Welcome to the fourth installment of our Rivenstone lore series. These blogs are meant to introduce you to the world of Rivenstone and the warring factions that you, as the player, will be able to take command of in this upcoming miniature wargame. If you’re just joining us, be sure to read our first three lore posts: Part I, Part II, and Part III.
In this post we’re covering the dwarves of the Iron Guard. Similar to humans of the Shattered Empire, the Iron Guard are a force that utilizes firearms and machinery in their battles. However, the look and feel of the technology utilized by these two warring factions couldn’t be further apart.
The humans of the Shattered Empire enter battle in resplendent armor, augmented by arcane prosthetics, and wielding hybrid melee-firearms such as gunblades or pistol shields. The dwarves, in contrast, are more “old school.” A gunblade is a fancy looking weapon, make no mistake, but the dwarves would rather just use a flamethrower, a pistol, maybe even a few grenades to get the job done.
This doesn’t mean that all of the dwarves’ technology is mundane — far from it, in fact. The Iron Guard value efficiency in their tools of labor and warfare, so much so that over the many centuries they engineered deadly weapons that are also utilized as their tools during mining operations.
For example, the standard armament of a tunnel guard is a flare pistol and a set of lumen grenades. Should an Iron Guard worker get hurt or lost during a mining operation, the pistol and grenades can be used to help find them or alarm others that assistance is needed. In a scrap, shooting a flare into someone’s face is a very good way to make them stop attacking you.
While much of the dwarvish technology we can directly compare to real world weapons and tools, they are not without their fantasy elements. The Iron Guard utilize dense suits of Rivenstone-powered armor, outfitted with all manner of exotic weapon-tools to protect their operations. Some of the higher ranking bosses oversee entire operations from the comfort of their own Minewalkers: quadrupedal mechs that act as both rock crusher and foe crusher.
For hobbyists, the Iron Guard offer a chance to paint metallic armor and advanced weapons, but without the gleam and shine of the Shattered Empire. If you like hazard stripes, grime, grease, and beards, then you are definitely going to want to paint some Iron Guard. Be the first to know when we release our next lore series post by signing up for our newsletter on our site and by following our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Business of War
Among Venn’s various peoples, the dwarves were in the best position to endure the mystical storms, having long preferred to build their cities deep below the surface. Yet despite having suffered far fewer losses, there is no question their lives have also changed, and they are eager to return the world to right. Considering themselves first among various competing dwarven alliances, the Iron Guard are something of a well-armed business-empire, and for far too long business has been bad. Relying on underground trade routes has been difficult, and for centuries they have only had other dwarves to trade with. The opening up of the world has given them new opportunities which they must seize. They have armed and readied themselves toward this end.
The Iron Guard have existed since ancient times, their legacy predating human-written records, and their culture has long been structured around the mining and trading of Rivenstone to other societies. For them, the Rivenstone eruption was more apocalyptic to their profits than to their people.
As things began to calm down, the Iron Guard found a world in desperate need of their services. Supply was low and demand incredibly high, which led to a desperate scramble for Rivenstone deposits as they were discovered. These dwarves, being the undisputed masters of mining, simply couldn't risk allowing less-skilled races to gather Rivenstone and undercut them.
A decision was quickly made by the Iron Guard's Board of Masters that the best thing for everyone was for the Iron Guard to claim sole rights to all Rivenstone mining and distribution, even if this meant defending such claims in combat. This wasn’t anything personal, of course; today’s enemies can be tomorrow’s potential clients.
Though dwarvish technology did not regress during the centuries of storms, it did not advance much, either, due to a lack of fresh Rivenstone. Thus, Iron Guard warbands march out into the world using the same hybrid mining-weaponry they've used since ancient times to settle any "disputes" of Rivenstone claims. Negotiations over such matters are often settled quickly, and at the end of a drill fist.
Director Hobart Cragden
Above is an illustration of Director Hobart Cragden, one of the Iron Guard characters that you will see in miniature form as part of our game. Hobart is a genius when it comes to the logistics of battle, mining, and business. He is capable of predicting the tactics of his enemies far in advance and plots countermeasures to their schemes before they’ve even conceived of their next move.
Like many high ranking Iron Guard bosses, Hobart’s primary duty is overseeing the various mining operations occurring in the wilds of Venn. In this capacity, Hobart acts as both foreman and guardian of each operation to which he is assigned.
For some dwarf bosses, being out in the field is more of a chore than anything else, and they’d much prefer directing operations from the comfort of their subterranean homes. Hobart, however, absolutely loves field work. He may be best known for his logistical acumen throughout the empire, but his joy comes from working alongside (and protecting) his subordinates in the wild.
Hobart prefers to keep an eye on things atop his minewalker. This towering construct provides the perfect vantage point to keep an eye out for Rivenstone poachers that might attempt to disrupt operations.
When Hobart does spot a threat, he fires his harpoon rifle at any interlopers. If the initial shot doesn’t stop an intruder in their tracks, Hobart reels them in . . . right into the mechanical maw of his minewalker.
Thank you for joining us for the latest installment of the lore of Rivenstone. We hope you come back for Part V as we explore the Risen faction.