[Archive] The Dragons Bane


This is the beggining of a story im working on, involving the dawi zharr and their more regular cousins. Its in its first draft so if something just seems stupid please point it out.

Zharkon winced as the blade slipped and scored a insignificant groove into the end of his finger. It was difficult work removing scales from dragon skin. His lesser in the great city of Zharr-Naggrund thought the tasks performed by the sorcerers were hedonistic and luxuriant in comparison with the drudgery of daily life patrolling the mines and foundries and herding greenskin slaves.

He sliced another red scale carefully off the armoured pelt. Each dragon scale was worth a small fortune in the forging of great weapons for the armies of Hashut. These ones in particular were special, in the fact they had been taken from an emperor dragon in the mountains of mourn. A careful trade with a tribe of ogres needed back powder for their continuing raiding and pillaging of the tribes of the eastern steppes.

Each scale was wrapped in silk and placed inside its own wooden box. It took Zharkon nine hours to finish de-scaling this particular piece of skin.

He then turned his attention to the head.

Luckily it was left intact. The ogres hadn’t dissected it for its meat, dragons tongue and eyes being a delicacy to them.

He picked up a larger knife, a one with a serrated blade, and begun to hug the horns out of its head. Each horn was as tall as he was and more.

He beckoned to one of the hobgoblin slaves on standby.

'Hold this so that it doesn’t fall when I remove it.'

The hobgoblin did as instructed.

Zharkon pushed his knife between the horn and the skin around it, having to hammer it in like a sculptor uses a chisel. When the knife was firmly inside he prised the skin open to get a better view of the joint. Where the horn and the skull merged he had to saw through the bone to break the joint using a steam powered rotating saw, one of his many inventions furthering the development of the chaos dwarf’s dark industry.

When the joint was finally severed the horn dropped, crushing the hobgoblin trying to hold it up like a log crushing a delicate flower.

Still, the hobgoblin had served its purpose - making sure the horn wasn’t damaged by dropping onto the hard obsidian floor of the temple.

Zharkon silenced the pain of the howling hobgoblin, its legs and abdomen damaged way beyond repair, with a slice of his dagger to the creatures throat.

With the help of more hobgoblin slaves the dragons horn was itself wrapped in silk and placed in its own box, before the procedure started again to remove the other horn.

Once all the favoured bits were removed the remains of the dragon were offered as a sacrifice to the great god Hashut. They were placed in the belly-furnace of the giant black iron statue and immolated till the escaped through the bullish nose as a cloud of thick black smoke.

The ritual over, Zharkon returned to his quarters, his mind whirling with the possibilities he could construct from these exceptionally magical materials.

'Move those pathetic slaves out of my way!'

The slavers did as they were told, not wanting to anger him any further. He was right though, the slaves were pathetic. A bunch of fearsome Hung tribesmen, reduced to nothing more than whimpering humans.

He tripped over a straggling chain on a naked shivering human female. He snarled and smashed the woman in the face with his hammer. The helpless thing dropped dead, and the slavers were quick to remove it from the chain gang. The quicker they brought this slave train back to the dark lands the less likely they were to suffer the same fate from Lord Torghann.

The warpstone affected everyone. It was making the slaves weaker. It was making something else out of the chaos dwarfs.

Razal flinched as she once again pricked herself with her sewing needle. It wasn’t an easy life being the daughter of the Thane of Gargoyles Teeth Mine, a settlement under the rule of Karak Kadrin.

It would be fine if she could go out and practice her marksmanship with her brothers as she so often wanted to do, but her father insisted she become more womanly as she neared marrying age.

Of course the fact she was nearing marrying age wasn’t nearly as important as the fact one of the Slayer King’s sons, Grobbi Ironfist, was nearing marrying age, and had not yet chosen a suitable wife.

The sewing was hard work. She was trying to stitch a gold threaded design into her red dress. She had already managed o get away with sewing a leather undercarriage for the whole thing, and then sewing some hidden gromril layers into it. Her father had come down like a ton of bricks, red in the face, insisting she make her dress more like a dress and less like a suit of armour.

But mining and metalwork were in the Dragonbane clans blood. Her father Gottri was a famed armourer, and her brother Mordrin famed for his mining picks. She would be damned if her father expected her to sew pretty patterns for the sake of the future slayer king. She would rather be down the mine or helping stand watch against the possibility of greenskin attack.

She pricked herself again. Watching the blood trickle from her finger she thought of another great excuse to get out the sewing room and back into the forge. She needed to make a more precise sewing needle. Possibly something steam driven, something which would speed up this whole farce and get her back into her usual routine.

And she didn’t care what old redfaced Gottri would say about it this time.

Targhann stared into a mirror. He had become used to the warped face chaos had given him, the elongated nose, the full red lips, and the tusks. More than anything the tusks had been the hardest.

Targhann was an original. Like many now he wasn’t born this way. He had been part of the dwarven expedition to the dark lands. He had been through the betrayal of his long lost brothers. He had suffered against the strain of chaos, and eventually, like everyone else, he had weakened over time and broke. He had become a Dawi Zharr, a fire dwarf, a follower of Hashut.

The reflection in the mirror worried him. Once again, millennia later, his features were changing again. He could feel protrusions on the sides of his skull, and his nose was shrinking, he was sure of it. The changes weren’t noticeable to any but himself yet, but for how long would that be?

Still, he thought, maybes it was time Hashut was laying the claim on his soul. For too long he had lived, outliving all of his comrades from the original dwarven tribes. He had even outlived the sorcerers who rules from the top of Zharr-Naggrund. They had all turned to stone with a millennia. Targhann had lived for nearly eight. Eight thousand years could do a lot to a soul. The amount of death he had seen, in war, murder, natural causes. He had seen so much death it didn’t bother him any more. He had also seen his fair share of power and wealth over the years too, and they had become more like hobbies to him rather than a goal.

Secretly, he wished Hashut would claim him and be done with it.

He put his tall hat back on, covering the protrusions in his skull, and decided it was time for another inspection of the slave caravan.


Very well written. This could indeed be a good start for a very intersting story. Wonder how all this three diffrent character will in the end get together. Fluffwise it seems ok, never heard of a sorcerer that has lived so long but at the same time nothing say that they can�t. Keep up the good work, I�m looking forward to more.

Chosen of Hashut:

Good work, I like it.


‘I see it actually worked then!’

She didn’t turn around to look at the master engineer. She could see his reflection in the steel of her needling machine. He was grinning.

‘Yes Master Ironhide, it worked exactly as I had planned. Thank you for letting me use the workshop.’

‘That’s quite alright my dear. A youngling such as you should be learning the crafts. Your father will be proud to see this.’

Razal frowned at the mention of her father Gottri.

‘I am sure he wouldn’t consider me a youngling any more Master Ironhide.’

The master engineer walked across the workshop, dodging pieces of steam powered machinery as he did so with ease. He pulled up a stool and sat down beside Razal. She carried on with her dressmaking but at a decidedly snails pace.

‘A yes, this business with the slayer prince. That young Grobbi should certainly make a good husband.’

‘But master, I’ve never even met him. What if I don’t like him?’

‘Do you think he could be thinking the same thing?’

‘I had never thought of that Master.’

Razal’s face became a solemn mask. She had always assumed that any dwarf would be happy to have her, and had never considered Master Ironhide’s point before. What if Grobbi thought she was no good for him.

‘Cheer up youngling.’ The master grinned again. ‘Maybe I can persuade your father to let us take a trip up to the Karak. You will be able to meet him personally then, and things might just work out well.’

Razal tried to make a smile, but before she could reply the master was called away by another youngling who had managed to load too much black powder into a prototype handgun and had created a smoke cloud that was slowly choking all those working in the workshop.

And she was sure her father was going to agree. It didn’t take a priestess of valaya to see she would soon be sat at a feast table in the halls of Karak Kadrin.

Zharkon grinned. The messenger looked pleased at the sight of his overgrown fangs. Usually Snotgit would be trembling with fear having to deliver news to the sorcerer lord, especially with Zharkon’s reputation for blaming the messenger

‘This is certainly news indeed Snotgit, straight from general Targhann. How long was the ride here?’

Snotgit looked up. He didn’t expect the question.

‘It woz sum dayz ride my lord.’ He bowed, then decided he shouldn’t be bowing and stood to attention as straight as he could. Zharkon glared at him and he bowed again.

‘Some days yes, straight from the northern wastes. It looks like old Targhann has managed to capture a lot more than we expected.’

‘Oh yes my lord, there woz lotz of slaves to be caught. Lotz of humans. Lotz and Lotz.’

‘And he will be here soon. Ride back to his camp and tell him to get those slaves back to Zharr-Naggrund as fast as possible. We need to make a sacrifice to Hashut. Oh and Snotgit?’

‘Yes my lord?’

‘Go now!’


The road was rather dusty, the dawn sunshine reflecting on the clouds their boots brought up. They had descended down through the passes to a lower road. The pit pony was tied up with a cart carrying their supplies so the dwarfs were able to walk more freely, enjoying the trip.

Razal scowled every time she saw her fathers face in her mind. He had come around to Master Ironhide’s idea after a few pints of bugman’s best, but he did make sure she was wearing that damned red dress. Althogh she realized now it was rather more comfortable for the trek than rangers gear, and it did show off her womanly features.

As part of a gift from an imperial trader wanting black powder there had been a make up and trinket box. Although the trinkets were worthless by dwarf standards old Gottri had given it to her. She had thought it pointless till now, gathering dust in her quarters, but this morning she had taken it off the shelf.

The hardwood box opened with a click and a mechanism inside started to play music. It was filled with powders and creams and all sorts of perfumes and playthings and the wonders of a human woman’s life. At first she was wary of the stuff, until In the bottom she had found a parchment with diagrams on. These weren’t dwarf diagrams, but the idea was there, and within a few hours she was made up like an Arabyan belly dancer.

Master Ironhide had commented she looked the most precious gem in the Gargoyles Teeth crags, and Borri Hammerson, the ranger guiding their trip had been staring at her for the last few hours. It was, she concluded, good to feel like a woman.

‘Razal, over here!’

It was Master Ironhide shouting. He was pulling the pony and cart into the side of the road. The rangers were backing up around them, crossbows being loaded and pulled up into firing position.

She ran to the group and then noticed what they had noticed.

A dust cloud was building on the road coming from the direction towards the Karak, but this was not the sound of marching dwarf boots. This was something completely different.

‘Sounds like goblins’ spat Borri. The rangers all grumbled their agreement.

Although her father had forbidden she carry a weapon, Razal decided this didn’t mean that the pony couldn’t carry one for her, and she pulled her rune laden axe Windgrace from a leather sack.

She swished it through the air, the ancient runes glowing, the axe actually pulling her arm with unnatural speed. It would be an unlucky bunch of greenskins to cross their path today.


Targann grumbled as he watched his war band march east through the barren wastes of the steppes. His vanguard of Dawi Zharr marched in perfect step, hefting their great curved axes over their shoulders, or with the lethal blackpowder blunderbusses slug on their backs.

They were swiftly followed by numerous tribes of hobgoblins, a loud rabble in comparison with the solemnity of the dwarven warriors in front of them.

The hobgoblins led the slaves in great chain gangs hundreds long. Their pale naked flesh, turning blue with the cold, glimmered in the daylight sun.

His trudged along high up on the hillside with his immortal bodyguard following his step. The immortals were so called because of their impenetrable armour. Even their curled beards were hidden under rows of black steel. They carried their massive black hammers in silence, waiting patiently every time their leader stopped to have a better look at his army.

Running his hand over his brow, he couldn’t help feel the shape of his face was changing. He knew the touch of chaos was upon him. He had denied himself the power of sorcery ever since it was granted to their lost tribe. He could remember in detail when the equerries of a prominent chaos lord of the time had shown this power to his people, and he remembered when many of the lords had taken this power for himself. The now stood as very real statues lining the way into Zharr-Naggrund.

Many had questioned his decision over the years. Every time he employed a new sorcerer into his army he saw the accusing eyes. They were usually filled with jealousy, knowing they had taken the easy way out, and yet also filled with the contempt that they were subjugated to one who didn’t have the ambition to take up the sorcerer ways. They did not see the stone forming in their own blood until it was too late.

He wondered why was it now that the powers had decided to make him one of their own. He had not once made a prayer to Hashut. He had honoured the god in other ways, but found full devotion not for him. He had seen enough in his unnaturally long life to realise that the desires of the gods were as futile as the desire of mortals.

Storming into view, he realised, was another thing he decided he had seen enough of. It was that bastard hobgoblin Snotgit and his wolf riding cronies. They were more thieves and vagabonds than warriors, and Snotgit knew he knew this. Targhann wondered what news the fickle greenskin had brought this time.