From the soot-blackened depths of Brak Zhagoul, the Dross-forged have emerged to stake their claim for the Fated Blade. They are the lowly and the unclean, the dregs of the great unceasing forges of the dawi zharr, those cast off or cast away by the churning machine of industry. Duardin of neither rank or privilege, their backs bent by a lifetime of mean labour spent without artistry or recognition. Hobgrots pressed into dangerous and unforgiving service by cruel taskmasters. Slaves from dozens of mortal races, held in cruel bondage and now given a taste of freedom. They have emerged, risen from the depths of the furnace, and ready to burn the world before bending their backs once again.
The cities of the dawi zharr are built by cruelties piled atop cruelties. For the leaders of this fractious people, power can only be upheld through ever-greater heights of malice and unceasing depths of exploitation. The priesthood of Hashut looms over them all like a capricious vulture, stoking the fires of resentment and envy, and scraping up wealth and power in the name of the black-handed God of the Daemonforge. For the duardin people that live beneath these great lords and high priests, life in the city is brutish and unclean. Some find service in the armies of the lords or the temple guard, or apprenticeship under the smiths of the great forges, and live with the faint hope of advancement and comfort they can afford. For the rest, however, it is a lifetime of backbreaking labour in the soot-choked depths. These duardin without skill at arms or artifice are treated little better than the chattel slaves they work beside, sneered down at by their fellow dawi zharr all the more for what they are. In a society built upon the exploitation of others, there are none more bitter and resentful than the duardin that still find themselves at the bottom of the slag heap.
The Dross-forged were born of this bitter resentment, one of hundreds of tiny rebellions within the depths of the city. Most failed without notice by those above, yet whether by luck or by fate, this small group of duardin and hobgrots managed to seize a small forge and the arms and armour within. There, they freed the forge-slaves, and gave them a simple choice - join with us, for the chance to strike down those who enslaved you, or take your chances in the city alone. Bolstered by those who remained, and armed with their seized prizes, the Dross-forged struck out in the dead of night and slipped beyond the walls of Brak Zhagoul. Their flight was far from aimless, however. They would insist their success was not due to luck, but instead was the guidance of their divinely inspired leader, Uhred the Beardless.
Many long years working in the slag pits have left their marks on Uhred. His hands are grey and calloused, his back bent and his hairless face scarred by flame. Yet it is his eyes that most remember, large and black, fathomlessly deep and alive with energy. While countless like him toil in fruitless labour beneath the forges, Uhred's resentment was honed to a scalpel's edge when the dreams began. Each night he beheld the city on the edge of shadow, blackened by ice. Each night he saw the slumbering forge, and the blade that sat within. The blade, and the lost Master Rune of Grungi that lay upon it. He knew why the black-handed God had shown him these visions. Recovering a lost Master Rune for Hashut would give him everything he ever wanted - wealth, power, a high priesthood within the Temple, and the chance to pay back all those who had sneered down upon him with every cruelty imaginable. Hashut had chosen him to see this done for that reason, for his anger and hatred would drive him to achieve what those lords and high priests could not. And so Uhred dreamt by night, and planned by day. Now they march, for vengeance and greed and fervour. There could be no return to Brak Zhagoul now, not without the blade in hand and the blessing of Hashut on his brow. Then they would pay. All of them.
Character hooks for if your PC is a member of The Dross-forged
Character hooks for if your PC has joined the cause of The Dross-forged