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Dwarf Ancestors


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#1 Landy


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:43 PM

I'm quite new to WHFB and even newer to Dwarves (it's more of a 5 o'clock shadow than a beard). I'm trying to catch up on the fluff, but not everything made it into the new book (I think). Many of the models have small, stylized dwarven faces hanging from various things in addition to runes and whatnot. My very cursory search hasn't turned up much about what these things are, but maybe they are called ancestors? What significance do these things have? I'm sure it's nothing in game, but maybe there is a good bit of fluff?




#2 Hod Flagonpounder

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 05:24 PM

I have always assumed those faces are of ancestors. To give a real world analog, Dwarf ancestors are much like ancestors in Shintoism. They believe that their ancestors watch over their deeds and judge them. They also revere ancestors who did great deeds in their lives much like Christian reveres Saints. All Gods in the Dwarf Pantheon are ancestors, with the Gods in the most prominent positions being the ancestors who started the entire Dwarf race.

#3 Dourin


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:50 PM

When a dwarf dies, a number of icons are made that resemble the facial features of the dwarf in question. These can get added as small bits and bobs to various weapons, armours, ancestor shrines and what now as a devotional practice. Prominent dwarfs, such as Runelords, Guild masters, Clan Elders,... have larger icons made which can get added to Guild Halls, the Throne Room, the Clan halls. 


This all adds to the idea that a dwarf always feels as if his Ancestors are watching him since, in a sense, they are. They form part of him and as such a dwarf always carries his clan and his honour, not to mention the honour of his ancestors, with him. 


This helps explain why a slayer goes into battle almost naked most of the time. In shaving and in shedding his armour, he strips himself of his name and removes himself from under the gaze of his Ancestors. He is quite literally alone, without clan or honour. 

#4 Bonecrusher



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Posted 01 May 2014 - 10:30 PM

Dwarfs partake in ancestor worship, so as well as worshiping the ancestor gods, the also worship (though to a small degree) the farthers, forefathers etc.

Honour is a big part of a dwarfs life, because not only does a dwarf carry his own honour but that of his clan living, dead, and yet to be born.

The icons that dwarfs decorate themselves with will be ancestor icons either showing an ancestor or one of the ancestor gods. These would also work like items worn for luck, but to also to remind a dwarf who they are fighting for.


As Dourin mentioned when slayers take the oath they shave their heads and beards, and are only allowed to go out with an axe and a mail shirt if they have one, though many do not wear them. They give up their clan names and ties and in essense in the eyes of their clans already dead. Any ancestor badges displayed on slayer models I would assume are that of Grimnir the dwarf's warrior god, as it's in his name the oath is taken, and why they shave their heads apart from the crest and dye it orange.

#5 Landy


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Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:44 AM

Thanks for the lesson, guys :)

#6 Son of Starbreaker

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 12:03 AM

This was a good read. I've always wondered this also. Thanks for the info!



    Young 'Un

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:15 PM

It´s nice to know about that! Mistery solve!


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