Beyond the Worlds Edge Mountains lies a dread land, stretching as far as the Mountains of Mourn to the east and the Sea of Despair in the south. Few have travelled through this barren, inhospitable region, known simply as The Dark Lands. It is a wild land inhabited by brutal tribes of Orcs, fierce nomadic tribesmen and the Chaos Dwarf legions.[1a]

Aided by the cruel war machines of the Chaos Dwarfs, the Orcs and Goblins continually assault the few passes that cut through the Worlds Edge Mountains, and are held at bay only by the remaining Dwarfs who resolutely bar their way. But the Dwarfs are dwindling in number, and every year it becomes harder to prevent the marauding warbands from breaking through and ravaging the rich lands of the Old World.[1a]

The mighty River Ruin, which comes rushing down from the Mountains of Mourn, cuts across The Dark Lands like an immense scar. By the time it reaches the broad, desolate lower plains, the Ruin is many miles wide, a meandering, sluggish river flowing reluctantly between towering craggy banks before finally disgorging itself into the Sea of Despair. The river runs deathly cold, chilled by its long passage through the Mountains of Mourn, and it is said that to set foot in the waters of the Ruin is to freeze to death in a moment. Its waters are black as ice, and run deep between its mountainous banks.[1a]

At the northern-most tip of the Dark Lands, where the World's Edge Mountains meet the Mountains of Mourn and the River Ruin first reaches the plains, there stands a great ziggurat, rearing high above the plain and dominating the grey landscape for miles. It straddles the river, which vanishes into its walls through heavy iron-caged sluices. The walls of this towering edifice are made of obsidian, an it is many miles around at its base; it would take hours to trek around it on foot, even if the unwary traveller could somehow cross the River Ruin running through its middle. When the river emerges from the ziggurat's southern wall, its waters are stained red and yellow by the outpourings of the infernal machines that thump and grind deep within the monolith's unseen depths.[1a][1b]

Sometimes the massive iron sluices of the ziggurat, known as Mingol Zharr-Naggrund, open and the warfleets of the Chaos Dwarfs emerge, ready to make the long journey to the open sea. Their ships are immense floating engines of war, capable of devastating destruction, which carry massive rocket launchers, mortars and battering rams with which they destroy their enemies. The warships of the Chaos Dwarfs are impressive vessels to behold as they churn their way through the freezing waters of the River Ruin.[1b]

After leaving Mingol Zharr-Naggrund, the warfleets either travel north, through the Seas of Chaos or south to the Sea of Despair. The journey north is by far the shorter and more arduous, as it entails traveling upriver against the flow of the River Ruin, into the Mountains of Mourn. Having braved this hazardous passage the Chaos Dwarf warfleets must navigate the warping, ice-ridden Chaos Waters that lead into the Sea of Claws.[1b]

The other route, following the River Ruin south, is a longer but slightly less perilous route that leads straight into the Sea of Despair. From here the Chaos Dwarfs roam as far east as Cathay and as far south as the very tip of the Southlands, enaslaving or destroying whoever and whatever they meet.[1b]

The influence of the Chaos Dwarf Warfleets is wide reaching, and throughout the known world towering piles of rubble are evidence of their passing. For whatever reason, there are times when supplies of slaves in the Dark Lands become scarce, and the Chaos Dwarfs must roam further afield, scouring far away lands for vulnerable communities to enslave.[1b]

The only thing that prevents the Chaos Dwarfs from venturing further than the tip of the Southlands is an High Elven city-fortress, the Fortress of Dawn, that overlooks the Cape of Absolution. From here mighty Dragonships, Eagleships and Hawkships crush any fleet impetuous enough to attempt passage around the headland. The Elves maintain this blockade at great cost in bloody sea battles against any who try to pass. The Chaos Dwarf warfleets have laid siege to this great city-fortress many times, but to no avail: the Elf city is too distant from their own lands to sustain an attack. It is certain that if the Elves were ever beaten, or were to give up their centuries-long vigil at the Cape of Absolution, then the malevolent forces let loose in the Old World would be terrible indeed.[1b]

Chaos Dwarf ships are huge, black monstrosities, gilt in gold runes and sigils of their gods. They are constructed deep within the caverns of Zharr-Naggrund from mysterious ores that are smelted and beaten into huge plates of black, gold, red and bronze metal.[1c]

Chaos Dwarf vessels are powered by an infernal combustion engine of the Chaos Dwarfs' own devising. While the actual movement rate of a Chaos Dwarf ship may vary, depending on its type, it turns as a Dwarf steamship.[1d]


Chaos Dwarfs and Magic

Unlike the Dwarf race, Chaos Dwarfs are not resistant to spells and do not get the Dwarf ability to dispel enemy magic. On the plus side, a Chaos Dwarf fleet sometimes has a Chaos Sorcerer and therefore, unlike Dwarfs, may cast spells in battle.[1d]


Although Chaos Dwarfs have engineers aboard their ships, just as Dwarf fleets do, they have no effect on battle. This is because they are far too busy striving to keep the fleet's immensely powerful and complicated weapons under control. Chaos Dwarf engineers are usually in far too wild a battle frenzy to do anything other than keep the guns firing, and they certainly have no time to patch up engines.[1e]

Chaos Dwarf Weapons

The Chaos Dwarfs are masters of ingenious destructive engines of war. The sea is an excellent cushion against the recoil of vast cannons, and gives the Chaos Dwarfs the opportunity to build gargantuan ship-based engines of mass destruction. Such weapons are usually based on the well-established principles of their battlefield cousins, only bigger – much bigger.[1e]

The Chaos Dwarf engineers have total, if misplaced, confidence in their inventions. When all goes according to plan the machines are capable of awesome devastation, but when things don't work out exactly as they should, which is sometimes the case, the results can be catastrophic.[1e]


  • 1: Man O' War - Warhammer - Plague Fleet Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 40
    • 1b: pg. 41
    • 1c: pg. 42
    • 1d: pg. 44
    • 1e: pg. 45

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.