- "We will remake the world into our domain, a land of cinder-ash and the blackened bones of our enemies, until only we remain and those broken bodies that cower at our feet."
- —Lord Asteroth[1b]
Dreadquake Mortars are amongst the largest and most effective of all the mighty siege weapons deployed by the Chaos Dwarfs. They rank alongside other such mighty bombards and cannon able to rend the earth and smash through layered stone fortifications as if they were kindling. The Dreadquake's deadly projectiles are fired by steam pressure that is generated by a boiler and contained within a pressure vessel - conventional gunpowder being far too dangerous given the volatility of the Dreadquake's unique and powerful shells.[1a]
As a consequence it takes quite a while for the machine to generate enough steam to fire a single shot - limiting its potential in battle. But even on the open field it is a supremely dangerous weapon against large and static targets and if succesfully fired against enemy infantry, it can wreak carnage, as more than one Orc tribe of the Worlds Edge Mountains has found to their cost.[1a]
The Dreadquake's shells are of a secret construction whose arcana is the sole preserve of the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerers and prophets of Hashut. When fired from the Dreadquake they burst into a roaring, blood-red light, and when they strike they explode, shattering buildings apart and smashing into the ground like a hammer-blow from the gods, bleeding crimson energy from the wounded earth. These shells take the form of metal spheres and are so heavy and unwieldy that an Ogre commonly forms part of the machine's crew in order to speed up the loading.[1a]