Fyreslayers

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Fyreslayers
Fyreslayers vs Daemons of Tzeentch 01.jpg
Fyreslayers fighting Daemons of Tzeentch
Grand alliance Order
Main grouping Lodge
Major characters Bael-Grimnir
Allies Cities of Sigmar
Dispossessed
Kharadron Overlords
Ironweld Arsenal
Stormcast Eternal
Core resources Ur-Gold
Races Duardin
Mounts Magmadroth
Prayers Zharrgrim Blessings
Invocations Molten Infernoth
Runic Fyrewall
Zharrgron Flame-spitter
Archetypes Auric Runesmiter
Battlesmith
Doomseeker
Warbands Chosen Axes

The Fyreslayers are Duardin mercenaries with a fearsome reputation across the realms. They are scions of the fallen duardin god Grimnir and they honour him with oaths kept and enemies slain. They style themselves in his image, going to battle wearing almost nothing, their hair waxed and dyed into elaborate crests and wielding magma-forged blades. Through their mercenary ways, they have gathered huge quantities of gold but these riches are of little value to them, for what they truly seek is the Ur-Gold hidden amongst it.[1][4]

History

Age of Myth

First of the Fyreslayers

In the early days of the Age of Myth many of the first Duardin - those who would become the Khazalid Empires - chose to follow Grungni as their patron, the forebears of the Fyreslayers however chose to instead follow Grimnir. This has set them apart from their fellows, for unlike the Duardin of old, who were craftsmen primarily, and warriors out of necessity, the Fyreslayers are warriors above all. This is befitting for Grimnir is the Duardin god of battle and of the Realm of Aqshy, where the Fyreslayers first appeared. This time of their history is mostly unknown, but there are many tales of how they were first created and how Grimnir became their patron. Some stories claim these first Fyreslayers were the children of Grimnir - and the Fyreslayers do refer to themselves as such - whilst others tell how they were made by the god from his incandescent rage. Yet however they were created and however they chose Grimnir, they were and always have been devoted wholly to him.[17e][17f]

The Death of Grimnir

It would not last however. In an event known as the Thagduegi, meaning Great Betrayal, the brothers Grimnir and Grungni were chained atop the Iron Mountains in Chamon until Sigmar found and freed them. What actually happened in the Thagduegi is unclear as neither god would speak of the event. Grimnir swore a warriors oath in thanks and - not wanting to offend Grimnir's pride - Sigmar sent him after Vulcatrix the Mother of Salamanders, the Godbeast he thought would be the most difficult to slay. It is said he first chose the site of the Vosforge - magmahold of the Vostarg - then set out to fight the Godbeast. The Battlesmiths tell how Grimnir defeated his foe but was slain by her death throes, and the poison and fire that erupted from her dying form.[17a]

Seven times the axes of Grimnir carved the molten scales of Vulcatrix, and was savaged by the Ur-Salamander in return. When Grimnir stood at last bestride the ruin of his foe the mountains of Aqshy had become plains, its oceans transformed into gorges. But Vulcatrix would suffer no god's victory, the Ur-Salamander turned her fire upon herself destroying Grimnir alongside her.

~Broddur to the Fyreslayers of the Unbak Lodge.[21a]


Now godless the Fyreslayers were undermined, a society dominated by religion and worship, they were now directionless without their god, until they soon found not all was lost. Their forges had been built by Grungni's design, but as Grimnir died, something new was awoken in them, a connection to Grimnir. This was the Zharrkhul, or First-Fire, a divine spark of Grimnir, a sacred flame which burns in the forges of the lodges. Those forge-priests who first tended this fire became known as the Zharrgrim and would go on to become the religious cast of the Fyreslayers.[17e][17f]

Around this time, they discovered the magical substance Ur-Gold and realised it was connected to their god. At first, they forged this metal into weapons and armour, but they did not grant much strenth only a small portion of their power. Then the first Runemasters forged runes to wear into battle. As they fought these tokens burned into their flesh and blessed them with the fury and strength of Grimnir.[17a][17f]

Age of Chaos

The Age of Chaos was a time of great growth and prosperity for the Fyreslayers, Lodges appeared across the Realms and their influence and wealth continued to grow as they found their services much in demand to protect civilisations and societies against mounting attacks by the forces of Chaos.[17b]

The Gates Are Shut

While at first theFyreslayers stood strong, repelling many attacks it was soon shown that they were not as immune to the designs of Chaos as they thought, and Chaotic agents soon found less obvious ways to break into the holds. Disguised as refugees followers of Chaos were able to bypass the magmaholds defences and a new pox was concocted by Nurgle which clung to gold and drove mortals to distraction and obsession. To survive, the gates of the magmaholds were shut, sealing out the armies of Chaos, but also the refugees fleeing them, including the Duardin of the dispossessed clans. This was seen as arbitrary and cruel by the survivors of many fallen kingdoms. The followers of Tzeentch took advantage of this and whispered dissent among them, turning them against the fyreslayers, convincing them that they were greedy and unfair. These more subtle attempts proved more successful and at last some magmaholds began to fall.[17b]

Though the gates remained sealed, the fyrds still marched to war through hidden exits, lava flows could move aside at the command of the Runesmiters opening tunnels for armies to march out. These fyrds were the lifelines of the Fyreslayers at this time. Their campaigns brought in huge sums of gold and coins as kingdoms and empires desperate and on the brink of collapse paid extortionate amounts for the protection the Fyreslayers could offer.[17b]

The forebears of the Kharadron Overlords were amongst the refugees who the Fyreslayers refused to take in. They were once closely related but the Fyreslayer chose to follow Grimnir, while the Kharadron took to Grungni. When the Karaks fell, and the Fyreslayers refused to take them in, the Kharadron took to the skies. Though they survived, this tainted their relationship with the Fyreslayers and they no longer look upon one another as kin.[17b]

Fall of the First-Forged

Throughout the Ages of Myth and Chaos, strife, war and various catastrophes claimed the First-Forged Lodges. The greatest among them, the Vostarg, survived longest into the Age of Chaos, but they too fell to a Chaos siege when Thorgar-Grimnir died without an appointed heir. The legacy of these lodges would be carried on by their descendants, but only the Vostarg would carry on their name.[17c]

The Time of Flames

Centuries into the Age of Chaos, the Time of Flames saw a surge of violent volcanic activity erupting across Aqshy. At first, it brought tragedy as several magmaholds were buried in the eruptions and lavaflows. Yet the Fyreslayers soon begin to see it as a blessing, a sign that Grimnir's shattered spirit is finally stirring. In the aftermath, huge quantities of Ur-Gold were found, carried to the surface by the violent magma flows, and many new lodges are born as a frantic gold harvest follows.[17d]

The Magmahold Wars

As more and more civilisations fell to Chaos the eyes of the Dark Gods turned back to the Fyreslayers, and a new era of war was declared against them. Soon countless magmaholds were under siege, huge armies arrayed before their gates. Skaven sappers managed to claw into some holds from below and demonic siege engines were used to break down the gates. For over a century this continued, yet still the Fyreslayers endured and despite the intensity of the wars, only a few holds would be breached.[17d]

The Pyre War

During the fierce sieges of the Magmahold Wars, the Skaven proved to be a great threat the Fyreslayers' magmaholds. Though they had weathered much of the other forces of chaos, the ratmen, were more difficult, sappers tunnelled deep into holds, bypassing the gates and magmic defences to destroy them from within. This sparked the Pyre War, though the Magmahold Wars were over and the Fyreslayers had weathered the attacks by the forces of Chaos, a new season of war had begun.

Several magmaholds fell to the Skaven hordes and in the fighting, they discovered something of the power of Ur-Gold. Although they did not truly understand it, they quickly took to devouring corpses after a battle to consume the Ur-Gold. The desecration of the dead is anathema to the Fyreslayers as funerary rites are of utmost importance to them. As such they ensured funeral pyres are constructed straight away after a battle, or as soon as is possible, to prevent the Skaven getting to the dead.[17d]

Age of Sigmar

The Fyreslayers soon rose up to battle as the first strikes of the Stormcast Eternals broke across the Realms and fought both with and against these new warriors as both sides paid the fyreslayers handsomely for the services of their fyrds.[17d]

Lightning Oaths

One of the lodges who first fight alongside the Stormcast is the Tangrim, honourable yet grim they were hired by the Hammers of Sigmar to defend a hidden Realmgate from the bloodbound who seek to claim it. The victorious Tangrim were paid in golden Azyrite coin which was soon found to contain trace amounts of Ur-Gold.[17d]

This revelation spread quickly throughout the lodges and as the Tangrim chose to move their lodge to Azyr, many others follow in their wake.[17d]

Battle for the Ironholds

The Ironholds are the mighty interlocking fortresses that guard the Mercurial Gate in Chamon, though considered an unbreakable bastion of Chaos the Stormcast Eternals were charged with claiming it for Sigmar. At first the lodges that the Stormcast sought aid from refused the contract, until upon approaching the Greyfyrd, Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir accepted the Stormcasts deal and swore a gold-oath to aid them in the capture of the fortresses.[17d]

The vassals of the Greyfyrd were gathered and alongside the chambers of forty Stormhosts they led a doomed assault upon the gates of the Ironholds. Yet meanwhile, Hursgar-Grimnir gathers his Runesmiters to tunnel deep into the fortress. Hursgar and the core of the Greyfyrd, alongside Thostos Bladestorm's Celestial Vindicators fight their way to the heart of the fortress, the Mercurial Gate. However at Archaon's arrival the battle turned. The Stormcast and Fyreslayers were faced with a foe they had no hope of beating and were soon overwhelmed. Unable to Fulfil his oath, Hursgar and his slayers fight a desperate retreat.[17d]

The defeat was a terrible blow to the Greyfyrd, but Hursgar remained hopeful he may one day fulfil his oath.[17d]

Uzkull Krunken

The Fyreslayers suffered greatly in the wake of the Necroquake - also known as the Uzkull Krunken to the Vostarg and the Garaktormun to the Kharadron Overlords. As the surge of death magic swept the Realms the long-dead legions slain before the Fyreslayer's gates rose as numberless hordes of wailing Nighthaunt, and wherein life these armies had broken and foundered on stone gates and walls of axes, in death their ethereal forms ignored the gates and mountain walls. Flying past such inconveniences to strike at unprepared defenders in the heart of the hold.[17h]

Many Magmaholds fell, and lodges such as the Vardhraz of Aqshy were destroyed or scattered and broken. Others had their ruling family slain, while in the case of the Durnhok Lodge the one surviving Runeson swore the Barazakdum out of grief for his family. Faithful to the end, his entire lodge took a similar oath and took the ritual of Grimnyn. Even the lodges that survived suffered greatly; the Brynbak survived only by expending their entire store of Ur-Gold, their Runemaster hammering all they had into the flesh of the warriors to give them the power needed to repel the undead, such was the power of so all those runes that many of the Brynbak who survived combusted after in an overflow of divine power.[17h]

In Shyish yet more tragedy would befall the lodges. The fell winds of the Necroquake roared so strong the Zharrkhul - Grimnir's divine fire - was extinguished and their forges went dark. Their forge fire gone, the runes of power protecting the Ufort - hold of the Ulrung - began to fail. Desperate, they abandoned their hold and fought their way free from the undead. Although their forge fire had gone out the Zharrkhul still burned in the braziers they carried and they would not give up hope, instead, they wandered Shyish in the hope that they will one day find a way to escape Shyish or to return and reclaim their lost hold.[17h]

Culture

The Fyreslayers are a civilisation of harsh, aggressive and passionate Duardin prone to sudden eruptions of violence. They are dedicated to Grimnir and obsessed with both war and gold, becoming renowned warriors with a famous ferocity for it. Every labour, vocation, effort and creations are ultimately dedicated towards war, the only profession they see as worthy. This and their faith is why they are famous mercenaries.[17e]

Religion

The Fyreslayers worship and venerate Grimnir, the Duardin god of war, and the realm of Aqshy. The most important part of their religion is the collection and subsequent use of Ur-Gold so that they might release Grimnir's trapped essence. They do this through fighting as they draw upon the power of the runes in their flesh, expending it and releasing it so he may be ressurrected for Doomgron.[17e][17g]

The Zharrgrim Priesthood are the religious leaders of the Fyreslayers and have the closest connection to Grimnir.

Symbols

The most important symbol of the Fyreslayers is the key, which represents both their people's ancestral ties to Aqshy and their binding covenant with Grimnir. To the Zharrgrim priesthood, it has a hidden meaning, a representation of their order's secret quest, symbolizing freedom from a state of constraint. Members of the priesthood carry forge keys, crafted from different metals representing their rank, with gold being the highest. The key also serves a practical purpose, those carried by Runefathers and Runemasters to unlock the doors of their forge-temples and magma-vaults.[17e]

The runes are of the utmost importance to the Fyreslayers with some of the most important and sacred being the rune of fire and the rune of Grimnir.[5]

Oaths

Much like other Duardin, oaths are of great importance to the Fyreslayers and they will go to great lengths to uphold them. One tale of the Vostarg tells of how the they once found an oath carved into the helm of a slain Fyreslayer, and carried that oath to completion. When a Fyreslayer swears an oath it is an unbreakable bond and once hired will fight as if they were part of the payer's army, but they expect the same level of commitment from those that retain their services. Those that break such promises are not expected to live long enough to regret it.[3a]

Fashion

Since the Age of Myth, the Fyreslayers have favoured using very little armour, usually just a helmet, a loincloth and a girdle. They charge bare-chested into combat, believing themselves to be protected by their own fiery convictions like Grimnir.[17e]

They also emulate the distinctive hairstyle of Grimnir and it's a vital aspect of their faith. They are shorn on the sides, while the top hair is spiked into an impressive crest, which is then dyed and held in place by a waxy substance. Each lodge has its own concoctions for such purpose, a secret which they maintain and jealously guard. Mocking a Fyreslayer's hair is often a quick way to get killed.[17e]

Like other Duardin they have beards.[17e]

Magmadroths

Magmadroths are fire-belching salamanders and the offspring of the Godbeast Vulcatrix. The fyreslayers have a close bond with these creatures and they serve as deadly mounts to Auric Runesons, Runefathers and Runesmiters.[2e][2f][2g][17a]

These creatures were created by the titanic battle between Vulcatrix and Grimnir, their scorching-hot black eggs forming in flamestruck lands. These eggs were first discovered by the Zharrgrim Priesthood and learned how to raise them.[17a][17f]

The connection to Vulcatrix provided by the Ur-Gold and mastered by the Zharrgrim Priesthood is what allows these duardin to hatch and raise Magmadroths and allow for such close bond with these creatures, a bond closer to true friendship than that of master and beast. It would be wrong to think of them as domesticated as they are far too willful, rather they should be taken as allies[17g][17f]

Settlements

A Magmahold.

Magmaholds are usually settled by one lodge, through in many cases two or more can co-exist in the same Magmahold. These are usually closely related, but such situations tend to be temporary until the newest branch has grown large enough to conquer their own territory.[17b]

The Forge-Temples are the sacred and religious of any Magmahold their halls constantly sound with the clang of hammers and the grinding of axes being sharpened. The air is filled with sparks, rippling and glowing red from the heat of the lava that flows through the surrounding chambers to power them. The intense heat of these temples would scorch any of a race less hardy the moment they entered, but for the Fyreslayers the heat is nothing. This is where the Zharrgrim priesthood safeguard the Ur-Gold of the lodge and fashion it into powerful runes.[17f]

Some Fyreslayers operate forge-temples in larger cities of Order.[17e]

A female fyreslayer

Women

Fyreslayers to outsiders seems like a patriarchal society whose rule is clearly patrilineal, though there are rumours of powerful Fyrequeens. The truth is that they are secretive about their women as they are about Ur-Gold, as they are rare and born in very low numbers. The females are masters of hearth, healing, brewing and magmic defences and the few that have seen them claim them to be just as hot-headed, impetuous and battle-worthy as the males.[17b]

There are rare cases, often in smaller lodges, where a daughter will inherit a lodge from their Runefather. One of the most common causes of this, is the destruction of the entirety of the ruling family's male line in battle or disaster.[19a]


Diplomacy

Most others in the Realms see the Fyreslayers as little more than moneygrubbing sellswords - but deadly sell-swords nonetheless - due in part to the fact that Ur-Gold looks much like common gold. Their success in combat does prove it to be worth it however and many leaders will seek to enlist their services. After battle they collect their fallen and payment and return to their strongholds. This constant warring as granted them many customers and enemies beyond counting, but also very few true allies.[17e][17a]

Despite being famous mercenaries, Fyreslayers have little use for common gold, as everything they own is forged by their people. Their mercenary actions are entirely devoted to recovering Ur-Gold, the fragments of their god, with even the smallest trace being precious beyond measure.[17a]

Cities of Sigmar

Many see the Fyreslayers as unscrupulous reavers and mercenaries, willing to work for anyone if promised a large enough sum of gold. Yet it is notable that most Lodges prefer to side with the forces of civilization and Order when given the chance. So it is unsurprising that many Fyreslayers ally with the Free Cities of Sigmar, after all the Conclaves of those cities are more likely to pay their dues than a Greenskin warlord or scheming sorcerer.[23a]

Kharadron Overlords

The Kharadron Overlords do not see the Fyreslayers as kin since they refused to take them in after the fall of the Karaks. To them, they are only trade partners that are likely to hold to their end of an oath. The fyreslayers only see them as distant relations and rich customers. It doesn't sit well to the zealous Fyreslayers that the Kharadrons have abandoned their gods.[17b]

Since they are both duardin they are cantankerous and contemptuous of the other and while open conflict is rare it is not unheard of. However in the Granthium Mountains in Chamon there is open conflict as both sides seek to claim a deposit of Ur-Gold and Aether-gold.[17b]

Organisation

Hearthguard

The Hearthguard are the elite warriors of the lodge, drawn from the ranks of the Vulkite Berzerkers and chosen during the Trials of Grimfyre on a lodge's Heirborn Day. Their duty is to protect the most important Fyreslayers of the lodge. There are two types of warriors in the Hearthguard:[24a]


Lodges

Fyreslayer Lodge Hierarchy.

Fyreslayer society is primarily divided up into lodges, groups of several Fyreslayer families or households, formed around a single chieftain known as a Runefather. Depending on the size, the lodge may inhabit one or many magmaholds or smaller outpost, which are in some cases - such as the Greyfyrd - spread out across several realms. The Runefather and his family rule the Lodge and their title passes along to their chosen successor amongst their male heirs, the Runesons, when they die. However, some travellers tell of the Fyrequeens, mighty queens of the Fyreslayers, a fact that is not spoken by the warriors of the fyrds to other races. Those that are not chosen often set out with their followers so they can establish their own lodge. When there is no declared heir when the Runefather dies, this usually is the end of that Lodge. Those that remain must then choose to follow one of their own, pledge themselves to another lodge, or take the oath to become a Grimnyn, a fate similar, but not as fatalistic as that of the Doomseeker.[17b]

First-Forged

The earliest of these were known as the First-Forged, the ones Duardin who walked with Grimnir on his quest to slay Vulcatrix. These lodges no longer exist though some, like the Vostarg, the Greyfyrd, the Lofnir and the Hermdar and claim to be their direct descendants.[17b] [17c]

  • Drakendreng: famous for their monster-slaying skills. Attracted Nagwroth the fyre serpent, who coiled around the mountain and destroyed the magmahold within. The survivors founded the Lofnir lodge and left their former hold pursuing the wounded Nagwroth to Ghur.[17c]
  • Greygrend: Based in the mountain Harrworld which has since been levelled. Nearly all lodges that have suffered disproportionately from Glimmerlust descend from Greygrend but these duardin do not speak of their troubled heritage.[17c]
  • Grymdar: Chaos destroyed the Grymdar, their magmahold in Karadrum taken, and their Runefather slain. The refugees from that lodge formed the Hermdar and returned to reclaim their home. Yet the mountain had been riven beyond repair and so the remaining Zharrgrim priests buried the under halls in waves of lava.[17c]
  • Vostarg: Originally lived in the Vosforge, the largest of the magmaholds carved into the Salamander's Spine. More lodges have sprung from this bloodline than any other. It was torn apart by internal strife and scattered across the realms. The current Vostarg Lodge is just one of many of the lodges that branched off from the original.[17c][18]

Other Lodges

Sources


Fyreslayers
Units Auric Runefather - Auric Runeson - Battlesmith - Doomseeker - Grimwrath Berzerker - Hearthguard (Auric Hearthguard - Hearthguard Berzerker) - Magmadroth - Vulkite Berzerker - Zharrgrim (Auric Runemaster - Auric Runesmiter)
Characters Amsaralka - Arngard - Bael-Grimnir - Dhurgan - Durnir-Grimnir - Fjul-Grimnir - Forgun - Fyrgrim - Grunhilda - Hursgar-Grimnir - Lugash - Mad Maegrim - Marag-Or of the Golden Eye - Rumnar-Grimnir - Rygorn-Grimnir - Tefk Flamebearer - Thorgar-Grimnir - Ulgathern-Grimnir - Vol Orrukbane - Vargi Sornsson - Vaegor - Flamespitter - Skarung
First Forged Drakendreng - Greygrend - Grymdar - Vostarg
Other Lodges Angfyrd - Aqshygahr - Austarg - Baeldrag - Baeyrd - Blackfyrd - Bulder - Caengan - Dostev - Drong - Drunbhor - Gelvagd - Greyfyrd - Grumnir - Hermdar - Krelstrag - Lofnir - Mjodor - Narlsson - Obsgrum - Sepuzkul - Sigyorn - Tangrim - Thungur - Ulgaen - Ulrung - Volturung - Vostarg - Zhuffnok
Armoury - Artwork - Language - Miniatures - Invocations - Scenery
Grand Alliances and factions
OrderChaosDestructionDeath
Cities of Sigmar (Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers) • Daughters of KhaineEldritch CouncilFyreslayersIdoneth DeepkinKharadron OverlordsLion RangersLumineth Realm-lordsMonsters of OrderOrder DraconisSeraphonStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth