Friday 25 August 2017

An Oldhammer Recounting of the Dwarves

It is time for the Dwarfs to get the name-generator treatment. Scouring the full ranges of Citadel Miniature Dwarfs from 1982-1986 to compile a random name generator for dwarf-kind.

The Dwarf name generator is already plugged in to the Oldhammer Scenario Generator  on Twitter which has introduced us to the exploits of such hallowed dwarfs as Gorin Dragonhammer and Owd Ketri Stoneaxe, and I also used it to create the name for a D&D character Lard Hookbeard for Bones of the Lost God.

Warhammer Dwarf Name Generator


Or if the trans-dimensional portal iframe above isn't working visit : Ye Olde Oldhammer Dwarf Name Generator It can be a little repetitive, but that's not always a bad thing, as our obligitary journey through the hallowed halls of ancient dwarven kings shall reveal.

The Dwarf Kings Court

Venerable themed box set from 1982, Sculpted by Micheal and Alan Perry. I can't help but imagine this was originally designed as a chess set, with the king and queen, the wizard and jester as bishops, the guards as knights, the bear and blacksmith as rooks, axe-weilder as pawn etc.

SS2 Dwarf Kings Court

SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtKingDumin Ironbeard
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtQueenAsabelle Dragonsmiter
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtFungilWisebeardThe Sage
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtQuintinLimpfondleQueen's Champion
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtOrizard Oldrock
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtBomban IronbeaterRoyal Armourer
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtCorbit Shortstuff
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtMimbrinRoyal Guard
SS2 Dwarf Kings CourtDimgolMaster of The Guard

We delve straight into the use of epithetical compound nouns - Wise-beard, Dragon-smiter etc. as we have seen with OrcsElves and Chaos Warriors  Iron, rock, dwarf characteristic association with mining, and Dragonsmiter highlighting the Dragon as a name-worthy foe - the dwarf/dragon connection runs through the Icelandic Volsunga Saga,  Wagner's Sigfried and Tolkien's Hobbit. Other names of interest include:
  • Mimbrin - the dwarf Mim from the Silmarillion. 
  • Fungil - Fundin from the Dvergertal / Lord of the Rings.
  • Bomban - a corruption of Bombur, from the Dvergatal / The Hobbi
  • Asabelle - using the  French for 'beauty', typical English associations of French with femininity
  • Corbitt Shortstuff - reference to comedian Ronnie Corbett
Corbitt Shortstuff, the Gnome jester not only provided the name, but design for the miniature seems to be based on one half of the comedy duo The Two Ronnies, Ronnie Corbett, who habitually made jokes about his own short stature:

Corbett Shortstuff painted by Steve Mussared via

Ronnie Corbett
I think the bulging eyes on the miniature are supposed to be Ronnies glasses, but I haven't seen the figure in hand, so can't really make a judgement. The poking out tongue is more a Benny Hill than Corbett expression, but a jester named Corbett is a clear homage that would have been easily identifiable in the early 1980s.

Quintin Limpfondle, Queens Champion is sporting the impressively baroque coiffure reminiscent of Quentin Crisp.

Quintin Limpfondle painted by Steve Mussared via

Quentin Crisp

If Quintins rather camp tea-pot pose with hand on hip and impressive bouffant do indeed indicate a reference to Quentin Crisp - the title "Queen's Champion" becomes a punning  reference to Quentins homosexuality and public championship of gay rights, a literal champion of queens. The surname Limpfondle is perhaps an unpleasant jibe against Quentins effeminate persona, limp-wristed being a once common euphemism for a camp or effeminate homosexual, and fondle being intimate touching.  Dwarves, as their mascot Cyril the Bear clearly demonstrates tend to be more rugged, masculine, if somewhat short, Bear types.

The Dwarf Adventurers

Bryan Ansells Heroic Adventurers

Dungeon Adventurers Starter set
Thorgrimm Branedim from White Dwarf 

1983 two boxed sets of an assortement of adventuring characters of a typical D&D party,  featuring three Dwarfs, and the launch of Warhammer saw the of the exclusive, coupon-only Thorgrim Branedimm.

Bryan Ansell's Heroic AdventurersOdan Grimbeard
Bryan Ansell's Heroic AdventurersOlafThorginson
Dungeon Adventurers Starter Set - Version 2DrambuinThe Dwarf

Odan and Olaf, unashamedly Norse in inspiration, Odan perhaps being a corruption of the Norse God Odin, and Olaf being a common old-norse given name. Indirectly we also have Thorgin and the first use of a patronymic '-son' to delinate heritage, adding an ancestral, lineage tradition to Dwarf naming along side the more common compound nouns.

Thorgrim Branedimm, Brain-dim, obviously a stupid fellow. Thor-grim, perhaps related to Thorgin, but similarly evoking the Norse God Thor, and well, being grim. In the grim dwarf history of the ancient gods there is only Thor. Or something. A rare miniature, representing the leader of the dwarfs in the Warhammer 1st Edition Scenario The Ziggurat of Doom and offered as a free figure with proof of purchase. Maybe a reference to Thorgrim from the 1982 swords and sorcery movie Conan the Barbarian.

Thorgrim vs. Conan

Drambuin a pun on Drambuie - a whiskey liqure, with a Tolkiensque air - Baranduin being the name of the Hobbitified 'Brandywine' River in the Shire from The Lord of The Rings. It is also, unabashedly Scottish, and I believe, the first Scottish-accented Dwarf reference we have outside of Ronf from Noggin The Nog.

Vintage 1970s bottle of Dwarf Liquor

But evidently, this idea of connecting dwarfs with booze caught on around the Citadel Miniatures studios, as the next named release is that all time renowned regiment, Bugmans Dwarf Rangers.

Bugmans Dwarf Rangers

Joseph Bugman from Forces of Fantasy, by Tony Ackland

RR1 Bugmans Dwarf RangersJosephBugman
RR1 Bugmans Dwarf RangersJeorjRuddle
RR1 Bugmans Dwarf Rangers (1986 re-release)OwdTomThyksson

The Dwarven Battlecry of "Mhinz Abeir, Z'yor Rond"  ("Mine's a beer, it's your round") cements the regiments place in the annals of Warhammer puns, and underlines the theme of dwarfs as heavy drinkers.
  • Jeorj Ruddle is a reference to George Ruddle, the founder of Ruddles Brewery, now a brand name of Green King, with neither the recipies or brewery location having any connection to the original.
  • Tom Thyksson appears to be a reference to Theakstons brewery, and particually the 'Owd' being their legendary brew Old Peculiar.
  • Joseph Bugman appears to be an original invention, who continues today with the beers sold in Warhammer World  Dwarf themed ales from Nottingham Brewery

Perhaps significantly Joseph and Tom are not fantasy misspellings like Jeorj or loosely based on Norse myth or it's Tolkien derivatives but just common English names. The case for dwarfs adopting common names from human cultures is made by Tolkien, whose dwarfs have their own 'secret' names in the dwarf language Khudzul, but for day-to-day purposes use a human name, although Tolkiens human-language names are Old Norse, rather than English. More on that later...

The Dwarf Lords of Legend

Sculpted by Michael and Alan Perry, the Dwarf Lords of Legend were released in 1985 as a boxed set containing 8 individual characters.

Dwarf Lords of Legend Box Art | John Blanche

BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendBoraxBloodaxe
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendAngus
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendThrobinDeath Eye
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendKimrilGiantslayer
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendLastroLupintal
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendKingGorin
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendThe Baron
BC3 Dwarf Lords of LegendUther

  • Borax is a chemical cleaner
  • Angus, a stereotypically Scottish name. 
  • Throbin, a pun on thobbing, with slight reference to Thorin from Dvergertal/Hobbit
  • Lupintal - Lupin Tall - tall as a lupin?
  • Uther - Uther Pendragon, legendary King and father of King Arthur.
Along with the designs, get the feeling that this boxed set encompassed many of the different cultures of Dwarfdom around the Old World from the Norse to the Imperial to the Scots.

C06 Northern Dwarfs

C06 Northern Dwarfs | 1984 flyer

C06 Northern DwarfsBalIrut
C06 Northern DwarfsLunZud
C06 Northern DwarfsLukAruk
C06 Northern DwarfsKhulDun
C06 Northern DwarfsOranAruk
C06 Northern DwarfsCarlukAton
C06 Northern DwarfsAnukIlrut
C06 Northern DwarfsNazcarAruz
C06 Northern DwarfsOrgKiluk
C06 Northern DwarfsHith-amata
C06 Northern DwarfsNo-carEmol
C06 Northern DwarfsLuk-a-carMut
C06 Northern DwarfsOran-ilrut

Several of the Northern Dwarf names appear to be car puns, Luk-a-car Look a Car? Nazcar? Oran Aruk Or Anorak?

What's strange about Northern Dwarves, is that we already have 'northern' names from Bryan Ansells Heroic Adventurers boxed set - Olaf, and Odan. But rather than continue the nordic theme, the Northern Dwarfs have short, gutteral, and sharp names, perhaps inspired by Tolkiens invented dwarf language Khudzul. If we focus on the examples of Khudzul as they appears in The Lord of the Rings:

  • Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu! 
  • Balin Fundinul uzbad Khazad-dûmu
  • Azanulbizar
  • Kheled-zâram
  • Mazarbul
  • Barazinbar
  • Bundushathur
  • Kibil-nâla 
  • Tharkûn (Gandalf)
  • Zirak-zigil 

Whilst by no means a reconstructive extension of Tolkiens constructed language, there are features in the Citadel Northern Dwarf that are familiar: the use of hyphenations,  frequent uses of 'z' and 'kh' 'uk', 'bal', Thematically Tolkien has Khudzul as a secret language, and that Dwarves commonly take on names from their surrounding cultures, so would typically choose a 'human' name for use outside the secret halls of dwarfdom. As such these names don't appear in the generator, which only produces outward facing names.

C06 Imperial Dwarfs

The Imperial Dwarves, as opposed to the Norse Dwarfs and the Chaos Dwarfs (who deserve a separate enquiry altogether), again sculpted by Micheal and Alan Perry, released in 1986.

August 1986 Flyer

C06 Imperial DwarvesLard
C06 Imperial DwarvesBrond
C06 Imperial DwarvesBrodin
C06 Imperial DwarvesUlfar
C06 Imperial DwarvesGrom
C06 Imperial DwarvesKetri
C06 Imperial DwarvesGrim
C06 Imperial DwarvesHargir
C06 Imperial DwarvesGrimGrimson
C06 Imperial DwarvesGrum
C06 Imperial DwarvesGazil
C06 Imperial DwarvesGotri

And because there is overlap, here's some more...

White Dwarf 80 Imperial Dwarfs

Imperial Dwarfs | White Dwarf 80

Imperial DwarfsGazilHooknose
Imperial DwarfsGrum
Imperial DwarfsTrooperGrimGrimson
Imperial DwarfsTrooperKetriTrollhammer
Imperial DwarfsTrooperBromiIornbeard
Imperial DwarfsGrom
Imperial DwarfsBrondSunkeneye
Imperial DwarfsTrooperHargirThe Cautious
Imperial DwarfsKingUlfarStonehammerof Karak Ungor
Imperial DwarfsGrim
Imperial DwarfsLardGormundof Karak Kadrin
Imperial DwarfsTrooperGotriThe Stout

Again we have the epithetical compound nouns, Stone-hammer, Hook-nose, and the appearance of Troll as a name-worthy enemy.

Lard Gormund is notable as Lard, rendered pig fat, and Gormund, like Gourmand, a glutton.

We also have Grim Grimson, who we may safely assume is son of Grim, building the familial relationship between the characters, helping establish the sense of dwarven clannishness.

There is also the first apearance of tying the name to specific place.  Karak Ungor and Karak Kadrin. Which with the proponderance of K's seems vaguely deriviative of  Tolkiens Khudzul .The Karaks as names of dwarven strongholds go back to the first edition of Warhammer Fatnasy Battle, with Caraz-A-Carak (Car has a car rack?). Seems a bit of a asted opportunity not to keep throwing puns in there,  Karak-Akan, Karak-Agax or Karak-Edz. Karaz-A-Rufrak.

With, Grim, Grom, Grum,  Gotri, Ketri  there is an alliterative naming convention that we see in Tolkiens Hobbit, which stems from the Dvergatal in the Völuspá, a poem that catalogues and names the Dwarfs.

Dvergatal, or "The Recounting of the Dwarves".
There was Motsognir the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs,  and Durin next;
Many a likeness of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth, as Durin said. 
 Nyi and Nithi, Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, Ai, Mjothvitnir. 
Vigg and Gandalf, Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin, Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath, now have I told
Regin and Rathsvith  the list aright. 
Fili, Kili,  Fundin, Nali,
Hepti, Vili,  Hannar, Sviur,
Billing, Bruni,  Bildr and Buri,
Frar, Hornbori, Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari,  Eikinskjaldi. 
The race of the dwarfs in Dvalin's throng
Down to Lofar the list must I tell;
The rocks they left, and through wet lands
They sought a home in the fields of sand. 
There were Draupnir and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori, Hlevang, Gloin,
Dori, Ori, Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir, Skafith, Ai. 
Alf and Yngvi, Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti,  Finn and Ginnar;
So for all time shall the tale be known,
The list of all the forbears of Lofar.

The list of Dwarf names was used by Tolkien in The Hobbit, and indeed John Rateliff in The History of the Hobbit speculates, with good textural reasoning, that one of the chief inspirations for the story was Tolkien working out why an Elf - Gandalf, that is a "Wand-elf" is travelling with all these dvergr.

Another of Tolkiens creative interpretations was to make the similar sounding names indicate familial relations. So, for example Oin and Gloin became brothers, and this idea of a familial structure being important to Dwarfs surfaces with Grim Grimson and the next wave of dwarf.

RR6 Prince Ulthers Dragon Company

Prince Ulther's Imperial Dwarfs

KingUlther son of Ulfar of Karak-Ungor
Borri Forkbeard

Both Ulther and Borri, have a traditional Northern feel, Ulther via Uther Pendragon,  and Borri not being far removed from the Ori, Norri and Dori of the Dvergertal.

King Ulther, son of Ulfar - Ulfar is in fact one of the Imperial Dwarfs listed in White Dwarf 80 so we have the theme of familial lineage developing, again establishing the clannishness of the Dwarf ranges, and indicating a level of world-building and story-telling not seen before. The self-referntial also helps make sense of a rather repetitive name generator, as repeating surnames indicate the characters belong to the same clan or extended family.

D4 Dwarf Adventurers

With the publication of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in 1986, there is a brief return to the theme of adventurers, again sculpted by the Perry Twins.

1987 Flyer

Citadel Journal Spring 87
These names are spread across several flyers and White Dwarf adverts.

D4 Dwarf AdventurersWundalWizard
D4 Dwarf AdventurersHeroHammergrim
D4 Dwarf AdventurersKanarkThe Drunkard
D4 Dwarf AdventurersGargulThe Gunner
D4 Dwarf AdventurersZandur
D4 Dwarf AdventurersDimzadStoutheart
D4 Dwarf AdventurersDunbarTunnelmage
D4 Dwarf AdventurersSoppri
D4 Dwarf AdventurersThulgrimThe Thief
D4 Dwarf AdventurersIntrepidErikal
D4 Dwarf AdventurersKhaladzad
D4 Dwarf AdventurersGhalbar
D4 Dwarf AdventurersFunri
D4 Dwarf AdventurersMcDourThe Manic
D4 Dwarf AdventurersNadir

More loosely inspired by the Hobbit and the Dvergrtal, with slight nods to Tolkiens Dwarven language of Khudzul appearing with  Khaladzad. Nadir, being a low-point is maybe a joke on the dwarfs low stature, and Karnark the Drunkard reminding what the Alcoholism rules in Warhammer are there to be used.

White Dwarf 95 Dwarf Adventurers

Yet more dwarf adventurers appear in White Dwarf 95.

D4 Dwarf AdventurersAdumm
D4 Dwarf AdventurersLittleAndii
D4 Dwarf AdventurersArnuld
D4 Dwarf AdventurersAydriun
D4 Dwarf AdventurersBalcony Kryss
D4 Dwarf AdventurersEyunnaLexanda
D4 Dwarf AdventurersFhyllMadaxe
D4 Dwarf AdventurersHalfdan
D4 Dwarf Adventurers
Hassan I Sahbha
D4 Dwarf AdventurersKhrysRabinsson
D4 Dwarf AdventurersKlannDanelaw
D4 Dwarf AdventurersIron Mhyke
D4 Dwarf AdventurersWildNyjhul
D4 Dwarf AdventurersOgg
D4 Dwarf AdventurersPalldee
D4 Dwarf AdventurersOldPeet
D4 Dwarf AdventurersPrang
D4 Dwarf AdventurersRashasawa
D4 Dwarf AdventurersRaven
D4 Dwarf AdventurersRhobbGrimly
D4 Dwarf AdventurersShazEnsun
D4 Dwarf AdventurersShrubs
D4 Dwarf AdventurersSkargell
D4 Dwarf AdventurersSlymm
D4 Dwarf AdventurersSpudd
D4 Dwarf AdventurersTynsulTymm
D4 Dwarf AdventurersWritch
D4 Dwarf AdventurersYak

These are a strange list, quite out of keeping with the last run. After establishing the 'fantasy' feel for Dwarf names, blending Tolkien and norse myth, these are little more than funny spellings of common English forenames, Khrys for Chris, Nyjhul for Nigel, Peet for Pete etc. It's entirely possible these are references to real people, perhaps gamers or Games Workshop staff, but without knowing the targets of any particular jest, it's difficult to know if we've come full circle to the Quintins and Corbetts of the Dwarf Kings Court, or are just scraping the bottom of the barrel of faux-English names.

There are a few names that manage to stand out:
  • Khrys Robinson - Christopher Robin - owner of Pooh and son of A. A. Milne.
  • Iron Mike - reference to boxer 'Iron' Mike Tyson.
  • Skargell  - reference to Arthur Scargill and the miniature is a miner. Been there before!
  • Hassan I Sahbha - obviously an Assasin pun, also a Hawkwind song.
  • Rashasawa - a portmanteau reference to Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon ?
  • Ogg - a reference to the dwarf Og in the Time Bandits
It's a shame to leave our on a dull note, but overall, there are over 120 individually named Citadel Dwarfs, compared with 70 Orcs or 50 Elves, a testament to the enduring popularity and variety of Dwardom. And thus endeth this recital of the true and ancient lore of the nomenclature of the Dwarf kindreds of Warhammerland.

OK. Can I go back to calling them Dwarves now? Tolkien was right, it's more natural than Dwarfs.

Friday 18 August 2017

Graphic Works: Kriegspiel / Rollenspiel

The history of fantasy, gaming and heavy rock seems eternally entwined, from Led Zeppelin's  obsessive Tolkien references, to Burzum's Dungeons & Dragons influences, through Boltthrower's Warhammer homage The Realms of Chaos, to Hawkwinds Moorcock-fuelled space-rock operas, through the necrotic genius that is The Emperors of Eternal Evil cavern crawl boardgames Cave Evil and Warcults, to the metal stylings of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess and a near infinite number of micro-transactions inbetween.

Both relentlessly demonised by the intolerant religious right throughout the 1980s, scapegoated for everything from teenage suicide to drug-use to swelling the ranks of Satans army in preparation for the End Times, Heavy Metal and gaming carved a counter-cultural niche of the dark and fantastic and entrenched themselves into the fabric of society.  Zhu Industries has taken names of the key gaming genres, Wargaming and Roleplaying, in German, and reforged their graphemes in the style of extreme metal logos aligning them as a natural, troo and kvlt celebration of the blasphemous fusing of immortal cultural viruses.


Rollenspiel, or Role Play,  in a frost-bitten runic forest, evoking the tangled antlers and knotted briar roots of a dark and sinister wilderness hex-crawl through ancient forbidding woodland.

A t-shirt featuring the Rollenspiel design may be acquired here: Rollenspiel Black Metal T-shirt


Kriegsspiel, or War Game, in a brutal heavyweight splatterpunk doom grind crust thrash skate style. Das Kreigspeil ist Krieg, let's smash skulls ...again.

The original concept was to honour French Stuationist and games designer Guy Debord  Kriegspiel, but the correct German Kriegsspiel extends it's universality whilse staying troo to the situationist roots. The video features Pieter Bruegel the Elders highly influential painting from his Empire vs. Undead battle report "The Triumph of Death" (1562).

A t-shirt featuring the Kriegsspiel graphic may be acquired here:  Kreigsspiel Black Metal T-shirt

Free shipping until AUG 20th on all t-shirts in the ZHU shop including the classic Oldhammer and Rogue Trader  designs using code FS0817