3 months ago Apr 23,2024, 13:59:22 PM

Thrones of Decay: Introducing Malakai Makaisson

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This week, we’re delving into the final Legendary Lord to arrive in Thrones of Decay, for doing otherwise would end up with each and every one of our names in the Dammaz Kron. The Dwarfs are taking grand engineering to the next level, and with the caliber of mighty machines this guy builds, you'd be wise not to find yourself in the Great Book of Grudges.



This technologically savvy Legendary Lord, Malakai Makaisson, was once a member of the Engineer’s Guild, wherein he built the Ironclad Unsinkable... which sank, and the Airship Indestructible... which blew up. As a result of these errors, costing many a Dwarfen life in the process, Makaisson was ejected with great shame, and took the Slayer’s Oath in turn.

At a glance, here’s what he brings to the Dwarfs:

  • Slayer - As a Slayer, Malakai is unbreakable, whilst also benefitting from all of the advantages that Slayers bring to the battlefield.
  • Engineer - As an Engineer, Malakai supports missile units with an array of abilities that increases capabilities to wreak havoc and doom on the enemy.
  • Spirit of Grungni - The Spirit of Grungni enables recruitment for Malakai's forces, supporting infrastructure and the ability to call in support during the battle from the famed airship itself.
  • Malakai's Adventures - By completing preparations and improving different war machines and artillery Malakai can push the feats of his engineering prowess in epic battles and earn valuable upgrades for the Spirit of Grungni.

Despite his reputation, Makaisson continued to invent, tinker, and create new tools of the trade after his exit, taking another crack at an airship with the much more successful Spirit of Grungni, as well as the vicious Goblin-Hewer; an axe-flinging war machine.

In battle, Malakai Makaisson serves the Dwarfs as a ranged support Lord, tossing explosives toward the enemy with the Cinderblast Cluster Bomb, blasting them to bits with his triple-barrelled repeater, and, if those pesky Greenskins get too close for Dwarfen comfort, smacking them in the face with a massive spanner.


He can also reduce the Reload Time of artillery and increase their Accuracy with the Artillery Master passive. Plus, he’s come prepared with some special firepower in the form of the Deranged Munitions skill. With it, he can target a specific allied missile unit to increase their Missile Strength and imbue them with Magical Attacks.

But that’s not all. 

With the Eyes of Grungni item, Makaisson emits an area of effect buff to nearby allies, increasing their Missile Damage and Range.

And Makaisson knows the importance of good war machine maintenance, so with the Makaisson’s Persuader item, he can keep any war machine topped up with a Replenish Ammunition and Single Target Heal effect.

Beyond battle, Malakai Makaisson has other goals in mind to push forward both his oath as a Slayer, and history as an inventor.


This is his adventure. 

Malakai's Adventures

Slayers often seek a glorious death in battle, whether it be against the strongest of beasts and monsters or in the fiercest of battles, they feel it will absolve them of their sins.

Malakai Makaisson is one such Slayer, but he’s not satisfied with death without innovation, and thus his engineering ways rear their head in Malakai’s Adventures. As an engineer, Makaisson uses this opportunity to upgrade his arsenal for use in these battles, fulfilling his oaths along the way.

Upon learning of a legendary foe somewhere on the known world, Makaisson prepares himself for battle, and won’t begin until the enemy is aptly researched through a series of smaller conflicts, and his arsenal has the right tools for the job.

Perhaps he hears tales of the Greenskins, on the hunt to track down a fearsome creature, the discovery and destruction of which would bring great glory to Malakai Makaisson. But, with Dwarfen scouts tracking the Greenskins’ growing crusade, the Dwarfs must be ready for war, as they begin work on the Goblin-Hewer, tearing across the region and enhancing the war machine’s strength with the spoils of battle.

If the Dwarfs are successful in defeating the legendary battle, Makaisson is rewarded with something new; something to bolster the abilities of his greatest creation ever.

Spirit of Grungni

First used to evade the Skaven forces that struck Wissenland en masse, this flying fortress of ferocity is the peak of Dwarfen engineering, and yet, Malakai Makaisson wants to push this masterful creation further. By achieving victory in his adventures, as explained above, Makaisson can improve the Spirit of Grungni with valuable upgrades to the famed airship.

The Spirit of Grungni can support Makaisson’s forces in a wide area on the campaign map, quickly ferrying supplies and forces around the known world. It grants him access to snappy recruitment, infrastructural support, and may be called into battle itself to support the war effort down below.

This one’s built to last.

Garagrim Ironfist

Garagrim Ironfist, the one and only son to Ungrim Ironfist of Slayer King fame, is the War-mourner of Karak Kadrin and has achieved Legendary Hero status.

By embracing the life of a Slayer and leaving behind his father’s courtroom for the Shrine of Grimnir, Garagrim took on the role of war-mourner, serving in the King’s stead during battle, and accepting that great honour as his own. As a Slayer is often wont to do, Garagrim awaits his demise at the hands of a worthy foe and seeks to tend to the Shrine of Grimnir until that day comes.

In battle, Garagrim Ironfist is an anti-infantry powerhouse, built to tear down large groups of enemies with his Axes of Kadrin; rune-etched weapons that are chained to his wrists so that he never misplaces them.

He grants passive Weapon Strength and Magical Attacks to his nearby allies with The War-Mourner, can spin on the spot with his chained axes to deal a circle of damage thanks to Hurricane of Death, gains a Ward Save that grows in intensity with Wards of Grimnir, and enters a Melee Attack and Weapon Strength-boosted state the more he kills as the Slayer of Legend.

The honour’s all his.

Slayers of Daemons and Dragons

To keep the battles flowing on all fronts, Makaisson recruits a new Lord and Hero to bolster the Dwarfen empire.

The Daemon Slayer, a new Generic Lord for the Dwarfs, smashed through countless Trolls, Giants and Dragons to the point where, in the present, it’s just old hat for him. Having felled so many beasts in the past, the Daemon Slayer commits to taking down the mightiest foes of all; the Daemons of Chaos. With a loose grip on sanity, the Daemon Slayer is a frightening leader, driven mad by his own shameful curse of continued survival against all odds.

As a melee specialist Lord, the Slayer excels as a bonafide Daemon Killer, dealing magical damage intrinsically, and buffing nearby Slayers as their leader. With the active ability, A Glorious Death, this Lord triggers an effect that makes both himself and Slayers around him unkillable for a short time. When at last he is beset by a true warrior, the passive ability A Worthy Foe grants him increased Melee Attack and Weapon Strength when fighting an enemy that inflicts Terror.

The Dragon Slayer, a new Generic Hero for the Dwarfs, is a rarity in and of itself. Often travelling alone and shunning all contact with their fellow Dwarfs, the Slayer of dragons searches far and wide for the fire-breathing beasts, ready to bring about their end.

As a melee specialist Hero, the Dragon Killer of the Dwarfs is built for felling large entities, is resistant to flaming attacks and, like the Daemon Slayer, is searching for A Worthy Foe to destroy.

A mighty doom awaits.


Doomseekers are the lone wolves of the Dwarf army. With magic-resistant wards tattooed all over their body for protection, their unhinged minds are made dangerous by the axes attached to chains as their weapon of choice, like Garagrim Ironfist before them, for some serious damage.

With Whirlwind of Death, a Doomseeker spins around on the spot to create a Dwarfen vortex of pain, dealing major damage to enemies within range as it blends them into chunks, and they serve as a fine addition to any army looking to bring the Wards of Grimnir to the frontlines, boosting their Ward Save as more blood is spilled.

Even the Slayers are known to keep their distance from these seekers of doom.

Slayer Pirates

Dwarfen Sea Slayers, often known as the Slayer Pirates, were once traders, turned to piracy on the seven seas after the misplacement of some rare Dwarfen ale; an event so harrowing that even the most strong-willed Dwarf could crumble at the mere thought of it. They now take the moniker of mercenaries, searching for long lost loot and returning it to their rightful owners.

For the right price, of course.

With a cutlass in one hand and a pistol in the other, the Slayer Pirates are a textbook missile infantry unit for the Dwarfs, festooned with firearms to keep the forces of evil at bay.

And, as for those few lucky RoR Slayer Pirates that have found some of their lost Dwarf Rum, they may come to find that the enemy’s Melee Attacks don’t hit quite as hard as they used to.

Drink responsibly. 

Grudge Raker Thunderers

With the Chaos Dwarfs in town, bringing their blunderbusses and fearsome artillery to the battlefield, the Thunderers that fellow Dwarf commanders may be familiar with are adapting, and have gotten their hands on some new firearms with the Grudge Rakers.

This double-barrelled shotgun, prototyped by the young Master Engineer Grimm Burloksson, can fire a swath of shot into incoming troops and decimate single targets with one trigger pull.

The close-range infantry squadrons of Grudge Raker Thunderers weren’t content with just a fancy new weapon, though, as they also keep their one-handed axe close by for when ammo runs dry, with a shield on their back to let them hold the frontlines with ease.

Give ‘em both barrels.

Goblin Hewers

The creations of Malakai Makaisson have something of a reputation to them, whether it be the masterful Spirit of Grungni or the infamous Goblin-Hewer.

This war machine terrifies any that stand before it, as it flings axes across the battlefield with lethality, speed, and a touch of precision. What the Goblin-Hewer lacks in range, it makes up for in its ability to shred nearby targets, serving as a burst-damage artillery unit for the Dwarfs when up close and personal.

As if the enemies of the Dwarfs were mere stalks of wheat, standing between them and victory, the Goblin-Hewer scythes its way through the front line, separating skin from bone with its sharp projectiles and complex design of wheels, chains, and gears. Manned by Slayers, once the Goblin-Hewer has expended all its ammunition, the crew charge headlong into battle to keep the blood flowing.

Time to reap what you sow.


It’s not just any old port in a storm with the latest heavy centrepiece unit for the Dwarfs, the one-of-a-kind Thunderbarge. This airborne warship is bolstered by bomb racks, cannons, and Grudge Raker riders, serving as a flying fortress to carry overwhelming amounts of firepower onto the front lines, as well as a handy beer hall to keep the pilots inebriated enough to consider flying such a dangerous contraption.

The opposing forces will prioritise taking this thing down before it gets too close, but they’re going to struggle as a special mix of Bugman’s Ale is ignited aboard the vessel, triggering Thunderburner; an ability that slowly tears the Thunderbarge apart in exchange for reaching some incredible speeds. Once within range, the Spear of Grungi can be launched, hurling a giant harpoon into the enemy.

Embrace imperfection. Enact oblivion.


To wrap up our deep dive into the Dwarfs’ additions in Thrones of Decay and Update 5.0, we’re going to look at the primary legacy updates that you can expect, just as we did with Nurgle and the Empire before them. And, just like with those two races, the content mentioned below will be completely free to anyone that owns the Dwarfs in one form or another.

Let’s go.

The Great Book of Grudges

What are the issues with the current system?


  • Grudges aren’t as rewarding as they could be in the current system, and thus engaging with it may not always be the best course of action, making it feel less important overall. Plus, Grudges often push you into doing things you were already going to do, rather than encouraging you to make actual, tactful decisions.
  • The Grudges being a series of missions also felt like an underutilization of the mechanic, and the feature’s usage on the campaign map needed some more work.
  • Grudges were not as urgent as we’d have liked, either. A big part of the Dwarfs power fantasy is having to right the many wrongs surrounding you, which didn’t quite land with the original system.
  • Another issue was that you could sometimes get stuck with Grudge missions you couldn't complete, which would unfairly tank your Severity bar.

What are we changing?

  • Grudges will now be present and fully visible on the campaign map.
  • Any faction that performs a hostile action against the Dwarf culture earns Grudges. 
  • As a Dwarf player, attacking an army or settlement that has Grudges associated with it will award you with that Grudge value upon victory.
  • We’re introducing a new system; Ages of Reckoning. Every 10 turns, the Dwarfs will have a target number of Grudges that must be resolved, and the percentage of those Grudges that have been taken care of at the time of the Reckoning will correspond with certain rewards. Clearing a high number of grudges will result in buffs, new Grudge Settler units, and even a temporary Grudge Settler army at the highest ranks, but low performances during an Age will come with penalties.
  • Legendary Grudges are also available, and are grand missions that benefit the entire Dwarf culture when resolved. For example, taking the fight to Skavenblight and the Hell Pit will reward you with a unique army ability to summon Dwarf Miners in your own territory now that they’re no longer under threat of Skaven attack, or, you may also attempt to rebuild the Karaz Ankor, unlocking the Underway Travel network which allows fast travel between Karaks.
  • Confederations can be earned by out-Grudging your fellow Legendary Lords. After exceeding the amount of Grudges another Lord has earned, plus an additional amount, you can confederate the other factions via the Book of Grudges panel.

We feel that this new system for the Great Book of Grudges expands upon the fantasy you expect to have when playing as the Dwarfs, offers reliable confederation of your fellow Legendary Lords, and makes for a much more interactive, rewarding experience as you right all those wrongs.

Technology Tree

What are the issues with the current system?

  • The original technology tree for the Dwarfs is massive, so much so that it can be tricky to keep track of and engage with.

What are we changing?

  • Not wanting to remove tech from the Dwarfs, we’ve now split the original tree into two tabs, with a Guilds tab and a Clan tab, respectively, and we’ve done a full sweep on all effects.

Building Chains

What are we changing?

  • We’re making some tweaks to the Dwarf’s building chains, one key example of which is the Level 5 building, the Trader’s Guild Hall, which will grant Oathgold every turn. 
  • Oathgold was, before the changes, quite tricky to play around. You often had far too little, or, on the other end, more than you could ever need. This change should help alleviate that stressor. 

The Forge

What are we changing?

  • We’ve had a look at Forge Items and done a full polish pass to make them advance in smaller increments, and so that you won’t always need a specific resource to Forge certain items. 
  • It’s a smaller change than those mentioned prior, but giving the system a light polish nicely adds to the overall improvements made to the Dwarfs with this update.


For more details on Malakai Makaisson, and to see this deranged genius in action, keep an eye on our official channels for the final showcase.

We’ll be back later this week to delve into some of the additional free content arriving with Update 5.0, including a free Legendary Lord that absolutely no one has already figured out yet, as well as the introduction of the Nemesis Crown.

And, as always, you can expect the full suite of patch notes for Update 5.0 the day prior to launch, and you can reach us about all things Total War in the CA Community forums or the official Total War Discord server.

See you on the battlefield! 

—The Total War Team

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 2:07:47 PM

i love those reworks. I hope 2023-CA is history now, and can be crossed out of the The Great Book of Grudges. Can't wait till realese!

Updated 3 months ago.
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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 2:16:38 PM

"including a free Legendary Lord that absolutely no one has already figured out yet "

I think they know

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 2:39:36 PM

So what happened to the „toolbox“ hero promised in the roadmap? He is neither in the dlc, nor the flc. 

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 2:46:07 PM

The new mechanic of Malakai looks nice.
Next to the workshops of other engineering LLs it looks different while still offering what you expect from such a mechanic.

I still absolutely hate the Age of Reckoning rework with a passion though.
So much work that could have been gone into a mechanic to actually rebuild the underway instead of just getting it as a gift after basically winning the campaign. Or into an actual Karak update that gives the Dwarves the ability to play as tall as they should be able to. Or a rune rework that fixes the fact that right now Chaos Dwarves are very obviously the far superior runesmiths. Instead we have a Khorne mechanic that spawns new armies of a dying race and disincentivizes to play tall, because we have to conquer as quickly as we can now. I really appreciate your effort to rework the Dwarves. Its probably the biggest rework they ever got.
But I have never been that disappointed in a rework, which hurts double, since there is probably not going to be another attempt.

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 2:59:27 PM

Forcing Dwarfs to exterminate ALL elves makes no sense, as fro ma lore perspective, the War of veangeance has long been settled grudge (hell, Thorgrim, Eltharion and the Phoenix King are... well, "friends" so to say).   

They shouldn't HAVE to destroy the high elves.

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 3:04:02 PM

You are 22 days too late, CA.

  1. You chose Malakai over Grimm to be the engineer representation of the race.
  2. You gave workshop mechanic to Elspeth, a character who has little to do with the Imperial Gunnery School in Nuln, but not to the bona fide engineer character.

Sure, it has its own UI. Apparently, the quests are voiced. I could even say that it is somewhat original.

Do you know what else is original? Defecating while standing on hands. It is neither intuitive nor good. And neither is this mechanic.

I wanted and expected a proper, elaborate workshop mechanic to tinker with all kind of clankers. This is not it. What a mockery.

Also, why do I find a headswap in your premium deluxe priced DLC:

Give the Dragon Slayer unique belt, armguard, armband, and pants.

I will return here later when I learn more about unit animations.

Updated 3 months ago.
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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 3:19:05 PM

I thought that since there was a rework of the dwarves and the empire, we could have had a rework for gotrek and felix but maybe for another time

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 3:28:25 PM
XRumbleKing#3189 wrote:

I bet it’s Todbringer who is the free Legendary Lord right?


No it is not. It is Epidemius

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 3:43:06 PM
SirMoustik#3563 wrote:

I thought that since there was a rework of the dwarves and the empire, we could have had a rework for gotrek and felix but maybe for another time

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 4:17:44 PM
TheCape#4479 wrote:

When we will be able to buy the DLC's on Steam??

They are listed on the steam page as well as every trailer saying to "Wishlist on steam now" so very obviously yes

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 9:00:07 PM

Really liked his factions mechanics, and the recent rework. But... I expected some more unique gameplay mechanics for the many LL, just as Gelt. At least a rework on the eight peaks or more mechanics for Grombidal, Thorek and etc. 

Either way, i'm satisfied with CA work on this update. Can't wait to play with them all

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3 months ago
Apr 23, 2024, 9:12:00 PM
XRumbleKing#3189 wrote:

I bet it’s Todbringer who is the free Legendary Lord right?

Honestly it'd be great if he was a surprise extra FLC LL. Extremely unlikely but would still be a pleasant surprise from CA if it happened.

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