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Against the Shadow  |  Places on Aryth  |  The Dwarven Holdfast of Zurkir
The Dwarven Holdfast of Zurkir
The Dwarven Holdfast of Zurkir was a long time ago attacked by orcs, during the final strike the dwarves decided that if they were to fall, thy would take the orcs along with them.

Gathering the survivors they sealed themselves in the main halls and the forge, waiting for the orcs to enter the city and begin the offensive on the sealed chambers, then they triggered the last defense line of the city, a powerful magical rune spell crumbled the ground under the holdfast and it fell into the darkness and depths of the kaladruns.

The city, although divided and utterly lost was not completely destroyed and the same is rue to those that were currently inside it, the orcs and dwarves. Although many were lost their racial hatred took their battle ahead, but now they were both lost, near the edge of destruction and also, in a hostile environment.

Through time the battle raged and dwarves and orcs spreaded their powers into the areas surroundign them, the dwarves slowly held their lines and so, their expanse was made. After years of expansion and bad nourishment the dwarves finally found the ancient ruins of a lost people, which they knew of previous records of other tribes, those were ruins of the Darguul, the masters of the dark.

After studying and careful consideration the war with their hatred neighbors called for an intrusion upon the ruins... that was their mistake. The ruins were not aboslutely uninhabited, there were powerful energies inside it and they had corrupted creatures of the depths into unknown horrors, so they released it, an horror of unmatched and unseen power.

Fighting against the orcs and now facing the dangers of the beast they named simply as the Guardian, the dwarves made a final desperate move, they reached deeper into the ruins, for whatever powers they could get.

Inside the ruins, they found a maze of logic, ruisn that deefied gravity and architecture that could not be, except that it was, there, resting unatended was a staff, one amde with a dark wood of some kind and shod with a metal of an unknown source, this staff was sculpted in a confusing pattern and held a viper's head atop it, its eyes were rubies, holding a malignant power.

This was The Labyrinth of the Mind

The tale is uncertain in this moment, whether the staff was retrieved by the dwarves or it made them retrieve them, but one thing is for certain, the dwarves used it against the orcs and while it was both destroying the will of the dwarves by corrupting their soul, it also was destroying hte orcs.

Foreseeing their destruction and worried about the orcs taking the staff and wielding its power, the dwarves made new runes, now to contain the power of the staff and its wielder in the forge, they also separated the item's "heart" and rested it inside a secret panel in another room, too simple yet too obvious for an orc to realize.

On a final battle the orcs entered the sealed halls of the dwarves and blood and steel were dropped to the ground, in the forge of Zurkir the two leaders clashed an there, in the last moment of their battle, when the dwarf crushed the orcs body with the staff and pierced its heart with it, the last defense line was triggered, the ruins were decimated, tehre were no survivors...

The forge, though, became a sanctuary of an age gone, the magic held not only the staff but also, two wielders, the orc and the dwarf leaders, for both were helding it when the spell was triggered, around it, bones and armors, vardatches and urutuks, all resting, unaware of time.

And so, centuries passed and the underways changed, new inhabitants arrived, through the corrupting influence of the Heart of the Labyrinth a new beast was given form, a small salamader was turned into a growing reptile of mythical proportions, it grew and as time passed, it gained new heads, becoming a creature of both legend and power, still it was an animal.

Author: Nifelhein

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