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)
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.
The Kharadron Overlords' were born with the fall of the last of the Mountain Kingdoms. They fled to the small skyforts and outposts that floated around, hiding in the clouds. During this time, their society grew but resources in that limited space ran scarce. They mined the same resources 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 men who knew what to do and transmitted the confidence, still, 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? Another characteristic of their society is the their encouragment of technological development and scientific research, done in academias 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.
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.
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.
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 over 7 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 4 delegates. 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 3 delegates in Geldraad.
- Barak Urbaz. The shrewdest merchants, infamous for ruleslawyering, bargaining with them is more dangerous than fighing killer beasts. Currently they have 2 delegates.
- 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 1 delegate.
- 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, 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. A Skyport that made the mistake of going on an expedition to a long-lost Karak, only for Gloomspite Gitz that infested 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.
- 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.
Recommended Music When Playing Kharadron
- Ride of the Valkyries
- High Above the Land
- Sky Battalion
- Storm Owl
- Attack of the Airships
- Airship Pirates
- Sky Pirates - Fighting Evil is Cool!
Honestly, just about any airship style theme would fit the Kharadron perfectly.