- "I came here hoping to take it all back. I came hoping to look upon the far deeps, on the ancestor statues of the Abyss of Iron’s Dream. I dreamed of opening up the Ungdrin again, so that armies might freely march between my, Kazador’s and Thorgrim’s realms. I dreamed of reopening the mines, of filling the coffers of our clan with gold and jewels."
- —Belegar Ironhammer, King of Karak Eight Peaks.[7a]
Belegar Ironhammer, born as Belegar Angrund and known by his followers as the True King of Karak Eight Peaks, is the current leader of the Angrund clan and the direct descendant of King Lunn, the last Dwarf to rule Karak Eight Peaks before its fall. Since that time, Belegar has dedicated his life to reclaiming Karak Eight Peaks. He proclaimed himself King and fortified his position, encamping his forces into the wreckage of the once mighty surface structures of Karak Eight Peaks. There he remains, defiant and in a constant state of siege. From out of this slender foothold, the Dwarfs launch forays into the depths, bloody offensives intent on breaking their opponents' seemingly limitless armies, recapturing lower halls or seeking out lost treasures.[1b]
At Karak Eight Peaks, the Dwarfs are forced to contend with their arch-enemies, the Orcs and Goblins and the Skaven. These long-standing foes are led by the most devious of their kind, for the chieftain of the Night Goblins is none other than Skarsnik, self-proclaimed Warlord of the Eight Peaks, while the Skaven are led by the infamous Warlord Queek Headtaker. Belegar alone has been able to match wits with their adversaries, thwarting their every plot and defying every malevolent scheme.[1b]
While the grand mansion of their people - a hold second only to Karaz-a-Karak in terms of wealth and prestige - was being despoiled, the scions of the former king laboured elsewhere, shorn of home and honour. Many of the ruling heirs of Angrund have attempted to reclaim their former glory, to avenge the grudges bequeathed to them. Despite the weight of years and the hopelessness of the cause, when Belegar came of age, he made bold oaths and set out to recover his full inheritance.[1b]
The Reconquest of Karak Eight Peaks ( 2420 IC to 2498)
Thorgrim’s rule took up where Alriksson’s had left off — reminding his race (and their enemies) that although the Dwarfs no longer had the power they once did, they were still a force in the world. One by one, ruined strongholds were reconquered. Progress was slow, as the Dwarfs fought grimly to establish footholds amid the ruins of their ancestors’ splendour. Thorgrim’s most ambitious plan was his attempt to rally the clans to aid Belegar, son of the recently deceased Buregar, in the task of re-taking Karak Eight Peaks. Since its fall, more expeditions had tried to resettle Karak Eight Peaks than any other hold, but all had ended in failure.[1a]
Great effort went into ensuring King Belegar’s forces could break into their fortress of old, as even in its ruined state, Karak Eight Peaks presented a formidable series of natural defences and deadly chokepoints. Dwarfs attempting re-entry in the past had been ambushed, poisoned and picked apart before they could penetrate the hold’s depths. To equip Belegar’s army, Thorek Ironbrow, Master Runesmith of Karak Azul, had forged new rune-covered axes and hammers, while Thorgrim gifted ancient weapons from his hoard to Belegar’s warriors. It was an army like the elder days, when entire battalions went to war wielding runic weapons and protected by rune-struck armour.[1a]
Aided by a throng from Karak Azul led by Thorek Ironbrow, the Dwarfs broke through the outer defences and fought their way into Karak Eight Peaks. From there, they took a portion of the upper city and fortified it against counterattack. They did so just in time: soon after, Night Goblins assailed them in an overwhelming tide, outnumbering the Dwarfs many thousands to one. The Dwarfs held, with war engines and crackling lightning from Thorek’s anvil reaping a terrible toll. Those greenskins that pushed onwards were met by a wall of steel that no foe could pass. In the ruined mansions of their forefathers, the Dwarfs held strong and the steep-shadowed vale of the eight peaks echoed once more to the sounds of slaughter and war chants.[1a]
Skarsnik, the leader of the Night Goblins and self-styled ‘Warlord of the Eight Peaks’, called off the ineffective attacks after a few days. Greenskin losses were in the tens of thousands, but Skarsnik knew he could afford to take such casualties daily if need be. That assault was merely a probe, and he now guessed what the Dwarfs were up to, so the shrewd Night Goblin leader began to plot a more devious attack. Nearby in the shadows, red-eyed Skaven spies saw everything, reporting news back to Queek Headtaker, the most infamous of Clan Mors’ Warlords. After many battles, Queek dominated the majority of the lower deeps of Karak Eight Peaks. There, in the underbelly of the stronghold, the Skaven had gnawed out their own massive warren. At Queek’s command, the Stormvermin shock troops massed — a thousand claws of troops awaiting the order to spearhead the attack. Soon, they would sweep the Night Goblins and the hated beard-things away in a single surge.[1a]
And so it has gone at Karak Eight Peaks for decades; Belegar and his Dwarfs withstanding plots, alliances, ambushes, super-weapons, and untold deathtraps. Three times they have been rescued by relief forces that broke through the cordon of foes to bring much-needed reinforcements, the last army led by Thorgrim himself. Belegar has sworn a mighty oath to retake Karak Eight Peaks and, inch by bloody inch, the Dwarfs have expanded their foothold. With each small gain, the engineers refortify before the inevitable counter-attack arrives. So the battle grinds on in a permanent state of siege.[1a]
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- "Pathetic. Flea-ridden vermin, swift and twitchy. There's not a Dwarf alive who isn't worth twenty of you."
"Queek has killed many hundred beard-things. Queek will kill one more very soon."
"Probably. I am tired, and I am beaten, and the memory of our last encounter festers still in my flesh. But even as you hack the head from my neck, Queek, you will know that you could never best me in more honourable circumstances."
- —Belegar Ironhammer faces Queek Headtaker.
Alas, Belegar met his doom during the End Times. Within the innermost region of Karaz Ankor, he and his men were surrounded by the Skaven of Clan Mors. Long had the Iron Brotherhood been a ratbane, but they were greatly outnumbered and had become fatigued. Eventually, a flood of crimson-armoured Stormvermin came streaming towards their ranks. This was the infamous Red Guard, led by Queek Headtaker himself. They hacked down the remaining Dwarfs, although the folk of the mountain gave good account of themselves. Soon, only a defiant Belegar remained. Blood poured from an old wound to his side, a reminder of his victory against the Headtaker, who had fled after their dual.
The Dwarf King roared his defiance, brandishing his hammer and sweeping it around him, but the Red Guard withdrew to a safe distance, imprisoning him in a circle of spear-points. Belegar wept freely, tears of sorrow mingled with tears of anger at the loss of his kin. The ring opened, and in stepped Queek. The duel began...
The Headtaker was the first to strike, his sword and the infamous Dwarf Gouger whirling with deadly speed. Belegar parried them with stolid economy. Queek curled over a hammer strike that would have flattened a Troll and landed behind the king. Belegar faced him. All emotion save hatred and defiance had bled from his face. He stood on legs weakened by his wound and battle fatigue, but he stood nonetheless.
Queek punched forwards with the head of Dwarf Gouger, intending to make Belegar sidestep into the point of his sword. But Belegar moved aside a fraction of an inch, evading the maul. he stamped down on Queek's sword, though it moved almost too quickly to be seen, wrenching it from Queek's grasp. A hammerblow of his own caught Queek by surprise. The Skaven Warlord moved aside awkwardly, holding only Dwarf Gouger. the hammer grazed him nonetheless, bruising his sword arm and driving his own armour into his flesh.
Queek jumped back, swordless, blood matting his fur. It was then that Belegar spat a final insult, that Queek could never hope to beat him uninjured and unfatigued, that he was the lesser warrior. Few Skaven gave a dropping for honour, but Queek was one of an unusual breed. His honour was not as a Dwarf would see it, but it was there, built of arrogance though it was. Queek became enraged at Belegar's slur upon it.
The dual that followed was swift, its outcome inevitable, but Belegar was not done yet. Queek spun and ducked, casting a deadly net of steel about the Dwarf with his terrible maul. Belegar smashed it aside several times with his shield, but with each swipe he became weaker. Queek hooked the king's shield with the spike of his weapon, yanking it free from Belegar's arm with a squeak of triumph. A following blow smashed into Belegar's side, causing the king to cry out as his wound burst wider, but Queek overreached himself and the Dwarf's hammer hit his left side, rending apart his warpstone armour and cracking his ribs. Agonised, Queek staggered, only at last turning his stumble into a spin that had him facing the Dwarf again.
Belegar and Queek panted hard. The Dwarf bled freely from the wound Queek had given him in their last encounter. Blood pooled about his feet. He had other wounds, some small, others graver. He could not see it himself, but his face was ghostly white. Queek smiled in spite of his own pain. The end approached. Again Queek charged, putting all his cunning into a complicated swipe reversed at the last moment to send Belegar's hammer spinning away from him. Another blow took the Dwarf King in the knee, shattering it, and sending the Dwarf down. But to queek's amazement, the king arrested his fall. Holding himself in a kneel, his weight on his undamaged leg, he glared at the Skaven, his eyes poison.
Queek swung Dwarf Gouger a final time. The spike connected with the side of the king's helmet, punching through the gromril. Queek squealed at his victory, but his cries turned to pain. He looked down. The Dwarf had somehow got Queek's own sword up, and it had pierced him at the weak shoulder joint of his armour. He stepped back, and Belegar fell over with a crash, his eyes never leaving Queek's face. Queek screamed as he pulled the sword from his armpit, the weapon's square teeth dragging lumps of his own flesh with it. on shaking legs, the Skaven walked over to the Dwarf King and with a yell, he swung the sword over his head, severing Belegar's head with one blow...
Belegar was married to Vala Kemma, a renowned Dwarfen beauty. The Queen of Karak Eight Peaks had borne him a son, Thorgrim, who was hailed as Bryndalmoraz Karakal - "The Bright Hope of the Mountains."
Belegar has established himself as a master of subterranean warfare. On his orders are enemy probes smashed, ambushes overcome and infiltration paths blockaded. Yet Belegar is not content to sit behind his fortifications, and many times he has led assaults into the underhalls of his forefathers. There, from the shattered remains of his ancestors’ tombs, Belegar claimed the rune-struck chunk of rock that now serves as his Oath Stone. It is said amongst Dwarfs that his warrior skills are second only to those of the Slayer King, and that at need, Belegar can summon the vengeful powers of his ancestors, yet for all his victories, Belegar remains embittered, vowing to one day reclaim all of Karak Eight Peaks for his own.[1b]
- Hammer of Angrund - Also known as the Ironhammer, this hammer has been carried by the ruler of Karak Eight Peaks since the Angrund Clan first claimed kingship.[1b]
- Shield of Defiance - The runes of protection struck upon the Shield of Defiance have saved Belegar's life many times. The shield can turn Giant’s blows, Troll vomit, and even allowed him to twice escape from inside the maw of Skarsnik’s enormous pet Cave Squig, Gobbla.[1b]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Dwarf (8th Edition)
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Dwarf (6th Edition revised)
- 2a: pg. 18
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Dwarf (4th Edition)
- 3a: pg. 11
- 4: Warhammer Expansion: Grudgelore
- 4a: pgs. 78- 80
- 5: Warhammer RPG 1st edition: Dwarfs - Stone & Steel
- 5a: pgs. 30 - 31
- 6: White Dwarf Weekly #1 (February 2014)
- 6a: pgs. 6 - 7
- 7: Rise of the Horned Rat (Novel) by Guy Haley
- 7a: Chapter: "Karak Eight Peaks"
- 8: The End Times IV - Thanquol
- 9: Gotrek & Felix - Trollslayer
- 9a: Chapter Three (The Dark Beneath the World)
- 10: Warhammer: The End Times Collection