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Karak Varn

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#1 the bearded one

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:03 PM

Hey fellow dawi, I was just wondering the other day about Karak Varn. We have quite a lot of info on many of the other holds but what do we know about Karak Varn?

All I know is that gromril used to be mined there and shipped to Zhufbar, and when the time of woes struck the black lake broke through the minings into the hold, and shortly afterwards skaven and night goblins attacked and the hold was taken. It was later retaken by an expedition by Kadrin Redmane if I recall correctly, but they were driven out again, although only when the gromril was almost fully mined away.

What else do we know?

#2 Granitbeard


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:36 PM

Well, this isn't much to add. But the Lake side was an area of many battles. Mostly with Orcs and Goblins. Many great Dwarfs died and lost some Runic weapons to the depths of the lake. Also many expeditions have been made into the Hold for some of the riches that were left behind. IIRC many weapons have been recovered, But most of the expeditions were short due to running into O&G or Skaven.

#3 Tralfaz


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:42 PM


Excellent write-up here from our very own Bugman.

Very interesting section of the brewery, didn't even realize it was there.

#4 Stymie Jackson

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:50 PM

Karak Varn only really appears in older books. It's listed as a ruined hold, close to the moot and Zhufbar. The current book is pretty poorly done as it has holes in the timeline...like between -1499 and -1190.

-1499 Karak Varn, already flooded when earthquakes split the rock apart allowing water into the lower workings, is destroyed by skaven and Night Goblins.
-1190 Kardin Redmain leaves Varn in seach of vengeance on the Skaven
-1137 He is killed by Orcs at Black Water. Varn is again lost to the Skaven.

The first Dwarf Book has more details...short version:

Based by Black Water. Rich hold and lots of Gromril. Deep mines led to disaster during an earthquake as the lowe levels flooded.
Skaven from below, Orcs from above. Some dwarves fled, most died defending the hold. City was abandoned and is now known as Crag Mere.
Occasional expeditions are led to retrieve Gromril, using ingenous diving machines to reach the deepest levels. These are done in the face of fierce greenskin and rat attacks.

So basically one of the first lost holds, briefly retaken and lost again. Home to vile enemies of the dwarves now, and yet another grudge to be held.

#5 the bearded one

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:21 PM

It's in an ideal spot to be ganged up on by the dwarfs and empire together though and reclaim it; A quarterthrong from Karaz-a-Karak, Zhufbar, Karak Hirn and Barak Varr, and assistence from Nuln and averland ought to make a mess of it while not endangering the safety of the still occupied strongholds.

#6 Barundin Throndinson

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 06:53 PM


The retaking of the Hold is virtually impossible now, in the story Oathbreaker(Nick Kyme) A group of dwarfs are summoned to a council of war by Kadrin Redmane the hold has been attacked from above and below by Vile ratmen and filthy greenskins, the party of dwarfs make it to karak varn to late and find it abandoned with none of its inhabitants accounted for. They decide to find the holds great book of grudges to ascertain what befell the hold. the party gets ambushed by skaven and has to fight its way free of the fallen citadel, they take the holds book of grudges to Karaz A Karak to the high king where they take a vow to reclaim the lost hold. they set out from everpeak at the head of a sizable throng and head back to Karak Varn. after many battles & casualties the thane of the throng decides that to try and retake the hold is folly and that he has failed in his vow and has brought his fellow dwarfs to there deaths and shame. so decides that the only remaining honorable thing to do is flood the hold forever by destroying the slues gates at either end of the holds aqua duct system thus flooding the hold forever after the black water slues gate is blown up. The only mention in any fluff that I have come across is a small reference to the occasional engineer from Zhufbar using submersibles to delve into the black water and Karak Varn breach to look for treasures, though many dont come back with strange stories of old dangers inhabiting the dark lake?

Regards Barundin

Edited by Barundin Throndinson, 19 October 2010 - 06:58 PM.

#7 S.O.F


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Posted 19 October 2010 - 08:36 PM

The background to Karak Varn as far as I know is limited to the Dwarf Army Books, Oathbreaker, three paragraphs in Steel and Stone the old Dwarf WHFRP book, and an article in White Dwarf about Kadrin Redmane's brief reconquest of the hold. Generally the information is as follows:

Karak Varn, meaning Lake Hold, was the wealthiest Dwarf city in all of the Karak Ankor thanks to sitting atop the largest deposits of Gromil in the world. Though not as beautiful as Karak Eight Peaks nor as storied as Karaz Karak, the hold boasted an ingenious system of locks, water wheels, and aqueducts that powered the holds forges and mines. The earthquakes that opened the time of woes shattered this system and lead to wide spread flooding throughout the holds deeper mines claiming the lives of a good number of the hold's clans in the process. Weakened by these losses, Karak Varn was the second major hold to fall.
After several hundred years the hold was briefly resettled by an expedition under Kadrin Redmane. Redmane had grown to fame for his defense of the High King during the Goblin assaults on Mt. Gunbad and for such service given lordship in the resettlement project. Initially successful, Karak Varn once again began to turn out Gromil ore, much of which was shipped to Zhufbar and Karaz Karak for processing. The Skaven and Goblins could only be held at bay for so long and soon the mines and ore convoys came under increasing attack. Kadrin was slain in the Battle of the Black Mounds by the forces of Orc Warlord Kruk Gorgrim and the Bad Skullz tribe whilst attempting to safely transport a train of Gromil destined for the High King. Leaderless and ever more pressed the smaller Clans began to leave Karak Varn until those that remained were overrun by Skaven. Further attempts to secure the hold have failed and the damage incurred during these ventures have flooded an even greater part of the hold.

Generally Karak Varn is very much an homage to Khazad Dum in LotR, most precious metal in the world, failed reclamation, and evil lake deal.

#8 Khazgrim Ironheart

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 01:14 AM

besides the small amount of info in our army book, read the Warhammer novel Oathbreaker. Great source of info on Karak Varn! a couple of juicy facts I got from the book. Karak Varn was one of the largest strongholds before the Dwarf empire began to crumble, and it was the first one to march aganist the high elves during the War of the Beard.

#9 Karak_Varn_Raider


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Posted 20 October 2010 - 05:33 PM

I don't know anything about Karak Varn. :prankster2:

#10 hazard


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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:20 PM

I keep hearing about an unspeakable horror and "Things worse that skaven and goblins lurking down there" yet, nothing about what it actually is.

I just assume it's the squid monster from LOTR, but it would be nice to know what it actually is

#11 Karak Asaheim

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 08:51 PM

Well there was a dragon in the book, but I get the impression the bit you are quoting is referencing Kraken-ish things.


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