Soon, with the humanoids all but defeated, the last few years of the Wars turned more into a conflict between humans, dwarves and gnomes. All three races fought both each other and their own kinfolk, and betrayals were rampant among all the races. While most of the humanoids were driven out of the mountains and into the Pomarj peninsula, the allies’ infighting ensured that some of them managed to stay or even return.
Order Of Precedence
aristocrat Arthur Cyruson pinched his long nose in frustration at the tumult
around him. As a member of Flinthold’s ruling council, he was well known for
his calm demeanor. His dark brown skin was accented by his slightly brighter
chestnut brown hair and pale blue eyes, and he looked comparatively young for
his age, with only a few strands of gray showing in his distinguished moustache
and side-whiskers. His typical clothes of dark red and green were somewhat
flashier than most Flintholders’, befitting his status as a noble, but they
were tastefully restrained compared to many of his colleagues.
renowned for being able to keep his calm, but even his patience was being
tested by the other councillors. He glanced from one to the other, silently
praying to Garl Glittergold to give him strength.
“So you’d have
us just give in to them?” one of the other councillors said, crossing his arms
as he scowled. “We’re supposed to act like badgers, but you have us acting more
Honor Wilhelm Pontroy, High Regent of the Realm of Flinthold, spoke with the
same bluster that originally led the other councillors to choose him for his
illustrious position. His clothes, alternately silver and gold shot through
with purple, were those of a gnome who made no secret of his aspirations. His reddish
hair and moustache meshed well with his steel gray eyes and the perpetual flush
on his face.
“And you know
the cunning moles possess, don’t you?” Moswen Tallyrach said, his quiet calm
contrasting with Wilhelm’s fire. Moswen’s skin and hair were both somewhat
paler than any of the other gnomes on Flinthold’s council, and even many
Flintholders in general. His quiet, thoughtful demeanor often seemed drawn
inward on its own contemplations, detached from his surroundings until he chose
to speak. His clothes were more simple maroon and white, akin to what many of
the more common Flintholders wore.
the soil for their own gain, so that prey can come to them,” Moswen said. “Most
other races and animals ignore them, allowing the moles to gather what they
want without anyone else being the wiser. Badgers only fight when they’re
cornered, and often against the likes of humans they can’t truly stand
Several of the
other councillors murmured at this, as Arthur frowned.
“If we tunnel
correctly, we can trap Garnetholme. If they intrude further, then more of our
people will support the war. We’ll also have more time to prepare,” Moswen
That might have
sounded wise, and Moswen’s supporters on the council certainly said so.
however, wasn’t convinced. If anything, Moswen and Wilhelm’s argument sounded
like the Hateful Wars all over again.
Wars started when the humans, dwarves and gnomes of the Lortmils united to
drive the humanoids out of the mountains. After some initial setbacks, the
allies gained more and more of an advantage against the humanoids, with help
from the elves of Celene. Unfortunately, as the allies came closer and closer
to victory, they started plotting against one another to claim the richest humanoid
Soon, with the
humanoids all but defeated, the last few years of the Wars turned more into a
conflict between humans, dwarves and gnomes. All three races fought both each
other and their own kinfolk, and betrayals were rampant among all the races. While
most of the humanoids were driven out of the mountains and into the Pomarj
peninsula, the allies’ infighting ensured that some of them managed to stay or
a bloody conflict against the Steelheart dwarven clan in 508 CY. The gnomes
would have lost without the help of Garnetholme, another gnomish kingdom. Even
when Flinthold won, it didn’t seem like a victory. Flinthold was too weakened
to stake a claim to most of the rich territories won from the humanoids. By the
Wars’ end, it had very little to show for the conflict beyond a great loss of
blood and treasure.
and Garnetholme were heatedly disputing mining rights in one of their border
regions. Flinthold’s council was meeting to decide their response, and they
were deadlocked between the views of Moswen and Wilhelm. Each gnome had three
other councillors supporting him, with only Arthur unwilling to support either
slammed his fist down on the table, catching Moswen and Wilhelm in
mid-sentence. They and their followers fell silent, turning to look at Arthur
“Why haven’t we
even considered negotiating with Garnetholme?” he asked. “Why are we resorting
to war so soon?”
intruding on our lands!” one of Moswen’s followers pointed out. “Surely that’s
“No, it isn’t!”
Arthur pointed out. “You all know as well as I do that title to those lands
isn’t at all clear. Garnetholme has as much claim to it as Flinthold does on
paper. If we spoke to Garnetholme’s king about this, we could come to an
accord. How much bloodshed would we avoid if-”
“If we show
weakness?” Wilhelm said, interrupting Arthur. “Why don’t we just make Ruvell
our new king while we’re at it?” he said with a sneer, referring to
Garnetholme’s King Ruvell IV.
blazed with fury at that, staring daggers at Arthur, but Arthur didn’t flinch.
getting past it, Arthur,” Moswen said, as his supporters nodded. “That’s why we
should let Garnetholme overreach. That’ll give us more justification for
retaliation, and we’ll be better prepared…”
your friends in Garnetholme’s mining industry will give you a fine kickback off
any profits they make from this overreach before a war starts, won’t they? Arthur thought, but wisely didn’t say
even tried!” Arthur said, this time slamming both of his fists on the council
table. “You talk of weakness, Excellency,” he said to Wilhelm, “but if it
weren’t for our cousins in Garnetholme, we’d already be bowing to the
Steelheart king! Surely we-“
“-All know that
your noble father served Flinthold well, and bequeathed his position to you,”
Wilhelm said, that same sneer still on his face. The rest of the council turned
away from Arthur and resumed their argument.
his nose in frustration again, wondering what was happening to his kingdom.