History of the Dwarves of Corwyn

INTRODUCTION

Dwarf%20KYROS_zpsu7bzyuxd.jpg

Like many of the elder races of Corwyn, the exact origins of the dwarves are lost in myth and legend. The known history of the dwarvish race began in the early years of the Second Age, when the dwarves appeared on the surface of Corwyn for the first time. In the beginning, there were five great Dwarf-Kings, each of whom led large tribes of dwarves called "Clans." The race of Dwarves kept mostly to themselves. Most were simple miners and crafters, ever in search of more wealth. But the dwarves were fierce fighters; they had to be. For only the dwarves had to fight for everything they had. Their goblin enemies also lived under the same mountains the dwarves desired for their own homes. By the second century of the Second Age, the dwarves first made contact with the race of elves on Corwyn. The dwarves were in awe of the Elves' mastery of magic, and strongly desired the use of that magic to aid them in their mining and crafting efforts, as well as their wars against the hated goblins. The embattled dwarves soon asked the elves for the gift of magic to aid them in their struggles against the goblin tribes deep below the surface. The Elvish proclamation of 232/2 made by the Synfari (the elvish Council of Mages), was a stinging blow to the dwarves. The elves flatly refused to share the power of magic with the race of dwarves, for the elves deemed them 'unfit' because of their greed and perceived desire to use magic only to increase their wealth. The dwarves never forgave or forgot this slight, and the elves would come to bitterly regret that decision. Some have said the dwarves were greedy, but they were never evil by nature and once any dwarf extended a hand in friendship, a permanent bond was established.

About 300 years later, in the year 537/2, the Elvish Civil War, or War of Wrath, broke out. In desperation, the Silvar-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 bitter estrangement over these two slights haunt relations between the races of dwarves and elves even today. After the dwarves refused them, the Silvar-Elves reached out to the fledgling tribes of humans scattered across western Corwyn. Seven large tribes of humans responded out of fear of the Dark-Elves. As a reward for their aid, the elves gave the gift of magic to the race of humanity and the Synfari helped establish the Council of Sorcerë to control its use. It was also during these centuries that the races of humans and dwarves met and grew friendly toward each other. By the end of the War of Wrath, the Dark-Elves had been defeated and driven underground, the human Council of Sorcerë had built Erôn-Mystarë, a great fortress at the base of Mount. Orendren, and the races of humans and dwarves were prospering.

Dwarf%20CELATHOR_zpslbnk7z6n.jpg

THE LIGHTS OF THE FIRST FORGE


It was during the Second Age that the five great Dwarf-Clans set out to literally carve out homes for themselves in the mountains of Corwyn. Each of the five Dwarf leaders undertook a long and hazardous journey with his clan to a different mountainous region of Corwyn. When the dwarves reached the mountains they wished to claim as their home, they began a series of bloody wars to drive out the goblins already living there. Each clan had conquered a specific mountain range and declared it would be their home. The five clans eventually founded five great Dwarf-realms centered around the mountains where they lived, and four of those clan leaders were crowned as kings.

The first mountain range to be conquered was the Grey Mountains, which in 663/2 the dwarves named Azkar in their native tongue. The dwarven leader who conquered these northern mountains was Vharig the Conqueror of the Velenkhür Clan. Vharig soon established himself as the first King of Azkar. He ordered a great city built inside the Grey Mountains called Darôk and made it his new home, and he and his descendants sat upon the famed Anvil Throne.

The second mountain range to be conquered was the Swordpoint Mountains, which in 672/2 the dwarves named Urkhar in their native tongue. The dwarven leader who conquered these northern mountains was Kyros the Proud of the Krandåhk Clan. Kyros soon established himself as the first King of Urkhar. He, too ordered a great city built inside the Swordpoint Mountains called Thürgen Feyr and made it his new home, and he and his descendants sat upon the famed Firestone Chair.

The third mountain range to be conquered was the Axehead Mountains, which in 757/2 the dwarves named Chokar in their native tongue. The dwarven leader who conquered these northern mountains was Gromnir the Invincible of the Inorlaiken Clan. Gromnir soon established himself as the first King of Chokar. He, too ordered a great city built inside the Axehead Mountains called Arkan Feyr and made it his new home, and he and his descendants sat upon the famed Greystone Chair.

The fourth mountain range to be conquered was the Mountains of Mist, which in 880/2 the dwarves named Khûrzhad in their native tongue. The dwarven leader who conquered these southern mountains was Tharan the Strong of the Arvedui Clan. Tharan soon established himself as the first King of Khûrzhad. He too ordered a great city built inside the Mountains of Mist called Orthan Feyr and made it his new home, and he and his descendants sat upon the famed Tilvium Throne.

The fifth and final mountain range to be conquered was the Cairn Mountains, which in 925/2 the dwarves named Kharos-Thûngol in their native tongue. The dwarven leader who conquered these southern mountains was Martog the Wise of the Vorheis Clan. Unlike the other four dwarf leaders, Martog refused to be crowned king and soon established a Ruling Council called the Marat. He ordered a great city built inside the Cairn Mountains called Skarlahn-Feyr and made it his new home, and he and his descendants always had a seat on the Marat council.

For a long time after the establishment the five Dwarf-realms, the "Lights of the First Forge," as they were sometimes called; the dwarves knew nothing but wealth and contentment.

Dwarf%20MAROTHOR_zpshdsrpxoj.jpg

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST ALOKKAIR


But all the evil powers on Corwyn had not been defeated and the happy times of the five dwarf-clans would end in the second century of the Third Age. The Dark-Elves had created and used a hybrid race of evil half-elf / half-humans called the Gauth in their war against the Silvar-Elves. The Gauth were both great warriors and powerful mages. The greatest of these Gauth mages was named Alokkair; who himself had been a faithful servant of the Dark-Elves for many long years. Unlike many of his kind, he had not been slain in the War of Wrath, but rather had been driven east into exile with many other Gauth. Around the second century of the Third Age, Alokkair came out from hiding with an army of Gauth and orc warriors and declared war on the Council of Sorcerë. Alokkair desired the magical secrets of the Saar Council and their castle of Erôn-Mystarë. The Saar sent out calls for aid to every race on Corwyn; the dwarves, along with the elves and humans, answered the call. All five Dwarf-Kings marched east with all their clans' military strength. The campaign against Alokkair was long, costly, and bitter. The campaign ended in victory at the Battle of Orgorod in 252/3. The dwarves had fought bravely, but tragically; three of the five Dwarf-Kings; Theron Redbeard, Kelthor Hammerhand, and Vorlag the Venerable were all slain in the battle.

The Council of Sorcerë were extremely grateful to the dwarves for their sacrifices in the fight against Alokkair. In gratitude, the Saar crafted five powerful magical purple stones, called the Elatir, and gave one to each of the five Dwarf Clans. One was given to the Arvedui Clan for the Dwarf-realm of Khûrzhad, a second was given to the Krandåhk Clan for the Dwarf-realm of Urkhar, a third was given to the Inorlaiken Clan for the Dwarf-realm of Chokar, a fourth was given to the Velenkhür Clan for the Dwarf-realm of Azkar, and the fifth was given to the Vorheis Clan for the Dwarf-realm of Kharos-Thûngol.

In the early Third Age, the five dwarf leaders took their magical orbs back to their respective clans. The dwarves then used the Elatir stones to expand thier five greatest cities and mine fabulous wealth for themselves.

THE WAR OF SORROWS


The dwarves had built five great realms on Corwyn, but by doing so, had also made many bitter enemies. In the north, the goblin races bitterly hated the three dwarf-realms and always plotted to overthrow their great cities and steal their enormous wealth. In the year 409/3, the goblins began their devastating campaign to retake the three northern mountain ranges. This devastating conflict became known as the War of Sorrows, and lasted for nearly three centuries and cost the lives of over a third of the entire dwarvish population. The war lasted from 409-655/3, and was fought between the united clans of the three northern Dwarf-realms and a gigantic army of orcs, goblins, and their giant allies. The war was waged mercilessly for nearly 250 years; most of it fought deep underground or high up in narrow rocky mountain valleys. The war was ultimately won by the dwarves, but at a terrible cost.

Dwarf%20MELGATHOR_zpsthkub2kx.jpg

The lowest point in the war was the fall of Thürgen Feyr, which in 592/3 was sacked by a powerful goblin-champion named Grumak the Skullcrusher. The city had been under siege for seventeen bloody years, and eventually the dwarven defenders of Urkhar were beaten down and their city conquered. When the city fell, the last king of Urkhar; Khargan the Luckless, was slain in single combat and his Elatir captured by Grumak. Even thousands of years later, dwarvish hatred of the goblin race that destroyed the city of Thürgen Feyr, slaughtered its citizens and stole its magical orb burns strong today.

After the fall of the city, the dwarvish hero Celathor the Avenger, swore to recover it. He spent nearly sixty years hunting Grumak underground, battling goblin hordes constantly, until he slew Grumak in single combat and recovered the lost Elatir and returned it to Thürgen Feyr. The city was eventually rebuilt, but the Dwarf-realm never recovered. It was at the crucial and titanic battle of Khonë Valley in 655/3 that the united goblin and orc tribes were finally defeated and the War of Sorrows came to an end. 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 costliest of battles. The War of Sorrows was a disaster that the northern dwarves never fully recovered from. In addition to the city of Thürgen Feyr, its king, and its Elatir, all three northern ruling clans were decimated and their kings slain. This chaos resulted in a new Kronehelm Clan that united the three weakened dwarf realms into a single entity that came to be called the Dwarf-realm of Orrek.

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 the Dwarf-king Tharan the Strong of the Arvedui Clan. Khûrzhad thrived for 1,545 years before it was destroyed in 884/3 during the Great Rift, a terrible earthquake in 884/3, which was of such magnitude, that it shook the very foundations of the continent of Corwyn and caused an enormous section of land south of the Cairn Mountains to sink beneath the waters of the Sea of Ralas. This was how the great Isle of Renthara was created. Before this time, the island had actually been attached to the continent of Corwyn. Several human and elvish civilizations also perished in the catastrophe, and the remnants of all their cities and towers still lie deep beneath the surface of both the Wyn Myr and the Sea of Ralas. The great southern Dwarf-realm of Khûrzhad and its capitol city of Orthan Feyr was lost with all its inhabitants and its Elatir.

It was this disaster that led to the dwarves desire to re-establish a fifth dwarf-realm, which would lead to the expedition to found the realm of Kronar many years later.

Dwarf%20RHOM_zpsi702htn3.png

THE FOUNDING OF KRONAR


Because of the loss of Orthan Feyr in the Great Rift, the northern dwarves set out to build a new fifth colony, greater than any of the other four dwarf-realms then in existence. The Salakrün Mountains far to the southeast were chosen by King Relgathor the 'Far-Sighted' of Orrek as the best location and soon the dwarves began a successful campaign to rid that region of orcs and goblins, led by Haskanar the Bold of the Durthas Clan. After a twenty-year long campaign driving out the goblins, the Dwarf-realm of Kronar was founded in 987/3, and the greatest of all Dwarf-cities; Krone Feyr was built there soon after. Kronar and its capitol of Krone Feyr soon became the wealthiest of all the Dwarf-realms because of the discovery of vast deposits of Bloodstones deep within the Salakrün Mountains. The vast wealth of Kronar soon surpassed all three northern dwarf-realms. 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. The loss of Krone Feyr and the dwarf-realm of Kronar was a body blow that the race of dwarves has never recovered from.The ancient dwarvish civilization of the Salakrün Mountains, and the greatest and wealthiest of any Dwarf-realm in Corwyn’s history. 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. 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.

Using this vast new-found wealth, the dwarves of Kronar began building the greatest Dwarf-city ever built in the deep caverns below the Salakrün Mountains, aided by their northen cousins in Orrek, who sent one of the four remaining Elatir to use in the mining and crafting process. This massive stone capitol was the large underground city of Krone Feyr, and it grew into a large and prosperous city that traded with men, elves and even other dwarves in the north. The fabled riches and wealth of Krone Feyr led to legends that it was paved with gold and gems, and glittered like the sun under the Earth itself

But, alas, the fabulous wealth of the dwarves of Kronar brought them unwanted attention as well. The goblin and orc tribes of Corwyn, long bitter toward the dwarves for driving them out of the Salakrün Mountains, plotted with Alokkair to overthrow Kronar and take its riches for themselves. Kronar came into troubled times after a long and prosperous reign of 1,271 years. In 1079/4, a great orc and goblin host invaded the Dwarf-realm and destroyed it, along with its capitol city of Krone Feyr. When the city of Krone Feyr fell to the orcs, the dwarvish Elatir of Kronar located there was lost as well. Kronar’s coat of arms consisted of a star, an anvil, and two crossed pick-axes in gold on a deep purple field. Its last king was Ulgathor the Unyielding who tried in vain to defend Krone Feyr against hordes of orcs and goblins.

Dwarf%20RELGATHOR_zpstz7eupt4.jpg

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