The Fallen Kingdoms of Arillion.
Long before the Dwarves came to Arillion they dwelt in the lands far to the west, beyond the Erringgrim (The Mountains of Ice). Those lands are called The Forgotten Lands in the histories of Dwarves and Men. The Erringrim runs from the North Rents southwards to the very tip of the South Fief, cutting Arillion off from the landmass beyond to the west. A vast and wide region of mountains it is.
The Dwarves, who for many thousands of years struggled against all the creatures of those horrendous lands took thought to relocate beyond the mountains, and head east. Their King, Hastofen led them through the harsh cold ways within the mountains, many hundreds died upon the journey. But at last they won through, and entered Arillion north of a vast woodland, and they named it Mund.
It was here that King Hastofen chose his domain, for the stone was strong, and it shimmered in the evening light of that first day in these new lands. Hastofen directed his people to build a wide settlement, constructed from the stone of the mountains.
Now Dwarves are best known for their mining, and stone craft. And it is still true to this day. But Mundhlor was different to any kingdom that they had in the Forgotten Lands. Mundhlor was built upon, within, and before the very mountains from which they excavated the stone. Farmsteads lay before the feet of the mountains, wide lands rich for the farming. A city began to form which ran right up to the walls of stone, where within, and upon, the mountainous realm of Hastofen began to grow.
After some hundreds of seasons (Years to both Dwarves and Men), Mundhlor became vast. Hastofen felt that their kingdom, was so mighty that none could assail it. Yet, still they fortified it further. Great walls surrounded the farmsteads, and smaller towns grew within. But upon the heights of the mountains the citadels of the Dwarves did stand proud.
In time men did trade with the dwarves, and a kind friendship grew amongst many. The Men who dwelt to the east and south became allies, and the dwarves named them Other-kin. Those times were rich indeed, for the Men of Dade did trade much, and the men of Redsone likewise. But, Mundhlor grew in prosperity, and in mining they found much in gold, jewels, and iron craft.
It was the cruel mind of Temulkar that did turn to Mundhlor with hatred, and it’s destruction. Temulkar, the eldest of the Children of Mara. Three children of the Gods, given to the fairest of maidens to carry to birth. They were gifted to bring the lands of Arillion into a golden age of prosperity for all.
But Temulkar sought not the glory of their prophecy, but darker thoughts filled his mind. And in secret he studied all that was cruel and wicked. After two thousand seasons he took thought upon his brothers, and with blood magic and torture he bound his brothers minds to his. Subjects in thraldom to his will. Dark sorcery did Temulkar command, and with great power his dark arts became unsurpassable by all.
Deep in the south of the South Feif, upon the shoulder of the last mountain he built his Fortress, Astiol. There he was growing further in his sorcerous ways, and his time had come.
It was a mild early spring morning when Temulkar did strike. Deep in the catacombs of Astiol he bread great worms of power. Serpents, huge, wingless but swift. Strong fore legs they had and vast jaws, armoured platelets adorned them and hatred flowed through them, all by Temulkar’s design.
From the mountains Temulkar did come. Striking hard upon his serpentine steed. Fire swept down the mountainside, and consumed the towns below. The citadels fell to the strength of the great worms, and the doors of Mundhlor held for a time. Many hundreds of dwarves died that morning, in such a firestorm none prevailed. For two days the great beasts of Temulkar and his brothers circled the mountains, casting fires into all entrances to Hastofen’s abode. Then upon the eve of the second day, they struck the gates to the mountain realm and broke through…
The fires within the mountain burned for many days, smokes whirled into the lofty skies for many miles, and Mundhlor was lost…
Word spread swift upon the wind, and roads, that Mundhlor was taken. The men of Redstone, and Dade sent messages to Olban, and to the elves of the Ralloth asking for aid. And as spring turned to summer, a great host of Men and Elves drew forth across the planes before the feet of Mundhlor. The Alliance was founded, and they fought within the halls of the mountain for many days, and their loss was uncountable…
Many seasons passed, and quiet watch was set. Awaiting a time when Temulkar would be at ease, awaiting a time to strike once more. For those who had survived the onslaught of the great worms were fuelled with an immeasurable hatred… And King Hastofen more than any…
In time they did strike, and too many were lost, yet it was the valiant efforts of the Elves of the Ralloth that did slay the worms, and hunted Temulkar and his brothers deep into the Erringrim where they fell to their fierce anger. But Temulkar’s spirit endured and wandered in the dark places of those cold peaks. Waiting for his time once more…
King Hastofen, and many of the Great Lords of Men and Elves died in that battle, and too many tears were shed. No dwarf returned to Mundhlor, and in exile they marched east into the lands without purpose or home…
Thank you for reading, it was quite long. But much needed to be said.