[AoS] Brainstorm: How Chaos Dwarves fit into Age of Sigmar

Hi all. I like Age of Sigmar, and I’m planning to glue my guys onto round bases (when they arrive in the mail). I’d like to brainstorm ideas with you about how to incorporate them into Age of Sigmar

As a general primer on Age of Sigmar and the The Mortal Realms - the different realms are entrenched in a single type of magic, and the inhabitants are often heavily influenced by the realm they live in. Orcs in the Realm of Beasts will look and feel like the classic savage Orcs, with animal skins, tribal tattoos, crude weapons, etc. Orcs in the realm of Death might have voodoo vibe, with Day of the Dead style skull and bones tattoos all over their bodies, and a big emphasis on witch doctor shamans leading the tribes instead of a warboss. Orcs in the realm of fire might be leaner, more cunning hunters, that skulk through the deserts at night time and prey on unprotected caravans who stopped at an oasis to rest.

So in regards to Chaos Dwarves, while I love the classic Mesopotamian Ziggurats in the lava filled ashen wastes, my imagination was set aflame when I read about the “Fortress-rig” of Zharr Vyxa. A belching oil rig full of chaos dwarves, siphoning off the magical residue energies of a long dead civilisation at the bottom of an ocean in the Realm of Death. Amazing! A Chaos Oil Rig! What a brilliant idea!

I feel like the typical image of the Chaos Dwarves we have would fit well in the Realm of Fire, where obsidian towers pierce ash clogged skies, sitting on cooling lava fields and surrounded by active volcanos. Realm of Fire, or maybe the Eight Points, which is basically a chaos landscape in the current timeline.

I was mulling over an idea for the Realm of Metal that leans heavily into the daemonic machines of the CD; huge rolling fortresses, mounted on giant tank tracks and wheels, powered by belching furnaces, slowly trundle across the Oxide Deserts of the Realm of Metal. They house roving groups of scavenging dwarves who strip clear the landscape of anything they find, using their giant fortresses to literally consume towns and mineral deposits they drive over (yes. much like that Peter Jackson “The Mortal Engines” movie).

I was also thinking maybe Realm of Beasts Chaos Dwarves might lean more into the “menagerie of beasts” aspect, where they army would focus on capturing strange and exotic beasts, and taking slaves from the barbarian tribes that inhabit the landscape. Maybe the dwarves exchange their Big Hats for some Pith Helmets, and push into those tropes of the European Colonial expeditions of the 17th to 19th centuries, pushing through steaming jungles, hunting elephants and tigers, getting captured by cannibals, etc.

Does anyone have any other ideas like this, that put a fresh spin on the Chaos Dwarves, while still keeping that core Chaos Dwarf feel?

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This was the intro I wrote for my Aqshy based AoS Dawi Zharr on the old forum:

“Hello all,

Wrote a little something explaining how my big hat beauties came to exist in the age of Sigmar retaining their old religion, dress and customs. I’ve tried to match the style of Sigmar lore. Which often focuses on the big actions of gods and powers unimaginable as opposed to the nitty gritty of day to day life. Proper high fantasy.

My thinking is that my dwarves lost their lives in the end times and were destroyed. Haashut went into some kind of sleep, coma or exile. Now awoken the lord of darkness has reforged his followers in the mountains of Aqshy.

Open to ideas , edits and constructive criticisms:

You can check out my blog for documenting the creation of this warband in the hobby section.

Oxymandias

We were forged in the fires of mountains and to the mountains we would always return. That was our fate. That was the deal that was struck. This bargain was honoured by my fathers and their fathers before them. All that we were was borrowed from the darkness, and the darkness would one day reclaim it all. We were born of his fire, smelted and poured into moulds. We emerged remade in the image of our lord, quenched in the blood of our enemies and sharpened upon the whetstone of battle. We were Dawi-zharr. The rightful masters of our world. Born to conquer and subjugate all before us, whilst the ashen air still filled our lungs.

Yet great power came at a cost. We knew that one day that we would be stone and then dust. And eventually we would return to the fires of our mountains, to be consumed by our lord and remade once more.

We learned that all other life was contemptible. It was fuel to burn in the engines of war. It was blood to be spilt upon our battlefields. It was food to sustain our lord. And yet the filth that crawled and slithered across our world was many, and we chosen were but a few.

And so it came to pass, that the tainted and unworthy did swarm upon us in such numbers that they did overwhelm us entirely. My immortal guard, my kinsmen and I felled by the blades of the green-skins, defiled and destroyed. A dishonourable death and a shame that’s haunts us beyond the grave.

And when the great towers fell, and my Lord did call out in pain, our mortal remains were enveloped by the fires, and we, once more, became one with the stone and one with the mountains. My lord did close his eyes, and a tortured sleep enveloped his mind. Fire became stone and stone became dust.

That was in the world that was…

In the land of Aqshy, separated in both time, space and reality, in the bowels of mountains both new, yet ancient beyond imagining, my lord suddenly awoke from his long and troubled slumber. With his first breath he did inhale the ash clouds and brimstone, stripped the very iron from the earth and the magics from the air. And when he exhaled, he breathed us back into corporeal forms, pouring each of us like molten metals from a furnace. With his second breath, he breathed in the atmosphere of the new and exhaled the old, filling us with life anew but the ancient hatred and fury we did feel upon that day. And with his third breath, he called upon us all, his chosen few, to rebuild his edifices, to exalt both him and ourselves, and to take our rightful place as the rulers of all.

All inferior life shall tremble and kneel before us. The mortal realms shall shake before the furnaces of war and roar of our cannons. We shall rebuild all that was, and more. The age of Sigmar has begun, but the age of Hashut has yet to pass.

My name is Oxymandias, servant of Hashut and king of kings; Look upon my works ye goblins, and despair!”

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That’s great.

I like the cyclical nature of your concept. From fire to stone to dust, and back into the mountain.

Its the perfect way to rebirth them into the Realm of Fire.

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I don’t play AoS myself or know much about the lore, but I like your ideas a lot, especially the rolling cities - definitely fits into the titanic scale of everything in AoS, while still retaining that classic CD spirit!

I did a single conversion in a similar vein not too long ago, perhaps it might give you some ideas for your AoS adventures:

I am looking forward to witnessing your vision of CDs in this new world taking shape! :hatoff:

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Thanks man. The wait from Russia is going to kill me.

That model is excellent!!

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This probably doesn’t help, but if I’m ever in doubt as to the direction my Chaos Dwarfs are taking I just listen to In Flames - My Sweet Shadow, the lyrics are entirely perfect for what I envision my Chaos Dwarfs to be. Nightmare fueled and full of hatred for their cousins that bask in the light.

In Flames - My Sweet Shadow (Official Video) - YouTube

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Haha that’s great. When i need motivation for my Slaaneshi Chaos Space Marines I listen to Iron Maiden’s 7th Son of a 7th Son album, or the Dethalbum from the cartoon Metalocalypse.

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I like your style my friend!

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I don’t have any excellent fiction written, but in considering what I was going to do for my army I was very tempted to take the classic style models and outright say that Hashut (or maybe Astragoth) joined the pantheon of Order after the End Times - similar to how Morathi-Khaine is an Order god now.

I would have just said my big hats were just more Duardin living in the various Cities of Sigmar.

Disgusting, I know, but the 4th edition sculpts never really screamed “chaos” to me and I really want to be able to play with my Dwarfs using a supported rule set.

I moved away from the lore, and I’ll just be using the Cities of Sigmar rules, but I think there’s something there. The inclusion of Dark Elves in the Order Grand Alliance really makes it clear hat Order != Good, so there’s space for Big Hat style Dwarfs in the Order alliance.

Mask & dreadlock dwarfs belong in Chaos, though, and there’s canonical evidence that they do exist in the AoS universe. So I’m probably going to end up using Cities rules but the lore being “these are evil Duardin who work for Archaon”.

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I would use the cities of Sigmar without changing the lore. I don’t think the rules need to have any bearing on story.

Still, interesting idea. Even Nagash was Order, for a while.

I maybe can imagine Hashut joining order for a couple reasons. 1 - a god of industry and enslavement surely didn’t benefit from having the Old World blown up, so maybe he wants to avoid that this time round. 2 - Nagash went out of his way to wipe out other minor Gods of death when he was claiming Shyish. Maybe minor Chaos gods are being threatened by the Big 4?
3 - chaos dwarf society is extremely regimented, strict and caste based, which definitely falls into a strong definition of order

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