The duregir

With Abixlion ascended the dwarves he once subverted, his dark dwarves, were free to make their own choice, unfortunately for the mortal world, the would be a terrible one.

The lack of a draconic overlord resulted in a fight for control, the first few weeks witnessed a bloody conflict, hundreds died trying to claim lordship over the others.  But inevitably one rose to the top, a mixture of brute force and cunning, those he couldn’t kill he bribed with high positions in his new army.

This leader took the title of Zar, and he proclaimed the whole world would belong to the duregir, the dark dwarves.  He doubled the size of the population and trained them all how to fight, in just a few years he was ready to march on his enemies.

And when they marched the mountains shook, the original dwarf race was devastated by the attack, the duregir’s weaponry was beyond anything they could imagine.  In just a few short months the dwarves were all but destroyed, only one stronghold kept the attackers at bay.

This one hold used what little time they had to bury exposed entrances, and the only gate that was accessible was out of the reach of the duregir war machines.  The duregir laid siege to the stronghold, cutting it off from the world.


Demonic Pacts

The duregir tortured and killed every dwarf they captured, offering up many as tribute to their creator Abixlion. Unknown to them their deity had been busy, after initially trying to seize the souls residing in the afterlife, he was defeated by the celestials.

When Abixlion settled on to his home plane of fire, he turned his attention back to his people, he felt a new power communicating to him from another realm, it offered him power beyond measure, and in turn he offered this connection to his duregir.

He communicated directly with the Zar, and gifted him the means to channel the demonic forces from beyond the dark plane. The previously unknown realm, offered power to his people, a power his corrupted mind gleefully accepted.

It willed on the Zar, urged him out of the mountains and to new lands beyond, all the while feeding on the suffering he left in his wake.  With each month that passed the duregir claimed more lives, the elves of the continent above were first, slaughtered in their thousands, drawing the attention of Elfinihiar who urged her people to return home, fearing what lay ahead.


Subjugation

The demons were still eager for the duregir to spill more blood, but the dwarven greed was far stronger, they knew of the riches below the surface, gold, silver, obsidian, and they wanted them all.  Before the Zar would leave the safety of land he would have it reinforced, his plan; a great ring of stone built around the coastline, with batteries of his infernal weapons.

It took twenty years, and claimed the lives of tens of thousands of slaves, but the wall was completed, along with a host of ships.  Each mighty vessel could hold a thousand duregir, with which the Zar intended to storm the entire would, at once.

Unfortunately for the rest of the world, the duregir scourge would soon engulf Terrainia, within just five years the duregir conquered the planet.  The human race was cast into slavery, forced to mine the wealth of the world, to build the duregir fortresses, and worse of all, serve as sacrifices their demonic allies.


The Uprising

The duregir stranglehold on the world lasted for a thousand years, but the demons beyond the gate waited for their chance.  They had the duregir digging deep into the planet to find the core to and set them free.

The original Zar had long passed, but his latest successor was just as cunning and realised that to set the demons free; was to lose their dominion over Terrainia. So he began to bring an end to sacrificial payments to the demonic forces.

But, all was not well within the hierarchy of the duregir nation, over the millennia the race had become divided, and infighting had become commonplace, the order to stop demonic pacts only fuelled the fires of dissent. 

Each island had become partially independent, with its slaves, ore, food and material being sold and traded across the oceans, each house controlled one foundry or forge, and these forges controlled the flow of wealth.

It was this division that allowed the first rebellion to surface, the slaves had learned when the army was at its weakest, and how long the duregir ships would be gone.  Across the world slaves were beginning to revolt, some more successfully than others, but with such widespread uprising the duregir fought for reinforcements, often sinking ships from opposing forge-holds.

Several human slaves became leaders of men, and gathered such a following it drew the attention of the dragon gods.  This was what they had been waiting for, Rayis and Victirus stretched out their power and infused a selected few, these demi humans were tasked with bringing an end to duregir domination.


The Fall of Zarak

Over the next few months the duregir empire buckled, and many forge-holds were lost in the initial upraising.  The leaders of each faction fought to return home, but many were slain by their own kin in a bid to reign supreme.

The new Zar was getting on in age and was soon turned on by his own subordinates, and a new Zar was named, but this made the situation worse, once home many faction leaders felt they should be the new Zar and civil war broke out.

The mightiest forge-hold, Zarak, was the original one built by the first Zar, this is where the fighting was the most intense, for the faction that claimed that forge claimed the title.  The war lasted for four years with no side gaining a decisive advantage, until a forgotten enemy showed them all they were still around.

The dwarves had used the civil war to sneak into the forge-hold, the surviving dwarf king leading the raid.  He had taken just fifty of his precious warriors with him to take advantage of the discord, and when the day’s battle raged its loudest they detonated the stores of the mystical black powder that the duregir were so proud off.

The mountain shook, the forge-hold began to collapse, Thaiek’s attention was drawn and he looked down on his forgotten children with sorrow.  As the dust cleared and the rocks settled, only the King remained standing, stood across from a hundred duregir including the reigning Zar.

From above a ray of light burrowed through the thousands of feet of rock within seconds and bathed the King in a radiant glory. Infused with divine power the king vanquished his immediate enemies, wielding a hammer unlike any seen before.

Within moments the only duregir left standing was the new Zar, he had held back expecting the king slain by his subordinates, but he was wrong.  The Zar also wielded a hammer, one of pure obsidian, forged in demonic fire it seemed to absorb all light around it. The Zar held his weapon aloft and charged.

The King glanced at the shaft of his new hammer, its inscription simply, Thaiek. With that he remembered the legend of the creators and a fury swelled in his belly and he charged forward.

The two hammers collided mid-air, the obsidian hammer was nothing compared to a divine artefact and it shattered into a thousand pieces on impacts, the Hammer of Thaiek was event slowed as it followed through and connected with the Zar’s skull and ending his reign in an instant.

The duregir retreated from the collapsed mountain and the civil war ended, tens of thousands had died and none had the strength to fight on, no one knew what had happened to the Zar, but no knew one was appointment, each house looked to its own for leadership as they retreated deep into the underdark. 

Meanwhile the dwarven king fought his way to the last bastion of dwarf kind, he laid the hammer on a stone pedestal in his throne room, and summoned every dwarf to his great hall.

The dwarf king spoke to his people, declaring his time was at an end, but proclaiming that Thaiek had returned and that he would guide them and duly appointed a new council to rule in his absence. His last action was to lay down a prophecy of another dwarf that would find the Hammer of Thaiek and restore the dwarf race to their rightful place.

 

The age of oppression was over, it was now the Age of Man.

       
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