Karak Azul is a major Dwarven Hold and a member of Karak Ankor, while also being the capital of the Realm of Karak Azul. As one of the few surviving Holds of Karak Ankor it is a member of a dying club. Its position is one where it is under near constant attack from the surrounding Goblin, and Skaven mines and settlements. The Hold itself is noteable for being the center of the Iron Dwarves, who are a major clan, that has a history that is filled with moments where they betrayed others, or did evil deeds. This reputation is only ofset and ignored by the fact that they are extremely powerful, and their Hold is of extreme importance.
Karak Azul is the home of the Iron Dwarven Clan of which is split between many smaller clans but the main foundation are the Iron Dwarves themselves followed by the smaller Doomforge Clan, and the Dark Iron Dwarves, and the Black Iron Dwarves.
Karak Azul was one of the earliest Dwarven Holds, and this founding was done by early clans from Karak Eight Peaks of whom had heard of the mountain region from prospective miners west of the Karak Eight Peaks. Karak Azul would suffer immense losses during the War of the Beard and this would also lead to the death of their King, and the weak position they found themselves in during the War of Tears. During the War of Tears their hold was constantly on the front lines as they tried to assist the other southern Holds but they watched as the south fell one hold after another until it was only them and Karak Eight Peaks left. When Karak Eight Peaks fell the Hold of Karak Azul would be the last remainder of the once mighty southern Karak Ankor and because of this when it came under assault from a massive Skaven force it was basically fighting alone. During this fight the Iron Dwarves would change their ways somewhat to survive and thus they defeated their enemies but became significantly different then the remainder of the Dwarves of Karak Ankor.
Karak Azul was one of the earliest Dwarven Holds, and this founding was done by early clans from Karak Eight Peaks of whom had heard of the mountain region from prospective miners west of the Karak Eight Peaks.
War of Vengeance
Karak Azul would suffer immense losses during the War of the Beard and this would also lead to the death of their King, and the weak position they found themselves in during the War of Tears.
During the War of Tears their hold was constantly on the front lines as they tried to assist the other southern Holds but they watched as the south fell one hold after another until it was only them and Karak Eight Peaks left. When Karak Eight Peaks fell the Hold of Karak Azul would be the last remainder of the once mighty southern Karak Ankor and because of this when it came under assault from a massive Skaven force it was basically fighting alone. During this fight the Iron Dwarves would change their ways somewhat to survive and thus they defeated their enemies but became significantly different then the remainder of the Dwarves of Karak Ankor.
Turning the Tide
- "The Goblins were crawling up the mines that we had spent centuries building. They were clawing at the graves of our ancestors. It was well within our right to go to whatever means we had at our disposal to deal with them."
- -Unknown Iron Dwarf
The fall of Karak Eight Peaks and the disasters following this had left Karak Azul with no choice when it came to their choices. They would fight to the death and die in their homes. The Iron Dwarf Clan would put all of their resources into fortifying the Hold, and for two years as the outlying mines, and Thaigs fell the defences of Karak Azul were constructed. When finally the Skaven, and Goblins hit their defences they took incredible casualties but the Dwarves were damaged as well leading to a war of attrition that the Dwarves could not win. In this dire last hour for the Hold one of their brightest smiths in the form of Master Smith Burninate would construct tools of fighting called the Golums of whom were metalic fighting machines that used the souls of perished Dwarves to control themselves. In this way he used the ancient souls found throughout the hundreds of cemetaries in Karak Azul, and the multitude of dead from the recent fighting to power up his massive Golum forces. With the Golums on their side the forces of the Iron Dwarves would beat back the Goblins and Skaven and clear out much of the Hold outside of the deepest levels of the Hold itself."The Golum were not enought though.The Skaven had overwhelmed our lower mines, and the Thaigs had all fallen. We needed more power if we were going to reclaim what was ours, and once again the moral cost could not be taken into account"
-Magdus IrondawnThe Hold secure the majority of the Iron Dwarves went about rebuilding the Hold as it had been, but some Dwarves felt that the excistence of Skaven in the lower mines was an insult to everything they stood for and could not be allowed to continue. Led by Magdus Irondawn a faction of the Iron Dwarf Clan called the Doomforge Clan would form under his leadership and they would begin to practise the ancient art of Magi that was forbidden amongst the Dwarves. The Doomforge discovered quickly that the Dwarves were not naturally adapted to the use of Magi, and needed to gain an upper hand if they wanted to gain the power required. In order to do this they searched the ancient catacolmbs which were now completely barrren of the gaurds that usually protected them and in these they discovered the Elemental creature Ragnaros. They would travel to the Thaig Molten Core where they found both the massacred former Dwarven residents but also a giant cavern that had been blocked by the former Dwarves and left alone by the Skaven invaders. They would open the cavern and inside find the Elemental Ragnaros of whom they promised to worship if only Ragnaros would grant them Magi abilities. Ragnaros was stuck inside the Cavern no matter what so he needed a way to get out and decided that these Doomforge Clan Dwarves were his way out. Ragnaros would grant them some of his Magi abilities and in return he made them promise to set him free from his prison. Magdus would agree to this and the Doomforge would resetlle Molten Core, while they built up their strength. As the Doomforge Dwarves rebuilt their strength and Ragnaros empowered them Magdus would contact Pelver the Dark Keeper who would join the power of his Dark Iron Dwarves to the power of the Doomforge in order to defeat the Skaven deep in the tunnels.
- "We silently built our strength in the dark. In the dark we worked towards creating a future for our children that would not lead to them being forced to fight the Skaven in the dark for the rest of their lives. The future I saw was one that led to our homes being free of the infection that the rats, and goblins brought with the."
- -Magdus Irondawn
Years past as the Dark Iron Dwarves built up their strength and the Doomforge became more and more powerful until finally they had their powerbase and they moved in a massive force towards Karak Azul. Not wishing to fight their own the Iron Dwarves would allow them entry and the two forces would enter the deepest parts of the Hold and combining the power of the Golums, and the Magi of the Doomforge they would push the Skaven completely out of the Hold, and seal the tunnels behind them. After this dramatic move the power had shifted amongst the Clans of the Iron Dwarves as the Doomforge, and Dark Iron Dwarves had dramatically increased their power base. The Emperor would hand over Molten Core, and much of the western realm of Karak Azul to the Doomforge Dwarves to appease them, and the Dark Iron Dwarves were given much of the southern realm as their reward.
Points of Interest
The Lord of Karak Azul is the overall leader of the Hold of Karak Azul. This is especially true for Karak Azul, even more then most of the other holds of Karak Ankor.
Like most dwarves, Dark Iron dwarves follow a rigid and militarized organization. Every Dark Iron dwarf soldier is well trained and well armed, often with the finest equipment he can afford. However, the years under the dirt, as well as a diabolical outlook on life, change the Dark Irons’ tactics. Skullduggery and backstabbing are just as potent as a good line formation. Even better, in some cases.
Dark Iron dwarves are cunning, and quicker than other dwarves. Whereas a unit of Bronzebeard dwarves would march straight into enemy lines, Dark Iron dwarves prefer setting up ambushes, or sending lightningfast strikes. Dark Iron dwarves grew comfortable in the shadows over the many years of their exile and enslavement, and are not above petty tricks such as traps and assassination. Most Dark Iron dwarves form smaller units than their Bronzebeard cousins, to spread their numbers and allow for flanking and pincer maneuvers. Rogues and assassins mix evenly with warriors and marksmen.]
Dark Iron dwarves are also well versed in arcane magic, more so than any other dwarven race. Due to untold years of living next to molten lava and fire, the Dark Iron clan developed a strong link to flames and fire magic. Fire-aligned elementalists battle alongside elite marksmen and stealthy skulkers, raining death on Blackrock Depths’ enemies. Battles against Dark Iron dwarves are often hellish, taxing both sides as the Dark Iron elementalists grow overzealous.
Dark Iron dwarves are still dwarves, and bring heavy firepower to the field. However, as in all elements of Dark Iron warfare, the dwarves prize subterfuge and sneak attacks over direct confrontation. Dark Iron snipers lie in wait for incoming enemies, while dwarven bombardiers place bombs in strategic places. Great siege engines rumble softly, set to ambush tight passes or simply mow over enemies with great disregard. Occasionally Dark Iron tinkers unleash entire payloads of flame and brimstone on opposing forces.
Dark Iron dwarves have unconventional backup as well. Fire elementals, servants of Ragnaros, appear intermittently with dwarven forces. Unlike the dwarves, fire elementals have no care for the art of subtlety. Lava elementals and flamewakers roar through battle, burning anything that gets in their way.