It is said that in the Elder Days of the First Age after the ruin of Beleriand and the fall of Fingolfin, the eldest son of Finwë and the High King of the Noldor in Beleriand, Maedhros, a prince of the Noldor, the eldest of the Sons of Fëanor and head of the House of Fëanor, beheld a sight within his heart. For he perceived that Morgoth, though not yet defeated and still strong beyond measure, was not unassailable. Yet he also he saw great peril in that Morgoth would utterly destroy them all, one by one, should the Free Peoples could not untie once more.
And so Maedhros set to forge anew the bonds of alliance and began to counsel for the Union of Maedhros to unite the Elves, Dwarves and Men against the Enemy once more. Yet, the Oath of Fëanor did much to falter this path. Orodreth, the son of Angrod and nephew of Finrod Felagund, would not march forth at the word of any son of Fëanor, because of the evil deeds of Celegorm and Curufin. Even the Elves of Nargothrond refused such an alliance, trusting more to defend their hidden stronghold by secrecy and stealth.
But to this alliance came the help of the Naugrim, the Dwarves, both in armed force and in great smithing and crafting, for the forges of Nogrod and Belegost in the lofty peaks o Ered Luin were busy in those fell days. Too came the Men of Bór and Ulfang who were marshaled and trained for war and summoned yet more of their kinfolk from out of the east.
And even Fingon, eldest son of Fingolfin and older brother to Turgon, took council in Himring and in Hithlum, and also prepared for war. In the forests of Brethil, Halmir, lord of the mannish People of Haleth, gathered his men. But Halmir passed ere the war came, and his son, Haldir, took the reins of preparation. So too did the House of Hador, the third House of the Edain, prepared for war.
But Maedhros set about his task ere his plans were fully wrought, for though the Orcs had been driven out of all the northward regions of Beleriand and even Dorthonion was freed for a time, Morgoth was soon warned of his plans.
Maedhros, having gathered all the strength that could be of Elves and Men and Dwarves, resolved to assault Angband and counseled to marsh henceforth with banners displayed in open force over Anfauglith , the charred deserts of north of Beleriand. Thus Maedhros did hope to draw froth the armies of Morgoth even as the forces of Fingon issued froth from the passes of Hithlum so that the two forces would all upon the might of the Enemy like hammer and anvil.
So, on the appointed day, on the morning of Midsummer, the trumpets of the Eldar greeting the rising of the sun. In the east there were raised the standard of the sons of Fëanor, and in the west the standard of Fingon, High King of the Noldor. Fingon looked out from the walls of Eithel Sirion, where his host was arrayed in the valleys and the woods upon the east of Ered Wethrin, well hid from the eyes of the Enemy. For there all the Noldor of Hithlum were assembled, together with Elves of the Falas and Gwindor's company from Nargothrond, and he had great strength of Men: upon the right were the host of Dor-lómin and all the valour of Húrin and Huor his brother, and to them had come Haldir of Brethil with many men of the woods.
It was then now that a cry went up, passing up the wind from the south, and Elves and Men lifted up their voices in wonder and joy. Unsummoned and unlooked for came Turgon with an army of ten thousand strong. When Fingon heard from afar the great trumpet of his brother, he shouted aloud:
'Utúlie'n aurë! Aiya Eldalië ar Atanatári, utúlie'n aurë! The day has come! Behold, people of the Eldar and Fathers of Men, the day has come!'
And so on the fourth day of the war, in the Plain of Anfauglith, there began Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Unnumbered Tears, named so for no song or tale can contain all its grief. Here Morgoth unleashed his main force held in waiting from Thangorodrim. The host of Fingon was driven back and Haldir, lord of the Haladin, was slain and with him fell much of the men of Brethil.
Yet the might of Morgoth did not end there for on the fifth day, as night fell, Orcs surrounded the hosts of Hithlum. There they fought until at last morning dawned and the horns of Turgon sounded as the main host of Gondolin marched from the Pass of Sirion. The guard of the King broke upon the ranks of the Orcs and Turgon hewed his way to the side of his brother. Hope was renewed in their hearts even as the forces of Maedhros were heard coming up from the east and the banners of the sons of Fëanor assailed the enemy in the rear.
It has been said that the Eldar would have won the day, for the Orcs wavered and their onslaught stayed and some had already turned to flight. But it was then that Morgoth loosed his last strength and Angband was emptied. There came wolves and wolfriders, and on came Balrogs and dragons and Glaurung, father of the dragons. So great was the terror of the Great Worm that the Free Peoples withered and fled before him even as Glaurung came between the hosts of Maedhros and Fingon and swept them apart.
But it was not this onslaught that brought victory to Morgoth but treachery, for it was in this hour the plots of Ulfang was revealed. The Sons of Ulfang turned upon their friends and allies and drove into the rear of the sons of Fëanor. Yet even this fell deed did not come at a price for Maglor slew Uldor, the leader in treason, and the sons of Bór slew Ulfast and Ulwarth ere they themselves were slain.
New strength of evil Men came up that Uldor had summoned and kept hidden in the eastern hills, and the host of Maedhros was assailed now on three sides, and it broke, and was scattered, and fled this way and that.
Amidst this stood the Dwarves of Belegost, the last of all to remain firm. Glaurung and his brood would surely have withered the last of the Noldor but the Dwarves drew a tight circle about the great Worm even as he fell upon them. Not even his mighty scaled proved defense against the blows of their axes. When Glaurung turned and struck down Azaghâl, Lord of Belegost, and crawled over him, with his last stroke Azaghâl drove a knife into his belly, and so wounded him that he fled the field, and the beasts of Angband in dismay followed after him.
Then the Dwarves raised up the body of Azaghâl and bore it away; and with slow steps they walked behind singing a dirge in deep voices, as it were a funeral pomp in their country, and gave no heed more to their foes; and none dared to stay them.
There was more to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, but there the deeds of the Dwarves came to an end. With great sorrow they returned to Ered Luin and thus ended their war with Morgoth. Yet, the Dwarves of Ered Luin did not escape Morgoth's Evil. Some succumbed to malice and greed. Of these, the worst hailed from Nogrod, Dwarven warriors and smiths who spawned much of the everlasting ire between the Sindar and the Naugrim.
Because of their absolute mastery of steel, stone, and gem-craft, the smiths of Nogrod produced occasional works for the Elven Lords. The necklace Nauglamir was the greatest such creation, and was held by a succession of Noldor Elf-kings. During the late First Age, however, it passed to King Thingol of the Sindar.
Thingol possessed one of the three almighty Silmarils — one that had been recovered from Morgoth—and he wanted the Jewel set in the necklace. Thus, he commissioned some of Nogrod's craftsmen, hoping they could amend their own grand design, for in those days, some of these smiths worked and resided in separate quarters within Thingol's mansion at Menegroth. Coveting the high Jewel, the Dwarves murdered Thingol and stole the prize. They were pursued, and all but two were killed. The avenging Sindar reclaimed the Silmaril and bore it back to Menegroth.
Those Dwarves that escaped went home to Nogrod and told their kinsmen that their companions had been put to death at Thingol's orders. Without knowledge of the truth and against the cautioning pleas of the Dwarves of Belegost, the host of Nogrod armed themselves and marched on Menegroth. They sacked the Elven hold and captured the Silmaril.
Nogrod's Dwarves quickly turned homeward, but word of their deeds passed more swiftly, and an army of Elves, Men, and Ents fell upon them at the ford called Sarn Athrad. The Dwarven axes were no match for their pursuers' wrathful vengeance, and the Naugrim were slaughtered. In the end, the Lord of Nogrod lay dead and the cursed Silmaril was cast into the River Ascar, An uneasy peace prevailed but, from this time on, the Dwarves and the Sindar have always been at odds.
Years later, Morgoth was overthrown by the Host of the Valar and northwestern Middle-earth was wrecked. Disaster befell its peoples as the cataclysmic Great Battle claimed much of the land. Most of Beleriand sank into the sea; quakes and fire destroyed Nogrod and Belegost. The surviving Dwarves fled westward into Eriador and began to wander until they at last joined Durin’s Folk in Khazad-dûm.
Yet Ered Luin did not remain empty of Dwarves for following the Battle of Azanulbizar in the Third Age, When Moria was abandoned and Durin’s Folk were destroyed or fled far away, Thráin II made a decision:
“So it was that after Azanulbizar the Dwarves dispersed again. But first with great labour they stripped all their dead, so that Orcs should not come and win there a store of weapons and mail. It is said that every Dwarf that went from that battlefield was bowed under a heavy burden. Then they built many pyres and burned all the bodies of their kin. There was a great felling of trees in the valley, which remained bare ever after, and the reek of the burning was seen in Lórien.
When the dreadful fires were in ashes the allies went away to their own countries, and Dáin Ironfoot led his father's people back to the Iron Hills. Then standing by the great stake, Thráin said to Thorin Oakenshield: 'Some would think this head dearly bought! At least we have given our kingdom for it. Will you come with me back to the anvil? Or will you beg your bread at proud doors?'
'To the anvil,' answered Thorin. 'The hammer will at least keep the arms strong, until they can wield sharper tools again.'
So Thráin and Thorin with what remained of their following (among whom were Balin and Glóin) returned to Dunland, and soon afterwards they removed and wandered in Eriador, until at last they made a home in exile in the east of the Ered Luin beyond the Lune. Of iron were most of the things that they forged in those days, but they prospered after a fashion, and their numbers slowly increased. But, as Thrór had said, the Ring needed gold to breed gold, and of that or any other precious metal they had little or none.”
--- The Return of the Kings Appendices
Long did the Dwarves delve there in exile, having routed the dreaded and treacherous Dourhands from the mountains. And yet the Dourhands were not wholly destroyed and maintained a stronghold upon the port of Kheledûl and several small encampments among the Blue Mountains and elsewhere.
In Sarnúr, in the Vale of Thráin, the Dourhands mustered their greatest force and with their Goblin and Orc allies, resolved to begin a final assault upon the Dwarves of Thorin’s Hall and the Elves of Duillond. But more concerning was the discovery that deep under Sarnúr lies Brúllug, a descendant of Glaurung, the Great Worm, slayer of King Azaghâl…
This kinship event is designed with two parts: an RP side which begins immediately and a quest campaign which is scheduled to begin October 29th, 2012.
The RP portion of the event involves the kinship, Durin’s Folk as we seek to gather as many dwarves to muster our strength for the war at hand. This will play out from October 22nd to October 28th - during this time, we shall seek to add to our kinship ranks more of our brethren from those players who possess existing Dwarven character or those who wish to create a new one.
The quest campaign will be divided into four “chapters”. Durin’s Folk has been formed into several military companies, each under the leadership of a kinship Seneschal (kinship officer) who will take the title of General. The roster of each company has been designed to keep all members of each company roughly the same level. At the beginning of the quest campaign there will be four companies in all, with additional ones added if need be later.
As the event progresses, we as a kinship will certainly look for the aid of other Free Peoples who desire to join us – however, non-kinship members will be restricted to specific quest campaigns.
Event 1 – The Mustering
This chapter represents the RP portion of the campaign as Durin’s Folk calls to our kinsmen to muster to begin preparation for the task at hand. During this time, we will seek to increase our kinship roster with other dwarves that currently do not belong to another kinship.
Lord Nuri will also set out to seek council with other kinships and with non-dwarvish players who would seek to lend aid to our endeavor.
This chapter will begin October 22nd to November 4th.
Event 2 – The Rise of the Dwarves
‘Even as the dwarves of Ered Luin conclude their long weeks of preparation, words reaches the ears of Lord Nuri at Thori’s Hall:
The Dourhands have forged an alliance with the Blue Crag goblins and have laid siege to Gondamon for nearly two weeks. The final assault will be launched soon. At once Nuri draws together his forces and marches straight for Gondamon, hoping against hope that it is not too late…”
This event will be a kinship event only and cannot include non-kinsmen during the battle. Durin’s Folk will march from Thorin’s Hall to Gondamon to participate in a 12-member skirmish of The Siege of Gondamon.
The rules for this chapter are quite simple. On Monday, November 5th, the kinship will gather at Gondamon in Ered Luin to successfully complete the skirmish. If the skirmish is won, then Gondamon is retaken from the foul goblins and Dourhands, and the campaign can continue onto Event 3 – First Moves. Kinsmen who fall in battle during the skirmish are considered wounded and cannot continue during the skirmish for that attempt.
However, should we falter in battle (and the skirmish is lost), then Gondamon remains besieged. We must then schedule another date to attempt to retake the fortress.
Event 3 – First Moves
Once Gondamon is successfully, but before Durin’s Folk can prepare to move against the hordes of the Enemy, proper bases must be established and relations with others of the Free Peoples must be sought. In addition, weapons and supplies must be gathered for the coming war. To accomplish this task, the kinship must seek out ore and supplies that may craft Ancient Dwarf-make damage as well as other weapons and armour for the battles ahead.
These events must be completed before moving onto Event 4 – To War!
Falathlorn, Ered Luin: A base camp must be established in Falathlorn in Ered Luin for two reasons – first, to begin watch of the goblins of Rath Teraig and the Dourhands of Kheledûl. Second, to establish good relations with the Elves of Falathlorn.
This chapter will involve General Rulf and his company and will begin as soon as the battle for Gondamon is complete. The camp may be established anywhere in Falathlorn, within either Rath Teraig or Kheledûl.
The chapter is completed if the company can survive an entire night cycle at the base camp. Kinsmen who fall in battle during the night are considered wounded and cannot continue at the camp for that attempt. This event will begin at the Evening night cycle and end at the start of the Dawn day cycle.
If all kinsmen of the company fall during the night, the camp has failed to be held and another attempt may be made the following day.
Players not belonging to the kinship, Durin’s Folk may participate in this event. We ask that only those players no higher than 15th level join in this portion of the event. Those players who are interested should contact with Lord Nuri or General Rulf for details.
Supplies and Armaments: Generals Basalt, Hergof, Steinnrand and Rurir and their companies must seek out and mine any ore that may craft armaments and especially weapons that cause Ancient Dwarf-make damage. This event will begin when the battle for Gondamon is complete. The gathering of the ore may take place in any region.
Each kinsman of the companies must collect 10 chunks of ore specific to the crafting needs mentioned above. The ore must be mined by kinsmen of Durin’s Folk (ie. not purchased or ore that they previously had before the start of this chapter).
Players not belonging to the kinship, Durin’s Folk, may participate in this event. Any level of players is welcome to assist in this event. Those players who are interested should contact with Lord Nuri or General Basalt, Hergof, Steinnrand or Rurir for details.
Event 4 – To War
Once Durin’s Folk has mustered its kinsmen in full and the initial scouting has been accomplished, the first step shall be taken at the outbreak of war. Durin’s Folk must now ensure to crush the goblins at Orodost to pave the way for an advance into Sarnúr.
This chapter will begin when Event 3 – First Moves is completed. The chapter will be played in order of the events detailed below.
The Assault Upon Orodost: The first move of the war will be to crush the goblins of Orodost that leads to Sarnúr. After that, the first attacks into Sarnúr proper may begin. General Rulf will lead his company on an attack into Orodost. Specifically, the company must attack Orodost and slay the signature goblin leaders, Parzot and Vokvras as well as holding the ancient fortress for the span of four day or night cycles. Kinsmen who fall in battle during the attack are considered wounded and cannot continue at the battle for that attempt.
The event is completed if the company can survive the four day or night cycles and slay the two goblin leaders during that time. If all kinsmen of the company fall during the attempt, the attack has failed and another attempt may be made the following day.
Reclaiming Sarnúr: Once Orodost is secured, the Dwarves will descend into the ancient halls of Sarnúr and begin the terrible task of battling their way to the very depths. This task will require the following tasks in order:
1. Capture the Entrance to Sarnúr Great Hall: Lord Nuri, along with General Rurir and his company will strike into the Great Hall at the Vale Entrance and attempt to secure the first chamber just to the right of the entrance.
The event is completed if the company can survive four day or night cycles there at the entrance. Kinsmen who fall in battle during the battle are considered wounded and cannot continue at the battle for that attempt.
If all kinsmen of the company fall during the attempt, the attack has failed and another attempt may be made the following day.
2. To Sarnúr Keep: Once the entrance to the halls is secured, Generals Basalt and Hergof will lead their companies together to seek passage from the Vale Entrance to Sarnúr Keep. Once there, they will seek out the Dourhand leader, Glúmir and slay him.
Kinsmen who fall in battle during the event are considered wounded and cannot continue at the battle for that attempt. The event is completed if Glúmir is found and slain. If all kinsmen of the companies fall during the attempt, the attack has failed and another attempt may be made the following day.
3. Into the Depths: When Glúmir is slain, the final steps can be attempted to reach the Sarnúr Caverns far below the Great Hall. Generals Steinnrand and Hergof will lead their companies together to seek passage from the Vale Entrance to the Troll Cave that leads to the caverns below.
The event is completed if the companies can survive four day or night cycles there. Kinsmen who fall in battle during the attempt are considered wounded and cannot continue at the battle for that attempt. If all kinsmen of the company fall during the attempt, the attack has failed and another attempt may be made the following day.
4. The Enemy at Last: Should passage to the Caverns be established the last part of the campaign may begin: to hunt down and defeat the great drake, Brúllug.
The final battle will begin just at the entrance to the Caverns. Lord Nuri will lead the entire kinship into the cavern in search of the foul drake.
This final event is completed should Brúllug be slain. Kinsmen who fall in battle during the attempt are considered wounded and cannot continue at the battle for that attempt. If all kinsmen fall during the attempt, the attack has failed and another attempt may be made the following day.