The Grudge Of Drong
The Grudge of Drong is a 4th edition campaign for Warhammer Fantasy involving Dwarfs and High Elves. The campaigns of the edition were notoriously popular, and lead to a major boost in the playerbase of the game.
The campaign consists of four battles, with each affecting the details of the final battle. It was notable for being one of the last times Games Workshop included free punch-out paper scenery rather than advertising for preexisting overpriced sets.
During the era of the early stages of the Asur/Druchii civil war, a Dwarf adventurer by the name of Bronn the Bold lead his clan to the coastal mountains of the Old World. There they found a mountain rich in gold and gems, among the richest the Dwarfs had ever seen. They constructed a Hold there which became very wealthy, attracting refugees, adventurers, settlers, and even entire clans from the (then) united Seven Peaks. After reaching a point of prosperity and being recognized by the Dwarf race as a true Hold, the newly established Thanes of Bronn's line dubbed it "Krag Bryn" or "Gleaming Mountain".
However, the clan of Thrund had an ancestral Grudge against Bronn's clan. Whatever the Grudge was about was long forgotten, but it remained that all members of both clans were aware of it and thought themselves in the right. The Thane of Clan Thrund, Thrund the Angry, gathered a large army of Dwarfs of ill-repute as well as many poor clans. Thrund's army attacked Krag Bryn and expected his larger force to triumph (clearly not understanding the tactics of his own race). His force was devastated, and in a personal challenge on the battlefield Bronn delivered fatal wounds to Thrund. Thrund's final words were to his sons, forcing them to swear an oath to avenge the Grudge and all others made that day by destroying Bronn's clan and bloodline.
Thrund's forces that survived established a new Hold, Kazad Thrund, at the only route between Krag Bryn and the rest of the Dwarf race. They did not wage war on Bronn's people, instead charging outrageous fees for passage between Krag Bryn and the Peaks. The route was named "Grudge Pass". Over the years, Krag Bryn's wealth had dried up. Now the daily carts of magnificent gems and gold were worth only enough to keep the fortress running after Thrund's clan took their cut.
In the early era of Phoenix King Caledor II (yeah, THAT guy) an Elf from Lothern named Eldroth sailed the ocean blue with a large ship of settlers for new lands. Along the coast of the Old World, they discovered an ideal location for a port and established a settlement dubbed "Tol Eldroth". Not long after the initially small port had grown to become a city proper, the Elves discovered their neighbors in Krag Bryn. Lead by Queen Helgar Longplaits, last of Clan Bronn, they initiated diplomacy and found the Elves ideal trading partners. Elves were willing to pay far more for gold and gems than the rest of the Dwarfs were and there was no Grudgy middle man in the way.
Drong the Hard, last of the bloodline of Thrund, was displeased to see the trade in his pass dry up. Drong was VERY angry about Elves (keep in mind this was in the era where Dwarfs and Elves were the only two races on the planet with an alliance and considered each other brothers, making his attitude very strange back then) and considered Helgar's people race traitors for letting Dwarf gold into non-Dwarf hands. His clan grew poorer and poorer, having no commerce other than the protection money they had forced out of Brynish hands. Drong's grumbling grew darker and darker, and eventually he beganto spread the lie that Thrund was the founder of Krag Bryn, and that Bronn was a peasant miner who lead a coup and attempted to wipe out the bloodline of Thrund to hide the truth. Other Dwarfs who hated Elves, both those who had been wronged by the new "Dark Elf" faction and those who were simply racist assholes like Drong, flocked to his call. He spread discontent among the people of Bryn's outposts, many of whom were descended from Clan Thrund and wanted to believe his lies, then declared war on the "illegitimate ruler of Krag Bryn" and her "foreign allies".
Battle of Grudge PassEdit
Krudd Mad-Mattock, Master Engineer of Bryn and related by marriage to Drong, lead a miner's rebellion after one evening of drinking and Grudge-speak. Most loyalists were killed immediately, with only a few escaping to warn the Queen. She immediately requested the aid of the Elves, and Captain Fendar was dispatched with a force of skirmishers. He arrived at the midpoint between the outpost and Bryn, and drew a line in the dirt just in range of his Archers. When the Dwarfs arrived, he warned them crossing it would be an act of war. The drunk Dwarfs shouted racist slogans and plodded forward, with the Elves unleashing arrows the moment the Dwarfs crossed it. The Battle of Grudge Pass had begun. Fendar's army was frail, but his Archers dealt heavy casualties to the drunk Dwarfs, while the bulk of their force lost their footing and rolled down a hill before being incinerated with fire magic. The Miners themselves did the bulk of the damage to the Elves, with Krudd simply knocked Fendar flat on his back with the handle of his mattock and stepping over him.
The Elves managed a retreat while the Dwarfs, demoralized and hung over, only managed to crawl back to their mine which declared loyalty to Drong.
Ambush on the Dwarf RoadEdit
Surprised his small rabble of rebellious laborers had not crushed the inferior race of knife-ears and the woman on what he already thought of was his throne, Drong opted for a different approach in his next gambit. After adding all Elves forever to his hold's Book of Grudges, he spent the wealth obtained from his new mine on treasures from Karak Izril, including gold, gems, and mugs carved with cat bone menacing with spikes of dolomite depicting a dwarf queen on fire. Helgar invited him to a feast in order to resolve their differences and talk of uniting clans. No expense was spared, and after seeing Helgar drink like a Dwarf Thane and failing to match her, proposed marriage which Helgar accepted. The Dwarfs celebrated the union and made formal plans while the Elves utilized Grudge Pass to trade with all of the holds of the Dwarf race. It quickly became the most prosperous the region had ever been for all three groups.
Despite this, the Elves and Dwarfs had in other places throughout the Old World come into disagreements. Whether it be an Elf vomiting after only a sip of fine ale, or a Dwarf mistakenly walking into the crotch or ass of an Elven dignitary, many holds had begin to place Elves (without informing them) on their Books of Grudges while Elves began talking a lot of shit via gossip and jokes just barely out of earshot.
During one of the (many) feasts celebrating the betrothal a Dwarf Runesmith named Grung appeared. Grung's clan had been forced out of it's hold during a small war with Elves (he did not elaborate at all on what lead to this war). He became a favored guest at Drong's table, as his anti-Elf rhetoric and absolute amazement at the wealth of the soon to be united holds both pleased Drong greatly. The more drunk Grung got each night, the more venomous his speeches became while his constant reference to Dwarven greatness became mixed throughout. He became bold in time, suggesting Drong was a race traitor openly for consorting with Elves, while at the same time extolling the old fashioned virtues of men on the throne, women barefoot in the kitchen and pregnant.
Drong began plans to attack and wipe out Tol Eldroth and all it's inhabitants to take their "stolen wealth" back while Helgar plotted to remind the menfolk of Drong's clan who fills the breastplate in the region. Helgar dispatched a message to Eldroth, and the next day the group of Dwarfs that Grung was traveling with were ambushed by Elves along the road lead by an Elf named Tethan. Archers wiped out the Slayers immediately, while Tethan's magic caused the ground to break and split plunging Dwarfs to their deaths. The head Slayer was the only one to reach the Elvish line and was cut to ribbons before landing a single blow. The only Dwarfs to survive were Quarrelers who formed a defensive line around Grung and repelled both Giant Eagle and Elf until nightfall when Grung was able to slip away. Tethan was wounded by a bolt, but survived.
Drong accused Helgar of attempting to assassinate one of their race and conspiring with sub-Dwarf mongrels while Helgar accused him of conspiring to usurp her throne and break the sacred Oath of Friendship between Dwarf and Elf for greed of gold. After Helgar ordered Drong's beard shaved (after failing to do so herself in a brawl between the two) Drong called the marriage off and left Krag Bryn, swearing to all in earshot how he'd have the throne and the queen's beardless (emphasis on this) head. Most of Bryn's soldiers, being traditional types never content to serve a woman or see a living Elf, went with him.
The Brewery BashEdit
Knowing Drong would immediately resume plans to take her throne, Helgar dispatched her guards to capture his Brewmaster who had recently relocated his Brewery to the entrance to Krag Bryn's mines. Largs was his name, and he was too inebriated to awaken and too fat to carry when Drong's forces had fled.
After sealing him in a large copper vessel, Helgar issued an ultimatum to her ex; swear fealty and forsake all Grudges, or Largs's last brew would fill his lungs.
Drong, who's clan loyalty relied on his "free ale" socialist policy developed during the clan's impoverished days (based on the principle that when a Dwarf says "I'm going to have an ale" any of his brothers can say "So shall I!") was horrified. After a few days of horrid sobriety and more than a few Fell Moods, Drong gathered his most loyal (and desperate) Dwarfs and sent them to return with Largs or not at all. They were lead by a mysterious Dwarf known only as Skag the Stealthy. Eldroth's spies tipped Helgar off to the force's departure, but Helgar found that the warriors still loyal to her (mostly Slayers) refused to harm a Dwarf in search of ale. She once again requested Eldroth's aid, and he dispatched one of his mist trusted servants, an Elf known as Ardath the Vengeful with a personality more Dawi than Asur, to aid her.
Ardath's forces surrounded the Brewery, firing arrows from within and warded with magic. Skag's Thunderers alternated between peppering the right flank of the Elves with gunfire and keeping the Silver Helms at bay. Skag split his assault force in two, one large unit of Slayers followed by his Ironbreakers and sent them towards the front of the Brewery.
After the spells and arrows of the Elves, most of the Slayers lay dead while the Ironbreakers struggled to pass their mounds of corpses before falling to the same fate.
Refusing to flee, the Hammerers pressed on in a last ditch
waddle charge. Ardath lead the Silver Helms to meet them, but suffered great casualties as Thunderers, Hammerers, and Quarrelers all focused on them.
The Elves managed to hold the Brewery until nightfall, when they were reinforced by Tol Eldroth. Rather than return and admit his shame, Skag took the Slayer Oath and returned years later under a new name in Queen Helgar's service.
The Battle of Krag ByrnEdit
Drong, fed up with the games up until now, summoned every force at his command; the rebellious Miners, kinsmen, and every Elf-hating Dwarf he could find. He promised his parched people ale that would never stop flowing, all the riches that could be plundered from the city and the hold, and the cleansing of their race.
Eldroth meanwhile had maintained spies in every population around Tor Eldroth and knew the movements of his enemies. He called the nobles of Tor Eldroth for a vote; war, or retreat? Eldroth himself claimed the fall of the queen would mean Elves would be forced from the Old World by Dwarf tyrants. Anarion, representative of the merchants, claimed that if Krag Bryn lost access to the Peaks then trade would dry up to the point that Drong may as well have taken it. Fendar pointed to the skirmishes elsewhere as bigoted Dwarfs sought the death of Elves for little to no reason, claiming a victory for the queen would grant them a powerful ally in the Dwarf culture. Finally Ardath spoke, claiming the queen was a Dwarf and thus as much a bigot as the rest of them and that by destroying Thrund's kin the Elves would teach them respect. With unanimous approval, a call was sent to Ulthuan for troops.
They had barely arrived when Drong's army began it's march. Positioning themselves in the pass between Krag Byrn and Tol Eldroth with a waterfall to one side and cliffs on the other, he planned to march to the sea and destroy every last stone and hair of Elvish taint, then turn around and finish off the bitch queen once and for all.
Helgar marched out with the remaining loyal forces, mostly bodyguards, and watched the battle unfold.
Both sides opened with warmachines and ranged support, Bolt Thrower exchanging fire with Cannon and Archer with Quarreler and Thunderer until all ammunition was depleted and all artillery destroyed or damaged. Most Dwarf ranged forces were destroyed, and the large column of Elf Spearmen were devastated by Dwarf Flame Cannonfire. The Elf cavalry consisting mostly of Dragon Princes lead by Eldroth, Ardath, and Lithan of Tiranoc who had lead the Ulthuan reinforcements charged directly into battle with the Dwarf assault force of Hammerers and Miners lead by Drong and Grung. Eldroth dueled Drong and dealt mortal wounds to each other. Ardath took command and fought Krudd, then engaged the dying Drong. Lithan killed Grung and decimated the remaining Hammerers with repeated charges.
Helgar, watching the battle, chose this moment to wade into the fight.
Against the Elves.
That's right, she sided with the guy who had been a thorn in her side and those of her kinsmen for the history of her kingdom against her constant allies, whom she'd actually called to the battle.
Drong was succeeded by Krudd (fitting name) who called an immediate retreat. Helgar's bodyguards held off the Elves and were slaughtered to the last while she fled back to Krag Bryn. Ardath succeeded Eldroth as leader of the city, and summoned further reinforcements to lay siege to the two holds. Krudd and Helgar both appealed for aid from the rest of the Dwarfs, although none answered the call for various reasons (nobody wanted to aid the beardless woman, some still had trade agreements with Elves, others had Grudges against one clan or the other, etc).
When the War of the Beard began, Tor Eldroth and both Krags were destroyed. The event contributed to the start of the war, with Elves seeing the Dwarfs as greedy, bigoted savages and the Dwarfs seeing Elves as filthy ponces that were a blight on creation.
A section from White Dwarf showing the Elf characters. Eldroth was the only character to have his own model, with the others merely being generics like the Dwarfs. Like the special Dwarfs, Eldroth is difficult to find as well.