Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Sunday Sneak: History of Pinehall

More of the Heart of Darkness module to look at? You got it!

Pinehall (section header)
The dwarven settlement known as Pinehall (Granarholl in Orthr, but dwarves are notorious for not wanting to speak their own language around outsiders) was founded in the 8th century of the 9th Age and eventually destroyed in the late 4th century of the 10th Age.

It’s rise was responsible for bringing a great number of dwarves from their mountainous holds in the Arinnfal to the north; nearly all of the dwarven settlers in Culcomb were survivors from the destruction of the old hall or their descendants.

While the conflicts that beset Pinehall early in its history were generally between dwarves and elves, it is the Dorls who the Pinehall dwarves are truly wary of: Alphonsar and Tiriodar, the two men most directly responsible for the fall of the old halls were both Dorls and so was the army that followed them.
Having long memories and longer lives, those who survived the siege and slaughter of their kin are unlikely to look kindly upon Dorls again. Their natural distrust has been compounded, and even menfolk of non-Dorlish descent can expect a cold greeting in Culcomb.

IX.706, Hrunir Fastorth founds Pinehall
In this year Hrunir, known as Fastorth which became the clan-name of one of the two Pinehall highborn clans, traveled northwards from his home in Middlemark, through the now-vanished Bandit Kingdoms of the Vales, and established a steading in the Black Mountains.

His settlement grew into a ring-town by the year IX740. Though Iiriem had lain claim to the Pinefall Forest long before, during this time they were occupied by the resurgence of the Bleeding Death on the one hand and the pressing of the Bandit Kings on the other to contest the establishment of a small dwarven village.

IX.753 Battle of Michel’s Pool
The Iiriemite armies smashed the Bandit Kings at Michel’s Pool and executed their leadership in the summer of this year, including the infamous King Michel the Robber, leaving the Vales leaderless.
Later in that year, a black dragon by the name of Sisthyr and her brood settled in the northern marches of the Pinefall.

IX.754 Driving out the Dragon
The dwarves of the burgeoning Pinehall and the elves of Iiriem were both troubled by the dragonsign they were beginning to see amongst the forest animals; attacks of gigantine proportions and the destruction of entire caravans of merchants attested to Sisthyr’s growing power.

The dwarves sent envoys to the elven king and together they set out to do battle with the brood of the black dragon. Hundreds of elven knights were joined by a handful of dwarven warriors and together they went deep into the glens and confronted Sisthyr and her six sons.

While the dragon was slain, a great portion of the Iiriemite knighthood went with her, and many of her children escaped into the wild. Indeed, it is thought that the so-called “Silverlode” dragon that terrorized Iiriem in the Tenth Age might have been the child of Sisthyr herself.

IX.755 The Refusal
After the death of Sisthyr the elf king of Iiriem proposed that Hrunir should swear fealty to him. Many elves had, after all, perished to keep the Pinehall safe. Hrunir refused to kneel to anyone who was not a dwarf and a king.

As a result, the elves of Iiriem and the dwarves of Pinehall parted on unkind terms, a resentment stewing between them.

IX.756 The First Delving
Fearing an armed elvish response, Hrunir urged a new process of fortification at Pinehall. Old flimsy buildings were knocked down and replaced with stone. Tunnels and halls were carved into the mountainside, and the walls were strengthened. With many young adventuresome dwarves arriving daily (Hrunir’s name had become synonymous with dragon slaying after his part in the death of Sisthyr), the size of the settlement grew rapidly.

IX.764 Elvish Agression
Hrunir was given an ultimatum in IX764: swear fealty, relinquish claim on the Pinefall and the Black Mountains, and kneel before the elf king of Iiriem... or be forced to. Hrunir stood strong and, as a result, the outlying steads and farms of Pinehall were burned by elvish irregulars.

IX.765-98 Entrenchment
Hrunir ordered the construction of a true folkhal after the burnings and delvings on a fortress below the mountains began. The elves cut off the Pinehall supply routes, starved them for trade, and harried their borders. However, the troops of Iiriem were badly depleted from the bandit wars, the confrontation with the dragon, and flare-ups of the Bleeding Plague amongst the elves.

During this time the dwarves worked day and night to complete the upper halls of Pinehall. By IX798 the ringtown had transformed into a small, well-defended, dwarven city.

IX.800-25 War
As the elvish population recovered, the Iiriemites made full scale war on the Pinehall. They were too late, as the defensive works were by now extensive. Strong as the mountain itself, the dwarves retreated into their hold whenever the elves were ravaging the countryside.

IX.831 Legitimacy
The elves withdrew and agreed to recognize Hrunir’s right to hold the mountains and forest if he agreed to allow them to send trade through the wood. Over one hundred years after its founding and just before Hrunir’s own death the dwarf king sent a colony stone to Pinehall and recognized it as an official colony of Hârnholme. Hrunir was declared the Prince of Pinehall and all the lands around it were at peace.

IX.833 Hrunir dies, Olfin Larsten is elected Clan-prince

IX.843 Settlement
The dwarves built a permanent road to Iiriem and Middlemark and began to spread out through the forest. Other races moved north to settle under Pinehall’s banner as it was relatively peaceful and stable compared to the maelstrom of chaos brought about by the plague and the great wars in the world at large.

IX.897 The Dragon’s Return
One of Sisthyr’s sons, Fyrosh, returned to the forest in IX897 to wreak his vengeance. Finding his mother’s slayer, Hrunir, already dead he instead vented his ire on the settlements of the forest. Thousands were killed or driven out before Fyrosh apparently tired, winging away again into the darkness.

X.138 Orc Tribes Attack
The Black Mountain orc tribes were a constant source of danger and trouble for the Pinehall but in X138 they unified under an Aurkenoz named Thobak and began to ravage and plunder the Vales and Pinehall.

X.139-70 Intermittent Orc Wars
Throughout the 2nd century of the 10th Age, orc wars spilled over into the Pinefall region every now and again. The most dangerous was under Thobak, which lasted from X138-41 and his eventual death.

X.200 Death of Olfin, election of Althr Hammerson Fastorth

X.245 Establishment of Sidunum under dwarven law
After the Teralian conquest of the Vales, imperial Teralian miners discovered that the Black Mountains were full of silver. They established a settlement near the central passes and obtained permission to mine there from Pinehall. A new trade route was opened, leading to Northmount Abbey from the eastern side of the vale.

X.380 Dorlish Skirmishes
Long after the collapse of Teral and the foundation of Dorlan, skirmishes between the Tyrolin houses and the Pinehall shook the borders of that land. The dwarves withdrew closer to their fortress, avoiding any direct confrontations with the Dorls.

X.388-90 March War
Eventually, these skirmishes broke out into a full scale war between the Pinehall dwarves and the Dorls. Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the men the Dorlish mages could call upon, they were slaughtered and driven out of their folkhal. Pinehall was looted and left empty, and has stood as such for generations of men.

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