Hive World Terra


Warning: This definition may contain spoilers from any number of Games Workshop novels or source books.

Zhufbar: Twin hold to Karak-Varn, Zhufbar (Kh. "Torrent-gate") was a the hold where the metals, Gromril in particular, mined out from beneath Karak-Varn were smelted and forged into the weapons and armour which made the Dwarfs famous. Zhufbar stands in a deep crevasse down the mountainside from Black Water lake, where a great waterfall tumbles from the lake down the rockface, forming a foaming, swift-running torrent which runs the length of the canyon. Here the Dwarfs built many vast water-wheels to harness the power of the flow for ore grinders, drop hammers and pans for cleaning and cooling metals. The canyon is filled with the sounds of creaking wheels, clanking machinery, hissing steam as the Dwarf Engineers Guild works metal, forges armour and crafts intricate machinery whose secrets are known only to them.

Of course, such a hold was a great prize, and the Orc and Chaos warlords of the World’s Edge Mountains regarded Zhufbar with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against it…

In the same year that volcanic eruptions drained the lake and ruined Karak-Varn, Zhufbar was rendered vulnerable for the first time. Orcs and goblins surrounded it great gates, smashed the silent water-wheels and slaughtered the surprised defenders as the waterfall slowed to a trickle and the forges and hammers fell silent. The fighting ran the length of the canyon, and was bitter in the extreme, but with only one outcome: defeat. The surviving Dwarfs scattered into the crags and hills to regroup and plan revenge. Several were sent forth to find and bring aid. Only one managed to do so. Alaric the Mad, renowned weapon-smith, headed west to the Empire, following rumours of a mighty ruler against whom no evil could stand. There he found the man-god Sigmar, whose aid he entreated for Zhufbar with the promises of 12 mighty Runefangs. Sigmar broke the back of the Goblinoid army at Zhufbar and drove them from the area, liberating the hold for the Dwarf smiths to return. Alaric, true to his word, forged his finest works in payment. However, this task to him such a length of time that Sigmar had passed from the world by the time Alaric’s swords were complete.

Nonetheless, the Dwarf smith completed his side of the bargain and handed his Runefangs over to the heirs to Sigmar’s Empire. Alaric’s swords are now held by the 12 Elector Counts of the Empire, and passed down from Elector to Elector as the generations have passed. The only exception to this is the lost Sword of Solland, which was claimed by Orcs during the terror of Waaagh Gorbad, when Count Eldred of Solland fell in battle with Gorbad Ironclaw in 1707 IC during the Battle of Solland’s Crown.

Following its reclamation by the Dwarfs, Zhufbar returned to relative normality; the Black Lake refilled over the centuries and the forges again rang with hammer-blows. Zhufbar remains an important centre of both metal-working and mining, and is one of the key cities where the Empire and the Dwarf Nation meet and co-exist. By the latter years of the Empire, Zhufbar had developed a human town around the lake-shore which traded with the Dwarf hold in the mountain.

In 2478 the town was governed by Wladislaw Blasko, an ambitious and unscrupulous man, who had been subverted by the Tzeentchian priests Yevgeny Yefimovich and Dien Ch’ing. In the same year, Genevieve Dieudonne and the mercenary Vukotich found themselves in Zhufbar and in the wrong place at the wrong time. The former was working for the Wulfric of the Cult of Ulric as a spy, whilst the latter was simply looking for a good time. Both found themselves captives of The Moral Crusade, a human cult of fanatical purity, and through their escape from this, uncovered the alliance between Blasko and Yefimovich and their plans for the Moral Crusade.

Source: Silver Nails: Red Thirst by Jack Yeovil, Red Thirst: Red Thirst by Jack Yeovil, White Dwarf: Issue 152 by various, Warhammer Armies: The Empire, 4th Edition by various, Warhammer Armies: Orcs and Goblins, 4th Edition by various

Submitter: Simguinus