In the frozen north, the barbarian tribes on the edge of the Chaos Wastes trade with the cruel, stunted children of Dark Father. Slaves captured on raids of fellow tribes, or starmetal ores chipped from ancient meteorites is exchanged for arms and armour of black iron. The black dwarfs are strange to the men of the north, and few have traveled within sight of their massive stronghold on the Sea of Chaos, known as Uzkulak, the Place of the Skull. Among the slaves, some few give praise to the god of the Chaos Dwarfs, whom they know as Dark Father, and faint prayers etched in blood, charcoal, and effluent to him can be found in many of the slave quarters.
Even their fellow Dawi’zharr find their fellows in Uzkulak strange, for it to the Chaos Dwarfs it stands on the edge of a great frontier, the last bastion of civilization on the cusp of the nightmarish Chaos Wastes. It is a city of fools, outcasts, and adventurers - slavers mad or desperate or greedy enough to ply the Sea of Chaos, or barter with the barbarians of the frozen wastes, or for those sorcerers who wish to be closer to the dark winds of magic that sweep down from the north pole of the world.
In Zharr Naggrund, where the forges never stop and each block is mortared with the blood of slaves, some Sorcerer-Priests whisper of heresy. The Lore of Hashut is one of fire, darkness, ash and desolation…but rumors say that in far Uzkulak, where the renegade and disfavored of Hashut dwell, a sect has developed that taps the magic of winter…
The Heresy of Uzkulak
The stories are true, to an extant. Far from the preachings of the High Sorcerer-Priest, the worship of Hashut has given rise to a new sect. When the first sorcerer-priests surveyed the location of Uzkulak, they situated the citadel on a place of power - a locus that they felt they could draw on in times of need. Unfortunately, this power has been locked from them for centuries, because it is not a pool of dhar or some other wellspring of dark magic, but some other, more refined magic.
In time, those sorcerer-priests banished to Uzkulak, or who went their voluntarily to be closer to the Chaos Wastes, have traced the lines of magic from Uzkulak to other sites of power in Kislev. Gospodar ice-witches captured in slaving raids revealed some of the secrets of this new magic - a network of power that stretched throughout northern Kislev, powered by the magic of ice and winter, and imprisoning some spirit or daemon of enormous power. In their land of perpetual winter, these adventurous Chaos Dwarfs made the first efforts to master this Winter Magic, adapting the ice-witch’s spells to the litanies of Hashut.
The Sons of Dark Father
The Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers who use the Lore of Winter in Uzkulak are a secret sect, bound together by the knowledge that their brethren from the south would bind their souls to cauldrons and hang them over fires to writhe in agony for eternity if they knew of their perversion of Hashut’s lore. Their magicks, while terrible and potent sorceries, bind them to the perpetual snows of the far north, far from the fiery magics of their more conventional colleagues.
In the shadows of Uzkulak, the heretical Sons of Dark Father gather to plot and study. Their ultimate aim is no less than the conquest of Kislev, the capture of the entire country and the web of power it contains. Only then can they master the daemon-thing they believe it holds captive…