Home > Greenskin Tribes > Greenskin Tribes ~ Darkeyes

Greenskin Tribes ~ Darkeyes

“No fires! The stunties’ll see da flickerin’ flames! Stamp out da cookin’-pot flames and breathe in da smoke. Leave nothing for da stunties to know we’z comin’! No fire, no smoke! Des tunnelz once wuz deres, but now da Darkeyes are movin’ in and we’z gonna make dis our place! Da Darkeyes see wut da stunties can’t see. Da Darkeyes don’t need no light, and where we’z go darkness follows. An’ youse know wut ol’ Narbit sez, a dagger in da dark is a dagger in da back.
~ Narbit Darkeye, Warboss of the Darkeyes

The hatred between the dwarfs and greenskins goes back centuries, but among the greenskins there are those who have earned the strongest contempt from the dwarfs – the night goblins. The night goblins undermine, physically and metaphorically, the foundations of dwarfen society. Their manner of fighting is deemed as cowardly by the dwarfs, and they desecrate the sacred notion of craftsmanship – perhaps nothing is more insulting than their piss-poor take on brewing. Of the night goblin tribes, one inches ever closer to Karaz-a-Karak, fighting it’s way through the abandoned tunnels and collapsed sections of the Underway. These are the Darkeyes.

Every dwarf knows the history of the Goblin Wars, every dwarf carries a grudge in their heart harkening back to this time – whether it is a grudge inflicted upon their ancestors, their clan, or their hold. During the Time of Woes the earth ruptured and spewed forth not only magma and floodwaters, but also a tide of filth and destruction that the dwarfs had never seen. The first grievous blow was struck by the night goblins in Karak Ungor. These dark and twisted creatures lurked in the darkness and struck down the dwarfs with a rabid frenzy. While the tales of fallen holds are as an open wound upon the dwarfen heart, the night goblins inflicted thousands of small cuts which led to the ultimate fall of all but one of the southern holds.

Much of the history of the Goblin Wars focuses on the first hold to fall, Karak Ungor, and then the subsequent swarming of incredibly wealthy but isolated mining outposts such as Ekrund, Mount Silverspear, or Mount Gunbad. Then this history is often followed by the fall of the southern holds which in a 50 year span saw the loss of three great holds, the most sorrowful loss being that of the ancestral hold of Vala-Azril-Ungol, or Karak Eight Peaks. But how did these holds fall so fast? Why did help not come in the face of the green tide? The answer may lie in the work of the Darkeyes.

During the Goblin Wars, named so for the overwhelming numbers of goblins even though other foes were aplenty, the night goblins forged a deadly reputation for themselves. These nasty creatures were masters of fighting underground in dark tunnels with unsure footing. Their only rival underground in such circumstances are the skaven, and the pitched battles between the two races often ended without a clear victor but instead heaps of corpses numbering in the hundreds, if not thousands.

The dwarfs were ill equipped to face the subterranean attacks of the night goblins, and the dwarfs lacked a large presence along the long stretch between Karaz-a-Karak on the Silver Road, and Karak Drazh and Karak Eight Peaks on Death Pass. This stretch of mountains is bisected roughly halfway between the Silver Road and Death Pass by Mad Dog Pass. Underground the dwarfen holds were connected by the vast tunnel network known as the Underway, which needed no protection until the Time of Woes. Above ground this distance was monitored by the dwarfen rangers and a network of watchtowers which could quickly convey messages either north to Karaz-a-Karak or south to Karak Eight Peaks. No where was this network of towers more important than at Mad Dog Pass and it is here the Darkeyes made their mark.

Mad Dog Pass is the only pass through the World’s Edge Mountains without a dwarfen hold at one end to act as a cork to bottle up the eastern tides. Every other pass from the High Pass in the icy north to Death Pass in the South had a dwarfen hold located on one end to make sure that no army moved through the pass without the dwarfs knowing. History does not note why the dwarfs did not settle along Mad Dog Pass, but one could assume that the resources of this stretch of mountains did not merit a dwarfen hold. This however proved to be the undoing of the dwarfen presence not only in Mad Dog Pass, but almost entirely in the southern World’s Edge Mountains.

Due to the isolated nature of Mad Dog Pass, the dwarfen watchtowers and outposts were located at some distance from each other, though all connected by tunnels to each other and to the Underway. With the Underway compromised by the great earthquakes of the Time of Woes, the night goblins flooded into the Underway and soon into the tunnels leading to the dwarfen outposts, the Darkeyes key among them. These isolated outposts with a few dozen, or perhaps a hundred, dwarfs stood little chance against the thousands of Darkeyes that spewed forth from below – and with the tunnels flooded by this dreaded foe, there was little way for the dwarfs to consolidate their forces and drive them back. One by one the outposts and watchtowers fell, until none were left and Mad Dog Pass was ruled from below by the Darkeyes. The Darkeyes cared not for the ground above, though they took great glee in attacking the Iron Claws, Broken Tooths, or any other greenskin tribe who dared to use the pass, instead the Darkeyes worked to clear the tunnels below for their domain.

The Darkeyes dealt a critical, nearly fatal, blow to the dwarfs -though that would manifest itself only hundreds of years later. With the loss of the outposts and control of Mad Dog Pass, greenskin tribes freely maneuvered from the Dark Lands to the Badlands. This allowed for larger and larger concentrations of greenskins for ever deadlier WAAAGHs. Secondly, the loss of control over this sparsely populated and long stretch of mountains meant that the southern holds became for all intents and purposes isolated and cut off from the north. With no hope for reinforcements, and the endless tide of greenskins, Karak Eight Peaks, Karak Izril, and Karak Drazh fell in rapid succession (though after years of war). Only Karak Azul stands defiant in the south.

Though the Darkeyes did not directly participate in the fall of the southern holds, their dirty work in and around Mad Dog Pass made it impossible for the northern holds to react or respond in a timely manner. Now under the leadership of Narbit Darkeye, the goblins inch towards Karaz-a-Karak hoping to finally claim a piece of the dwarfen pie for themselves.

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