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Living ENWorld:History:Tenth Hell

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The Tenth Hell

The Wars Under Mt. Yurgind from a Dwarven Point of View

Deep in the bowels of Mt. Yurgind, far from the sunlit lands, goblins and dwarves do what they have done since the beginning: they go to war.

For a dozen generations, the dwarves fought what they called "The Tenth Hell," a bloody conflict fought primarily over, within, and through two score great halls (buttressed and worked caverns ranging in size from a small town to a underground valley complete with river and lake) and the surrounding tunnels and chambers. Dwarven tradition tells that those halls were some of the most beautiful ever to be carved from the bones of the earth, though at the end they were but shadows of their former glory - broken and despoiled by centuries of endless warfare.

For eleven of those generations, neither dwarf nor goblin line moved more than a little, and never for long. The great halls, damaged by dwarven war machines and goblin traps, became unsafe for travel, and the fighting moved into smaller side passages. The Company of Pick and Axe was born, and as that mercenary company proved the superiority of skilled and hardy tunnel fighters in this new type of warfare, young dwarves joined similar groups in droves. While the conflict was punctuated with pitched battles ever few hundred years, for the most part the dwarves lived in relative safety, protected from their adversaries by terrain and professional warriors. For a hundred years, the Companies pushed the borders, updating old maps, rediscovering old veins, and reclaiming old and forgotten treasures. Dwarven boots once again tread the old ways - the Tenth Hell had finally ended.

But in the twelfth generation, not less than one hundred years ago, when dwarven hands worked steel for beauty rather than for a sharp edge, the goblins struck. With steel and flame and tricks thought long forgotten they overwhelmed the dwarves. Almost overnight, goblinoids ruled the great halls. Within a months, they had pushed into caverns that had never heard a goblin's cry. And the bugbears, the core of this new goblin army, were vicious in their victory, burning whole clans when they could. Then, as suddenly as the goblin's march began, it ended, seemingly without reason. Yet even granted this small mercy, the dwarves of Yurgind had been broken, perhaps never to arise again.

Yet some of the old clans live still - the Stonehelm, the Rockfall, the Ironbender - and they have not given up hope. For them, the days of the Company of Pick and Axe are gone. No more can professional soldiers carry the burden; instead every dwarf, no matter station or skill, plays a role in the great war.

-Created by Enkhidu

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This page was last modified on 14 March 2007, at 03:02.
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