Author Archives: Chuck Martinell

Tuval, Kingdom of

by Gerrin

Capital: Paranor
Population: 210,000 (Human 61%, Minotaur 22%, Gnome 7%, Dwarf 4%, Hobgoblin 4%, Other 2%)
Government: Monarchy
Religions: major – Nairsaif (Kiri-Jolith), minor – Anphlasaad (Habbakuk), Peliona (Zeboim)
Languages: Common, Minotaur, Gnome
Trade: Fish, Salt, Copper
Legions: Grand Fleet, King’s Army
Alignment: LG, NG, CG, LN, CN, LE, NE

The Tuval Isles is a collection of isles that have banded together since the Drowning. The isles are ruled by the highest ranking member of the ruling family. The government is controlled by a king or a queen who wields ultimate authority. The islands are spread throughout the northern Sargassi Sea. The islands are located on the tops of an underwater mountain chain and are very hilly.

Life and Society

The life on the isles is one that is fostered by community and spirit. Since the days of the Drowning the survivors on these isles have found that they had to put aside racial prejudices and work together for the survival of all. Minotaurs can be found here working side by side with men and dwarves.

Racial equality exists on the isles like no where else in Adlatum. In 237 AD the Tuvalian High King Josin Brinesea issued his Edict of All, stating that the laws of the realm encompassed all races. In the decades following this edict all laws in the realm were changed to reflect this ideology.

The military of the isles consisted of a navy and a small land army. The army answered directly to the highest ranking ruling family member while the navy serves the Grand Admiral. The navy consists of three fleets that each contained 100 warships. All citizens are required to serve in either the navy or army.

The legal system of the isles is based on the edicts of the High King or Queen. The laws are enforced by judges and through the use of local watches. Prisoners can be tried by public officials if there is risk of further violence erupting before a judge can arrive. All political positions in the isles are appointed by the High King or Queen.

The office of the High King or Queen rules the isles, and the person is the oldest hereditary member of the ruling family. The person rules the nation with executive, judicial, and legislative powers. The authoritarian rulership of the isle is considered necessary to keep the islands survival still its primary goal.

Religion

There was no formal religion recognized in the isles, but most mariners pay their respects to Peliona (Zeboim) and Anphlasaad (Habbakuk). Prior to voyages sailors will often sacrifice something of self importance to the gods in hopes of a good voyage. Small shrines to Peliona and Anphlasaad exist in all of the port cities.

The minotaurs who have remained on the isles since the Drowning still revere Nairsaif (Kiri-Jolith) as their main benefactor. In a vision prior to the Drowning a small detachment of minotaurs were told to remain in Isenaloch to be safe. The minotaurs believe that this vision came from Nairsaif as it was a white warrior who instructed them to unite to save all.

Government

The government of the isles is a monarchy based on hereditary rule. The High King or Queen oversees all legal and economic aspects of the isles. Each isle is ruled by a lord appointed by the High King or Queen. The ruler of the isles holds a traveling court during the summer to visit all the lords. During this time, the High King or Queen may pardon, judge, or oversee various projects that are happening on the isles.

Military

The military of the isles consists of the Grand Fleet and the King’s Army. The Grand Fleet is considered the pride and joy of the isles as it consists of 300 warships of various sizes and styles. The fleet’s primary duty is to ward off pirates and pursue them.

The King’s Army is a 10,000 member group that serves the king and helps keep control of the ports. All citizens within the nation are considered to be part of the King’s Army during times of crisis and can be conscripted into it at anytime. The army also contains a small cavalry division that stems from the isles past.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in the isles is practiced under the jurisdiction of the Council of Mages. This elite group governs all magic users and is a secretive organization. The average citizen of the isles has seen magic used before but it is an uncommon sight. Mages are treated with respect and often considered to be sages.

Mysticism on the island is wide spread and accepted everywhere. Mystics travel the isles offering their services to unlucky travelers caught in unfortunate events. The mystics have a center of healing which they have named the Great Center located in Paranor.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The High King’s Fortress: This is the residential home of the current ruler of Tuval. Its massive structure is said to be able to withstand the strongest winds of the sea and mightiest of war machines. The castle is a multi walled fortress that contains several small keeps connected by gates.

Sontaro’s Rock: This rock is the location of the signing of the peace treaty between all races living on the islands. It is located on the island of Donner and is a symbol of equality throughout the islands.

Copper Mines of Tilven: These mines are the source of copper for the island. They are situated on the island of Tilven and contain an inexhaustible supply of copper.

The Great Center of Paranor: This is the home of the islands mystics and contains much of the islands information in the form of scrolls and books. Pilgrims often journey to the Great Center in search to answers to life questions.

Regional History

The Tuval Isles were created by the Drowning in which the land sank below the water leaving only portions of it above the land. Prior to the Drowning this area was known as grassland with rolling hills, dominated by nomadic plainsmen and minotaurs. The minotaurs believing that the plainsmen were no real threat established the outpost of Isenaloch to oversee the area.

During the War of the Prophet Isenaloch became a prison for captured humans, dwarves, and other war criminals. This prison would be kept a secret from outsiders and even few plainsmen would know of its existence until after the Drowning. At its height 10000 prisoners were living below Isenaloch.

Following the Drowning the people of the isles found themselves thrust into a new world. Realizing early that without work from all races everyone would perish without immediate compromise the plainsmen sought out the minotaurs. After lengthy discussions in which the Prison of Isenaloch was discovered it was decreed that all races would work together for the survival.

At Sontaro’s Rock the various races came together an elected a human fighter named Tildon Ronor as their first leader. Ronor immediately began constructing a fleet of ships with the aid of the minotaurs. With limited resources the first ships were barely larger then life rafts. The courageous crews of these small vessels scoured the distance discovering several smaller islands and one larger one.

On the large island called Silan, the survivors discovered the remains of a lush forest and began to resettle the lands. Gathering together as many of the survivors as possible the people of the isles worked to reclaim the lands changed by the Drowning. In 292 PD all islands in the region were resettled by loyal Tuvalians.

The Tuval Isles in 409 AD discovered that their lands were rich in spices that were highly sought after. Daring merchants began to travel to the isles in hopes of bringing a shipload of them back to their homes. With this recent interest the economy of Tuval has boomed.

Since the Drowning the Tuvalians have had a precarious relationship with the minotaur races as they view those living on the isles as abominations. Even though no formal war has ever been declared a long fought naval war has existed between the nations since the Drowning.

 

Current Events

    • Minotaur raiders have been recently harassing shipping lanes near Donner’s Point.
    • Rumors of a forgotten city being found underground near Isenaloch.
  • The dead have risen near Seabreeze and are harassing local residents.

Major Settlements

The cities are controlled by appointed lords of the High King or Queen. These lords oversee the carrying out of their laws and enforcing the peace.

Paranor (Small City 41,000): The largest city and the home of the High King’s Fortress. Due to its proximity to favorable trade winds, this city has become very wealthy. It is home to the major trading house of Tochin. Sitting in the harbor is a lighthouse guiding ships into its wide harbor and docks. The Current High King is Gideon Tannora (LG male Etlarnic human noble 7/fighter 12).

Isenaloch (Large Town 19,400): This town was built on the remnants of the minotaur fortress that existed in the area prior to the Drowning. This city’s population mainly consists of minotaurs who carry out the traditions of their ancestors but honor their pact with the rest of the islands. This town is built on the island of Donnor on the ridges of Tuval. The current leader is Raul Devinoli (LN male Mahjoran minotaur mystic of Water 3/fighter 4).

Donner’s Point (Large Town 15,200): The town of Donner’s Point is a bustling port town. With its location on the shipping lanes it sees dozens of ships making port every day. The city is a bustling and growing town with many new buildings. The current leader of Donner’s Point is Ilan Silversword (LN male Etlarnic human noble 2/fighter 8).

Seabreeze (Small Town 5,200): This town is located on the island of Seabreeze and is a sleepy town. Located outside of the main shipping routes this town instead provides the islands with numerous crops. This community resembles more of a farming community then a bustling port town, unless it is harvest season. The current leader of Seabreeze is Arn Douglas (LG male Onarian human noble 3/mariner 8).

Tilven (Small Town 5,100): The town is located near the Tilven Mines and provides the mines with access to the sea. The small port town is a strongly fortified town with a standing garrison. The town is often compared to a military camp by its citizens, but this maybe do to its lord. The current leader of Wander is Mercinder Ironfoot (N male Mahjoran minotaur noble 3/fighter 7).

Sodbottom

by Gerrin

Capital: Wa-nax
Population: 40,000 (Neskudar 98%, Other 2%)
Government: Hierarchy
Religions: minor – Reorx (Reorx), Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith), Tonol (Mishakal), Slinoter (Shinare).
Languages: Common, Dwarven.
Trade: Mercenaries, Gems.
Legions: None
Alignment: NG, NE, CE, LE

The Sodbottom is a loose collection of city-states and tribes controlled by a Neskudar barbarian named Ros Earthstriker.

Life and Society

Life in Sodbottom Swamp is a difficult one as the dwarves try to avoid contact with outsiders. Most of the people of Sodbottom live in nomadic groups that travel around the swamp trying to survive. Three towns have been created for dwarves who do not desire a nomadic lifestyle and as a place to trade. These towns are filled full of dwarves who are often distrustful of people outside of their tribes.

The society in Sodbottom is different from elsewhere in Adlatum. The Neskudar favor activities at night and sleep during the day. They do this because they have a deep fear of what the darkness may hold and need to be awake for it. The sunlight also affects their skin, a curse they inherited from they battle against Chaos.

The military of Sodbottom is a loose collection of tribes serving one lord. These tribes will supply troops in times of need. There is no standing military, towns have patrols and militia.

The legal system in the empire is a brutal one where charges are settled by fights. The loser of the fight is found guilty or admits his claim was false. Often times the fights end in the death of one or both of the combatants.

Religion

There was no formal religion recognized, and most dwarves do not worship any god. The few dwarves that do worship gods worship Reorx, or Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith). The departure of the gods have went unnoticed by many of the Neskudar, instead the dwarves worship a false idol of a giant lizard that they believe will bring them luck.

Government

The government of Sodbottom is a hierarchy in which one dwarf controls the power. Individual tribes have chieftains but they all swear loyalty to the Grand Chieftain. The current leader is Ros Earthshaker an ambitious general who seized control after finding the Crown of Blacklight.

Military

There is no formal military in Sodbottom, instead each tribe provides its own safety. In times of conflict the Grand Chieftain can call the tribes together and create an army. The Grand Chieftain is protected by his tribe during peace times.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in Sodbottom is rare, but for those who possess it they are given places of honor in their tribes. Many of these dwarves are given position of advisement to chieftains and are often revered by their clans. The magic is not moon magic but rather chaos magic.

Mysticism is uncommon among the dwarves but since they do not publicly acknowledge the gods the dwarves have turned to it. Nearly every tribe in Sodbottom has a mystic who leads religious practices of a false religion.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The Pit: In the middle of the Sodbottom Swamp lies a giant hole that the dwarves have named the Pit. No one knows for sure what lies at the bottom of the pit or even how deep it is. In the early years of Sodbottom, dwarves would sacrifice prisoners to the pit to appease their god, Salimadar. Rumors persist that the forces of Chaos still lurk in the shadows of the pit, waiting for unsuspecting visitors.

The Mound of the Dead: This mound contains the remains of those who fought Chaos. The mound was built during the struggle against Chaos as a place for all those forgotten or killed to be buried. Many of the warriors left no trace of their memory but their equipment was found. The dwarves believed that the equipment contains the spirit of the owner and needs to be buried. The mound was raised near the city of Wa-nax.

The Cave of Truth: All new sorcerers and wizards must journey to this mysterious cave and travel through it. What is located in the cave no one can say as each journey is different. It is rumored that the cave contains the secrets of true magical power.

Ruins of Arendon: The Ruins of Arendon are the remains of the first settlement built in Sodbottom Swamp. These ruins are difficult to reach as they have been lost for several years. Arendon was a fortress built in the northern part of Sodbottom and was supposed to protect the swamp from possible invaders.

Regional History

Sodbottom swamp is the location of the Neskudar dwarves who have resided there since their escape from minotaurs to the north. Life in the swamp is one of danger and the constant fight for survival. Much of the swamp is difficult to navigate and the water in many parts releases a steam that forms a mist over the swamp. The dwarves living here chose the location for its difficult terrain and from its cover to the sun.

The original settlers were fearful of a possible attack by the minotaurs and build Arendon, a mighty fortress to provide protection. In the years that followed the dwarves found that their people grew restless from living in one place. Fearing some great unknown, the Neskudar broke into tribes which moved around the swamps. During these travels three towns were constructed to help the tribes keep in contact and trade for goods.

Prior to the war with Chaos, much of this area remained the same except for a few internal struggles for power and some small skirmishes with goblins. The tribes worked independently from each other and believed that they were finally safe. During the Days of Darkness, the tribes responded to Reorx’s dream and traveled back to the Path. It was there they encountered the forces of Chaos.

The dwarves retreated back to their swamp but found that the terrain that helped keep outsiders away was actually an advantage for the forces of Chaos. In a struggle for survival the dwarves managed to defeat the forces of Chaos at great cost. Several of the tribes of Sodbottom were nearly destroyed and survivors were filled with questions. The land itself was changed by Chaos and the swamp is a deadly place to live in.

Current Events

    • The tribes of Sodbottom have been called to assemble together to discuss an attack on the Adlar dwarves.
    • There are rumors of forces gathering in the North and possibly planning on invading Sodbottom.
  • The Grand Chieftain has declared that finding of the Ruins of Arendon are important for the survival of his people. These ruins need to be rebuilt to defend the tribes from a possible outside attack.

Major Settlements

Local cities and settlements were created by tribes as places of trade. They are governed by the tribal leader and all follow the laws of the Grand Chieftain.

Wa-nax (Small Town 3,000): This town is the current home of the Grand Chieftain Ros Earthstriker (NE male Neskudar noble 2/fighter 5/expert 3). The town located in the southern part of the swamp was spared much of the destruction that the forces of Chaos have created in the swamp. It is a trading post for the tribes living in the southern part of the swamp and is surrounded by a stone wall.

Sodbottom (Small Town 2,530): This was the second largest town in Sodbottom. It was named after the swamp and is located in the northern part of it. The town serves as a trading and religious center for the tribes around the area. Currently Klick Earthslasher (NE male Neskudar noble 1/fighter 4/mystic of Passion 1) is the leader of the town.

Awathah (Village 750): This is the smallest settlement in Sodbottom. This village was attacked several times by the forces of Chaos and many of its residents have fled. A wooden wall surrounds the currently occupied part. Jenna Earthforge (LN female Neskudar noble 1/fighter 2/sorcerer 4) is currently in charge of the remaining residents of her village.

Smoking Lands, Isle of

by Gerrin

Capital: Hilltop
Population: 170,000 (Kobold 99%, Goblin 1%)
Government: Oligarchy
Religions: major – The Fire Lady (Shinare)
Languages: Common, Kobold
Trade: Furs, Iron, Obsidian, Wood
Legions: Untrained militia
Alignment: NG, CN, LN, NE, CE

The Oligarchy of the Isle of the Smoking Lands is a singular province that is controlled by the leaders of five major clans of kobolds living there. It is an ancient dormant volcano that remained above water following the Drowning. The exterior of the island is bleak and barren land that is usually covered in smoke drifting out of cracks, while the interior of the island is a lush valley full of wildlife, and forests. It is located off the coast of the coast of Gildanesti, near the city of Twin Sails.

Life and Society

Life on the isle is one that is isolative and safe. Most of the kobolds living on the island have little desire to explore outside of the island and the ones that do, are to unskilled in navigation to build a ship to leave. The island is controlled by the five major clans of kobolds.

The military of the island is untrained militia as few kobolds could truly be classified as professional soldiers. The clans on the island frequently war over land and resources, so it is not uncommon for standing armies to be on the march. Borders are often disputed by the clans and trade between the clans is almost non existent.

The legal system of the island is based off of ancient code of laws that are passed down by tribal shamans, while clan chieftains have the final say in the law, the shamans often advise the chief of the law. Laws are not written and therefore are often changed to fit the situation or crime.

The status of chieftain is passed from the ruler at death to his oldest surviving son. If no heir is alive to succeed, inter-clan war will establish a new chief. Often new chieftains have to spend much of their time trying to survive frequent assassination attempts.

Religion

There is no formal religion recognized, but most kobolds worship the Fire Lady (Shinare), or an aspect of the goddess. The kobolds have created several small shrines dedicated to the goddess throughout the land. Holy ground is considered sacred to the kobolds and is considered cleansed land that no blood may be shed upon.

Government

The government of the kobolds consists of each of the five ruling clans has a chief. The chief is advised by a tribal shaman, a high warrior, the tribal elder, and the chief’s sons. All power and laws come directly from the chief who wields it with absolute authority.

Once a year the five chiefs will meet and hold a joint meeting. This meeting allows the kobolds to discuss important topics such as possible invasions, tribal disputes, or the construction of a permanent meeting spot. At this time the five chiefs will vote upon changes and all tribes have sworn to live by the votes.

Military

The military of the island is comparable to untrained militia. Kobold armies are often outfitted with a variety of weapons and armor that are made. Most of the weapons and armor are created by the few goblin slaves that were unlucky enough to have ancestors who lived in the valley at the time of the Drowning.

The military is controlled by the chieftain and his appointed generals. Most of the clans have a standing army that is often on the move trying to seize key border areas. There is no known military organizational system used to separate units.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic on the island is almost unheard of and is rarely seen in public. Very few kobolds have any knack at sorcery or magic. Those who are able to use sorcery or magic often find themselves exiled away from their clans.

The kobolds discovered in the years following the departure of their god mysticism. Kobold mystics run the Shrines of the Fire Lady and often will exchange their services for material goods.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The Waterfall of the Fire Lady: This natural waterfall is located in the western part of the island. Created by the Drowning, the waterfall is molten lava seeping out of a crack and falling into a large pool of water fed by a stream. This strange natural phenomenon attracts hundreds of kobolds every year and is home to the largest Shrine of the Fire Lady.

The Big Tree Forest: A large forest covers much of the interior of the island. This forest existed prior to the Drowning and is vastly overgrown. Travel through the forest is difficult and parts of it have been left unexplored by the kobolds.

Iron Mines: These mines are the source of iron for the island and often the center of many of the wars. The mines are mined by goblin slaves and the ore is shipped to a processing facility.

Regional History

The Island of the Smoking Lands was settled prior the Drowning by five kobold tribes trying to escape the war ravaged lands. Discovering that the Valley of the Smoking Lands was uninhabited the kobolds moved there for safety. Also moving into the valley in the days prior to the Drowning was a small tribe of goblins who had fled from the minotaur army.

After the Drowning the kobolds living in the valley found themselves isolated from the rest of the world. For several years following the Drowning clans fought each other to gain dominance. During this time the small goblin tribe living on the island became hunted and enslaved by the kobolds to be used to create new weapons and armor.

In 98 AD the kobold clans came together and met, discussing how to peacefully end the killing and establish territories. While the meeting had some success it did not end the struggles between the clans. It did establish the yearly meeting of the clans in which the clans could discuss disputes and concerns.

In 293 AD the kobolds were surprised to find a man named Talin on the island. After capturing the man, he convinced them to hold onto the Pick of Aenor, a legendary weapon sought by the Adlar dwarves. The kobolds would hide the pick in the Waterfall of the Fire Lady until it was received by Talin’s grandson, Telnor, in 376 AD.

Following the departure of the pick, the kobolds again became a forgotten people whose daily life centered on controlling key resources. Feeling safe and secure inside the rim of ancient volcano, the kobolds ignore the rest of the world.

Current Events

    • The kobolds have heard of strangers landing upon the shores of the island.

 

    • Goblin slaves have recently attempted a revolt in the eastern part of the island.

 

  • Strange beasts have been reported flying over the island and attacking local settlements.

Major Settlements

Local clans control the cities of the Isle of the Smoking Lands. The largest settlement is in the southern part of the island. It is home to the largest clan, the Bonebreakers. The other four clans have cities spread throughout the island.

Rock (Large Town 21,000): The largest city and clan home of the Bonebreakers. Rock is a walled town that is filled with small one story buildings and shanties. The clan leaders live in the center of the city in the city’s only stone structure. The current Clan Chieftain is Urg Bonebreaker (CE male kobold noble 2/fighter 4).

Fire Lady’s Home (Town 9,400): This town is located near the Waterfall of the Fire Lady and is the clan home of the Firewatchers. This town serves as the religious center of the isle and is visited by kobolds of all clans. The town consists of makeshift buildings and in the center of the town is a large shrine dedicated to the Fire Lady. The current leader is Thad Firewatcher (CG male kobold mystic 7).

Treetops (Large Town 15,200): The easternmost city on the isles is the home of the Treeseeking clan. This town is built in the forest with hollowed out trees serving as buildings when available. The current leader of Treetops is Grag Treeseeking (N male kobold fighter 8).

Gold Streams (Small Town 3,200): This town is located in the northern part of the island and is home to the Goldsword clan. The town is built on marshland in between the Gold Streams that flow throughout the area. The town consists mainly of makeshift buildings that constantly have to be rebuilt do to the soft ground. The current leader of Gold Streams is Torn Goldsword (NE male kobold noble 1/fighter 4).

Wander (Small Town 5,400): This town is located in the center of isle and is home to Truebow clan. The town is built in the Big Tree Forest and is hidden by outsiders by various methods of camouflage. Fearful of being destroyed the Truebow clan is constantly on the move and the town is difficult to locate. The current leader of Wander is Oril Truebow (N male kobold noble 3/fighter 2).

Sundarin, Kingdom of

by Gerrin

Capital: Sundarin
Population: 130,000 (Sundar 91%, Hartdar 5%, Gnome 2%, Other 2%)
Government: Monarchy
Religions: major – Reorx, minor – Zeboim, Kiri-Jolith, Mishakal, Shinare
Languages: Common, Dwarven
Trade: Gems, Metal Goods, Mercenaries, Ships, Steel
Legions: The Crimson Guard, the Guard of Sundarin, the Magenta Guard, and the Navy of Sundarin.
Alignment: LG, NG, LN, N

The Kingdom of Sundalin was a singular realm that was controlled from its capital city of Sundarin. It existed primarily on the Plains of Uloc and in the southern part of the Brassgrove Mountains. The kingdom bordered Bhadium on the east. The nation was settled primarily along the sea with small villages in the interior parts of the nation. Most of the area to the north of the country was considered wild country and was controlled by tribes of goblins and other creatures. The cities in the realm were connected by a highway but it was underused as most dwarves preferred traveling by ship.

Life and Society

The life in the kingdom centered on the sea and was one filled with danger. Most of the citizens that lived in the kingdom had comfortable lifestyles but were aware of the danger that lurked to the north and in the sea. Most dwarves had some interest in the shipping industry and worked in some area of that field. Many of the merchant fleets of Sundalin worked to trade goods with most of western Adlatum and a few merchants even ventured to the eastern parts seeking exploration and new ports.

The military of Sundalin contained 3 fleets that provided the safety of both the merchant and private vessels. Each fleet was stationed around one of the major cities of Sundalin and concentrated on preventing pirates from raiding the realm. The army was a very small unit that was broken into 2 units. The Crimson Guard protected the city of Sundarin and consisted of 5,000 dwarven warriors. The Magenta Guard protected the northern border of the kingdom and consisted of 15,000 dwarven fighters. This group also inhabited many of the old goblin fortresses left from the Wyvern War.

The legal system of Sundalin was based on the ancient Code of Tandar. This legal system allowed for the Senate of Sundalin to create laws and run the courts. Judges ruled on the cases, while city watches patrolled for lawbreakers. This system was filled with controversy as many viewed the system of courts as corrupt.

The rank of the king was the highest rank and ruled the executive powers of the kingdom. The current king was King Belaek and he had ruled since his father’s death in 383 AD. The king had the right to nullify any law that he deemed unjust and was in charge of the military.

Religion

There was no formal religion recognized, but most dwarves recognized Reorx and honor his memory. There were four other churches Zebiom, Kiri-Jolith, Shinare, and Mishakal that had limited power in the kingdom. Since the battle against Chaos, most of these churches have been abandoned. A new religion has spread into the kingdom that is called Mulonic which means heart in dwarven.

Government

The government of Sundalin was a constitutional monarchy. The king controlled a majority of the power but some of the power rested in the Senate. The rank of king was a hereditary position inherited by the oldest son of the previous king, if no son was alive or born it would be inherited to the oldest daughter.

The king had a council of advisors that oversaw much of the land. This council oversaw the shipping, taxation, and law system of the kingdom. They then made recommendations to the king based on their findings. The military answered directly to the king and was under the direction of the Admiral of the Sea and Land.

Military

The Sundalin military was organized under two divisions, the Navy of Sundalin and the Guard of Sundalin. These two organizations acted independently of one another but were both under the control of the Admiral of the Sea and Land. The Navy consisted of three fleets; each fleet contained 30 ships and 7,500 sailors. The Guard consisted of two divisions and contains 20,000 members.

Each fleet of the navy was connected to one of the major three cities of Sundalin and bore that name in their title. The Fleet of Sundarin patrolled the waters south of the city; the Fleet of Portswind patrolled the western shoreline of the kingdom, while the Fleet of Dovestorm patrolled the northern coastal areas. These fleets were the first line of preventing an attack on the kingdom and have been heavily invested into.

The guard was two armies that patrolled the land of Sundalin. The Crimson Guard was stationed in the south and patrolled and protected the capital and its outlying cities. The Magenta Guard patrolled the northern parts of the kingdom and the border with Bhadium. Each unit was under the control of a general.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in the kingdom was almost unheard of and was rarely seen in public. Prior to the attack by Chaos few dwarves could use the earth magic that the Adlar dwarves possessed. Many of the dwarves that could use magic keep their talent in hiding fearing that they would be treated differently by other dwarves. Following the Chaos War there was no accounts of dwarven sorcery.

The dwarves of Sundalin have embraced mysticism as their chief religion. They have founded Healing Centers in the major cities and mystics travel across the land. The military has recently added a new division to its units and is recruiting mystics to fill as both spiritual leaders and healers.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

Plains of Uloc: These plains cover much of Sundalin in the west. They were broken up by occasional hills and valleys. This area provided much of the farmland of the valley and during the winter months the plains filled deep with snow.

White Mountain: A large mountain that was northeast of Dovestorm. On this mountain dwarven warriors battled and killed a group of draconic eagles. The mountain was considered haunted by the spirits of the dead following this battle.

Silver Mines: These mines were discovered in the foothills surrounding the town of Dovestorm. The mines contain a major source of silver and provide the craftsmen of Portswind with the metal.

Valley of the Eagle: The valley was the site of one of the major battles during the War of the Reefs. This valley contains relics from the battle and has become the home of the University of Sundalin in the town of Rockeagle.

El-Del Narro Fortress: The fortress was originally one of many goblin strongholds found in the southern mountains of Brassgrove. This fortress has been converted into a dwarven stronghold and serves as a training center for new recruits to the Guard.

Regional History

The Kingdom of Sundalin was founded in 76 AD by Uloc Battleheart after the Council of Hollowvasser refused to end piracy. The nation became a secret refuge for the dwarves as they created their new home in the cliffs near the Brassgrove Mountains. The dwarves hoped that their city would remain a secret but a young ship captain betrayed them and informed the Lord Protector of Nordar, Yilan Copperforge. A series of battles resulted as the newly escaped dwarves battled against returning back to Hollowvasser and its horrors. The Hollowvasser dwarves battled the Sundalin dwarves in the Valley of the Eagle in the largest battle of the war. The dwarves from Hollowvasser had hoped to march their men across the plains and attack Sundarton from above. This battle ended in victory for the Sundalinians but it was costly as their beloved leader Tib Battleheart was killed. Also the dwarves of Hollowvasser lost their Lord Protector Yilan Copperforge.

Two years later the dwarves of Sundalin pushed the forces of Hollowvasser back to the Mount Anneghis where they won a decisive battle. Following the battle the dwarves of Hollowvasser had recognize Sundalin as a free an independent nation. The new nation elected to follow a king and chose Uloc Battleheart as there first king.

King Uloc Battleheart quickly expanded the kingdom to the north attempting to build new colonies and trying to capitalize on the abundance of natural resources located there. The nation responded to this as cities in the north grew quickly while the south remained primarily agriculture. Uloc also realized a strong navy was important and created the fleet system that Sundar would use in the future.

In 132 AD a mysterious plague developed in Sundalin which was called the Plague of the Black. Victims of the plague developed a black rash that would spread throughout their bodies and would die within four days. All known remedies failed as the healers struggled to discover a way to contain it.

Believing the plague was a curse sent by the dragon turtle that gave them the courage to take the seas, the dwarves traveled to find her. A group of dwarven adventurers located the dragon and learned that the cause of the disease was the dragon’s old nemesis a group of draconic eagles called the Telniva.

The dwarves then set out to search for the eagles and located them in the spires of the White Mountain. They also located the cause of the disease was a black soot that was produced by the eagles. The dwarven army attacked the eagles and nearly the entire Crimson Guard was killed during the battle or developed the plague after the battle. King Uloc was killed swinging the deathblow that killed the eagle leader, Tol un Holeap. Having contacted the plague two days before the battle, Uloc knew he was going to die and ordered that his son Pick become king.

For many years the Kingdom of Sundalin prospered and established permanent shipping lanes in the sea. The dwarves at also made contact with the Republic of Kedaltol and signed the Sundalin-Kedaltol Pact which gave mining rights to the Kedaltol and trading rights to the Sundalin. This pact was also a mutual defense pact.

In 211 AD the Sundalinian dwarves are attacked by goblin clans who gather under the banner of the Wyvern. These clans become famed for their mounts they fly into battle and become a menace to the safety of Sundalin. The Sundar dwarves counter quickly creating accurate ballista that shoots targets in the air. Neither side can gain an advantage as the goblin strongholds are located in the Brassgrove Mountains and the ballista is unable to be used. The goblins are also unable to re-enter the plains as the ballista has nullified their air attack.

In 247 AD Sundalin activates the recently signed Sundalin-Kedaltol Pact. With the aid of the legendary Kedaltolian Ice Legion, the dwarves of Sundalin are able to drive the goblins to the north of their kingdom. King Pick orders that the goblin fortresses are to be studied and rebuilt so that they can be used by dwarves.

In 350 AD King Helm Battleheart (Pick’s grandson) learns of the return of the true clerics and meets with an elder cleric or Reorx who was a young copper dragon in disguise. This cleric tells King Helm of the danger of the Elder Dragons and the threat they pose to the safety of his kingdom. Not knowing what to do, King Pick orders that clerics preach of the coming danger and to travel throughout Adlatum alerting people of it. Many people would later mistake the message the dwarves were preaching as a foreshadowing of the war against Chaos.

As the war with Chaos begins, the dwarves of Sundalin were unaware of it. They received news of the war from their allies the Kedaltol and immediately joined the forces of Adlatum to fight. The Crimson Guard traveled with King Helm Battleheart and fought against the forces. In this battle the king would be slain and only 500 dwarves returned home.

In Sundalin the Chaos War had much affect as crabmen crawled onto the shores slaughtering dwarves by the hundreds. Belaek Battleheart, King Helm’s son, organizes the evacuation of many towns and cities before the crabmen could strike. The dwarves then counter-attack and drive the crabmen back into the ocean. The cost of victory is high as many of the town and cities were damaged or destroyed.

Following the Chaos War in 385 AD, the Ironvald Empire and its allies attack the Sundalinian city of Portswind hoping to catch the nation off guard. The nation manages to turn back the Ironvald fleet by using fireships that cause havoc to the fleet.

Currently most of Sundalin has been repaired following the Chaos War. Most people have returned to the coasts but a few have elected to remain in the ancient goblin fortresses. Times are prosperous for the dwarves but they are keeping a wary eye to their neighbors and believe that war is coming again between the nations.

Current Events

  • Goblin tribes in the north have recently clashed with the Magenta Guard.
  • Raiders from the Ironvald Empire have recently pillaged the small town of Rockcliff.
  • The shipping industry has recently lost several merchant ships traveling to the north to trade goods with the Teusten.

Major Settlements

Local cities are given noble governors to lead them and they are appointed by the king. All local governors control the city watch and militia.

Sundarin (Large City 24,500): The capital of Sundalin was the oldest city and was founded by Uloc Battleheart. Originally named Sundarton the city was renamed following the Days of Darkness to Sundarin. This city was built into a cliff side and consisted of nine different levels. The top level of the city was a military fort of the Crimson Guard. Level 8 contained the king’s palace and government offices and levels two-7 contained various residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. The lowest level contained the docks of the city and was 200 feet below the second level. To travel to different levels dwarves must ride a lift system. The king of Sundalin was the ruler of the city and the current king is King Belaek Battleheart (LG male Sundar noble 7/fighter 6/mariner 2).

Portswind (Metropolis 52,700): The largest city of the kingdom was a major commercial ship building center. With a natural harbor and access to resources the town grew quickly from a small settlement in 112 PD. This settlement has been rebuilt several times over the century and is a city that now consists of one level that is protected by many interior walls. A noble appointed by the king runs the government of the city and the current official is Lord Doget Silverbreaker (NG male Sundar noble 5/mariner 2).

Dovestorm (Large Town 10,600): The northernmost city in Sundalin this city is an outpost city near the frontier lands. This city contains access to the kingdom’s mines and is considered vital for the economy of the nation. The city is a one level city that served as the mining headquarters for the kingdom but also housed a third of the Magenta Guard. The city is run by a noble appointed by the king and the current official is Lady Jewel Ogrehammer (LG female Sundar noble 4/fighter 7).

Ironvald Empire (Nordarin)

by Gerrin

Capital: Hollowvasser
Population: 170,000 (Nordar 93%, Hartdar 2%, Human 2%, Sundar 1%, Other 2%)
Government: Totalitarianism
Religions: major – Moli (Zeboim), minor – Reorx, Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith), Tonol (Mishakal), Slinoter (Shinare)
Languages: Dwarven, Hammer-talk, Common
Trade: Mercenaries, Gems, Steel, Metal Goods, Ships
Legions: Imperial Fleet, Imperial Marines
Alignment: NG, CG, LE, NE, CE

The Ironvald Empire is a collection of island nations which were located in the Shattered Sea and Sea of Tears. This empire exists primarily on the non-submerged lands of the former Hammervald Empire. The nation settled in many of the former settlements of the Hammervald Empire and has tried to retake former lands of the Hammervald back into their empire. Hollowvasser and Ironvasser are connected by two different ways, one is shipping lines and the other is a massive underground tunnel that reaches both cities.

Life and Society

The life in the empire was very disciplined and controlled by the emperor. Most of the citizens that lived in the empire found their lives filled with hundreds of laws and military discipline. There are two seasons in the empire; winter and raiding. During winter most dwarves live in their homes and prepare for the upcoming raiding season. At this time dwarves repair or build ships, forge new weapons, train new crews, and prepare for their future raids.

All raiders of the empire must pay a special tax to obtain a permit to be a legal raider. These raiders are called the Lord Protector’s Fleet and are free to carry out raids in any part of Adlatum. The raiders that do not obtain a license are considered outlaws and can be hunted down by the Imperial Fleet.

The military of the Ironvald Empire consisted of the Imperial Fleet and Imperial Marines. These two groups provided the safety of the realm and were spread throughout the empire. The fleet consisted of 100 ships and 15,000 sailors and the marines consisted of 20,000 dwarven fighters. These two groups specialized working together.

The legal system of the empire is dictated by the emperor and his laws are posted throughout all cities and towns in the empire. Lawbreakers were treated harshly and were often jailed without a trail. The Imperial Courts often gave judicial control to local watches.

The office of the Emperor of the Iron Islands was the highest office in the land followed by the position of Lord Protector. The emperor had control over all parts of the empire but often delegate’s tasks to the Lord Protector. Following the death of the Lord Protector Brigg Giantbattler, the title was considered unworthy of being used for a ruler and Argent Giantbattler declared that the title of Emperor of the Iron Islands would be used as the official title. The office of Lord Protector became an advisory position to the Emperor who could act with the authority of the Emperor.

Religion

There was no formal religion recognized, but most dwarves worship Moli (Zeboim) and offer her sacrifices even following the gods departure. Also the Nordar recognize four other gods as helpers to Moli and they were Reorx, Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith), Slinoter (Shinare), and Tonol (Mishakal). Since the departure of the gods, most of the minor god’s churches have been abandoned but the worship of Moli continues.

Government

The government of the Ironvald Empire is totalitarianism and allows for little freedom. The Emperor controls all of the power and may divide it in whatever manner the emperor wanted to use. The office of emperor is a hereditary position inherited by the oldest son or male relation to the emperor.

The Emperor is advised by the Lord Protector whose position carries similar powers to the emperor. The Lord Protector oversees many of the day-to-day issues of the government and can delegate work to other individuals. The military is under the direct control of the Lord Protector and the emperor. They are led by a Fleet Admiral and Marine General.

Military

The Hammervald Empire’s military is divided by two units, the Imperial Fleet and Imperial Marines. These two groups often work together and the marines often serve on board the fleet’s ship. The fleet contained 100 ships and 15,000 soldiers and the marines had 20,000 dwarven warriors.

The fleet is under the control of the Fleet Admiral and is based in Hollowvasser. Although it is one unit the fleet is placed throughout the empire at several key resource or strategic areas. The marines are controlled by the Marine General and provide security aboard ships, key resource, and strategic areas. The overall structure of the marines is stylized after the Hammervald legions.

The Lord Protector’s Fleet is a military raiding fleet of the empire. These raiders are legalized through the acquiring of a raiding license. The raiders operate the heaviest in the summer and fall months preying on ships all over Adlatum. In the late fall these ships return back to the empire. These ships may also be used in offensive and defensive campaigns by the empire.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in the empire was almost unheard of and was rarely seen in public. Prior to the attack by Chaos few dwarves could use the earth magic that the Adlar dwarves possessed. Many of the dwarves that could use magic keep their talent in hiding fearing that they would be treated differently by other dwarves. Following the Chaos War there was no accounts of dwarven sorcery in the empire.

The dwarves of Ironvald Empire have discovered mysticism and use it as a tool. Not viewing it as a religion they have outlawed the teachings of mercy that many of the original healers preached. The healers of the Ironvald Empire are often outsiders who are employed by the empire in the military. The few mystics that are discovered in the Ironvald Empire are pressed into military or civil service.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

Iron Islands: These islands are the land that was left above sea level following the Drowning. The Ironvald Empire considers any island that was once part of the Hammervald Empire to be part of the Iron Islands. Notable islands in the Iron Islands are the Emperor’s Island and the Lord Protector’s Island.

Nolas Mountains: This is the chain of mountains that the Hammervald Empire once lived in. Even though most of the chain was destroyed during the Drowning there are still two parts left above the water. The Eastern Nolas Mountains are where the city of Hollowvasser is built into and contains the peak Mt. Anneghis. The Western Nolas Mountains are where the city of Ironvasser was built into and contained the peak Mt. Phenoli.

Great Tunnel: The Great Tunnel was an immense underground tunnel that connected Hollowvasser to Ironvasser.

Citadel of Gold: This citadel was the entrance for the gold mines on the Western Nolas Mountains. The Lord Protector Brigg Giantbattler had the massive citadel constructed to secure the mines and prevent outsiders from raiding the precious material.

Brigg Shipyards: This shipyard is located near the city of Hollowvasser and is the chief shipyards of the empire. The shipyards are located in the only natural harbor found on the Emperor’s Island and was built as the first line of defense for the island.

Regional History

The Hartdar removed much of the military forces from the Hammervald Empire to use against the minotaurs during the closing years of the Canon War. They believed that one last battle would break the Minotaur Empire, and they exhausted their resources. In 4 PD, the Hartdar’s High Warden Tildon Copperforge left Hollowvasser to lead the troops on the front line while instructing his son Ren Copperforge to travel with the Ice Legion.

This act left no ruling force in the city, but Tildon decided to create the position of Lord Protector to rule in his stead until he could return. He chose General Alon Fateender to become the Lord Protector and left him one legion to command. Fateender ruled from the Warden’s Palace with the authority of the High Warden, waiting for his leader to return.

The wait for a final victory was long, and years later they learned was that both sides were still preparing for the coming battle. Times were good for the dwarves living in the Hammervald Empire as production demands were high. Lord Protector Fateender had an easy time ruling the empire as many dwarves were happy with his relaxed laws.

This period did not last long, for the dwarves of Hollowvasser barely survived the Drowning. They were shocked to see the destruction inflicted upon their network system, linking other cities to the capital. What was once joined mainland became a scattering of islands. The Lord Protector sent out search parties to learn what happened and make contact with the rest of the empire. When they returned they brought grim news of the entire Hammervald Empire destruction. All that was left of their civilization was the island they lived on. Fateender told the dwarves that there were still Hartdar alive in the world and that they would seek them out shortly. After the initial shock of the Drowning wore off, hope began again as many dwarves heeded Fateender’s words. They believed they would be rescued.

The months turn into years as no help came from the outside, and hope turned to anger.

The dwarves of Hollowvasser began to call themselves Nordar, reef dwarves, to represent their current status. They forsook their citizenship status as Hartdar and began to demand that Fateender do something to end their suffering. A struggle for power broke out, and Fateender was killed when the Warden’s Palace was burned to the ground in 9 AD.

The Nordar began to struggle to survive living in their city, underground on an isolated island. Many dwarves perished during this time since there was no Lord Protector to ration out the supplies. Factions developed in the clans, and they began to act in their own interests to ensure survival.

In 27 AD, Tib Battleheart organized the various leaders of the city into a council to vote on issues. Many of the dwarves heeded his call, and order resumed in the city. Most dwarves knew a way off the island would be needed to ensure the Nordar survival.

In 39 AD, a dragon turtle approached the Nordar Council and offered them a chance to escape the island. The turtle would remove their fear of the sea if the dwarves began to worship the creature’s mistress, the goddess Moli. The Nordar agreed, and they began to construct ships to travel to the mainland of Adlatum.

They found the continent much changed and that many of the human nations of the Midlands refused to trade with them based on credit. The dwarves turned to piracy to get the things they needed. The Nordar Council agreed with the idea and issued a proclamation promoting the idea of “take what you need” to ensure survival.

In 56 AD, the dwarves began to travel the various islands around them to look for other survivors or possible areas to colonize. They located several survivors and relocated them to Hollowvasser. The Nordar found the surviving city of Ironvasser on a nearby island, and the small population there welcomed the arrival of the Nordar.

Later that same year, the dwarves made contact with the human nation of Teusten. The two nations went to war, and the dwarves were forced to give up many of their islands for they did not have the army or navy large enough to secure those isles. The Nordar carried a grudge from the war and vowed vengeance someday against the Teusten.

In the late 60’s, many dwarves came to feel that piracy was wrong, and they voiced their complaints against the practice. Among these dwarves was Tib Battleheart, who took the issue to the council. The issue was debated and voted on, and the final vote outlawed piracy. But the Nordar people ignored the vote, calling those who voted for it soft and forgetful of the old ways. Among those who were the chief supporter of piracy was Yilan Copperforge, a distance relative to the former High Warden Tildon Copperforge.

In the mid-70s, pirate attacks against Corinesti vessels sparked a minor war with the trade guilds of the local sea elves. This propagated Tib Battleheart to take action.

From 75 to 76 AD, Battleheart secretly shipped dwarves out of Hollowvasser, moving them to settle on the mainland coast. He was betrayed by a young ship captain, who hoped to win the support of Copperforge. Battleheart and the remainder of his supporters fled to the mainland coast to construct the city of Sundarton in the cliffs for protection.

Now calling themselves cliff dwarves, the Sundar and the Nordar began to raid each other’s settlements, each believing the other was at fault for the schism. The Nordar also believed that because the Sundar’s departure they lost the war against the sea elves, and the Sundar believed that they were entitled to the resources on the Nordar controlled islands.

The War of the Reefs was primarily raids on the each others colonies along the Shattered Sea and the mainland coast. The Nordar in 78 AD landed an army near Sundarton and attempted to destroy the Sundar capital city. The Sundar met the Nordar in the Valley of the Eagle and fought one of the largest battles in the war. The Sundar leader Tib Battleheart was killed as was the Nordar General Yilan Copperforge. The Sundar routed the Nordar forces and burned their ships on the beach with a daring raid led by Tib’s son Uloc Battleheart.

In 80 AD, the Sundar commenced the last major battle of the war as they conducted a raid on Mt. Anneghis. This attack eliminated any chance of the two clans reuniting and forced the Nordar to sign a peace treaty, recognizing the Sundar lands of Sundarin as a free and independent nation.

With the death of many of the major leaders during the War of the Reefs, many minor nobles began to fight for the title of Lord Protector. These dwarves were unable to ever hold the title for long, and the city of Hollowvasser was divided into many territories. The council of Nordar continued to meet, attempting to stop the war. But it was to no avail. The warlords continued to fight, destroying large portions of the city. Even when a Hartdar delegation arrived in 146 AD, the Nordar took little notice of their cousins. They believed that the Hartdar had come back to claim dominance over them, and the council ordered the Hartdar to leave, claiming that Hollowvasser was an independent nation on the Iron Islands.

A small element of the Hartdar spoke of the riches of Hollowvasser and its sister cities. The cause slowly gained support over the years as the Hartdar mines began to decline, and many dwarves were forced out of work because of a lack of materials. This caused many dwarves to believe that the riches and wealth of the former Hammervald Empire still lay in the city and that they were controlled by unworthy dwarves.

The dwarves formed a small army that convinced Sundar merchant of their crusade to reclaim past riches. As they waited to board ships many Sundar joined them to travel to Hollowvasser to reclaim the lost wealth. They journeyed to the former dwarven capital and prepared to take what they wanted. The crusaders were led by Brigg Giantbattler, a cruel and jealous dwarf who desired a kingdom of his own.

As they arrived on the island that held the city they were met by a force of Nordar and defeated them in battle. Once in the city, they discovered the horrors of continual war had created on the Nordar. The city once the jewel of the Hammervald Empire had been for the most part laid to waste as various warlords tried to seize the title of Lord Protector.

Many of the dwarves grew angry when they learned there were no fabulous riches in the city or in any of the mines. They instead decided to create their own empire to make themselves rich. They enslaved many of the rival clans in the city and created a military government, declaring Giantbattler as Lord Protector of the Nordar.

Giantbattler created many changes in the Ironvald capital, Hollowvasser. He first ended the continuous fighting and initiated reconstruction on many parts of the city. The dwarves also began to delve an underwater route to Ironvasser. Also the Nordar began to battle the sea elves in order to control certain areas of the sea. The battles were light, and no actual war was ever declared. The dwarves ended the attacks after they were driven back several times in 289 AD. They declared an uneasy truce and secretly vowed that the sea elves would pay for their acts of violence.

For most of his reign, Giantbattler sought to enlarge the empire, but he was unable to do so and was defeated at every attempt. He did manage to create several new mines and opened trade with some of the Midland nations. Even so, most dwarves living in Nordarin survived on piracy, continuing harassment of merchant ships around Adlatum.

The Days of Darkness has some impact upon the dwarves living in the Ironvald Empire. The crabmen that harassed Sundarin also attacked Nordarin, but not in as great of numbers. The Nordar managed to kill them without suffering many casualties. Two years later, the Nordar learned of the Chaos’ destruction inflicted upon Sundarin, and they planned to overrun their cousins in revenge for the War of the Reefs. A large force sailed from Hollowvasser and met a much smaller Sundarin navy. The Nordar made a temporary alliance with Teusten in the hope that the two nations would destroy and sack the Sundar cities. Although the Teusten did not make any formal agreements with the Nordar, many Teusten ships agreed to come along in hopes of getting into a fight.

The Sundarin navy met the combined forces of the Teusten and the Nordar near the Sundar city of Portswind. The Sundar used fireships to turn back both fleets. Upon hearing the news of his navy’s defeat, Giantbattler suffered a stroke, dying a few months later. The Teusten survivors meanwhile returned home with their own exaggerated tales of excitement.

Brigg Giantbattler was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son, Argent Giantbattler. Argent has slowly rebuilt the Nordar force and is seeking to expand his empire to the northern islands by forcing the Teusten people off of them. He has created the idea that the humans have invaded the ancestral lands of the dwarves and that they must be driven off.

Current Events

    • Raiders are searching for the entrance into the legendary dwarven city of Forgevasser. According to legend there were two volumes in the city when it was destroyed. Also there is said to be fabulous treasure and great secrets left in the city.
    • The Empire has recently discovered one of their settlements in the northern Iron Islands was recently destroyed. There were no survivors but clues left behind make many dwarves believe the Teusten are behind the attack.
  • The Emperor has declared that raiders in the coming seasons must harass the Sundalin shipping lines to prevent that nation from obtaining more wealth. He also wants an accurate report of the status of their navy.

Major Settlements

Local cities and settlements are under the control of Imperial officers or governors who are appointed by the emperor.

Hollowvasser (Megalopolis 102,000): The capital of the Ironvald Empire is an ancient city built centuries before the Drowning and now located on the Emperor’s Island. The city originally had 22 levels and was large enough to hold over half a million dwarves. In the years following the Drowning most of the city was abandoned after frequent internal conflicts killed much of the city’s population. Currently only levels 7-12 are in use and have a mixture of residential, commercial, and industry zones spread throughout the levels. The Emperor rules the city and the current emperor is Argent Giantbattler (LE male Nordar noble 4/fighter 6/mariner 2).

Ironvasser (Small City 15,300): This was the second largest city in the empire. It was discovered by Nordar explorers in 56 AD and welcomed the Nordar explorers as most of the population had died during the Drowning and its aftermath. The city contains only two levels as the rest of the city was destroyed in the Drowning. The city is found on the Lord Protector’s Island and is a mixture of residential, commercial and industry. Governor Thom Stormsight (LE male Nordar noble 2/fighter 7/mariner 5), powerful and iron-fisted, rules the city with the intent of someday ruling the empire.

Heskeram Desert

by Gerrin

Capital: Azoine
Population: 340,000 (Adlar 88%, Human 6%, Gnome 4%, Other 2%)
Government: Hierarchy
Religions: Adlarism
Languages: Dwarven, Common
Trade: Mercenaries, Gems
Legions: Prophet Guard
Alignment: NG, LE, NE, CE

Heskeram (Hes-ker’-am) is a divided empire split over religious reasons. Prior to the Days of Darkness this empire was a strong nation but the results of the bloody fight with Chaos left some Adlar dwarves debating the nature of their duty.

Life and Society

Life in the Heskeram Empire has become difficult due to recent events. Since the fight against Chaos, the Adlar dwarves have become split and are fighting their own internal struggles. Many dwarves following this even became disillusioned with the beliefs of Adlarism and questioned its authority. These dwarves left Azoine and returned to the ancient ruins of Tandarton.

The society of the two cities is completely different as Azoine has a strict and rigid culture. Citizens living in Azoine center their lives on the Path. All duties and actions are done to promote the Path. The dwarves of Azoine immerse themselves into the religion and take part in religious festivals several times a month. Dwarves living in this city rarely travel outside of its borders and try to remove themselves from world affairs.

The dwarves of Tandarton have thrown off their Adlar religion and have embraced what they believe is traditional dwarven beliefs. Their culture has become more focused on survival and the spirit of the people. Forgotten religions have been rediscovered and while most of the dwarves in Tandarton are slow to convert to them, they are growing. These dwarves have also begun to explore the world and become involve in the events outside of their own city.

Religion

The religion of Heskeram has changed dramatically since the fight against Chaos. Prior to this the Adlar worshiped the God of the Path without question believing it to be Reorx. Since the fight though many Adlar have renounced this religion and returned to Tanderton where they have reopened the older temples, worshipping gods thought to be dead.

Government

The government of the Heskeram Empire is a split government. The people of Azoine follow the traditional religious leader of the Stonebellow clan while the dwarves of Tandarton have elected a council of elders to lead them. The legal system of Azoine is one dictated by the High Prophet while in Tandarton the Council of Elders has created the Code of Honor.

Military

All citizens living in Azoine are considered to be part of the military. They are told since birth that they will sacrifice their lives for the good of the Path. In times of conflict the individual clans bring warriors to protect the city. These forces are led by the High Prophet. A small permanent guard called the Prophet Guard guards the priests of Adlarism at all times.

In Tandarton the dwarves have created a volunteer army to defend the city. This army allows dwarves to volunteer for years of service. The military is compromised of heavy infantry with crossbowmen in support.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in Sodbottom is rare, but for those who possess it they are given places of honor in their tribes. Many of these dwarves are given position of advisement to chieftains and are often revered by their clans. The magic is not moon magic but rather chaos magic.

Mysticism is uncommon among the dwarves but since they do not publicly acknowledge the gods the dwarves have turned to it. Nearly every tribe in Sodbottom has a mystic who leads religious practices of a false religion.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The Path: A deep hole that travels into the depths of Krynn. The Path led to the forces of Chaos twice and while the Adlar dwarves no of this, they refuse to believe that it contains evil. Instead the dwarves living in Azoine have sworn their life to find the secret of the Path and guard it ferociously.

The Seven Mesas: The Seven Mesas are the area that the dwarven city of Azoine was built on. At its height the Seven Mesas were home to six small cities and the kingdom of the dead. Since the fight with Chaos four of the mesas have been abandoned and the gates to those cities sealed. The interior of those cities are the same as when the original inhabitants left.

Mines of Tandar: These mines were recently discovered again after the repopulating of Tandarton. The mines provide iron and stone that the dwarves craft into a finished product. The mines are west of Tandarton.

Ruins of Awarth (the unknown): The Ruins of Awarth are the remains of a forgotten city built east of Azoine. It is unknown who lived here and why they left. The ruins were discovered after the fight with Chaos.

Regional History

Following the death of Corrod Bladeender in 3312 PD, the clans chose Duncan Fateender to become the new Warden of the Tandar. During Duncan’s reign the dwarven prophet Adlar Stonebellow received a series of vision he believe came from the god Reorx. In truth, the visions were bestowed to him from the Graygem, and from these visions Adlar comes to believe that he must have the dwarves construct a deep hole. By constructing this hole, “The Path,” this would result in unleashing the knowledge of the Path.

Adlar pressured Duncan into allowing two of the twelve clans to travel to the place his visions showed to him. Accompanying Adlar was his own clan, the Stonebellow, and the Hilldigger clan. They traveled to where Adlar claimed to had seen the beginning of the Path.

In this place, the dwarves built the city of Azoine to encircle the dig site. Adlar was given the power of chaos magic from the Graygem, and using the power Adlar raised seven great mesas for the clans foretold to come to him. He gave one mesa to the Hilldigger clan and keeps one for this own clan to construct individual communities. In 3227 PD, he raised one mesa directly to the east of the Path to become the city for the dead.

Duncan Fateender died that same year. The clans chose his son Kerto Fateender to succeed him, but the reign was brief. Under Kerto’s reign the Tandar expanded new mines, but he ignored the growing influence of Adlar’s followers. In 3219 PD, the Firesmith clan sought permission from the Adlar to build a community in Azoine. Adlar Stonebellow granted the clan permission, and Kerto allowed them to move to Azoine unchallenged.

Kerto Fateender died during a mine-collapse during a visit to the area. His death was mourned throughout the empire, and the clans chose his brother Garik Fateender to become the new Warden. Garik, a weak ruler, gave into the demands of the Stonebellow clan when they asked if the Earthslasher clan could move into Azoine as well.

The Earthslasher clan was the fourth clan to move into the city. An aging Adlar Stonebellow continued to convert more dwarves who had skills in creating tunnels. He also continued to receive visions, and his magical powers showed signs of increasing as the Path got deeper. He taught his skills to the other priests of the Path, and although other clans began to call all dwarves in the region Adlar, he called them the Chosen.

With the death of Garik Fateender in 3178 PD, the clans chose Ade Fateender, Garik’s son, to lead them. Ade became a vocal opponent of the Adlar influence over the government as he viewed the Adlar responsible for his uncle’s death. Adlar Stonebellow argued with the ideas of Ade as Ade tried to establish trade with other nations. Ade believed the dwarves would grow stagnant if they didn’t involve themselves in the affairs of Adlatum.

In 3144 PD, Adlar Stonebellow died in a mysterious fire that the Adlar dwarves believed was caused by Ade Fateender. This caused a rift between the clans that nearly resulted in war until Biln Stonebellow declared Adlar’s death to be an accident. To show his support of the Warden, Biln invited Ade to Azoine for a formal visit in 3124 PD.

Ade Fateender approached the city of Azoine with the idea of ending the digging for the Path. Unknown to Ade, Biln plans Ade’s murder because he believes Ade was responsible for Adlar’s death. Biln sends out riders to greet Ade, but he secretly ordered them to slay him. They attacked his retinue, killing the Warden. With Ade’s death, his retinue fled back to Tandarton, spreading the tale of the Adlar’s treachery. A civil war erupted with two factions, the Adlar and the Tandar, fighting for control of Heskeram.

The rival clans battle each other for dominance for three years with no clear victors. Finally, in 3121 PD, the clans meet again and elect Tarc Marblemolder to lead them, ending the war.

Tarc rules with an iron fist as soon as his reign begins. Under his reign, Tarc attempted to force all Tandar to follow the teaching of Adlar Stonebellow. The Marblemolder clan moved to Azoine that year to show their support of Tarc’s Laws. The Tandar refused to follow the Laws of Tarc and threaten to resume the war if the laws are not rescinded. Tarc refused, and he orders all temples in the city of Tandarton closed.

The Tandar revolved under the leadership of Barth Bladeender. Tarc then responded to the revolt by creating even more harsh laws including the closing of all temples and banishing of all clerics. Barth attacked Tandarton, defeating Tarc’s small army. Tarc himself is slain by Barth on the steps of the Council Hall in 3119 PD.

Barth was elected Warden following the assault, and the temples in Tandarton were reopened. The Adlar living in Azoine hand over the prophet Biln Stonebellow to avoid the wrath of the Tandar, and Biln is executed for treason against the Warden. His body was buried in an unmarked grave.

The reign of Barth was a time of relative peace and prosperity for the dwarves. With the death of Tarc Marblemolder and Biln Stonebellow, the to-be-named Adlar dwarves were in a period of reorganization as they searched for a new High Prophet. The Tandar ruled Heskeram unopposed and made great strides in securing the personal liberties of the dwarves.

Barth did have one major flaw. He was unable to recognize his son Ber Bladeender’s faults. Ber was infatuated with the religion of the Adlar and converted many of the young dwarves of the Bladeender clan to his cause. Barth appointed his son to rule after his death, and the council approved it. In 3004 PD, Golden Age of the Tandar ended.

The twelve clans of the Tandar broke apart as many dwarves came to follow the teachings of Adlar Stonebellow. In 2968 PD, followers officially adopted the name Adlar to separate themselves from the Tandar clans. Six clans (the Bladeender, Marblemolder, Earthslasher, Stonebellow, Firesmith, and Hilldigger) followed the teachings of Adlar and began to put pressure on the unbelievers. These other clans doubted that Reorx would demand them to dig a hole in the ground, and they spoke out openly against the Path.

Jarib Bladeender came to power after his father Ber Bladeender, a priest of Adlar, abdicated the throne to pursue living at the Path. Jarib was a devoted follower of the religion and revived the harsh laws of Tarc Marblemolder, which tried to force all Tandar to practice Adlarism. Dwarves from the clans of Fateender, Giantbattler, Ogrecutter, Battleheart, and Redquarrier, and Copperforge spoke out against the Laws of Jarib and demanded that the laws be renounced.

Jarib became heavily influenced by the opinions of Ror Stonebellow, a childhood friend and descendant of Adlar Stonebellow. Jarib came to dream of a mighty Adlar empire, as opposed to the fractured nation of the Tandar. Ror told Jarib he would make a better Warden and Jarib would be happier living a simple life. Jarib abdicated the throne, claiming that Ror Stonebellow had a vision for the people to follow and the influence to carry it out.

Ror Stonebellow announced that all clans must convert to Adlarism and that all the temples to the other gods in Tanderton be closed. The six unbeliever clans again spoke out against this, and Ror gave them an ultimatum: convert or leave. Being disgusted with those who also shared the name, these clans renounced the name Tandar. They left heading north in 2903 PD, and as they departed, they witnessed the Adlar burning Tandarton to the ground.

The mesas outside of the path became small cities to house the six clans of the Adlar. This was a time of building and peace for the Adlar. They were forced to change much of the terrain as the magic of the Graygem granted the ability to wear out the land in turn for yielding incredible harvests. Slowly the land changed from a lush forest to a desert barely able to support life.

In 1311 PD, the Graygem sent a new vision to Adlar High Prophet Ro Stonebellow showing him an impassable door. Ro awoke from the vision and told the Adlar that they would need to find something that could open the door. The Adlar knew of no known weapon that would do what they needed, so they began to search throughout Adlatum for it.

The Path continued to become deeper, and the Adlar became isolated from outside affairs, concentrating solely on the Path. The deeper the hole, the more power was shared among the prophets. The prophets for the next five hundred years expanded the Heskeram Empire to the west to mine the mountains for materials.

In 814 PD, a tragic event occurred at the Path as five hundred members of the Earthslasher clan dug into a new layer. Unknown to them, they stumbled into a Chamber of Chaos containing sleeping forms. Before they entered, they summoned a Stonebellow prophet and a group of twenty acolytes to document the event. The miners and priests entered the mine and expected to find the secret of the Path.

After they entered the cavern, an earthquake struck and collapsed several miles of tunnels. Inside the miners and priests faced unspeakable horrors as the forces of Chaos wake and battle the dwarves. Although the forces are small, massive casualties are taken.

The shadow wights of Chaos attacked the priests first and wipe their existence from people’s memory. The miners retreated into a small opening and attempted to hold off the creatures. After a month of fighting, the last of Chaos’ forces are defeated, but the cost is high to the dwarves. Nearly four-hundred members of the Earthslasher clan had disappeared from the touch of the wights. Only thirty-four miners were rescued, however they found the gear for hundreds more along with mysterious prophet and acolyte robes.

The miners who were rescued were physically changed by the ordeal. Their skin was turned pale, and they were now deathly afraid of going underground. The miner’s leader Ton Blacklight met with the Adlar High Prophet Hind Stonebellow to tell him what he learned of the creatures they faced. Hind recorded the conversations but kept them a secret from the other prophets, knowing that such stories were dangerous. He then decided it would be best to eliminate the Earthslasher clan, as many of them were displaying the effects of memory problems.

Ton Blacklight met with the Earthslasher’s patriarch and convinced him of the story, explaining why so many of the dwarves living on the Earthslasher mesa were suffering memory problems. A young acolyte, Micah Stoneplow, arrived during the meeting and warns them what Hind had ordered to happen that night.

Before morning, the entire Earthslasher clan traveled in secret from their mesa, leaving nearly all of their possessions behind. They were able to elude the Adlar warriors, as they were busy preparing for the attack on the mesa. When the Adlar reported to Hind of the Earthslasher’s disappearance, he placed a bounty on every Earthslasher’s head to help keep the secret. Hind ordered the city sealed and that no dwarf should ever enter it. He renamed the Earthslasher mesa to the City of the Unbelievers. He then ordered the Adlar military to pursue and killed those fleeing, now named the Neskuda.

In 813 PD, the Adlar begin their chase of the Neskuda all over southern Adlatum, in hopes of catching them. They’re cornered in 796 PD, and the Battle of Still Waters was fought as these two forces finally met. The Neskuda managed to rout the Adlar troops, and they followed the retreating Adlar armies back to Azoine.

In 795 PD, the Neskuda raided Azoine to steal items that they believed would prevent the unleashing of the monsters they fought. The Adlar were caught completely off-guard, as the army had just returned and reported the Neskuda were routed and not a threat. The Neskuda steal many items including the journal of Adlar Stonebellow, the Crown of Ral, and the Axe of Barth.

The centuries passed, and even as the world around them died and turned to desert, the Adlar focused more and more on the Path. They were religiously consumed by it, completely forgetting about all other things. The dwarves dug through to the chamber that the Neskuda found, and there they found a strange mark that guided them further along the Path.

Little changed in the Adlar world when the Drowning occurred. Only small cave-ins are recorded in the upper levels, and within a few weeks life returned to the normal feverish pace. Although the other races lost their clerical power, the Adlar continued to have the ability to cast. As in the past, the ability grew stronger the closer to the Path they were and the deeper the Path got.

Guided by the strange markings, the Adlar continued to dig towards a destination unknown to them, seemingly with no end. In 121 AD, the dwarves uncovered a strange door connected to a solid stone wall. The dwarves were unable to open the door no matter what they attempted.

During next year, human merchants traveled to Azoine to trade “dwarven relics” to the Adlar dwarves. At first the dwarves were disinterested until a human merchant, Tom Uliman, presented a relic he found in the mountains. The relic was an ancient iron box, small in size and locked. The Adlar High Prophet, Aoc Stonebellow was told about the ancient box and that Adlar Stonebellow had a vision that the contents of the box would provide the key to open the door.

Aoc Stonebellow ordered the merchant and box brought to him so he could study it. The vision Adlar wrote down told of a fair-skinned human bearing an ancient iron box that no human could unlock. When Aoc saw the merchant and the box he believed this to be the fulfillment of the vision. Aoc used his earth magic to open the box, and he was disappointed to find only a riddle inside.

He sent out a message to all dwarves that the dwarf who figured out the riddle would become the Lord of the Path and have the honor of unlocking the door. Dwarves began to search out clues to the riddle as Aoc had it spread throughout the city Azoine. In 146 AD, an ancient scholar solved the riddle, figuring it was referring to the Pick of Aenor. The pick, however, still remained hidden somewhere.

In 147 AD, the Adlar dwarves in Azoine all shared the same dream, a message that Reorx was not helping them and that he didn’t want the door unlocked. Reorx attempted to break the hold of the Graygem over the dwarves. He failed. The dwarves woke, and High Prophet Aoc Stonebellow decreed that the false Reorx had attempted to interfere with their dreams and that they would continue with the Path.

For over 140 years, the Adlar continue to search for the pick. The High Prophets expanded the Path and began to dig side tunnels, searching for other entrances that could lead around the door. All of their efforts were done in vain as there was no other way found that would lead them to where the door went.

In 291 AD, dwarven scholars deciphered further clues in the riddle and pinpointed the Pick of Aenor as being located in the ruins of Tandarton. It was located under the Council Hall in the catacomb of the dwarven general Telindus. High Prophet Galot Stonebellow ordered a hundred dwarves under the leadership of General Turq Marblemolder to search the ruins and retrieve the pick. He also rescinded the former order from Adlar Stonebellow incurring death to any Adlar who entered the city.

Turq Marblemolder led his troops into the city and fought few buildings that had survived the fire. One of the buildings that survived perfectly intact was the old Council Hall. Traveling into the catacombs beneath the tomb, Marblemolder discovered a daemon that had escaped from the Path and made the catacombs his lair. The daemon killed nearly the entire force that ventured into the catacomb, but it was slain by Marblemolder himself. The pick was discovered and returned to the Path.

High Prophet Galot Stonebellow held onto the pick for nearly a year before deciding that it was the real pick. He ordered a celebration of thirty days before the door would be opened. This was a major celebration for the Adlar for all of their hard work throughout the centuries. On the eve of the ceremony, Talin, a human rogue Reorx convinced to stop the opening of the door, stole the pick.

Talin traveled with the pick across the sea to a distance island inhabited by strange creatures called kobolds. The kobolds agreed to hide the pick underneath a large natural waterfall they worshipped as a god. Talin returned to the Midlands and lived out the rest of his life in hiding.

The Adlar attempted to discover the thief or the pick’s whereabouts. They searched throughout Adlatum in hope of discovering some clue. Much of the work at the Path was halted as dwarves were sent throughout the continent.

In 374 AD the Adlar learned about a human bard who told of a story about the theft of a pick that was the key to unlocked a door. They traveled to the bard and told him they needed the pick to free enslaved dwarves that were kept by the minotaurs. The pick was the only thing that could guarantee their freedom as they were locked in the Dungeons of Nelos. The bard Telnor, a grandson of Talin, agreed to accompany the dwarves on the adventure to retrieve the pick, but only if they allowed him to travel to the island alone, in respect to his grandfather. A group of young friends wished to travel with Telnor as well because they didn’t trust the dwarves, and they convinced him to sail separately. The dwarves agreed to the demand and hoped to outrace Telnor’s boat and retrieve the pick before his boat could arrive.

Telnor was the first one to reach the island when the dwarves in the other boat mistook another island as the one Telnor described. As he made his way to the kobold camp, he received a vision from Reorx telling him the truth about the Adlar. Telnor retrieved the pick and fled from the island, only to be spotted by the dwarves who pursued him.

Telnor managed to elude the dwarves for many years, traveling throughout Adlatum. In 382 AD, they finally catch up to Telnor in the Midlands. He had hidden in the city of Iqurliny, in the nation of Isryan, for nearly three years before he was founded murdered by the dwarves on the roof to his home.

The Pick of Aenor is returned to the Adlar dwarves in early winter in the closing days of 382 AD. The High Prophet Wolon Stonebellow decided there would be no ceremony and that the pick would be used in secret at night. Stonebellow traveled the Path and swung the pick to crack the door. The door split in two, and as the door fell away, the army of Chaos was unleashed.

The Adlar by the door were slain except for the High Prophet, who barely escaped with his life. He traveled back to his mesa and rose the alarm. The army of Chaos quickly caused much damage, leaving alive only the dwarves who hid. Stonebellow survived and tried to rally his people to reenter the Path. The grieving families not only ignored his words, he was also murdered by several who had flung him into the Path.

Several days later near the beginning of the new year, the forces of Chaos subsided and the sky changed in the Starfall. The Adlar prophets lost much of their power following the unlocking of the door, and they struggled to maintain control over the clans. They tried to convince them that Reorx had sent them a test to see if they were worthy enough to hold onto his secret. Most clans voted to leave Azoine and travel back to the ruins of Tandarton to rebuild the fabled city. Only the clans of Marblemolder and Stonebellow remained behind to continue work on the Path.

Today, the area around Azoine is a wasteland with little vegetation as the dwarves had sucked the nutrients from the land. Inside the city, the dwarves use sorcery and mysticism to provide water and plants. The area known as the Heskeram Desert is a hot and unforgiving climate. The outer areas of the desert contain small shrubs while the interior is known for its steep sand dunes.

Current Events

    • The dwarven clans living at the Path have resumed the digging of the path. They have encountered strange things as they have uncovered the caved in sections of the path.

 

    • The dwarves living in Azoine have declared that the city of Tandarton belongs to them. All dwarves living in Tandarton must return to Azoine.

 

  • The dwarves living in Tandarton have uncovered the lost catacombs of the city and are rediscovering their heritage. Also they have increased their patrols in fear of an attack by Azoine.

Major Settlements

The cities and outposts of the Heskeram Empire are supposed to be under the control of the High Prophet. In the days following the fight with Chaos, many dwarves living in Azoine forsake the Path and moved to Tandarton. Tension between the two cities is running high.

Azoine (Metropolis 93,000): This town is the current home of the High Prophet Aros Stonebellow (CN male Adlar noble 3/fighter 1/mystic 7). The city is located on the seven mesas that surround the path. Originally all seven mesas served as homes to the various realms of the dwarven clans, but after the fight with Chaos four have been abandoned. These mesas are sealed and if any dwarf is found in them they will be put to death.

Tanderton (Metropolis 82,000): This was the second largest town in the Heskeram Empire. It was repopulated following the disillusion of several dwarves following the fight with Chaos. The town now serves as a place for dwarves who no longer believe in Adlarism. Currently Tor Hilldigger (NE male Adlar noble 2/fighter 6/rogue 2) is the leader of the town.

Reorx’s Hearth (Large Town 2,550): This is town built at the entrance of the Path. This town guards the Path from any intruders and serves as a supply depot. Built in the town is a large temple dedicated to the Path. The current leader of the town is Path Protector Raxoni Stonebellow (LE female Adlar noble 1/fighter 3/sorcerer 5).

Kedaltol, Republic of

by Gerrin

Capital: Kedaltol
Population: 470,000 (Hartdar 94%, Human 3%, Gnome 1%, Other 2%)
Government: Republic
Religions: major – Reorx (Reorx), minor – Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith), Tonol (Mishakal), Slinoter (Shinare).
Languages: Common, Dwarven
Trade: Mercenaries, Gems, Steel, Metal Goods, Marble
Legions: Ice Legion, First through Fourth Legion.
Alignment: LG, NG, LN, N

The republic of Kedaltol (Kehd-ahl-toel’) is a singular province that is controlled by its capital of the same name. It is primarily mountainous but does contain a few valleys where agriculture flourishes. The republic borders Vjenor and Trejor on the west, Dejor, Gulteger, Isryan on the south, Solisharon on the east, and Ogun, Sakkaras to the north. This nation is a well settled nation but it still contains a few unexplored parts. A great highway runs through the nation connecting all of its major cities.

Life and Society

Life in the republic is one of handwork, but the citizens here live in more comfortable lifestyles then others around western Adlatum. Most dwarves here have some interest in the trading markets of the world and most businesses provide services that are related to trading. The businesses of Kedaltol employ small armies to protect assets and to assist with the movement of goods throughout western Adlatum.

The military of Adlatum contained five legions that all serve directly under the High Warden. The Ice Legion was a famed and legendary force that specializes in fighting in extreme conditions. The size of each legion was 10,000 dwarves led by a High General. All citizens are required to take part in militia duties although some citizens were exempt from such service.

The legal system of Kedaltol was based on a written code of laws created by the Council of Elders and enforced through the High Warden’s courts. Magistrates traveled to local villages to administer justice, while judges held courts in the three major cities. Sheriff and town watches enforced the laws of the land and detained prisoners until the arrival of a magistrate or judge. Also under the law males and females were recognized as equals.

The office of the High Warden ruled the Republic; the warden was selected by the Council of Elders. The High Warden governed the nation with both executive and judicial powers. The legislative power lied within the Council of Elders.

Religion

There was no formal religion recognized, but most dwarves recognized Reorx and honor his memory. There were three other churches, Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith), Slinoter (Shinare), and Tonol (Mishakal) that had limited power in the Republic. Since the battle against Chaos, these churches had become places of learning and now specialized in training in fighting, business and healing. The Priests of the gods continued the ancient practices and hope that their teaching would someday bring back the gods.

Government

The High Warden and Council of Elders rule the government of the republic. The High Warden carries unlimited executive and judicial power. He appointed judges and magistrates to oversee the everyday judicial activities of the empire but heard any special cases. The High Warden was also in control of the five legions of the military.

The High Warden had five Wardens under him who oversaw the various parts of the government. They were the Warden of Trade, Warden of the Mines, Warden of the Legions, Warden of the Law, and the Warden of the Realm. These Wardens oversaw the day to day problems of their specific areas. The Wardens were appointed by the High Warden and served their posts until either they retired, died or the High Warden left office.

The Council of Elders was the lawmaking body of the realm. It was a 300-member body that draws its members from the six clans of the Kedaltol. Each clan was allowed a 50-member representation and council members were appointed by clan leaders to the position. This position was considered a great honor in dwarven society and council members were quite proud of their position. The council had one extremely important task and that was to appoint a new High Warden, when the old High Warden died or retired.

Military

The Kedaltol military was under the direct command of the High Warden. Handling the day to day operations of the military was the Warden of the Legions. The military consisted of five legions that were placed throughout the realm. Each legion consisted of 10,000 members and additional units that made up the Engineer’s Division, the Supply Train Co., and the Field Hospital Corp.

Guarding the capital was the famed Ice Legion who is currently under the command of Gen. Copper Ironsong and was positioned in and around the city. This group specialized in fighting on different terrains and rarely left the Republic. Its primary duty was to protect the High Warden and members of this legion took their jobs seriously.

The other four legions were spread around western Adlatum. The First and Second Legions were still located in the Republic. The First Legion had been placed in the western city of Ilberdin and was under the command of its military governor. The Second Legion was scattered throughout the realm is in charge of guarding the roadways, mines and small communities scattered throughout the Republic.

The Third and Fourth Legions are currently on loan to the Midland Guard and have been placed under their command. These two legions are comprised mainly of heavy infantry troops that are supported by human forces. The legions are currently scattered in the Midlands and are the command of Gen. Tolk Brokenaxe and Gen. Unthor Marblebranch.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in the republic was almost unheard of and was rarely seen in public. Prior to the attack by Chaos few dwarves could use the earth magic that the Adlar dwarves possessed. Many of the dwarves that could use magic keep their talent in hiding fearing that they would be treated differently by other dwarves. Following the Days of Darkness there was no accounts of dwarven sorcery.

The dwarves had relied heavily on clerical magic in the past as they had always felt a close connection to Reorx. Even following the Drowning and God’s Departure the temples of Reorx remained a focal point for many dwarves. These temples not only encouraged the practice of worship but also were a meeting place for the workers of metal to exchange ideas. With no true dwarven clerics left, mystics have taken over most of the clerical duties in the Temple to Reorx. The other temples employ mystics to some extent but not on the same level as the Temple to Reorx does. There are also mystics who wander the land offering healing to those in need. They exchange their services for small items of need so that they can continue their journey.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The High Gate: A pass that was the first defensive location in the Pullonas Mountains and guards the road that led to Kedaltol. It was constructed during the Canon Wars to prevent raiding parties from attacking settlements outside of the capital. The gate was a massive gate that stands 50 feet high and was a 100 feet long. It was placed in the middle of high wall, which was built in a pass and was manned by several hundred Legionnaires.

Mount Mazama: A large mountain that the dwarven capital of Kedaltol was built into. The peak of this mountain contains snow year around. The dwarven capital was built underground this mountain.

Iron Mines: These mines are the newest discovered mines south of Red Home. The mines appear to contain an abundant source of metals and gems that should keep miners busy for centuries to come.

Valley of the Lily: This valley is the primary agriculture growing area for Kedaltol, which is located near the city of Red Home. Many villages have been built throughout this large valley and much of the land is cultivated for farming.

Tomb of the Missing: This tomb was created by Ren Copperforge following the Drowning as a tribute to both the lost armies of Hammervald and to Hammervald itself. Inside are the remains of several dwarven warriors whose bodies were found but their names were unknown. Also inside are the personal effects of many of the victims of the drowning. This tomb is considered one of the most sacred sites in all of Adlatum.

The Watchtower of Tildon: This watchtower was built in the western part of the republic following the Drowning by members of the Ice Legion. The dwarves built this tower to scan the horizon for possible survivors. It was the place where the Sundarin/Kedaltol Pact was signed and has been an instrumental tool in keeping peace in the west.

Beacon of Sacrifice: The beacon was constructed on top of Frost Mountain and tribute to all who fell saving Adlatum from the dangers of Chaos. The beacon is actually a lit flame of natural gas that was leaking out of the top of the mountain. Dwarven engineers tapped the gas and now control the flame. It burns in memory and is a place of pilgrimage for travelers from all over Adlatum.

Regional History

The Republic of Kedaltol was founded in 2612 PD in the Pullonas Mountains as a safe haven for dwarves. The capital city of Kedaltol was designed to be a fortress and quickly became a large dwarven settlement. Also near the city there were numerous small mined that contained various metals and gems and miners flocked to this area beginning a brisk trade. Several other settlements sprang up all throughout the Pullonas and quickly the mountains were filled with dwarven settlers and miners.

Within a few years the dwarves of Kedaltol have grown to large for their current surroundings. Seeking a more spacious surrounding the dwarves sent explorer Nolas Copperforge to explore the area to the west. In his exploration he discovered the Nolas Mountains and their inexhaustible sources of metals and gems. His discovery caused many of the dwarven settlements to become abandoned and torn down. By 2253 PD only three fortresses, Kedaltol, Red Home, and Ilberdin, remained standing.

Much of the focus for the dwarves prior to the Canon War was on the Hammervald Empire to the west. Although Kedaltol was considered a province of the empire, little changed over the centuries as most dwarves considered the Pullanos Mountains not worth the time mining. The three cities almost disappeared as mines were continually closed do to the lack of a labor force.

When the Canon War began the dwarves living in the Pullonas Mountains found themselves in one of the key staging areas for dwarven armies. As the decades passed on many dwarves traveled from other parts of the Hammervald Empire to live in the cities found in the Pullonas Mountains. These cities grew and became key strategic areas for the dwarven armies.

The drowning changed the geography of the mountains little but yet affected the dwarves living there deeply. Many of the dwarves were cut off from their homelands and were shocked at the destruction that occurred across Adlatum. The dwarves living in the mountains were fortunate to have several key government figures living in Kedaltol. These people would reform the nation and put the name of Hammervald behind them in honor of those who had perished under the waters. In its place they chose to honor the original settlement of the Hartdar and became known as the Republic of Kedaltol.

In the years following the Drowning the citizens of the Republic of Kedaltol have had their economic successes and failures. Shortly after the drowning many of the older mines were reopened but these mines proved to be shallow and were closed quickly. It took the dwarves decades to find suitable replacement mines.

The dwarves had begun the trading festival called the Remembrance in honor of those who were killed during the Drowning. The festival quickly grew as Midland merchants traveled to the dwarven city of Kedaltol to trade for new wares. This also allowed dwarves to return home and conduct clan business.

Prior to the return of the gods, the dwarves of the republic had experienced the discovery of several new mining sites that proved to be profitable. They also met the Sundar and Nordar dwarves and were startled to learn that there were survivors. The Sundar and Hartdar signed a mutual agreement pact that would profit both sides.

After the return of the gods, the republic experienced a golden age as their goods were highly sought after all over Adlatum. The dwarves had also discovered mines containing dragonmetal and began to secretly create new weapons and armor out of the rare metal. The dwarven cities expanded and grew and several new settlements were built throughout the Pullonas Mountains.

When the forces of Chaos attacked the Midlands the republic answered the call for help. Sending their best legions to the front lines, they battled alongside humans and Sundar dwarves to turn the forces back. The Pullonas Mountains were affected little physically by the attack of Chaos but many dwarves carried the scars of that battle for years to come.

Current Events

    • The Midland Guard has asked for more soldiers to help support their missions.

    • Goblin tribes in the north have begun to raid settlements.

  • Dwarven craftsmen are in high demand as nations all over the Midlands are still seeking their work. High Warden Calan Copperforge has decreed that all contracts for foreign jobs must be accepted through the office of the Warden of Trade.

Major Settlements

Local cities control their own government with approval of the High Warden. The largest settlement is in the southern part of the Pullonas. It is home to the Council of Elders and the Ice Legion. It was founded after the departure of the Hartdar from the Adlar dwarves.

Kedaltol (Megalopolis 121,000): The largest city and capital of the Hartdar dwarves and the gem of the Republic of the Kedaltol. It is a five level city that was the original settlement of the Hartdar following their departure from the dwarves of Heskeram. The top level of the city contained the government offices and the Palace of the Warden. The middle levels are a combination of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. The lowest level offered access to the nearby delvings and contained the city’s smelters. The Current High Warden is Calan Copperforge (LG male Hartdar noble 5/fighter 6)

Red Home (Metropolis 89,400): The second largest city of the Republic was one of the fastest growing cities. With the discovery of new mines around the city, dwarves flocked to this area seeking work. It was a city that consisted of three levels and was partially built into the Pullonas Mountains. The city was legendary for its defensive measures and was considered the most defensible location in all of Kedaltol. The government of the city was a three-member council that oversaw the military, mining and everyday affairs of the city. The current leaders are General Chane Stonekiller (LG male Hartdar fighter 11), miner Sledge Coalgate (NG male Hartdar fighter 4) and city representative Jinna Axehome (NG female Hartdar commoner 7).

Ilberdin (Large City 43,200): The westernmost city in the Pullonas Mountains and the smallest of the three fortress cities of the Kedaltol. It was located by the newly excavated iron mines of the empire and is the home of the Ilberdin’s School of Mining. The city contained two main levels and was placed on top of the peak of Blackfrost. The current governor of Ilberdin is Gen. Gran Ironstone (LG male Hartdar fighter 12)

History of the Sundar

by Gerrin

 

76 AD

The Sundar plotted to flee the Nordar because they had become frustrated with the piracy and corrupted nature of the government. Tib Battleheart led the Sundar as they secretly fled from the isles to the mainland. Upon arriving on the mainland they began to construct Sundarton on the cliffs for protection against a possible Nordar attack.

76-80AD – The War of the Reefs

The Sundar and the Nordar began to raid each other’s settlements because they believed that each other was at fault for the split. The Nordar also believed that because of the Sundar’s departure they lost the war against the Sea Elves and the Sundar believe that they were entitled to the resources of the Nordar.

The war was primarily raids on each others colonies along the Shattered Sea and the mainland coast. The Nordar in 78 AD landed an army near Sundarton and attempted to destroy the Sundar capital city. The Sundar met the Nordar in the Valley of the Eagle and fought one of the largest battles in the war. The Sundar leader Tib Battleheart was killed as was the Nordar General Yilan Copperforge. The Sundar routed the Nordar forces and burned their ships on the beach with a daring raid led by Tib’s son Uloc Battleheart.

In 80 AD the Sundar commenced the last major battle in the War of the Reefs as they conducted a raid on Mt. Anneghis. This attack eliminated any chance of the two clans reuniting and forced the Nordar to sign a peace treaty and recognized that the Sundar were a free an independent nation.

81-131 AD – Growth of a Nation

The Sundar continued to grow under the leadership of Uloc Battleheart. Colonies quickly grew from small villages into large towns and the Sundar Nation expanded its borders as new colonies were built. The navy of the Sundar was its pride and joy as it held back Nordar pirates and protected merchant ships in the voyages to the Midlands. This was a time of prosperity and relative peace for the Sundar.

132-135 AD – Plague of the Black

A mysterious plague struck the Sundar dwarves all around the coastline of their empire. Victims of the plague developed a black rash on their body that caused oozing and bleeding. The victims tended to die within four days of showing first symptoms. All known remedies failed and the Sundar began to seek the cause of the plague.

The Sundar believe that the plague was a punishment from the dragon turtle that gave them the courage to take to the seas. A group of dwarven adventurers traveled out into the sea searching the dragon to speak to it to see if it would remove the curse. They locate the dragon and learn from it that the cause of the plague was not her. She tells them of her enemy a black dragon named Telniva who has sent the plague to punish her. The dragon turtle promised the Sundar that if they can kill the black dragon she will no longer attack their ships.

The dwarves search out the black dragon Telniva and located it in the caves of the White Mountain. There they discovered the cause of the illness, a black soot that the dragon produced that drifted into their cities. The dwarves attacked the dragon and managed to kill it but the losses were grievous as the Sundar lose nearly their entire Crimson Guard and leader Uloc Battleheart. Uloc’s son Pick Battleheart succeeded his father as Chief General of the Sundar.

136-210 AD – Golden Age of the Sunday

The Sundar nation grows and begins to create new trade routes throughout the western side of Adlatum. This was a time of relative peace and prosperity for the citizens of Sundar. Contact with the Hartdar dwarves was made and they refused the Hartdar request of joining into a new Hammervald Empire.

211-253 AD – The Wyvern War

The Sundar dwarves were attacked by goblin clans of the Wyvern. These clans were famed for their mounts that they rode into battle. The majority of the war was a standstill as neither side could as the dwarves developed ballista that could accurately shoot targets in the air. The dwarves were unable to attack goblin strongholds in the mountains because the terrain was to steep to haul ballista and goblins were unable to raid dwarven settlements for the fear of the ballista.

The Hartdar dwarves and the Sundar dwarves sign a mutual defense alliance and trading rights pact in 236 AD. The Sundar would grant the Hartdar mining rights in the mountains near their cities in exchange for the opportunity to sell their goods in the Hartdar markets. Also they signed a mutual defense agreement agreeing to be wary of the minotaur and Nordar.

The Sundar would call upon the Hartdar, during the Wyvern War, when the goblins in 247 AD pushed close to the mines of Tolon, a Sundarian city and threateedn to isolate the city from the rest of the nation. The Hartdar arrived and use their famed Ice Legion to turn the tide. The combined forces force the goblins to flee deep into the mountains and the Wyvern War ends with a Sundar victory.

253-349 AD – Rebuilding and Growth of a Nation

The Sundar would spend many years following the Wyvern War reconstructing their cities. They would reconstruct the defenses of several of their cities with the idea of a possible goblin attack. The Sundar would try to negotiate a trade agreement with Brigg Giantbattler in the hope of creating a new market for their goods. The talks ended badly when the Sundar ambassador, Tol Steelforge was found dead in his quarters and the Sundar suspected the Nordar.

The Sundar nation also grew during this time, moving into the areas around the former goblin fortresses. The dwarves would reconstruct several of these fortresses and used them for mining outposts. The Hartdar and Sundar would live in these former fortresses and work the mines together.

350-383 AD – The Return of the Gods

The true gods returned and true clerics returned to the Sundar. It was during this time that the Sundar learned of the Dragon Overlords from their clerics. A young copper dragon disguises himself as a cleric of Reorx and alerted them to the nature of the Overlords and the threat they pose.

The Sundar keep the knowledge of the Overlords a secret as they tried to convince the other nations of the true gods. Sundar clerics traveled throughout Aldatum spreading the word of the return of the gods. Most nations ignored their messages and warnings of a terrible danger ahead.

383-384 AD – Days of Darkness

The Sundar received a terrible message from their Hartdar allies of a war growing in the midlands against a foe that sent horrible creatures against the people. The Hartdar tell the Sundar of one man who was standing up to the forces of Chaos and they were joining him and asked for them to come to help save the lands from the danger. Helm Battleheart, Pick’s grandson, agreed to travel with his Crimson Guard and two full legions to battle the danger. He left his son Belaek in charge of the remaining forces of Sundar and traveled to the Midlands to stand side by side with the Hartdar. Helm was slain in the battle fighting against fire dragons and of the 10000 dwarves of the legion only 1000 of them returned home following the Days of Darkness. Survivors claim tales of empty armor and life draining creatures, several dwarves also suffer memory problems as they were unable to remember mothers or fathers, wives and husbands.

The realm of Sundar wasn’t safe during the Days of Darkness as it was attacked by giant crabmen. Belaek Battleheart led the defense of the coastline and evacuated many of the dwarves into the ancient goblin strongholds. The dwarves defeated the crabmen but the cost was high also as many of their port towns and cities were badly damaged or destroyed.

385 AD – The Sending

The Sundar sent a legion of dwarves to assist Montegron in his protection of the Midlands. Also during this time the Nordar sensed that the Sundar were weak, attempted to renew raiding along the coast but were turned back by the small Sundar navy.

386-427 AD – Current Affairs

For many years the Sundar worked with the Midland nations but began to realize that Montegron was an evil man. The dwarves have withdrawn out of the Midlands but continue to trade with them. The Hartdar dwarves would send much help to the Sundar and help rebuild many of the cities and mines that were damaged during the Chaos War.

With the return of the gods, the clerics have reappeared again in the Sundar nation as the gods were welcomed back with open arms. The times were prosperous for the Sundar as the majority of their ports have been rebuilt and their navy was built up protecting their shores.

The current leader of the Sundar is Belaek Battleheart, a courageous dwarf fighter who has stood up to the demands of Montegron. The Sundar still work with the Hartdar and their pact still stands. Most of the Sundar have returned to the coasts but a minority of the dwarves has remained in the ancient goblin fortresses preparing them to be used again in the defense of the country.

History of the Nordar

by Gerrin

 

4 PD

The Hartdar dwarves removed much of the military forces from the Hammervald Empire to use against the minotaurs during the Canon War. They believed that one last battle would break the Minotaur Empire and exhausted their resources. The Hartdar High Warden Tildon Copperforge left Hollowvasser to lead the troops on the front line and instructs his son Ren Copperforge to travel with the Ice Legion.

This act left no ruling force in the city but Tildon decided to create the position of Lord Protector to rule in his stead until he could return. He chose General Alon Fateender to become the Lord Protector and left him one legion to command. Fateender ruled from the Warden’s Palace with the authority of the High Warden and waited for his leader to return.

4-1 PD – The Waiting

The dwarves waited for news of a final victory but what they learned was that both sides were still preparing for the coming battle. Times were good for the dwarves living the Hammervald Empire as production demands were high. Lord Protector Fateender has an easy time ruling the empire as many dwarves were happy with his relaxed laws.

1-9 AD – The Drowning and Aftermath

The dwarves of Hollowvasser barely survive the drowning and were shocked to see the destruction caused to their network system linking other cities to the capital. The Lord Protector sent out search parties to learn what happened and to make contact with the rest of the empire. When they returned they brought grim news of the entire Hammervald Empire being destroyed and all that was left was the island they lived on.

Fateender told the dwarves that there were still Hartdar dwarves alive in the world and that they would be seeking them shortly. After the initial shock of the drowning wore off, hope begins as many dwarves heed Fateender’s words and believed that they would be rescued. The months turn into years as no help came from the outside and hope turned to anger.

The dwarves of Hollowvasser began to call themselves Nordar to represent their current status. They forsook their citizenship status as Hartdar dwarves and began to demand that Fateender do something to end their suffering. A struggle for power broke out and Fateender was killed when the Warden’s Palace burned to the ground.

9-39 AD – The Struggle for Survival

The dwarves began to struggle too survive living in there underground city. Many dwarves perished during this time since there was no Lord Protector to ration out the supplies. Factions developed in the clans and began to act in their own interests to ensure their survival.

In 27 AD Tib Battleheart organized the various leaders of the city into a council to vote on issues. Many of the dwarves heed his call and order resumed in the city. Most dwarves know that a way off the island will be needed to ensure the Nordar’s survival.

39-76 AD – Gift of a Goddess

A Dragon turtle offers the Nordar Council a chance to escape the island. The turtle will remove the fear of the sea if the dwarves will begin to worship the dragon’s mistress, Zebiom. The dwarves agreed and began to build ships to travel to the mainland parts of Adlatum.

They found the continent much changed and that many of the human nations of the Midlands refused to trade with them based on credit. The dwarves turned to piracy to find things that they needed. The Nordar Council agreed with the idea and issued a proclamation promoting the idea of taking what they need to ensure survival.

In 56 AD the dwarves began to travel the various islands around them looking for other survivors or possible areas to settle. They located several survivors and relocated them into Hollowvasser. The Nordar also located another city of Ironvasser surviving on a nearby island. This island had a small population and welcomed the arrival of the Nordar.

Also in 56 AD the dwarves made contact with the human nation of Teusten. The two nations went to war and the dwarves were forced to give up many of their islands due to the fact that they do not have an army or navy large enough to secure them. The Nordar carried a grudge from the war and vowed vengeance someday against the Teusten.

In the late 60’s many dwarves begin to feel that piracy was wrong and began to voice their complaints against the practice. Among these dwarves was Tib Battleheart who took the issue to the council where it was debated. The Council then voted on the issue and the final vote outlawed piracy. The Nordar dwarves ignored the final vote calling those who voted for it soft and forgetful of the old ways; among those who were the chief supporter of piracy was Yilan Copperforge, a distant relative to the former Tildon Copperforge High Warden.

In 75-76 AD, Battleheart secretly shipped dwarves out of Hollowvasser and had them settle on the mainland coast. He was betrayed by a young ship captain hoping to win the support of Copperforge. Battleheart and the remainder of his supporters fled to the mainland coast and began to construct the city of Sundarin in the cliffs for protection.

76-80 AD – The War of the Reefs

The Sundar and the Nordar began to raid each other’s settlements because they believed that each other was at fault for the split. The Nordar also believed that because of the Sundar’s departure they lost the war against the Sea Elves and the Sundar believed that they were entitled to the resources of the Nordar.

The war was primarily raids on each others colonies along the Shattered Sea and the mainland coast. The Nordar in 78 AD landed an army near Sundarton and attempted to destroy the Sundar capital city. The Sundar met the Nordar in the Valley of the Eagle and fought one of the largest battles in the war. The Sundar leader Tib Battleheart was killed as was the Nordar General Yilan Copperforge. The Sundar routed the Nordar forces and burned their ships on the beach with a daring raid led by Tib’s son Uloc Battleheart.

In 80 AD the Sundar commenced the last major battle in the War of the Reefs as they conducted a raid on Mt. Anneghis. This attack eliminated any chance of the two clans reuniting and forced the Nordar to sign a peace treaty and recognized that the Sundar were a free an independent nation.

80-277 AD – Age of Warlords

With the death of many of the major leaders of the Nordar during the War of the Reefs, many minor nobles began to fight for the title of Lord Protector. These dwarves were unable to ever hold the title for long and dividde the city of Hollowvasser into many territories.

The council of Nordar continued to meet attempting to stop the war but to no avail. The warlords continued to fight and destroyed large portions of the city. Even when a Hartdar delegation arrived in 146 AD the dwarves took little notice to their cousins. They believed that the Hartdar had come back to claim dominance over them and the council ordered the Hartdar to leave claiming that Hollowvasser was an independent nation on the Iron Islands.

277-385 AD – Creation of the Ironvald Empire

A small element of Hartdar dwarves began to speak of the riches of Hollowvasser and its sister cities. The cause slowly gained support over the years as the Hartdar mines began to decline and many dwarves were forced out of work because of a lack of materials. This caused many dwarves to believe that the riches and wealth of the former Hammervald Empire still lay in the city and that they were controlled by unworthy dwarves.

The dwarves formed a small army that convinced Sundar merchants of their crusade to reclaim past riches. As they waited to board ships many Sundar dwarves joined them to travel to Hollowvasser to reclaim the lost wealth. They journeyed to the former dwarven capital and prepared to take what they wanted. The crusaders were led by Brigg Giantbattler a cruel and jealous dwarf who desired a kingdom of his own.

As they arrived on the island that held the city, they were met by a force of Nordar dwarves and defeated them in battle. Once in the city they discovered the horrors of continual war had created on the Nordar. The city once the jewel of the Hammervald Empire had been for the most part laid to waste as various warlords tried to seize the title of Lord Protector.

Many of the dwarves grew angry when they learned that there was no fabulous riches in the city or in any of its mines and decided to create their own empire to make themselves rich. They enslaved many of the rival clans in the city and created a military government and declared Giantbattler as Lord Protector of the Nordar.

Giantbattler created many changes in the Ironvald capital, Hollowvasser. He first ended the continually fighting there and began to rebuild many parts of the city. The dwarves also began to delve an underwater route to Ironvasser.

Also the Nordar began to battle the sea elves for control of certain areas of the sea, the battles were light and there was never an actual war declare. The dwarves ended the attacks after they were driven back several times in 289 AD. They declare an uneasy truce and secretly vowed that the sea elves would pay for the acts of violence.

For the most of his reign Giantbattler sought to enlarge the empire but was unable to and defeated at every attempt to do so. He does manage to create several new mines and began to trade some with the Midland nations. Even so most dwarves living in Nordar survived on piracy and continued to harass merchant ships around Adlatum.

The forces of Chaos had some impact upon the dwarves living in the Ironvald Empire. The crabmen that would harass the Sundar also attacked the Nordar but not in as great of numbers. The Nordar managed to kill them without suffering many casualties.

In 385 AD, the Nordar learned of the destruction caused by the forces of Chaos in Sundar and planned to overrun their cousins in revenge for the War of the Reefs. A large force sailed from Hollowvasser and met a much smaller Sundarin navy. The Nordar made a temporary alliance with Teusten in the hope that the two nations would destroy and sack the Sundar cities.

The Sundarin navy met the combined forces of the Teusten and the Nordar near the Sundar city of Portswind. The Sundar used fireships to turn back the Nordar and Teusten. Upon hearing the news of his navy’s defeat, Giantbattler suffers a stroke and died a few months later.

385-421 AD – Current Happenings

Brigg Giantbattler was succeeded as Lord Protecter by his son Argent Giantbattler. Argent slowly began to rebuild the Nordar forces and was currently seeking to expand his empire the northern islands by forcing the Teusten off of them. He has created the idea that the humans have invaded the ancestral lands of the dwarves and that they must be driven off.

History of the Neskuda

by Gerrin

 

814 PD – The Cave in and Creation of the Neskudar

In 814 PD a tragic event occurred at the path as 500 members of the Earthslasher clan were digging into a new area of the path. Unknown to them they stumbled into a chamber of Chaos containing sleeping forms. Before they entered they summoned a Stonebellow prophet and group of 20 acolytes to document the event. The miners and the priests entered the mine and expected to find the secret of the Path.

After the miners and priests entered the cavern an earthquake struck and collapsed several miles of tunnels that reached the miners. Inside the miners and priests faced unspeakable horrors as the forces of Chaos awoke and battled the dwarves. Although the Chaos force was small they deal massive causalities.

Shadow wights of Chaos attacked the priests first and wiped their existence from people’s memory. The miners retreated into a small opening and attempted to hold off the Chaos force. After a month of fighting the last of the forces of Chaos were defeated but the cost was high to the dwarves. Nearly 400 members of the Earthslasher clan had disappeared from the touch of the wights. Only 34 miners were rescued even though they found the gear for hundreds more and mysterious prophet and acolytes robes.

The miners who were rescued had been physically changed by the ordeal. Their skin has gone pale and they were deathly afraid of going underground again. The miner’s leader Ton Blacklight met with the Adlar High Prophet Hind Stonebellow and told him what he knew of the creatures they face. Hind recorded the conversations but kept it a secret from the other prophets knowing that such stories were dangerous. He then decided that it would be best to eliminate the Earthslasher clan as many of them were displaying the effects of memory problems.

Ton Blacklight met with the Earthslasher’s patriarch and convinced him of the story and explained why so many of the dwarves living on the Earthslasher mesa were suffering memory problems. A young acolyte, Micah Stoneplow, arrived and explained what Hind had ordered to happen that night.

That night the entire Earthslasher clan traveled in secret off of their mesa leaving nearly all of their possessions behind. They were able to elude the Adlar warriors as they prepared to attack the mesa. When the Adlar reported to Hind of the Earthslasher’s disappearance he placed a bounty on every Earthslasher’s head to help keep the secret.

Hind ordered that the city be sealed and that no dwarf should ever enter it. He renamed the Earthslasher mesa to the City of the Unbelievers. He then ordered the Adlar military to pursue and kill the Neskuda.

813-796 PD War between Neskuda and Adlar

The Adlar chased the Neskuda all over southern Adlatum in hopes of catching them. They cornered them finally in 796 PD and the Battle of Still Waters occurred as these two forces finally met. The Neskuda managed to rout the Adlar forces and followed the retreating Adlar forces back to Azoine.

795 PD Raid on Azoine

The Neskuda raided Azoine to steal items that they believe would prevent the unleashing of the monsters they fought. The Adlar were caught completely offguard as the army had just returned from reporting that the Neskuda were routed and would not be a threat. The Neskuda stole many items including the journal of Adlar Stonebellow, the Crown of Ral, and the Axe of Barth.

795-778 PD – The Wandering

The Neskuda began to travel Adlatum in search of a place to settle. The miners that were originally affected by the cave-in were slowly unknowingly transforming their clan into what they had become. As they wandered the dwarves began to travel by night as a number of the members of the clan had become sensitive to sunlight.

778-732 PD – Enslavement

The Neskuda were captured during the day by a large force of minotaurs. They were then forced to work in the mines as slaves. After forty years they escaped and fled to the swamps of Sodbottom. After they entered the swamps the dwarves used their earth magic to enhance the swamp’s mist to provide protection from the sun.

732-483 PD – Growth of the Three Cities

The Neskudar founded three cities in the swamps and named them Sodbottom, Wa-nax, and Awarthah. This was a time of slow growth and the dwarves that lived there were unknown to outsiders.

483-482 PD – War with the goblins

Small tribes of goblins attempted to move into the swamp, but were surprised to find a clan of dwarves already living there. They then attempted to force the dwarves out of the swamp but were driven out themselves.

482 PD-311 AD – The Neskudar Nation

The Neskudar did not grow much for several centuries and were content with just living in the swamps. They did explore, a little, outside of the swamp and this led them to believe that all outsiders sought to kill them for being different.

311-342 AD – The War of the Pretender

The Neskudar discovered an ancient relic that had been lost during the Minotaur enslavement, the Crown of Ral. The crown was discovered by the Neskudar General, Ros Earthstriker, who believed this was the key to obtaining the throne of the Neskudar. The Neskudar chieftain Bridge Earthslasher began a bloody civil war to obtain the crown from the General.

The dwarves of the Neskudar split into two factions and develop into a warlike society. The two sides then fought a bitter civil war, in which ended in an uneasy truce. A compromise was worked out by the two leaders in which Bridge would remain the figurehead of the empire while Ros would control the army and laws.

342-383 AD – Rebuilding of the Neskudar

Following the civil war the Neskudar rebuilt their cities. The Neskudar underwent a period of healing as both sides put aside their anger and worked for the betterment of their clan. The most notable event during this time was the death of Bridge Earthslasher who died in his sleep and Ros appointed Bridge’s son Duncan as the new chieftain.

383 AD – The Dream

Reorx appeared to the Neskudar and asked them to stop the Adlar from opening the door. They listened to Reorx and agreed to try to stop the Adlar. The Neskuda then marched from their homeland to the Adlar city of Azoine and prepared to destroy the Adlar to prevent the door from opening. The Neskudar though arrived too late for the Adlar had already opened the door and were being attacked by the forces of Chaos. When the Neskudar neared the Path they also were attacked by the forces. They then retreated back to Sodbottom Swamp but were followed by the forces of Chaos.

383-408 AD – The Assault by Chaos

The Neskudar battled with the forces of Chaos in their swamps for several years following the opening of the Path. They managed to destroy the forces in 408 AD, but the cost was high as all but one of their cities was destroyed. Many of the Neskudar had reached the breaking point from the stress caused by continual war and plotted to take revenge on the Adlar for their meddling in the affairs of gods.

408-421 AD – Current Affairs

The Neskudar planned on sending their remaining forces to Azoine to destroy the Adlar dwarves. They have planned on rebuilding their lost cities and believe that all outsiders are the enemy.