Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah
The Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah, also simply known as Kaz'Ulrah, (Dwed: Khor'Kunnek ur Kaz'Ulrah) was one of the dwarven nations following their conquest of the Grand Kingdom of Urguan in 1636 until its fall in 1692. Kaz'Ulrah wass located in the chalk mountains of western Atlas, with the Kingdom's heartlands situated within Garrond's Vale.
The Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah received its name from the son of Urguan, Kaz'Ulrah Frostbeard. Kaz'Ulrah was known to be a cunning, charismatic and competent Dwarf, and led one of the largest Clans. As a result, his descendants believed it would only be fair to honor a Dwarf of his status by naming the Kingdom after him.
The idea of a Frostbeard led kingdom arose back in Athera when the Frostbeard Clan was being led by Verthaik Frostbeard. This idea came to fruition in the form of the Mountain Monarchy, a short lived Dwarven Kingdom in Vailor, which laid the foundation for the creation of Kaz'Ulrah, over a hundred years later. The Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah was founded in 1626 by Clan Lord Garrond Frostbeard in the city of New Jornheim during a city meeting. Immediately after announcing the creation of the Kingdom, Garrond stepped down from his position as Clan Father and offered the crown to Verthaik II Frostbeard, son of Kerwyr Frostbeard.
During Axios, the Frostbeard clan established itself as one of the most powerful and valuable of all Dwarf clans. In every battle, the Frostbeards made up a large portion of the Dwarven force and they were never hesitant to come to a fight. However, due to their size and expansionist ideals, they were frowned upon by the other Dwarf clans who preferred a less competitive environment. As a result, many clans viewed the Frostbeard clan as a dangerous group of Dwarves and often insulted them. After years of this abuse, Clan Lord Kerwyr Frostbeard took his clan and formally left the Grand Kingdom of Urguan. In an attempt to find land to settle, Kerwyr alongside Gorum Frostbeard and Barradin Frostbeard sought out Ostromir Ivanovich, lord of the land where St. Karlsburg once stood. In a historic meeting, Ostromir granted Kerwyr and his Frostbeards land in the nearby mountains in exchange for military aide. Within a few short years, Jornheim was complete.
Jornheim was a mere Hold in it's first days and served as the official home of all Frostbeards. As word of Kerwyr's separation from the Grand Kingdom of Urguan spread, more and more Frostbeards left Kal'Omith and moved to Jornheim. As a result of this, Kal'Omith lost the status it once held as a bustling city. With every passing day there were less Dwarves in it, until the despair finally got to the Grand King who committed suicide by jumping from the Senate room balcony. Word of Grand King Bastion's death spread, and the remaining Urguanite official, Grand Marshal Oyvind Frostbeard, left Kal'Omith and traveled to Jornheim where he proposed that he should take the throne with the backing of the Legion. After some talks, the plan was made and the Frostbeards left for Kal'Omith. Upon arriving, Kerwyr planted himself on the Senate room throne and declared himself King, with the Frostbeards there surrounding and backing him. The disgruntled Senators however were not about to let a Frostbeard so easily take the throne of Urguan. They gathered their arms and gear and called upon their Courlandic allies who arrived in large numbers. The Frostbeards did the same and called upon their Romstun allies. As tension rose, Hogarth Irongut raised his hammer and charged into Kerwyr, aiming to kill him. Kerwyr was swift to block it with his shield, and after this the fighting broke out. After a few short minutes it was clear who had won. The Senators and their Courlandic allies were slaughtered by the outnumbered Frostbeards and their Romstun friends.
In the days following this incident which would come to be known as the Slaughter of the Senate, much change happened around Kal'Omith. Those loyal to the Senate fled to the Grandaxe Hold of Tal'Azmar, whilst those loyal to the Frostbeards stayed in Kal'Omith. However, as Kerwyr set out organizing his council, a shocking betrayal occurred. Oyvind Frostbeard, who had convinced Kerwyr that there would be no issue with him taking the throne, left the city alongside the Senate loyalists, and plundered the entire Legion armory. His betrayal set out shock waves among those loyal to the Frostbeards, and led to High Prophet Morug abandoning the cause and leaving for the wilds where he would spend the next couple of years. As a result, Kerwyr pulled much of his force from Kal'Omith to the Hold of Jornheim where he attempted to re-gather his forces. Unfortunately, he soon lost his most trusted adviser and right hand, Gorum Frostbeard who was captured by a crew of raiders from the North. Disheartened and without a proper Council, Kerwyr set about doing all he could to buy himself time to gather forces. He appointed Macklemore Frostbeard to the position of Grand Marshal, Rudok Frostbeard to the position of King's Hand, Baldin Frostbeard-Grandaxe to Steward of Kal'Omith and Throri 'Warmheart' Frostbeard as Captain of the Hefjhor Akvel, translated to be the Bear Guard. However, despite his best efforts Kerwyr was unable to maintain power, and faced another betrayal from Baldin who handed Kal'Omith over to Senate forces who quickly moved in to capture the city.
Moral in the Frostbeard camp fell significantly after the fall of Kal'Omith and Kerwyr realized that not only was his life in danger but also that of his clan. If the Senate's army attacked Jornheim and captured it the Frostbeard Clan would most certainly face complete disbandment. In the late hours of the day following the fall of Kal'Omith, Kerwyr and Rudok made a plan to prevent this from happening. Knowing that his death was near, Kerwyr decided that Rudok and Macklemore should fake betraying him, capture him and take him before Gror to be executed. This way Rudok would retain control of the clan after Kerwyr's death and prevent it from being disbanded as a dishonorable Clan. In addition to this, Rudok would be able to continue secretly fighting for Kerwyr's dream of a Frostbeard Kingdom named Kaz'Ulrah. The next day Kerwyr was led to Gror where he was personally executed by his right hand, Rudok Frostbeard.
Immediately following Kerwyr's death Rudok set out ensuring the Frostbeard Clan would remain untouched by post war reparations, and that Jornheim would remain firmly in their control. Gror was facing increasing criticism and pressure from Zahrer Irongrinder who held most power in Urguan behind the curtains and as a result had to search for other allies. He attempted to befriend Rudok who allowed him to do so in order to maintain control over Jornheim and the Frostbeard Clan. All the while, Rudok and Garrond Frostbeard secretly prepared Kerwyr's heir, Verthaik II Frostbeard, who would take control of the Frostbeard Clan upon coming of age. After the initial few years however, Rudok tired of the work and left to find himself in the wilds, leaving the position of Clan Lord to Garrond who would stay to care for Verthaik and the Clan.
It was during Garrond's reign as Clan Lord that a host of spiders invaded the Hold of Jornheim. Whilst creating a cellar for his brewery, Azaghal Frostbeard dug too deep, opening up a large spider lair which led thousands of spiders from the depths of the mountain into Jornheim. After hours of battle, the Frostbeard soldiers and their Haense friends had to pull back, giving way to the spiders who took Jornheim for their own. Homeless, but determined to retake their home, Garrond ordered that the burnt down town of Vsevograd be cleared out and that a new city be built upon it. New Jornheim was swiftly built, and it's population swelled as Dwarves from all over the world flocked to this new center of trade and knowledge. As the Frostbeards gathered strength to assult Jornheim and take it back from the spiders, a war was brewing in the world.
After years of being raided by the Romstuns, the nations of the world banded together to destroy the powerful human house. Years of silence had left Frostbeard-Romstun relations strained, but when the Romstun's called upon their old friends, the Frostbeards answered the call, against all odds. Despite being so far, both geographically and ideologically from the Grand Kingdom of Urguan, New Jornheim was still under Urguan, which was one of the nations entering the war against the Romstuns. In a show of defiance, the Frostbeards declared independence from Urguan by fighting with the Romstuns. As the armies of the world crashed against the Frostbeard-Romstun shield wall, not one of the warriors thought to turn and retreat. They fought to the end, and despite defeat, earned a reputation for being a loyal and honorable people. Fearing an outright conflict with New Jornheim, Gror officially accepted the bid for independence in an attempt to show that he was in control of the situation. In reality, with his blessing or not, the Frostbeards would have held onto their independence.
After years of building up, Garrond held a town meeting in the New Jornheim Keep and declared the creation of the Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah. Immediately after forming it, he handed the crown and clan lordship over to Kerwyr's son, Verthaik II Frostbeard who was charged with leading the military of the town up until then. After accepting the crown, Verthaik II asked for an exception to be made for him to hold onto Clan Lord until he found a suitable replacement as it is a Frostbeard rule that one cannot be King and Clan Lord. In the following months, Verthaik built up Kaz'Ulrah's military and prepared to re-take Jornheim from the spiders. In the week following his assault, he passed Clan Lord over to his apprentice Hamnil Frostbeard and at the same time granted Edel Frostbeard the power to create his own clan; the Silverveins. Within a few days the assault was led upon Jornheim and the spiders, weakened by years of lethargy were quickly wiped out. In the ruins of the Hold of Jornheim the City of Jornheim was constructed by Hamnil and his workers.
The Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah was quick to settle in the lands of Atlas and set up near the Cloud Temple in a defensible valley by the sea. In a matter of months, the capital city of Kal'Tarak was erected, among the first finished. As a result, a large number of settlers arrived in the city and quickly settled in the apartment section of the city and spent their time mining, chopping trees and farming the fertile ground of the valley. Within weeks, the wealth of Kal'Tarak spread throughout the world and many desired to be under the banner of Kaz'Ulrah. The first settlement to come under Kaz'Ulrah was Southwood, a little prospering town. The kingdom would go through many reigns throughout Atlas such as Garrond Frostbeard, Edel Silvervein, Koralon Onyxheart (Koralon Doomforge) and Thoak Goldhand. Each reign would be a turning point in Kaz'Ulrah's history such as the political disaster in Edel's very short reign and the introduction of the deep court from Thoak Goldhand. In the final years of the kingdom, Kaz'Ulrah would have a severe population drop due to propaganda and negative opinions on the kingdom from Urguanists and the Confederation of Hammers. Because of this, clans such as Grandaxes and Silverveins would leave and with the help of the Urguanists and the Confederation of Hammers would form Agnarumm. With Kaz'Ulrahs population barely a fraction of what it used to be, the morality of Agnarumm grew high and thus the tension between the two were more or less heightened. And so a cold war was made between the two, and many in Kaz'Ulrah knew that their chances of survival were slim and next to none. Despite this many dwed of Ulrah continued their lives until the war broke out between Nordengrad, Arberrang, San'Kala, and Kaz'Ulrah vs the Empire and The Elves. The three nations made the coalition and Thoak knew that their chances of winning this war were also slim. Unlike the previous monarchs before him he was open to unification with Agnarumm and Kaz'Ulrah, however, his focus was on the war. Slowly the capital nations of the Coalition (the group of nations they would call themselves) slowly fell due to the sheer numbers of both empire and elves. Eventually leading to the last standing city of the Coalition, Kal'Tarak, the capital city of Kaz'Ulrah. Knowing that an invasion was coming to High King Thoak asked for help from Agnarumm and Holm the other dwarven nations. However, both refused, some even saying they wished for the kingdom's death. Because of this, the last remnants of the coalition banded together in one last stand in Kal'Tarak, and while they were vastly outnumbered and outgunned the coalition manage to win a valiant defeat. King Thoak wounded and bloodied from the battle slipped away from enemy hands after the battle and hiked up in the mountains before laying into sleep in his tomb. The dwarves of Kaz'Ulrah would scatter, many evacuating the city to go to Agnarumm, Sutica, and many other nations. Some stayed behind and were slain in battle while others ran away.
The Aftermath of the Fall
After the fall of the kingdom the remnants of the coalition would band together and create a new faction. Some, such as the Starbreakers, later went on to join Agnarumm however would still remember Kaz'Ulrah ideals and beliefs. Many dwarfs however would scatter across the vast lands of Atlas. Some taking up refuge with the remnants of the Coalition while others went to Human lands such as Sutica and became merchants. Kaz'Ulrah became a reminder to some that although not Urguan, with enough dedication a kingdom can raise and without determination it may fall just as fast.
Throughout the years, a large amount of holds, towns and cities would find themselves under the banner of Kaz'Ulrah.
- Jornheim was initially built as a small hold in the Northern mountains of the Axios Island, Tahn. After being claimed by spiders, and then reclaimed again by the clans of Kaz'Ulrah, Jornheim was expanded and declared the capital of Kaz'Ulrah in Axios. It was in Jornheim that both the Throne War and War of the Beards was led by the Frostbeard and then Kaz'Ulrah leadership. Jornheim was considered one of the most populated cities by the end of Axios and was frequented by all races.
- New Jornheim was established as a temporary town until Jornheim could be reclaimed from the spiders. New Jornheim was the home of the Frostbeard clan and their ally clans while they fought in the Romstun War. It was also the place where the Kingdom of Kaz'Ulrah was established and served as it's very first capital.
- Kal'Tarak was established as the capital of Kaz'Ulrah in Atlas by High King Verthaik II Frostbeard. It was amongst the first cities built on Atlas and was extremely populated in the early days when everyone was getting settled in the new territory. Unfortunately the untimeley death of Verthaik II Frostbeard and Gorum Frostbeard led to a decline in population as the Kingdom underwent some turmoil. The populace has slowly been returning ever since Torvin Blackaxe became High King.
- Southwood was a small settlement established near current day Belvitz led by a relatively unknown human with great ambitions. The villages main export was wheat and other farming products. It was brought under Kaz'Ulrah by High Ambassador Gorum Frostbeard.
- Kaz'Akstan is a minor Dwarven settlement just outside of Garrond's Vale which has predominantly been a farming community for the majority of its lifetime, with new ambitions leading to some expeditions into the ground below to discover any possible ore formations. It is led by the honorable Mithrad Frostbeard.
- Kal'Thry is a minor dwarven settlement just outside of Garrond's vale. It was built by the Silvervein clan and served as their housing town.
Kaz'Ulrah culture is heavily based off of Frostbeard culture. Progressive thinking, civil strife and armed struggle are all an important part of the nation's and clan's history and as a result there are times in Kaz'Ulrah history when it looked like the Kingdom would collapse only to rise back up as it's customs dictate.
The Kaz'Ulrah salute is a unique salute that was started in the early days of the revolution against Urguan. Upon returning from a skirmish out front in the snow fields around Jornheim, Torvin Blackaxe and Darain Blackaxe approached Verthaik II Frostbeard with clenched fists. After the hard fought battle in the territory surrounding, they were bloody and the battle rage had yet to leave them. In an almost spontaneous and inexplicable motion, they both raised their left hands, and with their clenched fists put them to their forehead yelling out "Death to Urguan!" Verthaik II Frostbeard returned the gesture by dropping his own left clenched fist from his forehead and responding with "Freedom to Dwedmar!" As a result the rallying call of Kaz'Ulrah became "Death to Urguan! Freedom to Dwedmar!" alongside with a left handed fist salute. After the war every High King of Kaz'Ulrah would have their portraits painted while holding the fist salute.
The original form of greeting in Kaz'Ulrah, besides the salute is headbutting. Originating in the early days of Jornheim, back when it was a simple Frostbeard hold, the headbutt was a sign of mutual respect between Dwarves. Legend has it that when Gorum Frostbeard, Kerwyr Frostbeard and Barradin Stormbreaker (then Frostbeard) found the territory where Jornheim would be built, they headbutted each other out of pure excitement for the future that lay before them. Since then, dwarves will typically headbutt one another when they see each other as a way of saying hello and showing how happy they are to see the other Dwarf.
Blackaxe: An old clan brought back to life by Wulfgar Blackaxe, the Blackaxes were a splinter clan and one of the bloodlines of Clan Grandaxe. So they are an Elder clan holding the noble status within the kingdom. Often noted for their fiery red hair and brave acts, these dwedmar seek to strike out as honor bound mercenaries and fortune seekers. The Blackaxe Clan was soon merged back with the rest of the Grandaxe clan under Clan Father Aemich Grandaxe.
Eisenhorn: A newly established clan within Kaz'Ulrah under Randal Eisenhorn. They are vassals to the Goldhand clan. They are hard working folk who often watch over the farms and stables. The Eisenhorns are tight knit and a very friendly clan.
Frostbeard: An Elder Clan, they currently hold the Royalty status within the kingdom. They are a group of loyal and honorable dwedmar, often the great warriors and esteemed politicians. They are sturdy Mountain Dwarves, often finding refuge in snowy peaks and mountains.
Grandaxe: The Grandaxe clan is an elder clan that gifted the Dwarves with numerous rulers and able politicians in the past. These ginger-haired Mountain Dwarves are fierce warriors and honourable companions with revered loyalty to the Dwarves and the Brathmordakin.
Goldhand: An Elder Clan, they currently hold the noble status within the kingdom. They are a group of merchants and workers. Often seeking riches or fame for their deeds. Most have golden hair, although it is not unlikely for them to have black or red hair.
Longmane: A newly established clan within Kaz'Ulrah under Rudok Longmane. They are vassals to the Frostbeard clan. They are known for being rowdy and unruly. They sport long blonde hair and icy blue eyes. Their most defining feature is their height, often found tower over the average dwed.
Onyxheart: A clan of Dark Dwarves formed with the blessing of the main Dark Dwarf clan, the Doomforged. They are known for being expert smiths and very adept in magic, as well as a few being very good fighters.
Silvervein: A clan diverging from their Stonemace lineage, they hold the commoner status within the kingdom. They are much like other clans ready to fight when necessary, but they are also tinkers and devout followers of the Brathmordakin. They are mountain dwarves, making them stocky. They often have jet black hair and blue eyes due to their Frostbeard heritage.
Starbreaker: An Elder Clan which was reformed in Kaz'Ulrah. They are a clan of cave dwarves, mainly with gray skin who are responsible for the discovery of golemancy and are known to be excellent smiths and very loyal to whichever Kingdom they are a part of.
Stormbreaker: A newly formed clan of sea dwedmar under Kaz'Ulrah. They hold the commoner status in the kingdom. Known for their engineering and seafaring. They often engineer siege equipment and craft steamships for the kingdom to utilize. Often recognized by their purplish paint adorning their face.