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Some Daemonology/Chaos Dwarf fluff. It was meant to be a few lines to help introduce a Special Character, and evolved into this during the writing...
Daemons are, in some ways, like fish.
Although the waters of Chaos may seem quiet and lifeless at times, rest assured there are thousands upon thousands of daemons within, some more dangerous than others.
Although daemons move with an amazing grace and power within the Realm of Chaos, outside of it they flop and fumble at a fraction of their power, desperately clutching at strands of magic to keep themselves in our world for a few more moments.
It is well documented in the more heretical books in the wizard colleges of Altdorf that only in the most magic saturated environments can daemons survive for any length of time. Such places are the infamous Chaos Wastes, a pentagram filled with magic in the way water fills a fishbowl, or in the area of the daemonic energies that lash around daemons of the higher orders.
So useful are daemons in the field of battle, in the counsel of the future and in the casting of spells that many minds have wondered over the years how to maintain them longer in this plane. It is known for truly mighty mages to be able to draw magic from nearby areas, turning a slight breeze of the coloured winds into a veritable maelstrom, allowing them to maintain a force of daemonic entities for as long as they can harness the winds without their heads imploding.
It was first discovered by dark mages within Nehekara that daemons could be bound into material objects, keeping them in this plane and forcing them to subservience at a cost to their power. Great examples of this daemancy include carpets bound with Screamers to send the rider airborne, and lamps or rings with a daemon inside who could be called to perform the bearerâ€™s will. These artefacts were unstable, with carpets unravelling in mid-air and lamps exploding in a sudden storm of superheated shrapnel.
When such mageâ€™s eyes turned to necromancy, some of the lost knowledge filtered through to Araby, where the binding of impish minor daemons still takes place.
Primitive daemon-binding appeared in other parts of the world too, most notably through the application of ichor, a daemonâ€™s lifeblood, to an object. Many are the chaotic Runeswords that have been baptised in the ichor of a powerful Daemon, the wild magic that ran through the daemonâ€™s veins soaking into the unholy blades in a display of potent, if unpredictable daemon binding.
The most notable daemon binders in the history of the world, however, are the Chaos Dwarfs. Whether using Flamers of Tzeentch to power black smithies or mischievous Nurglings as ammunition for the potent Blunderpus, the Dawi Zharr are without doubt the most advanced daemonologists of their time, far beyond the primitive blood rituals and soul sacrifices of the sorcerers and shamans of Chaos.
Since the beginning of the habitation of Zharr Naggrund by the corrupted dwarfs, the black fortress bordering the Ogre Kingdoms known as Daemonâ€™s Stump has ever been the hub of daemonbinding activity. The fortress squats on the edge of the Mountains of Mourn like a vast soot-blackened tree-stump, eerie wails and moans carried as far as the Sentinels by the unnatural winds that whirl around it.
The corrupted rivers near the stump give off a sulphurous smell, bubbling thickly as the refuse of the dayâ€™s industry flows through it. The stump itself appears to be some sort of blackened wooden construction at a distance, but such notions are banished by a closer look, which shows the outer wall to actually be construction of blackened metal and stone, the many gargoyle-like faces that decorate its surface seeming to move gently across the surface of the thin obsidian layer that coats the outer wall as though poured onto the structure as liquid.
The only interruption of the obsidian coating of the wall comes in the form of great carved pentacles, impossibly ornate and filled with dark corrupted runes that pulse with the light of a furnace at night and hurt the eye of one untrained in daemonology.
Although seemingly circular in nature, observation shows the stump to actually be an octagon, with a great gate in the centre of each wall. The stump is also not merely a city protected by walls, as it is roofed by a great barbed cover of metal, supported not only by the outside wall but by a huge central pillar within.
Each of the eight stone gates are covered in great interlocking gears, all of which are one part of a great vastly complex mechanism that opens the doors of Daemonâ€™s Stump or holds them closed against even the mightiest of siege engines.
Through the gates great passages interconnect and wind, harshly glowing runes at crossroads sending message carriers, emissaries and others unfamiliar with the city to their destination, be it an engineerâ€™s workshop, an alchemistâ€™s laboratory or the grand library of daemonlore. At times even the many Chaos Dwarfs that dwell in Daemonâ€™s Stump have to use the markers, as the passages shift and grind into new configurations, although whether this is through the daemonic energies that constantly surge through the fortress or some vast hidden mechanism beneath the floor is unknown.
The centre of the mazelike fortress mimics the outside in itâ€™s octagonal structure, the cold black stone the comprises its walls starkly contrasted the column at the centre that supports the central staircase, which pulses and moans like a living thing, tortured and groaning faces pushing out of the stone as if to escape before resubmerging into the darkness.
Upon descending the staircase the contrast between the cold dark of the upper levels and the hellish lower levels is made even clearer, solid black walls turning to twisted rock that appears to have only just solidified, libraries and workshops being replaced by pits of twisting blood and metal, near silence giving way to tortured screams and the grinding of metal and stone; These are the industrial floors of Daemonâ€™s Stump.
Through the fiery glow of corrupted runes can be seen huge furnaces, rows of near-naked slaves with chains attached to their bare flesh, and altars of ensorcelled iron. The enslaved mine the seemingly endless ore of Zharr Naggrund for use in daemonic engines and weapons, Engineers constructing the framework of the device in furnaces the size of small houses powered either by coal or daemons. The vile and noxious fumes from this floor are funnelled out through natural chimneys in the rock that create vast columns of smoke around Daemonâ€™s Stump, only adding to the many dark tales of the place.
There is only one level deeper than the industrial levels, led down to by a strange, hovering stone carved in the shape of an octagram, not the intricate summoning circles of the highest floors, but a crude shape scratched straight into the stone by some beast of burden, some pick armed slaves, or (as popular rumour tells) a Greater Daemon. This airborne platform is used to take down the silent metal shells of daemonic engines, where they might be bound in the most terrible level of the Stump; the Hall of Daemons.
Surprisingly for such a twisted and dangerous place, the lords of Daemonâ€™s Stump are often on the best terms of all the fortresses with two of the Dawi Zharrâ€™s allies; the armoured Chaos Warriors of the North and the ravenous Ogres of the East. It was from Daemonâ€™s stump that Ghark Ironskinâ€™s great Juggernox stomped forth, snorting sulphurous steam from its nostrils. The snarling Hellcannon and disciplined crew that accompanied Archaon on his failed bid to conquer the Old World lent their services from the stunted tower. Other races also trade with the stunted castle, the Hobgoblins of the Steppes have been known to send many of their number into slavery in exchange for the animation of crude clay constructs. The chittering hordes of the Skaven also seem to have trade links with the Stump, or so the few daemonically-possessed Rat Ogres around the Hell Pit would suggest. Their allies have also been used to test new weapons (the Hellcannon being an example of this), early daemonic warmachines called Thunderers were gifted to warbands in the Chaos Wastes to see how they did, all of them eventually being destroyed or lost.
Although dwarfs and machinery from the Stump are mainly seen in the employ of their allies and armies from other cities, such as the nearby Black Fortress, when the armies of Daemonâ€™s Stump do set out it is a terrifying sight. Garbled rumours from the marauder raiders who escaped whatever damned plain the battle was fought on speak of berserk dwarfs possessed by daemons, red hot iron-plates hammered into their skin as crude armour. They tell of snarling warmachines that belch forth their payloads like ogres spitting out goblin skulls, of steedless armed chariots with the faces of grinning daemons, and of daemon packs bound to a slaver by ethereal chains, moaning and writhing in pain as they claw at the foes of their masters. Their gibbered stories speak of metal giants with blazing eyes smashing regiments beneath their iron feet, and hordes of mechanical creatures the size of snotlings swarming over and stabbing men with bladed hands.
As the most reclusive and insular of the Chaos Dwarf cities, little is known of the projects of the dwarfs of Daemonâ€™s Stump. Most of the time the individual engineers and smiths seem content to tinker with whatever diabolical mechanism or deadly weapon they are focused on at the moment, at times many of them band together for a group effort to create some vast mechanical monstrosity pulled from the nightmares of the insane. Thankfully such times are few and far between, as each individualâ€™s overbearing pride and paranoia prevents most of them from getting very far.
It is rumoured that a particularly demented group of dwarfs declared that, based on the theory that gods are daemons so supremely powerful they cannot sustain themselves on this plane at all, they could (and would attempt to) bind a god into a huge metal shell, where its power would be at their command. Despite the powerful wards and material defences of the stump, all of the group were found dead in interesting, gruesome and very public ways, the most impressive of which being an eruption of boils, warts, and blisters on the inside and outside that indicated stark disapproval on Grandfather Nurgleâ€™s part.
Whether the daemonologists of Daemonâ€™s Stump will continue to aggravate gods in such a fashion is unknown, but what is certain is that the corrupted dwarfs of the iron citadel are the greatest daemonsmiths in the history of this age, and it is only a matter of time before the next breakthrough in daemonology is madeâ€¦
That was frankely awsome. (REP!!). deamon stump is an actual place in the warhammer world as well isn't it?
Would have loved to see mention of Hashut as well though.
Thought so made it all the better.