I've decided to run a little campaign for a four player group and they together came up with a glorious idea that certainly produced a solid laugh. They ALL want to play as Norse Dwarves, each belonging to a different Chaos God cult. While Chaos-devoted Dwarves are nothing new (Dawi Zharr), they have a rich history of Chaos devotion. While Norsca itself is a pretty Chaos-susceptible place and this is why I'm even giving thought to the idea... How realistic would it be that the short, sturdy creatures fond of drink and industry turn to any of the four Chaos Gods?

It strikes me as rather outlandish that a magic-resistant Dwarf would turn to Tzeentch, for example. Khorne I could probably see, Khorne worshippers being common to Norsca; Nurgle is once again somewhat doubtful; for Slaanesh there's the clear possibility of macabre artistry becoming common among the craftsdwarves of the guilds.

It sounds like a very great campaign idea, but I wanted to make sure it would be possible canonically around 2000 IC.


1 Answer 1


Canonically, Dwarves don't commonly fall to the "normal" Chaos Gods, for they have little appeal to them. Instead, caononically almost all dwarves that fell to Chaos are Dawi-Zharr, Uzkul-Dhrazh-Zharr or Sons of Hashut. Of those that are not Chao Dwarves to begin with, most follow Hashut and join them sooner or later. However, the 1st edition of the Fantasy Flight Games Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay did open a small gate.

Hashut's appeal

Games Workshop literally invented a Chaos God only for Dwarfs for the 4th edition of the Tabletop: Hashut, Father of Darkness. Hashut has the biggest pull on Dawi because he is the epitome of their bad sides: Where the normal Dawi are known to be frugal, crafty, bearing grudges for millennia and a strict hierarchy, the minor Chaos God of the Uzkul-Dhrazh-Zarr exemplifies those traits amped up to 11 as greed, fire, hatred, and tyranny. As such, the most common Chaos-bound Dawi will be one following Hashut. Like, since the retcon for the 4th edition of the tabletop, no "unaligned Chaos" or non-Hashut-single-chaos-god follower has been seen in their codices.

Other Chaos Gods?

It's tricky. Reading the supplement Book of Grudges, the 3rd edition book on Dwarves, there's not a single mention of any Chaos god as a single entity, and even Hashut isn't named, the existence of the Chaos Dwarves excluded.1

From the same edition, Liber Carnagia does only list Dwarves as one of the old enemies of Khorne, and Liber Ecstatica only mentions dwarves twice as part of Slaneshi delicacies.2

However, Nurgle, according to his 3rd edition book, is known to not want Dwarves as followers:

Dwarfs infuriate him, for they are as resilient as stone.3

In contrast, high elves, wood elves, and dwarfs defy the Ruinous Powers physically and spiritually. Their bodies, created before the coming of Chaos, are incorruptible. They protected themselves when Chaos flooded into the world – the elves with magic and the dwarfs by hiding under their mountains, and so these races never develop mutations.4

The Tzeentch book outright calls them out as his mortal enemies for their natural resistance:

The High Elves of Ulthuan and Wood Elves of Athel Loren, as well as dwarfs and halflings, despise Chaos in all its aspects. It is against their nature to worship the Ruinous Powers, and they have a natural resistance to the mutating powers of Chaos. What Tzeentch cannot control, he seeks to destroy, and he is bent on the annihilation of all races that resist him.5

However, Liber Mutatis also gives Dwarves a Corruption Threshold of 10+Toughness. While this usually is quite large and makes it improbable, it also makes it technically possible to have a Dwarf fall under Chaos corruption.6

As a conclusion using the general lore of post 4th Edition Tabletop background, while it is technically possible for a Dwarf to fall under the Ruinous Powers, it is however very unlikely that they fall under any of the big four and much more likely that they follow Hashut. Of the others, Khorne might have the most appeal, especially for a slayer, but in general, it's very much unlikely.

Older books especially call out why they follow Hashut and not others: Their corruption came from a different source than the whisper of the Ruinous Powers - it was their own doing in days when the world was young.

Of Dwarfs and Chaos

[...] the Chaos Dwarfs do exist, and are just one more cog in the war engine of Chaos that musters for each new incursion. The details are vague, to say the least—neither the Dwarfs nor the Chaos Dwarfs are forthcoming—but what is theorised is that in the early days of the Dwarfs, before Rune Magic was truly defined, a few pioneers dabbled in sorcerous energies to contain magic in these runes. Some were careful, realising the inherent dangers of working with magic, but a few saw great potential, and recklessly exploited the magic for their own ends. This created conflict between the Dwarf clans, and so one group left the others, venturing into the Dark Lands in search of more magic to aid in their research. Somehow, this estranged Clan became severed from the rest. The Dark Lands were brutal and inhospitable, presenting terrible dangers. Lacking support from their kin, these renegades fully embraced Chaos, worshipping a terrible and blasphemous God known as Hashut, the Father of Darkness.

Chaos Dwarfs remain to this day, but are blessedly rare. It is whispered that they are the ones who supply the Chaos Marauders with weapons and armour, outfitting them with terrible cannons and other war machines that defy description. Little is known for certain, but every once in a while, rumours of their diabolical deeds filter in from the east, usually carried by merchants who travel near those lands along the Silk Road.7

The very same book also tells us about Norse Dwarfs, which definitely were a thing. They did, according to the book, mostly gain odd customs but are not certainly fallen to Chaos, and it is undefined to whom they might swear allegiance if they do.8 There's also advice on such Norse Dwarfs in a campaign, including them worshipping the Ruinous Powers:

Norse Dwarfs are particularly suited for campaigns taking place in or around Norsca. Those encountered outside of Norsca are almost always exiles (i.e. Troll Slayers). Dwarfs are famous for resisting the lure of Chaos, so it’s unlikely, though possible, for these Dwarfs to openly worship the Dark Gods. It’s more likely for these Dwarfs to revere aspects of the Dwarf Gods, evolved in a way that emphasises warfare, cold, and ice.9

Vampire Dawi?

While Vampires find Dawi blood unappealing at best, repulsing and stale at worst. The First of the Vampires, "Queen of Evil", Neferata turned some of the Dawi there into Vampire pawns in her taking of the Silver Pinnacle. However, those might be better understood as undead risen by the Vampire, or otherwise controlled or made traitors, but not Vampire Dawi.

To fortify this interpretation, it is of note, that Koros-dar Nael, High-Elven Liche, raied an undead Dwarves because of his hatred of them. Another strong canonical example of an undead Dawi that even showed free will would be Balkrag Grimgorson

On the other hand, Drachenfels10 mentions a single Vampire Dawi, though that aspect of the book is seen as mainly apocryphical.


1 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Book of GrudgesTM - A Guide to Dwarfs & the Everlasting Realm A Guide to Dwarfs & the Everlasting Realm, Roseville (2009).
2 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Liber Carnagia - The Book of Blood, Roseville (2009). Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Liber Ecstatica - The Book of Pleasure, Roseville (2009).
3 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Liber Infectus - The Book of Plague, Roseville (2009), p.6.
4 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Liber Infectus - The Book of Plague, Roseville (2009), p.9.
5 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Liber Mutatis - The Book of Change, Roseville (2009), p.9.
6 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [3rd Edition]: Liber Mutatis - The Book of Change, Roseville (2009), p.17.
7 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [1st Edition]: Tome of Corruption, Roseville (2005), p.12.
8 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [1st Edition]: Tome of Corruption, Roseville (2005), p.142
9 - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay [1st Edition]: Tome of Corruption, Roseville (2005), p.146
10 - Kim Newman under the pen name Jack Yeovil: Drachenfels, Vampire Genevieve I, Nottingham (1989).


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