To the Dwarf Engineers of the Old World the term ‘Man-Made’ is an insult of the highest order. The idea of ‘made for man’ is only slightly more palatable often referred to dismissively as ‘Tinker-Toys’ for the roaming Dwarf Tinkerers who make them in the cities of Men. The short lived humans are so transitory in nature, leaping about and never building to last and coveting the Dwarf work only for the metal and stones and not the craft.
The Grey Mountains
The Grey Mountains are mineral poor compared to the Worlds Edge Mountains and being so far removed from the main Dwarf Empire and denied access to the Dwarven Underground Highways they are by nature more cosmopolitan then most Dwarfs. Culturally more open to ideas imported from the surrounding cultures with which they are required to trade. The Dwarfs make much from their trade with the key Human cities in The Empire, Bretonnia, and even so far as the Free Port of Marienburg. Trading on their skill with clockwork mechanical constructs and fine jewellery with the gems and gold mined in their strongholds, to counter their relative paucity of mineral wealth.
So far removed from the vast underground stadiums and Dwarven Leagues of the East they even resort to playing Blood Bowl as the Humans and Elves do, though best not to mention the suggestion of Halflings… Playing above ground and against the taller more agile races on turf.
Little Bottom Darlin’s
One such Dwarfish hold loosely translated as ‘Long-Bottom, Deep Crevasse’. Situated along the miles long bottom of a Crevasse in the Grey Mountains opened in the time of the Great Cataclysm and founded during the migration of Dwarven refugees from the East.
Many mechanical wonders are used in the day to day movement of Dwarves up and down the cliff faces of the crevasse. The falls harnessed and turned to steam to power the pulleys and gears of these engines.
And of course their Blood Bowl team the Little Bottom Darlin’s. Named for the all female team and for the team Home Ground pitch built on a false bottom to the crevasse carved into the cliff walls to form a Blood Bowl pitch in the early days of the Clan.
A Career for an Engineer
Dwarf youngsters in the Engineering Guilds are taught the basics from an early age. Apprenticeships with the most venerable Engineers comes only with practice and experience as the Dwarf grows. As in many facets of Dwarven life the Guilds are a family affair and do most things together.
Watched over in the early stages by Skumni Goldbeard. Aged but not as venerable as his peers, forever with the grime of the engines he adores smeared through his beard, the source of his derogatory nickname “Greasebeard” by the others. Such lack of grace makes him something of a pariah with the other Engineers but he disdains their scorn and focuses on his young charges with the pride of a crafts master in a job well done.
The youngsters learn their love of the intricacies and lore of the machine at his knee. And also a fondness for the game of Blood Bowl which he played in his youth back East.
Denied the chance to play for many years to come due to their relative stature and age they developed their tradecraft into mechanical clockwork automatons. Tall and faster than Dwarves to represent the ‘lanky’ races and act as tackling practice for the Dwarf teams of home.
Buoyed by early success in the practice arenas the younguns ventured to enter the local league under the Coaching guidance of Skumni, who relished a return to the Dugouts of his youth.
Dwarf Guild Meister Throng Steamsmith was scandalised and referred dismissively to the inventions as “Tinker-Toys” scoffing at the idea.
Dwarf League Commissioner Broadbeard tried to block the move declaring “For all their height these will never be Giants of the Pitch. For all their overlong legs they will never stride the Blood Bowl turf. These are no Gods of the Game.”
Clan-hold Dwarf Slayer chief – Lymbar The Brawler exclaimed “These… things can never play the game! They have not the spirit of the warrior. This team has no Heart!”
Team Captain Cherry Littlebottom of the LBDs said, “They is cute Darl, but all that grease and Steam is sure to ruin their uniforms!”
A Firm Resolve
Not to be so easily dissuaded Skumni Greasebeard advised the youngsters to take heart in the face of other’s disregard and as he himself wears the badge of their scorn in his name.
“We shall clothe them in Iron and Brass to defend them. Steam will power their pumping mechanical hearts. If they will not be ‘Gods’ then we shall make them as Titans to stride out and battle them. These shall be your Tinker-Toy Titans!”