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The Dwarves (Dwarven: Khauzd or Khazad) are almost entirely unique on Mellus as they were never a part of the Katarious Empire. They have lived apart in their vast cave complexes, and have often fought and died to maintain their lives and freedom. As such they emerge as one of the strongest Races after the downfall of the Empire, having never suffered slavery's yoke.

In the beginning, it is thought the Dwarves were one people and lived together. Not even the eldest and wisest Dwarves know for sure and no written records go back that far. The earliest records have revealed three ancient Dwarvish Kings and their peoples. One is said to be the great father of King StoneMark I who founded the Kingdom of Ral Grey, another was the ancestor of King Stonefist who founded the Kingdom of Mal Grey, and the last is said to be different from the others in thought and looks and it was he who founded Val-Grey. Nothing more is mentioned of him or his line.

The presence of the Marchane have confused the issue of Dwarven history even further.


[edit] Kingdoms and Lines of the Great Kings

[edit] Mal-Grey and the Stonefist Line

Early in history the Mal-Grey Mountains and its enormous caverns were formed from the Grey Mouth Volcano (Dwarven: AvorMaaw Taalmarr). Hobar Stonefist (Hobar KarakFisst) led his Dwarvish people into the massive lava caves of the Mal-Grey Mountains. A new kingdom was built with King Stonefist I (Dorni KarakFisst Ald Hrun) as its leader. This is called The First Day (Glus Ald Hrun) by his people. This Kingdom was the richest in terms of gems and rare metals. It was known for skill in crafting riches. Mal-Grey was known as the Jewel of the Dwarvish Kingdoms. However, this Kingdom of Dwarves now fights every day for survival with King Hammerfist II slain and heavy losses to the Brutae (MarRaukh) who now live in the depths of Mal-Grey.

[edit] Ral-Grey and the StoneMark Line (ended and reformed)

Ral Grey was the second of the ancient Dwarvish kingdoms. Vast amounts of metal ore was found in the mountains of this Kingdom and great skill in forging weapons and tools was found in the hands of Ral-Grey smiths. Ral-Grey was known as the Armory of the Dwarves (Alaugat Ald Khazad). Ths skill of Ral-Grey warriors was unsurpassed, However, in the year 2841, the Sixth Dwarvish War (KhazadKurnmorn Al Sikk) happened and with it the Line of King StoneMark (Dorni KarakMaark) and the Ral-Grey Dwarves disappeared from the world of Mellus at the hands of the Carror Giants and their treachery. Some remnants of this Kingdom exist, and they have done a tremendous work with rebuilding the old kingdom. Much of the old bloodlines are lost, but at the same time new lines get formed. Ral-Grey is in the process of becoming as great as it once was. The current king of Ral-Grey is Thror Blackhelm (Thror KulHalmr), who miraculously survived the battle against the giants and found his way back to the mountains after the rebuilding process began. Much of the current Ral-Grey population descends from the other active Dwarven kingdoms and small villages near the mountains, Snowbourne (IssitHoldden) being the biggest of them.

[edit] Val-Grey and Rule of the Priests

In the time long before the Katarious Empire was formed, a third ancient kingdom was founded in a rare period of peace. Tired by constant war and battle, the colonists that founded Val Grey were mainly scholars and priests and those seeking a place of quiet reflection and study. Val-Grey was to be the Soul of the Dwarvish Kingdoms. But not long after Val-Grey was established, another wave of enemies swept through the wide lands of the Dwarves. Val-Grey was cut off from the Mal-Grey and Ral-Grey and forced to develop new methods to survive. Many decades passed before a combined army from Mal-Grey and Ral-Grey was able to march to Val-Grey to “rescue” their less martially inclined brethren. By that time however, the Val-Grey Dwarves had changed significantly, the Priesthood seemed to rule the Kingdom by ritual and ceremony, and the surrounding enemies were glad of the chance to escape the area.

[edit] Cal-Ray and King Ironhelm Line:

In 2878 while en route home after defeating the last known Katarious Legion in the field, the Dwarvish Army of Evnard “The Ironhelm II” (Evnaard DorHalmr Al Tva) defeats a horde of daemons in the EverFire Mountains (Taalenagar Maurr) after a four month siege. The Dwarves discover a massive labyrinth in the mountains leading to a hidden valley behind. The Dwarvish kingdom of Cal-Ray is founded.

[edit] The Dark Mace

In 2909, a Dwarvish warlord appears in the lands to the north of the ruins of Sar Scath. Exiled from his distant lands, he gathers a hard-core and powerful group of Dwarvish malcontents in the area around Sar Scath. Convinced that the riches of the Katarious Emperors was never truly found, the Dark Mace (De KulazMazz) and his band routinely raid the lands around the Sar Scath to feed themselves while they search for hidden plunder.

Some years later, the brothers Grungar and Thain Blackhelm (Grunjjar KulHalmr vel Ddan KulHalmr), along with their small host of kin who had escaped the destruction of Ral-Grey, met and joined the force of the Dark Mace. In time the brothers and their kin would come to be seen as the elite of the Dark Mace's army, and so would be called on to lead many of the raids in his name.

Theirs was a hard way of life, raiding and pillaging to gain supplies rather than cultivate the ground to grow their own... they were always sending raiding parties into the shield lands, as well as the known realms surrounding that area in search for supplies. Because of these raids, in time the small army of the Dark Mace would come to be hated as an enemy by nearly all of the known realms of Mellus. This would ultimately lead to their downfall.

Some years after the Blackhelms joined up with the Dark Mace and his camp, a vicious war broke out with the Daemons of Horus. Almost nightly there would be a raid by one side or the other, and the death toll began to mount. It's unknown exactly when it happened, but on one of his many raids into the lands of Horus, the Dark Mace was captured and killed. Rather than leave it at that, Horus sent back in his place a Doppelganger in his form in an attempt to redirect the savage force of the remaining warriors.

For a time it worked, and the False Mace (De LyyazMazz) began to lead the band of warriors away from Horus. The war-camp began to redirect its hostility toward other realms. Some months later, however, Tiberius would overhear dialogue between the False Mace and a Daemon "prisoner", which turned out to be no prisoner at all. When news reached the Blackhelm Clan, swift was their stroke. The full strength of the Blackhelm Clan was mustered, and the False Mace was put down. They never did discover the true fate of the Dark Mace, and his body was never recovered and laid to rest.

No longer holding any sway over the Blackhelms, they packed up their things and left their former camp at Sar Kalist. Every soldier had the choice to pack up and leave with the Clan, and many did. There were a few who attempted to return to Mal-Grey or other realms around Mellus, but the greater majority up and left with the Blackhelm Clan when they returned North to rebuild the destroyed kingdom of Ral-Grey. And so at the hands of Horus and his Daemons, arguably one of the fiercest warriors in known history was slain, and his war-camp at Sar Kalist was destroyed soon after its desertion.

[edit] The Known Clans of Cal-Ray

[edit] Clan Shieldshiver

The mining clan of Cal-Ray, Shieldshivers (Ray RondShakk being the clan, RondShakki being a member) are often skinny and muscular, keeping their beards trimmed neatly and short. They take great pride in the work they do. Their time spent tunneling leaves them pale compared to the other Dwarvish clans.

[edit] Clan Hammerfist

The clan of entertainment and merchants, Hammerfist (Ray HeusFisst being the clan, HeusFaussti being the people) traditionally brews Dwarvish ale, set up trade agreements between outsiders, and also runs taverns and other entertainment venues. These Dwarves are jovial and have long well kept beards, yet are also known to be shrewd and business-like. Not as war-like as others, they are still ferocious when pressed.

[edit] Clan Flameforge

Flameforgers (Ray Taalomar being the clan, Taulomari being the people) make the bulk of Dwarvish armor and weapon smiths, even imbuing magic-like properties, on rare occasion. Often they are seen as grumpy and unkempt, and they are thin and very muscular, in a manner similar to those of Shieldshiver.

[edit] Foebane Dwarves

Warriors through and through, each Foebane dwarf (Ray Hrunomarshmek being the clan, Hrunomarshmekhi being a member) is taught to focus on a single weapon, mastering it over their lifetimes. Even in peacetime, they maintain an army and usually are seen escorting other members when leaving the Kingdom.