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The Dwarf hold of Karak Grom, in human tongue Eternal Defiance, is a hold that has known hardship and tragedy. By the men and others that live near the northern Gray Mountains, it is known as Mercenary Peak. The Dwarfs of this mountain are renowned for their skill in battle, and well respected for their honor as mercenaries.
The history of the hold is short compared to many of the ancient dwarf holds. Its existence only stretching a mere 7 centuries, just a single lifetime. It is situated in the Northern lengths of the gray Mountains, near both Marienburg and Gisoreux. The hold began of as a mining expedition. Within the mountains were found rich deposits of iron and tin. The Hold grew slowly off this. Eventually it split from Karak Norn and formed its own hold.
It was not long afterwords that disasters struck. An earthquake shook the hold, destroying many shafts and ruining much of the mining. But what was worth was an underground river that had been diverted by the quake. Within 200 year this river had eroded away the vein of Iron, rendering the keep with little to mine and sell.
It was in this time its Young new lord, Torthim Ironbeard, first gathered his throng to seek out pay for its skills in battle. In this it was uniquely situated. Marienburg, the great Dependant city, was always looking for way to protect itself against ambitious nobles from both the Empire and Bretonnia. As well the hold was situated near a bass between the Empire and Bretonia. And it was situated close enough to the sea of claws to hire out as protection against the seasonly raids of Norsemen.
In just fifty years, men had begun calling the hold Mercenary Peak. It hired out to all and worked honorably until its contract was up. It merciless to foes and doubly so to those who tried to cheat them. The dwarfs also laid claim to any and all weapon and armor looted from the battle. The fine armor of a Bretonnian knight or the magicked sword of an Empire general, all these things found their way into the horde of Mercenary Peak.
Yet this is not enough to fund an entire keep, and the dwarfs of Mercenary Peak lead a lean and spartan life. The population was never allowed to grow beyond a few thousand dwarfs. And yet, due to their existence, these dwarfs are perhaps some of the greatest warriors ever born of the dwarvern race. Each dwarf has more campaign experience then the bodyguards of many other dwarf holds. Its elite rival the skill of the bodyguard to king Thorgrim himself. Its throng is spread across much of Northern Bretonnia and the the Western Empire. Its miners have turned from the mining of metals to the sapping of castles. Its citizens all taken up arms to participate in battle, or taken up food growing to feed the throng. Its foundries to not create nails, or gates, or any mundane item. They forge weapons and armor and war machines. Engineers mix and combine items to create even deadlier gunpowders. Its Runesmiths take to the forging of great runes of battle. The Runelord himself has become immensely skilled in all the arts of war making, and the Anvil of Doom that resides in the Dwarf hold is well used.
Torthim himself has led several campaigns into the forests of Athel Loren, burning many trees in revenge of Bretonnian noble lost to its trickery, and have earned the enmity of the elves that reside there. Fully a quarter of the Throng is dispatched to Couronne and then from there split into smaller groups sent to protect the many towns and villages from the raiders each year. Several times Border skirmishes break out between the Empire and Bretonnia, and the throng of Mercenary Peaks is gathered to participate. Marienburg has employed the throng of Mercenary Peak several times to augment its own mercenary army.
During the Storm of Chaos, the Dwarfs marched forward into the north and brought battle against the forces of Chaos during the great siege of Middenheim. When the Nemesis Crown was found the dwarfs of Mercenary Peaks marched for the first time without pay in many years, for even the welfare of the keep could not override the oaths that Thorgrim called upon, nor could it over shadow the chance that such an old grudge could be erased.
So it is with the dwarfs of Mercenary Peak. Many may see it a stain on a dwarfs honor to fight for coin, but what better reason to fight enemies you wished gone anyways? And the perceived dishonor is forgotten in the face of the holds own welfare.
Hey Stratigo, welcome to LO.
I took a look at your fluff and it looks like it could use some grammatical clean-up. I'm not sure whether you're a native English speaker (there are plenty here that aren't), but MS Word can help with most of that, so I'm going to ignore that for now.
As far as word choice though, you may want to rethink using the word throng. The definition simply refers to any large or densely packed group, but there is a connotation of disorder as well. I'm not sure that this word is best applied to dwarves. It is a term you'd more likely see with greenskins.
What do they do with the armor and weapons that they loot?
I can't imagine them wanting to use them when they are forging or reforging their own, which are going to be by and large superior to what they find. Are they melted down to be reforged into dwarven items? According to the base rule book, dwarves greatly respect age and will reforge their own weapons to keep the steel their ancestors wielded. In a largely static population such as Mercenary Peak, they shouldn't really need too much steel from outside sources, just a little to replace what wears away over time. Do they sell them to stock their horde? Dwarves seem to be fond of gold and financial security, such as it exists in Warhammer.
It seems a bit of a stretch to say that even basic warriors are a match for the elite bodyguard of other dwarven holds given their great age and experience. It runs into the same problem as the perfect space marines chapter, "Pwners of All". It strains suspension of disbelief, not to mention that other dwarven players may find such fluff insulting. Additionally, it is difficult to back up in game terms since you still have to field a range of basic units.
However, this is a great opportunity to pick out a couple of elite companies, chosen from the best that Mercenary Peak has to offer. They can effectively function like an extended character with their own attributes and traditions. They are the best, they can charge premium coin for their services. They have traditions that they perform before every battle. They have uniforms distinct from the rest so that the enemy may know that it is they who have taken the field.
If you want a couple of examples of this, the best place to turn is to Glen Cook's novels. The Black Company is all about an elite mercenary unit and if you can find them, the Dread Empire prequels talk about the elite White Company of the Mercenary's Guild.
Take what you want, ignore the rest. Hope this helps.
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains
I'd have to echo much of what Silmerosse has said. Just a few corrections (word-wise) I thought should be made, but a through read-over should make most of those obvious to you. Other than that it's quite a decent piece of work!
But I can see your point - constant fighting and working as mercenaries would definitely go some way towards making your guys better than your average dwarf who's just popped out of a mine in order to bash some elves. Maybe not quite up to the standard of the Dwarf King's Bodyguard (surely he'd recruit them if they were that good?) but most likely better than someone who spends most of their time in a mine.
Still, good stuff! I enjoyed reading it.
Heh I don't like the word Throng either, but the word throng is what dwarfs call their armies. I don't think My dwarfs would change the name.
They only loot magic or exceptionally well made equipment. Then, as true dwarves, they tend to horde it in the hold. Magic equipment is always valuable and so in place of vast amounts of gold they have racks of magic swords and armor that have been taken off noteable enemies. They even loot and horde chaotic equipment (Which is dangerous and thus placed in seperate hordes. Luckily dwarves are particularly resistent to the powers of Chaos and are fairly immune to the influence of chaotic weaponry).
The "elite" part I put in is one part allagory and one part my gaming record. I very rarely loose playing my dwarves. Thus to reflect that, they are on average better then their counterparts.