "Kruti" is a harsh insult, "Krut!" is essentially equivalent to "Shit!"
    • Skruff: A thin or unkempt beard. Given the pride Dwarfs take in their beards, this is an extremely dire insult.
    • Dongliz: The part of a Dwarf's body impossible for him to scratch.
    • Umgak: Literally, "Similar to human". Commonly used to mean "poorly crafted".
    • Wazzock: Literally " A Dwarf who has exchanged gold or some other valuable item for something of little or no worth", used as a catch-all insult to the listener's intelligence.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Dwarfs might be smaller than many of their opponents, with shorter arms and legs that might suggest they lack leverage, but they will fool you. The fact that some of them wield weapons taller than themselves should go a long way toward dispelling that notion. The animators at Creative Assembly likened a dwarf on the battlefield to being a "coiled spring", with lots of power to lash forth from a compact frame.
  • Planet of Hats: Many Holds have something of a central gimmick. Karaz-a-Karak and Karak Eight Peaks serve as the "standards" that they deviate from. Each Kingdom is represented in-game, and their differences are often shown by a unique building.
    • Barak Varr: Trade, and also Sailing: Barak Varr is a mountain that connects directly to an inlet into the sea, so it's the Dwarfs' only port city and a major merchant hub of the Old World.
    • Zhufbar - Research and Development: Zhufbar is the home of the Engineer's Guild, and is where most of the Dwarfs' strongest weapons of war were dreamt up. Also notable for it's waterfalls, which the hold is named after.
    • Karak Kadrin - Slayers: Karak Kadrin has attracted many Slayers, especially since the King is one, and is the center of the Slayer cult itself.
    • Karak Azul - Prospecting: All Dwarfs love mining, but Karak Azul has the richest deposits of Iron.
    • Karak Hirn - Ambition: A young and inexperienced hold, eager to prove itself.
    • Karak Norn - Refugees: Displaced clans from Holds sacked by Greenskins tend to end up in Karak Norn.
    • Karak Azgoraz - Entrepreneurship: Young and adventurous Dwarfs founded Karak Azgoraz because of stories of untapped riches in the Grey Mountains.
    • Similarly, each hold is made up of multiple clans, who each have their own speciality inside their respective hold and often control the local aspects of the guild for that activity inside said hold (depending on the size of said hold and thus said guild, one clan may monopolize the local guild or be simply one of many clans that make up its members).
  • Powerful Pick: Dwarf Miners, levied-citizens drafted into military service from the Dwarfs' mining workforce. Their tools are made with the characteristic high quality of all Dwarfen craftsmanship and their picks can puncture armour as easily as they crack stone. In-game, Miners are low-tier infantry with the Siege Attacker trait, which allows them to (slowly) break down settlement gates using their pickaxes.
  • Praetorian Guard: Dwarf Hammerers serve as bodyguards to Dwarf Kings.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Everyone in the Warhammer universe is this, but the Dwarfs deserve a special mention because every single one of them goes through mandatory military training in their youth. Unlike the Empire, who has a professional military force, Dwarfen armies depend on citizen levy, and every citizen is ready to answer the call. Notably, however, the Dwarfs very rarely start wars, and most of them would be perfectly content to live a peaceful life of working and drinking.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Dwarfs technically won the War of Vengeance, something they are quick to remind others about. However, the war left them so depleted in both numbers and resources that it could barely be called a victory, in that their empire fell apart not long after, especially once Mazdamundi rearanged their mountains and once the greenskins began to show up far more frequently than before.
  • Revenge Before Reason: A Dwarf will never forget a slight, no matter how minor. "They've wronged us!" is a commonly heard battle cry from Dwarfen units on the battlefield. This is represented with the Grudges system, where wrongs against the Dwarfen race are recorded as missions with conditions of fulfilment, and continued failing to avenge Grudges will inflict penalties to economic efficiency, public order and diplomatic relations with other Dwarf factions. Infamously, the Dwarf language of Khazalid has several words for revenge, retribution and recompense, but no word for forgiveness!
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Dwarf Monarchs tend to be the Dwarfs' greatest warriors, and actively lead from the front, fighting with the grunts. All of the four Dwarf Legendary Lords are kings, or have been kings at some point, which says all that needs to be said.
  • Rangers: Dwarf Rangers were added in the King and the Warlord. These are lightly armored squads of dwarfs who act as scouting and commando units for dwarf armies. They might not have the staying power of other dwarf units, but they are excellent shots and can move faster than an enemy might expect of dwarfs. They come in regular variants, and throwing axe variants, the latter of which is more melee focused and carry greataxes.
  • Serious Business: Everything. The Dwarf honour code means they're mentally incapable of not giving their all in an attempt to do something, be it crafting a weapon or attempting to commit ritualistic suicide. The one that sticks out to the other races, however, are their Grudges. Dwarfs will never forget any wrong, no matter now slight or petty, and the Great Book of Grudges contains thousands of years worth of history in written oaths of vengeance:
    • One grudge sampled in the loading screens details the throng of Karak Azul, who suffered a huge disaster that claimed ten-thousand lives. The event was caused during a fight with a greenskin tribe within Grimspike Pass, when a goblin shaman exploded and caused a huge landslide. Their response, as the dwarfs won the fight and the shaman had died, was to declare a grudge on the mountain itself, vowing that there will be no peace until the mountain is mined of all its natural wealth and eventually ground into dust.
    • A possible grudge in the campaign speaks of how dwarfs travelling through Stirland have been killed by vampires. That's bad enough, but the worst part is that the slain dwarfs were then resurrected and used to recreate an awful play titled Stoutheart Beardcomber and the Ostlander's Wife.
    • Bugman's Brewery, where the legendary ale known as Bugman's XXXXX was created, was once considered the greatest of all Dwarfish brewhouses. Then the Greenskins attacked, tore down the brewery, killed most of the Bugman clan, and drank almost all of the beer. While you 'complete' the grudge in gameplay, the game outright states that this particular grudge will never truly be settled.
    • There are grudges in the game that come from not actually being attacked. The Empire can develop its Imperial Engineer School to the point that the School boasts that they've outpaced the Dwarfs' technology. The Dwarfs consider this an act of youthful impudence, and so require an experienced Dwarfen Engineer to put the manlings back in their place.
    • Furthermore, Gods help you if so much as a single Dwarf is killed while they are pursuing a grudge. They will consider this a slight unto itself, note it down as a separate grudge and come back later to settle it in turn. And if you incur a grudge but die before they can settle it, they have no qualms whatsoever about taking it out on your descendants or powerbase instead.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Canonically, the Norsca-based Dwarf hold of Kraka Drak was destroyed by Chaos long before the events of this game, but despite this they're present and well as an AI-controlled faction. That being said, they tend to not last very long in the campaign, surrounded as they are by the Norscan tribes with only three settlements to their name.
  • Steampunk:
    • Their Gyrocopters and Gyrobombers, essentially steam-powered bomber helicopters.
    • Also their elite Skolder Guard Regiment fire steam projectiles instead of flame.
  • Stone Wall: Their basic play style. Dwarf units are rarely very mobile, but make up for it in attack and defense. In battle, they don’t charge or try to gain ground, but let the enemy break themselves against their lines.
  • Stout Strength: Dwarfs may be small, but they're stated to have about the same strength as the much taller, and bigger Orcs.
  • Stronger with Age: Age doesn't slow Dwarfs down at all. One of their upper tier infantry units, the Longbeards, is entirely composed of elderly Dwarf warriors that kick a ton of Greenskin ass.
  • Squishy Wizard: Downplayed on both counts by Runesmiths and Runelords. They have less health and do less damage than the other Dwarf Lords and Heroes, but they're considerably better in melee than the actual spellcasters of the other factions.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The Dwarfs never forget a slight, and never forgive. If you wrong them, they will come to settle their grudge the only way they care to — in blood. In gameplay terms, the Dwarfs' strategic objectives are based on settling grudges against those who have wronged them. As wrongs are done against them in the campaign, new grudges are generated and added as objectives for a dwarf player to seek vengeance for. If you accumulate too many grudges, or leave grudges unresolved for too long, the Dwarfs will grow agitated and your faction will start suffering penalties.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Dwarf Miners and Ironbreakers feature variations equipped with blast charges, which the units will attempt to throw at enemies before closing for melee.
  • Tunnel King: Miners are expert at navigating underground and need be at making their own pathway in the rock. They are said to be able to sense ore or danger when they mine, and they constitute a typical flanker unit in the Dwarf armies. They get the Vanguard special rule to reflect this.
  • Two Girls to a Team: There are only two kinds of female Dwarf followers available to your Lords and Heroes: The Dwarfen Bride and the Daughter of Valaya. Since you can't have multiple of the same follower on the same character, this means you can never have more than two women in any of your groups of followers.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Dwarfen Runesmiths are some of the best weapon and armor forgers in the setting. In Mortal Empires they even have their own crafting mechanic that allows them to forge powerful runes, and artifacts of great power.
  • Underground City: Dwarf Holds are located underneath the World's Edge Mountains and can be the sites of underground battles. The Dwarfs believe that the fresh, open air is unhealthy and teach their children not to spend too much time under the sky.
  • Vestigial Empire: The old Dwarf empire extended all across the World's Edge Mountains and to several holds beyond, and was once the dominant power of the Old World (which spanned even further, into the Southlands and even as far as Lustria across the sea). Then the infamous War of the Beard with the High Elves broke out, shattering both superpowers. Then the Time of Woes broke the empire, massive earthquakes collapsing underways and damaging infrastructure and population. A massive greenskin migration around that time absorbed many now-isolated holds, while the others scraped by as best they could. High King Thorgrim's ambition is to reunite the holds and reclaim the glory of the old Dwarf empire.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: An intentional choice with the Dwarf Slayers. These are Dwarfs who feel that they have dishonored themselves beyond redemption, and the only way to redeem themselves is to die in glorious combat fighting the most dangerous of foes. As such, they wear no upper armor to show that they are Not Afraid to Die. Armour is meant for people who actually want to survive the battles they enter, after all.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Downplayed. Dwarfs are immune to same-race rebels at high unhappiness. Holds that reach -100 stability spawn Greenskins instead because local lords can't keep the raiders in check (unless high corruption causes a Vampire/Skaven/Chaos army to spawn instead). The dwarfs start out in factioned holds just like the humans, but inter-dwarfen warfare is extremely rare and signing non-aggression pacts and confederating is much easier than it is for humans. Which is a stroke of luck because you've got plenty of Greenskins eager to burn your lands down instead. The game justifies this by mentioning that though no Dwarf King would ever disobey the High King, they have their own obligations to their holds, their own grudges that need to be settled, and their own courts that need to be brought to order, and as such they sometimes have cause to drag their feet a bit on fully submitting to Karaz-a-Karak.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Dwarfs do not have "normal" wizards, but Dwarf Runelords are renowned for their stubbornness occasionally extending to a refusal to die. While they've got something more important to work on, these rare Dwarfs will just continue to get older with no ill effects out of a sheer stubborn refusal to age. The oldest Dwarf alive, Kragg the Grim, Runelord of Karaz-a-Karak, is a little past 1,600 years old.
  • World of Badass: The Dwarfs need to be a hardy folk to survive being at constant war with two other much larger races. Although the Dwarfs have a Warrior's Guild for professional soldiers, every Dwarf is a trained fighter, from the King of the Hold to the lowliest goat cheese merchant. This actually goes both ways, as every Dwarf weapon is supposed to double as a tool, which is why Dwarf pickaxes can go right from mining ore to chopping heads without needing to be adjusted and an Ironbreaker's axe works just as well when chopping down trees.

Legendary Lords

    Thorgrim Grudgebearer 

High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer, Lord of the Everpeak
"Let us not dawdle, for there are grudges to settle, and new entries in the Dammaz Kron to write!"
"That which is wrong with the world that we cannot fix with the blades of our axes, we shall surely avenge!"
Voiced by: Richard Ridings

Thorgrim Grudgebearer is the current High King of the Dwarfs. He is a throwback to the High Kings of old—eager for new conquests, mighty in battle, and a merciless enemy. Yet upon his worn brow, there also sits a great wisdom, and he is able to uphold the ancient traditions as well as to accept (if not embrace) needed changes, such as alliances and new technology.

Thorgrim is forever brooding upon how to return his people to their former glory. As the ultimate ruler of the Dwarfs, the Great Book of Grudges is entrusted into his keeping. It is Thorgrim's avowed wish to avenge every single entry contained in that voluminous tome — an impossible task if he should live a thousand lifetimes. Yet such is his resolve that he has already helped to rejuvenate the whole of the Karaz Ankor. Tales of his deeds, and the long list of grudges already struck out, fill his grim warriors with a feeling that the Dwarfs have long done without: hope. Borne upon the Throne of Power and brandishing the Axe of Grimnir, Thorgrim is at the forefront of what the Dwarfs hope will be a great conquering — a new age of retribution has begun.

Thorgrim leads what was initially known as the main Dwarfs faction, simply named Dwarfs, but was renamed Karaz-a-Karak as of The Potion of Speed update.

  • An Axe to Grind: The Axe of Grimnir, an Ancestral Weapon that has been passed down to each High King since the reign of Grimnir himself, making it the axe counterpart of Ghal Maraz.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Armour of Skaldor is an exceptional armour engraved with protection runes.
  • Big Good: To the Dwarfs.
  • Bling of War: Wears a golden suit of armor, the Dragon Crown, is carried into battle on a golden throne, wears a set of golden chainmail, and wields one of the most ornate axes that his race has ever made, Thorgrim is even more fancily clad then his human counterpart.
  • Cool Chair: The Throne of Power, a massive and extremely ornate throne covered in gravures and gold, but more importantly bearing the one and only Rune of Eternity, guaranteeing that the Dwarfs will endure as long as it exists which is hoisted into battle by a squad of Thronebearers. Thogrim is never allowed to leave it, as it's the High King's duty to guard it.
  • Cool Crown: The Dragon Crown, a golden, ruby adorned crown, which has been worn by the High Kings since the founding of Karaz-a-Karak.
  • Cool Old Guy: Quite old, even by Dwarfish standards, and can still more than hold his own in battle. He excels at dealing with swarms of infantry on that seat.
  • The Determinator: Thorgrim has a will power like no other, he will erase every grudge in the Book, he will restore the Dwarf Empire to it's former glory, and he will kill every Greenskin and Skaven stinking in their ancestral halls, or die trying. There's a reason he's unbreakable.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: In one of his quest battles wherein he joins forces with the Empire, he mentions his fondness for Karl Franz and notes the similarities between them working together and the alliance between Sigmar and Kurgan Ironbeard from long ago. And what better way to ensure the continuation of that friendship than by standing against the Green Tide and the Forces of Chaos together?
  • Hero Antagonist: From the Greenskins' perspective, as a capable and highly motivated Dwarf ruler able and willing to rally the disparate Dwarf holds to mobilise their forces against the Greenskins and drive them out. One of the Greenskins factions' victory conditions is to wipe out his faction.
  • The High King: His title, as the spiritual ruler of all Dwarfs.
  • Keystone Army: One of his skills inverts this by imbuing nearby dwarfs with morale and attack bonuses if Thorgrim is defeated in battle, leading to an armywide Heroic Second Wind. It simulates a similar skill he has on the tabletop, where killing Thorgrim gives all nearby dwarfs hatred against the enemy.
  • Impossible Task: Since he was crowned High King, he has sworn to write off every known grudge in the Book of Grudges. As he finds out, much to his frustration, the grudges are rarely crossed off despite his best efforts, and it continues to remain full with either old or newly-written grudges flooding in practically every second. He's one of the very few Dwarf's in existence to acknowledge this stubbornness is heavily contributing to the Dwarf's decline as a race, but goes on regardless, since it's his duty.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Downplayed. He is the first prominent Dwarf to acknowledge that the unforgiving, vindictive nature of their culture will contribute to their self-destruction and is trying to change that by refusing to declare a grudge or pursue vengeance under certain circumstances. But he still maintains the traditional grudge trumps all attitude.
  • Praetorian Guard: His Throne of Power is carried by Thronebearers, who also act as his bodyguards. A big case of Bodyguarding a Badass, but the Thronebearers are no slouches in combat either.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While he possesses a healthy respect for the traditions of his people, Thorgrim notably also welcomes new ideas and innovative technological advancements. For context, any invention less than a few hundred years old is considered new and unproven by the long-lived Dwarfs, but Thorgrim has empowered the Engineers' Guild to mobilize several new ideas with only a scant few decades of testing beforehand.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: While he spends most of his time sitting on his throne, that throne is usually on the battlefield if not actually being carried into a melee. When he attacks, Thorgrim will stand up and swing his axe hard enough to send several foes flying and do significant damage to heroes and monsters.
    Thorgrim: The High King acts!
  • Too Important to Walk: Is carried onto the battlefield on his Throne of Power; which is in turn carried on the shoulders of Thorgrim's Praetorian Guard, the Thronebearers. Note that just because he's being borne on the backs of his guards, it doesn't mean he's weak, either; both Thorgrim and his guards will do massive damage to nearby opponents, like with most melee legendary lords.

    Ungrim Ironfist 

King Ungrim Ironfist, the Slayer King
"Bring me victory! Bring me death!"
"I fear there is no foe worthy of my death!"

Voiced by: Alastair Parker

There are few kinds of monsters that walk the world that Ungrim Ironfist has not slain in battle. Armed with the enormous Axe of Dargo, Ungrim deals death – carving a path of red ruin before him while singing songs of old in a booming voice. Atop his head is a bright orange crest that rises above a sturdy horned helmet set with a golden crown. For Ungrim is both a Slayer and a King, more than likely the last of the line of Slayer Kings of Karak Kadrin.

The tale of Ungrim’s family, the Drakebeard Clan, is full of woe, as those in the clan of royal blood bear a history of calamities. Many years ago King Baragor, Ungrim’s five times great grandsire, suffered a terrible loss which drove him to take the oath of the Slayers. What caused such a drastic decision was not recorded. It is commonly assumed that the cause was the death of his daughter at the claws of the Dragon Skaladrak while on her way to marry the son of the High King of Karaz-a-Karak. In any case, Baragor became the first Slayer of Karak Kadrin. He was torn between conflicting vows: the Slayer oath to seek out death and the oath of a king to protect his people. In the end, good Dwarf sense prevailed, and he found a way to honour all commitments. He founded the famed Slayer shrine of Karak Kadrin, the largest shrine to Grimnir. Thus, he established a haven for Slayers that continues to this day. His son inherited his vows and continued the line of the Slayer Kings, of which Ungrim Ironfist is but the latest.

Although Ungrim cannot seek his death in Slayer fashion, he grows ever more restless, leading the throng of Karak Kadrin into countless battles. Inspired by his High King and seeking to avenge his lone son who was slain, Ungrim will march to war with the least provocation. It was Ungrim who slew the Dragon of Black Peak and who broke Queek Headtaker’s siege of King Belegar’s citadel in Karak Eight Peaks. The Slayer King has beaten the Ogre mercenary Golfgang Maneater and held off a Chaos army in the Battle of High Pass. Most Dwarfs are amazed Ungrim has lived so long, and none think that a mighty death in battle can be very far away.

Debuting as a Legendary Lord in the service of the main Dwarfs faction in Total War: Warhammer, the "Resurgent" update for Total War: Warhammer II moves Ungrim to the now-playable subfaction of Karak Kadrin in the Mortal Empires unified campaign map.

  • Ascended Extra: He's always been playable, but in the first game he always played second fiddle to Thorgrim, who was not only the faction leader, he was chosen far more due to to Ungrim's questionable usefulness. Not only did the Resurgent Update give him his own proper niche, it also provided him with his very own subfaction.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Axe of Dargo, the blade of which is as almost tall as a dwarf's shoulders. It was forged from the shards of the former king's greataxe; tempered with Dragons Blood, and oaths of vengeance.
  • Animal Motifs: Dragons/drakes. Ungrim hails from the Drakebeard clan, Wears a cape made from scaly dragon hide, and the Axe of Dargo features images of fire-breathing dragons embossed in gold. Unlike many examples, he's a killer of his motif.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Ungrim Ironfist
  • Ax-Crazy: A more heroic example then most certainly, but when it comes down to it, Ungrim abandons any pretense of thought when on the battlefield facing down monsters.
  • Badass Beard: One of the largest in the game, a magnificence ginger beard of epic proportions.
  • Badass Cape: The Dragon Cloak of Fyrskyr, the skin of a dragon that was defeated at the Battle of the Broken Leg Gully, which also contains his skull. It was a gift from Thorgrim Grudgebearer.
  • The Berserker: Ungrim's fighting style is essentially mad axe strikes and crazy spins to bring down his prey, like most slayers. He even has a powerful ability that let's him give in to his blood lust, giving him massive attack bonuses, aptly named "Red Ruin".
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Sports an impressive pair of eyebrows that are bushy enough to extend over the brim of his crown.
  • Blood Knight: Really enjoys a good scrap like any Dwarf, but he's this even moreso as any good Slayer.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: He is torn between his oath of leading his people and his oath as a slayer of dying in battle.
  • Cool Crown: The horned Slayer Crown, which is open at the top to allow room for Ungrim's huge Slayer mohawk. Fittingly it's been worn by the entire line of Slayer Kings.
  • Death Seeker: Like all Dwarf Slayers, Ungrim is sworn to seek his death in battle against a Worthy Opponent — and he isn't allowed to throw the fight, either. What complicates matters is his duty to his homeland, and his bloodline.
  • Determinator: Like all Dwarf Slayers, Ungrim is immune to morale. His leadership cannot be reduced by anything and he'll never flee from battle; he'll keep fighting until he's dead.
    • Practically taken Up to Eleven with his ultimate skill, "Determined Deathblow" which gives Ungrim truly insane buffs as he's half dead, essentially showing the closer he is to death, the harder Ungrim fights. If one is a gambling sort, one can take "Extremely Daring Deathblow", which doubles the previous bonuses, causes him to No-Sell attacks with a large thirty percent reduction to all damage, the catch being it only activates when Ungrim is at less than 20 percent health.
  • Fiery Redhead: Like many other Slayers his hair is red, which just reflects his angry personality.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the first game, Ungrim is part of the main Dwarfs faction and based in Karaz-a-Karak, while his actual kingdom of Karak Kadrin is a foreign power that doesn't even like him very much. Averted by the "Resurgent" update in II, which promotes Karak Kadrin to playable and makes Ungrim its leader in the Mortal Empires campaign.
  • Hot-Blooded: Ungrim is noted to be incredibly aggressive, and foul tempered, even for a Dwarf.
  • Hunter of Monsters: As a Slayer it's basically in his job description, and he has a considerable bonus against them with him being classified as anti-large, making him a suitable lord to target large beasts with, alongside a hefty armour piercing value.
  • Last of His Kind: Downplayed example; Ungrim's son Garagrim has already pre-deceased him and his oath prevents him from remarrying, which means the end of his royal line. The many cadet lines of the Drakebeard Clan are said to be grooming their heirs for the day he dies.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The introduction displayed on the loading screen when starting Ungrim's campaign in Mortal Empires contains a few references to changes made by the Resurgence Update.
  • Mighty Glacier: In contrast to other slayers, Ungrim's dual oath allows him to wear armour and means he's just as well-armoured as any other dwarfen lord. This also means that he's no faster than any other dwarfen lord, in contrast to normal slayers.
    • Inverted compared to the other Dwarf Legendary Lords. Ungrim provides his entire army with a speed bonus and has a variety of buffs for Slayer units, which means he's as much of a Fragile Speedster as a Dwarf possibly can be.
  • Papa Wolf: His desire to die in battle is even more zealous than most Slayers because it would save his son's life as well. (Since it will absolve his son of his Slayer Oath)
  • Promoted to Playable: He himself has always been playable since the first game, but his subfaction, Karak Kadrin was an NPC till the Warhammer II's Resurgent update.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Being both a Slayer, and the King of Karak Kadrin, he leads his people usually from the front lines, and away from his ancestral keep. Though it's also something of a Deconstruction, Ungrim is arguably too involved with his Hold's army and doesn't spend enough time sitting on his throne governing, because he's so desperate to die in battle. He's also very quick to approve dangerous decisions and can be a bit of a warmonger because it gives him more opportunities to head into battle.
  • Unfortunate Names: The word "ungrim" means "untrustworthy" in Khazalid (literally "a dwarf who has failed to fulfill an oath", which doubles as a Meaningful Name in Ungrim's case).

    Belegar Ironhammer 

Belegar Ironhammer, True King of the Eight Peaks
"Let them face our might; let them see what dawi of the Angrund Clan are made of!"

"I came here hoping to take it all back. I came hoping to look upon the far deeps, on the ancestor statues of the Abyss of Iron’s Dream. I dreamed of opening up the Ungdrin again, so that armies might freely march between my, Kazador’s and Thorgrim’s realms. I dreamed of reopening the mines, of filling the coffers of our clan with gold and jewels."

Voiced by: Nick Fletcher

Ancestral heir of Karak Eight Peaks, King Belegar has a terrible and glorious destiny to fulfill. He has sworn an oath to reclaim the fallen Dwarf Hold from the Greenskin usurpers, despite the mountainous odds he faces.

Karak Eight Peaks represents more than Belegar’s birthright, however. In terms of prestige and wealth it is second only to Karaz-a-Karak itself, and if Belegar can reclaim it in the name of Clan Angrund, he will gain access to the ancestral tombs and the rich trove of ancient and powerful rune-weapons which lies within...

Belegar Ironhammer is a Legendary Lord available to those who purchase the The King and the Warlord DLC. Belegar also leads his own unique, playable, sub-faction, Clan Angrund.

  • Arch-Enemy: To Skarsnik, as the King to his Warlord. Both have the starting goal of heading into Greenskin lands to retake Karak Eight Peaks. He has a secondary, and no less hateful, relationship of this kind with the Skaven Warlord, Queek Headtaker, who also wishes to reclaim Eight Peaks.
  • Cool Old Guy: Seemingly quite old, with his white beard and all. Doesn't stop him from kicking Greenskin and Skaven ass.
  • Determinator: In typical dwarfen fashion Belegar will stop at nothing to reclaim his hold and restore his clan to glory, even if it means gambling the lives of himself and all his followers.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Belegar begins the game with four extremely powerful heroes that represent the spirits of his ancestors. All four are all but immune to non-magical damage, unbreakable, No-Sell hero actions (so they can only ever be defeated in battle) and have the 'Immortality' trait on top of it. Once you start encountering enemies with magical damage their invulnerability ends quickly, but in the early game they are capable of soloing entire regiments with no problems at all and will usually be a linchpin in the reconquest of the Eight Peaks.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Hammer of Angrund, which doubles as an Ancestral Weapon, as the hammer has been carried by the ruler of Karak Eight Peaks since the Angrund Clan first claimed kingship.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The gist of his faction's campaign — Belegar must rebuild his clan, defeat the goblin warlord Skarsnik, and reclaim his hold of Karak Eight-Peaks, which is located smack dab in the heart of Grimgor Ironhide's territory. Then he needs to join forces with the High King and participate in the normal campaign sequence, which involves defeating Grimgor and destroying every Greenskin faction on the map and uniting every major dwarfhold on the map, before facing Archaon the Everchosen and the hordes of Chaos.
  • Expy: Arguably to Thorin Oakenshield, an aged Dwarf seeking to reclaim the ancestral home that was stolen from him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hates Greenskins so much, for defiling his ancestral halls, he has a special ability called "Orcsbane" which grant his entire army heavy leadership buffs, all united in their hatred of grubi filth.
  • Government in Exile: He still holds the title "King of Eight Peaks" despite the hold having fallen to the Greenskin hordes long ago. As of now, he rules from loyal Hold Karak Izor.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Inverted. Belegar is never seen without his face-concealing helmet, with only his grey beard visible. This effectively makes him The Faceless, although his eyes can be seen.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Despite being Eight Peaks royalty, Belegar has a severe lack of gold, which manifests itself as a whopping fifty percent increase in upkeep to all units until he retakes Eight Peaks.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Shield of Defiance, which has saved Belegar's life many times, being able to ward off Giant’s blows, Troll vomit, and even allowed him to twice escape from inside the maw of Skarsnik’s enormous pet Cave Squig, Gobbla
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Begins the game accompanied by the spirits of his ancestors, who are represented by a quartet of Hero units (two Thanes, a Master Engineer and a Runesmith) with the Ethereal trait.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: A running theme for the Dwarf's. He personally leads the expedition to reclaim his ancestral home.
  • The Power of Hate: As his quote suggests, Belegar is seething with such hatred, he can summon the spirits of his ancestors to assist him in his quest. His hatred is so strong he can use it to make himself briefly unbreakable.
  • Power Glows: Belegar's armor is decorated with magical dwarfish runes, which glow yellow.
  • Rightful King Returns: As the heir to the Ironhammer clan, his goal is to liberate his ancestral dwarfhold of Karak Eight-Peaks, which is currently controlled by the Night Goblins.
  • Timed Mission: His campaign essentially starts out with one of these, as his conquest of the Eight Peaks is a grudge. If not conquered within fifty turns or so, the growing grudge counter can quickly render his position untenable.


Grombrindal, the White Dwarf Aka, High King Snorri Whitebeard
"I promised Grimnir there'd be a mighty tally, and I ain't one for breaking such an oath!"
"The last crimson rays of sunlight scattered on the battlefield at sunset after the carnage of that day. The last handful of dwarf warriors had resisted against the attack of the Goblins, but the arrival of night The Goblins would be strengthened and attacked again.This time they would not leave any survivors. And one by one, the weary Dwarves began to sing their funeral songs. And one by one they sang until a single figure wrapped in a cloak remained in silence, firm and challenging. "

Voiced by: John Rhys-Davies

Grombrindal, the White Dwarf himself, is a hero from the time of legends. Rumors abound as to his true identity. Some say he is the living incarnation of the ancient High King Snorri Whitebeard himself; others that he was betrothed to the goddess Valaya, protector and bestower of magical resistance. Either way, he is a powerful living symbol of hope and pride for the Dwarfs and, in times of dire need, he may appear in the flesh to help the Dawi through their tribulations.

Grombrindal is a free Legendary Lord who became available in January 19th 2017, but could be acquired early through the use of a Steam code provided by Games Workshop at their hobby stores and in the November 2016 issue of White Dwarf Magazine.

  • An Axe to Grind: The two-handed Rune Axe of Grombrindal, a massive battleaxe with a ruby embedded into it's blade, rumored by many to be the original waraxe wielded by Grimnir. It gives both Magical, and Armor Piercing Attacks to Grombrindal.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Grombrindal's blue skills buff your entire faction instead of Grombrindal only, making him a potent force multiplier on the campaign map. However, filling up his blue line will require 15 skill points, which is half his levels going entirely to this bonus.
  • Back from the Dead: Heavily implied to be Snorri Whitebeard phantom brought back to the Mortal Plane to wreak his vengeance.
  • Badass Beard: So badass, in fact, that Grombrindal can learn a campaign skill — "Mighty Beard of Defense" — that grants buffs to Grombrindal's army during defensive battles entirely because of his magnificent beard.
    Grombrindal's lustrous white beard is the envy of many a dwarf. Such fine whiskers can transfix and befuddle any foe!
  • Badass Boast: His first Quest Battle against a Chaos Lord with a Chaos Dragon is pretty much this.
    ''Wazzock! You slime-worshippin' ungi filth-merchant! Get your arse and that pet reptile over here! I would have words with your little beast face-to-face, so I may lop off it's claw and reclaim what is mine! Those scales are from my armour and no thief steals from The White Dwarf and lives! You and your followers will die - That is my oath, as my kin, Grimnir, is witness!"
  • Badass Cape: The Cloak of Valaya, a gift from the dwarfish goddess of healing and protection that increases Grombindal's magic resistance and reduces local corruption.
  • Badass Mustache: Just look at that thing.
  • Blinded by the Light: Grombrindal can learn the ability "Flash Bomb", in which he detonates a crude flashbang at his feet to heavily reduce the melee defense of nearby enemies and slow their movement speed by 76%.
  • The Cavalry: Grombrindal's army possesses a 50% larger reinforcement range, allowing the White Dwarf to join allied armies in battle from further away.
  • Determinator: Via the "Grombrindal Has No Fear" ability, which grants the "Unbreakable" trait to himself and his entire army for 33 seconds. The fact he refused to stay dead after the Witch King broke his vow, is just a testament to his willpower.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: In Mortal Empire, his army get's a hefty bonus to leadership when fighting any Elven faction. It's a not so subtle reference to his true identity of Snorri Whitebeard, and how an Elf betrayed him in the worst way possible. It's rather ironic, as Snorri initially heavily Inverted this, when he reigned the Elves and the Dwarfs had maybe the only completely friendly alliance between any two cultures in Warhammer's entire history. Malekith and Snorri were also extremely close friends as well.
  • Foil: To Alith Anar of the High Elves. Both very close to Malekith (Alith was his blood relative, Snorri Whitebeard was his best friend), and both cheated death to have their vengeance on him. They're both mysterious wandering warriors that are motivated as much by revenge as by their desire to protect their people. The biggest difference is that Grombrindal appears among armies to aid in their defense, while Alith Anar leads his own personal army into Naggaroth to take the fight to his foes. Also, Alith is a Stealth Expert while Grombrindal, tendency to pop up all over the place not withstanding, is anything but.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: One of his quest rewards is the Rune Helm of Zhufbar, which grants leadership bonuses to nearby half-health units, but Grombrindal doesn't wear it — instead, it remains attached to his backpack.
  • Hope Bringer: Grombrindal has inspired countless victories from near defeats, his very presence inspires the Dwarfs to fight on.
  • No Indoor Voice: Nearly all of his quest battle speeches have him sounding like an even angrier version of Gimli. Fitting, considering that they have the same actor.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Used as a gameplay mechanic — Grombrindal can periodically chose which version of his legend he wants to embody, and each one gives him different benefits.
    • Kin of Grimnir boosts the combat ability of all melee and ranged infantry within Grombindal's army.
    • Apprentice of Grungni improves the research rate and reduces construction, recruitment and upkeep costs for the entire region.
    • Paramor of Valaya reduces enemy magic reserves, calms public order, tames corruption and increases replenishment rates.
    • The White Dwarf buffs Grombindal's combat stats.
  • Mythology Gag: The White Dwarf is the namesake and mascot of Games Workshop's monthly magazine, and in fact one of the ways to unlock Grombrindal early was through a code found in White Dwarf's November 2016 issue.
  • Mysterious Protector: To the entire Dwarfen race. In their Darkest Hour, Grombrindal has shown up time and time again to rend the foes of the Dawi.
  • Religious Bruiser: More so than most other lords since all but one of his quest battles involves making an oath to one of his gods in one way or the other.
  • Red Baron: The White Dwarf.
  • Screaming Warrior: His default expression, is one of rage, and hatred, and he's always shouting battle crys.
  • Sir Swears Alot: His defining trait. In practically every Quest Battle, Grombrindal drops at least a dozen Dwarfen swear words.
  • Shrouded in Myth: No-one among the long-lived Dwarf race truly knows who this guy is, and several theories peg him as being tied to the supernatural. Perhaps the most popular theory is that he is actually the ancient Dwarfen High King Snorri Whitebeard. Snorri was famed for the friendship he shared with the infamous Dark Elven king Malekith before the latter fell to evil. It is theorized that Malekith's betrayal of the dwarfen people by instigating the War of Vengeance was enough to rouse Snorri from the grave. The End Times eventually did confirm, indeed, Snorri and Grombrindal are one and the same.
  • The Power of Hate: How he came back from the dead. The combination of his hatred for his former best friend, and the power of his blood oath returned him to life.
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Malekith shared quite possibly the closest platonic relationship Malekith had in his entire life. And now he's Snorri's most bitter foe.

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