The Stone-Winter War

This is the written account of the fall of a proud warrior race, the birth of a new nation and the legend of Wulfgar Stormsever as it is documented in the histories and tomes contained within the library of the Aeon Citadel of Amberfall.

Many centuries ago the Lords of the Winter Court, under the rule of its King, ordered a settlement be built as a trading outpost upon the mountainous crossing into Dveroth, the homelands of the Dvergan race. The settlers though would travel too far and begin the construction of their village within the borders of their then allies that would lead to a terrible misunderstanding. Despite the pleas of the village leaders that they would return to the Lochlands, these farmers, hunters and merchants were wiped out but for a few who managed to escape. This demand of senseless murder came from a young and war hungry Dvergan captain that saw this as an unmistakable intrusion into his homelands, a prelude to an invasion and an insult to his god, the God of Storms. This was something he could not abide and would wait for no orders from his superiors as to how to act.

A short time later after a harsh journey to return home though the Skyspear Mountains, this slaughter was reported by the leader of the expedition, a hunter known only by his first name of Wulfgar, to the Winter King. The Kings cousin was amongst those who had been killed and it is said that he wept upon hearing the news and that this was the moment the war began. He rallied the Houses of the Winter Court and commanded the invasion of Dveroth and that Wulfgar would lead the first wave. This young hunter turned bitter soldier was eager for justice.

What happened over the following weeks was considered nigh impossible. The Dvergar were known for their strong fortifications and deep strongholds and were confident that they would repel these invaders from the north. No one could have known just how successful Wulfgar would have been. He never battled his enemy head on; he knew that it was pure folly to engage warriors who were superior in physical strength and larger numbers head on. He instead sought out ways to drive the Dvergar from their forts so that they could be fought on open ground. Dvergan weaponry and armours were considered to be greater in every way but Wulfgar did not take brute sword wielding warriors with him. He instead commanded a legion of two thousand of the finest archers from the Lochlands and each were trained in the use of longbows made from a fine but strong wood that grows only in the north. The reach of this longbow is renowned and was capable of firing arrows across frightening distances. So as the Dvergar were driven from their homes with arrows laced with oil and fire, they were easily decimated before they could get close enough to wield their hammers or swords into battle.

Wulfgar directed the defeat of several battalions of Dvergan soldiers and conquered the city of Morinth within a month. After the news had arrived of this victory, the Winter King led the armies of the men of the Lochlands which had over thirty thousand soldiers from eight of the twelve Houses of the Winter Court and they strode into Morinth unopposed. Here they would fortify their own stronghold from which to continue their campaign. With Wulfgar’s archers and three years’ worth of untouched grains and supplies, the stone city of Morinth provided an excellent defensive advantage so much so that the Dvergan King had to wait for the invaders to come to his forces one battle at a time.

Now feared as Wulfgar the Stoneslayer, he became a potent strategist of warfare and would be at the head of every successful battle. His wrath was vicious and calculated. It is said that his wife and sons were killed and that their bodies were hung as a vicious message of rotting ruthlessness when the Dvergar slaughtered his people, but no one can now know for sure if this was true. No Dvergan captain was able to match his mind; they were constantly and consistently outfought and outwitted even though their numbers were greater. They had greatly underestimated the capability of their neighbours to the north. The losses suffered by the race of men came only when Wulfgar was not leading that particular campaign and so these soldiers could not defeat the warriors of Dveroth in close quarters. Once, both races were content to trade sparsely with one another in search of common ground from which to form an alliance. The Stone-Winter war became the epoch of their hatred and resentment for one another.

After just two years the Dvergan peoples were pushed back further and further until they accepted that there would be no reclaiming their lands, that they would soon be defeated and conquered. Wulfgar took no prisoners except those he could personally extract information from. He knew that his enemy would be obliterated within days and so led his army one final time into the last Dvergan encampment within the ruins of Duskholm only to find that it had been abandoned completely.

To this day, no one really knows what happened to the last of the Dvergan race. The common tale is that they escaped through the passes of the Summerpeak Mountains and sailed north across the Silent Sea, never to be heard from again. Others would claim that they fled south into Sollistar to seek aid from the Mithylfar, but none of them have any recall or tales of this ever happening. And the Mithylfar have long lives and even longer memories. There is a drunkard story teller who lives as a beggar in a small border town who sings of the return of the Dvergar and that one day they will seek to reclaim what they lost and kill the descendants of Wulfgar and his King.

Whatever actually happened, the country of Dveroth had fallen completely to the merciless campaign led by the Winter King and his chosen General. Wulfgar would be rewarded with the rule of the city of Morinth, and given the name and title of Wulfgar Stormsever, and became the Baron of the newly renamed city of Stonehold. The King would return to his Court to rule once more over his own territories as well as oversee the regulation of his new lands now that this monumental task had been completed. He placed the four Houses of the Court that travelled south with him and survived the Stone-Winter War in strategic positions across Dveroth so that the race of men would forever retain dominion over this land that would become the country of Ayrlaston.

The House of Morvayne would form the settlement of Frosthaven on the far eastern shore just across from Sundership Bay. The House of Thorn would settle in the rivers of Middemire and become Barons of the newly created town of Daggeron. The House of Orelia which had conquered the southern borders claimed the ruins of the ancient city of Duskholm and built atop it the now famous mountain city of Amberfall. Finally the King would place his most valued ally, the House of Valorayne, in a region rich with silver mines that would eventually become the capital city of this country, Covenraen.

The King of men had claimed his ambition with the help of his General but the Court of Winter would eventually lose their grip on their new territory. The Houses he placed in seats of power would one day come to rebel against his grandson to form two kingdoms of their own as they shunned the laws of the Court in favour of their rule.

No one living two thousand and some years later can recall the name of the King that ordered the execution of an entire race to avenge the loss of his dear cousin. But the story of Wulfgar Stormsever the Stoneslayer lives on as he is remembered as a fierce warrior general and a powerful legend that became a symbol of pride for the race of man folk and a dire example as a warning to others who would dare test the might of men.

Dveroth had fallen, the Dvergan race was lost and the realm of Ayrlaston was formed atop the bones and the ashes of the dead. This was the brutal birth of a country that would become one of the most powerful nations in all of Ayl’gard.

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