Zharr Naggrund

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Part of geography: Dark Lands

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[edit] Official Background

Zharr-Naggrund, also known as "The Tower of Zharr-Naggrund" and "Mingol Zharr-Naggrund", is the capital city of the Chaos Dwarfs and lies in the heart of their empire, in the centre of the Plain of Zharr. Its name means "Place of Fire and Desolation" in the language of Dwarfs. The city is built of obsidian in levels to form a great ziggurat; legends have it the ziggurat was not built, but magically carved from a single black mountain thousands of years ago by the most powerful Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers. The lowest ranks of Chaos Dwarf society are found towards the bottom of the ziggurat, while atop the massive stepped structure lies The Temple of Hashut.

Across this gargantuan industrial city, the Chaos Dwarfs work unceasingly. Huge workshops with mechanical forge hammers work night and day beating out a cacophony of noise that can be heard from many miles away. From all across the city towering chimneys rise to pierce the sky, spilling out their black smoke and covering the lands in a perpetual choking darkness. Hundreds of ziggurats built from black obsidian stretch out as far as the eye can see, each illuminated ominously by flaming torches.

The four gates of the city, one on each side of the ziggurat, are immense beyond any practical need, bound with iron and stretching up to the battlements on the steps of the vast pyramid, which bristle with arcane engines of destruction and pierce the tortured sky like fangs. Traveling towards the centre of the city and the Temple of Hashut the Chaos Dwarfs have built two roads paved with slabs of gold and brass, aligned east and west to the points of a compass. Each passes over several bridges, under which the Chaos Dwarfs use a network of roads and steam wagons to live and work. From the northern gateway the River Ruin passes through, cooling forges throughout the city and carrying other waste out the southern gateway.[1]

The road to Zharr-Naggrund is lined with strange statues, which are actually Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers whose bodies have turned to stone after a lifetime of using their dark brand of magic.[2]

[edit] Fan Written Background

The following entries are fan-based and not based on official fluff, thus it is not necessary to cite sources.

[edit] The Tower of Zharr-Naggrund by Mathias Eliasson

The Tower of Zharr-Naggrund lies at the centre of the Chaos Dwarf Empire and is the object of all their labours and enterprise. Though there are numerous mines. workshops, foundries and fortresses throughout the Plain of Zharrduk and beyond, there is just one mighty city in all the empire. The Tower of Zharr-Naggrund is built of obsidian, black volcanic glass whose light reflects the flames of the myriad furnaces that burn both day and night. The entire city is built in a series of tall steps, like a ziggurat, each step hundreds of feet high and surmounted by battlements that jut upwards like a row of ugly fangs. Each step is square, and the bottom step is pierced by four huge stone gateways bound in iron. The gates are almost as high as the walls and massive beyond any obvious need. From the east and west gateways roads paved with slabs of gold and brass lead to the Mountains of Mourn and the Dark Lands. The north and south gateways are the river sluices through which the waters of the River Ruin pour. The cold river enters the city from the north and it is put to use cooling the huge forges of the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers, powering the steam-driven engines, and flushing the effluent of industry out to the south.

Where it leaves the city the river is stained red and yellow with filth, laden with noxious sediments and its steaming water is thick and poisonous. A foul yellow cloud hangs about the river and its banks are choked with drifts of spectacularly coloured pollutants. and bronze with rhythmic booms like the heartbeats of a cyclopean god. Massive cauldrons of bubbling metal pour out their molten contents into twisted moulds of intricate construction. The roaring of furnaces, groaning of huge wheels and grinding of arcane machines fills the oily air. The noise and the labours never cease.

The Dark Lands are shrouded in thick volcanic clouds and smoke from the workshops of Zharrduk. so the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund exists in a timeless twilight, illuminated by the carmine fires of its own forges. The succeeding step of the ziggurat houses an ascending level of Chaos Dwarf society. The third and fourth highest steps are the sanctuary of the Sorcerer-Prophets, open only to members of their harems and their most trusted servants. The lower levels house the bulk of the clan's population. The Hobgoblin overseers also reside in the lower levels, but closer to the workshops, forges and slave pens. This ensures that the Hobgoblins can respond quickly to any trouble. It also place them between the slaves and their Chaos Dwarf masters in the event of a slave revolt. Huge doors, guarded by massive Bull Centaurs, bar entry to the uppermost tiers.

A separate passageway, with heavily-guarded doors, bypasses these tiers and leads to the very top of Zharr-Naggrund, and the Great Temple of Hashut. The immense temple can accommodate the entire Chaos Dwarf population of Zharr-Naggrund. A thousand massive furnaces burn within the vastness of Zharr-Naggrund, smelting the metals that are the lifeblood of the city. The city is a huge living workshop full of smoke and noise, illuminated by its inner fires and driven by machines of vast size and power. Gigantic steamdriven hammers stamp out sheets of iron

and bronze with rhythmic booms like the heartbeats of a cyclopean god. Massive cauldrons of bubbling metal pour out their molten contents into twisted moulds of intricate construction. The roaring of furnaces, groaning of huge wheels and grinding of arcane machines fills the oily air. The noise and the labours never cease. The Dark Lands are shrouded in thick volcanic clouds and smoke from the workshops of Zharrduk. so the Tower of Zharr-Naggrund exists in a timeless twilight, illuminated by the carmine fires of its own forges.

The succeeding step of the ziggurat houses an ascending level of Chaos Dwarf society. The third and fourth highest steps are the sanctuary of the Sorcerer-Prophets, open only to members of their harems and their most trusted servants. The lower levels house the bulk of the clan's population. The Hobgoblin overseers also reside in the lower levels, but closer to the workshops, forges and slave pens. This ensures that the Hobgoblins can respond quickly to any trouble. It also places them between the slaves and their Chaos Dwarf masters in the event of a slave revolt. Huge doors, guarded by massive Bull Centaurs, bar entry to the uppermost tiers. A separate passageway, with heavily-guarded doors, bypasses these tiers and leads to the very top of Zharr-Naggrund, and the Great Temple of Hashut. The immense temple can accommodate the entire Chaos Dwarf population of Zharr-Naggrund.

Many thousands of years ago when the Dwarfs first migrated into the Dark Lands, they chose to settle within the gigantic walls of a long extinct volcano to build their first city. Here the marauding Greenskins could easily be fought off and stone for building was plentiful. When later they arose from the darkness as Chaos Dwarfs they set about building a huge fortress city from within as the capital of their dark empire. Over several hundred years of planning and a thousand years of building, the city of Zharr Naggrund has become one of the most heavily fortified cities in the known world. It rivals even the unassailable fortress of Karaz-a-Karak in the West with the ingenuity of its construction.

Long before reaching the city itself, enemies approaching from west of the River Ruin will have to overcome the many strongholds located throughout the Plain of Zharr, each a mighty bastion in its own right. Around these lie many deadfalls, tar pits, and other natural obstacles that can be turned into traps with ease. Each of these bastions are connected both to each other and to Zharr Naggrund itself through a vast network of tunnels, allowing the defenders to withdraw to the city in safety if needed. Should an enemy overcome these outlying defences, they will then have to break through the immense outer wall of the city itself. Arising from the old volcano walls, and standing over a hundred feet tall and forty feet thick with towers containing deadly war machines to provide crossfire, it would be a strong enemy indeed who could break through.

Should besiegers overcome this defence they will then have to break through an inner wall almost as strong, but with many more war machines and Devastators positioned to create killing zones. As the enemy feebly attempts to breach this inner defence yet more traps will be activated; the ground below them collapsing down hundreds of feet, or erupting into a sea of alchemical fire as flames spew forth from the mouths of statues to Hashut. Within the city itself are countless citadels and temples surrounded by thick walls and poisonous moats. Beneath these run a network of tunnels allowing the Chaos Dwarf army to strike into the heart of a besieging enemy and take them completely by surprise.

Should an enemy attempt to tunnel into the city they will come up against the labyrinthine mines and passages that spread out across most of the Plain of Zharr. The construction of the network is so intricate that no single Dawi Zharr has a complete knowledge of them, all being filled with natural traps and fortified strong points. Across this gargantuan industrial city of iron and stone the Chaos Dwarfs work unceasingly. Huge workshops with mechanical forge hammers work night and day beating out a cacophony of noise that can be heard from many miles away. From all across the city towering chimneys rise to pierce the sky, spilling out their black smoke and covering the lands in a perpetual choking darkness.

Hundreds of ziggurats built from black obsidian stretch as far as the eye can see, each illuminated ominously by flaming torches. Travelling towards the centre of the city and the immense Temple of Zharr the Chaos Dwarfs have built four roads of bronze, aligned exactly to the points of a compass. Each passes over several bridges, under which the Chaos Dwarfs use a network of roads and steam wagons to live and work. The Temple of Zharr itself is by far the largest ziggurat in the city and is surrounded by a wide chasm that stretches down into darkness. The cacophony of wails and machines erupting from below enough to strike fear into hearts of the bravest of individuals.[3]

[edit] Related Links

Temple of Hashut

Obsidian

Black Fortress

Chaos Dwarf Fortress

[edit] References

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