[Archive] Item: Zhargon's Skeleton Xylophone


Marching through the Gates of Zharr he then did come upon old crone,
name she lacked and dressed she was in ancient orc-hide gown.

The hag warned Zhargon to wage war if he did not sacrifice black stone,
the High Priest merely found her words to be dull monotone.

Crone then declared that the Father of Darkness would make us moan,
too hot Zhargon's wrath over her then finally had grown.

Lord Hashut's Second Kingdom under Zhargon's rule did Dark Lands own,
Zhargon of the crone thus made skeleton xylophone.

- Excerpt from the Chaos Dwarf children rhyme song "Moan's trone"
Zhargon, arguably the greatest Dawi Zharr to ever have lived, once defied his Chaos god Hashut's cryptic will and added insult to injury by ripping the flesh off an old Chaos Dwarf hag, leaving only her bare skeleton. These bones he let treat to stand the test of time, to be fashioned into a grotesque musical instrument, perhaps inspired by those macabre devices used by the Ghouls of Vorag he set out to defeat.

High Priest Zhargon failed in his war, and his reign came crashing down in civil war, but his Skeleton Xylophone remains a treasured artefact amongst the elite cast of Sorcerer-Prophets. Every Chaos Dwarf believe the nameless crone was never truly slain, instead her consciousness and soul were kept alive to be tortured, bound into her bones by dark spells just as the Chaos Dwarfs forge Daemons into their weapons and war machines. It is also believed that the crone's potent magic and connection to Hashut remains in her bones.

If this is true, it would explain why enemies of the Dawi Zharr, from the Old World to Cathay, have claimed to be overcome by a sense of dread when Chaos Dwarf musicians play upon this foul instrument in battle. Some even believe that if the right melody is played, an unholy wrath fills the Chaos Dwarf warriors, spurring them to acts of carnage on the battlefield. That is, if the Father of Darkness wills it...

Zhargon's Skeleton Xylophone 35 pts
Unit Upgrade (Requires Musician)

One unit of Chaos Dwarf infantry (Infernal Guard or Ironsworn if you are using the Legion of Azgorh list) may equip its musician with the Skeleton Xylophone. For as long as they have a musician, the unit wielding this item gain the Fear special rule. In addition, at the start of any of your turns, before charges are declared, you may choose to play the Unholy Wrath melody. Roll a D3, on a roll of 2-3 the unit gains Frenzy, on a roll of 1 the unit has the Stupidity special rule. This effect lasts until the start of your next turn. If the unit is destroyed or loses its musician through casaulties, the enemy gain 50 VP.


Right. Psychology is no longer what it used to be, but I wanted to try and make rules for this item. I'm helpless with the rules, but what the heck! The item's effects are odd, which might be fine with me since it's Chaos Dwarfs it's made for. But is it too odd?

Do you have any improvement ideas? And how much should it cost?

Thommy H:

35 points is about right for that, actually.


Lucky guess, then! Thanks for input.

The crone was added to the fluffpiece for two reasons; rhyme and religious significance. If the Chaos Dwarfs lost against Vorag, then surely they must have failed Hashut in some way? It plays to their ego if nothing else. Lookin’ at it without mysticism one could say that the largest gathering of Chaos Dwarf troops ever was bound to draw some oddball nutcase or the other to catch some stage light.