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Situated deep within the frozen continent of Ellador lies the great Dwarven Hold, Aldruin. Believed to be the wealthiest hold in recorded history, Aldruin serves as a reminder for the past glory of their ancestors, and a beacon of hope for the future for the slowly declining Dwarven race. However, it still bears no real resemblance to its former radiance, and has fallen far from what it once was, an effect of the third Void Invasion which tore asunder the Dwarf.

HistoryEdit

Aldruin previously stood as the pinnacle of the Dwarven economy and at the center of Dwarven trade. The economy thrived off the precious metals and jewels that were mined from below, and used to either forge weapons or traded as exotic goods to surrounding areas and visiting travellers. Acting as a beacon of Dwarven tradition to the other kingdoms, Aldruin provided the most income to the surrounding relying cities before wrath and ruin eventually tore the Hold to rubble.

The sudden decay of their empire following the third Void Invasion hit the stout folk hard. With their resolution set, many of the scattered Dwarves returned to their abandoned holds in an attempt to reclaim them. However, with much of their cities in ruin as well as the majority of their connecting and branching tunnels collapsed, there was not much left to claim. Doing their best to battle the occupying Dakkar forces, the Deep Folk managed to secure a number of small Dwarven provinces within their Elladorian holds. Out of pain over the loss of so much of their history and glory, a large portion of the Dwarven populace began to view outsiders with mistrust, shutting their walls to envoys out of fear of losing what they had just fought to reclaim. By 240 A.C., the Dwarven hold of Aldruin had been re-established to a degree with the founding of the sister-cities Rorgrin and Baladin by those that once called them home.

The re-establishment called forth the need for a leader however, a matter that was not easily decided upon. Yet with a heavy hand, the Clan of Ternoc seized this title, urging the Dwarves within Rorgrin to secure a more defensible stance in order to prevent the loss of their home once again. Under their rule, Dwarven ingenuity flourished, yet simple defense was not enough for some of the Stout Folk who wished to exact revenge for what had befallen their ancestors. Usurping leadership, the Ferhnen Clan pushed the citizens within the city to strike back at the Dakkar, causing conflict and strife to rise once more as the Deep Folk found themselves face to face with their enemy of old.

Across cities and structures of ruin and rubble sits Baladin. With the aid of the Ternoc Clan, Baladin managed to secure a number of richly-lined tunnels, helping to re-establish its presence as a mining providence. Sending envoys of material for weapons and technology to her sister city, Rorgrin, Baladin received the aid necessary to grow her populace as well as spread word of its presence. It was not long before word of the resurgence of the Dwarven presence was noted throughout Aloria, causing many who found themselves travelling throughout the bitter land of Ellador to seek refuge within the Hold.

Present DayEdit

The Hold of Aldruin still faces constant battles with the Dakkar. With the hold being cut off from almost all outside influences as well as having only two cities remaining within, the fact that they have continued to survive is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity that the Stout Folk are capable of.

EtymologyEdit

The hold of Aldruin is steeped in tradition, pride and strong beliefs that led to the naming of the hold, “Strong Mountain”. The hold itself is not embedded into the mountainside; it was intended to serve as a beacon for Dwarves travelling aboveground. Since the events of the last Void Invasion, the term Aldruin has taken on a different meaning. Instead of Strong Mountain as it was originally titled, the travellers that visit the hold and the Dwarves themselves refer to Aldruin as the “Old Ruin”, no doubt in light of its fossil-like nature in its representation of Dwarven history. The two sub-cities of the “Old Ruin” were titled for their separate ideals and main-sects of production. The first city, Rorgrin, coined its name similar to the original title of Aldruin. Because stands as a pinnacle of Dwarven engineering, as well as war-like principles, it was titled as Rorgrin, “Cracked Stone”, as the land on which it rests is constantly the subject of a push-and-pull tide with the Dakkar below. Baladin received its name due to the fruitful supply of iron and precious materials from below, titling the city Baladin, “Rich Waters”.

GeographyEdit

The Dwarven Hold of Aldruin finds itself situated by a mountainous enclave with a natural pass heading north and a Dwarf-made pass leading south through a steep mountain range. The landscape itself that surrounds the hold is harsh and unforgiving, with the steep mountains often sending snow drifts onto the hold below and the scarring weather making survival difficult for all inhabitants overall. While any attempts at agriculture prove fruitless, hunting and trade have proven highly effective in reference to means of survival.

The mountain range that surrounds Aldruin is dotted with underground mining enclaves that were once used by the Stout miners of Aldruin, however, upon the Dakkar surgrance, were sealed off in order to protect the Hold for as long as possible. As a result, many underground riches were left unclaimed in the panic of war that are rumored to be waiting to be rediscovered to this day.

ClimateEdit

Forced to endure the harsh climate that occupies the rest of central Ellador, Aldruin’s saving grace is due to the partially collapsed walls that block a high portion of the bone-chilling winds that sweep across the icy tundra. With temperatures commonly ranging between the high of 4 °C (40 °F) and the low of -12 °C (10 °F), those more acclimated to a warmer environment may wonder how those that call this place home can continue to thrive the way they have. Snow, rain and sleet are considered common occurrences, however the stone sized hail proves to be the most dreaded aspect of weather that the stout folk are forced to endure.

Notable LandmarksEdit

  • Rorgrin
One of the two surviving cities within the Dwarven Hold of Aldruin, Rorgrin is famed for the Dwarven engineering and military craft used to combat the ever present Dakkar forces. While not the most luxurious city, you will find no better location to study Dwarven fighting and machinery. Rorgrin is filled with mechanical shops and military structures that are funded by a number of the Dwarven Clans, as well as no small degree of rubble from their battles with their Naylar foe. The Dwarves of Rorgrin are extremely suspicious of those around them. Their walls are shut to almost all that approach them, save for the few industrious Dwarves that prove themselves to be useful to Rorgrin’s ultimate cause.
  • Baladin
The second of the two surviving cities within the Dwarven Hold of Aldruin, Baladin still functions as a mining epicenter of Ellador. The clever number who reside here have found ways to continue their underground endeavors without the interruption of their Dakkar nemesis. Unlike their sister city, Rorgrin, Baladin is a territory open to all travellers who wish to work in their mines and forges, or purchase the goods and weapons they produce.

GovernmentEdit

Before the fall of the great Dwarven Hold, Aldruin functioned off the political policy that applied to the other two great Dwarven Kingdoms. Aldruin was led by a single king, however, and kinship made the lines between the Dwarven “nobility” and those of common-standing hard to differentiate between. In the aftermath of the fall however, this political standing was completely forgotten. The two remaining cities within Aldruin instead function off a newly introduced, almost communal political-base in the sense that the clan of Dwarves who put forth the most effort or who are most directly involved in the ultimate plan have the most influence in the city. Since 273 A.C., the position of power within Aldruin has been a matter of debate, causing many of the Dwarven Clans to become torn. During the period of The Tercon Clan’s rule, defensive measures and industrious design were focused upon, however, the focal point of Rorgrin switched to an offensive nature under The Fehrnen Clan’s rule. Instead of further fortification of defenses, their goals oriented on that of eradicating the Dakkar presence from their tunnels and city. As it currently stands, The Ternoc and Fehrnen Clan are battling over how Rorgrind and Aldruin as a whole should continue to function.

List of RulersEdit

  • Before Cataclysm - Dwarven Nobility, believed to be the reign of Duindin
  • 0 - 197 AC - Dwarven Nobility
  • 197 - 240 AC - Nobody
  • 241 - 261 AC - The Tercon Clan
  • 261 - 273 AC - The Fehrnen Clan
  • 273 - Present - Debated

Foreign RelationsEdit

The relation between Aldruin and its surrounding lands is a sensitive matter. While few and far between, travellers who make trek to the trading providence and capital, Baladin, would be greeted warmly, while those of non-Dwarvish origin who attempted to enter Rorgrin would be regarded with hostility, suspicion and be forced to leave. The other provinces that dot Ellador’s landscape prefer to leave Aldruin to her own business than get involved with the complex game of tug-of-war politics that plague the ruins. As it currently stands, there has been no reason for any other sizeable kingdom or city to become involved in the Dwarven struggles, a state-of-being that is unlikely to change soon.

MilitaryEdit

As the only threat Aldruin faces is within its own walls, they have had no reason to create any sizeable form of military power. While offensive power thrived under The Fehrnen Clan’s influence, it can not be considered an official military power. The reclusive nature of the Dwarves of Rorgrin has made it so that they are unable to call upon any outside influence for assistance, while the Dwarves of Baladin have no realistic reason to need any form of military power.

Economy and TechnologyEdit

As the city which is solely responsible for imports, exports, trades and gains, the economy of Aldruin is completely dependant on the success of its inner city, Baladin. However, the economy as an entity actually does not involve the influx of monetary currency. More often than not, trade is comprised of travellers bringing forth items that will improve the efforts of restoration for the city for the sister-city of Rorgrin, the city of techonology. While the argument of leadership has slowed progression for the city, Rorgrin has remained as a beacon of technological excellence. With technology in study and development that is well-hidden from outsiders, the Dwarves of Rorgrin have proved to be an industrious people, if somewhat mistrusting.

DemographicsEdit

With the walls of Rorgrin shut to all except a rare few, the majority of “diversity” is primarily witnessed in the trade and mining city of Baladin, whose tourism and rare samples of craftsmanship attract curious travellers from miles around.

  • Dwarves - 94%
  • Talar Nelfin - 3%
  • Ailor Humans - 2%
  • Assorted Travellers - 1%

CultureEdit

Through trials and tribulations the proud Dwarven culture of Aldruin has continued to thrive as the people continue to hold the ideals of their Dogma dear, as well as observe the traditional sacred days on occasion. Surrounded by the rubble of their past, the Dwarves who call the sub-cities of Baladin and Rorgrin home are constantly reminded of the wrath and ruin that befell the holds they once called home. Due to Aldruin’s isolated nature, there is very little outside influence that could be witnessed. While a number of travellers come to Baladin in hopes of studying the Dwarven architecture, as well as to sample their wares, their culture and beliefs have yet to take any form of rooting within the hold.

ReligionEdit

While the Dwarven Dogma of Duindin is present within the hold, it has been weakened severely since the time of the Hold’s flourishment. However, it seems to be the only present religion as the worship of the Old Gods, the Faith of Estel and the worship of Shambala never had reason to establish within the hold. While the worship of the Dogma has been substantially passed over, the Dwarves of Aldruin still consider the ideals of the Dogma sacred.

SymbolsEdit

While the hold in its entirety has no dedicated symbol or manifest, the current sub-cities have taken the effort to create their own. Rorgrin, the city comprised of war-like principles and technological advances, will display the banner of the clan that is currently leading their city. During the reign of the Tercon Clan, it was bronze shield surrounded by flames. Then, during the Fernen Clan’s rule, the banner was replaced with that of two crossed axes over an iron gate. However, since the matter of leadership is a currently debated topic, the banner has been replaced with a grey flag highlighted by a Dwarven rune cracked down the center, signifying conflict within the city.

On the opposite end of the spectrum rests Baladin, the pinnacle of trade, mining and Dwarven resourcefulness. As there has never been a debate over leadership, her sigil has remained the same since the events of the Void Invasion. With craft and mining as the principal by-products of the city, the flag of Baladin represents a Dwarven anvil over a simple pickaxe.

TriviaEdit

  • Aldruin was actually the first hold to be attacked by the angered Dakkar and, as a result, suffered the most heavily.
  • When the debate for leadership began, a single, large clan with very strong traditional values attempted to establish themselves as an option. Soon after, the entirety of the clan disappeared, leaving no trace as to where they had gone.
  • Some say the fortune that could be retrieved from the depths of the Dwarven mines and ruins would be enough re-establish the Dwarven Kingdoms several times over, however, no one has been willing to face the Dakkar in order to attempt a retrieval.
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