Grand Alliance Order
"With a crew of drunken pilots, we're the only airship pirates! We're full of hot air and we're starting to rise. We're the terror of the skies, but a danger to ourselves"
- – Airship Pirate by Abney Park, required listening for any true Kharadron Overlord player
"If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement of the Victorians."
"In times of war, allies must be aided unless to do so would prove pointless. Waste no duardin blood on unguz throlt."
"Steampunk is...the love child of Hot Topic and a BBC costume drama."
- – Gail Carriger
"When man heads up the tides, and we're known throughout the skies - when you see our flag raised high, you will die (hey hey)"
- – Sky Pirates, Fighting Evil Is Cool (Link to song down below)
"I chose something different, I chose the impossible. I chose Rapture!"
- – Andrew Ryan
A brand new race for Age of Sigmar, the Kharadron Overlords are the
Squats Dwarfs (duardin for lawyerspeakers) who survived the Age of Chaos on Chamon by going straight into the sky. Powered by Aether-gold (meaning valuable gas and adding yet another meaning to the word gold in the Khazalid lexicon) their technology is straight lifted from Jules Verne's works, mainly Captain Nemo's. Their only special character wears a TOP HAT, nuff said.
Origins and History
Age of Myth
The origins of the Kharadron date back far in the Age of Myth in the realm of Chamon. During this time they were regular surface dwelling Duardin who built great mountain-side empires and amazing works of craftmanship and technology under the watchful tutelege of the Grungi, the Duardin Swith god. Grungi stewarted the Duardin of Chamon for centuries, imparting his knowlege on the fleging empires of Duardin, Human and Aelf. He even helped in reforging the landmasses of the centre of Chamon through both arcane and technological methods into perfect geometric shapes, from which great quantities of precious metals could be mined. However eventually Grungi departed his people for Azyr as part of his oath of workmanship he still owed to Sigmar, while also wanting his people to strive on their own behalf without his guidance. And strive they did, for the civilizations of the Chamon thrived fueled through bontiful resources and the usage of the Chamonite realmstone. Resulting in empires built of metal sprining up over the realm. It was also during this time that the Duardin first became aware of the substance known as Ether-Gold, and how it could be harnessed to create and power many wonderous machines. The Duardin subsequently started building small skyfaring minining installations to begin harvesting this resource.
However this was not to last. Tzeench desiring Chamon more than any other Chaos god, concocted a scheme to breach the realm. Luring a massive godbeast know as the Lode-Griffon from the aetheric void, the beast settled right in the centre-heartlands of Chamon. This alone was a cause for concern, but it was found the creature emitted powerful magnetic distortions that altered the landscape around it (subsequently leading to the creation of what is now today the Spiral Crux). Desperate to be rid of the beast the various empires of Chamons centre lands banded together to enanct a great ritual to kill the beast by turning it to solid gold. While the ritual at first seemed like a success, transmogrifying the god-beast and killing it. Unbenowst to those working the ritual, agents of Tzeench sabataged the ritual at its height causing the spell to backfire and creating a massive portal to Tzeentch's domain in the sky above the great statue of the Load-Griffon spewing forth endless waves of demons upon the land.
With this act the invasion of Chamon had truely begun and the Age of Myth coming to an end.
Age of Chaos
The Kharadron Overlords were born with the fall of the last of the Mountain Kingdoms. The old Khazalid mountain empires being overrun one by one by Tzeentch's endless hordes. Those that survived realized that trying to defend their holdouts was futile as they were hopelessly outnumbered and their allies already besieged in other realms. With little options remaining they fled to the small skyforts and outposts that floated around, hiding in the clouds. Realizing that to maintain these new holdouts they would require greater amounts of Aether-Gold, as they had limited access to the Chamonite realmstone on the ground or even just most resources in general. It was at this time that the first true mass-scale harvesting of magical substance took place. During this time, their society grew but resources in that limited space ran scarce. They were forced to mine the limited aether-gold veins as other sky-ports and thus fought against each other for them. This marked the beginning of the Time of Reaving, where the Kharadron almost plunged in a civil war. In order to avoid this, the nascent sky-ports (also known as Baraks) decided to convene a meeting on the floating island of Madralta. In this Conference of Madralta, the Kharadron Overlords agreed finally on nine artycles (yeah, no joke, Olde Englische Butcherede) and a boatload of amendments and footnotes to those artycles. These would become the Kharadron Code. Or the Code. ("Really more of a guideline.") And thus their society would be shaped forever into what was to become. The Code acted like a set of laws, a constitution, and a set of guidelines: governance both of the ports and ships, how to trade, when to fight and retreat. All guided on the increase of the personal wealth and profit of the Kharadron. Things like emotion and superstition were seen as detrimental, remnants of an old age that had almost brought them into extinction. The Kharadron wouldn't be ruled by gods nor kings despite them acknowledging the existence of both, but by wise and successful dwarfs who knew what to do
Following the stabiliztion of their new society the Khardron for the most part kept to themselves and rarely made expeditions to the ground. Except in cases of requirement such as resource gathering or trying to excavate their old duardin holds. Because of this and their well-defended positions the Kharadron endured better than many other civilizations during the age of chaos. With only a few holds truly being threantened during this time. It was also during this time that the veneration of Gods was generally abandoned. With good reason in alot of cases as for the most part none of the old pantheon was able to protect or guide them, not even their old god Grungi. Grungi believed deeply in his followers making their own decisions and way in the world and did little to aid them during this time. Along with the fact his attention was required in the creation of the Stormcast Eternals. Grungi would later come to regret this inaction as it led to the deaths of many of his people that he could have prevented. But this is all too late for his former followers as now many Khardron want nothing to do with him. Instead turning their attention to both monetary and scientific concerns.
Age of Sigmar
Following Sigmars initially crusades back into the realms and the pushing back of chaos in many territories the Kharadron have been pragmatic enough to support Sigmar's forces after they built cities in the liberated territories of the Mortal Realms while getting new and lucrative partnerships, who says duardin can't have common sense? While nominally independent they have been instrumental in expanding Sigmars growing empires and their vessals being essential in inter-city trade, with many cities having strong ties to neighbouring sky ports. The Kharadron have also seen fit following Sigmars tempest to branch out into other realms besides Chamon, seeking ever new Aether-gold deposits and new trading partners in the newly built free-cities. However, while the Khardron respect Sigmar and his contributions they still refuse to worship him and as a society the sky-lords hold fast to the their code and continue with their oath to never bow before gods again.
The Soul Wars
The Necroquake majorly devastated the Kharadron Overlords. Two lesser Sky-Ports, Barak-Durmmaz and Barak-Kling were destroyed entirely, while even the major Sky Ports suffered major losses, with Barak-Nar losing a fifth of its navy while seven members of Barak-Zilfin's Admiral's Council were killed when a rogue Endless Spell caused a skyvessel to crash into the Halls of Endeavour. The most significant effect, however, was that the major shift in the winds (both magical and physical) of the realm caused veins of Aether-gold to be blown across the sky. With the largest Aether-gold streams monopolized by the major skyports now scattered, the Kharadron Code dictated that these veins could be claimed by rival skyports, resulting in a new gold rush the Kharadron came to call the Gorak-drek, or "Great Venture".
One of the big differences between Kharadron and their ground-pounding cousins is aether-gold, and that goes beyond simply being a different kind of sought-after wealth. Aether-gold in its natural state is a lighter-than-air gas, "veins" of which form in clouds. It is colorless and invisible to magical detection, so it can only be reliably found by smell. Once found, it can be used as a potent power source, or distilled into a metal that retains its lighter-than-air properties, allowing for the construction of airships and floating cities. This makes it the most valuable resource in Kharadron civillization, akin to something like petroleum in our world. Most outsiders view it as a magical material, though the Kharadron shun such superstition and analyze it through a scientific lens.
Large veins of aether-gold have a nasty habit of attracting all sorts of sky-monsters. As such, the skyfleets that harvest this substance are just as much military organizations as they are businesses.
Also, aether-gold might be changing the Kharadron on a biological level. You know those armored environment suits all Kharadron wear? Those are needed in part to make the air palatable to their aether-gold addled lungs.
"The Code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules."
- – Hector Barbossa
- Point 1: Leaders shall be chosen by proof of skills. No title of nobility shall be granted by the Kharadron Overlords. Titles and ranks are earned by merit.
- Point 2: No endeavour should be undertaken if the outcome results in the loss for the sky-port.
- Point 5: If backed by either the majority or full vote of the Tommraad, a Krenkha grogna (Vote of No Confidence) can be called. The entire crew (or equivalent) must vote. A majority of ‘out’ results in the election of a replacement as appropriate.
- Point 7: The title of Lord-Magnate is given to any whose profit-reaping brings them into the top ten per cent of carners within the last wind cycle. The Lords Magnate are afforded first choice of fleets and will be amongst those considered to replace any fallen, decreased or incapacitated members of the Admiral Council.
-Amendment 12: In the event that the Admirals Council cannot come to a majority consensus regarding matters of commerce (as defined in Artycles 2 and 7 of the Code), then the Lord-Magnate with the largest contribution in aether-gold shares over the last wind cycle shall provide the deciding vote.
- Point 1: An act that does not make profit or lead to eventual profit is not worth doing.
- Point 2: Admirals, Captains and Master Shareholders shall each receive two shares of a galkhron.
- Addendum Point 3: An Arkanaut shall recieve one share of a galkhron. Deductions from this share will be made for maintenance of skyvessels, aether-armour and aethermatic equipment, plus supply of borg and gorog.
- Point 26: If in the pursuit of duty, a captain encounters a threat that might impact the financial or physical well-being of their shareholders, they are expected to respond with all reasonable force. Any external entity that threatens the accumulation of profit should be subjected to immediate destruction.
-Footnote 21: Make fair use of all the gold in the sky.
-Sub-clause 12: During an active state of war immediate sanctions shall be imposed upon the enemies of the Kharadron Overlords, the severity of which is to be decided by the Geldraad. As long as the enemy draws breath, they shall be subject to a total trade embargo, and any officer of the fleet who attenpts to open negotiations with such a party shall be considered guilty of the highest treason and punished accordingly.
-Amendment 3, Footnote 16: Representatives of the uzkulrik clearly cannot be considered subject to be second stipulation of Sub-clause 12 of Artycle 2, as they do not breathe.
- Point 1: The profit margin must be evaluated before the deployment of sky-fleet assets.
- Point 2: Upkeep of a skyvessel is essential, even over Kharadron lives.
- Point 5: All hazkal brewed within a sky-port is subject to regular inspection, to be carried out by the Board of Brewmasters. Any guild-company found guilty of thinning their product with bilgewater, using inferior hops or failing to allow appropriate fermentation time shall be fined to the full extent that the Code permits, and its owners de-bearded and branded with the mark of the guzungrim.
-Amendment 21. Footnote 6: Brewing stations located within the high airs cannot be subject to point five of this artycle. In addition, the sale of inferior hazkal within foreign ports shall be permitted, because the umgi are content to drink any old swill.
- Point 1: Every ship-hand is to obey orders without question.
- Point 5: In times of war, allies must be aided unless to do so would prove pointless. Waste no duardin blood on unguz throlt.
Artycle 5, Point 6: All boarding actions must be authorised by the captain (or the highest ranking officer).
- Point 2: On the high airs a vessel from any sky-port may seize airships deemed to be a piratecraft of taken by piracy and arrest the persons and confiscate all property on board. The Admirals Court of the sky-port which carried out the seizure may decide upon the penalties to be imposed. If the suspect vessel refused to adhere to the rule of law and surrender its cargo for inspection, the use of lethal force is acceptable in order to encourahe compliance.
-Amendment 10, Footnote 13: An Arkanaut Captain or Admiral has the right to recover salvage from the wreckage of any vessel destroyed upon the aether-tides of the Garaktormun. This shall not be considered an act of piracy as defined by Artycle 6, and all material recovered shall be considered the property of the recovering crew.
- Point 1: In order to make a valid claim upon minerals or salvage one must first ensure that the object of said claim is not currently under claim. Newly discovered aether-gold deposits must be marked with angazuben before they can be considered the property of any sky-port. Once a claim is staked, it is illegal to harvest at the site without the site without the owner's permission.
- Point 4
Subsection B: In the case of shipwrecks, a ship, its cargo, or other property can be claimed. The recoverer of another's ship or cargo after peril or loss upon the high airs is entitled to a reward commensurate with the value of the property so saved.
- Point 5: Any untended barrel of ale or strong liquor may be considered salvage.
-Sub-Amendment 327B: In Order to prevent the integrity of the Code against further frivolous and mendacious alterations that undermine the grand tradition of this constitution, no further sub-amendment regarding Artycle 7 shall be brought before the Geldraad.
- Point 12: Guild representatives must be received and accorded all honours due their rank. Their skills are at the fleet's disposal.
-Section 3: Each wind cycle a Musterpress shall be held upon the Brynruf. This shall consist of six days of physical competition and rigorous examinations, the nature of which shall be decided individually by each sky-port's Admirals Council. Upon the culmination of the Musterpress, Admirals and Captains of the fleets shall have seven days in which to offer contracts of service to the contestants.
-Sub-Amendment 3F: In times of crisis - as decreed by the Geldraad - representatives from the Grundstok Corporation shall have first option upon all candidates chosen by Musterpress, and shall be allowed to buy out the contract of any Arkanaut at seven twelfths of its set price.
Artycle 9, Point 7: Use of excessive firepower is permissible as long as the end justifies the means.
-Amendment 3: If a duardin obtains a properly signed and approved grudge-clause, they are given the Rune of Mark and considered exempt from any other statues of the Code. Any plunder seized during an act of vengeance must be taken to the Admiralty’s Court so that galkhron can be performed.
-Amendment 11: The Kharadron Code cannot be altered.
Artycle 45, Footnote 21, Amendment 8 All sales are final.
Artycle 747 Biannual Tempest's Eye Sky-Race Derby rules.
Kharadron society is a
humanist DWARFist plutocracy, where money is power, with a full-blown meritocracy as a system of social promotion. You go places by being good making Profit. Grudges are still a thing but they are only pursued if its actually beneficial and not detrimental to their society (which again is to avoid disgraces such as getting into wars with your former prime trade-partners for getting a shave and a misunderstanding, like in the War of the Beard). Grudges are added to the "Log of Grudges" and how they are filled depends on the port. Barak Nar's is almost untouched, as traditions such as this are against progress, but Barak Thryng's is heavily used.
Another characteristic of their society that was revealed over time is the their encouragement of technological development and scientific research, done in academia's at the sky-ports, a decision which has made the Kharadron arguably the most advanced race in the setting. If nothing else, it looks like Andrew Ryan's ideas are alive and well (if less harsh in execution) in the Age of Sigmar. However, unlike Rapture, where the denizens sought out a place to conduct their own individualist pursuits without any moral guidelines, the Kharadron's system of innovation and profit stemmed from their need to band together, adapt and survive during the Age of Chaos. Thus, their meritocratic system of operation combined with their pursuit of innovation and trade establishes a society where it is ensured that the most capable Dwarf is in charge of a job and equipped with the most up to date equipment, to make sure that their trade routes stay open and their sky ports stay airborne.
The Kharadron overlords live in skyports, massive air-fortresses teeming with countless vessels floating around and an unending flow of cash. Hundreds of trade-routs go and pass by these holds of the sky. Kharadron Overlords are a fairly loose confederacy but ultimately they all, up to a degree, pay heed to their 'ruling body: the Geldraad. The Geldraad doubles as a board of directors parliaments, with a grand total of nineteen seats adjudicated by port on a wealth basis. It is where the code's amendments and footnotes are added. Currently there's six ports in, it, "The Six", who are also the most relevant ports:
- Barak Nar: The city of the first dawn. The mightiest of the skyports, having
76 (They got hit hard by the Necroquake and lost one) delegates. Barak Nar is called many things, among them the city of progress. It's citizens are many scholars and scientists and they are very obsessed with innovation and knowledge. They aren't fond of wizards, mainly because they view science as the answer to everything and they view progress through technology better (surely not magic envy, since Dwarfs lack the ability to use magic, which can transcend the material world where technology is bound by it). Its commanders are famous for being considerate tacticians when needed and brash opportunists when it's the best occasion for it, the prime example of this duality being Brok Grungsson, the most successful manduardin of the city and its Lord Magnate.
- Barak Zilfin: The second most powerful of the sky-ports at
45 delegates (It's gained another since the necroquake). It's fleets are the farthest reaching and they are amongst the finest navigators.
- Barak Zon: Oldest of the skyports. It's famous for being the most militaristic of the skyports and its military might have helped greatly in the earning of
32 delegates in Geldraad. (They lost one)
- Barak Urbaz: The shrewdest merchants, infamous for ruleslawyering, bargaining with them is more dangerous than fighing killer beasts. Found in the Chamon region of Ayadah, they are mostly fighting against the Loonking Skragrott and the millions of grots that infest the lands below. Currently they have
21 delegate, although they are far more politically powerful than this implies and the majority of amendments to the Code come from their proposals.
- Barak Mhornar: The city of shadow. The people of Barak Mhornar are very schewy in their interpretation of the Code, and are known to be scoundrels with very shady tactics and strategies. Have
13 delegates. (They have greatly increased their wealth and are the first of the Six to have left Chamon for a diffrent realm.)
- Barak Thryng: The staunchest conservatives of the Kharadron who are very anal about keeping with old dwarven tradition and keeping on with the grudges, maybe even the closest thing you'll see to a religious Kharadron Barak. Basically old school dwarfs IN THE SKY!. The weakest of The Six in terms of capital (the lowest port above them having more then triple their earnings), just 1 delegate and most likely because the other Baraks don't want to get a mark on their Log of Grudges, considering they just try to veto new amendments and footnotes. They have a weapon called the Grudgehammer, which is very dwarf. They have Fyreslayers in their ranks, as evidenced in their heraldry.
- Barak Zhoff: A Skyport that has gone missing. Possibly crashed, possibly turned to Chaos. Nobody knows.
- Barak Khazzar: An ill-fated Skyport that made the mistake of going on an expedition to a long-lost Karak, only for the Gloomspite Gitz that squatted in it to hijack their airships and use them to conquer their city. Now known as "Da Moon City" by its new inhabitants.
Also, their cities' streets seem to be inspired on Shadowrun and Bladerunner.
- Arkanaut Admiral: The commander of a Kharadron fleet. They are directly chosen by the ruling council of a Skyport as the best choice for whatever mission the Skyfleet is tasked with.
- Endrinmaster: Elite engineers. Get access to a whole bunch of gadgets, like strength-enhancing harnesses, the "God's Eye" eye-laser, and dirigible suits to hang out with the Endrinriggers. Average fleet tends to have two, one garrisoned on the fleet's flagship and the other in a dirigible suit to freely travel between the other ships.
- Aether-Khemist: In charge of locating and refining the Aether-Gold. Wield a tool called an Atmospheric Anatomizer, a multi-purpose tool capable of not just sucking up veins of Aether-Gold, but creating vacuums to suffocate enemies, firing noxious chemicals, and augmenting aether-powered weaponry.
- Aetheric Navigator: The navigators of the fleets, who can control wind to increase the speed of ships and decrease the speed of enemy fliers, and also unbind spells somehow.
- Arkanaut Company: Your standard ship's crew, armed with pistol and cutlass.
- Skywardens: Arkanaut Assault Marines, but with balloons instead of jetpacks.
- Endrinriggers: Lesser engineers that use balloons to fly around a ship in order to repair it in the middle of flight. Of course, their rivet guns and chainsaws are equally good at killing as well as repairing.
- Grundstok Thunderers: Elite mercenaries from the Grundstok Company. Wield all sorts of exotic guns, and also have robot attack birds because why not.
- Arkanaut Frigate: The most common ship in the sky-fleets. Most commonly a warship, but its versatile design also allows it to act in cargo transport or small-scale aether-gold mining operations.
- Arkanaut Ironclad: The largest ship commonly seen in battle. Typically the Admiral's flagship.
- Grundstok Gunhauler: Small, two-man escort boats piloted by mercenaries from the Grundcorp. Hired to protect the sky-fleets, and they take this job seriously enough to even act as dwarfen shields.
- Brokk Grungsson: Lord Magnate of Barak Nar. Simply put Brokk is THE
MANDUARDIN. Born to a failed arkanaut candidate who worked on the docks, Brokk grew up hearing the stories of the sky-fleet's heroes and swore that he'd be one of them (both for him and his father). Since those days he's been driving himself to new heights and adventures with the motto (part of the code actually), "To the victor the spoils." He's not the most powerful Duardin of Barak Nar, as the Lord Magnate is actually beneath the council of ruling admirals but he's quite young by his race's standards and he's closing the gap.
- Admiral Nerlriksson: Badass commander from Barak Zon who delivered massive amounts of asswhooping and instated their tradition of being military badasses.
- Grand Admiral Horgrumm Brand: Legendary Barak Nar commander who played a massive part in the survival of the Kharadron during their early days in the Age of Chaos. Led the combined fleet made up of the major sky ports against the flying hordes of Tzeentch in the Battle of the First Coalition. The outnumbered fleet decided to finally make a stand in the Straits of Helsilver in the Realm of Metal, and divided their flotilla into smaller detachments to outmaneuver and whittle down the numerically superior foe piecemeal. Brand goes the way of Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, masterminding a crucial victory that ensures the future survival of the Kharadron, but at the cost of his own life. His tactics and legacy, however, live on and helped form the basis of Kharadron naval strategy that is still practiced today.
- Brokrin Ullissonn: A down on his luck Captain of the Ironclad Iron Dragon.
In Age of Sigmar Roleplay, Kharadron become Soulbound for pretty much the usual reasons that they do anything: pragmatism and profit. Often the least religious of the Soulbound (unless they came from Barak-Thryng), they still regard the rite of Binding as a lifelong unbreakable contract that promises great rewards with commiserate risks... which is just the way that Kharadron like it. Considering that becoming a Soulbound grants a greatly extended lifespan, many opportunities for profit and glory, and the exceedingly useful esoteric bonus of becoming immune to the terrible paranoia that aether-gold can cause when exposed to the skin... well, you can see their point, right? That said, Kharadron hold neither prejudice against nor inherent respect for their Soulbound; they might ask if the Rite of Binding was worth it, but in general, a Kharadron Soulbound has to earn respect through their deeds, just like any normal Kharadron. Indeed, it may be deemed that Soulbound Kharadron should be held to even higher standards than normal for their opportunity and risk is greater than others.
In the corebook, Kharadron have access to three Archetypes; Aether-Khemist (implied to be the most common of the Kharadron Soulbound, because, seriously, that immunity to aether-gold madness comes in super-fucking-handy in their line of work), Endrinmaster and Skyrigger.
Recommended Music When Playing Kharadron
- Ride of the Valkyries
- High Above the Land
- Flying Battery Zone
- Sky Battalion
- Storm Owl
- Attack of the Airships
- Airship Pirates
- Sky Pirates - Fighting Evil is Cool!
- Red Wings of Baron
Honestly, just about any airship style theme would fit the Kharadron perfectly.
|Playable Factions in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar|