- "Walls? I see only piles of sand crafted by children. Bring my brothers close enough and we shall take pleasure in fulfilling our bargain and topple them for you!"
- —Drazhoath the Ashen, during the Fall of Pfeildorf.[1a]
Drazhoath, known as the Ashen is the Lord of the Black Fortress and commander of the fell Legion of Azgorh.
For more than a thousand years, the dark, burning spire of the Black Fortress has stood sentinel over the crossing place of the River Ruin at the southern edge of the Mountains of Mourn and guarded the border of the Chaos Dwarf empire of ash and suffering. It is a nightmarish place of soot, blackened iron and jagged rock, and burning magma runs through it like lifeblood. For centuries the master of this dark demesne and the warriors and slaves that inhabit it has been Drazhoath the Ashen, a twisted, power-hungry creature and potent sorcerer. Drazhoath was first sent to the Black Fortress in effective exile after losing favour in the brutal politics of Zharr-Naggrund as a minor hell smith but has since risen to become its lord through his innate cunning and bitter, ruthless ambition.[1b]
In battle Drazhoath is both a mighty sorcerer and an able warrior who leads his war hosts from the fore mounted upon the Great Taurus Cinderbreath, bringing fire and ruin down upon the enemy. Drazhoath's power has grown over the decades, and there are few sorcerers now in the service of Hashut who can match him in arcane might or knowledge in the creation of war machines and Daemon-binding. He also has undisputed mastery of the Legion of Azgorh - a potent army of Chaos Dwarfs and Hobgoblin slave-soldiers based at the Black Fortress whose duty it is to raid across the river and patrol the savage wastes of the southern Dark Lands to maintain the Chaos Dwarfs' tentative dominion over the deadly, monster-plagued expanse. But for all his power and the forces at his command, Drazhoath is all too keenly aware that he has reached an impasse and his black-hearted ambition can take him no further, for the Black Fortress is many leagues away from the centre of the Chaos Dwarf empire at Zharr-Naggrund and is ill-regarded.[1b]
The voice of this lord of exiles carries little weight with the great conclave of Hashut's priesthood, and in particular none with Astragoth Ironhand, the oldest and most powerful living Sorcerer of Zharr-Naggrund, and the master who sent Drazhoath into internal exile long ago. Astragoth is ancient beyond measure though, and at last his powers have begun to wane. He is kept mobile only by sorcerous mechanisms of his own dark design, and so Drazhoath's dreams of a triumphant return to Zharr-Naggrund are slowly kindled in his spiteful breast. Drazhoath needs above all a great victory to seal his prominence for when Astragoth finally falls, and a great flow of fresh captives and plunder into the coffers of the Chaos Dwarf empire would go far to expand his influence beyond his own blighted domain. This, however, is not proving to be such an easy ambition for Drazhoath to achieve, thanks to the enemies which continually beset the Black Fortress (which are after all its reason for existing) and he has been left wanting.[1b]
- Hellshard Amulet - The dark product of Drazhoath's own labours in diabolic craftsmanship, the icy hate of his malice is caught and amplified a thousandfold within its black crystal depths and unleashed on any who would dare spill his blood.[1b]
- Daemonspite Crucible - Forged from gromril and blighted gold, quenched in innocent blood and bound with layer upon layer of hell-bound souls, the Daemonspite Crucible is said to have been the handiwork of the ancient Chaos Dwarf sorcerer Azgorh himself.[1b]
- Graven Sceptre - A badge of rank carried by the lords of the Black Fortress, this iron staff-mace carries the runic names of the masters of the Black Fortress since its founding, bound up with the baleful prayers of Hashut.[1b]