Hashut, the Father of Darkness is the patron of the Chaos Dwarfs in Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar. He's portrayed as a great, blazing bull, wreathed in smoke and shadow. Bulls are a common theme for him, along with fire and oppression.
When the polar gates of the Old Ones were destroyed, the dwarfs of the Dark Lands were affected by the overflowing chaos energies more than their western cousins, mostly because they didn't have mountain fortresses to hide in. Slowly but surely, these dwarfs began to mutate in body, mind, and soul, growing as dark and twisted as the land in which they resided. As their numbers dwindled and the horrors increased, the dwarfs found themselves seemingly cut off from their Ancestor Gods, who admittedly had their hands completely full dealing with the absolute clusterf**k of the post-war Dwarf realm in the east and trying to figure out how the hell they could counteract the doom that was upon them. Apparently being the kind of guy not to miss out on a good opportunity, the powerful Chaos entity Hashut stepped in when the dwarfs were down to only a meager few survivors and offered them a deal: patronage and protection in return for subjugation and sacrifice. Twisted, broken, and abandoned , the dwarfs agreed. And weirdly enough, it kind of worked out for the now Chaos Dwarfs. Their numbers and power grew under Hashut's protection and he granted them secret knowledge, including powerful sorceries that fused seamlessly with natural dwarfen ingenuity to create mighty arcane engines of destruction, conquest, and industry. He also granted them the means to acquire mastery of powerful bull-like monstrosities known as the Great Taurus and Lammasu and granted special mutations in the form of bull-like features to create a dedicated warrior class to serve his new priesthood. With Hashut's backing, the Chaos Dwarfs proved more than capable of carrying out their end of the deal, conquering the foes that surrounded them, enslaving many survivors and sacrificing even more to the Father of Darkness' hungry maw. The Chaos Dwarf empire thusly became powerful, if small, and its denizens thrived as much as could be expected in the Dark Lands.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and comes the The End Times, Gork & Mork krumped Hashut good (pretty justifiable considering the unmitigated oppression and suffering the Chaos Dwarfs had subjected orcs and goblins to during the course of their existence) and thusly he disappeared. But, somehow, he popped right back up in the Age of Sigmar, doing his same schtick but with new pawns. This time, a Runeson of the ancient Vostarg attempted to reclaim his lodge from Chaos. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for Hashut, it didn't go so well and the Runeson and his army were never seen again. Instead, those brave explorers visiting the ancient ruins of his lost lodges have found twisted monuments dedicated to "The First Prophet" of a "Father of Darkness". Hashut's back, baby, and he's ready to
partttaaayyy never get any models or mentions ever again.
Hashut is an interesting being, because even though he's technically a "god", he's nowhere close to the Big Four. Rather, much like the Horned Rat, Hashut is more likely a very powerful daemon who hit on a good thing and grew even more powerful because of it. Whether he embodies a specific aspect of the emotional spectrum is unclear because even though he seems to feed most off suffering and subjugation, that's not necessarily a unique trait when it comes to Chaos. Hashut seems to have an explicit connection with fire, heat, and bulls, with his sacrifices usually combining all three as chosen victims are cooked in bull-shaped cauldrons full of lava or roasted alive in bull-shaped burning chambers. One Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer Lord even has a bull-shaped wall that he attaches his victims to before spraying them down with lava pumped through pressure hoses. Exactly why Hashut loves fire and bulls so much is also unclear, but hey, a Chaos god's gotta have an aesthetic and apparently nobody had hit on flaming bulls yet so here we are. Though explanation for it can be quite simple: Hashut was most likely modeled after Biblical Moloch that was associated with everything mentioned above, with burning human sacrifices to it continuing to up until Romans EXTERMINATUS'D Carthage. Asides this, "burning people in a bull shaped statue" is also related with torture device called "Brazen Bull" designated by orders of an ancient schizoid tyrant of Sicilian city of Akragas, Phalaris.
Oddly enough, of all the Chaos "gods" in the setting, Hashut arguably seems to count among the least brutal when it comes to how he treats his followers. Though the Chaos Dwarfs are undoubtedly twisted and incredibly evil thanks to his patronage, Hashut doesn't go out of his way to mess with them like a certain blue, bird-lovin' mofo, force them to fight for eternity for his favor, "bless" them with horrific diseases, or murder-rape them. Even though some Chaos Dwarfs are mutated, it's usually seen as a good thing, with Bull Centaurs forming a sort of "holy warrior" class within the society of the Dawi Zharr. The only exception would be the slowly-turning-to-rock mutations of the Sorcerer caste, but then again, that might not be Hashut's doing, and they do gain pretty impressive powers in return for that trade off. So even though he's a grim, malignant dude, in general Hashut seems to be happy to back the Chaos Dwarfs up on their business as long as he gets the cut he wants. That and he did basically save their race from destruction, though at the price of their souls and sanity, but the Chaos Dwarfs honestly don't seem to mind that much all things considered. Honestly, it's nice to see such a positive working relationship in the setting.
It is currently unknown whether Hashut is responsible for the super tall hats that the Chaos Dwarfs like to wear, but honestly, it was probably part of the pact that they had to wear ridiculous headgear. Depending on your point of view, that might have been the most evil thing he ever did to them.
|The Chaos Gods of Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy|
|Four Main Chaos Gods:||Khorne - Nurgle - Slaanesh - Tzeentch|
|Other Gods of Chaos:||Archaon - Hashut - Horned Rat - Nuffle |
Malal - Necoho - Zuvassin
|Chaos Gods of Law:||Alluminas - Arianka - Solkan the Avenger|