The First Soulfurnace

In days of yore did the fierce Bull God descend upon wings of shadow and flame unto Mingol Zharr-Naggrund the Great, and He stood strong before the chosen tribe, and His worshippers praised Him at length and conducted great sacrificial rites and adulated the divine and unholy name of the Father of Darkness. And they humbly asked the mighty one for His bidding, and high Hashut deigned to command them to cast off and vastly surpass the last vestiges of the weak art of runeforging which their heathen ancestors had practiced, for the Dark God ordered His children to craft items with not only magic trapped in potent inscriptions, but to forge far mightier things out of the very Daemons of the Realm of Chaos itself. He commanded the Dawi Zharr to melt, mould and hammer the minions of the Great Four and of all the lesser entities of the Warp. For would not this prove the ultimate superiority of their fiery deity over the other gods?

And thus did the Great Trampler ascend and return to His shackled court in darkness and flames, and leave His faithful with this challenge, which they arose to conquer in His sacred name. No efforts were spared in this great undertaking. No sacrifices were too great, no hardships too severe, no ingenuity was denied, no matter how insane and convoluted. Trials and experiments uncounted were conducted in a myriad of different paths to tame the servants of the Dark Gods, yet the key discoveries to unlock the hidden secrets sought after were made at a basic level, after which cunning craftsmen could work true miracles and unimaginable horrors alike upon the metal; for the breakthrough came about by His will in the furnace which heats the ore and melts out the metal from the rock.

At first, the Chaos Dwarfs fired their furnaces with coal, which is a dead matter, and occasionally they would shovel into the flames screaming and unwilling slaves deserving of punishment and agony, and the fires would be fuelled by their flesh, which is a living matter. Yet soon a conclave of twelve arcane engineers, led by the ruthless and demented Sorcerer-Prophet Kuramupalazzar Slagfist, found out an unprecedented way to enhance the mastery of forged power from the Empyrean, an approach wholly unknown at that time to the lesser tribes and unbelievers of the world. This invention was the intricate and perilous means by which living mind could fuel the furnace, and indeed the smithy, which would enhance the abilities of the Dawi Zharr to forge otherworldly forces into matter upon their cracked and chained anvils.

Usually the body of a slave would be burnt along with the mind, yet forge trials revealed that the proper spells could make the furnace consume the psyche within the skull without having to devour the flesh. Thus, a longer burning time of mindflames extracted from particularly strong spirits was achieved, yet the resultant wretched shell of a being, imbecille and bereft of identity and intelligence, was useless except for eating or burning.

Yet groundbreaking and potent though the mindforging method was, it proved but a mere stopgap measure, later on fit only for the training of apprentices and the crafting of lesser talismans and other magic items. For by the supreme and unerring guidance of mysterious Hashut did the independent arcane engineer Hazhem-Durikgalzur, at great expense and at the accidental loss of his two brothers and father, finally manage to reach and cleave the shell of the very soul found within each living creature, and the exposed eternal essence within could then be ignited by the sorcerously directed and simultaneous burning of flesh and mind, thus obtaining an intense fire both mundane and otherworldly which, if skilfully*harnessed, would produce metal uniquely fit for luring, trapping, containing and exposing the Daemons of Chaos, who in their hunger are drawn to vulnerable souls of mortals like moths to flames.

The Soulfurnace was thus invented, a mortal contraption wrought in the image of the cruel Bull God's infamous armoury hidden within the Realm of Chaos, and the first of its baleful kind remains a sacred place and destination of crafts-pilgrimage to this day.

Through neverending toil and sacrifice did Hazhem-Durikgalzur master a new craft, and*he learnt and taught how to forge Daemons and Empyrean forces into objects to harness dark sorcery properly and efficiently, thus allowing the most intricate arcane artifices to be worked into items, thereby producing the most powerful and heinously dangerous equipment. Thus did he become the first Daemonsmith Engineer and founded a masterful and hazardous craft and tradition like few others ever practised in creation. And the Father of Darkness saw that this was well.

Such is the progress of the Blacksmiths of Chaos.