Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) is a roleplaying game based off of the popular Warhammer game of fantasy battles (WFB), and set in the same world. Its sourcebooks are not generally considered "canon" WFB background material, however, as more recent editions of the army books and other Games Workshop/Black Library publications tend to disagree with them at certain critical points.


[edit] 1st Edition (WFRP)

Based on Warhammer 3rd Edition, the original edition of WFRP did not mention Choas Dwarfs principally because they had not been created yet! The system also featured several things that would strike later players as odd - Elementalists, Illusionists, Fimir and Half-Orcs to name a few - these were all later removed from WFB and subsequent editions of WFRP.

Chaos Dwarfs as we know them today were mentioned in Dwarfs - Stone and Steel (Hogshead Publishing, 2002), where they were commonly referred to as "the Tainted" or "Tainted Dwarfs," who led raids into Kislev and were rumored to possess a few rune weapons stolen from the Dwarfs.[1]

[edit] 2nd Edition (WFRP2)

Based on Warhammer 6th/7th Edition, this new edition of the game differed from its predecessor primarily in being a product of a Games Workshop subsidiary, Black Industries, rather than a licensed company; BI has since been closed and the license for WFRP sold to Green Ronin. Being more closely tied to the parent company, the second incarnation of WFRP was much more in agreement with the established source material.

Chaos Dwarfs, Hobgoblins, Bull Centaurs, and the Giant Wolves all featured in the Old World Bestiary, essentially unchanged from WFB. [2] In Tome of Corruption, the Chaos Dwarfs were introduced as a character option, complete with unique careers, a collated spell list called Dark Lore(Chaos Dwarf) for their use, and a background section.

The latter, called The Truth might be problematic in many respects. It presents the initial division of the ancestors of the Chaos Dwarfs as the embrace of rune magic around the time of the Ancestor Gods; the Chaos Dwarfs' predecessors wished to push the limits of this new magic, causing an ideological split. To ease tensions, they travelled north along the World's Edge Mountains, settling new holds. Eventually the Dwarfs encountered Zorn Uzkul, the Great Skull Land, and some chose to stay and exploit it. These Dwarfs founded Karak Vlag, the Isolated Hold, in a mountain of obsidian, and from there building mines and towers across the Dark Lands to the Mountains of Mourn. When the First Great Incursion of Chaos came, Karak Vlag was sore besieged and enveloped by the expanded Chaos Wastes. When requests for aid from their kinfolk in other holds failed, the Runesmiths of Karak Vlag used a primitive sorcery to contact Hashut, the Father of Darkness, who transported them safely to the Dark Lands, where they became the Chaos Dwarfs. It is intimated that Karak Vlag became Zharr-Naggrund.[3]

There are some problems with this scenario. While it is agreed in WFB that Karak Vlag was enveloped by Chaos and disappeared during the First War Against Chaos, there is no mention of this being the source of the Chaos Dwarfs, who are often described as having been caught exposed to Chaos on the plains of the Dark Lands as an explanation for their mutation.[5] It also does not quite jive with the reports that the Dwarfs abandoned their colonies and mines in the Dark Lands.[6] Another account of the fall of Karak Vlag tells that it was defeated by Galrauch, first of the Chaos Dragons.[9]

In Night's Dark Masters, a sourcebook on vampires, it is reported that Mannfred von Carstein sought out the Chaos Dwarfs in the east, who forged his magical sword Timor Mortis.[4] However, this blade is not mentioned in any of the Vampire Counts army books; Mannfred instead wields the Sword of Unholy Power - which, it must be said, bears a striking similarity in abilities to Timor Mortis, even if its background material is not given.[7]

Tome of Salvation, a sourcebook on the religions of the Old World, has a very brief mention of Hashut as the god of the Chaos Dwarfs, with his spheres of interest listed as "Chaos Dwarfs, sorcery, dark engineers, Chaos".[8]

[edit] References

  • 1 Nunez Jr., Alfred. Dwarfs - Stone and Steel 25. ISBN 1-89974-928-4
  • 2 Luikart, T.S. and Ian Sturrock. Old World Bestiary (Black Industries, 2005) 17-19. ISBN 1-84416-226-5
  • 3 Schwalb, Robert J. Tome of Corruption (Black Industries, 2006) 157-160. ISBN 1-84416-309-1
  • 4 Darlington, Steven and Jody Macgregor. Night's Dark Masters (Black Industries, 2007) 82. ISBN 1-84416-313-X
  • 5 Priestly, Rick. White Dwarf Presents: Chaos Dwarfs, (Games Workshop Ltd., 1994) 4-5. ISBN 1-872372-80-5
  • 6 Haines, Pete. Dwarfs. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2005) 6-7. ISBN 1-84154-690-9
  • 7 Thorpe, Gav. Vampire Counts. (Games Workshop Ltd., 2008) 81.
  • 8 Schwalb, Robert J., Eric Cagle, David Chart, Andrew Kennick and Andrew Law. Tome of Salvation (Black Industries, 2007) 127.
  • 9 Two-Headed Monstrosity Galrauch, First of the Chaos Dragons 10-11. WD273

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