Helements of Armory
The Iron Conclave
|Current Leader:||Gaderrung Ironfist, the Greatbeard|
|Race(s):||Dwarves, Orcs, Elves, Halflings, Gnomes|
|Capital:||Thorbardin, The Anvil|
|Religions||Berronar Truesilver, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, Gorm Gulthyn, Haela Brightaxe, Moradin, Sharindlar, Vergadain|
|Imports||Fruit, Spices, Pipeweed, Salt|
|Exports||Weapons, Armor, Magic Items, Stone, Iron, Gold, Coal, Ship Supplies, Gems, Jewelry, Ale, Cheese, Silver, Ships|
|Alignment||Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral|
Summary of The Iron Conclave
The Iron Conclave is an old empire standing for thousands of years to the south. Compromised of several outlying towns and cities, as well as many indentured tribal societies, the Conclave is both militaristic and expansionist, always looking for more land and wealth for the clans. Thorbardin (The Anvil) is the predominant city in the region, being the technological and industrial center of the entire region as well as the Capital.
When the dwarves were created ages ago by Moradin, there were several different tribes, all of which were different sub-species. They were engaged in constant inter-tribal warfare with each other, the Duergar at the throats of the Jungle Dwarves, the Gold Dwarves against the Hill Dwarves, all was warfare. This would have most likely continued all the way to the final extinction of the dwarven peoples as a race until the Shield Dwarves emerged and began to broker a peace amongst the varied dwarven subcultures.
Over the course of the next few centuries the hatred and bitterness gradually faded into a general feeling of the greater good. When the leader of the Shield dwarf faction finally died, there was an upheaval as many different people from different dwarven factions made their vies for power. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed overall, resulting in the formation of the Council of Iron. The Council made many new decrees at it’s first meeting in the frozen wastes to the northwest of Thorbardin (The Anvil). The most important edicts handed down from the council to the dwarven people were that they were to be as one nation, bound together as Iron. Thus was born The Iron Conclave.
The different tribes gradually settled down and founded cities, eventually becoming the various clans whose members would go on to meet at the Council of Iron and bind all dwarves together with a common destiny. The next period in dwarven history was not a time of prosperity and enlightenment for the Conclave.
Clan Duergar and Madness
The dwarves of Clan Duergar have always been viewed as strange by their fellow dwarves, having larger eyes, white hair and a sickly cast to their pallor. They have always been slightly different, treated as a type of sub-dwarf by their peers. The Duergar look different because they are done, no one knows how or why, but they have a natural aptitude for magic, making it all too easy for them.
The Duergar Clan’s elders knew from the very beginning that they had something to hide. Their fellow dwarves share a natural distrust for magic and they thought that is their secret trait were to become common knowledge, they would certainly be exiled or destroyed. With their secret kept safe from the other clans, the Duergar began to experiment with the gift they had been given. They secretly founded entirely new schools of thaumaturgical study and developed powerful weapons and magic driven technology. Little too late did they realize the proce of their hubris.
One amongst them, a powerful Blood Magus named Nerghal Druaga, had delved deeper into the aether that any other had thought possible. Contact had been made with a powerful entity, an ancient being composed of broken thoughts and dying dreams. Seeking more power and affluence in Duergar society, Nerghal attempted to bind the titanic consiousness to his will. After an elaborate ritual, lasting several days. Nerghal, having wrested the beasts will under his influence, began the binding ceremony. The being would be bound to a beautifully wrought axe named Khazalid, meaning ‘Tongue of the Forge’ in the ancient tongue.
Khazalid was the talk of the most prestigious parts of Duergar society, with it’s wondrous craftsmanship and enormous aetheric energy. Nerghal, thinking himself above all others, made an offer of marriage to the Lord Duergar’s daughter. Already having a suitor, Nerghal had no choice but to defeat the other in ritual combat to the first blood. He was confident of his magic, as well as his mastery of axe and shield, he blooded his foe with ease. And it was with that single axe stroke that the path of the Duergar was decided.
This was the gift of the entity that was bound to the axe, Khazalid. Having tated the blood of it’s foe, the axe cursed his entire bloodline, the whole of Clan Duergar. Murder, cannibalism, and all manner of heinous acts took place on the night of madness.
After days without order, a new power arose within the clan, an alliance of the mort powerful warlocks calling themselves the Barad-Borok, or the Unseen Hand. They moved quickly to secure their powerbase. And within days the halls of Duergar were still. The Duergar had a new agenda, the downfall of their brethren and the usurpation of the Iron Throne.
Good dwarves throughout the Conclave soone began to disappear, entire towns vanished overnight and the dwarves were unable to figure out what was happening. The runecasters couldn’t see the future and the Runepriests magicks had lost their potency.
After months of preparation the Duergar were ready to strike against their hated foes. With great cunning, Barad-Borok had an agent placed within the peace delegation sent to meet the Conclave’s newly encountered neighbors in the frozen north, the Gryphon Empire. The Duergar envoy was an unassuming dwarf by the name of Kael Derro. When the time was right, the Crown Prince of the Castvo Vrhova was kidnapped and taken to a location that had been prepared for a great ritual. The opening of the Demongate.
The Demongate is opened
With the death of the Crown Prince at the hands of a dwarven assassin, the Gryphons declared war. With no one knowing the truth about the manner of the Princes death, the Demongate grew unchecked. The Gryphons and Dwarves marched to war; their hatred, anger, fear and distrust of one another accelerating the growth of the Demongate.
The Gryphons with their greater mobility, quickly gained the upper hand driving the dwarves back to their mountain fortresses. Dwarven villages were raised to the ground and civilians were killed or sold into slavery. The Dwarves could not hope to match their foes manueverability. With their weapons almost useless against tthe Gryphons, it appeared all hope was lost. It was then, in the dwarves darkest hours that the Duergar stepped forward to reveal their magical affinity.
The dwarves were taken aback by this turn of events. A powerful weapon to use against the Gryphons, but at what cost? With no other choice but to embrace this fortuitous new development, the dwarves marched to war. The Duergars proved powerful warlocks and the Gryphons were pushed back with ease. Quickly recapturing all dwarven lands that were lost, the warhost then took some Gryphon lands as well. The Dwarven warhost and the Gryphons met in a large battle near the site of the original peace talks.With the clashing of steel and the cries of the dying to herald it’s coming into the world, the Demongate opened.
The Demongate War and the Seal of Sacrifice
Hordes of Demons and evil outsiders poured through the gate, intent on creating an unassailable stronghold on this plane. The dwarves, upon seeing the Duergar amongst their number drop to their knees and pay homage to the demons, Knew then the extent of the Duergars betrayal. They turned upon the Duergar and slew them almost to a man, having taken care of the traitors in their midst, the dwarvenn commander sent an entreaty to the Gryphons for temporary sessation of hostilities and an alliance against the demonic outsiders.
Through combined action and great bravery, the Gryphons and Dwarves together beat back the hordes of otherworldly beasts. Unsure of how to close the Demongate, the single survivng Duergar among the warhost was consulted. Upon seeing the commander speak to him, the warlock began giggling, saying the price will be too high. The only way to seal the gate is to spill the blood of the Dwarven royal line at the same spot as the Gryphon crown prince.The Duergar was sure the High King would never part with his only son and sole heir.
With the makeshift alliance deteriorating rapidly, the High King had to act quickly. To his eternal shame, he tried to send his son away to safety. His son, knowing his mind and showing typical Dwarven stubborness and courage, defied his father and went to the Demongate. He willingly sacrificed himself to close the gate, thereby insuring peace could develop between the Gryphons and Dwarves.With the War of the Frozen Winds finally at an end, peace descended throughout the land. With a hard won respect for each other, the Gryphons and Dwarves began trading with each other and prospering.