Guess what turned up in my stocking this Christmas…
Zhatan the Black: Commander of the Tower of Zharr
Zhatan is the mightiest Chaos Dwarf Lord in existence, and holds the rank of Commander of the Tower of Zharr, making him the captain of the Immortals and the foremost servant of the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers.
Zhatan began his career in much the same manner as any of Zharr-Naggrund�?Ts warrior caste, serving in one of the slaving parties that scoured the Dark Lands for captives to sacrifice to Hashut or put to work in the mines and workshops of the Plain of Zharr. However, Zhatan soon came to the attention of his masters for his bloodthirsty deeds and savagery in battle. Unlike most Chaos Dwarfs, Zhatan was not a stoic, disciplined warrior, but a ruthless and cruel fighter, who took pleasure in inflicting torment on those who fell beneath the blade of his mighty axe. It wasn�?Tt long until Zhatan�?Ts exploits earned him a place in the elite Immortal Guard, bringing him into contact with the denizens of the Temple of Hashut. Here, he drew the eye of Ghorth the Cruel, who saw in Zhatan a protégé �?" not one who could follow him down the path of the Sorcerer, for Zhatan had no skill with magic, but rather one who could emulate the dark and terrible acts that had brought Ghorth his standing amongst the Dawi�?TZharr.
From that time on, Zhatan became Ghorth�?Ts unofficial bodyguard, following behind him and protecting him from the political machinations of his fellow Sorcerers. As Zhatan�?Ts reputation grew and he rose to become commander of the Immortals, so too did Ghorth�?Ts power, until the entire warrior elite of Zharr-Naggrund served at the Sorcerer Lord�?Ts beck and call. Ghorth reached heights undreamed of, his influence becoming greater even than the High Priest Astragoth himself. Thanks largely to Zhatan, the balance of power in the Temple of Hashut was changed forever.
Zhatan wields the Hammer of Zharr: this huge two-handed warhammer is a mighty relic of ancient times, dating back to the founding of the Chaos Dwarf empire and the building of Zharr-Naggrund. It is said that the Hammer of Zharr was the tool used to break the earth when the first foundations of the ziggurat were laid.
Zhatan is renowned for his horrific acts of brutality and cruelty even amongst his own evil race. He fights with rare ferocity for a Chaos Dwarf and gloats with delight as he inflicts pain and suffering on any creature foolish enough to cross his path - such as this unfortunate Dwarf Lord, whose head now adorns Zhatan’s belt as a grisly trophy.
On Zhatan’s left hand is the Ring of Unmaking: the jealous Chaos Dwarfs despise the artefacts of all other races, holding their crude machineries and magical weapons in contempt. Amongst their most powerful creations is a ring of smooth obsidian which has the power to resist the effects of enchanted weapons made by other race, reducing them to ordinary steel when contact is made between blade and the black stone.
Across Zhatan�?Ts shoulders sits a cloak woven from the hair of slaves tortured in the Temple of Hashut. Blackened by the fires of the Father of Darkness, this terrible object radiates an aura of dread and horror, unnerving his foes and inspiring feelings of hopelessness and despair as they contemplate their potential fate.
Here Zhatan is pictured with his personal bodyguard of Immortals. Zhatan is the lord of this powerful formation and can muster a mighty force of the elite warriors.
So there we have it. Courtesy of Avatars of War, of course. I believe I’m the first here to get my version painted (or at least posted) and he was absolutely perfect for my vision of Zhatan the Black - none of that fluff is new, but in fact taken from rules I wrote probably over a year ago now. If you want to read his new (updated!) rules, then stay tuned to this very website as Word of Hashut #4 features them! It’s almost like we planned it.
Thanks, guys. He was a very easy model to paint - I pretty much did the whole thing yesterday and finished off his base this morning. Because he’s mostly armour (and beard) I didn’t have to think too hard about colour choices. The only slightly odd thing is “The Black Mantle” which has somehow become “The Red Mantle”, but hopefully it’s dark enough to fit the fluff…and if it isn’t, I’ll just change the fluff! I wrote it, after all.
He does look pretty nice with the Immortals but, if anything, they look a bit drab now. I’ve started to get to the stage where most of my army is looking a bit old compared to more recent additions - I painted them in 2007, and they were my first Warhammer army in a good long time. While I think my skills have kind of plateaued at a stage I’m happy with now, I know I could do them better, so maybe 2009 will be the year of the revamp? I guess we’ll see.
I did consider mounting him on a palanquin borne by some gobbos - I had a spare version of the goblin on the left looking up at me from my bitz box, but I decided it would look too comedic. Being carried out by some cringing gobbos is not how I imagine Zhatan the Black, the most feared Chaos Dwarf in the Dark Lands. He doesn’t get carried by gobbos: he kills them.
The reason such a thing even occurred to me was because I wanted to give him some kind of scenic base onto which I could place the smaller base. You’ll notice he has none of my trademark lava - that’s because the model, while still an acceptable size for a Dwarf, is pretty big. I may still make one, but there’s not going to be any carrying involved, I don’t think.
I LOVE your unit of iron breakers turned Immortals. Did you model the bighat-like hats on top of them? or do they come that way? I think i’m going to do the exact same thing, except i’ll add some armour plates covering some dreadlocked beards.
What rules do you use for Immortals? The problem I see with using them as Blorcs is the movement 4 (makes little sense…)… BUT it could actually work as a “mark of hashut”… considering his mark could potentially add to the movement characteristic… (think: a raging stampeding bull)… actually I like the Blorc idea alot more now! plus blorcs are allowed to carry CD banners! the rules could potentially be perfect… ecspecially with the heavy ass armour and armed to the teef rule (model them up with multiple weapons, maybe even).
I once heard a rumour that blorc armour was supposed to be crafted by the CDs. but then again… so was rugluds armoured orcs (a big difference)… no?
Anyway… I really love that lord mini. I can’t wait to use him with your Zhatan rules from the Hashut zine, one day.
I LOVE your unit of iron breakers turned Immortals. Did you model the bighat-like hats on top of them? or do they come that way?
They come that way. I had all sorts of crazy plans to model big hats on them, but in the end there wasn't an easy way to do it without hacking the whole thing apart and I decided they looked fine the way they were with a couple of weapon swaps and new shields. The spike on the Champion's head was added though.
What rules do you use for Immortals?
I don't, usually - they're just Chaos Dwarf Warriors. But if I did want to use rules, I'd use the ones I came up with. These rules aren't exactly how I'd do Immortals now, but I'm saving the update for the next issue of Word of Hashut.
I once heard a rumour that blorc armour was supposed to be crafted by the CDs. but then again... so was rugluds armoured orcs (a big difference)... no?
I don't know if their armour is, but they themselves were, so that might count for something. I'm not a big fan of using Black Orcs for Immortals, but they're probably the closest you can get. You know, if you put a Hero in that unit, they'll be reduced to M3, and they'll get higher Ld. Just a thought.
I can't wait to use him with your Zhatan rules from the Hashut zine, one day.
It's my hope that people will do just that, yeah. The model came out at just the right time to go with the rules in Word of Hashut - the 'zine doesn't go quite so far as to make the link, but hopefully this thread will help promote my vision of Zhatan. He also makes a cameo in the story I wrote for WoH too, so the little guy gets around, apparently.
The funnest thing for me is being able to print out all the Word Of Hashut zines… the Ravening Hordes PDF + all the FAQs and Erratas = The closest thing to a Chaos Dwarf army book you can get right now. And altogether they make for a fun collection!
I am in the process of compiling the rules for ALL chaos dwarf items that are listed in OTHER army books… things like:
Leadbelcher cannons -
the weapon’s rules can be used to create a more generic type of Chaos Dwarf cannon. Without the ogre handler… with the right points value adjustment though… just subtract the ogre from the points & add points for 3 CD warrior crew. You know the spiky cannon in the leadbelchers set? I would use that model, or model a generic cannon to be covered in spikes. Honestly, if the CD armybook ever comes out, i think it would make sense that Leadbelchers should be a CD special unit… they built the cannons the ogres are using!
Mechanical Boar (magic item in orcs book) -
This is my favorite because you can use it as a mechanical mount of any sort for your CD heroes! I personally am modeling mine to be a CD sorcerer in the 40k Ork mega armour. This will basically serve the same purpose as Astrogoth’s metal legs. They allow high level wizards to move around despite having petrified stone bodies!
and the many more magic items created by the chaos dwarfs, but spread out into other army books!
the purpose of collecting these is so that we have a larger selection of choices for friendly games! things that make sense for the CD to use, since they created them afterall.
I also would like to oneday find all the equivalent spells to the old Chaos Dwarf lore, so that we can figure out the appropriate power level for each spell. Then I’d like to create a Lore of Hashut using only the old CD spells, but with updated power levels for friendly games. So that we can use our REAL magic again.
It’s a shame though, I don’t think I’d be able to reprint any of these rules in the Word of Hashut, as a collected list… BUT I could always write an article about which items are included on the list, and how they can be used for our list. And I don’t think much harm could come out of simply listing updated power levels for our old lore, and then people can find the spell rules for themselves…
Well, not all the spells have modern equivalents. The magic rules have been toned down since 4th/5th Edition, after all. A lot of spells are too powerful in the current rules. However, judging by the advertisement in the Word of Hashut, we’re going to see some updated rules next issue. I’m not sure who’s doing them, but I have some of my own ideas on that particular topic, so I might petition Willmark to let me muscle in on it, since clearly the survival of WoH is dependent on me totally dominating the articles.