Word, Wand and Warrior
Millenia ago, during the Era of the Elves, the Third Age, the oldest bipedal races established themselves as enduring powers. One of the greatest races of this time were the Dwarves, who dug deep holes into the ground and mined for ore in the subterranean places. They were spread as a race throughout many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Citadels and strongholds, each holding between a few hundred to several tens of thousands of dwarves. They were a prosperous people and often hunted down their ancestral enemies, goblin and giant kind, and aided their peers and friends, the Elves. They crafted marvels that may very well never be seen again in this world. When the fallen Elven wizards opened the dozen dozen portals at the behest of Seathe, all changed. While most of the stoic dwarves did not fall to the temptations of the evil god, their foes did. And to their side, the Giants called to the many orcs from the beneath the dwarves’ very feet to aid them. The battles waged between the dwarves and their innumerable enemies were bloody, fierce, and often resulted in the dwarves being pushed back just a little bit further. Some of the dwarves were contacted by their long-standing allies, the Elves, and, when the fighting ebbed, allowed them within their halls to aid in the defense. But these were not the same Elves which fought against demonic hordes and devilish legions; no, these were the Fallen, who betrayed their kind for all the power the Lower Powers could provide. Those Halls which allowed the Elves to enter were overcome by treachery, and those who survived within were sold to slavery. The dwarves who escaped this slavery spread the tales of treasonous elves, and from this came the dwarves’ universal distrust toward the Fair Folk. The Dwarves who themselves betrayed their race for power became the Duergar, the Dark Dwarves and were expelled to the furthest reaches of the underground
Of the vast number of Citadels that constituted the Dwarven race, only a bare few hundred remained. Some were overrun by humanity, more orcs or giants. As the Era of Humanity opened fully, the Second Demon Wars nearly consumed the fledgling race and indeed would have if not for the heroic exploits of their heroes. The orcish hordes called upon by the Dark Power overran most of the remaining Dwarven kingdoms, till the Dwarves were forced to live mostly in the bare few halls that escaped notice by orcs or were forced to live within human settlements. This went on for some time, until the King of Hydris spoke with a displaced Dwarf Lord. A great feast was held and it was agreed that six of the nine War Clans of Hydris would march to the most holy (and well-known) of the lost Citadels: Maldrun Hall, were first the Dwarves saw the above world and were it is believed their god created them. It fell in the First Demon War, and it was due to demonic attack that it was defeated. It is believed that the kill tally it claimed with its death is what allowed the Elves the time to destroy the Portals. After no less than nine years of tireless searching and six of brutal tunnel warfare, the holy Citadel was reclaimed. When the road to it was cleared and protected, a call went out to all dwarves: ‘Join us and regain our lost heritage. We have reclaimed Maldrun Hall.’ Tens of thousands of dwarves answered the call and a great quest began, which was left halfway by the Hydrisians, due to problems at home: Conquer all the lost Citadels of the North, and reforge the dwarven people. In rapid pace, they sent out hundreds of scouting parties to find the ancient Halls. In a year’s time, they had discovered dozens. In two decade’s time, they had reclaimed almost all of those. As more and more citadels were conquered, more dwarves joined. Clans, lost for centuries, appeared from their imprisonment under their own lands by orcish forces.
The rapid expansion has slowed drastically in recent times, as the orcs have decided to stop fighting themselves, for the most part, and the human barbarians of the Far North for the riches and plunder of the new Empire of Maldrun Hall. Despite these conflicts, Maldrun Hall is stronger than ever, and is the epitome of the dwarven ideals: Endurance, toughness and unstoppable might. Even through the worst of these Orcish Wars (which Hydris has also been engulfed in), Maldrun Hall still sought and cleared out forgotten Keeps. In all the continent, Maldrun hall is the best palce to purchase items wrought of metal, for they have blacksmiths with centuries of experience and all the ore of the Empire at their fingers.