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The History of the Dwarves

The First Dwarves
In 1888 YBH, Tynian created the First Dwarf. Her children became the One Clan. They venerated Tynian the Lifegiver and recorded time in Years of Life from that year. For a hundred years, they lived in the northern mountains. In their explorations they found Mount Chthone, inhabited by huge, intelligent worm-like Chthonian crawlers. The Dwarves drove the crawlers from the caves and within the caverns they built a town and a mine.

The Citadel
As the One Clan grew, they needed more space. And so in 218 YL they began a Citadel. In a vast, deep cavern, they constructed this wonder of Dwarven technology, filled with lesser wonders. The city was built to be expanded, and expand it did, for two hundred years. Great tunnels were dug for storage, to the west and east, but eventually these were filled, and a new tunnel was begun to the north.

The War of the Spawn
This tunnel broke through the stone into the Abyss of N'Kai. From the Abyss flooded the Spawn, dark, shapeless beings, and flying Polyps. The Spawn and the Polyps almost destroyed the Citadel, killing the One Clan in horrible numbers. Only with heroic efforts was the onslaught turned back, and the Citadel kept from destruction. And so, in 396 YL, the War of the Spawn began. For decades, the battle raged. The Spawn continued endless attacks, only to be beaten back into the Abyss by the valient efforts of the One Clan. For eighty long years the battle raged. As the years passed the weakest warriors began to be affected by the Taint of the Spawn, fleeing into the deep caves. These twisted creatures were given the name Duergar, no longer being fully Dwarven. Finally the Dwarven clerics devised a holy Sigil, the Sigil Draktha, to forever close the portal into the Abyss. The Spawn rose before this Sigil could be placed, as though they knew it was their final chance. The Citadel, now not much more than an armed camp, was finally destroyed beneath them, but with tremendous effort, the Sigil was placed. The War of the Spawn was won.

The cost of the War had been great, however. The Citadel was beyond repair, and the Snowwater River, its water source, was tained with the Spawn's poisons. With great sorrow, the surviving Dwarves abandoned their magnificent city, and began anew in a higher cavern. This new settlement grew quickly, and in 500 YL, in an anniversery celebration, it was given the name Dwarvenhold. Not long after this, the Duergar resurfaced. Arising from the deep caves, where the Dwarves had thought them dead, they attacked the miners. The Dwarves quickly counterattacked, but the Duergar retreated into the black depths. Patrolguards and Shamanic Guards were appointed, and an uneasy balance was formed. For the next six hundred years, the Dwarves lived in this balance.

The Elves
Then, in 1110 YL, a Dwarven hunting party in the Whitefrost Forest met a new race. Tall, stately humanoids, the Elves were nothing like the fear-inspiring Spawn. Still, the Dwarves were wary. With the aid of one of the Elves' mages, the two groups communicated. When it became apparent that the Elves had no aggresive intentions whatsoever, but were merely traveling, the Dwarves became more open. The Elven party was invited back to Dwarvenhold, and a feast was given to welcome them. The Elves spun great tales of their explorations of the world, describing their carefree travels across the continent, and their travel across the Maelmordian Seas. The Dwarves proved a good audience, and the Elves spent many months in Dwarvenhold, telling stories and politely touring the city and mines. A group of Dwarves formed, called Elf-Lovers behind their backs by the other Dwarves, that were enamored with the lives and places the Elves described. When the Elves left Dwarvenhold to return to their storytelling gathering in Haon'Dor, the Elf-Lovers asked permission to accompany them. The Elves consented, and the band of Dwarves left Dwarvenhold with them. The Dwarves camped on the banks of the River Fastwater, to the east of Haon'Dor, and visited with the Elves. For almost a century, the Dwarves camped, visiting and learning from the Elves. Then, in 1203 YL, the Elves returned to the Southern Continent. A large number had decided to remain in Haon'Dor, and one of the Seven Ships in which they had come was now empty. This empty ship was offered to the band of Dwarves, and they accepted.

Lineaoth Valley
Once on the Southern Continent the Dwarves made immediate plans to travel into the vast Oort Range to the south and west. They travelled up the river that would one day be named the Tiber, and arrived at the banks of a great lake. There, they camped for a time and decided their future course. In the hundred years by Haon'Dor, many of the Dwarves had made close friends with Elves. These Elves had accompanied them this far, but few wished to wander into the bleak Oort Range. Finally, after much discussion, the Dwarves split. Those who wished to stay with their Elven friends and lovers would stay, while those who wished to press on would do so. They traveled into the mountains filled with optimism and delight. The rugged mountains proved beautiful, but barren. In time the Dwarves adapted, becoming nomadic and traveling through the mountains hunting and following the migration of the animals. For two thousand years they lived in this way. Every decade or so an Elven traveller might find them in the mountains and spend some time with them, but never to stay for long. Then, in 3406 YL, a new traveller entered the mountains. His name was Jon Keyotay, and he was a trader. He and his band explained that they had traded across the mighty Seas with northern Dwarves, and were impressed with their metalworking skills. The nomadic Dwarves had turned their talents to working with surface stone, unable to stay in one place long enough to operate a mine. When they explained this to Keyotay, he offered to trade them food and drink from the corners of the realm, if they would mine and provide him with the products of their metalworking. Although a few Dwarves decided they preferred the nomadic life, most thought this an excellent bargain, and settled in Lineaoth Valley, where they began a mine. Trading through Keyotay, and later other traders, they settled into their new life.

Other Dwarves
In Dwarvenhold, the population continued to grow. In time, as the city filled, the Dwarven King recalled the stories of the Elves and sent out travellers to explore the world, and find other mountains that could support Dwarven cities. In time, suitable mountains were found, and each time Dwarvenhold reached its capacity, a Prince would lead a group of citizens to one of these new caverns, to become King Under the Mountain of his own kingdom. In the Southern Mountains separating the Eastern Plains from the vast desert lies Kharad-Delving. To the north is the Dwarven Kingdom, in the dangerous range east of the Whitefrost Forest.

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