The term Grey Dwarfs is a label often used to describe all Dwarfs that have made the Grey Mountains of the Old World their home. Originally, Dwarfs never established settlements in these mountains due to the severe lack of mineral wealth, but due to the onset of the Goblin Wars and the loss of several Holds, refugees of these Holds have decided to leave the homelands of their people and migrated west to make a new kingdom for themselves.
Long ago the Dwarfs were the indisputable masters of the lands now called the Old World. Their vast labyrinthine holds delved deep into mountain ranges. Their miners extracted enormous wealth from the earth and Dwarf merchants dealt with Elven traders to their mutual enrichment. Such halcyon days are gone. Friendship with the Elves soured to the point of a long and costly war. The Dwarfs eventually emerged victorious, but were left vulnerable.
Before they could recover their strength a volcanic upheaval wrecked much of their underground realm and their enemies fell upon them. The depths of their holds were assailed by Night Goblins and Skaven, whilst armies of Orcs attacked from above. Outposts and fortresses that had held strong against the might of the Elven armies fell to these barbaric invaders, each a bitter blow to the proud race of the Dwarfs. They recorded each of their defeats in the pages of the Books of Grudges. So important to them were the records of their grievances that they wrote them in the blood of their kings.
One such hold is that of Black Crag, which was overrun by Greenskins some 469 years before the birth of Sigmar. For three millennia no Dwarf has sat on the throne of Karak Drazh; instead it is occupied by the mightiest of the local Orc Warlords. The Dwarfs bear particular resentment towards these warlords. Even the name Karak Drazh has passed from use, today it is referred to, in the most bitter and desultory of tones, as the Black Crag. The current Squatter King is Gorfang Rotgut, notorious for the strength of his choppa arm, his hatred of the Dwarfs and the audacity of his atrocities against them. In 2503 IC he led an expedition against Karak Azul whilst King Kazador and many of his household were absent on a hunting trip.
Gorfang’s Orcs defiled the sacred places of the hold, murdered many of its defenders and led the survivors back to the Black Crag in chains. Most infamously Gorfang subjected the son of King Kazador to a ritual humiliation, leaving him nailed to the throne of Karak Azul shorn of his hair and beard. For this insult King Kazador has vowed a mighty reckoning against his Orc enemy, but as of yet Gorfang’s Orcs have weathered all that the throng of Karak Azul can throw at them. The ravages of Gorfang are but one example of the pains suffered by the Dwarfs since the decline of their empire, but even in these troubled times some hopes of renewal exist.
The Grey Mountains have since become the site of newly excavated holds, populated by the descendants of those Dwarfs who fled the destruction of holds in the Worlds Edge Mountains. These new holds are not plagued by the Orcs of the Badlands, nor are they invaded from below by hordes of Skaven. Due to this lifestyle, the denizens of the Grey Mountains holds are known as Grey Dwarfs, and they are largely the descendants of refugees from broken holds. To those Dwarfs who remain in the Worlds Edge Mountains the Grey Dwarfs offer hope of a regrowth of their ancient power, but are also a painful reminder of how far the Dwarfs have declined.
- Karak Norn - This is the greatest of the Dwarf strongholds in the Grey Mountains, and was founded by refugees fleeing from Mount Silverspear and the Mad Dog Pass. It is located in a strategic location high above Athel Loren, which helps its inhabitants in keeping an eye on the treacherous Wood Elves.
- Karak Ziflin - This small hold lies on the southern ranges of the Grey Mountains, close to Karak Norn and the Montdidier Pass that connects the Empire and Bretonnia.
- Karak Azgaraz - This hold, whilst newly constructed and of modest size, is still a mighty and enduring fortress in the eyes of the men of nearby Übersreik. It is a popular location for younger Dwarfs, who wish to seek glory and prosperity away from the disapproving gaze of their elders. Yet for all the impetuosity of youth, the Dwarfs of Karak Azgaraz are still keen to prove themselves useful.
- Bugman's Brewery - Founded by Zamnil Bugman, father of Josef Bugman, this prosperous settlement near the river Sol's source was dedicated to the elaboration of the famous Bugman's XXXXX beer and other potent alcoholic brews, sold across the Old World. It was destroyed by Goblins while Bugman was returning from trading downriver, and he and his companions subsequently swore revenge against the Greenskins, becoming Rangers.
- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (4th Edition).
- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (7th Edition).
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG: Dwarfs - Stone and Steel (1st Ed. RPG).
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG: Journey to Black Fire Pass -- pg 7.
- Grudgelore: A History of Grudges and the Great Realm of the Dwarfs (Background Book), by Nick Kyme and Gavin Thorpe.
- White Dwarf 304 (April 2005; UK Edition).
- White Dwarf 305 (May 2005; UK Edition).
- White Dwarf 306 (June 2005; UK Edition).
- White Dwarf 307 (July 2005; UK Edition).