[Archive] Official GW fluff?

Groznit Goregut:

So, Army books are usually the best place to get background and story for an army. Chaos Dwarfs haven’t had a new army book since…when? So, is there any place that someone who doesn’t own the 3rd Ed (or whatever the last full book was) read up on official GW Chaos Dwarf fluff?


It’s all in the [[wiki]] in some form. The majority is in the backgrounds links on the [[Contents]] page, but there is also a little more in the sections of each unit.

Groznit Goregut:

Thanks for the links! It’s taken me a few weeks to go through all the material and digest it. There are a few areas that seem to have no details, but look really cool. Is there no information on the Gates of Zharr or the Black Fortress? I’m trying to think of some fluff for my army (that I don’t have built yet) and would consider these as bases of operation, but don’t know more about them.

I’d love to find info about a place on the edges of CD empire, but one that still has a Temple to Hashut. Since my army list would have two large groups of bull centaurs, I would consider it to be a Temple force. With a Great Taurus and the bull centaurs, they would be a fast force with some blunderbussiers to protect the camps. I figure they would head out missions for the Temple of Hashut in the wider world. Good reason to be outside the Plains of Zharr and fighting another army!

Thommy H:

There’s no canon information on either of those places. I think the Black Fortress is definitely a Chaos Dwarf stronghold (some Ogre Kingdoms fluff says so), and it probably goes without saying that the Gates of Zharr were built by the Chaos Dwarfs, but as far as I know there’s nothing else about them.

So just make up what you want!


I always wondered what the point was of the Gates of Zharr.  Unless the ivory road cuts across at that point?  Or is it the silver road?  Either way.

I presume they wouldn’t just put a 200ft high set of gates in the middle of nowhere for the fun of it, as impressive as that would be.

When I get round to doing my map properly I moved them right to the edge of the plain of zharr.

Ancient History:

Could simply be a fortress (possibly based around a natural rock formation) that lies as a strong point and rest stop on the road - a place for Chaos Dwarfs to rest, replace the slaves lost on the trek, etc. Placed as it is midway between Plains of Zharr and the Tower of Gorgoth, it would also be a good military stronghold for patrolling the road and ensuring the safety of ore and slave caravans.

As a settlement of some size, it might have a substantial well, which again would be a good reason for a settlement there.

Groznit Goregut:

I believe that the Gates of Zharr are not just a bunch of doors on a road in the middle of nowhere. I would think it was a settlement / fortress who’s purpose was to be the place you go to contact or interact with the Chaos Dwarfs. The Tower of Gorgoth is south of the Plains of Zharr and the Gates of Zharr are about half way between the two. I’m sure a lot of expensive mineral wealth comes out of the Tower of Gorgoth and heads north towards Zharr-Naggrund. The Gates of Zharr would be the fortress outpost that guards the caravans that travel between the Tower and the Ziggurat.

Your question about where the Ivory road cuts through makes me wonder, though. Do the Chaos Dwarfs allow the trade to pass? Or do they attack it? Do the Chaos Dwarfs trade with the merchants? I had assumed that they would just attack anyone that comes through their domain. I’m beginning to think that is wrong. Where would the CD get their food and other resources? They would trade their mineral wealth and trade goods to people for raw materials. The Gates of Zharr then could be the trading city that people go to when they want to interact with the Chaos Dwarfs. It would make sense as the title Gates of Zharr can be figurative as you need to go talk to them before anything is allowed closer towards the capital. It’s like their trading center and embassy at the same time.

I wonder how much trade goes through the Dark Lands? Do all travel with the permission of the Chaos Dwarfs? Do they hunt for those that they don’t approve (other than just slave gathering expeditions)?

I’m starting to like the Gates of Zharr! I’m sure that there is a Temple of Hashut there, as I figure the representatives of Zharr-Naggrund to the outside world (and heads of trading clans) would reside there. So, the Temple would be powerful. The Temple would also need a military arm to accomplish it’s aims in the nearby world. Zonk! I have my army concept!

Much thanks all!


I think that each clan would patrol different areas, and demand a fee for allowing merchants to pass. So by the time your caravan has gone through the dark lands you’ll be poor! If you can’t pay it’s off to the tower of gorgoth to work until you’ve earned enough.

Thane Godri GoblinSlayer:

I think that each clan would patrol different areas, and demand a fee for allowing merchants to pass.  So by the time your caravan has gone through the dark lands you'll be poor!  If you can't pay it's off to the tower of gorgoth to work until you've earned enough.

Yeah, I see the chaos dwarfs as demanding 'protection fees' to pass through there lands. And if you have something that they want then they would probably just take it.

Groznit Goregut:

I’m starting to think that the Chaos Dwarfs wouldn’t be that piratical. I mean, they mine all that mineral wealth. What the heck are they going to do with it all? I mean, after centuries upon centuries of mining and cutting precious stones, there would be no room for them. I’m sure that they could afford almost anything they want via the traders who travel through. I am thinking, though that many traders would have a hard time passing back to the lands of the Empire with the symbols of the Chaos Dwarfs on their trade items. I’m thinking traders want items not obviously CD or ones that they can sell when they get to the East.

You talk about clans. I have no idea what CD society would be like. I assume there would be clans, but where can I find out more information?

Thommy H:

There’s no official information about “clans”. The GW fluff regarding Chaos Dwarf society is as it’s presented in the wiki - which is to say, there isn’t much of it.

With regard to the Gates of Zharr: my belief was that they’re a completely pointless set of massive gates erected in the middle of nowhere that serve no discernible purpose. Just like the gates of Zharr-Naggrund (which are “massive beyond any obvious need”), they exist only to demonstrate the power and dominance of the Dawi’Zharr. Even though the Gates are hundreds of miles from any territory the Chaos Dwarfs personally claim, they stand as a symbol of their mastery over the Dark Lands. They’re so huge and so well-constructed that none of the greenskin tribes have the means to destroy them so they just stand there as a reminder that these are the lands of the Chaos Dwarfs, and you are destined to become their slaves.


Does anyone else think there might be small camps along the south road (ZN to tower of gorgoth)?  In all of the real world history whenever there has been an active trade route or mining camp there’s usually some towns or settlements that develop along the way.  Traveller’s inns, storage depots, barracks etc. Probably slave camps in the case of CD, you wouldn’t want to camp in the middle of nowhere for days with thousands of slaves would you?

If the ivory/ silver road does indeed cross at the gates then I imagine there would be a market.  Market traders would need a place to live, and protection close by.


Honestly I could see outposts and ecampments. A LOT of Hobgoblin encampments, though I suspect these are roving more temporary ones they set up for when they’re not moving around, as they seem somewhat nomadic. I see supply posts, and sentry posts of Dawi Zharr scattered, slave pens, etc. We need to have those depots, etc to keep the army supplied while they defend our territory, and such posts make it easier to defend caravans taking mined material to our capital. Various mining outposts probably exist, with some defenses.

Groznit Goregut:

I know I’m no Chaos Dwarf expert, but I wouldn’t think that there would be a lot of encampments or outposts. Normally you would make encampments around resources and safe spots. There aren’t any resources or safe spots along that road at all. Dwarfs are all about endurance and being cruel. There are such long expanses of land with no shelter. I would think that the chaos dwarfs would be about marching great distances with little rest of shelter. I would think there would be lots of desolation. That’s why a town at that point would be extremely important.

…but that’s just my humble opinion.