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Karak Eight Peaks – Introduction

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Karak Eight Peaks, the newest addition in the Great Book of Grudges. Seized by Skarsnik and his horde of Night Goblins, the defenders were finally overwhelmed by the arrival of the Bloody Sun Boyz. A greenskin tribe with no previous reputation, suddenly accelerated to the most dangerous horde in the known world by mysterious gifts which empowered its two leaders, the Bloody Sun Boyz pushed into Karak Eight Peaks and slaughtered the last dwarven defenders in the citadel and pushed the skaven back deep under the city. Now the city lies firmly in the hands of the greenskin hordes and the Bloody Sun Boyz with the aid of Malekith have set their eyes on Karaz-a-Karak. The Oathbearers have been formed to counter this threat and avenge the great grudge of the fall of Karak Eight Peaks.
Once one of the mightiest Holds of the southern Holds along the World’s Edge Mountains, Karak Eight Peaks was a great center of commerce. It gained its name from the eight mountains that formed a natural amphitheater; Karag Lhune, Karag Rhyn, Karag Nar, and Kvinn-Wyr (also known as the White Lady) in the west, and Karag Zilfin, Karag Yar, Karag Mhonar, and Karagril (also known as Silverhorn) in the east. To the south a great flat granite monolith lay between the two southernmost massive mountains known as ‘the Anvil’. From the amphitheater a great entrance lead into the halls of each mountain. Behind the massive gates of Karak Eight Peaks a massive fortress lay as a second line of defense. Within the valley itself there was a tavern, inns, and a market square – all to facilitate trade and commerce. The pinnacle of  each mountain crowned by a massive bastion forming the very crenelations of the grand wall that circled the dwarven stronghold. The defenses were so impregnable that it was sworn that Karak Eight Peaks will never fall. That was until the mines were breached…
The massive fortress Hold was overly prepared for an attack from above ground, but underground, they never expected anything. And then new tunnels began to open, mines began to collapse from being undermined. Then the skaven and greenskins began to pour into the tunnels and mines. The Hold was under attack from within – the impregnable defenses on the mountains proved useless against this threat. Hall by hall, mountain by mountain, Karak Eight Peaks was overrun by children of Chaos. The last defenders barricaded themselves in the Kings hall in Karagril, the Citadel of Karak Eight Peaks. The Night Goblins of Skarsnik could not break the defenses, and then the Bloody Sun Boyz came and through sheer strength in numbers overwhelmed the defenders and slaughtered them all. After but a few decades the dwarven architecture was defaced and destroyed and ramshackle villages sprang up clinging to every possible column, mountain, and flat piece of ground. Now the Oathbears march back with eyes of vengeance. Karak Eight Peaks will be reclaimed. The tides of greenskin will be turned back. Karak Ankor will shine once more!
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Karaz-a-Karak – Citadel

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

The entire western half of the Grand Floor is considered the Citadel, the royal quarters of the High King. The vast majority of the Citadel is composed of the Hall of a Thousand Pillars, smaller ante-chambers exist as the private quarters of the High King. The Hall of a Thousand Pillars is mile long massive chamber literally filled with a thousand pillar. Each pillar is a record of a clan’s history, artisans come each year to update their pillar. Some pillars are barely carved, indicating the short life of the clan in the harsh history of Karak Ankar. Other pillars are carved half way indicating a longer history of a younger clan, and still other pillars have even carvings even higher. The height of the carvings is a direct indication of the clan’s survival against the hordes of chaos. So lofty is the chamber that no clan has yet reached the ceiling; many decades of room still exist on their clans pillars. At the far end of the mile-long hall is the Throne of Power, the seat of High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer. The Hall of a Thousand Pillars is guarded by Thanes, their numbers unknown as they are concealed behind all the pillars. Read more…

Karaz-a-Karak – Grand Floor

October 22, 2010 2 comments

Two galleries run above the Hall of Kings with a massive bridge spanning across the hall connecting the two sides, known as the Sky Bridge of Kings. To the west lay the citadel of the High King, the Hall of A Thousand Pillars. To the east lay the Hall of Grudges, a hall of scarred memories where the wrongs committed against all the dwarves of Karak Ankor are recorded. Each Hold has its own Dammaz Kron, or Book of Grudges, but the Dammaz Kron in the Hall of Grudges is the ultimate tome of grudges. Although in different parts of Karaz-a-Karak the complex rises many more floors above the Grand Floor, this floor is noted as the grandest of them all for its importance to all of Karak Ankor.
High above the Grand Floor lay the Mountaintop Cannon Battery firing down upon the invading Greenskins. Sheltered within the mountain on this very same level is the Gyrocopter Hanger of Karaz-a-Karak, a massive hanger of scores of the flying machines which greatly aid the defense of the Hold. One pair of hanger doors opens to the outside world, another opens to the Hall of Kings so that the machines can be transported from the Engineer’s Guild up to the Gyrocopter Hanger. Mighty warriors guard theses floors, for these floors represent the very identity of the dwarves and shall not be conquered without a brutal fight.
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Karaz-a-Karak – Mining District

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Deep below Karaz-a-Karak mine shafts cut through the mighty Everpeak as the dwarves dig ever deeper searching for precious metals. The central hub for this operation is the Mining District of the Eastern Lower Reaches. Where the Western Lower Reaches’ atmosphere is marked with warmth, fire, and brightness, the Eastern Lower Reaches are dark, cold and dank with water dripping from the ceiling. The two key centers of the Eastern Lower reaches before one enters the endless mines are the Miner’s Guild and the Mine Junction.
The Miner’s Guild is an oasis in this dark corner of Karaz-a-Karak, a small town with places of rest, a municipal bath house, and of course the ever popular tavern, Grit and Gravel. The Miner’s Guild is a place of respite for the miners as they rotate in and out of week-long shifts. South of the Miner’s Guild is a robust dam holding back the subterranean river that flows beneath the floor of Karaz-a-Karak. Without this dam mining operations in the lower reaches would be near impossible with many of the tunnels being flooded. Day and night pumps work to drain the tunnels of their water and the dam is the only thing holding back the deluge. Down the corridor from the Miner’s Guild is the Mine Junction, an eight way rotating rail platform which allows carts to travel in any direction without a complex rail network. The dwarves operating the rotating rail platform are fiercely proud of their ingenuity. From the Mine Junction eight tunnels branch out in different directions, the one directly to the north going to the Karaz-a-Karak Station cavern, the other seven spanning out under the city. Heavily armored Iron Breakers patrol the tunnels, ever wary of a breach from the ever-present nemesis of the Dwarves, the Greenskins. Read more…

Karaz-a-Karak – Grand Station

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

North of the Hall of Kings is the Grand Station of Karaz-a-Karak. Serving as the main artery connecting Karaz-a-Karak to the other holds to the north, south, and west, the station is a vital district of Karaz-a-Karak. Its grand role in Karak Ankor is equally depicted in its grand architecture. Massive columns line the station topped with giant braziers ever aglow. Ramps run up and down the walls of the massive cavern linking the station floor to the many levels of Karaz-a-Karak and the quarters of the dwarves that tend to the rails. In times of peace those that tend to the station and the rails extending deep into Ungrin Ankor are stout dwarves armed with massive hammers, ready to set new rail-ties and test old ones. When trouble lurks around the corner these dwarves quickly transform themselves into mighty warriors. To compliment their brothers-in-arms, the Grand Station is guarded by a regiment of the King’s Hammerers who man the watch towers over the tracks. The main track, the northern one, serves as the artery of Ungrin Ankor. The southern track is an auxiliary track linking the capital to outlying districts , guard posts in the outskirts of the World’s Edge Mountains, mine junctions deep in the mountain, and various districts of the capital. Cranes swivel between the two tracks loading goods from one to the other, be they ale from the Brewmaster’s Brewery, iron from the mines, siege weapons, or weapons of war. Galleys line the heights of the cavern and bridges span its length connecting the front of Karaz-a-Karak to its deeper districts. The Grand Station is indeed a testament to the ingenuity and architectural expertise of the dwarves. Read more…

Karaz-a-Karak – Crafting District

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

West of the Hall of Kings is the massive Engineer’s Guild and accessible by a tunnel at the south west end of the Hall of Kings are the Western Lower reaches of Karaz-a-Karak consisting of the Library of Karaz-a-Karak and the Temple of Grungi . Following a massive ramp down from the Hall of Kings and behind equally grand doors to lower the din from behind them lay the Engineer’s guild. This grand hall is indeed a secluded society of tinkerers and siege masters.  Massive complexes are carved into the mountain composing the living quarters of the engineers and blacksmiths. In fact each complex hosts its own guild vying for the status of the grandest engineers and siege masters with the other complexes around the hall. Iron beams and cranes span the ceiling of the room lifting heavy war machines off the ground and swinging them onto waiting rail carts for shipment to the war front. Deftly flying in between the swinging chains of the cranes, newly crafted and enhanced gyrocopters circle the air firing upon hoisted targets. One particular section of the Engineer’s Guild prides itself in making the finest rifles in all of Karak Ankor. The Engineer’s Guild is ablaze with life, and any invading force will find these are no meek blacksmiths, but instead proud dwarves armed with the deadliest of siege implements and rifles.
The western edge of the Engineer’s Guild opens unto a massive chamber with spouts pouring forth molten lava cascading down into chasm of fiery heat. Directly below the Engineer’s Guild and also linked to this molten chasm is the Temple of Grungi of the Western Lower Reaches. Access to the Western Lower reaches is via the south western tunnel in the Hall of Kings through the Library of Karaz-a-Karak, fiercely defended by the rune priests of the city. The Temple of Grungi itself is hardly what one would expect a temple to look like, but rather, much like the Engineer’s Guild, a vast hall with dwarves sweating over anvils pounding various war implements into a finely crafted shape. The hall has four grand statues of Grungi carved into the four corners, and from each statue pours forth a stream of lava to the center of the hall where it plummets down a bottomless pit glowing with fiery heat. Suspended over this pit on the strongest chains in all of Karak Ankor is a platform with an Anvil of Doom. Channeling the fiery powers of the mountain, rune smiths embed weapons with powerful master runes.
These two grand halls, the Engineer’s Guild and the Temple of Grungi, form what is known as the Crafting District. Whether it be grand cannons, flying gyrocopters, sleek rifles, shields the size of a dwarf, or weapons of war glowing with the energy of powerful runes, the implements of war pour forth from this district. Read more…

Karaz-a-Karak – Valaya Plaza

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

East of the Hall of Kings lay the Valaya Plaza, a small town within the great capital of Karaz-a-Karak. In ancient times of peace and prosperity the Valaya Plaza was the economic hub of Karaz-a-Karak. Merchants from all around Karak Ankor would come to the Valaya Plaza to showcase exotic wares and exquisitely crafted arms and armor from precious metals. Every day was a different spectacle of glistening shields, mighty hammers, and foreign fabrics. The market square of the Valaya Plaza however was but one section of this prestigious district. Circling the square were dozens of inns for weary travelers. In the southern corner of the district lay the Oath Vault, a massive repository of gold and heavily guarded bank whose vaults penetrated deep into the earth where few were privileged to enter.  To the north of the Oath Vault lay the Oath Hall, a massive building carved into the mountain serving as the guild quarters for the elite warriors of the High King. And at the far north of the district lay its most famous attraction, the Brewmaster’s Brewery.
Founded by the most famous brewmaster of all, Joseph Bugman, the brewery is not only where famous ales are produced, but also the most lively tavern in all of Karak Ankor. Tables carved by master carpenters circle fireplaces and braziers carved by master masons. To have a piece of ones work in the Brewmaster’s Brewery is the greatest honor for any trades-dwarf, and for many of the guilds of Karak Ankor, it is indeed the requirement for a journey crafts-dwarf to get a work of theirs in the Brewmaster’s Brewery; only then can they become a master of their guild. It is rumored that every now and then Joseph Bugman returns to Karaz-a-Karak to make a special patch of brew, but when it is no one knows. Read more…