The War of the Beard (The War of Vengeance)
"It was not the fault of the Dwarves that the friendship waned."
"I have not heard that it was the fault of the Elves."
"I have heard both."
- – Gimli, Legolas and Gandalf respectively on dwarf/elf relations in Middle-Earth
The War of the Beard (Or the War of Vengeance as known by the Dwarfs) was the bloodiest conflict in Warhammer Fantasy Battle's history. Because really, only Elves and Dwarfs can hate each other that much to spill more blood than anything else in a Grimdark universe. Famous for being one of the few major wars that didn't feature orcs, skaven, undead, dark elves (directly, since to some they instigated the war) or Chaos as the bad guys (except the novel, spoiler alert!).
- 1 What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- 2 God Damnit, Caledor II
- 3 The Actual War of the Beard
- 4 Aftermath
- 5 The Novels
- 5.1 Fourth siege of Tor Alessi
- 5.2 Siege of Oeragor
- 5.3 Siege of Tor Alessi (unknown attempt; 236th year of Caledor II)
- 5.4 Siege of Karak Azul (243rd year of Caledor II)
- 5.5 Siege of Athel Maraya (250th year of Caledor II)
- 5.6 Siege of Barak Varr (344th year of Caledor II)
- 5.7 Battle of Ilendril's hill (Massacre of Malok (Malice) ) (393rd year of Caledor II)
- 5.8 Dirge for Athel Toralien (445th year of Caledor II)
- 5.9 The scouring of Sith Rionnasc (536th year of Caledor II)
- 5.10 The Thirteenth siege of Tor Alessi (596th year of Caledor II)
- 5.11 The Battle of Three Towers (fourteenth siege of Tor Alessi) (597th year of Caledor II)
- 5.12 Epilogue
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Before the infamous War of the Beard, the Dwarfs and the Elves were at peace. They were re-continuing trade, which made both empires rich-out-of-their-minds. The Dwarfs were at their highest point, the Silver Age. It is in this period that the Dwarfs pretty much kicked Orc ass for SPORT and not for the sake of survival. They also had most of their ancient relics, and Karak-Eight-Peaks, the second greatest Dwarf Fortress of all, still under their uncontested ownership. The Elves were somewhat dismayed at Malekith's dissension, but hey, they were rich as hell and powerful to boot with Malekith and his followers presumed fleeing or dead.
God Damnit, Caledor II
Then the Dark Elves, posing as High Elves, started to mercilessly rape Dwarven caravans. The Dwarf High-King at the time, Gotrek Starbreaker (a manly-ass Dwarf who could probably beat Khorne at arm-wrestling and make him look like a pansy in comparison, but wasn't known for his smarts) promptly got pissed and sent over diplomats to yell at the Phoenix King at the time, Caledor II (son of Phoenix King Caledor the Conqueror and one of the most skilled elf warriors at the time, but was otherwise a reckless man-child). The first time Caledor told Gotrek to piss off for being rude and if he wanted anything, had to plead. Gotrek sent the diplomats back saying he wanted double recompense for the implied insult. Caledor II got upset with the boisterous diplomats, and when one drew their axe and swore by their beard they would not leave it was the last straw. Taking him at his word, Caledor II had them shaved of their beards and hair (Hence why the Elves call it, "The War of the Beard") and send them back to Gotrek. Though the elves thought they were being merciful not to kill them, to Dwarf-kind forcibly shaving their beard is the greatest crime one can commit. Gotrek Starbreaker, upon getting Caledor II's response, spent a year or so mustering the full, raw, uncut power of the Dwarven kingdom (and to let the grudge stew for a time, very important) before launching a brutal attack on the Elven colonies in the Old World.
The Actual War of the Beard
The first siege of Tor Alessi began, in which the Dwarves were forced back (but not without wrecking half the city). Caledor II, pissed, marched on down to the Old World and slew Gotrek Starbreaker's son, Snorri Halfhand, in a duel.
After Snorri died, Gotrek finally fully committed to the war, swore a powerful oath that would end in either him being shaved or the Elgi's payment with their death. With their high king's backing, the Dwarves got their act into gear, and began fucking up the Elven colonies. At the battle of Oregor, the Elves were struck a serious blow by the Dwarves in a battle largely consisting of Manoeuvering. Yeah.
In said battle, Gotrek Starbreaker's nephew and new heir Morgrim marched his bum right through a giant army of elite Elven troops, took Imaldrik, the Prince of Ulthuan, and proceeded to use him as a dishtowel (though some source say Imaldrik surrendered, letting the Dwarfs kill him in exchange for sparing his troops). Dismayed, the rest of the depleted Elven forces ran for their lives. He then got the name "Elgidum" from said battle - which means Elfdoom. Awesome.
After that, the Elves got butthurt and decided to try and attack Karak Azul, where the Dwarf's best smiths resided. They almost won too, due to superior numbers, until a Dwarf Thane called Brok Stonefist, nicknamed "The Nightmare of the Deeps" or Arhain-tosaith by the Elves (the shadow one of the earth), rallied the forces of the Hold and kicked the Elves halfway across the Old World with his broken op rune gear and his own tactical genius on tunnel warfare.
The High Elves realized that this badass was a pretty big threat, so they sent Salendor to combat him. Salendor being a wizard was known for his uncanny premonition that he could foreseen any ambushes from the Dwarfs.
Brok and Salendor fought many engagements against one another, and eventually they both met their doom at the siege of Athel Maraya (soon to be Talabheim). Salendor and Brok fought each other at the heart of the city as it burned around them, forcing both forces to retreat, excluding the two leaders of the armies. Locked in close combat, they killed each other in the middle of the burning city. Some say that in the ruins of the colony, their ghosts still fight, locked in eternal combat. But that's bullshit, since manly Dwarfs who die in combat pretty much always go to Dwarf Heaven, and dead elves either get taken by Elf Waystones, Slaanesh or the elf underworld.
By then, there had been a great number of sieges on Tor Alessi. Finally, the wall was pretty much completely obliterated, so the Dwarves piled in, slaughtering the Elves cowering within the city. Gotrek, carried upon his throne, found Caledor II trapped in a corner, unable to flee. They fought mano-a-mano for days upon days before Gotrek Starbreaker struck the Phoenix King Caledor II with a single blow from his hammer and after the Phoenix King pleaded for mercy, he killed him. He then stole his crown, telling the enemy "Nanana boo-boo, I'm better than you, stick your head in doo-doo" and burnt the city down, retreating to Karaz-A-Karak to flaunt his victory. The Elves, utterly demoralized, gathered all of their forces for one final suicidal push on Karaz-A-Karak before word came that the Dark Elves had attacked Ulthuan.
Since then, each faction has had burning hatred for each other. But each faction was made considerably weaker by the war, precipitating their respective declines.
With the power of both the elves and dwarfs spent, it left a power vacuum that was rapidly filled up by the rising power of men (and less nice races like the beastmen and skaven). Bretonnia, the Empire and Kislev all in time rose up from the regions the elves had previously conquered.
The High Elves retreat completely from the old world and didn't return until much later, to find that all those weird smelly barbarians called humans had suddenly sprung up all over the place and making their own cities and nations to boot. To say the elves were surprised is an understatement.
The Dwarves nearly right after the war suffered a nasty series of earthquakes that wrecked their defenses. The causes of this disastrous event has two speculations, where it is either caused by the failure of the Skaven when they tried to expand Skavenblight using some sort of giant machinery, or the idiotic Slann mages and Mazdamundi from Lustria who were trying to shape the world according to the plan of the Old Ones. This disastrous event left many of their holds and mines open to invasion from the skaven and night goblin tribes. The fall of the dwarf empire broke them into smaller kingdoms, now with each hold under near constant siege.
With the high elves retreating to their homeland, the few left behind becoming Wood Elves who rose to be a quiet power in Athel Loren. Alas they had no peace, being constantly attacked by any old goblin and beastmen walking into their forest.
Both before and during the war, Malekith used his agents to manipulate both sides in war. One of such groups were unfortunate enough to end up in Nehekhara and get captured by Nagash, who proceeded to torture them until they'd spilled all the secrets to him, resulting in Nagash inventing necromancy and turning Nehekhara into a shithole full of sand and bones later on.
Literally the only positive thing to come out of this mess is Caledor II being universally nicknamed Caledor the Idiot which still entices a laugh to historians (Though that's just the tip of the iceberg for the Dwarfs).
So in the end, Malekith got what he wanted. He ensured that the High Elves and Dwarfs would never unite against him, all while spitting at the grave of his best friend, Snorri Whitebeard (Who had sworn on the latter's deathbed that the Elves and Dwarfs would remain friends!). What a dick...
And thus, this was probably Grombrindal's origin story.
The novels retconned a lot of events of the war. Tensions were already high due to the attacks of the Dwarfs' caravans, but what really pissed the Dwarfs off was the assassination of an ancient runelord from Barak Varr named Agrin Fireheart. The Dwarf kings demanded Gotrek Starbreaker wage war against the Elves for Argin's murder, but he again refused to declared war. Prince Imladrik (younger brother of Caledor II, a popular guest among the Dwarf and the last living Caledorian dragon master of his time) investigated the runelord's death and discovered the essence of Dark Magic at the murder site, confirming the presence of the Dark Elves. Realizing that Malekith sought to instigate war between the High Elves and Dwarfs, he sent a message to High King Gotrek explaining the existence of their nefarious elven kin and their plans. Unfortunately, Imladrik's words fell on deaf ears, the gathered dwarf kings thought the Elves were making excuses and that these "Druchii" didn't exist. Thankfully Gotrek gave the High Elves the benefit of the doubt.
Snorri Halfhand (named Halfhand due to a Skaven biting off his fingers on one hand, later keeping his recoverd fingerbones as a trinket), High King Gotrek's son, raised an army to attack the elves without his father's consent. Snorri was a hotheaded Dwarf who believed his father had gone soft in his old age for trying to keep the peace with the elves after what happened. Snorri was persuaded to not attack the elves initially, but eventually lost his patience after being told the body of a priestess of Valaya had been found riddled with elven arrows. Learning of Elven forces rallying at Kor Vanaeth (soon to be Altdorf; the nearest elf city from his position), Snorri took the initiative and attacked, defeating the elves in less than 3 hours then razing the city.
During the attack, Gotrek Starbreaker sent his diplomats, including ambassador Forek Grimbok to Ulthuan in a last ditch effort to prevent war. But by the time the dwarfs arrived in Caledor II's court to demand an apology and recompense, word had already reached the Phoenix Court of the Kor Vanaeth attack (which Grimbok didn't know about). Furious over being demanded to apologize and compensate the Dwarfs when they just destroyed one of his cities, Caledor II ordered the diplomats shaved and kicked out despite the protest of his brother Imladrik. Though "shaving" might be an understatement; when the elves were done, Grimbok's face had cuts and gashes where his beard had been, implying either he struggled a lot or the elves cut off parts of his face to remove his beard. Caledor II is a piece of shit.
After a heated father-son conversation, Gotrek realized it was too late to prevent war at that point and decided to help his son besiege Tor Alessi. Although still mad at his son for starting the war, Gotrek didn't want to lose him either, and hoped to end the war quickly before both sides suffered heavy losses. The siege of Tor Alessi began normally, until Caledor II's duel with Snorri. Caledor insulted Snorri, mocking his father, saying a Dwarf would be much faster at digging than walking, calling them pigs in mud (the same insult he'd used on Grimbok back on Ulthuan, and would use many more times against Dwarfs) before killing Snorri with a spear to the face while Snorri was speaking.
Snorri had been perusing a prophecy from their runelord at the time: "slay the drakk, become king", which is what made Snorri challenge Caledor II in the first place. His death proved he was not the chosen one, but the real one existed and revealed himself later on.
Snorri's death led Gotrek to fully commit to the war. Gotrek swore a powerful oath that he would either have the Elgi pay in kind for what happened or he would shave his own head. Between the High King's backing and his dire oath, the Dwarfs got their act into gear and began fucking up the Elven colonies.
Caledor II sent Imaldrik to get rid of the Dwarfs, reasoning Imladrik could use the dragons to defeat the Dwarfs in battle. Imladrik was fond of the Dwarfs, didn't want the war and planned to be with his wife. But he was bound by duty to obey his older brother, the Phoenix King, and thus he was forced to go back to the old world (or Elthin Arvan as the Elves called) once more.
However, he defied his brother to a degree by trying his best to stop the war, especially if it thwarted the hated Druchii. He sought to bring the Dark Elf agents to the Dwarfs to prove his case, specifically his trusted Dwarf friend Morgrim Bargrum. With the aid of an elven diplomat named Caradryel (the same Caradryel who would later succeed Caledor II as a Phoenix King), they convinced Morgrim to meet him and see the Druchii. To capture a Druchii, Imladrik sent someone to capture them; his mage assistant Liandra (a mage from Kor Vaneth's elven council - also the daughter of the city's founder - who could command dragons and had feelings for Imladrik despite his marriage). Though Liandra hated the Dwarfs for razing her city, she also hated the Druchii for burning her childhood home at Cothique. Caradryel managed to calm Morgrim down, bringing a valued token from Snorri - Snorri's fingers that the Skaven had bitten off, as a gesture of goodwill. Unfortunately, the Thanes and Runesmith under Morgrim's command weren't as cool-headed. Worse, Liandra's attempt to capture a dragon-riding Druchii Sorceress backfired. While she got her captive, Liandra's dragon was killed. Morgrim got a false report that his army was attacked by a female sorcerer with a dragon, leading him to mistakenly assume Liandra was the culprit. Having waited for two days with no result, Morgrim lost his patience and respect for Imladrik, and the Dwarfs launched a surprise attack on Tor Alessi. Imladrik, realizing he had failed, decided FUCK IT and finally join the war with his dragon Draukhain.
Fourth siege of Tor Alessi
Even then, Imladrik didn't fully commit to the war until he learned his own son Thoriol, had been posted to the wall as an archer. Thoriol had been a scholar at Caledor, but he was tricked into enlisting while drunk by Druchii agents. Realizing the Druchii's scheme had succeeded, Imladrik finally gave in to his rage and vented it on the Dwarfs. Imladrik's dragons were a great help to the Elven forces, annihilating regiments of Dwarfs with teeth, claws and fiery breath, allowing the commander, Salendor (one of the greatest High Elf tactical genii of his day and a wizard) to cast his magic. Unable to deal with the dragons and the battalion of mages, Morgrim's force were forced to retreat, where they turned their attentions towards Oeragor, an Elven outpost in the Badlands founded by Imladrik himself.
Siege of Oeragor
Unbeknownst to both sides, Liandra had made it to Oeragor with her Druchii captive, Drutheira. Imladrik had tried to save his city and Liandra, but Draukhain was shot down by Dwarfen artillery, surviving but crashing onto a building and getting buried under rubble. After freeing himself, Imladrik was surrounded by hundreds of angry dwarfs, Morgrim emerging from their ranks and challenging him to Mortal Kombat.
Aggrieved, Imladrik blamed Morgrim for being impatient and called Snorri a fool. Morgrim blamed Imaldrik's brother for being retarded, and called his dragons verminous monsters before fighting. Imladrik' superior speed gave him the upper hand in duel initially, and he knocked Morgrim on the ground. But as Draukhain freed himself from the rubble, Morgirm's rune axe was empowered due to its anti-dragon runes. With his empowered axe, Morgrim shattered Imladrik's blade and cleaved deep into his chest, killing him. Morgrim was remorseful for killing Imladrik, as they had been good friends, and Imladrik was one of the few elves who actually respected the dwarfs. To honor Imladrik, he allowed Liandra and the wounded Draukhain to bring Imladrik's body back to Tor Alessi. Meanwhile, Drutheira escaped with her goon Malchoir, their mission a resounding success (though they would later die horribly after being shipwrecked at a certain desert kingdom and becoming captive magic teachers for a certain prince, which supposed to happened until a certain author decided to cause a time paradox...).
Siege of Tor Alessi (unknown attempt; 236th year of Caledor II)
A few years later, Morgrim's army returned to Tor Alessi with a fleet of airships, literary blitzkrieg the city. Invented by a Dwarf named Helgan Copperfist, the airships were not only good for bombing ground forces, but had bolt throwers for dealing with dragons. The bolts had barbed heads with an explosive compound installed inside their steel tips called Tharzharr aka 'thunder-fire', an incendiary chemical from Karak Zorn capable of melting through solid steel and splash its target with a burst of green fire (actually a Skaven weapon they'd tricked the Dwarfs into testing for them). The Elves retaliated by sending their dragon riders to torch the Vault, a Dwarf settlement below Loren Forest. The dragon riders then made their way to Kazad Thar and Kazad Mingol to roast more Dwarfs, their speed allowing them to outmaneuver the Dwarfs' airships. Still, an aerial fight between them resulted in the loss of a dragon and an airship, said dragon was burned by a Tharrzharr's pot thrown by a Dwarven Engineer on board when it tried to claw its way from below the airship King Snorri. The dragon riders retreated when another Dragon rider was killed by a Skarrenawi (hill Dwarfs, or beta Dwarf due to their softer, whiter skin and shorter beard, arrogant, has more love for gold and loves to trade with the Elves) named Rundin Torbansonn, who used to be a champion for the self proclaimed Skarrenawi high king named Skarnag Grum at Kazad Kro.
Siege of Karak Azul (243rd year of Caledor II)
During the siege, Grimbok (now a steelbeard - a military regiment made up of the dwarf diplomats abused by Caledor II, now wearing steel masks and carrying rune axes made for elf killing) and Rundin (now a famed hero known for dragonslaying) joined Brok Stonefist's party and dealt heavy losses to the elves. Caledor II despised the Dwarfs, but had enough self-restraint to not pull his best generals whom were in the north fighting the Druchii. What Caledor II did do was put inexperienced or disgraced commanders like Lord Myrion of Cothique against the Dwarfs, thinking they were enough to defeat the Dwarfs, and that they could gain some glory and recognition. As expected, they failed, with Lord Myrion dying to Rundin's axe in a duel.
Siege of Athel Maraya (250th year of Caledor II)
The siege of Athel Maraya (soon to be Talabheim) is significantly different from the armybook and White Dwarf accounts. It lasted three months, the Elven wizards atop the wall had used magic to prevent Morgrim's army from damaging their walls with Dwarfen artillery or closing with their ladders. It wasn't until Dwarf tunnelers undermined and "sunk" the walls that they could get into the city, a masterstroke by Brok Stonefist. Brok's plan was to have his warriors - specifically miners - be captured by the Elves, then be used for labor to reinforce the wall. But they made marks on the walls that only Dwarf miners of their guild could read. To bypass the Elf mages' premonition ability, Brok had a Runesmith besides him to hinder their premonitions. When the time was right, Brok had his sappers bring down the wall. For Salendor's part, all his premonitions showed him were that only Brok could bring down Athel Maraya, and only Brok's death could halt the Dwarfs' advance, and he arrogantly thought he could kill the Dwarf by himself. Brok was equally arrogant, keeping the plan to himself so he could get glory. Eventually, Salendor and Brok dueled inside the burning city to countless stalemates even after both armies had left and the city burned down on top of them. Their fate was unknown, but neither was seen again.
Gotrek considered Brok's action as selfish and reckless, for his action not got him killed, but nearly ruined the entire campaign. Although Brok's clever plan made him famous and earned him a place in the Dwarf history, Gotrek wasn't sure he deserved the acclaim.
Siege of Barak Varr (344th year of Caledor II)
Despite losing Salendor, the Elves turned their attentions towards Barak Varr, the Dwarf's greatest and only port. Led by Lord Draikyll, known for attacking the Dwarf navy with Merwyrms "tamed" by an exiled Caledorian named Ilendril (whose ancestors had tried to harnessed Dark Magic for beast taming). Unfortunately for the Dwarfs, they couldn't build any more airships as Helgan died in a freak Tharzharr explosion "accident" in his lab, which destroyed his blueprints and many of his gadgets. Still, Tharzharr were still widely used, and effective at killing even Merwyrms since their flame cannot be extinguished by water. But the Elves' aerial advantage with their dragons prevented the Dwarfs from traveling on land. The combination of the elven fleet and Merwyrms prevented the Dwarfs from travelling by sea. The only way for the Dwarfs to traverse was tunnelling, which the elves focused on countering. Soon the elves tried to poison the Dwarf's water reservoir with basilisk venom, the entire operation being conducted by Lord Caerwal, who used this opportunity avenge his city Athel Numiel(soon to be Kislev). The plan failed when Morgrim and his forces broke through the Elves formation from underground. When Morgrim met Caerwal and realized what he did, he wrestled Caerwal into the poisoned water with him. As they sank Morgrim squeezed the elf harder, breaking his ribcage and forcing Caerwal to ingest the poisoned water. Caerwal tried to free himself by stabbing Morgrim with a small pathetic knife, but Morgrim endured it and also held his breath like a fucking champ, resurfacing when Caerwal was dead.
With Caerwal's death, the Elves failed to take down Barak Varr, and Draikyll was summoned back to Ulthuan for his failure. Still, Barak Varr couldn't be used for a decade and this prevented the Dwarfs from further attacks against coastal Elven colonies nearby. On top of that, there was another defeat for the elves. The dragons, hating the Dwarfs weapons and Draikyll's use of Merwyrms (the dragon felt uneasy toward the merwyrms, but sympathized with them for being used as tools by the elves in the war), quit the war and headed back to their mountains in Caledor.
Battle of Ilendril's hill (Massacre of Malok (Malice) ) (393rd year of Caledor II)
Without the dragons, the elves in the old world feared of the Dwarves' vengeful return on Tor Alessi. To quickly regain the colonists' trust, the Elves sought a replacement, which led them to try and tame the wyrms, the dragons of the old world. It was suggested by Ilendril, who used the same vile magic to tame the wyrms. At this point Drutheria had been captured again and helped Ilendril. This led to the slaughter later known as the "Battle of Ilendril's hill" in the Asur history. To the Dwarf's Dammaz Kron however, it was called the "Massacre of Malok (malice)" instead. It began at Kazad Kro in the Grey Mountains, a refugee hiding ground filled with mostly Skarrenawi. The hold lacked any meaningful defenses, let alone effective weapons to fight the dragons, and was pretty much untouched until this point. The Wyrms' talons and fire breathe made short work of the innocent Dwarfs, with only a lone Runesmith able to put up a fight with his rune lightning, but was killed immediately. After the Dwarfs were killed, Ilendril and his wyrm turned their attention to the pathetic ruler Skarnag Grum, whom suffered from Gold Lust and had hid in his hold to count the gold he had gained from the better days. The wyrm's breathe melted both Grum and his gold together into a lump of gilded flesh. Ilendril's wyrm was later named Ilendrakk in his pride, or Malok as both the Dwarfs and the Elves would soon call it.
Dirge for Athel Toralien (445th year of Caledor II)
In another retaliatory strike, Morgrim once again led an army to torch another Elven city: Athel Toralien (soon to be Nordland). An Elven lord named Gelthar tried to bribe the Dwarfs from attacking, but he was met by Grimbok, who responded by splitting Gelthar's head open. Inspired by Brok's brilliance, Morgrim toppled the cliff to bury the city in a landslide. Due to being part of the Elven councils in the old world, Liandra remained active throughout the war and fought the Dwarfs despite the death of her city, her dragon and her master. Having witnessed the tragedy (she pitied Grimbok after viewing his face) and violence from both sides, her hatred toward the Dwarfs cooled... but not towards the Druchii. Her mage sense had allowed her relocate Drutheria in Athel Toralien. After beating the Druchii (with a little help from the Elf mobs nearby), Morgrim's force caught up. Having finally encountered the Druchii and convinced by Liandra's words, Morgrim allowed her to leave with the Elven refugees. Drutheira was taken by the Dwarfs. Though there was too much bad blood to stop the war by that point, Liandra was glad the Druchii would get what she deserved.
(Drutheira was never mentioned again in th books, because her son Ashelir wanted to make her mommy suffer by taking her captive and deliver her to Ilendril just so the bastard could learn how to control wyrms. In that version, her goon Asniel and Malchior were also killed by Ashelir, which had created a time paradox. It was also noted the time paradox appears in the 3rd part, meaning C.L.Werner was responsible for this mess, and he better clean it up in the reprint edition.).
The scouring of Sith Rionnasc (536th year of Caledor II)
Sith Rionnasc (soon to be Marienburg) is the next target for the Dwarfs, for it was an appealing idea to destroy the Elves' finest sea port in the old world as payback for Barak Varr. The siege was aided by the king of Barak Varr, King Brynnoth, who suffered the most during this period (Agrin Fireheart, Helgan's airship workshop, the entirely of Barak Varr, its water reservoir poisoned).
Caledor II responded by finally pulling one his best generals from the northern Druchii frontier. Prince Yverian, a hot headed cavalry favored commander who preferred assault over defense. He organized three of Ilendril's new Wyrms into a strike force that would only attack a crowded part of a Dwarf's army. Compared to the dragons of Caledor, wyrms are more hateful, greedy, arrogant and selfish, making them unreliable and less intelligent. After countless times fighting the dragons, the Dwarfs had developed tactics against them. By dispersing their army when a dragon was sighted, they forced the beast to chase the scattered Dwarfs. Once the Wyrm was far away, a hidden throng from the tunnels would emerge and attack the main Elven army. Fighting dragons also led the Dwarfs to create a specialized war machine against them: a wheeled bolt thrower that fired great barbed bolts, which some are even enhanced with armor piercing runes. The Dwarfs around the bolt thrower would block the dragon's flame with their rune shields, then fire the bolt thrower. Even if the wyrms were not killed by a shot from the Dwarfs' bolt throwers, they would be sent into a frenzy by the pain and ignore their riders commands by attacking any Dwarfs they could see. This enabled the Dwarfs to finish them off. The new bolt throwers also served as a good siege tool, where it would shoot out chained grapnel that would catch on the wall first, then be pulled down by the strength of dozens of Dwarfs pulling its chain. The Dwarfs' technological prowess gave them the upper hand, as Dragon eggs take longer to hatch, and even longer for dragons to mature to a battle-ready stage.
The siege isn't what's important however, the important thing is this ABSURD event. Turns out Drogor Zarrdum, an old friend and an advisor to both Morgrim and Snorri Halfhand, was a fucking DAEMON! That's right, THERE IS A DAEMON HIDING AMONG THE DWARFS! What's more is the daemon was actually Htarken, an ancient Lord of Change that was injured by both Malekith and Snorri Whitebeard, but never killed. In order to exact its vengeance against the two races, Htarken disguised himself as Drogor Zarrdum (the actual Dwarf probably existed but was killed and impersonated by Htarken), allowing him to gain the trust of Morgrim and Snorri by saying the destruction of his hold bullshit because of Elgi attacks, allowed him to not only spark the hatred against the Elgi, but also earned their sympathy without the need to acting like a proper Dwarf (because the attack changed him into a vengeful Dwarf, much similar to a daemon's temperament). Having the ability to see the future, he already knew a war was brewing and would further add fuel to the fire by giving both Morgrim and Snorri Halfhand false advice to kickstart the war (once a Dwarf has made their decision, there's no going back). It was he who presented the formula of Tharzharr to the Dwarfs as a weapon against the Elves' dragon (just so he could watch the Elves suffer). Tharzharr was apparently made of foulstones, which it would attract the rats (you see where Htarken is going with this). It was also him that destroyed Helgan's airship workshop at Barak Varr with Tharzharr after Helgan found out about Tharzharr properties.
Morek Furrowbrow, a Runelord and an apprentice to an ancient Runelord named Ranuld Silverthumb had suspected Drogor in responsible for his master's death (who died by petrification, a side effect to Dwarfs who had too much magic entering their body). Strange is that Drogor would avoid Morek whenever possible since Morek had a rune staff that could detect the daemon's presence. To lure out the daemon, Morek meet Morgrim's gang in the midst of Sith Rionnasc invasion and showed Drogor an item: a feather belonged to Htarken's daemon form which Snorri Whitebeard had taken as a trophy and sealed below the deepest vault of Karaz-a-Karak. As Htarken revealed himself and attacks Morgrim and Morek, he mocked the Dwarfs' pride and stubbornness is what led them to this pointless war, which would wasted two of his enemies into stagnation, and he pretty much enjoyed in watching them killed one another as a spectator the entire time. Still, Rundin came charging at the daemon with his axe and Imaldrik's rune sword Ifulvin on his other hand, cutting off the daemon's head but killing himself in the process as well. This mega badass achievement advancing Rundin's fame from being a dragonslayer to a daemonslayer in death. After that, Morgrim came to a very deep regret about the war due to his refusal to believe the Elgi about the Druchii, and now the daemon's machinations... and it was too late to go back. The attacks on the Elves remained still and they will have to keep moving forward as Tzeentch and Malekith laugh at both the Elves' and the Dwarfs' tragedy.
Oh and Sith Rionnasc was completely obliterated when the Dwarfs catapulted a stone (carved with runes of destruction) at the dam, flooding the entire city. The Dwarfs and King Brynnoth who catapulted the damned thing died from the flood, but they died proudly with beard-splitting grins on their faces since they had their revenge. The city was obliterated so much that the actual text form the novel had claimed: "The city had been erased from the world".
The Thirteenth siege of Tor Alessi (596th year of Caledor II)
Although the reports of a Daemon and Druchii being the instigators of the war had reached Gotrek, he has little regret, for it was mostly Caledor II's dishonorable behavior that had truly started this war, who refused to admit defeat, who would rather hide on Ulthuan. Again and again, the Dwarfs hoped to draw Caledor II out from his toilet seat kingdom by spilling Elven blood so they could kill him and end the war. Caledor II's cowardliness and arrogance prolonged the meaningless war, but now with only Tor Alessi left, Caledor II had to either defend his colony, or have the Dwarfs not only remove the elves from the old world, but risk them attacking Ulthuan itself.
By now Tor Alessi had been besieged 13 times by the Dwarfs and yet its walls were well reinforced. The determined Dwarfs none the less pressed on with the siege and developed a fuck-ton of ways to kill dragons and wyrms and gain an advantage. One tactic has the Dwarf to lure the Wyrm into a webbed device from underground, once the beast was immobilized Slayers surrounded the creature and hacked the beast apart.
The said Slayers came from Karak Kadrin, which Forek Grimbok has started a cult of (which is a fucking major retcon seeing as how in the White Dwarf recounting the cult was well established by this point). Inspired by Rundin's heroic deeds, Grimbok came to Karak Kadrin and become a trollslayer upon killing a troll named Yvnir near Karak Drak. Abandoned his steel mask, Grimbok finally revealed to everyone his beard scars, hoping he could kill enough Elgi and died honorably to wash away his shame.
Despite the Slayers proving to be fierce fighters, Morgrim had refused to use them in battle many times before due to them being completely hellbent on dying in battle and too undisciplined for general strategy or to hold positions (Slayers also liked to moon at the Elven archers on the walls to fire another shot). Still, it was with Morgrim's great pity that allowed them to be on the field, for they have suffered so much at the hands of Elves that it would be cruel to reject them.
Thoriol, now a well known prince, had made himself acquainted with his father's old dragon, Draukhain (now bitter and hateful at the Dwarfs for killing Imladrik, often hunting random Dwarfs out of spite and made a nest out of their corpses). Although he had believe himself to be a failure at life, unable to become a dragon rider like his father, unable to fit in with the archer crowd due to his noble background, and was only famous among the court because the influence of his father and uncle Caledor II. Speaking of Caledor II, the death of his brother Imaldrik has made him guilt-trip into adoring Thoriol, planning to groom him as his heir (probably the only redeemable quality about this piece of shit, just slightly above the Druchii and Nagash I suppose). Thoriol however hated his uncle for being an idiot and getting his father killed, and was only acquitened with him in order to seize political powers in the inner circle of the Phoenix Court. After the dragons had all fucked off from the old world and the Elven public began to criticize their Elf king's idiocy and incompetence, Caledor II was in sorrow. To help his uncle, Thoriol made a suggestion to go to Tor Alessi on his behalf to boost the morale of the local Elves. Although he believed himself to be a bitter failure, he just wanted to prove himself by avenging his father, facing against the Dwarf that killed him. Unlike his uncle however, he did not underestimate the Dwarfs and held them in a very high regard.
Thoriol eventually met Grimbok in combat, where the crazy Dwarf would kept charging at him despite suffering an increasing amount of injuries. Grimbok eventually died under Thoriol's attack, but would also send Thoriol bleeding and unconscious with his own blow. But just before Thoriol blacked out, he witnessed his father's sword on Morgrim's belt and told the Dwarf that he had killed his father. After Morgrim realized the Elf was Imaldrik's kin, he would immediately face Draukhain in battle as the dragon came to Thoriol's defense with his fire breath, which Morgrim would be shield from by Morek's rune magic.
With Morek's rune protection and Snorri Halfhand's rune axe Azdrakghar (design for dragonslaying) in his hand, Morgrim viciously hacked every part of Draukhain until it died, and himself emerged victorious as a Dragonslayer (also fulfilled the aforementioned prophecy of a Dwarf becomes the high king after killing a dragon, which came true as Morgrim will eventually become the next heir after Gotrek: Morgrim Ironbeard.), but would find no enjoyment due the dragon belonged to his old friend, and knowing it was the Druchiis and the Daemon that had goaded both sides to war. Once again to honor his dead Elf friend, Morgrim had Thoriol rescued, healed and sent back to the city.
The Battle of Three Towers (fourteenth siege of Tor Alessi) (597th year of Caledor II)
After sitting on his ass in Ulthuan for a while, Caledor II finally arrived in Tor Alessi and took on the Dwarfs with fresh Elven armies pulled from the northern frontier. Gotrek and Morgrim called out from the opposite side, demanding that Caledor II to pay for the devastation have wrought on their holds in gold. Caledor II, arrogant and vengeful, scorned their terms and made a series of blistering insults against the Dwarfs. Gotrek was as forgiving and civilized as he could be, hoping the Elgi were smart enough to accept his terms and stop the bloodshed. He also showed himself in front of the gate to prove himself brave (unlike Caledor II). In response to the elves' silence following Caledor II's tirade, Gotrek resolved the only solution was to take Caledor II's head and crown as compensation.
Caledor II too had his strategy... a head-on assault while Ilrendril "evacuated" (not abandoned, for the arrogant Elf king still believed he could break the Dwarfs leadership even though the war had lasted for 400 years at that point) Tor Alessi's refugees. This was thwarted, in a cruel irony, by Ilrendril's Wyrm. The wyrm, who would come to be known as Malok, hated his master for the centuries of enslavement under him and had developed a plan to free himself. While Ilrendril was lost in envious and resentful thoughts about Thoriol (Caledor II criticized him for being an exile from Caledor, a coward for leaving Thoriol in danger in the previous siege, and compared Malok unfavorably to Ulthuan's native dragons), Malok deliberately exposed himself to the Dwarf's bolt throwers and was non-fatally shot. Through their mind link, the pain distracted Ilrendril, allowing Malok to free himself briefly and break the controlling talisman by doing a barrel roll (literally). Malok then impaled Ilrendril on a talon and celebrated his freedom by forcing Ilendril to watch him start roasting the refugees alive, Ilendril unable to do anything but scream and die, a karmic justice - in Malok's mind - for what he had done. Fortunately for the remaining refugees, Ilrendril died, causing the disappointed wyrm to stop attacking them, throw Ilrendril's corpse into the sea and head for the Southlands where no Dwarfs or Elves would be found.
Fun fact: According to Thanquol and Boneripper: Thanquol's Doom written by the same C.L. Werner, it was Skalfri Brandbeard of Karak Angkul who shot Malok with his bolt-thrower. Two of Malok's scales dislodged by the shot would go on to be displayed at the halls of Karak Angkul as a trophy beside many others.
In order to break the gates of Tor Alessi and end the war, Morek decided to sacrifice an anvil of doom - a relic so precious that it could never be replicated - by making it explode. Due to Morek's body being warped by constant changes in size and shape due to the daemon Htraken's foul magic, which got worse and more painful over the years, Morek decided to end his life in a sacrifice for a great cause. Filled with regret for his decision to destroy a sacred anvil, Morek requested that Gotrek erase him from history. Though the heroic sacrifice would've made him a hero, he'd be an Oathbreaker in the eyes of the other runesmiths; hence being forgotten and unremembered would be his lot.
After the gate was broken, the forces of Dwarfs and Elves engaged their final battle inside the city. Caledor II was waiting, mounted on a horse in the center of the city square, surrounded by his knights and fountains of his Elven gods. Caledor II began dueling Morgrim, with Caledor II having a clear advantage due to being mounted and wielding the sword Dawnbreaker, a weapon meant to kill powerful daemons. Morgrim's armor was shredded like paper but he endured to strike a blow against Caledor II's shield that broke the elf king's arm and embedded the axe in the shield. The elf king prepared to ride Morgrim down, but then realized he was surrounded by angry dwarf warriors.
Then Gotrek came and demand a duel to not only end this stupid war, but also to send off the souls of his son and all the fallen Dawi. Caledor II was forced to dismount and accept the duel. During the fight, the elf king managed to cut off two of Gotrek's fingers, mockingly comparing Gotrek's disfigurement to his late son's. The petty insult further enraged Gotrek, and he struck Caledor II's torso, the elf king's armor saving his life but the blow still breaking several ribs. Caledor II was crippled by the injury and collapsed to the ground. Defeated, Caledor II pathetically attempted to save his own life by offering to accept all of Gotrek's previous terms, but it was too late. Gotrek replied with one sentence - "Ask the god for mercy. You'll find none in me" - and decapitated Caledor II.
Ironically, Caledor II was decapitated lying in Khaine's fountain, his blood mingling with the red dyed water (dyed to honor Khaine) so that his blood now flowed down Khaine's statue. Between this and Gotrek's last words to Caledor II, it means Khaine has a great sense of humor.
With Caledor II's death, Gotrek took the Phoenix Crown and loudly declared he would take it as compensation and ordered the elves to leave. With Caledor II's death, a new Phoenix King had to be crowned to deal with the suddenly multiplied numbers of Druchiis expanded across Naggaroth. Although Caledor II had named Thoriol his heir, Thoriol rejected the plan, believing he'd be living in the shadow of his father Imladrik, as Caledor II lived in the shadow of his own father (one of the few select things Thoriol had sympathized with the late king on). He gave the throne to Caradryel instead, whom Thoriol believed could united the Asur. Although Caradryel protested that he was no king, he accepted and proved to be so successful, he not only brought peace and united all of Ulthuan, he survived countless of Druchii assassinations and died peacefully of old age (the first Phoenix King to do so, and a rare achievement for anyone in the warhammer world). A new crown was made to replace the old one. Its loss should've been symbolized as a cautionary tale to the Elves about their pride. Although Thoriol was never heard of after this, he probably became Caradryel's advisor, continue the noble bloodline of House Caledoran and became one of Imrik's ancestors.
The war changed the Dwarfs too. The new generation was now more hateful and vengeful than the previous, obsessed with atoning for their shames and mistakes by taking Slayers Oath then die instead of actually fixing them, resulting in further stagnation of Dwarf populations (not to mentioned the shitshow with the earthquakes, the rise of Greenskins and the Skaven). Morgrim took the throne after Gotrek, unsure how he will rule over this new generation.
Liandra survived the war to meet an Elven prophetess named Aismarr (whom claimed to came from Loren Lacoi) where she was told by her to overcome a trial, which was later revealed to defend a treeman from the Dwarfs assault. She managed to save the treeman, but being weak after overcasting a spell, she was struck down by Dwarf's axe... only to somehow be nurtured back to health by the forest, reborn and become one of the Asrai alongside the few surviving elves in the Old World, including High Elf colonists who refused to evacuate and even a handful of Druchii.
|The High Elves and their gods of Warhammer Fantasy|
|Characters:||Eltharion - Everqueen - Teclis - Tyrion - Prince Imrik - Alith Anar|
|Cadai:||Asuryan - Hoeth - Isha - Kurnous - Lileath - Loec - Mathlann - Vaul|
|Cytharai:||Addaioth - Anath Raema - Atharti - Drakira|
Eldrazor - Ellinill - Ereth Khial - Estreuth - Hekarti
Hukon - Khaine - Ladrielle - Morai-Heg - Nethu
|Events:||The War of the Beard - The invasion of Naggaroth|
|Misc:||Ulthuan - The Vortex - Waystone - Widowmaker|
|Appearances:||Blood Bowl - Dreadfleet - Mordheim - Warhammer Fantasy Battle|