Difference between revisions of "History of the Ironborn"

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m (Edited at request of original lore writer, Zezimus. Only a few minor changes and moving around of paragraphs, as well as spelling fixes.)
 
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Though little knowledge remains of exactly how Velkan earnt his name, we are led to believe that from an early age, he displayed traits unlike those of his kin. He was a dwarf born from the ground itself and so regarded as a true cave dwarf by his father, Urguan. Thus, the Ironborn name was doted upon him and his descendants. After generations of inbreeding, these dwarves were recognisable by a darkened skin pigmentation, and large pearl blue eyes, traits that would soon characterise any who belonged to his bloodline. His personality was different to that of his brothers, known to display excessive outbursts of anger and selfishness from an early age. Though he served the Kingdom loyally, it was said that when one would look into Velkan’s eyes, it was impossible to imagine what thoughts were running through his mind.
 
Though little knowledge remains of exactly how Velkan earnt his name, we are led to believe that from an early age, he displayed traits unlike those of his kin. He was a dwarf born from the ground itself and so regarded as a true cave dwarf by his father, Urguan. Thus, the Ironborn name was doted upon him and his descendants. After generations of inbreeding, these dwarves were recognisable by a darkened skin pigmentation, and large pearl blue eyes, traits that would soon characterise any who belonged to his bloodline. His personality was different to that of his brothers, known to display excessive outbursts of anger and selfishness from an early age. Though he served the Kingdom loyally, it was said that when one would look into Velkan’s eyes, it was impossible to imagine what thoughts were running through his mind.
  
Velkan's life was long and tiresome for the generations that he lived, toiling in the shadow of his elder siblings. Early records of the old Kingdom give us reason to believe that dwarven society was far more secluded than we have ever even thought to consider. Barred behind great iron doors for many years, no dwarf was ever permitted to leave or interact with those who dwelled on the surface. There, the dwarves resided deep within the caves of a young and aspiring city of Kal'Urguan, mining and picking away for valuables stored deep within the bowels of the world.
+
Velkan's life was long and tiresome for the generations that he lived, toiling in the shadow of his elder siblings. Early records of the old Kingdom give us reason to believe that dwarven society was far more secluded than we have ever even thought to consider. Barred behind great stone doors for many years, no dwarf was ever permitted to leave or interact with those who dwelled on the surface. There, the dwarves resided deep within the caves of a young and aspiring city of Kal'Urguan, mining and picking away for valuables stored deep within the bowels of the world.
  
As Urguan passed on into the halls of Khaz’A’Dentrumm, he left a legacy that all Kings after him would follow from. Shortly after his death however, the Kingdom was driven to near extinction by the corrupted Aengul, Ondnarch. Many considered Barradin, the successor of Urguan, the last true King of dwarves. Over time, clans lost faith in their leaders as Kings failed to bring back the glory days of old. Food grew scarce, and the city became ever more overcrowded and polluted. The Mountain Dwarves were some of the first to leave, venturing instead for new lands in the mountains to the far north, where their ancestors once resided. Other clans chose instead to take residence within the great forests surrounding Kal'Urguan, unbound from the rule of law and free to travel as they pleased. The reigning King Glorvin could not refuse the will of his people forever and for the first time in years, the great iron doors of Kal’Urguan were reopened. Though times were harsh, those who remained, in particular the Cave Dwarves had no intent of ever truly departing from their subterranean homes. The hoarding and acquisition of wealth was all they needed to keep themselves content. Instead, they scorned upon Glorvin’s actions and deemed all those who left the city traitors to Urguan’s legacy. What they needed however was a leader, one who would bring back the days of old and reunite all dwarves under one banner. Many, including Velkan himself did not believe that King Glorvin was truly up to the task.
+
As Urguan passed on into the halls of Khaz’A’Dentrumm, he left a legacy that all Kings after him would follow from. Shortly after his death however, the Kingdom was driven to near extinction by the corrupted Aengul, Ondnarch. Many considered Barradin, the successor of Urguan, the last true King of dwarves. Over time, clans lost faith in their leaders as Kings failed to bring back the glory days of old. Food grew scarce, and the city became ever more overcrowded and polluted. The Mountain Dwarves were some of the first to leave, venturing instead for new lands in the mountains to the far north, where their ancestors once resided. Other clans chose instead to take residence within the great forests surrounding Kal'Urguan, unbound from the rule of law and free to travel as they pleased. The reigning King Glorvin could not refuse the will of his people forever and for the first time in years, the great stone doors of Kal’Urguan were reopened. Though times were harsh, those who remained, in particular the Cave Dwarves had no intent of ever truly departing from their subterranean homes. The hoarding and acquisition of wealth was all they needed to keep themselves content. Instead, they scorned upon Glorvin’s actions and deemed all those who left the city traitors to Urguan’s legacy. What they needed however was a leader, one who would bring back the days of old and reunite all dwarves under one banner. Many, including Velkan himself did not believe that King Glorvin was truly up to the task.
  
 
As anger and discontent at the King’s actions arose, Glorvin was put under pressure to resign and call for the nomination of a new King. With the Kingdom crumbling, he had no choice but to stand down. Anarchy quickly spread throughout the city as the future of the Kingdom grew ever more uncertain. Elder and more established clans rivaled for power, while commoners chose to hide within their homes, stockpiling food for the long days ahead. The usual process of nominating a King was abandoned after the Council fell from favour and instead clans took control over the various districts of the city. Though historical records do not accurately specify the exact details of the time period, I am able to ascertain that within the middle of the eighth century, brawls had begun to break out within the main halls of the city. Hundreds of dwarves were killed as within the midst of the chaos, clans vied for power and influence. What many believed they now needed was order, as well as a King who could truly lead the dwarves from their days of darkness and despair.
 
As anger and discontent at the King’s actions arose, Glorvin was put under pressure to resign and call for the nomination of a new King. With the Kingdom crumbling, he had no choice but to stand down. Anarchy quickly spread throughout the city as the future of the Kingdom grew ever more uncertain. Elder and more established clans rivaled for power, while commoners chose to hide within their homes, stockpiling food for the long days ahead. The usual process of nominating a King was abandoned after the Council fell from favour and instead clans took control over the various districts of the city. Though historical records do not accurately specify the exact details of the time period, I am able to ascertain that within the middle of the eighth century, brawls had begun to break out within the main halls of the city. Hundreds of dwarves were killed as within the midst of the chaos, clans vied for power and influence. What many believed they now needed was order, as well as a King who could truly lead the dwarves from their days of darkness and despair.
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Among those who feared and despised Thorgarn, not all chose to remain silent forever. Many of the Ironguts by now had grown suspicious of Thorgarn’s motives, spreading rumours that he had destroyed all that Urguan once stood for. As the call was given for all Cave Dwarves to return to Kal'Urguan, Dwain heeded Thorgarn’s words and travelled there as a representative of his kin. There, he was offered a final ultimatum to force his clan to bow to Ironborn rule or else face certain death. Dwain would not let his deranged nephew threaten him with such words and in a series of allegations, immediately and openly condemned the Empire and all it stood for. Unfortunately, Thorgarn could not allow such a challenge to his reign to go unpunished and swiftly ordered his immediate execution. Dwain Irongut, a martyr and a hero was cruelly tortured in the deepest depths of the city’s dungeons, his blood running deep into the grounds of Kal'Urguan. No Irongut would ever forget the events that occurred that day.
 
Among those who feared and despised Thorgarn, not all chose to remain silent forever. Many of the Ironguts by now had grown suspicious of Thorgarn’s motives, spreading rumours that he had destroyed all that Urguan once stood for. As the call was given for all Cave Dwarves to return to Kal'Urguan, Dwain heeded Thorgarn’s words and travelled there as a representative of his kin. There, he was offered a final ultimatum to force his clan to bow to Ironborn rule or else face certain death. Dwain would not let his deranged nephew threaten him with such words and in a series of allegations, immediately and openly condemned the Empire and all it stood for. Unfortunately, Thorgarn could not allow such a challenge to his reign to go unpunished and swiftly ordered his immediate execution. Dwain Irongut, a martyr and a hero was cruelly tortured in the deepest depths of the city’s dungeons, his blood running deep into the grounds of Kal'Urguan. No Irongut would ever forget the events that occurred that day.
  
Thorgarn’s rule was the bloodiest of his kin. It was said that more dwarves died during his reign than during the reigns’ of all past King’s combined. To the north, the last bastion of true hope remained. Though clans were scattered and without any true allegiance, there was but one dwarf who could unite them. Simppa, a Cave Dwarf who had left the empire after having personally witnessed Dwain’s capture and execution, fled north along the King’s Road. There, he sought to unite clans who had once opposed the rule of the Ironborn. The Ironguts were the first to follow his rule, though a war could not be won without the support of the Mountain Dwarf clans. Many amongst them were reluctant to fight for a Cave Dwarf and in their stubbornness, refused to stand aside him. Simppa was wise and though unfamiliar with the customs of Mountain Dwarves, had an idea of what might persuade them. He offered them nobility and a new chance to thrive under his Kingdom, if it were ever to be. The gold and riches of the Ironborn would be spread evenly amongst those who fought by his side. To that, both the clan fathers of the Grandaxes and Frostbeards agreed, where they were soon joined by a small host of Treebeards, there forging the Remnant of Urguan.
+
Thorgarn’s rule was the bloodiest of his kin. It was said that more dwarves died during his reign than during the reigns’ of all past King’s combined. To the north, the last bastion of true hope remained. Though clans were scattered and without any true allegiance, there was but one dwarf who could unite them. Simppa, a Cave Dwarf who had left the empire after having personally witnessed Dwain’s capture and execution, fled north along the King’s Road. There, he sought to unite clans who had once opposed the rule of the Ironborn. The Ironguts were the first to follow his rule, though a war could not be won without the support of the Mountain Dwarf clans. Many amongst them were reluctant to fight for a Cave Dwarf and in their stubbornness, refused to stand aside him. Simppa was wise and though unfamiliar with the customs of Mountain Dwarves, had an idea of what might persuade them. He offered them nobility and a new chance to thrive under his Kingdom, if it were ever to be. The gold and riches of the Ironborn would be spread evenly amongst those who fought by his side. To that, both the clan fathers of the Grandaxes and Frostbeards agreed, where after being joined by a small band of Treebeards, they there forged what became known as the Remnant of Urguan.
  
Thereafter, the Clans convened with Simppa upon the Summit of Mount Arvas, the mountain top where centuries prior, the corrupted Aengul, Ondnarch, had been entrapped within the Kal’Varak. As their first act, they begun to draw up battle plans for an invasion of the Empire which would ultimately lead to the eventual recapture of Kal’Urguan. Though the war was long and bloody, Thorgarn had lost much of the strength his Empire once had. Whole Clans who had opposed his rule had been sentenced to death, while others had simply fled. Even those who were once loyal to him now understood that they could not stand by his side forever. As the Remnant pushed on, the Goldhands saw that the battle was not in their favour and quickly turned upon the Emperor. By the next month, the armies had closed in upon Kal’Urguan, where the final siege had soon begun. Legions of warriors had marched into the the midst of battle as there, thousands would die. As the great gates of Kal’Urguan came crashing down, the Remnant made their charge. Simppa, alongside him standing the fathers of those clans who had sworn to serve him, made their way to the back of the army, taking watch as they poured on into the city. What stood before them were scenes of utter chaos, many not recognising friend from foe as they went ever deeper. The Remnant fought their way into the Temple district which after years of Ironborn rule, held great shrines constructed to the Ironborn’s dark god, Khorvad. Ropes were set around them, where they were hauled down, as great fires were lit in order to eradicate any signs of Khorvad’s influence. Within the centre of the battle, Simppa had stood before Thorgarn’s throne, where the two duelled. Though Thorgarn was strong, Simppa had prepared for this day for many years. Simppa swung his axe, digging it deep into Thorgarn’s neck as his corpse slumped to the ground. Cheers erupted throughout the city as the invading forces stood in victory. It would take years for many to forget the cries of those who still resided in Kal’Urguan as they were butchered by the Remnant for remaining loyal to the Ironborn.
+
Thereafter, the Clans convened with Simppa upon the Summit of Mount Arvas, the mountain top where centuries prior, the corrupted Aengul, Ondnarch, had been entrapped within the Kal’Varak. As their first act, they begun to draw up battle plans for an invasion of the Empire which would ultimately lead to the eventual recapture of Kal’Urguan. Though the war was long and bloody, Thorgarn had lost much of the strength his Empire once had. Whole Clans who had opposed his rule had been sentenced to death, while others had simply fled. Even those who were once loyal to him now understood that they could not stand by his side forever. As the Remnant pushed on, the Goldhands saw that the battle was not in their favour and quickly turned upon the Emperor. By the next month, the armies had closed in upon Kal’Urguan, where the final siege had soon begun. Legions of warriors had marched into the the midst of battle as there, thousands would die. As the great barricades into Kal’Urguan came crashing down, the Remnant made their charge. Simppa, alongside him standing the fathers of those clans who had sworn to serve him, made their way to the back of the army, taking watch as they poured on into the city. What stood before them were scenes of utter chaos, many not recognising friend from foe as they went ever deeper. The Remnant fought their way into the Temple district which after years of Ironborn rule, held great shrines constructed to the Ironborn’s dark god, Khorvad. Ropes were set around them, where they were hauled down, as great fires were lit in order to eradicate any signs of Khorvad’s influence. Within the centre of the battle, Simppa had stood before Thorgarn’s throne, where the two duelled. Though Thorgarn was strong, Simppa had prepared for this day for many years. Simppa swung his axe, digging it deep into Thorgarn’s neck as his corpse slumped to the ground. Cheers erupted throughout the city as the invading forces stood in victory. It would take years for many to forget the cries of those who still resided in Kal’Urguan as they were butchered by the Remnant for remaining loyal to the Ironborn.
  
 
What became of the remaining Ironborn, I do not know. For though records explicitly state the various names of the Ironborn who were recognised amongst the dead, there are some who were never seen, nor heard from again. Whether it was their injuries that made their corpses too grotesque to recognise or their bodies were merely burnt before they could ever be identified, I now open my mind to the possibility that they were not dead at all. Fearing persecution for the actions of their fathers, there is some chance that the Ironborn children chose instead to live amongst the masses, in hiding from the victors of war. Though we may never know, we must always remain vigilant, for the sake of our people. What history teaches us is that the eight sons of Urguan were all brothers and only when they treated each other as unlike their own selves, did they stand truly divided. The day that we forsake unity for petty rivalries and greed is the day we fall. I end this book with only words that I wish for all dwarves to one day heed. Stand as one and we are capable of achieving any length of greatness. Stand alone however and we will die alone.
 
What became of the remaining Ironborn, I do not know. For though records explicitly state the various names of the Ironborn who were recognised amongst the dead, there are some who were never seen, nor heard from again. Whether it was their injuries that made their corpses too grotesque to recognise or their bodies were merely burnt before they could ever be identified, I now open my mind to the possibility that they were not dead at all. Fearing persecution for the actions of their fathers, there is some chance that the Ironborn children chose instead to live amongst the masses, in hiding from the victors of war. Though we may never know, we must always remain vigilant, for the sake of our people. What history teaches us is that the eight sons of Urguan were all brothers and only when they treated each other as unlike their own selves, did they stand truly divided. The day that we forsake unity for petty rivalries and greed is the day we fall. I end this book with only words that I wish for all dwarves to one day heed. Stand as one and we are capable of achieving any length of greatness. Stand alone however and we will die alone.
 
[[Category:Grand Kingdom of Urguan]]
 
[[Category:Grand Kingdom of Urguan]]

Latest revision as of 18:37, 1 August 2020

History of the Ironborn details a little known part of Dwarven history.

Part I: The Eighth Son of Urguan

The following was completed by Paragon Valen Grandaxe, shortly before his passing into the halls of Khaz'A'Dentrumm. It has since been published by the Remembrancers as a warning to all of the dangers that linger within our past.


As a dwarven Lord, focused upon the studies of early dwarven history, it is my hope that this tome will shed light upon a darker era in our timeline, we know and remember today only as 'The Blood Age.' The Ironborn, most commonly regarded as descendants of the unspoken 'eighth son' of Urguan, Velkan Ironborn, have long been shunned from our history books, over a persisting fear of inspiring others to revive their dark and sadistic arts. What few dwarves remember however is that the Ironborn name did not always bring about the same connotations as it does today. For the first time in many decades, we can now gain a better understanding of these unspoken few that once existed within our society.

Though little knowledge remains of exactly how Velkan earnt his name, we are led to believe that from an early age, he displayed traits unlike those of his kin. He was a dwarf born from the ground itself and so regarded as a true cave dwarf by his father, Urguan. Thus, the Ironborn name was doted upon him and his descendants. After generations of inbreeding, these dwarves were recognisable by a darkened skin pigmentation, and large pearl blue eyes, traits that would soon characterise any who belonged to his bloodline. His personality was different to that of his brothers, known to display excessive outbursts of anger and selfishness from an early age. Though he served the Kingdom loyally, it was said that when one would look into Velkan’s eyes, it was impossible to imagine what thoughts were running through his mind.

Velkan's life was long and tiresome for the generations that he lived, toiling in the shadow of his elder siblings. Early records of the old Kingdom give us reason to believe that dwarven society was far more secluded than we have ever even thought to consider. Barred behind great stone doors for many years, no dwarf was ever permitted to leave or interact with those who dwelled on the surface. There, the dwarves resided deep within the caves of a young and aspiring city of Kal'Urguan, mining and picking away for valuables stored deep within the bowels of the world.

As Urguan passed on into the halls of Khaz’A’Dentrumm, he left a legacy that all Kings after him would follow from. Shortly after his death however, the Kingdom was driven to near extinction by the corrupted Aengul, Ondnarch. Many considered Barradin, the successor of Urguan, the last true King of dwarves. Over time, clans lost faith in their leaders as Kings failed to bring back the glory days of old. Food grew scarce, and the city became ever more overcrowded and polluted. The Mountain Dwarves were some of the first to leave, venturing instead for new lands in the mountains to the far north, where their ancestors once resided. Other clans chose instead to take residence within the great forests surrounding Kal'Urguan, unbound from the rule of law and free to travel as they pleased. The reigning King Glorvin could not refuse the will of his people forever and for the first time in years, the great stone doors of Kal’Urguan were reopened. Though times were harsh, those who remained, in particular the Cave Dwarves had no intent of ever truly departing from their subterranean homes. The hoarding and acquisition of wealth was all they needed to keep themselves content. Instead, they scorned upon Glorvin’s actions and deemed all those who left the city traitors to Urguan’s legacy. What they needed however was a leader, one who would bring back the days of old and reunite all dwarves under one banner. Many, including Velkan himself did not believe that King Glorvin was truly up to the task.

As anger and discontent at the King’s actions arose, Glorvin was put under pressure to resign and call for the nomination of a new King. With the Kingdom crumbling, he had no choice but to stand down. Anarchy quickly spread throughout the city as the future of the Kingdom grew ever more uncertain. Elder and more established clans rivaled for power, while commoners chose to hide within their homes, stockpiling food for the long days ahead. The usual process of nominating a King was abandoned after the Council fell from favour and instead clans took control over the various districts of the city. Though historical records do not accurately specify the exact details of the time period, I am able to ascertain that within the middle of the eighth century, brawls had begun to break out within the main halls of the city. Hundreds of dwarves were killed as within the midst of the chaos, clans vied for power and influence. What many believed they now needed was order, as well as a King who could truly lead the dwarves from their days of darkness and despair.

At the centre of the chaos, stood the Ironborn. Promising to restore pride and honour to the Kingdom, and to bring about a new age for dwarvenkind, Velkan would do all in his power to ensure his line’s prosperity. For days and nights on end, Velkan and his sons, Khrallax, Thorgarn and Arkhel took pursuit of their own agendas, otherwise ‘persuading’ various clans to declare themselves in favour of an Ironborn King. To the outside world, they promised prosperity and unity. Behind the facade of their kind words and convincing propaganda however, something dark and far more sinister lurked deep within. Velkan, now old and withered with age, ensured his ascent as King within a year of Glorvin’s resignation. Ironically, it was the curse of greed that ultimately led the dwarven race into its darkest era.

Velkan immediately enacted a strict military rule, centralising vast amounts of power into his own hands. The council became merely his puppet as all who opposed him were quickly removed and replaced with those more compliant. However, the Ironborn's ascent to power did not end there. First, they would have to ensure the loyalty of those dwarves who still resided within Kal'Urguan, as some clans would bow easier than others. The Goldhands under Tungdil were content with Ironborn rule, so long as they profited, while the Irehearts, though Mountain Dwarves themselves, would stand loyal to the rightfully crowned King. The Starbreakers were not entirely pleased with the outcome, though were ultimately willing to accept Ironborn rule so long as it served their needs. The Ironguts however were less compliant. Though Dwain believed in the vision that the Ironborn had, some of his kin held doubts about what they were truly capable of achieving.

Legend has it told that Velkan's fall arose from a pact with Khorvad made during the early stages of his reign. Frail and less physically imposing than other leading figures within dwarven society, he sought to ascend his own clan's honour and bring about a new age for his kin. Yet, he did not believe he could do it alone. As he called out to the Brathmordakin in his time of need, there was but one voice that answered. A voice, ominous and dark to behold. His name was Khorvad. In return for ensuring the Ironborn line's prosperity, Khorvad asked only two things in return. First, that the dwarves would enshrine him as their true father and creator and second that Velkan would form an Empire worthy of his name. In the days that followed, Velkan chose to appoint his youngest son, Arkhel as Archbishop. Though we may never know how or why dwarven society was willing to submit to Khorvad, we are to believe that the corruption of the clergy ran deep within its infrastructure. Over time, worship moved away from the usual pantheon and instead centered around Khorvad's teachings alone.

As vast Legions of dwarves ascended upon the surface of Aegis, they brought only destruction in their wake. Clans who had left during Glorvin's reign were slaughtered while all who refused to bow to Velkan were swiftly executed. The forest dwarves were the first to fall to his wrath, their lands occupied and their people persecuted for their treachery. The Kingdom's borders expanded far beyond the city of Kal'Urguan as scattered clans did all they could to hide and defend their homes. For many years this continued on until Velkan’s Kingdom controlled a large portion of central Aegis. Thus the Khorvadic Empire was forged and the legacy of Urguan’s Kingdom truly lost. No longer was Kal’Urguan a haven where dwarves could live in prosperity but rather a dangerous and unforgiving hive of trickery and malice. Though the Grandaxe and Frostbeard Clans had left many years prior, they could but look on as the world burned, powerless to act against the combined might of Velkan’s Empire.

Many questions have since been raised as to how Velkan met his end. Compiling old scrolls, I have learnt newly found knowledge as to the true happenings of Velkan's final days. I will not excuse the evils he committed, nor will I yet lead myself to believe he truly had any decency in his heart. I only believe that perhaps somewhere within this old dwarf's mind, there was a realisation that he could not allow Khorvad's plans to succeed. Though records have grown thin after the Great Collapse, a particular scroll of interest appears to hint at previously unknown knowledge. Velkan is recorded to have descended into madness during his final years as Emperor, speaking only of the destruction that would one day ensue upon the world if Khorvad’s plan was to succeed. Velkan’s sons dismissed their father’s words as the crazed ramblings of an old and decrepit mind, though as we now understand today, his prophecies turned out to be quite real and the homeland of our ancestors lies in ashes. Velkan died shortly after, through unknown circumstances, though some say his death was natural, others believing he was murdered. Unfortunately, we may never learn the truth. So ends the story of Velkan Ironborn and begins that of his eldest son, Khrallax Ironborn, second ruler of the Khorvadic Empire, the story of which I will explore more in the next chapter of this book.

May we be ever knowing, through the knowledge of Ogradhad, Valen Grandaxe.


Part II: Legacy of the Ironborn

The author of Part II is unknown but presumed to be Valen Grandaxe.


Following Velkan’s death, a great deal of uncertainty fell over the Khorvadic Empire. After fifty years of solid rule, its leader had finally succumed to his own madness. Though Velkan was dead, the foundations of his Empire still stood and from the laws of succession, his eldest son was to ascend. Khrallax Ironborn, second Emperor of the Khorvadic Empire was in no way alike his father. He was less ambitious and desired only to retain what lands his father had kept securely in his grasp for so many years. He was proud of what his clan had achieved, a Dynasty that no living dwarf could compare to. Khrallax however was more renowned for his lavish appetites and laid back attitude, than his skills as a leader. He was known for spending much of his time within Kal’Urguan, hosting feasts for the Cave Dwarven nobility. Instead, it was his advisors that spent much of their time presiding over the Empire he had inherited.

As time progressed, many begun to consider Khrallax a lazy and weak ruler. Though the basic functions of the Empire went on, he himself had made little progress. While some were glad to see a change from Velkan’s autocratic style of rule, others in the heart of Khorvadic government were quick to question their Emperor’s actions as a stain upon Velkan’s legacy. Within the midst of those who had their doubts was Khrallax’s own brother, Thorgarn, High Imperator of the Khorvadic military and the second most powerful individual in the Empire. He believed that in order to function properly, the Empire needed a strong ruler, one who would extend its borders and its influence. War, as he believed it, was what kept the populace under control. Without war, the only enemy of the people would be those who ruled over them. Though remarkably less driven than his father, Khrallax was not oblivious to his brother’s beliefs. Despite believing his legacy was safe within the hands of his eldest son, Khareyk, who he had groomed personally to follow in his footsteps, he had slowly grown paranoid of his brother’s actions. Thorgarn had grown more and more willing to defy the Emperor, even when it risked the lives of those who served beneath him. The Emperor knew he could not allow his younger brother to make a mockery of his rule. It would take only a single spark before he would be forced to act against him.

Conflict along the border with the outside world had lasted long before the rule of the Ironborn. However, as the Empire expanded, the dwarves were forced to interact with outside races. The orcs proved a constant burden upon the Empire’s resources while an uneasy coexistence went on between the humans to the north. Khrallax had only hoped that this would continue, though Thorgarn thought quite differently. Defying the orders of the Emperor, he led an attack upon a human caravan, burning the corpses of the dead in the name of Khorvad, while ordering those who served him to loot and pillage all they could get their hands on. Thorgarn expected to return to Kal’Urguan a hero. Instead, he was met with shackles, where he and his commanders were quickly arrested and detained within the highest security cells of the city. There, Khrallax ordered his own brother to await execution. Thorgarn however had other plans. In the dead of night, there was a loud explosion from the prison district of Kal’Urguan, a great fire tearing throughout the building. A struggle quickly ensued as from outside, a group dwarves armed with crossbows made their way to the entrance. The guards were powerless to act as a volley of bolts rained down upon their lines. As screams echoed through the halls, Thorgarn himself emerged from the rubble, where he was quickly unshackled. Taking an axe from one of the guard’s corpses, he proceeded to lead the group from Kal’Urguan into the very heart of the wilderness surrounding the city.

The next day Khrallax, is recorded to have openly condemned his brother’s name and all those who remained loyal to him. Many of those who served beneath him were rounded up and imprisoned in an effort to prevent any from seeking revenge. Thorgarn himself however, remained elusive. It was not but a month later that he was heard from again. To celebrate his fiftieth year of rule, Khrallax held a feast for only the Cave Dwarven elite to attend. There, they gathered, feasting upon whatever delicacies they could get their hands on. Khrallax was said to have stood up to deliver his speech when suddenly, two of his guards stepped forward. Without a word, they both drew blades and thrust them into the backs of his sons’ necks. As blood spurted from their mouths, Khrallax stood from his throne, only to be greeted with a sharp pain running down his spine. He stumbled forward, landing on the table with a loud crash. There he lay, a bloodied battle axe lodged in his back. The guard who had attacked him lifted off his helmet to reveal none other than Thorgarn Ironborn, now the only living heir to the Khorvadic Empire.

Word quickly spread throughout the Empire of Thorgarn’s actions. With little questions asked, the military swore to their new Emperor, sentencing to death any who did not bow to his rule. In an effort to draw attention away from his own acts of treachery against the former Emperor, Thorgarn immediately decreed that any living Forest Dwarf or Mountain Dwarf was of impure blood and was to be hunted down and executed. Over the following centuries of his rule, Thorgarn had begun his purge upon all documents, presenting an unfavourable view of the Empire in an event known as 'The Great Collapse.' Much of our history was lost by his hand, while the greatest and most renowned scholars of the day were condemned to death. The Triumvirate of Runelords saw what had become of their once great nation and while they could not stand and watch any longer, they feared what would happen if they openly condemned his rule. Instead, they fled the Empire, travelling to the north where they hoped to meet with the dwarves who had long lived there in exile. Though Thorgarn learnt of their plans, they were able to slip from his grasp, using a secret tunnel system, leading from the heart of the city to the outside world. In his fury, Thorgarn ordered the newly appointed High Imperator to begin searching for the surviving Runesmiths who still remained within the city. There, they were forced to use their powers to create weapons of great destruction. Corpses that had once rested within the great tombs of Kal’Urguan were exhumed and grotesque experimentations begun, using flesh runes as forms of torture.

Among those who feared and despised Thorgarn, not all chose to remain silent forever. Many of the Ironguts by now had grown suspicious of Thorgarn’s motives, spreading rumours that he had destroyed all that Urguan once stood for. As the call was given for all Cave Dwarves to return to Kal'Urguan, Dwain heeded Thorgarn’s words and travelled there as a representative of his kin. There, he was offered a final ultimatum to force his clan to bow to Ironborn rule or else face certain death. Dwain would not let his deranged nephew threaten him with such words and in a series of allegations, immediately and openly condemned the Empire and all it stood for. Unfortunately, Thorgarn could not allow such a challenge to his reign to go unpunished and swiftly ordered his immediate execution. Dwain Irongut, a martyr and a hero was cruelly tortured in the deepest depths of the city’s dungeons, his blood running deep into the grounds of Kal'Urguan. No Irongut would ever forget the events that occurred that day.

Thorgarn’s rule was the bloodiest of his kin. It was said that more dwarves died during his reign than during the reigns’ of all past King’s combined. To the north, the last bastion of true hope remained. Though clans were scattered and without any true allegiance, there was but one dwarf who could unite them. Simppa, a Cave Dwarf who had left the empire after having personally witnessed Dwain’s capture and execution, fled north along the King’s Road. There, he sought to unite clans who had once opposed the rule of the Ironborn. The Ironguts were the first to follow his rule, though a war could not be won without the support of the Mountain Dwarf clans. Many amongst them were reluctant to fight for a Cave Dwarf and in their stubbornness, refused to stand aside him. Simppa was wise and though unfamiliar with the customs of Mountain Dwarves, had an idea of what might persuade them. He offered them nobility and a new chance to thrive under his Kingdom, if it were ever to be. The gold and riches of the Ironborn would be spread evenly amongst those who fought by his side. To that, both the clan fathers of the Grandaxes and Frostbeards agreed, where after being joined by a small band of Treebeards, they there forged what became known as the Remnant of Urguan.

Thereafter, the Clans convened with Simppa upon the Summit of Mount Arvas, the mountain top where centuries prior, the corrupted Aengul, Ondnarch, had been entrapped within the Kal’Varak. As their first act, they begun to draw up battle plans for an invasion of the Empire which would ultimately lead to the eventual recapture of Kal’Urguan. Though the war was long and bloody, Thorgarn had lost much of the strength his Empire once had. Whole Clans who had opposed his rule had been sentenced to death, while others had simply fled. Even those who were once loyal to him now understood that they could not stand by his side forever. As the Remnant pushed on, the Goldhands saw that the battle was not in their favour and quickly turned upon the Emperor. By the next month, the armies had closed in upon Kal’Urguan, where the final siege had soon begun. Legions of warriors had marched into the the midst of battle as there, thousands would die. As the great barricades into Kal’Urguan came crashing down, the Remnant made their charge. Simppa, alongside him standing the fathers of those clans who had sworn to serve him, made their way to the back of the army, taking watch as they poured on into the city. What stood before them were scenes of utter chaos, many not recognising friend from foe as they went ever deeper. The Remnant fought their way into the Temple district which after years of Ironborn rule, held great shrines constructed to the Ironborn’s dark god, Khorvad. Ropes were set around them, where they were hauled down, as great fires were lit in order to eradicate any signs of Khorvad’s influence. Within the centre of the battle, Simppa had stood before Thorgarn’s throne, where the two duelled. Though Thorgarn was strong, Simppa had prepared for this day for many years. Simppa swung his axe, digging it deep into Thorgarn’s neck as his corpse slumped to the ground. Cheers erupted throughout the city as the invading forces stood in victory. It would take years for many to forget the cries of those who still resided in Kal’Urguan as they were butchered by the Remnant for remaining loyal to the Ironborn.

What became of the remaining Ironborn, I do not know. For though records explicitly state the various names of the Ironborn who were recognised amongst the dead, there are some who were never seen, nor heard from again. Whether it was their injuries that made their corpses too grotesque to recognise or their bodies were merely burnt before they could ever be identified, I now open my mind to the possibility that they were not dead at all. Fearing persecution for the actions of their fathers, there is some chance that the Ironborn children chose instead to live amongst the masses, in hiding from the victors of war. Though we may never know, we must always remain vigilant, for the sake of our people. What history teaches us is that the eight sons of Urguan were all brothers and only when they treated each other as unlike their own selves, did they stand truly divided. The day that we forsake unity for petty rivalries and greed is the day we fall. I end this book with only words that I wish for all dwarves to one day heed. Stand as one and we are capable of achieving any length of greatness. Stand alone however and we will die alone.