During the invasion by the forces of Chaos, many Duardin fortresses were destroyed. Some of the survivors escaped using air-ships and started building outposts in the sky. Some became traders, explorers or pirates. The Kharadron Overlords became rich, building sky-ports across the Mortal Realms.
In the beginning of the Age of Sigmar, the Kharadron Overlords saw the newly arrived Stormcast Eternals. Realizing that they might have a chance, the Kharadron Overlords began to fight against the the forces of Chaos again.
After the failure of the old ways, these Duardin rejected "gods and kings" and instead developed the Kharadron Code, a set of rules that governed their culture. The Kharadron Code focused on profit instead of honour, leading the Kharadron Overlords to ignore the other races during the Age of Chaos if there was no benefit to helping them. Though the Kharadron Overlords value their oaths as much as other Duardin, they are more likely to look for loop-holes if it can make a profit.
Kharadron culture is a meritocracy, with each position in the ship, clan or guild being chosen based on their skills and successes. Though they value family, inheritable positions is considered a recipe for disaster.
- Drek-urb - The opening of trade with other races.
- Galkhron - The dividing of plunder.
- Kuzzbryndal - A hero's welcome.
- Barak-Urbaz - Barak-Urbaz is the most cosmopolitan sky-port and one of the richest, with income from transport through hidden Realmgates and harvesting of aether-gold. They are also the most proficient in the use of aether-alchemy.
- Barak-Zilfin, the Windswept City - Barak-Zilfin is the second richest sky-port and is known for its skilled pilots.
The Kharadron Overlords rely on their sky-fleets, crewed by Arkanauts, to explore, defend and attack. The Arkanaut Ironclads are the capital ships of the fleet, helmed by the Admirals. Arkanaut Frigates are the the mainstay of the fleet. The Grundstok Gunhaulers are two-man ships developed by the Grundstok Corporation. Krontankers are massive ships which store harvested aether-gold.