Seven years after the Great Departure of Elvendom from the world of men, a new area dawned in Eriduah. An envoy of dwarves from Mount Jebul came from the east to the port city of Mithar. It was none other than Kwandol himself, king under those mountains.
Speaking with that host was Vendumar Swancloak, our own lord and king; who stood chief among those founding fathers. Before him, Kwandol Ironhammer offered his hand in peace, desiring to cast a renewed alliance between the two peoples. For, said did he, “If a remnant of elven sons could conjure forth the courage to broker peace, the sons of dwarves would bend their knee to that cause as well. The Great Wars of gloom are but things in both our ancient past, and a new area must be forged. For the time is now ripe for such deeds.”
In honor of that august day, and their acceptance; those dwarves eagerly agreed to craft a Great Hall to mark such an occasion. They quarried stone blocks from the hills of the Blue mountain range. Their masonic skills fashioned a single, chambered dome-house into the likeness of two greeting hands. With their fingers interlaced, cupped and laying on their side; one dwarven and the other elven, it stood high and fair. Supporting the two touching thumbs were spiral pillars. Etched in both tongues, about the raised rib were the words, “TWO DIVERSE PEOPLE FORGED BY HARDSHIP TO BECOME BROTHERS OF HOPE.”
Entrance was gained through a single round, divided door which saw a brief hallway lead down into a sunken floor-well. In the middle of that polished floor was the gold-inlaid, seven-pointed star of Mithar. From its center, looking back over three rows of raised, benched-seats were mithrel silver-inlaid vines upon the curved wall. Sprouting like leaves, from the vines, were Ax and Hammer seals of the Dwarven Kingdom. Mid-air, suspended above each of the points of the star were bowls of fire, that hung by silver twine. Two incense altars met the hallway’s entrance, and the domed roof was vented with air holes in-between the interweaving of the carved vine design.
All who entered that noble chamber stood in awe of the workmanship. Three years in the making. The dwarves had poured their pride, and hope-filled desire for a lasting peace into all their labors, with Kwandol inspecting every aspect of its detail. It was indeed a thing of beauty, a gift worthy of praise and remembrance. Upon completion, the Mitharians celebrated for three days with their new friends, one for each year the dwarves toiled in crafting the Great Hall.
Representatives of both people met in that ornately gifted house, coming together under one roof as a single people. Deliberating matters of state and mutual trade. For the people of Mithar: the Elven Watchers, the Nasilian Bedouins and their Nephilim offspring; all offered up their lives to the cause of peace. They freely traded, learned and taught their knowledge of the heavens, the seasons, fishing, and archery skills. Likewise did the dwarven sons of the Blue Mountains offer up hunting rights in their southern forest called Kinderval.
King Kwandol stationed his brother, Lagros as Ambassador to reside near the domed meeting hall. Lagros would be the eyes, ears and voice of the King; ever sending word of news or call for aid. So it was, of how that Great Alliance was forged and maintained in the abundance of friendship. Both people gained much from the other, and questioned why true peace had taken so long in coming.
However, such joyous days are not long endure it would seem. For, misunderstandings frequently arose between the two cultures. Arguments subsided. But their differences always simmered beneath the surface, as one was tall the other stout; one fair, the other ruddy with beards. As the years passed away so too did the original founders of the city. King Korale was the first son to rule who was not of that elder generation, and the era of his father’s ways was fastly diminishing. For the earlier teachers had become priests, devising new manners by which to control the people they first served. In time, ninety-seven years later to the very day the Great Hall had opened, that peace was snuffed out.
Six days after the last Watcher, Baal’yick Ravenblack died; his body was cremated, and his ashes added to the Holy Urn of the founding families of Mithar. I, Gilmore, great grandson of the Watcher Beirdan and the Lady Holmath, was alive and bore witness to those events as they unfolded in our midst. For the next twenty-four years the differences we had with our dwarven neighbors was no longer a silent matter, and the truth boiled over.
It was two hundred and sixty-four years after the Great Departure, amidst that growing discord, when a prophet arose teaching the end of days. The great urn of our Holy Dead was placed in the Great Hall, and set in the center of the seven pointed star. Their half-bred sons, those Nephilim lords, did fashion images of their long-dead fathers. For, upon panels of bronze they did beat and shape the shrouded figures of those twenty-one elders, who had once watched over the city. Beloved as the sons of God, their children so desired to memorialize them for all time. The Shrouded Ones, as they were later called, lined in standing order were made to cover the inner walls of the Great Hall. An enchantment was spelled upon them, when by fire light they did seem to move on their own accord. The overlaid panels of the Shrouded Ones hid well the dwarven seal, and its mithrel-vine from view.
Two days after the installation of the bronze figures, Ambassador Lagros returned from a trip to Jebul. Upon seeing the Shrouded Ones in person for himself, and no fore mention of their presence, the dwarf cried out in utter horror and disbelief. Lagros ran out of the darkened chamber tearing his outer garment off, pulling out his beard, weeping and falling to his knees. When his aid rushed to help him and to know why Lagros was so distraught, the Ambassador cried out all the more. Throwing dirt in the air, and his entire face and body cover he wept saying, “Shame and folly! Cursed and abomination we have become bastard children discarded and shunned. The house of hope has become a place for the worship of the dead!”
The Nephilim sons were bewildered and in shock of the dwarf’s reaction. They tried to tell them it was but a memorial for a season of grief. But, when the rest of the Ambassador’s household went inside to see the cause of such uproar, they too came out doing and crying the same as their master, Lagros. At night fall they gathered all their belongings and returned to Jebul in haste.
On the fourth day, since their leaving, a great host of dwarves arrived and surrounded both the city of Lindol and Mithar. Leading them was King Kwandol with Lagros as Ambassador at his side, Cho-mak Captain of the guards, standard bearers and warriors were at the ready. Without a word to anyone, he passed by King Korale in silence. The dwarf lord entered the Great Hall to witness for himself if the deeds told him were spoken in truth or not. Standing beside the Urn, and in front of the new Nephilim King, the dwarf tore his own shirt crying, “What is the meaning of this unholy desecration?”
Korale replied softly, “There was no ill intent presented here, but to give honor for a season to our precious fathers, who birthed our purpose.”
“This worship of the dead is beyond memorializing, as you have also discarded the great seal of our presence here,” Shouted Kwandol! Always by his side was his pet lion, which the dwarf king kept in tow upon a chain. At his anger, the beast called Thrombel, roared in his master’s defense. All, but the two arguing leaders remained in the domed chamber, as fright caused the aids of the Nephilim king to retreat beyond the outer porch.
Seeing their very alliance continuing to unravel, with yet another misunderstanding, and no hope of mending, Kwandol asked, “Shall we strive once more?” He shook his head no, “How shall we return to another thousand years of broken vows? It was our generation who sought, and found that peace shall never be held in this manner between us. Even after this – abomination – is removed, the tarnish of your true deeds, done with whispers is now fully known to my sleeping ears. Our eyes have been awakened to your ways indeed, for they are unlike your father’s intent. I fear that all our days are numbered, as mistrust and lies have been seeded beyond the ability of being uprooted!”
The High Priest, Shayma Redhawk who rebutted from the hallway, “It was not us, but your prideful foolishness that brought calamity here with your gathered host and that starved creature, oh king of dirt!” Thrombel roared again and began to lung forward but, the dwarf’s surprising strength pulled him back.
Suddenly a torrent of angry curses and raised voices flowed out of that chamber. Like the lion’s thunder, the two races outside were bursting into shouting as well. A civil war was on the verge of erupting.
It was in that very moment that another figure intervened between those two feuding kings. A young man known to all set himself apart, and from that day onward divided everyone to new allegiances. It was Nadan, the son of Galadir and the first of the long-lived Nephilim. Both Korale and Kwandol turned to the silence figure. He stood with an outstretched hand. To all their amazement the lion, Thrombel was hushed, lay down, yawned and did nothing thereafter. With a calm voice he spoke, to where even the gathered crowds outside could hear him:
“Upon a might hill I saw
covered ‘neath the massive waves,
vast oceans crashing upon oceans;
nowhere for a lone raven,
not even branch to rest came.
The dead were washed asunder
till the lands reappeared,
and the waters receded;
only then did a handful remain,
they shall bury the waste of thousands.
For the world had turned ‘round
beholding the face of their own arrogance;
and a grave shame unto itself,
as pride and vanity were all about.
Eating without care or want in lust,
and drinking the filth of such wine,
beyond gluttony’s ripe pleasure
was in everything they did.
For disrespect of Eldar ways or peers
fearless in the face of gross sin;
eager to way-lay the innocent,
even among the weak of kin.
The Land will be without love
and natural affections – meaningless;
right living will be laughed at
in the face of sick perversions.
Men will lie with animals
as if alongside a woman;
and they will neglect their own,
for the forgetfulness of blissful herbs.
The world will stumble into the arms
of greed and lust of glory;
all men’s folly will be praised
no shame of your example this day!”
In that moment he became the Prophet Nadan, just as mysterious as the wizards of old. When he finished speaking, the lion lay on its side dead and the wide-eyed crowds parted without a word for explanation.
Seeing Thrombel deceased, the dwarf king shouted, “Forgive us oh Lord!” Yet, King Korale’s heart was hardened against such things that day, and banished forever dwarves forever from his city.
As if defeated in battle the gates were opened to the fleeing dwarven people, cursed and exiled. Kwandol took the body of his pet and bewailed his loss before his bewildered host. Just beyond the statued gate’s shut doors, Kwandol sliced his own throat and bled-out, lying atop the dead lion. Both beast and fallen king were returned to Mount Jebul and the dwarves were never seen in the Bay city of Mithar again. Thus ended the Great Alliance and began the ministry of the Prophet Nadan Omdir.