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KAZAD VULKHRUND From the mighty Dwarf Hold of Zhufbar a path winds its way eastward for thirty

miles through the World Edge Mountains until it reaches Grobak Zorn (the Green Plateau). This is one of the last fertile plateaus held by the Dwarfs of Karaz Ankor. Settled during the Golden Age by farmers and herders from Zhufbar it had been one of the main sources of food for the settlements around Varn Drazh and barley grown there was coveted by brewmasters everywhere. Overground villages were the norm, built on the high slopes. The only underground settlement was Khazid Narvornaz (the East Farmville) that guarded the eastern entrance to the plateau. Though regarded strange by other Dwarfs for the amount of time they spend overground Dwarfs of Grobak Zorn were respected for their skills to produce the finest mountain wheat and the courage of their rangers. The War of Vengeance saw little participation from the Dwarfs of Grobak Zorn as they toiled endlessly to produce enough food to sustain the Throngs at war. Rangers that did go won much renown, matching their skills with those of their Elven counterparts. The Time of Woes did not hit the Grobak Zorn Dwarfs as hard as those elsewhere due to their way life but marauding bands of Greenskins made life as well as travel across the mountains a perilous one. The Ungdrin havent yet reached the plateau and with the travel overground made difficult farmers were forced to take up weapons to protect their mule trains heading for Zhufbar. Many Dwarf lives were lost before the attempts to reach the mother Hold were abandoned. As the peaks and valleys filled with Greenskins Dwarfs of Khazid Narvornaz began to dig and expand their hold renaming it Kazad Vulkhrund (the Lonely Fortress). The mountains around and below Grobak Zorn were never known for their mineral wealth, just endless layers of limestone and marble so the Dwarfs melted down their iron ploughs and spades to make axes and quarrel heads. After several years that saw many Dwarfs die in vicious fighting due to lack of armour, miners found a potential solution. While digging a new defensive watch post in the cliff overlooking the approach to the hold they found a deposit of copper. In normal circumstances it would have been an occasion for celebration but this was no ordinary copper. Mixed with the metal that could ensure their survival was poison silver. When smelted it would produce deadly fumes that could seriously maim or even kill a blacksmith. But all was not lost. The most ancient texts from the dawn of their race spoke of the alloy of copper and poison silver, it was a type of bronze that could almost match iron in its quality but its production was so dangerous it was abandoned soon after it was discovered. The smiths of Kazad Vulkhrund would have to relearn making Uzkul Izor (the death copper) or they would all die sooner or later. Though some died and many were left crippled the Dwarfs of Grobak Zorn mastered the creation of Uzkul Izor and soon bronze clad regiments of rangers drove the Greenskins from the surrounding mountains. As decades rolled on contact was re-established with Zhufbar and holds and mines further east and north. Daring

messengers kept an illusion of unity but in truth each hold was alone, separated from its counterparts by many miles of territory filled by hostile tribes of Greenskins and Beasts making trade all but impossible. When the settlements and mines in the eastern World Edge Mountain were abandoned many refugees settled on Grobak Zorn significantly boosting its population. During the brief period when Karak Varn was retaken by Kadrin Redmane an expedition from Kazad Vulkhrund led a foray deep into the fallen hold uncovering a stash of suits of gromril armour allowing the council of elders to establish an Ironbreaker regiment. The relative isolation of Grobak Zorn meant that any innovation had a hard time reaching the Dwarfs there and absolutely no chance of taking root. Inhabitants of Kazad Vulkhrund continued to live as did their ancestors during the Golden Age. Such novelties as steam drills, cannons, gyrocopters and even Hammerers cant be seen among them. Living as they do on the eastern most frontier of the Karaz Ankor they have become even more grim and vengeful. From their green home bronze clad Throngs often march to settle grudges making the inhabitants of Kazad Vulkhrund known as warlike among other Dwarfs. They have no love for any non-dwarf and even show little tolerance towards men of the Empire accusing them of trying to take their place as food makers of Karaz Ankor. Such conditions breed harsh Dwarfs and the latest warlord of Grobak Zorn is the harshest of them all. Hkon Karazhar of the Karazhar Clan, known also as Khrumazi (the Warmonger) is a curse upon the enemies of the Dwarf race. Ever since the founding of Khazid Narvornaz Grobak Zorn had been ruled by a council elders. They governed in the name of the king of Zhufbar but his power had always been only nominal. When the Goblin Wars began it was clear that the community needed a permanent military leader an so the position of Rinkazeni (Commander) was made. Through the long centuries many Thanes from several different Clans held the post but the last four occupants came from the Karazhar Clan almost making the post hereditary. Hkon even directly inherited the position upon his fathers death. There have been rumours among other Clans that he plans to make himself king. Weather that is true or not only Hkon knows. Ever since he came into position Hkon had transformed the Throng of Kazad Vulkhrund making military training mandatory and establishing a standing body of warriors known as the Brotherhood of Gazul. He had travelled across the Karaz Ankor settling grudges and reclaiming lost treasurers of the ancestors. Regiments of the Brotherhood of Gazul are a welcome sight in other Dwarf Holds valued for their skill and determination. When Emperor Dieter IV betrayed the Dwarfs during the invasion of the Goblin Warlord Grom it was Hkon that laid low his lands in the aftermath, dismantling the Emperors personal castle in Stirland stone by stone. When King Ungrim Ironfist slew the Orc Warlord Gnashrak it was Hkon that marched the Brotherhood of Gazul to the fallen Warlords lair and slaughtered his spawn claiming his hoard as his own. On the throne in Khaz Zan (the Red Hall) of the Karazhar clan Hkon

ponders his next move and woe betide those upon whom he marches.

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