Dwarven Timeline

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This timeline, written by GM Czarra, describes events central to the Dwarves of Kermoria. Its description of Forfedhdar, Adamantia, and Kwarlog (among other regions) was (and, to some degree, remains) unique because these regions were not explorable by player characters at the time. The timeline is notable for possessing a style that is more prose-like than found in the timelines of GM Cadaya.

Elanthipedia has other Timelines available. Also see Kraggur's Dwarven Timeline.


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Part 1

Copper (Legendary) Age:

-8000: The Dwarves are created by Kertigen, and become the first mortal race. They enjoy a paradise time of over a thousand years, during which they explore the Dragon Spine Mountains, inside and out, and learn the ways intended for them by the All-Father. Their colony is named Svadh ut Kertawr (All-Father's Blessing), and is to be found in the only habitable region of the southeastern area.

During this legendary period Dwarves are already metalworkers, making jewelry, some tools, and other items from cold hammered native copper (eventually developing annealing) as well as stone. Into modern times, copper is the sacred metal of Kertigen, a reflection of this earliest period.

-6800: The lesser gods create the other races; and the guardian beasts, created to protect the lands, turn upon one another and upon all sentient beings. The Dwarves develop a knowledge of rudimentary smelting techniques, and create bronze weapons and armor pieces. The first Council of Twelve (a very magical number to Dwarves) is created for administration. It is a gerentocracy, drawn from the oldest active members of the tribe. The priests of Kertigen--as a unit--cast the thirteenth vote, in case of a tie.

-6000: The Dwarven colony, now 750 strong, is considered too large for the burrows, caverns, buildings and food supplies of the area to support. Scouts are sent to investigate the western portion of Dragon Spire. Dwarves begin to use stream tin to create a new copper alloy: bronze. (Supply of the new alloy is limited because of a lack of tin sources. Copper itself is widely available, since smelting with iron oxide as a flux is now common and allows copper to be enriched and purified easily. Cupellation allows the isolation of gold and silver from ores.)

-5500: Scouts return with word of a relatively attractive site far to the northwest in a region near where the Dragon Spine and Siergelde Mts converge with the Himineldar Mts. It is similar in layout to Svadh: ringed mainly by cliffs, cold, covered with edible lichen ("crowned by blue spires and carbuncles rare"), stalked by occasional fur-bearing predators, and gifted with large deposits of interesting rock formations which could be crafted into pleasing and useful shapes. A party comprising roughly one-half of Svadh's population sets out for the new site.

-5000: The new colony is established, and called Hibarnhvidar (Winter's White). Hot fissures are discovered nearby, exciting the Dwarves' curiosity.

Bronze Age:

-4551: The Dwarves of the new WW colony discover a source of tin ore, allowing a great

explosion in the availability of bronze both in the colony and back home.

-4332: Dwarven civilization, consisting of approximately 1500 inhabitants, again grows too

large for its current inhabitable territory. Roughly one-quarter of each colony contributes to an

expedition which goes to the Siergelde Mountains, and another quarter journey to the Himineldar

Mts (Skyfire Mts).

-4330: Word is received that the Siergelde Dwarves have founded a colony called Karadel.

-4229: Word is received that the Himineldar Dwarves have founded a colony (after much

hardship) called Kwarlog (Blueflame). Copper ore is plentiful, but there is no local source of tin.

Kwarlog begin experimenting with different alloys, eventually producing brass from a mixture of

copper and locally available zinc. Lead and silver are plentiful, but gold is rare. The (relatively)

large amount of meteoric iron in the area gives the Dwarves here their first practice in forging that

metal. Attempts to smelt metallic iron from the abundant iron ore are fruitless.

-3500: Kwarlog Dwarves develop a highly efficient smelting furnace, allowing iron to be smelted.

The process remains labor intensive and difficult. The technology rapidly spreads to the other

Dwarven communities, but bronze is still the metal of choice.

-3300: A month-long meteor shower blasts the lands with hundreds of "star rocks." Some take

this as a sign of doom, but the Karadel Dwarves gather as many as they can find and experiment,

gaining their first practical experience in forging iron. A side benefit of the search for meteoric

fragments is that it allows the Karadel Dwarves to explore Siergelde more thoroughly.

Some of the rocks contain a secondary metallic ore which is naturally green in color. Attempts

made to extract and smelt this metal result in weapons and armor of unsurpassed hardness and

lightness. The few items thus made are quickly realized as special, and adorned with elaborate

embellishments. While most will be lost over the ensuing ages, several figure prominently in

song and tale.

-3278: Several decades of unseasonably wet years begins in the Dragon Spire Mountains. The

old lichen crops vanish, replaced by a much more aggressive fungus which releases an acrid,

infecting spore. Populations in Svadh and Hibarnhvidar begin to decline.

-3242: The decline becomes considerable. Missions to Kwarlog and the Siergelde Dwarves

request the transfer of aid, in the form of return colonists, food and supplies.

-3225: An aid caravan from Kwarlog discovers only the crumbling ruins of Svadh, overrun by

giant mushrooms and littered with half-burnt bones.

-3224: A small group of Dwarven AxHolders leaves Kwarlog for Hibarnhvidar, fearing the worst.

The group is never heard from again.

-3211: The Karadel Dwarves of Siergelde send word to Kwarlog that their Council has approved

a new tradition, sending out seedling colonies long before the main settlement reaches its

maximum sustainable size. Uproar in Blueflame; the debate over this abrupt change to Dwarven

values carries on for twenty-four years. Meanwhile, Karadelians settle the towns of Gardul,

Berdna, and Fashein. All four colonies have populations of under 200.

-3186: The Kwarlog Council issues a strongly-worded statement disagreeing with the move of

the Karadel Dwarves, and beseeching them to return to the wise conduct sanctioned by their

ancestors before the Siergelde colonies disappear.

-3182: A mission to Siergelde returns to Blueflame with word that Karadel has already paid the

price: the colony endured several extremely harsh winters with dwindling supplies and population,

before its remnants left for Gardul. The three seedling colonies are apparently doing well,

however, and have perfected methods of communication involving the use teamed runners,

called The League of the Avalanche.

-3110: The three Siergelde colonies send word to Kwarlog that they have established the Gardul

Free State. Uproar in Kwarlog, with the Council involved in a debate that lasts 21 years.

-3100: Kwarlog Dwarves develop a highly efficient smelting furnace for iron. The process remains

labor intensive and difficult. This

technology rapidly spreads to the other Dwarven communities, but bronze is still the metal of

choice.

-3031: The Siergelde Dwarves send out a second expedition to the DragonSpine Mountains,

with intentions of discovering the cause of their earliest colonies' destruction. They are attacked

unsuccessfully by a small group of blue-skinned, leather armor-wearing fanatics. Capturing

several, they discover the group call themselves the Blackfire Cabal. They claim ownership of

the DragonSpine Mountains in perpetuity, and declare that they have destroyed three races-

- of which the DragonSpine Dwarves were one. They further claim that the Siergelde Dwarves

are descended from dog packs, that the world doesn't exist, and that the Cabal receives its

instructions directly from the three moons. An attempt is made to take the Blackfire members

back to Siergelde for questioning, but they die on the way of no discernable cause.

-2970: The Kwarlog Dwarves send a mission urging caution upon the Gardul Free State.

-2967: The Blueflame Dwarves perfect a technique of multiple-planed hammering under terrific

steam pressure that creates plate armor of fair manueverability and extraordinary strength. The

so-called Golden Age of Gemfire Craftsmanship begins, and regular trade links are forged with

the Gardul Free State.

-2889: Another expedition from the Gardul Free State discovers insignificant remnants of the

original Svadh colony living in barely tolerable conditions in the Deriel plains. The latter are given

supplies and books. Two Dwarven clerics, Metock and Katrabal, remain behind to reeducate

their Deriel compatriots. Metock keeps a diary, which details the subsequent alliance struck with

a small group of young Elves to retake the DragonSpire Mountains. The Dwarves seek answers;

the Elves seek rare herbs much sought after by their kind.

-2884: Twelve times twelve Dwarves and twenty Elves (supposedly) set out to the Himineldar

Mountains. Despite methodical searches, no trace of the Blackfire Cabal is found, and the

Dwarven ruins at Svadh remain untouched. The Dwarves decide to resettle Hibarnhvidar. The

Elves, having found none of the herbs they needed, bid them farewell.

-2881: Ten of the Elves return to Hibarnhvidar in a starving condition. They are taken in by the

Dwarves, nursed back to health, and given a portion of the restored community to call their own.

-2859: Berdna Dwarves discover a Biter in their lower tunnels. After many Dwarven deaths, they

succeed in mortally wounding it, and driving it away.

-2854: Records from Hibarnhvidar indicate that the Dwarven population has risen slightly, but that

the Elven population has soared. There are now 152 Dwarves, and 102 Elves.

-2835: Fresh colonists arrive in Berdna from Gardul.

-2825: The Elven community in Hibarnhvidar now more than triples the size of the Dwarves. The

Elves have claimed more than two-thirds the available community space, entirely restored by the

Dwarves. The Dwarves protest that they need assistance from the Elves to make the city more fit

for habitation, but the Elves claim their quest for miraculous herbs takes precedence, per their old

agreement.

Iron Age:

-2800: Iron slowly begins to replace bronze as the metal of choice for tools on a large scale. Iron

casting is a long and tedious process, but results in items of hitherto unseen sturdiness. An offer

is made to teach the Kwarlog Dwarves the new techniques. They too begin to exploit iron more

assiduously, and within a few years iron begins showing up as a high-end bartering material

within and among Dwarven communities.

-2799: The Dwarves of the Gardul Free State establish trade agreements for barter with small

Halfling and Elven communities near Deriel.

-2792: Kwarlog sends a mission to the Gardul Free State, lamenting the infilitration of non- Dwarven goods and services into a justly proud and self-sufficient modality of communities. The

legendary blind Dwarven bard, Praktorh, composes his once celebrated, now lost, Lament to the

Himineldar Streams.

-2727: The Hibarnhvidar Elves suddenly launch a concerted attack on the community's Dwarves.

Despite the extremely disparate size of the two groups, the Elven attack is stalled for days.

Finally, the Elves win through to a protected Dwarven nursery, dispensing several pods that

release a poisonous gas. Half the Dwarven children of Hibarnhvidar are killed, along with several

adults. This drives the Dwarves into a silent beserk rage. They succeed in massacring most of

the Elves, driving the remnants from Hibarnhvidar eastward towards the Dragon Spine.

-2726: The Hibarnhvidar Dwarven bardess known simply as Starastone composes the Threnody

on a Child's Death. It will eventually become the most celebrated piece of Dwarven music-poetry.

-2688: The Kwarlog Dwarves discover a mountainous lichen which explodes in flames when hit

suddenly and with great pressure by any object. Immediate cultivation efforts begin.

-2675: Two biters sighted in an area of caverns near Berdna. Avalanchers send word to other

colonies in the Free State, requesting assistance.

-2638: Breakthrough by Kwarlog in the cultivation of Shokweave, the inflammable lichen.

Shokweave colonies begun.

-2636: Fresh colonists arrive in Berdna from Fashein.

-2620: Efforts at spreading Shokweave by the Blueflame Dwarves to form an unpassable barrier

(except at one heavily-guarded pass) meet with failure. The lichen succumbs to white bears that

forego their usual lengthy hybernation to feast on the sudden infestation. The next five years are

spent decimating the enormous increase in white bear population which threatens to overwhelm

the Himineldar tundra.

-2547: Trade alliance between the Humans and the Kwarlog Dwarves is signed, establishing free

entry and lack of duties on all goods between the respective groups.

-2496: The Hibarnvidar Dwarves sign trading deals with Humans. However, they refuse to the

issuance of a mutual dutyfree status, declaring, "Prices are delicate lichens in an ice garden that

must be tended, encouraged, and pruned as needed. Winter's White will never agree to treat all

plants alike."

-2446: Elven skirmish parties, partnered by white wolves, appear again in the Dragon Spine

Mountains. They adapt a hit-and-run strategy, killing whatever Dwarves they can find.

-2368: Rangers from Hibarnhvidar discover from Elves, captured during a raid, that Morganae

has settled a portion of DragonSpine near the old Svadh site. Ancient Dwarven records show

that the location was an ancient mine shaft leading into a large underground cavern, perpetually

damp and covered with poisonous puffball mushrooms. Dwares begin to cautiously explore the

Dragon Spine again.

-2299: Traders from the Siergelde Dwarves suffer losses from S'Kra Mur raiders in the Reshal

Sea. Skirmishes ensue between the two groups over the next several decades.

-2276: Meeting called by the Gardul Free State to send more settlers and weapons to the

DragonSpine, providing assistance to Hibarnhvidar Dwarves against the marauding Wind Elves.

-2220: The Siergelde Dwarves catch S'kra Mur raiders in a trap, driving them off after an

inconclusive battle with one party, while burning their ships with another. The S'kra Mur group

destroys their arms and accept a one year's truce, being taken to Gardul for the long winter. With

the return of spring they conclude a trading arrangement, and hire the Dwarves to rebuild several

coracles for their return voyage.

-2216: The S'kra Mur raiders return in force, bearing goods for wholesale trading instead of arms.

The Dwarves are caught unawares when the merchants attempt to exchange coins for groups

of items, and the S'kra Mur teach them about the advantages of legal tender derived from the

stable value of precious metals. They also inadvertantly expose their Dwarven hosts to another

new concept, trading a crate of Elven toys which include wheels. Siergelde's mountainous terrain

had precluded any practical use of the wheel in their past, and it had never previously developed;

but from this time forward, the Dwarves include wheeled pulleys in both mechanical devices and

metal sculptures.

-2188: The Kwarlog Dwarves, enflamed by Avalancher messages of war and reports of biters,

agree to a temporary "king," or in this case, "warlord." He is Membrach, called Membrach

Longnose, the second-oldest member of the Council.

-2152: Research begins in the Gardul Free State into harnessing the power of steam produced by

natural fissures for practical use.

-2150: Siergelde Dwarves establish an annual faire day, Fandamoikan, for the wholesale and

retail sale (and wholesale purchase) of goods by visiting S'kra Mur traders.

-2144: Berdna rangers report a lone biter above ground, half a day's journey from the city,

and accompanied by a group of shorter bipeds. AxHolders and archers dispatch the biter with

minimal losses, but find no evidence of additional creatures, sentient or otherwise.

-2128: The first practical adaptation of steam power results in thermal heating for Karadel.

-2118: Kwarlog Dwarves, under the eye of Warlord Membrach, dispatch a biter discovered

after breaking through an underground wall leading to a vast network of unexplored tunnels.

Exploration continues, but accompanied by "warparties" of seasoned warriors and clerics.

-2102: The last Elven raid for some time occurs on this date.

-2099: The Kwarlog Dwarves discover the body of a maiden, dead but perfectly preserved, lying

on a stone slab at the bottom level of a series of caverns. Gathered in her hands, upon her

breast, is a rose-- carved so extraordinarily from white stone, that it seems bedewed. Before the

Dwarves can do more than observe this in wonder, however, several biters appear, driving them

back up through their tunnels. To make matters worse, the lower portion of the tunnels collapse,

burying the biters and the rose-bearing maiden. The tale is set at once in stone over the entrance

to that series of tunnels, which are ever-afterwards known as The Rose Maiden's Caverns.

-2080: A quarter of Gardul is created, called Scralenan, for the perpetual occupation by S'kra

Mur traders. It features banks, living quarters, a judgement hall, recreation facilities, shops

and detention center designed in accordance with S'kra Mur custom (thick carpets, sparse

furnishings, walls incised with poetic sayings, etc).

-2072: Thermal heating is installed in Gardul, after a thirty-two-year debate caused by complaints

from Dwarves involved in the wood fuel industry (choppers, charcoal burners, seeders and

tenders) regarding their loss of income and the monumental change to a Dwarven way of life.

-2066: Gardul Free State Dwarves learn new techniques of pipefitting from Kwarlog utilizing

sealed leather encased in bolted metal.

-2022: Gardul perfects a method of transmitting written messages over long distances, using

steam-pressurized iron tubes sent through silver-flecked black alabaster stone conduits. The

technique is successfully demonstrated, and plans are laid for cross-colony communications.

-2013: Work on laying messaging pipes between Karadel and Faskin begins in both colonies,

with a race to see which will cover the greatest distance.

-1932: The Gardul Dwarves encounter a nest of baby biters and two surprised, very angry adult

biters in their pipelaying efforts. Free State Dwarves, led by Berdna's Marazhal, Oknor the Wide- Armed, succeed in destroying the nest and its inhabitants after several battles that become the

stuff of song and story.

-1841: Warlord Membrach, increasingly old and feeble, refuses to step down and declares his line

the true hereditary rulers of Kwarlog’s Dwarves. He appoints his son, Heksoch, as his successor.

Debate ensues, lasting fifteen years.

-1768: The final pipes are laid by Gardul and Faskin. The latter claim to have lain more pipe

and won the race, but Gardulian workmen discover pipes laid in multiple circuits around many

hillocks, leading to counterclaims that Faskin deliberately increased the number of its pipes in

easily engineered terrain. The contest is declared a draw, not without a residue of illwill on both

sides. (This marks the origin of the phrase, "as straightforward as a Faskin mile" for anyone or

thing that twists the truth.)

-1766: Warlord Membrach dies in his sleep. Heksoch tries to have himself proclaimed King of

Kwarlog, and is laughed out of the community. He leads a small band of followers to a spot

between Kwarlog and Hibarnhvidar and founds Rendstaan (Rendstone), proclaiming himself King

in Perpetuity.

-1765: The first cable-based, steam-driven balloon travels from Faskin to Gardul. Named

Kertigen's Stride, it holds thirty people and completes the trip in complete safety in six days' time.

-1745: Without warning or reason, Wind Elven raids resume upon Hibarnhvidar. It is noted that

the Elves have acquired a sickly white coloration to their skin, and are both weaker and slower in

their attacks. However, their arsenal includes puffball mushrooms, which explode upon contact

and quickly spread a virulent poison. The Elves seem immune to handling this.

-1614: Dwarven communities hold a Thing in Gardul "to make fair and right all matters among

Kertigen's chidlren." This six-week long meeting is extremely well-attended by all Dwarven

communities, and considers their mutual laws and agreements. Subsequent meetings are

arranged at 12-year intervals.

-1602: Earliest dated Dwarven bardic artifacts: a pancake-shaped drum with brass head and a

silver flute, both inscribed "In Blueflame born, Tragar forged me, 8398 IKA [in Kertigen's Arms]."

-1586: The first Dwarven Academy of the Sciences is formed, at Gardul. It is not a Humanesque

body of formalized teachers designated to provide courses of learning towards employment, but

an informal series of contiguous lectures occuring simultaneously on what other races would

call a host of scientific and non-scientific subjects. These include stone calligraphy required

for the proper worship of Kertigen; the proper caring of iron implements; and debates upon the

appropriate breathing techniques necessary to cultivate stamina among the long-discarded

League of the Avalanche.

-1553: Heksoch sends emissaries to the other Dwarven communities suggesting that Rendstaan

be chosen as a centralized trading location with non-Dwarves. This suggestion is ceremoniously

received at the next Thing, and rejected without exception or debate.

-1551: Gwolth Histmer (known in contemporary records as "Loomfinger Gwolth") composes the

mock epic Sa Asil ("The Donkey"), in which Heksoch is punningly referred to as Helkesakh, or

Wound-Foot. It travels swiftly through all Dwarven communities, and legend has it that the song

caused Heksoch's beard to fall out. Sa Asil achieves the distinction of becoming the oldest piece

in current bardic repertory.

-1513: Four maidens in Kwarlog announce their refusal to accept suitors upon coming of age.

They say that one of their number, Cordhvirae Stonesekker, has dreamt of the Rose Maiden,

and that they will henceforth remain celibate members of the community dedicated to universal

service. General uproar. (This is generally accepted as the first appearance of the Cult of the

Rose Maiden.)

-1504: "Year of the Brown Cloud." A cloud comprising millions of tiny insects invades the

Siergelde Mountains. The bugs infest the lichen crop before they die. Dozens of Dwarves starve

as meagre stocks of frozen meat, stored in underground caverns, are exhausted.

-1503: S'kra Mur traders return to the Gardul Free State with enormous caravans loaded with

exotic dried and salted food supplies. Although welcomed in official documents of the day,

sarcastic songs are sung in workplaces and taverns about the "Year of the Blood-Sucking

Merchants" due to the goods' extremely high prices.

-1451: Ten Kwarlog maidens and four youths have now refused suitors or spouses in the name

of Cordhvirae's vision of the Rose Maiden. Cordhvirae has a second vision, in which the Rose

Maiden requested that several of her "children" spread the doctrines of renunciation, celibacy and

service to other Dwarves. Three maidens and a youth set out, alone, to the Siergelde Mountains.

They are never heard from again.

-1446: Hibarnhvidar launches a preemptive strike on the many caves inhabited by white wolves

near Svadh. The Dwarves create avalanches above the caves, and when the wolves attack,

counterattack with trained hawks. Many wolves are killed that day, originating the Dwarven

custom of wearing a wolf claw on a leather string for good luck.

-1435: Dwarven rangers report the appearance of Gor’Tog bands in the foothills of Himinelder.

Kwarlog sends a small force to investigate. The Gor’Togs submit a request for land, which is

referred to the next Thing.

-1432: The Gor’Togs present their case during the Thing. They claim that they represent a

splinter group of a much larger nation that has been driven out of their traditional lands because

of S’kra Mur depredations. Lack of title has turned them into squatters ever since. They say

that since the Dwarves steward the mountains in Kertigen’s name, only Dwarves can give them

permission to settle upon it. They ask for the few low-lying, swampy and heavily forested regions,

where there are no settlements. They promise in turn to make common cause with the Dwarves

on all matters, and to guard the approaches to the mountains.

The Dwarves agree readily enough, seeing the advantages in having a powerful but apparently

slow-thinking ally nearby and in their debt. They add only one stipulation: that their tenants must

provide a guestgift and yearly housing for any Dwarven representatives who visit. The Gor’Togs

give their handclasp to that.

-1391: Gardul’s Dwarves perfect a painstaking technique of stone facetting that allows them to

shape even the smallest of gems into detailed works of art. These time-consuming efforts bring

financial rewards with visiting traders. The technique is demonstrated and shared at the next

Thing.

-1374: Cordhvirae's followers now number forty-five. The Priests of Kertigen attempt to engage

her in amicable debate, but she replies by simply restating the words of her visions.

Modern Age:

-1343: Kwarlog applies the recent invention of typesetting to create Elanthia’s first printing press.

The first book is a collection of hourly hymns to Kertigen. (A single copy exists today, kept in the

well-guarded Museum of Wonders at Kwarlog.) Many subsequent orders are placed by visiting

merchants, significantly raising revenues in the community.

-1327: Cordhvirae and her followers are forbidden to proselytize by Kwarlog’s Council of Elders.

She bows to their will and announces her third vision: that all Dwarves must abandon the

mountains, or they will be destroyed by the World Dragon.

-1301: Cordhvirae dies after a prolonged fast in the building that houses her cult. One of her

followers places a stone rose in her hands as her bier is lowered into the ceremonial fire. They

subsequently claim that it changed into a living rose before the flames claimed her. (The group

gains no new adherents but continues to operate quietly until its members die out, one by one.)

-1255: The practice of gem gardening spreads across the Dwarven communities. It consists of

gathering small gems, valuable or otherwise, and “planting” them in a small, elegantly crafted

box, where they are reshaped by the owner into a variety of fantastical and/or natural forms.

-1242: Twedh Arnbron publishes his “Manual from Within,” a meditation on gem gardening and a

formulation of its rules, which rapidly rises to the status of a classic.

-1085: Berdna is overrun by biters erupting upwards from a series of tunnels, and abandoned. Its

few surviving inhabitants move to Gardul. The Gardul Free State is reconstituted as the Greystar

Commune under a Tetrach of military commanders chosen by advanced age and lot.

-1075: Heksoch issues a proclamation "In the Name of the King of all Dwarves," declaring his

city a free trading zone for all races. The other Dwarven communities break off all ties with

Rendstaan at the next Thing.

-1021: The Elven-Human War (the "War of Tears"-- actually a series of pitched battles with time

out for lobbying efforts, training, and burials), end in exhaustion for both sides. The Humans

renege on their offer of promised support, claiming that their forces have been decimated and

that none could be spared for at least a generation. Garrock of Winter's White responds with the

words recorded on the Stone of Disappointment: "Human promises are even shorter than Human

lifespans, it seems." The DragonSpine Dwarves, angered, return to their homes.

-1018: Word arrives that King Heksoch of Rendstaan has died. His five heirs each seek the

acknowledgement and assistance of other Dwarven communities at the year's Thing, with

inconclusive results.

-1012: War erupts in Rendstaan among several factions, following the death of Heksoch’s

second-eldest son, Gwaldhar (some say by an axe in the throat, others by poison). Non- combatants flee to Kwarlog.

-1008: The Elven Human War begins. The Humans promise to assist Dwarves in removing

all Elves from the DragonSpine once the War has successfully concluded. On these terms,

Hibarnhvidar lends their support.

-990: The war continues in Rendstaan. The city is described to other Dwarves by visiting

merchants as deserted save for the factions and a small group of nonaligned neutrals, with most

of its buildings torn down to provide better line-of-sight.

-988: Word comes to the Dwarven communities at their next Thing that a group of worshippers

of the World Dragon have been fighting great battles among the lowlanders. The Kwarlog

representatives emphasize that only by remaining true to their natures can Dwarves escape the

perils of being surrounded by enemies.

-963: Akroeg begins consolidating power, buying off, bullying, and conquering various

communities in the outside world; demanding and receiving “recruits” (actually hostages). He

wisely avoids any move in the direction of the Dwarves and their mountains, and makes no

demands. Various communities send representatives to the Dwarven communities, requesting

aid against Akroeg, but none is forthcoming.

-949: The market for Dwarven goods begins to dry up, as Akroeg disrupts caravan trade routes in

“the lower world.” Dwarven communities begin to feel the pinch.

-940/38: Heralds arrive at all Dwarven communities, where they present a blue cloth embroidered

with six silver stars. They request attendance at an important meeting to discuss union between

the races, and the foundation of an Empire "for the benefit of all Elanthia's peoples."

The heralds explain that attendance by all Dwarves is an impossibility, and that they will have to

send empowered representatives. After some initial surprise at this concept, a lengthy meeting

gives pride of place to Taratochs, called Skullcleaver among the other races because of her

activities during the Elven-Human War. Taratochs is a simple guard whose opinion looms neither

large nor small with her kin; she is chosen because of her luck and regard among non-Dwarves.

-936: The Dwarves remain largely silent at the meeting, allowing their few objections to be

ignored while the other races praise Akroeg’s foresight, and the idea of an Empire that will end

strife forever and bring about a golden age. But when the final agreement is drawn up and put to

a vote, required unanimity is missing—in Taratochs' words, "We Dwarves say nay to your paper.

Now ignore us an' you will, Dwarves never will pay others to rule us. Nor either shall Dwarves

accept guards in our tunnels from your Six-Taloned Empire." The meeting ends in disarray, with

promises to return in two summers’ time. Empire supporters, notably Moliko and Baraliban, ask

the Dwarven party to remain for consultation. The Siergelde contingent is particularly keen on

this, and at length the proposal is accepted.

Kwarlog issues a lengthy statement to the other communities essentially saying, "We told you

so."

-934: The Dwarves meet in emergency Thing to discuss the Empire. The Siergelde Dwarves

present ideas that were discussed after the meeting. These form the crux of a debate which lasts

for three more years, and causes Akroeg to grumble his famous remark that Dwarves were “too

far away to influence, too near to ignore, and too damn ugly to make a good hide.”

-930: The so-called Second Session of the Seven-Starred Empire is held, with representatives

from all racial communities and headed by Verek, who has now succeeded his father. After a

reaffirmation of the accomplishments of the previous several years, Taratochs is given the floor.

She introduces the Dwarven demands, which are accepted without comment. The Gor'Togs

are readily accepted with full rights and honors into the Empire by a unanimous vote of the

representatives.

Taratochs then announces once again that the Dwarves will never accept foreign rule, taxes or

guards upon their sovreign soil. However, the Dwarves are willing to purchase several large

buildings in the Empire's central city. The Empire agrees to scrap all payment for these buildings

in honor of the Dwarves' renowned courage and independence, with interest payable at a fixed

rate in perpetuity. Dwarves also agree to send groups of tradesmen to enlist as mercenaries

within the Empire's forces, provided they are posted back in the home communities for a period of

duty not exceeding twenty years.

The statement is read and accepted in silence, except by Baraliban of the Halflings, who rises

at its conclusion and bows low to the Dwarven representatives. This is accounted a matter of

disarming politeness by attending Dwarves, who communicate the anecdote back home. In

subsequent years it becomes a common Dwarven catchphrase: "as gracious as Baraliban."

-926: Verek is crowned Emperor, and the Seven-Starred Empire is born.

-915: The first imperial garrisons arrive in the Siergelde Mountains. They are referred to

as "gone-returns" or more ironically, "Empire veterans," and merge without note into the standard

guards.

Part 2

The Dwarven Timeline, Part 2
Note: The time in parentheses match the timeframes with solidly established dates as closely as possible.

From Approximately 1200 years ago (~1100-1000BL):

Berdna is destroyed:

Berdna, one of the three cities (along with Gardul and Fashein) comprising the Dwarven Gardul Free State, is overrun by biters that erupt out of the earth into the Dwarven tunnels. The GFS is reconstituted as the Greystar Commune to prevent the destruction of the other communities, under a Tetrach of military commanders chosen by advanced age and lot.

Continuing Difficulties with Rendstaan:

King Heksoch Membrachson declares his city a free trading zone for all races, breaking the longstanding tradition of tariffs for all outsiders among Dwarven communities. Making matters sill worse, he issues the proclamation "in the Name of the King of the Dwarves." The other Dwarven communities break all economic and diplomatic ties with Heksoch and his town of Rendstaan at the next Thing. Rendstaan is effectively placed under boycott.

Conclusion of The Elven-Human War, or "War of Tears:"

The war ends without finality, due to exhaustion on both sides. The Human leaders renege on prior promises of support against the Snow Elves depredations, claiming that their forces have been decimated. Garrock of Winter's White responds with words recorded on the Stone of Disappointment: "Human promises are even shorter than Human lifespans, it seems." The Hibarnhvidar Dwarves who survived the War, angered, return to their homes.

From Approximately 1100 years ago (~1100-1000BL):

Rendstaan:

Word arrives that King Heksoch of Rendstaan has died. He was only the second king ever of the Dwarven race, and the experiment is universally judged a failure. His five heirs each seek the acknowledgement and assistance of other Dwarven communities at the year's Thing, with inconclusive results.

Later in the century, Heksoch's second-eldest son, Gwaldhar, is killed (some say by an axe in the throat, others by poison). Factional war erupts in Rendstaan. Non-combatants flee to Kwarlog.

From Approximately 1000 years ago(~1000-900BL):

Continuing Difficulties with Rendstaan:

The war continues. The city is described to other Dwarves by visiting merchants as deserted save for the various factions and a small group of nonaligned neutrals, with most of its buildings torn down to provide better line-of-sight.

The World Dragon:

Word comes to the Dwarven communities at their next Thing that a group of worshippers of the World Dragon have been fighting great battles among the lowlanders. The Kwarlog representatives emphasize that only by remaining true to their natures can Dwarves escape the perils of being surrounded by enemies.

The Seven-Starred Empire:

Akroeg begins consolidating power, buying off, bullying, and conquering various communities in the outside world; demanding and receiving "recruits" (actually hostages). He makes no demands of the Dwarves, however. Various communities send representatives to the Dwarven communities requesting aid against Akroeg, but none is forthcoming.

Within a few years, the market for Dwarven goods begins to dry up, as Akroeg disrupts caravan trade routes in "the lower world." Dwarven communities begin to feel the pinch.

Still later, heralds arrive at all Dwarven communities, presenting blue cloths embroidered with seven silver stars. They request attendance at an important meeting to discuss union between the races, and the foundation of an Empire "for the benefit of all Elanthia's peoples."

The heralds explain that attendance by all Dwarves is an impossibility, and that they will have to send empowered representatives. After some initial surprise at this concept, a lengthy meeting gives pride of place to Taratochs, called Skullcleaver among the other races because of her activities during the Elven-Human War, Taratochs is a simple guard whose opinion looms neither large nor small with her kin; she is chosen because of her luck and regard among non-Dwarves.

The Dwarves remain largely silent at the subsequent meeting, allowing their few objections to be ignored while several representatives of other races praise Akroeg's foresight, and the idea of an Empire that will end strife forever and bring about a golden age. But when the final agreement is drawn up and put to a vote, required unanimity is missing-in Taratochs' words, "We Dwarves say nay to your paper. Now ignore us an' you will, Dwarves never will pay others to rule us. Nor either shall Dwarves accept guards in our tunnels from your Seven-Taloned Empire." The meeting ends in disarray, with promises to return in two summers' time. Empire supporters, notably Moliko and Baraliban, ask the Dwarven party to remain for consultation. The Siergelde contingent is particularly keen on this, and at length the proposal is accepted.

Kwarlog issues a lengthy statement to the other communities essentially saying, "We told you so."

The Dwarves meet in emergency Thing to discuss the Empire. The Siergelde Dwarves present ideas that were discussed after the meeting. These form the crux of a debate which lasts for three more years, and causes Akroeg to grumble his famous remark that Dwarves were "too far away to influence, too near to ignore, and too damn ugly to make a good hide."

The so-called Second Session of the Seven-Starred Empire is held, with representatives from all racial communities and headed by Verek Akroegsson, who has now succeeded his father. After a reaffirmation of the accomplishments of the previous several years, Taratochs is given the floor.

Taratochs then announces once again that the Dwarves will never accept foreign rule, taxes or guards upon their sovereign soil. However, the Dwarves are willing to purchase several large buildings in the Empire's central city. The Empire agrees to scrap all payment for these buildings in honor of the Dwarves' renowned courage and independence, with interest payable on the building's upkeep arranged at a fixed rate in perpetuity. Dwarves also agree to send groups of tradesmen to enlist as mercenaries within the Empire's forces, provided they are posted back in their home communities for a period of duty not exceeding twenty years.

The statement is read and accepted in silence, except by Baraliban of the Halflings, who rises at its conclusion and bows low to the Dwarven representatives. This is accounted a matter of disarming politeness by attending Dwarves, who communicate the anecdote back home. In subsequent years it becomes a common Dwarven catchphrase: "as gracious as Baraliban.

Verek is subsequently crowned Emperor, and the Seven-Starred Empire is born.

From Approximately 900 Years Ago (~900-500BL):

The Seven-Starred Empire:

The first imperial garrisons arrive in the Siergelde Mountains. They are referred to as gone-returns" or more ironically, "Empire veterans," and merge without note into the standard guards.

Trading Arrangements:

The Greystar Commune and the Gemfire Dwarves reconfirm previous trading arrangements between their groups. Contact is strengthened with the Halflings of River's Haven, a young, bustling community in search of goods and knowledge.

More of Rendstaan:

After much debate, a young warrior, Galen Hammerstone, leads a group of his compatriots, their spouses and children, out of Rendstaan, in disgust. These are the last neutrals left in a city reduced to no more than one hundred thugs belonging a few factions, still vying for power. Hammerstone and his friends agree to enlist in the Imperial armies with the specific request that they not be posted to Dwarven lands.

The Demersohn Incident:

A diplomatic incident occurs when the Seven-Starred Empire dispatches a Human officer along with a garrison of troops to Faskin. The Faskin Dwarves refuse to accept his presence, citing the historical agreement. An inquiry to the Empire reveals only that no one claims to have dispatched the officer; and since the Dwarven-Empire agreement specifically precludes the dispatch of officers, no bureaucrat possesses the authority to withdraw what shouldn't have occurred.

After nearly a year of continuous friendly but insistent Dwarven deputations to speak with the Human officer, Marig Demersohn signs under protest a document acknowledging that he is a Dwarf for the length of his service in Siergelde. He dispatches a formal complaint to his Empire superiors over the matter.

An Important New Building:

Kwarlog establishes the first Dwarven Bardic Academy in an attempt to resurrect "the knowledge and beauty of Dwarven song-stories." Under its first rector, the cleric Glazhn Ofnor, the school launches an ambitious attempt to recover earlier instruments and texts, while "creating new art to celebrate our continuing accomplishments."

The Demersohn Incident:

In written reply to Marig Demersohn, the Empire's regional military commander states that he cannot be the Marig Demersohn who became a Empire officer, since that individual was jailed without parole in absentia following his sudden disappearance several years ago. He is told that there are no non-Dwarven officers in the Siergelde Mountain, and that any further attempts to impersonate an officer will end in his probable imprisonment, as well.

The Snow Elves:

Human spies in the employ of Hibarnhvidar's Council report that Morganae has blocked up the entrance to her Court, effectively sealing her people off from the world.

The Demersohn Incident:

His tour of unacknowledged duty completed, Marig Demersohn declares his intention to stay in Faskin. He marries a widow and assumes the name Marig Racner, or Marig Landless, and adopts the children of his twice-married Dwarven wife.

Svadh Shrine:

A party of Dwarves from Hibarnhvidar, with Human help, quietly excavate sections of the old DragonSpine Svadh site. They remove whatever Dwarven remains can be found, and erect a shrine on the outskirts of Hibarnhvidar to their ancestors.

The Demersohn Incident:

Marig Racner dies in Faskin. His ashes are buried underground and his spirit commended to Kertigen's embrace.

From Approximately 800 Years Ago (~600-500BL):

Marblenough:

Marblenough, self-named Marblenough the Magnificent, arrives in Kwarlog. He publishes his Proclamation, declaring that he has voluntarily left Karadel "so as not to interfere with the local guilds' scientific efforts, so-called." Marblenough declares that he believes in the abolition of the guilds and the pooling of knowledge to the greater glory of research and development. He hires a few rooms as a workshop, and promises to provide the community with inventions that will give them perfect security.

More of Rendstaan:

Visiting traders report that Rendstaan is completely deserted save for wild beasts.

The Snow Elves:

A dark, stinking smoke is first noticed rising periodically from the peaks high above Morganaes Court.

Marblenough:

Marblenough reveals a "slow-steam -pressurized cannon, and cannonballs made of porous stone and Shokweave. The demonstration ends in failure: the first cannonball fractures in midair, and the cannon's recoil crushes Marblenough, forcing the amputation of his left leg.

The Seven-Starred Empire:

Word is returned to the communities through their representatives of increasingly bitter dissention and bureaucratic division in the Seven-Starred Empire.

From Approximately 700 Years Ago (~600-500BL):

Marblenough:

Marblenough the Magnificent issues his Second Proclamation, announcing a forthcoming breakthrough in travel that will render all other forms of locomotion inadequate.

Berdna Expedition:

An expedition sent to Berdna discovers that the city's entry region has become a nesting ground for biters. There is no way to determine what lies inside.

The Seven-Starred Empire:

An Imperial demand for tax remittance based on several hundred years of nonpayment is received at a Thing in contemptuous silence. The Bureau of Authorized Collections official threatens the Dwarves with military action, and is provided with passage back to civilization" in the next caravan. Nothing more is ever heard of the matter.

Marblenough:

Marblenough unveils a gigantic, steam-powered, self-propelled balloon that requires no guidance cables and utilizes its own navigation system. A small group consisting of the inventor and several of his apprentices take the maiden voyage. The balloon, surnamed Greatness-in-Intellect, rises easily to a thousand feet; but air currents override the elaborate propeller-and-wing system and bear it swiftly away to the north.

A year later, a rescue party from Kwarlog discovers the remains of Greatness in Intellect beneath a cliff, two week's journey to the northwest through hazardous terrain. Marblenough's team is also discovered, weak but alive, and reasonably intact (except for Marblenough himself, who lost his right arm during the crash.) They are conveyed back to Kwarlog.

The Seven-Starred Empire:

An Imperial commission charged with creating a tongue common to the peoples of the Empire ("For mutual understanding and economic benefit only.") sends scholars to the Dwarven Bardic Academy. They have been given express orders to incorporate many Dwarven elements in what will eventually prove a vain attempt to bring the Dwarves closer to he "spirit of the Empire." The response of the rector is gruff and uncompromising. "Kertigen forged Haakish for the tongues of Dwarves alone." Despite this objection, many Dwarven words do make their way into the vocabulary, though the artificial language itself gains few adherents for several centuries.

A few years later, the Dwarves of Hibarnhvidar and Kwarlog cease sending guards to the Empire's military offices for training. There is no Imperial response to this development.

Marblenough:

Marblenough declares his Third Proclamation, promising to create an architectural wonder that will draw the admiration of the entire world, increasing Dwarven revenues.

The Seven-Starred Empire:

The Dwarves lock up their offices in Imperial City and leave a plaque on the door: "Returning soon." They cease delivering rental payments to the Bureau of Authorized Collections, and again hear nothing about the matter.

Marblenough:

Work begins on the site chosen for Marblenough's wonder, roughly six days' distance from Kwarlog. Many small crews of workmen are hired to perform various tasks, thus keeping the scope and direction of the wonder unknown to all but Marblenough and his trusted assistants.

Svadh Shrine:

The Svadh shrine has proven so popular that on its 250th anniversary Kwarlog's architects enclose the shrine inside a stately temple to Kertigen, low and long, black granite shot with gold; a building of thick walls, dirt floors, brass and gems and flaming braziers of red fire.

Marblenough:

Marblenough reveals his wonder in a ceremony before most of Kwarlog: a 100'-high sculpture of Kertigen with elaborate water slides, kept warm through steam-power conduits. Kwarlog meets in emergency session, and unanimously adopts a resolution demanding the immediate destruction of the statue and everything associated with it. The destruction is carried out at once by Marblenough's work crews who finish the task in record time. The only recorded injury occurs to Marblenough, while seeking to protect the statue. He is hit by falling debris, causing the loss of his right leg.

Marblenough:

Marblenough posts his Fourth Proclamation, a method of industrial automation that will provide extra leisure for all Dwarves. The Dwarves heatedly argue that they don't want or need any leisure time, but Marblenough ignores these reactions and presses ahead with his latest project.

An Important Subterranean Find:

Kwarlog miners uncover a solid block of 60' high, blue translucent quartz during their continued exploration of the Himineldar Shel. It is shaped like a giant teardrop, and becomes known as Kertigen's Teardrop.

From Approximately 600 years Ago (~600-500BL):

Marblenough:

Marblenough reveals a steam-driven series of pulleys, elevators, tracks, carts and mechanized handlers that effectively mines, moves, and smelts ore without Dwarven involvement. Unfortunately, the elevator holding Marblenough and several Council dignitaries reacts erratically to an suddenly increased flow of pressurized steam, and travels skyward through the roof of the shaft. The Council members are later found, intact though bruised, but no remains are ever discovered of Marblenough.

More of Rendstaan:

Galen of Rendstaan, now known as Galen Hammerhand, leaves the Imperial service, having risen to the rank of a staff officer. He gathers all of the emigrated veterans from Rendstaan and, as unofficial spokesperson, petitions for a place to settle on Imperial lands. He and his wife begin to raise funds.

Stone Clan:

Stone Clan is founded by Galen and Kormlada. Using his knowledge of Imperial administration, Galen secures the charter from authorities "on the terms traditionally granted to the Dwarven peoples."

From Approximately 500 Years Ago (~500-400BL):

The Seven-Starred Empire:

The Greystar Dwarves demand Imperial aid in controlling renewed Biter activity in the Siergelde. Hibarnhvidar and Kwarlog voice strong objections to the scheme and tiny Stone Clan concurs. Aid is offered by the other Dwarven communities, but the Commune holds to its demands from the Imperial administration.

Two years later the Empire sends a representative to the Commune offering heartening words, but no aid.

Several more years pass. In the face of continued inaction from the Empire, the Commune closes its representatives' offices, ceases the delivery of "rental payments", and stops all Imperial recruitment. These moves bring its policy into line with the Himineldar and Arncharn communities and leave Stone Clan, with a total population of 38 adults, as the only organized Dwarven community at least tentatively in the Empire.

Eventually, there being no Imperial response to the Commune's rebellion, Stone Clan quietly drops its part of the rental tithe for buildings in Imperial City.

Numismatists Note:

The Greystar Dwarves issue a commemorative gold coin "in Kertigen's name, for the Commune, forever." This will subsequently become, years later, the most sought after coin by numismatists on Elanthia, rumored to exist only in 2 copies in private collections.

Important Discovery:

A large deposit of gold-veined grey marble is discovered near Hibarnhvidar. Over time it becomes the most sought-after civic building material among Elotheans and Humans throughout Elanthia.

From Approximately 400 Years Ago (400-300BL):

The River Elves:

Hibarnhvidar is approached by a small Elven delegation from Trefan Draus, led by A'adisa 0r-Olande Parilisaen. The Elves state that they have heard of Dwarven' prowess in metalworking from S'kra Mur merchants, and traded for some of the results. They have come a long way seeking the finest craftsmen to help develop their community's physical dimensions. Dwarven politeness and hospitality wins out of suspicion, and the visitors are given a tour of some of Hibarnhvidar's more public areas. The River Elves evince considerable interest in what they see, and grow truly excited when they observe a blacksmith tending his gem garden; Parilisaen then offers the Dwarves a contract involving the refinement of several extant structures (notably the filigree edging for their City Council). This is accepted, and a group of twelve Dwarves leave for Trefan Draus.

Their stay is considerably expanded when the Dwarves (irritated by the constant, casual intersection of unnamed duplicative winding paths which travel throughout Draus) develop a detailed plan for four fluted walkway spans across the Namfals. The River Elves endorse this with enthusiasm, and the Dwarves, exposed to new materials and structural elements (without the physical limitations of their mountain redoubts), outdo themselves in fanciful design, the deployment of magic and meticulous craftsmanship.

Although Dwarven offers on joint mining of the Clethian Foril salt deposits are rejected, the Dwarves continue with lucrative private contracts for housing expansion. They also establish direct trade links, exporting sculpted gems and dried white oaken timber from the nearly perpendicular slopes of Dragon Spine in exchange for salt, salted fish, jranoki, necklaces and salaka saws.

Human Encampment Discovered:

A Human encampment is discovered within three day's journey of Kwarlog. It appears to be a primitive mining operation based on dredging techniques. The Dwarves get nowhere trying to discuss its presence with the miners and their overseers, but discover that it is funded by a consortium of S'kra Mur traders. With the assistance of the Greystar Commune, Kwarlog closes the operation down-not out of altruism among the traders, but because the Dwarves demonstrate how much cheaper they can furnish both unworked ore and smelted metal.

The Human miners at the same time strike up an acquaintance with the Dwarves. This ultimately results in a joint exploratory operation to discover gems and rare metal deposits deep in the Himineldar Mountains.

Kertrefan Begun:

Humans and Dwarves establish Kertrefan (Mountain Clan) in a frigid portion of the natural Himineldar cave complex that makes Kwarlog look sybaritic by comparison. Deposits of highly attractive building stone, rare ores and gems contribute to the site's success, and the establishment of several trading routes.

From Approximately 300 Years Ago (~300-200BL):

Lanival:

Greystar Dwarves join with Lanival, lending aid upon request. Kwarlog refuses in a document that protests the injustices of war. Hibarnhvidar sends him back a notched shield, and returns no further word. Stone Clan maintains quiet neutrality.

Temple Proclamation:

The Synod of Kertigen, comprising all Dwarven clerics that worship the All-Father, meet to rebuke in writing and proclamation "those well-meaning but near-sighted kildren [children) who confuse Dwarves with Gnomes, claiming they are one race and one people." According to the Synod's Encyclical, Gnomes are the creation of Divyaush the Merry Tinker, and "Children of different gods cannot commingle their blood in offspring. Dwarves and Gnomes are unrelated." The Encyclical is published and by Kwarlog's press and sent abroad with traders, where it becomes a matter of much debate at religious institutions and academies.

Meteoric Metal:

A series of devastating avalanches near Karadel reveal more meteor fragments containing small but useable supplies of the green ore last seen in quantity several thousand years ago. Word spreads among the Dwarves. Weapons and armor are created and held in safe keeping in the various community guard treasuries, for use in emergency.

From Approximately 200 Years Ago (~200-100BL):

Gor'Togs in the foothills signal the approach of a small Elothean party interested in speaking at the next Dwarven Thing on a matter of some importance. Permission is granted for their approach and incorporation into the agenda.

The Elotheans and Dwarves come to a trading agreement which permits very limited Elothean presence in Dwarven territory.

Dragon Priests:

Dragon Priests send missionaries to Gardul and Faskin, where they are allowed to settle in the areas reserved for foreign visitors. Their pleadings and proclamations that The World Dragon is its rightful ruler and that Kertigen is only one of many meddling demons are met with incredulity. When the Dwarves refuse to convert, the Dragon Priests revile and curse them. This stretches even the Dwarves' policy of friendly neutrality, and the Dragon Priests are expelled uttering prophecies of doom.

Several years later, Dragon Priests are spotted by Gor'Togs leading military forces late in the summer months into the Siergelde Mountains.

The Greystar Dwarves launch a surprise attack on the Dragon Priests in late autumn, following a heavy snowfall and after the Dragon Priests have created a winter camp. The Dwarves suffer twenty deaths; nearly one hundred Dragon Priests are killed, along with a dozen rock trolls and two war ogres. Skeletons of the latter two species are taken back for study, along with a Dragon Priest who was knocked unconscious and captured.

Before expiring under torture, the captured Dragon Priest reveals that his superiors intend to sacrifice the heretical Dwarven colonies through flame and sword to the World Dragon. He prophesizes that where one hundred failed, several thousand would succeed. Calls for assistance go out to Kwarlog and Hibarnhvidar.

Dwarven contingents from the sisters colonies arrive quickly. They prepare traps and avalanches. The Dragon Priests return along the same passage, but earlier in the year and with a much larger force. Progress is made towards the Dwarven communities, but forestalled by the typical onset of snow in early autumn. Presumably fearing another ambush, the Dragon Priests retreat to a base outside the mountains.

The Dragon Priests return in great numbers early in the spring, employing large flame machines to melt snow and ice, and to set fire to whatever will burn. Their earth magicks detonate earthquakes and avalanches, and decimate rubble in advance of the arrival of their troops. By summer they reach Faskin. The Dwarves move out supplies and children in advance, blockading entrances and blowing up whatever facilities remain.

Encouraged by this, the Dragon Priests stop long enough to raze the location and perform a consecration rite before resuming their advance, this time towards Gardul. Again their machines and magicks prove devastatingly simple and effective en route. By late summer they arrive in Gardul, where they are met only by a group of Dwarves (subsequently known as The Forty-Eight) who drop on them from heights or appear deep within tunnels, covered by mine explosives. This does little more than kill some Dragon mages and destroy machines, leaving the body of the invading forces intact.

Heading back towards Faskin, the Dragon Priests are caught by the extremely early snowfalls of upper Siergelde: gentle but continuous and blinding, known locally as Sweetdeath. The Dwarven strategy lures the Dragon Priests deeper into the mountains, then uses suicidal attacks to take out the remaining fire machines and earth magic users. Finally caught in a mountain pass stifled by snow drifts and avalanches, the army begins dying slowly of starvation and exposure. When only a handful remain the Dwarves suddenly attack with ferocity, gutting the last Dragon Priests and stuffing their steaming entrails into the snow.

The Siergelde Dwarven sites are never rebuilt. The remaining Dwarves divide between Kwarlog and Hibarnhvidar, but they aren't a very large group. Many Dwarves of the Greystar Commune lost their lives fighting for Lanival.

From Approximately 100 Years Ago (~100BL - 300AV):

Temple Proclamation:

The Synod of Kertigen, meeting in conclave, decide that Kertigen's chosen can only benefit from exposure to other races. They issue a resolution requiring all novices that have passed other tests necessary to receive the holy oath, cassock and harnmerchain, henceforth first spend a number of years exiled from Dwarven lands. They will be required to reside during that time among other races and in other professions, after which they will be welcomed into the Order.

The Triad of Repose:

Three years occur in a row exhibiting the greatest number of births on record in surviving Dwarven communities-a relatively small amount compared to other races, but still significant for Dwarves. While Kwarlog, Hibarnhvidar nor Stone Clan is in a position to expand, all entertain hopes of stabilizing their recent communal losses.

Factory Opened:

Hibarnhivdar opens a "bardhtol," or ax factory. It is the first time a commodity is created solely for export, and the first time a building is dedicated to a single purpose (save for the temples). The Dwarves themselves do not use these axes, since all Dwarves make their own axes, as everybody knows.