I'm in a pinch. For Friday night's game, I want a dwarf of the Crystalmists to tell the PCs the myth or origin story of why dwarves hate goblins so much. Maybe it's a myth involving the gods. Better yet, it's a legend of the first dwarves and a great goblin war. But I really want the dwarf to emphasize the justice of her people's enmity towards goblins.
Trouble is I can't find any such legend like this. Does anyone know of one? Is there something written somewhere I can steal to make this work?
Joined: Aug 03, 2001 Posts: 2827 Location: Michigan
Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:48 pm Post subject:
I actually wrote this myth from the goblin point of view, but with a few small changes, now it's a dwarf myth.
In the beginning there was only darkness and earth. And the daughters of darkness and earth were Vershnat and Luthic and Beltar and Ulaa, the great mothers.
Ulaa mated with Moradin and birthed Moradin and the gods of the dwarves, and with Garl she birthed Garl and the gods of the gnomes, and with Corellon she birthed Corellon and the gods of the elves, and with Rao she birthed Rao and the gods of the humans.
Vershnat mated with Maglubiyet and birthed Maglubiyet and the other goblin gods. Vershnat mated with Hruggek, Grankhul, Skiggaret, and Stalker and birthed Hruggek, Grankhul, Skiggaret, and Stalker.
Luthic mated with Gruumsh and birthed Gruumsh and the other gods of the orcs.
Beltar mated with the Abyss and birthed the demons. She mated with the many-eyed patient god and birthed the beholders. She mated with the world-serpent and birthed the dragons, and for this crime Moradin threw her into the pit.
Moradin struck the steel of his hammer against stone and created a spark, which was the first flame. He blew on the flame and made it bright, and with the flame he built a forge, and with the forge he forged the first dwarves.
The other gods were jealous of Moradin's creation. Maglubiyet pretended to be Moradin's friend and brought him gold and gems, but as Moradin examined these supposed treasures, discerning that they were valueless fool's-gold and forgeries, Maglubiyet stole Moradin's hammer and fire, and with the hammer he forged his axe. And with his axe he cut out pieces of earth and darkness, and with Moradin's stolen hammer he forged the first goblins, and encouraged them to breed and fill the Oerth. Soon the goblins began to slay the dwarves so that they could take the Oerth for themselves.
Gruumsh offered to help kill the dwarves if Maglubiyet would show him how to make a race of his own. Maglubiyet agreed, and soon the orcs were helping goblins kill dwarves. So Moradin taught other gods to make races who would kill goblins and orcs, and soon there were elves and humans and halflings and gnomes. And still the goblins and orcs came, breeding like vermin, but the orcs decided they wanted all the goblin lands for themselves, and tried to turn goblins into their servants. So Gruumsh became the most hated of Maglubiyet's enemies. And Maglubiyet forged together two of his sons, Nomog and Geaya, to be the god of the hobgoblins, who could resist the hated sun and were strong enough to turn the orcs into their servants.
Wise Moradin set aside some land for his people in the Lortmil Mountains, and cowardly Maglubiyet agreed to honor this in exchange for goblin lands elsewhere. Yet even here, Maglubiyet proved himself an oath-breaker.
The goblins started out in the distant west, but when the other races were colonizing the Lortmils, Maglubiyet sliced into the earth in the Lortmils, in the center of dwarf territory, with his axe and declared that the land split by his axe would belong to the goblins forever. Gruumsh, not to be outdone, thrust his spear into the same earth and claimed it should belong to the orcs. So all three races have fought over the Lortmil Mountains, the holy land of the dwarves, ever since.
Last edited by rasgon on Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: Aug 03, 2001 Posts: 2827 Location: Michigan
Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:51 pm Post subject:
Tolkien's War of the Dwarves and Orcs might also be a good model. Here, I changed some proper nouns to make it more Greyhawky. Glordin Anvil Forger is mentioned in The Complete Book of Dwarves as one of the first dwarves to grow restless and leave his homeland in search of riches. Markad is the second High King of the Dwarves in the Runes of the Dwur of Azak-Morad timeline, and I used some nation names from there. I changed the name of Durin from that timeline (which is from Tolkien) to Frar (the name of the father of the dwarves in The Complete Book of Dwarves) combined with Silvervein (as in Silvervein Moradinson, the legendary creator of the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords). Radruundar is the old dwarven stronghold taken over by goblins in the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords adventure.
You might want to tweak it to make Glordin more innocent and the goblins even more cruel; I'm basically transferring the story directly from the Tolkien wiki, with some minor tweaks.
The War began when Glordin Anvil Forger, son of Bardin Hammer Beater, son of Markad Silvervein, son of Frar Silvervein, Father of Dwarves, journeyed to Radruundar, a dwarf-built fortress fallen to the goblins and hidden in the Yatils near what is now called Iggwilv's Horn, with a single companion named Brun. When they arrived at the East Gate of Radruundar, Brun begged Glordin to take caution and refrain from entering the ill-fated place. His words went unheeded by Glordin, who went forth and entered Radruundar proudly as a returning heir. But he did not come back. Brun hid nearby for three days awaiting Glordin's return. On the first day of his absence, Glordin was captured by the goblins after being discovered in one of the armories, and was accused of 'thieving'. He was tortured for two days by Urzog the Goblin, who attempted to pry information from the young dwarf, who would reveal little. On the third day when goblins informed Urzog of a second dwarf, Brun, skulking outside the East Gate, Urzog had another idea. Glordin's last words were heard by no one beyond Radruundar: in a tone of defiance and dignity, he cried out, "These are the halls of Markad Silvervein, High King of the Dwarves!" before he was beheaded by Urzog. Glordin's death came in CY -5455.
In response to the presence of Brun, Urzog had Glordin's head and body flung out onto the steps of the East Gate. Brun, who had hid nearby, heard a great shout of triumph from within the gate, followed by the blast of a horn, and saw a headless body flung out onto the steps. Brun approached, fearing that it was the body of Glordin, as indeed it turned out to be. Glordin's severed head lay next to his body. Urzog then called out to Brun from the gate, demanding that he deliver a message back to Glordin's people, warning that beggars who dared to enter Radruundar and attempt thievery would meet a similar fate. Urzog then proclaimed that he had killed Glordin and that he now ruled Radruundar as king. He had carved his name in runes onto the brow of Glordin, in turn forever branding his name into the hearts of the Dwarves. Brun was barred from retrieving the head of Glordin, and was struck with a small pouch of coins of little worth as a final gesture of scorn. Brun took the pouch and turned and fled. When he looked back, goblins had emerged from the Gate and were hacking apart the body and flinging the pieces to the ravens.
When Brun returned to Markaddin many weeks later, this was the tale that he brought before Markad, who wept and cursed and tore his beard at hearing Brun's account, and then he fell silent in his grief. For seven days he sat in silence with little food or drink at hand. Finally on the seventh day, he stood up and declared, "This cannot be borne!" He sent out messengers in all directions to deliver the tale. From CY -5455 to CY -5452 the Silverveins, Markad's folk, responded by mustering their forces, calling upon the other houses of the Dwarves in every corner of the world, for the dishonor to the heir of the eldest of their race filled them with wrath.
In CY -5442, when all was ready, the Dwarves attacked, sacking and assailing one by one all the goblin-holds of the Yatil Mountains from Mount Skull in the north to the peak of Mithrildras in the south. Most of the war was fought underground, in the great mines and tunnels of the Yatil Mountains, where Dwarves excel in combat, and as such they went unaided by the other Free Peoples, and they carried the advantage through their unmatched weapons and the fire of their anger as they hunted for Urzog in every den under the mountains. Both sides were pitiless, and there was death and cruel deeds by dark and by light. This stage of the war was said to be so grim and bitter that few Dwarven veterans many years afterwards ever recounted what took place beneath the mountains.
The war reached its climax in CY -5436, when a final battle was fought in the valley outside the eastern gates of Radruundar, the Battle of the Horn. The Dwarves finally won this notoriously bloody encounter when reinforcements arrived late on the scene from the Barrier Peaks. After the battle, Markad son of Frar wanted to enter Radruundar and reclaim it, but the Dwarves not of Markad's folk refused, saying they had honored Glordin's memory by fighting, and this was enough. The Dwarves feared Glordin's Bane was still present and were reluctant to enter Radruundar while it still dwelt there.
Near the end of the battle, Urzog was pursued to the Gates of Radruundar and killed by Dáin Ironfoot, who had just watched his father Náin die at Urzog's hands. Afterward Urzog's head, its mouth stuffed with the same coin-filled purse that he had flung at Brun after he had killed Glordin nine years before, was left impaled on a spike.
The war was very costly for the Dwarven race, as nearly half of their warriors had been killed. Dwáin son of Mrór, Fraryn second son of Markad, and Funnaldin son of Brarin, the father of Dwalin, were among the more noted casualties. Markad himself lost an eye and was wounded in the leg, and Bruenor was wounded when his shield broke and he had to use an ipp branch to defend himself. This led to his by name, Ippstaff. Markad wanted to pursue the Orcs into Radruundar but the other Dwarves refused, saying Glordin had been avenged. Dain saw Glordin's Bane within Radruundar and said it could not be taken.
During and after the conflict many goblins fled south through the Fals Gap, trying to claim a refuge in the Lortmil Mountains beyond, and they troubled the Vale of Luna for two generations. Another effect of the war was the virtual disappearance of the goblins of the Yatil Mountains as a threat to Damgarath and Yrden for a long while; the goblins of the Vesve Forest near Highfolk were some of the few survivors. A century and a half later the Goblins of the North still had not fully recovered, and their population was further reduced during the Battle of Highfolk in CY -5194, in which Ulzolg, a descendant of Urzog, tried to avenge his ancestor. Ulzolg was killed by Thoin during the battle.
Wow, Rasgon! You saved my game tonight! Thank you! I'm going to use the more legendary, Tolkeinesque thing because it's less concerned with a proliferation of gods and more concerned with dwarves history.
The reason I want to do this, by the way, is I'm going to include the Lamentations of the Flame Princess adventure Hammers of the God in this campaign. For those unfamiliar with this amazing adventure, the PCs have a research opportunity to discover a forgotten dwarven secret with the possibility to transform relations between dwarves & goblins.
So it's important, right at the start of the campaign, to set up for the PCs the standard history of goblin aggression.
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