Karaz-a-Karak is a playable faction of Dwarfs introduced in Total War: Warhammer. It is led by either Thorgrim Grudgebearer or Grombrindal - The White Dwarf and can be found in the eastern parts of The Old World, deep in the World's Edge Mountains.
Thorgrim Grudgebearer is the current High King of the Dwarfs. He is a throwback to the High Kings of old - eager for new conquests, mighty in battle, and a merciless enemy. Yet upon his worn brow, there also sits great wisdom, and he is able to uphold the ancient traditions as well to accept (if not embrace) needed changes, such as alliances and new technology. Thorgrim is forever brooding upon how to return his people to their former glory. As the ultimate ruler of the Dwarfs, the Great Book of Grudges is entrusted into his keeping. It is Thorgrim's avowed wish to avenge every single entry contained in that voluminous tome. Such is his resolve that he has already rejuvenated the Karaz Ankor. Tales of his deeds, and the long list of grudges already struck out, fill his grim warriors with the feeling that the Dwarfs have long done without: hope. A new age of retribution has begun.
For as long as there has been the Karaz Ankor, there has been the White Dwarf. Grombrindal is an enigmatic figure, recorded throughout the Dwarfs' history, appearing to give aid to his bearded kin whenever their situation becomes especially dire. However, what can one Dwarf do when a Karak is besieged by thousands of Greenskins, or a Dwarf throng surrounded and outnumbered by a warherd of braying, ravenous Beastmen? In Grombrindal's case, turns out he can do quite a lot; the White Dwarf is a mighty warrior, some say bettered only by Grimnir himself. Every slash of his legendary axe sees the heads of urks tumble from their dishonourable shoulders. Grombrindal has faced armies of thousands on his own and won, which is why many believe him to be a living Ancestor.
According to the bards he was - and maybe still is - the lover of the venerated hearth goddess Valaya. Grombrindal himself is never drawn on such a vulgar subject, even when the beers start to flow during the inevitable post-battle feasts. This matters little to most Dwarfs, who are just grateful to have fought beside such a legend and lived to tell of his deeds and achievements on the battlefield. Long before most other Dwarfs have sobered, the White Dwarf dons his hooded cloak and wanders away into the night - for there are always more Dawi to aid, more urks to slay!
- The Forge: Experts in binding the Winds of Magic to stone or metal, Dwarfs can forge magical items to improve their strength in battle.
- Grudges: Scores against the Dwarfs must be settled by any and all means necessary to keep order.
- The Underway: Dwarfs can use the underground tunnels to avoid impassable terrain and enemy forces.
- Roster of heavily-armoured units with strong leadership and a variety of deadly war machines.
Thorgrim Grudgebearer Introduction
It is a dark time in Thorgrim Grudgebearer's reign. Despite convincing his kin not to seal their Holds and diminish, their enemies are emboldened. Greenskins gathered in the shade of Everpeak. Thorgrim could not let that stand and so marched forth and slew them. But the remnants fled and now skulk in the sacred site of Grungni's Pillars. Another grudge recorded; another that needs to be settled if the Age of Reckoning is to continue!
Grombrindal - The White Dwarf Introduction
On a visit to Karaz-a-Karak, the White Dwarf witnessed Thorgrim vanquish the Greenskins that dared skulk in the shadow of Everpeak. The Orcs of the Bloody Spears were routed, with many sent scurrying into the Pillars of Grungni. Whilst witnessing the events, Grombrindal had remained incognito, but at this outrage he revealed himself to the High King, pledging to take a throng of willing Dawi and recapture the sacred site.
|The Silver Road||The Old World|
|Name||Faction Effects||Lord Effects||Starting Units|
|Age of Retribution
Thorgrim Grudgebearer is the current High King of the Dwarfs. He is a throwback to the High Kings of old - eager for new conquests, mighty in battle, and a merciless enemy.
"This is my edict as High King! Khazukan Kazakit-ha!"
Grombrindal, The White Dwarf, is a legendary figure - the mightiest living Dawi warrior.
"You and your followers will die - that is my oath as my kin, Grimnir, is witness!"
- Ensure that the total severity of grudges in the Great Book of Grudges is no greater than 9.
- Unite the following Dwarfholds either by direct ownership or through vassals and military allies:
|Karaz-a-Karak||Barak Varr||Varenka Hills||Dringorackaz||Kradtommen||Misty Mountain||Karak Azul||Spitepeak||Karak Hirn||Mighdal Vongalbarak|
|Karak Izor||Karak Kadrin||Karak Norn||Fester Spike||Karak Ziflin||Blackstone Post||Karag Dromar||Cragmere||Zhufbar|
- Control any 8 of the following settlements either by direct ownership or through vassals and military allies:
|Couronne||Altdorf||Castle Drakenhof||The Oak of Ages||Miragliano||Skavenblight||Kislev||Hell Pit||Karaz-a-Karak||Karak Eight Peaks||Black Crag|
|Lahmia||Khemri||Itza||Hexoatl||Naggarond||Lothern||Gaen Vale||The Awakening||The Galleon's Graveyard||Sartosa|
- Continue to expand your territory, ready for the arrival of Archaon the Everchosen.
- Ensure that Archaon the Everchosen is in a wounded state.
Same as the short campaign victory but with the following additions:
- Ensure that there are no active grudges in the Great Book of Grudges.
|Kraka Drak||Khazid Bordkarag||Sjoktraken|
- Reclaim the following fallen Dwarfholds either by direct ownership or through vassals and military allies:
|Red Eye Mountain||Mount Gunbad||Black Crag||Ekrund||Karak Eight Peaks||Karak Azgal||Galbaraz|
- Control 17 racial capitals (up from 8).
When controlled by the AI, Karaz-a-Karak will have the following diplomatic traits:
- Defensive - More concerned with maintaining borders than expanding them. Conquest is not their business.
- Reliable - What is agreed is set in stone. It is highly unlikely that this one will break a treaty or go back on an agreement.
- Holds Grudges - Dwarfs do not forget grudges, indeed they harbour them, recording the slights and wrongdoings in great volumes.
Karaz-a-Karak will start with the following treaties already in effect:
- Non-Aggression Pact:
- Military Access:
- Good for Beginners: Karaz-a-Karak has a fairly easy start in the campaign - a good economy, high public order (though they suffer low growth). Their units are powerful, reliable and easy to use.
- Where the Vampire Counts epitomize war of maneuver, the Dwarfs are all about attrition warfare. Emphasizing stable defensive lines, overwhelming firepower, and steady advances over brilliant maneuvers, Dwarfs require a patient hand and a defensive mind. A stable gunline defense, small mobile units to counter thrusts, and precise application of fire support are the name of the day - but require careful tactics, as they can easily be undone by flanking or baiting maneuvers. The biggest flaw is the lack of any cavalry units or chariots, making them tactically inflexible. Only the Gyros are fast and they don't make for good melee combatants... The upside is, Dwarfs can put out absolutely ludicrous amounts of dakka including machine guns, flamethrowers, and artillery support. Furthermore, the Dwarfs have no spellcasters, but all Dwarf units have magic resistance. Additionally, Dwarfs have Runesmiths and Runelords to help fill this role.
- The Dwarfs have a number of unique features in campaign gameplay. The foremost is the ability to use the Underway. The Underway provides a risky transportation route through impassable and inhospitable territories. When combating an army that has a significant amount of cavalry or units designed for flanking, Underway battles make it nearly impossible to be flanked and renders that segment of your enemy's army ineffective. Though they run the risk of being intercepted, which drops them down in the dungeon in a very bad position, the ability to flank the enemy cannot be overstated: Their tactical inflexibility is thus compensated for by their strategic range.
- The second element is the Book of Grudges, which, in a nutshell, is a list of insults/injuries suffered at the hands of other factions (assassinations, trespassing, conquest or razing, running afoul of a script trigger...). Settling them is mandatory if a Dwarf is to remain in control of his kingdom: As they accumulate, public order, leadership, and diplomatic relations with other Dwarf factions start dropping.
- Dwarfs benefit from having a very strong economic base, their unique advantage being Tier IV resource buildings providing even more resources and income. This is especially true for Karaz-a-Karak since they start with the Diamond resource in their capital. Dwarfs also enjoy a robust technology tree containing both military and civic branches (the downside is, it takes time to unlock its full potential), and plenty of trade options with their neighbors.
- In competitive play, Dwarfs are a problematic army. Their small, but powerful and expensive units are predominantly infantry, allowing enemies to easily shatter their battlelines with cavalry, monstrous infantry, or just bypass them with flying or fast units, exploiting the dwarfs' lack of maneuverability. Regiments of Renown, Rangers, and alternative artillery options help compensate for that, but dwarfs' low mass still allows enemy chariots and beasts to plow right through them.
- In the Potion of Speed Update for Total War: Warhammer II the faction received a name change. Previously, they had the generic name "Dwarfs", sharing the name of their race.