It is known among the Dwarves, whether bound by Iron, raised under Stone or wrought among the Free Tribes, that they were the first of the mortal Races to walk Midworld. There were many Gods that dwelt in Overworld but He who Forged them from Fire, who Wrought them from Rock and who Shaped them with Souls did so before any other Race was created. He dubbed them the “Dugh aurun reften”, the first and the favored of his children.
Thus did the Race of Dwarves come to be, mighty as the Maker who made them and with the fires of creation burning in their blood. So gladdened was He who Shaped them that he tried his hand at other works, leaving his favored children to their own devices that they may discover the gifts they had been given.
The First-born spread across Midworld, building towering spires and deep holdfasts. Many were the talents given them, gifts and boons now forgotten by the Dwarven peoples of the current age. They crafted Rune-speak, that they make converse through chisel and slate as well as voice and tongue. They subjugated the land, suborning spirit and beast with the Maker’s blessing, and forged the First Kingdom. Centuries passed and Midworld was a paradise.
But the First Kingdom would pass into antiquity.
It is believed by the Iron Kingdom that the Sundering Sin was that of Chaos, that the Dwarves had squander the Maker’s favor meaninglessly in wars and in factioning. They had let down their guard and let their faith go astray in their destructive warmongering.
The lesser Races watched jealously from their meager holdings and plotted the demise of the First-born who was the masterpiece of the Maker, never again duplicated in their perfection. The second-born, the Race known as the Daemon, looked from the skies and their hearts were heavy with envy. Even the other Gods, who had tried their hands at creation and failed – they looked to the First-born and felt a seething hatred. They whispered lies to the Maker, telling him that his Favored Children planned sedition, treason and blasphemy against He who Forged them from Fire.
And He who Shaped them with Souls was greatly wroth.
He took his True Name from the minds of all Dwarves, that their happiness would diminish. He armed the Daemon with iron and fire, frost and blades and bid them to slay his favored children and destroy their greatest works. They descended from Overworld as Death upon the World, slaying first those who lived above ground before slaughtering the Dwarves beneath the stones. The other lesser Races raided the ruins of the Dwarves and claimed the First-born crafts to be their own.
But the worst of all Fates given them was that the Maker stripped from the First-born many of their gifts. Seven boons did He grant all Dwarves in their creation, but most dwarves in this fallen age are born with only One: the Boon of Order.
The Maker relented at the end, however. The remaining First-born in their under-cities had prayed to him and had desired only his forgiveness for their transgression. The wrath of the Maker paused and he saw the truth: the Dwarves were chaotic and factioned, but in their hearts they had wont for no treachery.
Thus did the Maker turn his wrath to those who had deceived him. He cast the Daemon and their hateful brethren into the very depths of the Underworld and shackled their accursed souls in massive Vaults beneath Midworld. Before He who Shaped their Souls withdrew to the heights of the Overworld, he told them that he would one day return when they were worthy, united and faithful in his eyes. And in his return, he would grant them the gifts that he had taken from them and the paradise that this favored children deserve.
The Iron Kingdom believes that it is they that will bring together the Favored Children in a Golden Age that will bring back the Maker’s favor and the Maker’s boons. When five Kingdoms have passed after the fallen First, the Maker will return and start the true beginning of the World.
Forging of the Iron Rune
It is writ in the Runes of Antiquity that the Iron-Rune Clan was forged in the fires of the First Kingdom’s ruin and in the bellows of the Maker’s wrath. Before the Maker set desolation upon the First Kingdom, he bid the greatest of his Forge-Priests to shepherd the faithful and to bring them to a sacred place deep within the earth. Nalim of the Iron Rune was a Priest known for his skill with the forge and his dedication to the craft but his cries were ignored by the First-born in their warmongering and their love of chaos.
Even the other Priests of his faith ignored him and worse yet, decried him as a heretic. Ten Priests from ten different clans listened to him, however and they forsook position and Clan to become his disciples.
Year 0 Iron-Rune Reckoning – Malak Travak’s site is discovered
The journey is a crucible; many of the First-born do not survive the dangers of the depths or the beasts of the dark. Undeterred, Nalim, his disciples and all who followed them, delve deep beneath the Stoneclaw Mountains until they find a place where the earth was adamantine and flame flowed as rivers.
At the sight of his future home, Nalim of the Iron Rune falls upon his knees and lays his beard low. As he writhed upon the ground, the Maker pronounces through him the name of his sanctuary: the Iron Haven or “Malak Travak” in the Runic language of the Dwarves. The each outer wall of the new Dwarfhold were ensigiled with the symbol that modern Iron Dwarves hold as their banner – the ten-toothed gear and the fiery pillar of faith at its center.
Year 10 IRR; Nalim is crowned King of the Iron-Rune Clan
For his wisdom and his piety, Nalim of the Iron-Rune is tasked by the people of Malak Travak to rule and to guide them. The First-born of Malak Travak would call themselves the Iron-Rune Clan for centuries to come and it is blessed with prosperity and fortune among the Stone Clans.
Year 50 to 550 IRR; the Desolation of the Maker
The construction of the Clanhold of Malak Travak is completed. Soon after the walls re erected, Demonic hordes swarm upon Malak Travak and are driven away from its wall. They touch not Malak Travak; the symbol of the Iron Rune marks the Dwarfhold as sacrosanct and blessed of the Maker.
Other Clanholds are not so pious and are not as fortunate.
The time of the Daemon is an era of darkness. Although the Daemon is kept away from the walls of the Clanhold, that also meant that the Dwarves existed in a state of siege. Malak Travak becomes a prison to the First-born. During the Desolation, stepping into the wastelands outside means certain death.
After a few generations, however, Nalim Iron-Rune VI is divinely informed that the Daemon is banished into the depths of the Underworld, imprisoned in Vaults wrought by the Maker itself.
Malak Travak’s fortunes wax with the passage of time. Few are the Clans that dared make war with the Iron-Rune and no Clan succeeds in their siege. Malak Travak’s location is both remote and easily defensible. Furthermore, the Iron-Rune is open handed in its crafts and its magics, more given to sharing its Maker-given prosperity and the fruit of Malak Travak’s workshops through trade and tribute. More allies than enemies do their generosity create and it serves the Iron Rune well in the future.
Year 650 IRR; Kazaq Nyxus the Twilight War
This penchant for peace makes the Iron-Rune most unlike the rest of the Stone Clans. When the beshadowed Empire of the Twilight Elves threatens the Dwarven Race, King Garrok Iron-Rune of Malak Travak attempts to stave off hostilities between the two Races by staging a Dwarfmeet to begin negotiations.
Clan Thundershield shatters the Iron-Rune’s attempts at peace by insulting the Twilight’s diplomat and starting a riot at the parley area. The Elven diplomatic party is almost completely slaughtered beneath a flag of truce had not Garok the Peacemaker intervened. They pacify the other First-born, rescued the remaining emissaries and sent him back to his Empress.
In the inevitable conflict against the Elven invasion, Malak Travak lends craft, spell and scions to the war effort. Because of the Iron-Rune’s lack of bloodlust and veterans, their soldiery are ever at the back of every conflict, every battle. Entire Clans are lost to the Twilight Empire’s dark sorceries, enslaved thralls and Elven blades but the Iron-Rune’s position behind the front-lines protects its sons and daughters from the worst of casualties.
Year 680 IRR; the Twilight Empire is defeated
The Twilight Empire delves deep into Dwarven territory and pays a heavy price in extending beyond their resources. Unbeknownst to the other First-born, the Elven armies were seeking a Dwarven capitol that did not exist – a false assumption given to the surviving emissaries by King Garok in exchange for the “Empress’ mercy”. The Elven retreat was a massacre and only a tenth portion of the armies successfully escaped the blood-soaked Dwarven tunnels.
The Stone Clans are thinned by the war with the Empire but triumphant with their pride. For their part, Malak Travak receives its weary soldiers with open arms, moreso because they returned with many Elven relics and designs for the Travaki artisans to study, adapt and assimilate into their works.
In that same year, a diplomatic envoy of Elves purporting to be from a rival Sun Empire is halted at the border of the Stoneclaw Mountains. Despite their intent to form an alliance with the First-born, the Elves are gruffly rebuffed and sent away.
Year 710 IRR; Rune-forged Arms and Armor are invented
Valdi Iron-Rune invents the secret of Rune-Forging, a way to create special arms and armor that are stronger than normal arms and armor as well as being easily attuned to magical energies. The Iron-Rune Clan keeps its secrets to itself, although knowledge of its existence and jealousy of its powers spread across the Stoneclaw mountains.
Great is the expense of place Rune-forged arms and armor in the hands of high priest, grand marshal and guildmaster- but it is all done for the glory of the Iron-Rune Clan. For his contributions, Valdi’s first-born daughter is allowed to marry the son of the King.
Year 820 IRR; The Iron-Rune Banking Guild is founded
The fractious nature of the Stone Clans had long frustrated the Kings of the Iron-Rune Clan. The Dwarves of Malak Travak long for a return to the glories of the First Kingdom before the Sundering Sin damned the entire Race. The failure of peace with the Twilight Elves along with the dealings with the Sun Empire leads King Varak and his council to formulate a long-term plan to unify the Dwarven people once and for all.
To whit, the Iron-Rune Clan devises a system of credit that they used to help neighboring Stone Clans rebuild after the Twilight War. To protect it, the greatest Travaki magic-users create powerful magics to prevent counterfeiting and robbery.
The war-ravaged Clans were only too happy to receive aid from Malak Travak, especially when their Dwarfholds were in constant danger from other Clans. The so-called Iron-Rune Banking Guild (or Iron Bank) of Malak Travak makes many allies in its open-handedness, even as its coffers dwindled. Many are the Clans across the Stoneclaw Mountains that benefit from the Iron Bank’s credit.
Year 1010 IRR; Kazaq Drakas the Dragon War
The Dragon Matriarch, Drakas, and her brood lay waste to a dozen Clan Halls and Dwarfholds before Shaggrath the Silent rallies the First-born to war against the Wyrm-spawn. Malak Travak once again lends its blood and its steel to the war effort but at great cost; the Iron-Rune casualties of this war are horrendous and a brutal counter-attack from the Draconic menace almost brings a defenseless Malak Travak to utter ruin.
This city of crafters and smiths is ill prepared to weather the onslaught of the Wyrmspawn and many bright and faithful First-born are burned that day, as well as many runestones of religious, historical and professional value. Stone King Braxus II and almost the entire bloodline of the Clan’s main branch is lost, only the first-prince Hardrim on the front lines survives.
Year 2005 IRR; Dragon fall
Like the Maker against Wyrm, the First-
born slay the Dragon and her brood. However, a devilish ambush unleashed before the battle kills a third of the Dwarven armies and the battle against Drakas herself claims a third more.
When time comes to divvy the Dragon hoard among the coalition of Clans, the Iron-Rune is given a pittance of a share compared to other Stone Clans. The warband that survived the death of Shaggrath however, is awarded a share large enough to create a new Dwarfhold. Thusly, Malak Travak’s soldiers and emissaries return light-handed.
Year 2020 IRR; Alliances and Broken Oaths
With Malak Travak being severely damaged and its power greatly weakened, King Gravas Iron-Rune III directs the Iron Bank to collect the debts that it is owed as well as the interest of the loans with the intent of fixing his damaged city – a massive undertaking even without the hindrance of empty coffers.
Few of the Stone Clans comply, mostly the nearby Dwarfholds that have been thinned by the war and now face grievous threats from better-off Clans. These Clans repay their debts and form a mutual defense alliance with the Iron-Rune Clan.
Those that do not comply rightly believe that the Iron-Rune Clan has insufficient strength in collecting after their loans. Seven such Clans form a massive host to besiege Malak Travak and plunder it for its crafts and its secrets.
Year 2030 IRR; the Battle upon the Stair of Grief
The war between the Iron-Rune and its debtors reaches its highest point among the slopes of the Stoneclaw Mountains. The Stair of Grief is awash in the blood of First-born and the human mercenaries hired by the victorious Malak Travak.
The news of the Iron-Rune’s victory spreads across the Stoneclaw mountains like wildfire. Many Clans pay both loan and interest to the Iron-Rune Dwarves while some Clans capitulate entirely and leave their Clan Halls to rebuild Malak Travak and reside within it. The influence of Malak Travak grows as more Clans flock to its banner.
Year 2000 IRR or Year 0 Iron Soul Reckoning –
The King Bragi is the first King of the Iron-Rune to fall aside from the priestly traditions of Nalim Iron-Rune. He names himself the Bragi Ironsoul I and forms the Iron Kingdom, being no longer content to be a mere Stone Clan. The Kings of the 10 greatest allied Clans of the Iron-Rune are made into an advisory body known as the Council of Ten. Determined to forge a different path, he and his line does not pursue the studies of the priesthood and chooses the Council of Ten as his main advisors over the Church of the Maker.
Malak Travak attempts to hold a Dwarfmeet in order to create an alliance that involves all Dwarf Clans. Clan Rumbletum and Clan Blackstone are unconvinced of the Iron-Rune’s motives and refuse to attend… other Stone Clans join them, jealous of Malak Travak’s prosperity and fearful of the power they wielded.
The Iron Kingdom and its allies flourish and thrive, sharing lores, bloodlines and loyalties. As a united front, they are able to undertake grand projects, protect their interests and become a force to be feared beneath and among the Stoneclaw Mountains.
Year 100 ISR – Kazaq Travak the Iron War
After a hundred years of prosperity, the Stoneclaw Mountains and the Iron Kingdom are shaken by an earthquake which only portends a massive invasion. Within the year, a coalition of Stone Clans led by Clan Rumbletum and Clan Blackstone break through the Iron Kingdom’s peripheral territories.
The Iron Kingdom and its allies push Stone Clans back, beginning a long and brutal war that sends the Stoneclaw Mountains awash in the blood of the First-born. The Iron War is an extended and storied one in the fullness of Dwarven tradition. The sieges last for decades and generations fall away and are forged in the war’s passing.
Year 300 ISR – The Breaking of the Iron Soul
Despite the might of the Iron Kingdom, eleven Clans cannot stand against the might of thirty Stone Clans. Malak Travak is sacked by the victors. Secrets long warded are stolen and bloodlines long kept are broken. Although the Stone Clans do not raze Malak Travak to the ground, the Ironsoul dynasty is almost completely eliminated in the slaughter.
After a Dwarfmeet, it is decided by the Stone Clans that the Malak Travak and its territories are to be left alone, although much of it was damaged in the war. Monsters and brigands ravage these defenseless areas and powerful merchants, artisans and priests rise up as leaders to the populace – organizing defenses for the city and enforcing the laws of the land.
Year 305 ISR – The Council of Ten brings order to Malak Travak
Supported by the Church of the Maker, the ten strongest and most influential guilds of Malak Travak restore order to the city and its holdings. Manpower and resources are expended to repair its walls, patrol its territories and send emissaries to their neighbors.
The new Council of Ten does much to restore Malak Travak’s glories, especially in the way of artisanship and mercantile tradition. Included in their number is the Banking Guild. The Iron Kingdom begins its ascent in reclaiming its reputation as the mecca of smithing, brewery and alchemy.
The Church of the Maker regains its high status among the Travaki. The Church’s coffers are soon filled with tithes just as their temples are thronged by the faithful. A delicate balance of power is assumed between the Forge-Hierophant and the Council of Ten.
Year 586 ISR – Kazaq Wyrd, the Wyrdic War
The human Empire of Wyrd offers the Stone Clans membership within its ranks. When the Wyrdic Empire is rebuffed, it sends seven of its fabled Legions to subdue the First-born of the Stoneclaw Mountains. Unlike the Twilight Empire, the Men of Wyrd made only the slowest advances into Dwarven territories – they built and placed fortifications every night and moved in strict formation. The Wyrdic Empire did not rely on magic or thralls to make war; they used brave soldiers, honed tactics and the support of
their faith in their seven gods.
Their greatest victory is the taking of the Clanhall of the Bladebreaker dwarves, a Clan esteemed for the tenacity of their defenses. The subsequent siege of Bladebreaker Hold becomes a keystone in the war, with resources being poured from both sides into the conflict.
Year 636 – The Victory at Bladebreaker Hold
Battles rages around Bladebreaker Hold for decades with no end in sight. The Wyrdic Empire guards its new fortress and its supply trains too well while the Dwarves send army after army to drive the Humans out.
The Iron Kingdom benefits greatly from the war, supplying the armories and the magic-users of the Stone Clans. The Stone Clans deny them access to the front lines, believing the glory of battle to be theirs and theirs alone – the Iron Dwarves are only happy to comply.
The end of the battle comes swiftly and suddenly when Vasha Bladebreaker, Stone-Queen of the Bladebreaker Dwarves, defeats the general of the Wyrdic Legions, a man known only as the Sword of the Emperor in single combat. For their valor and their bravery, the Wyrdic men are allowed to surrender and to return to their homes. Bladebreaker Hold becomes a sacred place to Man and Dwarf, to Mortal and God for the sacrifices and the heroism it had witnessed.
Year 640 ISR – The Iron and the Wyrd
After long years and much discussion, the Wyrdic Empire and the Iron Kingdom become partners in trade. The crafts of Malak Travak are prized among Humans for their quality and their durability. Likewise, the Wyrdic Empire’s vastness allows the First-born access to exotic and new goods. Those Stone Clans that trade with the Iron Kingdom are allowed similar access to products from the Empire, although Malak Travak charges for their services as mediator. The secrets of the Wyrdic Cipher are shared with the Iron Kingdom – previously, professional secrets had to be personally taught to others.
The Banking Guild of the Iron Kingdom establishes a strong foothold within the Empire itself, despite the withering taxes leveled at its money-lending and other services.
Year 750 ISR – Wyrdic Empire falls
The Wyrdic Empire falls, weakened by the wars it has waged on multiple fronts, an internal civil war and a demonic invasion that covers the surface of Midworld. Major centers of academia, magic and industry fall alongside the mythic Empire, although scattered refugees secret away as much knowledge as they possibly could. Contact with the Banking Guild’s branch in the capitol is lost to the Iron Kingdom as the world above is plunged into chaos.
Year 900 ISR – Jotun War, the Titan War
The Jotun Giants conquer the humans of the Wodenbrud within a single decade and turn their gaze toward the Stoneclaw Mountains and the First-born the dwelt among and below them. Few are the Dwarfholds that could withstand the howling hordes of the Jotunbrud and their Jotun taskmasters. Only five Giants, Gymnir, Verrod, Suttrung, Gyllung and Tharum, are sent to break the Dwarves and they are unstoppable. Clan hall after Clan hall, army after army, are shattered by Giant and barbarian.
Year 1077 ISR – the Retaking of Stormgrimm Hold, the Sorrow of Snowering Peak and the Sorrow of Vlasteruk
The Iron Kingdom finances and oversees the Stormgrimm Clan’s greatest work: the Grimm-teeth; these ten Runic weapons are designed to slay Jotun and are imbued with the greatest of magical energies.
With these weapons, the tide turns against the Jotun. Two Giants are slain at the Retaking of Stormgrimm Hold. Another Giant is destroyed at Snowering Peak. Five of the weapons are lost or destroyed in the battle.
Ancient cataclysmic magics are utilized to induce and enhance a volcanic eruption from slumbering Vlasteruk. The ensuing explosion kills almost all the First-born fighting upon the mountain, as well as the remaining two Jotun sent to subjugate the Dwarf Race.
Year 1120 ISR – Kazaq Daemon, the Demon War
Soon after the Jotun were defeated, hordes of Demonic beasts and Demonic spirits swarm the Stoneclaw Mountains and the tunnels beneath them. Many Stone Clans are swallowed up by the onslaught of the Daemon.
The walls which once protected Malak Travak from the Maker’s Desolation are no longer of use, after the damages they had incurred. Nevertheless, the Iron Kingdom perseveres amidst the chaos of the Demon War.
Centuries would pass before a savior would appear to bring salvation to the Dwarven people. Until then, Malak Travak suffers from a nigh constant state of siege that taxes it and its holdings heavily. All progress halts during this dark age dubbed the “Ten Thousand Nights of Terror”
Year 1655 ISR – Karg Runehammer musters the First-born
Karg Runehammer is a Grey Witch possessed of heroic determination, powerful thews and mighty earth magics. He belongs to no Clan and claims no Guild as his own; but he hates the Race of Demons and he seeks to free his people from their clawed grasp.
Karg and his warband weaves through the wandering hordes and swarms of the Daemon, going to each remaining Clanhall and each Dwarfhold – as Shaggrath did before him. To each Clan, he delivers hope against the darkness and knowledge of the Daemon’s true weakness.
The Iron Kingdom welcomes Karg with open arms, granting him and his boon companions the greatest weaponry and protection they could muster. The Iron Kingdom hails him not only as a savior but also as the one that can truly unite the First-born despite all their differences. To their surprise, the Stone Clans agree.
Year 1665 ISR – The Fall of Runehammer
Karg leads a host of First-born wrought of all remaining Stone Clans and the forces of the Iron Kingdom. Their destination is a Demon Gate he and his warband had found in a previous adventure.
The approach to this Demon Gate is fraught with brutal fighting as the Demons swarm the armies with unending waves of rampaging monstrositi
es. Ocne in a while, a towering clawed Daemon would squeeze out of a cavern entrance, drop from the ceiling or break through a wall to ravage several warbands before falling to the combined might of the First-born. Or else, a wave of slavering minor demons would break through the front to wreak havoc among the back ranks. But for all their valor and their might, the Dwarves’ numbers withers before the endless hordes of Demonkind; the Daemon knew no fear of death nor time of day in their constant rampage.
When at last the Demon Gate was reached and broken, Karg Runehammer is as mangled and as battered as the rest of his people. Before celebrations can be had however, a group of assassins in the guise of Dwarves attacks Runehammer and slays him before fleeing the scene.
The Dwarves immediately faction upon Runehammer’s death; each Clan blames the others and the Iron Kingdom is no exception. Only the presence of Runehammer’s corpse and the weakened state of the armies prevent actual battle. With Karg Runehammer falls any hope of unification among the First-born.
Year 1750 ISR – Iron Kingdom is scoured clean
A large host of sorcerous Dwarves leads and completes the purification of the Iron Kingdom’s territories and holdings of the Demonic menace. Although they use questionable magics and dark methods, the results of their labors bring them favor from the Council of Ten.
Much to the dismay of the Church of the Maker, these Sorcerers form the Spiral Cabal; a Guild of Sorcery that seeks to train, educate and police the Sorcerers of the Iron Kingdom. Their efforts in uplifting Sorcery from its vile reputation grant the Spiral Cabal an invitation to the Council of Ten.
Year 1800 ISR – The Church of the Maker exposes corruption among the Guilds
Agents working for the Church of the Maker reveal to the rest of the Iron Kingdom that three members of the Council of Ten are preparing for a coup, raising armies and weakening their fellow Guilds.
The remainder of the Council strikes out at the Three Guilds. The corrupted Guilds are destroyed root and branch, their holdings distributed to other Council members. A large portion goes to the Church of the Maker. The Guilds’ names are scratched out of the historical records so that none may follow in their folly.
The Council’s integrity is questioned by the public.
Year 1950 ISR – The Council fights the Church
The conflict between the Council of Ten and the Maker’s Church degrades into war upon the streets of Malak Travak. The fighting is brutal and no quarter is given; hundreds of First-born are slaughtered in the avenues and tunnels of the Iron Kingdom.
As the death toll rises, the citizens of the Iron Kingdom clamor for a true leader. Eventually, even some of the Guilds desire an end to the conflict and the rise of a true King that is beyond Church or Guild.
Year 2000 ISR or Year 0 Runed King Reckoning – The Runed-King
Amid the chaos of the civil war, a mercenary general named Valak Stonefoot puts his forces to safeguarding the people of the Iron Kingdom from the worst of the battles. Valak and his warriors are originally hired by the Banking Guild to keep their holdings secure. Instead, they place the safety of the Travaki above the petty disputes and bickers of his “betters”.
The people begin to rally around him and hail him as a hero. The Church recognizes his leadership capability and ceases their attacks upon those properties under his protection. The Guilds behave similarly. The Guild of Archivists reveals that he is descended from Valdi Iron-Rune, the creator of Rune-forged weaponry and therefore is blooded royalty.
Before the year’s end, he is raised by Council and Church to be the new Runed-King of Malak Travak. He reclaims his family’s surname of Ironsoul. His first act as Runed-King is the inclusion of the Church of the Maker into the Council of Ten.
Valak proves to be a strong King, often going against the wishes of the Council of Ten to enact his own will upon the Iron Kingdom. Because of his bravado and his visionary leadership, the Iron Kingdom prospers. His heirs follow in his footsteps.
Year 336 RKR – The Censure of the Guilds
When Clan Steelbeard refuses to pay the Iron Bank’s dues, attacks the Banking Guild’s emissaries and flaunts their debts to the Iron Kingdom’s face, Runed-King Valdi III is forced to act.
He enacts a Censure of the Guilds upon the Clan, allowing no Guild to deal with the Steelbeards or any Clan that associate with the Steelbeards. Furthermore, continued association with the Steelbeards results in the collection of debts from the offending party. Adding to this economic sanction, the Runed-King also offers a bounty on prominent Steelbeard members to the other Stone Clans.
Despite its indirectness, the effects of Valdi III’s edict is devastating – moreso because of the Steelbeard’s small size and poor ranking among the Stone Clans. Within five years and after three attempted sieges, the Steelbeard King goes to Malak Travak with an apology and a tribute that matches their debt to the Iron Kingdom.
The Runed-King takes their tribute and charges them further for interest, for the miscellaneous expenses and for the loss of their emissaries.
The Steelbeards have no choice but to comply. Within the next month, their holdings and their Clanhall are in the hands of the Iron Kingdom.
Year 350 RKR – Banking Guild’s Uprising
King Avarak Ironsoul is saved from an assassination attempt by a visiting Human warrior named Luther von Pendrakken. After a thorough investigation, the conspirators are rounded up and the Banking Guild is discovered to be the cause.
Within the year, the Guild is dissolved. Its holdings and resources are taken by the crown and a minister is appointed to steward the various accounts and loans of the newly created Iron Bank.
Year 750 RKR – Treaty of Freehold< /p>
The Runed-King Avarak II is one of the three founders of the Treaty of Freehold, alongside King Arcturus of Pendrakken and Horned-King Malleus. To the public, it is known that this treaty creates a neutral ground for all Kingdoms toward the goal of world-spanning dialogue, access to certain incredibly precious resources and is the site of several prophesied events. Some Kingdoms are pressured to partake of the Treaty while others move forward of their own volition… not all who volunteer their participation are allowed the treaty’s special treatment.
Owing to an ancient scroll found to be belonging to a powerful pre-Wyrdic Kingdom that is neither Dwarven nor Elven, the lands covered by the Treaty of Freehold are to be called the Seventh Kingdom, after the mythical, utopian Seventh Kingdom held in that scroll’s divinations.
Year 760 RKR – Present Day
A branch of the Iron Bank is allowed residence in Freehold (a frontier town within the Seventh Kingdom). According to the will of the Kingdoms however, the Iron Kingdom may not directly affect or control this branch – such control is given instead to an Innkeeper named Annie Waterbringer, owner of the prominent “Annie’s Inn.”. Each major town in the Seventh Kingdom is given similar treatment.