The Opernian Saga
The Dwarven Account
Wyrmcutter Clan Capital
History of Straklenheim-
The Great Cleave (Beginning of Dwarven Calender to 600 D.E.)
As long as Dwarves have tunneled beneath Opern, Straklenheim has stood. It is said here, that the Great Anvil, which serves as the gargantuan castle’s central Keep, is the same Anvil Moradin used to forge Dwarvenkind from the bones of the earth. In the Age of Chains, when Giants controlled the dwarves as slaves, for generation upon generation, the early dwarves dug out the earth surrounding the Great Anvil, and began to expand their borders, alongside their Castle Walls.
For thousands of year the Dwarves dug and built, before overthrowing their Giant masters, fighting the monsters of the deep, and claiming their ancestral home.
The walls expanded into 3 Districts, and with the birth of written language, dwarven architecture and culture flourished, and the Dwarven Calendar began. They built, in honor of their God and conquest, and their population boomed. The 3 oldest families, House Ironclad, House Hammerheart, and House Deepmason, served as the blooming country’s rulers during these times. These three families would rule for 600 years, and the Era would be remembered as The Great Cleave. It was at the end of these 600 years, when the dwarves of Straklenheim dug too deep, accidentily freeing a terrible beast, and ushered in The Era of the Buried Dragon.
The Era of the Buried Dragon (600 d.e. To 910 d.e.)
When the Dwarves freed the Great Buried Dragon, they initially rose to arms against it. Despite their strength, they were no match for the furious beast. None of the ruling houses armies, Ironclad, Hammerheart, or Deepmason, could fell beast. Each led furious attacks and each fell, and for 205 years, the armies were whittled down until less than 100 men stood. It was then the Dragon began his furious assault. The walls of Straklenheim, though tall, strong, and deeply rooted, were no match for the Dragon. He flew above the city, carving out the cavern even more, and the falling stones destroyed most of Straklenheim. Many lives were lost, and hope had faded. The houses tried pleading with the dragon, offering it sacrifices of gems and gold, but its rage could not be sated. It was then, in 805 d.e., Grungir, a mason of no family, of house, heard the call of Moradin.
In this time of darkness, the God chose Grungir as his Champion, and the very hammer he used to build the walls of Straklenheim was imbued with the All-Father’s power. Grungir assembled the demoralized and fractured armies of Straklenheim, and lead them against the Great Dragon. With the might of Moradin on his side, Grungir battled and great beast, and the two exchanged mortal blows. Celebration roared through the ranks of the soldiers, but were cut short as a dying Grungir stumbled amongst them. He wandered 6 days, as his army followed in awe, as he refused aid and continued his dire march. On the 7th day, he came upon a Great Stone Tower, and its great doors. He told his men ‘Here lies the path of our Heroes.’ as he went through the gate. None of the soldiers could enter behind him, until the injured and nearly dead approached it. The gates allowed them and only them entrance. They would name this Great Door to the afterlife the Ancestor’s Gate – and is believed to be a Gift of Moradin in honor of his fallen Champion.
Upon discovering Grungir had a son, Unherjer, they bestowed the small child with the clan name Wyrmcutter, and the 3 ruling houses pledged their alligence to the child-king, whose father saved their race. For 105 years, the 3 houses would rule as the child grew into a man. Then began the Wyrmcutter rule, and the glorious reclaimation.
The Era of Reclaimation (810 d.e. To 1417 d.e.)
King Unherjer Wyrmcutter’s first edict was to rebuild, improve, and expand the still-damaged Straklenheim. The Highways of Straklenheim begin their construction. He would name 2 more noble houses, raising Bolmer Axebreaker and Kurik Drakkengaard. The Axebreaker’s were honored for their valor against the Great Dragon – Bolmer’s father, Brut, had stood beside Grungir in his last battle. Kurik, a young man who had been found at the steps to Moradin’s Church, began to hear the voice of the God, and was honored and given the title Drakkengaard. It would be his duty to prepare Holy Soldiers, and be the Sacred Shield of Straklenheim should darkness rise again.
King Unherjer Wyrmcutter would pass away in 1019D.E, at 209 years old, and his son, Sigard, would claim the Deep Throne, and see the completion of his father’s life work. Straklenheim grew into 6 great districts, each large enough to hold cities in their own right, completed in 148 years @ 1167d.e. Sigard would pass away in 1214d.e.. His 66 year old son, Volund, would take the throne for the next 151 years of this Era, then he would die and his son Valst would be crowned king in 1366d.e. And rule until the close of this Era.
Valst was the king who created taxation in the dwarven kingdom. However, the King’s rules of taxation ended up birthing a caste system, divided into Royalty, Nobility, Warriors/Merchants, and the poor or clanless"Labor" class. Dissent would form within the walls of Straklenheim, and suddenly the unfathomable occured – The Year would be 1417 d.e, the king ruled for 51 years, and was assassinated at 134 years old. The heir to the throne, a young man named Bryn, born with a terrible bleeding-illness, was injured. and was rushed to and isolated in the Royal District. House Drakkengaard’s Red Drakkgoon stood at the gates, ready to defend their New King at all costs. At 48 years old, Bryn would watch the beginning of the Era of Mourning.
The Era of Mourning (1217 d.e. To 1417d.e.)
With the Assassination of Valst, the Sick King Bryn became furious. Though young and sealed in his district, he formulated a plan to find his father’s assassin. Unable to trust any of the current houses, he found Gonur Blazingbeard, the head of a house of soldiers under the Drakkengaard family, and offered to raise them to nobility and give them their own district if they would root out his father’s killer. Gonur accepted the deal, and the building of the 7th district began.
For 103 years, Gonur and his soldiers hunted for the traitors, and unearthed the truth behind the slaying in 1320d.e. Hurrin Goldknuckle, a Labor Class begger, had a lengthy criminal record in the Stone District. Hoping to usurp the throne, the ambitious and violent Turrn Axebreaker had hired the criminal to make an attempt on the king and his young son’s life. Hoping that without a Royal Heir, his Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather’s reputation as Brut, who stood beside Grungir in the time of the Dragon, would put his House in the royal seat, Turnn betrayed the Wyrmcutters. Hurrin was executed immeadiately without trial by order of King Bryn (151 yrs old), but when it came to Turnn, he had no easy answer.
Bryn turned to the 5 other House Heads, and asked for their council. This was the first convenience of a Council since Old Times, and it would become tradition that the Noble Houses would serve as the King’s Council in addition to being the conduit of his will. It was decided that though Turnn would be executed, the house’s Nobility would not be stripped, and Turnn’s son, Ginur, would take command of the Axebreaker House, whose honor was now stained with treachery. Ten years later, King Bryn would sustain a wound in training, and die from his illness. His son, Bjorn, age 61, would preside for the next 87 years, as the Axebreaker House held its banner in shame, before redemption came in the form of a new threat. One that only Ginur’s son, Gaalf Axebreaker, 92 years old, could disperse.
The Trial of Fire and Strife (1417d.e. To 1427d.e.)
As shame hung over the Axebreaker Home, King Bjorn Wyrmcutter looked to raise Straklenheim’s morale. The King called on the Lodehunter family, known for their great wealth, to help organize a massive celebration – a re-creation of Brut and Grungir’s glorious battle against the Last Dragon. Broke Lodehunter accepted to massive under-taking, under the circumstance his family be promoted to Nobility. Bjorn, unable to find another family willing or wealthy enough to finance the grandiouse event, caved to the Lodehunter’s, provided they finance both the celebration and the building of their own district. Broke agreed to the terms, and began to prepare for the celebration.
As the Lodehunter’s began to dig out space for the 8th district in 1420d.e., they struck terrors in the deep. A contingency of Goblins and Orogs (Deep Orcs) living in a near-by tunnel network, burst into the now-opened walls of Straklenheim. The Kingdom’s Armies took up their arms, and began to repel the attackers. During this era, many more highways were constructed (and subsequently abandoned), serving as vital transport routes for the battles. Over the course of 7 years, things began to turn in favor of Straklenheim’s Armies, suddenly, a new force entered the battle. A massive fire elemental swarmed through the battle, carelessly burning Goblins, Orogs, and Dwarves alike. It was then that Gaalf Axebreaker, at 95 years old, joined the fray in 1427. A dwarf of no reknown but his grandfather’s treachery, Gaalf exposed something he had been keeping a secret from the Clans. Gaalf had learned something no dwarf had known before him. The powers of Magic.
Generations ago, when Turnn was looking for an assassin, he had secretly met with a Drow wizard. The drow, violent and unwilling to assist such a lowly creature, attacked Turnn. Initially, it seemed Turnn would be defeated – but in a stroke of luck, a poorly thrown Hammer by Turnn caused a cave-in over the mage. The mage fled unharmed, but she left behind a satchel of her things. Among them, rest a spellbook. This Spellbook would become a secret family heirloom, and Gaalf’s obsession.
A Drow Mage was commanding the fire elemental that was laying waste to Straklenheim’s Armies, and Gaalf was prepared to put his private practice to the test. In a glorious display, Gaalf single-handedly bound the great Raging Elemental, and imprisoned the Drow woman. Gaalf offered the woman, and the bound spirit, to King Bjorn (158 yrs old) as pennence for his grand-father’s actions. The King Honored Gaalf, and declared the honor of his house restored, after 200 years of shame. In an unexpected turn of events, King Bjorn allowed the Drow woman to leave, stripping her of her spell casting implements, but otherwise unharmed. Initially, this was met with distain, but the Lodehunter’s celebration – 10 years in the making – quickly drew attention from the King’s choice. The celebration would become a dwarven tradition, occuring once every ten years. Bjorn was given the title ‘The Merciful King’, and it believed his choice of letting the Drow Sorceress go is why the Drow have yet to unleash any kind of organized attack on Straklenheim. The Axebreaker’s would now teach any dwarf with ’Gaalf’s Touch’ – a rare occurance that required special attention.
Bjorn would reside over the Deep Throne into the beginning of the era known as ‘The Time of Exploration’, when the most curious of things approached Straklenheim. A creature saying it was from ‘Up Above’. His name was Vaughn Teagen, and he called himself ‘Human’.
The Time of Exploration(1427d.e. To 2027d.e.)
For 5 years, Vaughn Teagen would stay as the King’s Guest in house of Family Holderhek, of the Deepmason House. King Bjorn, fascinated with the concept of the surface, ordered a troupe of House Drakkengaard’s best Holy Warriors to escort Vaughen Teagen and bring back word of the surface. King Bjorn would die 42 years into this era, at 200 years old, in 1469d.e. His son, Dranock, would take the throne, when the Red Drakkgoon returned from the surface. Dranock, shocked to hear of civilizations on the surface, began to use the Drakkengaard as diplomats to the surface. However, the Rough-Hewn Soldier-Saints were not quite welcome Up Above – small men coming from the mountains preaching the word of Strange and Forgein Gods were spurned by the surface dwellers. Dranock then established the Noble house of Holderhek – a family of courtiers, who housed the Human – and ordered them to serve as ambassadors, and established the 9th, and final district of Straklenheim.
For 600 years, and generations of Dwarvenkind, the Courtiers of Holderhek brought back knowledge of the surface, exchanged wisdom of the deep, and forged pacts of peace with the races above. An entrace/small settlement was built above Strakenlenheim, named Hearthgate, which houses a few various races, and an entrance leading underground to Straklenheim. Dwarven quality of life improved vastly, as small tunnels to the surface provided fresh air, and natural light. Meat became a far more common commodity, and for the first time, Dwarves began brewing from grain, rather than mushrooms and various underground flora. During this era, much of the Labor Class, and many merchants migrated to the surface, taking the title of ‘Highland Dwarves’. However, it was in 2027 D.E, of the Dwarven Calender, when the Dragons came to the Men of the Surface, and the Dwarves of Straklenheim proved their worth.
The Drakkenfall(2027d.e. To 2028d.e.)
The Drakkenfall, just yesterday in Dwarven Eyes, soldified Straklenheim’s Relation with the surface. During the time the invaders from the East came to the surface, it struck a chord with the Dwarves of Straklenheim. Not only were their new alliances threatened, but Dragons – only which one was ever believed to exist – were the aggressors. Feeling the call of their Ancestor, Grungir, the dwarven armies marched alongside the resistors. Here, the Red Drakkgoon showed their worth, and played in integral role in causing the Dragonkind’s retreat.
Now, Straklenheim has tradition of sending up chosen members of the Holy Order to wander the surface, to insure that the Dragon’s Might will always have Dwarven Strength to resist it.
The Peacewalker’s Era( 2028d.e./ C.E. – To Current, Dwarven Calendar begins using Common Era a this time.)
The Current era is reffered to the Peacewalker’s Era by the Dwarves. Under the rule of King Hogun Wyrmcutter, the dwarves continue to forge relations with those on the surface.