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.
- mehret- a combination of success, profit and experience
- Trommraad- lit. 'the Bearded Council'; an informal group of the eldest, wisest or simply longest-bearded individuals in a group. In duardin society, where age, experience and beard length are much venerated, such individuals are seen as the givers of sound counsel.
- krenkha gorogna- lit. 'leadership driving us to a place of no alcohol'; a term most commonly used to describe a vote of no confidence, usually occurring when leadership is either ill-fated or insistent upon following a path along which lies little or no profit.
- unguz throlt- a lost cause; lit. 'undrinkable batch'. When an error occurs in the brewing of alcohol and good ingredients are lost, it is regarded as a tragedy among duardin.
- 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.