Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week I’m looking to start fleshing out the history of the continent. This time, its the history of the Kingdom of Drimmak
Immediately following the Sundering, the Mountains of Drimmak were devoid of dwarven laughter, with no great halls yet occupied by the stout folk. The first of those who would eventually come to call themselves Drimm came from far to the east, originating in a land lost beyond the oceans. The expedition landed on the coast of Bloodhunger Bay, and swiftly built a settlement. This settlement was to be the forerunner of a Kingdom that would soon make their way across the oceans to their new home. Once the settlers had determined the lay of the land and been settled for long enough to have ascertained that this continent was abundant with food and resources, they selected a ship to make the perilous return trip to their homeland with the message that a great, open land was available.
The homelands exuberance for this journey to a new home was untameable. They organized a great flotilla, abandoning their past home and set out with every person who could board a ship. Unfortunately, disaster was the only thing that greeted the mass of travelers. The flotilla was hit by a massive storm, and many of the ships were sunk. Those few that may have survived were scattered across the ocean, and only four were able to regroup and continue west. They were horrifically lost and their bearings were scattered, yet they continued west, knowing that towards the setting sun was the promised land of abundance. Weeks later, out of food, water, and time, and within sight of cliff-edged mountains that kissed the ocean, they landed on a large offshore island just to the east, which they named Karam Doth. Karam doth was populated with large sea birds and edible plants, which provided much-needed sustenance to the survivors. They mourned for those who passed while resolving to continue on in their honor.
Once the settlement on Karam Doth has stabilized, the search for the original settlement began. Month after month, they sent scouts in every direction in the hopes that they would be able to locate their brethren. When they did locate the town, instead of being a cause for jubilation, the scouts brought demoralizing news. The settlement had vanished. There were no bodies, no blood, and no sign of a struggle. When the scouts arrived, it had been abandoned for a significant period of time. To this day, the settlement of Urathan Doth remains a story of dread and mystery among the Drimmen.
Without knowledge of what transpired at Urathan Doth, the settlers of Karam Doth pushed forward with their own plans. They set off towards the mountain range, which they called Drimmak, and began to settle its peaks. They assumed that the mountains were devoid of life, as tall and barren as they were, were settling these high mountains, and were not expecting to be greeted by adversaries among the jagged crags. Tribes of half-giants, long isolated in the snowy mountaintops, retaliated strongly against the Drimm when their territory was breached or their holy lands damaged. This rivalry continued above ground, as the groups strove against each other’s goals in the region, for generations. It took a fearless Half-Giant chief to approach the Drimm with a powerful force and parley. Both sides tired of the conflict that had cost so many lives, and though there was significant tension at first, the Half-Giants and the Drimm joined forces. There have always been holdout clans and tribes, refusing to acknowledge the age-old peace, who clash in the thin-aired border settlements.
During this conflict, the Drimm continued their exploration and exploitation of the mountain riches. Being mostly dwarves, one of the first things they began was mining operations. Within the mountain peaks, they located magnificent veins of iron, silver, gold, and gems, which they followed ever deeper. These mining endeavors lead to a surprising discovery. Deep within the mountains of Drimmak, they discovered evidence that they were not the first people to dig into the mountains. First, it was tools and unfinished tunnels that they discovered, but the finds quickly compounded as they uncovered fully carved halls, huge dwellings, and eventually a complete underground fortress, a massive edifice, much larger than was required by either the diminutive stout folk or their human and half giant allies. The vaulted ceilings easily reached fifteen feet tall. This underground structure was decorated with indecipherable geometric patterns which ranged from a foot tall to towering over ten feet. Their alien designs were no hindrance to the Drimm, who immediately began establishing their hearths within the magnificent halls. It has never been discovered who originally crafted these amazing structures, and the Drim Simply referred to them as the Delvers, who had dug deep, built majestic creations, and then disappeared.
Unfortunately for the Drimm, the halls were still occupied. Within days of the first dwarves settling within their new chambers, there came an overwhelming stench, like that of dead fish and urine soaked rags, that permeated everything it touched. The troglodyte raids had begun.
Over the next century, the Underground Wars raged within the mountains. The Drimm pushed ever forward, driving the Troglodytes from each Delver ruin discovered. Over time, they discovered great underground causeways, stretching across hundreds of miles and the whole of the mountain range, that connected to even more Delver ruins. Each new ruin was completely abandoned by their original creators but overrun by troglodytes in the lower levels. Finally, the Drimm managed to push the troglodytes below the earth and sealed their warren tunnels, guarding them against further incursions.
Even while they were fighting the troglodytes, they were also expanding out to the greater world. Their explorers eventually reached the far side of the Drimmak, where they encountered first the hill tribes, and then further inland, the Occurians. These first encounters, like many, were not exceedingly promising. The Drimm fought both the Hill Tribes and the Occurians in a series of small wars over the resources of the foothills. Each time, the Drimm pushed their opposition back proving their superiority in the arts of warfare.
When the Occurians fell, they were first replaced with chaos and then, years later, by the Kingdom of Tyrndall. Sadly, the border woes continued with this new kingdom, though they were less intense, and the grievances would often be settled with minimal loss of life after small battles between local barons. When the kings were, on rare occasion, forced to intervene in these local conflicts, the vassals suffer greatly as both kingdoms held the belief that a relatively calm border between the kingdoms was mutually beneficial.
This relative peace was shattered with the War of Beards. The history behind the multi-year conflict is long and complicated, a brutal affair between the Duke of Vale, Arkan the Majestic and his rival in Drimm, Duke Yarin Stonebeard. Though both kings attempted to broker peace, neither Duke could accept the terms. The war finally ended with Arkan was slain in single combat with Yarin on the fields of Brittenald, after the dwarves, outnumbered but well fortified, held against seven separate charges by the Tyndarian forces. It was the largest instance of bloodshed between the two Kingdoms and is a testament to the relatively calm border between them.
After the War of the Beards, the land of Drimm entered a fairly peaceful period. There were no major conflicts with Tyndarians or the Alorans, and their homes were fairly stable. For a generation they toiled joyfully, crafting and creating within their great halls, fighting controlled feuds, and living in relative peace. During Moduru’s first war, and the dawn of the fourth age, they sent armies to fight alongside the Tyndarians against the armies of Moduru, and were vital in securing victory. During Moduru’s Second War, events played out very differently. Moduru, reborn, knew that the Drimmen halls were vulnerable from decades of stagnation, and made a deal with the stone giant Jarllan to assault the Drimmen Homeland. With hundreds of half-giants, ice drakes, and half-dragons marching alongside the stone giant army, they caught the Drimmen completely unaware. Jarlland took the southern third of Drimmak in just a few short years, crushing the dwarves in their holes. It was a dark time for the Drimmen people.
After Moduru’s second and final defeat, Jarlland called for a truce with the Drimm, who breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Unknown to Jarlland, the Drimmen were on the back foot, expecting to be completely routed, and fighting a hasty rearguard action. They gladly accepted the truce. The giant’s had not given up, however, and a year after the truce took up arms once again and, in a chilling surprise assault across multiple fronts, reignited the war. The Drimm were quickly pushed back, losing cities in a matter of weeks, and were quickly in a complete rout. The mightiest warriors and bravest of the Drimm stood their ground in numerous underground battled, allowing the young, the old, and those with families to retreat in good order. The greatest part of three generations gave their lives so that the Drimm would not perish completly from the world, and would survive the onslaught, as the grim giants neither asked nor gave quarter.
Today, the Drimm are scattered. They have traveled to families and relatives across the continent, spreading to all its corners. There were many, who did not have a home to seek refuge within, as their families had perished in the Great Exodus. These Drimmen have been granted by King Wanderer the fortress Citadel of Aldashir in the hills between Drimm and Tyndaria. Here, the Drimm train day and night in order to sell their axes and hammers to the highest bidder, participating in the wars of other Kigndoms in order to hone their combat prowess in the hopes of one day reclaiming their ancestral homes from the giants.
Alright! Drimm is done. It’s not a pleasant time for them in my world, and they have suffered greatly, but their nobility will likely enable them to one day retake their homes!
Next time, I do believe, I’m going to be looking into the history of Killbar, as the second Kingdom on the continent at the time of the sundering.
Until next time!