[Archive] The Voice's Fluff


Ok, so it has been a long time since I last turned my hand to Chaos Dwarf fluff, and even longer since I wrote any that I posted. Time to get back into old habits. :slight_smile:

Anyone who remembers my fluff (and there’s no reason why you should, so good for you ;P) will probably have read some of my Clanstrife stuff. Obviously the Chaos Dwarf fluff consensus has shifted some since then, but I’ve invested a lot of effort over the years into my current CD fluff. As a result, I will provide in this first post an ever-updated glossary of characters, organisations and locations that the reader may not be familiar with. I’ll probably flesh some entries out as more gets revealed in the fluff.

The map I based my original fluff on was this one, except without the red highlights. I only found out a couple of years afterwards that it was fake, but I found a CD empire with four settlements dull to write about, so retained them (updating for Ogre Kingdoms developments where necessary).

With that out of the way, I hope you enjoy my work. Any constructive criticism to improve my no doubt rusty writing skills would be greatly appreciated. Criticism of concepts I try out in the stories are also fine, but don’t be rude!


Asphodel Makazlok, Lady: The Voice’s spouse, a daughter of the Thrang Makazlok.

Azazul: Roughly translates as ‘reliable war axe’, the Azazul are The Voice’s elite troops. They usually form their own small battlegroups and undertake long, isolated missions.

Clanstrife: A period of conflict within the Chaos Dwarf empire between clans that supported the advancement of daemonic research and those that resisted it, known as the Grand Alliance. This was inspired by the truly terrible flamewar Hand of Hashut had on the subject. I thought if we did it, the actual Dawi’Zharr definitely did.

Dur Madaktu: An outpost that shares its name with the island, this small outpost on one of the westernmost Dragon Isles conceals an Odro Ungor facility hidden in the interior.

Gorthrash: Originally a low-ranking sorceror, he led the research into sanguimancy following Sindri’s original - largely accidental - breakthrough on Tashbaan.

Kattoshan: The settlement on the southern island of the Dragon Isles, this city acts as a staging post for ships plying the Sea of Claws, heading from the River Ruin, the Old World and Far Cathay.

Malachaior: (sp?) A Lammasu, and Prophet of Hashut. Resident in the highest tier of the Tower of Zharr Naggrund. Traditionalist in outlook.

New Temple: An ancient theological philosophy brought to prominence during the Clanstrife. It divides worship of Hashut into the ‘High Temple’ - the Dawi’Zharr and their sorcerors - and the ‘New Temple’, comprised of all non-Dawi’Zharr Hashut worshippers. Initially formulated in response to Hashut worship amongst the slave populations, it has proved a controversial doctrine since its foundation.

Odro Ungor: The “Eight Caverns”, a secret alliance of outer clans and renegade sorcerors led by The Voice, formed during the Clanstrife. It provided the core of the broader Radical resistance to the Grand Alliance.

Rughat: An Obsidian Heart sorceror, charged with leading the Sacred Spawning experiments on Dur Madaktu.

Sanguimancy: The art of using the blood of sacrificial offerings, blessed and ensorcelled by a priest of Hashut, as a thaumaturgical agent.

Scaled Hand: The five founding priests of the New Temple on the Dragon Islands, all skinks.

Sindri: A daemonsmith in service to The Voice, and High Thaumitect of the Odro Ungor. Amongst the highest-ranking of The Voice’s servants.

Tashbaan: The principle settlement on the northern island of the Dragon Isles. More out of the way and slightly more secretive.

The Voice: Sorceror, self-proclaimed prophet and Father of the Thrang Obsaihek. Secretly led the Radical rebellion during the Clanstrife, and founded the Odro Ungor. Has recently returned after leading an army on a decade-long expedition into Ind for unknown reasons.

Thrang Makazlok: Clan of the Ornate Weapon - close allies of the Thrang Obsaihek and the clan of Lady Asphodel.

Thrang Obsaihek: Clan of the Obsidian Heart - The Voice’s clan. Has influence in Zharr Naggrund but most of its holdings lie in the outer territories.

Thrang Schwarhek: Clan of the Black Heart - an unusual clan in that it once adopted a human into the clan, the descendants of which survive today. Vlathek Schwarhek has been one of The Voice’s chief lieutenants for a long time

Zalamantluan: High Priest of Hashut and the New Temple, first of the Scaled Hand. A powerful skink sorcerer from a spawning of Hashut.

Zharr Naggrund: Capital of the Ankor Zharr. Only large city in the entire dominion. All thrangs have holdings here, although it is a traditionalist stronghold.


The Future is Spawned

Sindri had worked for The Voice for a long time. As a young alchemechanic, he had originally belonged to another clan, before his fascination with the art of daemon-binding had seen him cast from that Traditionalist house. The Voice had taken him in, and put him to work. Throughout the Clanstrife, he had laboured to forward the Radical cause, and had pioneered the development of sanguimancy, now a speciality of the Obsidian Heart clan. Now, with the Clanstrife at an end and daemonic weapons prolific, he found himself High Thaumitect of the Odro Ungor. Not bad, for an outcast apprentice.

In the depths of the Odro Ungor�?Ts facility on Dur Madaktu, Sindri observed the final preparations of what had been a long and laborious process. Although harnessing the native lizard population had been one of The Voice�?Ts cherished ambitions for a long time now, it was not a field Sindri had played much part in: his expertise lay more with metal and daemons than living things. However, he had been ordered here specifically to provide a personal report on the project.

Cultivating the skink population had proved remarkably easy. As The Voice had predicted, the lizards differed greatly from the greenskins in that they were born to be led by others. Under careful dawi�?Tzharr tutelage it had not taken long to restore captive-born skinks to the level of intellect evinced by those in the west, but fully indoctrinated into the Cult of Hashut. More intelligent, more loyal and more suited to the climate, captive-born skinks were phasing out the uncommon hobgoblins as the lackey of choice on the Dragon Islands, with Tashbaan and Kattoshan forming the nucleus of a burgeoning trade in cold-blooded slaves up the River Ruin.

Saurus on the other hand had proved intensely difficult. Tough as black orcs, with natural weapons and the temperament of a born predator, they had proved remarkably ill-suited to slavery. Efforts to domesticate them had been abandoned until a chance Azazul raid on a north island temple had recovered the key. A series of tablets, when translated by skinks, had revealed that the offspring of certain �?~sacred spawnings�?T carried the mark of one of their long-departed gods. Thus it was agreed: using sacrificial blood, carefully regulated conditions, thrice-daily prayer and copious sorcery, the Odro Ungor would attempt to bring the blessings of their lord to these wretched weapon-beasts. The pursuit of the first Sacred Spawning of Hashut had begun.

The room Sindri was in was dark and warm. The walls were rough rock and devoid of decoration, with the exception of the far wall upon which the tablets, each covered in inscrutable glyphs, were hung. It was these tablets �?" recovered by an Azazul raid into the interior of the northern island, that had yielded (with skink translation) the secrets required to attempt their plan. A single iron door at the far end of the room was flanked by two Azazul, their faces invisible behind their own masks.

Sunken in midnight obsidian, a pool that bubbled a thick, ochre colour dominated the floor. It was shallow, with the bands of heat-conducting metal clearly visible along the floor. Set in the far wall, a pair of sluices fed measured quantities of rich, red blood into the pool, in which rested some two-score large, pale eggs. Around the edge of the pool prowled several observant skinks, taking notes and fiddling with heating dials, overseen by Rughat, the attendant sorcerer. On a raised gantry in the corner, the Alchemech and sanguimance Gorthrash hunched over his phials of blessed sacrificial blood, muttering as he mixed. It was the same scene that had played out, punctuated by the occasional disappointment of a failed spawning, for a long time.

Suddenly, the skinks began to emit agitated hisses. Sindri and Rughat strode to the edge of the pool, where they were swiftly joined by Gorthrash. In the middle of the bubbling expanse of ochre liquid, an egg was gently rocking. The room went still, and only the tapping of an egg-tooth broke the silence. A crack appeared in the smooth white surface. Another followed, and other. Suddenly the egg toppled, disgorging its mewling contents into the bubbling water.

At the side of the pool, nothing moved - four dwarves and a half-dozen skink attendants peering through the gloom, all focusing intently on where the fallen egg continued to leak effluvia into the water. Then the silence was broken by a splash, four startled cries, and six startled silibances, as the newly spawned thing hauled itself ashore at their feet. Sindri stepped cautiously forward to examine the newborn thing.

It was a Saurus warrior-lizard, but unlike any seen in this world before. Its scales were crimson, with lighting patterns picked out along its spine in bronze and black. A line of white spines ran down its back and along its tail, and its teeth practically glittered in the reflected light of the dim wall-torches. Already strong and inquisitive, it stood on its hind legs and scanned the group. Unseen by the mesmerised watchers, the other eggs began to hatch, and Sindri watched as the future, red in scale and tooth and claw, ranked up before his eyes.


Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh I love this. I love the idea. Lizard men do make the perfect slaves. You make me want to make a CD Saurus warrior. Such a cool picture in my head now. Great fluff really intriguing concept too. Awesome


I agree, fantastic idea!

well written too…

definitely inspiring


The Birth of the New Temple

The great hall of The Voice�?Ts residence in Kattoshan was as grand and opulent as many in Zharr Naggrund. The floor and walls were of coloured marble, set in whites, reds and blacks. Upon the floor, this marble was elegantly cut into the arms of the Thrang Obsaihek - the Clan of the Obsidian Heart. The walls were lined by elegant plants cultivated from the island interior. The door was guarded by two Azazul in full dress uniform, their tall hats and bronze-and-ivory shoulder pads immaculate. By night, the room was lit by elegant torches set into bronze bull-heads sat in alcoves on the walls, and chandeliers hung from the ceiling. By day, it was well lit by tall windows of finely crafted and coloured glass, set in patterns that reflected great events and people of the Dawi�?TZharr past. The mid-afternoon sun streamed through these windows now, picking out the room in shades of red and fiery gold.

The light glinted off the jewelry of the assembled dignitaries: representatives of the colonial elite and those clans the Obsidian Heart considered allies. The women were dressed in fine silks, their hair tied back and expensive jewelry set at their throats and wrists. As was custom, each was attended by a well-groomed personal slave, who stood silently behind their assembled mistresses.

The men were more of a mixed lot. Some, mostly those straight off the ship from the River Ruin, were dressed in their city finest. Immaculately curled beards, tall hats and expensively dyed cloth was the order of the day, usually tones of red but occasionally fiery orange or purple. Scattered amidst this finery were other, more incongruous types. Some where Dawi�?TZharr, in masks and battered but serviceable armour �?" sorcerers, thaumitects, engineers and adventurers. A scattered few were not Dawi�?TZharr at all �?" mostly men, with the occasional hobgoblin.

At the front of the room, on a raised dais before the iron doors at the end of the hall, Lady Asphodel was overseeing the slaves with refreshments.  Lady Asphodel was The Voice�?Ts spouse, a daughter of the Thrang Makazlok �?" roughly translated as the Clan of Ornate Weapons. She was tall for a Dawi, with midnight-black hair tied back behind her head in a ponytail that fell beyond her waist, held in place with silver clasps. She wore matching silver jewellery, and a dress of midnight blue silk. Her face had a statuesque set to it, ice-blue eyes set above high cheekbones. She oversaw the slaves with the calm of an assured hostess, and moved amongst the guests, ignoring none. Taking cooked meats and juices from the silver platters carried by the slaves, the assembled heads of the Odro Ungor awaited The Voice�?Ts arrival.

The Voice stood the antechamber behind the iron doors, sipping iced juice from a crystal glass. A few minutes more, he thought, while his wife prepared them. This meeting had been a long time in coming, but he was ready for it. Of course, gathering together majority the Odro Ungor�?Ts leadership under a legitimate excuse had been tricky. He had invited most of the hierarchy of the Ankor to a gala in Kattoshan to celebrate his return. Some of his enemies wouldn�?Tt turn up, and the rest of the leadership were scheduled to arrive in a few days. Those of the Odro Ungor who could make it had simply arranged to arrive a little early, and under the guise of a formal reception he had organised this meeting.

He set the glass down on the silver tray carried by his attendant, and checked his form in the full-length mirror on the wall next to him. Blue, to match his wife, with a hood and accompanied by an ornate mask of wrought silver in the form of a daemon, leaving only his mouth exposed. His tightly-curled and oiled beard flowed down in front of him in neat spirals, and from the bottom of each hung a silver ornament. Satisfied with his appearance, he nodded to his two attendants, and the Azazul led him into the room.

The assembled dignitaries turned at once upon his entrance, and he strode to the centre of the dais. With a swift curtsy to Vlathek of the Thrang Schwarhek (Clan Blackheart), Asphodel withdrew to the side of the room. Once the necessary greetings had been exchanged, The Voice raised his hands for quiet.

All prophets are storytellers. All possess a gift of speech that cannot be taught. Helna Blackhand possessed it; Malachaior had it, and more than anyone The Voice had it. A subtle lilt, a cadence that carried the listener with you on whatever journey you wished. As he spoke, the room fell into an almost dream-like state, following his every word.

He began to outline his vision: of how the Dragon Islands, long abandoned by their so-called gods, yearned for masters. Of how the lizards that inhabited them could be reborn in the embrace of the father. Of how the ruined temple-cities of the islands could be rebuilt, their ziggurats reconsecrated to a new god, populated by a new order of lizard. How the Dawi�?TZharr could rule these cities, the Father�?Ts chosen people, to guide this new race.  Of how this new race already existed, raised to perfection by the Hand of the Father, aided by his own sorcerers and scientists. At this, he clapped his hands. The spell was broken, the assembled blinking and mentally shaking themselves back to alertness. At the back of the room, the Azazul swung open the door.

All eyes were drawn to the five lizards walking down the central isle towards the dais. They were skinks, or at least of skink stock, but taller and broader than was common of that race. Their skin tones varied, from bronze to crimson to deep black. They walked straight, and the air around them crackled with thaumaturgical energy. When the five skink sorcerers reached the dais, they bent one knee and kneeled before The Voice.

�?oThese shall be the Scaled Hand of the Father�?�, The Voice announced to the room, �?othe five founders of the new temple. Lizards, touched by his providence and raised above their peers, to serve him�?� Motioning to a quintet of slaves in the corner, they scurried forward, each bearing a casket. From the first one, The Voice lifted a circlet of reddish gold. Around its edge burned runes of Hashut, lit as if by some inner flame. He turned towards the central lizard, its skin grey-black and its crest crimson. Raising the circlet, The Voice entoned a prayer to Hashut. Then he gently lowered the circlet onto the bent head of the lizard. �?oReborn in the fires of the Father, a Priest of the Night and of the Fire, I rechristen thee Zalamantluan, Priest of the New Temple.�?� This process was repeated four more times, until each of the skinks wore a burnished circlet of blessed gold upon their brows. The Voice bad them rise, and turned to the audience.

�?oBehold, the priests of the New Temple. The New Temple shall be built on these islands, in the ruined cities of its extinct civilisation and the empty hearts of its godless populace. These five shall carry the word of Hashut to all the lizards of the island. Those who refuse to embrace the Father�?Ts truth shall burn in his pyres, for the cities of these islands will be rebuilt, in His name and for the glorification of Him!  Long live the Blessed Father! Praise Hashut!�?�

With these last lines the entire hall rose in chorus, and their prayers shook the rafters high above.

Later, at a more formal meeting of the leadership, the issue was furiously debated. The philosophical traditions of the New Temple had been on the very fringes of the Radical movement during the Clanstrife, and some felt that this move to actually establish one was certain to arouse the ire of the Malachaiorites in Zharr Naggrund. The presence of more than one profit in the Ankor Zharr had often proved problematic - at the current count, there were three - and philosophical schisms between their rival schools of sorcerors had underscored much of the kinstrife.

Sitting in his high-backed chair, Asphodel by his side, The Voice watched proceedings. He was pretty confident that even if Malachaior did find out about the New Temple - and that should not be for a while at least - he would not risk an open conflict in the empire at such a time. Although beneath the surface, both prophets were acutely  aware that the two factions that had fought the Clanstrife were still broadly in existence and capable of re-arming. The traditionalists could tut, but the Dragon Islands were too well-defended and frankly too far away to be worth a schism. More interesting was watching how it played out amongst his allies.

Firmly in his camp were those rootless Radicals he had taken under his wing: the outcast sorcerers and engineers that drove so much of his work. Thrangs such as the ultra-loyal Makazlok and  Shwarhek were also backing him to the hilt. Others had more reservations: fears of war, and increased tensions with the centre. Thankfully, there were no serious philosophical objections to the scheme - at least, none that those present cared to voice. He would have to carefully monitor the doubters in the near future. With luck, the success of the scheme should serve to assauge any doubts as to its merits. If it worked…

After the debate began slowly to move in circles, he called time on it, and the Odro Ungor moved onto the next item on the agenda. His expedition to Ind…