Dwarven Kingdom History
Some books found in Dwarven Lands tell the Dwarven Kingdom History.
The Dwarven Kingdom is one of the longest standing factions on Alroth, next to the Orcs. Originally, the dwarves lived in what they called the Gara - their homeland. This area still stands today and is known as the Dwarven Lands. The official Dwarven Kingdom began in the southwest. Though there is also history of dwarves in Valunde, it is widely believed that Golron I started his Kingdom in Lothend. Lothend was the land south of the largest mountain range in the Dwarven Lands called Thunder Mountain. Golron expanded his Kingdom into the Northern Reach (the land North of Thunder Mountain) and into the Southern Expanse (to the south east of Thunder Mountain).
When the Dwarves became rich enough, the orcs of Blackstone Mountain attacked the Dwarven Kingdom, and the First Orc War began. The fighting was bloody and relentless. Golron fought and slew many Orcs, but he could not withstand the constant onslaught. He knew the orcs would overtake them Eventually. It was at this time Golron I had his first revelation. Meeka, the god of defense, guided him into the mountains and showed him how his mines could be used to create fortifications enabling the dwarves to survive the attacks and Eventually the Orcs of Blackstone Mountain dwindled.
Sadly, the Orcs in Valunde had all but destroyed the Dwarves that lived there. Refugees fled to the West (the area now called Drakensbane). That is when the Orcs of the east discovered Golron I's Kingdom. Thus the Second Orc War began. Again the fighting was bloody, but Eventually the dwarves won Blackstone Mountain. After many years of siege, the orcs gave up the fight against Golron's Kingdom. Golron I continued the fight until the orcs were driven back to Valunde. Once the dwarves firmly held the border between Blackstone (Drakensbane) and Valunde, Golron I declared this war over.
Many years went by while Golron rebuilt his Kingdom. They fought against the orcs for many generations, Eventually taking back Valunde. As the Dwarven Kingdom began to creep steadily along the mountains, it soon overtook a large portion of Alroth. Never straying too far from the mountains, the Dwarven Kingdom now stretched into the Farnorth and some ways into the East. Eventually, all of the mountainous regions belonged to the dwarves.
Even though the Dwarven Kingdom had grown very strong and wealthy, the orcs continued to be a problem. Orcs openly opposed them and would fight over the smallest parcels of land, forcing the dwarves to stay close to the mountains. The Humans discovered the Dwarven Kingdom when the dwarves had driven the orcs from most of Alroth. They had also been beset upon by the orcs. Golron III pledged allegiance to the Nation of Men to garner their help in driving the orcs back. The Dwarven Kingdom now stretched East and West, and almost all Lands were under the influence of the dwarves.
The Dwarven Kingdom flourished for many years. Then the Nation of Men went to war with the Dwarven Kingdom because they wanted more land to grow but the dwarves were restricting them. The Men proved their might and Eventually took over the East, though they could not take the Mountains from the dwarves.
Then the Orchan Alliance came down from the Farnorth. Orchans are large, tusked humanoids in League with the orcs. They were unknown to the dwarves until they declared war. They took the land in the West away from the Dwarves and continued to fight in the North.
The Dwarven Kingdom, the Nation of Men, and the Orchan Alliance all fought and struggled to retain their freedom, but for the most part, control of the Land remained with the dwarves. Although the Dwarven Kingdom continued to keep its hold on the mountains, they did lose a vast majority of its open land in the North and West. Shortly after, the Draegoni Dominion came to Alroth. They were a ferocious force to contend with. They fought and killed everyone in the Orchan territories in the West. Galrin I was High King at this time. He wisely decided that it would be best for the dwarves to retreat back into the mountains. They sold outlying pieces of land to the humans and gave up land to the Draegoni Dominion. The Dwarven Kingdom shrunk all the way back down to Valunde, an event known as the Diminishing. Most of the population moved to Thunder Mountain. The Dwarves had cut off trade with the humans by this time. Although they had vast stores of goods, it was not well rationed. Consequently the famine that followed decimated the population. Few dwarves lived outside the mountains, but those that did were constantly under threat of Draegoni invasion.
After Skyfall, the dwarves came back out of the mountains. They reclaimed and repurchased old Lands around Thunder Mountain and Valunde. Lands have exchanged hands many times throughout the years following Skyfall. The Dwarven Lands as we know them today have been this way for many years. It is hard to tell if the wars we currently experience will go down in history as major events, or if they will mix into the obscurity of another feudal age.
According to dwarves, their race was created by their God(s) of creation. They were led by one dwarf named Golron who was the wisest of all because he spoke with God. The Orcs quickly discovered the dwarves and attempted to take them as slaves. Golron led his people into the mines to hide, and Eventually they found a new place to settle.
Then Golron instructed the dwarves to build stone structures outside and use the mines as safe haven for when the orcs inevitably attacked. They lived this way for many years, staying hidden from the orcs as much as possible. Over time, an entire network of subterranean fortresses were built. Golron's first son was appointed the new King of the dwarves. Then his first son succeeded him; then the next son, and the next son. Thus a son of Golron has and will always be King, wisest of the dwarves.
Underground, they discovered the gnomish people, who had claimed to be living underground for hundreds of years. The dwarves developed good relationships with gnomes. Because of their longstanding Alliance with gnomes, many outsiders believe them to be related races - like orcs and Orchans - though neither of that is necessarily known to be absolute truth. No one knows the true origin of each race.
Gnomes freely shared their knowledge with the dwarves and together they prospered. Dwarves offered Gnomes good and solid places to live underground, which became more like underground cities than fortresses.
When Dwarves discovered that the humans were on the continent, and that they were openly opposed to the Orchan way of life, the dwarves accepted trade and protection from Humans. The humans were smart and successful at keeping the orcs at bay. The humans planned to use their Alliance to expand their territory, and promised their underground allies a place to live above ground.
Together the humans, gnomes and dwarves fought back the orcs and created an area of land for themselves. They referred to this war as the War of Unity. They defended the land and began creating kingdoms and empires and together they prospered and soon the orcs were barely even a threat.
But constant squabbles between lords and raids by orcs drove them apart. Small scale wars and conflicts between the orcs, dwarves, gnomes, and humans were common in this feudal era; and within it nations were built, destroyed, rebuilt, and conquered; alliances were made, broken, and the secrets of old forgotten wars and nations were lost in time. Some ancient ruins and texts are still present today, detailing some of the old tales.
When the Draegoni came, the dwarves retreated back into their ancient underground dwellings, and there they remained mostly untarnished by the Draegoni dominion. They broke off old ties and sold land to the humans. They stayed underground and stayed rich. Because of their isolationist approach, very few of them know anything about Draegoni, and even fewer can use Draegoni magic.
The dwarves reappeared after the fall of the Draegoni dominion. They began to resettle the land and reestablish old nations. They took advantage of the humans' weakened state by offering goods and services in exchange for land. Thus the dwarves came back as a prominent race, and this time had a leg up on humans.
The dwarves' method of retaking the land was not to anyone's liking, as the elves and gnomes and humans all knew that the dwarves had abandoned them in their time of need. Since then, relations with the other races has been very rocky (lol, pun not necessarily intended).
Dwarves are in constant feuds with humans over what land belongs to whom. Battles and treaties still happen from time to time, as both races attempt to form their own cohesive country. Occasionally Elves are brought into this conflict as well, but they simply try to stay out of things and keep their own land defended. For the most part, elves and gnomes still keep up friendly trade agreements with the dwarves.
Over time the Orchans have developed a kind of respect for the Dwarves, although this hasn't kept them from attacking each other when they believe the other is weak. A generations-long feud exists between the orcs and dwarves, and will probably persist throughout time.