The Sundering & time of Exile 1025 - 1135
Around a fire high in the mountains near Karak Thorinkin, a small group of Dwarven children sat and listened enthralled to the tales of a Clan Elder. The tales were part of every Dwarfs education, the oral history of the Hold passed down from generation to generation, remembered, recited and honored by all. Some tales were of bravery and happiness but many, too many it seemed, were of despair, darkness and sadness. It was to one of these tales that the Elder now turned...
The origins of Clan Hundhōlm
"Now my children it is time for the tale of the Sundered people, the lost ones of the Thorinkin, do any of you know this story?"
"I have heard of it Uncle, but... but it is always talked of in hushed tones as though our kin are afraid of its memory? It is from the dark time the year of the black death."
"You are right Drulak it is a tale from that time, when the great plague swept the Old World and the lands of the Thorinkin. But we are not afraid of its memory only of the failing to heed its lessons. For at no other time in our history since that of Thorin himself has the Hold been in such peril."
"Not even during the Goblin Wars Uncle?"
"No my child, not even then for it was during this time that the greatest danger to our people came from within not without. A time when kin turned against kin and the people were nearly torn, their bonds of kinship destroyed but for the sacrifice and one part of them - the Clan Hundhōlm, the Sunderers the Lost ones. This my children is their tale."
In the year 1111 a great plague swept the Old World, its vicious curse swept the lands of the humans to the North the Seafarers to the South and West and all through the Worlds Edge Mountains. Our people suffered greatly, during this period, many of our bravest and most skilled were struck down. The plague knew no boundaries striking all clans. At that time tClan Hundhōlm had ruled in Karak Thorinkin for the two centuries after the death of Kuhali Stonecutter in 935. The clan was once greatly honored, they like Clan Theolik were descended from the warriors who defended the bridge of Karak Azul with Thorin Metalturner. It is rumoured, though the truth has long been lost, that some could lay claim to being Thanes of Dru Grimthorn and if true it is perhaps that which led to their tragic downfall.
On the long retreat to Karak Azul they like all the clans suffered and lost many kin. Followers of the old religon they set themselves apart from us in Karak Azul and joined with refugees from Holds and settlements to the East of the Worlds Edge Mountains. Over time the Clan gained greater kinship with these people than with the Thorinkin although they were still honored among them. On the long march it was Clan Hundhōlm who fought the hardest for us to remain at Dru Grimthorn and to rebuild our lives there among the ruins, to start anew. But they were overruled as the sadness of that place was too much for most to bear. Some stayed however, a small number remained at Dru Grimthorn to try to rebuild it...
"What happened to them Uncle, I thought that no-one strayed on the Long March... I..."
"Be still, as you will learn there are many truths that are based on lies, and many lies based upon truth and that which we often hold most dear is not to be trusted... be patient and you will learn what you wish to know.."It is true that the annuls tell us that only at one point, at Karag Gloin, did some of our people stop and forsake the Thorinkin on the long march. But this hides many a tale of sorrow and much of the discord that marred that trek. Many were the number of Thorinkin who were lost on the march from Karak Azul to disease, famine and war, and many to despair. Still others in small groups stayed at places they felt safe, many a settlement we passed on the way and at those some of the Thorinkin remained. But Clan Hundhōlm's people, those who had not stayed at Dru Grimthorn, remained with the Thorinkin until we came to this valley and built Karak Thorinkin. They laboured long and hard and shared equally in the burdens of all the clans, wearing no colour of their own they called themselves 'Kin to all', and so it remained until the time of the plague.
The Great Death & the Great Restoration
The plague of 1111 killed many of our people, and it took time for the Thorinkin to recover. In the Imperial Year 1025 Ntahd Ogreender of Clan Hundhōlm had assumed the Kingship of Karak Thorinkin. Throughout the long centuries since the Long March Ntahd and Clan Hundhōlm had never lost faith in the restoration of Dru Grimthorn. Most still believed that their ancestors, those who strayed from the Long March, remained alive and had prospered among the ruins of our ancestral home. Ntahd saw in the aftermath of the plague a chance to rebuild the Hold yet again and to aid his long lost kin. He ordered that the Hold prepare to march again, this time back to Dru Grimthorn in what he called the Great Restoration. A restoration to rebuild our people after the calamity of the Great Death. But his desire and that of his clan were not shared by all of the Thorikin, and for the first and only time in our history Thanes plotted to overthrow the king.
"You mean to kill him, kill their liege Lord, but..."Among those most opposed to Nthads plans was Llald Tunnelcut the Usurper. Thane of a minor clan, he saw in the Thanes opposition to Nthads Great Restoration a chance to seize power. While other Thanes opposed Nthad all would follow him honor bound as they were to obey the King, only by reason would they seek to change his mind. Llald sought another way, the way of blood and death and he was joined by many of the impure among us.
"Yes my child, and it is for this reason that we do not speak of but always seek to remember those days. But please let me finish."
The Bloodletting and the time of Llad the Usurper
Strong willed as he was Nthad could not fail to see the rifts his Great Restoration was causing in his people. In 1125 a conclave of Thanes from the other clans sought to change his plans, with only Clan Hundhōlm and those of the other clans who wished to leave for Dru Grimthorn doing so while he hold of Karak Thorinkin remained. None now know if that conclave would have succeeded, as Nthad never made it to the Great Hall where it was to be held.
"Why Uncle... I mean..."The conclave was never called as Nthad did not live to hear it speak. Upon arriving at the Great Hall the other Thanes did not see Nthad on the Throne but Llad flanked by warriors from his clan, and many from their own. At this feet was Nthad's head and in his hands the remnants of Nthads beard cut from his face before he fell. Many lies were told that day, many untruths spun by Llad to convince the Thanes of the righteousness of his act and of the need for Nthad to die. To our great shame those lies were believed.
"Hush child I will not tell you again, let me continue."
The Hold was threatened with the possibility of civil war Clan Hundhōlm would claim blood vengence upon Llad and all those who supported him. But they did not. Rather than fight their kin, for Clan Hundhōlm were linked to all the ruling clans of Karak Thorinkin, they choose exile. Unwilling to spill the blood of their brothers as Llad had the Clan left Karak Thorinkin for Dru Grimthorn never to return, their only act toward him was to curse him, his lineage and all those who would kill their kin for power for all time.
The Great Sacrifice
Surprised by the voluntary exile of Clan Hundhōlm the remaining clans failed to act. The years that followed are now remembered only in sorrow, a sorrow that runs deep within our people. To consolidate his power Llad had assassins kill those who opposed his will, and any who even questioned his act in seizing the throne. The annuls were culled of any reference to Clan Hundhōlm and for 10 years he controlled Karak Thorinkin through fear. But while all feared Llad most feared the curse of Clan Hundhōlm more, the curse placed on all who would kill their kin for power. All therefore feared their fate if they followed Llads path and attempted to overthrow him. But not quite all, the sons of Ardak Redfist feared the curse true, but they feared the loss of the honor of the hold more and the retribution of Thorin himself in the afterworld. In an act of sacrifice Ardak and his sons overthrew Llad, beheading him and removing his beard as he had done to Nthad. They then banished his kin from the Hold, and also themselves sacrificing their own honor to remove the curse of all oath breakers from Karak Thorinkin.
"What happenened next Uncle, who became King?"
"Clan Theolik assumed stewardship of the Hold. They and the other ruling clans shared power. It was only when the wounds caused by Llad had healed suffuciently that a King returned to Karak Thorinkin."
"And of the Hundhōlm what happened to them"
"That is another story my child and alas it is equally as sad as that of their exile. The returned to Dru Grimthorn it is true, but only to find their long sundered kin dead. What we know we know only in passing from travellers and from half remembered tales. What we are certain of is that the Hundhōlm were destroyed by Ogres and are no more. But when and how we are unsure of, but I will tell that story another day."