There have been Dwarfs living with Humanity (or Manlings) since a millennium before the founding of the Empire and have become known as Imperial Dwarfs. With their ancestors been living amongst humans for more than four millennia, Imperial Dwarfs may look and act like their mountain kin but in many subtle ways they are quite different. [1a]
Where there is a lare enough community of Dwarfs such as in towns where several Clans will be present they live together. Dwarf buildings are stone and stand no more than two stories high, generally abut one another. Those outlying structures have narrow windows facing the areas outside the quarter with no doors on the outward-facing sides. Each quarter has large and stoutly-built gates, which are closed whenever the Dwarfs celebrate one of their holidays. [1a]
Emperor Magnus confirmed the right of Dwarf districts to be self-policing and in many, there are other defensive measures such as hidden handholds which enable entire sections of street to raise and sharp spikes as well as . hidden kegs of gunpowder strategically placed in the sewers below. [1a]
Primative humans first came into contact with the Dwarfs during the Golden Age of the elder race but it was not until the War of Vengeance that the Dwarfs recognised the potential of trade with the Belthani tribes whose ability to grow crops was a useful resources as the centuries-long war raged on. [1a]
When Karak Varn fell to the Greenskins, a few survivors took up residence with the eastern Belthani, working to keep trading routes open and supply the provisions. The Dwarfs did what they could to ease the conflict between their hosts and a new warlike human tribe who arrived via Blackfire Pass. More Dwarfs settled in to live with the Human tribes teaching them to forge iron weapons and tools as well as build in stone but built their own villages to live in.
After the victory at the Battle of Blackfire Pass, Sigmar invited hold-less Dwarfs to settle among his people asking them to bring their unique skills to help build the new Empire’s towns and cities. [1a]
In the reign of Emperor Ludwig I, he and his courtiers became jealous of Dwarf influence and wealth and passed laws creating a heavy tax burden on them. Boris Goldgather was no better but this persecution came to an end when the Black Plague struck, killing Boris and with its Skaven creators nearly destroying the Empire itself. [1a]
Many Dwarfs fought long and hard during the so-called Rat Wars and when they rebuilt their settlements within the larger Imperial towns and cities they designed their homes and businesses to provide another line of defence against enemies, within and without, but they also ensured their were secret escape routes. [1a]
Great War Against Chaos
Many Imperial Dwarfs flocked to the banner of Magnus von Bildhofen some forming battalions that moved ahead of the main army to establish a base camp on the Urskoy River. After his victory, Magnus was elected Emperor and enacted many new laws, including confirming the status of the Imperial Dwarfs. [1a]
Relations with the Karaz Ankor
Dwarfs of the mountain holds often feel that their kin’s association with Manlings has diluted their honour, with both Dwarf virtues but also with Manling vices. Nobles may use old term Ruebatuki (or ‘Ruebs’ for short) for them whilst others call them Manling Dwarfs (Umgdawi) or Flatlanders (Gazani). Imperial Dwarfs in reply consider their mountain kin short-sighted, calling them Stay at the Hold Dwarfs (Khazukan Dawi). [1a]
Imperial Dwarf Runesmiths are rare in the Empire, almost all being descended from the Dronduraz (Thunder-stone) clan of Karak Varn and they do not practice their craft openly. [1a]
The oldest lving member of each clan is the Clan Elder to whom the clanfolk look for wisdom and decision-making on matters affecting the clan. They also maintain the clan’s Book of Grudges (Dammaz Kron), Book of Remembrance (Zagaz Kron), Book of Debt (Skuld Kron) and the Book of Ancestors (Gromthi Kron). If there is more than one clan in an Imperial settlement, the community is run by a Council of Elders with any priests having an advisory role. [1a]
- Empire Dwarfs: Regiments of Dwarfs fighting alonside the Empire regular and milita troops.