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"That which is wrong with the world that we cannot fix with the blades of our axes, we shall surely avenge!"
—Thorgrim Grudgebearer, High King of all Karaz Ankor[1a]
Thorgrim

Thorgrim Grudgebearer, High King of the Dawi

Thorgrim Grudgebearer is the current High King of the Dwarfs and the ruler of Karaz-a-Karak. He is a throwback to the High Kings of old — eager for new conquests, mighty in battle, and a merciless enemy. Yet upon his worn brow, there also sits a great wisdom, and he is able to uphold the ancient traditions as well as to accept, if not embrace these needed changes, such as alliances and new technology. Thorgrim is forever brooding upon how to return his people to their former glory. As the ultimate ruler of the Dwarfs, the Dammaz Kron or the Great Book of Grudges is entrusted into his honorable keeping.[1c]

It is Thorgrim’s avowed wish to avenge every single entry contained in that voluminous tome — an impossible task if he should live a thousand lifetimes. Yet such was his resolve that he has already helped to rejuvenate the whole of the Karaz Ankor. Tales of his deeds, and the long list of grudges already struck out, fill his grim warriors with a feeling that the Dwarfs have long done without: hope. Borne upon the Throne of Power and brandishing the Axe of Grimnir, Thorgrim is at the forefront of what the Dwarfs hope will be a great conquering — a new age of retribution has begun.[1c]

History

Born as the son of the sister of High King Alriksson during the early 24th century, Thorgrim was groomed by his uncle for many years and was considered one of many candidates for his position. Yet his true achievements came just after the end of the Great War against Chaos. Upon his return to Karaz-a-Karak from the battles in Kislev, High King Alriksson felt his age and the heavy burden of his rule. Perhaps most of all, he felt the cost of the war, for many Dwarf lives had been lost fighting against the forces of Chaos, including those of his own sons. The High King himself did not escape the fray unscathed, for atop his Throne of Power, Alriksson had advanced deep into the thick of the battle, felling many foes. He now bore grievous wounds that showed no sign of healing, although the stoic High King remained unbowed, allowing no slowing of the vigour that had marked his long life. The decision to aid the Empire had been easy, and even had he known the cost beforehand, he would still have gone — honouring the oath of his forefathers and marching to the succor of Sigmar’s heirs.


The Council of Kings (2304 to 2305 IC)

Although he returned victorious, High King Alriksson’s mind was uneasy. The other holds had not answered the call to arms with as many warriors as he had hoped. The Everlasting Realm felt separated by more than just distance and foes. Each stronghold was preoccupied with its own troubles, and he even suspected some of his royal cousins had fallen to the gold-sickness, a disease that, if unchecked, ended in isolationism and madness, misers starving to death upon hoarded piles of gold. Furthermore, the High King knew he was slowly dying from his wounds and that he no longer had an heir. "Jet it would not be his fate to sit in a dark hall nursing old grudges and honing his axe in bitterness while doing nothing for the Karaz Ankor.[1b]

High King Alriksson called for a Council of Kings, something not done in over three centuries. The Dwarf king of every stronghold, along with the most powerful thanes and the royalty of every clan, made the dangerous trek to the halls of the High King. They gathered in the Great Hall, and many oaths of loyalty were repeated before Alriksson announced his plan for succession. There were a dozen suitable candidates — great kings and thanes of royal clans who could claim descent from the Ancestor Gods themselves. Each of these noble warriors would be given a full year to accomplish heroic feats and attempt deeds worthy of a High King, after which they would present themselves to the full assembly and a decision would be made. This plan was readily accepted by the assembly, who answered with many hearty voices that made the Great Hall ring as it did of old.[1b]

The naming of a successor as approved by a Council of Elders was (and still is) tradition amongst Dwarfs. And following traditions is, for Dwarfs, extremely gratifying and always greeted with gruff enthusiasm, this undertaking was even better, for on top of ancient tradition, it proposed a contest of deeds, a protocol which was not unheralded, as many classic sagas told of the kings of old and the great feats they did to win the Throne. In this, the High King Alriksson showed his great wisdom, for all Dwarfs are eager to prove the superiority of their clan and the preeminence of their stronghold.[1b]


The Deeds of a High King (2305 to 2420 IC)

After one year’s time, the Council of Kings convened once more. As the ale flowed, each clan’s contingent cheered boisterously before High King Alriksson raised his hand for silence. The right words were said, and grudges written, for the three candidates who were not present — two of whom were known to have been slain during the course of their year’s deeds, the third missing and presumed dead. After the formalities were concluded, the Great Hall again swelled with booming voices, chants, and rude remarks about the failings of different clans. Each claimant climbed the dais before the High King’s Throne and turned to face the assembled throngs. After the echoes of his supporters died down, he regaled the audience with an account of his deeds. Most of these were well received — perhaps the loudest cheers were for Ungrim Ironfist, who had the head of the Giant he had slain dragged forth (which took a score of Dwarfs) so that all could marvel at its size.[1b]

A close second was Belegar, leader of the Angrund clan and direct descendant of King Lunn, the last ruler of Karak Eight Peaks. For several periods of Dwarfen history, the High King had sat upon the throne of Karak Eight Peaks and some few clans hoped to see that lineage restored to rule, although Karak Eight Peaks lay now in ruin. Even as High King Alriksson quieted the crowd to begin the pronouncement, a latecomer marched into the vast hall. It was none other than the High King’s sister’s son, Thorgrim, who had earlier been presumed slain. He was well known in Karaz-a-Karak and had long been mentored by the aged High King. Now he returned, flanked by a sight not seen in Karaz-a-Karak for thousands of years — a contingent of Dwarfs from Norsca.[1b]

For during the campaign in Kislev, after High King Alriksson had been injured, it had been Thorgrim who had re-established the old ties with those long distant clans. In turn, each of the Norscan kings spoke of Thorgrim, and of the deeds of valour he had performed in the icy north; of great monsters slain and battles won. Such acts were not the extent of Thorgrim’s journeys. Thorgrim, along with other members of his clan, had entered several of the Lost Holds, seeking out those treasures which remained hidden, or hunting down and slaying those creatures that dared claim the revered artifacts made by the Dwarfs of old. He returned several long lost relics that bore runes of which Kragg the Grim, the eldest living Runelord of the Karaz Ankor, had only heard tell in legend. Many on the assembled Council of Elders wept openly as they passed around these recovered pieces of a more glorious age, marveling at the workmanship of the Golden Scepter of Norgrim, coveting the returned fragments of what could only be the lost crown of Karak Drazh. While the assembled clan kings and revered elders passed these artifacts lovingly back and forth, Thorgrim finally spoke. His booming voice echoed across the mile-long colonnaded hall, and all could hear the steel in it.[1b]

The return of these long-lost treasures, he said, was not enough. His words were bold, calling for the reclamation of the fallen holds, for the clans to work together as of old. Most passionately of all, Thorgrim called for a mighty vengeance. All of the potential successors had done as much, but Thorgrim’s vow went further, for he announced it was his dream to avenge the wrongs done to his people by striking clean the entire ledger of the Great Book of Grudges. It was not long after being named successor that Thorgrim was crowned High King, for Alriksson’s wounds from the Great War Against Chaos had never healed. The old Dwarf was so resilient and stubborn, however, that he had simply refused to die, holding on against the pain until the proper heir could be named and his designs of unifying his people kept alive. So passed a great king. Thorgrim knew he had energized his subjects and that he needed to keep up the momentum. Thus he personally led a campaign to drive the Orcs and Goblins out of Black Fire Pass so that Karaz-a-Karak could ensure steady trade with the Empire.[1b]

After a series of bloody battles, Thorgrim led his throng into the pass from the south and King Alrik Ranulfsson, of Karak Hirn, circled his forces to attack Black Fire Pass from the north. The two kings cut swathes through the greenskins there and met in the middle of that steep vale, where they leaned on their axes and conversed before finishing the slaughter. Several grudges were struck out that day, the start of what would be the Great Reckoning.[1b]

Wargear

  • Axe of Grimnir - Before Grimnir disappeared into the north, he gifted his son, Morgrim, one of his legendary axes. The skill of placing so many master runes onto a single item has been lost, but the axe itself has been passed down through the generations, borne in turn by each High King of the Dwarfs.[1c]
  • The Armor of Skaldour - Protected by powerful runes, the Armour of Skaldour has turned countless blades and protected Thorgrim through many bloody battles and assassination attempts.[1c]
  • The Dragon Crown of Karaz - The Dragon Crown has been worn by the High Kings since the founding of Karaz-a-Karak.[1c]
  • The Great Book of Grudges - The Dammaz Kron recounts every deed of infamy perpetuated against the Dwarfs, scribed in the blood of kings and infused with anger and vows of vengeance.[1c]

Miniatures

Gallery

  • Thorgrim Stand on the Throne of Power and lead his Army.
  • Thorgrim and his Army Fight to the Night Goblins
  • Thorgrim reading the Great Book of Grudges

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 6
    • 1b: pg. 16 - 18
    • 1c: pg. 52
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (6th Edition revised)
    • 2a: pg. 58
    • 2b: pg. 59
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (4th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 94
  • 4: Warhammer RPG 1st Edition: Dwarfs - Stone & Steel
    • 4a: pg. 94

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