TEXT | On Dwarven Royalty

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ON DWARVEN ROYALTY
A collection of ancient tomes detailing several members of dwarven royalty from the Age of Stone. Recovered and transcribed by Odilia-az-Mythforge, a myriad of her own writings accompanied these ancient writs; among them, sketches of varying proof, a portrait of one such member of royalty, and various quoted works from dwarves of old could be found within this assemblage of script.

- MASTER INDEX POST -

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INTRODUCTION

Hello! Odilia-az-Mythforge here! Though many know me not for being much of the scholarly sort, none of dwarven blood can resist the allure of discovering what lies in wait within the deepest reaches of the earth. After spending an unhealthy amount of time within the libraries of Kal-Shathur's outpost myself, however - I've pieced together a fine collection of writings that detail much of the dewizim's lost history from before the Age of Myth - ancient times, even for those of the pre-Calamity. Tomes and the like, that is, from the Age of Stone, alongside artifacts once graced by the touch of ancient dwarven lords and kings we still revere today, so that those of the future may continue to learn from the past. And to, uh. Make sure, even if such is lost, we may look back on more recent writings such as this menagerie of works.
Regardless - though lengthy, certainly - I implore that those who are interested should read the texts therein.
In loving memory of Hethina Stokyr and Benjamin Buckley, it is only by their bravery and sacrifice that we may read these scriptures of old. So please - enjoy.
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Beneath this, replicas of four signatures - those made by the four kings of Enarion's great holds - marked the page, discovered from a letter found within the tomb of Urngor Goldhand.

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UNDERKING HALDOR, THE GREAT
- AZARDIM -

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Founder of Azardim—the holy city of the dwarves—established sometime after the birth of the Barakzigil, when the Deep Roads were made dark, and when the Earth Mother fell silent. With the Kelkarel on his head, the crown of Azardim, a diadem that “awoke the otherworldly light of the deep realms that had gone dark,” Haldor ascended into the great cavern of Sulungar, where the holy city of Azardim was therein created. It is noteworthy that Haldor was a rather humble dwarf for his position, opting to not wear the crown of Azardim, the Kelkarel, on a day-to-day basis. Instead, leaving it within a place called the Kazrur—what can only be assumed to be a great treasury or vault of the holy city of Azardim—it is unknown as to what happened to the Kelkarel since it had been passed to the Underking Haldorath; that said, it might be an understatement to say that the Kelkarel was, perhaps, the single-most important artifact of all of dwarvenkind.

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HALDOR'S ASCENT
When the Deep Roads had gone dark, and the dewizim were estranged and isolated, the Barakzigil were born in the deep, and terror befell the dwarves. In disarray, they were slain in the dark, taken and consumed by beasts of malice and ambition. It was during this time that Haldor rose with the Kelkarel upon his brow. The diadem itself awoke the otherworldly light of the deep realms which had gone dark, and the sight of it heartened the dewizim, reminded of the time before the darkening, who rallied with Haldor in a great host.

Together he led them upward, into caverns seldom traveled, winning great victories against the Barakzigil, who were astonished at the ethereal light awoken by the Kelkarel, a light they had never known. Far did they travel, and ever higher did they go, until they came to the great cavern of Sulungar, and there, after a rede from the holy stone about them, Haldor and the dewizim founded the city of Azardim, whose three gates serve as bulwarks against the dangers of the deep, and as gateways into the greatest home of the dwarves.

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THE MEANING OF STRENGTH
A beardling once asked Haldor the Great what it meant to be strong.

He hoisted the beardling up and carried them to the portico of the great Mirultar of Azardim. "What do you see?" he asked.

"I see great pillars, carved and covered in gems and shiny stones."

"You are right, that is what I see, too. But what do you know?"

The beardling grew confused at this question, and so Haldor carried them to the base of one of the pillars and bade them to try and push it down. "I cannot," the beardling replied.

"And why is that?" Haldor asked.

"It's too heavy," the beardling said, a hint of frustration in their tone.

"Ah, there's what you know. The carvings and ornate gems on this pillar are precious things, won through time and skill and care, but they do not make the pillar heavy. Beneath all of the decoration is solid stone. It is not as beautiful to behold as the carving, and it does not shine like the gems, but if it were cracked, the slightest push - even from the smallest beardling - might cause the pillar to crumble, no matter how intricate its chiseling or how shiny its gems. Do you agree?"

The beardling nodded, sure that they could push down the pillar if it were cracked.

Haldor smiled before beginning again, "To be strong is to be like a pillar, young one. First you must be sturdy in your core, in duty and diligence. Then—"

"Then you can be decorated?" the beardling interrupted.

Haldor barked a laugh. "Not quite. Look up, lad, and tell me again. What do you see?"

The beardling craned their neck upward, "A roof."

"You are right, that is what I see, too. And what holds that roof up?" Haldor asked patiently.

"The pillars!" exclaimed the beardling.

"Right again. A pillar is nothing without something to hold up, and what makes a pillar strong is not how much weight it can bear, but the weight it does bear. So it is with the dewizim, first we must find strength in ourselves, and then we must put that strength to a purpose - something to hold up. And look," he gestured down the long row of columns that formed the Mirultar. "Rarely does a pillar stand alone. Many pillars all hold up the same thing, they share a purpose. In fact," Haldor continued, "each of us in this city shares a purpose, every one of us helps to hold up the same thing. Do you know what that thing is?"

The beardling's brow furrowed and their eyes grew thoughtful.

After a moment Haldor gave the answer. "The city itself, lad. Azardim. The home we made when our people had none. Each one of us works to make it what it is, each of us is a pillar among many pillars. Some of us are strong and sturdy already, and some of us," he laid a hand on the young dwarf's shoulder, "are still being built."

"I see..." the beardling's voice trailed. "So... eventually I'll be strong enough to help hold something up?"

"Yes," Haldor said through yet another smile, "and then you can be decorated in all the skill and knowledge of which you are capable, as gems and carvings cover this column. But remember, those qualities are only as mighty as your core, in here," he pointed to the beardling's heart. "Without that they are feeble, like a pillar that's cracked."

"Is that why you don't wear your decoration?" the beardling asked pointedly, pointing to Haldor's head.

"The Kelkarel?" Haldor brought a hand to his unadorned brow. "Perceptive, young one. I do not wear the diadem when I walk the avenues of Azardim. I leave it in the Kazrur, because it is just that. Decoration. The Kelkarel matters less than the contents of the head that wears it. No doubt it is a mighty gift, but wielding it is not what makes me strong, rather it is in how I wield it, and why."

Haldor kneeled and placed his hands on the beardling's shoulders. "All I do, all we must do, is for the good of Azardim, for the good of kin. That purpose is the meaning of strength."

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UNDERKING HALDORATH, HALDOR'S DESCENDANT
- AZARDIM -

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The father of the four founders of Enarion’s great holds, it was during the Underking Haldorath’s reign that the holy city of Azardim fell to the Barakzigil. Near the start of his reign did Dungrin—a well-renowned stonemason—leave the safety of the holy city of Azardim to reach Enarion’s surface, the first of the dwarves to see the sun and the stars. Notably, it was Haldorath’s lax vigil upon the Barakzigil that allowed for their forces to surge from the depths; in Haldor’s time, frequent patrols to cruelly cull the numbers of the Barakzigil were conducted—a tradition Haldorath did not continue. As a result of being driven from the holy city of Azardim, it was speculated that this was the reason as to why he was assassinated by unseen hands; some must have held grudges with how he ruled, as he was responsible for the dwarves being driven from their home.
Upon his assassination, it was then that Haldir—the eldest of Haldorath’s four sons, the founder and Kazadun of Haldir-Zel—organized a great descent. The First Descent into the Deep Roads, as to reclaim the holy city of Azardim from the Barakzigil's clutches.
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KING HALDIR
- HALDIR-ZEL -


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The first of the Underking Haldorath’s four sons, King Haldir was the founder and first Kazadun of Haldir-Zel, Ordheim in its territory, aptly named in his likeness. Though not much is known of King Haldir, it is widely believed that his son—a dwarf by the name of Heralvur, of whom proclaimed himself Kazadun of Haldir-Zel when his father was slain by an omralak at Tur Kalor—was a proponent to the beginnings of the Great Feud that ravaged the north for hundreds of years. To note, Haldir died before Erlingur did, but it was not long after Erlingur was slain by Arcimanus did King Farnur cut ties with Haldir-Zel, of which led to King Heralvur confronting his cousin upon the steps of the Silvertine Halls of Narunzahar. No records of Haldir’s founding were sadly found within Krondheim’s outpost, of which I have taken to calling Delegost—a New Regost in modern translation, as the resting place of many dwarves and many of the Falladrum.
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KING HERALVUR
- HALDIR-ZEL -

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After the death of his father, Haldir, at the battle of Tur Kalor, King Heralvur declared himself Kazadun of Haldir-Zel—and not only that, but Kazadun of all the newly-founded holds that now existed upon Enarion’s surface: the Underking. His cousins, the brothers of Haldir and Kazaduns of the other great holds, disregarded the claims of Heralvur. To be recognized as the Underking—a high title—dwarven tradition stated that one must be crowned within the Mirultar of the holy city of Azardim; only then could one be truly recognized as the Underking of all dwarvenkind. When tensions grew between the holds of Haldir-Zel and Narunzahar, however—when Arcimanus, one of the mightiest dwarves to originate from Haldir-Zel killed Erlingur, the only son of Narunzahar’s Kazadun—it was no surprise when King Farnur cut ties with King Heralvur, forgoing communication with Haldir-Zel. Widely believed by dwarven scholars of the past that what happened next was what broke the cattle's back, and what started the Great Feud of the north, the newly-appointed King Heralvur marched upon the steps of Narunzahar, demanding a pledge of fealty from his silent uncle. It was then that the two did battle, King Farnur issuing forth his own armies as the blood of kin spilled that day, the impetus to the Great Feud—an affair that lasted for hundreds of years through pre-Calamity times.

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THE IMPETUS OF THE GREAT FEUD

There is much debate among historians as to when the Great Feud truly began. It is widely accepted that the event that instigated it was the battle between Haldir-Zel and Narunzahar on the latter hold's steps, when the newly-appointed lord of Haldir-Zel Heralvur claimed lordship over the holds of the surface. Whether his claim was rightfully made or in err is another matter of debate, most likely fueled by generations of propaganda that has sewn divisions that thrice now have erupted into renewed periods of war.

But as always, history proved to be more complex than what is widely held as fact. It is this author's opinion that the Feud was set in motion many seasons prior, with the assassination of Haldorath at the hands of unseen assailants, purportedly as recompense for his craven loss of Azardim. Though it is important to note his four sons each stood to claim much from the seat vacated by their father, and so each of them grew distrustful of the next. Critics will point out that dwarven unity persisted even after Haldorath's death; "how else would the dewizim have fielded massive armies, composed of the levies of every hold, that undertook the First Descent?" they will no doubt ask. Well, one need only look at the timeline to see how fraught that undertaking was.

There were showings of unity, yes, great battles won by combined arms, and the Falladrum led by the Twin Swords, the greatest warriors from Haldir-Zel and Narunzahar, certainly showcase the combined might of the dewizim, and yet behind all that valor stood the uncertainty of succession, and the deep doubt of Haldorath's four sons. They would not agree that Haldir, Haldorath's eldest son, was heir of Azardim and lord of the surface holds unless he was crowned in the Mirultar of the holy city as tradition demanded, and so when Haldir perished leading his forces at Tur Kalor and his son, Heralvur, sought to end the First Descent and proclaim himself lord of Haldir-Zel and all of the surface holds, none of his uncle's would recognize his claim.

Then came the death of Farnur's son at the hands of Arcimanus, the warrior of Haldir-Zel, and Farnur's breaking off of all communication with Heralvur because of it, and the pulling back of both holds' forces from the Descent.

And then did Heralvur march, and on the steps of Narunzahar demand a pledge of fealty from his silent uncle, who issued forth his own armies, and the blood of kin stained the fountainheads of the Airon in the first battle of many. All of this fell on succession, and perhaps the staunch tradition around it which cast doubt, depending on who you ask, on the young Heralvur's claim.

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KING THORIN, THE RULER OF CRAFTERS
- DEL-SULUN -

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The third son of the Underking Haldorath, King Thorin was the founder and first Kazadun of Del-Sulun, known today as Delzoun, named in reference to the great cavern that the holy city of Azardim resided within—Sulungar. Best known for being one of the most legendary of blacksmiths to have ever existed—one of the greatest smiths to have lived during the Age of Stone alongside his rival, Drakkender—King Thorin and his third son, Drengar, had unquestionably reached the highest levels of craftsmanship during their time. From magical weapons and anvils to automated limbs and grand sets of armor, King Thorin—the “ruler of crafters, painters, and many more” skills—was the finest craftsman of them all. “His hammer would beat on steels of many kinds, when the sun rose and when the moon conquered the sky.” According to an account from Auku, a lingering spirit of an ancient dwarf from Haldir-Zel, King Thorin “held great promise as a blacksmith and king alike.” Though rumor had it “he preferred the forge more than the crown,” he was an “unequivocally kind and welcoming” dwarf, a king many adored.
And a king that I myself adore! Between King Thorin and Drakkender, the two of these legendary blacksmiths are my greatest idols. I can only hope to match their works one day, though I fear such a day is still many centuries off—just gotta keep working at it!

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THE LIGHTING OF THE SMITH'S FIRE, DEL-SULUN
Fittingly, Haldorath's third son delved his halls second to last among his four brothers. Thorin's first thought when he gazed upon the high mountains was what metals and minerals lay beneath, and how he might reach them. With fine hammers and chisels, he and his band of like-minded dwarves, of many skills but smiths and artisans all, searched the mountainsides for rich veins of metal. They searched for long hours, though what they eventually found was a great vein of gold that spiraled and twisted deep into the earth, and mining it they came to the brink of a cavern glittering with metals of many kinds.

"Our own little Sulungar," Thorin laughed, referencing the cavern where Azardim rested. And so the hold was named Del-Sulun, a New Sulun upon the surface.

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DRENGAR MYTHFORGE
- DEL-SULUN -

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While it’s unknown if Drengar was ever made Kazadun of Del-Sulun, a biographical text found within the tomb of Vezrama Gilthammer—a blacksmith originating from the halls of Del-Sulun, and a member of the legendary Falladrum—suggested that Drengar had a forge-hall within Del-Sulun that consisted of many of the finest craftsmen he could scout from around Enarion. Furthermore, Drengar is believed to be the only one of King Thorin’s three sons that continued with their father’s art of blacksmithing. A dwarf believed to be the progenitor of the Mythforged line, the surname of King Thorin and Drengar discovered after the recovery of one of their magical anvils, it was a name that I myself adopted—not as a means of claiming to be related to them by blood by any means, but rather as a show of my commitment in continuing with their awesome craft.
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KING BRUNAR
- KAL-SHATHUR -

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The second son of the Underking Haldorath, King Brunar was the founder and first Kazadun of Kal-Shathur, known today as Krondheim, named for its location over the eastern waters of Enarion. Arguably the son of the Underking Haldorath with the least information on his disposition and kingdom, Kal-Shathur was notably the largest of the four great holds of the north, though it’s speculated that King Brunar and King Thorin had pleasant relations given their neighboring borders and proximity—at the least, until the events that lead to the Great Feud transpired, as seen by a miniature carving of a dwarf by the name of Urngor Goldhand that was found in Urngor’s tomb in Delegost; a small figurine that was created by both King Brunar and King Thorin, a joint creation between the two brothers. It is currently unknown if King Brunar had any next of kin.

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A sketch of the figurine in question lies on the page here.

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THE DELVING OF KAL-SHATHUR
When Brunar, the second son of Haldorath, heard of the surface, he was not content to take any open pathway, and gathered a host of his most skilled miners and cavers.

"We will do as our ancestors did in the time when the world was moved by but a word," he grinned.

And so a great excavation began. Brunar's toils were long, and the caves meandered, but finally he broke through to light, and poked his head up to find they had dug right into the middle of a giant encampment. The giants mistook the dwarves for overgrown rabbits, and so did not kill them at first, but when Brunar began to speak, they chased the dwarves from their camp, and Brunar ran to the sea, where he gazed in awe at the clashing of the waves and the endless blue.

He eventually returned to dig a new tunnel, one that overlooked the sea itself, away from the lands of giants in the steep northward hills of the Herzals, and named it Kal-Shathur, the Watch upon the Water.

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KING FARNUR
- NARUNZAHAR -

☰☰☰☱☱☱☲☲☲☳☳☳☴☴☴☵☵☵☶☶☶☷☷☷☰☰☰

The fourth son of the Underking Haldorath, King Farnur was the founder and first Kazadun of Narunzahar, known today as Haldheim, named as a result of the silvery deposits of marble and quartz found within, translating to the Silvertine Halls. The first of his brothers to establish a hold upon the surface of Enarion, despite being the youngest amongst the four, the Silvertine Halls of Narunzahar have notably been sealed since the Calamity. Known today for its countless feuds with Haldir-Zel, all a result of the actions of Arcimanus, King Heralvur, and decades of dwarven propaganda festering before them, the Silvertine Halls of Narunzahar were ones steeped in mysticism and magic, King Farnur himself adopting a great interest in the “luminous bodies'' that traced the dome sky of Enarion’s surface. Loving his only son, Erlingur, quite dearly, it was no surprise when he cut off communications with Haldir-Zel when he had fallen to the hands of its mightiest warrior, Arcimanus. In a letter found written by King Farnur within Erlingur’s tomb, he promised Erlingur that he would find justice.

lETTER.png


The letter in question.


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THE FOUNDING OF THE SILVERTINE HALLS

Despite being the youngest of Haldorath's four sons, Farnur was the first to found his own hold. He was ever adventurous and quick to make decisions, certain that his thoughts and instincts were gifts to be trusted, and so he picked where he wished to delve his halls without much delay, convinced his first choice was correct.

Chief on his mind and the minds of those who traveled to the surface with him was pious study of the luminous bodies that traced the dome sky. Wandering at night, for when the dwarves first came to the surface traveling at night left them less blind, he sat by the bank of a stream and looked up at the points of light above him. There he sat, and it was a good place. In the mountains nearby was where he and his companions first delved their halls, which took on a light as luminous as the moon and stars that Farnur gazed at by the stream, for when they delved they found white stone, marble and quartz, that they polished and inlaid into their creations, earning the burgeoning hold the name Narunzahar - the Silvertine Halls of Farnur.

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ERLINGUR, HALCYON SAGE
- NARUNZAHAR -

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The only son of King Farnur, heir to the Silvertine Halls, cloistered scholar, herald of the arcane, runespeaker, brilliant spellforger, enlightened weaver of wordstuff, all-father to dewi magii, first of dewi’s wizards, father of our runes, herald of all spells and rituals finespun, the Sage of the Hadmir, bearer of the Argent Edge, and legendary commander of the Falladrum: Erlingur. Countless titles aside, truly a legendary figure from the Age of Stone, Erlingur was a dwarf loved by his people. When compared to Arcimanus, of whom cut down swathes of the Barakzigil out of hate against his enemy during the First Descent, Erlingur did so out of a love for his fellow dwarf, swinging his blade “for the legacy of [his] people writ large in unwithering stone.” When King Haldir fell in battle to the omralak in Tur Kalor, it was Erlingur and his group of warriors, the Falladrum, that were the ones tasked with taking command of the First Descent, assigned with the mission of killing that very same omralak—a pallid cold-god. First meeting Arcimanus during the First Descent when he and his ally, Auli, were separated from the host of dwarves at Gathlim’s Grief, it was not long after that the two met Drakkender within Old Forge, and were entrusted with the Twin Swords. Naranak and Ankerdak, the two weapons that would sing at the head of the Falladrum, the Argent and Ebon Edges; the latter of which would eventually come to be Erlingur’s demise at Arcimanus’ hands.
Though the remaining information on Erlingur and his fate with Arcimanus and the omralak can be read in the On Arcimanus tomes discovered, it was upon the very gate to the Deep Roads found within Delegost—that outpost of Kal-Shathur, Krondheim—that Erlingur’s body was laid to rest, from whence the malmmute our party had slain had also risen from; a stone beast of the Barakzigil that even the ancient dewi had trouble with.
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A depiction of a portrait of Erlingur, still surprisingly intact after all this while.

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OF THE ARCANE
Erlingur, cloistered scholar, runespeaker, herald of the arcane. Brilliant spellforger, enlightened weaver of wordstuff, all-father to dewi magii.
Born to low men, excellence and merit saw the wisdom rise of Haldorath's prodigal son. A spell splitter, artificer and wonder bringer of epic repute, saw royal coffers revivify.
First of dewi's wizards, father of our runes, herald of all spells and rituals finespun. In his day, Erlingur saw wealth flow in fountains and pour through streets, first ever to aurify.
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ERLINGUR OF THE SILVERTINE HALLS
As a beardling, Erlingur was characterized by two things: his ready laughter, which would ring out at even the most absurd of things, and his precociousness. Raised in the Silvertine Halls, the beardling son of Kazadun Farnur was errant, never doing the things he was meant to do when he was meant to do them. When his tutor would seek to educate him he would be found hacking away gleefully at training dummies in the arena, and when the master of arms sought him out for the very same training Erlingur would be found nose deep in a book in some quiet corner, still and silent as he absorbed every rune.
Yet what the beardling put his mind to he exceeded at without exception, and quickly the dewizim of Narunzahar came to love Erlingur, whose bright laughter turned to sage words as he grew, and none so loved him as his father, Farnur.
When Erlingur's beard had grown full, Farnur taught him...
[!]

The following pages have been torn from the book at odd angles, leaving the book's contents too little to fill out its hardcover.


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ERLINGUR
Heir to the Silvertine Halls and bearer of the Argent Edge, to walk in wisdom was his unuttered yet unceasing pledge. Ruminant scholar, stonespeaker and Sage of the Hadmir, in the First Descent his strategy and tact was without peer.
Songs would he raise with kin so that the terrors might hear the comings of his host and quake and tremble in fear. For the Twin Swords together with Falladrum were unmatched, and great swaths of the enemy in their furor they dispatched.
Yet those who loved him most cared less for his skill at arms than the kindness and insight with which he enlightened and charmed. Slow was he to anger, and quick to remind the dewizim why it was they risked their lives: the legacy of their people writ in unshifting stone, and the kin they lost in the deep, the dewizim's first home.
All that he did, he would ask before he would begin: do my actions bring honor to and uplift my kin? And when friendship between Haldir-Zel and Narunzahar grew thin, the bond that defied feuding was that between the Twin Swords: the brutal edge of ebon, the wrathful blade Ankerdak, and the argent-edged weapon of this sage, Naranak.
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