The Cosmoscape Chronicles
The dwarven people of the country of Ankor Duraz have a long and tumultuous history. Every dwarf here can trace his or her roots to the ancient kingdom of Khaz Molakka. The once mighty kingdom sat near the northern part of the Mith’Gor Mountain range in the area known as the Ironwrought Peaks. Thousands of years ago under those snow capped mountains the three great dwarven cities that came to comprise the kingdom of Khaz Molakka were built: Dum Ra (The City in the Sun), Dum Matar (City of Stone), and Dum Na’Loch (City in the Lake). Having a great affinity towards, and love of, metalwork and stonework, the dwarves of Khaz Molakka were known as miners. With the passing of every year, the dwarves mined deeper and deeper into the surrounding mountains searching for viens of ores and rare gems, and even made expeditions to other mountain ranges in Seath.
The dwarves dug too deep and too far. Unwittingly digging and mining into the territory of the duergar, sister-race of the dwarves, they earned the ire of the duergar king Darnur Monak. Completely unaware of the duergar presence, the city of Dum Matar was taken completely by surprise when the armies of duergar attacked. Thousands were slaughtered mercilessly as the countless waves of duergar soldiers emerged from the many tunnels the dwarves had wrought. After splitting the kingdom in two, the duergar held the strategic advantage during that first war, the Ironwar, which began the great Mountain Wars.
The war raged for over 20 years in a stalemate until the Lavender Day. On that day the ground sank and the earth shook, pulverizing the mountains and the tunnels beneath them. Fearing the worst, the dwarves of Dum Na’Loch and Dum Ra escaped into the valley of stone lying between them and watched the mountain crumble before their eyes, sending great waves of boulders and stone into the valley they now stood in, now known as the Valley of Stone. Although they mourned the many deaths and the destruction of their civilization, the dwarves of Khaz Molakka were encouraged by the apparent annihilation of their great enemy, the duergar.
Just as the mountains sank that day, so too did the valley eventually reaching just barely below sea level. Although at low tide the valley remained dry, during high-tide it filled with boiling water – a strange phenomenon the dwarves did not understand at the time. Seeking shelter from the elements and the scorching waters, the many dwarven clans began constructing homes within the giant boulders deposited in the valley. Ever cautious, the dwarves began by mining into those largest boulders furthest from the mountain fearing that their sworn enemies may have survived. For many years they dug and constructed their homes inside these gigantic stones, creating a new home as well as a new culture and civilization. Although their was much cooperation, each clan worked independently and considered itself independant.
The dwarven fears were validated two hundred and one years after the Lavender Day, and the second stage of the Mountain Wars began – the Stonewar. By now having almost completely recovered in numbers and benefiting from a strategic location, the dwarves held up the upper hand during this war. For nine years the nightly attacks raged. Towards the end of the second war, the duergar even attempted to sustain a month long siege on one of the clans – a bold move for the day-despising underrace. The dwarves were almost starved to death, but eventually managed to break the seige and emerge victorious. Realizing their vulnerability, the dwarves began to construct a network of gondolas that were to connect the many boulder cities (known as “galburs”) within the Valley of Stone.
Harnessing the power of the steam rising from the boiling sea water, a central gondola and power station, named Rhun Duraz, was constructed inside a gargantuan boulder sitting within a lake of steam at the centre of the valley, Dragon’s Breath Lake. Pulled by enormous steam engines, this great system of adamantium cables and gondolas connected the purple and blue moss-covered galburs in the valley, which until then, had existed in relative isolation. Eventually becoming a major node of trade and gathering, Rhun Duraz has become the most important galbur within the Valley of Stone.
With their new sense of nation as well as their newly created interconnectivity, the dwarven clans finally set aside their differences and united themselves under the name of Ankor Duraz – the Domain of Stone. Guided by the Muk Za’Harbul (the council of clans), the dwarven peoples work dilegently preparing themselves for the war they know has yet to come – the third stage in the Mountain Wars. Although apprehensive, the dwarven people of Ankor Duraz remain calm, knowing that their destiny cannot be avoided and that the day of reckoning will come – the day the duergar are finally defeated.