It was the invasion of the lands of Karaz-a-Karak by Orc Warlord Ugrok Beardburner and his horde that laid the seeds for the foundation of Karak Thorinkin in millennia past. The Orc horde destroyed numerous Dwarven settlements on its march north, countless mines were overwhelmed and many, too many, Dwarfs were killed. The High King himself, Logan Proudbeard, was captured by the Orcs and suffered great humiliation. Driven into a fury by the seizure of their High King, the Dwarves, led by Gorazin Silverhorn, finally drove the Orcs away from their capital. Over the next year remnants of the Orc horde continued to rampage over the surrounding land until they are eventually defeated at the Battle of Black Water.
Many of the refugees from the settlements, mines and small holds destroyed by Ugrok's Orcs find sanctuary in Karaz-a-Karak and other Dwarf strongholds. Among those refugees were the survivors of the settlement of Dru Grimthorn a thriving mining town located near the hold of Karak Eight Peaks. Unlike many of their neighbors the Dwarves of Dru Grimthorn had been able to see off the initial Orc assaults on their homes. But their valiant defense could not last long. As more and more Orcs moved north even the high mountains and strong walls of Dru Grimthorn could not save the settlement from destruction.
The fall of Dru Grimthorn and the long retreat
In the final months of the year -335 the walls were finally breached and the settlement overrun by the Orcs. It was at this point, when all hope seemed lost that the fabled Thorin Metalturner rallied the few survivors and broke out of the surrounded settlement. Waving his mighty hammer - Hornthang - Thorin led a small band of survivors on a desperate fighting retreat deep into the Worlds Edge Mountains. Days of terror and courage followed, and then weeks as Thorin led the survivors south toward his kin’s hold of Karak-Azul, hoping that it had not yet fallen to the Orc hordes.
The Legend of Thorin Metalturner
Fighting bands of Orcs, Goblins and even Giants the entire length of their journey the band of survivors lost many more of their kin before the walls of Karak Azul were reached. By that time Thorin Metalturners deeds had taken on the aura of legend. Time and time again he rallied the few surviving warriors to fight off bands of Orcs and Goblins, his strength never seemed to fade and in every battle Hornthang spilled more and more Orc blood. Luck seemed to ever be with him, Orc blades and arrows could not touch him, and his armor after weeks of battle remained untouched. But it could not last...
... in the dawn light at the end of the year -335, some 4 months after the retreat from Dru Grimthorn, the remaining survivors looked down on the walls of Karak Azul - a Karak Azul that still proudly flew the banners of the Dwarfs. Already scouts from the hold had reported their approach and as the survivors wept silently at the sight of their destination free from Orcs groups of Warriors marched from the gates of the hold toward them. Walking, limping and even many cases dragging themselves and their kin down the mountain slopes the survivors drew closer and closer to Karak Azul's main gates and safety... It was then, as they neared their final destination that the Orcs struck...
The bridge of Karak Azul
Shadowing the survivors over the final last week had been a band of orcs and goblins led by the Giant Ozgod Bonecrusher. Intelligent and cunning Ozgod had known that the survivors would be at their most vulnerable here near the gates of Karak Azul, thinking themselves safe their guard would drop, and it did. As the long line of survivors stretched out toward Karak Azul's gates and as the holds warriors closed on the leading survivors Ozgod's forces hit the rear and centre of the column on two sides. Taken completely by surprise scores of the Dwarves were cut down while the others, exhausted beyond belief, simply fled for the safety of the hold and the approaching warriors.
Only a small group of Dru Grimthorns surviving warriors stood their ground, and at their head was Thorin Metalturner his armor still unscathed and his mighty hammer Hornthang shining bright in the morning light. Bravely these few warriors established a rearguard defending their kin as they fled toward Karak Azul's gates. Some luck was with them this day as the road to the hold led over a deep ravine passable only by a single bridge. As the remaining Dwarves of Dru Grimthorn struggled across the bridge Thorin as his small band of warriors stood firm as Orc after Orc smashed against them.
Ozgod Bonecrushers challenge and Thorins fall
Behind the refugees the battle was turning against Thorins small group. Scores of Orc and Goblins lay dead at the foot of the bridge, but now as the last of refugees entered the gates of Karak Azul only Thorin and a single warrior remained. Looking back from the walls atop Karak Azul the surviving refugees could only watch in despair as the Orcs and Goblins fell back to allow Ozgod Bonecrusher himself to step forward. Eager to protect his Lord the remaining warrior rushed forward to challenge Ozgod only to be crushed beneath his club and thrown into the ravine. Thorin was now alone...
... the battle between Thorin and Ozgod lasted long and was as brutal as it was magnificent. Only now near the end did Thorins armor give way. On the walls of Karak Azul the surviving refugees could only watch as Thorin and Ozgod traded blow after blow. Time and again Thorin was smashed to the ground, his armor dented and his limbs broken. But time and again he regained his feet and struck back at Ozgod. Finally, with the last of his strength Thorin's mighty hammer struck Ozgod a fatal blow. The mighty Giant dropped to his knees a look of disbelief on his brutal face before falling dead at Thorins feet. Seeing their leader killed the remaining Orcs fled...
... Turning Thorin stumbled and fell to his knees. Pushing himself up with the aid of Hornthang the survivors in Karak Azul saw him take one long look at its walls before collapsing to the ground. Thorin was dead, but his people were safe.