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A dying race modelled on the Tolkienian archetype. The Dwarfs are gruff, insular, long-lived, but also excellent miners, smiths and masons. At the beginning of the world the Dwarfs carved a great empire named the Karaz Ankor out of the ore-rich mountains of the Old World, creating a network of fortress-cities, the Karaks. However, as time went on, wars and catastrophes piled in and the Karaks fell one by one, assailed by Chaos, Greenskins, and Skaven. Nowadays the Dwarfs are a shadow of their former selves.
However, their throngs remain some of the greatest armies in the world. True to themselves, Dwarfs have great endurance and discipline, able to endure through the enemy's assault with armor and shield despite their reduced numbers. At the same time, their warriors are armed with powerful runic weapons, firearms and war machines of great potency and quality, allowing a Dwarf throng to relentlessly bombard their opponents to dust.
Never forgetting their grudges, the Dwarfs have a strained relationship with the other factions of Order, but have always been true to their alliance with the Empire ever since Sigmar Unberogen saved the High King Kurgan Ironbeard millenia ago. Since then, they taught the humans rudiments of their engineering skills and have steadfastly fought alongside the men of the Empire whenever it was threatened. However, since the War of Vengeance, the Dwarfs distrust Elves of any kind, and since the Greenskins and Skaven invaded their holds during the Times of Woes, the two factions have become the Dwarfs' archenemies.
Note on spelling: It is spelled "Dwarf" and "Dwarfs" in the Warhammer world. Don't change it!
- Dwarfs have a natural resistance to magic, claiming that this is due to their rock-born origin making it difficult for Chaos to corrupt. How this is represented in the game varies depending on the edition, with 8th Edition giving Dwarfs an army-wide bonus to attempts to stop enemy magic.
- While they cannot cast spells, Dwarf Runesmiths are able to channel and direct the Winds of Magic to some degree. While they generally use this ability to create powerful magical items, during battle they are able to frustrate enemy magic users by harmlessly earthing their spells. In-game, the 8th Edition rules represent this by giving them the Magic Resistance special rule (giving them a greater chance of stopping enemy magic directed at them) and allowing Runesmiths to stop enemy magic in the same manner as a Wizard. This ability can be further enhanced by the presence of an Anvil of Doom.
- An Axe to Grind:
- Due to their preference for weapons that double as tools, the axe is one of the two traditional weapons of the Dwarf race and most Dwarf models carry an axe as a hand weapon.
- The axe is the trademark weapon of Dwarf Slayers, who carry them in honour of the Ancestor-God Grimnir. Some editions of the game included special rules for Slayer Axes that allow them to switch between multiple single-handed axes and single two-handed axe when fighting in combat to represent the plethora of such weapons that they typically carry.
- Archenemy: The Dwarfs hate two factions in particular for being directly responsible for the decline of their Empires, the Greenskins and the Skaven. Both invaded the Karaks from below using the rifts that earthquakes created in their defenses and many of their cities have fallen to either Greenskin or Skaven hands. In game all Dwarf units have Hatred against Greenskins and Skaven.
- Army Scout: Dwarf Rangers are special units responsible for watching the mountain ranges and other isolated tunnels and warning the holds of any incoming danger. As a bunch of Mountain Men who are often outdoors (unlike every other underground Dwarf) and Combat Pragmatists (they do perform ambushes and sabotage), they are regarded with a level of distrust by other Dwarfs. In game, they have the Scout rule, naturally.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Subverted in the lore when High King Alriksson, finding himself dying and without direct heir, decided to test potential candidates and tell them to do something worthy of a High King of the Dwarfs. All but one presented themselves with glorious kills, for instance Ungrim Ironfist having slain a Giant. The last contestant, Thorgrim, instead of killing some big monster, had successfully made contact with lost Dwarf clans in the North and retrieved priceless artefacts from the Lost Holds. This and Thorgrims charisma signaled to everyone present that he would be a greater High King than any of the others because he had a vision of returning their kind to their former glory; thus Thorgrim was crowned.
- Badass Beard: Duh, they are Dwarfs, they love their beards more than they love a good fight. Most notable are the aptly-named Longbeards. Since Dwarfs never shave, ever, the oldest Dwarfs have beards down to their feet. Dwarf beards are actually serious business, since one foolish Elven Phoenix King decided to send Dwarf diplomats back sans facial hair, which resulted in a massive war between the two races.
- Behind Every Great Man: Implied. It is frequently hinted that the queens of each Hold actually hold the most power. It is said that female Dwarfs are highly respected in their communities despite what initially appears to be a Stay in the Kitchen situation. Women are allowed to be on a Hold's council of elders, and it's apparently common for the queen to hold a position. Even though Grungni is credited with starting the tradition of Dwarfs living underground, it was Valaya that founded the first Holds.
- Berserk Button: Any affront against a Dwarf's honor is this but a few stand out.
- Due to the Orcs, Goblins, and Skaven being the races most directly responsible for the downfall of their empire, Dwarfs hate these races. It's reflected in their rules in the game. The degree of their grudge against any other enemy army is randomly determined, but against those two every Dwarf hates them.
- DO NOT even mention the Chaos Dwarfs in their presence.
- The ancient war of Elves vs. Dwarves is the Great War of Vengeance. Not the War of the Beard.
- Dwarven beards are Serious Business and harming them is arguably worse than actually killing a dwarf. As Caledor II figured out the hard way when shaving a dwarf ambassador's beard resulted in a centuries-long war that nearly drove both races to extinction.
- Best Served Cold: The Dwarfs do not forget their grudges. Not when they pretty much regard vengeance as a sacrament. In game all Dwarfs armies make a roll under the Ancestral Grudge rule, determining how many scores they have to settle with the particular army in front of them and potentially gaining an army-wide Hatred.
- The Blacksmith: Dwarfs are renowned for the quality of their craftsmanship. It has been said that they are physically incapable of cutting corners or doing a shoddy job, so proud are they of their work.
- Bling of War: Dwarf armours, especially those of Thanes, Lords or their elite unit such as Hammerers, are marvels of blacksmithing, often adorned with runes and jewels.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: Grudges have set conditions for fulfillment, usually disproportionately high. Once that is fulfilled, as far as they're concerned the matter is settled, sometimes abandoning the fight and just going home secure in their success. There are all sorts of conditional rules as well; if a grudge target is killed by a human it's shameful, but if the human used a Dwarf-made weapon to do the deed it still counts as a Dwarf kill.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: One short comic in the Warhammer Monthly series involves two dwarf thanes who have an ancient grudge, which they ultimately decide to settle through a form of ritual combat in which their beards are tied together and they start bashing each other. As they fight, they list off their respective grievances, only to ultimately realize they have no idea why the grudge was declared in the first place. They resolve to call the grudge off and unite their clans to be stronger... and then a nearby statue suddenly falls over on them, and as their beards are tied and they instinctively try to flee in different directions, they are crushed flat, with the comic's narration stating that this is divine punishment for daring to dishonor a grudge.
- Braids of Action: Female Dwarfs treat their hair like the men treat their beards, so the few times Female Dwarfs appear in artwork, they're portrayed with massive braids that reach down to their waists, sometimes even as long as they are tall. Male Dwarfs that grow their hair out tend to braid it too.
- Conlang: The Dwarf 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 its 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?"
- 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 engineer's craft. The rule Dwarf-crafted applying to all shooting weapons cancels the penalty to hit when performing a Stand and Shoot reaction to charge.
- Culture Chop Suey: Dwarf culture and design draws heavily on a number of influences such as the kingdoms of post-Roman Britain (particularly the Anglo-Saxonsnote and medieval Scandinavianote . All of this is held together with the stereotypical attitude of the people of Northern England and the Scots.
- Death Seeker: Dwarf slayers, having been dishonoured somehow, try to seek death by fighting the biggest, baddest monsters they can find with only their chosen weapons and no armor. The strongest Slayers ironically end up being the least successful by their standards, as they run out of local monsters able to kill them and have to start roaming the earth looking for more deadly foes.
- Design-It-Yourself Equipment: In addition to normal magic items, the Dwarfs have access to runic items: various runes can be combined on a single item to form your own unique magic items.
- Determinator: The Dwarfs are said to be stubbornness given form. Because of their obsession with doing something absolutely right, rare are the Dwarfs whod actually quit doing something until it is done, no matter the difficulties. In game it translates into their high Leadership stat and the two rules Relentless and Resolute allowing them to march even near an enemy unit and have a +1 bonus to Strength on the charge.
- Disproportionate Retribution: What the Dwarf obsession with grudges can lead to. This is typically caused by Deliberate Values Dissonance between Dwarfs and their erstwhile allies. In one example below, we may see it as just a matter of a dozen coins. To the Dwarfs, you have just cheated them out of money, which is Serious Business no matter the amount.
- Classic example; a White Dwarf battle report depicting a siege of Dwarf attackers vs. Empire defenders that sees hundreds dead on both sides was caused by the fact that, six years ago, the owner of the castle was twelve gold coins short in his payment for Dwarf construction workers.
- An even worse example of this makes its way into the canon; according to the last Empire sourcebook, in 2410 of the Imperial Calender, the Elector Count of Ostermark had Dwarf craftsmen from Karak Kadrin construct Fortress Kreighof in exchange for twelve dozen wagonloads of gold. Counting the payment and finding they hadn't received a "full payment", the Dwarfs promptly rally an army and raze the newly-built fortress to the ground. They were only missing two and a half pennies!
- In the Tomb Kings book, it's mentioned that there's a long-ongoing war between the dwarfs and a Tomb King over a hammer inset with a single copper coin that belongs to the Tomb King. To make the root of the conflict clear, Tomb Kings absolutely will not allow their treasure to leave their lands; dwarfs, however, refuse to let items of their manufacture fall into hands they deem unworthy. Said hammer has passed between the two sides about a dozen times so far.
- In what can only be called the ultimate example of this: according to the Orcs sourcebook, in 2315 during the battle of Grimspike Pass, an Orc Shaman became too powerful and exploded. This caused the pass to collapse and kill about ten thousand dwarf warriors. After the dust settled, seeing as the Orc Shaman responsible was no longer around and beyond their reach, the surviving Dwarfs then declared vengeance against the pass itself, swearing to not stop till the the pass is "mined to exhaustion and the rocks of the pass are as dust."
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Anvil of Doom, Doomseekers... you have to admit that it reflects their fatalistic nature.
- Doorstopper: The great Book of Grudges goes to over 3,500 pages... per volume. And they reached volume 469 two centuries ago.
- Drop the Hammer: Second only to the axe as the Dwarfs' most favorite weapon. The Hammer is the Weapon of Choice of the Hammerers, the guards of the Thanes and Lords.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Part of the reason why the Dwarfs and Elves both now have Vestigial Empires; the Dwarfs were manipulated by the Dark Elves into going to war against the High Elves, but it was the arrogance of the High Elven king — and the blunt stubbornness of the Dwarf ambassador — that led to the war taking place. They still hate each other over it.
- Elite 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 helps that every single Dwarf is a trained warrior, from the most humble coal miner or goat cheese merchant to the High King himself. On the tabletop, the core units have a Shieldwall rule representing the unit moving in unison to brandish the shields locked against each other, giving a bonus to parry saves.
- The Engineer: Dwarf engineers are the foremost experts in engineering in the Old World. 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 shots. It translates into a nearby warmachine being able to use the Engineer's Ballistic Skill and reroll the artillery dice.
- Fantasy Pantheon: Technically the Dwarf 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 Dwarf 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 credited 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 Dwarf dead and established the Dwarf tradition of venerating one's 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 members 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.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Type 3 due to In-Universe Values Dissonance with other cultures a lot of others end up in the Dwarfs' Book of Grudges with excessive requirements for restitution over what seems minor incidents.
- 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, being heavy infantrymen armed with a drakegun spitting short-ranged but powerful bolt of searing flames for tunnel warfare. Likewise, Flame Cannons shoot a burning ball of tar to set entire units on fire.
- Functional Magic: Rune Magic is subject to several rules concerning the addition of runes to an item. Thus Runesmiths must pay heed to them in order for their runes to work or for the object to not explode. These rules also carries on into the game as the player can also equip Lords and Heroes with magic items, subjected to the same rules. The first of these rules is the Rule of Three which limits the number of runes on a given item to three, as no object can bear more power. Secondly, the Rule of Form restricts a runes to a specific type of object like armour or magic banners. Thirdly, the Jealous Runes rule means that the same master rune cannot appear twice in the same army or be combined with other runes. Another rule specific to Runesmith tradition, the Rule of Pride, signifies that items cannot have the same combination as Runesmiths do not want to copy others nor repeat themselves.
- 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 definite supernatural properties such as being really sharp, all of which are of great power and reliability.
- Gender Rarity Value: 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.
- 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 obsession for miners and Dwarfs are notoriously hard to negotiate with when it comes to matters of payment.
- Grumpy Old Man: The Longbeards take this trope and play with it to make themselves badass. They're grumpy old men but that same "been there, seen that, done it" attitude means they'll never run from a fight and they have the skills to chop down most anything. Their Old Grumblers rule allows nearby units to reroll failed to Panic tests, representing the Dwarf being under the severe watch of their elders and not wanting to disappoint (and probably not having to put up with further decades of constant criticisms).
- The Dwarfs are more or less considered this by everyone else in the setting. They're infamously irritable, short, distrustful, and are ultra-conservative to the point that their society seems to move at a glacial pace by most standards.
- Have You Seen My God?: The Dwarf Gods used to walk among their people but Caledors Great Vortex drained magic from the world and the Gods all disappeared.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Inverted. Dwarfs believe that all melee weapons should double as tools. Because swords are purely weapons of war with no other use, Dwarfs consider them to be "Umgak": bad craftsmanship. It doesn't stop them from making it for other races as the Runefangs can attest.
- Hidden Elf Village: Kraka Drak, the furthest North of the Dwarfholds. The locals have been deemed the Norse Dwarfs, as they've spent so long isolated from the rest of the world that they've developed a unique culture up in Norsca. They were eventually wiped out, but not before Thorgrim Grudgebearer finally reconnected them to the other Dwarf realms.
- Hold the Line: The Dwarfs, thanks to their high morale, endurance and better armors, naturally adopt this tactic. However, the champions of this tactic 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 tight confines, the Ironbreakers let waves upon waves of enemies crash into their ranks.
- Hopeless War: It can be argued that the Dwarfs are constantly fighting a hopeless war just to maintain their remaining Holds as their enemies are both relentless and outnumber the Dwarfs by an insurmountable margin. The Dwarfs refuse to accept any of this and keep fighting despite mounting casualties and even more grudges being made with each defeat. As an example, Karak Eight-Peaks is the ground for a three-way war between the Crooked Moon Night Goblin tribe and the Skaven Clan Mors, each having made the higher and lower halves of the old Karak into their lairs, respectively. In-between, King Belegar Ironhammer has merely managed to occupy the outer citadel without any major progress, only holding this comparatively small portion of the Karak because High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer sends regular reinforcements.
- Kill It with Fire: The Dwarfs possess flame cannons, spitting burning balls of tar and oil at the enemy.
- Language Equals Thought: Subverted. Dwarfs are an incredibly direct, no-nonsense people that dislike trickery and prefer straight talk. Their language has no words for abstract concepts, at all. But it's not that they don't understand those things, it's that the Dwarf language of Khazalid uses bywords to express theoretical ideas. For instance, Khazalid has no word for "eternal" but it does have the word "Karak". "Kar", meaning "Mountain" and "Ak" meaning "Similar to" so "Karak" means "Similar to a mountain", that is to say, lasting a long time.
- Lawful Stupid: 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.
- Marked Bullet: The Dwarfs use small catapult named Grudge Throwers, named such because the crews have taken to engrave an outstanding grudge on the stones before they throw them at the enemy.
- Mighty Glacier: They possess no cavalry and their only other means of transportation are stumpy little legs giving an average M3 for most Dwarfs unit, so speed is definitely not their forte. However, they have powerful ranged attacks in the form of artillery, crossbows and muskets and in melee, they carry devastatingly powerful runic weaponry. They also have Gromil Armor, which is the only armor besides Chaos Armor that grants a 4+ armor save. Combined with their shields, inherent toughness bonus and magic resistance as well as their high Leadership, trying to shift an uncooperative Dwarf mainline can be a herculean task.
- Mithril: The Dwarfs use a particular metal named Gromril or Silverstone. It is the sturdiest metal in the world and they make the strongest non-enchanted armors, giving a 4+ armour save if one wears a Gromril Armour set.
- More Dakka : The Dwarfs have the peculiar issue of having no access to Monster units unlike every other army in the game. Only trusting what they make, they instead make ample use of crossbows, guns and war machines of many sorts. Maybe the greatest example of this trope in the game is incarnated by the Organ Gun, a multi-barreled cannon that can fire up to twenty Strength 5 shots.
- My Greatest Failure: The mere existence of the Chaos Dwarfs. Losing your empire to outside interlopers is bad enough, but having your own people cast aside everything your culture holds sacred and embrace a Religion of Evil? That stings on an even deeper level. To this day the Dawi refuse to hear even the slightest mention of the Dawi Zharr in their presence, and if you know what's good for you, you'll respect their wishes.
- Nerves of Steel: All Dwarfs units have the Leadership of other factions commanders (a minimum of 9 when the game average is 7 and the highest Leadership possible is 10), thus they have a low risk of failing Panic, Fear or any Psychological roll for that matter.
- New Technology is Evil: Downplayed in that while the dwarfs are expert craftsmen, they are also extremely traditionalist. 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 an entirely different matter as that is an accepted part of the pride that they take in their craftsmanship. In addition to this, the shamed or dishonour felt if a designs is not completely reliable and/or course the death of their kinsmen will cause a lot of dwarf craftsmen to take the Slayer oath.
- Old Soldier: Regiments of Dwarf Longbeards consist of the oldest and toughest warriors of a Hold. Skilled fighters who are unfazed by anything, the 8th Edition game rules give Longbeards superior combat characteristics and make them immune to psychological effects such as Fear and Terror.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Though the extensive use of cannons and muskets is new and the focus on oaths and revenge is taken over the top.
- Actually Subverted. Humanity believe this trope to be true and view the Dwarfs as a homogeneous, monolithic culture but that's actually not true. Each "Karak" has its own cultural identity and as such, the Dwarf Realms are actually very diverse. The Dwarfs of the Grey Mountains tend to be more youthful and ambitious, the natives of Barak Varr are more friendly and laid back, and Kraka Drak is extremely isolationist and paranoid. Differences between individual Dwarfs are not described to be any less varied than any other race; a dwarf can be anyone from a Boisterous Bruiser like Kazador Dragonslayer to a Bungling Inventor like Malakai Makaisson to an Adventurer Archaeologist like Bardin Goreksson.
- Pardon My Klingon: Khazalid has many swear words and other insults, varying from the obvious to the strange. 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. 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", making the term's use probably derogatory toward humans.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 its waterfalls, which the hold is named after.
- Karak Kadrin — Slayers: Karak Kadrin has attracted many Slayers, especially since the King is one.
- 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.
- Praetorian Guard: Dwarf Hammerers are the appointed guard of the Lords and Thanes of the Dwarfs. Their Kingsguard rule even allows individual Hammerers to accept a challenge instead of the General if he is among them.
- 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, Dwarf armies depend on citizen levy, and every citizen is ready to answer the call...it's rare for such systems produce an Elite Army kind of force, but they do if the systems are working with Dwarfs. Notably, however, the Dwarfs very rarely start wars unprovoked and most of them would be perfectly content to live a peaceful life of working and drinking. On the flip side though, they're not terribly likely to consider every ending one without expressly achieving their objective.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The War of Vengeance officially ended on the Dwarfs victory over the High Elves. However, it bled their population dry, leading to the Times of Woes where disastrous earthquakes cracked holes in the Karaks and many of them fell to the Greenskins or Skaven.
- Ranger: Rangers have a very interesting place in Dwarf society. Their services are vital to securing the lands outside the Holds, thwarting ambushes on caravans and reclaiming lost treasures. But being someone who specializes in working alone and wandering the wilderness doesn't make you very popular with a society that thinks that family ties are everything and staying outdoors too long is unhealthy. As a result, being a Ranger is a thankless job. Some dwarfs suspect that Rangers are cowards who didn't want to take the Slayer Oath, which is ironic since Slayers are also social outcasts. One story mentions that Slayers and Rangers often get along very well because neither of them quite fit into Dwarf society.
- Redemption Equals Death: A Slayer became so usually because of a great dishonor or fault on their part. They believe that only in death in battle they can redeem themselves.
- Revenge Before Reason: To the extent that they veer into Too Dumb to Live territory. They are forever taking even the most minor offense against them and writing it down into a "Book of Grudges" so they can one day demand recompense.
- Serious Business: Pretty much everything a Dwarf does is "serious business"; they're almost psychologically incapable of not giving it their all when they strive to do something which is part of the reason they're such expert craftsmen. That said, beards. A Dwarf's beard is literally a representation of his honor and his age; the longer a dwarf's beard, the more aged he is and the more respect he is due. Harming a dwarf's beard is a serious, serious offence. Naturally, the High Elves like to mock dwarfs by referring to the War of Vengeance that shattered their two empires as "The War of the Beard".
- Siege Engines: Dwarfs are the foremost users of such contraptions. Their technological savviness allows them to easily field Grudge Throwers, Bolt Throwers and many types of Cannons to break walls, but also shoot down hordes and monsters.
- Sins of Our Fathers : A dwarfs oaths and failings are also attributed to the entirety of his clan and descendants. King Ungrim Ironfist is thus also a slayer because his ancestor took the Slayer Oath. It causes frictions with the humans as they apply the same logic to others and the dwarfs may seek revenge on someone whose ancestor wronged them, causing incomprehension when angry dwarfs suddenly show up demanding recompense about some event centuries ago.
- Steampunk: More or less on par with The Empire depending on how powerful the local Engineer Guild is. Dwarfs have managed to create heavier than air flying machines, industrialize the steam engine, and other steam-powered machinery. However, not all places are as advanced as Zhufbar.
- Stout Strength: They are Dwarfs, after all, they are all small and burly, but they are extremely tough, the Lords having Toughness 5 for instance.
- Taking You with Me: Slayers have the Deathblow rule that allows every model reduced to 0 wounds in close-quarters to perform another last attack.
- 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 have the Underground Advance rule giving them the Ambushers special rule and counting their entry point as being soft cover, as they dig under the battlefield and come out of the ground.
- Tunnel Network: The Dwarfs created a massive network of large tunnels to accommodate travel and trade between Karaks named the Underway. Since the Times of Woes, it has been heavily damaged (cave ins are very common down there) and large sections of it are occupied by hostile forces or random monsters.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: Runesmiths and Runelords are accomplished blacksmiths, but also know how to capture magic and shape it into powerful runes. One their most outstanding Runesmiths is Alaric the Mad, who forged the Runefangs. Thungni (Ancestor God of Blacksmithing) takes the cake though, as he forged Ghal Maraz, which is not only the most powerful weapon in the setting, it's the Warhammer.
- Uncertain Doom: It is told Grimnir went alone to close the gateway allowing the Daemons of Chaos access to the material world at the height of their invasion. His ultimate fate is unknown, but the Dwarfs claim that he fell into darkness.
- Underground City: The Dwarfs lives in fortress-cities named Karaks, elaborate strongholds dug out of a mountain and the earth beneath. On the surface lies a typical fortress but the real city is below the ground, composed of a myriad of tunnels, great chambers and hidden chambers.
- Vestigial Empire: They were the dominant force in the Old World until the Times of Woe and the rise of Man. The War of Vengeance against the Elves decimated their numbers, exhausted much of their strength and cost them priceless lore. An incredibly powerful earthquake (hinted variously to be the result of Skaven or Slaan meddling) ruined many of their holds, and even those that weren't were made vulnerable. Since then, they have been almost ceaselessly besieged from without by orcs and from below by skaven. Not surprisingly, they're not rulers of the world anymore.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: A bare-chested Dwarf usually means that this Dwarf is a Slayer, swearing off armor to die a glorious death in combat as soon as possible. However, the Slayers are actually a low-tier unit on the tabletop because of their lack of armor.
- The Worf Effect: The Dwarfs are more than anyone in the lore the primary victims of an awesome army or unit, as there isnt a more impressive testament of dangerousness than being able to threaten the Dwarfs.
Resolute Kings and Outstanding Dawi
High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer, Lord of Karaz-a-Karak
The Current High King of the Dwarfs, Thorgrim sits atop the Throne of Power carried by four Thronebearers, and he carries with him the Great Book of Grudges, which holds all the grudges of the Dwarfs. Thorgrim claims that he will fulfill all the grudges written in the book.
- An Axe to Grind: The Axe of Grimnir, which has been passed down to each High King starting with Morgrim, Grimnir's oldest son. It is extremely powerful, as befitting the weapon of a god, and in game has a range of special effects. It grants its bearer the Always Strikes First rule, always wounds on a +2 or +3 if the target has magic armour, and it has a Multiple Wounds bonus against Giants.
- Armor of Invincibility: The Armour of Skaldor is an exceptional armour engraved with protection runes. It grants a measly 4+ armour save improved to 2+ armour save by the Throne, but it grants a 2+ Ward Save against attacks with the Heroic Killing Blow or Killing Blow or Multiple Wounds rules.
- Bling of War: Braided through his beard and adorning his clothes.
- 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. It grant Thorgrim with a +4 Wounds and +2 Armour save bonuses, grants a 4+ Ward save, and is so visible his Inspiring Presence rule is 18 inches wide. However, since he's perched so high, he cannot have someone Taking the Bullet for him as per the Look out, Sir! rule that usually applies with characters.
- Cool Crown: The Dragon Crown of Karaz, which all High Kings have worn since the founding of Karaz-a-Karak. It makes Thorgrim and the unit he's in Stubborn and Immune to Psychology.
- Determinator: Thorgrim will not rest till every grudge in the G.B.G. is avenged.
- Good Old Ways: Subverted. Because of charisma and his determination to settle all the grudges in the Dammaz Kron, Thorgrim is often hailed as a throwback to the great High Kings of old. However, in his actual policies, Thorgrim is pretty much as radical as it is possible for a Dwarf to be, and he has pushed for massive economic and social reforms, diplomatic outreach and research and innovation.
- The High King: He is the spiritual ruler of all Dwarfs. Since all Dwarfs defer to him, he must be the army's General. And if he is slain, the army gains Frenzy, seething with anger as they must suffer the indignity of their High King falling in battle.
- Impossible Task: Since he was crowned High King, he has sworn to write off every known grudge in the Book of Grudges. As he found out much to his frustration, the grudges are rarely crossed off despite his best efforts, and it continues to remain full with old grudges stacking up and newly-written grudges flooding in practically every second.
- Keystone Army: Inverted. Thorgrim has a special rule that if he falls in battle, his entire army gets Hatrednote , making them more powerful.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: 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.
- Old Soldier: Elderly even by Dwarfish standards, Thorgrim still regularly takes to the battlefield in order to personally settle the greatest of Grudges.
- Praetorian Guard: His Throne of Power is carried by Thronebearers, who also act as his bodyguards. A big case of Bodyguarding a Badass but 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. Despite his adherence to his species' ancient grudges against the high elves he's also smart enough to know when to set it aside and is willing to work with the high elves against the Warriors of Chaos, greenskins or skaven.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Since Thorgrim always carries with him the Great Book of Grudges, he always reminds his army of all the wrongs that the enemy has done to the Dwarf race, stirring his soldiers into anger. As a result when rolling for the Ancestral Grudge, the roll has a +3 bonus, and if the score is 7 or more, then Dwarfs will have Hatred but with rerolls to hit allowed for every turn in close quarters.
- Too Important to Walk: In battle he sits on the Throne of Power while carried by four Thronebearers.
Slayer King Ungrim Ironfist, Lord of Karak Kadrin
- All for Nothing: Ungrim slew countless monsters, fought in numerous battles, all in the hopes that he would encounter something powerful enough to kill him and release his son of his familial Slayer Oath... but then, his son died.
- An Axe to Grind: He is armed with a mighty two-handed axe of monstrous size and enscribed with many potent runes. This is the Axe of Dargo, reforged from Baragor's own axe, and enscribed in Khazalid with the oath of a Slayer. It grants Ungrim a +2 Strength bonus and the Killing Blow rule.
- Badass Cape: The Dragon Cloak of Fyrskyr, the skin of a dragon that was defeated at the Battle of the Broken Leg Gully. It was a gift from Thorgrim Grudgebearer, and grants Ungrim with a 4+ ward save enhanced to 2+ ward save against flaming attacks.
- Cool Crown: The Slayer Crown sits atop Ungrim's head. This is a sturdy horned helmet with golden crown, on top of which is a huge bright orange crest like a Slayer's hair. It is enchanted to give Ungrim a bonus to armour save and also enhance his Toughness stat by +1.
- Death Seeker: Has double the reason to be this compared to regular Slayers. Not only does he want to die to restore his honor, but his death will also nullify his son Garagrim's Slayer oath, saving his life. Garagrim eventually dies first.
- Empowered Badass Normal: After the Great Vortex was unraveled, the Wind of Fire flew to the east and chose Ungrim as its host during the battle of Karaz-a-Karak.
- Fiery Redhead: Even though it's not his natural color. Also becomes a literal version as the Incarnate of Fire.
- Heroic Sacrifice: When the battle of Averheim starts to go south, and Balthasar Gelt is worried he cannot manage to evacuate everyone, Ungrim, finally seeing his doom before him, volunteers to stay behind with the rest of the Slayers and stall the Chaos horde for as long as they could. Thanks to his sacrifice, Gelt, Karl Franz, the Reiksguard, the Bretonnians and the remaining non-Slayer Dwarfs were able to make it past Archaons horde and continue the fight. In the distance Vlad von Carstein, who has been making his way to the citys aide, sees a massive column of flame erupt from the devastated city, marking the end of the Slayer King as Aqshy departs.
- Last of His Kind: Ungrim's only son Garagrim has fulfilled his Slayer oath, meaning that his line will inevitably end with his death.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Ungrim is the only Slayer who wears armor instead of being a Walking Shirtless Scene. Presumably this represents the fact that, although he'd be happy to die, his royal obligation to Karak Kadrin makes his life paradoxically valuable. As both king and Slayer, he can only join Slayers, but allows Slayers to have a magic standard and Ungrim's Inspiring Presence still applies.
- 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.
- Playing with Fire: After becoming the Incarnate of Fire.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: 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.
Garagrim Ironfist, Prince of Karak Kadrin
Garagrim Ironfist is the Prince of Karak Kadrin, War-mourner of Slayer Keep and the only son of the legendary Slayer King Ungrim Ironfist. Wishing to lift the burden and shame that his father has endured upon taking the Slayer Oath, the young Prince ritually shaved his head and became a Slayer in hopes of dying in battle to fulfill that purpose. His father did not agree with his method, for by taking up the Slayer Oath the young prince, like his father before him, had foolishly continued the never-ending cycle of shame that has plagued Ungrim's family blood-line for several generations.
He was killed early in the End Times under unclear circumstances, thus fulfilling the Slayer vow of his family line. Ungrim, however, unable to bear the loss of his only son, took the Slayer oath once again as a result.
- Death Seeker: Unlike most Slayers, it wasn't actually a personal shame that made him take the oath.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Judging by his model, he goes into battle with nothing more than a belt to hang his axe off of.
- Godiva Hair: A male example. Garagrim would go into battle wearing nothing, and his beard obscures pretty much everything below the waist.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Taking the Slayer Oath is essentially suicide, but Garagrim was willing to do it if it meant his father didn't have to. See Shoot the Shaggy Dog for how that turned out.
- Papa Wolf: Inverted. Garagrim was willing to die to save his father's life.
- Saved by Canon: Subverted. Garagrim died during the Storm Of Chaos event when a Chaos Giant he killed fell on top of him... but the Storm of Chaos event was later retconned, bringing Garagrim back to life. Only for him to again be killed (just like everyone else), in the End Times.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: An extremely painful two-for-one version. Garagrim's quest was to die in battle so his father wouldn't have to. Ungrim's quest was to die in battle so his son wouldn't have to. Garagrim dies... but the grief causes Ungrim to reaffirm his Slayer oath, making Garagrim's death All for Nothing.
Belegar Ironhammer, Lord of the Angrund and True King of Karak Eight Peaks
The leader of the Angrund Clan and true king of the Eight Peaks, Belegar's life is dedicated to reclaiming the home of his ancestors and avenging the grudges bequeathed to him.
- Drop the Hammer: The Hammer of Angrund, also known as the Ironhammer. As the name implies, it's the Ancestral Weapon and namesake of the Angrund Clan royal line. It grants Belegar Always Strikes First, but also a +1 bonus to wound enemies.
- Expy: A Dwarf king who has been removed from his ancestral home and has to fight through an army of Goblins and Orcs to get it back.
- The Faceless: Belegar is always portrayed with his full-faced helmet on, so his actual face has never been seen.
- Impoverished Patrician: He is the King of Karak Eight Peaks by birthright but has little land of himself to speak of, most of them either held by or contested between Skarsnik's Greenskins and Queek Headtaker's Skaven.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Wields the Shield of Defiance which has saved his life many times due to the runes of protection in bears. It even allowed Belegar to escape unscathed after being Swallowed Whole by Gobbla. Twice!. In game, the Shield of Defiance gives Belegar a 4+ ward save and makes him immune to the Heroic Killing Blow or Killing Blow rules.
- Off with His Head!: When Belegar and Queek Headtaker finally met in combat, the Dwarf king put up a fierce fight and grievously wounded the Skaven warlord. In the end Queek lived up to his name though, taking the Dwarfs head as his own.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Belegar bears with him a history of familial humiliations and defeats. His Revenge Incarnate allows him to remind himself of his ancestors and double his attacks for one turn to 8 Attacks.
Grombrindal, The White Dwarf
The White Dwarf is the legendary Dwarf known in Khazalid as Grombrindal, which roughly means "The White-Bearded Ancestor". Over the centuries he has received several names, but this is the one by which he is most known.
No one knows where to find the White Dwarf. He appears when and where his people are in serious difficulties. When everything seems to go wrong for the Dwarfs, he arrives. He has been seen many times throughout the extensive history of the Dwarfs and there is evidence of his mysterious and unexpected appearance in the most awful moments of the battle in a multitude of sagas. Each time he has appeared, the tables have changed in favor of the Dwarfs. It has been sighted on many occasions a strange and solitary Dwarf that matched his description in a dwarf camp on the eve of a great battle, sitting alone. Sometimes his silhouette has been seen walking on the battlefield of a besieged fortress, which is considered a good omen that bears victory and hope. The next day, the White Dwarf would make his appearance in the battle clad in all his royal panoply of war, like a legendary ancient king, like a true ancestor, like a figure who has come to life from the old dwarf engravings.
Some say that the White Dwarf is none other than Snorri Whitebeard, the first High King of Karaz-a-Karak, who was the only High King of the Dwarfs to receive due and deserved respect from the Phoenix King of the High Elves of Ulthuan. But that was a long, long time ago, before the War of the Beard; And, if it were true, the White Dwarf could be considered a true ancestor who undoubtedly managed somehow mysteriously to push the limits of mortality.
- Ascended Extra: Grombrindal started as a Visual Pun; Games Workshop's White Dwarf magazine was about both science fiction and fantasy, so it used an astronomy term and had a Dwarf with a white beard as it's mascot. He eventually became an actual character who existed in-universe and got a more distinct design and personality.
- An Axe to Grind: The Runic Axe of Grimnir, no less.
- Badass Beard: A notable example because, as mentioned below, Grombrindal's beard is apparently considered sexy by Dwarf standards.
- Badass Cape: Valaya's Runic Mantle. A cloak that was supposedly woven by Valaya herself as a gift for Grombrindal. Some versions of the saga say she did it because she was in love with him for his magnificent white beard.
- Cool Helmet: The Rune Helm of Zhufbar. A dazzling horned helmet, this item was lost from Zhufbar during a time it was temporarily overrun with Greenskins.
- Foil: To Alith Anar. 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: Zig-zagged. One of Grombrindal's iconic items is the Rune Helm of Zhufbar. He always has it with him, but he's not always depicted wearing it.
- Schrödinger's Gun: One of Grombrindal's special abilities is that he can suddenly reveal that he was one of the units in a Dwarf army the entire time. The player decides which unit he was disguised as when they choose to reveal it.
- Shrouded in Myth: No one is actually sure who Grombrindal is. He appears and disappears without warning and possesses items that he claims to have gotten from the Ancestor Gods themselves. It is heavily implied and later confirmed in Warhammer: The End Times that he is Snorri Whitebeard, who was so furious at Malekith's betrayal that he came back from the dead by sheer force of will.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Grombrindal will appear in the middle of battle, do what he needs to do, and vanish just as suddenly. As mentioned above, this is also a game mechanic.
Kazador Dragonslayer, King of Karak Azul
King Kazador is the legendary King of Karak Azul, a magnificent and ancient Dwarf Hold that is situated with the southern lands of the Worlds Edge Mountains. He is a massive Dwarf, and incredibly strong even by the extraordinary standards of Dwarf kings. His younger days were full of feasting and fighting, bawdy songs and raucous humour, and, of course, battles. Lots of battles, so much so that eventually the Greenskin tribes have all but avoided the territory of King Kazador whenever they possibly can due to his legendary reputation as a skilled general and warrior.
Ruling over a kingdom surrounded by Greenskins gave Kazador few worries. In fact he found it rather convenient, and spent the summer months hunting Goblins living within the mountains whenever he can. Sadly those days are long gone. One day, a raiding party of Greenskins lead by a massive Orc by the name of Gorfang Rotgut infiltrated the stronghold, pillaging and looting all in his wake. Although the Orcs were eventually driven out, they took many captives, including many of Kazador's own kin. Even today Kazador knows that his own people are rotting in the dungeons of Black Crag, and so far he has been unable to recover them or to avenge their deaths (if dead they be). Prince Kazrik, the king's only son, suffered a fate far worse. Captured along with his kin folk in the king's own throne room, the young Dwarf Prince was not taken captive but shaved and nailed firmly to Kazador's throne as a gesture of contempt.
Since then, the King has promised half his treasure hoard to the Dwarf who brings his kinsfolk back alive; a quarter of it to anyone who brings their dead bodies back to rest in Karak Azul. To anyone who kills Gorfang he has promised the pick of his treasures. Since Kazador is wealthy as only a Dwarf king can be, this offer has caused a lot of excitement in the Dwarf realms.
- Arch-Enemy: Kazador loathes the Orc Warlord Gorfang Rotgut with a passion considered intense even by the standards of the grudge-bearing Dwarfs. The solemn Dwarf King has dedicated his life and considerable resources to the destruction of his hated foe.
- Break the Badass: Kazador was once a jovial, battle-loving Boisterous Bruiser who loved nothing more than hunting Goblins and partaking in drinking competitions. Since Gorfang Rotgut invaded Karak Azul, captured many of Kazadors kin and nailed his son to his throne, after shaving the young princeling, Kazador has become a shadow of his former self who only becomes animated when going to war against the greenskins.
- The Big Guy: Although unlike most Big Guys, his Weapon of Choice is a crossbow.
- Great White Hunter: Kazador enjoys hunting lone Greenskins for fun. If his name is accurate, he's also killed a Dragon at some point.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Greenskins aren't exactly geniuses, but they are sapient, making his frequent Greenskin hunts an example of this trope.
- Large and in Charge: Said to be gigantic by Dwarf standards. Assuming the greenskins pictured with him are goblins, that would make him nearly twice the size of the average Dwarf.
Alrik Ranulfsson, King of the Hornhold
Even amongst a race as steeped in custom and tradition as the Dwarfs, King Alrik is regarded as particularly devoted to the customs of his ancestors. Perhaps it is because Karak Hirn, as one of the Grey Mountains holds, is regarded by many Dwarfs as being somehow new and unproven (despite being several thousand years old) that makes Alrik such a stickler for the old ways. Borne into battle upon the shield of his great-great-great-grandfather Kurgaz, considered a giant amongst Dwarfs and founder of Karak Hirn, Alrik has endeavored to settle many scores from the Karak Hirn Book of Grudges.
- An Axe to Grind: The Axe Of Retribution. Alrik had this silver-headed weapon forged specifically for himself, to right the wrongs of Karak Hirn's grudges. Inscribed with the Rune of Breaking, which makes it easier for it to shatter weapons, and the Grudge Rune, which glows in the presence of notably heinous offenders written into the Book of Grudges.
- Bling of War: Dons the Hrappi-klad, a set of bright golden armor that is traditional for the kings of Karak Hirn and his shieldbearers.
- Fiery Redhead: It's his actual hair color too, since he's not a Slayer.
- Good Old Ways: Alrik is a staunch traditionalist who prides himself on living the old fashioned way because he believes in this trope.
- Intrepid Merchant: Karak Hirn lies directly between The Empire and the Border Princes, so it's become an important trade hub.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Subverted. Alrik brings Kurgaz's Shield to battle, an ancient family heirloom. However, it's a tremendously unwieldy and heavy slab of metal that's far too massive to actually wield, so instead he uses it as an especially large platform for his shieldbearers to hold.
- Mercury's Wings: Alrik wears the Helm of Eagles, an open-faced helmet with massive wings that's inscribed with runes that improve his eyesight, preventing assassinations and ambushes.
- Too Important to Walk: All Dwarf Lords have their shieldbearers, but Alrik is never seen without them.
- Young Conqueror: Not him so much, but Karak Hirn itself is one of the younger Karaks. To Dwarfs, young doesn't mean "in it's prime and about to do great things" so much as "unreliable because it hasn't been tempered by the wisdom of experience" so Alrik is eager to prove that his Hold can stand among the likes of Karaz-a-Karak and Karak Kadrin as one of the greats. This has made him even more rigidly traditionalist than most Dwarf Lords, in a desire to cement his line in the Dwarf legacy.
Josef Bugman, Master Brewer
Josef Bugman is the most legendary Master Brewer of all time. This is really saying something, for Dwarfs take their ale seriously, and there are many famous brews and renowned brewers, yet still, the name of Bugman stands as a paragon of quality. A member of the Dragonback Clan, after the fall of Ekrund, Josefs relatives set up a stout brewhouse in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. A moderate success, the brewery took off after Josef took over, with triumphs like Bugmans XXXXX and the notorious Troll Brew. At the height of his ales' growing popularity, disaster struck. While returning from a delivery, Bugman arrived at his brewery to find it a smoldering ruin.
Goblin raiders had wrecked the brewery, drunk its ale and kidnapped Bugmans living relatives. In those ruins, Bugman swore a mighty vengeance, resolving to hunt down the greenskins and rescue his kin. He and his companions went off into the wild and were not heard of again for many years, having resolved to hunt the Goblins down and rescue their kinfolk if they could. The band trailed the Goblins across the World's Edge Mountain and into the wilderness beyond. Little was heard of them again except for rumors of the ravages of Bugman and his band, of cunning ambushes and night raids against Goblin camps. Sometimes, the band would suddenly emerge from the wilds, tattered and blood-stained, to join up with a Dwarf army before a great battle with the Goblins. They kept to themselves, huddled around their own campfire, with a strange glint in their eyes and their hands clasped around tankards of Bugman's ale. So has the legend of Josef Bugman persist to this day.
- An Axe to Grind: Ol' Trustworthy, an ancient heirloom. It adds a +1 bonus to his Attack and Strength stats and is also Armour Piercing.
- Band of Brothers: Bugman's Rangers always accompany him to battle, and are a particularly adept group of Rangers too. Although Bugman's Rangers are more expensive when building the army, they have a bonus to Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill and Strength.
- Booze-Based Buff: Indeed, Josef Bugman carries with him several tankards containing brews of his creation to enhance units. His Liquid Fortification rule can on a good roll grant his unit the Stubborn rule or even enhance their Toughness as Liquid Courage. Also, Bugman's Tankard contains a special refreshing brew that gives back D3 wounds to a model in his unit.
- Drunken Master: He is almost single-handedly the reason most Dwarfs are this. He can somehow enhance his unit via his drinks.
- Folk Hero: Bugman is quite famous as a Dwarf savior for surface settlements. As a result, his Stout Courage rule makes the unit he's in immune to Fear and Terror.
- Gargle Blaster: Bugman's XXXXXX. All Dwarf Ale is this, really, but Bugmans XXXXX is very possibly the strongest drink ever made.
- I Call It "Vera": Double Subverted. Josef's axe has a name, but he won't tell anyone what it is...so instead he calls it Ol' Trustworthy.
- Odd Name Out: Josef and his father Samuel took on Reikspiel names in order to appeal to their Imperial customers. Samuel used to be named Zamnil, but Josef's Khazalid name is unknown.
Thorek Ironbrow, Master Runelord of Karak Azul
Thorek Ironbrow, Master Runelord of Karak Azul, is a Runelord like unto those of legend. In the best of his moods, he is fiercely irate and a living terror to his apprentices in the weapons shops of Karak Azul, where he has ruled for centuries on end. A traditionalist in every sense, Thorek cannot abide new technology, and takes every opportunity to speak his mind on "new inventions". Fortunately, he lends not just his councils, but also his strong arm to Thorgrim Grudgebearer.
Like his High King, Thorek too longs to reclaim the Dwarf Empire of old, but he also has a personal quest — he seeks lost relics of the ancient days. For this reason, Thorek is extremely active and can be found aiding throngs from many different clans and holds. Of late, Thorek has been deep underground, buoying the Dwarf battle lines and unleashing the fury of his Anvil of Doom upon the Skaven that fill the underhalls of Karak Eight Peaks.
He is not only helping the cause of King Belegar, but also searching for those sealed treasure vaults that have never yet been re-found. Each new discovery of ancient rune artefacts helps keep the precious runecraft of his forefathers alive and to ensure that no further holds fall. Thorek can never be found without his Anvil of Doom and his most able assistant, a long-suffering Dwarf named Kraggi. Most of the time, Kraggi is a great aid to Thorek but on occasion, his inexperience (hes only been smithing for a century) causes issues. When Kraggi is paying sufficient attention to his masters gruff commands, no living Runelord can match Thoreks prowess on the Anvil of Doom. With a resounding clang on his anvil, Thorek Ironbrow grounds enemy spells and smites those who would dare defy the growing might of the Dwarfs.
- Armor of Invincibility: Thorek's Rune Armour is so well made it allowed him to survive a Giant and the flames of a Dragon. In game, it gives Thorek a 1+ Armour Save.
- Drop the Hammer: Klad Brakak, his anvil-headed rune hammer that pulses with magical energy. No armour saves are allowed against Klad Brakak, and it can destroy all the magic items on his enemy.
- Grumpy Old Man: Exaggerated. Dwarfs come off as Grumpy Old Men to most other races. Runesmiths are considered stuffy traditionalists even among Dwarfs. Thorek is considered a stuffy traditionalist even among Runesmiths. Infamously mercurial, catching Thorek in a bad mood can get an aspiring runesmith demoted all the way back down to a miner.
- Legacy Character: Thorek is essentially the replacement for Kragg the Grim, a nearly identical character (extremely old curmudgeon who was the greatest runelord who ever lived) who was never technically made non-canon, but is almost never mentioned after Thorek was introduced.
- Magic Knight: Certainly the closest thing the Dwarfs have to one.
- Out of the Inferno: Thorek wears fire-proof armor, which once allowed him to walk unscathed through the firey breath of a wyrm named Drakamol.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: He is the foremost Runelord of the Dwarfs. Master of Ancient Lore grants him a +1 bonus when trying to use his Anvil of Doom.
- Wizards Live Longer: While not a true magic user, as a Runelord Thorek is able to capture the Winds of Magic to create powerful magic items. Gruff and irritable, Thorek is old, even for a Dwarf, having ruled the forges of Karak Azul for centuries.
Grimm Burloksson, Master Engineer
Grimm Burloksson is the youngest Dwarf to pass the many rituals required to be named a Master Engineer. As the son of the Guildmaster Burlok Damminsson, it was always expected that he would follow in his fathers footsteps. Even as a beardling, Grimm exhibited all the signs of a skilled inventor; when other aspirants were still learning basic principles, he had already constructed a self-lighting pipe, a steam-powered beard-braider and a double-barrelled rifle that could kill a half-dozen greenskins with one shot.
Even the eldest guildmembers conceded his ability; however, there were signs that his judgement was suspect and he did not value the ancient laws that Dwarf Engineers are expected to follow. Grimms rebellious ways are not unexpected, for his father also went beyond the experimentations attempted by all headstrong young Engineers. Only a tragic accident and the ritual humiliation of a close comrade forced Burlok to change his ways, and many say that Grimm is heading down the same wrong path.
Unheeding of advice, Grimm continues to forego the precision tuning so beloved by his guild and instead focuses on the trial and error of his own bold inventions. He has devised a telescopic sight that fits over his battle helm and better allows him to triangulate aiming computations, and those who have fired using his enhanced black powder and modified crossbow bolts find their range greatly increased. In emulation of his fathers augmentations, Grimm has invented his own steam-powered gauntlet, thus increasing his own strength significantly. An eccentric, if somewhat erratic genius, the young Engineer torments his guildmates by attempting new designs, questioning past methods and stubbornly refusing to give up new inventions.
- An Axe to Grind: The Cog Axe: An axe with "teeth" in the blade that hooks into foes using a steam-powered clamp. It is unremarkable as war axes go by itself but its Weaponsnapper rule can destroy magic items on a dice roll when attacking with it.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Grimm is hardly young by conventional standards, but he's the definitely the youngest named Dwarf character and one of the few without grey hair. He's also the youngest Master Engineer ever.
- Child Prodigy: He is said to have been able to invent steam powered machines for the most complex tasks (like braiding a beard) or create guns while the others were still learning about basic physics and maths.
- The Engineer: He is a genius at engineering, having invented many devices such as a Power Armor, and is without peer at maintaining the war machines of the throngs. His Master of Accuracy allows him to enhance nearby war machines and other shooting units with either Basic Adjustments, allowing the warmachine to use his Ballistic Skill and reroll the artillery dice, Increased Range giving crossbows and muskets a 2D6 range increase, or Superior Volley allowing to reroll missed to hit rolls.
- Mad Scientist: Not exactly. Grimm is overall fairly reasonable and sane but the Engineer's Guld views him as insanely reckless because he doesn't move at a snail's pace like tradition dictates.
- Mundane Utility: Steam-powered machinery can be used to make powerful weapons and energy sources. It can also be used to make a machine that braids your beard!
- Power Fist: Grimm has created a steam-powered gauntlet to wear on his left arm, in imitation of his father's famous prosthetic. In-game his gauntlet boost the young engineer's Strength characteristic so that, in 8th Edition, it is higher than any other Dwarf in the game.
- Rebellious Spirit: Heavily Downplayed in that Grimm never disobeys the rules, exactly, but he doesn't care that he's shaking things up. He is much more inventive and eccentric than the slow-moving, traditionalist Engineer's Guild prefers, but he doesn't care.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The Grudge-raker is essentially a double-barrel shotgun, although it's sometimes described as a rifle. In any case, it's a gun with Strength 4 and a range of 18 inches, with the 2D3 Multiple Shots rule to represent its shotgun aspect, and Armour Piercing.
- Steampunk: More than most Engineers. He wears a steam-powered gauntlet, owns a steam-powered Beard-braider, and carries a steam-powered axe.
Dwarf Kings of old
High King Snorri Whitebeard, Son of Grungni and Valaya
Snorri Whitebeard was the eldest son of Grungni and Valaya, and the first High King of the Dwarfs after the departure of the Ancestor Gods. One hundred and twenty years after Valaya blessed of the pillars of Karaz-a-Karak, Grungni made the Throne of Power and gifted it to his eldest son, Snorri Whitebeard. 302 years later, bereft of their Ancestor Gods for the first time, the Dwarfs named Snorri Whitebeard as their High King.
Joining forces with Malekith of the Elves during the Great Incursion, Snorri led the Dwarfs as they hunted down and destroyed the last Chaos armies that threatened the Old World. Afterwards, trade flourished with the Elves and the Dwarfs, growing ever richer, founded many new strongholds. For a while Elves and Dwarfs prospered, until the Elves were drawn back to Ulthuan where civil strife was tearing their land apart.
It is unlikely he lived long enough to see the souring of the Dwarf-Elf relations that led to the War of Vengeance, since it was Gotrek Starbreaker who sent ambassadors to Ulthuan.
- Back from the Dead: The End Times books eventually confirmed that he is, in fact, The White Dwarf.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Inverted, 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 extremely close friends as well.
- Establishing Character Moment: In-universe. When the Phoenix King first visted Karaz-a-Karak, they brought a keg of wine, which Snorri chugged in one gulp, spilling it everywhere while the Dwarfs bellowed and cheered. A pretty demonstrative first impression. One can only imagine how they reacted when Snorri returned the gift with a dozen barrels of Gutstrangle's Owd Nasty Dwarf Ale and a two gallon souvenir Dwarf tankard.
- King in the Mountain: He vowed on his deathbed that one day, he would return to his people when the dwarfs' foes would be at their gates. Many dwarfs believe that the enigmatic dwarf hero Grombrindal, who appears sporadically to lead dwarf armies to victory over dangerous foes, is in fact Snorri himself, returned to fulfill his promise."Vengeance shall be mine. When our foes are great, I shall return to my people. When the foul creatures of this world bay at the doors to Karaz-a-Karak, I shall take up my axe once more, and my ire shall rock the mountains."
- Tragic Bromance: It is implied that Snorri's death might've been the last straw that made Malekith fall into despair and snap.
- Undying Loyalty: On his deathbed, Malekith swore to him that he would keep the alliance between Dwarfs and Elves. Both words in the trope's title are subverted: Snorri comes back from the dead, and Malekith goes back on his loyalty.
High King Gotrek Starbreaker
Gotrek Starbreaker was an ancient High King and former ruler of Karaz Ankor during the time known as the War of the Beard. He is considered arguably the greatest Dwarf King of that age and a great warrior who personally slew Phoenix King Caledor II in combat. In his first years as High King, Gotrek went on a campaign to purge the Orcs of the Mountains and his war was considered a success. Later, along with his nephew Morgrim Elgidum, Gotrek led the Dwarfs during the War of the Beard. It is said that the High King held possession of the ancient warhammer Ghal Maraz, the same warhammer which would later be borne by Sigmar many years later.
In a bid to cripple Ulthuan's military and economical relations with the Dwarfs, Malekith ordered Dark Elven assassins and warriors to attack and slaughter Dwarf trade caravans traveling around the Old World in the year of -2005 IC. Believing these attacks to be perpetrated by the High Elves, many of the Dwarf Kings and Thanes began to ready themselves for conflict with the Elves. By this time, the crown of rulership was passed down to Gotrek Starbreaker. Like his predecessor, Gotrek was a wise and thoughtful king and instead of heeding the call for war, Gotrek sent one last attempt of reconciliation.
The Dwarf people were a grim and straight-forward race and once the Dwarf ambassador, cousin of the High King, reached the throne of Phoenix King Caledor II, son of Caledor the Conqueror, the Dwarf ambassador harshly demanded the Elves to find accountability for these atrocities. But the Elves of that time were arrogant and prideful and scorned by the Dwarf's accusation, the Phoenix King deliberately conceived an insult so grievous that no amount of gold could ever serve as recompense. The Elves forcefully restrained the Dwarf and slowly cut-off his beard, compelling the Dwarf to go home shorn of pride and bearing the message that the only way the High King will gain a single gold coin of compromise is if he personally went to Ulthuan and begged before the Phoenix King himself. This became the greatest insult ever recorded upon the Book of Grudges, which would accumulate into the greatest war ever fought between the two races.
In a final push to end the war, High King Gotrek led his throng to drive the Elves back, besieging the wall city of Tor Alessi for the fourteenth and final time. At last, the walls were breached and, unable to flee, Caledor II was forced to face Gotrek in single combat. The duel that followed lasted for hours, but as the Elf King's fortitude failed, Gotrek shattered his foe's sword with a well-placed hammer blow. Defeated and disarmed, Caledor pleaded for mercy and forgiveness, but all hope of forgiveness was shattered the day Caledor killed the High King's son. Hardening his heart, the High King swung his hammer and killed the Phoenix King.
In the aftermath, King Gotrek picked up the Phoenix Crown from the mutilated corpse and proclaimed the grudge settled, and that the Elves were welcome to come to Karaz-a-Karak to beg for the crown's return. The remaining Elven forces withdrew from the Old World, their armies, like their arrogance, shattered in defeat.
- Arch-Enemy: To Caledor II.
- Battle Trophy: He stole the Phoenix Crown and laid it in the horde of Karaz-a-Karak. As of Thorgrim Grudgebearer's time, it's still there.
- Combat by Champion: Enters a duel with Caledor II to prevent excessive casualties.
- Drop the Hammer: Although he's pictured with an axe, he mostly fought with a hammer, and it was his hammer that killed Caledor II.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Tried his best to avoid this, and won the war when that failed.
- Irony: Dwarfs are well known for holding grudges. Yet because Gotrek took the Phoenix Crown as payment, the grudge against all Elvenkind is considered to have been settled. The High Elves, however, are still sore about it and want the crown back. The Elves are the only ones holding this grudge.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Starbreaker.
- Power Glows: As pictured, his axe was alight with runes of power.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Fighting the War Of Vengeance is probably what doomed the Dwarfs to be a Dying Race. They still haven't recovered by the time Thorgrim is High King.
- World's Best Warrior: Described to be one of the most powerful warriors the Dwarfs had to offer, and that's already a high bar.
High King Kurgan Ironbeard
Kurgan Ironbeard was the High King of the Dwarfs and ruler of Karaz-a-Karak during the time of Sigmar and the founding of the Empire of Man. The King was captured by a party of marauding Greenskins and rescued by the young prince Sigmar, and the King gifted the warhammer Ghal Maraz to him in thanks. Subsequently, Kurgan made treaties of friendship and trade with the Unberogns which helped them to grow in strength and prosperity, uniting the tribes of man under their leadership. At the Battle of Black Fire Pass, Kurgan led the Dwarf forces alongside the united twelve tribes of men under Sigmar's command against a massive army of Greenskins.
- Androcles' Lion: Sigmar wasn't even trying to help him, he was just killing orcs for fun and accidentally secured the second tightest alliance the world had ever seen.
- A Friend in Need: He's a friend forever, if that friend is a Dwarf.
- Distressed Dude: Sigmar met him taken captive by Orcs.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Fighting the Greenskins that took him captive alongside Sigmar ensured this between the two of them. His army fighting alongside his at Blackfire Pass ensured this for all men of the Empire and all Dwarfs.
- It Was a Gift: Giving Ghal Maraz to Sigmar probably changed history more than Kurgan expected it to. To a lesser extent, giving the twelve tribes the twelve Runefangs.
- Non-Indicative Name: "Iron" is an odd word to describe his golden blonde beard.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Positive example. Kurgan tossed Sigmar a hammer when they fought together because he needed a better weapon. After they won, he let him keep it as a way of saying thanks. That hammer was Ghal Maraz, and the fact that it ended up in human hands had a monumental effect on history. Later, Kurgan and Sigmar's armies combined at Blackfire Pass. Again, this was mostly in both of their own interests as a massive Greenskin army was moving through it, but it secured an alliance between The Empire and the Dwarfs that lasted until the end of the world and was directly responsible for half of the Empire's technological advancements.