"It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth's dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be left alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests."
- – “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft
Of all the dwarfs’ kingdoms, only one could be considered an equal to Karaz-A-Karak. Karak Eight-Peaks, also known as the Queen of the Silver Depths or Vala-Azrilungol, was built in an amphitheater surrounded by eight mountains and was famed for its beauty, size, and defenses that not even other dwarfs could hope to penetrate. It was ruled by the Angrund Clan for generations and everything was great.
Too bad the universe decided to give the collective middle finger to the Eight-Peaks. Now the Eight-Peaks are regarded as one of the most treacherous regions in the Worlds Edge Mountains, with Dwarfs, Goblins, and Skaven regularly coating the ruined corridors with each other’s blood.
Trouble started shortly after the War of Vengeance; the dwarfs returned home, battle weary and weakened by their conflict with the elgi. Nature was the first to attack when volcanic activity shook the entirety of the Worlds Edge Mountains. Earthquakes and lava flows wrecked the numerous holds and tunnels the dwarfs called home, though they mostly stayed within the confines of their holds, content to just batten down the hatches and weather the storm. These natural disasters would go on to cause more problems; rampaging hordes of Greenskins barreled into the Mountains from the Darklands. They sensed weakness from the dwarfs and began throwing themselves at the holds in a mad attempt to wipe the stunties off the map. Things got worse when the opportunistic Skaven rose from the dark mountainous depths to attack the dwarfs from below. Despite being surrounded on all sides by a sea of enemies, Karak Eight-Peaks remained strong.
Then the Skaven did what they did best and hatched a scheme that would ensure their control of the Karak. First they convinced the local Greenskin tribes to stop fighting one another and make a unified push against the dwarfs’ upper levels. Meanwhile the Skaven coordinated their own attacks on the lower reaches of the hold. Once they were deep enough into the Karak, the ratkin began the next phase of their plan. They poisoned the dwarfs’ water supply with warpstone shards, further weakening their grasp on the hold. Additionally, new weapons like the Warp-Fire Thrower proved to be the perfect tool in melting away the famed dorf shield walls. When the unrelenting raids from Skaven and Greenskins, and choking on their own water, proved to be too much, the reigning King Lunn made his final decree to seal off the vaults of the Karak and gave the order to abandon ship.
Greenskins now controlled the upper and surface levels of Karak Eight-Peaks, while the Skaven controlled the lower depths. Predictably the Skaven turned on their former allies, hellbent on claiming the whole Karak for themselves. During one of their attacks, Clan Mors was able to collapse one of the upper levels, blocking the way down for the Greenskins to retaliate. The Council of Thirteen then rewarded Clan Mors by allowing them to take the fallen Karak as their new home, which they would rename to the City of Pillars.
Things weren’t looking well for the Greenskins, especially when the Night Goblins of the Crooked Moon tribe were cut in half following Mors’ ascension. Then along came an unusually cunning and charismatic gobbo who unified the rowdy Greenskins and regained a solid foothold in the Karak. That goblin would later gain a proper name, Warlord Skarsnik, and his name would become infamous amongst all the World’s Edge Mountains, with an entire chapter in the Great Book of Grudges dedicated to his atrocities alone (he’s quite proud of it). Equally fearsome would be the new skaven warlord placed in charge of the Pillar City, Queek Head-Taker. Skarsnik and Queek would clash many times under the mountains, but soon a third party joined the fray. Belegar Ironhammer, last descendant of King Lunn, leads a throng of dwarfs into the mountains to reclaim his ancestral home. So far they’ve managed to claim a sizable portion of the Karak’s surface, though they face stiff resistance from goblins and skaven alike.
Such is life in Karak Eight-Peaks.
When the Verminlord Skreech Verminking told all of Skavenblight to get their shit together, one of the big steps in his plan was to finally claim all of the Eight-Peaks in the name of the Horned Rat. So he approached Skarsnik and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse; work with Queek to drive out the Dwarfs and then the Skaven and Greenskins will split the Eight-Peaks 50/50. Now Skarsnik probably knew he was gonna be backstabbed but figured he could think of a way to turn things his way like he always did, so he accepted.
Meanwhile at roughly the same time, Belegar had hired the services of famed Ogre mercenary Golgfag Maneater and his eponymous Maneaters to bolster his throng (despite the fact he was borderline broke and had promised the Ogres way more money than he actually had). However, Belegar forced Golgfag and his crew to eat/kill all of their Gnoblar companions on account of the Dawi’s “No Greenskin” policy. This put a chip on Golgfag’s shoulder, one that Skarsnik was able to exploit. The Night Goblin Warlord found out about the Maneaters and bribed them to switch sides by offering his own treasury of loot, including the lost crown of the original Dwarf Kings of Eight-Peaks.
So the final battle came and for a slight glimmer of hope, it looked like Belegar and his dawi would win...only for Golgfag to backstab him at the last minute. It was all downhill from there, ending with Belegar Ironhammer being decapitated by Queek. To no one’s surprise, the Skaven turned on the Goblins and were able to route them thanks to Skreech Verminking’s magic. Skarsnik was already planning his next schemes when the real tragedy happened.
Gobbla ate a Skaven Packmaster whole, who then clawed its way out of the great cave squig’s belly, killing him.
On that day, Skarsnik become the first Greenskin to ever feel remorse, losing any will to fight he had left. Then Skreech appeared to Skarsnik one last time, giving him a Skryre warp-bomb and suggesting he should go on a suicide mission to Karaz-A-Karak. Not to be manipulated again, Skarsnik instead activated the bomb right there and bolted.
The explosive went off and demolished what remained of Karak Eight-Peaks, with the dwarfs dead, the greenskins running, and the skaven victorious.
Oh and Golgfag Maneater somehow got out after Belegar died and joined up with Grimgor’s Beast Waaagh! to lay siege to the Chaos Dwarfs.
Geography and Territories
The Eight Peaks Themselves
This ring of towering mountains from which the hold is named after each have a varied history in the tale of this kingdom. The peaks will be discussed from the northern most mountains and working clockwise around.
- Karagril: The “Silverhorn”. This looming mountain was the primary sentry overlooking Death‘s Crossing, the mile wide stone bridge that leads through the Eight-Peaks towards the proper entrance at the East Gate. Now it has been converted by the Night Goblins into a mushroom addled fortress, where the Greenskins screen any and all who try to enter the Karak. And by screen, I mean pelting them with Spear Chukkas and Doom Divers.
- Karag Lhune: The “Crescent Mountain”. Its name comes from the slight curve the top of the peak has. Other than that though, it’s the least documented of the Eight-Peaks, as its particularly inhospitable climate makes any attempts to scale it by the dwarfs impossible, let alone try to reclaim it from the Greenskins.
- Karag Nar: The “Sunrise Mountain”. The easternmost peak from which the sun rises over every morning. At its base is one half of the East Gate, the main entrance for any outside force into the Karak.
- Kvinn-Wyr: The “White Lady”. It’s named so for its perpetual snow covered slopes and for being the most beautiful of the peaks (according to the dwarfs). It was the last of the Eight Peaks to fall in the original war, and few dawi would ever dream of letting its pale white cliffs be stained with grobi or thaggoraki filth. At its base is the other half of the East Gate, as well as a set of smaller lookout peaks called the Sentinels.
- Karag Mhonar: The “Shadow Mountain”. This angsty sounding rock formation is called so as it’s mostly in the shadow of its sister peaks. Perhaps this perpetual darkness is why it’s hotly contested by greenskins and dwarfs.
- Karag Rhyn: “Mount Redstone”. No it’s not the Minecraft mountain. This peak is called so for its oddly red colored rocks and clay composition. Its most important feature though is the secret narrow passageway into the surface city that was discovered by the dwarf ranger Grunfin Goldgatherer. This information was crucial to Belegar’s fourth and successful attempt to establish a foothold in the fallen Karak.
- Karag Yar: The “Sunset Mountain”. Every night the sun sinks behind this peak, earning its name. It contains the permanently sealed West Gate and another entrance to the deeps within the natural amphitheater, making this mountain a very sought after location for all three factions.
- Karag Zilfin: The “Windswept Mountain”. The largest and westernmost peak is the undisputed HQ of the Crooked Moon tribe. Craggy caves serve as dens for flocks of Wyverns, elaborate tunnel networks house the vast hordes of goblins, trolls, and squigs, and towards the top is a lone outcropping known as Skarsnik’s Lair. It’s the eponymous warlord’s private quarters where he can stare down at Belegar’s precious Citadel and hatch new and more devious schemes to cement his rule. Presumably Gobbla has a bed up there made of cured Skaven fur and scalped Dwarf beards.
Karak Eight-Peaks is peculiar among dwarf holds as a large portion of it is above ground. Most of it is ruins by this point though this is mostly where Belegar and his dawi are hold up in.
- The Citadel: Nestled at the base of Kvinn-Wyr is a large plateau, and atop this plateau is the official city of Karak Eight-Peaks in the modern day. The Angrund Clan has worked hard to restore most of the land’s original beauty and are largely successful as they managed to carve out entire districts for commerce, weaponry, and more. The most important aspect though is the eponymous Citadel itself, a walled off portion of the city where Belegar Ironhammer and his closest allies gather to debate and grumble about the grobi and thaggoraki infestation plaguing their hold.
- Grobi/Goblin Town: The stories of endless scraps and fighting has drawn many Greenskins to the Eight Peaks in hopes of joining Skarsnik’s horde. However the Night Goblin Warlord is picky on who he let’s join his horde. So all these “initiates” are gathered together in an ugly shanty town where they fight amongst themselves until Skarsnik sends one of his lieutenants down to recruit them. The dwarfs have made numerous attempts to wipe Grobi Town off the map, but just as the smoke clears from the latest artillery shelling, more orcs and goblins come in from the woodwork to rebuild.
- The Endless Pit: This seemingly bottomless cavern was created at the climax of the Greenskin vs. Skaven war for the Eight Peaks when a skaven explosive caused an entire section of the surface level to collapse. This awarded Clan Mors with ownership of the hold’s lower depths and created a gruesome scar on the Karak’s surface.
Work in Progress...
|Regions and Areas of the Warhammer World|
|Areas of The Old World:||The Empire of Man - Bretonnia - Albion - Estalia - Tilea - Kislev - Norsca - Border Princes - Worlds Edge Mountains - Karak Eight-Peaks|
|Areas of The New World:||Naggaroth - Lustria|
|Areas of The Eastern Lands:||Cathay - Nippon - Ogre Kingdoms - Dark Lands - Kingdoms of Ind - Khuresh - Eastern Steppes|
|Areas of The Southlands:||Nehekhara - Araby - Badlands - Marshes of Madness|
|Other Areas of the world:||Ulthuan - Athel Loren - Chaos Wastes - Skavenblight - Lost Isles of Elithis|
|Main bodies of Water:||The Great Ocean - The Far Sea - The Sea of Dread - Inner Sea of Ulthuan|