History of the Dwarves of Corwyn
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Creation


Like many of the ancient races, the exact origins of the dwarves are shrouded in various myths and legends.

According to myth, the dwarves were created by Korghan; an immortal being they call the "Great Father" or "The Creator." Korghan desired to pass on his knowledge of metal-working and stone-crafting, and wished to create creatures in his own likeness who he could then to teach his lore and crafts to other mortals.

After long years of toil at a massive forge, located in a secret hall, deep below the surface of Corwyn, Korghan created the dwarves. This event was called "the First Forging."

In the beginning, there were the, so-called, “Five Fathers” of the dwarves. Each went out into the world, and started his own clan.

At this time, the dwarves first gained their unparalleled skills in stone-masonry and mastery in crafting weapons and armor. Most dwarves kept to themselves, and led simple lives as miners and crafters. If the race of dwarves had a flaw, it was greed; for they were always in search of greater wealth.

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First Appearance


In the early years of the Second Age, the dwarves first began to appear on the surface of Corwyn. They soon made contact with the race of Elder-Elves.

The elves were impressed by the dwarves' skills in stone working and paid them handsomely to construct many great works in their earliest settlements.

It was also during this era, that the southern dwarves first met humans from the ancient civilization of Asgamoth, and the two races grew friendly toward each other.

The "Gravest Insult"


In awe of the elven mastery of magic, the dwarves approached the elves and asked them for the secrets of magic to aid them in expanding their own cities and for mining deep below their mountain homes.

In a stinging rebuke, the elves flatly refused to share the power of magic with the dwarves, for the elves deemed them ‘unfit' because of their perceived desire to use magic only to increase their wealth.

The dwarves never forgave nor forgot this slight, and the elves would later come to bitterly regret that decision. This elven refusal became known to the dwarves as the "Gravest Insult."

About 300 years later, a terrible Elvish Civil War, broke out. In desperation, the elves called upon the dwarves for aid against the Dark-Elves.

The dwarves flatly refused the request, for their own bitterness over that earlier slight still burned centuries later. The bitterness felt over these slights has strained relations between the races of dwarves and elves, even to this very day.

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The Lights of the First Forge


During the Second Age, the five dwarven clans made the monumental decision to carve out homes for themselves in various mountain-ranges spread across the continent of Corwyn. Descended from the “Five Fathers,” each of the five dwarven clans was led by a designated ruler called a "Clanmaster."

The five clans began exploring Corwyn's greatest mountain ranges, in search of both wealth and locations for a permanent home. Eventually, all five clans founded "Dwarf-Holds" under five different mountain ranges. Three of the new dwarven nations were located in the north, while two were founded in the south. They were named: Azkar, Chokar, Kharos-Thûngol, Khûrzhad, and Urkhar.

The three northern Dwarf-Holds; Azkar, Chokar, and Urkhar, were the most contested, for many hostile goblin tribes also dwelt in those same mountains. But eventually, all three were conquered by the dwarves. As a result of this bloodshed, a fierce hatred was born between the races of dwarves and goblinoids.

In the year 409 of the Third Age, this hatred culminated in the terrible War of Sorrows. The goblins hated the dwarves and envied their wealth. Led by a champion named Gordak the Merciless, the goblins invaded dwarven territory, igniting a conflict that would rage for over 250 years.

As the fighting grew desperate, the dwarves sought out aid from the elves. The dwarves were in awe of the elves' mastery of magic, and strongly desired the use of that magic to aid them in their wars against the hated goblin tribes.

Each of the five Dwarven leaders led their Clans on long and hazardous journeys to a different mountainous region of Corwyn.

When the dwarves reached the mountains, they wished to claim as their home, they were forced to engage in a series of bloody wars to drive out the goblins already living there.

Each of the five clans conquered a specific mountain range and then declared it their new homeland. These five clans eventually founded five different Dwarven nations, each centered around the mountains their Clan had conquered, and four of those clan leaders were crowned as kings.

The Five Dwarf-holds


The dwarves called their five strongholds the "Lights of the First Forge." After their establishment, the five dwarven nations prospered for many centuries, and their citizens knew nothing but wealth and contentment.

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The Gauth War


In the fateful year 250/3, a powerful sorcerer named Alokkair raised a huge army of orcs and Gauth warriors, in an effort to capture the fortress of Erôn-Mystarë. Out of desperation, the Council of Sorcerë called out for aid.

The rulers of all five dwarven nations answered the call and marched their armies far to the east to fight in what came to be known as the “Gauth War.”

The Five Val-khûra Stones


At the epic battle of Orgorod, the dwarves and their allies defeated Alokkair and his hordes. In return for their service, all five dwarven kings were given a Val-khûra; one of the legendary dwarven “rune-stones.” One of these orbs was taken back to each of the five dwarf-holds as an heirloom.

War of Sorrows


In the year 409 of the Third Age, the long-simmering hatred and envy the goblins held against the dwarves culminated in the terrible War of Sorrows. Led by a champion named Gordak the Merciless, the goblins of the north invaded dwarven territory, igniting a conflict that would rage for over 250 years.

As the fighting grew desperate, the dwarves sought out aid from the elves, who promptly refused them. The elves still nursed the old bitterness over the dwarves’ refusal during the earlier War of Wrath.

The War of Sorrows, as it came to be known, was waged mercilessly between the three northern Dwarven nations and a gigantic army of orcs, goblins, and their giant allies.

Most of the conflict was fought either deep underground or high up in narrow rocky mountain valleys, and cost the lives of over a third of the entire dwarvish population.

For the dwarves, the lowest point in the war was the fall of Thürgen Feyr. The city had been under siege for seventeen bloody years. It was captured in 592/3 by a goblin army led by Grumak the Skullcrusher.

When the city fell, King Khargan the Luckless, was slain in single combat and his Val-Khûra captured by Grumak.

After the fall of the city, the dwarvish hero Celathor the Avenger, swore to recover it.

He spent nearly sixty years hunting Grumak underground, constantly battling goblin hordes, until he slew Grumak in single combat and recovered the lost Val-Khûra. He then returned the orb to Thürgen Feyr.

In the year 655/3, the War of Sorrows finally ended at the epic Battle of the Fiery Gorge, in which all of the combined goblin and orc armies were annihilated.

The war had lasted nearly 250 years, and both sides were exhausted. The ancient Dwarf-kings Celathor Kronehelm and Goran Inorlaiken were slain in this horrific battle.

The War of Sorrows was a disaster that the northern dwarves never fully recovered from. All three ruling clans were decimated and their kings slain.

On the year 660/3, King Algathor Kronehelm was able to unite the three weakened dwarf realms into a single entity that came to be called “Orrek.”

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The Great Rift


The dwarves were not satisfied with the northern mountain ranges of Corwyn. Ever in search of more riches, the dwarves began even more ambitious campaigns in the two great southern mountain ranges of Corwyn as well.

The southern Dwarf-realm of Khûrzhad was founded by Tharan the Strong of the Arvedui Clan. Khûrzhad thrived for another 1,545 years before it was destroyed in 884/3 during a catastrophic earthquake called the “Great Rift.”

This terrible earthquake shook the very foundations of the continent and caused an enormous section of land south of the Cairn Mountains to sink beneath the waters of the Sea of Ralas.

The great Dwarven city of Orthan Feyr was completely destroyed, along with all its inhabitants and its Val-Khûra stone. With the loss of the city, the realm of Khûrzhad completely collapsed.

It was this disaster that led to the desire among the dwarves to re-establish a fifth dwarf-realm; which ultimately led to the expedition to found the new dwarven nation of Kronar many years later.

The Founding of Kronar


Because of the loss of Orthan Feyr in the Great Rift, the dwarves of the north set out to build a new colony, greater than any of the other four dwarf-realms then in existence.

The Salakrün Mountains, located far to the southeast, were chosen by King Relgathor the 'Far-Sighted' of Orrek as the best location. Soon after, the dwarves began a long campaign to rid the mountains of the various orc and goblin tribes that dwelt there.

This massive expedition was led by Haskanar the Bold of the Durthas Clan. After a twenty-year long campaign, Haskanar conquered the Salakrün Mountains for the dwarves. In the year 987/3, Haskanar founded a new dwarven nation there called "Kronar.” When completed, its capital; Krone Feyr, became the greatest dwarven city ever built and was a wonder to behold.

When originally founded, the realm of Kronar was intended only to be a southern colony of the northern dwarvish realm of Orrek and to replace the lost fifth Dwarf-realm of Khûrzhad, but with the discovery of rich deposits of Bloodstones, the Dwarf-realm of Kronar became much more. It eventually became the wealthiest of the Dwarf-realms, even surpassing the northern realms in riches.

Also, Because of this newfound wealth, the dwarves of the Kronar were immediately targeted by their orc and goblin enemies for destruction. In the year 1079/4, the Dwarf-realm of Kronar was invaded and the city of Krone Feyr was destroyed.

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The loss of Krone Feyr and the dwarf-realm of Kronar was a terrible blow that the race of dwarves has never recovered from.

On orders from King Relgathor Kronehelm of Orrek, Haskanar of the Durthas Clan took many dwarvish warriors south in the year 967/3. After a twenty-year military campaign, Haskanar completed his conquest of the Salakrün Mountains, and in 987/3 founded the Dwarf-realm of Kronar. That same year Haskanar was anointed the first Dwarf-king of the new realm.

For centuries after, the dwarves of Orrek dreamed of sending another expedition south to retake the ruins and rebuild their once-great city.

In 699/6, a great dwarvish warrior named Rhom 'Stoneheart' led a group of dwarves south to retake Krone Feyr and rebuild Kronar. The new dwarf-realm was called Grimhold, but lasted only 27 years, before it too was destroyed by an orc invasion.

Over the last 500 years, the Dwarf-Kings of Orrek have yearned to send yet another expedition, but so far it has not come to pass.