Dwarven History

Knochenkamm Period

Dwarven prehistory begins in Midgard. These ancient tribes, called dvergen, wandered in the bitter cold and stormy weather. The dvergen lived in coastal caves. They used stone axes to hunt various animals such as seafowl and marine mammals, in addition to fishing and gathering. The size of the settlements grew during time, as well as an increase in population and a more settled lifestyle.

The dvergen began taking shelter further in the mountains, but these were contested by the joten, midgardian frost giants. These wars helped to increase the dvergen's knowledge of weapon and armorsmithing. Innovations in pottery and other crafts developed. Also, the fundamentals of elemental magic began to form.

Frieden Period (c3,000 – 2,600 PI)

The first dwarven sailors came across the Green Sea. They landed at what is now Vansludera and traveled south until they discovered the Wyrmspires. Over the next several generations, the dwarves slowly settled southward through the mountain's tunnels, warring with the native kobolds.

A force of hobgoblins began to occupy the southern Wyrmspires which lead to the Dwarven-Goblin Wars. In the Battle of Wasserfallpunkt, an army of outnumbered dwarves defeated the goblin forces three to one.

The dwarven art of atmenschreiben (rune-crafting) appeared and the first histories were written. The Book of Berg is the oldest known existing historical text. Geistlehre, or elementalism, spread and became wholly embraced by the clans.

Südhaupt Period (c2,600 – 1847 PI)

Soon, a strong dwarven state began to emerge with Südhaupt (present day Flachstadt) as its capital and the Ersterberg Clan in charge of administration. Atmenschreiben spread and became a high art. War epics were written and well received. This period is also characterized by the collaboration with human dragontribes through trading, culture and language adaption, and important political alliances.

Kaiserin Kupfer lead the Untergrund empire into a strong period of peace. Dwarven culture began developing rapidly. Crafting techniques became refined as well as literature.

Politics began forming into subtle art for the dwarves. Several clans rose above the others, grabbing political power as the dwarves began restructuring the political and cultural systems. The greatest clans at this time were referred to as the erschreckenungsvoll vier, or 'terrifying four'; the Eisen Clan, the Gelb Clan, the Motte Clan and the Sturzhelm Clan. These four rivals finally turned on each other and began the Rüstungskrieg War.

Eisenreich Period (1,847 – 662 PI)

see Eisenreich Period

The Rüstungskrieg War was finally quelled as the Eisen Clan and its hauptlord, Feuereidechse Eisen or Steinkaiser Eisen took the Marbled Throne and moved the capital to Nordhaupt, renaming it Eisenstadt. Dwarven society at this time had finished its metamorphosis into contemporary feudal Unterian culture. To ensure dwarven culture remained uncorrupted, Steinkaiser Eisen began the Lokalisierung; Untergrund closed its doors to outside influences.

Steinkaiser Eisen ruthlessly persecuted the ancestral geistlehre faith and forced the ruling administration to begin praying only to Ornus. Eisen enforced this new holy crusade by making the high priests into princes of Untergrund. Some dwarven clans refused to convert and were banished. This group migrated westward to the Starlight Mountains and became known as the dream-dwarves.

Untergrund began to grow as Steinkaiser Eisen pushed his empire to the boundaries of the mountains. A series of spectacular military victories were won under the Steinkaiser's rule. Entire tribes of kobolds and goblins were destroyed or brought into slavery. The Riesiger Wars, a campaign against the giants also yielded great rewards.

Steinkaiser Eisen's son, Kaiser Stärke Eisen came into the throne after the death of his father, but was unable to keep his father's iron-fisted image. The clans began to bicker among themselves and were unprepared for the ogre invasions in which thousands of ogres attempted a massive genocide of the dwarves. The final stand was the famous Battle of Himmelhöhle, where the prayers of the losing dwarven priests were answered by the collapsing of the entire cave; an event known as the Geisterdbeben.

Although the ogres were defeated, the empire was devastated. Effectively divided in half, the empire entered into a century long civil war known as the Strassekriege. At first the war merely consisted of north against south factions, but as the wars carried on, soon several factions broke out. The war resulted in large areas of Untergrund being laid waste, a loss of approximately a third of its population, and a general impoverishment.

Untergrund fell into disarray. A plague spread from the piles of corpses known as the tanzenfäule. Famine, theft and murder rose to dizzying heights.

During this time, another war was being fought in the east. The Dämonenhexe War was being fought against an invading force of oni. The oni were viscous opponents due to their use of magic unknown or forgotten to the dwarves.

Rise of the Könige (662 PI – 7 NS)

This period marks the reformation of the empire. The kaiser was still recognized, but was unable to keep the entire empire under his rule. And with the current kaiser, Beschluss Eisen, a 34 year old child, a new leader needed to emerge. This lead to the instating of the Konige; kings of Untergrund. The Nordkonig Tapfer Meister and the Sudkonig Grau Wahrheit ruled over the clans, while still following the edicts of the kaiser and his chancellors. In turn, the hauptlords of the clans followed the edicts of the konige.

Amboss Dachs rose as a religious revolutionary and began to speak out against the Church of Ornus. He and his growing group of followers sought religious freedom and a return to the dwarven roots of geistlehre and the legalization of arcane and shamanistic magic. Dachs and his followers were imprisoned and put to death for heresy. However, his ideals spread still and eighty years later, legal religious persecution and the ban on magic were lifted.

Kaiser Beschluss died without a successor, and so Ulten Streitaxt is chosen by the konige as the new kaiser.

The reich was once again able to be at peace. Cities were rebuilt and alliances were reforged and pressure was building to reestablish relations with outside cultures.

End of Seclusion

The long standing Lokalisierung was declared over and affairs began with Vatharond and later on, Nora itself. Colonies began to form on Vathroni mountain ranges and soon after, dwarven districts in towns, including Dwarfheim in Alexandria.

After the coronation of Kaiser utthilda-streitaxt, the power of the konige began to wane considerably. In an elaborate ceremony in Eisenstadt, the konige gave up their executive powers and returned to their place as hauptlords.

Today

The current Untergrund reich is lead by Kaiser Bekin Streitaxt. He is supplemented by the Rüstungsrat, a cabinet of hauptlords and other dignitaries. They are not involved with the Severing War, but are supplying Vatharond with limited supplies and dwarven troops.

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