Kingdom of Riddel
History of the Dwarven nation
Year (as the dwarves counts it)
0-100, Creation of the Dwarves Legend has it that from the remains of the slain giant Austur, the Moradin created the first dwarves.
196-251, The First War Against the Giants. High king Baegifotur is finally victorious, but the price paid in lives lost was high.
252-3100, The First Age of Building. Also called the Age of Learning. The dwarves establish their homes in the mountains and surrounding areas. They tunnel deep through the mountains and learn to mine and do stoneworking. It is a dangerous time where many miners are lost in cave-ins and ongoing fights with other cave-dwelling creatures. Some time during this age the mysterious Seidur Stones are raised. The enormous standing stones monument, on what is currently Afturelding territory, are believed to be put there by giants for some unknown reason. It is believed to hide some sort of riddle or magic.
602-608, The Second War Against the Giants.
1033-1037, The Third War Against the Giants.
2813-2815, The Fourth War Against the Giants.
3101-5500, The Age of Growing. Living conditions became steadily better during a long period. This made the tribes grow, and they also got organised to better withstand the dangers all around. The quality of weapons and armour improves dramatically with new crafting techniques.
4321-4326, The Fifth War Against the Giants.
5501-03, Tribe Kengur is formed The feud between two minor tribes ended when one surrendered to the other, and got adopted into the victorious tribe. A new tribe was formed and took the name given by its enemies, Kengur, meaning Iron Hook. A warlike and brutal tribe with the habit of driving large hooks through their captured enemies and hanging them up on their stronghold walls, as a warning example to others.
5513, The Year of Fire. The volcano known as Ymir erupted violently, destroying the town of Torfadraumur and killing all in one of the Stororde tribes. At the time the majority of records of the early years were kept at the famous library in Torfadraumur. They were all lost, tragically leaving the early dwarven history largely unknown. Some of it remains in dated monuments, and in mouth to mouth traditions. However a treasure of knowledge, stories and historical details was sadly lost in fires of the volcano. Sometimes, in dark humour, Storordings can be heard dropping comments like – ‘that is as stupid as building a library on a vulcanic mountain’.
5514-7546, The Second Age of Building. Much progress was made in construction and mining techniques. During this period of relative peace, many of the impressive dwarven monuments, caves and buildings were constructed. The legendary master builder Stolpi Tveskeggur demonstrated his genius. To this day dwarves young and old are awestruck by his lifelike stone carvings.
5674-5680, The Sixth War Against the Giants.
7547, The Age of Kings begun The Age of Kings is called thus since it saw some of the greatest kings in dwarven history on the throne. It was also a time of war and great unrest, which lead the clans who were loyal to the crown to stick closer together. In no other age has the high king enjoyed such strong support – except for perhaps in the beginning of the Golden Age, but that was not a time of warfare (see below). The Age of Kings lasted for 1166 years.
7547, The First Bifur War (=The First Dwarven War). Tribe Kolskeggur, supported by tribe Skyssa attacks tribe Afturelding, which gets support from tribe Styrmir and Tveskeggur. Vignir Afturelding was elected high king and charged with establishing the peace in the Dwarven Nation.
7551, The First Bifur War ends, with tribe Afturelding and allies being victorius. The terms of surrender were harsh which left the loosing tribes wanting revenge.
7584, The Second Bifur War starts. Yet again tribe Kolskeggur and Skyssa attacks.
7585, Peace is negotiated after the massacre of Blaengur Hill (Raven Hill).
7989-7993, The Seventh War Against the Giants.
8599-8610, The Eighth War Against the Giants. High King Harald Stororde finally established an uneasy peace after 11 years of fighting, but hostilities continued on a smaller scale.
8616, The Clan system established High King Harald Stororde officially establishes the clan system and the laws to govern the clans. He also proclaims the creation of the Wheel of Iron – the eight largest dwarven clans will rule the Dwarven Nation. Thengill council (the King’s council) is created.
8622, Clan Feykir poisoned One of the eight great clans were poisoned and killed, not one member surviving, on an annual clan celebration. The poison was found in their drinking water, and it was never prooved who did this horrid deed. Some fingers were pointed at the Kengur clan, since they shortly after were elevated to be part of the Wheel, being as they were, the largest and most influencial clans among the minor ones.
8635, Enemy army tricked Harald Stororde tricks an invading army into turning back and leaving the dwarves alone. Not a single blow was struck.
8712, Harald Stororde dies under mysterious circumstances, possibly murdered.
8712-8713, The War of Succession. Clan Afturelding attempts to grab the throne before Harald Stororde is even cold in his grave. Clan Stororde accuses them of murdering the king, which leads to hostilities. Clan Styrmir backs Stororde, while Tveskeggur joins in on the side of Afturelding. Clan Kengur made a claim to the throne for themselves, but did not have the force to back it up. The short but bloody conflict is ended by the new clanleader of Stororde suggesting that the throne is left vacant and that the clans shall each rule themselves. This saves face of all combatants, and peace is firmly established. What happened to Harald Stororde remains a mystery.
The Age of Kings end, the Age of Clans begin With the death of Harald Stororde ends the Age of Kings, the coming age is referred to as the Age of Clans, by historians. Though new kings arise in the Age of Clans, no such unity as was seen during the Age of Kings is present. The high kings are elected when the dwarven nation is in danger, but usually they don’t reign for much longer than the threat remains.
8742-8765, The Ninth War Against the Giants. In the early years of the Nineth War the feud of the Aftureldings and Storordings was still dividing the Dwarven Nation, with the Styrmirs and Tveskeggurs choosing sides. It weakened the nation as a whole, since both sides would leave the other to fend for themselves, and skirmishes between the two factions was not unheard of. This created an opportunity for the upstart clan Kengur, which showed surprising skill at diplomacy in bringing the divided forces together under one flag – the King’s. Neither the Aftureldings nor Storordings would agree to see a member of the other side on the throne, but could grudgingly admit that unity was needed, to end the Ninth War.
8748-8766, King “Barelegs” rules. “Together we stand, divided we fall” – was king Toke Kengur’s somewhat opportunistic motto. He got what he wanted and got elected high king, the first in the Kengur clan. He barely managed to get the dwarves to unite, to repell the giants’ army, so that they later could go back to their clan-feuds.
It soon was clear that king Toke was a perverted and crazed ruler, who had few good qualities besides those needed in wartime. The feats of diplomacy were not his own, rather those of his advisors. He soon adapted his most infamous habit of refusing to wear trousers at court, stating that “the King’s soldiers should enjoy their freedom”. Hence his nickname “Barelegs”. It is believed by historians that his skills at fighting, and the preoccupation of the feuding clans, are the reasons why King Barelegs was allowed to rule for a whole 18 years. A more competent (and sane) ruler might have been able to end the war sooner, but who knows.
9979-9982, The Troll Invasion. A huge army of trolls attacks and tries to gain a foothold in the mountains. They have some limited success at first, but the clans elects and rallies under high king Lodi Afturelding. Most trolls are slain or driven away, but some remain hiding in the caves, waiting for their time.
9983-9996, The Troll Plague. Aka the Green Death, or Green Plague. In the wake of the invasion the trolls left a terrible disease behind that threatened to wipe out the whole dwarven population. So terrible were the losses that the clans had to basically start over again in rebuilding their families. The trolls had been driven away, the majority of them killed, but the Green Plague, as it is sometimes called, left the dwarven nation exposed to attack. Help came from an unexpected direction. People of the elves and humans volunteered to aid the dwarves guard their lands, and help care for their sick, at great risk to their own health, since the plague would jump between races. So numerous were the casualities that to this day noone knows how many fell victims to its vile terror.
9997, Queen Dyrgja is elected For the first time in dwarven history a woman was elected to rule all the clans, as high queen, during a time of starvation and disease, in the wake of the horrid plague. Queen Dyrgja Afturelding was the current clan leader, after loosing her husband to the plague. She was known as wise and patient and managed to bring help to the dwarven nation from both elvenkind and humans. Her name is held in high regard among all dwarves, and her 73 year period of rulership did much to enhance the status, rights and freedoms of the dwarven women.
10000, The World did not end Although some seers and self-named prophets proclaimed the ending of the world as the dwarves knows it – in a huge volcanic eruption, with the lava melting the snow to flood the caves, then making the water boil, with demons rising from the depths of the deepest abysses, and so on and so forth – well none of it came to pass. Year 10000 was peacefully celebrated by the clans, with friendly competitions, and no small amount of drinking strong ale. A few sudden illnesses and hangovers aside, most dwarves lived to see the next day, though for some it seemed perhaps a tad blurry.
10000, The Golden Age Begins Queen Dyrgja proclaims that a new age begins this year. Dwarven historians can tell us that her thoughts were on making a new beginning for the survivors of the Green Death, hoping to raise their spirits somewhat. ‘An age of peace and prosperity between all dwarves and all races’, she states, in her famous ‘Speech to the Hearts of All’. In the passionate and moving speech she thanked all who stood by the dwarves during the plague, and pledged that ‘No elf, no human nor gnome, shall ever suffer the wrath of a dwarf – nay, they shall find friendship and hospitality in the lofty mountains. Even now, when our means are meager and our strength is nearly spent. With such friends we still stand, with such friends we go on, and no horror the world will throw at us will make us fall.’