The history of the dwarves as old as the stone from which bore them. A deep history that churns through countless ages, written in runes that span the centuries...
First Moradin brought them to life.
Then they built high in their mountain abodes.
And then… then some fell. And became… rotten.
The Duergar emerged after generations of enslavement by the mind flayers. They cried with joy as they emerged back into light… only to find their clansmen back turned. They had abandoned Moradin’s shrine they said. They had forgotten the true way of Dwarfdom they said. They had lost favour with their beloved God. So they said.
The Dark Dwarfs couldn’t believe what they heard. They tried to explain the Illithid’s evil ways. Tried to explain how they were wrenched from their homes and beds and dragged beneath the earth. Deep, to a place of horror and darkness… But it fell on death ears, and thus they became the Duergar.
Centuries of bitter fighting occurred, centuries and more. Neither side abating, neither side willing to concede. Then, for reason unknown, the Duergar moved from their ancestral homeland. They said they would cease fighting and would chase trade and commerce in its place. Many races accepted this, knowing not if it was a fallacy or not, for wonderful gems and minerals rained from the Overlord’s hands. A now, semi-peace exists between the Duergar and their former Kin… Yet the Grudge dwarfs and the Canon Dwarfs know this may not be so. The Grudge Dwarfs have been fighting a new foe underground for a lifespan. They are very secretive about this war. But they have given name of their foe. They call it… Mother… And somehow the Duergar are connected. They are sure of it….
The Clan Detachment
During the fighting years with the Duergar, the dwarfs lived in the capital Urmdamdador. There, a great king lived. His name was Torr Dhanbuff. Wise as he was just, Torr ruled as monarch. He would settle all dispute, drink with his clansmen in the halls and fight shield and axe with his brethren against any enemy. He upheld every Dwarven principle with grace and modesty.
Yet a problem rankled the King of the Dwarfs. He could not sire an heir. This left him ashamed and distraught. He grieved and raged. And his loyal subjects did so to. For it was not fitting for the King to be sonless. It made him weak, it made him look… Undwarven. Magic men far and wide tried to aid the King in his problem. But none could help. And so, he wilted away. A great King. A loved king. But bitter and ashamed. He had let his people down….
What came next was long and drawn out. It was many years before the final blow. Many decades before the inevitable violence…
Torr was an only child. His father’s half thought it only fitting their son’s rule. His mother’s half thought otherwise. Yet it was not leadership which the dwarves really craved. They were a steadfast people who could rely on their own natural affinity to law and order. It was something far fouler. Gold.
Torr had been a very, very rich dwarf. And proper inheritance was a divine right, decreed by the priests of Moradin themselves. Clansmen demanded their sons have the wealth, Clanswomen roared against disorder and disharmony. And the elders saw it slowly happen before their aged eyes. They tried to mend the wounds but grew weary and afraid as they saw the change in their children.
They saw the glint in their eyes, they saw their lips smack and grin, they saw smiles wide. Pervasively wide. Sinisterly wide. And so, greed corrupted the homeland of this stoic people. Both sides of the conflict voracious for Torr’s treasure. Both sides believing it to be their birth right…
A hundred years went by without a clear inheritor. But the landscape was now unrecognisable. The city was divided into two camps. That of the Male Bloodline and that of the Female. And with them their friends, allies and clansmen to whom they had sworn oaths. Bloodshed seemed imminent. The grind of whetstone warbled in the dark halls. The dwarves almost wanted it. Wanted to finally be done with it. But never eager enough to give up their claim to gold. For to draw first would be to lose such claim.
Axes sharpened in the night. Banners raised high. Armour donned.
An elder from both sides went to inspect the inheritance. To ensure it still lay slumbering in the treasury.
But they found it empty.
Anguish, frustration, horror. Neither side could believe it. Neither side could believe they had been fooled. And neither believed the other capable of such a taboo act of thievery. For no dwarf would ever remove the gold from Urmdamdador. No one could. A great spite welled up none the less... Yet there was no bloodshed. With the wealth removed, the dwarves put down their arms. But the damage was done. The two sides could not find it in themselves to forgive or pardon the other. Nor could they dream of apologizing. Dwarven pride knows no bound.
With her clansmen and oath brothers, Torr’s mother side left. With her warriors, carpenters and children… they left. They never wanted to abandon their dwellings, for it was all they were. But they could no longer call it home either.
So south they went, and neither dwarven faction said a word to each other as they did.
So did dwarven greed split the great dwarven clans. So did dwarven greed separate friends and lovers. So did dwarven avarice sour a most proud history.