Ashes of the Empire
For such a short folk, the dwarves of the Skycrown Mountains tell some very tall tales, and the stories of King Gimnur Highbeard are among the most fantastic. Great feats commonly attributed to King Gimnur are the excavation of the Grand Hall of Thorannon Deep with naught but his bare hands, winning a drinking contest to the death against the fearsome red dragon of Blackcrag Peak, and many other such legends. The invention (and subsequent drunken recitation) of increasingly outlandish tales of Gimnur seems to be a common dwarven pastime.
In truth, King Gimnur Highbeard was a real Dwarven king who became so great that he ended his time on this world by ascending to godhood. Most of the facts of Gimnur’s life are obscured in legend, but it is known that he was the King of the Dwarves during the founding of Thorannon Deep, the greatest dwarven city ever built. He is credited with the creation of the legendary magma forges and is the first dwarf to forge the mighty adamantite ore into tools and weapons.
Gimnur embodies all those traits which dwarves traditionally value most. He was knowledgeable in the ways of rock and metal as shown by his invention of the magma forge. He was a gifted smith and craftsman of both devices of war and works of pure artistry. His great mithril axe ‘Howlhaft the Rift’ is perhaps the most coveted of all of Thorannon Deep’s lost treasures. Equally praised is the great wall sculpture in the hall of the magma forges depicting the slaying of the drow general Nicxith in fine adamantine, mithril, gold, and precious gems. Lost in the ruins of the Deep, now only drawings and tapestries remain to tell of its glory. His martial skill was unrivaled and legend says he always charged into battle at the front of his armies.
Worship of Gimnur is extremely prevalent among the dwarves, though his will is interpreted in different ways. Following The Fall, when King Harath Highbeard was slain and Thorannon Deep was lost to the returned, the dwarves greatly feared Gimnur’s wrath for their failure to defend the city which he created and for the death of the leader of the ruling Highbeard clan which Gimnur belonged to during his rule. In response, the surviving members of the Highbeard clan changed the name of the ruling clan to Thundercrown, which it has remained, and will remain until they have reclaimed their homeland and are worthy of the name Highbeard once more.
The dwarves of the Thun’Dal Deeps feel their failure of Gimnur most strongly and have devoted a great deal of resources to strengthening their military and wish for nothing more than to reclaim Thorranon Deep and their worth in Gimnur’s eyes. However, the dwarves of Ormek believe differently. They are ashamed at the loss of their great city, but they see Gimnur as the great craftsman, and don’t wish their people to sacrifice their legendary prowess with stone and metal in the total pursuit of war. Much dwarven clan politics revolve around this schism in beliefs.
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