Forges of Karak Azgal
The greatest warrior among the dwarven ancestors is Grimnir; he consistently bore the burden of defending the fledgling dwarven race from the peril of creatures like trolls, giants and dragons too. With the effluence of Chaos throughout the world, Grimnir eventually learned of the source and vowed to close the warp – gate with his own hands. In preparation, Grimnir shaved the sides of his head and dyed the rest of his hair orange; applying animal fat to his hair, allowed Grimnir to mold his hair into the style of a crested Mohawk. Grimnir then covered his body with elaborate tattoos, including his personal rune, finally giving one of his rune – axes to his son Morgrim – he turned and traveled north while singing his death – song.
Morgrim followed Grimnir, though his father urged him to turn back. Near Norsca, Grimnir slew the marauding dragon Glammendrüng; grievously wounded during the battle, Grimnir hewed a claw from the dragon and used it to ritually scar his body in preparation for the forthcoming battles.
Upon arriving at the edge of the Chaos Wastes the two fought a three day, epic battle with the daemon prince Kragen’ome’nanthal, scion of Khorne. Near death Grimnir delivered the daemon prince a killing blow, and incurred the wrath of Khorne. Following their rest, Grimnir commanded Morgrim to return and replace him as the dwarves’ defender. Morgrim watched his father’s visage dissipate in the haze of the Chaos Wastes, and what became of Grimnir is beyond dwarven awareness. Dwarves do not speak of the matter!
Nostalgically any dwarf facing dishonor or grievous loss may choose to follow Grimnir’s Path. Those choosing this path become members of a loose fellowship known as ‘The Cult of the Slayer.’ Their aim is to redeem their honor or avenge their loss by fiercely facing a courageous but certain death, in battle with the strongest opponents – in remembrance of Grimnir’s Journey, and as a mark of their Slayer’s Oath, they follow Grimnir’s example of shaving the sides of their heads, dying and greasing their hair; and finally tattooing their bodies. Leaving all that they love behind, and forgoing armor, they seek death and redemption in battle! The use of leather jerkins are viewed as outerwear, as no self – respecting dwarf would seriously consider leather – to be armor.
Dwarves are above all, exceedingly proud individuals – inept at coping with failure or personal loss. The reasons for their dishonor or loss are many and varied, and may include those mundane or criminal in nature; even if the dwarf is innocent of a crime he will take the Slayer’s Oath, if he is unable to clear his good name. Should a dwarf suffer an extreme personal tragedy, he will be inconsolable; the loss of his family, his hoard, or the failure to uphold an Oath can seriously unhinge the mind of any dwarf. Young dwarves forsaken in love often never recover from the blow to their pride. Dwarves suffering, what they perceive to be, a serious loss of honor (cowardice, inferior workmanship, etc.) will often forsake the fellowship of their family and friends – for a life of self – imposed exile. These dwarves become Slayers; and the Oaths taken will be just as personal, as was the dishonor or loss experienced!
Leaving their home stronghold as far behind as possible, they wander in the wilderness brooding on the misery of existence. Having broken with everything they hold dear, the dwarf deliberately seeks death by hunting and fighting the most daunting monsters. With their glorious death – they feel the stain of their dishonor or loss will be absolved, and they will be welcomed in the Halls of their ancestors.
They are stern and laconic individuals, not given to discussing their past, and they are often hideously scarred as a result of their encounters with trolls, giants, dragons and other monsters. They spend a great deal of time boasting of their exploits and showing their many scars; they regularly indulge in bouts of overeating and drinking, and suffering from fits of sleep deprivation. Slayers having overcome their fear of death, come to fear very little; they are brave, stubborn and incredibly violent in battle…Through the horrors experienced during their lives, Slayers increasingly become unhinged and erratic. Those surviving their innumerable battles, eventually are driven mad by their shame; as they come to believe their dishonor is so great they are denied the absolution of death.
Younger Slayers often band together, sometimes under the tutelage of an older master, learning the arts of monster slaying. In times of war whole bands of Slayers appear out of the wilderness to join the dwarf armies; unsought help greatly appreciated by the dwarven lords.