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The High King is the traditional leader of all the Dwarfs and the King of the Dwarf Hold of Karaz-a-Karak. The position of High King has remained since the time of Grungni and the Dwarf Ancestor Gods. The High King should not be confused with regular Dwarf Kings, who are the ruler of a single Dwarf Hold, such as Karak Ungor or Karak Azgal.
There have been many High Kings throughout history, though Dwarfs live longer than humans, they do not live long enough to have a small amount of Kings in their history such as the Phoenix Kings of the High Elves.
The Norse Dwarfs have their own High King, who is known also as the King of Kraka Drak. The title has also been used to describe the few, exceptional warlords who have come to rule all the tribes of Norsca.
Line of High Kings
Some of the more notable High Kings have been (In chronological order):
The High King of the Dwarfs, and the eldest son of Grungni and Valaya. In the time when Dwarfs and Elves were allies, and before the Sundering, combined his armies with Malekith's (who was the war-leader of Ulthuan at the time) to drive Chaos forces from the Old World. He later swore friendship with Phoenix King Bel Shanaar, and some believe he has trascended mortality, becoming Grombrindal, the White Dwarf.
Gotrek was the High King who mistook a Dark Elf raid on a Dwarf caravan for an act of war by the High Elves. Gotrek was outraged at this act by a race he had peaceful relations with and sent an envoy to Ulthuan to demand compensation. The envoy drew his weapon in front of the Phoenix King, a grave crime in Ulthuan and the insulted Elves shaved his beard and cast him out of Ulthuan. Enraged, Gotrek declared war on the Asur and started the War of Vengeance. The war ended when Gotrek slew the Phoenix King Caledor II in single combat, taking the Phoenix Crown as a prize.
Nurn Shieldbreaker was the High King of Karaz-a-Karak during the millennia following the migration of the Human tribes of the Empire. He was particularly known for granting the twelve original tribes of the Empire into the lands that would one day take its name, the tribes giving the Dwarfs gold and cattle and in exchange, they provided them safe passage from the marauding Greenskins which ravage the lands of the East. During his first contacts with these tribes, the humans fled from his armored warriors and the High King took this as a grave insult, believing that they didn't show the proper respect due to a High King.
The son of Morgrim Blackbeard. In IC -975 he lead a huge army to recapture Karak Ungor, but failed. This was during the "Time of Woes".
A King who, in IC -380, was captured and humiliated by Greenskins. He was recaptured by a force of Dawi under Gozarin Silverhorn.
King Kurgan Ironbeard was High King roughly 2,500 years ago (around 0 IC) in the time of Sigmar. The young Sigmar came to the aid of King Kurgan, who had been captured by Greenskins. In return Kurgan gifted Sigmar with the mighty rune hammer Ghal Maraz. In time, the holds of the Dwarfs were besieged by more and more Greenskins, and so Kurgan sent Alaric the Mad to beseech Sigmar's coalition of tribes for help. The humans came, and the allies defeated the Greenskin horde at the Battle of Black Fire Pass. Kurgan would later command Alaric to forge the Runefangs for the Elector Counts, and a crown for Sigmar at his coronation. The friendship between High King Kurgan and Emperor Sigmar also solidified the bonds of friendship between Dwarf and Man thereby beginning one of the longest lasting and greatest of alliances this world has ever known.
High King of the Dwarfs who Fought Goblin Warlord Gorkil Eyegouger in the battle of Black Falls. The fatally wounded Gorkil dragged him to his doom over the falls.
The son of High King Alrik, His First act as High King is routing the remaining Orcs at the Battle of Black Falls, exacting revenge for his father's death. Later fought in the Battle at the Gates of Kislev at the end of the Great War Against Chaos where he was fatally wounded but refused to die until a new High King was crowned through a contest of deeds to prove who is most suited for the Crown. Eventually choosing Thorgrim Grudgebearer to succeed him due to proving himself worthy. Alriksson was also Honoured by Magnus the Pious.
Thorgrim Grudgebearer is the High King in the modern day and the Age of Reckoning. He is extremely old - even by Dwarf standards - and has reigned for the last several hundred years. Like many High Kings before him, Thorgrim has vowed not to rest until every last grudge in the Great Book of Grudges is avenged - few of his predecessors, however, have pursued the matter with such focus and determination.
- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (4th Edition)
- pg. 18
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- pg. 94
- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (6th Edition)
- pg. 49
- pg. 52
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- pg. 58
- pg. 68
- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (6th Edition revised)
- pg. 12
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- Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (8th Edition)
- pg. 20
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- Warhammer Armies: Orcs & Goblins (8th Edition)
- pg. 28
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- Warhammer RPG 2nd Edition: Tome of Salvation
- pg. 6
- pg. 124