Grimgors Last Stand 2534-2535

Return to the Iron Mines of Karag Gloin 2534

[This story was written after a 2v1 battle against friends Lizardmen and Chaos armys during which I had to defend a hilltop position]

The Sun rose over Karag Gloin, its rays turning the eastern sky blood red as the light played across the low cloud that blanketed most of the horizon. Around the base of the mountain, and in a few places on its upper slopes, the ruins of an ancient Dwarven mining colony of Dulgwidor could still be seen. Once famed for its iron and gold deposits Dulgwidor had been abandoned centuries before following a devastating earthquake. Many Dwarves were killed in that disaster, but it was the Skaven invasion that followed that finally destroyed the colony. Weakened as they were by the earthquake the colonists were forced to destroy their mine shafts and make a fighting retreat to Karak Thorinkin - most never made it back. Quiet for centuries, the Mount and the fortress ruins it overlooked now rang to the sound of metal on metal and loud gruff voices greeting the morning light - Dwarves once again garrisoned the old fortress. Some months previously King Duregar Stromnisson of Karak Thorinkin had granted permission for a small expeditionary force to return to Dulgwidor in the hope of reopening its once famous iron & gold mines. The hold was in desperate need of that gold to help rebuild its outlying settlements, and army, after numerous battles against Archeon and his Chaos horde over the last 7 years. Constant incursions by Skaven and more recently Ogres had further sapped the holds strength, and it was only in desperation that King Duregar gave his permission for the small expedition.

And small it was, led by Master Engineer Grimgor Thalek the expedition consisted of only a small force of warriors and war machines - no more could be spared by the hold. If it were to run into trouble then the expedition would be on its own, isolated and weeks away from help and home and with no friendly settlements within easy reach. In just two years at Dulgwidor the expedition had made solid progress reopening two of the abandoned mines and even identifying a new gold seam near the Mountains eastern base. But those years had been costly. The long march to Dulgwidor had been beset with difficulties such that the force that arrived at Dulgwidor was less than half its original size. Constant attacks by roving bands of Skaven, and even Ogres, had sapped the expedition’s strength along the way. But it was the appearance of the strange green skins that had proven more deadly, the cold blooded creatures killing, and often mutilating, many a Dwarven patrol and foraging party.

Only a few of the Dwarves had heard of these creatures, lizard men and beasts from far off lands. Those that had could not remember a time when they had ever appeared near Dulgwidor. Even more worrying was news from Karak Thorinkin, delivered by Gyrocopter, that the remnants of Archeons defeated Chaos horde was threatening to cut off the Mine from the Hold. So it was with some trepidation that Grimgor scanned the horizon around Karag Gloin, his old eyes moving from plain to forest and back again. He knew that should the remnants of Archeons horde march West toward them then his forces could not hold out against both them and the strange lizard men that now infested the region. With supply caravans from the Hold now stopped, the Dwarves now relied on foraging and small crops for supplies. But these were not enough especially when many foraging parties never returned - killed by Lizard men or worse. Reinforcements from the hold were also not expected, and so the Mines of Dulgwidor would be defended by what remained of the expedition. Although the walls of Dulgwidor had been repaired in many places, and Bolt-Throwers manufactured from materials newly forged, there were simply too few Dwarves to forage, fight and work.

The Battle for Dulgwidor & Grimgor's last stand
All work had stopped at the mines of Dulgwidor and the few remaining Dwarves under Grimgor's command were doning their armour and racing to their defensive positions. A foraging party had just returned with grim news a large force of Lizardmen was approaching from the North. A top his battle position on the summit of Karag Gloin Grimgor listened as the breathless Dwarven foragers gave their report...

"My Lord, our foraging party was attacked by greenskins, the small ones with the blowpipes hit us out of the forest, and we counted many more larger creatures we have not seen before advancing behind them."

"What of the other foraging parties to the Northwest and Northeast?"

"My Lord they are dead or at least we can only assume they are the sounds of battle could clearly be heard to our left as we withdrew to the walls, we..."

"That is enough Druegar, no explanation is necessary return to your position."

As Grimgor dismissed the forager a string of warning shouts rang up from the lower slopes of the Mountain...

"My Lord - it is the forces of Archeon... there on the Southern flank - we are surrounded!!!"
Turning quickly Grimgor blanched in horror as he realised the full extent of the peril his expedition was in. Advancing toward the mountain fortress from its Southern flank was a huge force of Chaos Knights and Warhounds accompanied by scores of the small lizards known as Skinks. More warning cries came from the Northern defenses and turning that way Grimgor saw that the fortress was truly surrounded. Across the entire horizon from Northwest to East the skyline was full of Lizardmen big and small and the forces of Chaos. Only to the West was the way clear, but there was no hope there - out in the open, outnumbered and facing Chaos and Lizard cavalry Grimgor knew his Dwarves would stand no chance. Tightening the buckles on his armour he issued a string of orders and moved to his defensive position with the expeditions great cannon on the mountain summit.

As he did so, the sun rose further in the mid-morning sky and its bright rays illuminated the glittering armour and artillery of the Dwarven positions. The sun shining of warriors iron and chainmail and of the precious gems that studded the mine entrances. Silence fell on the mountain as Grimgor's loud clear voice echoed across the fortress...

"Brothers the forces of Evil approach as we knew they would. It has fallen to us to show these scum how the mighty of Karak Thorinkin can fight. We will die here today my brothers, but by Griminar we will make them pay a heavy toll. No mercy, no quarter, send these creatures of the dark back to the pits from whence they came."
And with that, as if seemingly waiting for Grimgor to speak, the Lizardmen and Chao forces began their advance and the battle was joined....

... the events of that fateful day were not to be revealed until some weeks after Grimgor's fall. After clearing the mountain passes supply caravans were finally able to return to Dulgwidor and the mines of Karag Gloin. The first caravan to do so found not a thriving settlement but a pile of corpses bloated and rotting in the sun. The dead cold ones and Chaos warriors amongst them told of the reason for the death. Searching the dead the leader of the caravan located Grimgor's body where it had fallen, defending the summit of Karag Gloin and the last of the Dwarfs artillery pieces. It great sorrow it was taken back to Karak Thorinkin as the sun set on Karag Gloin yet again.
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