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WarOfTheBeard

"Before the War of Vengeance the Dwarves and High Elves had what seemed to be inexhaustible armies. The War of Vengeance showed how wrong that thought was."

-Flemeth

The War of Vengeance was a massive conflict between the expanding High Elf Empire, and the Dwarven Empire of Karak Ankor fought throughout Europe, but mainly in France. The War of Vengeance was destructive to the population of both Empire's and following this both Empire's would be forced to deal with two even larger .

The conflict was started by the enemies of the High Elves in the Dark Elves, who began raiding groups of Dwarven traders and framing the murders on the High Elves. This led to the arrogant Pheonix King at the time to treat the Dwarves with less then the respect they had usually gotten as a great ally of the High Elves. The two sides could never agree on a means to end the conflict and because of this they would wage war on eachother.

The conflict ended when the Dark Elves launched their invasion of Ulthuan and the High Elves were forced to retreat from Europe. The war itself would lead to the utter exhaustion of both races, and lead to their steep downfalls after this war.

Background

During the reign of Caledor II of the High Elves , trade routes between Elves and Dwarfs that had been closed during the Elven Civil War were reopened, and the Elven colonies in Europe flourished while humanity were little more than savages.

Prelude

War of Vengeance

As the golden age of the two Empires continued the menipulation of Malekith would change things when he begin menipulating things so that his followers attacked all across Europe Dwarven Traders. Dwarf settlements were plundered, and robbed the craftsman Dawi of their gold. Among the first victims were Gorri dust brewing and the inhabitants of the village burned dwarf Mingol Norn and Dweraki Grugni Naggrun, of which this grudge is still today in the Book of Grudges of Klan Kamaraz and anyone can read the pain in the writing. The dwarves accused the High Elves of being behind these attacks, and practiced, despite her protestations of innocence deadly retaliation. In fact, there were but the Dark Elves , Malekith on command committed the robberies to cause discord between the two peoples to sow. She deliberately drew the suspicion of the Elves of Ulthuan, and had success with their tactics. The dwarves call these events today as the Great Betrayal. As a result, many elves were killed by traveling dwarves, of whom were sparked to gain revenge for the deaths of so many Dwarven merchants. Gotrek Star breaker the High King at the time did not want the dwarfs to go to war with the Elves, and decided to end their difference between the Elven nations and sent a messenger to the then ruling Phoenix King Caledor II. This messenger was sent back, however, by pointing out that he did not talk to farmers. He and Gotrek Star breaker probably the greatest empires ruled over their people since the beginning of all time calculations. In the course of as the resentment of Drong become known events worsened, the tensions even further, as the elves in the vicinity of the dwarf fortress Krag Bryn constructed the elven fortress city of Tol Eldroth.

Karaz Bryn Civil War

Many generations of dwarf adventurers founded the Dwarven Hold of Krag Bryn after they had discovered rich deposits of precious metals, and these Dwarves became known as the Bronnlinge. The dwarves of the angry Dwarf Lord Thrund harbored an ancient grudge against the Bronnlinge and they wanted to oust them from the area as their Hold of Krag Thrund. In an ambush the Thrundlinge would capture and then execute the son of Bronn the strong and then deliver his head to the doors of Krag Byrn. Many years later, both cities were very thinned amongst the Dwarves, because they had suffered greatly from the war. Especially Krag Bryn was seriously weakened and the victory of Thrundlinge only a matter of time. But in the meantime had high elves led by Prince Eldroth a city built on the coast and and begin to make the Bronnlingen their allies.

Dwarf Lord Thrund, the current ruler of Kazad Thrund saw his time has come to the gain the throne of Krag Bryn claim for himself, by forcing Helgar the Queen of the region to marry him, and then once married he could morph the two Krags together into a realm. Thrud was able to get the extremely powerful Miners Guild of Krag Bryn on his side after he was able to convinse the engineer Krudd Mad Mattock, onto his side. Thrud begin to instigate a series of rebellions amongst the lower mines of Krag Bryn. Bronn who himself had no more warriors to suppress this revolt, relied on the High Elves to assist them in the conflict, and it forced Bronn to make future deals which favored the High Elves over Karak Ankor. This allowed the rebels to the army of Kazad Thrund connect, making them more powerful. But Bronn changed his tactics, because Helgar finally made it clear that she would not marry Thrund, and in fact wanted to marry Bronn. He sent her gifts, which she loved and because of these gifts she invited him to her home in Krag Murd. The two fell in love unexpectedly and suddenly seemed to secure the future of all. Until the invasion of the High Elves to a dwarf caravan. Many died, but the Runesmith fermentation grudge bearers escaped and reported the the act to the leadership of the three Krags. This suggested a betrayal of the elves and many suggested that Bronn was involved as he was seen as the closest person to the Elves. A heated argument ensued and the three broke into a devided room, of which caused a rift between Bronn, and Helgar. Since Helgar feared that Bronn would overthrow her Krag if she married him, she attempted to turn to Thrund of whom she hated but also knew that he was very loyal to Karak Ankor. The Thrundlinge with the support of Krag Murd would assault the high elves defending one of the Bronnlingen's brewaries and when the Thrund arrived they would massacre the defenders whose brewery and brewmaster were nailed to the brewing mixar.

Provoked in such a way studied Bronn was met by his High Elven allies who talked him into the hard decision of attacking Krag Thrund. He led his army to Krag Thrund and Tol Eldroth sent a large force as well to assist them. In the Battle of Krag Thrund Bronn realized that he had made a terrible mistake as he watched the Elves massacring Dwarves, and he changed his army to assisting Krag Thrund before it was destroyed. The elven prince Eldroth had moved his force towards the center of the relieving army of Krag Murd, and he cut his way through the center of the Dwarven Lines and engaged the personal gaurd of Helgar. Bronn watched this and charged the lines, where he dueled the elven prince but the elven prince murdered but this in turn was supported by the elves heroes Ardath and Lithan massacred. After the death of their leader broke the line of dwarves and elves were victorious.

After the battle fled Helgar , bitterly in mourning for her husband, according to Krag Bryn and was now in a war against the elves again. Krudd became the new king of Kazad Thrund while Ardath the throne of Tol Eldroth boarded.

Tensions Mount

Three years later, the hostilities were escalating further, and High King Gotrek Star breaker forbade his warriors dwarves from continuing in other hostilities. To secure the peace again, he sent ambassadors to the court of the Phoenix King of Ulthuan, this time he sent the actual diplomat of Karak Ankor. What happened there is not handed down for sure: The dwarves claim that we met there, the legitimate demands of Dewi, after a reasonable compensation with smug arrogance, and had the envoys of the High King does not pre-let at the court of Ulthuan. Rather, they insulted the high elf nobility unbearable and finally sent them with beards shaved by the foreign countries back to their homeland. The elves say themselves, it was just a messenger, who would have stunk very dirty and was, and swore by his beard, not to leave until demands are met. It is also said that he had pulled over to the Phoenix King's ax. Still other sources say that the king was disappointed that the king of the dwarves do not even bow before the Dragon Throne. Anyway whatever, or of the delegates (s) landed more quickly to their ships than they thought, and was (s) of Ulthuan expelled. The only way to settle this grudge in the belief of the Dwarves was a war, and from the perspective of the Elves all of this was because of the minor event of war of the beard was called. - The Dewi, however, the war never took it lightly, spoke instead of the war of retribution or simply as the war against the elves.

The War

First Siege of Tor Ellesi

Tor Ellesi (present-day L'Anguille in Bretonnia), an Elven colony in the Old World, was besieged by Dwarfen armies under King Gotrek - swearing to shave his head if he could not obtain the weregild, while the Dwarf ambassador - due to the shame of having his beard shaved - became a Troll slayer. Caledor, outraged at the assault, sent a mighty expedition from Ulthuan to relieve Tor Ellesi, leaving Ulthuan dangerously weakened. The conflict ground on as the sides were evenly matched, the holds of Karak Ankor and Ulthuan of the High Elves were unassailable, Dwarfs burning down virgin forests just to spite the High Elves as Europe was awash with combat.

Fourteenth Siege of Tor Ellesi

Caledor II, having slain Prince Snorri Halfhand, son of King Gotrek, was growing frustrated with the protracted nature of the War, dismissed his generals and later charged the Dwarf infantry during the Fourteenth Siege of Tor Alessi, only to be slain by King Gotrek, who seized the Phoenix Crown and retreated to Karaz-a-Karak.

The End

Shortly before beginning a suicidal siege of Karaz-a-Karak, the Dark Elves struck at Ulthuan, forcing the High Elves to remove their forces from the Old World and fend off the Dark Elves, thus ending the War of the Beard.

Aftermath

The High Elves

Due to the recent Dark Elf attacks, and depletion of the High Elf military due to the War of the Beard, Ulthuan ordered the evacuation of all remaining High Elves - both civilian and soldier - from the ravaged European colonies, warning those that remained they would not be protected by Ulthuan . Though many left, those that felt they had little loyalty to Ulthuan remained and travelled to forests throughout Europe such as the Forest of Athel Loren, and High Forest for protection, and became the Sindar Elves .

Dwarves

The Dwarfs , though victorious, were left dangerously weakened, and unable to successfully combat Greenskin and Skaven incursions.

Both races were much weakened by the War, and are but shadows of their former selves, and left a lingering bitterness between the two races.

Snowy Vale

Snowy Vale was founded during the days of the War of Vengeance. A fleet of ships were sailing for France when they were attacked by a force of Dwarven ships. The Dwarven fleet was significantly larger, so the Elves pulled away and the two fleets engaged in a trailing action for days. After days of being hounded they finally found a piece of land and the Elves quickly landed. The Dwarves were not so forgiving and pulled up to the coast and burned the ships of the Elves.

With now no means of returning the Elves of the fleet quickly were set about by their fleet commander to fell trees and get working on rebuilding their fleet.

So because of the events of the War of Vengeance the Kingdom of Snowy Vale was founded and continues to grow.

Brok Stonefist and Lord Salendor

Brok Stonefist, head of the Dwarf force of Karak Azgul with centuries of experience with the Dwarf network of tunnels, earned great fame by rallying the shattered force of Karak Azgul and routing a High Elf army by using his prescient knowledge of the tunnel network. For this feat he was named Ungdrin Ankor Rik, or 'Lord of the Tunnels' by the Dwarfs, and Arhain-tosaith, 'shadowy one of the earth' by the High Elves. However, he was soon to meet his nemesis Lord Salendor of Tor Achare, for which he was evenly matched. For the next hundred years they would clash, in such battles as the Battle of Blind River. However the bloody conclusion would be the Battle of Athel Maraya. After fighting inch-for-inch for the doomed city of Athel Maraya, Dwarfs set fire to the city. As both High Elves and Dwarfs fled the burning city, Brok and Salendor - unwilling to flee or heed the warnings of their comrades - fought to the death among the inferno, and are said by the Elves to haunt the city millenia later, locked in eternal combat.

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