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Tordrek Hackhart, captain of the Black Kraken

Before his descent into bitterness and jealousy, Tordrek Hackhart was once one of the most gifted Dwarf Engineers in Barak Varr and the undisputed master of building submersible ironcraft. Ultimately, his intense rivalry with Red Brokk Gunnarsson was to be his downfall, and he was banished in ignominy for his failed attempt on Gunnarsson's life. Hackhart managed to escape in his latest creation, a strange tentacled warship, the Black Kraken, that he had built after a series of troubled fever-dreams.[1a]

The once-proud Dwarf is no longer mortal, for the dark powers took him many moons ago.[2a] The most recent myths to surround the Kraken-ship speak of its allegiance to the Dreadfleet, though what unholy bargain was struck remains unknown.[1a]

History

If the elder races of the world have one flaw in common, it is pride. It was pride that drove Tordrek Hackhart away from his brethren in the Guild of Master Engineers. It was pride that sent the rogue engineer into the sulphur-choked wastelands of the Dark Lands in search of forbidden knowledge and, ultimately, pride that sent Hackhart into the thrall of evil deities, trapping him in the inky depths of the ocean for all eternity.[2a]

Tordrek Hackhart was once a gifted Master Engineer who worked alongside Brokk Gunnarsson during the Great Conquest. Intensely competitive, Hackhart wanted nothing less than to be recognized as the greatest living Dwarf Engineer - an accolade that had been instead gifted to his guild-brother; Red Brokk Gunnarsson. Though Hackhart was reckoned the undisputed master of submersible ironcraft by one and all, when it came down to it he simply could not match the ingenuity and raw skill of Red Brokk.[2a]

Though it began as ambition mingled with simple frustration, the wound dealt to Tordrek Hackhart's ego festered for decades. One dark day, the rot took over altogether. In the boiling heat of the shipyard forges, Hackhart "accidentally" shot Gunnarsson a dozen times with a steam-powered rivet claw.[2a]

Through sheer fortitude and bloody-minded stubbornness, Gunnarsson survived his wounds - Red Brokk was back at the anvil within a month, though industrial-sized rivets still stud his head and chest to this day. Hackhart, however; had a far greater wound to contend with. After much deliberation, the Kings of Barak Varr banished him from the Guild forever.[2a]

Hackhart did not take the news well. Fighting his way through the sea-marshals sent to ensure he left the Hold in disgrace, the rogue Dwarf Engineer boarded the largest and most advanced submersible in Barak Varr's fleet; a strange tentacled warship that he had built after a series of troubling fever-dreams. Flooding his prized craft's floatation chambers, Hackhart quickly sank without trace.[2a]

The freezing depths of the deep ocean did nothing to cool the coals of resentment that burnt in Hackhart's chest. Exiled from his seahold and, by association, all other Dwarf strongholds, Hackhart had been cast out into the cold. He drove his famous submersible ever further northwards, battling his way past the merwyrms of mist-wreathed Albion and venturing into the dreaded Sea of Chaos.[2a]

Hackhart was forced to use every trick and weapon at his disposal in order to fight his way through the things that haunted those wretched waters. His tentacled submersible throttled corpse-skinned Behemoths and slew Triton Lords with volleys of corkscrew torpedoes. Eventually, though, Hackhart's warship surfaced at that most hellish of all docks - Zhugulzar, the Black Port of the Chaos Dwarfs.[2a]

Though Captain Hackhart's has since been entered into the Book of Grudges, and though his legacy to the Engineer's Guild has become little more than a cautionary lesson, the renegade Dwarf is still very much at large. There are whispers amongst the seafaring fraternity that a grotesquely modified submersible warship slides through the inky depths of the northern seas, rising through the turmoil to throttle its unwary prey with tentacles of barbed gromril.[2a]

And the tale becomes stranger still. The lost brethren known as the Chaos Dwarfs are experts in the art of binding Daemons into their engines of war, and there are those who say the Black Kraken is possessed by a Daemon of the deep. Rumour has it that its captain, heavily modified by his own prodigious skills in the arts of engineering, died many years ago - but that the unholy pacts he made in the name of vengeance were so potent that somehow he is kept alive beyond the grave.[2a]

The most recent myths that surround the mysterious Kraken-ship speak of its allegiance to the Dreadfleet, and a bargain made between Chaos Dwarf and Vampire Count - the tattered remnants of Captain Hackhart's soul exchanged for a last chance to destroy his nemesis, Red Brokk, and to prove his supremacy as the true master of the seas.[2a]

Sources

  • 1: White Dwarf Issue 382
    • 1a: pg. 25
  • 2: Dreadfleet Rulebook
    • 2a: pg. 66-67
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